Sunday, April 15, 2012

Barry's Secret To Prosperity

Last night I stopped in at Clyde's Place. That's the little bar down the road a piece from where I live. Now as you know, Virginia does not really have bars. You gotta sell enough food to justify getting a license to serve alcohol. Clyde does that by selling two-dollar hot dogs. (But they are really good hot dogs.) Anyway, those hot dogs and his pretty good stew are enough to make Clyde's a real restaurant in the eyes of the law. Most bars in other places have a two-drink minimum. Or a cover charge. Clyde has a one-bowl minimum. I was in for the one bowl. To go.

I stepped inside the dimly lit joint, (that's probably a better way to describe Clyde's), it was largely unoccupied. Just a couple sitting on the same side of a booth and my neighbor Barry sitting alone at the bar. As my eyes adjusted I looked around and since there was no one else there I joined Barry at the bar. 

“Hello Barry,” I said, “You finally sold that Cadillac that's been on the lot for so long?”

“No. I mean yeah, sold that thing a few days ago. Why you asking?”

“Well,” I said, “You usually nurse a Pabst for an hour, but Clyde here has just poured your second Scotch since I came in. And it ain't cheap Scotch. You get that much outta that old Caddy?”

“Hey Clyde!” Barry yelled to the other end of the bar, “Get Bunkie here a hot dog. No, make it two. Put 'em on my tab.” Barry has always called me Bunkie. I don't know why. I sure didn't suggest it.

“No, it's not the Caddy. Lost my shirt on that one. I've discovered the secret to prosperity. Really I have. Eat your hot dogs while I tell you about it.”

As Clyde set the paper plate holding two hot dogs in front of me I settled in for what I knew would be an interesting tale. Barry is like that.

“Between the high-dollar scotch and four dollars worth of hot dogs you must have really found something. Stock market?”

Barry stared at the mirror behind the bar, took a sip of his second drink and said, “Did you know you can pay your bills on-line?”

“Yeah, I do that,” I answered.

“Did you know you can set up a bill to be automatically paid every month with a credit card?”

“Yeah, I do that too” I said. Now I'm starting to wonder where he was going, but with Barry you get the whole story from start to finish or he starts to ramble. I let him ramble.

He started back up, after draining his new Scotch. “Clyde,” he said, “refill this please sir,” Turning back toward me he continued, “did you know you can pay one credit card online with another credit card?”

“Yeah,” I replied, “but I don't do that. I either mail a check or use my debit card.”

Barry grinned, took another sip of his newest Scotch and said, “I did that too. For years. It's too old-fashioned. We need to follow the leaders and change our ways of thinking. Now all the money from the car lot goes on the debit card from down at the bank, while my credit cards are paying each other every month. Automatic-like.  I even set it up so one of the cards pays Pee-Wee, my mechanic and car washer, every other week. You'd be amazed at how fast that debit card balance grows now.”

He then turned around, leaned back with both elbows on the bar and just grinned.

“Hey Clyde,” I called. “Bring me a go-box for this other hot dog. I gotta get home now.” I left Barry there basking in the glow of his new-found prosperity.

The idea hit me as I passed Barry's Used Car Emporium. I turned around and drove on the lot.

There it sits. A low-mileage Chevy Silverado. Bright red of course. That's what I'll bid on at the inevitable auction. Hell, I might even get the whole place at a real steal.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hide The Women and Kids! PC Has Run Amok!

There's a reason Mark Twain said, "Of course truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense." Here's an example.

Imagine. You're a 17-year-old student artist. You're nearing the end of your High School career. You've been asked to design and paint a mural on a wall inside your beloved Alma Mater.

Wow! A mural. Painted by me! “See”, I can say to my kids years later, “there in the lower corner is MY signature!”

Who wouldn't love to be in that position?

17-year-old Liz Bierendy found herself living that dream. Then it was snatched away.

Ms. Bierendy imagined a mural that depicted the life of a man. A man who started, on the left end of the artwork, as a small boy. She then took him successively through life as a youngster, a pre-teen with a guitar, to graduation. Cap and gown and all. Her design moved to the final scene to show the young man, his wife, and their young boy. The rather busy background includes a wedding band and engagement ring interlocked above the couple's heads. She even included the family cat curled contentedly at their feet.

Now that's a sweet image, right?

