Fired Conservative Kansas Teacher Gets Job Back.

Tim Latham, a History and Government high school teacher in Lawrence, KS, has his contract renewed after being told it wouldn’t in April by Latham’s immediate supervisor, Assistant Principal Jan Gentry.

Latham, who was criticized by a student for not airing President Obama’s inaugural address during class, filed a grievance with his school district earlier this month after he was told in April that his contract would not be renewed.

From FoxNews…

During a meeting last September with Assistant Principal Jan Gentry, Latham claims Gentry mentioned his school-affiliated Web site, which she called “too patriotic.” The site had links to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Air Force, the U.S. Army and other military-and history-related sites.

He claimed the critiques took a personal turn in October, when class lessons began focusing on the presidential race between Obama and John McCain. One unidentified student has complained to Gentry that Latham had been too critical of Obama.

“I had been called into [Gentry’s office] and was told I was picking on Obama in class,” Latham said earlier this month. “But I didn’t cover anything else that wasn’t already covered by anybody else in the news.”

Latham also said that Gentry asked him about a “McCain-Palin” bumper sticker on his car.

“She said, ‘I don’t know how you could support that woman,'” Latham said. “That was the beginning of what was going on. They were trying to find a reason to get rid of me.”

Latham said a condition of his reinstatement would be that Gentry would not conduct his evaluations any longer, [School Superintendent] Weseman said. Gentry could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Lathan reported that he had received more than 1,000 e-mails, phone calls and comments on his web site.

“My cell phone just went off again,” Latham told FOXNews.com on Tuesday. “I have received well over 1,000 e-mails, comments on my Facebook page, personal letters and phone calls, not only from all over the country, but from all over the world. I even had a guy who wrote me from China, saying he could see this happening in China, but not here.”

Sometimes, conservative teachers do win. Gentry failed to conduct proper evaluation of Lathan as specified in his contract. It was this violation that vacated Latham’s dismissal and the issuance of a contract for next year. Latham has many supporters in the Lawrence student body and by parents who support his return.

Undoubtedly, Gentry and others like her will be watching Latham closely. The liberals cannot abide dissension in the union teaching ranks. Without a doubt, Latham will be watching them as well.

Ministry of Defeat

I came across this book review whilst on the internet (h/t to Chris Nuttall). I don’t have a link to the source of this particular review, but it shouldn’t be difficult to find if you want to read more. Here is a link to a blog that discusses the book, although not this particular review.

Caveat: I’m a bit of an Anglophile. My father was born in the UK. But, I do NOT support the British government and their slavish, tyrannical treatment of their people.

Ministry of Defeat

(Richard North)

The odd thing about the American defeat – if such a word can be used – in Vietnam is that it came about through internal problems, not military defeat. The Viet Cong were beaten. The North Vietnamese Army was beaten. The bombing of North Vietnam was shockingly effective (although this was not appreciated at the time.) The US effectively won the war. It was defeated by the home front and an astonishingly effective propaganda campaign. Not for the first time, the communists probably didn’t believe their own success.

The odd thing about the British ‘victory’ in Southern Iraq is…well, it was a defeat. Worse, it was a defeat that came about because of flawed political and military decisions, taken not by the men on the spot, but men in Whitehall. The scale of the disaster was never understood by the home front – even I didn’t know the half of it, and I am as well-informed as any civilian could reasonably hope to be – due to a compliant media and a sheer lack of comprehension. The British government preferred to believe it’s own ‘spin’ rather than the truth. In doing so, they betrayed the British soldiers who went to war without the right equipment and no clear plan, and the country itself. Charges of treason would not be inappropriate.

That is the conclusion, one I strongly endorse, of this remarkable book. There are actually relatively few British writings on the subject of Iraq, although Sniper One and Eight Lives Down provide some insight into the lives of the soldiers there. It should be noted that Sniper One paints a picture of Basra – and Iraq – that was at variance with the official government-promoted version of events. Ministry of Defeat provides an overall history of the occupation – something that has been sorely lacking – and details, in a very ‘take no prisoners’ attitude, just went wrong in Iraq.

