Sunday, September 30, 2007

Depression and suicide

They've found a genetic link between some anti-depressants and in increase in thoughts of suicide.

But what they didn't find was any link between thoughts of suicide and actual suicide.

That's the part I find interesting although it's not the part that gets written up.

It's my guess that people who report suicidal thoughts are those who don't want to commit suicide but are having thoughts and want help fighting those thoughts.

People who actually are thinking that them might want to commit suicide don't report the thoughts because they know they'll get locked up and lose the option.

I'm just guessing.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I'm watching a Fox News panel of lawyers talk about a "Constitutional Right" to a public school education. They dont appear to understand the difference between the consitution, the ADA, and various laws that mandate access to education. A federal statute isn't the constitution.

Idiots. They're all idiots.

Lifestyle and Political Blogs


Which side of the river will the Fence between Texas and Mexico be? On the US side, I'd suppose.

Do we want to effectively cede the Rio Grande River to Mexico.

When I was a young boy I went fishing in that River.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Intellectual honesty

I made a comment on a post by Ed Brayton. Just in case the comment doesn't stick around, here it is.
I stopped reading at

legally stipulating that the information it contains is accurate, which makes it definitive in this situation.

because legally definitive isn't the same thing as factually definitive.

I never thought much of Woody Jenkins. But you don't advance your arguement by claiming that legally stipulating something makes it factually accurate. People legally stipulate to things that aren't true often and you should know that. Pretending otherwise makes you just as intellectually dishonest as Woody Jenkins is.

Your conclusions are probably right. But try an intellectually honest arguement next time.

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Friday, September 28, 2007

Put him in jail

A 13 year old boy in Louisiana steals 32c from an unlocked car in a parking lot.

He gets arrested.

What do you think? Do you think he's white?

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

The video taped little girl in Nevada

Well, the tape was in Nevada, we don't know where the little girl is, or where the tape was made.

What we do know is that the Nye County Sheriff thinks that polygraph tests mean something, which tell us that the investigation is run by complete idiots. It's pretty much a sure thing they'll screw it up.

Polygraph and voice stress machines have zero reliability, no matter what the Nye Country Sheriff says.

I'm watching the press conference right now. The idiot Sheriff is comparing it to "Who Shot JR?".

He's telling us that the tape was made in Las Vegas. The girl lives in Las Vegas and the girls mother recognizes furniture in the video.

The thing that's getting skipped over in the current coverage is that they guy who found the tape is still in jail because he flunked a polygraph test. The Sheriff is talking about him having been on probation for another crime and keeps avoiding telling us that the crime is a child support dispute. What crap.

Tammy Bruce has a post about the case.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Americans at home

Crooked Timber asks why the US has Tuesday elections instead of Saturday.

It's because that's when people are home, available to vote.

My free sitemeter tracks visitors and gives me a daily count for the last 30 days (you have to use a pay service to get more history than that).

In the last month my Tuesday traffic has been between 2 and 4 times the level of the traffic on the previous Saturday.

The Tuesday/Monday effect is much more dampened. There's a slightly larger traffic on Tuesdays, but not by a lot and some weeks the Monday traffic is larger than the Tuesday traffic.

People do leave town for the weekend. Tuesday is probably a good bet for catching them at home (I wonder if telemarketers have researched this?).

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Can't be trusted around women

I got a kick out of this from FemaleScienceProfessor
As it turns out, one dinner that I organized for a visitor I had never met before would have involved the visitor’s dining with an all-female group (not including me; I had another commitment that night). I didn’t think anything of the gender ratio of the planned dinner party until someone who knew the visitor from a previous institution told me that she respected his research greatly but that he should not be alone with women in a social setting. She and other women had some bad experiences with him at social events at their previous institution.

The funny part is the idea that a bunch of professional women need someone to protect them from one old man. It reminds me of something that happened when my wife (now ex-wife) was working at CNA Insurance in Chicago.

She managed a data entry department (this was a long time ago, way before everybody had a computer terminal on their desk) with two shifts. The CNA building was on the southeast corner of the loop, and in the late 70's it was not a good neighborhood after dark. To give you an idea of what kind of neighborhood it was, if she worked late and left the building after dark they'd assign a security guard to walk across the street to the el platform who waited on the platform with her until she got on a train. That kind of neighborhood.

Most of the night shift drove to work and parked in the Grant Park underground garage. At night that garage was even less safe than the streets and they never walked back to their cars alone. One night one of the night shift had some reason to leave work early and two co-workers walked her to her car. (The night shift was all women, and pretty much all black women. It was 1976 or 77).

On the elevator ride down a building security guard got on and patted one of the women on the butt. They responded violently, literally leaving him laying on the elevator floor bleeding.

They went to the garage, the two escorts returned to work, finished their shift and didn't bother to tell anyone about the encounter with the security guard.

When Jeannie (the ex) got to work the next morning she was greeted by her boss with instructions to fire the women on her night shift who beat up a security guard.

She suggested that they wait until they showed up for work that night and see what they said about it. Once they told their story they weren't fired. Neither was the security guard.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs


I ran across this blog post on teaching a college class as a substitute for another faculty member. It reminded me of the first college class I taught.

I wasn't on the teaching faculty, I had faculty rank but had a full time research job in the Division of Economic Research. I was a part-time doctoral student in Quantitative Business Analysis. I wasn't very far along in the program but knew a lot of the grad students who were further along than me because I'd had a student research assistant job as an undergraduate that given me an office in the basement with all the graduate students.

So, I'd known Phil for a a pretty good while when he called me at my desk at 8:15 one morning. He taught an 8:30 class, the intro sophomore course in QBA, and his car had broken down. This was the last class before an exam and he didn't want to cancel it. He had no lecture planned, it was just a Q/A session on the test material. He wanted me to cover the class for him. That time of morning there really wasn't anyone else he was going to be able to get hold of.

I balked. 1) I'd never taught a class. 2) I'd never read the textbook he used. 3) I wasn't sure I was going to be off-the-top-of-my-head familiar with the material.

"You'll do fine, there's no actual lecture to give". "Shirley (the QBA department secretary) will get you a copy of the book, Chapter 6 and 7". And, "It's just Central Limit Theorem and t-test stuff, you know all that stuff just fine".

