Friday, November 11, 2005
Christianville? Assumption Heights? Communion-by-the-Sea?
Ave Maria Town. From the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. [Tom] Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza and the school's principal benefactor, has announced plans to build a large Catholic university outside Naples, Fla., along with a residential community....
A May 2004 speech by Mr. Monaghan, given at a conference on business ethics, would seem to confirm this speculation. "We'll own all commercial real estate," Mr. Monaghan declared, describing his vision.
"That means we will be able to control what goes on there. You won't be able to buy a Playboy or Hustler magazine in Ave Maria Town. We're going to control the cable television that comes in the area. There is not going to be any pornographic television in Ave Maria Town. If you go to the drug store and you want to buy the pill or the condoms or contraception, you won't be able to get that in Ave Maria Town."
Ave Maria Town -- where the only people getting laid are the priests.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
White House Press Gaggle
... with your host, Scott McClellan.
Q Scott, some people have noted that it's more than a little ironic that a year ago, the U.S. was kicking down Ahmed Chalabi's door, and now he's being welcomed at the highest levels here in Washington. It seems to be a startling rehabilitation.
Q But here is a fellow who the Pentagon embraced, and then, a year later, couldn't get far enough away from, and now he seems to be -- is he back in the White House's good graces?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's up to the Iraqi people to blah blah.
Q How would you describe the White House's attitude toward him? Are you embracing him now? Is it strictly business?
MR. McCLELLAN: It's not -- I wouldn't -- blah.
Q You mentioned that the Vice President and the Secretary of State and Mr. Hadley will meet with him. How about the President? Will he meet with him at all?
MR. McCLELLAN: No [fucking way].
Q Scott, Chalabi is, as John pointed out, more than just a leader of Iraq now. He was a guiding force in lobbying this government to go to war in Iraq. Was he right, or wrong, about what he described as how the war would go, how the U.S. would be received, and whether Saddam was building weapons of mass destruction?
MR. McCLELLAN: [It's not for me to make those kind of judgments.
Q Why not?
MR. McCLELLAN: [Because.]
Q What does the President think about whether he was right or wrong?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President thinks it was right to remove Saddam Hussein's regime from power. And that's exactly what we did. He's still a little iff on the "descent into chaos" part.
Q Can I ask you on a different topic, on politics -- the Democrats are looking at the results on Election Night yesterday and saying this is an indication that the President is really unpopular and is a drag on the Republican Party now, going into midterm elections.
MR. McCLELLAN: [Really?]
Q Do you think that Republican candidates -- can you say now that you expect Republican candidates will embrace, will ask for, will want this President to campaign with them next year?
MR. McCLELLAN: [I guess.]
Q So he will help Republicans next year, he won't hurt them?
MR. McCLELLAN: [Sure. Why not?]
Q You're not in denial here? I mean, the President has got his lowest job approval ratings in his presidency. Do you not acknowledge that that's not, as Secretary Rumsfeld would say, not exactly helpful to Republicans?
MR. McCLELLAN: Blah --
Q -- the public doesn't agree with --
MR. McCLELLAN: Polls are snapshots in time.
Q It's quite a snapshot --
MR. McCLELLAN: [Snap!]
Q So the President is not a drag on the Republican Party?
MR. McCLELLAN: [The Republican Party is a drag on the Republican Party.].
Q But, Scott, is the President disappointed --
MR. McCLELLAN: [He doesn't even know there was an election.]
According to the poll, Bush’s approval rating stands at an all-time low of 38 percent, a one-point decline since October; in fact, this is the third consecutive NBC/Journal survey showing Bush at an all-time low on his job approval.
And it doesn’t stop there: Approval for his handling of the economy (34 percent), foreign policy (35 percent), terrorism (39 percent), and Iraq (32 percent) have all hit rock bottom.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Kansas -- Land of Magic
From the New York Times:
The fiercely split Kansas Board of Education voted 6 to 4 on Tuesday to adopt new science standards that are the most far-reaching in the nation in challenging Darwin's theory of evolution in the classroom.
The standards move beyond the broad mandate for critical analysis of evolution that four other states have established in recent years, by recommending that schools teach specific points that doubters of evolution use to undermine its primacy in science education.
Among the most controversial changes was a redefinition of science itself, so that it would not be explicitly limited to natural explanations.
In related evolutionary news, testimony has ended in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the Pennsylvania intelligent design case:
(Warning: approximate quotes ahead.) At close Pat Gillen remarked to Judge Jones, “Your honor, by my reckoning we have been here 40 days. That seems an auspicious number.” Jones replied, “So it seems, but it was not designed!” At which point the courtroom burst out in applause.
UPDATE: More evolutionary humor from Michael Berube:
The New York Times reports that the forces of the Enlightenment have come at last to my humble Commonwealth:
All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.
Now that’s what I call some of that there natural selection.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I just couldn’t resist.
Seriously, Enlightenment, I’m sorry we postmodernists said so many mean things about you. Can you forgive us? Tell you what. You get rid of that annoying “universalism as a stalking horse for imperialism” thing, and we’ll stop going around saying silly things like “reason is an instrument of terror.” Deal?