The core of the matter, North writes, is that the British Government refused to recognise that it had a serious problem on its hands. As the militias gained power in Basra, the government preferred to believe that it wasn’t a serious issue – little more than a public order issue – and convinced itself that Britain’s expertise from Northern Ireland gave it an advantage over the US. That might have been true if the expertise had actually been used (it wasn’t)…but in any case, Basra was not Northern Ireland. This little piece of self-delusion cost lives, Mr Blair! The troops in Ireland had far better intelligence and much higher troop levels. Much has been made of the shortage of American troops after the Fall of Baghdad, but the British had the same problem and, unlike the US, the MOD learned fuck-all from the experience.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the equipment procurement process was badly screwed up. When the RAF was being allowed to spend billions on the Eurofighter, the Army had to make do with the Snatch Land Rover – which Northern Ireland experience had shown was badly under-armoured – which caused the deaths of many British soldiers. The issue was not that the British Army was under-funded – although soldiers were being underpaid for their role – but that the money was being spent on long-term programs that would not provide useful equipment (if that) in time to be useful.

It is quite typical, as Donald Rumsfield pointed out years ago, that countries go to war with an army that is unprepared for the task. It is rather less typical that a country would go to war, find itself in serious shit…and then continue blithely developing technology that was effectively useless, prepared for the wrong war. Instead of fighting the last war, the UK was looking towards a hypothetical European RRF, one of Tony Blair’s pet projects. Billions have been spent – for nothing. Common sense would tell someone of Blair’s intelligence – surely – that a European force wasn’t on the cards. When has the EU ever agreed on an enemy?

The British media also comes in for bashing. Not, it should be noted, for the largely American left-wing media army bashing, but for being the dog that didn’t bark. The MOD generally tried to spoon-feed propaganda to the British TV, which largely ate it up and came back and begged for more. Early signs of trouble were ignored, or taken out of context, and even when the media did pick up on signs of trouble, they never understood the underlying factors behind the war. The media did pick up on problems with the Snatch vehicles, but took the ‘under-funded military’ line rather than realising the truth. Reporters who questioned the army line, such as Christina Lamb in Afghanistan, found themselves blacklisted.

The core reason for British ‘success’ in Iraq, North notes, was that the UK never really had control over Basra. The Shia inhabitants of the area, after the events of 1991, preferred to organise themselves rather than trust the coalition. Iran was seen as a better ally by some, a deadly threat by others, but always as a far more significant player than the coalition. Under constant attack, the British forces were slowly withdrawn from the area, conceding control to the militias, who started to loot, rape and slaughter at will. The inglorious end to the story – the retaking of Basra by Iraqi forces with American support in 2008 – was barely a footnote in the British media.

The contrast between Iraq and the Falklands is staggering. The Falklands were another ‘come as you are’ war, one fought by a far more determined PM for limited goals…and one that Britain came closer to losing than anyone would like to admit. After that war, the lessons were learned and incorporated into new developments. Iraq seems, instead, to be the forgotten war. If that wasn’t bad enough, most of the mistakes are already being repeated in Afghanistan.

This is an angry book, written by an angry man. It isn’t pleasant reading for anyone with a British heritage, but it is necessary reading. God help us.

Lessons From a Grizzly Bear Hunt

I just received this from a friend of mine. (H/T to tailfeathers). Here are some good lessons–lessons for life as well as for hunting Griz. Read, learn, heed.

Lessons From a Grizzly Bear Hunt

by Doug Giles

I just returned from a grizzly bear hunt in Alaska. I was unsuccessful, however; I didn’t get a shot (luckily for the grizz and PETA). I hate to ruin your private party, PETA freaks, but before you skip off to go autoerotic with the current issue of National Geographic, I thought I’d mention that I’ll be back after them and their black cousin in the spring of 2010. I will, sooner or later, score on the horrible one.

