I Have A Nightmare: The Ghosts of 1968

Recent media coverage of the Obama campaign has taken on a new tone. He is now being talked about as if he will actually win the Democratic nomination and go no to face John MCain in November. That shift in tone has raised one very serious concern about Obama that I want to discuss today.

When the media and people in general talk about Barack Obama, they talk about his charisma, his ability to inspire people. That often leads to comparisons with Bobby Kennedy, the Democratic candidate in 1968, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the civil rights icon. Until recently, the comparisons were about similiarities in charisma and in the ability to inspire people to action, in other words, very positive things. But there is now a new comparison between Obama and these two political icons. Continue reading I Have A Nightmare: The Ghosts of 1968

“Like A Halfling With A Mohawk”

That’s how my eleven-year-old son, Michael, reacted when I rold him that a kindergartener in Parma, Ohio, had been suspended for haivng a mohwak haircut. I thought the description was quite funny and very appropriate. For those of you not familiar with what a halfing is, they are a race of humanoids in the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing universe who are very short. If you’ve read The Lord of the Rings or seen the movies, Frodo and his fellow hobbits are halfings.

But this post is not about D & D or Tolkien, Iit’s about personal freedom and school dress codes, an issue that Michael no longer has to worry about, since he goes to school online. But his sister Heidi, who attends the local public high school does. Personally, I think dress codes are a good idea, up to a point. Some things are not appropriate for school because they really would be a distraction to education, like a guy in a Speedo or a girl in a bikini, but a haricut?. Continue reading “Like A Halfling With A Mohawk”

The Party of Lincoln? Not Hardly!

Resolved, That we invite the affiliation and cooperation of the men of all parties, however differing from us in other respects, in support of the principles herein declared; and believing that the spirit of our institutions as well as the Constitution of our country, guarantees liberty of conscience and equality of rights among citizens, we oppose all legislation impairing their security.

From the Republican Part Platform of 1856
I grew up a Republican. In high school, I was the treasurer of the local chapter of the Teen Age Republicans and wemt to the state convention in 1964 as an official delegate. Continue reading The Party of Lincoln? Not Hardly!

Some REAL Freedom Fighters

I am a member of the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s mailing list. The other dai got their newsletter, The EFFector, which contained the following press release that I want to shre with all of you. The winners of EFF’s Pioneer Award are, IMHO, the kind of “freedom fighters” this wolrd needs more of.

Open Source Advocate, Canadian Copyfighter, and AT&T Whistleblower Win Pioneer Awards
Mitchell Baker and the Mozilla Foundation, Michael Geist, and Mark Klein to be Honored at San Diego Award Ceremony
Continue reading Some REAL Freedom Fighters

Science and Religion: More Debate or Dialogue?

Somemtines when I write an article, I start off with a set plan on what to write. I have s definite point I want to make or to explain. Then, as I write and my ideas unfold, I sort of run out of gas and don’t really make the point or complete the explanation. That’s sort of what happened with Part 2.

I set out to make the point that the relationship between science and religion is really more of a dialogue than a debate, but I never really completely developed that argument. So, today I want to try to clarify and conplete that discussion. Continue reading Science and Religion: More Debate or Dialogue?

Bring Back Bobby

It seems that the head basketball coach at Indiana Universrty is in trouble with the NCAA for rules infractions that will more than likely lead to some sort of NCAA sanctions for the Universirt. That never happened under Bobby Knight.

Yes, Knight has a temper and tes, that has led to some inappropriate behavior. But Knight never cheated and he always made sure his players put academics before basketball. Not only is Bobby Knight the wninningest coach is Divisiom I but he has, U believe, the highest graduation rate of any of his peer

Science and Religion: Debate or Dialogue?

I saw a post a week or so ago about a formal debate between science and religion. I did not read because I think the idea of a debate between science and religion is absolutely ludicrous. The two fields need to establish some serious lines of communication, to set up a permanent dialogue, not debating which is more relevant or more important or whatever. As I said in Part 1, they are not mutually exclusive and there is a close symbiotic relationship between the two: you cannot do religion without taking science into consideration.

By that, I do not mean that religion should be refuting science or vice versa. Rather, religion needs to account for and incorporate the latest scientific discoveries into its interpretation of Scripture and its explanation of its message. For you to understand what I mean by all of that, we need to set forth some conceptual definitions. I am going to skip defining religion since I already did that in Part 1. Continue reading Science and Religion: Debate or Dialogue?

The Winds of Change Are Blowing

“I think it’s the difference between their party and our party,” said Robert M. Duncan, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. “They have a more liberal constituency. And the country is center-right.”

“It comes down to the issues,” Mr. Duncan said. “I honestly believe this: I can’t remember a better contrast for us between our candidate and the Democratic candidates during my lifetime.”

That quote from Mr. Duncan contains the issue that is at the very heart of the 2008 Presidential election, but not in the way Mr. Duncan sees it. Yes, this election does offer the greatest contrast between the two candidates in a very long time, and that will be even more true should Barack Obama be the nominee for the Democrats. But the reaction of the voters will not be what Mr. Duncan expects. Continue reading The Winds of Change Are Blowing

Barack Obama and the Little People

Political campaigns are abour money, at least as long as the electoral system stays as it is now. And the way most politicians, well all of them with one very important exception, raise campaign funds is though high-ticket fundraisers. And these fundraisers are what leads to the influence peddlers and the power of special interest groups. The received wisdom among political operatives is that you cannot raise enough money for a serious campaign from small-amount donors.

Well, Barack Obama proves that you can! You only have to find the right solution to the problem. The fact that he did bodes very well for how well he will be able to find solutions to the problems he will face as our next President.

Obama solved the problem of raising lots of money from small-amount donors by using the Internet! Continue reading Barack Obama and the Little People

The Relationship of Science and Religion

“Science is essentially asking why things happen and of course it’s been very successful in answering that question, but it’s not the only question to ask about what’s going on. You can also ask if there’s any meaning and purpose in what is going and that’s the subject of religion. They’re asking different questions and they’re looking at different types of experience.
Rev. Dr. Sir John Polkinghorne, physicist and theologian

That is a quote from The Scotsman, a very respected British newspaper, interview with the Rev. Dr. Sir John Polkinghorne, who is recognized as an expert in both religion and science. I found this interview extremely thoughtful and, obviously, quite interesting. I too have a background that includes both science and religion, although not as extensive and the Reverend Doctor’s. So my own views on the relation of science and religion are very close to his. Continue reading The Relationship of Science and Religion