Patterico's Pontifications


School District Authorizes Armed Teachers

Filed under: Education,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 7:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Harrold school district, 150 miles NW of Fort Worth on the Texas-Oklahoma border, has decided to let teachers who hold concealed carry permits bring their weapons to class:

“Superintendent David Thweatt said a main concern was that the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection.

The district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target, Thweatt said.

Other security measures are in place, including one-way access to enter the school, state-of-the-art surveillance cameras and electric locks on doors. But after the Virginia Tech massacre and the Amish school shooting in Pennsylvania, Thweatt felt he had to take further action, he said.

“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started,” Thweatt said. “Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying ‘sic ’em’ to a dog.”

In addition to a valid concealed carry permit, teachers must also have permission from the school district.

School starts August 25.

UPDATE 8/20/2008: The El Paso Times reports that Texas Governor Rick Perry thinks it’s fine for teachers to carry guns on campus if they are appropriately trained and licensed. It also had more information on Harrold ISD regulations:

The [Harrold] teachers must be licensed and take crisis management training and must use bullets designed to minimize ricocheting.”


Phelps Wins 7th Gold Medal

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 7:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Did you see Phelps win the 100M fly by 1/100th of a second?

That was phenomenal.


Texas Monthly Channels the LA Times

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 6:24 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In my continuing effort to bring you all Texas news, all the time: The Austin American-Statesman reports Texas Monthly magazine has reduced its workforce by 4.5% and cut the salaries of the remaining employees.

The commenters are debating what caused the cuts: The out-of-state management, claims that the editors harbor a liberal bias, too many celebrity-focused articles, or the general downturn in print.

That sounds familiar.


From the Unlucky Criminal File

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 6:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A 24-year-old man was arrested for armed robbery of a Stanton, Texas, drug store after brandishing what appeared to be a gun and demanding drugs. He was shot and apprehended by the local police chief after he tried to escape on foot:

“John Wilkinson, 24, of Big Spring entered the Stanton Drug Store in the 200 block of St. Anna Street just before 12:35 p.m. Thursday yelling at customers to get down and demanding Zanax and hydrocodine from the pharmacist, Stanton Police Chief Mike Adams said.

Wilkinson was carrying what appeared to be a gun wrapped in a dark cloth and ran out the front door after taking the drugs, Adams said. However, when Wilkinson reached his car that was parked and running in front of the drug store, he realized he’d locked the keys inside and was forced to flee the scene on foot instead.”

Wilkinson had left the engine running.

It sounds like he had everything planned, including the quick get-a-way, and then habit kicked in and he locked the car doors as he left. I can totally understand how this happened. In fact, I locked my keys in the car this afternoon when I automatically hit the door lock as I got out for just a moment. Fortunately I wasn’t robbing a drug store at the time.


More Serious Media Coverage

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 4:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Obama’s body-surfing video.


Obama Walks Away From Social Security

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 4:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’ve given up on where Obama stands on taxes, except I’m sure mine will be higher if he’s elected President. As for Social Security, the New York Times’ The Caucus valiantly attempts a summary of his many positions but the bottom line is this commentary from a nonpartisan source:

“The thing about a doughnut hole is that it is empty,” Howard Gleckman, editor of TaxVox, the blog of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, wrote Thursday. “There is nothing. And that, it seems, is what is left of Barack Obama’s plan to fix Social Security.” He added: “Make no mistake, what Obama is really saying is that, at least for the campaign, he is walking away from Social Security and all of its problems.”

“Change We Can Believe In” makes hard choices about Social Security and sticks with them. “Politics as Usual” mouths platitudes and slinks away when the hard choices need to be made. Both candidates may go AWOL on Social Security.

That leaves me with McCain, the candidate who might keep my taxes low so I’ll have more money when I retire and don’t have Social Security.


McCain and RNC July Fundraising Totals

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:10 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

CNN reports that the McCain campaign raised $27M in July, it’s its largest monthly amount to date, and the RNC raised nearly as much with $26M. Combined they started August with $96M on hand of which $21M must be spent before the GOP Convention in early September.

The DNC and the Obama campaign have not released their July totals but I expect the Obama campaign will raise far more. Yesterday the campaign announced it had passed 2 million donors, a number that far exceeds the 600,000 donors listed by the McCain campaign.


