Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bows, Supervising the Gardener

Spring is finally here which means the garden has to be cleaned up. This year I decided I was tired of fighting the weeds in the lawn so I contracted a company to spray the lawns. Which leaves me free to work on the garden beds. I've already planted lettuce, spinach and potatoes. I've mulched up the remaining leaves and debris and I have started to sift the soil from the mature mulch. Pure black gold there! If this weekend remains nice I think I should able to finish up the gardening. Then I have to get started repairing things around the house. Well, by summer I'll be able to relax in the hammock under the tree.

More cats at Friday Ark

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fayetteville, Decrying Bullies They Become Bullies

All right, so you're a little upset about the story you read in the NY Times and you feel like letting the Fayetteville School District know how you feel. But, I don't think it's a really good idea to leave threats.
Fayetteville School District officials filed a terroristic threatening complaint with the Fayetteville Police Department regarding a phone message received as part of the fallout from a recent New York Times news column.

I mean, you're complaining about the violence in the school and you're making threats.
The district reported one of the e-mail messages received Monday to the FBI's cybercrime division through the FBI Web site, said Chief Financial Officer Susan Norton.

There are number of people out there that are truly twisted and in need of help.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fayetteville, What To Do With Bullies

I don’t think the Fayetteville School District should worry all that much about the NY Times article and some of the negative publicity they’ve received. All it has done is brought attention to the fact that schools are dealing with bullies and there is a limit to what they can do. Bulling has been happening from the beginning of time. Everyone can tell a story of how they were bullied or knew a kid that was bullied. The majority of schools have always had to deal with these bullies and those that get bullied. They aren’t always successful.
The Zero Tolerance policy many schools adopt, where both victim and bully are punished don’t work well either. The victims are victimized again and the bullies don’t care. Then many people criticize the Federal Family and Educational Right to Privacy Act which effectively hides the fact that there is some one causing problems from students and parents. One wonders what crimes are being hidden under the Privacy Act.
Of course the news articles are slanted to the victimization of Billy, but some things aren’t adding up. I have a few questions regarding the Wolfe family. The paper says that the bullying occurred through a number of schools.
The abuse began at McNair Middle School, continued through Woodland Junior High School and now at Fayetteville High School.
What is it about Billy that what ever school he is at, he’s a victim? Does Billy have socialization issues that he has difficulty getting along with others? Is Billy really just a poor innocent boy who’s done no wrong?
Then there’s the family trying to say the school didn’t do enough. What is the school to do? Particularly when they admit that most of the bulling didn’t occur in school.
"However, it is important to note that incidents of this nature often take place off the school campus or outside the school day where the school district does not have jurisdiction."

Is the school suppose to provide Billy with 24/7 protection? Then I must ask the parents, why are you continuing to destroy Billy’s life by sending him to school where he is tortured and abused. It should be extremely apparent that Billy is having problems dealing with school and interacting with other students. I think it’s way passed time for the parents to think of making some alternative school changes. There are other schooling options that Billy would be less likely to have trouble with others and be able to learn.

NY Times Story
Local Story

Parents and students are starting to make comments about the bulling. The readers comments has had several parents and students make comments. The best comment from a parent who is obviously in the know was removed (crap!). But they paint a totally different picture of the situation. As I strongly suspected. There is totally different take on this and the school district is frustrated because by law they can't respond. The picture emerging is that the supposed victim may be a bully himself. The fights he experiences is students dealing with a bully in their own way (not the best, though). Hopefully more students and parents will come forth with the story the school cannot tell. Of course, an enterprising reporter could go out and get that story.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Arkansas Political Parties, Recruiting Write-in Candidates

This is a tremendous failure by both the Democrat and Republican Parties of Arkansas. They have let down the 39th District by not making sure they had some one who has a good moral character run for office. Now, because the Parties weren't paying attention they have Dwayne Dobbins.
Originally faced with a felony sexual assault charge, Dobbins struck a plea agreement reducing it to a misdemeanor harassment conviction. He was sentenced to probation and agreed to leave his seat in 2005.

I don't know about the Democrat leadership, but quite often I believe the Republican Party leadership are a bunch of bozos.


