Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

I just snapped this at the South Lamar round-about. You don't go clockwise, folks.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm glad this family photo was labeled!

    I'm been pawing through some old photos from a box that was in the attic at my grandparents' house. Most of the photos are duplicates of photos that are already floating around, but a few appear to be real treasures.
    My dad also has a very large box of photos, many with no markings. Ye olde ancestors who failed to mark your photos, we are saying bad things about you! I found an entire photo album from the 1890-1910 era with only one photo marked with a name -- and I can't read the last name! It's funny, but in the 1900-era photos, people are posing with the fancy horse and buggies just as families did in the 1940s and '50s with their cars.
    I found a photo of my grandmother, Lucy Karr Hurdle, with her siblings. "Mom" Hurdle died in 1977. She was a wonderful woman. Three of her grandchildren named daughters after her. I'll have more to say about my grandmother in a future blog post, and might even include her pecan cookie recipe. I never met her brother Benn, who was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians for about five years total, with another 15 years in the minors.
    Aunt Cue aged more gracefully than any other woman I've met. Uncle Phillip remained in Mt. Pleasant and farmed successfully all his life. In his later years when his circulation got bad he sat in the corner next to a heater with it cranked up to about 120 degrees. He and Aunt Margaret were very nice to me when I was young, and by happenstance I stopped by for a visit a couple of weeks before he died. I only remember meeting Aunt Olivia once, at Uncle Jake's funeral. When she was about 60 the doctors told her she had a bad heart that was likely to give out any minute, but if she would take to her bed she might last another year or two. I think she lived into her 90s.
    I'm glad someone took the time to write the names of everyone on the back of the Karr family photo. I recognized my grandmother, but I honestly wouldn't have been able to figure out who everyone else is. Label your family photos, folks!

Last Refuge blog gets to bottom of Trayvon Martin hoax

    I've added "The Last Refuge" blog to my blog list on the left side of this page. It has some of the best coverage of the Trayvon Martin hoax that I've seen.
    And make no mistake, it's looking more and more like a hoax. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says the prosecutor's failure to include the fact that George Zimmerman had a bloodied head was certainly an ethical violation, and could perhaps even rise to the level of criminal perjury.
    I'm sure you've heard the family say again and again that "All we want is an arrest." Why was an arrest so important? Well, in Florida, unless an arrest is made there can be no civil suit, but once an arrest is made everyone can be sued even if the charges are later dismissed.
    "The Last Refuge" blogger believes that the so-called conversations with the girlfriend never took place. Note that the family said they didn't "trust" the police enough to give them this evidence. These conversations were only mentioned when the family needed a narrative to sell to the public. Oh, and the voice screaming on the 911 call. The morning after Martin's death his father listened to the 911 tape and said it definitely wasn't his son. Of course he wasn't looking at his son's death as a lucky Powerball ticket then, either. I'm sure if he hears the tape today it will sound just like Trayvon.
    Oh, and one little tidbit I learned about George Zimmerman's 2005 arrest for assaulting a police officer. It seems he and a friend were in a bar, as were several plainclothes cops hoping to find some minors in possession. They had no luck and were thus in a nasty mood. For some reason one of the officers looked like he was about to get into a fight with Zimmerman's friend and Zimmerman walked over and pushed him away to avert the fight. The cop decided to throw his weight around by charging Zimmerman with assaulting a police officer, even though Zimmerman had no way of knowing he was a police officer. Of course the charges were dismissed.
    To get an idea of what's happening is this updated version of the Duke Lacrosse case, check out "The Last Refuge" blog, starting at Update 9.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

