Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Quote of the Week

"The average person is pretty stupid. And 50% of the people are dumber than that." - George Carlin

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina Fools Everyone

Hurricanes are the Super Bowls of the weather world. When a tropical storm is spotted there is a week-long build-up of suspense: how powerful will it become? Where will it land? How many boats will it toss onto dry land? Everyone from expert meteorologists to budding media lackeys are deployed into the storms gaping maw to give you moment-by-moment coverage.

Last night I watched a gripping piece on CNN, where a reporter from New Orleans was literally phoning in his observations on hurricane Katrina, via video phone. The video and sound were terrible. You couldn't see anything behind him because all the power was out. Nothing was happening because the storm was long-gone. He might as well have been reporting from his darkened basement. But that was news. It sure looked good: a guy standing in his rain coat, the grainy video, the frantic tone in his voice. Until I realized: nothing was happening. He had no purpose to be on his video phone right that second. He wasn't giving us any news other than "it's sure dark out here, and a mess." Wow.

Of course he was competing with Headline News' report: Day 89 of the Natalie Holloway Mystery. They were busy talking about her, while showing her flag corps performance from high-school. What relevance the flag corps performance has is also part of this convoluted mystery.

However, back to Katrina, I think it's amazing that after all the media coverage preceding this hurricane, as many as 80 people may be dead. Surely they knew it was coming. This was not a tsunami without warning. This was a hurricane that hit Florida, rolled into the Gulf of Mexico, gained strength, turned north, and struck almost exactly where experts said it was going to. All of this unfolded on 24-hour news, over the course of the last week. Not to mention that hurricanes are hardly rare to this region.

I'm going to speculate that a lot of this was due to Katrina being a monster storm, and there will always be those crazy few who refuse to leave their homes come hell, high-water, or both. But, I can't help but also think that our current environment of media and news saturation seems to render the average person paralyzed to decipher what is actually meaningful. When "Hurricane Katrina" is covered like a championship football game rather than a life-threatening, property destroying force of nature, how is the average TV junkie supposed to be alarmed? It seems like more and more of life is becoming abstract rather than real.

In the Midwest, I've heard similar discussions about tornado warnings. We're no strangers to thunderstorms and during some months tornado watches or warnings seem to occur almost every day. But, first of all, how many people even know the difference between a watch and a warning? And secondly, when these alerts are flashed on our screen every day, and we live to tell the tale the next morning, how seriously do we begin to take them? There are so many other forces vying for our attention at every turn, our brain has to try to make sense of all this input. What do we take seriously and what is just hype?

We obviously have a hard time discerning the truth when a total failure is re-elected to the highest office in the world. Yes, he has been a perfect storm at home and abroad, a venerable hurricane of bad judgment. This was after he took the media by the hand and told them he was a uniter and not a divider; that he was not interested in nation-building; that a certain Arab leader my have WMDs in his remorseless hands; that we would be greeted as liberators in his country once we took him out. Where was the media over the last five years of this nonsense?

The problem is not that the media can't alert us. It's alerting us all the time. We can get worked up over non-existent WMDs in Iraq, anthrax scares, hurricanes, and Super Bowls, but we're not very good at concluding what is really true and what isn't. We have access to all this news and we seem to be further away from what is real than ever before.

Does the media have an obligation to cut through its own constant hyperbole and try itself to figure out what is newsworthy? I suppose yes and no. In a large sense, they are just delivering a product. People, for some reason, seem to like watching John Kruk on ESPN complain that the squeeze bunt is a lost art. People will make time to watch all kinds of nonsense, but not to try to figure out what is a real threat and when they are being lied to.

In the case of a hurricane, it should be pretty obvious. In a more intellectual exercise like should we have blindly accepted the word of the President? The media should probably have stopped phoning its reports in and actually discovered that Hans Blix, France, and even Saddam were in fact right when they claimed Iraq had no WMDs. Maybe that's expecting too much from the media, who are simply delivering a product like McDonald's or Coke. Maybe people should stop relying on CNN for truth, Disney to raise their kids, McDonald's to turn them into healthy adults, and tough politicians to save them from evil. Maybe people better start thinking for themselves.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Average Wal Mart Shopper Kills Two

As a former cart collector, I find this act extra appalling.

