Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Back on the Chain Gang

Today is the first workday of the 2007-2008 school year, and the kids show up tomorrow. I'm teaching 7th and 8th grade Social Studies this year. We're also changing over to a new online attendance system and gradebook. Oh well, at least I'll get November off.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Saving Grace

Just saw the first episode. It's definitely not your typical TV show. It was good enough to draw me in for the next show. Holly Hunter is still looking good, and whoever cast the actor playing the angel is a genius.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Spark "em Up!

Haile Selassie was born 115 years ago today. He was the emperor of Ethiopia for 44 years. He died in 1975.

But what is most interesting about his life is the fact that on an island half a world away (Jamaica), he became a living god. A religion was formed in the 1930's among adherents of Marcus Garvey's back to Africa movement. It was called the Rastafari Movement, and it is primarily known by its use of reggae music, dreadlocks and marijuana.

It is one of those things that is almost too weird to be true. But true it is.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"The Eagle Has Landed..."

Thirty-eight years ago today, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. The dreams of countless generations had finally been realized. Unfortunately we failed to properly follow up on this triumph. We haven't been back to the Moon since December 1972. In fact we haven't left low Earth orbit since then. Many people thought we would have colonized the Moon by now, many of us think we should have. It is a hopeful sign that NASA's post shuttle plans do include a return to the Moon, and an eventual manned trip to Mars. We have the technology to colonize the Moon, we lack only the will.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

R.I.P. Mary Jo Kopechne

Thirty-eight years ago today, Mary Jo Kopechne was killed by Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy (Dem.-Mass.).

On July 18, 1969, Mary Jo and five other single women who had worked for Robert Kennedy's campaign attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island with six married men. (None of their wives were present) Sen. Kennedy and Mary Jo left the party together at 11:15. P.M.. According to Sen. Kennedy, he made a wrong turn, and drove off a bridge and into a small lake.

Sen. Kennedy got out of the car, and says he made several attempts to rescue Mary Jo, but she drowned. He then walked back to the party, (ignoring nearby houses) and talked to his cousin, Joe Gargan, and Paul Markham who were both lawyers. All three of them returned to the scene of the crash.

None of the three told anyone else about the crash for the next ten hours. Sen. Kennedy ended up pleading guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing an injury. His sentence was a two month suspeneded sentence and a year of probation.

Despite this tragedy and the cover up, Sen. Kennedy continues to serve as a Senator and even ran for president once. Most people are convinced that the true story has never come out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Whoopi Goldberg

I'm sitting here watching Whoopi on Bravo doing a monologue (it's actually more of a dialog with the studio audience), and I am amazed at how much of what she is saying that I agree with. Her best riff so far is when she talked about how her generation raised their kids without manners and as a result, that generation is raising their children as barbarians.

Whoopi has done this to me in the past. One time she comes out talking sense, and ther next she is a raving lunatic. And you know what, I bet she likes it that way.

The USSR Was Born in Evil.....

Eighty-nine years ago today, the Bolshevik Party ordered the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family. He had already abdicated over a year earlier. The Communists were already firmly in power, and the only question was which faction would run the country. There was no legitemate reason for these murders. The communists continued as they began.......


Fifty-two years ago today, Waly Disney combined two great American institutions, pop culture and capitalism; and opened up his first theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California.

Walt also exploited an emerging American institution, television, by having the grand opening shown live on TV. Whatever else you think about Uncle Walt, he knew how to make a buck. He took a primitive cartoon about a mouse (originally named Mortimer) and turned it into a trillion dollar, worldwide empire. There are Disneyland parks in Paris and Tokyo, and a Disneyworld park in Orlando Florida. There are at least a half dozen companion parks. (many based on water themes)

It's the Economy, Stupid! (isn't it?) Pt. 2

This is kind of a follow up to yesterday's post about the DJIA. Twenty years ago today (July 17, 1987) the DJIA closed above 2,500 points for the first time in history. (2510) Today the DJIA closed at 13,950 points. Look at those numbers! the DJIA more than quintupled in value in twenty years! Twenty years of almost interrupted phenomenal growth!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Man I'm Getting Old........

