Friday, February 27, 2009

Texas Teacher suspended for being "Liberal" and an "atheist"

Texas state welcome signImage via Wikipedia

This is a blog written by Brad Watkins about Richard Mullens a school teacher in Brookeland Tx. I only visited Texas once, 20 years ago I managed to make a business trip into Austin. I loved Austin and the people I met and loved the food, as a snooty Southern Californian I expected to meet only cowboy hicks and instead was pleasantly surprised. I’ve never been back because it was mid August and it was in the 90’s, both the temperature and the humidity.

But, apparently, there are places in Texas that will fit my stereotypes perfectly:
Mullens has been the victim of a smear campaign and a slew of unethical practices, based solely on his religious and political beliefs. I have received numerous calls today from area parents, and concerned local residents who feel that Mr. Mullens is a good teacher, who has encouraged and inspired his students to think critically, and independently and is innocent of all charges, both spoken and written. In fact the administration of Brookeland High School made attempts to urge students to sign a list of alleged chargers against Mr. Mullens of which over 100 students out of 103 refused to sign.The students attempted to present to the Board of education a petition in support of Mr. Mullens and refuting any charges of inappropriate language made against him. The Principal of Brookeland High School, not only refused to take this petition to the board but forbade the students from such actions. Mr. Mullins is being railroaded by a School board of which all of those who support his removal are members of the same church.
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Sunday, February 22, 2009


With Darcy being so sick for so long I'm afraid I've neglected my mother. She went into a nursing home a little over a year ago and Medicare and Medi-Cal take care of the bills, so my absence doesn't mean much.

I posted about the last visit, unfortunately nothing has improved. As I was walking to her room I was hearing someone who sounded a bit demented in the hallway when I suddenly realized the voice was familiar. Yep, it was my mom. Not only can she barely see or hear but she can't even talk very well now.

I brought along a notebook with a sharpie so I could write messages large enough for her to read, but it didn't work.

As soon as I got there she got very angry and violent, telling me to go away and even yelling help really loud. I wrote on the pad but she wouldn't look at it but just smacked it with her hand.

I tried to get in front of her so she could see me a little better and she tried to smack me with the Kleenex box she was holding. I got behind her and tried to talk directly into her ears but she couldn't hear and kept trying to reach back to hit me. Actually caught me in my right eye with a fingernail, hope it doesn't get bad, right now it just feels slightly off but doesn't really hurt.

After trying for about 15 minutes I just left, the whole time her hostility never abated - it's amazing how much energy she has for a very sick and old woman (turned 91 in January). I couldn't get through to her and was just agitating her so there seemed to be no point in staying.

She looks really awful. The whole shape of her face has changed, almost looking feral. I have no idea what is going on in her brain, I don't know if she knows where she is or even who she is. If she doesn't know me then it's really bad.

There is supposed to be a meeting of the staff some time this week to discuss her care so I will try to make that and see what they all say about her. At this point, though, it's as if she is already gone. I can't even tell her that Darcy is dead.
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New Rules

Bill Maher thinks if we kill just 2 bankers it will scare the rest of them into acting better.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009


Wacom Pen Tablet with Pen and mouse, Intuos 3 A5Image via Wikipedia

I've been really depressed since Darcy died and it seems to be getting worse. I've been stuck with massive indecision that has been paralyzing, which is very unlike me. I usually make decisions instantly and don't ever regret them and never have any fear about it.

So I went out and bought some computer stuff! I'm typing this right now on my brand new MacBook, what fun. It's really a nice little computer, seems very fast, but we'll see if that holds up when I'm using photoshop.

I also got 2 new Wacom tablets. My old ones are 6 years old now and grungy looking, and worse, seem to be losing sensitivity. I do airbrushing and drawing in Photoshop and can't have the tablet malfunctioning. I went for the smaller one, 6x8, instead of the 9x12 that the old ones were. It made sense at time to have the larger one especially since I have 2 monitors, but the truth is all that real estate to move across is slow & tiring and the damn thing is HUGE on my desk. I can't get the keyboard in the right position because of it. I tried mini keyboards but don't like them, I need the numbers pad on the right. Now with the new, smaller Wacoms I can move across the screens very fast, and my keyboard now fits - it's great!

