Monday, February 28, 2005

SICA Secession

Local news!

Ten high schools are planning to secede from the South Inter-Conference Association at the end of the year: Andrew, Bradley-Bourbonnais, Bolingbrook, Homewood-Flossmoor, Joliet, Lincoln- Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Lockport, Sandburg, and Stagg. If you know anything about the south suburbs, you'll see the pattern. These high schools represent the more affluent (and whitest) communities in the south suburbs.

"It takes a large group of white students out of the knockings and I think that is important to keep the conference balanced. So, there is a huge impact when they leave. They're taking the bulk of the white population out of SICA," said Robert K. Wilhite, Thornton Factional superintendent.

Black student athletes in lower income neighborhoods east of Interstate 57 are less likely, if ever to compete against more affluent whites west of the expressway. While the defecting superintendents concede that economics is part of the reason they will leave racial issues were not considered.

"Race in this whole thing is absolutely not a problem. It has never been a problem for the seven of us in our entire careers and as far as I'm concerned, it's never been an issue when it's come to a decision for me, whether it be racially motivated or not. Absolutely is not an issue," said Wyllie.

Wyllie says the new conference would be called the southwest suburban conference and would begin operating in all sports except football beginning next fall. Football will have to wait a while because of SICA contracts already in place.

The list of schools that will remain in SICA, according to this obviously outdated and badly-kept SICA website: Argo, Bloom Township (incl. Bloom Trail), Bremen, Crete-Monee, Eisenhower, Hillcrest, Kankakee, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Reavis, Rich Central, Rich East, Rich South, Richards, Romeoville, Shepard, Thornton Fractional North, Thornton Fractional South, Thornridge, Thornton, Thornwood, Tinley Park.

Hmm. Surprised Argo didn't bail with the rest.

Ace Troubleshooter Is No More

Dude, it stinks. John Warne, lead singer of Ace Troubleshooter, has left the band to be the new bassist for Relient K.

Now, coming off a two-month break, the band is refreshed and hitting the road on a headlining club tour. With Ace Troubleshooter singer John Warrant [sic] taking the spot of recently departed bassist Brian Pittman and with Jonathan Schneck joining existing members Matt Thiessen, Dave Douglas and Matt Hoopes, Relient K for the first time will be playing as a five-piece band.

Here's Ace Troubleshooter's official statement.

I guess John never got the memo that Ace was better than Relient K. . .

Crazy Happenings in Lebanon

Have you been following Lebanon at all? You should be. It looks like it might be solid evidence that Bush's domino effect hopes will be realized.

After the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri earlier this month, Lebanese citizens began to turn out in force to protest Syrian occupation of the country. Drawing explicit parallels to the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine from a few months back, the "Cedar Revolution" has won a major victory today: the Lebanese government, generally considered a puppet of Syria, has resigned en masse.

The Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate, prompting a tremendous roar from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in central Beirut.

The demonstrators, awash in a sea of red, white and green Lebanese flags, had demanded the pro-Syrian government's resignation -- and the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon -- since this month's assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Demonstrators in Beirut's Martyrs Square chanted, "Syria out! Syria out!" after Prime Minister Omar Karami announced his resignation in a speech aired by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation.

In his speech, Karami said he would have won a no-confidence vote scheduled for later in the day, but was resigning to avoid making his government a stumbling block to peace.

The country's pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud, now must pick a prime minister to form a new government until scheduled elections in May.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Rock Rebel

Check this out -- my post about Christian Music Makeover has just been linked on the front page of

Seems like a very good site, probably deserving of a sidebar link.


I don't know whether you guys are keeping up on the latest target of bloggers' outrage (Blog Rage?). This time, it's an entity that usually gets tons of respect from the blogosphere -- Google.

Google has just released a new beta for its toolbar. What has bloggers (and many other web developers) up in arms is the bar's Autolink feature. Read about it on this page.