Phoebe Cates was born on this date in 1963. That means she is 44 years old this year! What the hell? How did we get so old so fast?

It's the Economy, Stupid! (Isn't it?)

Ten years ago today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJIA) hit an all-time high, passing 8,000 points for the first time.

Friday, the DJIA closed at 13,907 points setting a new record. Look at the past ten years the DJIA has nearly doubled...despite the attack on 9/11 and the Iraq war and occupation. The DJIA fell nearly 700 points or 7.1% the first trading day after the attack, (the largest one day point drop ever) and 14.3% by the end of that week. By Oct. 2002, the DJIA closed at a low of 7,286 points. That means there is a very good chance that by Oct. 2007, the DJIA could have doubled in five years.

Did you hear any stories about this on TV this weekend? Did you read any stories about this in your newspaper this weekend? No? I wonder why not?

I wonder if it has anything to do with a reluctance to credit a Republican president, or Republican tax cuts for this growth?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Computers Twenty Five Years Ago

Here is a link to an article written twenty-five years ago this month by James Fallows about personal computers and word processing. It really is an illustration of just how far we have come. He brags that his computer has 48 K of current (cheap) computer has 1 GB of RAM. He has an 8 bit processing processor is based on a 64 bit chip. He has a 12 inch green TV monitor. I have a 19 inch HD flatscreen. He begins with two tape machines for storage (and upgrades to floppys with 100 K of storage) I have a 320 GB internal hard drive, a 120 GB external hard drive, and my 3.5 floppys hold 1 MB. My flashdrive holds 2 GB) He has a converted IBM selectric typewriter as a printer. I have a cheap ($50) laser printer that is inconceivably better.

One of the dangers he talks about is becoming addicted to the computer. This is in the days before public access to the internet, the world wide web (WWW), ISPs and anything but the utmost basic of graphics. I wonder where he is today, and how he is coping? Well it looks like he is still writing, and still using new technology.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Robert Heinlein

Today was the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the world's greatest science fiction writers, Robert Heinlein. Talk to almost any current sci fi writer, or any of the people involved with the efforts to exploit space, and most will tell you they grew up reading his stuff. I sure did. His wrote excellent juvenile sci fi. Books like Have Space Suit, Will Travel ; Space Cadet ; Rocket Ship Galileo ; and Tunnel in the Sky will sometimes seem formulaic when read today. What you have to remember however is that Heinlein was usually the one who invented the formula. The science can seem quaint and outdated, but again when you realize these works were written in the late 1940's and the 1950's, it helps to put things in perspective. These early works did more than open up sci fi to a wide audience of young boys (and eventually girls), it helped sci fi make the transition from pulp magazine to where it is today.

Perhaps his most famous book is Starship Troopers . Ignore the movie, it is NOT a faithful rendition of the novel. The book is not about space combat. It is often called fascist, but that is a misunderstanding of the book. It is about the responsibility of being a citizen in a republic, and the dangers of mass democracy. The book doesn't glorify the military, it glorifies responsibility.

The transition from his juvenile novels to his adult novels can be quite jarring. (Especially you make that transition while still a juvenile as I did.) His adult novels deal with adult themes, including sex and drugs. (some of his sexual themes include not only incest and homosexuality, but sex with clones of one self) Many consider him one of the fathers of the sexual revolution and counterculture movement of the 1960's. Some of these books are Stranger in a Strange Land ; The Cat Who Walks Through Walls ; The Moon is a Harsh Mistress ; and Time Enough for Love. These books revolutionised science fiction. No longer was sci fi relegated to ray guns, bug-eyed monsters and spaceships. These books grapple with all of the problems of humanity in a thoughtful and logical way. Whatever else, Heinlein will leave you thinking.

These later works do something very rewarding for the Heinlein fan. By various plot devices including time travel, cloning, immortality and the creation of different dimensions, Heinlein ties almost all of his works into one coherent universe. It was a welcome surprise to be reading one of his later, adult, titles and have some of your favorite childhood characters re-emerge. The practice of creating a universe of your own to explore and write in is fairly commonplace today (Asimov's Foundation universe, Weber's Harrington universe, and Niven's universe as examples), but it wasn't when Heinlein did it. Most books were either stand alones, or parts of an explicit series. Heinlein was further challenged in that he created his universe retroactively, long after his most of his books had been written.