Against my better judgement I caved and agreed to meet the class.

Everything went fine for about 10 minutes.

Then a young woman with a very small, quiet voice asked a question from the back of the room that I couldn't hear well. So I stepped a little further into the room, asked her to repeat the question and focused all my attention on her.

That's when I discovered the importance of keeping eye contact with the whole room, engaging the class, making it at least seem like you're addressing everybody. Clearly I was addressing just that one student so the rest of the class took a break and began talking among themselves. A faint background roar began and quickly grew to the point where I still couldn't hear the young woman's question.

I stepped back and said to the class "Just shut up. If you don't want to be here then just leave. If you're going to stay then shut up." They left.

Everybody walked out except the one young woman in the back of the room.

Without the distraction of other students it was easy to then address her question. She came to the blackboard with me and I went through the answer in detail until she seemed to grasp it.

Later, when Phil showed up, he stopped by my office to ask how it had gone. I told him what happened. He asked what her question had been. I told him. He put it on the test.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs


I'm watching a History Channel show about the TVA building dams. I'd always thought the popular wisdom about the TVA was that it's purpose was to bring electricity and the 20th century to the hillbillies.

That might of been the result. But the purpose was to bring cheap electric power to an Alcoa alumninum plant.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Cops are scum

The ones who do this sort of thing are scum, the ones who don't but tolerate it when some do are scum. That pretty much covers all of them.

Protect and Serve.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A country of laws

What does it mean to be a country of laws?

hattip to How Apealling.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What did the guy actually say?

Contrary to the PC opinion, he did not say there are no gays in Iran. The translator interpreted what he said as "In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country".

One thing that we should keep in mind is that he doesn't speak English. We get a translation done on the fly and educated people (that's us, right?) are supposed to understand that a strict, literal interpretation of such a translation isn't always going to be meaningful.

One interpretation of what he said is that Iran doesn't have the kind of open homosexual communities as are found in the United States. Somehow that just seems like more rational understanding of what he said than trying to pretend he said that nobody in Iran is a homosexual.

I know that we have to demonize him so we can justify a really stupid war with Iran, but do we have to show our own stupidity when we do it?

On a side note, I've heard that Iran isn't the only country with the Death Penalty. Is that true?

I liked this post. Pointing out that at times the Iranian nutcase sounded like he was Governer of Texas.

Althouse seems to think that when the Iran government executes someone that it's murder. What does she think when Bush signs a death warrent for an execution?

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Aren't they just so special

Hat Tip to The Agitator for this link.

Here's the websites self-description.
If you are a police officer, trooper, court officer, correction officer, telecommunicator, highway patrol, federal agent, or any other type of police (peace) officer either full-time, part-time or retired that has been disrespected or insulted by another police agency (officer) by not receiving some sort of professional courtesy, please email staff (at) with the information. If you have been arrested for a crime and want to use this as a podium to rant, go somewhere else.

It's almost a parody. It seems that what they mean by professional courtesy is to never give a cop a ticket, or even an ex-cop, or the spouse of a cop. Really pathetic. Maybe it is a parody.

If it's not a parody they should all be in prison. It's not safe to allow clowns like these run around on the streets.

Ed Brayton seems convinced it's not parody. I'm still not convinced.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Just a walking down the street

If you were walking down the street and saw a bullet on the ground would you pick it up? Would you pick it up if you were a 14 year old boy?


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

USS Harwood

I was on the bridge of the USS Hull just a few hundred yards away from the USS Harwood when they got hit.

We were the two destroyers operating on the Gun Line of the DMZ that afternoon. The Harwood was an older destroyer fitted with 5"38 guns, we had 5"54 guns. The difference was the barrel length, they had barrels 38x the bore, we had barrels 54x the bore. The bigger guns also had a higher rate of fire, but this afternoon it was really the range of the longer barrel that mattered.

The Harwood received a fire assignment a ways inland that was going to require them to get very close to shore. The bad guys had mobile shore artillery hidden in the tree lines behind the beach so getting too close to the beach had a real danger attached to it. I was on the bridge when our Captain offered to take the target because we could reach it without getting so close to the beach. The Harwood declined the offer. I got the impression that their Captain was a little insulted.

We didn't have a target at the time. I was the bridge messenger and went out on the starboard wing to watch the shooting.

They were very close in to the beach and it didn't take long before they started drawing fire. Four splashes near the fantail, I saw a column of water from a 5th splash on the other side of the Harwood, and a direct hit on the after gun mount. We immediately began firing and rushed the beach, laying down down shells along the length of the tree line behind the beach as rapidly as we could, the Harwood took to sea at full speed, once they got out of range of the shore guns we also disengaged, heading away from the beach area.

The Navy kind of had a policy to try to not lose a ship to a country with no Navy, so the shore-to-ship battles never lasted long.

The Harwood action resulted in one Bronze Star on the Harwood. I suspect it had a V attached. I don't know what the action was that earned the Star, but I suspect that running across an open deck to tend to wounded sailors while the ship was both under fire and taking high speed evasive action would qualify as heroic, even in the Army. (It really is hard to stay on your feet when a small ship is making a sharp turn while under heavy accelration and the deck is wet.)

I was watching the whole thing. I counted 6 incoming rounds, counting the direct hit. A Stars and Stripes story I read later said between 20-30 incoming. That story also said 4 dead. The Harwood website says 2 purple hearts. Don't believe everything you read in a newspaper.

The thing about the story that never got written about was that it didn't have to happen. It happened because of career competition between to ship captians. It's just another reason I'm not real impressed by senior military officers.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Monday, September 24, 2007

Car theft

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

More on Bronze Stars

My response to a comment on my post about Petraeus and his Bronze Star got long and I thought I'd just make it a new post.

Here's the comment.
D. L. Bailey said...

I thank you for your service to the nation in the Navy.

What you may not know is that the Navy, because it fights at "long standoff" and nobody dares to shoot at our ships any more, has a different standard for awarding the Bronze Star for Valor. But it is always awarded for participation in combat.

The Army expects that participation to be very direct indeed, always, always under risk of life and serious injury from enemy fire.

As you know, Admiral Boorda killed himself when his wearing of a valor medal was brought into question. It is a serious thing.

