Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Mistakes were made...
Finding the author of the Istook Amendment should not require Sherlock Holmes or a blue-ribbon commission. Some individual typed the provision. Some individual requested the amendment. It will be a test of the Republican House leadership to find out who. Maybe they could hire Ken Starr...
Monday, November 22, 2004
Another reason to vacation in Australia...
I've been appointed chief vacation planner. I've never tried to plan a vacation to visit a continent before. Spain, the U.K., various Caribbean islands, yes, but not a continent. I've realized that every vacation, I've planned is dwarfed by this prospect. I feel like Eisenhower contemplating D-Day ("Boats, yeah, we'll need boats...) Any worthwhile ideas or suggestions from the Blogosphere would be appreciated.
Christmas in November?
Sunday, November 21, 2004
And I thought the priority item was re-naming I-69...
Friday, November 19, 2004
I'm not sure exactly how it works, but this is amazingly accurate.
The photo below has 2 almost identical dolphins in it. It was used
in a case study on stress level at St. Mary's Hospital. Look at both dolphins jumping
out of the water. The dolphins are identical. A closely monitored, scientific
study of a group revealed that in spite of the fact that the dolphins are
identical, a person under stress would find differences in the two dolphins. If
there are many differences found between both dolphins, it means that the person
is experiencing a great amount of stress. Look at the photograph and if
you find more than one or two differences you may want to take a vacation.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
I'm glad the GOP has its priorities straight...
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Can I stop when I just need glasses?
For those of you tired of Adam Sandler...
Be aware that if you work in a Republican/red state/creationist/Christian office, this song may be nsfw.
Did you expect her to evolve boobs?
Might Have to Find a New Vacation Spot...
Monday, November 15, 2004
Way too much security!
Security Guard: "Sir, its illegal to take pictures of that building. Stop or I'll have to confiscate your camera."
Mr. Cleaver: "But I was just taking pictures of June and the kids!"
Security Guard: "It's a matter of national security, sir. Please move on!"
Mr. Cleaver: Okay, c'mon kids, we don't want to be the cause of another 9/11.
What the hell is going on?
Who gave these rent-a-cops the idea that they could prohibit Americans from photographing non-descript government buildings that were paid for with their tax money? I could understand if the tourists were photographing the control panel of a nuclear power plant or the blueprints of our nifty new anti-ballistic missile system, but pictures of the boxy exteriors of the Department of Transportation or the Department of Education do not seem to pose any immediate danger of anything. I suppose in a James Bond novel, swarthy Middle Eastern types would go to Acme Rent-a-Wasp, pick out a family of apple-cheeked, red state Americans and dispatch them to photograph the one weak concrete panel which when pushed by a terrorist Samson would bring the entire edifice down. Why aren't these fearsome sentinels guarding the chlorine tank cars which pass through downtown D.C. almost every day on their way to the Blue Plains water treatment plant? Or perhaps this says something about departmental budgets being increased for post 9/11 security.
In a related item, the Secret Service, relying on reliable tips from sharp-eared radio talk show listeners swooped down on a Colorado high school to investigate a possible threat against the president. It seems that some high school students were going to read Bob Dylan's 40 year old anti-war screed "Masters of War". Since the song ends with the words "I hope that you'll die and your death will come soon", these super sleuths investigated whether the performance by high school kid would pose an actual death threat against our chief executive.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Was Darwin Wrong?
What the hell is going on?
Evolution is a scientific theory. The use of the word theory by a scientist does not imply a "good guess". A theory is as close as a scientist can come to scientific "fact". A theory should only be discarded when a contrary conclusion is reached or the original theory is disproved by the use of demonstrable facts. The Copernican theory argued that the earth orbits the sun; the Ptolemaic theory argued the opposite. The Copernican theory triumphed because the facts as observed by Galileo and others demonstrated its validity. For some reason, because evolution uses the word theory the unenlightened feel free to reject it and accept creationism or lately "creation science", an undemonstrable article of religious belief.
Why is evolution so unaccepted? One reason is the lack of serious science education in our schools, but more importantly I think its due to the our country's leaders' patronizing attitude toward those who refuse to accept it.
