The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 6th, 2015: Penny For Your Thoughts?

Just a few of my thoughts (they’re free of charge, which is about what they’re worth), then a good read from Bill Moyers.

On Caitlyn Jenner: If she’s happy and can stand the heat, good for her. It’s just a shame that most other transgender persons probably do not have the kind of money needed for such an extensive makeover.

On the Duggars: I think there’s a lot more there there, and I really hope that this sick, twisted version of a “Christian family” gets investigated thoroughly. I did not watch, or see a whole transcript of, the family’s interviews on Fox, but I did catch some snippets here and there. I’ve heard that the “mother” was terribly creepy, and some argue that it was a good thing that Megyn Kelly sort of sat back and let the Duggars talk without too many challeges, as it exposed to all just how sickly disturbed and disturbing these perverted “people” are. So, does anyone think that fans of their show will finally start to feel uncomfortable, at the least, about holding the Duggars up as a shining example of the American Christian family?

On the 2016 election in general: I don’t know if I can stand the next year-and-a-half of the media forcing the conversation in the wrong direction and, in many respects, helping to choose the nominees simply by their self-indulgent coverage. Not to mention that the idea of another 26 or so Republican debates to be covered makes me want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep ’til 2017.

On the 2016 Democratic nominee: The likely inevitability of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for the 2016 Presidential election does NOT sit well with me. This country needs more – and better – than a continuation of the status quo, which, in my opinion, is what Hillary represents.

Which leads me to Bill Moyers, and his essay on Bernie Sanders titled “Turn Left on Main Street.” Mr. Moyers voices many of the same opinions that we all hold dear. A couple of excerpts:

“The progressive agenda isn’t “left wing.” (Can anyone using the term even define what “left wing” means anymore?) The progressive agenda is America’s story — from ending slavery to ending segregation to establishing a woman’s right to vote to Social Security, the right to organize, and the fight for fair pay and against income inequality. Strip those from our history and you might as well contract America out to the US Chamber of Commerce the National Association of Manufacturers, and Karl Rove, Inc.


At their core, the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society programs were aimed at assuring every child of a decent education, every worker a decent wage, and every senior a decent retirement; if that’s extreme, so are the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution.”

That’s exactly right, Mr. Moyers. So why should we Americans settle for anything less?

This is our daily Open Thread–what’s on your mind today?

The Watering Hole, Monday, February 17th, 2014: Pick an Issue?

I’m sure that I’m not the only one among us Critters and Zoosters who received this email survey from Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) asking, “What should Congress focus on in 2014?”

Which issue matters most to you in 2014?

__Keeping Our Promise to Seniors by Protecting Social Security & Medicare

__Strengthening Our Manufacturing Economy

__Raising the Minimum Wage

__Protecting Women’s Health and Freedom

__Tax Reform That Rewards Hard Work

__Working to Lower Healthcare Costs

__Supporting Small Business Startups

__Investing in Innovation, Science, Research and Technology


I went with “Other”, more or less:

While most of the above are important issues in my view (“Protecting Women’s Health and Freedom” and “Investing in Innovation, Science, Research and Technology” in particular), I believe that the single most important issue that impacts the future of this country is EDUCATION. We need children who are taught critical thinking, in order to have the ‘Innovation, Science, Research and Technology’ in which to invest. Stressing the basics in: reading (especially reading comprehension); spelling (because words are spelt the way they are for good reason); vocabulary (because words mean what they mean due to their evolution through history); math skills; and the basics in the sciences and technologies, are all paramount. Investing in the future means investing in schools, teachers, and (most importantly) young citizens’ minds.

Really, with all of the problems that our country faces, there are so many important issues to be addressed that it’s impossible to say which is MOST important. And some issues which I would have thought were important are not even on the list, i.e, gun control, environmental issues (climate change, fossil fuel pollution of several sorts, etc.), our failing infrastructure…(sigh) I could go on, but you get the idea.

How would you respond to Senator Baldwin’s survey?

This is our daily open thread–you can answer the survey if you wish, or talk about whatever you want!

The Watering Hole, Monday, May 6th, 2013: Dark to Light

As a cat would present a disemboweled small animal, I present some steaming stool I stepped in on a few recent gun threads.

For some reason, a thread about a planned march on Washington by people armed with loaded weaponry was sidetracked by accusations of treason.

