I have to write something else because…

I can’t stand that my blog keeps popping up with the heading “Roaches.”

So I am going to tell you that my husband’s reunion is this weekend and we are going. There will be dancing. Don’t know if we’ll be doing that.

It should be fun, though. It was last time.

Oh, yeah, happy 68th birthday to my father, who spent the day in bed with infections. May the rest of his year be 1000x better.


We have been hit with an infestation of roaches.

They crawl on our walls and fly across the room. I’m guessing they are coming in through the sewer lines. But it’s not cold outside and I don’t know why they are in here.

There aren’t any little ones. They’re all big, two inches or more.

I hate the things.

I have a bad feeling that one day I’m going to scream the house down when they walk across my skin at night.

We may have to fog the house.

We’ve killed about twenty in the last two weeks.

I’m allergic to corn.

I had chips at lunch and popcorn last night after dinner.

This morning I woke up and my hand was so sore, I couldn’t curl my fingers. (It’s some better now.)

I gained two pounds from what I ate, too.

So I now know that it is corn I am allergic to. (Remember I was wondering if it was corn or wheat?) I may have had a bit of wheat yesterday morning, but if I did it was far less than I usually have.

ABC’s person of the week: An incredible woman

Julia Burney-Witherspoon is a police officer. On a burglary alarm, she found a warehouse full of 10,000 books which were going to be destroyed. As a low SES growing up, she knew that poor people don’t have books. She talked about how people think of no clothes, no food, but don’t think of books.

I think of books.

And I’ve given hundreds… But this woman found thousands to pass out.

Yeah for her!

Second question; whatever it was

M: get spending under control
We Rs came to change government, and gov’t
earmarking as a gateway drug
$3million taxpayer
As president of United States, I have a pen. I’m going to veto. I will
Obama asked for 132 million in earmarks.
That’s how we differ.
That’s one of the fundamental differences.

O: Earmarks process has been abused
Also right that special interests and lobbyists are introducing
Earmarks account for $18 billion
McC is proposing $300 billion tax cuts
in his tax plan, CEOs would get $700K in reduced taxes
Grow the economy from the bottom up
95% tax cut
fill up on gas that is killing them
a better recipe for economic growth

M: O suspended earmarks after running for pork barrel
It’s only $18 billion… it’s tripled… gone out of control… corrupts people
People under indictment
I was called the sheriff… I’ve fought against it
O is proposing $800 billion in new spending
I want to cut spending, I want to keep taxes low

O: I don’t know where John is getting his figures
stop loopholes, stop tax cuts for those shipping overseas
health care for everyone in US
When I am president, I will go line by line to make sure we are spending money … well
Tax policies at people who are doing well
continuation of eight years… another four years

M: example, business tax
right now US business, 2nd highest in US
if you are a business person, you are going to go to lower tax
you’ll be able to create jobs, invest
I want to cut it so that businesses will invest here
The US Senate will take up… a resolution with 2000 earmarks
O is a recent convert after requesting $932 million
%5K for healthcare
double dividend for every dependent child in US

O: Here’s what I can tell
95% can make a tax cut
if you make less than 250,000 you won’t see one dime
on paper business taxes are high
loopholes written into tax code with McC’s help
people out there who are working everyday
it’s not like you want to close the loophole
health credit, what he doesn’t tell you, intends to tax health benefits
your employer will have to pay taxes on health benefits

M: I know we have to, but
walking the walk, talking the talk
festooned with breaks…
Look at our records
O voted for it.
I voted against it
Who has tried to keep spending under control?
tax system that is fair
Two tax brackets
New or existing tax codes
Look at the record…
O has shifted
He has voted in the US Senate
to increase taxes on people as low as $42K

O: oil company profits
if we give taxes to oil companies, other people wouldn’t get it
energy bill

First question at the debate

At this very moment tonight, where do you stand on this economic plan?

Obama starts answering by thanking Ole Miss. “two wars” “worse financial crisis since Great Depression” “how’s it going to effect Main Street?” Move swiftly, wisely… a series of proposals
1. oversight
2. taxpayers at risk, have possibility of getting back
3. none of that money going to CEOs
4. help homeowners
This is a final verdict of eight years of Bush.
“shredded regulations”

No ums yet.

