Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lorie Byrd's new home

To follow up on an earlier post "Life cycle of a blog," Lorie Byrd, formerly of PoliPundit, has a new home at Wizbang! so go visit and say hello!

Super Fantastic!

The AG says if you ever need the reality check and fun break, please, please, please check out the Super Fantastic! Manolo's Shoe Blog! Even if you are not into the shoes (or David Hasselhoff), the Manolo will delight and bewitch. Right now, the Manolo is covering Eurovision, Faye Dunaway, The DaVinci Code, and so much more

Ayyyyyy! Check it out! You too can be a "funky little fashion troll."

Home again

Well, that was a quick trip back to the east coast. Nice to see family and friends, but not so nice circumstances (funeral). Still recovering from jet lag and catching up on work.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Light blogging

Blogging will be light over the next few days as I head out of town for a family funeral. Also, I want to take the time to think through what I want to concentrate on with this blog. Religion? Politics? Books? Whatever I find interesting on any given day? Hummmm. . . Things to think about as I fly cross-country.

Life cycle of a blog

Human inventions (just like humans) have life cycles. And what we're seeing happen at PoliPundit shows that fairly well. I hope it works out, as I've enjoyed reading PoliPundit and his guest bloggers (like Lorie Byrd), but I can also understand if the host blogger wants things his way, then that's what happens. Just hope after some time that all can be on speaking (blogging) terms again.

Monday, May 15, 2006

"1984" all over again

Via Drudge, a commentary on Boulder's new hate speech hotline. So now, if we feel the least bit offended, we can call in the authorities. And the First Amendment means what again? That we should forever be free from any speech that disturbs us? I don't think so. And the worst thing is, ideas like this make me want to be rude, just because someone's telling me my rudeness is "illegal."

If a crime is committed, prosecute to the full extent of the law, but don't throw in "hate speech" mumbo-jumbo to try and make sure the perpetrator gets more time. It's the thought police again, always being so "1984."

Reax to WP op-ed

Reaction to a Washington Post op-ed on immigration over at Political Psychology--check it out.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

How would Einstein do a thought experiment on this?

Very interesting. Can light travel backwards? (Hat tip to Pajamas Media)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mercy killing bill defeated

Good news from Great Britain, where the House of Lords has defeated what they called a "mercy killing" bill. (hat tip to Kendall Harmon)

Based on how that idea has been implemented in Holland ("right to die" rapidly becoming "duty to die"), I think this can only be a good thing.

"The Great Debate"

Just heard about this new radio show, "The Great Debate," on KCR, the college radio station of San Diego State University.

Hosted by Ruth Hargrove, a law professor at California Western School of Law, and Andrew DeLoach, a recent alumnus ('06), the program features current legal and political issues and broadcasts weekly on Sunday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. and on

Liberal Hargrove and conservative DeLoach debate issues like lethal injection and the idea of what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today in history

May 11, 1858: Minnesota entered the U.S. as the 32nd state. Its Dakota-Sioux Indian name Minisota means "sky-tinted water."

  • Capital: St. Paul
  • State tree: Norway pine
  • State flower: Pink and White (Showy) Lady's Slipper
  • State bird: Common Loon
  • State fish: Walleye
  • State drink: Milk
  • And last, but not least, state muffin: Blueberry

A follow-up to my earlier post on Steve Vaught and his walk cross-country: he arrived in NYC yesterday and has been interviewed by CBS, NBC, and even the BBC. USA Today also wrote an article on his journey.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Check out Captain's Quarters for info on the al-Quaeda correspondence captured in Iraq. As a matter of fact, check out Captain's Quarters as often as you can! Lots of great stuff.

