'Ello? What's This?

Hehe. Somebody (or, in this case, some critter) had to make a bold, contrarian statement about all that theatrical pomp(ousness). The Daily Mail has the story about the frisky horse who bolted Kate and Will's procession. As usual, they put the cheeky spin on it.

P.S. The stuffy Guardian reminds why the ladies wearing the funny hats and the men donning the waistcoats could feel perfectly safe despite the four-legged (or two-legged) rogues: "Around 5,000 police officers will be joined by many more undercover and hundreds of soldiers in uniform in Westminster on the wedding day." Because it's not Merrie Olde England anymore.

Monarchy-Busting Update: "That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved ..."

'Nother Update: When royals weren't hard-drinking party animals.

Thomas Lee: Father of 13 Dies in Storm

Mr. and Mrs. Lee

A Nazarene news website reported this heartbreaking news: "So far, neither the Alabama South nor North districts have reported deaths among Nazarene families; however, South District Treasurer Jimmy Horton said his cousin, Thomas Lee, in Ashville, Alabama, was killed in the storm.

Lee has a large family, 13 children, and was the only wage-earner. His wife was a stay-at-home mom and home schooled the children. The youngest child is three years old and the oldest two are out of college.

'He was a very good Christian man,' Horton said."

This blogger has posted more photos of Mr. Lee who was 64 years old.

A Birmingham police reporter writes that several of the Lee children were severely injured, but that the family has a great deal of support while they go through this terrible ordeal.

As of last night, the death toll was 329.

Update: 337. :<(


Bring it On!

This technical analysis of the Obama birth certificate, from an 'average Joe' blogger conversant with graphic design software, is fascinating.

Friday Fun: Writing Opportunity

The Campaign for Liberty seeks columnists and/or bloggers to write an op. ed. about Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 landmark Supreme Court case. The Supremes, according to Wikipedia, "struck down a provision of the McCain–Feingold Act that prohibited all corporations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, and unions from broadcasting 'electioneering communications.' "

The Campaign for Liberty disagrees - strongly - with the Supreme Court's ruling and wants writers who will tackle the issue from a traditional conservative/populist angle - i.e., the Founders did not write about or advocate for protections and rights for corporations since that would set-up a competition with individuals who form the highest order within a Republican form of government.

More information about the ruling is here. Please contact me if you are interested.


Here's an excerpt from a Vermont publication about an anti-Citizens United Ruling rally that featured two well-known foodies: "Even ex-ice cream moguls Ben & Jerry showed up, putting a simple face (or two) on the issue and drawing a good laugh.

'We’re here as two real life examples of people,' said Ben Cohen, standing with Jerry Greenfield, his partner in progressive causes.

'I’m Ben, I’m a person,' he said.

'I’m Jerry, I’m a person,' chimed in Greenfield.

Then, said Cohen of his erstwhile ice cream company: 'Ben & Jerry’s: Not a person.' "


Speaking of bodacious Vermont, Whoopi Goldberg is selling her farmhouse (which is located near Brattleboro). Check out all the land that comes with it!


RIP: David Wilkerson

All those tragic tornado casualties, and now more sad news.

Rev. David Wilkerson, author of the bestselling The Cross and the Switchblade and pastor of the Times Square Church, died yesterday in a traffic accident in Texas. He was 79.

Rev. Wilkerson, an evangelical, ministered to drug addicts and gangbangers in New York City before it was trendy to do so. He profoundly affected the life of Nicky Cruz, a leader of the notorious Mau Maus gang. Nicky wrote about his powerful conversion in Run Baby Run which also became a bestseller.

Update: An interview with Don Wilkerson, David's brother.

The Entertainment Industry's Old School Moms

Force of nature Raquel Welch, who is now 70 and doesn't look it, discussed her new memoir with PopEater.

Ms. Welch, who was born Jo Raquel Tejada and is now a professing Christian, confesses that she regrets putting her successful film career ahead of her son's and daughter's needs.

The PE interviewer asks her, "So do you think a woman can have it all?

Raquel sensibly answers, "I don't think anyone can have it all."

She also eschews the 'desperate housewife' culture. You, go, girl!


