Friday, August 31, 2007

The Difference by Vegas Art Guy

There is a fundamental difference between the two parties and the news makes that difference stark.

Item #1: The GOP is working to force disgraced senator Larry Craig to resign. The GOP has told Craig that they will actively work to unseat him in next year's primary and will not support him in any way shape or form after his guilty plea. In fact Idaho's Governor has already picked his replacement.

Item #2: The Democrats fugitive fundraiser.

This gentleman has raised large amounts of money for many of the leading candidates including Hillary Clinton. Funny how out of all that money they returned pennies on the dollar.
You can read more about this fellow at:
Burkean Reflections
Oxford Medievalist, Double Dip!

My point, and I do have one is that while democrats like William Jefferson are still in office and no pressure that I have found has been put on him to resign, the GOP tends to do the opposite.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's more American? By Vegas Art Guy

I was listening to music via digital cable this morning and somethings been bugging me all day.
What's a more American form of music? Jazz or Blues? They're uniquely American and have a long history to back it up.

Can you help an art guy out here?

Which is it and why?

Now before you start typing asking why I didn't include rock in this discussion I have two words for you...

British Invasion

And I don't want to hear about country music either so don't bother...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It finally hit me! By Vegas Art Guy

I am actually a licensed substitute teacher, complete with a badge and everything. I took a long look at my Xerox shirt this morning, knowing that my time with them was rapidly drawing to a close.

Even though I'm excited about this opportunity, I'm also nervous and sad. Xerox gave me a second chance in the valley and they've been very good to me and it was not as easy as I had thought to leave Xerox for the world of education.

I'm of two minds about blogging about subbing. I don't know if I am going to do it here, or make a new blog dedicated just to the wonderful world of education.

What do you think? Should I make a new blog just for the subbing or include it here with the usual suspects?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Crisis of Faith by Vegas Art Guy

Time magazine had an article detailing the crisis of faith suffered by Mother Teresa. At first glance it looked like an attack on one of the great Christians in the last oh, 150 years or so. But once I had really gotten into the article I realized that God was merely answering her prayer to share in Christ's suffering. I shall pass on noting that you really need to be careful on what you ask God to give you. ;)

Every Christian worth their salt has had at least one real crisis where they felt like God was nowhere to be found. It could have been a marriage that fell apart, or getting molested by a family member. It could be an addiction, or an accident, job loss or a myriad of other things that may or may not be caused by them.

I have been through them, my pastor has been through a few doozies and now we know that Mother Teresa had them as well. Simply because God looks like he's not paying attention and does not care, the opposite is true. He does see and He does care. He never promised us an easy life, we're going to have great times and horrible ones. I wish it weren't so, but it is. He did promise to be with us every step of the way.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Books by Vegas Art Guy

Over at the The Oxford Medievalist, Angevin13 has an interesting point about the reading habits of both the left and the right. His list of books that he has read was well... not exactly Louis L'Amour or Danielle Steele to say the least. One of the commenter's suggested he read some fiction to lighten up and suggested Get Shorty to start with.

Of course as an English major I had to toss my 2¢ in with some suggestions, and no I did not suggest Shakespeare. I did however suggest some other books that he and his readers may like. Now I am going to throw it out to my reading audience about good books to read, and in case you're curious and too lazy (shame on you) to visit his blog, here is the list I suggested:

So got any good books?

Are you Efffing Kidding Me? By Vegas Art Guy

This is just fricking nuts. Have we lost all sense of reason and respect of law? So once you're here in the US you're no longer an illegal alien? Is this some kind of a sick joke? Why are those judges not up for impeachment? If you're here illegally, you're already breaking the law. Do we need to make one more law specifying that if you sneak across the border and don't get caught that your continued presence here is a crime? Isn't that why illegal is in front of immigrant?

What the hell am I missing here?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Should we forgive and forget? by Vegas Art Guy

Now that Mike Vick has pled guilty and will soon be sentenced to 1-2 years in the big house. The question is do we forgive and forget once he's done his time.