Lastly Heinlein has had an effect on the very vocabulary we use today. Many people use his acronym TANSTAAFL (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch) with no idea of where it comes from. It is included in numerous economics and political science textbooks. A less commonly used word, but still seem from time to time is grok. Also, like many sci fi authors he has had his work adopted by scientists and engineers, like the term waldo.

The US Supreme Court Today

I have just finished Jan Crawford Greenburg's recent book Supreme Conflict. It was a pretty interesting book, dealing mainly with the transformation from the Rhenquist Court to the Roberts Court. It talked a lot about the nomination and confirmation process post Roe V Wade.

I was struck by one passage in particular however:

"Jones's experience shows that abortion, for such a controversial and divisive issue, can produce a remarkably lopsided debate during the confirmation process. Republican nominees walk a minefield, knowing vocal opposition to Roe or even criticism of it, could doom their chances. But democratic nominees are assumed to support the abortion right and have been easily confirmed" (pg. 225)

What struck me about the quote was the matter of fact way it was presented, with no further discussion or analysis. The quote is undeniably true, but surely some discussion of why it is true was warranted?

There have been eleven rejected nominations to the Supreme Court. Three of these have been Democrats, five of them Republican.

Two of the three rejected Democratic nominees were nominated by President Cleveland in his second (non-consecutive) administration. William Hornblower was defeated 24-30, and Wheeler Hazard Peckham was defeated 32-41 in a 1894 Senate in which there were 44 Democrats, 40 Republicans, and 4 others. The opposition to these nominees was lead by Democratic Senator David Hill who had opposed Cleveland for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1892. The third was George Washington Woodward in 1845, who was rejected (20-29) by a Democratic majority Senate (34-22) after a failed Senate run in 1844.

So the last Democratic Supreme Court nominee to be rejected was in 1894, and all three were done in by fellow Democrats.

The first of the five rejected Republican nominees was Ebenezer R. Hoar by President Grant in 1870, by a vote of 24-33. The senate was dominated by the Republicans 62-12. The second was John J. Parker, nominated by President Hoover. He was rejected 39-41 (by one vote) in a Senate with 56 Republicans, 39 Democrats, and an independent. His nomination was strongly opposed by the labor unions and the NAACP. Next was Clement Haynsworth, nominated by President Nixon in 1969. He was rejected 45-55 in a Senate dominated by Democrats 64-36. He too was opposed by the NAACP, but he was also attacked by liberal Republicans. 38 Democrats and 17 Republicans voted against him. The fourth was Harold Carswell, nominated by President Nixon in 1970. He lost 45-51, in a Senate divided 57-43 in favor of the Democrats. He was attacked as a segregationist, and his competency was challenged. 38 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted against him. The last nominee rejected was Robert Bork. He was nominated by President Reagan in 1987. He lost 42-58 in a Senate divided 55-45 in favor of the Democrats. He was heavily opposed by liberal special interest groups.

So the last four rejected nominees (and all the nominees rejected in the 20th Century) were all Republicans.

The only Democratic Supreme Court nomination to fail in the 20th century was when LBJ tried to elevate Associate Justice Fortas to the Chief Justice. Fortas was accused of being too political (he was a close confidant of LBJ) and was under suspicion of financial impropriety. (In fact he was later forced to resign as an Associate Justice for financial improprieties) His nomination was withdrawn.

The last Democratic Nominees were:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - confirmed 96-3, even though she had been a prominent lawyer for the ACLU (The ACLU has formally opposed the nominations of three justices in their 85 year career: Alito, Bork and Rehnquist. All conservative, all post Roe.)

Stephen Bryer - confirmed 87-9

The last two Republican nominees were:

John Roberts 78-22

Sam Alito 58-42

Republican senators are much more willing to vote in favor of Democratic nominees than Democratic senators are willing to vote for Republican nominees.