By the way, have you seen Wal Mart shoppers? This guy looks pretty normal. The last time I was there, while I was waiting in line, two "handicapped" individuals were playing bumper cars with their motorized carts. And they seemed to be the only ones in the whole place who knew what the hell they were doing, including employees. This guy, Ed Lui, 53, could have been store manager.

Hurricane Robertson Downgrades to Kidnapping

Taking a break from leading a seminar on how to be more judgmental, "Rev." Pat Robertson backed off his recent assassination talk.

"I said our special forces could take him out. 'Take him out' could be a number of things including kidnapping. There are a number of ways of taking out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted"

Just as there are many ways to interpret the Bible, I suppose it's only fair to admit there are many ways to interpret Pat Robertson's comments. This is the kind of hair-splitting left to a Robert Blake trial.

"When I said 'take him out ' I meant 'convert him to Christ'. This is just another attack on God's people perpetuated by those who hate the light" Robertson later clarified

Of course, Robertson was talking about assassination. What he said about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was actually, "I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we should go ahead and do it." That's a lot of "ass" being thrown around. And one guy looking like a total ass. Did I just call him an ass? No I didn't.

That seems pretty clear to me. That's almost as crystal clear as Jesus quoting Leviticus 19:18, "Love your neighbor as yourself." And when Jesus was pressed for clarification, I don't remember him once saying "Oh, I was misquoted. Love? What I meant was, 'quietly put up with'." No, actually when Jesus was asked "Who is my neighbor?" he told a nice little story we know today as 'The Good Samaritan'". Robertson may want to dust off this story (Luke 10:25-37) but what it says is that your neighbor includes even people you loathe and hate-- even modern godless communists!

None of this would really matter if people like Robertson weren't vying for control of our country. People like him, James Dobson, Jerry Farwell, routinely spout this kind of nonsense while attempting to tell us how to live our lives, who should be on the supreme court, and what a person should believe. Howard Stern correctly pointed out that Robertson is a bigger shock jock than he is. Who represents the greater evil? Stern is not trying to tell anyone how to live or how to get into heaven. Robertson does both while being, at his core, no different than any zealous member of the Taliban.

This brand of aggression and ignorance has produced violence and hatred for thousands of years. It is at the core of what we are fighting now. It is at the core of what we declared independence from over 200 years ago. Is this so-called Christian who calls for assassinations any less "indecent" than something the FCC would fine? I would think you do more harm listening to someone like this--someone who attempts to keep you in fear and ignorance by distorting the Bible while claiming to speak for God-- than someone like Howard Stern.

But people believe this guy. After all, no one who professes to know Christ could be an evil man.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tiger Snaps, Mauls Spectator

The pressure finally got to Tiger Woods as he snapped on the 4th hole of the WGC-NEC International, bounded into the crowd and began to maul a spectator. He was quickly traquilized by handlers, caged, and removed from the course. The spectator, who was startled but not seriously hurt, could later be seen saying, "I was mauled by Tiger. Wait until the guys hear about this one!"

This scene is eerily reminiscent of the time Craig "The Walrus" Stadler got lose in the PGA tent at Augusta National and gored a vendor. How this will effect Tiger's chances remains unclear. He was tied with Vijay Sing for the lead at four under par.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Person of the YTear?

She’s been called everything from an anti-Semite to a traitor by right-wing bloggers. She has been accused of dishonoring her fallen son. She has ignited a national dialogue about the Iraq war. She is my prediction for 2005 Person of the Year.

Cindy Sheehan has started something big. She has given a harsh and callous thing the face of a lost mother in her attempts to get President Bush to describe what “noble cause” her son died for. She has stood up to the political machine.

We know the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The Emperor, obsessed with surface appearance, sent his two servants to inspect a fine, light cloth that was invisible to the unworthy. The servants could not see the cloth, but did not want to admit themselves unworthy, and thus both praised the cloth. The emperor was dressed and showed off his new “garment” in a parade.

