Ding Dong, VHS is dead: Is your school ready for DVD?

December 26, 2008

VHS can now be considered dead, really most sincerely dead.*  New tapes are not being produced for almost all programs, and the last, die-hard distributor who sold pre-recorded VHS tapes announced the company will stop those sales in the next few weeks.

For projecting programs in the classrooms in your school, is your school ready to switch to DVDs?  I’ve never tried a poll here before, but I hope you will answer this one, especially if you’re a teacher.

Please express your opinion.

* You recognize the line from “Ding, Dong!  The Witch is Dead,” from “The Wizard of Oz,” of course.

FAIL repeated: Challenges to Obama’s eligibility

December 26, 2008

Some weeks ago we visited six hurdles that the case against Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency would have to overcome to disqualify him.

All six hurdles still remain.  No one has made any serious response to any of the six.

Above the West Entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court is engraved Equal Justice Under Law

Above the West Entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court is engraved "Equal Justice Under Law"

But the Birth Certificate Obsessed (BCO) people go on and on.

Let me note that the six hurdles still stand — six reasons why the objections to Obama’s eligibility will fail:

  1. Obama has a U.S. passport (claims that he doesn’t have a passport were put to rest when it was revealed, in March 2008, that State Department workers had illegally accessed his passport records).
  2. Because we know Obama has a U.S. passport, we can be quite sure his draft status was verified before it was issued — which puts to bed any issue about his registering for the draft (which he wouldn’t have been required to do in any case until 1980 — draft registration had been suspended in 1973 until the Afghanistan/Soviet crisis).
  3. Obama’s a lawyer; the National Conference of Bar Examiners, or the Illinois Bar, would have checked on any problems that surfaced when verifying his fitness to practice law.
  4. Obama was a U.S. senator; as a matter of course, the FBI does a background check on every U.S. senator to verify they may view top secret material. Security clearances are absolutely necessary for members of the Intelligence Oversight Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Armed Services Committee.  Obama was a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, chairing the subcommittee that deals with U.S. relations with NATO — a post that requires top secret clearances.
  5. Obama has been getting the full national security briefing every day that the president gets; CIA and Homeland Security would have to verify his top secret clearances, and then some.  There is absolutely no indication that this top, top check was not carried out.
  6. Perhaps most important, Obama posted an image of his birth certificate on-line in June; experts who checked the actual document verify it is real, and therefore authoritative.

Each of these six circumstances creates a rebuttable presumption that Obama is a citizen, and a natural born citizen under the somewhat ambiguous requirements of Article II of the Constitution.  In order to make a case that Obama is ineligible, contestants would need to make a strong showing, with clear evidence, to rebut the presumptions created by by these official actions.

Professional poker player Leo Donofrio has made no such evidentiary showing, anywhere, at any time.  Nor has any other Obama critic presented any evidence to overcome any of these six presumptions.

Recently a poster named Carlyle complained that my previous post had been unknown to him. While I posted trackbacks to his post at Texas Darlin’, that blog censors my posts and trackbacks, and thereby deprived this BCO from knowing about the facts (indeed, trackbacks are automatic, since Texas Darlin’ is also a WordPress blog; the only way the trackbacks and comments don’t show up at TD’s blog is because she censors them).  With some fury, Carlyle and others found that post from November 27 and complained I was unfair to them.  However, none has presented any serious challenge to the six hurdles.

How can I be unfair when they won’t make a case?

Here, below the fold, is an example of the heated and off-target responses I’ve gotten.  Of course, I offer comments as we go.

Read the rest of this entry »

A no-bourbon Christmas

December 26, 2008

You can’t buy bourbon in Dallas on Christmas day.

We planned pork tenderloin with apricot/bourbon filling.  Wonderful recipe.

But we needed a cup of bourbon, and when we got to the liquor cabinet, we had only about a quarter cup left in a bottle.

We aren’t bourbon drinkers.  The last time we used bourbon was the last time we cooked pork tenderloin with apricot/bourbon filling . . .

So at about 10:00 a.m. I headed out of our nearly-dry end of the county to a precinct rife with liquor stores.  If any place was selling bourbon on Christmas day, it would likely be among this small city of liquor stores just off I-35, near the sinning areas of Harry Hines Blvd. and a couple of truck stops.

A mile down the road the new quickee mart was open, selling beer and wine.  No hard liquor in this precinct, though.

Liquor store by I-35 near Dallas - photo on Flickr by Futurowoman

Liquor store by I-35 near Dallas - photo on Flickr by Futurowoman (Polaroid photo?)

12 miles up the road, past the doomed Texas Stadium, I passed four liquor stores at one exit, all dark.  At the next exit, the gas station at a liquor store was open.  The main liquor store next door was dark, but I was hopeful.

Inside, one man with an obvious need for a hit of something bargained with one employee over the price of a can of malt liquor.  Another customer queried the other counter man about where he could get a ribbon for the can of beer he’d just bought for his girlfriend, sleeping outside in the car.  Merry Christmas, baby.

No ribbons.  It would be an unwrapped, un-beribboned can of beer.

“What are the chances of finding some bourbon?” I asked.   The guy looked at me like I came from Mars.  His store was selling cheap alcohol in tiny amounts to people down on their luck, but of me he wanted to know:  “What are you doing with bourbon so early in the day?”

Cooking, I told him.

“You won’t find any today.  State law.  All the stores are closed.”

The sauce would have been better with more bourbon, I think.  What else would I be doing with bourbon on Christmas morning?

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