Nope. Too sweet. Bring in the censoring committee.

That image lasted long enough to be “...deemed inappropriate and painted over because it depicted a man holding the hand of a woman and child”.

The story continues “some of the members of the Pilgrim High School community suggested that the depiction of a young man’s development from boyhood through adulthood as displayed may not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School.”

As displayed? May not represent?

No. Can't have one student think himself different from all the others. That's not at all like the real world.

Can't hurt the feelings of some kid with no father. Or mother. He's never even seen a family with two parents. Or maybe it was the cat. She has a dog, but always wanted a cat. Kid's who have never seen a typical family because their family can't afford a TV? A kid who wants soccer shoes because the kid on the wall has soccer shoes?

You tell me. I'm lost.

Thankfully Warwick School Superintendent Peter Horoschak has better sense. Or maybe not. He had to actually consult with other administrators before reaching the decision that would have been obvious to Larry, Moe or even Curley. (I know that's not the order typically used for the three Stooges. Larry was actually the smart one. He knew that by pretending to be in the center he would never have to make a decision. Kinda like our Mr. Horoschak here.) He
asked the unnamed assistant principal to meet with the student again and discuss her views on the proposed changes to the mural.

Proposed changes? It had already been painted over. Weasel.

Liz showed she was the most mature person in this fiasco. She told the assistant principal she “preferred the original idea” but “would take the weekend to think about any changes”.

Weekend over, she stuck with the original idea. Kids, there's your mom's signature in the corner. Hurrah for Liz.

In a really
weaselly move, “Horoschak
asked that Bierendy’s ideas be respected and 'that she be allowed to finish the mural as she visualized it'.” No hurrahs for Horoschak.

Now, lest you think I made all this up, (as if I'm really that imaginative), here's the link.

Also note. While Virginia school boards can be silly sometimes, this ain't one of 'em. This story comes out of Rhode Island.

Wind Power, Big Boats, and Oranges

I used to get a kick out of the Roanoke Times Editorial page when Dan Rademacher was in charge of it over on Campbell Ave. Dan is avidly anti-coal, therefore he is a firm devotee of the Global Warming Religion and its High Priests, Al Gore and Michael Mann.

Since Dan left the Roanoke Times opinion pages in the capable left hand of Christina Nuckols he’s been working for an anti-coal non-profit of some sort. And he’s started blogging and Facebooking and all that stuff. I do follow his Facebook page, Blogging Dan. I occasionally check out the eponymously named blog as well.

I like Dan. I really do. He’s a good writer. We’ve even had a “beer summit”. I appreciate that he has opinions different from mine. If only he would stop calling those opinions of his facts.

Back when he was leading the choir in the upper room on Campbell Ave. he would go to great pains to point out the error in his foolish conservative readers minds and carefully explain the difference in weather and climate. Recently, under his Facebook blurb, “I’m afraid global warming is going to get a lot harder to deny.” he linked to a WaPo article;
Not just March, but start of 2012 shatter US records for heat, worrying meteorologists

“It’s been ongoing for several months,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Ashville, N.C.

Meteorologists say an unusual confluence of several weather patterns, including La Niña, was the direct cause of the warm start to 2012. While individual events can’t be blamed on global warming, Couch said this is like the extremes that are supposed to get more frequent because of manmade climate change from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

I wrote all that, just to point out Dan’s original point. As the WaPo article’s source makes clear, there is a difference in weather and climate. Then Jake Crouch instantly reverses course. Left me dizzy.

I think everyone pretty much agrees that we have experienced a warming trend. But are humans and our various mechanical monsters truly to blame? Let’s look at a couple of historical facts.

It is well-known that there was a cooling trend during the late 19th Century here in America. Historical records, (letters and diaries for example), tell us so.

How many of you are aware that a couple of hundred years before that Spanish colonists were reporting to the King they were successfully growing oranges. Not in Florida. In South Carolina.

Bartolomé Martínez in a letter to the King dated at Havana, February 17, 1577, stated: “And what may be truthfully told to your Majesty is that in Santa Elena [Now Parris Island, South Carolina] I planted with my own hands grape vines, pomegranate trees, orange and fig trees; wheat, barley, onions, and garlic.” Martinez lived in Santa Elena until 1576, so his oranges were planted earlier than 1577 which found him in Havana, a pen pal of the King.