I posed the same question here on Wet Canvas. So far the answer on the poll is split between hell no and it depends on what he does after he gets out. Keep in mind that the NFL may ban him for life for his role in this dog fighting ring. Most likely he'll get at least a one year suspension at which point he'll probably get a shot a resuming his career. This suspension will take place after he gets out so it could be 3 years before Vick even gets a shot at playing in the NFL. I don't know about the Arena League or the CFL.

Look, Vick is now a felon, but at some point he should be able to try to make something of his life. One of the reasons why so many convicts go back to prison is that we don't forgive and forget, especially in the business world. If we want people to not go back to jail then at some point we need to let them start over.

Obviously some people need to be separated from society, pedophiles, serial rapists, etc. can't be rehabilitated. But for the people who did something really dumb or were feeding an addiction we need to be able to forgive and forget.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The 10 Best by Vegas Art Guy

So over on Wetcanvas there is a discussion about the 10 best rock albums of all time. This discussion is based on this result from a Seattle station. What they do is have people vote on the 102 best albums ever and then go from there. When I looked at the list I was stunned.

5. WHO: WHO’S NEXT 1971

Wow, so no great rock has been produced since 1980? I judge great albums to be ones that not just stand the test of time but also really influence everything that comes after. And yet no Metallica, no Nirvana or Pearl Jam. No Blondie or Sex Pistols? Really? And Queen gets one album?

What are they on and how come they're not sharing?
AC/DC's best is Back in Black? Grand Illusion is the best Styx came up with? Uh, no that would be Pieces of Eight or Paradise Theatre.

Anyway, have at it. Go ahead and tell me what you think the list should look like

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I made it!!! By Vegas Art Guy

YES! I will be substituting in the fall! I am very very excited to say the least. My application has been in review since the 6th of August and with school starting on the 27th I was very very nervous.

The main reason for this is that you have to explain to the school district any terminations or disciplines in your professional life. Well I had the twofer from the same company, AVW-Telav who not only wrote me up but fired me for no stated reason in January of 2003. To be honest I think this was an honesty test from the school district because I could have lied and said everything was fine. After all the only question that a company can legally answer is if you're eligible for rehire or not.

I made a huge leap of faith and was honest about what happened at my former employer and wrote them a letter explaining why I got fired. I figured that God would not have had brought me this far just to toss me off the cliff. But then again maybe there was some lesson regarding perseverance I still needed to be taught. Needless to say I had lots of sleepless nights.

Now I can get some valuable experience in the classroom while I am getting my teaching degree.

Thanks to Navy Blue, Clever and everyone else who has been cheering me on. It means tons...

Where did the water go? Part 2 by Vegas Art Guy

Back in June I blogged about the lowering levels in the Great Lakes especially my beloved Lake Superior. Today while perusing for news on the NBA betting scandal I ran across this article on fox news regarding how continual dredging and other commercial activities are exacerbating this problem for both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Here is a beginning of that article:

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A "drain hole" in the St. Clair River caused by dredging and other commercial projects is costing Lakes Huron and Michigan a combined 2.5 billion gallons of water each day, according to a Canadian study released Tuesday.

Look I'm not a tree hugger by any stretch of the imagination, but come on! We certainly can do better than this. The Great Lakes are vital parts of two countries and several states. They are used for shipping, tourism, fishing and more. This 'hole' the article describes needs to be dealt with and now.

Maybe the Goracle could do something useful and bring some attention to this problem since it's an actual issue that needs to be dealt with. Oh, wait that means dealing with reality, can't have that now can we?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More tidbits to chew on by Vegas Art Guy

Today is certainly a target rich environment for bloggers! After perusing all the news fit to print, or not. I decided to focus on these two nuggets.

The first nugget is the fact that Hugo Chavez, the fearless lover of democracy and all things Anti-Bush is going to re-write the constitution so that he go from El Presidente to Thug for life.

As the article on reports:

"Chavez, who is seeking to transform Venezuelan society along socialist lines, unexpectedly announced late Tuesday that he would unveil his project before crowds of supporters at the National Assembly. He predicted it would bring renewed political upheaval to Venezuela.
Chavez's political allies firmly control the National Assembly responsible for reviewing his proposal as well as the Supreme Court
. His critics accuse him of becoming obsessed with power and seeking to become a lifelong leader just like his close friend Fidel Castro.
Chavez rejects allegations that he poses a threat to democracy.

