Tuesday, May 31, 2005

He'll Come To Jesus, Or You'll Go To Jail

Where was this judge when we needed him? We were always being told to eat our peas, clean our room, take out the garbage, mow the lawn, call the police when Uncle Bill was taking his clothes off again, etc., etc., etc. It was like our parents subscribed to the indentured servitude theory of child rearing.

Now along comes Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Superior Court in Indiana, who says the parents of a 9-year-old boy can't tell him about their religion because it isn't mainstream. "If American religion is good enough for me it's good enough for this kid," said Judge Bradford.

When asked what a "mainstream" religion was Judge Bradford said he wasn't sure, but he "knew when he saw it, and Wicca isn't it. They don't even have pastors and stuff," he added. "It says right in the Bible if you're going to have a religion you have to have pastors so they can tell you what to tithe."

The parents' Wiccan beliefs came to Bradford's attention in a confidential report prepared by the Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau. We always check out parents who want a divorce," said a Bureau spokesperson. "And since 9/11 we check their religion too. You'd be surprised how many muslims there are in Indiana...er...I mean non-Christians."

"There is a discrepancy between the parents' lifestyle and the belief system adhered to by the parochial school the boy attends. The Catholic school is bad enough with all those Mary lovers running around, but when you combine that with the Wicca, how will the kid ever find Jesus?" the Bureau reported stated.

But the boy's father disputes the bureau's findings, saying he attended Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis as a non-Christian. "They taught me to smoke, drink and how to sneak into the nudie bar when I was underage," he said. "All the stuff you expect kids to learn at private schools."

"Wiccans use the language of witchcraft, but it has a different meaning to them. If it didn't Bradford would already be a toad," Philip Goff, director of the Center for the Study of Religion & American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis said. "Their practices tend to be rather pacifistic."

"And that's the problem," said a spokesperson for the Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau. "We're in a war here. We can't have religions filling potential enlistees' heads with crazy ideas about peace. Army recruitment is bad enough without that."

Getting the judge's religious restriction lifted should be a slam-dunk, said David Orentlicher, an Indiana University law professor. "That's probably true," admitted Judge Bradford, but I still feel it is my constitutional duty as an officer of the court to bring this kid to Jesus."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Another week has passed in the exciting world of dog racing, or as the overlords like to say "Getting our share of other people's social security checks." And what's the big news this week? Well, no one went to jail. At least not yet. A jury has been unable to reach a verdict on central corruption charges against two former executives of the Lincoln Greyhound Park, including the then chief executive Nigel Potter.

Professor Andrew Horwitz, a law professor at Roger Wiliams University said, "With the jury [evenly] split, I would expect in this kind of a high-profile case they would retry it. There is a significant public interest in this prosecution because these guys are as crooked as a dog's hind leg. Ha Ha. Get it? That's a joke. See because these guys race dogs and I said they're as crooked as a dogs hind leg. It's funny. It really is."

Elsewhere the overlords are engaged in a campaign to increase the popularity of racing by diverting people's attention from it. Greyhound racing has been fading for more than a decade, accounting now for just a nickel of every dollar bet in the country. Breeders say if the Kansas Supreme Court orders the Legislature to spend significantly more on education, state lawmakers may be more inclined to support the idea of putting slot machines at dog tracks.

"We don't have a whole lot going for us," said Vince Berland, a greyhound breeder, "So we'll try anything to keep from having to work for a living."

Speaking of working for a living, the 1000+ greyhounds that were recently down sized as a result of the closing of their track in Connecticut have apparently all found homes. Or maybe not. By the end of May, the track told reporters that most of the dogs were accounted for, and headlines appeared to celebrate the happy ending. The public was told that the dogs were either adopted, sent to other tracks to race, or sent back to the farms. Sadly, the track had not provided authorities with their active and inactive racing dog inventory as requested when the track's closing was first announced, a list necessary so that those involved in their welfare would know exactly how many dogs were really at risk and some sort of independent tracking and verification system could be put into place.

"It's like you don't trust us or something," a track official who didn't want his name used said. "Now it's true some of the dogs were sent home to Alabama, but hey, home is home."

Well, here's a dog who wants a home like yours. Meet Conundrum:

Posted by Hello
Conundrum is happy, vivacious, friendly, and exuberant. She is a real leaner. She likes to rest her head in your lap for attention. She is playful and energetic, but is also well mannered. She likes to throw toys in the air and she will hide them in her crate. She sometimes gets excited and will jump straight up and down on all four feet. She is a typical greyhound collector, and she has decorated her crate with wrapping paper. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

You Can Get Shot, Just Don't Get Sick

We've never been in the military and we're pretty sure the military is better for it. Being personally responsible for the degradation of the nation's readiness is not something we'd want on our resume. And if you think we're doing badly in the war now....

With our own lack of soldierly skills in mind we are usually in favor of any perk granted to the men and women unfortunate enough to be serving when Bush the younger is in power. The one thing we can agree with the president on is our troops deserve our respect and support. Well, unless it costs money.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter used his authority to strike a provision in the defense authorization bill that would have opened the military's Tricare health care system to all National Guard members and reservists.

"I have consulted the chairman of the Budget Committee on this matter, and he informs me that while we appreciate the fact that National Guard soldiers are dying in Iraq along with regular military, we really like the active service boys better," Hunter said.

Representative Gene Taylor sponsored the Tricare amendment, which passed Wednesday night despite opposition from Hunter and other leading committee Republicans. "They told me there aren't that many Republicans in the Army," said Taylor.

In a recent speech to a group of military personnel the president said, "One of America's greatest blessings is the men and women who wear our nation's uniform. Just don't get sick while you've got it on." When asked if the president's remarks meant that his support for the troops only extended to their ability to fight this war, Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, "The president knows exactly what kind of sacrifice our military make. That's why he stayed out of it."