Special note also has to be made about the treatment Judge Robert Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas have received. Both men were savaged by liberal special interest groups and Democratic senators. No comparable actions have ever been taken against Democratic nominees. Instead, they are treated with deference and respect. Sam Alito also faced a concerted opposition from liberal special interest groups, and a hostile Democratic Senate.

There has also been a curious phenomena of Republican Justices drifting (in some cases racing) to the left and becoming liberals once on the Supreme Court. It begins with Chief Justice Burger in 1969, then Blackmun(1970), Stevens (1975 and still on the Court), O'Connor (1981), Kennedy (1988), and Souter (1990). All six of these Justices were expected to be judicial conservatives, but instead all have been instrumental in some way in preserving the liberal nature of the Court. One explanation for this effect is that Republican presidents tend to nominate candidates that are "confirm-able", meaning that they can garner some Democratic support, and thus have some liberal tendencies. Democratic presidents however feel free to nominate solidly liberal Justices, knowing that Republican senators are much more likely to defer to a Democratic president's wishes. (no Democratic nominee has had even 20 votes against him since Brandeis with 22 no votes in 1916, and then we have to go back to Cleveland's nominees for significant opposition..and it was mainly Democratic opposition) The other common explanation is that conservative justices are "corrupted" by the eastern liberal establishment, and a desire to please the liberal media.

Surely at least some of the points I have outlined above are worth at least a mention when the confirmation process is being discussed?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Failed US Supreme Court Nominations

1) Robert Harrison, nominated (and confirmed by voice vote) as an Associate Justice to the original Court by President Washington in September, 1789. He declined to serve.

2) William Paterson, nominated as an Associate Justice by President Washington in February 1793. His nomination was withdrawn one day after it was initially made. He was then re-nominated the next month and confirmed two days later by voice vote.

3) John Rutledge (formerly an Associate Justice), was nominated in a recess appointment as Chief Justice by President Washington in July 1795. His confirmation was rejected in December 1795 by a vote of 10-14 and he resigned. Opposition was centered on his denunciation of the Jay Treaty, and questions regarding his sanity. He served one term as Chief Justice.

4) William Cushing (a sitting Associate Justice), was nominated as Chief Justice by President Washington in January 1796. He was confirmed by the Senate, and sat for two days as the Chief Justice. He then resigned citing reasons of health, and returned to his seat as an Associate Justice. He is officially listed as declining the nomination.

5) John Jay (formerly Chief Justice), was nominated as Chief Justice by President John Adam in December 1800. He declined the nomination.

6) Levi Lincoln, Sr., was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Madison in January 1811. He declined.

7) Alexander Wolcott, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Madison in February 1811. He was rejected 9-24, largely due to his earlier actions as a customs inspector.

8) John Quincy Adams, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Madison in February 1811. He declined, and later went on to serve as President and a member of the House of Representatives. (nearly becoming the first person to serve in all three branches of the federal government)

9) John J. Crittenden, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President John Quincy Adams in Dec. 1828. His was the first nomination to last more than a couple of weeks before the Senate either confirmed or rejected. His nomination was postponed by a vote of 23-17 in February 1829, probably due to the fact that President Jackson (a political foe) was due to assume office the next month. It should also be noted that Crittenden served in the Senate both before and after his nomination, which might explain why his nomination was not rejected outright.

10) Roger B. Taney, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Jackson in January 1835. His nomination was postponed by a vote of 24-21 in March of 1835. He was then nominated as Chief Justice in December 1835, and confirmed 29-15 in March of 1836.

11) William Smith, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Jackson in March 1837, and confirmed 23-18. He declined the seat.

12) John Canfield Spencer, was first nominated as an Associate Justice by President Tyler in January 1844. He was rejected 21-26.

13) Reuben Walworth, was first nominated as an Associate Justice by President Tyler in March of 1844. His nomination was tabled by the Senate on a vote of 27-20 in June 1844, and then withdrawn.

14) Edward King, was first nominated as an Associate Justice by President Tyler in June of 1884. The Senate almost immediately postponed consideration on a vote of 29-18.

15) John Canfield Spencer, was again nominated as an Associate Justice by President Tyler on June 17, 1844, but the nomination was withdrawn on the same day.