“TREASON is SWEARING TO UPHOLD AND DEFEND the CONSTITUTION of the United States of AMERICA and then doing EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO DESTROY IT! Treason is sending people to Benghazi THEN WATCHING AND FAILING TO SEND NECESSARY ASSISTANCE while they are massacred! Treason is getting your own Border Patrol agents KILLED by GUNS YOU DELIVERED TO THE MEXICAN CARTELS through a failed attempt to create a gun control problem! Treason is when the Media is BOUGHT BY ONE MAN TO PUSH AN AGENDA WHICH RUNS AGAINST THE AMERICAN BEST INTEREST! This nation is close to tearing itself apart- Because too many people bought the snake oil salesman’s LIES WHOLESALE. And refuse to SEE the TRUTH when shown to them in a clear and brilliant light. WAKE UP PEOPLE_ IT IS NOT ABOUT THE GUNS- IT IS ABOUT THE CONTROL!”

– and –

“The treason is in the White House. Obama is who should be arrested. Revolution is coming in a few short years and much liberal blood will be shed.”

[“Good luck storming the castle, boys!”]

I don’t know what the beginning of this comment is all about, but it turns “birther” pretty quickly, with a final steep drop into “Nazi Germany”:

“That’s exactly how the government is going to pull this off, by brainwashing weak people into thinking that anyone with a gun is a terrorist! You all are being lied to! Get off your lazy American butts and do some research into what’s really going on in Washington! Hello, mainstream media is controlled by the government! They are not going to tell you what they are really doing and they know that we are lazy and brainwashed and will believe whatever they tell you! If anyone can tell me why a President would not be able to present the people of his country with a legitimate copy of his birth certificate, I would feel differently. Oh, wait, are they not talking about that on mainstream news?! Hello America! And why is Obama running our economy into the dirt??? He wants to collapse our economy so we are dependent on the government and then they will have us all “eating out of their hands”. Remember Nazi Germany! That is right where America is headed!”

And another genius who never read the first half of the Second Amendment, and who slept through the entire Bush Administration:


Although these delusional spewings were bad enough, I found this gobsmackingly-insane blithering out of the mouth of Linda Riddle, the grandmother of the 5-year-old boy and 2-year-old sister who he shot dead, to be the most offensive of all:

“Riddle said she is devastated, but comforted knowing that her granddaughter is in a better place. “It was God’s will. It was her time to go, I guess,” she told WLEX. “I just know she’s in heaven right now and I know she’s in good hands with the Lord.”

[emphasis mine]

WTF?! “It was God’s will.”? “It was her time to go” at age 2? It was God’s will that made Caroline’s 5-year-old brother and his birthday rifle God’s instrument for her death? It was God’s will that made their mother “step…outside of her home just for a few minutes, but it was long enough for her 5-year-old son to accidentally shoot and kill his 2-year-old sister.” God’s will? I call it “god swill”!

The CNN article (linked above) notes that the “…family kept the Crickett rifle in what they considered to be a safe spot”, but, according to a NY Daily News article, “Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said the family had not realized a shell was left inside the gun, which was kept in a corner of the house.” [emphasis mine]

Yeah, that sounds like a real safety-conscious family. Isn’t the first rule of gun safety ‘ALWAYS ACT AS IF A GUN IS LOADED’? It also seems obvious that, since the mother had “stepped outside of her home for just a few minutes”, the boy was playing with his gun INSIDE THE HOUSE! Can someone please explain to me how, despite what appears to be a clusterfuck of criminal negligence, this tragic shooting “has been ruled an accident” according to Kentucky State Police Trooper Billy Gregory.

In the CNN article, County Coroner White says, “It’s just one of those crazy accidents.” NO, sir, no it is not.

Enough darkness for now, here’s some cuteness to lighten up this Monday morning.
dog chick bunniesbunnyineggshellgossip time squirrel

This is your Open Thread. Please feel free to speak your mind.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.


If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?



Sunday Roast: Do we deserve to kill?

Earlier this week, The Rachel Maddow Show played a portion of the above TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson.  The Maddow Blog introduces Mr Stevenson:

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and part of his Big Idea is about kids in prison, and the country that keeps them there until they die (that’s us).  America is the only country in the world with kids serving life in prison without parole (LWOP) sentences for crimes they committed as children.  And that, Stevenson says, changes our identity as a country.  It changes us.

