February 2006

25 Feb 2006 10:14 am


Might surprise him. He’s so content sitting on the table. But that won’t last long.


(Shhh. Captain’s right behind him)


Someone’s gonna pounce.


Sabby’s fur standing on end.

24 Feb 2006 08:31 am

Very interesting news which needs posting now and discussion later.

22 Feb 2006 07:35 pm

Today Michelle Malkin linked to a stunning article about a Minnesota charter schools’ servile compliance to the Muslim community over Art lessons! What is shocking is not that the Muslims don’t want their kids to draw but that the American Charter School in an act of disgusting obsequiousness is complying with the Muslim community’s wishes.

When do public schools ever go along with with the wishes of parents or (especially) churches? …..like…ever? (what about teaching them to read and write?) I know..I know…it’s a charter school but it is publicly funded.

It seems more and more that when immigrants from mid-eastern or African countries demand that we do things their way (or else) like the old Burger King commercial American education officials bend over and grab their ankles. Is fear behind it all?

As violent protests over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad continue around the world, a St. Paul charter school is quietly negotiating the delicate question of how to teach art to Muslims.

Any depiction of God and his prophets is considered offensive under Islam, and disrespectful representations are even worse, as the recent worldwide outrage over the Danish cartoons has shown. But some Muslims also refrain from producing images of ordinary human beings and animals, citing Islamic teaching.

That presented a challenge for Higher Ground Academy, a K-12 school just west of Central High School on Marshall Avenue that has about 450 students. About 70 percent of them are Muslim immigrants from eastern Africa.

Executive Director Bill Wilson said he had concerns for some time about how to reconcile the school’s art curriculum with the views of Muslim families, but the departure of the art teacher at the end of last school year gave him a window to act. This fall, he hired ArtStart, a St. Paul-based nonprofit organization, to offer more options for about 150 kindergartners through second-graders, including visual arts and drumming. But parents were still upset that their children were drawing figures, Wilson said, and some pulled their children out of art class altogether.

Wilson then sat down with teacher and parent liaison Abdirahman Sheikh Omar Ahmad, who also is the imam at an Islamic center in Minneapolis, to work with ArtStart in determining how to meet state standards without running afoul of Muslim doctrine…

…Second-grader Hawi Muhammed said her parents don’t mind if she draws people once in a while, but “God … doesn’t like people to draw a lot,” she said.

Okay….Tell that to the ‘liberator of the figure imprisoned in the marble’ -


who once said….”The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”

What does the executive director of the Higher Ground Academy, Bill Wilson plan to do when the students are caught doodling?

The days of Savonarola are upon us.

21 Feb 2006 08:22 pm

During the Scooter Libby Fitzmas rage last fall I kept seeing horrible photos of Scooter Libby all over the news. I wondered if the guy was really as unphotogenic as he was portrayed in the media.

Now that Libby has his own website with some decent, smiling photos it’s apparent that he’s not such a scary, mean looking guy.

Wonder if we will see any decent photos of him in future news reports?

Not much chance of that. Unless Libby blames the “supposed” outing of Valerie Plame on President Bush or Vice President Cheney.

20 Feb 2006 08:28 am

I was watching my son’s graduation from West Point on a video last night (we were showing his wife and son) and talking about his memories of life at the “Point” and he recalled what happened on the day of his classes “Acceptance Day Parade.” It rained.

I remember. It did rain. West Point tradition is this: if it rains on a West Point classes Acceptance Day Parade that class will go to war. I remember the chill that ran down my spine when my son told me about that tradition (which is said to never be wrong) on the day of the parade and the same chill came again last night.

The class of 1998 is going to war and has been ever since September 11, 2001.

20 Feb 2006 12:41 am

I haven’t written anything on The Wide Awake Cafe for over a week because the death of my nephew left me with no words but the need to just stay close to my family. Some day I will understand what happened to him but don’t have anything to report as of now. Simply put we are all still in a state of unbelief, shock and sadness.

I had planned to get a new blog design by Sadie of Apothegm Designs before Matt’s death so just left it to her to do what she needed with the new design during the past few weeks and I stayed close to family.

Now the design is done and I love it. This new design feels more like me but it will take some time and practice for me to learn the new format.

I’m hoping it snows tomorrow so I can stay home and try out my new ride but I doubt the weather will cooperate.

Thanks Sadie! You have done a beautiful job! I love it!

10 Feb 2006 09:33 am

Matt in New York City. He called this photo, “The Sky is the Limit.”

My nephew Matt died on Tuesday and we are completely devastated and don’t know what happened. We are still waiting on the medical report. He was never physically strong having been born with muscles that never developed so he was very slim. But other than that he was energetic, optimistic and joyful. Wonderful. If I ever can type a sentence without breaking down I will write about him.

This young man was a Florida State grad and working with his dad in their real estate and building corporation. He was living in an apartment jointly owned by him and his dad and recently had his life threatened by some residents he had to evict. He was concerned enough about it to come over and talk to my husband about it and they talked about getting him a gun but didn’t get around to it. We just don’t know what happened.

By the way the Northwest Arkansas Times got three important facts wrong in the article I linked. Matt was 26 years old, not 25. He was found by his own father on Wednesday morning not by an acquaintance on Thursday. The paper has been contacted and said that they got the news off of the police dispatch and are going to make corrections. It may seem minor but the facts are facts and when it comes to Matt they better get it right.

I can’t blog about anything else for now. Just don’t have the heart to do it.

UPDATE: Our hometown newspaper doesn’t do any news over the weekend but the Tallahassee, Florida online newspaper does. Matt’s obit is here. He went to Florida State University. (and was very proud to have graduated from there)

08 Feb 2006 07:48 am

My nephew, Matt died today. He was only 26 years old. There are just no words.

08 Feb 2006 03:59 am

Ankle Biting Pundits reports on the NSA hearings. I am grateful to read that Attorney General Gonzales is eating their lunch. I don’t understand why Democrats (and some apparently vulnerable, self centered Republicans) can have a problem with President Bush’s stance on National Security. I mean, really! Our president doesn’t want a 911 to ever happen again. I don’t either. It should be as simple as that.

I don’t care that potential terrorists are having their communications intercepted. With their evil intents they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

I wish there were a way to sear the image of a human being falling out of the twin towers into the soft brain of a politician everytime they snear and fuss about the president’s NSA terrorist surveillance program.

The Astute Blogger fisks Russ Feingold’s performance at the hearings. Hat tip: Betsy’s Page.

08 Feb 2006 03:45 am

A school in England has decided that hot cross buns are religiously offensive, and demanded the supplier start making them as simply cross-less currant buns.
Traditionally served at Easter time, the buns have been around since 1361, when a monk reportedly made small spiced cakes stamped with the sign of the cross, to be distributed to the poor visiting the monastery at St. Albans on Good Friday.
Head teacher Tina Jackson of the Oaks Primary School in Ipswich says that might offend some religious minorities like Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are not allowed to worship things of a pagan nature.

But the Rev. Haley Dossor told the Suffolk Evening Star political correctness has gone too far.

“All religions have particular traditions, habits and customs and this is one of the traditions of the Church of England,” he said.

One parent who asked not to be identified told the newspaper it was an absurd move.

“I have never heard of anything so ridiculous. Since when have hot cross buns been offensive?” the parent asked the Star.

No more hot cross buns? Well then there should be no more pretzels either. People are so dumb. And they call themselves educators. Pathetic. Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

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