What Autolink does is automatically create links on a page where there are none. Great feature for users, right? Except it's messing with someone else's copyrighted content. This website here, Heroes from the Past, is my own house/poetry book/art gallery/phone book on the web. Google is now offering to 'help out' web surfers by turning my content into their adspace. I have no problem when my host (which is letting me put together this site absolutel free) packages ads around my content, such as you may see at the top of this page. But when you add links to my blogposts that are indistinguishable from the links that I have made myself, that's crossing a line.

So, for the moment, I've found a way to make it stop. The folks over at Searchguild have kindly written some Javascript that breaks Autolink for a page, and I've added the script to my template here.

I'm not sure how permanent this solution is, however. For one thing, the toolbar is still in Beta, and the Autolink feature is likely to be changed to combat this anti-autolink script. Secondly, I depend on Google in two ways -- hits through its search engine and hosting through its ownership of Blogger. If the company chooses to do so, it can easily detect the Javascript and either automatically remove anti-autolink pages from its search engine, or decide not to host me anymore.

We'll see where this goes. I don't think anything major is going to come of this, but maybe I should look into just in case.


The tickets you have purchased are:
Cardinals at Cubs
Saturday, 8/13/05 at 12:20PM CDT
Terrace Reserved Outfield

Section Row Seat Price Type
237-3 17 107 $27.00 ADULT
237-3 17 108 $27.00 ADULT
237-3 17 109 $27.00 ADULT
237-3 17 110 $27.00 ADULT
237-3 17 111 $27.00 ADULT
237-3 17 112 $27.00 ADULT

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Other Extreme of Government Vs Property Rights

Instapundit and Professor Bainbridge have been pointing out one extreme of government abuse of property rights. Their posts talk about the use of eminent domain in contravention of the Fifth Amendment: "Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." In these cases, governments are forcibly purchasing private property for questionable ends. For example, in the case of Kelo vs. City of New London, the city of New London has allowed a private non-profit organization to forcibly purchase the houses of Susette Kelo and neighbors for as-yet-unspecified private use.

But there's another extreme -- landmark status. When landmark status is invoked, a governmental body forces owners of property to continue to own and maintain such property in perpetuity, even if funds are not available or ownership is no longer desired. Stinks, don't it? And now Chicago politicians are thinking of forcing about 200 churches to accept it.

Owners of houses of worship currently are permitted to reject landmark designation, but a proposal co-sponsored by 10 aldermen would end their ability to opt out.

Experts say that at least 200 Chicago churches are of landmark quality, and the owners of any of them that were to win designation would lose the ability to tear down and be forced to maintain them in perpetuity.

"Our absolutely last choice is to demolish a building," said Jim Dwyer, a spokesman for the Catholic archdiocese. "But if we have no use for it, we are not going to spend money to keep a vacant building open at the expense of our ministries and our schools, even if somebody finds it aesthetically pleasing.

"I think [the new proposal] would be a concern to anyone who believes in religious freedom," Dwyer said.

You read it right. If this gets passed, churches could have landmark status forced upon them by the secular city government. And that means that the churches would not be able to tear down the church or make major changes without permission, and would be legally required to keep the property in good shape.

So what if the church is low on funds? Or, on the other hand, what if the church wants to build a new, larger sanctuary? They're stuck with the current property as a legally-mandated drain on resources and options.

Preservationists now are pushing to save St. Boniface, a shuttered Catholic church at Chestnut and Noble Streets, as Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) seeks to fashion a compromise in which a developer would purchase the building from the archdiocese, save the facade and construct condominiums on the site.

"I think we have to come up with a creative way of helping [religious organizations] out," Burnett said. "If they don't have the money to be able to fix the building, they can go to jail or be fined" if they failed to maintain a building with landmark status," he said.

"You are going to make someone do something they can't afford to do," Burnett said.

Korn Guitarist Becomes Christian, Leaves Band

MTV has the story here. God is amazing.

Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, a founding member of Korn, has left the band and has rededicated his life to Christianity, according to the group's management.