Even though I did not shoot a bear on my recent hunting trip, I did learn something while amongst the alders, icebergs and the devil’s club that I’d like to pass on to you, my rowdy God and country loving reader:

1. Grizzly hunting is expensive. Yep, this sport of kings is not cheap. Just the equipment costs and travel expenses needed to get to where Ursus arctos horribilis dwells costs more than most are willing to spend on a hunt. Fortunately for my wallet and wife, this hunt was gifted to me.

However, there were other costs involved that didn’t entail the outlay of Benjamins, such as the mental and physical costs of hunting deadly game in adverse surroundings. Both the animal and the elements can kill you. You need to be okay with that and willing to ante up and do whatever needs to be done in order to get your trophy.

What’s the life lesson to be gleaned here, my little children? If you want a truly awesome “trophy” it will exact from you a pound of flesh. The best and baddest in life always demand the massive expenditure of the mind, will and emotions. A great nation, marriage or a functional family will cost you retail in blood, sweat and tears. If you’re going to get your “grizzly” in life then you need to realize it’ll cost you dearly and demand an extravagant expenditure of your time, talent and treasure. Period. Great things are expensive in fifty different ways. You’ve got to pay the dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it don’t come easy. Cheap punks need not apply.

2. Use Enough Gun. Grizzlies can go from 0 to 40 mph faster than the fastest street car. They can fly uphill and downhill, sail through a swamp, cruise through snow and swim like fish. The big boars will reach ten feet in height, have 28” biceps, 29” skulls and can tip the scales at 1,500 lbs. A puny man with a puny gun is no match for this ultimate predator—especially if he decides to take you on.

While we were there we saw several eco-tourist anti-gun morons with cans of bear spray holstered to their hips to use if a grizzly should decide to snack on them. Bear spray? Are you kidding me? A 1,000 lb bear coming at you at 40 mph will blow right through a cloud of cayenne en route to stomp a mud hole in your chest. Screw bear spray and 30/06s. As for me and my house, we will use at a minimum a .375 H&H Magnum, thank you very much. I recommend the big .40 cals. You see, when I interface with that which can kill me, not only do I want to kill it first, but I also want to stun it, break its bones and knock it down and out as I send it on to bear heaven.

What’s my ham-fisted spiritual lesson from this point? In life if you are going to go for your “trophy,” whatever it is, you’d better go big. Bring your big guns to the table of life. Life is brutal, and if your goal or desire is truly noble, you’ll encounter plenty of opposition in your path ready to pummel you into a grease stain. Never go after your prize under-gunned because you could have your butt handed to you. (Y’know, kinda like the pea shooting GOP did in the last election.)

3. Follow Your Master Guide. One thing that I’ve learned in nearly 47 years of schlepping this pebble is to bow to the true experts in their fields. That’s why I don’t try to teach my wife how to cook, or my Tae Kwon Do instructor how to fight and why I didn’t advise my master bear guide Wayne Woods on how to do his job. As stated, grizzlies are deadly (ask Timothy Treadwell), and some of the terrain we trod was dangerous. It would have been arrogant, stupid and fatal to turn a deaf ear to this man who regularly interfaces with death.

This is why I don’t listen to the Liberal statists or the numb nut RINOs who are currently mucking up our nation and party and instead turn my ear to our nation’s original framers and fathers; they’re the master guides who spawned this amazing American experiment. Our current crop of dweebs thinks we can blow off our Constitution and principles of liberty and not be turned into bear crap. Screw them. I’m kicking it old school with Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison and Paine. In addition, as a Christian, I’ll stick with Moses and Jesus and summarily ignore the capitulating crowd of evangelical weenies who for cash and praise have dissed the ancient path and are headed for the jaws of the beast.