Orange groves continued as a valuable asset to South Carolina, apparently until well after the Civil War. In a letter to the South Carolina Legislature dated 12-16-1861, Governor F.W. Pickens described the state this way, “… from the snowy crest of her rugged mountains, even to the orange groves that bloom over her sunny plains…”

Parris Island is hot today. Ask any Marine. He’ll tell you it can be dang hot. However, even during what has been alarmingly called “An Inconvenient Truth”, and a “disaster to mankind”, it ain’t hot enough to grow oranges. A tree or two, carefully tended in winter? Maybe, but nothing on a scale that would call for a bragging letter to the king.

There is no way a sane man would attempt to establish a commercial orange grove very much further north than Gainesville FL. Gainesville is five hours south of Parris Island driving really fast in a foul-smelling, polluting, modern SUV.

I suppose you could say those Spanish Galleons were the SUVs of their day. Did those wind powered boats create a similar “climate change” to the one we blame coal and oil burning boats for today

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I’ve Finally Come Around To Your Way Of Thinking

OK. I surrender. The proponents of Obama Care’s arguments may or may not convince 5 Supreme Court Justices. But after giving the idea some serious thought, (augmented by a short glass or two), they just might have persuaded me to come around to their way of thinking.

I’m a long-time supporter of capitalism. Forcing all of us to buy health insurance can only be a good thing for our giant insurance industry. The immediate spin-off will be increased business for the drug industry, doctors, clinics, hospitals. Their suppliers and sub-contractors will also receive a boost. Peachy keen, long live capitalism!

Now realize I’m a cancer patient on Social Security Disability. Not working. In a word, I’m poor. And I’m on Medicaid, so I don’t have to pay for the health insurance. I’m golden. I’m getting misty-eyed thinking about the logical progression. They are even talking about subsidized birth control now. (I don’t need that, at 56 years old I’m past menopause.)

Let’s not heap all this good fortune on just the health care industry while ignoring other, equally important, American industries and all the jobs they support. The following is just a short list of the goods and services Americans must be mandated to purchase. (Or in the case of us destitute citizens, subsidized by those who can more easily afford it.)

10:Atlas Shrugged (Hard cover goat skin leather-bound, of course, signed fly-leaf optional)
9: Robert Earl Keen CDs
8: WWE and UFC pay-per-view (Or NASCAR online)
7: Marlboro Lights and Pabst Blue Ribbon (Optionally, really good Scotch or Bourbon)
6: Purebred Walker coon dogs
5: Chik Fil A #1 meals with Sweet Tea (Especially for us poor folks. Micky D’s gets old fast)
4: Brooks Brothers Alex P. Keaton signature ties
3: Gillette Fusion blades
2: Mary Kay and Merle Norman cosmetics (We can’t forget our fairer sex)
And finally The number one mandated purchase/subsidy
1: NRA lifetime memberships for everyone!

Just think, if this program had been applied to the Chevy Volt GM would not have had to end production and we could all be driving coal-powered cars. I love this country!

(Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, a new Colt 1911 is way up there on my desirables list.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

O. Henry Enters American Politics

Like many of my readers I appreciate irony. I'm an avid reader and one of my favorite authors is William Sydney Porter, best known as O. Henry and a master of the ironic ending.

That's literature. Irony in real life is a whole 'nother thing. Especially political irony. Political irony almost never turns out well.

Consider this. Recently the news has been full of accounts and opinions regarding Army Sergeant Robert Bales and his actions in Afghanistan. Even President Obama, within hours, apologized to the Afghan government and peoples. Many opinionists have loudly called for a speedy trial and, by their words one would suppose, conviction.

I'm not defending him. Hell, I don't know if he did it or not. That is the job of his attorney, John Henry Browne.

The irony here only becomes apparent when you compare the crimes of which he stands accused, crimes with no witnesses, with the other high-profile mass murder the Army is presently dealing with. A crime with many witnesses. Otherwise known as “survivors”.

A man with no field-of-war experience, but heavily influenced by radical Muslim mentors. (One of whom was an American citizen that President Obama decided he had the sole authority to assassinate, without due process.) This Army person calmly opened fire on some of his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas. According to witnesses, he was shouting "Allahu Akbar!" as he proceeded to slaughter many of his Army brethren.

