November 3, 2007

2007 Weblog Awards Update (110307)

Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:10 am

The Best Business Blog Ballot is here. You get to vote once every 24 clock hours. An index to all blog category ballots is here. Complete voting rules are here. Vote early and (as) often (as you can). Every vote for yours truly is intensely appreciated.

Other personal recommendations: Best BlogMichelle Malkin; Best Conservative BlogNewsBusters; Best of Top 5001-6750Doug Ross @ Journal; Best of Top 1751-2500Weapons of Mass Discussion; Best of 501-1000Betsy’s Page; Best UK BlogEU Referendum; Best European Blog (Non-UK) – Brussels Journal; Best PodcastPundit Review; Best Military BlogMichael Yon; Best Online CommunityLittle Green Footballs; Best Comic StripDay by Day.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (110307)

I have a two-word response to this: Distance Learning.

One of these days, parents and kids are going to figure out that idea of brick-and-mortar residential universities is so 20th Century — unless they really believe that the Thought Police tyranny described at the link is part of “socialization.”


The last few paragraphs at this link talk about how the Hollywood writers’ strike will hurt the late-night comedy shows, which will go into reruns, and other shows that depend on current events for their material, like Comedy Central’s Daily Show and Colbert Report. The presidential nominees in Fall 2008 will probably be wishing the writers had waited a year.


This impeachment nonsense is an indicator that Dennis Kucinich is feeling confident that he will survive a Democratic congressional primary challenge. It seems like he’s up to a half-dozen challengers right now (I think it’s actually three or four), so I can see why.


Hugo Chavez moves closer to “presidency” for life. Old Media mostly yawns.


Hillary Clinton does poorly in a debate. Naturally, it’s a reporter’s fault (HT Hot Air), that arch-conservative Tim Russert. (/sarc)

Update, 10:30 a.m.: Rich Galen

Americans may be perfectly happy to have a female President, but they probably do not want a female President who is going to be shattered by being put upon by men.

Exactly. Mark Levin, made this same point on his show last night, when he asked if anyone, anywhere, or at any time had ever heard Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir whine about how mean men were to them. He also suggested that the more Bill Clinton “lies and tries to defend Hillary, the weaker she looks. Golda and Maggie never sent their husbands out to run interference for them.


I agree with the Wall Street Journal that the Law of the Sea Treaty needs to get LOST.

Positivity: Pit-bull attack survivor is a ‘walking miracle’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:25 am

From the San Francisco Bay Area:


Article Launched: 10/22/2007 01:37:14 AM PDT

For some high school football players, the game is a hobby, a small part of a world full of books, classes and tests.

Shawn Jones is one of those athletes, but not because he’s a bookworm or because he’s apathetic toward the sport.

It’s because Jones, a senior at Mount Diablo High, has a different perspective on a topic such as football. And, if Jones seems happy just to be on the field or in a classroom, rest assured the feeling is real.

The first time Jones was in the public eye he was 10 years old. On June 18, 2001, he was riding his bike in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood when he was attacked by three pit bulls.

Bay Area residents held their breath as Jones fought for his life, with doctors working tirelessly to repair numerous head and upper body wounds.

The story caught the attention of people throughout the Bay Area, as it received widespread media coverage. Jones spent 11 months at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, where he underwent countless reconstructive surgeries.

After that came numerous hospital visits and rehabilitation sessions. Always alive was the hope that life would one day return to normal for a boy who suddenly felt very alone.

“The thing I’ll always remember is that I screamed and screamed, and no one was there,” Jones said of the attack. “At that point, I was alone and these dogs are attacking me, and there’s no one to protect me, there’s no one here for me.”

After Jones left Children’s Hospital, the next few years became something of a blur. A stint at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento led to more reconstructive surgery to repair his face and arms.

Jones felt more alone and more estranged from the rest of the world as time went on.

“My first intention was to lock myself away and never leave my house,” Jones said. “I kind of thought people would be afraid of me in a way and no one would accept me for me.”

Soon after the mauling, Jones’ mother, Lisa Frost Cyrus, gave legal guardianship of her son to his aunt Belinda Arnett. His mom reasoned that his aunt might provide a more stable environment for Jones because Frost Cyrus was unemployed at the time. It was a move Jones’ mother came to regret.

‘A bad child’

“I was so stressed out, I didn’t know which way to go,” Frost Cyrus said. “She had him and said Shawn was belligerent, a bad child. She started labeling him as a child that was no good.”

According to Frost Cyrus, Arnett eventually sent Jones to a boarding school in Ogdensburg, N.Y., the Academy at Ivy Ridge.

According to its mission statement, the school is designed to “limit inappropriate distractions.” While Jones was in New York, Frost Cyrus went to court to regain custody of her son.

“Once we got a lawyer, I ended up getting a letter in the mail [from her son], and, boy, did I cry,” Frost Cyrus said. “Once I got that letter, I was so happy to know he was OK.”

When Jones returned to California in 2005, he moved in with his mother and her husband, Darryl Cyrus, whom Jones had long considered his father. Only now, Jones’ parents lived in Concord. They sent their son, a junior in high school, to Mount Diablo.

Jones’ brother, William, already was attending Mount Diablo, as was his cousin, standout football player and wrestler Angelo Pree.

Athletically minded, Jones immediately gravitated toward the football field, where Pree was starring for the Red Devils.
“No one treats me differently,” Jones said. “Basically to me, it’s like OK, that happened, you put it behind you. I enjoy being here, and I love being on the team with guys my age who want to have fun.”

Mount Diablo running back Jalil Turner said, “I just really wanted to know what happened at first. He let me know, and I was like that’s kind of tough, you have to be pretty strong to do that. I was impressed that he was able to participate the way he did.”

Turner, along with several other players, befriended Jones as he tried to assimilate into the team setting. Soon, Jones became just one of the players on the team.

“Athletically, he’s really just like any other player. There’s a lot of fight in him, and he works hard,” Mount Diablo head coach Tony Darone said. “He doesn’t feel sorry for himself for what happened to him.

“He doesn’t want to be catered to; he wants to be treated just like anybody else, and that’s what we do.”

A 5-foot-7, 170-pounder, Jones plays defensive line and tight end and also wrestles and runs track. As a junior, he earned the right to compete at the Diablo Foothill Athletic League wrestling meet, beating out an older teammate. Jones now smiles as he recounts tales of matches fought against two-time state champion Jason Welch of Las Lomas.

They are stories that, as recently as six years ago, seemed impossible.

Jones’ focus has shifted as much to academics as athletics. Jones said he is carrying a 3.5 grade-point average and is applying to several colleges, including Utah State, where Pree is enrolled.

Frost Cyrus calls her son a “walking miracle.”

Go here for the rest of the story.