Barack Obama Has Lost His Halo

All hail the Messiah Barack Obama! Finally a black that many Americans, black and white, could vote for President. Obama is just simply to good an opportunity for everyone to pass up. For whites it's an opportunity to say that we have finally made it passed racism and we voted for a black man. For blacks it's an chance for one of their kind to make it to the top. But alas, the messiah has flaws. While his speeches have been about bringing people together and deploring actions that tear people apart, Obama has made his home with a hate-filled, anti-American, anti-white, black liberationism community for most of his life. Yet, we are still being asked to accept Obama. We are being ask to tolerate, excuse, and dismiss the black liberation theology that Obama has accepted for decades. Yeah, yeah, we're being told that Reverend Wright's comments were made because he was just excited and into the moment. However, the Reverend's comments come from a thought-through view that comes from decades of reading, writing, studying and speaking.
How ironic that this controversy is occurring within the Democrat Party. You know, that one that sticks its nose in the air declaring they were the ones who really understood blacks and was the Party to help blacks. For all the efforts the Democrats put into social programs and redistribute the wealth schemes , racism is is very much alive in their Party. I think it's time for the black community to toss aside the Democrat Party. They need to stop thinking and acting like victims and stop looking at every white person as racist. It's time for them to toss aside the Democrat's promises that the government will take care of them. They need to grab hold of the simple formula for success:
work hard, make sacrifices, focus on education, delay gratification, avoid bad moral mistakes and maintain optimism.
Quote from Stupid Black Men, How to Play the Race Card - And Lose by Larry Elder

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Protected By Smart Poo

so says the sign that a British businessman posted to warn vandals off his property.
The defense arrangements, which include priming the catapult with chicken droppings from a nearby farm, include 32 closed-circuit TV cameras, security fencing and motion-sensor lights

Arkansas poultry growers can probably help him out by shipping him some ammo.

Full Story

(Via Boing Boing)

Fayetteville Square Renovations

Last week Terry Gulley gave the SWTTF a tour of the construction on the Square. I could see that the sidewalks were going to be wider. That will be great because when the Square got crowded, it was hard to shop. It's so nice to get rid of those old ones. I don't know how many times I've tripped over them. Of course, I could be a bit of a klutz. The widening of the sidewalks won't take away any parking spaces because they were deep in the first place. I was able to see the red clay that was packed beneath the top soil. No wonder the cherry trees weren't healthy. Terry said that the new containers will all have good soil and no red dirt. The new cherry trees will last at least 50 years. I'm glad to see that they were replacing the old azaleas too. The old ones were looking nasty.
The renovation work has been criticised and I do agree that Mayor Coody should have done a better effort to informed the public on what was being planned. The artist's rendering should have been placed in the paper before they started to tear up the sidewalks. Oh well, live and learn.

St Patricks Blogger Party

I did finally get to met BloodSpite and Ryan missed us. Next time, we have to exchange cell phone numbers so we can locate each other. BloodSpite is apparently a very good talker especially after drinking a bit. Which was fine, because I'm more of a listener than a talker and BloodSpite regaled me stories of his childhood. It's always nice to talk with some one who hasn't heard your stories before. After seeing BloodSpite I've decided that I have no desire to see him in leather, but the pink tutu is another matter.

Red Oak Park Passed

Hallelujah! Finally! The Fayetteville City Council has approved the project design for the Red Oak Park Streambank Improvements that was submitted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. I really appreciate Connie Edmonston and Carole Jones working very hard on getting this done. I can’t wait to see David Evans work his magic on the park.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Doggie Weekend

The dogs and I traveled up to Lawrence, Kansas (lovely city). I entered Casey into his first full agility trial and as you can tell he won several ribbons. It's hard to tell how well the weekend went. I was disappointed that he didn't get more Q's, but I found several areas he really needs work on that didn't show up during training. Well, we'll work on those the next couple of months and enter another trial. I must say that the folks at U2 Kan Du Agility did a wonderful job. I know I'll be going to a lot of the trials they host.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Helping With the Fish

I'm cleaning out the fish bowl tonight and Tigger decided that he would keep the fish entertained in his little cup. The fish looks like it's easier to catch in that tiny cup but it's still in that nasty water. Once Tigger realized that he'd have to get wet he gave up.
More kitty helpers at Friday Ark

NWA Blogger Party, St Patricks Day

BloodSpite has announced that it's time for the annual NWA Blogger Party. I am planning on going and I hope to avoid the problem I ran into last year. Hopefully BloodSpite will do something to identify himself. A sign would be nice or BloodSpite dressed in a pink tutu or maybe a picture (you got leather?)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Four Days Trapped in Cell, Forgotten

I work in a place where there are policies and regulations up the wazoo. But sometimes the most basic things get forgotten and you wonder how. I would think that in a government building, security would automatically check every room to make sure it was cleared out at the end of the day. Some one could hide in any room, steal stuff or generally wreak havoc. Apparently the Washington County Courthouse isn't checked before closing. So that's how a woman spent 4 days locked in room.
Hour after hour, for four full days, Adriana Torres-Flores was locked away and forgotten in 8 1/2-by-9 1/2-foot cell in the Washington County Courthouse, with only a metal table, two benches and a light bulb that never went out. She had nothing to eat or drink. There was no toilet.

