Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lusa has great sandwiches and pastries and I didn't even know it was there!

    I visited Lusa Pastry Cafe today for the first time. I finished my eye appointment and figured I'd grab something to go while I waited a few minutes for my eyes to get back to normal.
    It features several pastry cabinets. I took a picture of one (I'm afraid my menu shot didn't turn out so hot). I ordered a crab salad sandwich for lunch. It was made with crab, not krab, and served on sourdough bread. Not bad at all!
    Next time I'll take Jinny and we'll split a dessert. Lusa's is located just north of town on North Lamar/Old 7, just south of the Beacon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mad-dog racist Obama plays race card, dares whites to complain

    If you're a white politician it doesn't take much to be called a racist. Want to cut government spending? Racist! Want the government, employers and schools to be required to treat everyone equally? Racist!
    Remember the Willie Horton "Revolving Door" ad put out by the George Bush Sr., campaign? It featured perhaps two dozen white actors, but because one of the two black actors looked briefly at the camera the ad was called "racist."
    It was considered racist to mention crime at all in that race, as Democrat Michael Dukakis had furloughed a rabid killer by the name of Willie Horton who then went on to stab a man and rape his wife. Of course, anyone who dared to criticize Dukakis for granting this furlough was a "racist," because Horton just happened to be black.
    Let's think about this for a minute. If Horton had been white, the Bush campaign would have made just as much hay out of it. There are plenty of scary, dangerous white people out there, and if they are in jail for a heinous crime I would prefer they stay there instead of killing me. Apparently the Democrats have a rule: If a woman is raped by a white man, it is perfectly acceptable to complain, but if raped by a black she must just lay back and enjoy it, because to complain is to be "racist." Will American ever tell Obama and his ilk to just shut up?
    What we have been stuck with for the last three years is an openly racist president and an openly racist attorney general who see the Obama presidency as payback time. When attorney general Eric Holder was criticized for dropping all charges against a group of Black Panthers who brazenly threatened voters, his response was that any objection to letting the Panthers "walk" demeaned the suffering that blacks suffered in the early part of the Twentieth Century. By this idiot's thinking, he's got to sit idly by while crimes are committed against whites until his imaginary "score sheet" is even. Such an evil man; such an evil president.
    But just when you thought the racist slime that is Barack Obama couldn't stoop any lower, he stoops to conquer. Obama has now announced the formation of a new group, "African Americans for Obama." The video is below. Just imagine is Mitt Romney were to release a video touting a new group called "Whites for Romney," and adding that he wanted all Mormons to be sure to fire up the membership.
    A blog on the London Daily Mail responded with a story headlines, "Is Obama Losing His Mind?" The answer is no, anyone who has bothered to review the contents of his books or his statements knows Obama is a man who hates white people. Of course he would try to rally the troops, confident that those Joe Stalin called the "useful idiots" would support him no matter what.
    Obama and his police-state goons are pretty slick. Perhaps he may be re-elected. But let's cut to the chase. We all know it, it cannot be truthfully denied. Obama is a racist and those who support him are racists. He ought to have the decency to resign. If he won't resign he should be impeached. If we can't get enough decent people in Washington to impeach the bum, then the very least we can do is throw the bum out on election day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Voice of the far left Tweets out bigotry

