Friday, May 06, 2005

The ignorant schoolchildren agenda

This is an article that can ruin your day, about the teaching of evolution. When I was in high school and we read "Inherit the Wind," I never thought that I would hear about the same story being played out in reality in my lifetime.

My comments are either a criticism of the article or of the Evolution Obfuscators, I'm not sure which. The reporter refers to her sources as either "pro-evolution" or "anti-evolution." I'm not sure those are accurate terms. Wouldn't pro-evolution be a person who is determined to grow a tail, or a third arm, or a second bunghole? Wouldn't an anti-evolution person be someone who would prefer to return to a state of primordial ooze?

Suddenly, I feel like I have ripped off someone else's line. I hate it when that happens.

And wouldn't those terms suggest that we could also describe people as "pro-sun-rises-in-the-east" and "anti-sun-rises-in-the-east?" How about "pro-water-is-wet" and "anti-water-is-wet?"

Pardon me while I introduce my head to the nearest wall.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Petty, and I don't mean Tom or Richard.

Dan Froomkin writes about a media request to White House spokesweasel Scott McClellan to end anonymous background briefings.

When McClellan returned his call, Strupp had a follow up on his own story.

McClellan said "that he would be glad to end the use of background-only briefings -- if White House reporters would stop using anonymous sources in their reporting," Strupp writes.

There is no way that this a serious offer. In fact, it sounds like the kind of thing one would suggest if one were deliberately trying to piss off the other person or persons.

I can't help thinking that there is someone in the White House who, instead of considering an idea like this on its merits, instead thinks of ways to turn the thing around and make suggestions in order to needle the opposition, whoever that may be.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wal-Mart is evil. Also, the sky is blue.

From the NY Times, an article about wages at Wal-Mart.

[H. Lee Scott Jr., Wal-Mart's chief executive], said that if Wal-Mart were as greedy as its detractors say, it would never have attracted 8,000 job applicants for 525 places at a new store in Glendale, Ariz., or 3,000 applicants for 300 jobs in outlying Los Angeles.

Apparently Wal-Mart exists on a planet where people are not unemployed and can choose whatever jobs they desire.

And how about this for sheer gall:

George Whalin, president of Retail Management Consultants in San Marcos, Calif., said that Wal-Mart should ignore the attacks. "Retail has always paid poorly and it probably always will," he said. "Wal-Mart has a responsibility to serve their customers - to give them a good product - and to their shareholders. They don't have a responsibility to society to pay a higher wage than the law says you have to pay."

They "don't have a responsibility to society." Sez it all.