There is, seriously, a new guy named “AL” that sits in the cubicle next to me. He wears thick glasses and keeps interrupting my conversations to ask me “who” I’m talking about. Is this creepy, or what? Maybe I should ask him how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. Maybe I need more caffeine…
April 30, 2008
April 29, 2008
After reading the comments regarding my review of Expelled, it is quite easy to see a glimpse of the polarization of ideas that exists in our society today. And, to be sure, I know that each time I write something that is conservative in nature, I had better wear my sweatbands and drink plenty of Gatorade because I am inviting a very heated debate. So, this post may generate more debate, which is, in my opinion a good thing because it means that people are thinking and reasoning.
Anyway, having recently read Bill O’Reilly’s book, Culture Warrior (which really is a great book, even though O’Reilly can sometimes come off as pompous), I truly believe that the cultural battle that is raging is not about liberals versus conservatives, but about secular progressives versus traditionalists. There is no doubt in my mind but that there is a very deliberate and strategic ongoing agenda by certain secular progressives to fundamentally change our society; I believe, and history shows, that it is possible, with enough intention, to radically change an entire nation in two or three generations (cue the eerie music and the wolf howl).
Now, so that I am not misinterpreted, I don’t believe that we, as a nation, are perfect, and we will never really be so; sometimes the good ole days were not so good. I don’t think that we should throw science out the window and, likewise, we should not throw religion out the window. We may not need to have Bible studies in the public classrooms, as some of you are fond of reminding me, but our nation’s schools and our leaders certainly need things like morals, ethics and discipline, like that which comes from traditional, authentic religious belief .
So, in my review of Expelled, I tried to focus my text more on the issue of the suppression of free ideas than on the actual issue of intelligent design versus evolution. I intentionally did this because I see the divide over this specific issue as being indicative of a larger divide that permeates our society. I am not able, nor do I have the learning, to champion the cause of intelligent design; and, more importantly, this is not really something that keeps me awake at night (like thinking about what I’ll eat for breakfast) or which causes me much anxiety (like thinking about what I’ll eat for lunch or dinner). Neither evolution nor creationism is able to be empirically proved; the most likely explanation is that they both have merit to varying degrees.
What concerns me is precisely the suppression of free thinking in many avenues of our society and the distortion of truth for political and, sadly enough, sometimes religious gain. Sometimes, I would wager that, as a nation we can engage in groupthink and find ourselves brought down erroneous paths.
A prime example of this is the global warming myth that is being taught as a fact. The deniers of global warming in America are sometimes derided with the same level of hate as the deniers of evolution, even though global warming and evolution are not, in the literal sense of the word, “facts.” Here is an interesting article that came up recently on American Thinker concerning global warming and free thinking. The article deals with a “friendly” debate between two friends, one a believer in and the other a skeptic of global warming.
Additionally, Fox News and the Houston Chronicle, this very morning, posted articles about Dr. William Gray, a “pioneering expert” on hurricanes, whose annual hurricane forecasts may no longer be carried (without some restrictions) because of his controversial views on global warming. Dr. Gray mentions that “pro global warming scientists are ‘brainwashing our children’” and now it appears as though the good doctor has to defend himself from a form of censorship.
Now, I don’t specifically know the circumstances surrounding everything that has gone on in this debate, but I wonder if there is not some effort underway to suppress dissention in the ranks of academia. Are we, as a country, allowing a fair hearing of dissenting ideas in the public forum and in the classroom? Are we, as a country, throwing out too many long-accepted ideas too quickly in favor of the latest scientific or moral flavor of the month?
It should make you think…
April 28, 2008
Well, I don’t know about you, the savvy reader, but I hope that I’m finished with art shows for a while. No, I’m not an artist at the shows, but I have been a spectator at three of them in the space of one week’s time…and I have, once before, stayed at a Holiday Inn Express (which is a place where artists go to starve to death).
Let’s see. On Sunday, April 20, I attended the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival, which dramatically stretches all the way from the Fort Worth courthouse to the convention center while, surprisingly, offering no room for humans to walk. That’s right, at this festival, people basically spend three days standing in line, wanting to walk down the street, but unable to move. Eventually, after the end of day three, the artists pack up and scurry off to the next festival, leaving a throng of people standing in line, which is finally able to disperse after another two days.
The artists at this festival aren’t of your standard Holiday Inn “starving” variety, although many of them are quite skinny.