Mother's Day Suggestions

  • Breakfast in bed
  • Home-made card
  • Coupons: more breakfasts in bed, quiet time, thinking of you
  • Letter
  • Appreciation

I think appreciation in specific, tangible ways is the most desired present of all. Don’t just tell your mother you love her, show her by doing things for her throughout the year. Don’t just tell your father you respect him, show that you do daily.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Even C-SPAN is pulled into the Colbert debacle

From an AP story:

"After removing the video [of Stephen Colbert's April 29 performance at the White House Correspondents Association dinner], YouTube received a large number of e-mails asking about the missing clip, Supan said. A misconception that C-SPAN is funded by the government led viewers to complain that the Colbert video should be in the public domain, Supan said.

IFILM declined to comment.

C-SPAN is a private, nonprofit company and holds the copyright on the entire correspondents' dinner.

On May 5, two days after YouTube received C-SPAN's letter, the Colbert video was publicly available through an agreement with Google Video."

True - C-SPAN was founded and is funded by cable companies as a public service (and C-SPAN stands for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, not "Congress-Senate" as so many believe).

What would your boss do?

Hum...what would happen at your job if you did this? Of course, he was "accused of disregarding warnings to stay off the Internet at work," so it sounds as though it was not a one-time offense.

Monday, May 08, 2006

End of the road coming up

This has been an on-going story in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Very interesting. And through the stories, as we have followed his cross-country walk, readers have seen growing insight from Steve Vaught:

"When I left San Diego, this was strictly about losing weight. But along the way I realized the weight is the problem, but the weight isn't the cause."
Unfortunately, his family life has suffered and one can only pray he and his wife can reconcile, and that he continues in his healthy life-style.

About Atwar Bahjat and her murder - UPDATE below

A must-read at The Mudville Gazette on the killing of Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat. Sometimes I just don't want to admit that I'm part of the human race if it includes people like this.

"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless."
Romans 1:28-31

UPDATE: There seems to be some confusion as to whether this video shows Atwar Bahjat or someone else. (Thanks to The Mudville Gazette for the new info, and, as noted there, the atrocity of the act is the issue, no matter who was killed.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

From "The Case for Democracy"

On Natan Sharanky’s delineation between free societies and fear societies from his book The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror:

"And despite our sometimes contradictory visions of the future, the dissident experience enabled all of us to agree on what freedom meant: A society is free if people have a right to express their views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm. Each dissident envisaged a future in which his concerns were paramount, but no matter how fervent our individual desires, all the dissidents understood that a society that does not protect the right of dissent, even if the society perfectly conforms to their own unique values and ideas, will inevitably turn into a fear society that endangers everybody. While we dissidents vehemently disagreed about what type of free society we wanted to live in, we recognized that as long as dissent is possible we would always be safe to fight for our ideas.

A simple way to determine whether the right to dissent in a particular society is being upheld is to apply the town square test: Can a person walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm? If he can, then that person is living in a free society. If not, it’s a fear society.

Some people who live in free societies may consider this test too expansive since, in addition to the liberal democracies, it includes many countries not always considered free. According to the town square test, societies where women are not allowed to vote, where discrimination is rampant, or where the economy is rigidly controlled can still be free. This valid criticism demonstrates that every society that meets the definition of “free” is not necessarily just. Rather, this test shows only that every society that passes it has crossed the threshold of freedom. In contrast, fear societies never cross this threshold and are always unjust."

[italics by Sharansky, boldface by me]

Of course, earlier Sharansky noted that in no society are liberties absolute (think yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater), and that appropriate boundaries of various freedoms “may make for interesting policy debates within democratic societies...”

It’s those changing boundaries that I find interesting. “Hate speech” policies at various colleges and universities and “hate crime” legislation both seem to me to be criminalizing thought and not action. Can we go into the town square and express our views, no matter how repugnant they are? Or will we be constrained by laws against speech?

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves

That verse from the gospel of Matthew (10:16) seems eminently appropriate for how we should understand the world today. For as Jesus was telling his disciples how they were to behave as they traveled from town to town, so we need the same advice as we navigate our way through the world.

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."