Explaining that the provision to cover National Guard soldiers would be expensive, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said, "Look it's not just the soldiers we're dealing with her. They get blown up and Bam, they're dead. No big cost. But what if that soldier has a kid with asthma? Or diabetes? Are we expected to take care of him too? Now you're talking big bucks."

Representative Taylor plans to submit a revised amendment to the Rules Committee that would include a provision that the vote be recorded "So the public will know who really supports the troops."

"Yeah. That's going to get out of committee real soon," Chairman Hunter said. "Right after pigs start flying."

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We're Number One! We're Number One! We're Number One!

Here's a headline we never expected to see: U.S. leads global attack on human rights. "The USA as the unrivaled political, military and economic hyper-power sets the tone for governmental behavior worldwide," Secretary General Irene Khan said in the foreword to Amnesty International's 2005 annual report.

Now, our sainted mother used to use this approach on us when it came to being a role model for our younger siblings. "They look up to you," she would intone in her best mother voice. Our old daddy had a more succinct way of putting it: "Monkey see, monkey do."

Apparently that's the argument Secretary Khan is making. "When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a license to others to commit abuse with impunity," she said.

Press Secretary Scott McClellan, responding to the accusation in the report said, "Hey. If you want to make an omelet, you got to break a few eggs." When asked if those "eggs" were Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Bagram he said, "The president has denounced the use of torture, but hey, these are brown people OK? I mean, come on, it's not like they even liked us in the first place."

"The U.S. government has gone to great lengths to restrict the application of the Geneva Convention and to 're-define' torture," Secretary Khan said, citing the secret detention of suspects and the practice of handing some over to countries where torture was not outlawed. "Governments are trying to subcontract torture."

"Well it's not like we're the only industry out sourcing, "Secretary of Defense Rumsfield said at a recent news conference. "I mean have you looked at the size of that deficit lately? Do you know how much torture costs in the United States because of the unions? We're just being good stewards with the public's money, that's all."

When asked if the government was trying to get around its own prohibition on torture be re-defining the term Rumsfield responded, "Oh we don't 'torture' anybody. Occasionally we do apply modes of interpellation, the residue of which may be dolorous, but 'torture?' Never."

President Bush, in taking issue with the findings of the report said, "This country was founded on and dedicated to the cause of human dignity. Of course, some of us have more dignification than others. Besides, I'm the war president. Bring it on Osama."

The increasingly blurred distinction between the war on terror and the war on drugs prompted governments across Latin America to use troops to tackle crimes traditionally handled by police, the report said. In Asia too, the war on terror was blamed for increasing state repression, adding to the woes of societies already worn down by poverty, it added.

"Look. What do we care if they use tanks to pull over speeders?" McClellan said, "We got own own problems. Did you hear about the Town Hall infiltrators? Our president is in danger of finding out people think his policies suck."

"Let me put all this in perspective for you," Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said. "The terrorists aren't American citizens, they don't pay taxes, they don't contribute to the Republican party and they don't vote. They wanted Terri Schiavo dead and they're for stem cell research. So it's quite within our policies for them to be tortured in foreign countries. I know that because I'm the Secretary of friggin' State and it's my job to know stuff like that. You think the President would appoint a dope to a job as important as this?"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Yeah, But What If He Would Have Grown Up To Be A Republican?

We'd be the first to admit that science class didn't exactly rivet us to our seats when we plied the halls of academe. Mr. Lapius tried to tape us to our seat one time, but he got in trouble for that and retired soon after. With that little bit of background in mind, you may wonder why we are at all interested in the Stem Cell debate in Congress.

Truth is, we weren't, until we read the president said that a bill advocating science that destroys life to prolong other life, would be vetoed. Now this is coming from a guy who executed more people than any other governor, is responsible for hundreds of thousands of killed and injured Afghani and Iraqi civilians and conditions that are leading to the starvation of Iraqi children. This is the president who wants to research low yield tactical nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield, or against protesters who crash his "Town Hall" meetings.

Seemed a little ironic to us. Dare we say, ironicus at its maximus? What do you think Mr. DeLay?

DeLay said the debate was "A necessary and important step in our national conversation about the kind of people we will be. Are we going to pander to right wing whackos and get ourselves reelected, or are we going to favor legislation that will improve the health of people who probably won't vote for us anyway?"

DeLay said voting yes would amount to a "vote to fund with taxpayer dollars the dismemberment of living, distinct human beings for the purposes of medical experimentation." When asked how a cell could be "dismembered" when it didn't have any limbs, DeLay responded that Senator Frist had told him the cells had 'pretend limbs.' "And Frist is a Doctor," DeLay continued, "He's real smart. He even diagnosed Terri Schiavo just by looking at his TV."

When asked if American who oppose the war in Iraq should have an equal say in how their money is spent, DeLay responded that the war was a different set of circumstances because it involved mostly "brown people."

In a news conference announcing his opposition to the bill, President Bush explained the apparent contradiction between his policies on the death penalty and the war, with his opposition to the stem cell research bill. "Look. Until we know how you're going to vote we don't know if your life is going to be valuable or not. Well, unless your parents are rich."

Monday, May 23, 2005

It Could Be Worse. You Could Be Married To Him

Man. The president must be Master of his Domain. We can't even get Mrs. IM to stop on the way home for a little of the fruit of the vine, but he gets his significant other to go all the way to Israel for him.

Mrs. Bush began her Middle East trip on Friday acknowledging that the United States' image in the Muslim world had been badly damaged by her husband and a magazine report, since retracted. "We're pretty sure it's the Newsweek article because they seem to be over the whole invasion, occupation, puppet government thing," she told reporters.