The Venezuelan leader predicted that most people would support his proposal to reform the constitution, but he also forecast the beginning of a tenacious political battle with the nation's opposition.

"I have faith that we are going to convince the immense majority of Venezuelans of the necessity and the immediate benefits that this is going to bring the country," Chavez said during a televised interview."

Who exactly is going to benefit from this Hugo ole buddy? Certainly not the average Venezuelan, so that leaves you and your political allies. This is why our founders made it so difficult to change the Constitution of the US, to avoid horsecrap like this.

Power truly does corrupt.

The second offering is dedicated to the Goracle and his loyal followers regarding the inconvient truth about his inconvient truth...

A Washington, D.C., resident recently came across a 1922
article that revealed early signs of climate change.

John Lockwood found a 1922 article in The Washington Post when he
was conducting research at the Library of Congress. The article's headline read: "Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt," according to a report in the Washington Times.

The article reports "great masses of ice have now been replaced by moraines of earth and stones," and "at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared."

Click here to read the Washington Times story.

Lockwood said he's discovered other articles from the 1920s and 1930s on the same
subject."I had read of the just-released NASA estimates, that four of the 10 hottest years in the U.S. were actually in the 1930s, with 1934 the hottest of all," Lockwood said."

I love it when reality intrudes on the fantasy land that many on the left live in. Last I checked humans are responsible for about 3.5% of the CO2 that is released into the atmosphere every year. I do agree that we need to take better care of our planet, but I refuse to fall for the global warming claptrap that is eminating from the left. Go hug your tree and let rational people deal with this...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Mike Vick by Vegas Art Guy

Things are now really getting interesting in the Mike Vick dogfighting case. The first bit of news is that the NFL has not made a decision despite all the rumours swirling around the offices in New York City. I'm sure the commissioner will make a decision and soon. Judging from the suspensions that he has handed out this year, expect Vick to face a long suspension, possibly the entire season for violating the good conduct policy that is standard fare in all NFL contracts.

The more interesting part is that the feds are offering Vick a plea deal and that his other two co-defendants are now going to testify against him. Vick has until Friday to agree or the feds are going to file additional charges against him. Ouch, the noose really is starting to tighten around him.

I've blogged on this case here and here chronicling the fall of this once great player.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tidbits by Vegas Art Guy

For as little as $20.00/month you can land yourself in jail, er get revenge on those who have wronged you.

No, I'm not kidding although I really wish I were. I understand wanting to get even with people, but to start breaking the law is just dumb. The worst part is that when the UK government started to investigate the site owners started practicing what they were preaching.


Item #2...

McDonald's is getting sued for $10,000,000 because they didn't hold the cheese. Yea, you read that right. If I had an allergy like that, I'd make damn sure that the burgers were totally cheese free. Seriously, at some point people have to start taking responsibility for their lives. If you want a nanny state move to Canada or Europe for crying out loud.

Item #3...

A teacher in England wanted to give her students something to practice their handwriting with. Yea, you guessed it, it was from a muslim prayer. Any chance a teacher anywhere would do the same with a Christian prayer in a public school?

H/T Reader Clever for item #2
H/T Opinionnation for item #3

Friday, August 10, 2007

Arming Teachers in Las Vegas by Vegas Art Guy

The Las Vegas Sun had an interesting article dealing with arming teachers. This new idea revolves around making some teachers at all levels (kindergarten through college) reserve police officers capable of bearing arms while in the classroom. This proposal is different than the one that Bob Beers had to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in the classroom after they had done 40 hours of training. (I was also in favor of that)

As the article states:

"To become reserve campus police officers, teachers would have to pass a physical and psychological evaluation, as well as a comprehensive background check. Those who make it through the selection process would have to pay about $1,190 for classes at the community college's Law Enforcement Training Academy, including "Firearms I & II" "Defensive Tactics/Physical Training" and "Introduction to Juvenile Justice." An additional $1,000 would be required for the academy uniforms and equipment.