    New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow is one of those "right-thinking" liberals who is always quick to find racism hiding behind every statement of any conservative politician.
    When Newt Gingrich points out that some poor children are never exposed to work, his statement is immediately twisted by people like Blow to suggest that Gingrich had claimed that NO poor people worked. In doing so, he demonstrated his intellectual dishonesty.
    To hear Blow tell it, there is only one person in America standing against religious and racial bigotry, and that person is Charles M. Blow. If you don't believe him, just visit the New York Times website and look at his column archive.
    Of course, there's not much explaining Blow's most recent comments (and, in fact, he has now apologized). During the most recent Republican debate, he sent out a Twitter "Tweet:" "Let me just tell you this Mitt "Muddle Mouth": I'm a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear."
    Before we get to the bigotry in Blow's Tweet, let's look at the content. Romney obviously said something about the problem presented by the increasing numbers of single parents. It is a demonstrably proven fact that no matter the income, no matter the quality of parent, all other things being equal children fare much better in a two-parent family.
    Note what Blow does. Romney brings attention to one of the most important problems that our country faces, namely the fact that children reared by single parents have a higher risk of bad outcomes than children reared by two parents. No rational person can dispute this!
    But Blow twists it. He turns Romney's comments into an attack on all single parents, including himself.
    And so we come to the bigoted Tweet, which reference Romney's "magic underwear." So-called "magic underwear" are worn by Mormons after their first visit to the temple, as a constant reminder of their covenant with God. They are properly called a "temple garment," and they are really no different from religious items worn by people of other faiths. Jewish men wear the little hats, yarmulke, for example, and have other dress codes. Sikhs wear turbans and a special undergarment. In years past, men is some Christian denominations dressed in leisure suits, although this practice seems to have waned. There are other examples, but the fact is that it just isn't that uncommon for members of various faiths to have beliefs that might strike the rest of us as a bit odd. If their "odd" practice doesn't affect me, then why should I care?
    With all of this said, I'm glad Mr. Blow let go with his reprehensible Tweet. It helps remind the rest of us of the type of people we're dealing with: uninformed, hypocritical bigots.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Poor pleading means no relief for spatula-battered McDonald's customer

    The following passage was written by retired circuit judge Henry Lackey in a case involving the Holly Springs McDonald's. The case is Parmenter v. J&B Enterprises. It's the type of legal writing that sticks with you.
    Facts in brief: Plaintiff Parmenter orders at drive-thru and becomes dissatisfied (I can sympathize so far). Enters restaurant and as part of argument with employee sez, “Bitch, you need to get out of my face.” Ms. Parmenter reportedly also used a racial slur, an epithet even.
    Following this, the McDonald's employee retreated to the kitchen where she took up a spatula. She did not, however, use it to flip burgers, but rather to whop Ms. Parmenter up side the head.
    Ms. Parmenter sued McDonald's and the franchise owner. She did not sue the spatula-wielding employee, nor did she claim assault, battery or any other intentional tort, cut rather negligent hiring, negligent supervision and so forth. This was likely a mistake.
    From Judge Lackey's order granting summary judgment in favor of McDonald's:
This dispute arose over an incident at the Golden Arches (McDonald[’]s) in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Apparently [p]laintiff, Kerri Parmenter, became upset over her victuals order and made inquiry about its condition. It is unclear to the [c]ourt the exact cause for [p]laintiff’s displeasure, whether the Big Mack was soggy, the fries limp, or the coffee cold, but in any event, [p]laintiff was unhappy and apparently voiced her annoyance to an employee who was engaged as a cashier. Apparently[,] harsh words we re exchanged, the exact nature of which a re unknown to the [c ]ourt at this time. It appears the employee took serious exception to [p]laintiff’ s inquiry, retreated to the recesses of the restaurant, retrieved a long cooking utensil which was referred to as a metal spatula[,] and used this instrument in a fashion contrary to its intended use or for which it was designed, but a use with which all mothers of young children are acquainted.

    I agree with the court's decision in this case. Plaintiff sought relief on the basis of negligent hiring, not for battery. On the downside, I disagree with Mississippi's "scope of employment" rulings, which tend to state that if an employee commits an intentional tort that goes against company policy, the employer shouldn't be held liable since they are acting outside of their "scope of employment" by breaking the rules. Mississippi is certainly in the minority of states on this, and Mississippi is wrong.
    If you've never visited the Holly Springs McDonald's, by all means drop by. There is no other like it.

In November 1966, Archie was the BMOC at Drew High School

    November 1966 was a big month for Drew High School senior Archie Manning. He was featured on the front page of the Drew Flash as Mr. Drew High School, in a photo for same, as a honor roll student, and as Student of the Month. The front page also said he was named to Who's Who for being Most Athletic and Most Versatile.
    As always, you can click on the photo to bring up a copy big enough to read.

