Monday, December 31, 2012

Commercial Appeal reports government giving poor households $35,000 per year

    The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports on how federal poverty payments are helping to keep that city float.
    According to the story, 100,000 Memphis households are receiving about $3 billion annually in federal aid plus an additional $500 million in state aid. I'll save you the trip to the calculator: that's $35,000 per household in poverty. These figures apparently do not include unemployment payments as well as some additional federal aid.
    Doesn't that seem a little high? Isn't it time to cut back on the amount we're paying to these so-called "poor" families, who in fact are receiving more in free stuff from the federal government than an average man who goes to work every day can provide?
    We've got a mess. One part of the solution is to tell these households that they payments would decline by 25 percent each year for several years but they will be allowed to work or change their living arrangements in any way they wish without it affecting their eligibility for a monthly furnish.
    The second part is for the Republicans in Congress not to agree to any tax increase. Do not fund this beast! There is no need to raise taxes on either working people or millionaires when there are hundreds of thousands of households across America getting $35,000 per year for doing nothing.

Remarkable Like Me

    As a child and young teen I remember flipping through a book of my dad's called Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin. It told the story of a white journalist/author who turned himself black by taking heavy doses of a pigment releasing drug. I think he used some skin stain as well.
    Griffin's book was widely read and highly influential in the 1960s. His status as a white man gave him added credibility with the American public as he described his experiences of traveling through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana as a black man. It should be noted that Griffin was apparently fully black in appearance, as he relates one conversation with another black where his companion complains about the black leadership not always listening to the voices of "dark skinned Negroes like us."
    I bought the book a couple of years ago and confess to having read only a third of it before setting it aside. It's really not a page turner, but nevertheless one of those books one would like to have read. I need to take it up again. I looked up the book on Amazon and did some additional research on Griffin today, and he turned out to be one of those people who after reader their Wikipedia entry or other Internet profile you just say "Wow!"
    For starters, Griffin did NOT die of cancer caused by the Oxsoralen he took to induce skin darkening. He died in 1980 at the age of 60 due to complications of diabetes.
    According to, Griffin was born in Dallas, Texas in 1920 and went to Paris at the age of 15 in search of a classical education. Of course, this makes me want to know a little bit more about his parents. Not many people are able or willing to send their 15 year old child off to Europe to study, and in 1935 he likely would have come home only once a year. And what Southerner had money to go to Europe in 1935?
    While barely out of his teens, he had completed studies in such diverse fields as French, literature, medicine, and music, worked as an intern conducting experiments in the use of music as therapy for the criminally insane, specialized in medieval music under the Benedictines at the Abbey of Solesmes, and was contemplating making the religious life his vocation. For some reason he was especially interested in Gregorian Chant. He wrote about his experiences at the Abbey and the personal struggles he underwent during this period of his life in his 1952 book, The Devil Rides Outside.
    Note that the link to above takes you to a collectible copy of his paperback novel released in the 1950s which became the subject of a court case, in part because of the "racy" cover. This novel described Griffin's personal struggles, which included certain sexual themes. As a result a bookstore owner was arrested for the sale of the book in Michigan, which resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Butler v. Michigan, in which the Supreme Court ruled that a state could not, in the guise of protecting minors, restrict the non-obscene speech of adults.
    The opinion, written by Justice Felix Frankfurter, has a wonderful line that I plan insert into conversation at some point. He describes the Michigan law banning such speech as follows: "The State insists that, by thus quarantining the general reading public against books not too rugged for grown men and women in order to shield juvenile innocence, it is exercising its power to promote the general welfare. Surely, this is to burn the house to roast the pig." I love that last line and surely I will use it some day. An interesting law journal article states that the importance of Butler v. Michigan in free speech jurisprudence is often ignored. I tend to agree.
    I have placed the cart a bit before the horse in describing the court fight over Griffin's novel. His novel describes his life in his late teens. At the age of 19 World War II came and he joined the French Resistance and because of his medical training served as a medic. He later served more than three years in the Army Air Corps and spent almost two years as the only non-native on the island of Nuni, assigned to study the local population.
    In 1946 Griffin was blinded in an Air Corps accident. As a result of losing his sight he took up writing. He miraculously regained his eyesight 10 years later. After his death a collection of his essays that he wrote while blind was published, called Scattered Shadows: A Memoir of Blindness and Vision.
    Griffin wrote other novels but obviously his real claim to fame is Black Like Me. The idea for the book was truly remarkable. Yet look behind the book and there is a remarkable man with a truly remarkable life story. I'm surprised he has been so far beneath the radar of our consciousness.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sleeping 'mask' no fun