When told that the prisoner abuses and not the alleged desecration the Koran reported by Newsweek were more likely the causes of unrest, Mrs. Bush responded that she "Deplored any abuses. That's not really what happens all the time. That's not what our troops really do. This is a handful of people. People like Rumsfield and Rice for example."

Asked if her trip would help placate Muslims, Mrs. Bush said: "Well I hope so. You know, who knows. I mean I don't know. Hell, George doesn't know what he's doing, so I figured I'd try and help out. Lord knows he needs it. Have you seen his poll numbers lately?"

Speaking in the mostly Arab Israeli village of Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem, Mrs. Bush said protests had not been unexpected. "Everyone knows how badly George has screwed the pooch over here but believe me, I was very, very welcomed by most people," she said. "Well, most of the people who were paid to be nice to me anyway."

"There are thousands of years of fighting and hatred, but what I'm hoping is that it's the one sided, narrowly conceived selfish policies of my husband that puts that aside so that we can all come to the Holy Land in peace," she told reporters in the gardens of the 12th-century Church of the Resurrection. "Well, the Christians anyway. Shouldn't the Muslims all go to Saudi Arabia? Isn't that where Mecca is?"

A small crowd of Muslims, some shouting, pressed in on her as she entered Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock mosque, and Israeli police and U.S. Secret Service agents formed a tight cordon around her to push them back. Shortly beforehand, her visit to the adjacent Western Wall complex had been met by dozens of nationalist Jews. "My husband often says he's a uniter, not a divider," she told reporters. "This is certainly a good example of that."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Well, another week of the best of care for racing greyhounds has passed and let's see, how many died this week? Oh, only 16 in Massachusetts, Several in Iowa and Rhode Island and four in Colorado.

As you may imagine, this has devastated the overlords, who care so much for their dogs. Cloverleaf Greyhound track general manager John Manning said, "Kennel cough swept through the kennels during the past month, cutting the track's gross profit by about $100,000."

Officials in Arizona expressed similar concern for the dogs. Paul Custead, said "This is our source of income if they don't run we don't make money."

And Custead wasn't the only heartbroken overlord. At Wonderland Park in Massachusetts where 18 dogs have died since the outbreak, Richard Dalton, track president said " If Massachusetts refuses to lift its ban on Las Vegas-style gambling, the Revere dog track will probably close in less than five years."

When asked what would happen to the dogs if his track closed Dalton replied, "Dogs? What about me? I got no skills. What am I going to do?

Apparently the people of Massachusetts would like to see what the answer to Dalton's question would be because the legislature has introduced a bill to end greyhound racing in the state. Representative Susan Pope filed a bill that would ban live greyhound racing in Massachusetts.

"We'd like to see people, from the industry actually engage in worthwhile work," Pope said, explaining that her bill would use state racetrack subsidies to fund a job-retraining program for track workers whose jobs would be eliminated.

Poor Mr. Dalton. What will he do if his job is eliminated? Perhaps he should ask this week's hound RZ Mozzle's View whose "job" was eliminated because he couldn't make enough money for people like Dalton:

Posted by Hello
For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

If Minks Could Fly Airplanes We'd Really Be In Trouble

We thought the terrorist color code (which we never did quite figure out. Is beige worse than dark salmon? And what about magenta?) was to alert us to the possibility of attack by brown skinned foreigners, or a slip in Bush's poll numbers.

Now we find out we've been afraid of the guy who let the minks out of their cages. Environmental and animal rights extremists are the nation's top domestic terrorism threat, the FBI has told lawmakers.

When asked why Islamic Fundamentalists shouldn't be considered a greater threat, particularly in the light of 9/11, John Lewis, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI's counterterrorism division replied, "Well, these eco-nuts are a lot easier to catch and we need to put up some good numbers around budget time."

Lewis said the FBI made its conclusions after analyzing all types of cases and comparing the groups with “right-wing extremists, KKK, anti-abortion groups and the like.” He said most animal rights and eco-extremists so far have refrained from violence targeting human life.

Asked to explain how these groups could be considered threats when they "have refrained from violence targeting human life," Lewis responded that he wasn't sure, but he thought it might have something to do with FBI Chief Mueller's wife having red paint thrown on her fur coat at a PETA demonstration.

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the panel's chairman, said he hoped to examine more closely how the groups raise money and get communications support from “mainstream activists,” not directly blamed for the violence, who are affiliated with tax-exempt organizations. "I know the Humane Society is behind this somehow," Inhofe said.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Billy. Stop Sucking Your Thumb Or You're Outta Here

Here's an intriguing headline: "Research Finds High Rate Of Expulsion In Preschool." The article says preschool children are three times as likely to be expelled as children in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Expelled to where? Is there an alternative preschool for kids who suck their thumbs? Do they take these kids and try to teach them a trade like stacking blocks, or do they just give their names to military recruiters?

We've written before about our less than stellar tenure as denizens of the great industrio/educational cartel, but it seems to us that when you take a child who is still peeing his pants and ask him to take notes on your power point presentation about semicolons, you're just asking for trouble.

"What the data tell us is that there are a lot of out-of-control kids out there," said Karen Hill-Scott, a California expert on children's development and their readiness for school. "Why just last week I observed a three year old picking his nose and flipping the boogers at another child. He had to be tasered."

We're impressed. It was second grade before we discovered booger flipping and we still remember the time we landed a goober right in Jim Decker's ear. While our teacher may have fondly dreamed of expelling us, instead she sent us to the Assistant Principal who patiently explained that boogers could spread disease and may make people sick. Much as we enjoyed sending a slimy one around the room, we didn't want to make anyone sick so we stopped. Well, that and he threatened to tell our father if we did it again.