"Korn has parted ways with guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch, who has chosen Jesus Christ as his savior, and will be dedicating his musical pursuits to that end," a statement from the band reads. "Korn respects Brian's wishes, and hopes he finds the happiness he's searching for."

Hat tip Israel from Staple, who are already targeting Welch for the band :P.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Yesterday's News

Dang, you'd think I'm a newspaper or something. This story happened yesterday, and I'm not getting to it until today.

Anyways, the story is further evidence that a liberal uprising will never be successful. The Kyoto Protocol went into effect yesterday, according to the story. Members of Greenpeace, not content with this drastic economic treaty, decided to take action on their own, and set their sights on the International Petroleum Exchange in London.

Greenpeace had hoped to paralyse oil trading at the exchange in the City near Tower Bridge on the day that the Kyoto Protocol came into force. “The Kyoto Protocol has modest aims to improve the climate and we need huge aims,” a spokesman said.

Was this a peaceful, non-invasive protest? You wish.

When a trader left the building shortly before 2pm, using a security swipe card, a protester dropped some coins on the floor and, as he bent down to pick them up, put his boot in the door to keep it open.

Two minutes later, three Greenpeace vans pulled up and another 30 protesters leapt out and were let in by the others.

They made their way to the trading floor, blowing whistles and sounding fog horns, encountering little resistance from security guards. Rape alarms were tied to helium balloons to float to the ceiling and create noise out of reach. The IPE conducts “open outcry” trading where deals are shouted across the pit. By making so much noise, the protesters hoped to paralyse trading.

So Greenpeace invaded the Exchange with tactics intended to disrupt trading. I'm not sure what they expected to occur, but I guess this wasn't it:

[T]hey were set upon by traders, most of whom were under the age of 25. “They were kicking and punching men and women indiscriminately,” a photographer said. “It was really ugly, but Greenpeace did not fight back.”

Mr Beresford said: “They followed the guys into the lobby and kept kicking and punching them there. They literally kicked them on to the pavement.”

Last night Greenpeace said two protesters were in hospital, one with a suspected broken jaw, the other with concussion.

This reaction may sound harsh, and may have been harsh. But I can only imagine what my reaction would have been if protestors invaded my workplace and tried to disrupt my coworkers and I in such a fashion.

Dogwood Is Still Alive!

So I'm starting to tell people that I think Dogwood might be dead. I WAS WRONG!

Just received this:

Dogwood Newsletter 02.17.2005...


900 22nd St (23rd and O Street), Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield, CA
-ONLY $10

Wanna be our friend?
Check us out at

It's not like I'll be able to make it or anything, but it's great to see that they're still going.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


No, not blogging from the Senate floor, unfortunately. Senator John Cornyn is advocating a reform of the Freedom Of Information Act that would, intentionally, give bloggers more power to collect information from the government.



According to RedState, this is the first time that the word "blogs" has ever been uttered on the Senate floor. Not sure about that, but they have the full story here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Another MSM Nosedive

The Tulsa World, the city's only newspaper, is now asking bloggers to stop infringing on its copyrighted material. The targeted bloggers' sin? Excerpting from articles, and also linking to the paper's online content.

Bates Line, one of the targeted bloggers, has a copy of the letter that he received from the World, as well as analysis, here. Here's an excerpt from the letter:

The Tulsa World copyrights its entire newspaper and specifically each of the articles and/or editorials at issue. The reproduction of any articles and/or editorials (in whole or in part) on your website or linking your website to Tulsa World content is without the permission of the Tulsa World and constitutes an intentional infringement of the Tulsa World's copyright and other rights to the exclusive use and distribution of the copyrighted materials.

Therefore, we hereby demand that you immediately remove any Tulsa World material from your website, to include unauthorizedlinks to our website, and cease and desist from any further use or dissemination of our copyrighted content.

That's right. A corporation is getting angry at people for linking to its website. I only wish I had tons of other blogs linking to me.

But the World? "Mr. Bates is looking at me! Mr. Bates is pointing at me! Make him stop, Big Brother!"

