Friday, May 31, 2013

Remains Of The Mary Rose Go On Display

Reclaimed parts of the Mary Rose, the favorite warship of the English king Henry VIII, have been put on display in Portsmouth, U.K.  After being Henry's favorite ship for 34 years, she and her crew of 400 men were lost in 1545 while fighting off a French invasion fleet.  The salvaged parts, mainly a large hull section, were recovered 30 years ago.

Read the story at CBS News.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Michele Bachmann To Retire

Four-term Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) has decided not to seek re-election in 2014, and will instead step down at the end of her current term, the announcement being posted on YouTube.  During 2012, she briefly campaigned for the GOP presidential nomination.  She has been a favorite of the Tea Party movement.

Read more at Townhall, the Washington Post, Human Events and the Centre Daily Times.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Train Derails Near Baltimore

This afternoon, a CSX freight train derailed in the Rosedale area of Baltimore County after striking a truck.  The derailment caused a loud explosion, closed down U.S. highway 40, and damaged several buildings near the tracks.  A total of 15 railcars were derailed.  The only casualty has been the driver of the truck, who was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma center.  Rosedale is east of the city of Baltimore, about a mile from the city line.

Read more at the Baltimore Sun, WJLA, WBAL, CBS Baltimore and ABC News.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I Drive Your Truck

Writing in National Review Online, Lee Habeeb tells the story of Paul Monti, who lost his son Jared in Afghanistan, and the way in which Mr. Monti copes with his loss.  Habeeb was deeply affected by an NPR radio show in which Monti told his story, and as it turned out, was not alone.  A Nashville songwriter listening to the same broadcast was likewise moved, and with the help of two co-writers, turned Monti's story into a song, which was soon afterwards recorded by singer Lee Brice.

This, of course, is but a brief summary.  Read the full story at the above link.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Links To Start The Long Weekend

The Memorial Day weekend, one of those "anchors" on the calendar, has just started.  This coming Monday, Americans will pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free.  Today, here are some things recently in the news:

From the New York Post, a homeless teenage girl living near Atlanta has just become her high school's valedictorian.

From Fox News, the Boy Scouts of America have voted to accept openly gay members.

From Breitbart's Big Hollywood, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gets into a confrontation with Jersey Shore cast member Snooki.

From Biz Pac Review, polling expert Scott Rasmussen says that the recent scandals are bringing bad news for President Obama.  (Isn't that what scandals normally do to a president?)

CNS News reports on Obama's commencement speech as the U.S. Naval Academy, where he blamed the "misconduct of a few" for eroding the public's trust in the government.

From CBN News, an American missionary in Africa has gone missing.

From NBC News, the Department of Justice confirms that the search warrant for Fox News reporter James Rosen's e-mails was approved "at the highest levels".  One writer at National Review suggests that reporters "should just CC Eric Holder" from now on.

From The Hill, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) says that the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill does not have the votes to pass the Senate.

From the Washington Examiner, a former president of Guatemala has been extradited to the United States to face money-laundering charges.

Reason gives us three reasons, other than Lois Lerner, to fear the IRS.

From CNN, yesterday's collapse of a section of the Skagit River bridge on Interstate 5 in Washington state is believed to have been caused by an 18-wheeler hitting an overhead tress (and not from GOP obstruction, as reported by Mediaite).

And from Wired, on the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, 30 things you didn't know about the movie.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maryland To Get Mega-Mosque

The government of Turkey is building a mosque estimated to cost $100 million on 15 acres of land in Lanham, Maryland.  The complex will include five buildings and an underground parking garage.  On May 15th, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visited the site and gave a speech, in which he expressed his desire to return in 2014 for the opening ceremonies.

Read more at the Clarion Project, Last Resistance and Muslim Link.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Music Break - A Few More Old Favorites

To continue where I left off last month, here are some more old favorites of mine, some well-known, some not so much.

Aerosmith's 1974 Toys In the Attic album featured the hits Walk This Way and Sweet Emotion, but the cut I liked the most was Adam's Apple.

Friday, May 17, 2013

IRS To Pro-Lifers: Tell Us About Your Prayers

Two pro-life organizations seeking tax-exempt status were allegedly asked by the IRS about the content of their prayers, according to the Thomas Moore Society, whose help both groups had sought.  The Coalition for Life of Iowa received a letter asking such questions in June 2009.  The other group was Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, Texas.

Read more at Yahoo News and Fox News.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday News And Links

A few stories out there:

From ABC News, the IRS official in charge of the division that deals with tax-exempt organizations when Tea Party groups were targeted for extra scrutiny now runs their Affordable Care Act office.

From the American Thinker, a lawsuit against the IRS accuses it of seizing the medical records of 10 million people.

From the Associated Press, an arrest warrant has been issued for former NFL player Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson.

From The Corner at National Review, the Speaker accuses President Obama and his administration of "remarkable arrogance".

From Fox News, the manager of the Fort Campbell sexual assault prevention program has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection against his ex-wife.

From the Washington Post, an investigation finds that terrorists who had entered the witness protection program and were given new identities were allowed to board airplanes in the United States.

From the Washington Examiner, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has signed legislation passed by the state legislature that has "some of the toughest new gun restrictions in the nation".

The Daily Caller asks if the IRS gave presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

From Newsmax, Catholic League director Bill Donohue claims that his organization was targeted by the IRS.

From Gateway Pundit, the IRS granted applications for tax-exempt status much more quickly for Muslim groups than for Christian or Jewish groups.

