There is a brand new water park in San Antonio, Texas, that is designed to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of physical limitations or other special needs a person may have. Via Sunny Skyz:

Morgan’s Inspiration Island in San Antonio, Texas, is making sure kids with disabilities don’t miss out on all the fun this summer.

Every section of the the new water park is wheelchair accessible and guests with special needs are admitted at no cost.

Other features of Morgan’s Inspiration Island include waterproof RFID (radio-frequency identification) wristbands so parents can keep track of their kids, a seven-story lighthouse and a water play area called Rainbow Reef, which has water that can be warmed for guests with sensitivity to cold.

In a press release, owner Gordon Hartman said the team behind Inspiration Island consulted with water park professionals, doctors and experts in special education and special needs, as well as received input from local teachers, parents and caregivers.

The park also offers private areas for guests to transfer out of their personal wheelchairs to waterproof ones.

“We recently unveiled with the University of Pittsburgh revolutionary new wheelchairs propelled by compressed air,” Gordon said. “Our guests in expensive battery-powered wheelchairs can’t afford to get them wet, so we have special Morgan’s Inspiration Island PneuChairs.”

They really did try to think of everything a person with special needs might need to be able to enjoy this unique water park, including providing water proof undergarments – free of charge – for people who may need them.

The fully handicapped accessible water park was preceded by Morgan’s Wonderland, which is an amusement park that was designed to be enjoyed by people with and without special needs, after the parents of Morgan Hartman noticed that Morgan, who has physical and cognitive limitations, wanted to be with other kids at a hotel pool, but the able bodied kids appeared to be uneasy about playing with a special needs child. So Morgan’s parents decided to make a place where all kinds of kids could come together and have fun, in the spirit of friendship and inclusion:

The tipping point occurred in 2005 when Gordon observed Morgan wanting to play with other vacationing kids at a hotel swimming pool, but the kids were leery of Morgan and didn’t want to interact with her.  Then and there, Gordon resolved to create opportunities and places where those with and without disabilities can come together not only for fun but also for a better understanding of one another.  That led to the construction of Morgan’s Wonderland in an abandoned quarry in Northeast San Antonio.  It’s apropos that the butterfly is the symbol of this unique theme park; soaring to one success after another is now commonplace.

When it celebrated its grand opening April 10, 2010, Morgan’s Wonderland became the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.  The completely wheelchair-accessible park features more than 25 elements including rides, playgrounds and other colorful attractions.  From the very beginning, anyone with a special need has been admitted free of charge, no questions asked.

It is Morgan’s fervent hope that everyone with a special need – young and older, healthy or ailing, introspective or outgoing – will be touched in a very special way by Morgan’s Wonderland:  a shrine of inclusion, an oasis of friendship, an unforgettable wonderland…Morgan’s Wonderland!

[…]

Our vision is to establish a special place where smiles and laughter lead to wonderful memories with family members, friends and caregivers.  We want Morgan’s Wonderland to be a place where the common element of play creates an atmosphere of inclusion for those with and without disabilities, encouraging everyone to gain a greater understanding of one another.

Morgan’s Wonderland is just like any other theme park except for a culture and environment that assures 100 percent enjoyment by every person who enters through the Welcome Center.  Unfortunately, countless children and adults with special needs do not have access to facilities that enable them to fully enjoy outdoor recreation.  Morgan’s Wonderland has begun to change that.

And now there is a fabulous water park for the enjoyment of all as well. Morgan Hartman’s parents also established a school nearby for people with special needs between the ages of 12 to 24 where they can learn skills that will help them fulfill their potentials, and they are involved with adaptive sports and physical rehabilitation services.

The admission prices to both parks for non-disabled people are very reasonable and military discounts are offered. Morgan’s parks also host live entertainment and special events. May Morgan’s parks enjoy long and successful futures, and may they inspire others around the country and around the world to create similar projects. Fun without barriers, what a beautiful concept!

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

So I turn on the TV this morning to find Maria Bartiromo talking about upscale toy kitchens for little kids. How upscale?

This upscale:

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If you go to the Pottery Barn page, they have stuff that will make the dweller of a tiny house or a Manhattan apartment (but I repeat myself) weep with envy.

I love it.

As a pro-Western values, cisgender, capitalist, anti-abortion Christian woman, I find it exhilarating.

What this tells me is that “you, dear girl or boy growing up in America today, can, through hard work and purpose, grow up to buy yourself, from your own earnings, the best appliances and modern conveniences for preparing your family delicious meals in the comfort of your own home.”