It is particularly serious when a person who makes a claim of valor uses that claim for propaganda. And when the claim is untrue, this is an outrage.

The medal in question is not the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, but the "Valor Device" which indicates combat heroism.

Let's take it step at a time. First
I thank you for your service to the nation in the Navy.

Usually when somebody says this I think they're just trying to be polite, and I let it pass.

But, after reading the rest of the comment I don't think he was being polite. I think he was being patronizing. So, I won't let it pass.

I was not serving my country. My country betrayed me, Vietnam was not a threat to my country in any way. I was just taking care of myself by keeping myself alive in the best way I knew how without having to surrender my citizenship rights.
What you may not know is that the Navy, because it fights at "long standoff" and nobody dares to shoot at our ships any more, has a different standard for awarding the Bronze Star for Valor. But it is always awarded for participation in combat.

This is just condescending bullshit. The Bronze Star (with a V) is not a Navy or Army award, it's a military award, and the standards re the same for all services.

I have no idea what is meant by "long standoff". I assume he's making reference to the lack of naval guns these days, the gunships of old have been replaced by missile carrying frigates. Vietnam was mostly guns.

Crewmembers of the USS Hull were awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for combat action in Feb, Mar, and May of 1968. Incoming shells came close enough to cover me with water from on explosion just off our bow.

My ship was a DD, which means guns, and it operated between Cap Lay and Tiger Island, about a mile offshore on the northern edge of the DMZ. IT was called the Gun Line and was about a mile long. There was typically two destroyers and a cruiser on station, with a couple of swift boats south of Cap Lay. No Navy vessel in the Gun Line escaped enemy fire. We didn't lose any ships, although some ships did take direct hits and lost some sailors and we did lose some boats (and crews).

I really don't need to be patronized about this.

At one point the exchange of gunfire got so intense that the barrels on our 5 inch guns literally melted and we had to transfer to plane guard duty for carriers on Yankee Station for a week until we could get a repair slot in the Subic Bay repair yards.

Our MUC (meterious unit citation) cited 7 shore-to-ship exchanges. The 8th wasn't an exchange, we just got some small arms fire from shore when we got to close to Tigar Island and we didn't return fire, we just moved away from the island.

As far as ships being in a shooting war these days, I guess you never heard of USS Cole (DDG, the G stands for guided missiles).

Our Captain was authorized a V on his Bronze Star because of direct combat, which is the same criteria as all services. A specific act is required, but it's only required that it be heroic if the act is part of a support activity rather than direct combat.
“Combat V” – is a United States military award authorized by the military services as an attachment to certain awards and decorations denoting receipt of an award by an individual for the awards specific criteria, but, additionally, is awarded in recognition of a valorous act (the “V”) performed during direct combat with an enemy force. It may also denote an accomplishment of a heroic nature in direct support of operations against an enemy force.

I don't know your background, but it may be that you were a junior officer authorized to recommend Bronze Stars for enlisted personnel and you are under the impression that the criteria you were given for such awards is an Army Wide criteria. It's not. It's a criteria for enlisted heroism. Heroism of 2 star Generals is defined in a very different way, with a very different criteria.

I'll be charitable and assume you just never really paid a lot of attention and didn't really understand that.
The Army expects that participation to be very direct indeed, always, always under risk of life and serious injury from enemy fire.

Well, duh. I'm not sure I'm clear on the concept that it's possible to not be at risk of life and serious injury when they're shooting at you. When you're taking enemy fire you're taking enemy fire and there's a serious risk.

A friend of mine, for example, was a Navy BM3 and assigned as a bouncer in an EM club at a Marine Fire Base in Vietnam. He was in the bar and hid under a table when he heard incoming mortar rounds. He still took a hit, still got a Purple Heart. No bronze star though, E4's who hide under tables don't get bronze stars. A two star general who took mortar shrapnel in his ass while he was in an Officer's Club would likely have gotten both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. His command to "shut the door" would have been considered an act of Valor. That's just the way things work.

The medal in question is not the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, but the "Valor Device" which indicates combat heroism.

Definitions of heroic depend on pay grades.

The commendation for Petraeus's award has not been released. So the definition applied to him isn't clear cut. But heroic 2 star generals get higher ranking medals than Bronze Stars.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Columbia and ROTC

I'm just really getting tired of hearing that silly mantra of them not letting ROTC on campus.

They don't give the Army an academic department (which is what ROTC is, when I was in college you got credit for it). They don't give an academic department to Iran either.

The Iranian president spoke as part of a program they have for world leaders. He's the Head of State of a country. If you can find an ROTC instructor who's also a head of state of a country I'm thinking maybe he can speak in the same forum.

Attack the man on his merits, or lack of them, not on some silly nonsense argument as to why students shouldn't be allowed to discover the merits.

The guy actually came across as more rational that the President of Columbia University, who came across as a mealy mouthed fund raiser rather than the leader of a major center of academics.

Ann Althouse on the event. She just repeats Hannity nonsense as if it means something.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

What's wrong with cops

From a blog by a small town Texas cop who seems to lack understanding of fundemental constitutional protections.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my "frequent flyers" returned to town. He apparently had forgotten the promise I made him about a year ago. I told him that everytime I saw him back in town, that he would go to jail.

Predicting that a hatibual criminal will return to jail is one thing. Promising that you'll be the instrument that puts him in jail is something else entirely.

There's no way in hell this guy should be a policeman. It typical that he's too much of a coward to post under his actual name.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs


That self-important clown at Columbia who's introducing the Iranian President is condeming Iran because they execute minors.

So does the US.

Maybe we should invade ourselves?


The speech started off with an introduction that was later correctly characterized by the Iranian President as rude. It made the President of Columbia look uncharitable and small-minded, and politically weak. He was clearly caving to critics of Columbia trying to upgrade the public and political image of Columbia. In doing so he did some damage to his own image I think.

I laughed out loud when the Iranian nutcase forgave him for his lack of politeness. I thought that was really funny, and the best way to deal with it.

What did we learn from the whole thing? (the intro, then the speech, then the Q/A).