Dr. Hill-Scott said it was not surprising that expulsion rates in preschool were higher than those in later grades, since schools are legally obligated to educate children in kindergarten through 12th grade, while pre kindergarten programs are not required to retain disruptive children. "We call it the toilet theory of discipline," she continued, "If they act up--flush 'em."

So that explains why they kept letting us come back. It wasn't like they thought it was their job or anything. It wasn't that they could pick and choose who they wanted to teach. They had to teach all of us. Boy, if we had only known they couldn't get rid of us...

The findings also suggest that although the national debate over pre-kindergarten focuses on how to get more low-income kids into the programs, "there appears to be a back door through which some children — the ones who stand the most to gain from these programs — are sometimes pushed," says Walter Gilliam of Yale's Child Study Center and the author of the report. 4-year-olds were expelled at a rate of about 1½ times that of 3-year-olds — 5.9 per 1,000 vs. 4.0 per 1,000. Black students were twice as likely to be expelled as whites.

"It's not that we try to throw out the minority children," said Gilliam. "It just that when we throw out white kids, their parents sue us."

"Teaching our youngest children is hard, demanding work, and on some days it can be grueling," says Libby Doggett of the advocacy group Pre-K Now. "You would think the little monsters would appreciate that, but do they? No way. They act like children."

Steve Barnett of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University questions the study's high expulsion rates and says findings have not been corroborated with those of states. In New Jersey, for example, "there's not a single case where anyone can identify ... where a kid was expelled." The study says New Jersey had 255 pre-K expulsions. "All I'm saying is in New Jersey if youse gets outta line, youse takes a little trip with my friend Vinny the fish," Barnett explained.

Wow. Talk about your enlightened disciplinary methods. But it looks like that school of thought has already been countered. Man. And we thought boogers were bad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hey, At Least We Spelled Anonymous Right

We generally like to stay away from stories that are still making the rounds of the Main Stream Media (Motto: I'm on deadline. Never mind the facts.) but the current Newsweek imbroglio is too full of irony for us to pass. You might say it is ironicus at its maximus.

Newsweek based their story on the report of an "anonymous source." On Sunday, however, Newsweek said the source, who originally said he saw references to desecration of a Koran, could no longer be sure when asked again. "Apparently we didn't catch the fact that he wasn't sober the first time we talked to him," said Michael Isikoff, the reporter who co-wrote the story along with John Barry.

"There is a certain journalistic standard that should be met, and in this case it was not met," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "The report was not accurate, and it was based on a single anonymous source who cannot personally substantiate the report."

When asked how he could say something like that without his head exploding when the administration had based it case about the WMD's Saddam had on the word of Ahmad Chalabi who was incorrect, or the fact that the administration relied on a single source for information about Saddam's bioweapons program and that also proved to be incorrect, McClellan stated that his head in fact does explode, but he has vents installed behind his ears that keep it from blowing apart. "I just get these really bad headaches for a moment or two," he said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had described the Newsweek report as "appalling" and said it had created a "very major problem" for Washington in the Muslim world. When asked to compare the problem the Newsweek article had caused with the invasion of Iraq and the mishandled occupation she replied, "Well, you're really talking about apples and oranges there. Newsweek really isn't in our league."

Rice said that at least 14 people were killed in anti-US protests in Afghanistan last week sparked by the Newsweek report. When asked how she was certain there was a link between the violence and the Newsweek article since on May 9, long before the release of the article, Two US Marines and up to 23 militants were killed in a clash in eastern Afghanistan amid an ongoing upsurge in violence she replied that "It's women's intuition."

The State Department, moving to undo damage it says was caused by a Newsweek article is telling its embassies to spread the word abroad that America respects all religious faiths. In a two-page cable sent Monday night to all U.S. diplomatic posts, the department told the ambassadors to inform host governments and local media that "The United State might bomb your country and kill innocent civilians, or bungle the occupation causing children to starve, or arrest you without cause and hold you because you have dark skin, but we would never ever ever call Mohammed a poopy head. You have our word on it."

The Pentagon on Monday condemned the Newsweek story, which it said was "demonstrably false" and had damaged the United States as well as causing the loss of life abroad. "But not as much loss of life as one of our daisy cutters," commented one Pentagon official, "Those babies turn the rag heads into jello, know what I mean?"

Speaking to reporters accompanying her back from Iraq, Rice stressed that Muslims were highly sensitive following the abuse of inmates in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and that it did not take much to fuel "an ideology of hatred against the United States. We're pretty sure they can get over that invade a couple of countries, blow up women and children for no reason, torture people thing, but Korans in the toilet? That could be a deal breaker."

When asked for his response to the Newsweek article, President Bush said, "Personally I don't get it. I mean is it 'Koran' or 'Qu'ran' or what?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Girl, 12 Spells Lesbian Correctly; Banned From Kansas

When it came to writing papers in school, we have to say we were in a class by ourselves. And our teaches would probably have agreed--except for different reasons. One time we turned two pages of notes into a ten page paper on slime molds. Unfortunately the topic was the Civil War, but hey, who can contain genius? How many innocent slime molds were killed at Bull Run? At Spotsylvania? At Gettysburg? We rest our case.

Another time we combined the edge of your seat, chilling suspense of an episode of the The Twilight Zone with a report on weather fronts. The teacher, apparently no fan of science fiction, after commenting on our lack of seriousness, made us read it to the class. It actually got applause. We're not sure that was the response he was looking for. But no matter, we tell you this to establish what we remember anyway, as a rather stellar career as a student author, and to explain why we were a little jealous when we read this.

For all our prowess with the pen, our fame ended at the school house door. Now we find out that some pimpled 12 year old writes a paper about Ellen DeGeneres in Massachusetts and people as far away as Kansas get so upset about it they decide to picket the school. OK, so they didn't actually read the paper, but if it was about Ellen Degeneres it had to have the word lesbian in it somewhere and that was good enough. All we used to get were sighs, head shakes and trips to the counselor. This kid's got a major demonstration on her hands.