Add to that, “and when your kids are little you can get them beautiful toys if you have the room and can afford to.” (As you may remember, I consider living within your means one of the twelve adulting steps.)

It warms my capitalist heart.

If you can afford it, buying your children an upscale miniature kitchen is a better option, and I speak as a mother, than buying them a tablet. My experience is that kids will pick up computer skills in no time at all, but they will need time to learn social and everyday management skills as they grow up. Getting mini appliances is “a good thing,” as Martha Stewart says.

We didn’t have the room in our house when my son was growing up for a Pottery Barn mini-kitchen, but he did have one drawer for his toy pans and plates and a Queasy Bake Oven,

He asked for a children’s cookbook when he was five, and has been cooking ever since. Most of his friends cook, too.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll be looking at the grown-up kitchen toys at Williams Sonoma.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog. She still has the Queasy Bake oven.

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day, and I’m taking a break from politics, which always includes watching a movie.

I’ve been a Tom Hanks fan since his Bosom Buddies days (1980-1982, that’s how old I am), a series oddly prescient of some of today’s headlines,

Two young single ad men must disguise themselves as women to live in the one apartment they can afford.

Hanks went on to star in dozens of movies, many of which involve travel-related mishaps.

Hanks’s mismatched shoes at the airport get him into trouble in The Man With One Red Shoe. He goes to the boardwalk as a child and turns into a grownup in Big. He has a fateful car accident in The Bonfire of the Vanities. He and Gary Sinise nearly get blown to smithereens twice – first in battle, later in a hurricane – in Forrest Gump, and let’s not forget when he and Meg Ryan came thisclose to being human sacrifices in Joe Versus the Volcano.

As Hanks’s career took off, he starred as astronaut Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, where he said one of cinema’s  most-quoted lines, “Houston, we have a problem,” after the capsule sprung an oxygen leak and lost power following an on-board explosion:

Hanks was hounded by a cabal which counted as a member a self-flagellating albino in The Da Vinci Code. East German punks stole his coat in Bridge of Spies, and Somali pirates his ship in Captain Phillips. He even played Chesley ‘Sully‘ Sullenberger, the most-skilled pilot who landed an airplane full of passengers on the East River. Speaking of passengers, his character was stranded for months at JFK airport in The Terminal.

But Tom Hanks’s most famous movie involving disastrous travel is Cast Away (2000), where he plays Chuck Noland, a FedEx executive who spends years talking to a volleyball named Wilson while stranded on an island somewhere in the Pacific:

Tom Hanks loves “you can’t get there from here” plots.

It’s all entertainment, and he does it very well. So does Denzel Washington, also in the same generation, but if I’m ever at Lowe’s and Denzel comes in followed by five Russians, I’m dropping everything and heading out the door.

Just in case.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

Today I’m highlighting two College republicans who talked to me on DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Paul and Fawad.

Their story would be of interest to the media for several reasons.

1. They are young republicans from NY a blue state
2. They are college republicans in an environment where that is iffy
3. They are both active enough to run for office in the college republicans showing they have guts
4. They are both from racial and/or religious minorities which means they get even more grief for it

That made them interesting data points for the info I was trying to gather at CPAC, Here is Paul

Here is the audio from the mic if you are having trouble hearing with the video

The Key quote which I suspect will seem familiar. His answer to the question on how hard it is to be a black college republican:

Oh man It’s, it’s crazy I’ve been called all the names that it’s, honesty I’ve been called stuff that’s aren’t safe to be put on your what’s it it, fcc airways. It’s not good, it’s just, it’s all about perseverance.

After I finished with Paul’s interview Stacy McCain returned from the Public House and joined me, after a brief into we brought in Fawad who held the camera while I was talking to Paul.

If Paul made liberal heads explode Fawad must frustrate them even more in addition to all of the points already listed above had two characteristics that set him apart from the other college republicans I interviewed.

1. He voted for Donald Trump
2. He is a Muslim

The irony that of the four college republicans I interviewed in sequence the only one who voted for Donald Trump was a young Muslim man likey casting his first ever vote for president.

(Pause to allow you to clean up the mess from liberal heads exploding)

and the audio

What really struck me was his answer to my question concerning what he wanted to see President Trump accomplish (stopping illegal immigration). His critique of illegal immigration citing his own family who had to do things the legal way coming from Bangladesh was really on point.

 

“It really is a shame like a lot of my relatives took 8,9,10 years to come here so for people to come here illegally, to you know just cross over a 5 foot broken fence is disgusting.”