Rachel’s interview so moved me, that I had to hear him speak more fully, hence the above TED Talk, which was provided on Rachel’s blog.  Please watch the whole video, you won’t be sorry.

Part of this country’s identity is that we have the fifth highest rate of incarceration in the world, behind such countries as China and Iran, and the incarceration rate is abnormally high in this country among people of color.  We lock up children as young as 13 years old for life, for things they did before their brains are finished developing.  And please, to anyone reading this who thinks that because my bleeding liberal heart doesn’t believe in locking children up for life, then that means I believe no punishment should be given at all — get a friggin’ grip on reality, okay?

In this country, we are “treated better if we’re rich and guilty, than if we’re poor and innocent.”  He who can hire the best lawyer (or team thereof) has the best chances of getting that “not guilty” verdict, or at least a lighter sentence.  Wealth shapes outcome, that’s true, but it could also be said that social class and the color of one’s skin shapes outcome as well.

But we don’t like to think about those kinds of things in this country.  Hey, if it’s not happening to me or my family, why should I care?  America, love it or leave it!  We’re number one!!  American exceptionalism rules!!

Except when it doesn’t.  As long as there is inequality, suffering, discrimination, poverty, and hate in this country, none of us are free — let alone exceptional.

We are, above all, human.  Our humanity is the only thing we bring into the world, and our humanity (or the shreds thereof) are all we take out of this world.  Our humanity is all we have and all we are, and if we want to find a solution to the terrible social ills afflicting this country and the world, we should start there.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss amongst yourselves.

The Watering Hole: February 11 – The Crisis

Brother Bear

Part 2 of 3: About 6 months later, we were back up from Florida again and took GD to her second movie, “Brother Bear”, being sure to bring her “booster”. We bought the popcorn and she watched the movie while eating prodigious amounts of popcorn and sipping coke from a paper cup. She did not even notice the tragic events that were part of that movie. She absorbed it as a spiritual message.

After returning to her house and the adults were talking about the violence that had seemed to have entered many animated movies (He parents took a bye on the actual movie.)

Her mother brought up the fact that seeming violence was part of the movies she had seen as a young girl.

She next uttered a sentence (“After all, Nemo’s mother had been killed at the start of that movie.”). That created a chilling response from this 2 ½ year-old pitcher –

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.
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Good News: Sometimes, the System Works

California has adopted an Alert System to aggressively post information about suspects vehicles when a child is kidnapped. That system was put to use today when an 8 year-old girl was kidnapped in Fresno. Signs on the freeways alerted drivers to the description of the suspect vehicle, and TV stations included it in their broadcasts. Today, it paid off:

An 8-year-old girl who was abducted by a stranger while playing outside a Fresno home escaped from her captor Tuesday morning after a driver recognized the suspect’s vehicle and cut it off, police said. … Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the driver recognized the red pickup truck from media reports that showed surveillance video of the kidnapper’s vehicle.

So, Kudos to the driver, Victor Perez, for taking action. He may well have saved the girl’s life.

Onward, Christian Soldiers

There are those who fear our government is indoctrinating our school children to worship President Obama. They quickly point to the evils of indoctrination under Hitler, Stalin, and Kim Jong Il. Fear the Madrassa; love the Jesus Camp:

Perhaps this is the way all American school children should be taught regarding how to feel towards the President of the United States:

Marshmallow Test

I have seen this on Huffington Post, the first post there in months that I enjoyed. I decided to repost it here because I think children are easily the best people in the world.

The test setting here is to find out about delayed gratification. Those kids are promised a second Marshmallow, if they could wait for a bit and restrain themselves from eating the first one. Too cute.

A tour of the frothing at the mouth, head-spinning, spittle-flecked wingnut hate machine

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I’ve noticed something lately.  Racism, fear, and hate are running rampant in this country.

Well, not just lately, it’s been bubbling under the surface for years — it just seems much worse and “in your face.”  I would pinpoint the escalation at or about the time of the nomination of Barack Hussein Obama for the office of President of the United States.  Little by little, insinuations and fear-mongering became the order of the day for some people.  “He’s a Muslim!”  “He’s not an American!”  He’s a Socialist!!”  Cue the scary music!

Recently, President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to take the place of Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.  Judge Sotomayor has a typical American “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” story — the kind we all love so well — and she’s totally qualified for a seat on the Supreme Court, having more experience than anyone currently sitting on that Court.  But who cares about all that!?  Apparently, she’s really a super-scary racist white-hating Mexican who wants to take away our guns! Eeeekkk!!!!

