Time to stand up for religious freedom: Lay off of Rep. Ellison

December 23, 2006

It was just sad when Dennis Prager prostituted U.S. history to rant at Minnesota’s U.S. Representative-elect Keith Ellison, for Ellison’s having said he’d use his faith’s scriptures for a staged photograph commemorating his being sworn in as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Ignorance can be so ugly.

It was jarring when so many others demonstrated their ignorance of the First Amendment and Constitutional history by repeating Prager’s concerns. Ignorance is contagious.

It was tragic when a few people, after having had a chance to repent of their ignorance, then mounted an assault on the Constitution by continuing to demand something was wrong with the situation, even calling for Ellison to give up his faith for the ceremony. Ignorance can be cured, why would anyone reject the cure?

It’s time to stop piling stupidity on stupidity: Rep. Virgil Goode (ironically named, no doubt), a Republican representing much of southern Virginia in the U.S. House (5th District) took aim at Ellison’s election itself, calling for “immigration reform” to prevent a Muslim takeover of Congress.

Goode’s comments are insensitive, xenophobic, insulting, demonstrative of ignorance, and just wrong on so many counts it is hard to determine which rebuttal is more important. So, random rebuttals follow. [I’ve come back to this four times today. It makes me amazingly angry, and I have to take a break.] Read the rest of this entry »


The Christmas card I wish I had

December 23, 2006

Olduvai George is just wonderful; go see his card.

The tree is up — a new one to us, still not natural in hopes of preventing the family-wide sinusitis the physicians say is caused by living things on the real trees.  The wreaths are up outside (a bit late, but still before Christmas).  One batch of mulled cider down already; St. Olaf’s and King’s College and Colorado State Choirs on the CD player (Emmy Lou and Louis Armstrong coming up).

Gotta find the Santa hat to put on the bust of Einstein, though.

Christmas cards always vex.  It’s difficult to walk the line between the friends who border on fanatic Christian and take offense at humorous cards, the friends who border on radical atheist and take offense at religious themes, the friends whose international concerns virtually dictate cards from international children’s agencies that feed several villages in Africa or Bengla Desh.

A mammoth card walks the line nicely, I think.  I’ve urged George to publish them; if you think you might like one, go tell him.

Tip of the old scrub brush to P. Z. Myers and Pharyngula.


Battle of Medina (Texas) entry revised

December 23, 2006

Since I posted on the Battle of Medina last August, the entry has consistently been hit by educational institutions and what appear to be students looking for information on the events. I have updated the entry, correcting a couple of minor errors and some narrative difficulties, and adding links to sources students and teachers should find useful.

You’ll find the improved post here, “Forgotten Texas History: The Battle of Medina.”


Free Inconvenient Truth for teachers

December 23, 2006

    Update: As of February 11, 2007, all 50,000 free copies have been given away. You may register for other giveaways and contests of Participate.net

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Participate.net is giving away 50,000 copies of the movie on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth.

First 50,000 teachers who ask. Go here: http://www.participate.net/educators/pub_files/ait-block_dvd.jpg

One more way Al Gore is ahead of his time.


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