The irony here? There are calls for a quick resolution to the Sgt Bales case. Major Hasan is still untried after more than two years. Our President immediately apologized for an unproven transgression, (which has been “avenged” by Afghans several times since), yet Major Hasan's crime was officially classified a “workplace incident”.

O. Henry couldn't have made this up.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I'm Betting On The Bus Too

One morning in November, 2010, about a week before Thanksgiving I woke up not feeling great. Not bad, just not my usual self. After showering, and while shaving I noticed my eyes were puffy, swollen, and red. The right one even more so.

My nose was running, so I took a couple of Sudafeds and went to work. As the day went on I felt the "allergy" was being controlled by the Sudafed. The bags under my eyes were no longer satchels. Just looked like I had a terrible hangover.

Next morning, Saturday, Same thing. Really big bags, more Sudafed. Satchels eventually becoming mere bags. Big bags, but not extreme.

Little sisters can be persuasive. Mine can. Leslie came by mid afternoon and made me go to the emergency room. I didn't want to, but little sisters can't be reasoned with.

Lying on a gurney in the emergency room, with a blood pressure reading that was sky high, my only real concern was why my face was so bloated. Leslie, as little sisters are wont to be, had many other concerns. I felt fine. She didn't care if I did feel fine, she knew I looked awful.

Many tests and a chest X-ray later, Leslie went on an inquiry quest. Do not get in her way when she demands information. It so happens that I had a hand-sized tumor on my right lung. Yep. As John Wayne put it, the "Big C".

I was admitted, of course. Leslie in near hysterics, and me lying there on the gurney trying to calm her. I thought it odd at the time. Me, the "terminal patient" telling her that everything would be OK. I felt it then and still do now.

The next morning I met a really cute little pulmonologist. With great red heels. She told me she had to do a biopsy. Through my nose! Hey, she was really cute, great legs, and those cool red heels, she could do anything she wanted.

After the biopsy I was scheduled for immediate radiology, to reduce the tumor before Chemotherapy. After a couple of those I started a Chemotherapy regime. Three days in a row, three weeks apart. Thanks to Lee Child Chemotherapy was a snap. I read a lot.

I remember my Mom's bouts with chemotherapy. It left her violently ill, weak, and feeling really bad. Mine was not so severe. It left me weak, not ill, but at the end of the third day I would get hiccups. Hiccups that were unending for several days. You cannot go to sleep with hiccups. Just about the time I was ready to shoot myself the hiccups would end.

Well, it's been way over a year now. I've had four CT scans that show the previously hand sized tumor to be the size of my little fingernail. Scar tissue they call it. But it will be four more years before they call it cured.

Last Tuesday I met with my oncologist to review my latest CT scan. I asked him to imagine himself a betting man. Would he bet on me being taken out by getting hit by a bus, or by lung cancer. He laughed and said he would bet on the bus.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The Sun Also Rises

The sun came up this morning. No, I wasn't surprised. It's been that way all of my life, and way back before that. You could bet your farm that it'll do so again tomorrow. It's a safe bet, if the sun does not rise your farm ain't going to be worth much to you anyway.

Today I find that a Democrat has changed her position. No, I'm not surprised by that either. It seems that former chairman of Arlington County Board of Supervisors was pretty adamant that the Senate finish their budget duties in 2004. From a press release dated March 22, 2004;
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Barbara A. Favola, chairman of the Arlington County Board, and her counterparts from six Northern Virginia jurisdictions today urged Governor Mark Warner to continue his “Herculean efforts to forge a Virginia budget for the next biennium.”
In a letter, seven mayors and chairs stressed that “the General Assembly must adopt a budget before mid-April.” Local jurisdictions are in the midst of their own budgeting processes and rely on a State pass-through monies to fund K-12 public education, transportation, public safety and human services.
“It is critical for local leaders to know what that State transfer is before we adopt a budget and set a real-estate tax rate,” wrote the mayors and chairs.
Now it’s 2012, she’s a Senator herself, and she remains just as passionate about budget duties? Eh, not so much. she and her Democrat colleagues continue to refuse to vote on a budget. They did, however find the time to vote on a pay raise.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Is Your Newspaper Doing Its Job?