A Kansas-based evangelical group plans to picket Englesby Intermediate School June 6 after a 12 year old student won an essay contest writing about openly gay comedienne Ellen DeGeneres.

Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred Phelps acknowledged that an invective-laden leaflet including a photo of the Englesby School, a grotesque devil and a diatribe attacking the staff, labeling it a "homo-fascist regime," came from his church, but would not say how he knew about the essay. “We receive e-mails from all over the country informing us of these things,” he said. "A lot of our members don't have lives."

Asked about the incendiary nature of the epithet-laced flier distributed to area residents, Phelps said, “I preach it like American preachers preached in days gone by. Well, at least before they went to jail.”

An initial complaint about the essay was lodged with the school by Bernadette and Dino Theodore. "People are upset. The paper that was submitted for approval had nothing to do with women in history. It had nothing to do with the intention of the assignment. But their view seems to be that she's a woman in history." Said Mr. Theodore.

When asked to explain why Ellen DeGeneres couldn't be a women in history he responded, "Well, I think you have to be dead or something don't you?" Asked if he had read the student's essay, Theodore said he "didn't read so good. My wife does most of the reading. She's got a high school diploma."

The Theodores said they knew nothing about the flier or the planned demonstration. “I solemnly swear that it didn't come from us,” said Mrs. Theodore. “I'm not a hateful person, but I did tell my cousin Clyde. He's pretty hateful.”

The Theodores contend that the essay was reviewed by school Principal Robert Young, and Curriculum Coordinator Dr. Linda Trouville.

Young did not return calls to his office. A secretary said that all inquiries had to go through the administration office. "Ask for the Assistant Superintendent in charge of whack job relations," she said.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

Ask any of the overlords how much they care for the units and you're sure to get a earful of "like familys;" and "my childrens;" and "best of cares," until you think you're channeling Albert Schweitzer.

So we would assume that when the Plainfield track closed down, the overlords would be falling all over themselves recruiting folks to help get the 1000 stranded dogs to safety. We would have thought so. We would have been wrong.

After a year of helping the doomed Connecticut racetrack find homes for dozens of its retired racers, Claudia Rosenberg was told by track management she is "banned'' from rescuing pups in danger of being euthanized after the park closes.

"She told the gate person that is looks like we're all going to have to work for ourselves now, instead of making the dogs work for us" a track spokesperson said. "We don't need that kind of attitude."

"I just care about the dogs,'' Rosenberg said. "Fighting with the track is pointless. They're going out of business. Too bad the dogs couldn't run the business side of the track as well."

Yeah. Too bad. We would pay to see hounds in the stands and overlords chasing the mechanical rabbit as, we're sure, would this week's hound, Bar K Flyball:

Posted by Hello
Flyball is a great, affectionate, boy. He is very lovable and friendly. He is generally mellow and easygoing, but he can be playful at times and enjoys playing with toys. He will approach and nudge you for attention. He loves head rubs, hugs, toys, and playing with other dogs. He will bark for you to play with him. He is a toy collector, and he will take all the toys into his crate. He likes to carry balls and squeaky toys. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Depends On What The Meaning Of Quiz Is

We feel fairly confident that we amply described our career as inmates of the educational/industrial complex as less than exemplary. That being said, there were some aspects of the curriculum that made us sit up straighter than Emily Bessing (who was a professional teacher's pet). Phrases like "Clear your desks;" "Take out a piece of paper;" "Put everything away;" and the one that never failed to reduce the temperature of our spine considerably, "Let's start with a quiz."

We bring this up because apparently there are students today, whose connection to the academic world is even more tenuous than ours. Meet Frank Tenteromano who is suing the University of Delaware for giving stealth quizzes. Let us just say right up front that we admire the tactic, having had to rely on fake asthma attacks and epileptic fits to avoid quizzes in our day.

Mr. Tenteromano employs a variation of Steve Martin's "I forgot" defense by contending that he collaborated with another student on the five questions handed out by his professor because he didn't know he was taking a quiz and thought he was merely engaging in a little classroom group work while the instructor slipped down the hall for a quick bite to eat. It should be noted that the rest of the class saw fit to do their own work, and the student he was collaborating with may or may not have known of the collaboration.

In the school's response to the lawsuit, attorneys said it was clear the professor was administering a quiz. "All students were advised to remove materials from their desks and were handed a form with five questions, the title of which was 'Quiz.'"

"Well, yeah, there's that," Tenteromano said," But professors ask us questions all the time. How was I supposed to know he wanted me to answer them myself?"

Tenteromano claims he was denied due process and that his punishment of a two-semester suspension and an F in the disputed class was "Arbitrary and capricious. I should be allowed to earn my F's, not have them assigned to me. Wait. That's not what I meant."

When asked if his three previous violations of the school's code of conduct, including for alcohol had also been the result of misunderstandings, Tenteromano responded that it was hard for him to keep all the rules straight when he was "As hammered as a ten penny nail. Jack Daniels and Jim Beam are my study buddies," he said.

School officials said Tenteromano's punishment was adjusted to allow him to complete his other classes for the semester and that he could complete the rest of his work and graduate when his suspension ends in the summer of 2006. "Believe me, we want him out of here," said a University spokesperson.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

And The Lord Said Unto Me, "Smite 'Dem Lefties"

As we've written before, Catechism class was never the highlight of our day, but we do remember something about loving your neighbor which we were very interested in as a potential pick up line at the Saturday CYO dance--until we found out it was meant in the platonic sense.

Apparently the Right Reverend Chan Chandler also missed that lecture. Now, you might think that someone named Chan Chandler would have issues with his parents, and not his congregation, but when his flock reported to Church that fateful day and saw the title of his sermon was "Hey Hey Ho Ho Democrats Have Got To Go," they knew something was up.

