The Locker Room

September 4, 2007


Posted by Hal Young at 6:29 PM

You learn something every day. I knew that Wal-Mart (and apparently some other big chain stores) allowed RV owners to park in their lots at night. Living a few miles from I-95 and halfway from Up North to Florida, we see lots of them when we make a late night diaper run. I didn't realize there was a name for the practice, in RV parlance -- "boondocking". Apparently there's some controversy in the camping community over it, but never mind.

However, the real catch of the day is this website which plots all of the Wal-Marts in North Carolina on a map. What a triumph of capitalism and private enterprise! It's enough to make Lou Dobbs cry.

The parent site also has a travel guide which shows you the food, lodging, gas, and yes, Wal-Marts, at each exit on the Interstate. Here's the mountains-to-the-sea guide to I-40 in North Carolina.

See, you knew it had to be out there somewhere.

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At the Democratic Convention

Posted by Hal Young at 2:37 PM

I found this passage intriguing:

The immediate magnet was the national convention of the Democratic party, convening on August 29 to nominate a candidate ... Broadly speaking, this convention was bringing together everybody who disliked the way the war was being run, with the single exception of the dissident Republicans who felt [the president] was not tough enough. Among the assembling Democrats ... were others who wanted only to have the war end -- with ... victory if possible, without it if necessary. And there were also men who saw the war consuming precious freedoms and creating tyranny, who blended extreme political partisanship with blind fury against the war party and who at least believed that they were ready to strike back without caring much what weapon they used.

They nominated a popular former general who had taken a "courageous" stand against the administration and was personally fired by the president; they established a peace platform calling for rapid truce with the enemy combatants.

It was also known that foreign nationals with definite ties to terrorist groups had come to the convention by way of Canada, aiming to stir up trouble or support, whichever presented itself.

It all sounds very familiar and up to date, maybe even prophetic.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, they could not have known that before the week was out Sherman would be in Atlanta, in six weeks Lincoln would be re-elected, and six weeks after Lincoln's inauguration Lee's army would be history. The convention was in 1864, and paragraph quoted is from Bruce Catton's A Stillness At Appomattox, published during the Korean War.

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Re: Edwards

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 2:04 PM

And to think he could be a Conservative in the UK!

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We need university researchers to make these amazing finds

Posted by Jon Sanders at 1:38 PM

Brace yourselves: "Men want hot women, study confirms."

Yet another sterling example of Well DUH research. What are the odds this was funded with federal grant money? And is it only now a fact, having been "confirm[ed]" by a study?

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'Academic McCarthyism'

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:27 PM

Newsweek reviews this week a new book-length chronicle of the Duke lacrosse rape allegations.

I particularly enjoyed the final paragraph, which describes why the case has been called a case of "academic McCarthyism":

The authors make the Duke faculty look at once ridiculous and craven. For months, not one of the university's nearly 500-member faculty of arts and sciences stood up to question the rush to judgment against the lacrosse team. So much for the ideal of the liberal-arts university where scholars debate openly and seek the truth. ("This book provides one interpretation," says Duke spokesman John Burness.) The only group that shows any common sense in "Until Proven Innocent" is the student body. Aside from a few noisy activists who assumed the players were guilty, Duke undergrads mostly overlooked the political correctness of their professors. 

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Re: Edwards

Posted by Hal Young at 10:37 AM

Jay Tea at Wizbang titles it "John Edwards: I'll Outlaw Christian Scientists".

One of the comments calls it "Procrustes for President". In this case I guess he uses a hospital bed, or maybe an exam table.

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The mythology of unionism

Posted by George Leef at 10:34 AM

The Hudson Institute's Diana Furchgott-Roth takes a critical look at the claims Big Labor makes about itself in this New York Sun piece.

She mentions the Pillowtex case at the end of the article. Unions promise a lot, but don't mention the possibility that the loss of employment could be one of the fringe benefits.

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On the Wake County Schools curriculum audit

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:51 AM

WCPSS officials have been adamant that the $200,000+ curriculum audit - results to be released today - is not a PR stunt. Why? The audit is long (400+ pages) and is critical of some of the district's practices. Even so, the school system says that "[t]he next few weeks may be one of the most important periods in the Wake County Public School System's history... The release of the curriculum management audit will certainly be a milestone in our quest to be not merely good, or very good, but outstanding in our service to children." This sounds like some PR-style hyperbole to me.

Fenwick English, a professor of education at UNC Chapel Hill, conceived of the curriculum audit process nearly 30 years ago. Dr. English assured me that there is a body of research that substantiates the cost and time dedicated to the audit. My hope is that the final report discusses this research at length.

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Re: Edwards

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:40 AM

Joe, per your post, I look forward to the day when Edwards deserves only our pity. As things stand now, however, he's still a top-tier candidate for the Democrat Party nomination for president. It is our duty to give his Socialism-For-Thee-But-Not-For-Me notions the treatment they richly deserve.

Take, for example, this image that's making its rounds on the web.

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Appeals court rules on gun restrictions

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:46 AM

A new ruling from a split N.C. Court of Appeals panel upholds as constitutional a 2004 law banning all convicted felons from possessing firearms.

The law replaced earlier legislation that had permitted certain felons to have gun rights restored after serving their sentences. 

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Edwards: go to the doc or else

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:42 AM

John Edwards' bad ideas have jumped the shark. This is the last time I make fun of them. They're just sad and pathetic and should be pitied instead of mocked.

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Reisk, return, and the Fed

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:31 AM

The September 3 issue of Fortune Magazine looks at the return of risk on Wall Street. It seems some people forgot that borrowers can default, so that even with tightening Fed policy the money kept flowing, until it stopped. Raises again thought-provoking questions on the real ability of central banks to control the money supply, the role of guardians such as S&P or the Local Government Council, and the willingness of bankers to overlook risk in pricing loans.

Does this make anyone else think about TIFs?

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Second industrial revolution?

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:18 AM

The Labor Day edition of the Washington Post had on its front page a long story on the transformation of American manufacturing with a focus on North Carolina's biotech industry. It's a fascinating article that shows how much the private sector is doing on its own.

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Playing Tag: Harassment?

Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 07:54 AM

Seems another school “outlawed” the childhood game of tag, which is played throughout the world. Assistant Principal Fesgen told the press that tag “causes a lot of conflict on the playground.”  Some children complained they were being harassed or chased against their will. Give me a break! Teachers should not allow students to “chase” others who do not want to play, but to penalize everyone? While such a rule might make it "easier" for a lazy, incompetent teacher to oversee the playground, these “politically correct” changes contribute to a wimpy, socialistic mindset. Schools should be teaching kindness, healthy competition, and getting along with others.
Another reason why families leave “politically correct” government schools. 

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