Sunday, October 28, 2007

Think of it as evolution in action

A guy that was high and burglarizing cars at an apartment complex shot and wounded an off-duty HPD officer, and was found a short time later in a wooded area nearby shot in the head. Apparently his pants fell down around his ankles while he was trying to run away while handcuffed and he shot himself in the head.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bush loosing focus on War on Terror

What would you do if you had intelligence information rated 70% reliable that bin Laden was in a caravan that you had under visual surveilence, that you had armed drones, armed F-15E's and F/A-18D's, Seal team Six, all within striking distance and all wanting you to give the go-ahead to blow his donkey ass away? Would you pull the trigger and waste his ass? Apparently Bush didn't.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Is the TABC violating the Second Amendment? Update: Sign Replaced!

There is a family owned Pizza shop in Greenspoint Mall's food court called Brothers Pizza. I've known members of the family that runs it and other locations around town for years. The shop has been there for about as long as Greenspoint has been open. They sell beer by the bottle, therefore they must have a liquor license issued by the TABC. I noticed the other day that the sign they have posted is the 51% sign. For those of you not familiar with the CHL laws, an armed CHL holder may not enter a business displaying the 51% sign. It means that the business makes more than 51% of it's income from alcohol sales. This triggered a couple of questions for me. First off, this is a food court. The actual business does not have a publicly accessible entryway so you cannot enter the business proper. Therefore my question was how close to the counter could you get without violating the law? I asked the manager what constituted the demarcation line that CHL holders could not cross while armed and she did not know. She then told me that the sign is a lie, they do not make that much money from beer sales but that the TABC insisted that they must display the 51% sign. That sent red flags up for me. So I sent the TABC an email asking two questions:

  1. Why does a business that does not derive over half it's income from alcohol sales have to display the 51% sign.
  2. What is the demarcation line for such a food court type business.
The answers were surprising. The public information officer that answered me insisted that
"I am sure that no one from TABC told them to post a 51% sign if they are not getting 51% of their gross sales from alcoholic beverages. There is a different sign that should be displayed if they are making their money primarily from food sales. It warns that unlicensed possession of a concealed weapon is a felony."
OK, so the lady that I have known for years lied to me. Yeah I believe that.... Moving on.....

The next answer REALLY surprised me. In the matter of what the demarcation line is for such a business, the answer is: The whole food court! Because the business has no separate seating area, the entire food court is, for purposes of the liquor license, considered part of the establishment. The dangerous part about this is that the sign in question is not visible from any of the entrances to the food court. So even though this sign is bogus, if a cop were to stop a CHL holder anywhere inside the food court area (which includes the main walkway of the mall because the seating extends out into the intersection of four wings of the mall) they could potentially lose their right to carry through no fault of their own.

Now, did the TABC officer think he or she was being extra prudent by telling the manager to show the wrong sign? Or did the officer think that he or she was doing the "right" thing by making sure nobody with a CHL was anywhere near somewhere that sold beer? Hard to say, it could have been a simple error, but it might have been something else too.

Update: After several email exchanges with a public information officer (who at first insisted that no TABC employee would EVER tell them to post the wrong sign...) I managed to convince her that this is indeed a problem that needs to be addressed. She dispatched an officer to the store with the proper signage.

Red Ink: Texas: We are working for YOU!

Monday, October 22, 2007

KHOU outs bogus degree holders.

KHOU ran a story about public officials with bogus degree mill doctorates. Including a professor at TSU.
Gee, sounds kinda familiar......

Obama the Patriot, Part II

By now everyone has heard about Barack Obama's choice to remove his US Flag lapel pin, and his lame justification that he felt that wearing a lapel pin was an empty gesture. However this picture from the October 1, 2007 issue of Time magazine shows him on stage at a Steak Fry for Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa) with Shrillary and Bill Richardson on Sept 17 in Indianola, IA as the National Anthem is being sung. Note the placement of his hands. Last time I checked my anatomy book, the heart is NOT in your crotch, unless you are an alien.

Hat Tip: NewsBusters

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hey Mel! Don't let it hit ya in the arse on the way out!

BIG NEWS!!! Mel Martinez, the Dem in Repub clothing is OUTTA THERE!

Mel Martinez, at his going away party said the RNC had achieved the objective he set when he assumed the job in January.

More proof he really was a Dim, because the only goal the RNC met during his 10 month tenure was crashing and burning. OK maybe that is not ENTIRELY true, they did raise $61 Million, more money than the Dims, and the only RNC committee to ever do so, but beyond raising money very little of the conservative agenda was accomplished.