It turned out not to be the best career move he's ever made, because two days later he was not feeling the love. "I am resigning with gratitude in my heart for all of you, particularly those of you who love me and my family--Not!"

Chandler's attorney, John Pavey Jr., said the pastor has not apologized for anything he said. "My client does regret the turmoil surrounding his removal of the nine godless heathens from his church and feels if they had never even been let in the parking lot this entire matter could have been avoided."

Supporters of the Pastor agreed. "I don't believe he preached politics," church member Rhonda Trantham said. "I don't believe anyone should tell a preacher not to preach what's in the Bible. After all, Reverend Chandler told us it's in the Old Testament where God smites Jebediah for voting no on the ban gay marriage amendment."

At what turned out to be his last service, the 33-year-old Chandler said the flap over the church members' dismissal was "a great misunderstanding" and he tried to welcome them back. "I told them they could come back if they sat in the rear of the church, but that wasn't good enough for the homo lovers," he told the press afterwards.

Blount Osborne, chairman of the church's elected deacons, said there was no warning Chandler would resign and the church had no severance agreement with him. "Well, unless you count the part where we told him to get the hell out."

Waylan Owens, one of Chandler's professors at the Wake Forest Theological Seminary and Chinese Take Out where Chandler is working on his Masters Degree in Public Relations, said the whole affair had gotten out of hand. "Does it tell us something that in spite of the Bible's clear admonition not to take one another to court in 1 Corinthians 6, the nine's first response was to go find a lawyer?" Owens said at a news conference that he later had to cut short because he had an appointment with Chandler's attorney John Pavey Jr. "I'd like to stay and talk more," Owens said, "But we think we've got a pretty good defamation of character suit here and we need to get ready for court. Those baby killing liberals have really stepped in it this time. This is going to be huge. Terri Schiavo huge."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Will That Be Cash, Charge, Or Would You Like To Be My Servant For a Year?

Poverty has been a problem, not only for America, but for societies the world over since the invention of money. The smartest people operating in the most enlightened of times using the full powers of their imaginations and resources have been unable to bring about the end of this devastating condition.

Then along came the New Hampshire Legislature. "We looked at poverty programs all over the country and they all had one thing in common," said State Representative Neal Kurk, "They assumed that people were poor because they didn't have any money. I say, what if people are poor because they live in substandard housing, have low paying jobs, or no jobs at all, and lack resources to change their situation?"

Under his legislation New Hampshire will the only state in the nation to charge its poorest parents for health insurance for children under the state-federal Medicaid program. "Look at it this way, Representative Kurk explained, "Health care is expensive for the state to provide. If poor people pay for it instead, then they aren't poor anymore because they're paying and the state isn't. Presto! Two problems solved with one piece of legislation. We expect it will be a national model."

The state also is proposing to exclude working poor families who have too many assets from a separate Healthy Kids insurance program for working parents. When asked what the definition of 'too many assets' was, Representative Kurk replied, "Oh, you know. clothes they're not wearing. too much food in the refrigerator, a house with walls, stuff like that."

Supporters of the New Hampshire proposals say tough fiscal times demand tough solutions. "We've been molly coddling the poor for too long," said one advocate, "It's time they paid their own way. I mean what are they, broke or something?"

"In order to balance the budget, you do all sorts of things," said Kurk, who believes the poor should be more responsible for their care. "The problem is real. The solution we've come up with is probably not as good as it needs to be because, you know, people will starve to death and stuff. Plus sick kids won't get any care, but hey, no solution's going to be perfect."

The proposed monthly Medicaid premium would be $10 to $20 per child depending on family income. Families with no income would still be asked to pay. When asked how families with no income could pay for health care, an aide to Representative Kurk said, "We're still working on that. Probably using money is out of the question, huh?"

Other states are struggling to cut Medicaid, which is on track to eclipse education as the biggest single expense for states. Last year, Washington state got federal permission to charge some Medicaid families premiums, but has not done so. "We think those folks in Washington are a bunch of wusses," said an assistant to Representative Kurk. "Times are tough. Poor folks' money is just as green as rich folks' money. And they vote less often. That's all I'm saying."

Monday, May 09, 2005

OK. It's A Very Very VERY Bad Cold

We usually like to stay away from the overlords a full week before revisiting their squalid little corner of reality. Mostly because it takes that long for our jostled sense of equilibrium to return after a ride on the Overlord Express, but we thought this update about the sick dogs on the east coast was important enough for us to risk wearing our lunch and take another spin through their scruple free neighborhood.

The article starts out straight forward enough: "A killer mystery virus that has dropped racing dogs across the country is now sweeping into New England's troubled greyhound racetrack industry. Rhode Island's Lincoln Park has seen six greyhounds die in less than two weeks from what may be a form of 'canine influenza' that ripped through racetracks in Florida and elsewhere."

Then we pass the sign post that announces we've just entered the twilight zone: "However, state racetrack regulators insist the closures are due to a much milder - and typically nonlethal - malady called 'kennel cough.'"

Those dogs that are dead? They're not really dead. It just looks that way to the untrained eye. See, being involved in greyhound racing means years of study and apprenticeship at the feet of masters. They know when a dog is dead and when it isn't. "We prefer to call it, terminal unit depreciation," said Lincoln Park spokesman Michael Trainor.

"You have some deadly illness that is infecting the greyhound racing industry nationally,'' said Cary Theil, head of Grey2K USA. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the same illness that is affecting dogs in Florida.''

Theil's prognosis got some cautious backing from University of Florida researcher Cynda Crawford, who has studied the deadly canine illness. Told of the greyhound deaths in Rhode Island, Crawford, a veterinarian, said she had never seen a case of the relatively run-of-the-mill 'kennel cough' kill a dog.