March is Thank a Democrat Month!

    It looks like we may be headed towards $6 a gallon gas. It could put the economy back into a tailspin.
    Remember some years back when the liberals wailed that there was no need to drill in the Arctic wasteland because any oil found wouldn't benefit us for several years? Well, the several years are up and we sure could use the oil. But because of Democrats, we don't have any.
    The Democrats have steadfastly refused to allow drilling in the Arctic wasteland; they've blocked super-safe shallow-ocean drilling; they've opposed the conversion of oil shale into oil; they've even blocked the building of pipelines to bring much-needed oil from Canada to the U.S.
    And so our nation is going further and further into debt. Americans are paying higher and higher prices for gas to countries full of people who want nothing more than to blow up a stock exchange, airliner or major American landmark.
    Make no mistake, this has been an intentional plot by Democrats to cut off America's energy supply to further their radical global warming agenda. But all they've done is to wreck our economy and strengthen our enemies.
    So, be it resolved, I hereby declare the Month of March "Thank a Democrat Month."
    When you're busy pumping that $6-a-gallon gas, thank a Democrat. When you hear about what a shambles our economy is in, thank a Democrat. When nations that hate America humiliate us because we have to grovel for their oil, thank a Democrat. (Oh, and while we're at it, when your insurance premium skyrockets because the Democrats think they can just give away free medical care with a magic wand, thank a Democrat).
    So don't worry Democrats. We're willing to let you take all the credit. So thanks for everything. And don't worry, we won't forget you!

Britain raises taxes, revenue drops

    The London Daily Telegraph has a story about how Great Britain raised its top tax rate to 50 percent. Instead of raising more revenue as expected, less money was collected by the treasury.
    The cutline under a photo illustration of a 50-pence piece says it all: "A Treasury source said the relatively poor revenues from self-assessment returns was partly down to highly-paid individuals arranging their affairs to avoid paying the 50p rate." Who'd a thunk it?
    Folks like me have been saying it all along: Soak-the-rich tax policies might make some people feel better, but they will harm the economy. The rich can and will stop earning taxable income, by working less, investing less, refusing to sell assets, or investing in non-income-producing assets. People can and will avoid taxable events, and when that happens, all of society suffers.
    Currently the top one percent of earners pay more than a third of all income tax collected. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent of earners pay about two percent of income taxes.
    Anyone who studies the figures will see that the percentage of tax revenue raised from top earners actually increased after the Bush tax cuts. In 1999, for example, the top 10 percent paid only 66.5 percent of taxes instead of the 70 percent paid in 2009. And the percentage raised from the bottom half has been cut in half, from four percent to just over two percent. With lowered taxes the rich worry less about paying taxes and just go out and make money.
    There's nothing wrong with making the rich pay more. Society spends a great deal of resources in protecting the assets of the rich, and it isn't unjust that they should pay for the service. But we need to recognize that high income taxes are counter-productive.
    A rational tax policy makes sure every citizen pays some type of tax. Everyone needs to be invested in government. Income tax rates should be kept low, so that they don't overly distort behavior. We can combine the low income tax with a wealth tax on the uber-wealthy; not the ruinous tax Huey Long proposed, but a lower wealth tax designed to raise revenue by taxing the mega-million and billion-dollar estates a nibble at a time. Add to the mix reasonable consumption taxes on those things we need to consume less of, whether its energy or cigarettes, and we are well on our way to a better and fairer tax code.
    You'll never hear these types of proposals from the left. They just want to raise income tax rates. If they succeed, revenues will drop and the economy will suffer. But the liberals can satisfy themselves with the knowledge that they have successfully punished industry and thrift.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Forget the haters, support charter schools