Lessons From a Grizzly Bear Hunt

I just received this from a friend of mine. (H/T to tailfeathers). Here are some good lessons–lessons for life as well as for hunting Griz. Read, learn, heed.

Lessons From a Grizzly Bear Hunt

by Doug Giles

I just returned from a grizzly bear hunt in Alaska. I was unsuccessful, however; I didn’t get a shot (luckily for the grizz and PETA). I hate to ruin your private party, PETA freaks, but before you skip off to go autoerotic with the current issue of National Geographic, I thought I’d mention that I’ll be back after them and their black cousin in the spring of 2010. I will, sooner or later, score on the horrible one.

Even though I did not shoot a bear on my recent hunting trip, I did learn something while amongst the alders, icebergs and the devil’s club that I’d like to pass on to you, my rowdy God and country loving reader:

1. Grizzly hunting is expensive. Yep, this sport of kings is not cheap. Just the equipment costs and travel expenses needed to get to where Ursus arctos horribilis dwells costs more than most are willing to spend on a hunt. Fortunately for my wallet and wife, this hunt was gifted to me.

However, there were other costs involved that didn’t entail the outlay of Benjamins, such as the mental and physical costs of hunting deadly game in adverse surroundings. Both the animal and the elements can kill you. You need to be okay with that and willing to ante up and do whatever needs to be done in order to get your trophy.

What’s the life lesson to be gleaned here, my little children? If you want a truly awesome “trophy” it will exact from you a pound of flesh. The best and baddest in life always demand the massive expenditure of the mind, will and emotions. A great nation, marriage or a functional family will cost you retail in blood, sweat and tears. If you’re going to get your “grizzly” in life then you need to realize it’ll cost you dearly and demand an extravagant expenditure of your time, talent and treasure. Period. Great things are expensive in fifty different ways. You’ve got to pay the dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it don’t come easy. Cheap punks need not apply.

2. Use Enough Gun. Grizzlies can go from 0 to 40 mph faster than the fastest street car. They can fly uphill and downhill, sail through a swamp, cruise through snow and swim like fish. The big boars will reach ten feet in height, have 28” biceps, 29” skulls and can tip the scales at 1,500 lbs. A puny man with a puny gun is no match for this ultimate predator—especially if he decides to take you on.

While we were there we saw several eco-tourist anti-gun morons with cans of bear spray holstered to their hips to use if a grizzly should decide to snack on them. Bear spray? Are you kidding me? A 1,000 lb bear coming at you at 40 mph will blow right through a cloud of cayenne en route to stomp a mud hole in your chest. Screw bear spray and 30/06s. As for me and my house, we will use at a minimum a .375 H&H Magnum, thank you very much. I recommend the big .40 cals. You see, when I interface with that which can kill me, not only do I want to kill it first, but I also want to stun it, break its bones and knock it down and out as I send it on to bear heaven.

What’s my ham-fisted spiritual lesson from this point? In life if you are going to go for your “trophy,” whatever it is, you’d better go big. Bring your big guns to the table of life. Life is brutal, and if your goal or desire is truly noble, you’ll encounter plenty of opposition in your path ready to pummel you into a grease stain. Never go after your prize under-gunned because you could have your butt handed to you. (Y’know, kinda like the pea shooting GOP did in the last election.)

3. Follow Your Master Guide. One thing that I’ve learned in nearly 47 years of schlepping this pebble is to bow to the true experts in their fields. That’s why I don’t try to teach my wife how to cook, or my Tae Kwon Do instructor how to fight and why I didn’t advise my master bear guide Wayne Woods on how to do his job. As stated, grizzlies are deadly (ask Timothy Treadwell), and some of the terrain we trod was dangerous. It would have been arrogant, stupid and fatal to turn a deaf ear to this man who regularly interfaces with death.