Still, Massachusetts regulators say local racetracks appear to have sidestepped the more serious virus killing dogs elsewhere. "Our dead dogs aren't as dead as the dogs in Florida," said a spokesperson for the racing industry.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

So what have the overlords been up to this week? Oh, the usual. Closing down a track, turning in a license, watching dogs die from kennel cough. You know, just ordinary things associated with a thriving industry.

Jim Capiola, General Manager of Plainfield Greyhound Park said he hopes to repoen for live racing in 2006. "Of course I also hope the tooth fairy will leave the keys to a Lincoln Navigator under my pillow too," he said.

Track officials at Lake Region Greyhound Park have said they decided to close because the indictments and a lawsuit among the owners has been bad for business. "People just don't like seeing all those police cars in the parking lot all the time," said Attorney Ronald Cook, who represents the track's general partner, Allan Hart. "And all the track officials getting led away in handcuffs wasn't the image we wanted to portray either," he added.

Lincoln Park spokesman Michael Trainor said 100 of the 800 dogs under quarantine at the track now have kennel cough. Six greyhounds have died from kennel cough in the last 10 days. When reminded that he had compared the condition of the dogs to a "cold" in humans and asked why some many dogs were dying from a "cold" Mr. Trainor responded that it was a "very very bad cold."

Trainor was asked what treatment the sick dogs were receiving. "Treatment? Treatment. That's not a bad idea," he responded. "We ought to try something like that. Anybody here a Vet?"

Luckily this week's hound is in good health and looking for a soft couch, good food and a little companionship. Meet PA's Scootinaway:

Posted by Hello
Scootin is very shy and nervous around strange noises. She is very sweet. She likes to lick your hand and give kisses. She does not really seek out attention, but enjoys being petted. She is quiet in the home, but loves to run and play peek-a-boo in the yard. She is just starting to play with toys. She will put her front paws on the bed to get closer to your face. She has a curly tail. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Yeah, But How Will We Get The Script To The Terrorists?

Today is Cinco de Mayo and maybe that explains it. Some folks appear to have gotten a little too far into the Tequila a little too quickly. How else would you explain this?

Cal Thomas, who isn't afraid to admit he wrote the article, sees reality in the show 24. At least his version of it. In the show, the hero Jack Bauer tortures a terrorist and gets information that saves the planet, or at least the U.S. which, as we all know, is the most important part of the planet.

Between shots of Blue Agave, Señor Thomas explains the connection to us. "All of this is relevant to real life and the scarier drama that is being played out by the United States Army, which last week announced it is preparing to issue a new interrogations manual that specifically bars the use of 'harsh' techniques of the type used at Abu Ghraib prison."

See, Don Tomas is convinced that if we can torture prisoners like Jack Bauer, they will collapse in a whimpering mass and give us all the information we want. Well, after the commercial break of course.

Compañero. Put down that glass of Sauza and listen up. That whimpering terrorist who cracked because Jack hit him over the head with a breakaway chair? He's what's know as an "Actor." And he was doing what's known as "Acting." See, he was saying lines that had been written for him by what's known as a "Writer," who by the way, probably voted for Kerry and may even be gay.

"We are dealing with people who have repeatedly demonstrated they have no moral constraints and are willing to perpetrate mass murder while practicing their religiously twisted ideology in pursuit of their objectives."

Umm...No...We are dealing with a member of the Screen Actors Guild who, after the show is over hops in his minivan and drives home to his condo in Belle Aire looking forward to finding out how his daughter did at volley ball that day. Muy confuso, my balding friend, muy confuso.

"Bauer grabs the suspect outside CTU and tortures him until he discloses the location of Marwan. Bauer leads a team and is about to arrest Marwan and save the country from a nuclear attack Marwan escapes, and the gripping drama continues."

Well of course it does. You see, El Bebido, 24 is what you call a "Show." It's put on for "Entertainment" and because it's put on an American television network by Americans, we get to be the good guys. So if the good guys were to win in the first episode, well, then you would have anything to do for the next 12 weeks except write about how Hollywood is ruining this country would you now?

Abu Ghraib, on the other hand, is what we call "Reality" and even though we tortured a lot of people there and even killed some (and by that we mean really killed as in "dead" not written out of the script and now doing toothpaste commercials) because we did those things, the terrorists didn't collapse in a whimpering mass and give up all their secrets after politely waiting for the season ending cliff hanger.

No, they got madder and kept right on shooting real bullets are our soldiers who also died, (and by that we mean became dead and stayed that way even after the credits rolled).

"I can see the terrorists getting hold of this manual and telling their killers they have nothing to fear if they are captured by the 'weak' Americans. What's next, instructing our troops to say 'please' and 'thank you'?"

Well, no, Señor Inaprovechable. Turn off your TV a minute will you? First of all, We have it on good authority that the Pentagon does not have any plans to distribute the manual to terrorist groups. Second, in a "Show" we get to control all the people because they are "Actors" and they play the role created for them by the "Writers." So when the "Plot" calls for a terrorist to get caught and give up secrets that help the good guys, well, a "Writer" writes a "Scene" that does just that. Then Jack and the terrorist go to lunch in the commissary and talk about who's going to win the pennant this year.

"Put a Jack Bauer type in charge." No. You see, that's what we've been trying to tell you. There is no Jack Bauer. He's what they call a "Character" who was created by a "Writer" on instructions from a "Producer" so they could make a "Show" and sell it to the television networks to make money so they could buy bigger houses and send their kids to private schools.

Carumba. Le olvidar. Somebody call Murphy Brown. Maybe she can talk some sense into him. Pass that Tequila bottle over here will you?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Oh, We're In Session Baby

Who says our Congress is grid locked? At least one member seems to be getting the moves on.

