We’re finally getting some much-needed rain today – but not exactly energizing weather. I suspect I may be more energized than the Senate, which is due back later today. When they get back, they immediately need to start voting on the Patriot Act extension. I do not believe that we will be any less safe without the incredible amount of over-reach that we have allowed the NSA – especially since surveillance was not invented, or implemented, with the Act, and the amount of data they are collecting is too much to be truly useful, and I would, of course, like to see the law fade into oblivion. I somehow doubt that it will, though. My bet is still on a short-term extension – that way Congress can do what they seem to do best – postpone making any actual decisions.
“I really think the Patriot Act violates our Constitution. It was, it is, an illegal act. The Congress, the Senate and the president cannot change the Constitution.”
— Peter Camejo
In the realm of odd news, there was report last weekend, in the Charleston Daily Mail, that Kenneth Green has filed suit in federal court in West Virginia claiming that the teaching of evolution in public schools is a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause because evolution is a religion. Um, no, it isn’t, but perhaps more disturbingly, he seems to feel that this will, in some, way, prevent his daughter from becoming a veterinarian – I assume because biology has no place in medical training?
“Their actions during the 2014-2015 school year affects my child’s future directly through the state grading system to enter college and the ability to earn economic security and a good job in her chosen veterinarian medical field of work, by being taught a faith base (evolutionary ideology) that just doesn’t exist and has no math to back it,”
Well, okay,then. I expect the case to be dismissed without a trial, but he has explicitly requested a jury trial, and wants the federal courts to declare that teaching evolution is a violation of the Constitution. It isn’t, and the courts, including the Supreme Court in 1968, have ruled on that question previously. But you can’t blame the guy for trying…
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”
— Carl Sagan
And on to another week…