Thursday, March 10, 2005

CNB NewsBlurbs -- CNB reads the news so you don't have to

  • A ninth-grader is protesting his school’s decision to broadcast the Pledge of Allegiance in foreign languages as part of National Foreign Language Week. “This is America, and we got soldiers at war,” the 15-year-old said. “When you’re saying the Pledge in a different language which nobody understands, that’s not OK.” Unsurprisingly, the student's father agrees, saying that the use of other languages is disrespectful to the country. “It’s like wearing a cross upside down in a church,” he said in a confusing and inapplicable analogy. CNB agrees -- nothing goes with jingoism like xenophobia. Go here for further CNB posting on the apparent "Post-Modern Ultranationalism" movement that is sweeping America's teens.

  • Powerful painkillers like OxyContin, often known as “hillbilly heroin,” have emerged as a major crime problem in the United States, with many dealers and abusers obtaining them over the Internet. CNB notes that large amounts of OxyContin have reportedly also been obtained in at least one Florida parking lot, although the prosecution of that case never went past the investigation stage -- fame does have its advantages.

  • Reed Elsevier PLC, owner of the LexisNexis databases, said personal information on 32,000 U.S. citizens was stolen, the second disclosure of a major security breach at a consumer-data company in the past month (yes, Choicepoint, I am referring to you). CNB is offering to help all readers protect their identities -- just e-mail CNB with a checking account and bank routing number, social security number, driver's license number, and two (2) credit card numbers (with expiration dates) -- CNB wil take care of the rest.

  • The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission is investigating a high school teacher and coach accused of licking the bleeding wounds of his student athletes. (Yes, you read that correctly.) For some reason, he remains a dean of students, science teacher and head football coach at the high school despite having been disciplined last year for licking the bleeding knee of an athlete, after acknowledging the May 2004 incident during school district and police investigations of another parent's complaint that he had licked blood from several students.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Come here from the StarTribune? Links to help you

CNB thanks old pal Brian Peterson for trying to get folks to read this god-awful waste of bandwidth, and notes that some might wonder why he linked here in the context of some forum discussion of Gannon/Guckert. Well, here are the links I presume he is referring to:

Happy reading. Go Gophers.

Monday, March 07, 2005

John Ashcroft: Still Not Getting It

This was supposed to be included a while ago, but things have been busy (as the sporadic entries have shown). Please forgive me.

John Ashcroft decided to try to take a few parting shots at his critics (which would actually include members of his own party). Some highlights, with the CNB reaction:

  • "Criminals can't commit crimes from behind prison walls."

As with all Ashcroft sayings (this one meant to explain statistics showing lower rates of commission of violent crimes), it is full of presumption, and has questionable (if any) practical application. CNB wonders if Ashcroft would defend the death penalty by using "Dead men tell no tales." In that regard, CNB notes that in that same speech, he said "terrorists can't harm Americans from behind bars or beyond the grave."

  • Former Atty. Gen. Ed Meese (best known for his 1986 commission that investigated pornograpy), said Ashcroft was a man who "served with dignity, integrity and excellence."

CNB would certainly hate to see who did not meet this exacting standard (as the Iran-Contra boys evidently did, by selling arms to people who had killed U.S. Marines). CNB wonders if Mr. Meese, who resigned in 1988 surrounded by questions about his finances and his role in the now-all-but-forgotten Iran-Contra scandal also feels he served with "dignity, integrity and excellence."

In the great tradition of these men, Ashcroft's successor, Alberto Gonzales, recently announced that one of his top priorities is aggressively prosecuting obscenity cases. CNB wonders if the punishment will include waterboarding.