Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
The media blitz has come and gone, but Miss USA (Tara Conner) is still on her throne -- thanks in part to "the Donald". Mr. Trump, who along with NBC, owns the Miss USA Pageant have offered Tara Conner another chance. While that decision gives many people warm fuzzies, it disgusts me.
Tara Conner is definitely NOT what Miss USA should be about. She has proven herself to be a wild party girl, who has been seen snorting cocaine, carousing with all sorts of young men and even making out with 18 year old Katie Blair (Miss Teen USA). [Ms. Blair's crown should be removed, too!]
While I'm all for second chances, I also believe in justice -- and integrity. Allowing Tara Conner to retain the Miss USA crown is an injustice to EVERY other young lady who lives right, works hard and strives to achieve the proper "girl next door" image that should be the goal for Miss USA. Instead, we have a druggy, bi-sexual slut alcoholic representing the USA. Worse yet, now we have a Miss USA in rehab. AWFUL! Donald, you're fired! Tara, you're fired, too! Ms. Blair, go home little girl. You're too young to play these games. Nuff said!
UPDATE: 8:35pm EST
I just heard John Gibson's telephone interview with Donald Trump -- regarding his tit-for-tat comments with Rosie O'Donnell. While I immensely dislike Rosie (and most everything she stands for), I agree with her on the fact that Tara Conner does not deserve to be Miss USA. I hope the public pressure mounts -- forcing Trump and NBC to re-evaluate their decision.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
While reading a FOX News.com story regarding the death of a young prankster, I was struck by the sheer irresponsibility of the folks making comments. While it is very tragic that a teenage boy lost his life, the people interviewed in the article (save a couple of teens) don't offer one ounce of blame that should be placed on the boy for his own actions. Here is the article [paraphrased]:
Egg Prankster's Mom Wants Killer to 'Admit What He Did'No, Danny should not have been shot for throwing eggs. BUT, to make it sound like his illegal and immoral activity was something to be accepted and blown off as "something boys do" is WRONG. Danny committed a crime -- vandalism. He could have caused a fatal accident, too. His mother's grief is warranted, but her outrage neglects the fact that her son would still be alive if HE wasn't committing a crime at the time of his death.
It was the sort of commonplace misbehavior that raises blood pressure across the nation's roads: kids, out after midnight, egging cars along a busy thoroughfare. This time, though, the mischief turned deadly. The driver of a targeted gray Jeep barreled after the boys and someone inside pulled a gun, firing multiple shots that killed 14-year-old Danny Crawford. ... "I'd like to know where he is. I'd like to know why he won't come out and admit what he did," said the teen's mother, Kelly Crawford, 35, a Fredericksburg, Va., office worker.
... Crawford's killing happened Dec. 2 in a struggling neighborhood of century-old homes plagued by poverty and drug abuse. It's common to see prostitutes after dark and hear late night gunfire. The church parking lot where Crawford and his buddies were hanging out that night is about a mile from his father's house, and friends said he didn't know the layout well.
Family and schoolmates said Crawford — called D.J. by his family — was fun to be around and made a point of helping other kids, cheering them up if they had a bad day. "Danny was a nice kid, he doesn't get in a lot of trouble," said 12-year-old Cyril Butler, a seventh-grader who played pickup football with Crawford. "He was hanging around the wrong people, honestly." The boys shouldn't have been throwing eggs at cars, said other teens from the area. But they also said nothing the boys did justified a fatal shooting. "That's what kids do, they have fun on the weekends," said Kwon Wright, 16, a sophomore at nearby West High School. "That's what him and his boys was up to — having fun doing what they do."
The teens were on a lighted church parking lot where it was common for kids to play basketball or roller-skate, and adults were nearby. Someone showed up with eggs, and the kids started tossing them at each other, said Bobby Messer, 43, father of 14-year-old Devon. At some point, police say, the boys began lobbing the eggs at cars along a busy four-lane city stretch of U.S. 40, the old National Road that divides Columbus in two. A police detective says it was another boy who threw the egg that hit the Jeep.
Family members say the prank was out of character for Danny. ... "We hoped he would date and marry and have children, and of course all of that was ended because of somebody's stupidity."
Don't flame me because I see through the victim culture in this tragic event. The shooter should be brought to justice -- that is 100% true. It's all about choices -- and the consequences for those choices. Danny Crawford's life was taken by someone who went too far. But Danny he made the choice to throw the eggs at passing cars. Therefore, he is partly responsible for the outcome of what happened.
For the record, I have three children of my own -- one of them turns 14 next month. I also lost a brother when I was younger. So, I know where DJ Crawford's mother is coming from -- on more than one level.