'Aunt' Hallie Chatham recovering nicely from broken leg

    I was waiting for some prescriptions to be filled today so I drove down to Phillips for a hamburger. I was lecturing the order clerk about how I wanted my hamburger pressed good and flat and cooked well done and douse with salt, "just like Mrs. Phillips used to do."
    Somebody behind me in line chimed in with a "Mrs. Phillips" comment and it turned out to be Ralph Doxey. He had just taken his great aunt, Hallie Chatham, to the doctor where she got a cast off of her leg which she broke some months ago.
    Hallie Chatham is 97 and in reasonably good health. She's not far from 98.
    Hallie and Lloyd Chatham only lived a block away from me when I was growing up. They didn't want me to call them "Mr. and Mrs." so we settled on Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Hallie. They treated me like royalty. Hallie taught me how to "decoupage," which is admittedly not the world's highest art form. Lloyd loved to show off his fruit trees in the back yard, although most years he was showing off lack-of-fruit trees, as he said the Holly Springs climate simply wasn't suited to peach and pear trees.
    As I got older I stopped invading their privacy. I don't remember when Lloyd died, but throughout my teen years I continued to see Hallie at the First Baptist Church in Holly Springs. In fact, as a young teen or pre-teen I would check out Hardy Boys books from the church library, which she ran and opened for about two hours each Sunday. They were the great, brown Hardy Boy books which were far better than the more modern ones.
    In any event, it was great to see Ralph, who served as assistant scoutmaster for a year when I was a Boy Scout. It was great to see his grandmother, who has been kind to me all my life. Willard Scott is gone from the Today Show, but I'm looking forward to wishing Hallie Chatham a happy 100th birthday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ole Miss dean takes leading national position in defending Pope Pius XII against charges he aided Nazis

    An Ole Miss Law School associate dean is taking on those who claim -- falsely in my view -- that the Catholic Church aided the Nazis during and after World War II.
    A news article by the Catholic New Agency describes two books written by Ole Miss' Ronald J. Rychlak which refute claims of Nazi collaboration.
    “The combination of sloppy work and over-the-top charges provides a textbook example of how a verifiably false account can be reported as fact in the mainstream media,” Rychlak said in the April 2012 issue of the Catholic League’s newsletter The Catalyst.
    From the article:
Rychlak also questioned the reliability of Madigan’s sources.

Madigan’s Commentary essay drew on Gerald Steinacher’s book “Nazis on the Run: How Hitler’s Henchmen Fled Justice” and David Cymet’s book “History vs. Apologetics: The Holocaust, the Third Reich, and the Catholic Church.”

According to Rychlak, Madigan “confounded” Steinacher’s points and wrongly said that he wrote that Pope Pius XII favored an “extensive amnesty” for war criminals.

“That is not what Steinacher wrote, and nothing could be further from the truth,” Rychlak said.

He cited Pius XII’s repeated public stands in favor of punishing war criminals and his provision of evidence for use against Nazi defendants. The Pope assigned a Jesuit to assist prosecutors of accused war criminals.

Steinacher in fact attributed the advocacy amnesty to a German bishop working in Rome, but this interpretation is a misreading, Rychlak said.

He focused on Steinacher’s examination of two letters between Bishop Alois Hudal, rector of the German-speaking seminary college in Rome, and then-Msgr. Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Pope Paul VI.

Bishop Hudal’s May 5, 1949 letter to Msgr. Montini sought amnesty for German soldiers. Steinacher’s book, which incorrectly dates the letter, erroneously reported that the bishop sought pardon for war criminals, Rychlak said.

“Actually, Hudal expressed sympathy for political prisoners who had already spent four years in prison, but he never mentioned nationalities, war criminals, or soldiers,” Rychlak wrote.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Overby center features interesting programs this week

    The Ole Miss Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics has a few interesting panel discussions coming up this week.
    On Wednesday, April 18, at 11 a.m., "The Chinese Connection" will be presented. It is described as "Members of Mississippi's Chinese-American community and students in the renowned Chinese Flagship Language Program at Ole Miss talk about their relations in a distant land."
    On Thursday, April 19 at 1 p.m., there will be a panel discussion featuring three lobbyists. "The Lobbyists" will feature Ole Miss grads John Hall, Lee Sanders, and Joel Wood as they describe their work as lobbyists in the nation’s capitol. Overby Fellow Bill Rose will moderate. Lee Sanders was a friend of mine back in the day, so I hope to make it to over to say hello.
    On Friday, April 20 at 11 a.m., University of Oklahome All-American running back Spencer Tillman will talk about his decision to get get a journalism degree and then to return to journalism after playing professional football.
    The Overby Center is named for Charles L. Overby, editor of the Daily Mississippian at Ole Miss from 1967-1968. Overby has been the CEO of the Freedom Forum since 1989 and CEO of the Newseum since its inception in 1996.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cheap Hilton points can make for a cheaper Hilton stay