Physician heal thy self... of greed.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is trying to have over the counter cold and cough medicines for children under six pulled from store shelves, or at a minimum, re-labled without dosing information for children under six. They claim that the drugs do not work. But of course, ask any parent of a sick toddler if they work and you'll get a resounding yes. They also claim that parents do not abide by the dosing information and overdose their kids, sometimes fatally. My daughter who is now 13 was born premature. Luckily other than being small (she is still small for her age) she did not suffer any developmental problems. However because she was so small, her Eustachian tubes would swell closed at the drop of a hat. This poor child had basically a continuous middle ear infection from birth to 18 months, and even after finally being referred to an ENT and getting her ear tubes, she still suffered from repeated bouts of otitis media. My six year old, being larger and healthier, didn't have as many, but she too routinely comes home with a sinus/ear infection. Were over the counter decongestants and cough syrups not available, things would have been far worse I am convinced.

If the FDA does re-label or pull these drugs, they will cause even more overdose deaths. If when confronted with a percentage of your users failing to follow directions, the solution is not to eliminate the instructions altogether, it is to try to educate them better. If the dosing information is not available, haggard parents with too little sleep and a screaming child in the dead of night will use adult formulations and try to guess what the dosing information should be. That is a recipe for disaster. OTC drugs for toddlers are weaker formulations so that small errors in dosing don't result in large errors in the actual drugs being given.

This is not about safety, never was and the AAP knows it. Safety is a smokescreen for the real issue. That issue is MONEY. If your kid is screaming with an ear-ache in the middle of the night and so dizzy from the fluid in her ears that she is throwing everything up, the AAP wants to force you to go to the ER so that their member doctors can extract a co-pay from insurance companies, those doctors will in-turn give you a prescription for a drug that is identical in virtually every respect to the over the counter version you USED to could buy, You will then go to the 24 hour pharmacy and spend $20 bucks on a bottle of medicine you used to could buy without a prescription for 1/4 of the cost. Everybody wins except the patient, who must sit in the ER waiting room for hours before getting any relief at all, the parent who now pays through the nose and misses more work, the parent's employer who must do without their worker, and the insurance company that must shell out money hand over fist to pay for it all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The more things change.....

The more they stay the same..... Maria Flotte O'Neil resigned recently and a committee was set up by the NHMCCD board of trustees to find a replacement. Word on the street is that the replacement was chosen before-hand and the interview process is just for show. That person is Hector C. Carreño. The rumor is that he was selected because of his ties to Sylvester Turner, who is on the House Appropriations committee.

Why is it that the Board must operate in such a non-transparent manner?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Interesting Bedfellows (updated)

There is a blog by the name of Richard Carpenter Watch. The operators of that blog and myself have crossed paths before. Their view Of Dr. Carpenter is a bit dimmer than mine, but be that as it may, they find themselves in a position that I would be surprised if Red Ink: Texas was not in as well. (I will be checking this and will get back to you.) It would appear that the college district has blocked access to that website from the publicly available computers in the library of the campus. A lawsuit has been filed arguing that such blocking constitutes a violation of the first amendment. I would agree that this is not the proper actions of a publicly funded college district. While I disagree strongly with some of the statements of the publishers of that blog, I steadfastly support their right to make those statements. We both would appear to have the best interests of NHMCCD at heart, even if we do disagree how to arrive at that result or what that result should in fact be.

UPDATE: Via one of my friends on the faculty I have learned that Red Ink: Texas is NOT on the banned list as I feared it might be. Additionally, the Houston Chronicle weighs in as well

Incest for Fun and Profit Part IV: NHMCCD Is An Internet Hosting Company Now?

I was told something quite interesting this afternoon. Seems the NHMCCD chapter of the American Federation of Teachers isn't the only organization using NHMCCD servers for their own use. It would appear that the Tomball Chamber of Commerce is ALSO utilizing college district servers to host their website. Note the domain name in the link, A whois search for turns up no record, but there is a website called that DOES have a record for them. And it lists a "related" link to guess who!! Now, I'm not at all familiar with, but the list of "related" sites seems interesting, although I'm unclear as to what constitutes a "related site" with them. Alexa DOES have a record for them. I have submitted a TXPIA request for information regarding the hosting of these two websites on District servers. If I learn more I will pass the information on. But meanwhile I have a few questions I would really like answers for. Who authorized this? How much is the Chamber of Commerce or the Union paying for this service? What are the liability issues if the website gets hijacked and starts spreading the Storm Worm or starts hosting Child Pornography or Pirated Music or Movies? What happens if such a hijacked site manages to infect the entire NHMCCD network? Who pays to clean up the mess? Who pays the lawsuits arising from it? And finally, who else is using NHMCCD servers for their own use? The head of the Tomball Chamber of commerce, B. Allen Fletcher, has announced he is running for Corbin Van Arsdale's seat. Would this hosting be considered a political expenditure? If so, isn't that illegal?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dirty Little Secrets of Higher Education, Incest for Fun and Profit Part III

