Oklahoma First To Push Flat Earth Legislation in 2009

The National Center for Science Education finds that Oklahoma is the first state to have an evolution bill this year:

Senate Bill 320 (document), prefiled in the Oklahoma Senate and scheduled for a first reading on February 2, 2009, is apparently the first antievolution bill of 2009. Entitled the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act,” SB 320 would, if enacted, require state and local educational authorities to “assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.” The only topics specifically mentioned as controversial are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

Unsurprisingly, SB 320 is a further instance of the “academic freedom” strategy for undermining the teaching of evolution; as NCSE’s Glenn Branch and Eugenie C. Scott recently wrote in their article “The Latest Face of Creationism,” published in the January 2009 issue of Scientific American, “‘Academic freedom’ was the creationist catchphrase of choice in 2008: the Louisiana Science Education Act was in fact born as the Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, and bills invoking the idea were introduced in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Missouri and South Carolina …” Of these, only the Louisiana bill was passed and enacted, over protests from the scientific, educational, and civil liberties communities.

The sponsor of the Oklahoma bill is Randy Brogdon (R-District 34), who was a cosponsor in 2006 of House Concurrent Resolution 1034. If enacted, HCR 1034 would have encouraged “the State Board of Education and local boards of education to revise the recommended academic curriculum content standards in science to ensure that, upon graduation, all students can accomplish the following: 1. Use of [sic] the scientific method to critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theory of evolution; and 2. Use relevant scientific data to assess the validity of those theories and to formulate arguments for and against those theories.” HCR 1034 died in committee in May 2006.

Oklahomans concerned about SB 320 are encouraged to get in touch with Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, a non-profit educational organization that promotes the education of the public about the methods and values of science and advocates excellence in the science curriculum. As OESE explains on its website, “The formation of OESE was prompted by the attempts in the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee in 1999 to diminish the teaching of evolution by the introduction of creationist textbook disclaimers to be inserted into any textbook used in public schools that discussed evolution. There have been bills introduced almost every year since 1999 for legislation that would allow teaching creationism in science courses; OESE has opposed all such attempts.”

(Hat tip to Stranger Fruit)

It Looks Like I Have A Life (Barely)

Several blogs, including Apple of Doubt, ChickenGirl, The Athiest Blogger, and The Radula have posted this test. The claim is that if you have seen over 85 of these 219 movies you have no life. They invite others to post the list on their blogs and mark which they have seen.

As with most stupid internet tests, I’ll go along but also find this to be flawed.  I barely make it as having a life, but that wouldn’t change if I had seen a handful more. Plus I’ve seen plenty of movies which aren’t on the list.

Some of the oldest movies were seen when I was out on dates, with real live girls. Isn’t that having a life? Most were seen with my wife, although some might argue that the fact that we’ve watched so many movies together means that both of us have no life. At least we have no life together.

Many on the list, such as those staring Hillary Duff or Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, were seen because of having a daughter. That is definitely having a life. Of course several of the more sci-fi type movies were also watched alone when my wife and daughter weren’t around. This, along with blogging, could be used to argue that one has no life.

For the hell of it, here’s the list of movies if others are interested in calculating their score and finding out if they have a life (or come close to not having one like me).  When they get to Flubber they stipulate the original. I actually saw both. (The original was actually named The Absent Minded Professor). In other cases where it isn’t stipulated I actually saw the original and sometimes have not seen the more recent remake, which might not be what  who ever made this list had in mind, but I still marked the movie as seen.

Here’s the list:

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(  ) Pirates of the Caribbean
(  ) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Joe Dirt
( ) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
(x) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
(x) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving -MAS
(x) Flubber (Orignial)
( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x)Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
(x)I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
( ) Ocean’s Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremacy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(x) Curious George
(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bron Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
(x) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
(x) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
(x)Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x)The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
(x) x2
(x) x-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x)Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x)Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
(x)Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
(x) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Kippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x)Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x)Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x)Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x)Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x)Chronicle Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
( ) Kill Bill vol 1
( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
(x)Ewoks The Battle For Endor
(x)The Matrix
(x)The Matri Reloaded
(x)The Matri Revolutions
( ) Animatri
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x)Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
( ) Battle Royale
( ) Battle Royale 2
( ) Cube
(x)Dr. Strangelove
( ) Enlightenment Guaranteed
( ) Four Rooms
( ) Pi
( ) Requiem for a Dream
(x) Pulp Fiction
( ) Reservoir Dogs
()  Run Lola Run
( ) Russian Ark
(x)Sin City
( ) Snatch
( ) Spider
( ) The Sixth Sense
( ) The Village
( ) Waking Life
( ) Zatoichi
( ) Ikiru
(x)The Seven Samurai
( ) Brick
( ) Akira

Dianne Feinstein’s Logic

I’m having difficulty following Dianne Feinstein’s logic in opposing the nomination of Leon Panetta to head the CIA–just like I had difficulty following her logic in supporting the Iraq war and in voting for Bush’s Medicare plan.

Maybe Panetta isn’t her first choice, but she didn’t stop that from backing George Bush’s choices. Think Progress points out that Feinstein didn’t vote against any of George Bush’s key appointments. They also note that in defending her vote in favor of Porter Goss to be Director of  Central Intelligence  (DCI), Feinstein said:

I believe the President should have the prerogative to appoint who he wants to be the DCI, or for any other senior position, subject only to the requirement that the person be qualified for the job.

If she could vote for Bush’s appointees, why is there any question as to whether she will vote for this nomination by Obama? Not being a career  CIA official is hardly a meaningful reason considering all the pertinent experience Panetta does have. Matthew Yglesias points out that Porter Goss, George Tenent, John Deutsch, James Woolsey, William Webster, and George H. W. Bush were all chosen to head the CIA despite not being career intelligence officials. Panetta’s experience as White House chief of staff gave him more experience in handling intelligence than most people in government.