Most people think their newspaper’s job is to provide them with local news, state news, sports news and scores, and entertainment. Maybe even national and world news. Most newspapers do all these, and do them reasonably well. I believe a newspaper’s first mission should be to educate its readers. Especially in matters related to politics and law, two subjects most people do not focus on.

My local paper fails dismally, as does the more widely circulated Roanoke Times. The Times’ Michael Sluss has a front page story today on the arrests of protesters occupying the South Portico and steps of the Capitol Building.

Michael is usually a fine writer, and I find no fault with his words today. But surely, considering how much time he spends in Richmond, he knows that Virginia law forbids any group from protesting there. He failed to mention that very relative fact. Granted it would have made the featured character in his story, a Roanoke woman who was among those arrested, much less sympathetic, however, he owes his readers much more than he does a single protester. They deserve the full truth. After all, they are paying for it.

The ladies protesting in Richmond were there to voice their concerns about “forced” ultrasounds. To my knowledge the Times has never informed its readers that Planned Parenthood WILL, as a matter of policy, perform an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of your kid. It might be the “rape” method, or it could be the “jelly on the belly” method, but it will happen. Your friendly neighborhood abortionist may or may not choose to do this medically required test. Medically required? Don’t take my word for it, the National Abortion Federation says it’s required. (Myself? I only wonder why such a federation exists.) Oh, and now Virginia law requires it, and requires the mother be offered a chance to view it. An option they did not have previously.

In order to avoid the “forced” ultrasound you now have to resort to a back alley and a coat hanger. Just like before.

Has your local or favorite regional newspaper factually reported on just these two recent issues? I thought not. I can’t find any paper’s online story that mentions either of these two facts. You’re not paying for this blog. The truth here comes free.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

VA Math Teachers Get Their Wish: Teaching To The Test? Poof, Gone

Anytime we raise the subject of Virginia's SOL testing we hear a loud chorus, in sweet harmony, proclaiming; "I spend all my time teaching to the test. Please allow me to teach my students without such restrictions". The Roanoke Times reports today that formatting changes on the middle and high school SOL math tests will likely result in a drastic reduction in accreditation. Why? Perhaps because it will now be near impossible to teach to the test. It appears the Virginia Department of Education does not believe our math teachers are up to the task, at least not yet.
Virginia Department of Education officials caution there may be a "temporary drop in pass rates as local curriculum and instructional strategies are adjusted to meet higher expectations for learning and achievement," according to a report released to division superintendents Wednesday. It is unclear how the new tests actually will influence accreditation standings in 2012 because, in addition to performance, there are two caveats. First, students taking end-of-course assessments for high school classes can retake the test and only the passing score counts. Second, a three-year average is used to calculate the pass rates that determine accreditation.
Hear that math teachers? They think it will take you three years to prove yourselves right. Prove them wrong.
About 24,000 Virginia students -- most of whom took the yearlong math courses during the first semester of this school year -- took the new math assessment in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Charles Pyle, education department spokesman, provided the performance results of those tests but cautioned the sample may not be representative. Pass rates on the Algebra I test dropped from 84.1 percent in the fall of 2010 to 49.2 percent last fall. The test takers fared best on the Geometry test, which decreased from 78.5 percent in fall 2010 to 63percent last fall. Algebra II test pass rates declined more than 30 percentage points. "If the performance of the 24,000 students ... is a sign of things to come, there will be an impact on accreditation," Pyle said. [ellipsis in original]
It looks like Virginia's teachers will no longer be 'teaching to the test', but rather actually teaching math. the old SOL was multiple choice, while the new, interactive test requires students to actually know the subject.
The changes to the math assessments are multifaceted, including more rigorous standards adopted in 2009 and the addition of "technology-enhanced" [computer vs paper and pencil] questions. The questions will require students to demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving and math content knowledge. "Traditionally the Standards of Learning assessments have been multiple choice," said Todd Lewis, Roanoke's math coördinator.
The Roanoke Times also states:
Pyle, said the changes to the test's format and rigor were not done in an arbitrary way to make the test harder. Instead the revised standards are part of a statewide push to better prepare high school graduates for college. The new standards align with the national Common Core standards, although Virginia is one of only a handful of states not to endorse the initiative.
Alright Mr. or Ms. Math Teacher, now you get your wish. You are no longer allowed to teach to the test, you have been given the opportunity to actually teach your middle and high school students the methods, theories, and laws of math and Geometry as they apply to Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry. Most likely in the same way you and I were taught. Certainly the same way they will encounter in college. Take this latest development as a challenge. Prove you were right all along. Let's see those math SOL scores soar Virginia.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Want An Invasive Ultrasound? PP Says Don't Come To Us.