How about a little walk on the darker side of wingnuttia?  Come on, I’ll hold your hand…just make sure you hold mine, ok?

Hal Turner, a white supremacist and anti-Semite internet radio talker/blogger, has been arrested for inciting violence against two Connecticut lawmakers, because they want to pass a bill changing how the Catholic Church operates in that state.  Turner posted this on his blog:

“It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally,” the blog stated. “These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die.”

He also promised to list the home addresses of the Connecticut lawmakers.  I’m thinking jail is a great place for Mr Turner right now.

Next, we have Rob Williams and Arnie States of the KRXQ radio station in Sacramento, California.  These organisms (I hesitate to called them men — or human) went on a sickening rampage against gender dysphoric CHILDREN, calling them “freaks” and “idiots.”  States even made the claim that if his own son put on a pair of high-heeled shoes, he would beat him with the shoes and mentally degrade him.  Here’s a sample:

“I’m not open-minded once I look into sumpin'” one of the two men grunted at the beginning of the segment, their voices interchangeable. “I have every right to call you a freak and judge you on that. It makes me sick. ‘Mommy, I’m a girl trapped in a boy’s body,'” he simpered, mimicking an effeminate little boy. “I want to wear a dwess.”

It’s not good enough to shred adults they deem “effeminate” or “girly,” these two creepazoids are so inadequate that they have to go after children.

Are you still with me?  Ok, let’s descend a bit further into this pit of horrors…

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Conn. School Bans All Forms Of Physical Contact

East Shore M.S. Outlaws “High-Fives,” “Hugging” And Horseplay Of Any Kind; Violators May Face Expulsion.

A Connecticut middle school principal has laid down the law: You put your hands on someone — anyone — in any way, you’re going to pay.

A violent incident that put one student in the hospital has officials at the Milford school implementing a “no touching” policy, according to a letter written by the school’s principal.

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South Carolina Student’s Plea Gets Shot Down By GOP Governor

Ty’Sheoma Bethea wrote a letter about her school were the roof leaks, the auditorium is condemned, and debris is falling from the ceiling. Her impassioned plea for help in rebuilding her school was so compelling, that it made it all the way to the White House.

“I said we’re not quitters and we can make a change,” Ty’Sheoma said. “And we’re just students who want to be lawyers, doctors, congressmen and also presidents.”

Her letter landed Ty’Sheoma an invitation to sit next to the first lady at the president’s “state of the nation” address to Congress last month.

She anticipated that her school, JV Martin Junior High in Dillon, South Carolina, would receive some of the stimulus money to help them rebuild. Unfortunately, her hopes were obliterated by the Governor of  South Carolina, who had this to say on the subject.

Mark Sanford, announced he wouldn’t use his share of the stimulus money on projects like rebuilding her school.

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Sunday News Headlines

Scientists to issue stark warning over dramatic new sea level figures

Rising sea levels pose a far bigger eco threat than previously thought. This week’s climate change conference in Copenhagen will sound an alarm over new floodings – enough to swamp Bangladesh, Florida, the Norfolk Broads and the Thames estuary. Link

Ohio school gets 700 applicants for janitorial job

Evidence of the slumping economy is stacking up at an Ohio school which has nearly 700 applications for one open janitorial job.

Officials at Perry Local Schools near Canton in northeast Ohio say they’ve extended the deadline until Monday to accommodate the overwhelming response to the week-old posting.

The full-time position at Edison Junior High School pays $15 to $16 an hour plus benefits. Link

How computers call the shots for L.A. County children in peril

Social workers feed in data on suspected abuse and neglect, and a decision pops out. Officials say the system eliminates the previous scattershot approach. Critics say the human element is slighted.

The process starts with a tip to Los Angeles County’s child abuse hotline. Over the course of a typical week, the Department of Children and Family Services receives 3,000 calls. Link

Vacancies slow U.N. corruption probes

An unusually high number of vacancies in the U.N. inspector general’s office has left that body significantly understaffed, raising concerns about the world body’s ability to detect fraud and other abuses even as the workload has swelled to include a myriad of procurement contracts.

