Thursday, March 31, 2005

This Might Show That We Actually Aren't Evolving

IMAX theaters in several Southern cities have decided not to show a film on volcanoes out of concern that its references to evolution might offend those with fundamentalist religious beliefs. The film, "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea," makes a connection, albeit briefly, between human DNA and microbes inside undersea volcanoes.

The moviemakers must not have been able to not figure out how to add a digital disclaimer sticker to the movie.

Fortunately, there is word that a museum in Charlotte, NC that had previously declined to show the film is reconsidering, likely responding to all the bad press. A museum in Forth Worth, Texas already agreed to show the film after initially rejecting it based, at least partially, on the evolutionary content.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Judge Stanley Birch, Jr. Stands Up for the Constitution

In an opinion issued today, Circuit Judge Stanley F. Birch, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (who was appointed by Pres. George H.W. Bush in 1990), stated the following:

“In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers’ blueprint for the governance of a free people — our Constitution.”
Thank you, Judge Birch.

Gannon's Back -- at the National Press Club?

James Guckert/Jeff Gannon (insert distasteful joke about male escorts here) has been invited by the National Press Club to take part in a panel discussion about blogging and journalism. The Press Club's Web site is calling the event a discussion about the differences between "bloggers" and "journalists." In response to criticism for including G/G, the Press Club added a bunch of other bloggers to the panel.

G/G told Editor & Publisher that he always considered himself a legitimate journalist, and "perhaps their invitation is recognition of that." Well, Jeff/Jim, they also invited "Wonkette" and no one has ever confused her with a journalist, so don't get your hopes up.

Even more proof that the Press Club isn't attempting to convey the title of "legitimate journalist" on this dude is the statement from Mike Madden, a Gannett News Service reporter and a member of the Press Club's Professional Affairs committee: "The panel came together because we wanted to discuss some issues that came about from the Gannon case. So we thought, why not try to get him?" Madden further stated G/G will be there "because the panel is presumably going to talk mostly about his case," that the panel "is not intended to be a forum for [G/G] to present his side unchallenged," and that "journalists should be given a chance to question him."

They're laughing at you Jeff/Jim, not with you.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

You'd Better Sit Down -- Tom DeLay May Be a Hypocrite

CNB took an unplanned blogging break (work, baby). Fortunately, nothing at all happened in the world but the Terri Schiavo mess.

Congress passes legislation to let federal courts review the case, every federal court that reviews it (including the Supreme Court) refuses to order the feeding tube to be reinserted, and no one in Florida touches this hot potato. As said here before, I feel great sympathy for her parents, but having Randall Terry be their spokesman (a man who once said "We want theocracy") makes me wonder if they may have stopped thinking solely of their daughter a long time ago. Then again, maybe these grief-stricken folks are just being manipulated by opportunists. For an objective assessment of Ms. Schiavo's condition from the court-appointed guardian ad litem, go here.

One of the most vocal supporters of Ms. Schaivo's parents has been Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), who said that the Schiavo case is "medical terrorism" and the temerity to say that the federal courts failed to follow the "clear intent" of Congress (which would have been to overturn 7 years of litigation in the Florida state courts).

However, today it was revealed that Mr. DeLay had a fairly similar situation with his own father (he was in a coma, not a persistent vegetative state). In that case, the family made the decision privately to take DeLay's father off of a ventilator. Is that "life support" in the same way as a feeding tube? Depends who you ask.

It would seem that it is no one's business what happened with the DeLay family, but I would think that thought would also have applied to the Schiavo family.