Our president, a product of some of the finest private schools in the country (Andover, Yale, and Harvard Business school) does not seem to take a position on evolution, or at least he seems to (perish the thought) "flip-flop" on its validity: "He [Bush] believes both creationism and evolution ought to be taught," his spokeswoman Mindy Tucker elaborated to Reuters. "He believes it is a question for states and local school boards to decide but believes both ought to be taught." Before blue state liberals mock our beloved leader, they should remember that the sainted Al Gore in 2000 tried exactly the same cop-out position before he was reminded of the Supreme Court's ruling in EDWARDS v. AGUILLARD, 482 U.S. 578 (1987) which held that a Louisiana attempt to require creationism to be taught whenever evolution is taught to be unconstitutional. 482 U.S. 578 . This view by these politicians and others is deeply cynical. The typical pol thinks, so what if I cater to the creationists, who does it hurt? Another example of this catering is the sale of a creationist book at the National Park Service bookstore at the Grand Canyon. The book claims that the canyon was created by Noah's flood.
The problem with such catering is that it hurts us all. Creationism is inherently irrational or perhaps better anti-rational. Anti-rational solutions to questions are based on emotion and faith not reason. This country is faced with innumerable problems. An electorate which is ignorant of science or perhaps more accurately anti-science is probably not capable of making informed choices on global warming, AID's, or stem cell research.
I am not anti-religion or religious people. I would rather deal on a daily basis with people whose world view is shaped by the compassion of Jesus Christ than the rationalism and realpoltik of Karl Marx or Pol Pot. But just because a minority of Christianity accepts the creation myth of the Bible as a cosmological and geologic textbook doesn't mean that our schools and other institutions should bend over backwards not to offend them.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Every cloud has a silver lining...
A fun way of looking at red vs. blue states...
What the red v. blue map really should look like
Thursday, November 04, 2004
If we could only get George W. to try this...
46-year-old leaps into den at Taipei Zoo, calls beasts to Christianity
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
EXCLUSIVE: GOP OUTSOURCES TO INDIA!
Monkeys lurking at an ancient Hindu temple in India's northeast have attacked up to 300 children over three weeks, temple officials said Tuesday.
"They hide in trees and swoop on unsuspecting children loitering about in the temple premises or walking by, clawing them and even sucking a bit of blood," Bani Kumar Sharma, a priest at the Kamakhya temple in Assam state, told The Associated Press. The temple, one of the most famous in India, is located in Gauhati, Assam's capital.
"I was returning home from school when a monkey suddenly pounced on me, scratched my head and hand and pushed me to the ground," said Jolly Sharma, a 6-year-old girl.
At least 2,000 rhesus monkeys roam in and around the temple, but none had shown aggressive behavior in the past, the priest said.
Monkeys are often found in tens of thousands of temples across India. They are seen as a symbol of Hanuman, the mythical monkey god, and devotees visiting temples often feed them. While occasional attacks by monkeys are not uncommon at temples, the sudden surge in attacks at the Gauhati temple has experts perplexed.
Some say the Gauhati monkeys may be turning violent because of shrinking living spaces, or because animals once kept as pets might not have been able to adjust to new lives around the temple.
"The loss of habitat due to increased human settlement in the hills around the temple and the release of monkeys kept confined at home ... could be among the reasons for some of the monkeys behaving in a weird manner," said Narayan Mahanta, a wildlife official in Gauhati.
Three monkeys were randomly tranquilized by wildlife officials over the weekend and have been taken to the Gauhati Zoo where they will be examined in search of clues to explain the changing behavior, Mahanta said.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Feeling a little dominant today?
Another millionaire for Bush
GIBSON: "Well, well said, Curt and Shonda. You both have certainly lifelong membership now in the Red Sox nation. It was a great thing to watch, and I think everybody – whether they were great Red Sox fans or not -- had to admire what this team did. It was extraordinary, and one of the great stories of sport. And sport always produces such great stories. Curt, Shonda, great to have you with us. Congratulations."
SCHILLING: "And make sure you tell everybody to vote, and vote Bush next week."