    I recently had a "sleep study" done. Actually it was my second study. It had already been determined that I had moderate sleep apnea and needed to have have one of those dreadful masks fitted to my head. The only question was which mask and what pressure.
    Without boring you overmuch with the details of my sleep habits, I usually am asleep a few minutes after my head hits the pillow, although I do sometimes wake up in the night. With the dreadful mask it took me four hours and two sleeping pills to get to sleep, although I did sleep soundly for four hours. But sleeping with a mask clearly isn't going to be easy.
    I actually preferred the mask that covered my whole face rather than only my nose. The nose mask hurt my lip. Of course I could just lose 25 pounds and tell them to keep their breathing machines. But wearing the mask is apparently easier than losing the weight.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

For the new year, plan your hotel stay strategy to garner the most free rooms

    From time to time I tout various hotel loyalty programs depending on what their promotion of the season is. For the last part of 2012 it was Marriott all the way for Jinny and me as the Megabonus gave us one free night certificate for every two nights stayed.
    Now the certificates were only good in Category 1-4 hotels, generally Courtyards and Springhill Suites but not full Marriotts. This suits us just fine. Jinny and I were able to attend a couple of away football games and will spend a couple of nights in Birmingham for the Compass Bowl courtesy of Marriott free night certificates. We couldn't afford these trips without the free hotel nights!
    So we're a few days away from a new year. If you aren't signed up for hotel loyalty clubs you should be  -- for every single hotel chain where you lay your head at night.
    So where do you stay? At whatever chain has the best offers! And right now that's still Marriott, in my view. Once again they've got their Megabonus promotion going from Feb. 1 to April 30. Each Marriott Rewards member will get an individualized offer on the Marriott website, but most casual travelers will get a stay-two-get-one-free offer, with a maximum of three free night certificates.
    Marriott has three of these Megabonus offers each year, so there is the opportunity to earn nine free nights per year, or 18 nights per married couple. That's a lot of free hotel nights earned without a lot of hotel spending. And of course you'll be earning regular Marriott points along the way, along with Silver status, which isn't worth much but is better than nothing.
    I used to travel quite a bit, but now just every so often. But I still log enough hotel nights to make the Marriott Megabonus deal a great one for me. And of course Jinny is doing lots of travel with work, so she'll earn her three Megabonus nights while still taking advantage of what the other hotels have to offer.
    Here's a quick hotel strategy guide. Be aware that even if you spend only a few nights per year in a chain hotel you can earn free nights. But you have to join the club! I keep all my hotel club numbers in my phone so I have them handy; but remember, whenever possible reserve in advance on the Internet.

    Marriott: Take advantage of the three Megabonus offers that are likely to be offered this year. Stay-two-get-one is a really generous offer and that's what most casual travelers will get as their personalized offer. If 2012 is any guide you will be able to earn nine free nights for 18 stays during the next 12 months. Best of all, you can earn your points by staying in sub-$100 Fairfield Inns and then use the free rooms for Category 4 Courtyards and Springhill Suites that might run $150 or more per night. During the times when the Megabonus isn't active, take your business to greener pastures.

    Priority Club: Priority Club is the loyalty program for Holiday Inn and associated properties. These properties have been getting a bit of a face lift lately. They needed it. Priority Club points never expire and there are quarterly bonuses that you can place on your account to get extra points. Visit the Priority Club Forum on to find out the details about how you can use this program to your benefit. Ole Miss played Tulane this year on the same weekend as an AARP convention and hotel rates were sky high. We used Priority Club points to get a $450 Crowne Plaza French Quarter room for $70 and 25,000 points. Obviously we couldn't have afforded the trip without the almost-free room. One tip: Priority Club has terrible "elite" benefits, but is a great program for people wanting to earn points for free rooms for family vacations. You are much more likely to get a "family" room in Europe or elsewhere with Priority Club and the points accrue faster.