Mahna Mahna Update

I've updated the original post also, but I think this deserves to be at the top of the blog. The Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper Mahna Mahna commercial has finally been posted to ifilm.

Monday, February 14, 2005

I'll Be Sure To Be In Lynwood In An Emergency

Because Sauk Village 911 is incompetent.

CALLER: Yes, I'd like to report someone that's injured. Someone needs assistance. They're at the emergency hospital in Dyer.
DISPATCHER: Where are they at?
CALLER: They're in Dyer, and they're in a brown GMC Jimmy.
DISPATCHER: This is Sauk Village Police.
CALLER: Yes, I was wondering if you could put it through, please.
DISPATCHER: No, I can't.
CALLER: Oh, who do I call?
DISPATCHER: You probably have to call Dyer.
CALLER: All right.

Friday, February 11, 2005

e2 Ministries Announcement List

An announcement list for e2 Ministries has been created!

Click here to join e2-music

Click to join e2-music

Christian Makeover Update

Remember this? Well, one blogger is now being sent cease and desist letters over having posted articles critical of Christian Makeover (hat tip CCMBuzz).

Is Heroes from the Past next? Tune in next week to find out!

UPDATE: James, the blogger in question above, has left a couple comments clarifying his current status. First, the 'cease and desist' received was not formally so, but rather a document using such words. Second, the letter was written primarily regarding James's contacting certain editors within the CCM industry and asking them to cover the full story, without ignoring the critics. Check out his comments both on this post and on the one linked above.

And James, I bought the book through Amazon, and it looks like they haven't received it from the publisher yet, so they obviously haven't been able to pass it on to me. It was released by Relevant just a couple weeks ago, although Mark Salomon had self-published it before that time. I did read the first chapter online, and it asked some interesting questions. How is a 'Christian' band to react when a pastor at a church at which they are playing asks them to give a sermon during their set, when that band does not consider preaching its ministry? How is the band to react when that pastor confronts them in anger at their own place of ministry? How often do similar confrontations occur? What does it mean to be a Christian band?

I don't know if there are easy answers to any of these.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Business Cards!

Should be coming in the mail in two weeks or less.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

WNBA In Chicago

The AP reports that a WNBA team has finally been approved for Chicago. Yahoo! has the story here.

New Protest Warrior Event

Who's interested in this? Seriously, I need to know who would be willing/able to go. If you can, please contact me.

Protest Warriors-This coming Saturday, at my church (Moody Church-Clark& North), at noon some lesbian organization will protest my church's opposition to gay-marriage. From what I hear, next Saturday is "right to marriage day" and there may be demonstrations going on throughout the city, or for that matter, the whole Country. I am sure that Moody Church was singled out because of our evangelical teachings, but there may be other churches on the list as well. So, just a heads up.

I do not know much more about the specifics of the protest- and I will be out of town Feb 12th, so I cannot help. Let me know if I can help find out more information, particularly if some warriors have time to confront these angry women.

Thanks,Mike Manning
From Indymedia:
Please refrain from posting comments.

UPDATE: Just a notice -- there's a good chance that this isn't going to be an 'official' PW operation, but there should be PW'ers showing up in an unofficial capacity.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Dove Award Nominees Announced

You can see them here.

My own quick thoughts:

  • "Meant To Live" should be Song of the Year.

  • Out of the options, Group of the Year should be Switchfoot.

  • Same for Artist of the Year.

  • Producer of the Year should be Aaron Sprinkle, but he's not on the list.

  • Give "Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year" to "Show You Love" by Jars of Clay. I like "Never Alone" by Barlow Girl, but it's a complete Evanescence ripoff.

  • Give Modern Rock Album of the Year to Collide by Skillet.

  • Rock Album of the Year should go to "They're Only Chasing Safety" by Underoath, even though I haven't listened to it.

  • Hey, this is my blog. I have the right to be arbitrary.

  • Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year goes to Third Day's Wire.

  • "Light Up Ahead" is a great music video, even if animated, and I wish I could learn to make them like that.