Well we learned some things we already knew -- that for example, we're the enemy of freedom from the point of view of an Iranian. The US supported the dictator that they overthrew, the US supported Saddam in his war with Iran, the US fights Iranian attempts to acheive self sufficieny on the world economic stage. Of course they think of us as the enemy -- we are.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What's going on in Jena?

Somebody finally published a pretty good step by step review of what's known and not known about what's going on in Jena criminal justice wise.

Although I'm not sure I buy it, it also seems like it's possible that there was no racial message in the nooses at all, except in the minds of some older observers.

Louisiana is 33% black. Jena is 12% black.

I've lived in Louisiana, in Mississippi, in East Texas, and in South Texas. It's been my observation that the higher the percentage of blacks (or in the case of South Texas hispanics) the more historic race conflict there has been. When the group in power is not a clear majority then it tends to use more heavy handed methods to stay in power.

That makes me doubt that the motives of the prosecutor are racial. I'm convinced that there is prosecutorial misconduct, I think intentional overcharging is serious misconduct, although most lawyers probably don't agree with me since overcharging seems to be the norm. But I'm becoming less and less convinced that race is the motive.

One observation about Jena that I think is odd, is that it seems to have an excess of teenage boys. There appears to be about 4 times as many boys in their late teens than girls in that age groups. Is there a military base in town or something? It's the county seat, are jail inmates counted as part of the population? That's probably the case, over 12% of the population is institutionalized.

Bottom line, I guess, I don't know what's going on.

Another view on Jena.

A white, female, law professor doesn't understand it.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Petraeus and Chest Gedunk

Gedunk is a Navy term for junk food. Candy, chips, and pretty ribbons bought at the ship's store is called gedunk.

That's what Petraeus wears on his chest -- Gedunk.

He does have a Bronze Star. He got it when he was a 2-star general. Trust me on this one, if a senior officer engages in an act of individual heroism he gets a silver star at a minimum. Bronze stars are for enlisted men who charge machine guns, for junior officers who engage in man-to-man combat without running, and senior officers who serve in a combat zone and don't have a hero medal yet.

That's just the way it works.

I don't know if it's true or not, but I was told that the ship I served in VN was the most decorated destroyer in VN at the time. I doubt that's true however.

What is true is that decorations where given out in almost perfect rank order. The ships captian got a bronze star. E3's and E4's got letters of commendation (I was not what you'd call a good sailor, I didn't get one). In between the jr. officers and sr. enlisted singled out for awards got Navy Acheivement medals. That's the way it goes.

Our captian did nothing personally heroic, nobody did, but the ship did a good job and he was in command and it was his turn so he got a Bronze Star. It had a V attached because the command did see active combat, he was in a shooting war.

The point is, when a two-star general gets a bronze star it doesn't mean much at all. In fact it means less than not much, it means he didn't really do anything heroic at all. When a Navy Lt. gets a bronze star it means he actually stuck his neck out and put himself personally in harms way. If you run across someone who got a Bronze Star as an E4 then he's probably an Audie Murphy reincarnation.

Petraeus has a chest covered with gedunk, not actual combat awards for heroism. That's the truth.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs


Althouse seems to think that the Petraeus/Betray Us ad was poison.

I wonder if she thinks that it was more poison than Bush wanting to equate criticism of a political hack who happens to wear a uniform (which is what the mans job is) with criticism of the US Military?

I think the very idea that a guy with 4 stars and a chest full of gedunk who is in a job that required approval by the President is the embodiment of the military. He's nothing of the sort, he serves the President and not the Army. He's a good soldier and will do what he's told, not what's good for the Army or for the country.

Move On is right in that his pretense of serving the country is disgusting and a betrayal. Serving the President is not the same as serving the country. Does Althouse really think that Rove starting a rumor that Ann Richards was a lesbian was service to the country?

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Texas History

I caught the first 5 minutes of The Alamo, the 2004 version. It's awful. It doesn't seem they get one damn thing right.

It starts out with Crockett still a congressman from Tennessee and Houston trying to sell land. Crockett is talking to Houston about the new Republic.

Two problems with that, right at the git go. Houston wasn't a land promoter, Austin was the land promoter. And the talk of a Republic didn't really come until later.

Also, they have Houston saying that "Tennessee can go to Hell". It was Crockett who said that, after losing an election.

Then they flash forward to the revolution, and portray Houston as a drunk. Bowie was the drunk, Houston drank a lot later in his life, but not at the time of the revolution.

Then they show Travis and his wife in Texas talking about a divorce. Travis had left his wife back in Alabama, having left to escape a manslaughter charge after he killed his wife's boyfriend.

I changed channels at that point. I'm not sure they got one detail right.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cops should not be given sharp objects

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Friday, September 21, 2007

Banks and the FBI

Somebody please tell me this is a joke.

I'm told this isn't a joke. I'm told that some banks in Las Vegas have a "no hats" policy. This is just insane.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

All hands

I ran across this post on playing Taps at a funeral and it reminded me of "All Hands", a bosun pipe tune played on Navy ships before General quarters.

When a combat ship goes to general quarters (combat is eminent) the watch bosun mate is supposed to play "All hands" on bosun's pipe, a very small flute like instrument.

Here's an example of what "All Hands" sounds like.

Then at the end of the tune he says "General Quarters. General Quarters. All hands man your battle stations". Repeat that a few times.

The first time my destroyer went to General Quarters back in 1968 we were taking incoming shore artillery and the bosun blew a single quick note, not a drawn out note, no tune, then said, "This is not a drill, this is not a drill".

He never did get around to saying General Quarters. The crew pretty much figured it out though.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Rewrite of history

I was watching a History Channel story on Charles Whitman, the sniper in the University of Texas Tower (1966). They claimed that the UT Tower sniper was the event that prompted the formation of SWAT teams.

That's nonsense.

It's true that the Tower incident was cited as an rationalization for the need for SWAT teams when people later tried to justify them. But it had nothing to do with the cause.

The cause was the Watts riots and general racial unrest in Los Angeles, it was considered a useful tactical weapon to use against the Black Panthers in LA.

Firepower used to protect against the UT Tower sniper were mostly private weapons, from both citizens and police who went home for deer rifles. After the event it seemed pretty clear to most observers that an armed citizenry helped a lot in protecting the public.