Phoebe Snow, the bluesy singer, died on Tuesday. She was 60-years-old. The New York Times obit notes that Phoebe's "severely brain-damaged daughter" occupied all her post-fame life and time.

From the article: "Refusing to institutionalize Valerie [the daughter], who suffered from hydrocephalus and was not expected to live long, Ms. Snow cared for her daughter until her death on March 18, 2007, at age 31.

Ms. Snow, who is survived by her sister, Julie Laub, and an uncle, Bob Laub, maintained that her devotion to her daughter was her greatest accomplishment."

What a beautiful legacy.


Tipping Point

Between this sleazy fundraising pitch and this front-page New York Times article, I think a national immigration reform organization, run and funded by responsible conservatives, is long overdue.

Update: Flaky Earth Day supporters aren't credible spokespersons for those primarily concerned about law and order and American sovereignty.

The Iconoclast

A handsome mule makes a cameo appearance at the annual Three Forks Horse Drive in Montana.

H/T: Andy.

Red Mafiya: From Russia W/ No Love

A word about Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America by the late Robert I. Friedman.

Last year I became interested in learning more about the Mafiya after Mike Cutler, a former INS agent, told a small group of us in Arlington, Virginia that the most notorious immigrant gangsters are the Russians.


After reading Friedman's book, I better understand why Mike made that statement. The intro was chilling enough: "The Russians didn't come to enjoy the American Dream. They came here to steal it."

I would now add, "By any means necessary."

Friedman, who was the expert on the subject of Russian mobsters in the U.S. and who received a handwritten death threat in a Hallmark greeting card from godfather Vyacheslav Ivankov, describes how casually and frequently these thugs (who can be found from Miami to Brighton Beach to Las Vegas to the suburbs of Denver) resort to barbaric bloodshed. The sophistication and breadth of their criminal enterprises - from heroin to missiles to the skin trade - is astounding. To boot, the Mafiya has also infiltrated American brokerage firms and, believe it or not, the National Hockey League.

Unlike La Cosa Nostra, the Russians don't spare the women and the children, either.

So, how did the United States come to be a dumping ground for these lowlifes and felons?

Friedman offers one telling clue: our lame immigration policies.

He writes," In 1993 [after the Soviet Union collapsed], a high-ranking Russian immigration official in Moscow told U.S investigators that there were five million dangerous criminals in the former U.S.S.R. who would be allowed to immigrate to the West. It's nearly impossible for the State Department to weed out these undesireables because the former states of the Eastern bloc seldom make available the would-be émigrés criminal record."

If you want a further taste of Robert I. Friedman's writing, go here. It's not a great book, because an exposition of crude, cruel people depresses (as opposed to elevates), but it's certainly an informative and credible work.

Sidebar: This 1996 article by William Norman Grigg discusses how the Clinton Administration financed organized crime in Russia via foreign aid.


Yo, Seagull Near Lake Michigan at Dusk

The Lake

The Gull

The Sunset

On Obtaining a U.S. Passport

Ken, from Massachusetts, writes, "My daughter is a world-class procrastinator. According to her understanding today was supposed to be the last day one could apply for a passport and get it by the time she needs it one month from today. So, of course, she waited until today to make her application. However, as of April 1st a certified birth certificate does not suffice to prove a U.S. birth and, hence, U.S. citizenship. One now needs a certified birth certificate listing the parents' names. She doesn't have a long form birth certificate in her possession. Rather than making an emergency trip to Connecticut [birthplace of Ken's daughter], we opted for me to fill out an affidavit of birth (Form DS-1), and go down to the post office with her with all my proofs of identity and citizenship. I attested that I have indeed known her since she was born and that I was present at her birth here in the good ol' USA and that I know what I'm talking about since I am her father.

Also, she learned that the deadline for an expedited passport application is a moving target. You won't really know if you qualify for an expedited application unless you call them. They will answer 'yes' or 'no' based on how busy they are or something equally vague. Fortunately, she was able to apply for it by mail rather than having to go in person to Boston.

I don't know about you, but I'll surely sleep better knowing that passports will now only be granted to those with long form birth certificates. Though I am a bit hazy on how that actually improves homeland security or protects against fraud."