 

It highlights something the left and media seem to miss. The left continues to push the idea that the GOP in general and Donald Trump in particular are anti-immigrant, but to the millions of people who came here legally and spent years doing so, this entire meme is an insult. To expect such people to cheer illegal immigration would be like expecting someone who saved for years to go to an event to watch someone jump a fence, sits down next to them and them expect them to buy them popcorn.

The left might someday catch on to this, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on it.

Update: Included Paul’s quote


DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all videos not blogged about yet here). Be aware that due to the sheer volume of videos to upload if I interviewed you it might be days before you see it here

2/27
Voices of CPAC 2017 Justin & Connor & How DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court Came About (It involves Stacy McCain & Beer)

2/26
A Historic CPAC Catholic 1st Exactly when I needed it

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

There is plenty more from CPAC coming over the next couple of weeks, but what is also going to be coming are a lot of hospital bills and debt from work that both my wife and I are going to be missing because of the complications from her “routine” surgery.

If you are able and inclined to help mitigate them I’d ask you to consider hitting DaTipJar




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I wish I wrote this as it perfectly illustrates the idiocy of the left on Trump:

I JUST WANT TO REASSURE ALL OUR FRIENDS ON THE LEFT: Trump is not going to put you all in camps and install a Nazi state. He can’t, because George W. Bush already put you all in camps and installed a Nazi state. Oh, wait, he never got to do it, because we were already all dead in the nuclear war our cowboy president, Ronald Reagan, started by talking tough to the Russians.

I am going to commit this to memory and recite it to every leftist who goes nuts near me over Trump

Judge: “Mr. Larch you are accused of invoking your Catholic faith in refusing to bake a cake for this gay couple’s wedding and instead referring them to a rival bakery. As a broad open minded liberal judge I must ask this question, aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”

Mr. Larch: “Your honor I think one of them voted for Donald Trump in the last election.”

Judge: [Banging gavel] “Case dismissed!”

We have been seeing a lot of open bitterness between liberal actors who supported (or settled for Hillary Clinton) and paying audience members who supported (or settled for) Donald Trump.

So being a fan of compromise between actors worried about being triggered by the sight of audience members who they disagree with and audience members who don’t want to be lectured from the stage let me make the following proposal that we can all get behind.

The “Hamilton” Infrastructure Ticket SurTax.

I propose an Excise Tax of 100% on any ticket to a play or show that sells for $100 or more (including reseller fees) with such dollars being directed toward infrastructure development.

This is a tax that everybody should love, For the right it not only provides a funding mechanism for proposed spending rather than just spending it also directs the majority of the funding toward those voices on the left who have been insisting for years that they don’t mind being taxed, taking them at their word not to mention

Meanwhile our liberal Friends should love this tax for several reasons:

  • It funds infrastructure which is always a big issue for the left.
  • It is a tax specifically directed to the top 1% since it is only applied to tickets above the $100 level thus ensuring the rich pay their “fair share”.
  • and most importantly it exponentially decreases the chances that any performer might risk being triggered by the sight of those plebes in anything but the nosebleed seats that we’ve been reliably informed is all, in a best case scenario, Trump voters can’t afford anyway.

It also provides two excellent incentives

  1. It provides innovation for producers worried about the effect of such a tax on sales to come up with low cost creative alternatives say a flat fee streaming service for people to see plays or a regularly scheduled monthly performance where all seats are under $100 meaning actors would have warning and time to prepare before the traumatic triggering experience of facing an audience of the Hoi Polloi.
  2. It provides an incentive for the good government types on the left who unexpected had no problem with the IRS targeting conservatives over the last few years to rediscover their dislike of a government targeting their political enemies.

The “Hamilton” Infrastructure Ticket surtax, an idea whose time has come!


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p12079367_b_v9_acBy John Ruberry

Without the phenomenal box office success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, HBO’s Game of Thrones series may not have ever launched. And without GoT’s ongoing critical and audience raves, The Last Kingdom would almost certainly never have been giving the green light by the BBC.

I just finished binge-watching the first season of The Last Kingdom, which like Game of Thrones is a television version of a series of books, in this case Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories. I might not have ever heard of the BBC series had not the ninth season of the Doctor Who reboot had been bombarded with Last Kingdom trailers. I guess that’s the point of promos.

Season two of The Last Kingdom is currently in production.

So how is it? Well, in a few words, LK is pretty good. After all, I kept watching, didn’t I?