It was in Los Angeles that they decided that heavily armed, militaristic cops were the answer, primarily because of the racial aspects of their civil unrest.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Support the troops

Recorded by Ernest Tubb and written by Tubb and an Army Sargent, Soldiers Last Letter was the kind of song that used to mean support of the troops

Ernest Tubb, Soldiers Last Letter Tabs/Chords
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Artist: Tubb Ernest
Song: Soldiers Last Letter Buy Ernest Tubb Sheet Music
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Recorded by Ernest Tubb
Written by Sgt. Henry Stewart and Ernest Tubb

[C] When the postman delivered a [G] letter
It filled her dear heart full of [C] joy
But she didn't know til she [D] read the inside
It was the [G] last one from her darling [C] boy.

Dear Mom, was the way that it started
I miss you so much, it went on
Mom, I didn't know, that I loved you so
But I'll prove it when this war is won.

I'm writing this down in a trench, Mom
Don't scold if it isn't so neat
You know as you did, when I was a kid
And I'd come home with mud on my feet.

The captain just gave us our orders
And Mom, we will carry them through.
I'll finish this letter the first chance I get
But now I'll just say I love you.

Then the mother's old hands began to tremble
And she fought against tears in her eyes
But they came unashamed for there was no name
And she knew that her darling had died.

That night as she knealt by her bedside
She prayed Lord above hear my plea
And protect all the sons that are fighting tonight
And dear God keep America free.

Like the current country music hits about the war it's got it's bit about the mission and keeping American free. But the major theme is about soldiers dying and about the people who loved them. Toby Kieth could learn something from Ernest Tubb. But he won't.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs


I ran across a thread on on tipping. ( is a newsgroup with frequent off topic threads). It reminded me of an event long ago.

I was a waiter when I was a teenager, back when a 10% tip was considered a good tip. I'm talking about somewhere around 1963. Prices where a fraction of what they are these days also. This was also before the common practice of automatically tacking on a mandatory tip for parties of 6 or more.

I was working at a family oriented resort ranch in the Texas Hill Country (Eagle Rock in Wimberley Texas). One large family did not all seat at the same time, and did not all order at the same time. They didn't eat a lot that night, but they dribbled in one at a time (I think there were 5 of them in all) and although it was all one check I had to make a lot of trips to the table to take individual orders and deliver individual items. I think a hamburger was probably about 65c back then.

Anyway, by the time it was all done I presented the head of the family with the check, $9.80. It was not the norm back then in family restaurants to pay the server but he handed me back the check with a $20 bill. I went to the cashier to pay the check for him and get his change.

The cashier (I remember her name, Mrs. Littlefield) gave me two dimes, 5 ones, and a five. I handed the 5 ones back to her and said "Don't do that, give me 2 fives".

She objected, trying to explain to me that he would need change to give me a $1 tip.

I responded, "He's going to leave me $5". She scoffed at me but gave me the five dollar bill I asked for.

He left $5.20 as a tip.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


One of the benefits to a woman from being a women's studies major is that guys who might be afraid of dating a woman smarter than them will date you.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Watch the video of that idiot student at the Florida Kerry speech.

The kid was done asking questions, he was giving his own speech, his time was up.

He wouldn't leave. They cut his mike off. He wouldn't leave. Two cops asked nice, he wouldn't leave. They tried using gentle force, he resisted. More cops, more resistance. Then a really, really big cop tried to subdue him (the really, really big black guy). The kid still resisted. He was arrested by that really, really big cop. Five of them got him on the ground. His resistance was so violent that it actually took five of them. He was told they were going to taser him if he didn't calm down. He still resisted.

I'm not in favor of tasers. They should have beat him senseless with big sticks.

I was a little flippant in the above. I don't want to sound like I'm a fan of tasers, I'm not. I don't think cops should even carry them.

But I'm still conflicted about this situation. The kid is so obnoxious. Other's feel that way too but fall on the anti-taser side anyway.

I just find it real hard to sympathize with a frat-boy who calls a really, really big black cop "bro".

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Monday, September 17, 2007

Real Christians

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Some things never change

I went to college (LSU) when Free Speech Alley was a new thing and we had David Duke as a student. This reminds me so much of those days.


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Racist cops

What a shock.


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This is exactly what we need more of

More secret prisons and secret prosecutions.

Hat tip to How Appealing for this one.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

The Children, we must protect the children

He hired Gloria Allred because he cares about the children.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Hillary is insane

According to CNN
A Clinton adviser compares the plan's so-called "individual mandate" -- which requires everyone to have health insurance -- to current rules in most states that require all drivers to purchase auto insurance, according to The Associated Press.

I've spent time in jail because I didn't have automobile liability insurance. Is that the plan?

Have health insurance or go to jail. What a country. Now we'll never be able to close Gitmo.

One reason that mandatory insurance of any kind is a really, really bad idea.

Maybe she's misrepresenting her own idea in an attempt to sell it. Maybe the point is to provide universal insurance, not to require insurance. But she's still insane.

If we really want universal health care it's not that hard to do. You just do it slowly, expand medicare, increase grants to community clinics, stop trying to impose religious dogma on medical providers, etc.

But we don't really want universal health care. We want universal control.

I'm not the only one who thinks Hillary's idea is the idea of a nutcase. She's no longer pushing universal health care, she's pushing a government mandated market for approved insurance providers.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Contraband skivvies

This is just too funny for comment.
Guards at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp found two prisoners sporting unauthorized underwear, and the U.S. military is investigating to determine how they got the contraband.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Sunday, September 16, 2007

University Systems

UC, Berkeley is a very good school. UC, Los Angeles is a good school.

The other schools in the UC system? Not so much.

UC, Irvine not being able to make up their mind whether they really want to have a law school or not is a topic being beaten to death.

Now UC, Davis has joined the ranks of the Keystone Kops branch of the UC System.

A similar point of view.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Petraeus and Truth

Are you unsure whether you can believe anything Gen. Petraeus says? Check him out this morning as he makes the circuit of the Sunday morning talk shows. He's going to be on Fox, and then he'll be on ... Oh. Just Fox.

Always be selling.

I never understood why
At his Senate confirmation hearing in January, he was widely regarded as the quintessential military professional, a credible, independent voice who stood above the political fray.