    Choice Hotels: Not many business people on expense accounts stay at Choice hotels. This chain includes Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn, and EconoLodge, among others. But for those traveling on their own dime they are sometimes adequate. And they sometimes have outstanding promotions. Last year they had at least two promotions that awarded 8,000 bonus points for each two stays booked on the Internet. In some cases that's enough for a free night. Sometimes they have Europe sales so that 8,000 to 12,000 points gets a decent hotel in Europe. So two nights in a $59 EconoLodge or Sleep Inn can earn you enough points for a room at the Hotel Diana in Venice or the Hotel Axel Opera in Paris. I've stayed at both at 10,000 and 8,000 points respectively and they are fine budget hotels. Choice Hotels have limitations on how far ahead they can be booked, and the Europe properties aren't always on sale, but this is a fine program for the budget lodging crowd. This chain's current promotion is triple points; not the greatest, but not terrible, either.

    Club Carlson: This loyalty program has essentially bought themselves some attention recently with some unbelievable stay-one-get-one offers. For just a few stays Jinny and I have about 250,000 points between us as well as two free night certificates. Points can be cashed in on free rooms for 8,000 to 50,000 each. This one is worth joining. Keep an eye out for additional generous offers. Club Carlson has both the Radisson hotels, which can be weak and variable in the U.S., and the growing and popular Country Inn and Suites, which I think are a notch above a Hampton Inn. They have a fairly large footprint in Europe with their Park Inn and Park Plaza brands.

    Hilton: I've listed this program fourth. There is nothing wrong with Hilton, but it's really not a great program for casual travelers; certainly not when compared to those above. Jinny is a HHonors Diamond and will likely stay enough next year to requalify for 2014. The Diamond status is great to have and the points do add up quickly for elite members. Hilton's first quarter promotion is double points and it's not a bad promotion, but not nearly as good for casual travelers as Marriott's Megabonus. I just think Hilton is a better choice for those who can earn Gold or Diamond status instead of the casual traveler. On a personal level I used to have Hilton Gold status and I'm now satisfied to stay four times a year to keep Silver status so that I will have access to VIP point redemptions. Hilton has "double-dipping," giving both hotel points and airline miles. The best airline is probably American, even though they have poor flights to Memphis. Their program is so much better than Delta, so their miles are worth about 50 percent more.

    Starwood and Hyatt: Nothing wrong with these programs, but they have so few properties in the South that the average traveler can't take advantage of most of their promotions. But if you find yourself staying in one of them, by all means join their loyalty program.

Monday, December 17, 2012

'Mismatch' an eye opener as to the price blacks pay to serve as window dressing for affirmative action