About 80 jobs – 25 percent of the staff in the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) – have not been filled. The vacancies include several senior investigative posts. Link

For 84-year-old, gift of a memory

What do you get an 84-year-old woman for her birthday? She’s had a few strokes, which robbed her of short-term memories. Lung cancer has claimed much of her strength. But one memory has stuck with her – riding on the back of a boy’s motorcycle in the 1930s. Link

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Supreme Court refuses to hear Mukasey v. ACLU

The Raw Story

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Mukasey v. ACLU is the final nail in the coffin of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA).  An act written so broadly that it would have had the effect of reducing the internet to Romper Room.

Of course, the real purpose of COPA was not protecting children, it was an attempt to censor the content of the internet — for all Americans.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday that the Supreme Court will not hear Mukasey v. ACLU, the Bush administration’s attempt to appeal federal court rulings against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), passed by Congress in 1998 after the fall of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

“For over a decade the government has been trying to thwart freedom of speech on the Internet, and for years the courts have been finding the attempts unconstitutional,” said ACLU senior staff attorney and lead counsel Chris Hansen. “It is not the role of the government to decide what people can see and do on the Internet. Those are personal decisions that should be made by individuals and their families.”

If parents are worried about what their little tykes might see or do on the internet, then get the computers out of kids’ bedrooms, and into the family room.  That way everyone knows when little Johnny finds Daddy’s porn collection.  It’s really not that hard to figure out…

COPA, as codified, would have made it an offense punishable by a fine up to $50,000 and/or up to 6 months’ imprisonment for transmitting “any material that is harmful to minors” for commercial purposes on the World Wide Web if not put behind a safeguard such as a requirement for payment or a special access code. Additional fines would have been levied for “intentionally” violating the law.

Material deemed “harmful to minors” under COPA included written, photographic, recorded and otherwise “communicated” material that, based on the average person’s interpretation of “contemporary community standards,” is “obscene” or “designed to appeal to, or is designed to pander to, the prurient interest.” The law further reads that any material that “depicts, describes, or represents, in a manner patently offensive with respect to minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, an actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual act, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals or post-pubescent female breast,” that “taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.”

That. Could. Be. Anything.

Simply unbelievable…

The Raw Story, by Roger McLemore

This story is a horrifying example of out of control police officers…

As the girl, Dymond Milburn [age 12], walked in her front yard, three men jumped out of a van and beat her about the face and throat, one of them telling her, “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me.”

What would any 12 year old girl do when three men jump out of a van and try to drag her away?  That’s right — she’d fight with all her might!

Three weeks after Milburn was hospitalized for her injuries, police went to her school and arrested her for assaulting an officer during the incident.

Yes, this little girl fights to defend herself from three men trying to grab her and stuff her into a van, and she winds up being arrested for it.  Dymond now suffers with nightmares, behavior problems, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Milburn’s father had also been arrested for attacking the officers after his daughter called for him when the police attacked her. [The officers’ attorney, William] Helfand said both would face consequences for their actions.

Give me a fucking break.  Dymond Milburn, a 12 year old girl, mightily fights off what surely must have seemed to be a kidnapping attempt, and her father comes to her rescue — and THEY are the ones facing criminal charges!?

“It’s unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them. And the evidence will show that both these folks violated the law and forcefully resisted arrest,” Helfand said.

What kind of world are we living in?  I hope the Milburn family gets every dime they’re asking for in their lawsuit against the city of Galveston, Texas.

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Message to McCain: DOWN SYNDROME, not AUTISM

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I was a bit stunned last night while watching the debate to hear John McCain say not once, but twice, that Sarah Palin ‘understands about Autism’..  


I can only assume he was referring to her infant child – her child with ‘special needs’ – you know, the example he now works in to all his stump speeches.. Last night McCain appeared to twice refer to Palin’s youngest son Trig as having Autism, noting that his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, would “understand what it’s like to have an autistic child.”

Up until this point, when talking about his running mate on the campaign trail, McCain has made a point of reaching out to families of special needs children by holding up her young son as a shining example (prop), saying families would have a friend in the White House in Sarah Palin because of her son.

So, it was very strange to hear him last night when he spoke of special needs twice, referring to Sarah Palin, and then use the term Autism.

Except that Palin doesn’t have an autistic child. Her youngest son has Down Syndrome. And yes, they are not the same. Not even close. You would think he would know that..

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Baby, Baby, Who’s Got the Baby?

