Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Parade

Jackson participated in his Daycare's Halloween Parade this morning in Kaufman, Texas. Here is a short video. Jackson is the little monkey sitting on Pop's (Tom) lap.

More pictures from this festive event can be found at my flickr site HERE.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Overheard in Class

Overhead in class while students were debating the following ancient conundrum...What came first...the chicken or the egg?...

"Well dinosaurs had eggs." - Kalee N.

Friday, October 19, 2007

In Rainbows

Last week I joined the online frenzy and downloaded the new Radiohead album "In Rainbows." I didn't get up at 1:45 am like the hardcore fans. I actually waited until the next day.

The whole thing is marketing genius. Name your own price? I paid 2.90 pounds...little over $5.00. Bypassing labels and keeping all the profits...and creating anticipation...Radiohead's making a killing.

Plus the album is really good. Not O.K. Computer or Kid A good...but still really good. It only took me about ten minutes to get the whole thing bought, downloaded and zapped to my iPod. Don't think there are too many other bands that can get away with bypassing the whole record label deal. Radiohead has always forged their own path.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Forney Cribs

The Little Man showing off his crib...or showing off that now he can pull up to a stand anywhere he wants.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Boomer Sooner!


World's Worst City

One of my favorite bands, Brazzaville, named themselves after the capital city of the Republic of opposed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) across the river. The band named themselves after the former French colonial capital for two, a bandmember had lived there for a short time, and two, Brazzaville for years had held the dubious distinction of being the worst major city in the world for quality of life. They thought that fact would reflect the world-weary nature of their music.

But to the great joy of the Brazzavillians they are no longer residents of the world's worst city. That title has been passed to the once majestic city of Baghdad.
photo: The Band Brazzaville in their adopted home city of Barcelona, Catalunya

Friday, October 05, 2007

Anything Better to Do?

Just this past week I criticized my Republican Senator for wasting time by bringing to the floor a vote condemning for their ad criticizing General Petreaus.

Now the Democrats are joining in. Harry Reid actually wasted time circulating a letter around the senate condemning Rush Limbaugh for saying "phony soldiers" in regards to troops who criticize the war.

Don't these fools, Democratic or Republican, have anything better to do than attack websites and radio hosts...liberal or conservative...for simply stating their opinion?

No wonder dictators around the world can get away with murder. No wonder poverty spreads and health care costs explode. No wonder AIDS runs rampant in Africa and gas prices rise. No wonder carbon emissions increase and etc...etc...etc...

Our "representatives" are too busy posturing and indulging in worthless attacks to actually lead.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Puppet Masters

I love teaching Chinese history and culture. I would love to visit someday to see the Wall, the Qin Dynasty terra cotta warriors and much more. But let's not fool ourselves. Just because China is not ruled by an overtly evil man like Mao Zedong does not mean that the current regime is any less evil.

For years the idea was that the more we engaged China through capitalism the more likely we could affect positive change. The communist government, however, has shown that it can make money through free enterprise yet still destroy the humanity of its citizens and the defenseless around the world. Military options of course should be off the table...but China can be hurt in other ways.

China desperately wants to be respected as a modern 21st Century superpower. They especially want to show off the "new China" in 2008. It's time for the international community to gird up and propose a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. China buys most of Sudan's oil. China is financially supporting the regimes in Burma, North Korea and Cuba.

The Chinese always vetoes UN Security Council mandates that seek to sanction totalitarian regimes. China's vetoes in the past have assisted Milosevic in Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran along with countless other tyrants. Christians are imprisoned and executed on a daily basis. All dissent is forcibly quelled. China is still a totalitarian regime which supports evil around the world. It's time for the international community to speak out. China is often the puppet master behind the crazed despots making headlines today. It's time they're called out.

Of course money talks and the West makes too much money off China (and sees even greater market inroads there in the future) for anyone to speak the truth in ways that carry any real weight.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Free Who?

My fundamental problem with the recent events in Jena, Louisiana is that the central figures in the case (the African-American teenagers who assaulted a white classmate) are not heroes by any stretch of the word. Victims of heinous judicial (and perhaps prejudicial) injustice...yes, but they are not heroic victims.

There are not many heroes in the Jena case. The white students responsible for hanging nooses should have been expelled and punished much more severely. The African-American students who beat up one of those white students should have been tried as juveniles for their crime of assault and battery. And it was a crime. Let's not forget that. There are no innocents here.

There are serious issues of racism in Jena. That obviously needs to be dealt with. Those African-American teenagers should not have been tried as adults for attempted murder. However, Jesse Jackson and Sharpton are acting like these African-American young men are heroes for a new 21st Century civil rights movement. If that's the case, that movement is in serious trouble.

The movement loses its moral authority if these boys become the symbols used in its cause. Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest of the civil rights leaders, would have never supported violent means to affect change. Non-violent protest was his mantra and his life work. King would never endorse these young men as the ones to pity or lift up onto a pillar of reverence.

As a Christian I believe injustice should never be met with violence. The most successful and morally legitmate battles against tyranny have been peaceful. These young men should have been guided to follow the model of Christ, Gandhi, Mandela, The Nepalese in 2005, and the Burmese monks of today on how to conquer an immoral system of racism or totalitarianism or other travesties against mankind.

Jena should be a rallying cause for those wishing to continue the fight against the horrible plague of racism. But that cause should not include lionizing people who perpetrated violence against a fellow (albeit dispicable) human being. Two wrongs do not make a right.