This is why I don’t listen to the Liberal statists or the numb nut RINOs who are currently mucking up our nation and party and instead turn my ear to our nation’s original framers and fathers; they’re the master guides who spawned this amazing American experiment. Our current crop of dweebs thinks we can blow off our Constitution and principles of liberty and not be turned into bear crap. Screw them. I’m kicking it old school with Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison and Paine. In addition, as a Christian, I’ll stick with Moses and Jesus and summarily ignore the capitulating crowd of evangelical weenies who for cash and praise have dissed the ancient path and are headed for the jaws of the beast.

Brigadier General Ed McMahon – RIP

Just heard on the radio that Ed McMahon died last night of bone cancer. Ride Fast as a nice write-up.

Ride Fast & Shoot Straight: Brigadier General Ed McMahon – RIP

Short Tuesday

When folks get a bit older, we have to deal with “maintenance” medications. For me that is Crestor to help control my cholesterol levels and Benicar for high blood pressure. Truthfully, I’m not sure why I’m on blood pressure meds when it only hits 135+ on occasions, but my Doc insists so I bow to his superior knowledge.

This trip the cholesterol levels were OK but blood sugar was 6% higher, 106 six months ago and now 112. I’ve lost 10lbs (big whoop!) and overall I feel fine, usual aches and pains aside. In any case, I need to lose more weight or the doc will add another Rx for blood sugar control.

I hate taking pills. If my wife didn’t watch me every day, I’d soon forget to take’em. I don’t want any more, so I guess a more strict diet is acomin’. Crap! No more greasy spoon trips for lunch.

FTC to Monitor Bloggers

According to the Associated Press, the FTC is going to monitor bloggers, especially those who accept funds and gifts and then endorse products. This article via Yahoo News explains in more detail.

FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments

  • By DEBORAH YAO, AP Business Writer – Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:02PM EDT

Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services, scouring through comments from everyday Joes and Janes to help them find a gem or shun a lemon.

What some fail to realize, though, is that such reviews can be tainted: Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Bloggers vary in how they disclose such freebies, if they do so at all.

The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

It would be the first time the FTC tries to patrol systematically what bloggers say and do online. The common practice of posting a graphical ad or a link to an online retailer — and getting commissions for any sales from it — would be enough to trigger oversight.

“If you walk into a department store, you know the (sales) clerk is a clerk,” said Rich Cleland, assistant director in the FTC’s division of advertising practices. “Online, if you think that somebody is providing you with independent advice and … they have an economic motive for what they’re saying, that’s information a consumer should know.”

The guidelines also would bring uniformity to a community that has shunned that.

As blogging rises in importance and sophistication, it has taken on characteristics of community journalism — but without consensus on the types of ethical practices typically found in traditional media.

Journalists who work for newspapers and broadcasters are held accountable by their employers, and they generally cannot receive payments from marketers and must return free products after they finish reviewing them.

The blogosphere is quite different.

“Rules are set by the individuals who create the blog,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project. “Some people will accept payments and free gifts, and some people won’t. There’s no established norm yet.”

Bloggers complain that with FTC oversight, they’d be too worried about innocent posts getting them in trouble, and they say they might simply quit or post less frequently.

This has the potential to bring governmental pressure on bloggers. Especially those who have a “tip jar” or provide advertising on their blogs. They would have to be careful to disclosure their connections when providing reviews or opinions about any service or product.

Personally, I don’t advertise. I have had a couple of queries from some vendors who asked me to advertise their site/product and another for a product review. I declined both. I declined because I didn’t start my blog as a commercial enterprise. Neither did I want to be connected to a venture that I really had no knowledge nor any inclination to use. (Now if Para or S&W made an offer of a new pistol, I might, might I repeat, be tempted. Alas, that has not occurred and therefore no temptation.)

However, to other bloggers, it may be an issue. And, with the direction the country is heading toward tyranny, it could be a tool for the government to quiet those protesting and informing via their blogs. The FTC isn’t interested in 1st Amendment rights. They aren’t regulating speech (sure), they’re regulating commerce.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air has some additional thoughts.