Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
Krauthammer on Palestine
Mickey Kaus on "Able Danger"
Iraqi constitution: closer to a deal?
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Wikipedia on "Able Danger"
NCAA: FSU can keep 'Noles; Ute OK next?
Monday, August 22, 2005
Gaza settlement evacuation complete, West Bank next
Iraqi government finishes draft constitution
President visits SLC, speaks to VFW
"Able Danger": not so fast
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Tuacahn's production of Joseph
Went to Tuacahn's performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Well done!
The rest of the fam's still there and will see Beauty and the Beast tomorrow night (the whizbang show of this season).
It's an amazing setting: outdoor amphitheater facing immense red rock cliffs (the photo below doesn't do it justice, since it cuts off the tops of the cliffs). Every production manages to work in the natural setting behind the stage, including water -- which can flow over the stage and drain just in front of the audience.
Our dear friends, the Dustons, treated us to Paul's patented shish-kebobs this afternoon. It's becoming an annual pilgrimage (much like the girls' visits to Stoke-on-Trent for china while we lived in England): yearly trips to St. George to take in the latest productions at Tuacahn -- and catch up with the Dustons.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Road construction in Provo: like swallows to Capistrano
NCAA mascot update
Maybe it won't be the University of Utah "Red-tailed Hawks" after all.
Because of a decision by the NCAA two weeks ago, the U. appeared to be in danger of losing its traditional "Ute" nickname. However, the NCAA is backtracking a bit on its decision to ban the use of American Indian nicknames and imagery at post-season tournaments starting in February.
On Friday, the NCAA said approval from American Indian tribes would be a primary factor in deciding appeals from schools that use Native American nicknames and mascots in post-season play.
That should help the U. The university has received permission from the Ute Tribal Council several times over the years to use the "Ute" nickname, and unless that changes Utah should be able to retain it.
Friday, August 19, 2005
AZ high school swaps textbooks for iBooks
Krauthammer on Gaza withdrawal
Gaza was simply a bridge too far: settlements too far-flung and small to justify the huge psychological and material cost of defending them. Pulling out of Gaza leaves behind the first truly independent Palestinian state -- uncontrolled and highly militant, but one from which Israel is fenced off.As usual, read the whole thing.
If Israel can complete its West Bank fence, it will have established a stable equilibrium and essentially abolished terrorism as a regular and reliable means of attack -- i.e., as a usable strategic weapon. That will leave the Palestinians a stark choice: Remain in their state of miserable militancy with no prospects of victory or finally accept the Jewish state and make a deal.
"Able Danger" update
4 Die in "Y" Mountain Caving Accident
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Cindy Sheehan: publicity and privacy
UPDATE: IRONY ALERT? In the face of her mother's stroke, Cindy now asks for respect for her privacy (in a press release slamming the President...)
Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
The book takes its title from a poem:
Los Alamos' lights where wizards stay up late-- James Merrill, "Under Libra: Weights and Measures," from Braving the Elements
(Stay in the car, forget the gate)
To save the world or end it, time will tell
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
What bothers me about the fervid friendship of the Bushes and Mr. Clinton--and the media celebration of it--is the faint whiff of superiority, a sense they radiate that all those slightly icky little people running around wailing about issues--tax reform, the relation of the individual to the state, the necessary character of a president--and working the precincts are somehow . . . a little below them. There is an air of condescension toward that grubby thing, belief. Those who hold it are not elevated, don't quite fit into the high-minded nonpartisan brotherhood. When in fact the people doing the day-to-day work of democracy, and who are in it because they are impelled by deep belief and philosophy, are actually not below them at all, and perhaps above them. Not that they're on the cover of People hugging, but at least they're serious.
It is the suggestion, or the suspicion, that these men have grown close because they are not serious, were never quite serious, that grates. That makes one wonder. That leaves some Republicans, and I have to assume more than a few Democrats, scratching their heads when they see Newt smiling with Hillary, and John McCain giggling with Hillary. It leaves you wondering: Why are these people laughing?