BTW, hat tip Bunnie Diehl.

More American Ingenuity

[0009] This taco holder invention is an example of simplicity at it's best. Not only does this invention hold the taco shell upright for filling the ingredients and for resting a partially-eaten taco between bites--but also clips to the edge of the dinner plate for resistance to tipping-over while carrying the plate between the table and kitchen, buffet lines, or passing back and forth between people. Other holders of this type are bulkier, heavier or free-standing, (able to tip over).

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Thoughts, anyone?

You Have A Type A- Personality


You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds

Friday, February 04, 2005

'Group Asks IRS To Check Into Focus On The Family'

Story here, via Christdot.

The watchdog group asked the IRS in a Feb. 1 letter to investigate. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Focus on the Family is forbidden to endorse political candidates or parties.

"Our organization believes that this article may have violated federal tax law with its use of code words such as 'pro-life' and with its implied support of President George W. Bush as a candidate for president," wrote Ellie Collinson, executive director for Citizens Project.

As far as I know, churchs fall under the same requirements. Hmm . . . What's good for the goose is good for the gander, innit?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Cubs sign Burnitz

The Cubs have filled their hole in right field. Jeromy Burnitz is certainly not my favorite player, or even close, but the contract is short and pretty cheap at $5 million / 1 year. And there weren't all that many good options out there -- basically, either get Beltran with an albatross of a contract, or hope that Maggs's knee is healthy even though his agent refuses to let any team check it out.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Feel Free To Play Along At Home

Just received this in the inbox from the Illinois Republican Young Professionals:

President George W. Bush will deliver his State of the Union address this evening at 8:00 PM Central. The White House has provided us with message points in advance of this evening's historic speech. They are copied below. Please feel free to share them.

As the President begins his second term and embarks on pursuing his positive agenda, he's going to face a lot of resistance from the Democrats. Litigation, tax and social security reform are some of the Administration's goals for the next four years. The President is going to need all of us to help communicate his message.

If you are unable to hear the President's speech this evening, a transcript will be available on the White House's website ( later this evening.

(visit our website at


State of the Union Message Points

The Speech
This is a unique year for the State of the Union address because it comes on the heels of the Inaugural address. The two speeches provide an important opportunity for the President to articulate his domestic and foreign policy goals for the next four years to the American people and to the world.

The Inaugural address laid out the ideal toward which America will strive and the governing principles that will guide us. The State of the Union will lay out specific goals, immediate and long-term, for how and where we'll lead America, and will present a blueprint for a second term.

This is an opportunity for the President to not only educate the American people, but also persuade Congress that the country is going in the right direction, but there is more work to be done.

The President will call on Congress to fulfill its obligation and achieve results for the American people rather than passing problems on to future Congresses and future generations.

The first half of the speech will focus on domestic topics; the second half will focus on foreign policy.

Domestic Policy
The President will speak directly to the American people and to Congress about Social Security and offer more details on how to move the debate forward. He will discuss why we need to permanently fix the Social Security system and why it's necessary that we confront this problem today. He will express his willingness to work in a bipartisan manner and talk about why he believes personal retirement accounts are critical to helping future generations realize a secure retirement.

The President will talk about building on the economic momentum of the last few years, noting that 2.3 million jobs have been created in the last year.

The President will also talk about legal reform, tax reform, passing a comprehensive energy policy, and education and job training initiatives to make sure we have a skilled workforce to compete with anybody in the world. And he will discuss fiscal discipline and the fact that he will be putting forward a budget that reflects our times and meets our goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009.

Foreign Policy
This State of the Union comes during a time of war. The President will pay tribute to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom. He will speak to the importance of working to advance the spread of freedom and democracy. The President will also speak directly to those individuals who are fighting for freedom around the world; those who wear the uniform of the United States military, and the peoples of many countries that are fighting for their own freedom.

The President will speak specifically about the Middle East peace process and the renewed hope around the world for peace in the Middle East.