There is a dirty little secret that the administrators of NHMCCD and other colleges really don't want the public to know. Their fancy Ed.D and PhD degrees more often than not are bought and paid for from degree mills. One of whom is Walden University. Yes, it has the same name as the fictitious Walden University of Doonesbury fame. Now technically Walden University is an accredited university, but when you start looking at the degrees it is accredited to offer, you start to understand just how incestuous this place really is. Here is the text from their Accreditation records online:
Accreditation at the Doctoral level is limited to the PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences; Health Services; Human Services; Psychology; Public Health; and Public Policy and Administration; the Doctor of Education; and the PhD in Education. No Commission approval required to offer degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in the disciplines of social, behavioral, and health sciences; education; business; public policy and administration, including interdisciplinary programs, and to courses in other disciplines that support these programs.
You'll note that every degree program is geared primarily towards a public servant job, there is a reason for that. Public servants, like school principals and teachers and college administrators (I'll get to that in a moment.) all are generally paid in proportion to their education level. The higher degree can boost the salary quite significantly. And it is automatic too, as soon as the degree is bestowed, the higher pay kicks in, so there is a strong incentive for public servants to shell out a few thousand dollars to an online degree mill to get a sheepskin (even if it is a faux sheepskin). Most of them know that in a couple years when the accreditation agency starts looking closely, the accreditation will be pulled, but by then, it won't matter.

These places are the ITT Tech of higher education. They have no standardized testing requirement for you to enroll, all classes/tests are online (and open book), and the thoroughness of the dissertation committee is probably pretty spotty at best. The classes start every month too. They probably even give credit for "life experience" too. You would be amazed (or perhaps after all the things you've read here, maybe you wouldn't) to learn the sheer number of school and college administrators and instructors that have partaken in this little subterfuge to jack up the pay grade.

You'd think that the school districts and colleges would be a bit leery of these drive through degree mills wouldn't you? Well you're wrong, in fact they encourage it. Just the other day I was copied on an email that was sent out by Judy Stubblefield at NHMCCD advertising this very FOR PROFIT university using the college district email system. This is a violation of State law. The college district resources may not be legally used to advertise for a private for profit entity. Here is the text of the email:
From: Stubblefield, Judy
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 4:06 PM
To: All Employees
Subject: New Doctoral Program for Community College Educators
Importance: Low

Many of you have expressed an interest in earning a doctorate with a
specialization for community college educators. I am pleased to let you
know of an opportunity for you to do just that with an online university
- Walden University. The program is designed for those aspiring to
administrative positions and for those who want to deepen and broaden
their expertise as classroom instructors.

Walden University is accredited by the North Central Association.
Walden is now offering a Ph.D. Program in Community College Leadership
led by Dr. Terry O'Banion, the program's director.

Some highlights of Walden's doctoral program:

* Highly specialized for community college educators

* Outstanding faculty drawn from the field of community college leadership

* Monthly starts

* No standardized tests required for admission

* Allows you to create an individual specialization and focus such as student services, teaching and learning, human resources, business services, technical education, information technology, etc.

* Allows you to work full time while earning your doctorate at a distance

* Competitive overall cost

Walden will be holding an information session to answer your questions
about this program on Friday, October 12 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at
District Services and Training Center, in the Board room of Training and
Development Center. If you are interested in attending this session or
learning more about this new doctoral program in Community College
Leadership, please reply to

Judy Stubblefield
Chief of Staff/Board Liaison
North Harris Montgomery Community College District
5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381
(832) 813-6514 phone
(832) 813-6570 fax

By the way the North Central Association DOES NOT ACCREDIT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. They pass that duty off to The Higher Learning Commission.
And here is Walden's accreditation record online. You'll note that instead of actually being audited by the Commission, they took a class from the commission that allowed them to skate on the audit. So in other words, throw some money their way on a class and they'll give you carte blanche to print what is essentially money in the form of questionable PhD diplomas.