More on "Able Danger"
A military intelligence team repeatedly contacted the F.B.I. in 2000 to warn about the existence of an American-based terrorist cell that included the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a veteran Army intelligence officer who said he had now decided to risk his career by discussing the information publicly.Read the whole thing.
More by TigerHawk here.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Apple's customers satisfied; Dell's, rest of PC world, not so much
Monday, August 15, 2005
TV takes aim at Utah, Mormons
UPDATE: Link fixed.
America's most conservative city: Provo, Utah
Joseph Smith website
Apple and Microsoft in iPod patent tiff
Apple-Google Alliance? ("iGoogleTunes"?)
Gettin' ready for some football!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Heatwave in Alaska: 83 in Fairbanks
LaVell Edward enshrined in college football Hall of Fame
Saturday, August 13, 2005
WSJ: "jobless recovery" ends?
First, more Americans have jobs today than at any other time in history. Second, over the past two decades or so, the U.S. has created more than 40 million jobs--twice as many as Europe and Japan combined. And third, the U.S. has one of the lowest jobless rates of all developed nations.
It was only a year ago that John Kerry was blasting the "jobless recovery." Lou Dobbs was flogging "outsourcing" every night on CNN as a sign of peril for the American workforce. That criticism now looks wildly off base. The 5% jobless rate today is almost a percentage point below what it was during the same stage of the business cycle during the vaunted "Clinton expansion."
Democrats' new strategy: Almost winning
In nearly the biggest political upset in recent history, Democrat Paul Hackett came within just a few thousand votes of defeating Republican Jean Schmidt in Ohio's Second Congressional District.Yup. Almost won. Hoo-wee!
Then there's this from the DNC:
While President Bush has made physical fitness a personal priority, his cuts to education funding have forced schools to roll back physical education classes and his administration's efforts to undermine Title IX sports programs have threatened thousands of women's college sports programs.Steyn opines:
The DNC's Bush-is-the-reason-your-kid-is-fat press release is a convenient precis of the party's problem: While he runs rings around them, the Dems lounge about getting flabbier by the week and telling themselves it's all his fault they can barely move except to complain about Bush's Supreme Court nominee's kid being overly cute. What's the betting for 2006? The Dems will have a few more "nearly the biggest political upsets," while the Republicans will have the actual political upsets -- a couple more Senate seats? Including Robert C. Byrd's venerable perch in West Virginia?Read the whole thing.
Republicans may see the increasingly arthritic, corpulent, wheezing, flatulent Democratic Party as a boon for them, but I don't. Two-party systems need two parties, not just for the health of the loser but for that of the winner, too. Intellectually, philosophically, legislatively, it's hard to maintain the discipline to keep yourself in shape when the other guy just lies around the house all day.
Bookends: 9/11 and no-terror-since
But most importantly: the President came of age on 9/11 and we have had no terror attacks on American soil since (knock on wood). Read the whole thing.
Friday, August 12, 2005
BYU football on KSL
NCAA mascot update: PETA weighs in?
NCAA Considers Ban on Hostile Animal Mascots
(2005-08-06) -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) today said it would consider a proposal by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to ban teams from using "hostile" animal mascots during its sports tournaments. The NCAA imposed a similar ban on teams with American Indian names this week.
"Hostile animal mascots reinforce species stereotypes," according to the PETA proposal. "When children see snarling lions, tigers and bears--even if they're just perky men wearing fur suits with gigantic foam heads--it creates prejudice against wild creatures which justifies continued discrimination and oppression. The emotional toll on these sentient beings is devastating."
An NCAA spokesman said the organization will also consider a resolution at its next meeting to eliminate team names and mascots altogether, and to identify each collegiate sports team by a randomly-generated 27-digit number.
