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Showing posts from August, 2008

Beach council rules Buddhists' cannot hold services in home | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

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The City of Virginia Beach has decided that the Buddhist monks cannot continue to hold services in their house. But it has nothing to do with violating the free practice of religion. Nothing to see here, move along.

Beach council rules Buddhists' cannot hold services in home | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

"The City Council's decision had nothing to do with religion, Wood said. "In my opinion, it was a land-use issue, not a religious issue," he said.

City Councilwoman Barbara Henley agreed. "I have no belief that the city is intolerant and that the people in the city are intolerant," she said."

Oh, of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with religion to forbid worship practices on private property and there is just not a shred of intolerance in far-right Virginia Beach. The city is always concerned about careful and well-thought out land use. Just look at the sprawling wasteland of endless chainstore surburban sprawl and decaying and unde…

U.S. Intelligence and Iraq WMD

It is always nice when the documents reveal what you just know is true, especially if you are a historian.

This appears to be the case with the Bush administrations manufacturing of a case for war with Iraq, as new documents show that intelligence reports were just shaped to match the Bush demands*

read the summaries and the pdfs of the documents here.

U.S. Intelligence and Iraq WMD

"Washington D.C., August 22, 2008 - The U.S. intelligence community buckled sooner in 2002 than previously reported to Bush administration pressure for data justifying an invasion of Iraq, according to a documents posting on the Web today by National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados.

The documents suggest that the public relations push for war came before the intelligence analysis, which then conformed to public positions taken by Pentagon and White House officials. For example, a July 2002 draft of the "White Paper" ultimately issued by the CIA in October 2002 actually pre-dated the N…
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Classes start up again today, which confirms that the space time continuum has been fractured since it seems like we just got back from Korea yesterday.

We went out with some of the new and existing faculty, Lark had a good time meeting everybody.


Yes she is even cuter than she was last time you saw her. Here's another in her signature polka dotted pjs:




This semester I am teaching classes on the New South, the history of Virginia, and a survey on the United States. I am offering a new class on "Space and Place in the United States" to incoming freshmen which I am looking forward to. My research into Latinization in Appalachia inspired me to teach this class. My syllabi will be online on my webpage if you are interested in seeing how they are constructed.

Being back on campus has given me the opportunity (finally!) to go check on the school's beehives. My personal hives in three separate yards around Tidewater have done well despite my absence and a deliberate lack o…
We got Lark in daycare, which is an amazingly difficult process. There are waiting lists that stretch for one or two years. She is on the waiting list at one place since her birth and she still is not off of that one. It is amazing to me that more daycares don't open given the crushing demand for them. After much agonized searching we did finally find her one that seems ok.

Our day care is almost 200 bucks a week, which is no small potatoes. It was possible to find daycare for $65 a week, but that is in neighborhoods where it is not safe to walk around (of which there are plenty in Norfolk_. The extra money suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

What amazed us is the utter garbage that they feed the kids everyday. This is a daycare affiliated with a prominent and well-respected children's hospital too, you might expect them to know better. Especially nowdays, when the US is witnessing an entirely avoidable epidemic of childhood obesity. They claim the meals are "well…
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We just spent a week at the Clifftop Appalachian string band festival, which is definitely a highlight of my year. Clifftop is in Fayette County, West Virginia and is basically a weeklong, round the clock jam. People camp for the week and play music nonstop. Hard to beat that. This year's festival was no exception for good times, a chance to see a bunch fo old friends, and time to play as many tunes as I could squeeze into a week. It was especially welcome to get to play so much old time music after a year away from festivals. Playing Korean music is great but nothing beats the singular perfection of old time music. Couple that with the fact that best old time musicians in the country flock to Clifftop and there is music-making constantly in all directions and it is really an ideal, perfect experience.

Lark had the good fortune and good timing to be born during Clifftop last year, which means she turned one at the festival this year. She camped out for the first time and di…