TCC Note: Intriguing how presidencies don't require the long form birth certificate, but passport applications do. Thanks for sharing, Ken. I hope your daughter receives a "si."

Update: Finally?


Dr. Richwine Follows the Education Money

The affable Jason Richwine (pictured), who has a doctorate in public policy from Harvard, has a knack for demolishing prevailing shibboleths with meticulous quantitative analyses. His latest study, published by the Heritage Foundation, is titled "The Myth of Racial Disparities in Public School Funding."

Here's his conclusion: "Although it is often blamed for the racial achievement gap, unequal school funding is largely a myth. Per-pupil spending in the U.S. is broadly similar across racial and ethnic groups. If any one group enjoys an advantage in funding, it is black students, especially in the Northeastern states. Group differences in school achievement cannot be the result of an unequal commitment of resources to minority students, and simple increases in public school funding are not likely to close the gaps."

The entire report is here.


Easter Sun: He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

This renovated church, that I frequently pass by, is for sale. Perhaps the former congregants (if they are still around) are disappointed that the house of worship is no 'longer in business.' But I find the fanciful structure, empty as it is, a source of inspiration, because it's a reminder that Christianity isn't about a meeting house or a denomination, but a person. Jesus Christ's resurrection is celebrated, today, because of what He did 2000 years ago. He continues to transform hearts and minds, today, because He is the cornerstone, as 1 Peter 1:4-6 states. How then will you live, today, in light of that historical fact?

Happy Easter.


Holy Saturday: A Time to Wait

During my Good Friday reflection walk, I came across this little brook. It reminded me of Psalm 42:1: "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God."


Good Friday's False Prophet Alert

Update: Blasphemy-lite. Bill Anderson describes Intervarsity Christian Fellowship's mixing of Earth Day and Good Friday as neo-paganism.


Who's Your Matchmaker? God

File under: If you're tired of hearing about Prince William and Kate the Commoner ...

Congratulations to Carol MacDonald! She's a dear young friend (I sound so Jane Austen-y) who just got engaged and will be getting married this summer, in New England, to Seth Hollis of AL (as in Sweet Home Alabama). Carol writes about their courtship, which included many Skype chats, here.

The future Mrs. Hollis and her musical family were mentioned in this piece. The current Mr. Hollis enjoys singing duets w/Carol, so he'll fit right in with the Macs.

The Open University

iTunes carries the Open University's free lectures. Talk about a plethora of choices. One can listen to a discussion about the politics of medicine or hear phrases in Chinese or learn about telescopes, and so on and so on.

The OU, the United Kingdom's "open access university," also offers online degree programs for those seeking credentials (as opposed to learning on the fly).

H/T: Henry

Donnie, Not Darko, Humor

Update: The Donald's bonita esposa has an opinion: "Well I think it's not only my husband that wants to see the birth certificate," she said. "I think it's a lot of American people who voted for him and who didn't vote for President Obama. They want to see it."

Melania says people are just downright frustrated. "They ask him where it is and why he doesn't show it. Does he have it? Where is it? Why not show it? What's the big deal? I could show my birth certificate. What's the problem?"

She told me [Rob Shuter] she keeps 5-year-old son Barron's certificate in a drawer near his passport!

'Nother Update: A sober view of the politician manqué.

Michigan State Police: Data Extraction Device Controversy Clarified

Perhaps you saw this story, on the Drudge Report: "The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program."

I asked my Criminal Investigations teacher - a Michigan state trooper - about this. He didn't know anything about the cell phone DED or the ACLU's demands, but he said he's "sure there's some device out there," as he put it. (He's an informal fella.) He also reiterated that a search warrant is needed before phone records can be searched and that "fishing expeditions" for information are frowned upon.

The MSP released a press release, yesterday, due to the public uproar the news report caused. Here's a portion: "The department's internal directive is that the DEDs may only be used by MSP specialty teams on criminal cases, such as crimes against children. The DEDs are not being used to extract citizens' personal information during routine traffic stops."


Tricia Willoughby Shines While Leftists Slime

This bright young lady is a homeschooler ... and what a fiery, yet tasteful, speech she delivers at a Wisconsin Tea Party event.