A Random Dave Idea™: Wouldn’t it be cool if someone published A Field Guide to Artists and Their Native Habitats? An excerpt: “Here we have your standard treeus-huggeris “starving” variety, indigenous to the dense forests of Eugene, Oregon…notice how it feeds on granola, fiercely protects its habitat, creates its clothing from hemp and protests globalization.”
Anyway, the artists at the Main Street Arts Festival all charge an outlandish amount of money for their work. Some of the work probably warrants such high prices because it is actually quite good; other work, however, is so “modern” that I can comprehend it to be nothing more than junk. I guess the theory is that if you put a high enough price on something, it evokes an aura of exclusivity, which some folks just love.
The festival ended on April 20 and our line finally dispersed somewhere around Thursday after the police started firing tear gas to get people moving. This gave us enough time to run up to Denton on Friday, April 25, to attend the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, which was much more “local” in flavor than the Fort Worth show. The Denton festival not only had many more local artists, but these artists charged about half what the “big boys” (note: most artists really aren’t “big boys” – they average about 120 pounds wet) were charging in Fort Worth.
We primarily went to the festival to hear the Neville brothers, who were the main act for the evening. Unfortunately, like the rookie art festival goers that we are, we only arrived about three hours before the concert, which meant that if we wished to actually see the concert, we would have to do so from another county. The grounds were littered with people, such that it was impossible to sit down and enjoy the music. We ended up standing directly over (almost on top of) a couple who were eating a bag of obligatory festival kettle korn®, while, to our backs, we were being hit by purses and elbows, as people walked by, forming new lines, leading to other lines, leading to who knows what.
We finally made it home in time to turn around and head out to Southlake on Saturday, April 26, to attend the Arts in the Square festival. We primarily went to this festival because a good friend of ours, Andrea, was playing saxophone with the Southlake Community Band. We sat in the sun and our heads cooked as we took in the vibrant sounds of the Community Band. When the music was over, Amber woke me up and we ate some food before walking around and looking at the overpriced art (note: Southlake folks are rich, so the art is priced accordingly).
As we were leaving the Arts in the square, one kindly seller of homemade jewelry announced to us that she would be in Richardson next weekend and that we should make it a point to be there (note: it is extremely difficult to slit your wrists with homemade jewelry). We quickly left the festival and I uttered a silent prayer that we would not have to attend any more art festivals this year.
So far, so good…but it’s only Monday.
April 25, 2008
I recently came across an article about a little boy that was struck by an ambulance. To me, this seems to be a story about hope arising in the midst of tragedy; the little boy was able to receive immediate attention for his injuries by highly trained “ambulance” people who probably had not had too much to drink. There was no word from the hospital about whether this was a blatant attempt to drum up new business in our slumping economy (wait till this boy’s parents get the hospital bill!). Although I’d never really thought about it, it seems like if you’re going to get run over by someone, he or she should at least be driving an ambulance. It just makes things easier.
April 24, 2008
Recently, I wrote in a post about being afraid of those who may have guns and the will to use them. Trint, being ever-vigilant, commented and brought up the fact that this no-nonsense attitude of gun owners is precisely what keeps Americans safe and lowers crime.
Is That a Gun in Your Pocket or do You Just Feel Safe to be Here?
This morning, on American Thinker, I read a pretty interesting article by Thomas Lifson about a BBC correspondent’s take on guns versus security. Lifson mentions that “when people know that others are armed, they tend to be very polite.”
I went and read the BBC article, wherein the correspondent mentions that “it is a paradox. Along with the guns there is a tranquility and a civility about American life of which most British people can only dream.” He goes on to state that, “it is an odd fact that a nation we associate…with violence is also so serene, so unscarred by petty crime, so innocent of brawling.”
Now, generally, Americans never really have the opportunity to hear the story from outsiders because our mainstream media has a different agenda. We only ever hear that guns are “bad” and that we would be much safer if we lived in a world without guns. I find it interesting to see, in the above-reference articles, that even a liberal-leaning organization such as the BBC will occasionally admit what most Americans already know: that guns and citizen safety go hand-in-hand.
Roll Up Your Sleeves and Bear Those Arms!
I would like to give a “shout-out” and a personal thank you to America for the right to bear arms; and, to all you folks with itchy trigger fingers, I mean that in all sincerity and civility!