The Drudge Report linked to a small report on the British tabloid, The Sun.

A SCHOOL was yesterday accused of MAKING teachers dress up as Asians for a day to celebrate a Muslim festival.

Kids at the 257-pupil primary have also been told to don ethnic garb even though most are Christians.

The morning assembly will be open to all parents but dads are BARRED from a women-only party in the afternoon because Muslim husbands object to wives mixing with other men.

Just two members of staff a part-time teacher and a teaching assistant are Muslim.

Yesterday a relative of one of the 39 others said: “Staff have got to go along with it or let’s face it, they would be branded racist.

“Who would put their job on the line? They have been told they have to embrace the day to show their diversity. But they are not all happy.”

The day aims to belatedly mark Eid, the end of Ramadan.

Sally Bloomer, head of Rufford primary school in Lye, West Midlands, insisted: “I have not heard of any complaints.

“It’s all part of a diversity project to promote multi-culturalism.” [Capitalization from The Sun -- CM]

At this point, I need to point out that I am part of the “oppressor class,” as defined by multi-culturalists, since I am an adult while male American. And as part of the group of guilty oppressors, I need to be educated to both understand and appreciate other cultures.

I could accept the multi-culturalism goal of expanding my awareness of other cultures if all cultures were equal, but they are not. I’ll give the multi-culturists time to recover from their shocked faint.

I refuse to accept that all cultures are equal. To do so, I would have to accept that Teutonic industry is equivalent to Aztec human sacrifices, or that genital-mutilating African tribesmen are the same as the Pilgrims. I don’t buy the premise of cultural equality, so I don’t see the need to “raise my awareness” of these cultures since that is multi-culty code for “accepting” those cultures. Which I don’t, so that makes me intolerant and discriminating. So sue me.

I find this story from England to be very telling about the nature of multi-culturalism: acceptance flows only one way. The British in the school must dress like and learn about Islam for Ramadan, but is there an equivalent requirement at Easter for everyone to dress like and learn about Christianity? Sure, and I have some Florida property I’ll sell you by the quart.

Whenever there is a clash between American and other cultures, multi-culturists tell us that we need to be sensitive and understanding of their cultures. And do they ever stress to those cultures that they need to be sensitive and understanding of our culture? Don’t be funny! It’s a one-way street of acceptance.

And I don’t accept that.

News flash! Congress is pondering a resolution mourning the loss of the RMS Titanic in 1912. Sure, Congress has passed two previous resolutions to mourn the almost 1,500 dead, but we really need a third resolution almost a century later to show that we really mean it this time.

Also in the news, Congress will soon put up for a vote a resolution condemning the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Gavrilo Princip in 1914. Sure, Congress has passed three previous resolutions condemning the assassination, but Congress really needs to pass a fourth resolution to show just how much the assassination disturbs the U.S. Congress.

And finally, Congress is gearing up to vote on a resolution to start using the word “genocide” when discussing the killing of thousands of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Sure, it’s almost a century later, and Congress has passed five other resolutions between 1916 and 1996 about the death of the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, but Congress really needs to pass yet another bit of legislation to show just how horrified Congress is over the Armenian genocide.

OK, so I’m being silly. I made up the news stories about Congress working on Titanic and Ferdinand assassination resolutions to show just how silly it is to obsess over something almost a century old, especially when Congress has already griped about it before. Why are members of Congress so anxious to pass a resolution branding the death of many thousands of Armenians almost 100 years ago as a genocide?

The answer is simple: the Democrats in Congress are desperate to sabotage the war in Iraq, as explained by Thomas Sowell.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war.

Large numbers of American troops and vast amounts of military equipment go to Iraq through Turkey, one of the few nations in the Islamic Middle East that has long been an American ally.

Turkey has also thus far refrained from retaliating against guerrilla attacks from the Kurdish regions of Iraq onto Turkish soil. But the Turks could retaliate big time if they chose….

In this touchy situation, why stir up a hornet’s nest over something in the past that neither we nor anybody else can do anything about today?