Just the fact that Bush is willing to appoint anybody for anything means they are a team player and the team they play on is Bush's team, not America's team. That's a given by now. Come on, it's been 7 years, we should have figured that out by now.

The part I like is when they pump up the medals on his chest.

An example of the Patraeus lack of candor. He's just a political hack.

Another example of his lack of candor.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Drug War

Why does this mother need to be in prison?


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Thursday, September 13, 2007


I'm watching a Law and Order re-run where one of the character's is a woman who's in the Navy, she's a quartermaster on a supply ship.

They show her on the main deck, with a clipboard checking off various supplies that are stacked on deck.

In the army a supply clerk is called a quartermaster. In the Navy a supply clerk is called a supply clerk. A quartermaster is a rating who specializes in driving the ship and navigation aids. Their duty station is the bridge or a map room adjacent to the bridge, a few levels above the main deck. The only time I ever recall seeing a quartermaster on the main deck is when they were taking some time off and fishing off the fantail.

I'm not even sure the Navy still has Quartermasters since they probably don't keep all those paper charts anymore, now having computer storage for the charts. I doubt they need to have sailors charting courses by hand all that much any more.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Tough guy jailers

Dispatches to the Culture Wars has a post about a cop who brags about how tough he is because he beats up inmates in the local jail. It was from a link provided by The Agitator.

That kind of behavior, and that kind of cop, is much more prevalent than most of y'all would like to believe. I've seen it first hand.

During one of my homeless periods I was living in my car in Austin, Texas. I was making inroads towards getting off the street, I bought a Polaroid Camera in a pawn shop and took photo's of tourists and bar goers in the 6th Street bar district of Austin. More than once I'd save up enough money to pay a deposit and a weeks rent for some weekly room rental then get arrested and after paying the fines and the car tow/storage fees be back on the street.

The arrests where almost always for failure to appear for some previous no-insurance ticket I'd gotten because I couldn't afford liability insurance. Of course having to pay a $2-300 fine plus tow/storage fees didn't make it more likely I could afford liability insurance, but hey, I was a lawbreaker, I deserved everything that happened to me.

Anyway, Travis County jail was overcrowded. They had two downtown lockups, one at the police station and one at the courthouse. The downtown lockup had no day room type facilities, just cells, and they'd put as many as 5-6 people in a two-man cell. Very crowded.

Because of my work taking pictures in a bar district I'd often be on the road at 3am and I frequently got stopped. I never got a ticket for a moving violation, the stop was always on some made up pretense hoping I was drunk and they'd get credit for a DWI arrest (cops who made a lot of DWI arrests would get put on special assignments that meant a lot of overtime pay). But since I often had some kind of unpaid ticket for no-insurance they'd find a warrant for failure to appear and the cycle would start again.

You have to be really patient to get off the street in some cities. Austin is one of those cities. Very liberal, but only if the homeless stay out of sight.

Anyway, after a few trips to the local lock-up I discovered they had a 6 man cell at the end of the hall that never had more than 2-3 inmates. It was a suicide watch cell.

So I made it a habit to refuse to discuss medical history with the jailers (they always ask about medical history at booking) and insist on seeing a nurse. I wouldn't tell the nurse I was suicidal (that gets you locked up in a nutcase hospital for 5 days) but I'd tell her I suffered from severe depression and I'd exhibit a high degree of anxiety. It would get me put in the suicide watch cell so I'd get a rack to sleep in rather than on the floor with my head in the toilet.

Whatever you got to do.

Anyway, one night I ran into a particularly asshole booking officer. When I told him I didn't want to talk to him about my medical history he got very angry and shoved me into the holding tank before I got a chance to ask to see a nurse (it was a pretty busy booking desk and they had a nurse on duty).

So I stood up by the door and shortly the same booking officer came up to the door and yelled at me to move. I asked to see a nurse and he yelled at me again. I said, "Fuck you" and walked away from the door. He opened the door and he and 3 other deputies (the jail lockup was at the police department but run by the Sheriff's Office) knocked me down. I had my back to them, walking away. I didn't resist in anyway, I'm stupid but not that stupid.

The angry deputy grabbed my hair at the back of my head and pounded my face against the concrete floor two or three times.

I was in the holding tank for about another hour before I saw a nurse and was put in that suicide watch cell about an hour after that. During the entire time that deputy was at the booking desk bragging about how he'd beat up that smart mouth inmate who was so stupid he didn't get a haircut before he got arrested.

These guys actually define their manhood by their ability to beat up people who are risking their very lives if they attempt to protect themselves in any way.

It's really pathetic. Cops are beneath contempt. Even worse is the nurse who ignored the abrasions on my nose and forehead when I told her how they happened. People who allow cops to get away with that kind of behavior are worse than the cops who do it. That would include Justice Scalia and his "new professionalism".

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nutcase cop in Dayton Ohio

Some cop in Dayton, Ohio tries to use mace and the power of a badge to extort $10 from a teenage girl who works at Wendy’s.

I can't find any Dayton news coverage of this.

Anybody know what's happened about this? This cop needs to have his gun and badge taken away from him now.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Cop suspended

I had previously seen the video embedded here but hadn't blogged about it. It's a video (actually mostly audio, the action is off camera) really getting out of line and threatening to invent criminal charges to falsely make an arrest and justify towing a car. In my experience it's fairly typical of cop behavior whenever his authority is questioned. Many cops just have no skills to cope with anything less than complete control.

The really cool part, that was new to me until I was alerted to it by a reader, is that the cop has now been suspended. Without Pay. That's Without Pay.

That's highly unusual. The St. George, Missouri Police Department has a police chief who actually knows the difference between right and wrong plus has some balls. My hat's off to him. He's rare. St. George needs to hang on to that guy.

Click on the link above, look at the video, read the transcript, follow the news story link. Some really bad cop behavior followed by a very appropriate police chief response.

It looks like I might have been a little premature in praising the St. George police chief.

The chief himself has a history and it seems the department is in the habit of hiring cops with assualt convictions and sexual misbehavior during traffic stops while on duty.