According to the “official story” Palin had her baby at the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center on April 18, 2008. If that’s the case, it should be listed here:

Baby Name Born Parents
Ava May 18-Jul-08 Melissa Joy & Jeffrey Michael
Kaden Cameron 18-Jul-08 Samantha Jean & Dustin Tyler
Jacob Lee 17-Jul-08 Maria Elena & Justin Lee
Dinah joy 15-Jul-08 LIsa Janelle & Jamy David
Dylan Patrick 14-Jul-08 Raquel Morgan & Robert Patrick
Lacey Jane 14-Jul-08 Jamie & Justin Dale
Asieh 12-Jul-08 Tesa Daphann
Teagen Douglas 10-Jul-08 Chandra Pauline & Larry Robert
Gracie Ann 8-Jul-08 Jenae Colleen & Justin Lee
Jenna Lynn 8-Jul-08 Christina Lynn & Joshua Aaron
Miky Sue 8-Jul-08 Mary LaVella & James Robert
Dax Terrance 30-Jun-08 Jennifer Anne & Jonathan E.
Annebelle Joy 25-Jun-08 Crystal Marie & Joseph Edward
Emily Ann 20-Jun-08 Lisa Maureen & Thomas Phillip
Gavin Wesley 20-Jun-08 Kayla Danielle
Kendahl Marie 20-Jun-08 Christy Lynn & Tommie Everette
Wyatt Timothy 16-Jun-08 Joy Lynn & Daniel Edward
Leland Wayne 15-Jun-08 Chrystal Dawn & Joseph Randall
Kiriana Lena 14-Jun-08 Elena & Larett
Braiden Anthony 11-Jun-08 Angela Marie
Deagan Eric 11-Jun-08 Marie DeeAnan & Danil Eric
Levi Daniel 10-Jun-08 Michelle Licht & Nicholas Hoots
Allynn Jayne 7-Jun-08 Kyleigh Ann & Jordan Lee
Jolene Marie 5-Jun-08 Renee Marie & Mark Ronald
Gabriel John 4-Jun-08 Heather Lee & James Woodward
Graceann Emily 4-Jun-08 Julie Ann & Armand Michael
Andrew Michael 3-Jun-08 Marion Elizabeth
Baby Name Born Parents
Avery Grace 28-May-08 Allison Michelle & Dwayne Harry
Macy Jo 26-May-08 Charisse Marie & Cody Joe
Gabriel Arlo 25-May-08 Nancy & Darren
Kyle Theodore 24-May-08 Sarah Hope & Josiah Paul
Melanie Pauline 24-May-08 Sarah Pauline & Martin Dean
Lillian Rae 23-May-08 Kristi Ann & Glenn Steven
Emily Grace 18-May-08 Brandy Lynn & John Christopher
Kruze Eric 17-May-08 Emily Jane & John Paul
Jacob Ryan 15-May-08 Jessica Michelle & Branden Ray
Austin Ray 7-May-08 Ruth Ann & Andreas
Devon Brent 5-May-08 Elizabeth Margaret & Scott Tyler
Jessie Jaymes 5-May-08 Brenna Jalene & Eli David
Kyler Christefer 3-May-08 Heather & Chris
Alahna Sahar 1-May-08 Melissa & Tim
Amber Kathleen 1-May-08 Sally Martha & Anthony Rene
Zoe Arianna 1-May-08 Jennifer Anne & Patrick Allen
Avigail LeeAnn 28-Apr-08 Danica Marie & Billy Shade
John Michael 28-Apr-08 Amie Marie & Michael John
Makenna Amor 28-Apr-08 Kathleen Amor & Jeremy Loyd
Maria-Ann Louise 28-Apr-08 Amy Louise & Jason Alan
Natalie Ann 26-Apr-08 Desirae & Trevor
Sophia Nicole 25-Apr-08 Ashley Ann
Peyton Robert 24-Apr-08 Candice Joy & Shawn Robert
Jordyn Lisa 23-Apr-08 Kari Lyn & Timothy Louis
Maya Lena Belle 23-Apr-08 Laura Elizabeth & Alvin Jacob
Kassandra Marie 21-Apr-08 Jessica Lee & Ryan Alan
Hannah Grace 20-Apr-08 Heidi J. & Chris B.
Isaiah Travis 18-Apr-08 Erin Chantal & Justin Travis
Kayden Lexus 18-Apr-08 Amanda Frances
Christian Alexander 15-Apr-08 Leslie Ann & Adam Wade
Baby Name Born Parents
Jayden George 13-Apr-08 Jessica Winona & Brandon Lee
Jianna Mai 13-Apr-08 Tasa & Primo Joseph
Rachel Marie 13-Apr-08 Rebekah Sue & Gary Allen
Rachel Marie 13-Apr-08 Rebekah Sue & Gary Allen
Carlyn Anne 12-Apr-08 Rachel Ann & Farren Miles
Elayna Mae 12-Apr-08 Laura Jeanette & Daniel Steven
Macallister Louise 6-Apr-08 Marcey Louise & Daniel Paul
Derrick John 5-Apr-08 Mandy Jo & Derrick John
Emily Clair 5-Apr-08 Laura May & Michael Joseph
Lilli Marie Ann 5-Apr-08 Lisa Marie & Steven Charles
Lowman 5-Apr-08 Cara & Samuel
Madison Paige 5-Apr-08 Fawn Elise & Daniel Martin
Sierra Lynn 31-Mar-08 Suzanne Elizabeth & Frank Author
Gavin James 28-Mar-08 Lynelle & Adam
Owen Ray 27-Mar-08 Jennifer Elissa & Randy Ray
Seanan Michael 26-Mar-08 Bronica Jean & Kent Andrew
Kyana Aralyn 21-Mar-08 Kira Marie
Sheridan Darryl 20-Mar-08 Annie Lorie & Eric Michael
Timberlyn Rae 20-Mar-08 Jessica Kristine & James Malcolm
Julien Michael 19-Mar-08 Samantha & Michael
Kyrus Leigh 19-Mar-08 Melinda Lane & Harold Eugene
Trenton River 19-Mar-08 Rayana Lynn & Michael Shawn
Anderson Reed 18-Mar-08 Lucina & Guy LaMar
Emerson James 16-Mar-08 Amanda Sue & Adam Charles
KiAna 15-Mar-08 Michelle & Keith
Bridget Mabel 5-Mar-08 Kris & Dan
Maleiya Marie 5-Mar-08 Christina Marie & Matthias Wayne
Brayden 3-Mar-08 Holly Eden & Mario Joel
Paris Brandi 3-Mar-08 Valorie Janine