Abortion Kidnapping Plea Deal a Miscarriage of Justice (Updated)

Do you remember the Kampf's? No? They were the white couple up in Maine that were so livid that their 19 year old daughter had gotten pregnant by a black South African man that was serving time in prison for receiving stolen property and will be deported back to South Africa when his sentence is completed, that they kidnapped and tied up their pregnant daughter at gunpoint and were driving her to New York State in order to force her to have an abortion. Now does the name ring a bell? Yeah, I thought that might jog your memory. Well the wheels of justice appear to have four flat tires in Maine. The Kampfs have negotiated a plea deal that allows them to serve no jail time at all.
A couple accused of kidnapping their daughter to force her to have an abortion last year have reached a plea agreement in which they will serve no time behind bars, the couple's lawyer said Wednesday.

Nicholas and Lola Kampf have agreed to plead guilty Friday to misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges to resolve the case, said Thomas Hallett, Nicholas Kampf's attorney.

Under the agreement, the couple will avoid jail time and the assault charge will be dropped once they complete counseling, Hallett said.

"The reality is this was a family matter from the get-go. We tried to resolve this in the best way possible. It was in the best interest of everyone not to blow this up into a big trial," Hallett said.

But Katelyn Kampf, now 20, is none too happy with the fact that the kidnapping charges have been dropped. She intends to be in the courtroom to voice her extreme displeasure with the deal.
"What I've been looking for is some sort of justice," she said. "Them walking away with a misdemeanor is certainly not that."
But apparently this is all news to the DA's office:
District Attorney Stephanie Anderson didn't return a call from The Associated Press. She told the Portland Press Herald that she was surprised by Katelyn Kampf's remarks because she was involved in the discussions.
Katelyn however describes the kidnapping this way:

Breaking her silence on the ordeal, Katelyn Kampf described a harrowing experience that ensued Sept. 15, 2006, after her parents learned she was pregnant with a mixed-race baby. Kampf is white. Reme Johnson, her boyfriend at the time, is black.

Kampf said her mother referred to the baby she was carrying as a "science project" before the episode unfolded.

"At one point I did make it out the door and I ran down the driveway," she said. "I didn't make it 100 feet. My dad chased me and tackled me in the driveway. I had grass stains all over my clothes. I was screaming for help."

Hallett denied that the Kampfs were racist but said the parents were troubled by the unplanned pregnancy.

Yeah, sure, they call ALL pregnancies "science projects" not just mixed race ones right?

Kampf, who gave birth in January to a son, D'Andre Johnson, said it's hard to imagine reconciliation with her parents.

"Honestly, I don't think that I could ever face my parents again after what we went through. My mom spit in my face, said she wished she never had me, said I'd ruined her life," she said.

She added, however, that their absence represents a "huge loss in my life."

It is a crying shame that this child will be without both a father, and grandparents. Nobody in this ordeal made very wise decisions, but at least Katelyn made the decision to spare the child's life. Of the four adults involved here, she would appear to be the most responsible. The sad part is that the child will be the one to pay that price.

I would suggest that the Portland Maine DA's office needs to be getting a few calls about the appropriateness of this plea deal.

Jill Stanek has more.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Doing the Math Democrats Just Won't (or Can't) Do.

What with the hoopla over SCHIP expansion being vetoed, I think it is a good idea to parse the numbers a bit and see just exactly where we stand. According to this article by the Business and Media Institute, the oft quoted "40-50 million uninsured" simply do not exist, at least not in the context they are portrayed to exist. The lion's share of that number are uninsured by choice or are here illegally and have no right to government sponsored health insurance (not that anyone does, but certainly not people here illegally) anyway.

Let us do the math shall we? Let's pick a number in the middle of the range for the purposes of our discussion, say 45 million.

Between 10 and 20 million people are here illegally, possibly more. They obviously do not count since they have no legal claim on government subsidies, so lets delete them right off the bat shall we? Again, picking the midline of 15 million gives us:

45-15=30 million

Of that remaining 30 million about 17 million make more than $50,000 a year and therefore should be able to afford some level of medical insurance. Half of that number make more than $75,000 a year. But for one reason or another they have chosen to forgo insurance. Likely as not because they are young and healthy and think they are immortal.

30-17=13 million

Of the remaining 13 million, about 5 million qualify for some form of government assistance, but fail to take advantage of it for one reason or another.

13-5=8 million

The true number of uninsured at any given time is 8 million, but that too is misleading. 45% of uninsured people are uninsured for less than two months, usually due to job transitions, so of the 8 million, 3.6 will be reinsured within the 90 day HIIPA act re-insurance window that precludes exceptions due to pre-existing conditions.