All the citizens praised the color, the design of the cloth. All were afraid to admit that they could not see it. Finally a small child noted: “But he has no clothes on at all.”

Sometimes the obvious can be overlooked because no one wants to look stupid. No one wants to be unpatriotic. No one wants to be a pessimist about something as important as Democracy in the Middle East. However, this does not mean the substance claimed to exist exists. Facts are facts.

The war in Iraq, for too long, has been the elephant in the room. It is a conspicuous and remarkable event that has been simply an academic exercise for most Americans who have been asked to give nothing. It has been mired in failures, from it’s first moments of conception—from faux WMD evidence, to lack of planning for post-war stability, to lack of troop armor protection, to Abu Grave. Every day “experts” who should have protected this country’s best interests are giving reports that this war is a total mess and unwinable and a shadow of Vietnam.

Cindy Sheehan has given all of this a face. She is the mother in your neighborhood who has given the ultimate sacrifice and simply wants answers. She, before this week, has had no political agenda, she did not go to Crawford, TX for media attention, and all of that has given her credibility. She is not a stuffed-shirt politician, all of whom who sponsored this war should be ashamed for not having the nerve of this woman to question the Emperor.

But how does the story end? The people soon realized the Emperor was indeed naked.

“The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought that the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater care than ever to appear holding up a train, when in reality there was no train to hold.”

No doubt the President will attempt to continue the procession. But the procession has gone on long enough. It is time to talk about the administration and the war in truth.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Scientists Discover WW2 Generation Not Greatest

This post has been supressed.

The Gatekeeper, The Keymaster, and Jim Morrison

note: this post is not about sex or St. Louis.

I'm happy to say Thought Alarm has grown in popularity. Honestly, I never thought anyone would read this rag, this unaccountable form of yellow journalism. From its humble beginnings as a mere intellectual escape, it has grown, and become very enjoyable. For this reason I've decided not to post about work anymore. Because, it's not cool, OK kids? I have a few rules for my little ones:

1. Don't smoke
2. Don't do drugs
3. Don't go stripping in the woods
4. Don't blog about co-workers

I mean, so what if Meterosexual is now DATING Starbucks girl? It was inevitable I suppose. I sit here and spew because it's like the Gatekeeper meeting the Keymaster--I'm pretty sure it's a sign of the end times. But, what are we going to do about it if it is? I can't control it. Like Jim Morrison said: "I'll tell you this man... I'll tell you this: I don't know what's going to happen, man, but, I hope I get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames. Alright? Alriiight!" This place isn't so bad. I have a nice view of the ants 200 feet below, and Fridays are jeans day!

We all know one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is only worrying about that which you can control. So, for everyone's best interest, I must stick to the things which I can control: the economy, politics, and the internets. Alan Greenspan is my financial advisor. Howard Dean is my private doctor. When the internet slows down, that's me throwing the lever, just to keep you guys awake.

This blog is not just a private journal, but a beacon of hope. I beam it out of the 22nd floor of a dark monolith of capitalism, to the world. Yes, like Radio Free Europe (that's a great band name by the way).

"Dude, did you see Radio Free Europe?"
"Yeah man, back in '89."

//2nd aside
I think it would be kind of funny to print faux band t-shirts.

//3rd aside
People actually tune into this thing, and I'm glad.

Rest assured, faithful readers, I will continue to uphold the highest standards of journalistic integrity: quoting out of context, distorting facts, and massive fabrication. Please stay tuned for my interview with Sean Hannity.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Real Man Fires Shotgun at Protesters

As Cindy Sheehan and about 60 anti-war protestors held a religious service in front of George Bush's Crawford, TX ranch, the president's neighbor fired his shotgun into the air. When Larry Mattlage was asked for his motives he said he was preparing for Dove hunting. When he was asked if he had an ulterior motive he said "Figure it out for yourself."

Touting grammar shredding English that has made the president wildly popular, Mattlage explained, "I ain't threatening nobody, and I ain't pointing a gun at nobody. This is Texas."