Governor Bob McDonnell released this statement today regarding SB484. In this release Governor Mcdonnell states, (emphasis added);
"I am pro-life. I believe deeply in the sanctity of innocent human life and believe governments have a duty to protect human life. The more our society embraces a culture of life for all people, the better country we will have. Over the course of my 20-year career in elected office, I have been glad to play a leading role in putting in place common-sense policies that protect and defend innocent human life in the Commonwealth. One of those bills was Virginia's informed consent statute, of which I was the chief patron in the House of Delegates, finally seeing its passage in 2001. This session, the General Assembly is now considering amending this informed consent statute to include a requirement that any woman seeking an abortion receive an ultrasound in order to establish the gestational age for appropriate medical purposes, and to offer a woman the opportunity to voluntarily review that ultrasound prior to giving her legal informed consent to abortion.
He ends the statement with;
"I have requested other amendments that help clarify the purposes of the bill and reflect a better understanding of prevailing medical practices. It is my hope that the members of the General Assembly will act favorably upon these recommendations from our office. We will await their action prior to making any further comments on this matter."
This issue has generated static all over the country, including late night comedy TV. Frantic claims from Democrats, from those who should know better, or at least have better research departments, such as Saturday Night Live to Comedy Central, to those who know better but assume you do not such as Planned Parenthood. All claiming that Virginia is codifying into law the "rape" of women seeking an abortion. Their basis for this claim is that a first trimester ultrasound [sonogram] requires a "trans-vaginal" probe. (Sorry Dad, there ain't no polite way to put it.)
What each of these has failed to do is truthfully explain the current recommendations from NAF, (National Abortion Federation). Their 2012 clinical policy guidelines state clearly that, in the first trimester, a sonogram is required to determine the gestational age of the little guy in the uterus.
Policy Statement: Proper use of ultrasound can inform clinical decision-making and enhance the safety and efficacy of abortion care.
Standard 1: Staff members who perform ultrasound exams and clinicians who interpret those exams must either show documentation that they have completed a program of training or must complete such a program developed by the facility. Training must include a period of direct supervision. Documentation of this training must be maintained. Following initial training, a system for evaluation of ongoing proficiency must be in place and documented.
Option 1.01: The Ultrasound Training in Abortion Care CD-ROM developed by ARMS, NAF, and CAPS is a good resource for training and may be utilized as part of a training program.
Standard 2: A system of clinical privileging must be in place for staff members who perform ultrasound exams and clinicians who interpret those exams. This system must include periodic review and renewal of these privileges.
Standard 3: Patients must be informed of the purpose and limitations of the ultrasound exam in the abortion care setting.
Option 3.01: This information may be provided in writing and the patient may be asked to sign a form acknowledging receipt of this information.
Standard 4: The findings of all ultrasound exams and the interpretation of those findings must be documented in the medical record. Photos or another method of storing the ultrasound images must be included as part of the documentation. This documentation must also include the name(s) of the staff members who performed and interpreted the exam.
Recommendation 4.1: A standard form for documenting findings and interpretation should be used.
Standard 5: In the first trimester, the ultrasound exam must include the following: a. a full scan of the uterus in both the transverse and longitudinal planes; b. measurements to document gestational age; c. views to document the location of the pregnancy; d. evaluation of fetal number; and e. evaluation of the presence or absence of fetal cardiac activity.
5.1: When clinically indicated, evaluation of other pelvic structures (i.e., adnexal structures and the cul de sac) should be performed and documented.
Recommendation 5.2: Technology permitting both abdominal and transvaginal scanning should be available.
Standard 6: In the second trimester, the ultrasound exam must include the following: a. fetal measurements to document gestational age; b. views to document intrauterine location of the pregnancy; c. evaluation of fetal number; d. evaluation of the presence or absence of fetal cardiac activity; and e. placental localization.
Recommendation 6.1: When placenta previa is suspected in a patient with a prior uterine scar, or when other placental abnormality is suspected, a referral for further diagnostic imaging should be made.
Standard 7: A procedure must be in place for further evaluation or referral of a patient in whom an intrauterine pregnancy has not been definitively identified or for whom an initial finding on the ultrasound may affect abortion management or future patient care.
Standard 8: Real-time ultrasound scanners must be used. Ultrasound equipment must be properly calibrated and maintained.
Standard 9: Ultrasound transducers must be disinfected between patients according to applicable infection control standards.
4 Adequate precautions must be taken to protect both staff members and patients from the potential toxicity of chemical agents.
To its credit Planned Parenthood follows these guidelines explicitly. They do not, however extend to the patient the courtesy of observing the results of this procedure.
SB484 merely requires that ALL abortion clinics follow these NAF abortion guidelines, and requires that a patient who desires to do so be allowed to view the result.
I'm disappointed in Governor McDonnell for caving to an obvious smear campaign. But I applaud him for keeping Virginia out of such an obnoxious propaganda battle.
Cross posted at

