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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Texas Intelligence

I found this article on the tubes today. The lede:
AUSTIN – The Senate rejected Republican Don McLeroy's nomination as chairman of the State Board of Education on Thursday after Democrats decried his lack of leadership and "endless culture wars" over evolution and other volatile topics.
I'm unfamiliar with the particulars of McLeroy's tenure as chairman, but I'm more than familiar with the various ways that fundamentalists try to make their religious views the laws of the land...and I don't like it.

Mainly because I'm an atheist (so yes, I'm biased, untrustworthy, and immoral), but also because we have freedom of religion in this country so there's no reason to get into picking the better dogmas. Who is to say that God wants creationism taught in science class, but he doesn't want the little girls running around in hijabs? Depending on who you ask, something called "God" commands both.

But I wanted to highlight this part because it's so stupid:
One of McLeroy's chief defenders, Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, accused opponents of applying a "religious test" for serving on the board.

"If we vote against Dr. McLeroy, the perception among many Texans will be that if you are a conservative and believe in the infallibility and literacy of the Bible, there is no need to apply to be on the State Board of Education," he said.
Jesus H. Christ.

A religious test? No, dude. We're not talking about the semester finals for Texas Biology 101 here. That's a religious test. Insisting that science, not religion, be taught in science class is NOT. (And, sorry, guys, but Darwinism is not a religion so us atheists aren't going to force you to start teaching it in Sunday School.)

Also...and this may seem like a cheap shot...but "if you believe in the infallibility and literacy of the Bible," you're not reading the Good Book all that closely.

There are way too many contradictions for it to be both literal and infallible. My Dad is willing to accept that the traitor Judas hung himself (as depicted in Matthew) and then fell and burst his guts on the ground (as depicted in Acts), which would be a literal interpretation of the differing accounts of Judas' death. But considering this is a Frankenstein of two different books, we can hardly say the Bible was infallible...

No?

Lakers Beat Nuggets - Move on to Finals

Well, that was disappointing.Not too much, though, because at the beginning of the season, I didn't expect the Nuggets to make it to the play-offs, much less to the Western Conference Finals.

So expectations exceeded, one of the last teams standing, an electrifying play-off run...all these things add up to one pleased Nuggets fan.

Although the Lakers going to the Finals again. Booooo-ring!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tolerance

The smartest thing I read all week, from Ta-Nehisi Coates:
The conservative movement has never gotten "tolerance." They think tolerance is something you do as a favor for someone else, that it's a slogan, that it involves appointing a showman who employs ancient slang. They don't understand. Tolerance is about warfare--it makes your army bigger than the other guy's army. It gives you access to weaponry that your enemies have seemingly never heard of (like, the internet).

Liberal Tolerance is the long war, it's the long game. It's Barack Obama, at his core. Liberal tolerance--not Jesse Helms--argued for interracial unions. Liberal tolerance is what allowed Obama to neutralize Rev. Wright, and make his race speech. Liberal tolerance is what allowed him to go to Notre Dame and talk with empathy about abortion. Liberal tolerance bets on the future. It presages that world (the world of today) that the GOP has spent very little time preparing for.
And this...this is my life:
It's about attempting to understand people who are radically different from you, and saying to them you want their voice in the process. Tolerance isn't just a value you hold, so much as it's something you do repeatedly. It's uncomfortable. You fuck up. You go to parties where they play music that you don't know how to dance to. You go to restaurants where the food is differen[t]. You go to neighborhoods, where no one speaks English. The whole time people on the outside are laughing at you.
Hell, man....I don't just go to neighborhoods where no one speaks English. I live in one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Proposal

That the phrase, "The nut doesn't fall far from the tree" would be replaced with "Green-glowing monkeys have green-glowing babies."

You know, modernize it a bit.

All About Anthrax


This song was in my head all day and I'm not sure why because I don't even like it. It's from Anthrax's worst record, Volume 8, their ill-fated outing with Ignition Records, which folded shortly after Volume 8 flopped.

Over the years, I've managed to build an appreciation for some of Volume 8's offerings, among them Killing Box, Harm's Way, and Big Fat, but you're never going to hear my celebrating its overall muddy sound and general lack of crunch.

I mean, I know Anthrax can crunch. Charlie Benante is one of the best thrash -if not the best- drummers out there. But thrash? They weren't in a thrash mood in 1998, I guess. I get it. These things wax and wane.

But I was listening to Among the Living the other day on the bus and it's just as good as it was the day it was committed to tape over twenty years ago.

That's some classic riffage right there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fore!

When I was a little kid, maybe 5 or 6 years old, I was riding along in the car with my Grandma and we passed a golf course. Grandma rolled down her window and shouted, "Fore!"

This confused Little Jamey, who asked, "Why did you yell 'four,' Grandma?"

I don't recall her exact answer but it was something like, "Because that's what you do when you play golf."

Of course, this was an oversimplification, but it sounded good at the time, and looking back on it, I suspect Grandma just wanted to see some golfers duck for no good reason. (Which, if you think about it, is plenty of good reason.)

Anyway, ever since he was little, I've told my nephew to yell "Fore!" whenever we pass a golf course. Because everyone needs a little tradition in their lives and we're feisty like that.

120-101 - Nuggets Take Game 4 To Even the Series

I don't know how they did it, but the Nuggets managed to win Game 4 last night by 19 points. I was quite worried that we'd be looking at a one game elimination scenario. (No team has ever come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the play-offs.) But it's still anybody's series.