He must have expected this question.

McCain- Senator Kennedy in hospital.
Thanks University of Mississippi.
Not feeling too great about a lot of things lately, but feeling better tonight.
Seeing Rs and Ds sitting down together and trying to fix the problem.
Failures on Main Street… greatest fiscal crisis in our time, and I’ve been around a while.
options for loans to failing businesses
Went back to Washington and met with the Republicans… House Republicans that decided they would be part of the solution to the crisis.
This is the end of the beginning…
eliminate our dependence on foreign oil

Obama: optimistic about coming together on a plan
How did we get into this?
2 years ago, I warned.
Last year, I wrote to the sec of treasury…
Yes, we have to solve this problem short term. “shredded regulations”

McCain: warned about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
A lot of saw this train wreck coming
issue of responsibility
Dwight Eisenhower… wrote two letters… one was to D-Day success
another was a resignation for the failures at Normandy
I’ve been heavily criticized for holding people accountable
We need to hold them accountable and reward people who succeed
Corruption or failure to carry out responsibility are rewarded
“As Pres of US, will held responsibility”

Obama: years what’s good for Wall Street?
not what’s good for Main Street?
health care system that is broken
energy system
Well, uh…

McCain “Are you afraid I couldn’t hear him.”

Obama: I fundamentally disagree… for the nurse, teacher, police officer… at end of each month, having trouble paying their mortgage

McCain: we’ve got to fix the system. WE have fundamental problem
Wall Street is paying the price
Obviously stricter interpretation and consolidation of regulatory…
American worker- most innovative, best worker
fundamental belief in the American

Practicing Diversity

It is my impression that sometimes when there is a lot of emphasis on diversity, we miss the things people have in common and even isolate them somewhat, but separating them from others who are not diverse in the same ways.

Does anyone else have this feeling? Or is this an issue that I don’t understand because of my ethnicity?

I was reading College Englishtoday and that issue came up. It also came up when I was reading through Component A of an online class I am taking. Am I the only one struggling with a feeling that we are dividing our students more than we are helping them by focusing on their ethnicity?

This doesn’t mean I don’t want to value my students for who they are and what culture they come from, but I wonder if sometimes some people emphasize this too much.

The former adjunct liaison at CC1 used to have a post up somewhere in the lost world of the internet on the cultural differences between low socio-economic system students and middle class socio-economic system teachers. I learned a lot from that, despite having been a low SES growing up. And I can see why that cultural difference matters.

But does it really matter if we’re “red, brown, yellow, black, or white?” I don’t think that culture necessarily matches ethnicity.

A friend of mine who grew up in the barrio, when he was about 13 was in Houston and approached a guy whom he assumed was from a similar culture. He greeted him with the lingo of the ‘hood, and the fellow said, in very correct English, “I am sorry. I did not understand you.” Skin color is not culture.

Skin color may inform culture. But I wonder if it ought to be as big a deal as it is.

Why is a white woman writing about black women “racial theft” (as per Laurie Grobman’s article) but a woman writing about a man isn’t gender theft?

There are lots of points I want to make about practicing diversity in general, but I am often afraid to talk about the topic or ask questions for fear that I will be seen as oppressive and racist. So I can’t even ask…

The financial crisis

I’ve been staying away from this because it doesn’t appear that there is a good answer anywhere.

However, I do think that it is clear that the crisis is not sufficient to cause people to get rid of their partisan politics. The Dems are bankrolling left extremist groups with this.

Here’s a ten minute background to the crisis.

II Chronicles chapter 7
“13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

I think this financial crisis is a plague.

Obama Video: Something he doesn’t want you to see

Obama is trying to stop this video from being aired.

Other blogs on the topic

Here is Front Sight’s round up of Obama’s vote. I’m not seeing anything on Obama wanting to tax guns.

Here’s Earned Media’s round up and again nothing on taxes.