Meanwhile, this bitter boorish man, obviously a product of the government schooling socialization sovietization system, 'responds' to Tricia.

HT: R. Cort Kirkwood

Big Government has more about the profane protestors

Update: Dana interviews Tricia

April Showers and Climate Change

See that fuzzy stuff in the photo? At dusk, yesterday, it started to s-n-o-w. It continued throughout the evening.

Old Man Winter isn't ready to vaca in New Zealand; he still likes chilling in the Midwest.

Update: Now it looks like this; the two mailboxes are on the left. The local college cancelled the morning session due to the weather.


Write on!

Regarding the "Stossel in the Classroom" essay contest: I wrote a longer piece about it here. I noted that a liberal Daily Kos blogger described the contest as "... a very pernicious attempt by Fox News and John Stossel of spreading their worldview in a Trojan horse essay contest to children across America." Roll those eyes, people.

In the photo: Philip Wegmann (in the middle), the home scholar who is the first place winner of the contest.


Sun. Inspiration: Purity Ring Drama Group

Purity Ring Drama Group of Northern Michigan

Yesterday my family attended a play, based on The Witch of Blackbird Pond, a novel by Elizabeth George Speare, that was performed by the Purity Ring Drama Group.

The faith-based PRDG is made up of homeschoolers, so a passel of (mostly) 16-year-olds played the lead roles. The two-hour production, which included the singing of psalmodies, was so well done that the only acceptable response at the end (from me, at least) was a standing ovation. From the sets to the costumes to the acting to the tempo to the tone to the lighting to the program to the intermission refreshments to the auditorium - it was an all-around enjoyable, edifying, and entertaining endeavor.

Bravo, young people (and your supportive parents)! Bravo Julie Peurasaari, (who wrote the script)!

If you are unfamiliar with Speare's historical novel, it's set in the colonial era in Connecticut and features a free-spirited gal named Kit Tyler who leaves Barbados to come live with her extended family, the Woods. Matthew Wood, the patriarch, and his wife and two daughters, are a proper, but loving, group of Puritans. Kit gets into trouble befriending the so-called witch of Blackbird Pond who is just a lonely, kindly Quaker widow named Hannah Tupper. The wholesome story includes courting, government, family, and religion dramas, but it's written so that young teens would have no problem following the plot. The beloved American classic remains a classic due to a new generation of readers - and youthful thespians - discovering it.

P.S. A photo of the cast without the theatrical makeup and historic period costumes.


Of Ben Schott and Ayn Rand

Ben Schott, a vocabulary blogger at the New York Times, doesn't have an answer to that question. However, he did reference my article about economites. Go here. Speaking of economites, if any of you pitchfork peasants go see the Atlas Shrugged movie I am interested in a review. Thanks.

Aside: Have you visited One Old Vet, lately?

Update: One review. Another review - of the book - which notices Rand's hostility to Christianity and traditional morality.

Angst-filled Adele is on a Roll

File under 'English Rose channels Janis Joplin, Bette Midler, and Mama Cass.'

Pop goes the culture. British-born Adele Adkins, age 22, is the reigning queen of "heartbroken soul." She graces the current Rolling Stone cover. Appropriately one of her latest tunes is called "Rolling in the Deep." Compared to any hideous Lady Gaga video, Adele puts on a tame show, but her voice is far more substantial than LG's. The song really picks up near the 1:00 mark. Take a listen.


Friday Fun: Essay Winners Announced

The winners for John Stossel's "What's great about America" essay contest have been announced.

FYI: 222 winning essays were selected out of 7,500 submissions.

I was among the team of graders/judges for the contest and read 600 of these essays. It was a blast and the gaffes that young writers are sometimes prone to make were adorable. Like the student who opined that, overseas, Americans are often viewed as a "materialistic, shellfish, and violent" people. Fightin' Crustacean Nation! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Graders did not know any names, schools, or locations, just the age of the participant.

The first place winner is Philip Wegmann, a home scholar, and the second place winner is Dora Juhasz who attends middle school.

You can read both of their essays here.

Philip and Dora won a free trip to New York City and some cash, and they will be in the audience when John tapes his Fox show, Stossel.