Math Test 2 – Updated

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Good job everyone. The guys at reddit solved it and you have been thinking in the right direction. Here is how it’s actually calculated:

In a closed circle there is the equal number of spaces and posts.

135 *5.5m = 742.5 m

742.5m / 6 m = 123.75 spaces

123 spaces a 6 m
+   1 space a 0.75 * 6m = 4.5 m

124 posts

Its 124 posts and the last space is 4.5 m

Another one ? This one’s easy:

Laura and her dad want to plant a hedge using 55 bushes (I am not kidding you, this is a translation of the actual text). Dad plants 15 shrubs in an hour, Laura takes 6 minutes per bush.

a) How long does it take the two of them to plant all 55 bushes (hrs and minutes)

b) Mom helps after Laura and dad have planted 15 bushes. She works as fast as dad does. How much earlier have they finished their job with mom’s help?


UPDATE: The answer is below the fold..

Continue reading

Math test!

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My eleven year old son has today received a letter telling him he has successfully passed the admission tests to the Swiss public grammar school. I am very proud of him. One of the nine math problems, he had to solve goes like this:

A farmer collects 135 posts of a fence surrounding a field in fall. The distance between the posts was 5.5m. In spring as he wants to rebuild the fence, some of the posts have been broken, so he increases the distance by half a meter. After he has finished setting up the remaining serviceable posts, he realizes the distance between the last post and the first is smaller that the other distances.

a) How many posts did he use in spring?
b) How far is the gap between the last post and the post at the beginning of the fence?

No pocket calculators permitted!

Give it a try! There were 9 problems to be solved within an hour and this is not the hardest. You will find the results in another post.

Daddy, what is Cheating?

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What is cheating?
Why are there rules?

If there is no penalty for breaking the rules, then the rules are useless. How do you explain to your children the stance that the Clinton camp is making to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations as currently constituted?

When attempting to answer these questions that your children inevitably bring up, the Michigan and Florida primaries and delegations make a great example.