    Educational choice is one step closer to reality after the Mississippi Senate Education Committee approved a charter school bill today. Unfortunately, the committee removed provisions that would have allowed for "virtual" schools.
    Of course the statists are upset. They want a government monopoly on education, no matter how sorry the quality might be. Other, more enlightened statists, would allow charter schools only in "failing" school districts.
    My problem is trying to figure out exactly what is "failing." Is it failing to not meet a state's minimum standards? I think for a high-poverty district, coming anywhere close to average should be heralded as a great success. Likewise, affluent districts full of high-IQ students shouldn't be considered successful merely because they've met standards created for average kids.
    We keep hearing that allowing charter schools will "siphon" money away from public education. How? If a public school has 2,000 students and an average class size of 18, then that school will employ approximately 111 teachers. If some students choose to go elsewhere, revenue goes down, but so does expense. Some teachers will be let go, and will likely take up work at the charter school. It's a zero-sum game; public schools are neither helped nor harmed by students leaving or entering the system.
    I'm sorry to see the education committe removed the provision for virtual education. While I consider pure virtual education a poor substitute for classroom education, it could do wonders for students who are homeschooled or in low-quality private schools.
    In fact, one of the things I noted on social media sites was that many liberals were opposed to virtual classrooms specifically because it might help home- or private schooled kids get a better education. These liberals are so full of hatred towards home and private schooling that they would rather deny education to these children than fund a state program that would guarantee every citizen of Mississippi a decent education.
    Congratulations to the Senate education committee for approving the charter school law. Let's hope the full Senate or House has the courage to reinsert the provisions for virtual classrooms.
    Our goal, as a state, should be to educate every child, not to satisfy the liberal haters.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Holly Springs native Marie Moore pens murder mystery

    Marie Moore joins the ranks of Mississippi authors with her soon-to-be-released book, "Shore Excursions."
    If the book is successful she plans a series to feature Sidney Marsh, a Mississippian transplant in New York who works as a travel agent. Travel is a tough business these days, but Marsh succeeds by organizing and leading group tours. When the grim reaper visits a couple of her tour participants, Marsh insists on finding out what happened.
    I haven't had a chance to read the book yet as it hasn't been released. A few lucky souls who are higher on Marie's list have gotten review copies, and the book has received generally favorable reviews. The review can be found here.
    Like many authors, Moore shares some of her personal experiences through her writing. She had her own travel agency in Holly Springs for many years, and got out of the business just as airline tickets started being booked over the Internet. So she has a good sense of timing! Her husband's works as an immigration judge took them to New York for several years. So her personal experiences should allow her to bring some life to her fictional character, Sidney Marsh.
    In any event, I'm looking forward to reading Marie's maiden book offering. My understanding is we won't have to wait very long for a sequel. The next book in the series, Game Drive, is in the final editing stages. If all goes well, it will be released by the end of the year.
    Good luck Marie from your former student, your former Memphis Press-Scimitar delivery boy, your former travel agency customer and your old friend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Major folk music conference coming to Memphis Feb. 22-26

    For those of you into folk music, a major folk music conference in Memphis next week is expected to draw more than 2,000.
    The 24th annual FOLK ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE will take place again in MEMPHIS FEBRUARY 22nd-26th, 2012. BOB LEFSETZ has been tapped as the keynote speaker. In addition, there are over 50 workshops, panel discussions and peer group meetings; 100+ industry exhibitors; a Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony; and over 500 artist performances. (Can you tell I cut and pasted that paragraph?)
    It seems to me this is a pretty major conference and not that well publicized. How I found out about it is a bit of a story.
    A few weeks ago I heard a song by The Nadas on Pandora that I really liked. I'm not sure I've ever even heard of them. Any way, I typed their name in Google, and what do you know but they're playing the Memphis conference.
    Will I attend the conference? Probably not. But it's there for anyone looking for something to do. And who knows? Maybe you'll spot me!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

October 1966 -- Archie Manning senior class president

    In honor of Eli Manning's win at the Superbowl, I thought I would share this photo from the October 1966 Drew High School newspaper, in which Eli's dad, Archie, was installed as senior class president. The reproduction quality isn't all that great, but it's all I've got!
    As always, you can click on the photo to blow it up large enough to read the story.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Birth control? Yes. Forcing Catholics to buy it? NO!