St. George, MO doesn't look like the kind of town you'd want to spend much time in.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lawyers and communication

A law blogger writes
An exchange I heard a few months ago -- I reproduce it from memory, so the account will not be precise, but I think I remembered the substance accurately:

[Talk had turned to effective legal writing; B is a smart soon-to-be-law-student.]

A. Another thing I learned about legal writing: Don't use exclamation points for rhetorical emphasis. And all-caps -- don't do that, either. Bold is also very bad. So is italics: It's OK to use it to highlight important terms in quotes, or terms that you're trying to distinguish from each other in your arguments, but don't use it as an exclamation point.

B. But what then are you supposed to use for rhetorical emphasis?

A. How about ... forceful arguments?

I'm a little stunned that law school students have to be taught this.

I can specifically recall this being covered in a freshman composition course taught by the Department of English, in a freshman course in technical writing taught by the College of Engineering (although they said no italics) and in a sophomore course in business communication taught by the Department of Management.

How do you get to law school without already knowing that basics of written communication?


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

War Hero

Why do people call John McCain a war hero?

When his planed crashed over Vietnam he was faced with a difficult fight/flight decision. His choice was, "I surrendor".

That's what America calls heroic?


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Safe Streets

Quoting a school principle in San Francisco near the Potrero housing projects
"I get a lot of questions from parents about safety," says Rosenberg, a white man who majored in African American studies in college. "But John Yehall Chin Elementary (on Broadway) is a really good school with a lot of strip clubs around it. Do you think they get asked about safety? The fact is, people don't care so much about the environment when it does not include black people."

I've lived in San Francisco.

The reason parents ask about safety near the Potrero housing project and don't ask about it near Broadway is that it's safe to walk the streets on Broadway and it's not near the projects.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Monday, September 10, 2007

Career trumps integrity

It was predictable. There's no way that he'd have ever gotten his job in the first place if Bush didn't have strong reason to expect him to be a good soldier and just say what he's told to say.

Petraeus has no integrity.

He's claiming that no one could have said things back in January, things he actually said back in January. What he's trying to do is claim that improvement in Anbar province is attributable to the surge when the truth is that his own words described improvements in Anbar before the surge. Now he pretends what he said back in January wasn't said.

This is all just nonsense. You can't believe anything that any of those slimeballs say. Generals are scared to death that they might say something that ends up costing them a few hundred a month in their retirement benefits. Service to the country my ass. Self serving slime is more like it.

Let's see, he didn't "clear" his statement with anybody but the date he's presenting was "vetted" by two intelligence agencies.


One of the reasons The General thinks we need to stay in Iraq is so that Iran doesn't take over.

The reason we used to support Saddam was as a way to keep Iran in check. That really worked out well.

Chris Mathews of MSNBC is harping on The General's answer to a question about whether or not the current strategy in Iraq will make American safer if it succeeds.

He doesn't know, he says. He hasn't thought about it. He's focused on achievement of the message.

How many stars does this guy have?

What the hell has happened to the US military?

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Stupid Cops

The PR cop for the department that arrested the McDonalds cook for a salty burger said the cop had "extremely elevated blood pressure". 180/120.

That's high.

That's not "extremely elevated".

Cops are really slime. No wonder people fool with their food.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs


Everytime I hear this argument against the idea of timetables for withdrawel in Iraq I want to scream. Idiots. Our country and our military are run by idiots.

The arguments is that timetables will telegraph your intent to the enemy and they'll just go back underground until you leave then come back out and wrack havoc.

The problem with the argument is that it's not a bad thing if that happens. It would be a good thing. For an actual rational person that's an argument for public announcement for a withdrawel timetable.

The Iraqi government hasn't been able to establish themselves. We keep saying we want to train them to take care of themselves but the training keeps getting disrupted by having to deal with outbreaks of violence by the bad guys.

If a timetable would cause the bad guys to back off and wait then we'd have more resources to devote to training and could actually bring the Iraqi government, army and police up to speed.

Why is it bad to do something that would cause an immediate drop in violence? The argument is that the drop will just be temporary and will pop back up when we leave. But that's okay if we cn use a lull in violence to bring the Iraqis up to speed.

We need to make up our mind what the goal is.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Germany says it foiled bomb plot

Germany says it foiled bomb plot is what the headline says.

The part that should be important to American's is that they did it with police work, not by military invasion and they bomb planners are being prosecuted in German Federal Courts, not in courts in secret prisons hide away in some 3rd world country.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Monday, September 03, 2007

Helping those who don't want your help

Should the police institute a high speed chase for no reason other than to try to help someone who doesn't want their help?
A man who appeared to be about to jump off of the Piscataqua River Bridge around 8:45 a.m. this morning ended up getting in his minivan and leading police on a high-speed chase that ended on the Spaulding Turnpike in Somersworth, according to eye-witness, police and police scanner reports.

Hampton Union reporter Susan Morse, on her way into work, said the blue van was stopped at top of the bridge in the southbound breakdown lane. The man was out of the car, and she described him as having blonde hair pulled back, as if in a pony tail.

When she looked in her rear view mirror a moment later, “much to my horror,” she saw he was on the other side of the guardrail facing the water. “I figured he was ready to jump.”

Capt. Lou Ferland said Portsmouth Police were notified about the potential jumper by State Police around 8:50 a.m. and responded to the high level bridge but the suspect had left.

Shortly after, Ferland said State Police chased the same vehicle down Market Street and on to Woodbury Avenue into Newington.

Just leave the guy alone. He already has problems, don't just create more.

The agitator has a post up today about sending a SWAT team in response to a 911 call seeking help for someone thinking about suicide.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Run those plates

In some jurisdicitons it's common for cops to run the plates of women driving alone to see if the vehicle is registered in a man's name or not. If it is then they assume the woman is married or otherwise attached and they don't stop her. If it's registered in a woman's name they stop her and give her a warning for some imagined infraction in an attempt to hit on her.

I'm not making this up.

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Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Academics, copyright, and the value of ideas

During a pretty good hunk of the 1970's I was a graduate student, first at LSU, then later at Northwestern. During the period at LSU my wife and I made frequent weekend trips from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles to visit her parents.