There goes a real man. A man not afraid to discharge his shot gun when provoked. A man unafraid to give ambiguous answers when pressed. The left has Cindy "Peace Symbol" Sheehan. But the right has Larry "12 Gauge" Mattlage.

I haven't been keeping score, but the last time I checked the police have not been dispatched because of any disruptions from the Sheehan camp. Unless you include exploding home-made flower bombs.

In all seriousness, I hope those at Camp Casey will remain cool and not retaliate with stupid aggression. Right now they are peacefully camped outside the president's ranch but a more subtle scene is unfolding. The grieving of a mother who has lost her son in a questionable war vs the hot headed, shoot first and think later Bush fans. By remaining solemn and cool those in the Sheehan camp are provoking the ire of those who simply have no tolerance for questioning authority. Which camp would you rather be in?

Sheehan should probably curb remarks like, "I'm surprised we haven't had more of that since were in Bush country." That only serves to stereotype all Bush supporters as senseless and violent. I think it's far better to let Larry Mattlage make that case instead. If those in Camp Casey remain passive, those who hate them will did their own graves.

In fact it is already happening. Yesterday, a Marine returned from Iraq--the 2005 Marine of the Year--fired his shotgun into a crowd of people in Boston. No one was killed. I am somewhat sympathetic to this man because apparantly someone threw a bottle through his window. In Iraq that means you get gunned down. He was responding the only way he knew how. And I suppose that is what you get in a country where you glorify war, and send your young men and women to be schooled in the streets of battle. That is what you get when you feed flowers with fire. Then you ask them to come back and deal with life more passively? We have thousands of such people returning, changed, every day. Maybe this is another folly Sheehan is speaking out against.

Bush has said he will not meet with Sheehan to discuss the war in Iraq. But he will meet with Lance Armstrong, a professional athlete, to ride bikes. Lance should decline and say, "With all due respect, I think there is someone outside who needs your time much more than I do." Bush claims that the families of those in the military are heroes--especially those who have had to give the ultimate sacrifice, a loved one. He says they should be honored. My humble opinion is that is hollow rhetoric when you'd rather meet with a biking champion than a member of the very group you claim to support, honor and revere.

Random Thoughts

"I have to go on with my life" - President Bush when asked how he can go bike riding for two hours when he doesn't have time to meet with Cindy Sheehan, camped outside his Crawford, TX ranch, the mother of Casey Sheehan, killed in Iraq.

“Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. Getting on with my life means learning to live with a pain that is so intense that sometimes I feel like throwing up, or screaming until I pass out from sorrow. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life. I can't believe that someone who is the figured of an administration that has killed tens of thousands of innocent people doesn't spend his days hiding under his bed in shame, let alone riding his bike. " - Cindy Sheehan.

I admire this woman's resolve. Hopefully, like the president, she too will be steadfast, determined, unwavering, and stubborn. She is on a quest to get the president to answer one question: why did my son have to die? Luckily, unlike other moms, here is a woman who can take time off and camp outside Bush's ranch. I wonder if financial support is flowing in so she can continue her vigil?

Her attempts have made international news.

There are also some blogs and opinions that feel Sheehan is dishonoring her son.

That particular blog says: "Spc. Casey Sheehan was a solider. He volunteered once and then reenlisted when that first commitment was served. He believed in his President, and he believed, as more than 99% of all soldiers do, that the mission he was fighting is noble, necessary, and just. "

I'm not really sure how this blogger knew that Casey Sheehan believed in his cause. But, it is probably true that 99% of soldiers do believe in what they're fighting for. I can vouch for this from my Air Force service. When we went to war with Iraq I knew of only one person who wasn't absolutely thrilled by the idea--including myself. You're trained to be a fighting force and using that training is like finally getting to play in the big leagues. It's your calling. However, this isn't saying much when 1) you're in an environment filled with positive propaganda about your mission and your worthy service and 2) when you are willing to die for that cause you probably try to put the best face on it you can.

