Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dave Barry and Free Speech

More than anywhere else, colleges and universities consistently restrict students' rights to free speech. Recently a quote from award-winning humor columnist Dave Barry was at the center of a free speech controversy at Marquette University. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education caught up with Barry and spoke with him about the controversy and his advice for students.

Hat tip: Kevin Glass at Townhall

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Time to Dump the UN

Leave it to Mike Huckabee to nail the issue in the video below. In light of last week's circus in New York it's time to dump the UN.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Historic Speech

Most of the coverage from last week's meetings at the United Nations focused on leaders of rogue nations. But the most important speech was one given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It's a tough speech and one worth watching. It's also a speech that historians may look back upon years from now as very prophetic. Take time to watch it all.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Buy Coffee and Support the Troops

I've got to hand it to former Marine (is there really such a thing as a former Marine?) Hank Salmans. He took his love for coffee and turned it into a business that does more than makes a profit. He uses it to support the troops. Here's to Hank and I hope he sells a lot of coffee. By the way, the names of the blends are really cool.

You can buy his coffee directly from his website.

It makes me want to buy some.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Friday, September 18, 2009

How Monopoly Helped Allied Prisoners Escape

This story is a great antidote to the avalanche of political stories being blogged about of late. Few realize this but secret maps and other things were smuggled to Allied prisoners of war during World War II inside Monopoly sets. It's a terrific story of ingenuity and creativity in keeping prisoners involved in the war effort. (Hat tip: Free Republic)

For fans of the game, check out Philip Orbanes terrific book Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game And How It Got That Way. I previously reviewed the book here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Maybe They Were Onto Something.....

Consider this:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. (Source)
Does this sound anything like what we're experiencing now?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Responding to Obama's Health Care Speech

I had been working on a lengthy post responding to the President's health care speech and then ran across this column by Shikha Dalmia that makes my case better than I could so I'll just encourage you to read it instead.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quick Takes 9-12-09

Some random links for your consideration over the weekend:

The Wonder of God's Creation - new pictures from the refurbished Hubble telescope. These are incredible pictures. (Hat tip: Al Mohler)

A new resource for building a Christian worldview.

Ace scores two aces - Steve Blass, winning pitcher for the 1971 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates scores not one but two hole in ones in the same round.

Remembering the 2996 Americans who died on 9/11.

Thoughts on the Rule of Law.

Some cool DIY projects
. (Hat tip: Jonah Goldberg)

Listening to a liar. Yes, Joe Wilson was right.

13 steps to giving a speech like Obama.

Today marked anti-goverment protests around the country. Here's cool time lapse video of the crowd assembling at the D. C. Rally. Plus some pictures from the rally here.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

Author's Note: The following post was originally written on the five year anniversary of 9/11. Though the President and others want to turn 9/11 into a National Day of Service, there are many of us who will always remember 9/11 for what it really was: the day that terrorists killed over 3000 of our fellow citizens and brought a global war onto American soil. We must never forget what happened that horrible day.

I will never forget 9/11. No matter how hard I try, I can't block out the memories of that day. They will be forever burned in my memory.

I was supposed to be attending a meeting in Bala Cynwyd (just outside of Philadelphia) on 9/11. My wife and two daughters (ages 4 and 5) went up a few days early to explore the Amish country as well as downtown Philadelphia. We had had a great time visiting an area that we had never visited before. But that Tuesday morning everything would change - in ways far greater than we could have ever imagined.

The day started normally enough. My meeting was supposed to start at 9:00 so I headed downstairs to the hotel restaurant early to eat breakfast. My wife and daughters were a little later getting ready. Our meeting started on time and was underway for about an hour before taking our first break of the morning. Many of the folks in this meeting were from New York. While we were on the break, several guys tried to call the office but couldn't get through. One of them finally decided to call the operator and see what was wrong with the telephone lines. He would be the first one to share the news with us: the World Trade Center had been hit. Another person came in and said it was the Pentagon. It would be a few minutes before we realized that it was both.

By the time we managed to get a TV brought into the conference room we were able to see the replay of the South tower being hit. Moments later it collapsed. It took all of us only a split second to decide we needed to go home. The fourth airliner, United flight 93, would crash in Western Pennsylvania within the next few minutes.

My wife had taken the kids next door to Denny's to eat breakfast. A waitress told her that the Pentagon had been hit. Her sister's husband often worked at the Pentagon. Was he there? Frantically, she was calling her unable to get through. It would be much, much later before we found out he wasn't there and was completely safe. My wife came back to the hotel not knowing how to find me. At the time, I didn't carry a cellphone (I have ever since). She was in the lobby trying to call her sister when I finally came upstairs. I looked at her and said "We're going home".