9/11 and "Able Danger": Connecting the Dots
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
BYU football: 1st day of practice
Monday, August 08, 2005
Farewell for Grant Davis
Among others who came a great distance, my uncle Bob drove from St. George. Julie Wang flew from Toronto, Canada. Bob and Katherine Pederson, and Moyne Osborn came from Salt Lake City. Grant's brother, Dan, came from Los Angeles.
The funeral director told me today that 400 people came through the line at the viewing.
(My uncle Bob's first wife died of cancer. He told me at the viewing that his current wife's first husband died -- while their son was serving his mission in Alaska).
Last week we attended Elder Max Davis's missionary farewell in Rexburg, Idaho. Today we attended his father's farewell. It was also his youngest son, Gabe's, 13th birthday.
We began the day at the chapel videotaping a conversation among family and friends reminiscing about Grant.
Grant's son, Elder Max Davis, flew into Idaho Falls this morning and gave the family prayer before the casket was closed. The stake center and cultural hall were full. Among others who came a long distance, Cindy's best friend, Marcie Duston, drove from St. George to be with Cindy for the funeral.
At the beginning of the service, 16 year-old Molly tenderly played a plaintive violin solo ("Meditation" by Massenet), accompanied by Grant's mother (Molly's Grandmother), Jeannine Davis. I offered the opening prayer. Among other things, "Lord, we don't understand. But we accept. Blessed be thy name."
Grant's lifelong friend, Jay Burrup, gave a life sketch, tracing their friendship from boyhood days in Downey, Idaho ("our Norman Rockwell painting, our Lake Wobegon -- without the lake"), to Grant's recent good-humored email support of Jay in a difficult bishop assignment. Jay painted a wonderful human portrait of a good, intelligent, inquisitive, and faithful friend -- a "reluctant renaissance man".
Eric Barton, a dear friend and Rexburg doctor, discussed Grant's impact as a brilliant Harvard-educated, world-class physician who chose to practice in the community of Rexburg, how Grant loved to help and heal, and how he had left his mark in seven years of practice here (including with Eric's own daughter -- as he stitched up her ear, she kept asking when he was going to start, and he told her he was just cleaning it first -- finally telling her, to her surprise, that he was all finished, including the stitches).
Richard and Karalyn Ferguson then played a viola and violin duet, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing / If I Could Hie to Kolob". The Davis's home teacher had sung "Come Thou Fount" last week at Max's farewell. Intertwining it with "If I Could Hie to Kolob" fused the two farewells and combined flight imagery with Grant's passing.
Rexburg 16th Ward Bishop John Ivers then spoke about a tombstone he had seen with the inscription "Someday you'll understand." He spoke about what we understand now about the Gospel. And he paraphrased the Savior on the cross to 13 year-old Gabe: "Here is your father... and here is your father..." (speaking of home teachers, scout leaders, bishopric members, family friends, etc.)
Stake President Gregory Moeller next spoke about Grant's healing touch on the Moeller family (tonsils out and some stitches), how Grant had done the right things in his own way (quoting Frost's "The Road Not Taken") and how picturing Grant soaring in the clouds thinking of his family, and now soaring with the angels and thinking of his family, brought peace. He also quoted Neal Maxwell twice (paraphrased here): there are so many exit routes from mortality that our faith can't block them all; and, after grief puts holes in our heart, one day they will be reservoirs of joy.
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the final speaker. He spoke tenderly and directly to Mindy and her children. He said he spoke as one was was a bit farther down the same path (he lost his wife several years ago), and that Grant would be close, that, although they could not speak, they would communicate and he would be there for the family in troubled times. He told Max that he could best help his family and bless their lives by serving his mission. And he told Molly to continue to develop her talents and gifts, including showing love and tenderness in supporting Mindy. And he told Gabe to always remind people who said his dad "was" a great man, that he "is" a great man. Finally, he fervently testified that no righteous man is ever taken before his time. And he bore strong apostolic witness of the promise of eternal life and the power of sealing covenants.