The President will reflect upon historic progress made in recent weeks, focusing on the elections in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq.

The President will talk about our priorities and our plans moving forward, as well as our aims and goals to help the Iraqi people secure their country and continue on the path to democracy.

After The Speech
The President will embark on a five-state tour, beginning Thursday, to take his case for strengthening Social Security to the American people. He will visit Fargo, North Dakota, Great Falls, Montana, Omaha, Nebraska, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Tampa, Florida.

Mrs. Bush, the Vice President, and other members of the Cabinet and sub-Cabinet including Secretary Snow and Director Bolten will travel educating Americans and highlighting initiatives the President will be talking about in the State of the Union.

A Couple Wild Statements

First, Chief News Executive of CNN Eason Jordan makes some scary accusations:

During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.

Due to the nature of the forum, I was able to directly challenge Eason, asking if he had any objective and clear evidence to backup these claims, because if what he said was true, it would make Abu Ghraib look like a walk in the park. David Gergen was also clearly disturbed and shocked by the allegation that the U.S. would target journalists, foreign or U.S. He had always seen the U.S. military as the providers of safety and rescue for all reporters.

Eason seemed to backpedal quickly, but his initial statements were backed by other members of the audience (one in particular who represented a worldwide journalist group). The ensuing debate was (for lack of better words) a real "sh--storm". What intensified the problem was the fact that the session was a public forum being taped on camera, in front of an international crowd. The other looming shadow on what was going on was the presence of a U.S. Congressman and a U.S. Senator in the middle of some very serious accusations about the U.S. military.

To be fair (and balanced), Eason did backpedal and make a number of statements claiming that he really did not know if what he said was true, and that he did not himself believe it. But when pressed by others, he seemed to waver back and forth between what might have been his beliefs and the realization that he had created a kind of public mess. His statements, his reaction, and the reaction of all in attendance left me perplexed and confused. Many in the crowd, especially those from Arab nations, applauded what he said and called him a "very brave man" for speaking up against the U.S. in a public way amongst a crowd ready to hear anti-US sentiments. I am quite sure that somewhere in the Middle East, right now, his remarks are being printed up in Arab language newspapers as proof that the U.S. is an evil and corrupt nation. That is a real nightmare, because the Arab world is taking something said by a credible leader of the media (CNN!) as the gospel, or koranic truth. What is worse is that I am not really sure what Eason really meant to communicate to us, but I do know that he was quite passionate about it. Members of the audience took away what they wanted to hear, and now they will use it in every vile and twisted way imaginable.

Secondly, John Kerry now claims that he performed gun-running for the Communist Khmer Rouge:

MR. RUSSERT: And you have a hat that the CIA agent gave you?

SEN. KERRY: I still have the hat that he gave me, and I hope the guy would come out of the woodwork and say, "I'm the guy who went up with John Kerry. We delivered weapons to the Khmer Rouge on the coastline of Cambodia." We went out of Ha Tien, which is right in Vietnam. We went north up into the border. And I have some photographs of that, and that's what we did. So, you know, the two were jumbled together, but we were on the Cambodian border on Christmas Eve, absolutely.

I don't know what to think about either of these. Well, I don't believe Jordan, but I don't know for sure. And can't accept that the best place for this revelation would be on foreign soil at an economic forum.

BTW, Eason's the guy who had this to say a couple years ago regarding keeping quiet about the Hussein regime's evil for fear of reprisal. And again, I'm not in a very opinionated mood, so read and decide for yourself whether CNN's actions were acceptable.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraqi Insurgents Capture Toy Soldier?

No, this isn't a joke. An Iraqi militant website posted this picture of their latest hostage:

He looks a little stiff or drugged up or something, doesn't he? And notice how the M-16 pointed at his head isn't being held by the grip? It must be that the insurgent holding it is grabbing it by the end of the stock -- an awkward grip at best.

Well, somebody did some quick investigation, and now Drudge has these pics on his front page:

Hmm . . .

e2 Ministries Update

A forum has been added to the website. Woo-hoo!