From Politico, a second federal court has ruled that President Obama's NLRB appointments were unconstitutional.

From The Guardian, Venezuela has been experiencing a shortage of toilet paper.

Continuing with the British media, a study reported by the Mail Online claims that strong men tend to have rightwing political views.

And from the International Business Times, Canada appears to be the place to watch for UFOs.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Virginia Tech President To Retire

Dr. Charles W. Steger Jr., who has served as Virginia Tech's president since 2000, has announced his intention to retire, but will remain at his position until a replacement is named.  He had also served as Dean of the school's College of Architecture before becoming university president.  Dr. Steger is a self-described "three-time graduate" of Virginia Tech, after earning three degrees in the architecture disciplines.

Read more at the Roanoke Times and Virginia Tech News.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Saudi Man With Pressure Cooker Arrested At Airport

A Saudi Arabian man named Hussain Al Kwawahir flew to Detroit from Amsterdam, after making an unfortunate choice in deciding what to bring into the United States.  He was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport for altering his passport, and for lying about why he had a pressure cooker in his luggage.

Read the story at NBC News, CBS News, the Washington Post, News Daily and Detroit News.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Archaeologists Find 1500-Year-Old Mosaic In Israel

From Haaretz:

Archaeologists working near Kibbutz Beit Kama in southern Israel have discovered a building with water channels, pipes, water pools, and a "magnificent 1,500-year-old mosaic floor".  The building was part of a village that also included a church, a water cistern, storerooms and homes.  The village "thrived  from the 4th through 6th centuries C.E.", during which the area was under Roman and then Byzantine rule.

Read the full story.

Gunmen Attack Mother's Day Parade

As many as 19 people were shot and wounded while marching in a "second line" Mother's Day parade in New Orleans.  Police suspect that three gunmen, and two different types of guns, may have been involved.  So far, no fatalities have been reported.

Read more at NOLA(dot)com, NBC News, Fox News and USA Today.  According to NBC News, a "second line" is a group of people following a brass band marching down a street, a common occurrence in New Orleans.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Wheel Reinvented

I would certainly like to get my grubby hands - and my big feet - on one of these, just to try it out.  British inventor Sam Pearce has replaced the spokes of a normal bicycle wheel with large springs, which give the wheel its own internal suspension.  The "Loopwheel", as he calls it, can be used on existing bikes.

Read more at the Mail Online, and watch their video:

Boston Bomber Buried

The body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of two brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon, has been buried in a small Muslim cemetery named Al-Barzakh, in Doswell, Virginia.  The burial was coordinated by Martha Mullen, a member of a local Methodist church, with some help from Tsarnaev's uncle Ruslan Tsarni.  The cemetery is run by a group called Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia.  Doswell is located about 15 miles north of Richmond, the state capitol.

Read more at Boston(dot)com and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Speech For A High School Principal

The speech comes from conservative columnist Dennis Prager by way of a12iggymom, and was originally published in 2010.  It appears to have generated an Internet meme alleging that Prager gave the speech in a high school.  One version of the meme had Prager being a high school principal himself.  In reality, however, it was nothing more than a hypothetical speech that Prager wrote as one of his columns.  Even so, I would still say that it's full of good ideas, so here's a small excerpt.  Read the whole speech at either of first two links above.

To the students and faculty of our high school:
I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people. 
I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against our country. 
First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. 
The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sanford Elected To Congress

Former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has won the special election for his state's first congressional district, vacated when current governor Nikki Haley appointed Tim Scott to the Senate to replace Jim DeMint, who had resigned.  Sanford defeated Democrat candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch by 9 percent.  He had previously served in the House of Representatives from the same district.

Sanford resigned as chairman of the Republican Governors Association after his affair with a woman in Argentina was revealed, but stayed on as governor.  In one episode, he traveled visit her and then tried to explain his absence by claiming to have been hiking on the Appalachian Trail.  In more recent troubles, he faces a court appearance stemming from a complaint by his ex-wife alleging that he trespassed at her home.

Read more about the election at USA Today, the Washington Post, Yahoo News and Fox News.  For some background on Sanford's affair, read more at The Guardian.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Judge Sentenced For Selling Kids To Prison

Former Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for what has been described as "literally selling juveniles for cash".  He accepted money from the owner of a private prison in exchange for sending thousands of convicts to the prison, some as young as 10 years old, a program that became known as "kids for cash".  Ciavarella has been convicted of 12 total counts, and also ordered to pay restitution.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella.

This story comes via American Vision News, who note that it was barely touched by the American media, and who instead found it in The Independent, which is British, and in a blog named BlackNews.

10 Myths About The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A historical overview from Epiphanies for Change, recently re-tweeted from someone I follow on Twitter.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Boston Cemeteries Won't Take Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev appears to be having a difficult afterlife.  Although a funeral home in the Boston suburb of North Attleboro has prepared his body for burial, no one appears willing to take it.  His widow has declined to do so, and no Boston-area cemetery has been found that will accept his burial.  Islamic law forbids cremation.

From Fox News via Weasel Zippers, whose commenters have offered a variety of creative suggestions.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Three More Arrested In Marathon Bombing Case

Police in Boston have announced the arrest of three new suspects in their investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing.  The three men are all 19 years old and are said to be friends of Dzhokar Tsarnaev.  One is an American citizen, while the other two are from Kazakhstan.  Charges against them include conspiracy to obstruct justice and lying to investigators.

Read more at the Atlantic Wire, Press-Citizen, iRealty Times and the Capitol Resource Institute.