16) Reuben Walworth, was nominated as an Associate Justice for the second time by President Tyler on June 17, 1844, but the Senate took no action on it.

17) Edward King, was again nominated as an Associate Justice by President Tyler in December 1844. His nomination was withdrawn in February 1845.

18) Reuben Walworth, was nominated as an Associate Justice for the third time by President Tyler in December 0f 1844. His nomination was withdrawn in February of 1845.

19) John M. Read, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Tyler in February 1845. The senate took no action it. (Probably because a new administration was due to begin the next month)

In a period lasting a little over a year from January 1844 to February 1845, President Tyler nominated five men a total of nine times, and only one, Samuel Nelson, was confirmed.

20) George Woodward, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Polk in December 1845. He was rejected by the Senate on a vote of 20-29 in January 1846.

21) Edward Bradford, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Fillmore in August of 1852. The Senate never acted on the nomination.

22) George Edmund Badger, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Fillmore in January 1853. The nomination was withdrawn in February 1853. He was serving in the Senate during the period of his nomination.

23) William Micou, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Fillmore in February 1853. The nomination was not acted on, probably because a new administration would take office a month later.

24) Jeremiah S. Black, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Buchanan in February 1861. The Senate refused to act on his nomination on a vote of 25-26. A new administration would enter office a month later.

25) Henry Stanberry, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Andrew Johnson in April 1866. The Senate never officially acted on the nomination. However they did eliminate the seat on the Supreme Court he was nominated for.

26) Ebenezer R. Hoar, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Grant in December 1869. He was rejected by the senate on a vote of 24-33 in February 1870.

27) George Henry Williams, was nominated as Chief Justice by President Grant in December 1873. The nomination was withdrawn in January of 1874.

28) Caleb Cushing, was nominated as Chief Justice by President Grant in January 1874. His nomination was withdrawn a week later.

29) Thomas Stanley Matthews, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Hayes in January 1881. The Senate took no action. He was renominated later that year by President Garfield and confirmed.

30) Roscoe Conkling, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Arthur in February 1882. He declined.

31) William Hornblower, was first nominated as an Associate Justice by President Cleveland in Sept. 1893. The Senate took no action.

32) William Hornblower was again nominated as an Associate Justice by President Cleveland in December 1893. He was rejected 24-30 in January 1894.

33) Wheeler Hazard Peckham, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Cleveland in January 1894. The Senate rejected him 32-41 in February 1894.

Hornblower and Peckham were victims of a Democratic party political rivalry between Pres. Cleveland and Sen. David Hill. Peckham's brother would be later nominated and serve.

34) Pierce Butler, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Harding in November 1922. The Senate took no action. He was renominated a month later and confirmed.

35) John J. Parker, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Hoover in March 1930. He was rejected by the Senate 39-41, in May, 1930. He was opposed by labor unions and the NAACP.

36) John Marshall Harlan II, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Eisenhower in November 1954. The Senate failed to act. He was renominated by President Eisenhower in January 1955 and confirmed.

37) Abe Fortas (a sitting Associate Justice), was nominated as Chief Justice by President Lyndon Johnson in June 1968. The nomination was withdrawn in October 1968.

38) Homer Thornberry, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Lyndon Johnson in June 1968. The senate never acted, because the seat he was nominated for was not vacated by Associate Justice Fortas.

39) Clement Haynsworth, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Nixon in August 1969. He was rejected by the Senate 45-55, in November of 1969. He was opposed by liberals and the NAACP.

40) Harold Carswell, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Nixon in January 1970. He was rejected by the Senate 45-51, in April 1970. He faced charges of promoting segregation.

41) Robert Bork, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President Ronald Reagan in July 1987. He was rejected by the Senate 42-58 in October 1987. He was opposed by the ACLU and abortion rights organizations.

42) John Roberts, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President G.W. Bush in July 2005. His nomination was withdrawn in September 2005. He was immediately renominated as Chief Justice and confirmed.

43) Harriet Miers, was nominated as an Associate Justice by President G.W. Bush in Oct. 2005. Her nomination was withdrawn later that month. She was opposed mainly by conservatives within her own party who were worried she would turn liberal as other Republican nominees have done.