I do agree, however, that soldiers who volunteer should willfully accept the risk of their job. No one becomes a fire fighter and never honestly expects to put their lives on the line, do they? However, I met many career military people who never expected to be deployed. One of the biggest benefits of military service is job security. When I did not opt to "re-up" for more military time I had to go through my entire chain of command as they tried to coax me into staying. They touted job security every time. "You don't want to work for Enron, do you?" they said. No, people like Spc. Casey probably did not want to work for Enron. They wanted to be a part of a cause, they wanted job security, they wanted a pension after 20 years, they wanted to see the world--all things the military sells itself on.

Can a mom, acting out of sincere grief, ever dishonor the memory of a lost child? I really don't think so and I think it's incredibly arrogant to ask any person in that context to behave in any certain way. No-doubt her son has involved in a vein war. Did her son know it, or admit that to himself during moments of reflection (whenever the military does allow reflection)? We'll never know. But Cindy Sheehan wants to know why her son had to die. For what? Should the president meet with this woman? Will that give rise to other mothers who want the president to answer questions? Where does the line get drawn? No questions answered? Every question answered? Just as Bush will not give in to terrorists, I believe he will use the same thought process when dealing with this mother camped outside his ranch. He will not give in to demands or coercion. I hope she remains outside the ranch. She doesn't claim to represent all moms who have lost sons or daughters in Iraq. She only seeks answers for her own son.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Priests Making Progress, Sleeping With Women

The rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral is leading a new generation of Catholic priests who have decided to channel their natural sexual urges from children to women. The 79 year old priest is accused of having an affair with his 46 year old, and hot, secretary.

For proof of the hotness:

In yet another bold move by Priests to abandon any semblance of morality, or decency, Eugene Clark allegedly romanced the married Laura DeFilippo at his Hamptons home and a Long Island motel, according to police and court records. This represents a more conventional, but no less inflammatory move away from the teachings they claim to uphold. Meanwhile Clark put up a solid front for the flock, publicly railing against our "sex-saturated society." In fairness, maybe the Priest was researching an upcoming sermon when he was caught with DeFilippo on his lap in a satin teddy. Lawyers plan to use the Townshend defense.

"I should have suspected something was up when she was making almost $100,000 a year as a secretary, going to trips with the Priest to Europe and the Caribbean" DeFilippo's husband, Philip, admitted. "Then, she starts going to work in short skirts and little tank tops, staying out late, and coming home with Holy Water all over her... I had to confront her."

Philip is now seeking divorce. Caught on video tape going into a hotel, Clark and DeFilippo emerged five hours later wearing different outfits. Hey, who can resist a hot woman in short white shorts and matching top with spaghetti straps? Even prayer can't stop biological urges and sweet talking.

Clark has *presided* over DeFilippo since high school.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Odd News of the Week

You just can't keep a good man down.

(Click on this post's title)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

We Three Myths

I'll bet you're not as Republican as you think.

I don't consider myself a smart guy. Hell, I haven't even figured out how to get this month's parking pass for my parking garage. So, if I can see cause and effect relationships, or illogical rhetoric, anyone can. Let's look at the Republican party.

For years the Republicans have been running on a few tried-and-true platforms: small government, Christian values, and national security. There's no question that these three topics are what Bush used to get elected in both 2000 and 2004.

The myth of Republicans for small government is that the Republicans are in favor of small government. This is true if you believe--as many do--that a president who never vetoes a spending bill and turns a budget surplus into a deficit is really in favor of small government. This also mirrors Reagan's small government policy of ballooning the deficit with run-away spending. He was wildly successful. I can also see how it can also be easy to be fooled by a political party that wants to intervene in the most personal matters of your life--in the bedroom, in the hospital, in your church--also claiming to be in favor of small government.

The myth of Republicans for Christian values is also confusing. It seems pious to tell people how to live their lives and how to relate to God, but this is contrary to how Jesus conducted his business. In fact, he was most upset at the pious religious leaders of his generation, not the people who wanted to be left alone. If you believe that Jesus was the son of God, then it must also follow that he had the power to convert anyone by force, even for their own good, and he did not. So, why some Republicans, and some religious leaders want to try to do the same thing through the government is beyond me. Not to mention how can a political party claim to be in favor of Christian values and not be in favor of universal health care, supporting social security, and helping families and the poor?