Wow, what a big mistake. A really big breach of security.
(Tim) Helder promised a thorough investigation and new safeguards - perhaps a video camera in the cell - to prevent a similar occurrence. Such a mistake had never happened before at the courthouse, although he believed that a janitor cleaning the cell had once gotten locked in by mistake, Hoyt said.

Yeah, I would think it would be a really good idea to review their security procedures. They were very lucky this time. Adriana could have died.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Upgrade to Vista, NOT!

Yup, this is why I will never upgrade. Friends working in IT have vowed not to upgrade either. Microsoft has a big problem.
An alternative theory, however, is that Vista’s reputation precedes it. XP users have heard too many chilling stories from relatives and friends about Vista upgrades that have gone badly. The graphics chip that couldn’t handle Vista’s whizzy special effects. The long delays as it loaded. The applications that ran at slower speeds. The printers, scanners and other hardware peripherals, which work dandily with XP, that lacked the necessary software, the drivers, to work well with Vista.

I don't care how much Microsoft cuts the price of Vista, it's not worth it to go through all the problems people report having.
We usually do not have the opportunity to overhear Microsoft’s most senior executives vent their personal frustrations with Windows. But a lawsuit filed against Microsoft in March 2007 in United States District Court in Seattle has pried loose a packet of internal company documents. The plaintiffs, Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen, bought PCs in late 2006, before Vista’s release, and contend that Microsoft’s “Windows Vista Capable” stickers were misleading when affixed to machines that turned out to be incapable of running the versions of Vista that offered the features Microsoft was marketing as distinctive Vista benefits. Last month, Judge Marsha A. Pechman granted class-action status to the suit, which is scheduled to go to trial in October. (Microsoft last week appealed the certification decision.)

I'll go with a MAC before I upgrade to Vista.

Another Sex Scandal, Eliot Spitizer

What was Spitizer thinking? To all accounts he was a guy on the way up to the top. Why would he ruin everything just for sex? He’s so well-known and now-a-days there is just no such thing as privacy, how did he think that it wouldn’t be discovered?
I just feel so sorry for his wife, Silda, and their daughters. She must have been just emotionally numbed standing there by her husband. I can’t understand what was going on in his mind. He’s described as self-righteous and unforgiving and he’s pursued Wall Street wrongdoings and also prosecuted prostitution rings. Now, he’s the very person he viciously prosecuted. Listening to all the news and commentaries; this guy has no one standing up for him. I thinking he’s having a hard time finding friends right now. Was the sex worth it?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lioneld Jordan, Annoucement for Running for Fayetteville Mayor

You couldn't asked for a more beautiful day, although the location was a bit torn up. There was a fairly large and supportive crowd at Lioneld Jordan's announcement for running for Fayetteville Mayor. A good many of the other Alderman were present. I like the idea that most of them support Lioneld's bid for Mayor.

Lioneld spoke that he was going to aggressively bring economic growth to Fayetteville, keep Fayetteville green (urban forests, parks), build up Fayetteville's infrastructure (fire & police, trails, streets, public transit) and keep an open door policy while in office.

Lioneld wants to have quarterly town hall meetings so that people have an opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns. He said when asked what kind of mayor he was he said "A People's Mayor". Lioneld has a web site which has full details of his positions. Who ever built his site did a really good job.

Fayetteville, The Ambulance Ride

I understand the frustration Judge Hunton is having. I agree that the Ambulance committee has taken quite enough time with the issue. It's now time to decide whether Fayetteville is going to inter into an interlocal agreement with the county and small towns for ambulance service.
However, Judge Hunton's frustration does not excuse his behavior. His letter to Mayor Coody is childish, immature and bulling. There was no need for him to get his tighty-whities in a wad for an imagined insult.
He further expressed disappointment with Jordan, claiming he looked down and continued to write when Hunton and others spoke.

Then he decides that he's not getting what he wants so he'll go and take his toys with him.
"Due to this impasse, I am obliged to convey via this letter that all the issues and projects on which historically we have cooperated with the city of Fayetteville are now in jeopardy," he wrote.

I believe that the other JP's may have something to say about that. I don't think that they are going to allow Judge Huton's bulling to wreak everything the City and County have worked on together. As for Major Coody, does he really believe that he controls the City Council? He obviously doesn't feel very highly of them.
I am not sure that the full Council grasps what is at stake here.