Although both states have been pushing the DNC to change the timing of the primary cycle for years, they were unable to get the DNC to change the rules.
So they broke them.
There must be consequences for breaking rules, or they have no meaning.
Senator Obama removed his name from the Michigan ballot, and neither candidate campaigned in earnest in either state.
The rules were clear, and accepted by both candidates, although Senator Clinton failed to remove her name from the Michigan ballot as Obama did.

No one thought much of the fact that the DNC insisted, up front, that these delegates would NOT be seated.

So now, in a desperate ploy, the Clinton campaign is trying to move the goal posts to include those delegates in the count for the nomination.
This will be decided by the rules or credentials committees, whose job it is to determine the fate of those delegations.

To agree to a set of rules, then, when things don’t go your way, you attempt to change the rules is cheating.
Even a child understands this.

Jonesin’ for Skittles


NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (AP) — School officials have decided to go light on an eighth-grader caught with contraband candy in New Haven, Connecticut.

Michael [Sheridan] was disciplined after he was caught buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate.

Nooooo!! Not Skittles! That’s just SO wrong.

The New Haven school system banned candy sales in 2003 as part of a districtwide school wellness policy, school spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo said.

Oh, ok. That makes perfect sense. Kids and candy are two things that should NEVER be associated with one another.

I guess this school district has finally solved the problem of kids smoking in the bathrooms, and under the bleachers. Do the kiddies get put in the stockade for text messaging?

Michael, an eighth-grade honors student…was suspended for a day, barred from attending an honors dinner and stripped of his title as class vice president after he was caught with a bag of Skittles candy in school will get his student council post back, school officials said.

The parents must have mentioned the retainer they paid the lawyer…

Michael had said that he didn’t realize his candy purchase was against the rules, but he did notice that the student selling the Skittles on February 26 was being secretive.

Michael, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times: Stay away from the Skittles pusher. Skittles are a gateway candy, and you know it! Soon you’ll be longing for the luscious peanuts and nougat of a Snickers bar, and if you’re not careful, the next thing you know you’re selling your soul for a box of Junior Mints. The shame….

Abstinence — how’s that workin’ for ya?

New York Times

The first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

Nearly half the African-Americans in the study of teenagers ages 14 to 19 were infected with at least one of the diseases monitored in the study — human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomoniasis, a common parasite.

That’s 25% folks, even higher for African-American teen girls.  Helloooo…?  Not telling our kids about sex, how it works, the risks, and how to protect themselves — in other words, abstinence-only — DOES NOT WORK.

Among the infected women, 15 percent had more than one of the diseases.

Women may be unaware they are infected. But the diseases, which are infections caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, can produce acute symptoms like irritating vaginal discharge, painful pelvic inflammatory disease and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy. The infections can also lead to longterm ailments like infertility and cervical cancer.

Makes you long for the “good old days” when no one had sex before marriage.  Yeah, I’m joking.

The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, said the new findings “emphasize the need for real comprehensive sex education.”

“The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.”

That’s what this administration does best.  Dream up an insanely stupid plan, throw billions of dollars at it, and then ignore the situation until it’s completely out of control.

Federal health officials recommend annual screening tests to detect chlamydia for sexually active women younger than 25. The disease agency also recommends that women ages 11 to 26 be fully vaccinated against HPV.

Excellent idea.  Getting our girls vaccinated against HPV will save them from the type of cervical cancer caused by HPV.  Anyone who says vaccinating girls against HPV is “giving them permission to have sex,” lives in a dream world.  I wonder how many young women who saved themselves for their wedding night acquire an STD from their brand new, and equally clueless, husband?

The Food and Drug Administration has said in a report that latex condoms are “highly effective” at preventing infection by chlamydia, trichomoniasis, H.I.V., gonorrhea and hepatitis B.

The agency noted that condoms seemed less effective against genital herpes and syphilis. Protection against human papillomavirus “is partial at best,” the report said.

I’ve said this before, and it’s worth saying again:  Education is the key.  Parents, educate yourselves so you can educate your children.  Things have changed since syphilis and gonorrhea.   Create an atmosphere in your home where your children feel free to talk to you, and where you notice if your children have gone quiet.

Fund comprehensive sex education in the schools.  Some children simply will not get the information they need at home, this is a reality.  Ignorance has an effect on all of us.

Teaching abstinence and responsibility to our children is fine, there’s nothing wrong with encouraging children to wait until they are emotionally ready for sex — but education cannot and should not stop there.  Look at where it’s gotten us…