Scattershot

23 01 2010

Here are a few bits and pieces of interest to me.

Stupid Gets Smacked Down

And yet fails to learn its lesson. The Glenn County Board of Education has reversed Gary Tudesko’s expulsion for the horrific crime of having firearms in his truck … off campus. The board saw the firestorm of protest (mostly online) generated by the case and decided to trim the sails of the Willow High School administrators.

Those worthies are expressing outrage. The district superintendent was particularly insane in his complaint:

Steve Olmos’ response was one of confusion.The decision “has left me dumbfounded, almost speechless,” he said. The county board “is undermining our authority. They are definitely saying we don’t have jurisdiction off campus,” he complained.

Here’s a clue chit: You don’t have any authority off the fucking campus. If Gary Tudesko had brought those shotguns to school, he would have deserved expulsion- and probably some jail time. The fact that those shotguns were legally stored in a private motor vehicle off campus means he hadn’t broken any laws. He hadn’t broken any school regulations, either. The fact that he’s apparently a redneck of the first water is not an expulsion offense.

Score one for reason and rationality.

Hoist One for our Founders

I like the Brits. I like a lot of things about the UK. I am profoundly less enthusiastic about the UK’s libel laws and their State religion.

It turns out that a certain blogger has been pointing out the very stupid writings and sayings of a certain Anglican vicar, who complained to the police. The police sent an officer around to talk with the blogger, who thereafter agreed to move his blog from Blogspot to WordPress (he had apparently started the blog while in school, and the school wanted no part of the controversy). The police stressed that the blog’s author was not being “cautioned” or warned.

The vicar apparently decided that he now had all kinds of authority. Here is what he wrote to an Australian blogger who was also tormenting him with his own words and deeds:

You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.

Vicious little bastard, isn’t he? The vicar, Stephen Sizer, is an anti-semitic loon of the first water and a Holocaust denier who is apparently a favorite read among the thugs ruling Iran.

One wonders why the police felt it necessary to confront a blogger over what is surely a matter for civil courts- even in the UK. Imagine that sort of crap taking place here in the US.

Pastor: I want to complain about this guy who’s been writing things about me. On the internet.

Police: You got the wrong number, buddy. That’s not a police problem.

Pastor: But … he’s making me look bad!

Police: Sue him. Not our problem.

Not that I have that much faith in most police agencies in this country, but they have more than enough on their plates without getting involved in purely civil matters.

Hardcore

Take a soldier out to your local watering hole, and buy that worthy a drink in honor of Major Richard (Dick) Winters (retired), formerly of Easy Company, 516th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. He turned 92 this week. For those who have not managed to catch Band of Brothers on TV, here’s a clip. Here is a clip showing Maj. Winters in person.

There are several worthwhile reads regarding Dick Winters and the men he served with. Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers. Winters’ war memoir is Beyond Band of Brothers. Wild Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron wrote Brothers in Battle: Best of Friends. Buck Compton wrote Call of Duty.

These men were heroes all, and they would likely be the first to remind you that they weren’t alone in their heroism. Thousands of ordinary men were thrust into a world of savagery and fire and blood and fought their way through it, making the world a much better place by doing so. We owe these men, and their brothers in arms wearing the uniforms of Great Britain, France, Poland, Russia, and China. Those men and women who fought and bled and all too often died to rid the world of a monster. We were lucky to have them.

If there is a just god, then Dick Winters should be enjoying all the nonagenarian trim he could handle. People who have met him claim he is extremely modest and very private, so we can’t drag him down to a bar and pay for his drinks in perpetuity. Happy birthday, sir.

Currahee!

Current status: Tired

Current music: Skye Boat Song

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24 01 2010

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