After nearly a decade in the UK, I had my first experience of that great British Christmas season fixture, the pantomime.

I was entirely unfamiliar with the idea. At my previous school they had an intramural panto contest, with each house performing a brief production. Tonight was my first full-length professional panto. We don’t live in a place big enough to draw a minor national celebrity to a major role, but it was still a proper show.

It was very entertaining.  It was the story of Snow White like I’d never quite seen it before, with elaborate costumes, except for the dancers, whose costumes were often too skimpy to be elaborate. And more lame jokes and gags than I thought possible in two hours.

Changing Horses

I was a bit surprised to see prominent reports about the CNN/YouTube GOP debate in the UK press. I was especially surprised to see positive press for Mike Huckabee. After all, he’s the one candidate about whom there’s never been any question with regard to the place of religion in his life and if there is anything hated by Brits, it is religious politicians.

As a result, I had to watch the debate on YouTube. I was also quite impressed with Huckabee. For now I am switching my support from Thompson and following the lead of Chuck Norris in endorsing Huckabee. I’ve no doubt his campaign will be excited to learn of this. I’m not switching because he has the best chance of getting the nomination – even if he is leading in Iowa. He is the most principled candidate in the race.

I think Huckabee could be what George W Bush wanted to be. He has a vision for the compassionate conservatism that got derailed by 9/11 and Iraq. He is also a tremendously better public speaker. Let’s face it – many of Bush’s image problems, just like those of Dan Quayle, are rooted in a stumbling communication style. Mike doesn’t have that problem.

Even while running for President, the former pastor of First Baptist Texarkana still finds time to preach. He doesn’t visit a church to give a political pep talk and press the flesh, like so many candidates who, as my dad would say, wouldn’t know Jesus if he rode up on a pinto pony. Though the amateur camera work is terrible, you can get an insight into the real Mike Huckbee by watching his sermon at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas  back on November 4.

Sharia Injustice

At least she avoided the lash. Ten more days in jail and Gillian Gibbons will be deported from Sudan.

The Sudanese still have a lot for which to answer. Any conviction was clearly bowing to Islamist pressure. I suppose you have to give them credit for guarding her transportation to and from the kangaroo court, so those who wanted her dead could not carry out their desires. Of course she’s still not out of the country.

The deportation is probably unnecessary after her ordeal. I’m sure she would be happy to skedaddle before the bounty on her head gets any bigger. After all, she’s part of the Western plot against Islam. It’s a common cause for middle-aged primary school teachers. And what could undermine the Islamic hegemony to a greater extent than naming a teddy after a 7th century travelling salesman turned relgious leader? What’s a mere war in Afghanistan or the struggle against the insurgency in Iraq or even the possibility of an attack on Iran when compared to a teddy named Muhammad?

Henry Hyde, RIP

Henry Hyde was not a single-issue politician, but he was best known as one of the leading opponents of abortion in Capitol Hill during his 32 years in the House of Representatives. In fact, many of those who agreed with him on abortion disagreed with his on gun control and term limits. I disagreed with the former and agreed with the latter (term limits are a limit on democracy).

His imperfections were revealed when he was chair of the House Judiciary Committee, in charge of impeaching Bill Clinton. His own extra-marital affair of 30 years before was apparently used to show him as a hypocrite. Of course the difference was that Hyde was not a serial adulterer nor did he lie to a Federal Grand Jury about it.

For his unwavering support of the unborn and putting his Catholic faith into practice, may be be rewarded. May his memory be eternal.

Only One Option

In my previous post, I wondered what Islamist radicals would want to do with Gillian Gibbons, since the moderates wanted her to receive the maximum sentence allowed by law. It seems for some the law isn’t enough. Who needs the restraints of Sharia if there’s a killing to be had? As reported today:

A statement circulated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood – a multinational Sunni Islamist movement and the world’s most influential political Islamist group – also condemned her actions.

“We want to express our boiling anger and deep sorrow about this case caused by this British teacher,” it said.

“We want to tell you that the majority of Sudanese are Muslims so we love our Prophet Mohammed so much and we decry this careless way of dealing with our beloved Prophet.”

One of its authors, 27-year- old Elsheikh El Nour, added: “If she made an innocent mistake and did not mean Mohammed the Prophet (when naming the bear) there is no problem.

“But if she did mean Mohammed the Prophet, she must die.”

 Seems there’s no two ways about it. Name a bear after Muhammad: die. This isn’t from a purely Sudanese group. This is a multinational Islamist group.


I can understand why Judge Robert Restaino snapped. He has, pending appeal, lost his seat on the bench.

When a mobile phone went off in his courtroom, nobody owned up. One of the 46 people present defied his authority. Restaino put them all in detention – jail – until the culprit could be found. He set the bail at $1,500 and when 14 people could not come up with the cash, they were shackled and transported to the county jail. The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct didn’t like that.

I’m not saying he did the right thing. I just understand. During my years of teaching school, I have been shocked at the increasing level of open defiance. I have been in situations where children set off mobiles and then play “catch me if you can”. I have been in a school where even when they are caught, they could simply refuse to hand over the phone and there was no backup from senior management.

It goes beyond phones. I have frequently had children simply openly refuse to follow direct instructions, both in and out of the classroom. I have had them do exactly what they have been explicitly told not to do.

I would bet that whoever defied Judge Restaino was educated in the enlightened pedagogy of negotiation. It’s no longer about unquestioned obedience. Obedience is based in fear. There has to be a sufficient consequence for disobedience to make it an undesirable course of action. But the consequences that haven’t been stripped out by the law have been brainwashed out by liberal educational theory.

As a result, each year there are more and more children who no longer recognise that they are children. As a further result, each year there are more emerging adults who have no idea that they cannot simply do as they please. They are willing to defy the direct order of a court to the point of allowing 45 other people to be punished for their actions. Complete selfishness. We live in the emerging generation of the incorrigible spoiled brat.

I don’t know if Judge Restaino ever found his culprit. It seems that a little detective work would have solved the problem. Just divest every person in the courtroom of their property and go through all the phones until the call registers gave away the offender. Then, since contempt of court requires no burden of proof, it would be a simple matter to put the offender in the pokey for a couple of weeks. Of course New York may have some sort of liberal rules that don’t allow that. It’s their own fault.

Ron Paul Baseline Support

The thing about moving to a new neighbourhood is that you have to make new friends. Sure, some of your old friends come with you, but others fall by the wayside – and if your are in the blogging witness protection program that’s not a bad thing – so the stats barely register.

But what’s the blogosphere coming to when you can mention Ron Paul and have no one respond to the tag or search? It has always been a good jump-start topic, drawing in the curious supporters of Dr No. Is his bump in New Hampshire above Fred Thompson enough? Fred’s on the slide and Ron’s up to 8% in a CNN poll from last week. But Romney, whose Massachusetts proximity certainly adds favourite son pull is at 33%.

I hope I’m not becoming less interested in the Thompson because of the MSM. It seems to me that he is floundering under his own lethargy. Maybe I have it wrong. It’s one thing to talk as slow as molassess. It is another to move that way.

I’ve always been interesting in Ron Paul more as a novelty. I think he is a good Congressman. I appreciate his ideas, but I don’t agree with enough of them, nor do I think his views will translate well enough outside his hardcore following.