D. James Kennedy suffers heart attack

January 2, 2007

Browsing at Positive Liberty today I first saw the news that the Rev. D. James Kennedy suffered a heart attack, and is hospitalized. Kennedy is the head of Coral Ridge Ministries in Florida, and a leader of the history revisionist movement to rewrite especially textbooks to argue that the U.S. should have a religiously-based government.

It appears the news didn’t get out quickly. The Miami Herald had a story just today, though Kennedy’s heart attack was last Thursday. Jonathan Rowe urges a speedy recovery, so Kennedy can continue to provide material for that blog. I think there’s enough material for this blog without Kennedy, but I wish him a complete recovery anyway.

Sad sign of schools in trouble: No recess

January 2, 2007

Here’s one indicator that testing has gone way too far and is damaging children rather than improving their education: A bill in the Texas House of Representatives requires school districts to consider recess.

Like Dave Barry, we can’t make this stuff up. Rep. Mike Villareal, who represents part of Bexar County in District 123 (near San Antonio) has a bill in the hopper, H. B. 366, which requires districts to have advisory groups to stress the value of recess. (Text of the bill is below the fold.)

Would schools be so crazy as to cancel recess? Yes, that’s been our experience. Cancelling recess gives an elementary school an extra 30 minutes of class time every day. So, to impress administrators somewhere, some schools cancel recess. Despite studies showing that recess boosts learning and test scores, schools are cancelling recess.

Nuts. (Quick, what battle is that from?)

Read the rest of this entry »

Washington’s Valley Forge vision that never was

January 2, 2007

At Boston 1775, J. L. Bell discusses what is known about the accuracy of reports that Gen. George Washington had a vision of an angel while the Continental Army camped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. I cannot improve on Mr. Bell’s telling of the story, so go read it there.

Churchill, on war and executions

January 2, 2007

“When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.”

  • Winston Churchill, The Second World War: Moral of the Work, vol. III, The Grand Alliance (1950)

Churchill, 1946 portrait by Douglas Chandor, Smithsonian (NatlPortraitGall)


  • Sir Winston Churchill, 1946 portrait by Douglas Chandor, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.


Special on Presidents’ funerals

January 2, 2007

The White House Historical Association recently published a special feature on presidents’ funerals. Their website has an interactive display worth checking out.  I predict the network anchors will have this site up on their computers while they talk — it carries details of several presidents’ funerals, and a nice photo display.

I found the link through an article in the Austin American-Statesman. It mentions the print version of the historical journal, but I cannot find a link to it, nor any other mention of it (if you go to the paper’s story, note that their link to the White House Historical Association site was incorrect as of early on January 2).

Some tidbits gleaned from Ms. Faulkner’s article: The official government name for pall bearers is “body bearers.” The official name for a rifle honor corps is “firing party.” On the day after the death of a president or ex-president, a gun is fired every half hour at Army installations from reveille to retreat. On the day of burial, those installations fire a 21-gun salute at noon and a 50-gun salute (one per state) at five-second intervals following the lowering of the flag.

The Army’s Military District of Washington has prime responsibility for presidential funerals, but ex-presidents and their families are involved in the planning.

“Like most men my age, I have given a thought or two to my funeral,” Ford said in a November 2005 eulogy for presidential historian Hugh Sidey. “As a former president, I’m almost required to since the military periodically updates its own plans and each presidential family is solicited for personal touches.”

Ford had originally asked retired Time Magazine correspondent Hugh Sidey to deliver the euology at the funeral, a tip of respect to journalists in general. Unfortunately, Sidey died last year. (I also cannot find Ford’s tribute to Sidey; if you find the link, please send it along.)

Flag respect on display for Ford funeral

January 2, 2007

Actions convey messages. Actions communicate. How one acts in regarding the U.S. flag, at different times when action is required, tells something about character — whether one was even paying attention when respect for the flag, and the ideals it portrays, was explained.

President Ford's casket in the Capitol Rotunda - photo by Todd Heisler, NY Times

President Ford’s casket lies in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. New York Times photo by Todd Heisler.

Here are a few things you may observe during the services for President Ford: Read the rest of this entry »

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