It appears he doesn't think they are capable and if in the event they decide not to agree to the interlocal agreement, by golly, he'll make sure it's corrected.
If necessary, I will break a tie in order to protect our emergency services and our government's relationship.

As for the issue of the ambulance service, Springdale is happy with their ambulance system. I don't see any problem with the way Fayetteville is being serviced now. Why should we be forced and threaten to give up something that doesn't appear to be broken?

Full Story

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Do Not Share

Sorry Tigger! You are out of luck. Bows is not going to share her dinner. Maybe you can find some one that will share their dinner at Friday Ark

Jerusalem Slaughter

Killing children. These inhuman monster killing students and enjoying it.
Hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets of Gaza City as news of the attack at a west Jerusalem yeshiva spread, firing automatic rifles into the air in celebration.

Yet, these animals are the very ones that Senator Obama is so anxious to sit down, talk and drink tea with. What kind of sick mind would want to play nice with these monsters?


The Democrat Primaries

I swear, I am jealous of the Democrats. Their presidential primaries have been so much more exciting than the Republicans. I'm on the edge of my seat wondering what is going to happen next. Lord, Howard Dean must be eating bottles of Tums. Dean wants the party officials in Florida and Michigan to come up with plans so that their delegates can be counted at the national convention in late August. Dean said the state parties will have to find the money to pay for new contests. Dean noted that the DNC would not pay for the do-over.
"We can’t afford to do that,” Dean stated on CBS’s "Early Show." “That’s not our problem. We need our money to win the presidential race."

Dean is right. The DNC has only $3.1 million and the cost of re-doing the primaries could be at least $18-$20 million each.
I don't know why the DNC and the state parties are worrying about the money. I would think that it's Senators Clinton and Obama's problem. If they want the delegates, make them pay for them. After all, they are the ones flushed with cash.
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama raised a record $55 million in February for his presidential campaign, eclipsing rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's own substantial fundraising for the month. All told, Obama has raised $193 million during his yearlong bid for the White House. Clinton raised an impressive $35 million in February, a significant recovery from January

Of course the RNC would be smart to try and force the Democrats to hold new primaries. It sure would deplete the money they have.

Story here and here

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's a Tough Lent for Some Catholics

I am so glad that I'm not a Catholic. Next week is Holy Week and St. Patrick's Day falls at the beginning of the week. I really admire those Catholics who gave up alcohol for Lent. What a sacrific!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Arkansas, Academics VS Sports

As soon as I got to high school I knew there was something different between the athletes and the rest of us students. They got all the attention and money. They got the best of everything. Those of us who didn't have an athletic bone in our body knew and understood that we were second class citizens. Yeah, the administration claimed that academics were important but we knew. Yes, we resented it. All that money just so a couple of guys got their scholarships and went to a prestigious college and maybe, just maybe, one athlete made a national team.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette has a great article about the disparity between the funding of academics and athletics. You always knew it existed but it's shocking to see how big the difference is in actual dollars and special treatment of coaches.
Arkansas’ school districts reported collectively spending at least $ 116 million on athletics in fiscal 2007. The districts report spending a combined $ 50 million on salaries for athletics employees. But state Education Board member Mays estimates that districts spend closer to $ 200 million annually on athletics.

It's been a number of decades since I've been in high school and the system hasn't changed. It won't change until people decide that a student's education is more important than the school's athletic program.
Mays said his complaints largely fall on deaf ears at the Capitol and during state board meetings. Because sports, and football in particular, is so ingrained in Arkansas culture, most state leaders don’t want to discuss cutting athletic costs, Mays said. "People get so emotionally attached to their sports programs that they just won’t look at that objectively," he said. "Football conjures up an emotion that is beyond reason."

The supremacy of sports is ingrained in all the states school programs. Participation in some sport is very important to a person's well being, but there needs to be a balance. It's just too bad that parents and administrators don't attempt that balance. There will be some schools that will have achieved that, but they are few. I don't see this inequity changing anytime soon. I can only hope that it's in my lifetime.

Monday, March 03, 2008

March Came In

Boy, it sure started really nice. Saturday and Sunday were so nice. I was about ready to start digging up the garden. Now, we have a bet on how much snow we get tonight. Somehow I don't believe that we are going to get as much as the weather people say we are. I'm guessing we get maybe an inch. A co-worker is betting 2 inches, and other 6 inches.
Good news! I'm not up to my eyeballs in work. Bad News! I have time to catch up on the news and make snarky comments. Heh, heh, heh, heh!