Representative Don Sherwood told police he was giving Cynthia Ore a back rub when she “jumped up” and ran to the bathroom. Ore said Sherwood “choked her for no apparent reason” in his Washington D.C. apartment. Ah..."back rub..." So that's what the kids are calling it these days.

"OK. We were playing the Cowboy and the School Marm," Sherwood said. "I tripped on the can of chocolate body frosting after I lassoed her and I think the rope got caught around her neck, that's all."

"Both parties have left out significant information or are not willing to discuss in detail what actually happened,” Washington Metropolitan Police stated in the incident report. The Cowboy and School Marm explanation is "highly suspicious" according to the police. "When we got there Sherwood was dressed in indian garb with full war paint," said one of the first officers to arrive at the scene. "We think they were doing Indian Warrior and the Pastor's Wife. That would explain why she was tied to a coat rack in her underwear."

Ore, who is 29, said in a phone interview Thursday her friends and workers at a woman's resource center have encouraged her to consider some sort of legal action against Sherwood. “Thinking of that day I could cry and cry. I mean, he told me he was a Senator and it turns out he's just a Representative. I have my standards you know."

Sherwood, a first term Representative from Pennsylvania is considered one of the GOP's most promising candidates this year. "I was elected because my campaign focused on issues important to the people of my district," he said, "issues like Social Security, cutting taxes and bringing home federal honeys...er...dollars...federal dollars."

Congressman Sherwood, who is married, called Ore “an acquaintance” but wouldn't say why she was in his apartment. “Did I call her there, no. I had my secretary do it. You meet lots of people in Washington and some of them are easy. Heck, I'm 64 years old. You think the babes are beating a path to my door every night? I have to take 'em where I find 'em.” Sherwood said. He could not recall how long ago they met. "I think I was drunk at the time."

“People can say what they want to say. Its a political smear. I've never asked any of my opponents to discuss their personal lives and I'm not going to discuss mine. Unless I can out score Hastert. I don't know how he gets the chicks, but the guy's a walking babe magnet.” Sherwood said.

"Oh you can bet there's going to be some personal lives discussed," said Mrs. Sherwood, who was reached at the couple's home. "And that Cowboy School Marm stuff? Well, let's just say the good Representative Sherwood is going to milking the stallion for quite a while, if you get my meaning."

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Luckily No Hostages Were Hungry

First reports from concerned neighbors at the old folk's home across the street said unknown operators were smuggling a bazooka into a school in New Mexico. Police were summoned, jets were scrambled and SWAT teams rolled. The area was cordoned off and the National Guard alerted, except they were in Iraq, so a local biker gang was drafted into service instead.

State police, City police and the County Sheriff's Department arrived at the school shortly after 8:30 a.m. They searched the premises and determined there was no immediate danger. Turns out it was just a burrito. "We were a little concerned at first about the amount of hot sauce on the burrito, "said Sheriff's Deputy Clayton Messer, "but we determined it was only the mild version, so we let it go."

We can't afford to take chances with ethnic food," said police Chief LeRoy Biggers. "Sure, this time it was Mexican, but next time, who knows? It could be falafel, or humus."

The burrito was part of eighth grader Michael Morrissey's extra-credit assignment to create commercial advertising for a product. "We had to make up a product and it could have been anything. I made up a restaurant that specialized in oddly large burritos," Morrissey said.

"That Morrissey kid's always been a little different OK?" said school Counselor Mr. Mackey. "Burritos are on the menu in the school cafeteria, OK?"

After the lock down was lifted, parents pulled 75 students out of school and took them to a nearby Italian Restaurant. "There needs to be security before the kids walk through the door," said Heather Black, whose son attends the school. "My kid has a peanut allergy. What if this Morrissey boy had been smuggling cans of Planter's?"

Monday, May 02, 2005

NRCC: Now Rewarding Common Criminals

We like to add a little snap to the openings of our daily missives. Sometimes we spend almost a minute coming up with those first few perfect words. Mostly though, we end up having to go with words we can spell. Limits the options. Today however we have to admit that even were we to write this blog sober with a dictionary, we couldn't have said it better than the opening sentence from the Nashua Telegraph, to wit:

"Ira Stern, convicted of stealing more than $600,000 in a business loan scam received an award from the National Republican Congressional Committee honoring his business leadership."

But wait. It gets even better: "The awards were given by NRCC, and announced by House Majority Leader Tom Delay." Some days it's just too easy.

According to Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Alex Burgos, the awards committee was not aware of Stern's conviction. "If we had been aware of it, he would not have been recognized at a dinner and tax reform workshop in Washington, D.C., at which President Bush was the keynote speaker. We'd have mailed him the award like we usually do in these cases. In a plain brown wrapper."

Stern said he didn't do much to earn the award. "Yeah I fleeced a couple of pigeons for a few bucks, but I'm nowhere near in the same league as the guys at that dinner."

In 1996 Stern was sentenced to 2 to five years in prison and ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to felony theft charges. He admitted to bilking 14 local businesses and individuals out of a total of more than $600,000 through an “advance fee loan scam.” Stern admitted at the time he took the money as fees, claiming he would arrange venture capital loans, but never made any loans.

He is now trying to rebuild his life and support his family with his business-consulting firm. When asked what the nature of his consulting firm was Stern replied that he helped businesses develop preliminary charging systems for their loans. "It's all perfectly legit," he said, "We're having some minor glitches getting the systems finalized, but if my clients will just be patient a little longer I'm sure we can work everything out. If not, I'll offer them full refunds of their deposits."

When asked if it was true he would not attend the reception because he was planning to be out of the country then, Stern replied, "It's...um...er...a...ah...family vacation to Mexico."