    Although I am opposed to making the Catholic Church buy contraceptives -- including those which in their minds may induce abortion -- I support birth control.
    As I mentioned in my previous post, most Catholics don't agree with their church's position. Some say as many as 98 percent of Catholic women have used artificial birth control at some point, and a majority disagree with the official church position on birth control (I suspect the 98 percent figure is high).
    The fact that most members don't agree with the church's leadership is frequently cited by those who support requiring Catholic institutions to provide free contraceptives to their employees. What a dangerous precedent!
    Is the government now going to step in every time it feels a church's leadership is out of step with its members? If so, we may soon see female priests installed while escorted by federal marshals who threaten to kill anyone who tries to uphold church law. Apparently a majority of Seventh-Day Adventists don't adhere absolutely to that faith's call for vegetarianism. Shall we now require Seventh-Day institutions to serve pork chops with the threat of jail or death to those who refuse to comply.
    It simply isn't the proper role of government to pick and choose which religious liberties to trample based on the government's determination of how strongly the rank-and-file membership agrees with a policy.
    As I said before, in addition to eroding religious liberty, I think just giving out birth control pills for free is poor economic policy. It ignores the fact that many women, through forgetfulness don't finish their cycles, and would quit buying them if using their own money. And it will encourage doctors to prescribe to most expensive brands of birth control because, after all, it's free. Far better to at least have a co-pay, with a higher co-pay for the more expensive brands.
    As a matter of policy, if the government wants insurance to provide something for free, it ought to be paid for by the government, not by forcing insurance companies or churches to pay for it. If the government wants everyone to have free contraceptives, then enact a dedicated tax and use the proceeds to buy everyone free birth control -- and count me as a supporter.
    That's far more acceptable than pointing a gun at the Catholics and ordering them under threat of jail and death if they resist, to violate the tenants of their faith.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Forcing Catholics to buy birth control is assault on liberty

    If you want another reason to be against Obamacare, consider the debate over whether the Catholic church should be forced to buy birth control for its employees.
    Official Catholic doctrine is that the use of artificial birth control is a sin, a position I disagree with. Most Catholics disagree, too. But that doesn't matter. It's still the position of the church. Most Baptists have had a drink or two, but that doesn't mean the government should be allowed to force the sale of beer in Baptist churches.
    The new government regulations will require all health insurance programs, including those of the Catholic church, to provide free birth control pills with so much as a co-pay. Not only is the government trampling on religious freedom, but they are depriving all of us of our financial freedom as well.
    Birth control pills certainly cost money, anywhere from $20 to $50 per month. I'm sure one can spend more, and will once these are completely covered by insurance. I've found that when doctors know I'm covered, they only write prescriptions for the most expensive medicines.
    Some women forget to take their birth control pills, and after a while realize it's not worth buying them if they aren't going to use them. So they use another method of birth control. No need to throw money away! Does anyone think that these women will make the same decision when its other people's money being wasted?
    If you look at what the government is doing with health insurance, it is requiring employers and insurers to provide all sorts of coverage at "no cost" to consumers. Of course, these costs must be paid, and the only way to pay them is to raise insurance rates on everyone.
    The whole purpose of insurance is to help us handle life's unexpected expenses. Birth control pills, which a woman will take every month for years, can hardly be called an unexpected expense. Would it make sense to require auto insurers to cover the cost of gasoline? Of course not! Everybody knows they need to buy gas, so let them buy their own instead of shifting the cost to their neighbors. It's the same with birth control pills.
    I'm not saying insurance companies should be prohibited from covering birth control pills. I'm just saying it should be the employer's choice.
    The Obama plan, which requires all employers, including churches, to hand out free pills without even a co-pay is not just an assault on religious freedom; it's an assault on economic good sense that undermines our health care system.