Here’s how the series is set up–with spoilers for the most part that cover only the first half of the first episode:

The action begins in the late ninth century as Danish invaders–the word “vikings” is never used–have transformed themselves from coastal raiders into a disciplined army who have conquered each English kingdom save Wessex. The lead character is Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), the son of a Northumberland noblemen who as a child witnesses his father fall in a battle against the invaders. After he humorously attacks a Dane, Uhtred is taken as a slave. Losing his Christian faith, Uhtred the Godless, much in the matter of white characters captured by Indians in Old West movies, seems unsure of his loyalties, but he’s determined to reclaim his family castle from his duplicitous uncle.

An adult Uhtred, after his Danish family is killed by other Danes, makes his way to Wessex where he pledges loyalty to King Alfred and joins the Saxon cause.

Attractive in a Jon Snow sort of way, Uhtred doesn’t have a vow of chastity to hamper his romantic pursuits.

Religion greatly drives the plot, The priest who baptizes the young Uhtred–twice–has also made his way to Wessex, where he serves as a counselor to Alfred. Refreshingly, the Christians in The Last Kingdom are pious, but not portrayed as foolishly pious. The only religious character treated with disdain is a Danish sorcerer.

Alfred (David Dawson), the devout king, doesn’t let his sickliness damper his resolve to save his realm and drive the Danes out of England.

Besides Alfred, other historical characters who appear in The Last Kingdom are the Danish chieftains Ubba and Guthrum, Saxons Odda the Elder, King Edmund of East Anglia, Alfred’s nephew Aethelwold, and Welsh monk Asser, the biographer of the Wessex ruler. A glaring oversight is the omission of Ivor the Boneless, the Dane whose name still perplexes historians. Ivor was the half-brother of Ubba.

The show plays homage to the legend that Alfred, asked by a woman to keep an eye on loaves of bread being baked, allows them to burn as his mind wanders to pressing matters of kingship.

The cinematography is superb although the filming of the series in Hungary, rather than England, might be the catalyst of one of LK’s noticeable shortcomings, cheap-looking wardrobes and crowns that appear to be plastic. If the series was shot in Britain, or even Northern Ireland where some of Game of Thrones is filmed, I’m sure the costume department of The Last Kingdom could have scrounged up more convincing crowns some better period clothes from a regional Shakespeare company.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

If you are looking for one more Game of Thrones comparison, then I won’t let you down. While gratuitous nudity is absent from The Last Kingdom, the brief glimpses of bare flesh amid the armor and swords appear forced as if someone is screaming at the directors, “We need naked bums for better ratings!”

I’ll be back for season two, hoping for more. (More meaning better shows, not bare buttocks.) After all, the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood didn’t hit its stride until season two and it didn’t achieve consistent greatness until The Children of Earth in season three.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit
.

Day two in denver began, after daily mass, and the interview I posted with Fr. Scott yesterday with a trip to the zoo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alas the shuttle from the hotel doesn’t make it to the zoo but does make it to the city park where we can walk to the zoo from.

The park is beautiful but the problem is there are a ton of geese

Which makes for a fun game of dodge the geese droppings, but if you finish the game you eventually get to the zoo and meet with some delightful volunteers like this one

and of course interesting animals like the Komodo Dragon

After a hot walk back to our starting point we headed back to the hotel where Valery headed up to the room while I set up in the lobby to begin interviewing the people coming for Amplify School choice hosted by the Franklin Center and I spoke to and finally met Josh Kalb who invited me

and then we began interviews with my fellow attendees Steve Frank now with California political review: and facebook is here

He’s been doing this before there was a net to do it with

And Tom Balek whose site is Rockin’ on the right side

and yes he has a band to go with it.

After the reception I spoke with some old friends like Galts Girl Michelle Ray:

And new friends like Shelby Blakely whose blog is PolitiCulture Upstream

When I meet an intelligent young lady like Shelby I regret DaSons weren’t here along with DaWife.

And finally Sonja Harris who blogs all over Texas including at Texas GOP votes, Conservaties in action where she’s known as Red Sonja, and fights for the cause of life.

I have three cameras with me here but one look at her camera makes me jealous.

Several of them also sat for audio podcast interviews that you’ll have to listen to future podcasts to hear

I also ran into many old friends from Rob Eno to Bridget Fey and former Magnificent Seven writer AP Dillon and also Kira Davis who to my shock & hers has family in Fitchburg and would occasionally visit.

It was a great pleasure to see them and meet others and I really enjoyed having the chance to finally introduce DaWife to some of my net friends.

All were anxious to see what the Franklin Center had in store for us the next day, they would not be disappointed.


There will be a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

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