The myth of Republicans being better at national security claims that walking loudly and thrashing your way through foreign relations keeps America safer. No one wants a wimp like Clinton and his bombing campaigns in Kosavo when you can have full-scale warfare with embedded journalist pumped into your living room every night. That has to give you a warm fuzzy for our national security when you tuck your kids in at night. Currently we have 140,000 troops in Iraq, sent there to keep WMDs out of terrorist hands. Meanwhile Iran, right next door, is openly working on nuclear weapons. Of course, we're impotent to do anything about it other than rattle our sabers. North Korea has also boasted nuclear capability. Sure, the Bush administration labeled these three countries the "axis of evil" but it takes more than tough talk and wild swings to keep America safe. The latest terrorist attacks in London are proof that terrorism is on the march as well. And, where's Osama anyway?

Personal opinion about current and previous presidents aside, clearly the Republicans are in favor of large and intrusive government, Pharisaic values, and inept defensive measures. I realize this is a paradigm shift for a lot of people who--perhaps up to this moment--thought exactly the opposite. It's kind of like find out that your parents are fallible. That's ok, give it a moment. You'll probably then realize that you're not really a conservative, but a liberal. You're probably not in the pocket of big business, but someone who wants what paying taxes should entitle them to: education, health care, and responsible government. You're probably not really a fundamentalist, but perhaps a reasonable person, a Christian who wants everyone to have a fair chance to live a life free from fighting for basic needs. Besides, who in their right mind is in favor of out-of-control spending, religious theocracy, and 1800 dead Americans to free Iraq while rogue nations develop WMDs and Osama is a free man?

To think of what the $400 billion we've shelled out in Iraq could have been used for is sickening. A party in-favor of Christian values surely could have spent that money on health care, and inner-cities, and families, and education. A party in favor of smaller government certainly would have maintained a budget surplus (created by a Democrat named Clinton). A party keeping America safe certainly wouldn't have started another Vietnam-style venture while American-hating terrorists are being trained. Why do only large corporations and Christian fundamentalists seem to benefit from the White House? Probably because those are the only people whose interests the White House has in mind.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bush Appoints Bolton To Reform Baseball

Six months ago Rafael Palmeiro seemed insulted to be summoned before a congressional hearing on steroids. He was indignant as he pointed a finger at his questioners. He was forceful in saying that he had never used steroids. Monday he was found guilty of using steroids. Luckily he has the president's support.

"Rafael Palmeiro is a friend. He testified in public and I believe him. He's the kind of person that's going to stand up in front of the klieg lights and say he didn't use steroids, and I believe him. Still do." The President said.

Faced with the dilemma of holding onto a longstanding personal belief that Rafael Palmeiro was an ethical, professional player who never used steroids even though the evidence is clearly against it, the President defended Palmeiro. He then declared that he would send John Bolton to "reform" Major League Baseball.

"Players, like my good friend Rafael Palmeiro, who has 3000 hits, and over 500 home runs, are being railroaded by a bad system. Good people are being accused of cheating. The system obviously needs reform and that's why I am going to send John Bolton as ambassador to Major League Baseball."

Bolton, criticized for being a hot-headed diplomat, once said, "Baseball could lose 10 teams and no one would miss it."

Though the declaration silenced the room of journalists, it follows closely with the time-honored White House strategy of denying facts, and attacking those who reported the facts. In 2002, when the UN and others reported that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, the White House chose to ignore the argument and invade anyway. Now the White House declares that the UN needs reform.

In other news, fundamentalist conservatives expressed shock over finding out Supreme Court nominee John Roberts did pro-bono work for a gay rights case, and for homeless people receiving welfare funds.