    It's been almost a year since I posted about the good deals offered on the Daily Getaways site. There are lots of good deals, but a year ago I thought one of the best deals was the Hilton points. I still think so.
    I will allow you to visit the website and decide for yourself what constitutes a good deal. They have some great discounts on MGM Skysuites, for example, but I have no burning desire to stay in a Skysuite. (Okay, I do, but I'm not even willing to pay the heavily discounted price).
    I still think one of the best deals being offered is the chance to buy HHonors points. And this year they are being offered on two days, April 25 and May 2, and they are being offered in great enough quantities that they shouldn't sell out in 10 seconds. That said, they will sell out in ten minutes to two hours, so you need to be online when they hit the market.
    250,000 points costs $1,375, with a 10 percent discount for paying with the American Express. So 250,000 points will cost $1,237.50. For a Hilton Silver, Gold or Diamond, these points are good for six nights at virtually any Hilton.
    Suppose you want to spend a week in Sandestin, perhaps for the Mississippi Bar Convention, July 8-14. Six nights will cost an elite 225,000 points, versus more than $2,300 if paying cash.
    Suppose you want to go to Paris. To book a room at the Arc de Triomphe Hilton for the above dates would cost you roughly $3,240. Or you can buy the points for $1,237.50 and live like a king for what in Paris is a very low price.
    Of course, the same is true for places like Amsterdam, New York, and London. Ah, London, where you can stay six nights in the Waldorf Hilton for $4,583. Or buy the points for $1,237.50 and have points left over. You choose.
    One more thing. Point stays aren't always available, but all three examples above used the July 8-14 dates of the Mississippi Bar Convention, and rooms were available. So if you have a trip planned, buy the points and save.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our kids are preparing a resume; every student should

    We’re getting ready to help and encourage our children to prepare resumes.
    Are they applying for a job? Not right now. Are they applying for admission somewhere and in need of a resume? Not right now. But they will be preparing a resume, nevertheless.
    Some years ago, when Bill Clinton was president and Jinny was teaching English-History-Newspaper at Marshall Academy in Holly Springs, the English Department chair required each student to keep a resume filed on computer, which was updated at least three times per year. The chair, Sally Spencer, was a fine English teacher, but she also had a keen sense of what students needed to do to give themselves a bit of an edge in getting into and doing well in college. There were only three or four English teachers, so Sally was the queen of a very small hive, but she was a wonderful teacher and leader, per my wife and my own observation.
    Most of us, as adults, have created a resume and found it lacking in some area or another. The same is true for jr. high and high school students. But students are in a position to quickly remedy deficiencies in their resumes. They need to act quickly, too, because college applications are just around the corner.
    Time passes, and as it does resumes need to change, too. Our sixth-grader Lucy asked us whether she should include the fact that she won the regional science fair in fifth grade. I said of course, but by the time she gets to ninth grade it may need to go, and by 11th grade it will certainly be off the resume. That’s the reason the resumes need to be updated several times each year.
    There are a lot of opportunities available for jr. high and high school students, but many of them require being selected. And that selection is made in large part from a student’s resume and academic record. Having a resume already prepared allows students to simply print it out and send it in. More importantly, it allows students to see the areas in which they need improvement -- and to act accordingly.
    Of course, we can hope and pray that our children will use their resumes to actually apply for a job!
    In any event, our children will soon have resumes. If you have jr. high or high school kids, they should, too.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Great for streetwalkers, but not for little girls