    No matter what your views on affirmative action and racial preferences, you ought to read Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit Itby Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr.
    Sander is a UCLA law professor who shook the affirmative action world a few years ago with a law journal article on affirmative action and "mismatching" of students. Taylor is also a lawyer, and authored a book on the Duke Lacrosse case. Neither author is really opposed to affirmative action on the grounds that it is unfair to whites.
    The authors string together both hard data and anecdotes that show how racial preferences, as practiced today, are incredibly harmful to blacks (the authors find race preferences don't harm Hispanics, since they don't receive preferences that are nearly as large as those received by blacks). And the bad thing is the colleges know this and continue to string blacks along because all they care about is getting blacks in the door to make their minority recruitment numbers look good. It doesn't matter whether the blacks actually graduate or pass the bar -- and many won't. Just get them in the door.
    Universities have done everything they can to hide the data concerning affirmative action, even from professors on admissions committees. They have even lied and issued knowingly false reports. The authors have been able to glean data from sources here and there, and from various court cases where massive amounts of data were filed.
    The authors cite the example of a Dartmouth administrator who was charged with finding out why black students were signing up for STEM majors (science, technology, and math) and almost without exception changing to other courses of study. His finding was that the black students simply weren't as prepared as the white students and had lower SAT scores in math.
    According to an article in the Dartmouth student newspaper (covering a discrimination suit) Asians need a minimum math-verbal SAT score of 1550-1600 for admission to Dartmouth; whites need a 1410 and blacks need an 1100. Another source shows that the 75th percentile SAT math score at Dartmouth is 780 -- almost a perfect score. And it's these students with the near-perfect scores who will be the white students majoring in the STEM fields.
    So Dartmouth's affirmative action program is going to throw a bunch of above-average black students with 600 math SAT scores into a class with a bunch of genius white kids with 780 and 800 SAT scores and expect the black kids to keep up. They can't. Instead the black kids will make D's and F's and ensure that the white kids all get better grades on the curve. All of the black students will change majors and a few may quit college all together.
    But the thing is, a 600 math score on the SAT isn't terrible -- it's well above average. If these kids were to be placed with other students of like ability where the instruction was a little more basic and a little slower they would do just fine. It's not that they can't learn the material, they just can't learn it as fast or in the same manner as near-geniuses who make 780 or 800 on the SAT. This story is repeated countless times at schools across the country.
    The authors point out that there is a terrible mismatch problem in most American law schools. What they find is that black students who attend law schools far out of their league due to racial preferences tend to have great difficulty passing the bar. Students who attend a law school where their LSAT scores are similar to those of the other students tend to do quite well. There's something about being the worst in one's class that is just dispiriting.
    And that's what affirmative action has done for blacks. We've all had it drilled into us that we should attend the most elite college that we can. Due to racial preferences most blacks are guaranteed admittance into any university until they reach the point that they are in the bottom decile of the student body. But once they are admitted they leave themselves in a position that no matter how hard they try they can never hope to be a really good student in relation to their peers. The authors cite a study called "The Campus as a Frog Pond" which finds that it is much better to have high grades at a mediocre college than poor grades at a selective college. (Affirmative action aside, all parents would be well advised to counsel their children not to attend a university where their test scores will fall in the bottom half of the distribution; they should likely shoot for the top quartile). Yet due to affirmative action blacks will almost always be the ones with the bad grades. The system is rigged against them.
    Most people aren't aware of just how extreme racial preferences are in college admissions. To have a 500 point math-verbal difference on what is expected for Asians wanting to enter Dartmouth versus what is expected of blacks is just stunning. This is the norm and not the exception.
    When California did away with racial preferences for a few years after the passage of Proposition 209 something interesting happened. Minority applications from around the country to UCLA went up. Apparently many minorities wanted to attend a college where they would be viewed as equals. Many of these outstanding minority applications were turned down and minority enrollment did drop pretty dramatically. But even though enrollment dropped, the number of blacks graduating four years later remained virtually the same. In other words, the only students who didn't enroll were the ones who were going to flunk or drop out anyway
    California's race-blind system didn't last. Despite its success, the school succumbed to pressure to illegally discriminate again. But for a brief moment in time it was possible to see that a color-blind system could work, and that even though minority enrollment might drop, just as many blacks would earn degrees.
    The authors admit they don't know what the answer is, but they insist that universities should be required to inform blacks of what their likely outcomes are based on prior students with similar credentials. A law student told that only 40 percent of students with their grade-point and LSAT score had gone on to pass the bar might either rethink law school or check the success ratios of other universities.
    Blacks who are told they are being given an opportunity should be informed of just what that opportunity is instead of being used by universities for window dressing and to provide the illusion of "diversity." If affirmative action is about helping blacks, then start helping them by providing them with full disclosure about what their chances are should they enroll in a particular program or college.
    Read the book. You won't regret it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I just found out I can read a few of those JSTOR articles for free

    From time to time I like to research some obscure topic, and nothing is more frustrating than to find numerous scholarly articles available through the JSTOR digital journal storage library at tremendous cost.
    Today I followed a link just to read the first page and what do you know, JSTOR now has a program allowing individuals to read up to three articles every two weeks. I'd like more, but this at least allows me to access journal articles that I would like to read for myself.
    For what it's worth, I was wanting to read "The Campus as a Frog Pond: An Application of the Theory of Relative Deprivation to Career Decisions of College Men" James A. Davis, which appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 72, No. 1 (Jul., 1966), pp. 17-31.

Monday, December 10, 2012

If states can't choose their own license plates, then there may be no right to choose state songs, either

    Are state songs constitutional? If a recent federal court ruling banning North Carolina's "Choose Life" license plates is upheld I don't see how they can be. (ACLU v. Conti)
    Now what does a "Choose Life" license plate have to do with a state song? Simple. Both represent official, state-sanctioned or approved speech which -- in most cases and in North Carolina's case -- have been approved by the state legislature and signed into law. North Carolina had approved 150 license plates as speech which the state itself supported and was willing to give its imprinteur.
    North Carolina has only one state song, "The Old North State," but a majority of state have more than one. New Hampshire has 10 state songs. Yes, 10!
    In North Carolina, the procedure for adopting a state song and a license plate are identical. Both are proposed by a legislator and then enacted into law (any group may seek a special license plate, but it must be approved through the regular legislative process). Approval by the legislature and signing into law by the governor effectively makes the state song or the license plate officially approved state speech.
    It should be noted that a state may not force someone to carry a license plate with a message that violates their fundamental religious principles. Thus the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Jehovah's Witnesses had the right to tape over the words "Live Free or Die" on New Hampshire license plates, Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705 (1977). But North Carolina isn't trying to force people to carry the "Choose Life" plate; it is just declining to issue a pro-abortion plate.
    License plates aren't the only things with the potential to cause offense. State songs have just as much, if not more, potential to offend as the "Choose Life" license plate. Florida's state song, Swanee River by Stephen Foster, makes reference to "Darkies" longing for the plantation. Virginia's "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" contains fond references to both "Darkies" and "Massa."
    And our own "Go Mississippi!" state song was adopted in 1962 and set to the tune of Gov. Ross Barnett's campaign song, in a clear show of support of his segregationist policies. I can see how some might find the history of the song offensive. Click here to hear the tune of the state song, which adds a note or two to spell the state name. The lyrics to both songs, sung to identical tune, are reproduced below (click to enlarge):