Monday, December 18, 2006
As you've read on The Sope-Bocks previously, the NEA has a radical agenda that promotes homosexuality to the point of obsession. While perusing news headlines today, I ran across the following story that supports my assertions:
Teacher: NEA Uses School Safety Rhetoric to Push Homosexual AgendaIf you are an educator, or have one in the family, it's time to make sure they know exactly what the NEA is doing with their dues. Do you really want that money going to a group that promotes showing kindergarteners films depicting gay men tongue kissing each other? Do you really want your money going to a group that favors having school-connected abortion clinics, yet opposes parental notification rights? Isn't it time the NEA was called into check and held accountable?
by Jim Brown, Bill Fancher, and Jenni Parker
A former chairman of the National Education Association's Ex-Gay Educators Caucus says the NEA is engaging in a "big misinformation campaign" with the goal of changing public opinion on homosexuality, starting with the youngest generation. The NEA has unveiled a new web page [Caution: This page contains pro-homosexual material] on "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students," stating that the educators' union is "committed" to fighting harassment, bullying, and discrimination aimed at those students.
The page cites statistics from a study published by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, and even provides a link to an interview with that group's founder, homosexual activist Kevin Jennings.
Conservative critics of Jennings have blasted him for promoting what they see as radical pro-homosexual policies and ideas. Culture and media critic Bob Knight of the Media Research Center calls the GLSEN founder a "very controversial" figure, one "who has covered up an incident of molestation [of a 15-year-old boy by a homosexual man], who presided over a session in Massachusetts in which kids as young as 14 were exposed to graphic descriptions of homosexual sex acts," and who has said he wants children, even kindergartners, to be acquainted with homosexuality.
The NEA's web page on GLBT students provides a link to an NEA Today article and interview with Jennings called "Safe Schools for Everyone." In it, the homosexual activist advocates teachers helping to combat the problem of harassment faced by GLBT students -- by working "to create a classroom culture of respect and acceptance from day one."
California teacher Jeralee Smith, who founded the NEA's Conservative Educator Caucus and formerly chaired the union's Ex-Gay Educators Caucus, says the new web page on GLBT students is all part of the union's ongoing agenda to legitimize homosexuality. However, she says she hopes this latest move by the national organization will finally open the eyes of some of its members. "Maybe, finally," Smith comments, "some of the conservative and Christian teachers and other faiths who take issue with children being urged to adopt a gay identity" will recognize the NEA's pro-homosexual agenda for what it is. "Maybe, finally, some of these people will really believe that this is what their dues money is going for," she says.
Is the NEA Helping to Spread GLSEN Misinformation?
In July, at the NEA's annual convention, the educators union voted overwhelmingly to endorse legal same-sex civil unions and same-sex "marriages." And now, with its new web page on GLBT students, Smith feels the NEA is using misinformation in an effort to change public attitudes toward homosexuality, and she suspects the union's embrace of GLSEN's "safe schools" rhetoric is little more than a smokescreen for its support for and collaboration with the activist organization's agenda.
According to GLSEN's 2005 National School Climate Survey, homosexual students were five times more likely than the general population of students to report having skipped school in the last month because of safety concerns and were twice as likely as the general population of students to report having no plans to pursue any post-secondary education. The survey also found homosexual students who reported experiencing harassment had an average grade point average a half point lower than that of homosexual students who were not harassed.
Jennings, as quoted in NEA Today, says the "safe schools" initiative is "not about how you feel about gay people, it's about making sure all of our students achieve.' However, Smith believes the NEA's and GLSEN's special emphasis on GLBT youth is telling. She says the NEA has no business encouraging students to adopt a homosexual identity, and the organization needs to recognize that all students are equally deserving of a safe learning environment. "Children -- by children, I mean anyone younger than 18 -- need to all be protected from any kind of harassment at school," the California teacher insists. "I teach physically handicapped children," she notes; "my kids look different from everyone else in very obvious ways, and kids like mine are much more likely to get bullied and harassed at school." Also telling, Smith suggests, is which data the National Education Association chooses to report about GLBT students, and what it chooses to omit. She notes, for instance, that the NEA's new web page does not provide statistics about the many young people who have had same-sex sexual encounters in the past but have since abandoned such behavior.
Monday, December 11, 2006
1620 - 103 Mayflower pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock
1719 - First recorded display of Aurora Borealis in US (New England)
1866 - First yacht race across the Atlantic Ocean
1901 - Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio signal (Cornwall to Newfoundland)
1909 - Colored moving pictures demonstrated at Madison Square Garden, New York NY
1951 - Joe Dimaggio announced his retirement from baseball
1967 - The People's front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was established
1975 - First class postage raised from 10¢ to 13¢
1981 - Muhammad Ali fought his 61st - and last - fight, losing to Trevor Berbick
1985 - Dow Jones closed above 1,500 for the first time (1,511.70)
Sunday, December 10, 2006
A fierce debate was ignited as The Daily Telegraph's Jeff Randall wrote in a column that he was discarding all cards that did not mention the word "Christmas" in it. The article provoked more than 200 responses from around the world, the majority in favour of keeping festive greetings traditional.