We sang "Be Still My Soul" for the closing hymn, and Grant's friend, Vince Whitehead, gave the closing prayer, praying that the community's support for the family would continue.
Grant's sons Max and Gabe, my son's Jed and Dave, Dan Davis, Mark Reynolds, Jay Burrup, Cory Allsop, and I served as pallbearers. It was a simple but beautiful wooden casket, with a single long-stem red rose and a white ribbon placed on top.
Rexburg police and Madison County sheriffs blocked traffic and led the funeral procession.
Grant was buried in the Rexburg City Cemetary. Visitors to the grave will be able to look south to the new temple when it is constructed (the groundbreaking was last week).
Grant's dad, Dale Davis, dedicated the grave. Among other things, he said that "All the good things you could say about a man could be said of Grant." It had been a calm and sunny day, but the wind picked up. It was a good day for lift, for soaring.
Afterwards, we returned to the stake center for a meal prepared by the Relief Society: ham, "funeral potatoes", tossed green and assorted fruit and Jello salads, and pie and cake. (Too often we take the Relief Society for granted. Always quietly there. I thanked as many sisters as I could find). During the meal, several of her friends presented Mindy with a memory quilt they had made in the past 48 hours.
After the meal, we returned to Mindy's where Max gave Mindy a priesthood blessing (he had given Molly a blessing earlier in the day). Then we took Max to the airport to return to the MTC. On the way, he spoke excitedly with Mindy about his time in the MTC so far.
The wind brought with it dark clouds and a sunset rain. Air washed clean.
May God's blessing through caring friends and family be with and comfort Mindy and her family in the coming months and years ahead.
"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; . . . and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Isa. 25:8; Rev. 21:4)
Sunday, August 07, 2005
BYU's new football coach speaks
He was scheduled to come home Tuesday night, but came home early to attend Grant's funeral. We've received an outpouring of love from those who knew Grant.
Life is fragile. But the Gospel is true. Hug those you love a little tighter.
FSU threatens lawsuit over mascot ban
"That the NCAA would now label our close bond with the Seminole people as culturally 'hostile and abusive' is both outrageous and insulting," Florida State president T.K. Wetherell said in a statement.Go 'Noles!
"I intend to pursue all legal avenues to ensure that this unacceptable decision is overturned, and that this university will forever be associated with the 'unconquered' spirit of the Seminole Tribe of Florida," he added.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Utes may have to change nickname
Goodbye "Utes"? Hello "Red-Tailed Hawks"? And what do the Florida State "Seminoles" and Illinois "Fighting Illini" come up with?
Methinks the NCAA has gone too far. How are sport team nicknames using actual Indian tribal names offensive to anyone?
Wait until PETA gets involved, arguing that animal mascots, nicknames, and imagery are offensive. Goodbye BYU Cougars? Stanford Cardinal? Michigan Wolverines? Penn State Nittany Lions? Wisconsin Badgers?
Friday, August 05, 2005
J. Grant Davis, M.D. - Rest in Peace
My little sister's husband, J. Grant Davis, was killed in a glider accident yesterday afternoon near Driggs, Idaho. They had just taken their son to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) on Wednesday and were in our home afterwards. We're still reeling from the shock. He was a good, kind, thoughtful, and generous man.
The heritage of sacrificial service continues: after being told of his father's death, Elder Max Davis decided to stay at the MTC and continue his mission, although he will fly to Rexburg on Monday to attend his father's funeral and will return to the MTC that night.
"Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!" (Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2)
Thursday, August 04, 2005
John Roberts news clipping service
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Cougar Radio - 1st instalment
Apple's Mighty Mouse
Monday, August 01, 2005
"It's All Our Fault": the Left in Support of Terrorists' Rights
WSJ on Bolton
Recess appointment: John Bolton
Funny thing. By that standard, Howard Dean would be disqualified from serving as Chair of the Democratic National Committee.