"Here's a man who is supposed to be a Christian, and he's trying to increase people's rights?" Said, John Hampton, of Sunnyview Christian Church in Oshkosh, WI. "Doesn't he read the Bible? People aren't capable of figuring out what is best for them. They need the Word, they need priests, they need to be led like sheep. And do think he did it pro-bono...for free? He could have at least taken their sinful money."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

5 Questions the President Doesn't Want You Asking

1. Where's Osama?
2. Weren't Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby just in the news for something?
3. What happened to that Social Security idea?
4. Could Saddam have been deposed for less than $400,000,000,000 and 1700 American lives?
5. At 59, how many hours a day does the president spend working-out so he can breeze through his yearly physical

I know, I'm a bitter, twisted old ferret. But, it's in my nature to ask questions. And, contrary to popular beliefs, it's not anti-American to do so.

5 questions the Founding Fathers probably asked:

1. Is pursuing happiness equal to life and liberty?
2. Can we, in good conscience, follow a tyrant king spending our tax dollars on far-flung adventures all the while not listening to our pleas?
3. Could we establish a better government?
4. Are high values worth fighting for?
5. Should we establish one state religion, or let people decide how they want to relate to God?

Keep asking questions.

Creationism in Schools?

Yesterday President Bush said schools should teach both "intelligent design" and evolution in science class. When asked to state his own belief he declined. This probably falls in-line with previous statements from the President that faith is a personal matter.

For the sake of argument, let's run down a list of religiously charged issues and see what side the President would probably take.

Abortion - sinful; should be illegal
Creationism - truthful; should be in schools
Evolution - sketchy
Euthanasia - sinful
10 Commandments - divine; should be in schools.
Christianity or Islam - Christianity; should be in schools

There's nothing wrong with having personal beliefs. There's nothing wrong with talking to people about those beliefs or trying to convince people about your views. What I find curious about the President is that he keeps pushing to put morality and Christianity on everyone, but he himself refuses to take a stand on what he believes.

I'll aslo assume that the President is an average Christian, representing average Christian believes on the role of government, ethics and morality. I make this assumption because: 1) so many prominent Christian leaders are in bed with the President, and 2) Christians are taking credit for winning the election (electing one of their own as President).

The President is right when he says that faith is a personal matter, and I do not deny his convictions as a Christian. But what I don't understand is how he desires to keep his faith personal but regulate to everyone else how they should live and behave. You could round up 10 random Christians and I'll bet they wouldn't agree on most things, so why do these people attempt to tell anyone else how to live?

Obviously "intelligent design" has no place in a science classroom. Science employs a little thing developed by Francis Bacon called The Scientific Method. Maybe the President never heard of such a thing. It is a process of observing and creating theories to explain natural phenomenon. These theories are tested and reproduced . The scientific method is a "cautious means of building a supportable, evidence-based understanding of our natural world." (

Evidence based... methods and theories taught in science class are those which adhere to the scientific method. Obviously you can't reproduce creation. This does not mean that it didn't happen; it just means that it probably doesn't belong in a science book.

This type of thing--science--has been around for about 400 years and has helped us to explain things like gravity, electricity, the conservation of mass, thermodynamics, cells, heredity, the elements, relativity, thermodynamics, continental drift, the atom, the expanding universe, and the genome. I'm not against religion, but I also don't understand this fear of science in so many Christians. We drive cars, fly in planes, take medicine, eat food, and have children all in an environment made possible by the results of the scientific method. Why would we want to go back to a mindset that fostered what has been termed the Dark Ages?

This country was built upon these principles as well. Here are a few quotes from a little document I like to call The Declaration of Independence.

" which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them.."
"We hold these truths to be self-evident.."
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate..."
"All experience has shown.."
"To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

The Founding Fathers were themselves God-fearing but also embraced science and evidence and even marshaled it to their cause for independence. Just because you can explain things logically and with science doesn't mean God doesn't exist. But we're going to come out on the wrong side of these issues just as the Catholic Church did with Copernicus when they refused to believe that the earth was not at the center of the solar system. It seems silly now, doesn't it? But is the principal really any different? Are we still not able to meld religion and science after 400 years?

Let your kids learn about science in school and teach them to be the best Christians they can be at home.