Thursday, February 19, 2004

I just found out I'm a Republican
I have to wonder how many new members the Republican party gets by insisting that they're already in the party. I have never been a registered Republican, and I didn't vote for Bush in the last election, yet I keep getting mail thanking me for my support, praising me for being such a great Republican leader in my community, and inviting me to continue supporting my party. I have received two autographed photographs (not autographed by hand, I'm sure) of the President and First Lady. Today I received a letter from I hadn't heard of before, the Republican Presidential Task Force, that begins, "Based on your remarkable support for President Bush in 2000 and our Republican Senate candidates in 2002..." The letter goes on to say that it is an honor to be invited to join this Task Force and that "fewer than one percent of Republicans will ever attain this honor". Well, yeah, because over 99% of Republicans don't want to hand over the $120 it takes to join this prestigious club. And just how honored should I feel when it appears their website welcomes anyone with a credit card into the group?

How'd I get on this list?

Somewhere in Missouri, there's some poor guy named David Anderson - model Republican, big donor of time and money for the Cause - that is just sick because he sweats and bleeds for the GOP and receives no recognition. I picture him under the open sky in his back yard, shaking his fist at the heavens: "Where is my Platinum Member Lapel Pin and my distinctive Platinum Membership Card embossed with my name?" Sorry, buddy. Your invitation is in my trash.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Li Mu Bai = Donald Rumsfeld
I have to disagree with InstaPundit - the best technique is Drunken Temple Boxing. Notice how he has his entire upper body involved, how he has performed a backward lean and brought his left hand into a defensive position while attacking with his right at the same time. He has some skill. But can he hold it in stillness?

Monday, February 16, 2004

Teaching religion in a science class
Today's edition of my local paper has an article on a bill that would require the introduction of religious alternative theories to evolution in Missouri's public schools:
A bill introduced in the Missouri House would require that the theory of "intelligent design" - a not-quite-biblical theory of creation - be given equal treatment as Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in sciences classes. Intelligent design, as defined in the bill, does not address the actual intelligence responsible for life, avoiding any mention of a deity. The identity of the intelligence would have to be "verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation."
You can find an overview of the bill at the Missouri House of Representatives site. The bill would require textbooks to meet the bill's requirements, and teachers that refuse to comply can be fired. Nice. Notedly, the article quotes the bill's sponsor, one Rep. Wayne Cooper, as saying the following, apparently without any sense of irony: "..our objective is to improve science instruction and make textbooks more accurate. We want to create academic freedom to allow this discussion." Exercise "academic freedom" or be fired. Doubly nice. I also enjoyed this line from the article:
Intelligent design, as defined in the bill, does not address the actual intelligence responsible for life, avoiding any mention of a deity.
"No, no, no! Relax! We're not saying the teacher has to say all life was created by God. He just needs to say it was created by an invisible, un-knowable, all-knowing and all-powerful entity, that's all."

Look, regardless of whatever Rep. Cooper's beliefs are or how threatened he may feel by the idea that he shares a common ancestry with apes, the simple fact is that Creationism, oops, I mean "Intelligent Design Theory", is not science and has no place in a science class. To wit:
Jim Puckett, who has taught high school and college chemistry and is past president of the 650-member Science Teachers of Missouri, said intelligent design has no place in a science class. "The major objection that I think most science educators would have to it is that many of the concepts being advocated by intelligent design are not testable and verifiable," Puckett said. "A hypothesis has to be testable, verifiable, repeatable. The (intelligent design) proposal is putting forth matters of faith that can't be tested."
Thank you, Mr. Puckett. Couldn't have said it better myself. At least the theory of evolution has, well, evolved using the scientific method. If Rep. Cooper or anyone else want their kids to learn an alternative to this, that's their right to do so at home, on their own.