    Lucy is getting taller, so Jinny took her to shop for some new short pants Saturday. We stopped by the Batesville Outlet Mall on the way to Southaven.
    These shorts represent the overwhelming majority of what was on sale in the young adult section, for girls between 10 and 18.
    I can't imagine any parent allowing their child to go on in public wearing something like this, unless perhaps it was a visit to the beach.
    I'd love to hear what Rush Limbaugh would have to say about young girls who go prancing around in these almost-non-existent shorts, as well as the parents who allow them to do so. Whatever it is, I agree in advance.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Oxford's Lamar Park gets a big thumbs up

    I've lived in Oxford for about 18 months and made my first visit to Lamar Park today. Jinny and the kids have been several times, but you can look at me and know that exercise is not my strong suit.
    It's a beautiful park; one of the nicest I've seen. On the grounds of the old Oxford Country Club, it features a small lake and a 1.5-mile paved walking path, although there are plenty of short cuts for those wanting to walk a shorter distance.
    The park has numerous picnic tables, including two picnic tables specially designed for someone in a wheelchair. The lake has a nice covered pier, but fishing is only allowed for children 15 and under.
    Next up is a family picnic. Sure wish they had grills!
    As always, you can click on the photos on the right to see an enlargement.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

NBC alters 911 tape in order to stir passions, promote mob justice

   One hundred to 150 years ago, when lynching was still a fact of life in much of the United States, the press could be counted on to make a public stand against mob justice. No more. Today the mainstream media is leading the fight for lynching and mob justice.
    Consider the case of George Zimmerman, the mestizo Hispanic commonly referred to as white. He killed black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and claims he acted in self defense. While I tend to believe his version of events, it's clear that the police did a very poor job of investigating the case, as I said in an earlier post. Certainly the case calls for better investigation.
    So bring on the race hustlers -- Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Barrack Obama and their ilk. They are doing everything they can to stir up racial passions, in much the same manner that Mike Nifong and Duke's liberal faculty members did in the Duke Lacrosse case. The Duke players were, of course, completely innocent; their only crime was to have the wrong skin color when facing down a black mob seeking white scapegoats.
    Just as in the Duke Lacrosse case, the media are doing everything they can to "get" George Zimmerman. Whether Zimmerman is arrested and brought to justice, or just murdered as many national figures propose, doesn't seem to matter. Several Hollywood types have publicized Zimmerman's address, knowing full well that their actions could lead to his murder. Scumbag Spike Lee actually Tweeted a wrong address, sending an elderly couple fleeing their home for their lives to escape harassment and possible murder.
    Now we find that much of this turmoil has been caused by certain media outlets who have intentionally lied about the case in order to stir passions and increase news ratings. Fox News -- the truthful network -- just reported that NBC had intentionally altered a 911 tape in order to make it look like Zimmerman was concentrating on Trayvon Martin's race on the night he called 911 to report a suspicious person in the neighborhood. (Next time you hear someone criticize Fox News, remember that if it wasn't for them liars like these would likely never be caught).
    NBC actually cut and spliced this tape. Here's the phone conversation as it was played on the Today Show:
ZIMMERMAN: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black."
   Now here's the 911 without the deceiving cut-and-splice job:
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?
 ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
   Note that Zimmerman never mentions race until he is asked by the dispatcher what race the suspect was. When searching for a suspect, race or skin color is a a pretty important thing. Even then, Zimmerman said Martin "looks black." In other words, he appears to be unsure about it.
    We all know the liberal media lie to us all the time. This time they got caught, but it does make one wonder how many times they don't get caught.
   I certainly plan to write to the Federal Communications Commission asking that the broadcast licenses of NBC stations which participated in this defamatory news story be terminated. I would urge others to do the same. Needless to say all of us should boycott NBC news -- like CBS, it is Rather Biased.
    Mob justice was a bad idea 100 years ago and it's a bad idea now. Unfortunately, today's media barons are encouraging lynching in order to create more news and further their left-wing agenda. It's truly a disgrace.