I didn't really like her parents much. Her father was a preacher and they were both real strong Jesus types, something I'd figured out was a complete crock of shit when I was about 12. I was polite to them, it would have been very embarrassing for them to not have their son-in-law attend Sunday morning services when he was in town, so I went and sat on the front pew for display. But during the rest of the weekend I'd just whole up in the den and bury my face in a stack of magazines, avoiding as much contact as I possibly could. That's when I learned a whole bunch of worthless trivia about being a freelance writer.

My mother-in-law wrote a lot of freelance religious poetry and essays and sold quite a bit of it to various religious and spiritual magazines. She'd been subscribing to Writer's Digest Magazine for over 10 years and had a huge collection of back issues. I read them all. Most of them more than once.

So, even thought the popular press wasn't covering it, when the copyright laws changed in 1976 I had some understanding of what was going one. One of the key changes that law made was a change in what it meant for a work to be "published". Prior to 1976 copyright was created only when a work was published and had an official copyright notice affixed. That meant a writer didn't really won his work in the sense of having actual enforceable property rights without the cooperation of a publisher. The 1976 law changed that. Copyright was established as soon as a work was "fixed in a tangible medium of expression". That pretty much meant that when you wrote it you owned it and there was actual property there to be owned. You didn't have to wait for a publisher to help you establish ownership.

At the time I was a student member of a handful of academic clubs, like ORSA and TIMS (now combined as INFORMS) and ASA and AIDS (now known as DSI). I started getting stuff in the mail from them explaining that the new copyright law was going to cause the sky to begin falling if all writers of research reports didn't immediately sign away all rights to the copyrights of their written works. Civilization could not survive if copyright didn't reside in the pockets of large organizations.

That was what they all said. And a world full of pea-brained acadmics nodded their heads sagely and said, "Yep, you must be right. Where do I sign? My work has no value anyway".

It's taken over 30 years but the world of academics seems to have finially gotten some backbone and demanded the right to do what they wish with their own property. Good for them.


Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Teaching them how to put a list in rank order

Patterico has a blog post about some high school student who is being denied a diploma unless she apologizes to the school district for making an unauthorized reference to Jesus in her valedictorian speech.

The school, of course, is simply run by idiots. The student either fulfilled the requirements for a degree or she didn't. I don't think that giving an approved valedictorian speech is listed somewhere as a requirement for a degree. I think the requirements were fulfilled long before the offending speech, they owe her a degree, she doesn't owe them anything.

But after looking at it more closely, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe giving an approved valedictorian speech is requirement for a high school diploma in Denver.
Erica Corder was one of 15 valedictorians at Lewis-Palmer High School in 2006.

Fifteen. Fifteen v valedictorians? What does valedictorian mean in Denver? Does it mean student? Were there 15 students in the graduating class?

What the hell is the matter with these people?

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Saturday, September 01, 2007


I grew up in Texas, as did my Daddy, and my Grand-daddy, and his daddy, and his daddy. I'm not sure about prior to that. I think some of them came from Missouri and some from Alabama.
Part of growing up was learning the myth of the Texas cowboy.

I grew up in the city, in Austin, not exactly cowboy country. My daddy grew up in town, in places like Alpine, Texas and Marfa, Texas. He wasn't living the cowboy life, but those places were certainly cowboy country. My granddaddy and grandmother had grown up on ranches in Gaines County, near Seagraves. One of the cowboy stories my grandaddy told me was about the one cattle drive he worked driving cattle from Seagraves to Amarillo right before a railroad spur was built to Seagraves in 1917. He was 11. That experience was enough for him to learn that whatever he ended up doing when he grew up, it wasn't going to be cowboying.

My daddy told me stories about his childhood on the wooden sidewalks of 1930's Alpine that made clear distinctions between ranchers and cowboys. The class differences were very real, in some of those stories the differences were those of life and death.

In the 8th grade we took Texas History. That 8th grade Texas History course very much creates Texas men. They talked about cowboys, yes, but they also talked about Heroes (Jim Bowie) and lawmen (Big Foot Wallace) and outlaws (Sam Bass).

So, I didn't grow up as a cowboy, but I grew up knowing what the cowboy myth was about, knowing it in a deeper sense than just watching John Wayne in the movies and Roy Rogers on TV and listening to Gene Autry records.

I don't live in Texas anymore. I didn't even graduate from high school in Texas. I graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Baton Rouge, then went to college at LSU and even Northwestern (when my grandmother told me, "there's Yankees living up there, Gary"). I did live back in Texas for a few years as an adult. But, I also lived in places like San Francisco and Seattle. Now I'm in Oklahoma. Rural Oklahoma. But once a 13 year old boy takes that 8th grade Texas History course, he's a Texan forever, no matter where he is.

Ten miles down the road is a town called Perkins, Oklahoma. They have a sign near the city limits that has puzzled me. "Home of the original cowboy". What the hell does that mean? I know about cowboys. And cowboys don't have much to do with Oklahoma, no matter how big a hat Garth Brooks might wear.

The cowboy era ran from just after the civil war to sometime before the end of the 19th century. It lasted 20, maybe 30 years, covering a time when the US was expanding into the West but the railroads weren't covering the continent yet.

Cowboys drove cattle from Texas to Kansas, travelling through Indian Territory, not through Oklahoma. Indian Territory lasted from the mid 1830's until 1890, when it was renamed Oklahoma Territory. The Oklahoma land rush was in 1889 and Oklahoma become a state in 1907. During the cowboy era of American Oklahoma was about Indians, not Cowboys.

What are they talking about? "Home of the original cowboy"?. That sign just made no sense to me at all and I just assumed it was some sort of attempt at revisionist history. Maybe they were talking about the birthplace of the first rodeo clown or something.

Then it finally came to me the other day. They must be talking about a football team mascot. That is one thing Texas and Oklahoma have in common. They get confused real easy and think high school football has something to do with real life.

Oklahoma State University is right down the road from Perkins, in Stillwater, and their football mascot is The Cowboys. Maybe the Perkins High School Cowboys predates Oklahoma State, or something like that.

It turns out that's not the case at all. The Oklahoma State Cowboys is named after a legendary Oklahoma Lawman (and gunfighter) who lived in Perkins.

These people can't even tell the difference between a cop and a cowboy. There's no hope for Oklahoma.

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