The Left has no plan to win the war in Iraq. The only strategy they have is running away, which is known in military circles as “losing.” Democrats have admitted that they cannot support the war because it is bad for them. They have hitched their wagons to failure, and now they are trying whatever they can to cause problems. And make no mistake, this Congressional resolution will piss off our ally Turkey and make fighting the murderous thugs in Iraq that much harder. Weren’t these the same Democrats the ones whining that we weren’t working enough with allies?

Sowell finishes up his column masterfully:

Unwilling to take responsibility for ending the war by cutting off the money to fight it, as many of their supporters want them to, Congressional Democrats have instead tried to sabotage the prospects of victory by seeking to micro-manage the deployment of troops, delaying the passing of appropriations — and now this genocide resolution that is the latest, and perhaps lowest, of these tactics.

There is some dismaying news coming out of England, that land often held up as a socialized medicine success story.

Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers.

More typically, a lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment.

Scarcity is what you get with socialized medicine. When there is no obvious cost to visiting the dentist or doctor, people will seek out medical care for stuff fixed with an aspirin. Miss V has twice complained about her head hurting just before she went to bed. And in both times she said she wanted to visit the doctor. Doctors have the same magical property as bandages. For Miss V, any owie can be made better with a bandage, and just visiting the doctor will make any pain or illness go away better than aspirin. It’s magic! And speaking of flights of fantasy, she has no understanding of the costs of visiting the doctor because she doesn’t pay anything for it. Because she doesn’t pay for it, she’d be willing to visit the doctor for every headache and stomach upset she gets.

And that’s what you get whenever the cost is hidden from the people using the service. If the out-of-pocket cost of visiting the hospital’s emergency room were $100, people would go only when there is an emergency. If the out-of-pocket costs were reduced to zero, people would visit for every sniffle, headache, and skinned knee. The increased use of the emergency room would increase the hospital’s costs of supplying health care to the people. That bill will be passed to the government who turns around and taxes the people. At some point the government will push back to the hospital and refuse to increase funding. The hospital will then turn around and refuse services to the people, commonly in the form of slower processing of patients. That is why we hear of long waiting times for patients in Canada. Are you anxious to have 5+ week waiting times to see your doctor only to spend another 6+ weeks waiting for the specialist? Long lines are what you get with Socialism.

But in addition to the way socialized medicine slows down service to hold down costs, socialized medicine also places a cap on medical salaries. When you limit the pay for a job, you discourage people from entering that field. Why would someone spend the years of medical training to become a dentist or a doctor when there is a limit on the salary people could earn? The end result is “[f]alling numbers of state dentists in England.”

Socialism sucks, and socialized medicine is Socialism. It’s no wonder that socialized medicine sucks.

It’s official — former Vice President Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with global warming.

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.

Contrary to what you might think, it wasn’t awarded because of his huge CO2-spewing house and CO2-spewing private jet junkets, but because of his vanity puff-piece movie, An Inconvenient Truth. I call it a vanity puff-piece because the movie is not about global warming as much as it is about Al Gore talking about global warming.

But is Gore’s movie and subsequent CO2-spewing trips to blab about global warming really the best candidate for this award? I have to believe that the answer is no because of the poor science behind the movie. I’ve already written about Gore’s movie, but since then, there have been some interesting news items come out about his movie.

A truck driver in England brought Gore’s movie to court because he believed it was biased, inaccurate, and shouldn’t be shown to school children as fact. The final ruling isn’t in yet, but the judge on the case has found 11 inaccuracies in the film. (hat-tip Climate Skeptic) Here is the listing of the 11 inaccuracies from the movie, as specified by the judge.

  • The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
  • The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
  • The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.
  • The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.
  • The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice.  It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
  • The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
  • The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
  • The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
  • The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
  • The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

Yeah. This is worth awarding the Nobel Peace Prize. Rush Limbaugh pointed out this week that Mother Theresa got the Nobel Peace Prize after a life-time of service. Al Gore makes an inaccurate movie that is more a vehicle for his own vanity than it is about global warming, and he gets the same prize. The bar has really been lowered.

In other environmental news, the Nobel Peace Prize was also awarded this year to a German chemist, Gerhard Ertl, for his work that can explain the destruction of the ozone layer.

“Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere,” the award citation said.

That would be really impressive if it weren’t for some other news in the chemistry world this year. As written up in Nature, “Chemists poke holes in ozone theory.”

“Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

“Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

And here’s the final paragraph with my emphasis added.

Nothing currently suggests that the role of CFCs must be called into question, Rex stresses. “Overwhelming evidence still suggests that anthropogenic emissions of CFCs and halons are the reason for the ozone loss. But we would be on much firmer ground if we could write down the correct chemical reactions.”

It’s still man’s fault, but they can’t prove it. Yep. Sounds like rock-solid science to me. And well worth awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a chemist who can “explain the destruction of the ozone layer” when that same chemistry is being called into question. And while Gore’s movie is being called into question, why not award him, too? But they have a history of doing this. Former President Jimmy Carter was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work for peace and the Agreed Framework with North Korea. The same Agreed Framework that North Korea announced in 2002 that they had violated from the beginning.

At this point I don’t have any respect for the selection process of the Nobel Peace Prize. I only write this because liberals will be applauding Saint Gore for his prize, and they will ignore the shaky science behind it.

I cooked up a late breakfast yesterday for TPK and Miss V that I’ll share with you today. This is based on a recipe I learned while I was in Mexico, so I call it Desayuno Mexicano, or Mexican Breakfast. While the name isn’t all that great, the recipe sure is. Had I been smart, I would have taken pictures while I was cooking it up, but I failed to do so. I was too busy cooking.

Desayuno Mexicano

Ingredients:
1-3 eggs per person
1-2 strips of bacon per person
1-3 corn tortillas per person
1 clove of garlic per person
1 hot pepper (to taste)
t. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

The amounts are not fixed in stone, and this can be easily expanded to fit the number of people eating and the size of their appetites. Depending on your skill to “wing it” when it comes to cooking, you should be able to play with this recipe. So, on with the cooking steps.

I start by pulling my corn tortillas out from the freezer. I don’t use corn tortillas often enough to have them on-hand fresh since they keep nicely in the freezer anyway. Separate the tortillas on the counter to thaw. Blot them with paper towels if they get wet, or knock off the thin layer of ice that may have formed on the tortillas. We want them thawed, not soggy. When they are thawed, stack them up, and chop them into one-half to one inch squares.

Crack the eggs into a container large enough to hold them. Crush and toss in the garlic. You did get all the papery stuff off first, right? Add the oregano, diced up hot peppers, and black pepper. Mix it all up like you were going to make scrambled eggs. Now you are ready for the cooking!

Fry and crumble up the bacon in a large sauce pan. I normally freeze my packages of bacon. Freezing it lets me chop off one-eighth or one-quarter inch slices of bacon across the grain. When it cooks up, the bacon separates into nice little pieces on its own. So easy! Once the bacon is cooked up, move it off to a little dish. You can drain off most of the bacon fat, but don’t throw it out!

Since the pan is still hot and nicely greased with the bacon fat, add in the cut up tortilla pieces and toss, coating them evenly with the bacon fat. Yum. Stir and toss continually. If you need more lubrication, add back in some more of the bacon fat. If there is any bacon fat left over when the cooking is done, pour it into a pint mason jar, seal, and place in the freezer. It’s instant bacon flavor! Tossing out bacon fat is one of the seven deadly sins, so don’t do it!

Anyway, toss the tortillas until they start to crisp up and get a little golden color. I like some crunch in my tortillas, so I wait for them to crisp up a bunch. Do not get distracted at this point! You can go from the golden-brown stage to the opening-windows-and-turning-off-the-smoke-alarm stage in seconds if you walk away. As they are just beginning to crisp up, I’ll sprinkle 1-2 pinches of salt on them. Don’t go overboard! This dish already has bacon for saltiness.

Once the tortillas are crisped to your liking, give the egg stuff a quick couple of stirs to mix up the floating bits, and pour it into the hot pan over the tortillas. Add the cooked bacon bits back in, and give it a quick stir to mix them up. Then stop! Give the eggs a chance to cook and set up on the bottom. If you have a nice non-stick pan and a wide spatula, you can flip the entire mess over once after a few minutes. If you are not so brave, or your pan is nice, but not non-stick, then use your spatula to flip it over in the largest chunks you can manage.