After completing the training, teachers would be responsible for $1,500 in uniform and equipment costs, although their guns would be provided by the school police department. School districts would then have to pay the auxiliary officers $3,000 annually. "

Now I'd be willing to be there are some veterans and former police officers who would be willing to pitch in and help if this were passed. Personally I think it's a great idea that deserves serious consideration, if we truly value our kids and their ability to get an education then providing a secure environment for them should be part and parcel of the deal. This goes double for inner city schools and colleges that are in bad parts of town like San Jose State or USC. Imagine if there had been a couple of officers at VA Tech when that shooting occurred, think the death toll would have been a bit lower?

Our kids and our teachers deserve better security than they get now, anything that will improve that without breaking the bank should be implemented and the sooner the better.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A True Class Act by Vegas Art Guy

While perusing the web I ran across this article at, that talked about how Billy Graham is dealing with the loss of his wife Ruth. It's truly amazing how he is still positive about life after all he's been through.

After reading that article I saw this one in the side bar under related stories. In short it talked about how Billy Graham helped Hillary Clinton during the Monica Lewenski scandal and the relationship that he has with the Clinton's and many political leaders. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Billy was simply doing what was right, helping someone who was floundering in a difficult situation. Say what you want about Hillary, and I've plenty to say, but the fact that she forgave him is a good thing.

Of all the modern Christian leaders Billy Graham is at the top of my list. These two articles are a good illustration of why I hold him in such high esteem.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sexual Harrasment and Gay Pride by Vegas Art Guy

Saw this story via the Point Blog. Now I don't have a problem with the San Diego Fire Department having an engine in the parade. That's all fine and dandy, this is America after all. What I do mind is the fact that these men were forced to be there against their wishes. I'd be willing to bet that some willing volunteers could have been found to march in the parade and drive the truck. Instead these men were forced via a direct order to march in the Parade against their wishes.

These same firefighters filed a sexual harassment complaint (warning graphic language) and rightfully so. A hostile work enviornment is a hostile work enviornment.

Finally I have to say that the Christian protesters at this event need to get reminded of the faith they claim to have. Telling these same firefighters that they're going to burn in hell for marching in the parade is just asinine. Romans 12:18 anyone?

More on the NBA Scandal by Vegas Art Guy

For those of you who don't follow the NBA, a betting scandal has erupted involving a referee fixing games for the mob. In short Tim Donaghy has been under investigation for betting on games in the NBA including ones that he was working at. Right now Las Vegas Sports Consultants have been hired to help the NBA look at betting patterns over the last two years to see if they can spot a pattern that would help them and the FBI determine if it's just one referee or several that are involved.

CBS has a great article detailing how a referee can alter the outcome of a game, specifically with the over/under for a game. For those who don't gamble the over/under is a bet where you wager on the total points that both teams score in a game. If the over/under for an NBA game is 198 1/2, and you take the over, you are betting that the total points will be 199 or greater. If you take the under you think that the total points will be 198 or lower. A few calls either way can move the over/under enough to put the total where the ref (and the mob) wants. If the ref wants a low scoring game, all he has to do is blow his whistle a bit more and the star player(s) have to sit on the bench so they don't foul out. If the ref wants the total to go over he can either sit on his whistle or spread fouls around until both teams are in the bonus which leads to more points scored.

Not surprisingly this scandal erupted due to illegal gambling and you can't blame legal sports books for this. Las Vegas has too much to lose to risk cheating. Trust is paramount in gambling, the casinos know that if you even think the house is cheating you'll take your money someplace else.

This scandal is going to touch other sports as well, as now every close call will really be under the microscope and whispers will start to be heard.

On sports radio stations I've heard more than once that college football refs need to be looked at as well. They work part time and have a reputation of playing favorites especially for home teams. Nor are they highly paid for what they do. They'd be ripe for bribery, especially considering the amount of money that is bet on football, and how much is riding on every game. One or two losses and you're out of the national title picture in Division I football. Personally there is no reason why the referees in college sports should not be full time employees. It's not like the NCAA isn't literally swimming in money from the fat football and basketball TV contracts they have. But I have a feeling that won't change until a similar scandal erupts in the collegiate ranks.

In addition, Major League Baseball is trying to negotiate with the umpire's union to get better background checks added to the employment process to help stop a similar scandal from tainting their already tainted product. I will have to give Bud Selig credit for being proactive here and the union grief for opposing this. Heck I have to go through a background check for teaching, is it too much to ask that we make sure our officials are on the up and up?