Hillary’s Party (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

CNN’s Jack Cafferty says the Democratic National Convention is shaping up to be Hillary’s party for two days:

“Her name will be placed into nomination. She’ll give a prime-time address, introduced by her daughter Chelsea. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will get his own plum speaking slot on a separate night. She will also have her own production team to create the introductory video that precedes her speech – the same people who produced Bill Clinton’s biography video “The Man from Hope” in 1992.”

Cafferty also notes that the Democratic Party platform recognizes the “18 million cracks in the highest glass ceiling” and “suggests that media sexism contributed to Hillary’s defeat.”

I can’t imagine the Obama campaign wanted to spend a significant part of the first two days highlighting Hillary Clinton, but that seems to be what’s happened.

UPDATE: Obama spokesman Bill Burton confirms there will be a roll call vote:

“Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the “mechanics” of the roll call vote are still being worked out, but he conceded that Clinton probably will garner many votes on the first ballot.

For Obama’s camp, the roll call is a ritual that will defuse any potential tension with Clinton or her supporters without affecting the outcome or the theater of Obama’s dramatic nomination.

Said [Rep. Loretta] Sanchez: “I believe there are a lot of supporters for Hillary among the superdelegates, especially now that they’ve agreed to place her name in nomination. I think half the House Democrats would probably be Hillary supporters, especially women. . . . I felt she was the most experienced and the best candidate and I still feel that way.”

I guess there’s only one thing two things left to say:

The first vote will be interesting and …


Faith and Character in the Presidential Election

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Faith and religion will be the hot topic this weekend as Southern California Pastor Rick Warren interviews Obama and McCain in back-to-back interviews Saturday:

“Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County and best-selling author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” will interview the presidential hopefuls for an hour each, back to back Saturday night in a forum that will be broadcast live from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT on CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.”

Warren was recently interviewed by ABC News’ Jake Tapper and they discussed John Edwards’ affair. Warren said he would have reservations about voting for any candidate who had been unfaithful to his wife:

“TAPPER: Would you have compunctions about voting for someone who had cheated on his wife?

WARREN: Absolutely I would. Absolutely I would. Because if you can’t keep your faith to your most sacred vow – “’til death do us part” — how in the world can I trust you to lead my family? My government? My nation?…Absolutely I would. I think people first need to ask forgiveness and then earn trust back over time. Can trust be re-earned? Absolutely but it takes time.”

Meanwhile, President Bush’s pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell and his wife Suzanne, who is also a Houston pastor, have endorsed Obama and appear to be using marital fidelity as a reason to support Obama and oppose McCain:

“The Matthew 25 Network, a liberal Christian group, is running an ad in support of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, that seems to be obliquely raising the issue of Sen. John McCain’s infidelities during his first marriage. (…) The ad begins with pastor Brian McLaren saying, “As a pastor, I know you can learn a lot about a man’s character by how he treats his family.”

That’s followed by Pastor KirbyJon Caldwell – one of President George W. Bush’s spiritual advisers — attesting that “Barack is a strong man of Christian faith who has been married to his wife Michelle for 16 years.”

Caldwell also says of Obama, “Throughout his entire career he’s stood by families.”

“Including his own,” notes his wife pastor Suzette Caldwell.

“Hmmmmph!” affirms her husband.”

I have no problem with this because I’ve always thought character counts. I’m glad some Obama supporters agree.


Olympic Swimmer Ian Crocker Is A Fellow American And Teammate Of Michael Phelps. Does He Really Want To Help Ruin Phelps’ Chances To Beat The Record For Most Gold Medals In A Single Olympics And Destroy A Great Fairy Tale Story For The International Media???

Filed under: Sports — Justin Levine @ 1:46 am

[posted by Justin Levine]

Not just yes – Hell yes!!!!!

And ya know what? I really admire him for it.

As he says –

“Sport is all about one person trying to derail the other person’s dreams. It’s kind of the dog-eat-dog trend that sport is, especially when you get up to higher levels like Olympic Games…Nobody knows what I’ve really gone through in the last eight years and what’s gotten me to this point besides myself and a few people that I know well. It’s my own personal deal at this point.”

The thing is, I also love the Phelps story as much as the next person. As long as one of them wins – it will be  a great outcome either way.

– Justin Levine

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