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Want To Burn A Flag?

I've often said I fully respect one's right to burn the flag. I do always include these two conditions; First it must be your own flag. And second, you should have the strength of your convictions to do it on the grounds of a VFW post. I never factored in the alcohol effect, though.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Inspecting Lunch Boxes? Really?

The Federal Government decides a turkey and cheese sandwich is inferior to three "chicken" "nuggets", which we all know is not really chicken anyway.
Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria “Nuggets”
USDA agent inspects sack lunches, forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria food instead
RAEFORD, N.C. — A Hoke County preschooler was fed chicken nuggets for lunch because a state worker felt that her homemade lunch did not have enough nutritional value, according to a report by the Carolina Journal.
The West Hoke Elementary School student was in her More at Four classroom when a U.S. Department of Agriculture agent who was inspecting lunch boxes decided that her packed lunch — which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips — “did not meet USDA guidelines,” the Journal reports.
It's stuff like this that almost makes me want to be an anarchist.

OK. We all fall for one every now and then. Along with many others it appears that I did too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Catholic Or Not, This Is Important

I'm not Catholic but the issue of the day bothers me greatly.

If the Catholic Church is forced by our Government to go against its conscience, tradition and, most importantly, its deeply held religious beliefs, then religious liberty in America is not safe.

If religious liberty is no longer safe in America, you and your church, (even if that church is godless atheism), are not safe.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Revolution Revelation

Those of us who grew up in the sixtys and seventys remember John Lennon as a radical leftist, sort of like our current day "occupy Wall Street" crowd. I remember well the protests, demonstrations, sit-ins, and all around civil disobedience directed at our war effort in Vietnam. Many involved in those protests asked Lennon and his band mates to contribute to the anti-war effort. Finally Lennon relented and wrote, along with Paul McCartney, perhaps his most well known work, "Revolution".

How many of us have actually listened to the meaning behind the words of Mr. Lennon? I'll have to admit that I never paid much attention to them. To me it was a good sound. A well crafted piece of music. Never much more than that.

Today that changed. This iconic song came on the radio while I was not otherwise distracted and I actually listened. I mean really listened. For nigh on to thirty years I had typecasted John Lennon. I had him, and this song, completely wrong. I was never a real Beatles fan, and perhaps that's why it has taken me this long to experience this epiphany. You might have noticed it the first time you heard the song. I finally know that John Lennon was not an "Occupy Wall Street" type at all. He had seen the violence, anarchy, and lawlessness of the anti-war crowd and wanted no part of it. Read the lyrics.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
All right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money 
For people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
All right, all right

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
All right, all right
All right, all right, all right
All right, all right, all right

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm Back

My friends who have been following me on Facebook know a bit about why I've been gone so long. The rest of you will learn more as time goes on, but for now let's just say I'm back and I welcome you back as well.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Closing This Blog, But The Door Stays Open

It's been almost 4 years now, since the day I began this blog. It's been great and I've really enjoyed spending time with you guys, my readers, for all these years.

Although I'm closing up shop here I'll still be around. This blog and its archives will not be removed. I have some grander plans and a move to a new site is the first step on that road.

The new blog has a working title of "Eschew Obfuscation", though that is subject to change.

Come on over and check out my new place. I hope you'll be just as comfortable as you have been here, well, some of you, anyway. The rest I intend to make as uncomfortable as possible.