Sunday, February 22, 2015

Home again, Home again!

Just back home from NOLA and a very chilly Mardi Gras. Winter Storm Warnings for today and tomorrow here.

My internal thermostat is confused!

Pics to follow.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Reunion -- Get Out the Tissues

This video is out of Chicago, from the ABC affiliate there. It depicts the arrival of a bomb-sniffing dog named Clia in the airport concourse after her retirement. She was surprised by her former handler who has been allowed to adopt her. Her sheer joy at seeing him, and his obvious love for her, are genuinely heartwarming. I get happy tears every time I watch it -- and I've watched it a lot!

Her handler, SGT Jason Bos, says, "It's time for her to retire and live the couch life." I love  the comments left on the original post on Facebook.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Musings

Today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette notes that "the Chinese government confiscated 8,000 rolls of toilet paper and 20,000 packages of tissue paper that were to be sold during the Chinese New Year and that were adorned with unflattering images of [Hong Kong's] pro-Beijing chief executive." Who do they think they are? The IRS?

I'm really, really glad I don't live in China. I'd wind up in jail for sure.

How 'bout that Brian Williams! He's laying low until the Liar-gate kerfuffle blows over. I'd say his credibility is pretty well shot. I won't miss him, though -- we don't watch the letter networks' national news. There are some good gigs at him circulating around Facebook -- this is one of my favorites:

I've also seen depictions of him at Iwo Jima and with Abe Lincoln, among others. Heh.

The girl dogs have been getting a little pushy when it comes to our snacks:

"Hand over the cheese dip and no one gets hurt."

That's all I've got. I think I might go take a little nap.  See ya.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Travel Broadens the Mind, But . . .

The Arkansas Board of Education voted last week to take over the Little Rock School District because six of its schools are "in distress" (the measurements of which are a little fluky). As you may know, Little Rock schools have been on double secret probation for years now, for various reasons, even though it has good test scores overall, and numerous National Merit Finalists. I'm not exactly in favor of this plan -- it appears to be simply a different set of bureaucrats that just swooshed in and disenfranchised Little Rock voters who just seated a new school board last fall. The Superintendent will be retained and there has been no plan announced to address the distressed schools' issues.

A local (satirical) website, The Rock City Times (subtitled "Arkansas' 2d most unreliable news source"), however, announced a plan earlier this week. Let's see if it will copy and paste:

Little Rock to Begin Bussing Students to Northwest Arkansas Following School Board Takeover

Following yesterday’s State Board of Education’s decision to takeover the Little Rock School District, the board now says that beginning in fall students will be bussed from Little Rock to various higher performing schools around Northwest Arkansas.
The Board of Education’s 5-4 decision came after six of the district’s schools were labeled “academically distressed”.  The move to Northwest Arkansas would introduce Little Rock’s 25,000 students to some of the highest performing schools in the state.
“The problem is these schools are underperforming and students are not receiving the quality education that they deserve,” School board spokesperson Roger Waters tells us. “We certainly could fire all the teachers, pump millions of dollars into education for Little Rock, but we feel that would be too dramatic and a possible waste of resources. Especially when we have one of the country’s top performing education regions a little over three hours away.”
Under the plan students would be bussed daily from Little Rock to a selection of schools across Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, and Siloam Springs. Parents will be required to have their children ready for bus pickup at 4 a.m. each morning so that students will arrive by the 8:00 start time. Students are expected to return home by 7:30 each night. Tutoring will be available free of charge during the afternoon commutes.
Most of the existing Little Rock School buildings will be converted into satellite campuses for the upcoming technology park. Meanwhile Central High School is expected to change to a Robert E Lee museum and Forest Park elementary will be the new home of a food truck culinary school.
The board says that it does plan to retain former LRSD superintendent Dexter Suggs along with various faculty members from Little Rock Schools.
“Due to the dramatic increase in bus drivers needed, we have extended driving positions to Dr. Suggs and other principals and faculty at high performing schools,” Waters says. “We believe it represents a unique opportunity for all involved to help grant kids the advanced kids the advanced education opportunities we blindly think they deserve.”
In addition to the schools opening their doors to Little Rock students, the Duggar family has offered to expand their home schooling to accommodate 200 homosexual curious children in need of re-indoctrination.
The Duggars.  Heh.
And the misspellings of "busing" and "bused" makes me grit my teeth, but all-in-all this is pretty clever. Unfortunately, I can't rule out something as improbable as this coming from the State. 
Poor kids.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Poking a Stick at the Grammar Beast

This is one that grates on my soul. Isn't it sad how the language mutates when people are too lazy -- or too stupid -- to learn the correct way to say/spell its words.

I dunno. I kinda like "aporkchop."

I think we'll have some aporkchops for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Climax in the Bergdahl Saga Approaches


After yesterday's colossal gaffe (IMHO) by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (see yesterday's post), it seems that at least one decision-maker in the DoD has come to his senses.

SGT Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion. NBC reports:

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by enemy forces in Afghanistan for five years, will be charged with desertion, a senior defense officials tell NBC News. The officials say the charges could be referred within a week.

According to the officials, the desertion charges would be based on allegations that Bergdahl abandoned his remote outpost in June 2009 to avoid hazardous duty or important service, which are grounds for charges of desertion under the Uniform Military Code of Justice, or UCMJ. According to one senior official, Bergdahl's actions in Afghanistan go well beyond the lesser offense of AWOL, absent without leave, because he allegedly abandoned his post "in the middle of a combat zone, potentially putting the lives of his fellows soldiers at risk."

The charges will apparently not allege that Bergdahl left with the intent never to return. Bergdahl was reportedly captured by the Haqqani terrorist network in Pakistan. He was released in a prisoner swap for five Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo Bay in May.
Perhaps the public will finally be made privy to the details surrounding his capture and the prisoner exchange that led to his release last year. Too many good men lost their lives searching for him -- their memory demands clarification and closure.

Wouldn't it be "interesting" if the Young President granted him clemency? You know -- traitor to traitor.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Wonder What the Prize Will Be?

I. Am. Speechless. And I'm rarely speechless.

When I just heard this news on the radio I really thought someone was quoting an article from The Onion. But no. It seems to be something that's actually going to happen. On the taxpayer's dime.

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced today the establishment of an Essay Contest to honor Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz who passed away last week. This contest will take place at the National Defense University (NDU). reports:
“This is an important opportunity to honor the memory of the king, while also fostering scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world, and I can think of no better home for such an initiative than NDU,” Dempsey said in a statement announcing the competition.  
The competition will focus on issues related to the Arab-Muslim world and is designed to encourage strategic thinking and meaningful research on a crucial part of the world. The program will be in place at NDU for the next academic year . . .  .
To HONOR a man who reigned over a nation that beheads people and treats women like chattel in the twentieth-first century.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no objection to NDU students engaging in scholarly research concerning the Middle East or Muslim nations in general. Such endeavors have led to important policy measures in years past about our relations with, and approach to, emerging powers such as Russia, China, and the like. After all, as GI Joe informed us, "Knowing is half the battle."

To do so, however, to "honor the memory" of a beast -- and he was a beast, regardless of his "friendliness" toward the United States -- is distasteful at best, and Lord only knows how bad at worst.

But, should we be surprised by this development?  Remember this?

No envoy to the recent multi-nation march in Paris. No envoy to Margaret Thatcher's funeral. No envoy to the funeral for the first two star general killed in action in Afghanistan. But, Obama cuts short a trip to India to "pay his respects" to this pig. Pay something anyway.

Oh, pardon me. I'm certain the term "pig" is offensive to the deceased.