    For those of you interested in such things, Curtis Wilke in his book Dixie: A Personal Odyssey Through Events That Shaped the Modern Southgives the meaning of the derisive nicknames at the end of the song: Big Daddy was Gov. Hugh White; Tall Daddy was Gov. J.P. Coleman; and Little Boy Blue was Lt. Gov. Carroll Gartin, all more moderate than Barnett. In his unsuccessful 1955 campaign for governor, Barnett referred to the candidacy of former vice presidential candidate and Gov. Fielding Wright as "Wright to White and White to Wright," a memorable suggestion that the two men were swapping the office back and forth. Wright was defeated by J.P. Coleman and died in 1956.
    I think a strong argument can be made that Mississippi should have a new state song. But I don't have the right to have the current song banned just because I don't like it. I don't have the right to insist that the state adopt a song of my choosing to further my exercise of free speech, and the failure of the state to adopt a song of my choosing doesn't deprive me of my free speech rights. It is the prerogative of the legislature to adopt a state song or songs. If I don't like them I can choose not to sing them.
    The same goes for North Carolina's "Choose Life" license plate. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the state had a legitimate interest in the life of the fetus from the time of conception. Roe just held that the Ninth Amendment privacy right of the mother outweighed the state's interest in the life of the fetus during the first trimester of the pregnancy. There is nothing in Roe v. Wade to suggest that a state may not pass proclamations urging women not to choose abortion; this should certainly include going so far as to put to these proclamations on license plates.
    It should be noted that the court in its decision banning the "Choose Life" license plates said that they weren't really government speech, as they were adopted along with 70 other license plates. However, several legislators suggested the additional of a "Respect Choice" plate and after vigorous debate this was rejected. So the state clearly had some messages that it was willing to support and some that it rejected. This is a state's sovereign right. And if New Hampshire can have 10 state songs, why can't North Carolina have 150 license plates?
    The Court's ruling is that North Carolina is engaging in viewpoint discrimination. Yet North Carolina as a state is permitted to engage in viewpoint discrimination. It is permitted to throw out a buffet of what it considers socially acceptable causes for its citizens to support with their license plates -- should they choose to do so -- while declining to give state sanction to those activities which, though legal, the state does not approve.
    By denying North Carolina the right to issue license plates of its choice the federal court is depriving that state of the right to exercise one its basic rights of state sovereignty: the right to have official positions as a state; the right to say that as a state it would prefer that its citizens "Choose Life."
    But the right to determine state birds, state songs and state license plates should be up to the several legislatures and states, not the federal courts. This is true whether we agree with the state's position or not.

Mississippi State Song Lyrics
"Go Mississippi"
Mississippi State Song, Adopted 1962

States may sing their songs of praise
With waving flags and hip-hoo-rays,
Let cymbals crash and let bells ring
Cause here's one song I'm proud to sing.


Go, Mississippi, keep rolling along,
Go, Mississippi, you cannot go wrong,
Go, Mississippi, we're singing your song,

Go, Mississippi, you're on the right track,
Go, Mississippi, and this is a fact,
Go, Mississippi, you'll never look back,

Go, Mississippi, straight down the line,
Go, Mississippi, ev'rything's fine,
Go, MIssissippi, it's your state and mine,

Go, Mississippi, continue to roll,
Go, Mississippi, the top is the goal,
Go, Mississippi, you'll have and you'll hold,

Go, Mississippi, get up and go,
Go, Mississippi, let the world know,
That our Mississippi is leading the show,

Roll With Ross
Ross Barnett 1959 Campaign Song

When they count the votes that night
You’ll find that things have gone just right
Folks will laugh and sing be gay
With Ross Barnett to lead the way