Monday, February 6, 2012 ad shows how car dealers market to blacks

    I found the ad that ran during the Superbowl a bit disturbing. I'm not sure how many picked up on it. Steve Sailer did.
    Good salesmen know every trick. One of those tricks is to be aware that people don't like to admit that they can't afford the item being purchased. Zig Ziglar, who I love to listen to on tape, describes this in his tape series and book, Secrets of Closing the Sale, when he describes his experience of buying a Cadillac from master car salesman Chuck Bellows.
    This is especially true of black buyers. Studies have shown that blacks pay more for cars. Other studies have shown that at any given income level blacks are more likely to pay for first class plane tickets. Blacks seem to be far more prone to attacks on their ego than do white buyers.
    Make no mistake, the ego attack works on everyone, as illustrated by Ziglar's response to Bellows' question, "Is it too much?" But marketers use the attack with especial effectiveness on black customers. There's no racist design behind this. Salesmen just size up each customer and then squeeze out every dollar they can. They are doing nothing wrong. But as a society we ought to educate everyone on how to be better consumers.
    In the Superbowl ad, a black customer is in a car dealership while a "confidence puppet" is screaming "Oh baby, I want that car!" The black customer explains to the car salesman that he's researched the GAS MILEAGE, of all things, on, and therefore is ready to make a choice, and so "I'll take that one." There's no reference whatsoever to him having bargained over price, which in the final analysis is likely more important than the gas mileage.
    I'm sure I've been to the website before, but in the future I'm going to try not to use it. They have made it clear that they don't want to provide the type of information that consumers really need, which is the lowest price we have to pay to get the car, not the gas mileage.
    Based on their commercial, I can only conclude that the people are out to hoodwink us, not to help us.

(The link I've provided to the Ziglar book should take you directly to the Ziglar description of the car buying experience I described. I urge the reading of as many pages before and after as Google will permit. It's a great story!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

If the Super Bowl coin flip is "heads," Papa Johns is handing out free pizzas

    Papa Johns pizza has a lot riding on Sunday's Super Bowl coin toss. If the toss comes up "heads" they're giving every "Papa Rewards" member a free pizza and Pepsi MAX. You can learn more and enroll in Papa Rewards here.
    My guess is even if the coin toss comes up "tails" they'll offer some type of consolation prize.
    I signed up tonight. You have until 6 p.m. Eastern Time (that's 5 p.m. here in Oxpatch) on game day to sign up.
    I'm signed up. Forget the Patriots or the Giants. Go Heads!

Mississippi ranks Number One in conservatism

    A new Gallup survey ranks Mississippi as our nation's most conservative state, with 53.4 percent of respondents identifying themselves as conservative. Almost making the grade, in order, were Utah, Wyoming, Alabama and Louisiana.
    Wearing liberal dunce hats were the most liberal states, based on personal identification. Actually, most liberal of all wasn't a state but the District of Columbia, which makes sense as they produce nothing and merely feed off the rest of us. 39.8 percent of D.C. residents identify themselves as liberal. The federal district is followed by Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington state, and New York.
    Also of interest is that Mississippi had the fewest people identifying themselves as "liberal," with 10.9 percent claiming that benighted title (compared to 39.8 percent of D.C. residents). 31.2 percent of Mississippians called themselves "moderate." Of course, we all know that most "moderates" are merely liberals in sheep's clothing, but it doesn't affect Mississippi's No. 1 ranking.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oxford Film Festival is Feb. 9-12, so be there!

    If you’re looking for something to do, the Oxford Film Festival is next weekend, Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 9-12.
    It’s one of those events that you ought to come out and support just because it’s in Oxford. With that said, I viewed a few of the films last year and really enjoyed them. My only complaint was that I thought the schedule wasn’t put together as well as it could have been. Essentially anyone wanting to see the Mississippi films was precluded from seeing many of the other films due to some 20-minute overlaps. In particular I wanted to see The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History, but the schedule was set up to prevent moving from one track to another. Merely moving all the films in one of the tracks up by about 20 minutes last year would have allowed people to see more films of interest.
    Last year I really enjoyed the Mississippi Innocence film as well as When Cotton Blossoms, a biographical feature on the founder of the Piney Woods School.
    So what looks interesting this year? Clearly Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians is one to catch. Patriot Guard Riders features a motorcycle club which travels the country attending military funerals. Rhino Resurrected is the story of Rhino Records and a reunion of sorts that was held when that stores founder opened a new store.
    The Mississippi Documentaries are what I’m most interested in, and I’m not alone. To see these get in line early. There is a 30-minute interview with Dean Faulkner Wells, which I predict will pack the house. I get search hits on my blog every week from people doing Google searches for her obituary, a portion of which I published, so there is interest in her story.
    To Live and Die in Avoyelles Parish is a Southern Foodways Alliance film featuring a 30-hog roasting. Others include a feature on the Proud Larry’s music scene; Yocna, a feature on Yocna Bottom Farms; The Beacon, which features the restaurant; The Fifty-Nine Team, which looks at the personalities behind the 1959 Ole Miss National Championship football team, plus lots more.
    There are lots of other films. I’ve just listed a few that look interesting to me. Everyone will have their own favorites.
    For more information or tickets, visit the Oxford Film Festival website!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