At the time we lived in Richmond, VA, almost directly due south along Interstate 95 from Philadelphia. Under normal circumstances, it would have taken about five hours to drive home. But Washington, DC is directly on Interstate 95. Due to the attack at the Pentagon, Washington was completely locked down. Our only choice was to head west and then south in a long circle along interstates through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virgina. It was a long drive home.

As we were leaving the hotel we turned on the local news on our radio. The mayor of Philadelphia was holding a press conference announcing the evacuation of the city. Everyone was being ordered home since at that time we didn't know where the hijackers intended to fly United 93. It was reasonable to assume that Philadelphia was a target. One thing was clear: we were at war. We weren't sure yet who was responsible but we knew we had been attacked. The peaceful setting of Lancaster County was strangely appealing. Surely whoever this was wouldn't attack the Amish. We would be safe there, wouldn't we? As we drove on there was this eerie feeling of not knowing what to expect next. Would there be further attacks? Who was responsible? Why had they attacked us? Our daughters thankfully were oblivious to what was happening. At least until the announcement was made that Walt Disney World had closed (we had made our first visit as a family the previous year). Then it registered with them that something was wrong.

Everywhere we stopped along the way home people seemed to be trying to carry on with life as normal even though they all knew that life would never be normal again. Everything had changed. By late afternoon we had made it to Harrisonburg, VA (about 3 1/2 hours from home). At first we thought we would just find a hotel room and spend the night but there were none to be found. Greyhound had ordered all their buses to stop wherever they were and as a result people had to find hotel rooms. Everything was closing down: restaurants, stores, shopping malls were all closed. We managed to find a gas station that was still open. When I went in to pay there was the extra edition of the local paper with the photo of the burning towers above the fold. This was not just a bad dream. This was real.

As we left Harrisonburg and headed towards home I can remember the eerie sight of a single jet plane crossing the sky. I knew it was a military plane since all civilian aircraft had been grounded much earlier in the day. This is what it felt like to be at war.

We eventually made it home safely that evening. But we knew that everything had changed. A couple days later we got another grim reminder of just how serious things were.Where we lived, we never saw military traffic. But around 9:00 one evening just a few days after the attacks we were buzzed twice in the span of a couple of minutes by a pair of F-14 fighter jets. It was yet another reminder that we were truly at war. There would be other reminders, as well. I went to Las Vegas for a meeting a couple of months later (a meeting that was originally supposed to take place the week after 9/11). The sight of armed soldiers patrolling the airport was a clear sign that things had changed. While I was in Las Vegas I stayed at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino. As the name suggests, the hotel is supposed to remind one of the New York skyline. Even three months after 9/11, there was a memorial of flowers, posters, and messages of support for the police, firefighters, and people of New York City. I couldn't help but be struck by the sight.

Driving by the Pentagon several months after 9/11 and getting to see firsthand the devastation caused by the terrorists would be yet another grim reminder of the war we had been dragged into by our attackers. I can't forget no matter how hard I try. We should never forget for this is why we fight.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Facebook Ruins Friendships

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day that has teenagers and we were discussing problems in relationships. It seems that her daughter was having some problems with friends that was exacerbated by things that were being posted via text message and Facebook. I then ran across this column about how Facebook can ruin friendships and thought it really struck a chord.All of this made me think about all the stupid things I did as a teenager and how glad I am that I didn't have technology available to make me more stupid. Frankly, I don't know how teenagers today manage. Perhaps we're all better off not relying so heavily on technology to help us maintain contact with our friends.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Educating Obama

Although President Obama is set to deliver a speech to students tomorrow via the internet, he could be well served to pay close attention to the speech below. He could learn a lot.

Hat tip: Hot Air

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Schilling to run for Senate?

It's an intriguing possibility:

BOSTON — Curt Schilling, the former major league pitcher who won the allegiance of Bostonians by leading the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series, said Wednesday that he has "some interest" in running for the seat held for nearly 50 years by Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Schilling, a registered independent and longtime Republican supporter, wrote on his blog that while his family and video game company, 38 Studios, are high priorities, "I do have some interest in the possibility."

"That being said, to get to there, from where I am today, many, many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen," he added.

Any other comment "would be speculation on top of speculation," Schilling said, adding, "My hope is that whatever happens, and whomever it happens to, this state makes the decision and chooses the best person — regardless of sex, race, religion or political affiliation — to help get this state back to the place it deserves to be."

This could be a fun race to watch.