So climb on the wagon, it’s rolling along,
Shout from the rooftop, his victory song,
Climb on the wagon, it cannot go wrong,
Roll with Ross, Roll with Ross, He’s his own boss

He’s for segregation, 100 percent,
He’s not a moderate, like some other gent,
He’s fight integration, with forceful intent,
Roll with Ross, Roll with Ross, He’s his own boss

Invited Edward Rollins, up Tennessee way,
To fight for segregation, without any pay,
He’s one of the lawyers who helped save the day,
Roll with Ross, Roll with Ross, He’s his own boss

He is rebellious against the machine
Dictatorial politics are somewhat unclean,
He’s a man of the people if you know what we mean,
Roll with Ross, Roll with Ross, He’s his own boss

Owes no allegiance to some chosen few
Owes his allegiance to you and to you
[shout] Big Daddy, Tall Daddy, Little Boy Blue!
Roll with Ross, Roll with Ross, He’s his own boss

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Orleans ambulance booted -- another reason why we shouldn't admit low-quality immigrants

    Perhaps you've heard about the ambulance in New Orleans that was "booted" while answering a call at a convenience store.
    A "Mr. Quicky's" customer was suffering chest pains so an ambulance was called. While paramedics were treating the man an employee of the convenience store went out and "booted" the ambulance for illegally parking in the lot. The lights of the ambulance were still on and paramedics were running back and forth the whole time.
    When the ambulance tried to rush the customer to the hospital they heard a loud "clunk," and discovered they had been booted. When the boot was removed they found their tire was flat and had to call another ambulance, thus substantially delaying medical attention to the patient.
    Store owners blamed the booting on too-aggressive action on one of its employees, now fired, a man by the name of Sidi Aleywa. Aleywa has been cited by the city for simple criminal damage.
    A Mr. Quicky's employee explained what happened: “The guy that did this, he came from another country,” said fellow employee Ali Colone. “He didn’t even know what an ambulance looked like.” News reports said Aleywa didn't speak English, either.
    In a single incident we have everything that is wrong with immigration in America today. I don't believe for a minute that this man didn't know what an ambulance is. It's just that he is a slimeball from a nation with no ethic of civic responsibility and so, unlike the typical American, he had no qualms about booting an ambulance.
    As for his not speaking English, if he doesn't speak English why was he allowed to enter the country on a permanent basis? Increasing the number of non-English speakers certainly doesn't make us stronger as a nation. Has anybody even bothered to check on this man's immigration status?
    Around the world are millions of really smart, educated people who are eager to come to the United States. Many of them have money to invest. They either already speak English or are willing to learn. They would never dream of booting an ambulance. These are people who could make our nation stronger. Let's roll out the red carpet for these potential immigrants and let them know that America welcomes them.
    What the United States doesn't need are people who don't speak English, or people who aren't very smart. We need to insist that these people stay away, and if they are already in this country illegally we need to track them down and deport them.
    If we allow bad people entry into our nation they will, as a practical matter, do bad things. If we fail to insist on English as a prerequisite to entry they will then blame their bad behavior on their inability to speak or read our language.
    All of this can be avoided by being a little more selective about who we allow into our nation in the first place. That and aggressively enforcing our immigration laws. It's our country, and Sidi Aleywa and his ilk need to be refused admittance or the right to live here.

Note: This was first published in the blog.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Use Kroger's Amazon gift cards and save lots of money on gas

    Here's a money-saving tip for the holidays. If you're planning on doing some of your shopping on, buy a gift card at Kroger to pay for your purchases.
    Kroger is offering quadruple fuel points on gift card purchases, so a $100 gift card purchase translates into a 40-cent discount on a gas fill-up. A $500 gift card provides a $2 per gallon discount on gas.
    My car only has a 16-gallon tank, but a 40-cent discount still comes out to $6.40. Add in the value of the airline miles you get for purchasing the gift card with a credit card and you're looking at maybe an additional $1.60. Getting an $8 discount off the top is a pretty good deal. And of course Amazon doesn't charge sales tax for many of its customers.
    Kroger offers a number of other gift cards in addition to the Amazon ones. If you think you will use one of them right away, by all means buy one and get the fuel discount.
    If you heed my advice and buy a gift card, please take one more bit of advice. Rush home and apply the gift card to your Amazon account right away. If you lose the gift card you save nothing!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A new recruitment film from Mississippi State

    A new recruitment film put out by Mississippi State University features Greek Life. Although it's not for me, it does look like the kids are having a lot of fun!