According to the Washington Post, not exactly a bastion of anti-Obama’ism, said that the taxes on guns was based on Obama’s support of a 500% increase on the types of weapons that have been used in crimes. (Which is just about everything.)

So, his support of a gun tax isn’t new. But he hasn’t said he has changed his position either.

I would say that the speaker’s being disingenuous to say “now I learn,” but he might just be learning.

ROFL: “no such thing as media bias”

Stop the ACLU has quotes and comments on David Broder of WaPo‘s lecture on how there is no such thing as media bias.

Oh really?

What about these graphs showing the amount of positive versus negative press that Obama has gotten?

How about the incredibly long list of Palin Derangement Syndrome articles?

Then there is the New York Times’ examples of media bias.

Or, from a list I made a while back but haven’t published, there are:

The press is in the tank for McCain according to HuffPo. HuffPo article here.

Fox News admits bias says Slate.

Political Double Standard by the Common Room

Left wing commenters on the MSNBC firing of Olbermann and Matthews from the anchor position

The SF Chronicle says it is Democrat, “Democrats are on defense. And we don’t do well on defense.”

Smears in the the MSM.


Obama’s Edge in the Coverage Race, which is on the WaPo itself by a WaPo author who says that, yes, there is more about Obama but it is not bias because
1. Obama is more interesting
2. Obama is better looking
3. All coverage necessary is done

Don’t believe me? It is from this first article from WaPo online‘s author who says that Obama has more pictures than McCain (even though O’s only go back to 2003 and McC’s go back to 1995).

Factor one: Obama is the first African American slated to win a major party’s nomination; McCain has been around a long time and ran for president before.

… the best pictures get used while being fair to both candidates.

Obama and his backgrounds are simply more photogenic. And my guess is that he smiles more, and that makes a better photo. This is not a partisan statement. Remember Ronald Reagan? Like Reagan’s staff, Obama’s campaign has a genius for putting him in places that make good photo ops.

That might explain why Broder feels there is no such thing as media bias. He works for WaPo, and everyone knows that better looking, black, new Democratic candidates OUGHT to get more coverage.

Be careful what you say on the phone.

A person I was speaking with today learned that lesson.

I had called her and been told I had to talk to person B. I called person B and talked to them. They said it was okay with them but the first person (A) would have to make the final decision. So B transferred me over to A. Apparently A’s phone said B was calling, so she answered this way.

“So, [my name redacted]”

I think I said “yes”

“What’s up with her? She is so rude. We’ve talked about her before.”

I didn’t say anything here. I was wondering if I should hang up, so that she wouldn’t be embarrassed to find out she was talking to me. But I didn’t think that would work. So I didn’t say anything.

Person A figured out maybe I wasn’t person B after all. “This is B, right?”

“No,” I said.

“Oh, I’m so sorry.”

“Ms. B transferred me over.”

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“She said that if there was room in the class, I could take it.”

“Oh, yes. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s at 4:30 today, isn’t it?”

“Yes, I’m so sorry. It’s at 4:30 today in [place redacted].”

“All right. I will see you there.”

“Yes, I’ll look forward to seeing you there.”



Person A has had me in a class before. I have never been intentionally rude to her. I didn’t know I had been unintentionally rude to her. She’s a very smiley, nice person. (Which now makes me wonder if she’s a total fake, having been on the receiving end of gossip about myself.)

I don’t believe I have spoken to her in person more than twice in the class before.

She didn’t impress me as a teacher but, though I mentioned it to friends, I did not talk to anyone at the college about it.

So I don’t know what she thought I did that was so rude she would have multiple discussions with someone I don’t think I have ever even met, but…

I guess I will apologize to her in class tonight. I certainly did not intend to do anything to upset her.

She probably didn’t intend to do anything to upset me either. She certainly had no intention of telling me to my face I was rude. But she has upset me. And I’m sure she is embarrassed herself and not too thrilled that I will be in the class with her this evening.

Oh well.

… I wonder how many other people she has talked to about my being rude. I don’t know person B. Maybe everyone on campus who knows A thinks I am rude.

What do you do in a situation like this?