8-3.6=4.4 million

This is the true number of people that are chronically uninsured due to financial hardship. Less than one tenth the quoted number. That is less than 1.5% of the US population.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fred Thompson on Terrorism

(Satire via FrankJ at IMAO)

Terrorism. We must make our enemies know that Allah is not nearly powerful enough to protect them from our wrath.
Now, if only this were really a true quote......

Duncanville ISD shows no respect for US Military Families

Desi Bailey had a problem. Her husband, a US Soldier based in San Diego was being transferred to DeSoto Texas. This is of course not in the least an extraordinary turn of events for military families. It happens quite literally every day of the week all across our nation and the world. That was not the problem, it is in fact expected when your spouse is serving our country, the problem was one of timing. School was going to be starting soon and Mrs. Bailey had to scramble to get her six year old daughter registered in her new school before school started. She and her husband looked all around the area and settled on Duncanville as where they would move to based strongly on the quality of the schools for their daughter who is developmentally delayed. After making arrangements to move to Duncanville and selecting a home to live in, Mrs. Bailey contacted the Duncanville ISD to register her daughter for school. She was informed that it was "policy" that all transfer students must be enrolled 'in person", and that it could not be done over the phone, email, or via fax. This is highly unorthodox protocol for military families to have to follow. In San Diego, it is common to find organizations willing to work with military families to deal with the sorts of monkey wrenches that military life throws at families that are sacrificing for their country. But, to ensure that her daughter started school on time, the family expedited their move, with transfer documents in hand, to enroll her in Smith Elementary in person as the school district unreasonably required on the first day of classes. Shortly thereafter they are notified that their six year old daughter was being transferred to a different school because of space constraints and would instead be bused to Acton Elementary. Apparently the school has a first come, first served policy when it comes to dealing with overcrowding. The last children enrolled are the first to be transferred. Since the Baileys were not allowed to enroll their child until they were able to arrive in person, their daughter had to endure TWO school changes within weeks. This is hard enough on older kids, this can be even harder on a six year old. Duncanville ISD claims they have been open and communicative with the family throughout this mess but the family tells a different story. They say that the district has repeatedly failed to return calls and refused to disclose the policy manual in which the "in person" policy is written.

The following is a response to an email from Tony Smith from Tom Kennedy with DISD:

Subject: RE: Angel Morris' editorial in this weeks Today Newspaper is an outrage!
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 22:42:52 -0500
From: "Kennedy, Tom" <>
To: "The_Texas_Patriot" <>

Dear Mr. Smith,
Thank you for your recent letter to the DISD Board of Trustees. Unfortunately the school district has very strict rules in regard to student enrollment. These rules were in part established by an outcry by local school patrons about the number of "illegal" students that were enrolling in our schools. It is unfortunate that this student had to follow the same rules as anyone else but if we didn't enforce them equally and fairly to all who register we would have other problems. Unfortunately we are not allowed to pick and choose who has to follow the rules. I'm sure as a former military person you understand the need to have rules that govern all people equally.
Thanks again for your letter. We appreciate your concern for our school district.
Tom Kennedy
(emphasis mine)
I would suggest that those rules are in need of review. Illegal students are not going to have military transfer orders to show, nor will they have transcripts from prior schools if they have just arrived in-country. But even if they did, Federal Law requires them to be enrolled in school regardless of their immigration status. Therefore, the logic being applied seems specious at best. This would appear to be an unreasonable policy calculated to treat military families who do not have the luxury of choosing when to move, as second class citizens. Illegal immigrants are being treated better, and that my friends is a travesty.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Regulation without Representation

A few days ago, a federal judge ruled that the City of Houston's sign ordinance violated the first amendment and that he was enjoining the city from enforcing it. Cory Crow notes that on Matt Stile's blog I pointed up what I feel is an even bigger issue. Look, I have made it clear that I detest Mayor White. And I have done my part in trying to thwart some of his more egregious schemes. And I will continue to do so, even though I do not live within the city's boundaries, well sort of. I do and I don't.I live in an area that was annexed for specific purpose which means we don't pay city property tax but we do pay city sales tax. In return we get an assurance that the city won't annex us for 30 years. The residents of course had no say in this, the local MUD district board signed on the dotted line, but at least the MUD board IS answerable to the people. In the sign issue however we have an entirely different situation. The City is attempting to enforce it's sign regulations on signs OUTSIDE of it's city limits. Those residents in the area have no right to vote in city elections, but yet they are apparently required to follow city law. How can that possibly be legal? When the city decided it was going to regulate pollution outside it's borders there was a huge hue and cry from a number of quarters about regulation without representation, but in this instance, only the hapless sign owner is fighting the good fight.