Res Ipsa Loquitur

H/T: Ron


Eagle Forum Collegians

An opportunity for a college student - undergrad or grad - to spend a few days in Washington, D.C., this summer, learning from conservative authors, activists, and members of the U.S. Congress.

Over 200 students attended last year's Eagle Forum summit. One of them was my friend, Ed Cutting, who is enrolled at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He had this to say about the experience: "I learned more in 2 days than in a couple of semesters of graduate work in the education deptartment at UMass."

Eagle Forum Collegians was created in 1993 by the incomparable Phyllis Schlafly.

All the information about the organization and event is here. Scholarships are available.

In the photo: A group shot of the 2010 EF Collegians. Click on it to see Ed - top left. He has his back to the window, is wearing eyeglasses, and is standing next to the plant, tree, whatever.

Are you an economite?

You might be an economite if you …

prefer city lights to starry skies in wide open spaces;

agree that a college education is worth going into significant debt;

patronize stores in which the majority of the goods were made in Communist China;

believe that illegal immigrants are needed to ‘do the jobs Americans won’t do’;

forego family time to work to afford more expensive gadgets, clothes, and trips;
are making minimum payments on credit card debt;

subscribe to Forbes magazine;

are bored without modern entertainment like sports teams, video games, social networking sites, reality shows, and iTunes;

think free trade agreements (like NAFTA, CAFTA, and KORUS FTA) benefit our economy;

support politicians who think economic growth is always beneficial to a community;

frequent casinos; or

eat to thrive rather than to survive.

Read the rest of my column, on this topic, here.


On Being Jimmer

Is it that boring in Provo?

Crazed Dad

In the interview below, neocon writer Andrew Ferguson explains the trouble involved in getting his son (who was only an average student) into the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Due to his experience, Ferguson has written a book about the college admissions process called Crazy U which is receiving rave reviews from the intellectual glitterati.

Gillum, the son, is also in the interview. He's the definition of laconic, the opposite of his energetic dad. College seems to be the mechanism, for him, to make "lifelong" friends. At least he's honest, given how unserious he seems.

One thing is clear: A ringing case for Western Civ. ain't going to be made at UVa. You've been robbed, Andy F.

One of the commentators at Big Government, who is a college professor, had this to say (after watching the video): "A kid who goes to a Virginia Community College for two years to get an associates degree has a better chance of getting into UVa as a transfer student (assuming the kid gets good grades) than the average high schooler -- and his/her UVa diploma will look identical to the one that belongs to the four-year (dare I say 'five-year'?) graduate. However, the parents will probably have saved $50,000. As a college professor, I believe that's the best route to a college education for most young men and women today. The other path I recommend to parents beginning to think about college for their kids is to have the kid enlist in one of our Armed Forces, serve our country for three-to-five years, and then go to college with the help of the GI Bill."

If you, Mr. or Mrs. Parent of a 17-year-old, insist on playing the college game and don't have big bucks or the big connections, this is excellent financial and academic advice, unlike the mindset being advanced by education snob and chickenhawk Andy Ferguson, who works at the Weekly Standard. That fact alone should tell the denizens of Middle America everything they need to know.


The Blumenfeld Plan to Improve Education

Sam Blumenfeld (pictured), the author of N.E.A. Trojan Horse in American Education and a popular conference speaker, is a consultant for the Committee for the Privatization of Public Schools. TCC is pleased to have him, today, as a guest blogger.

Here's Dr. Sam, the quintessential 'big picture' thinker.

Modest Proposal


Improve Education and Reduce Property Taxes


Privatizing the Public Schools

It is now almost universally accepted by concerned Americans that our public schools are failing to produce a literate, well-educated younger generation.

Despite the fact that the American taxpayer spends more money on education than any other nation in history, we are getting less and less quality education for our money.

In April 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education reported:

“The educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and as a people….If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands we have allowed this happen to ourselves.”

In other words, our educators have produced a mediocre education for our children. But they are the last to admit their responsibility.