Serve immediately when done. Stop anyone who likes to salt before tasting and explain just how bad an habit that can be. I will sometimes grate some cheese on top, or pour on some salsa or hot sauce if I didn’t have any peppers to add to the dish. Yum!

Miss V said this was the best version of the Desayuno Mexicano I had made so far. And I must agree with her. It was most tasty.

UPDATE (4/19/2008 11:55:04 AM): OK, here’s a video for the recipe:

There is a big to-do about a quote spoken by Rush Limbaugh about “phony soldiers” that was picked up by the leftist Media Matters site and glommed onto by leftist in media and Congress. Rush has done a great job is countering this unfair attack on his site, so I won’t dwell much on it. It is, however, a great example of the bias in the media. Rather than reporting the facts, they are reporting their spin on events.

I also spotted an interesting article on MSNBC yesterday. The title really caught my eye, “New type of bomb is unexpectedly lethal in Iraq.” Really? This is something I’ve not heard before. What could it be? Here’s how the article begins:

On Aug. 3, 2005, the deadliest roadside bomb ever encountered by U.S. troops in Iraq detonated beneath a 26-ton armored personnel carrier, killing 14 Marines and revealing yet another American vulnerability in the struggle against improvised explosive devices.

Why haven’t I heard on the news about this blast killing 14 Marines? Oh, wait. This attack was from 2005. Did I read that right? Yes, 2005. Uh, what exactly is new about this type of IED? It’s been used in Iraq for years now. The “news” report goes on for five pages about some of the activities taken by the military to combat this “new” type of bomb. According to the byline, it was last updated 12:04 a.m. PT Oct 2, 2007. Why was it on the front page? About 20 minutes later, it was off the front page, and today the link doesn’t work anymore. A quick search on Google shows that the article was spotted and several sites linked to it before the article vanished.

And it has vanished. Gone. Down the memory hole. George Orwell, call for you on line 2.

I find it interesting that the news report appeared and vanished again when the news from Iraq is different. “Iraqi deaths fall by 50 percent,” says this news article that is still around.

The number of American troops and Iraqi civilians killed in the war fell in September to levels not seen in more than a year. The U.S. military said the lower count was at least partly a result of new strategies and 30,000 additional U.S. forces deployed this year.

Although it is difficult to draw conclusions from a single month’s tally, the figures could suggest U.S.-led forces are making headway against extremist factions and disrupting their ability to strike back.

The U.S. military toll for September was 64, the lowest since July 2006, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press from death announcements by the American command and Pentagon.

More dramatic, however, was the decline in Iraqi civilian, police and military deaths. The figure was 988 in September 50 percent lower than the previous month and the lowest tally since June 2006, when 847 Iraqis died.

There is good news coming out of Iraq, but you won’t hear that from liberal news sites like Media Matters. They are too busy trying to trash Rush Limbaugh for something he didn’t say.

Talking about unlimited wants and limited means, Sen. Hillary Clinton (Evil-NY) has recently proposed a bribe to voters “baby bond” that would give $5,000 to every child born in the U.S.

“I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home,” she said.

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.

Is it Hillary’s money that she wants to give away? No, it is your money, John and Jane Public, in the form of taxes. Gee, we have a word for people who generously give away other people’s money, and that word is “thief.” Or “public servant,” but I repeat myself.

This idea of buying votes with the voters’ own money isn’t new. Former Senator George McGovern, another Democrat, suggested a $1,000 giveaway to every American back in 1972. And as the New York Post reminds us, McGovern went on to lose 49 states during that election. We can only hope that history will repeat in 2008.

Otherwise, we can look forward to paying taxes to pay for Hillary to buy her votes.

Baby got back $5,000

My in-laws make birthday and Christmas wish lists of the things they would like to get. While nothing says that we have to buy the things on the list, the lists do a good job in cataloging the current likes of that person. And if someone specifies a particular brand of jeans on his list, he can’t complain when you get him those jeans. After all, he said he wanted them.