And, of course, I had to get an Airport Extreme so the MacBook can connect to the internet at

Apple AirPort Extreme 2007 Wireless LAN device...Image via Wikipedia

a good speed. My last one is a first generation Airport, 6 years old and really, really slow. Didn't matter much because the old iBook was Darcy's and she only used it for internet access and playing movies and didn't use it very often, but I intend to use the MacBook quite a bit.

And then I had to to get an iPod Touch and a new printer that also copies and scans! It's long bugged me that I can't do any scans at home but have to do it only at work, but for a long time another scanner was way too expensive. Now with the new all in one printers, copiers, scanners the whole thing only cost $70.

Then there was the 2 hours to set up the Airport Extreme. Networks really confuse me because I do the same thing 5 times until it works the final time. Why it didn't work the other 4 times is a complete mystery.

Then I had a major problem with the Wacom Tablet, it just stopped working completely, cursor would not move at all. At first I thought the iMac was frozen, but the Apple mouse worked fine. I restarted and it still didn't work. I couldn't figure it out and was getting very frustrated, then I realized I was using the pen from the old tablet. Sigh.

I've been rather disappointed in the iPod. It's hard to find good games the way they set up the app store. Then I found that all the fonts on the thing are way too small. I have reading glasses to use the computer but they aren't strong enough for really small type and things, which means I'll have to buy a second pair of reading glasses with a higher magnification, what a hassle. Got all my songs on there, though as well as a couple Audiobooks and a couple books to read. I do like the fact that Google maps has it's own application. But then again there were network problems. I found the network I had set up with the Aiport Extreme but it had problems connecting. I tried it 3 times but no go. Then I tried Safari and it connected, so it's working and but the sign on failed. I hate networks.

But it's all working now except the printer because I haven't taken it out of the box yet. That will be an easy set up and I'll do it later tonight. One cool thing is the Airport has a USB plug for a printer so I will be able to print from the MacBook. While working on all this I wasn't depressed at all, and feel a bit better in general. It's good to get my mind occupied, maybe even write in here more often.
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Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Wonderful World

I'm not someone who really cares for "cute" but this one was just too good.


Rachel Maddow's TV show is getting better all the time. She has now developed this commentary with her unique touch. Basically is what she is doing is showing what everyone - including the media - is saying about something then giving the REAL facts. You know, the way the news media USED to be. With this one she nails the Republicans for the lying sacks of bullshit they really are. They don't care about the country or Americans, all they care about is their own careers, their political party and the wealthy elite, in that order. Rachel gives some real facts on how they are trying to sabotage the presidents stimulous package because - like Rush Limbaugh - they want to see Obama fail. If he doesn't fail and improves the economy that means pretty much the end of the Republican party. So they put their own self interest above the nation, they WANT people to get fired and for the economy to continue downhill, even though real Americans will suffer because of it. But watch Rachel's video below, she puts in in such a way as to prove beyond any doubt that this is what's happening.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Avoiding Disaster

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - APRIL 25: Mourners wait to pa...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Remember when the Soviet Union broke up? I remember seeing scenes in Moscow of people standing in lines that were blocks long just to get in to the local grocery store where the shelves were more than half empty. There was sad and quiet stoicism on every face, hiding the desperation underneath. But they all took it without a whimper. Things got pretty bad, no food, no heat, but no one complained - until - they ran out of cigarettes!! Suddenly there was rioting in the streets of Moscow, and I mean some serious rioting, stores being broken into, cars turned over, fires set, not enough police or troops to stop them (hell, the cops and military were probably rioting too).

There is a simple lesson to be learned here - there are some things you just don’t mess with, some things the government just can’t let happen.

Congress averted another potential disaster this week, one that would have had rioting all across America - they postponed the mandatory change to Digital TV for 4 months. It’s said that millions across the country would have had their TV screens go black. Gods, it would have been awful! Just think of all those people out of work not even able to watch TV!

So our congress can make wise decisions when horrible disaster is on the line. Well, sometimes, anyway. The question is will they act to prevent the food riots we might have in the not too distant future?
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