Gordon Brown has condemned attempts to change traditional festivities and the Archbishop of York said "illiberal atheists" and secularists were trying to undermine Christian beliefs. John Reid, the Home Secretary, joined the debate by saying he was "sick and tired" of the sort of political correctness which has meant Christmas cannot be called "Christmas". Mr. Reid branded efforts to ban traditions such as hanging decorations as "mad" and riled against British Airways' decision - now reversed - to suspend a Heathrow check-in worker for wearing a cross. "Like the vast majority of people, I'm sick and tired of this sort of mad political correctness that said you can't wear a crucifix on British Airways, or you can't put up decorations for Christmas, or you can't call Christmas 'Christmas'," he told GMTV's The Sunday Programme.
An increasing number of schools are ignoring nativity plays and many firms would rather send cards wishing "happy holidays" then "Merry Christmas". Jeff Randall's column has touched a nerve with readers of all faiths, including the Bishop of Bolton. The Rt Rev David Gillett, chairman of the Christian Muslim Forum, said cards should say "Happy Christmas" or "Greetings at Christmas". "That's what it is," he said. "People of whatever religions or faiths are not wanting Christmas to be secularised." Christians are unlikely to cause offence if they send their Muslim, Hindu or Jewish neighbours a card bearing the "C" word, he said.
A recent survey of 2,300 employers by a law firm, Peninsula, found that 74 per cent of managers were not allowing any festive decorations in their workplaces, up from 71 per cent last year. As well as risking offence, bosses felt that Christmas trees and tinsel made offices unprofessional.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, attacked what he called the "politically correct posturing" of public bodies which avoided the term "Christmas". "I would hope that councils, parliaments and other public bodies will no longer feel they have to contort their language to avoid mention of the word 'Christmas'," he said. "I am certain that there never was a real risk of alienating or marginalising those of other faiths, as was often claimed."
Jack Straw, the Commons Leader, wrote in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph: "I've never met a Christian who isn't delighted to recognise Yom Kippur, nor Eid, nor Diwali. Nor have I met a Muslim who denies my right to celebrate the birth of Christ."
Saturday, December 09, 2006
According to the Yahoo! Buzz Index "Top Searches of 2006", Internet users searched for interesting (and predictable) terms during 2006. Without reading further, take a guess at the top search for 2006... go ahead! Read on to see if you guessed correctly...
Yahoo! users searched on all sorts of stories this year, but Britney was the biggest of them all. Despite (or perhaps thanks to) her trainwreck of a personal life, Ms. Spears took home the title of Yahoo's top search of 2006.
While the former Mrs. Federline may have been the most popular, she was far from Search's only story. ""American Idol" dominated as expected, the untimely death of Steve Irwin shocked us all, and the Iraq war remained on the minds of many. We've compiled an exhaustive list of the top searches in entertainment, sports, and news. We invite you to check 'em out.You can look through the top searches by month or subject. And don't forget to explore the most popular questions from Yahoo! Answers or browse Flickr's photos of the year. Before 2007 arrives, join us for a look back at the best of 2006.
Article by Mike Krumboltz
And would someone please tell me why Katharine McPhee has become the hot topic? Her name as a search term has increased by 1,503%. In case you don't know Katharine McPhee is one of the hot properties from the American Idol scene. Her rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" has been played almost as much as that of Judy Garland's original recording. She wasn't the winner on American Idol, so why such a huge interest in her?
Then again, what do I know? The keywords "ebola" and "silly string" both gained more than 700% in frequency during 2006. I guess I can see why ebola would be a hot search term -- what with the Taco Bell illnesses over the past week. But, Silly String? What's up with that?!?
PS- For the person who called me an idiot regarding the Taco Bell outbreak, I never said it was ebola. I wrote "illnesses" and related that outbreak with a possible reason for the search term "ebola" increasing in frequency. READ before you go mouthing off, please. ;-)
Sunday, December 03, 2006
1557 - First Covenant of Scottish protestants formed
1621 - Galileo perfected the telescope
1775 - First official US flag raising (aboard naval vessel Alfred)
1847 - Frederick Douglass published first issue of his newspaper "North Star"
1910 - Neon lights, first publicly seen (Paris Auto Show)
1931 - Alka Seltzer went on sale
1950 - Paul Harvey began his national radio broadcast
1964 - "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" first aired on TV
1967 - First human heart transplant performed (Dr Christiaan Barnard, South Africa)
Saturday, December 02, 2006
We all know that spam email is a problem. Yet, many folks don't know the real statistics. They don't know how it affects their Internet usage nor the bandwidth absorbed by criminals and fraudsters using spam. Here are some real-time stats from my company's domain:
Yes, you read that correctly. Anywhere from 69% to 87% of the email our company receives is SPAM! The worst part is that our email addresses are NOT published on our website. We need to push our ISPs, Congress and state legislators to enforce the laws now in place -- and to enact new laws that will effectively cut off spammers use of our bandwidth and storage space. Penalties should be stiff -- and the arm of the law should be far-reaching.
THINK and ACT!