And, of course, we all know about America’s reading problem, which the public first became aware of in 1955 when Rudolf Flesch wrote his famous book Why Johnny Can’t Read. In it, Flesch wrote:

“The teaching reading--all over the United States, in all of the schools, in all the textbooks--is totally wrong and flies in the face of all logic and common sense….Today the phonetic system of teaching reading is kept out of our schools as effectively as if we had a dictatorship with an all-powerful Ministry of Education.”

Has anything changed since 1955 in the public schools?

In November 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts issued an alarming report on America’s decline in literacy, Reading at Risk. It reported that the number of 17-year-olds who never read for pleasure increased from 9 percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004. Almost half of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 never read books for pleasure. The Endowment chairman, Dana Gioia stated: “This is a massive social problem. We are losing the majority of the new generation. They will not achieve anything close to their potential because of poor reading.”

Indeed, from Why Johnny Can’t Read in 1955 to the Commission’s devastating report in 1983 to the Endowment’s alarming report in 2007, the quality of education in our public schools has continued to decline. And there is no indication that the public schools know how to improve it, despite the more money they are able to extort from the taxpayer.

It is now quite obvious that the great experiment in free government-owned and controlled public education as a means of uplifting our nation and providing future generations with excellent academic skills has been a failure.

But there is a very viable way out from this dismal failure:

The privatization of the public schools in every town in America.

Private education is not new in America. In fact, it is a tradition that goes back to our very beginnings as a nation. Our founding fathers were well educated by every sort of private means available at the time. And the result was that early Americans were the most literate people on earth. The key to that high literacy was the need to be able to reading the Bible.

The U.S. Constitution makes no mention of education because it was considered a private affair, conducted by private schools and tutors, religious denominations and parents. And today we still have private schools for those who want quality education and are willing to pay for it. We have well-known private parochial schools. And now we have the growing phenomenon of home-schooling. And so we know how to achieve quality education. It’s no mystery.

In other words, every town in America with a public school system can change failure into success by simply privatizing these local institutions. By getting the government out of the education business, we shall be getting rid of the dictatorship of that Ministry of Education which Dr. Flesch wrote about.

In addition privatization will have enormous benefits for the community, its parents, its children, and its home-owners.

If you still believe that we live in a free country, then the privatization of the public schools should not only be possible but desirable.

Each public school can be converted into a private institution by the local town government.

Each school can become a private tax-exempt foundation governed by a board of trustees chosen by whatever means the town decides will produce the best results.

Each new private institution will be supported by tuition fees from parents whose children will attend the school. The tuition fees for students whose parents are too poor to pay the fee can be paid by a Town Foundation set up to take care of the poor who cannot pay tuition.

In other words, every child in the community will get a good private education, regardless of whether or not their parents can afford it.

The newly privatized schools will be able to raise additional funds by conducting fund-raising activities, such as sports events, dramatic performances, crafts, bake sales, alumni societies, etc. Donations will be tax-deductible.

Thus, a great tax burden will be lifted off the shoulders of the home-owner who must pay high real-estate taxes to finance the public schools. But when those schools are privatized, there will be no need for home-owners to carry the entire financial burden for the schools. That will certainly enhance property values in the community.

Privatization with restore control of the schools to the local communities so that they can adopt curriculums that work. All they have to do is examine the curriculums of successful private schools to find out what works best.

Privatization will lower the cost of education and improve its quality. No need for top-heavy administration personnel associated with government regulations.

Teachers will be hired as any private institution hires its personnel, on the basis of their qualifications.

The highly politicized teachers’ unions, such as the National Education Association, with their World Government, multicultural curriculum, will no longer be able to control the local schools.

Each privatized school can vie to become the best school in town.

That’s a great incentive to excel.

From a national point of view, by privatizing the public schools, America will embark on a new, exciting era of educational creativity and entrepreneurship, using all of the advanced technologies being developed by our high-tech economy.


Vistaprint: If Fancy-Schmancy Isn't Your Thing

On a whim, I took advantage of Vistaprint's "free" business card offer that was advertised at the Drudge Report.

I chose the "slow" shipping selection (which wasn't all that slow) and paid just a few bucks for shipping.

Today the free cards arrived in the mail. They are about standard size. The font is a little small, but the funky flower design (see below) is charming. The quality of the paper isn't bad. I also received a '25% off my next order' coupon.