In addition it looks like congress is going to get involved as well. Anything to keep from draining that swamp I guess.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

14 years ago today by Vegas Art Guy

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. Seems like yesterday my wife and I made our vows and committed our lives to each other. The Pastor gave us three things that we could use to keep our marriage together.




I would add faith to that list. Faith in each other and faith in God.
Marriage isn't easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

I am truly the luckiest man alive today and richly blessed.

Friday, August 03, 2007

This is an interesting... By Vegas Art Guy,CST-NWS-race01.article

A professor got himself into hot water by wondering aloud if Jew's rigorous study of their holy texts is one reason why the pass the bar exam at a higher rate than black student's whose churches are more emotionally driven and less rigorous in biblical study.

This, of course, got turned into a racial issue and the professor lost a 5% raise and was disciplined. He has finally resorted to the legal system for remedy. This is sad because I think that the professor raised some valid questions about religious study and study habits in general.
Churches run the gamut on biblical study from lots of study to none at all.

The one I attend falls in the middle. I have done small groups that do bible study and ones that don't. The services are heavy on Biblical references but the lessons are heavy on real life application and not pure study and discussion. Bible study is certainly encouraged but not mandated at our church. However the point the professor makes is a valid one I believe. Because their studies are rigorous, it better prepares them for the bar.

It never should have turned into a racial issue, the complaining students should have know that in the first place.

More Problems for Mike Vick by Vegas Art Guy

Fair warning... This is one story I will cover on a regular basis so expect to see plenty of Mike Vick as new information becomes relevant.

Mike Vick's troubles with the law continue. After getting indicted on 16 charges for dog fighting, one of his co-defendants has decided to testify against him. In addition, the NFL has suspended him for violating the good conduct policy that is a standard part of all contracts pending the outcome of their investigation and the outcome of the legal proceedings.

In addition Rawlings has ended its relationship with Vick, as has Upper Deck, Donruss and Reebok. Simply the fact that he's associated with the underground culture of dogfighting was enough to make those companies disassociate themselves with Vick.

Now Mike still has his supporters. The NAACP has urged restraint reminding people (correctly) that he is innocent until proven guilty. This view I happen to agree with, especially considering other high profile cases (Kobe Bryant and Duke) where there was a rush to judgement before all the facts were in.

Micheal Irvin is also supporting Vick and does not like the fact that he cannot attend camp saying that when he went through his own legal troubles that football was his only refuge. Not to pick nits here Mikey boy, but having a drug problem is one thing, most people can identify with an addiction at some level, but dog fighting is a totally different animal if you will. Most clear thinking people can't identify with a sport that reeks of brutality and death like they can with someone fighting a drug addiction.

And we can't forget Neon Deion Sanders who wrote a column that he probably should not have. I have a question for Mr. Sanders... How exactly are we using Mike Vick? He is getting his day in court just like every other defendant. He's not the only guy ever busted for this but he's also a public figure and he and his handlers should have known better.

Mike's troubles are just beginning, stay tuned this is going to be a very interesting case to follow.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A couple of eye catchers by Vegas Art Guy

What is it with these people? Don't they get the fact that when you're a Christian pastor that everything you do is going to get taken apart with a fine toothed comb and any screw up is going to get national press?

Take this gem of a pastor in Tennessee. He gets drunk on vodka and oxycodone then relieves himself at a car wash in front of kids then offers the cops a sexual favor. Oh and did I mention the fact that he was wearing a skirt? It's idiots like him that make real Christians and Christian leaders lives miserable because people don't trust them due to the idiocy of people like this.

I don't blame them either, you can't tell people the good news when you're in a skirt, drunk and offering sexual favors, the message rings a bit hollow to the audience.

H/T Drudge Report and WGAL Channel 8

The other item that caught my eye was this:

Fred Thompson has an interesting article at, discussing how the democrats are once again playing politics with judicial appointments. Why is it that when a democrat is the president, the republicans honor his appointments but the democrats forget their job when a republican is President. Is their hatred of Bush that strong or is this another example of their on-going power grab?

Probably a bit of both if you ask this desert rat.