Update: At least it wasn’t as bad as this (prank) phone call gone bad. Mature content. Bad language.

Why are boys doing poorly in school?

Peg Tyre of Newsweek thinks she may have part of the answer.

Instead of unstructured free play, parents now schedule their kids’ time from dawn till dusk (and sometimes beyond.) By age 4, an ever-increasing number of children are enrolled in preschool. There, instead of learning to get along with other kids, hold a crayon and play Duck, Duck, Goose, children barely out of diapers are asked to fill out work sheets, learn computation or study Mandarin. The drumbeat for early academics gets even louder when they enter “real” school. Veteran teachers will tell you that first graders are now routinely expected to master a curriculum that, only 15 years ago, would have been considered appropriate for second, even third graders. The way we teach children has changed, too. In many communities, elementary schools have become test-prep factories—where standardized testing begins in kindergarten and “teaching to the test” is considered a virtue. At the same time, recess is being pushed aside in order to provide extra time for reading and math drills. So is history and opportunities for hands-on activities—like science labs and art. Active play is increasingly frowned on—some schools have even banned recess and tag. In the wake of school shootings like the tragedy at Virginia Tech, kids who stretch out a pointer finger, bend their thumb and shout “pow!” are regarded with suspicion and not a little fear.

Homeschooling is a blessing in this area. You can do all the activities and still not have their day scheduled from dawn till dusk. Or you can opt out of lots of activities and only pick one or two.

Articles to read on Belief and Homeschooling

Look Who’s Irrational Now:

“What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.

The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?

The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Unschooling, also titled by bloggers as “Giving Homeschooling a Bad Name”:

Benny’s never heard of un-kindergarten though. That’s because I made up the term last night.

We were out with friends having drinks. Benny was with us, as usual. We’d hit that lull time around nine o’clock, post happy hour and pre-late night revelers when New York City bartenders don’t seem to mind five-year-olds playing with cars and sipping cranberry juice near the bar.

Homeschooling is no longer (and probably never was) just a bunch of Bible-thumping Seventh Day Adventists
Our friends have no kids, but were curious about our decision not to send Benny to school. They’re aware enough to know that homeschooling is no longer (and probably never was) just a bunch of Bible-thumping Seventh Day Adventists who teach their kids at home in order to avoid the heathens at public school. Our friends also understand that parents homeschool their kids in different ways and for different reasons.

What is influencing American politics?

The Frontier, says William Tucker in The American Spectator.

In 1893, Frederick Jackson Turner published a seminal essay in which he argued that having an open frontier on our westward boundary had been a decisive influence in shaping the American character. The frontier experience had leveled the class traditions from Europe, proffered opportunity to the common individual, and created a spirit of independence that had constantly posed a challenge to entrenched Eastern elites. Populist movements that had continually reinvigorated American politics had all arisen on the frontier.

It is no accident that this year the two Republican candidates come from thinly populated Western frontier states. Sarah Palin perfectly embodies this frontier spirit and both candidates are considered “mavericks,” earning their spurs by taking on entrenched interests. Obama, on the other hand — though he may not realize it — draws his strongest support from Eastern colleges and established hierarchical institutions. He is the candidate of the non-profit sector, that odd hybrid of a capitalist society in which educated people try to claim money from profit-making institutions and “turn it to good use,” usually following their own proclivities.

He discusses many other influences, including race and money.

It is an interesting and, perhaps, foundational read.

2 pts on Astroturfing

The Jawa Report has a GREAT article up about the fake-grassroots (hence astroturfing) spread of a video lying about Sarah Palin.

People believe these things. But the Winner family and their company have been called on this. Is someone cc’ing the FEC? It’s a violation of election campaign finance laws.

Gas Panics

Because of Ike (and previously unprepared people not filling up despite the fact that everyone knew it was coming), there was no gas in Conroe on Monday. Gas lines where I live were long. Gas lines all over town had one entrance and one exit.

But we weren’t the only ones. And we had an excuse. (Ike.)

Nashville also had a gas panic. I wonder if someone in Tennessee was passing on the same rumors I heard here.