Now the next time someone asks me for a business card - voilà!

Getting Indoctrinated into Marxist Claptrap Creates Serfs, Not Wealth

At the 1:26 mark, the spunky Dr. Vedder, who teaches economics at Ohio University, succinctly explains to the interviewer why so many college graduates end up in low-skilled, low-paying jobs.


When Northampton Inspired ...

In 2008, Northampton, MA was the setting for a particular type of transgender pride celebration. Or, as activist Brian Camenker calls it, a spectacle of "body mutilation on parade." Go here to view the photos (Yes, they are disturbing.) and see the results of going to war with one's hormones.

In contrast, in 1836, landscape painter Thomas Cole created this haunting, yet lovely, image called "The Oxbow."

It's also known as "View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm." Cole pays homage to the Creator, His creation, and the Northampton of yesteryear.


A Soldier's POV on Koran Burning

Allan Wall, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, has written a piece about Pastor Terry Jones and the Koran burning for the American Thinker.

He states: "Just as last September, General Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, got involved. Last September he had complained that burning the Koran in Florida could put the troops in Afghanistan in danger.

Earth to Petraeus. Your troops are already in danger. They're at war.

This time, Petraeus said the burning 'was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible ... '

Excuse me, but is it really appropriate for a general to be making pronouncements over U.S. domestic policy? Is it a general's prerogative to tell American civilians what they can or cannot do?

"Why does Petraeus condemn the burning of one Koran? The U.S. Army has confiscated and burned Bibles in Afghanistan. Where was the outcry over that?"

Read the rest of Allan's robust defense of the First Amendment here.

In the photo: General David Petraeus

Update: A broken, but committed pastor.


The Madness Ends

Butler Mascot, Blue II
Despite what the professional sports commentators are saying, I think last night's national championship game was one of the most interesting college basketball games I've ever watched. 'Til next year ... P.S. Way to go, Lady Aggies. Greaaaatt game!

Not Creating Any Wealth ... Just Transfering It

Just what Michigan needs more of - casinos. Sigh.

We have a casino in my town - the Odawa - a well-run, tasteful enterprise, as these things go. The vast majority of the customers are senior citizens, so loads of free coffee and soft drinks are always available. The entertainment/floor shows are the type you'd find at Branson, MO., not Vegas, and the cocktail waitresses (no waiters) wear fairly conservative attire.

Bottom line: The gaming industry has come up with a successful way of getting at our elders money. And, frankly, some of these lonely folks, ensconced in wheelchairs or carting oxygen tanks, don't look like they have much money.


Liberty University at 40: Aging Like a Beverly Hills Housewife

Nice try, Mr. Liberty University Financial Aid Guy, but accepting all that federal aid $ is a violation of conservative principles.

Remarkable how LU, which is now the nation's largest private four-year university, has become a 'Christian' Disneyworld for college kids. From its humble beginnings in Lynchburg, the school now has a Snowflex, a giant chessboard, an important Hollywood screenwriter as the next commencement speaker, the Div. 1 athletics teams, and the obligatory rap anthem.

I predict that, in the near future, the Jesse Helms School of Government, at LU, gets renamed for a hipster politician who subscribes to the school's 'conservative' version of legal plunder.


Sunday Inspiration: From A-Hmao to Zuni

The Word of God available in two hundred languages. A round of applause for the groups that made this endeavor possible.

"Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19


The Grim Malthusian Crusader

Margaret Sanger, founder of the American Birth Control League, is (largely) the topic of my latest column for the Belgrade News. I've come to think of Mrs. Sanger as a godless woman with a God complex. (Although to be fair, she did describe herself as an "Episcopalian.")

In this clip from an interview (filmed in 1957), Mrs. Sanger forthrightly explains to journalist Mike Wallace (father of Chris Wallace of Fox) what the "greatest sin in the world is ... "


April Fool's Day: Hamster Runs Blog

That's Casty; today's floorshow.

The e-hamster was created by Adam Bowman, of Maine, who states, "Watch him run on his wheel, drink water, and eat the food you feed him by clicking your mouse. Click the center of the wheel to make him get back on it."

These are some of Mr. Bowman's other clever website gadgets.

Run, Casty, run!