So, of the 43 failed nominations:

7 nominees declined. (one of them continued to serve as an Associate Justice, one had formerly served as chief Justice) The last time a nominee declined was in 1882.

11 nominees were withdrawn. ( two were later renominated and served, one was later renominated and didn't serve, one withdrew from Chief Justice, but continued to serve as an Associate Justice)

11 nominees were rejected by the Senate. (one served a single term as a recess appointment, one was later renominated)

3 nominees were postponed. (one was later renominated and served, one was later renominated and didn't serve)

The Senate took no action on 11 nominees. (two were later renominated and didn't serve, three were later renominated and served)

Slow Songs

One of the woman I went to high school with (Hi Beth!) asked us to come up with a list of our favorite slow songs yesterday. This is what I have come up with so far:

1)Wishing on a Star - Rose Royce
2) Three Times a Lady - Commodores
3)Always and Forever - Heatwave
4)How 'Bout Us? - Champaign
5)Shining Star - Manhattans
6)True - Spandau Ballet
7)I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner
8)Cherish - Kool and the Gang
9)Kiss and Say Goodbye - Manhattans
10) I Want to Be Your Man - Zapp & Roger
11)Just Once - Quincy Jones
12) Baby Come to Me - Patti Austin & James Ingram
13)Nights in White Satin - Moody Blues
14)Tonight I Celebrate My Love - Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack
15)You're the Inspiration - Chicago
16) You are My Lady - Freddie Jackson
17)I Just Wanna Stop - Gino Vannelli
18) Always - Atlantic Starr
19)Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye
20) Shake You Down - Gregory Abbott
21)Up Where We Belong - Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
22)Almost Paradise - Ann Wilson
23) Shower Me with Your Love - Surface
24)If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
25)Two Occasions - The Deele
26)I'll Stand By You - Pretenders
27)Never Knew Love Like This Before - Stephanie Mills
28)Reunited - Peaches & Herbs
29)Without You - Harry Nilsson
30)Endless Love - Diana Ross & Lionel Ritchie
31)How Much I Feel - Ambrosia
32)Beth - Kiss
33)Babe (I'm leaving) - Styx
34)Still Loving You - Scorpions
35)The Flame - Cheap Trick
36)Two Out of Three Ain't Bad - Meatloaf
37)Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynrd
38)Stairway to Heaven - Led Zepplin
39)Open Arms - Journey
40)Waiting for a Girl Like You - Foreigner

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Everyday American Hero - Burt Brady

Happy Birthday USA!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Remember to spare a moment from the beer and hotdogs to give a little appreciate for the magnificent country we live in!

Sunday, July 01, 2007


I got called racist again today. This time it was because I think everyone should be treated equally, and I want to end race based preferences. (Yes, I know it doesn't make sense to me either.) It happened online, and I will never meet the person making the insult, so it really shouldn't bother me, but it does.

I mean how can you defend youself from such a defamation? If you deny it, it quickly turns into a childish "Am not" "Are too" argument.

If I respond with facts from my life (My best friend is a Black man married to a White woman, my three closest co-workers are two Black women and another Black man married to a White woman, in college my closest friends at USC were an Iranian-American and a Black man and at Cal State a Hispanic woman and her White eventual husband) I sound like I am making the tired old "some of my best friends are Black" argument.

It's just extremely frustrating and I wish I could come up with an effective response.

Some Religious Practices Are More Equal Than Others.......

The newest fad to hit the educational establishment is trancendental meditation. There are schools all across the country teaching our kids, and devoting class time, to transcendental medititation (TM).

Excuse me? TM is a religious practice. It is directly equivelent to the Western practice of silent prayer. Given that the Supreme Court has ruled that you cannot have a silent prayer or prayer in school, how is this kosher?

"Supporters believe the program, which requires participants to sit quietly in a deep rest for 20 minutes at the start and at the end of the school day, allows the brain to tap into a reservoir of energy and intelligence."

Has anyone done a study to see if 20 minutes of silent prayer would accomplish the same thing? I bet it would.

I tell you what, if my prinicpal ever instructs me to begin this practice, there will be a lawsuit challenging the practice.