Monday, June 30, 2008
Pet owners in Nashville are increasingly giving up their pets to shelters, and animal control officials say the slumping economy is to blame.
This month alone, Metro Animal Care and Control has seen record numbers of owner-surrendered pets, defined as pets whose owners leave them at the shelter. This number has for the first time overtaken the number of stray dogs and cats that are found or dropped off. . . .
The number of animals in Metro that have been euthanized in June has already reached more than 1,100 — nearly 300 more than at this time last year.
I don't claim to know what financial challenges are facing the people who are turning in their pets. Maybe some have to choose between feeding their children and feeding their animals; maybe some have been forced to move into an apartment building that doesn't allow pets. Still, I can't imagine a situation in which I'd hand in my pets to be (almost certainly) euthanized.
An aside: Before reading this article, I was embarrassed to admit that we have six cats in our household. Now I'm proud to say that my family has saved the lives of six animals. I can also say that the Tinleys are doing our share; the rest of you need to go out and get some more animals.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Considering the Brevity of My Recent Posts . . .
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I Don't Think You Realize What Just Happened
64 teams play for the college baseball championship; they are divided into sixteen 4-team regions, in which the teams are seeded 1 through 4. Fresno State was a 4 seed. Had this been basketball (where teams are divided into four 16-team regions), the Bulldogs would have been no better than a 13 seed. Going into the postseason, Fresno State was #89 in the RPI rankings; going into tonight's game, they were still only ranked #52.
In short, this year's Fresno State team may be the most unlikely national champion in major college sports history.
I Loved the 70s, 80s, and 90s More
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Significant Majority of Christians are Pluralists; Only One-Third of Mainliners Attend Church Weekly
Monday, June 23, 2008
We are witnessing the outlines of what happens when the world's have-nots feel they can no longer eke out the necessities of life. In the developed world, it may be worth noting that those who have less are often the very same people our society depends on to get our food to us; in the developing world, it should be recognized that hunger fuels anger, ignites revolution and feeds terrorism.
The implications of high commodities prices start with humanitarian concerns, but they do not end there. They also encompass issues of civil society and national security. One need not subscribe to apocalyptic or even pessimistic thinking to read warning signs in the unrest we have witnessed this spring.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
(CNN) -- School administrators in Ohio voted Friday to begin the process of firing a middle school teacher accused of burning a cross into a student's arm and refusing to keep his religious beliefs out of the classroom.
I guess I'm not sure why school administrators have to go through a "process." I think the school district would be safe letting him go. The "dude burned a cross into a kid's arm" argument should hold up in court. Branding aside, this teacher has a history:
Freshwater was also reprimanded several times for refusing to move his Bible from his classroom desk and teaching creationism alongside evolution, according to the 15-page independent report. The report also cites evidence that Mr. Freshwater told his students that "science is wrong because the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and so anyone who is gay chooses to be gay and is therefore a sinner."
Personally, I don't think the Bible on the desk is a big deal; I could let that go. Teaching creationism alongside evolution should be cause for a special meeting of the school board, or at least a good, long talk with school administrators. The gay comment is grounds for suspension. The branding incident, especially given the teacher's history, calls for a "security will escort you to your car" response.
Though I believe fully in the separation of church and state (for the sake of the church as much as for the sake of the state), I don't think we can reasonably tell public school teachers and public officials to pretend that they aren't people of faith while they're on the job. That said, I'm not sure how anyone could argue that the science teacher in question didn't take a Carl Lewis long jump across the proverbial line.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
NEW YORK (AP) -- It's no secret that people sneak in some personal e-mail and Web surfing when they're supposed to be working.
A new study attempts to shatter perceptions that these Web surfers are just slackers trying to avoid work.
In fact, it turns out everyone does it, from senior managers to entry-level employees -- and researchers figure that means management attempts to clamp down on Internet use may be missing the mark.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Where's the Love for Capernaum?
Yet there is no Capernaum Baptist Church nor a Capernaum, Pennsylvania. Google "Bethlehem," "Nazareth," "Zion" (another name for Jerusalem), or even "Bethany" (the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus that Jesus sometimes visited) and you'll find all sorts of cities, churches, and towns named in honor of these cities. But a search of "Capernaum" turns up very little that isn't directly related to the ancient city. Why no Capernaum Lutheran Church, no Capernaum Outreach Ministries, and no Capernaum, Missouri? What's the deal?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
You can also give to the Mennonite Disaster Service. (Thanks to Aunt B. for the tip.)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Necessities and Luxuries
Friday, June 13, 2008
I've Been Meaning to Tell You
Buying such a large car when gas is $4.00 per gallon may seem like a curious move, but the van is actually more fuel efficient than the vehicle it replaced, and we really need a third row of seats. This is why:
Meet the third and final Tinley kid. He'll arrive in late September.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Racism, Sexism Not the Only "Isms" at Play in This Year's Campaign
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
A Few Things to Consider
- I'm sure that, by now, you've seen footage of Barack and Michelle Obama giving each other dog last week in front of a screaming crowd in Minnesota. Fox News's E.D. Hill actually asks if this modified high five is a "terrorist fist jab" (Gawker). Really. Then she brings in a body language expert to further interpret the gesture because, as she says, "Everyone seems to interpret [the fist bump] differently." I suppose. But no sane person would interpret it as a "terrorist fist jab."
- Why did the climate bill fail? Time explains.
- Here's a warm-and-fuzzy story: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield wanted to do something for former Negro League players who never got the chance to play in the Majors. So he put together a draft in which Major League teams drafted the aging former Negro Leaguers into their baseball families. (Hat tip: Aunt B.)
- More in baseball: Kudos to Ken Griffey, Jr. for hitting number 600. Too bad he had to do it in front of a sparse crowd in Miami.
- You may have heard rumors about the tape of Michelle Obama saying nasty things about "Whitey." Here it is.
Monday, June 09, 2008
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.
“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”
She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.
When it comes to improving healthcare, I'm not picky. If you have an idea for government-provided healthcare, I'll listen. If you have an idea for making private plans more affordable and available, I'll listen. But I won't accept a healthcare system where a woman can be denied coverage for having had a C-section. (More broadly, I won't accept a system in which for-profit companies make life-altering decisions about whom and what procedures to cover.) The C-section issue is particularly upsetting because of the disturbingly large number of unnecessary Caesarians that doctors perform. (C-sections are more profitable to doctors and hospitals than natural births.)
Friday, June 06, 2008
Weezer's "Pork and Beans" sets a medley of Internet memes to the tune of a great song that is reminiscent of the Weezer I knew in the mid nineties:
Mates of State's "Get Better" video is a little disturbing but will nonetheless make you feel a little more positive about life:
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I've Come for That 1975 Nickel in Your Pocket
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Because My Youth Died Long Ago
My Thoughts Exactly
The 2000 election was the first to be heavily covered by online media, and the 2004 election was the first to get overwhelming coverage from the political blogs that had sprung up like partisan mushrooms, but the 2008 election will be the first to be completely defined by the angry morons who call C-SPAN, yell idiocy at talk-radio hosts and, especially, leave hundreds of inane comments on websites. . . .
When space-monster archaeologists visit the ruins of Earth, they'll find a very detailed record of the 2008 campaign, preserved in the browser cache files on millions of computer hard drives. They will marvel at three-paragraph AP stories posted on CNN that somehow elicit 500 comments that have nothing to do with the story. They will wonder why so many people who can't type, spell or put together a coherent sentence nonetheless composed thousand-word freakouts about things they don't understand.