Saturday, December 31, 2005

More Bush Shadiness

In a rather disturbing turn of events, President Bush announced that there will be a full inquiry into the source of the leak about the NSA program in which the average American was subject to surveillance without any warrant or permission from the courts. In the meantime, the President continues to assert that the program was and is legal without ever really offering any reason as to why he has the divine right to disregard the Constitutional and bypass the judicial system.

I find this most recent development disturbing because, once again, he is attacking those who dare to speak out against or expose the questionable methods of his administration and the activities they claim are necessary for our security. At the very least, he should have announced a simultaneous independent probe of the program itself, including an investigation to make sure he only targeted potential Al-Qaeda members and not political enemies or a specific race or religion. That, literally, is the very least that should be done, and until it is, I think most Americans will remain quite uncomfortable with this Nixon-esque activity and rhetoric.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Darwin, God, and the Courts (oh my - here we go again…)

With the defeat of the Dover, PA school board members who supported intelligent design and a US court recently ruling the teaching of it in public schools illegal, it seems that once again common sense may, in the end, prevail.

I’m not implying that intelligent design in and of itself defies common sense; religion ultimately is rooted in faith more than reason anyway. Science, however, must be based on both reason and empirical evidence. While this should be cause enough not to teach intelligent design in a high school science classroom, in the end it is the Constitution that prevents this, and it was this document that led the court to its ruling. While there is room for legitimate debate concerning the establishment clause, few deny that evangelizing by representatives of the government, teachers included, in public schools is unconstitutional. Teaching intelligent design calls for teachers to do exactly that; “intelligent” implies some higher form of intelligence – something that ultimately requires an act of faith to believe in. It should be up to the churches to equip their believers with either a counter narrative or information on how the two theories are compatible. Personally, I look to science to answer the “how” question and my faith to answer “why.”

In our public schools, however, the teaching of intelligent design is both bad science AND bad law. Fortunately, the PA courts ignored the prophecy of fire and brimstone from Pat Robertson and made an - get ready, here it comes - "intelligent" decision.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Blog is Born!

Welcome one and all to my new blog. Many of you are probably familiar with me from my contributions on the University of Delaware College Democrats Blog (linked to the right). This semester, I have moved home to student teach at a local high school (Polytech) and as a result resigned my position on the Dems board. Though I will still be contributing regularly to the their blog, I found myself wanting to expand the perspectives within my writing. So, with the encouragement of Ryan S., one of my favorite Conservatives, I decided to create my very own blog (I realize now that I am stating the obvious).

At any rate, I will try to update regularly and expand the links page, etc. If you would like to be linked, let me know and I will try to get you on ASAP. I welcome all comments, but would like to encourage intelligent, civil dialogue.

Politically, I am to the left of center, but am a centrist in that I believe we can solve more problems through open dialogue and through seeking common ground than by trying to dominate those with different perspectives. Too often, that is the way of our current political system, and I believe the high level of disapproval for both parties in Congress as well as the President is at least in part a product of the childishness of our elected officials in how they conduct their business and campaigns. Though some may consider this idealistic drivel, truly it is the pursuit of a better way that drives many into politics and the political system as a whole. How better to fix this nation’s problems than to begin with “fixing” those who run it?