It doesn't sink in until I hear it from my own kid

I was explaining this afternoon to Firstborn why I was off work today, picking her up from a playdate instead of concluding an exercise working for a fighter jock who thinks he knows more about the CONOPS than I do.

I told her that a former President of the United States died recently, and today was the day that our government chose to remember him as his body was put to its final resting place. On such days, the government releases everybody from work so they can pay attention to that person and pay respects to him. I was one of the many people who were given the day off for that reason.

"He was a great person, wasn't he, Dad?"

"Yes, he was."

"People really liked him."

"Sure did."

"But some people hated him."

"Sure did."

"Did as many people hate him as they hate George W. Bush?"

"That's hard to tell. Reagan seemed to be able to deflect or simmer down a lot of the hate that was directed at him."

"A lot of people hate George W. Bush, don't they?"

"Unfortunately, yes."

"My friend So-and-so from school says that George W. Bush wants to start six wars."

"Oh really?" This was a different So-and-so from another kid, whom Firstborn told me said that George W. Bush is the worst man ever and that he wants the world to end so he can have all the oil.

From this I conclude that Firstborn has two friends at school with holes bored through their skulls, so their parents can funnel hateful mush directly into their brain cases. Parents who, by the way, dropped Big Dollars to enroll these same kids into a Montessori education so they can figure things out for themselves. It's painful to contemplate.

"Yeah. He wants, uh, the other guy to win."

"Firstborn, how much of this do you think So-and-so actually believes, and how much do you think he just repeats from one of his parents?"

"Probably he's repeating his dad. He says his dad says George W. Bush wants to start six wars."


"And he says---his dad says that the newspapers are all full of lies. But So-and-so, reads the paper every day like his dad does. He wants the other ... guy ... to win."

"To win what?"


"Ummm humm."

"But George W. Bush already won once, didn't he?"

"Yes, he did."

"Did George W. Bush start any wars?"

"There's one he didn't start. I fought in that one. There's another one, that I guess you could say he started. I haven't fought in that one, but I might. I don't think he started any wars without good reason though."

I'm going to be more proactive in figuring out the ideologies held by my kids' friends from now on.


Farewell to Ronald Reagan

All of the commenters on Reagan's passing away, to a person, smile as they recount their experiences with him. Those whom I cannot see, because they're on the radio, speak with voices that resonate with admiration for him. In a way they seem to be happy, both sharing in his widow's relief from the agony of watching him wither away, and sharing with each other the pleasure of having served or met him.

It is fitting that we pause from our lives and our affairs to pay last respects to him.


Another movie for the list

DavidMSC raves about Down With Love.

A noble contribution of tissue

FuturePundit (no relation) reports that Duke University researchers have discovered that a certain population of fat cells is in fact a sort of adult stem cell, that can differentiate into nerve cells.

This discovery suggests the ability to treat neurological disorders without the political or ethical concerns of using stem cells from other sources.

For example, Michael Moore could donate several kilos of his midsection to treat Alzheimers disease.

The question remains, however, whether anyone would knowingly accept into their own bodies any sort of cells from Mr Moore.