Since Miss V’s birthday was coming up, we showed her how to create and maintain a gift wish list on Amazon. After a week, this list topped 50 items, 11 of which are rated highest priority. Buying just the highest priority items would easily cost more than $500 after adding in shipping and handling. What she has here is a very large number of wants and a very limited set of means to get them. To be fair, my wife and I have Amazon wish lists with 38 and 45 items respectively, but we’ve had our lists for 2+ years now. And while I have some $100+ big-ticket items on there, I bought the highest priced item myself. It’s good to have a job.

I bring up Miss V’s wish list to show a basic truth of life: our wants are often far greater than our means to acquire them. Most Saturdays, and some week days, she asks us, “What are we going to do for fun today?” If she could, she’d go out shopping for fun every day. Unlimited wants, I tell you. But we are trying to teach her that we have to live within our means, and that means working with budgets. Since her birthday is coming, she started planning a party, and we started putting limits on it. No, she can’t invite everyone from school and church to her party. No, we aren’t getting sushi for everyone. No, we’re not taking everyone out to a restaurant. No, we’re not spending $20+ on gift bags for each kid. We’re so mean.

Instead, we told her how much we were willing to put up for the party, and we limited the number of invitations to go out at eight. I don’t feel bad about not inviting someone when described as “that kid in my class with the brown hair, but I don’t know her name.” The idea about serving sushi was shot down twice, once because it would blow the entire budget to get everything she wanted, and also because not every kid her age likes sushi. Miss V has relatively adult tastes in food having grown up surrounded by adults. I suggested pizza since I don’t know of a kid that doesn’t like pizza. Pizza alone was half the budget. While the frozen pizza she suggested would certainly be cheaper, it would also taste like cheesy cardboard. Having nasty tasting food is not a good way to run a party, as is turning away kids hungry because you skimped on the food, which was her other suggestion.

So she was down to a fraction of her party budget to buy gifts and prizes for the other girls. This meant she needed to visit the dollar store to get what she wanted. Bliss for her, hair-ripping boredom for me, and I don’t have much hair left to rip out. What to do, oh, what to do? Ah-ha! I’ll send the wife! This will give me more time to play my games uh, clean the kitchen for her. Good thing she never reads this.

Since she is still a kid, Miss V expects us to pay for anything she wants. Each trip to the store results in many repetitions of “No, you can’t have that.” Each time TPK asks out loud, “What should we have for dinner tonight?” results in a request from Miss V to go out. Steak is the current favorite for her, but I think it’s the yummy garlic mashed potatoes that she likes better. But unhappily for Miss V, going out is a treat and not the norm, regardless of how much she asks. She hasn’t really realized that going shopping or eating out involves spending money because for the most part, it’s not her money.

This is a common misconception. Whenever I hear someone say “Health care is free in [country],” I always respond that it is not free. People think socialized health care is free in the same way that Miss V thinks dining out is free since the check doesn’t get paid directly out of her pocket.

I hear people say, “Health care should be a right!” But they are wrong, as I have explained before.

There are basically two rules to rights: you may not exercise your rights to restrict the rights of others, and you may not force someone else to pay for your rights. The old saying of “your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose” gives an idea of what is meant by not restricting the rights of others. You may not do murder since it deprives a person of life, nor may you kidnap anyone since it deprives that person of liberty. As for the second rule about rights, you have no right to the time and money of other people. The government reserves this right in the form of taxes, but individuals may not walk up to someone and demand five dollars. That is theft. But you may be surprised at how many people expect and demand your money.

You will hear more people ask for socialized health care. Recently, I’ve been seeing some TV commercials from DividedWeFail.org (really AARP) about health care and social security. Here’s the commercial on YouTube.

“It’s time for health care and financial security for all,” says the commercial. “All Americans should have access to affordable health care, including prescription drugs, and these costs should not burden future generations,” says the AARP website. “It sounds great, but how will you pay for it?” says I. No matter how much you wave your hands, you can’t make health care and retirement become free for everyone, no matter how much you want it. Forcing other people to pay for your wants is immoral, regardless of how much you want it to happen.

All it proves is that we, like Miss V, have unlimited wants but only limited means to get them.