If this is global warming, count me in!

    It was a beautiful Feb. 2 in Oxford, Mississippi today. I switched from a long-sleeve shirt to short sleeves and did some outdoor chores.
    It's been a very mild winter in the lower 48 states. The Global Warming crowd seizes on this and similar weather events as "proof" of man-made global warming. Of course, these people were silent a few years ago when it was so cold all summer long that I rarely could take my kids swimming.
    Just to share my opinion, I think it makes perfect sense that carbon dioxide could cause temperatures to rise. I also believe cyclical heat patterns from the sun have a lot to do with the climate here on Earth. And there is evidence that we may be headed for a period of global cooling, not warming.
    But let's accept for now the claim that all the warm weather we've been having is "proof" of global warming. We often hear of the terrible things global warming will bring, but clearly warm weather isn't all bad.
    In fact, one of the terrible things global warming is supposed to be causing is melting in the Arctic. No need to worry about that this winter. It's 50 below zero right now in most of Alaska, so it will stay frozen for quite a while.
    Meanwhile, let's consider this year's mild winter. If it is indeed man-made, what a wonderful thing we've done! Flu and other infectious diseases thrive on cold weather. That's why we haven't had much of a flu season this year. We don't enjoy paying our power bills, but we've hated it a lot less this winter. At our house, savings are likely to be well in excess of $1,000.
    Let's multiply that out. The United States has more than 114 million households. Let's assume a savings of $800 per household. That's a energy savings of almost $92 billion this winter alone. And it doesn't include another $30 billion or so that's been saved by commercial customers.
    Add up the energy savings and the time not lost to sickness -- not to mention death -- and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that our warm winter has saved our nation $400 billion or more this year.
    I'm sure global warming has a downside. But sometimes that's all we hear about. For example, they tell us that the increased carbon dioxide levels are likely to make poison ivy grow more aggressively. Okay, but if true it is also likely to increase corn and soybean yields and make trees grow faster (which will reduce carbon dioxide levels). So the bad is offset by the good.
    The real truth is that as the planet gets warmer or colder some areas will benefit and others will suffer. For now, we seem to be doing pretty well!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sharing pizza best at Old Venice

    Lucy and I went out last night to Old Venice Pizza in Oxford. I had a $20 gift certificate that I had won from the Food Fest that was held a few months ago, and figured I needed to use it before I lost it!
    I have to confess that I've been disappointed in Old Venice in the past. I like the atmosphere, but I just wasn't satisfied with the food.
    For this trip we agreed that we would just get a large pizza and share it. Ash didn't come (algebra project), so we figured a large would be big enough for us to take him a couple of slices.
    Our plain pepperoni pizza was just great. We ran up the tab a little bit by starting with salads, which were nice. I had a glass of wine. The total bill was $33, and there was plenty of pizza left over to take home. If we had left off the salads and the wine the total would have been under $20.
    I had the same experience with Soulshine Pizza around the corner. I really didn't like their specialty pizzas and found it expensive. They I insisted that the children just share a large pepperoni and mushroom pizza with me. Not only was the plain pepperoni better than the fancy stuff, but one large pizza was a whole lot cheaper.
    I never have figured out the "Old Venice" name. Venice isn't known for pizza at all; their cuisine is sea based. "Old Naples" might be a better name.