The Brigade of Bellicose Women at On The Third Hand are hosting this week’s Carnival of the Vanities. Check it out and follow the links. You’ll get to see interesting writing from other bloggers. It will either inform you or inflame you, and either one can be a good thing. And go back to read On The Third Hand every day just because it’s a cool blog. Read more

The warning I gave in my post yesterday is echoed on CNN today. Is there really any doubt that banning the wearing of headscarves is only going to further radicalize the Muslim community in France? Not to French Muslim leaders:”The majority of Muslims want to practice their religion in peace and in total respect of the laws,” said Lhaj-Thami Breze, president of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, the country’s biggest fundamentalist grouping. But “when you persecute, when you… Read more

I’ve been reading excerpts from Paul Waldman’s new book Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn’t Tell You. There are a few brilliant paragraphs scattered about, but like most partisan polemicists, Waldman seems to think that what he describes is unique to his enemies, in this case Republicans. To wit:Just as Newt Gingrich once counseled that Democrats should be portrayed as “the enemy of normal Americans,” Republicans, from President Bush on down, endlessly assert that… Read more

The lower house of France’s parliament has voted to outlaw “signs and dress that conspicuously show the religious affiliation” of students in French public schools. The AP reports:The measure, which would outlaw conspicuous religious clothing and symbols in classrooms, was approved 494-36. It goes to the Senate, where little opposition was expected, in early March.I’ve been watching this story build from afar in total astonishment. I don’t know anything about the French constitution (assuming they have one)…have they no provision… Read more

Yesterday’s story of the American Airlines pilot cajoling his passengers to use the time in the air to proselytize just gets funnier and funnier. First, in the interests of fairness, it should be said that other passengers on the flight, and the pilot himself, have said that he did not call non-Christians “crazy”, but used that term for the Christians on board in an affectionate manner. But here’s the part that I find even funnier… The pilot did an interview… Read more

First up, the airline pilot who doesn’t seem to understand where the boundaries of appropriate behavior lie in his job. Seems an American Airlines pilot asked the passengers aboard his flight from LA to New York to raise their hands if they’re Christian, announced that those who didn’t raise their hand were crazy, and suggested that they use the opportunity of having a heathen trapped in a seat next to them to do a little proselytizing. The behavior was so… Read more

Kudos to Steve Sanders for this article, entitled Federalists Do It Too: The False Debate Over “Activist” Judges. Sanders says what I’ve been saying for many years, that whenever you hear conservatives complain about judges “making law” as opposed to “interpreting the constitution”, you’re being fed a load of crap. Conservative judges are just as likely to be “activist” as liberal judges, and the complaints of judicial activism, on display so vividly during Bush’s recent State of the Union address,… Read more

A couple weeks ago I referred to an incident involving myself and Richard Dawkins and allegations of creationist dishonesty and I promised to write up the whole story soon. Let me preface this by saying two things. First, I am, as should be obvious to everyone who has read any of my writings on this page, a staunch advocate of evolutionary theory and a dogged opponent of the attacks that creationists of all types make against it. I have spent… Read more

There is a terrific new website designed to help teachers and students learn more about evolution that is finally up and available for public use. The Understanding Evolution site was an enormous project that has been under development for quite some time under the auspices of the University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), funded primarily by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Science Foundation. To quote from the site’s… Read more

Georgia school boss Kathy Cox has backed off her announced plan to remove the word “evolution” from the state academic standards. Paul Myers speculates that the whole thing could very well have just been a cover-up for the fact that the new proposed standards water down the teaching of evolution enormously, regardless of whether the word is used. I agree with him. It’s about the only explanation that makes any sense out of the whole sordid bunch of nonsense. Think… Read more

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