Cross-currents has published an article by Rabbi Avi Shafran on intelligent design, which I think is worth a read, whether you agree or disagree with ID.
The Rabbi gives a perspective on the controversy from the writings of Maimonides, one of Judaism’s greatest scholars.
The article was originally published in the Jewish Observer.
La Shawn Barber presents an interesting story that should convince you, (if you’re not already convinced), that NPR is a bastion of liberalism, along with some links explaining ID.
Both Shafran and Barber point out that Evolutionary theory has taken on the defacto status of the state religion, to the extent that some within the scientific community will stop at nothing to keep out any competition in the public arena with their pet theory.

I think, too, that this is one of those situations where traditional Jews and Christians have the opportunity to focus on what we have in common, with neither side compromising on principles.
Enjoy.

As seen at: Third World County, Stray Dog, and Bloggin’ Outloud.

Taken from customerservant.com

The following is an example of justice gone horribly wrong.
In fact, to call it justice would be a total perversion of the concept.
Picture this senario.
You’re asleep in your house, and someone breaks down your door and enters.
That alone would make me think of shooting someone.
But, as if that wasn’t enough, the individual who has just broken into your home is dressed in paramilitary gear and armed, and you have a child to protect.
Now, unless you absolutely abhor guns and violence, your first thought will most likely be to defend your home and your family, and in most cases, you’d be perfectly within the law to do so.
But according to Radley Balko, Cory Maye has been convicted and sentenced to death for doing exactly that.
Late in 2001, Oficer Ron Jones collected a tip that Jamie Smith, who lived opposite Cory Maye in a duplex, was selling drugs out of his home.
Jones passed the tip on to the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force, a regional police agency charged with the task of conducting drug raids in Prentiss, Mississippi and four surrounding counties.
As a reward for his tip, Jones was given the opportunity to come along on the raid, and he accepted.
On the night of December 26th, the members of the task force donned paramilitary gear, and conducted a drug raid on Smith’s house.
Since they neglected to practice due diligence, they failed to realize that the other half of the duplex was rented by Maye and his girlfriend with their one-year-old daughter, and that Maye had no relationship with Smith.

As the raid progressed, Jones and other officers went around to what they thought was a side door to Smith’s house, broke it down, and entered, looking for a bigger stash.
Jones was unarmed, which further damns the police, in my oppinion, because it indicates that they believed that the other side of the duplex was also Smith’s residence.
At trial, the police said that they announced themselves.
I’m inclined to disbelieve this, because they wouldn’t have entered the other side of the duplex unarmed if they believed it was someone else’s residence, and if they believed it was part of Smith’s residence, they wouldn’t have announced themselves a second time after having already entered from the side that actually belonged to Smith.
For the sake of argument, we’ll concede that the police announced themselves.
If I’m asleep in my home, and someone breaks in, what they’re announcing isn’t the first thing I’d think of when I was awakened by all the noise.
I’d awaken to the realization that someone was breaking into my house, and I’d do exactly what May did.
Start shooting.
Maye had no prior record, and thus had no reason to assume that the cops would be stopping by for a late night peak around the place.
Fearing for his life and the life of his daughter, he fired on Jones, hitting him in the abdomen, just below his bullet-proof vest.
Jones died a short time later from his wounds.
Maye wasn’t the target of the search warrant.
And, though the police initially concluded that no drugs were found in his apartment, they later announced that traces of cocaine and marijuana were found.
Even if drugs had been found, the find would be irrelevant, since the warrant didn’t apply to Maye.
Anyone who watches Law And Order would know that, so the cops definitely should.
The trial jury overlooked this fact, and convicted Maye in January of 2004.
He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Apparently the facts of the case never entered the Jury’s collective mind.
They convicted Maye because they didn’t like his lawyer, thought he was spoiled by his grandmother, and had no respect for authority figures.
Ain’t justice grand.
And as if that weren’t enough of a travisty, the same elites who can manage to defend a man like Stanley Tookie Williams because they say he’s reformed, can’t manage to come to the defense of a man whose civil rights have been violated in the worst way possible.
No one’s making TV movies, no one’s protesting.
They’re just content to let him sit in jail, awaiting his execution.
I believe that the reason this case hasn’t garnered any celebrity support is because there’s no political angle to it.
In other words, there’s nothing to be gained by supporting this man.
There’s more publicity in supporting a gang founder who’s been nominated for a Peace Prize.
I agree with Glen Reynolds that this man should never have been charged, and that the person acting unreasonably bears the risk.
Jones’s death was a tragedy, but one that could have been prevented.
Jones put himself in the situation, and paid the consequences.
I think this case is a prime example of why no knock raids should be illegal.
I can’t think of any reason why the police need to enter anyone’s home unannounced.
One final point.
As much as I hate it when people play the race card, or the preference card, or whatever card they think they can use in order to get their way, this time it looks like it actually applies.
Cory Maye is a black man, Jones was a white cop, as well as the son of the Prentiss Chief of Police, and the jury was white.
You connect the dots.

Taken from customerservant.com

There’s apparently an article in today’s Daily Rejecter about a beer actually called Hebrew.
The company (Genesis Ale) marketing the brew has a motto of “Don’t pass out, Pass Over.”
The alcohol content is nine percent, which is quite high for a beer.
It’s currently being marketed and sold in Colorado and fourteen other states.
I’ll have to be on the lookout (or pay someone in one of the targeted states) for Hebrew to start showing up in stores in my area.

Taken from customerservant.com

According to this, the piece posted on this site supposedly written by the doctor from Mississippi has an undetermined status. In other words, its varacity is doubtful. I’ve also had several comments to that effect, and would like to thank my commenters for pointing this out. It’s one thing if it’s actually going on, but none of us needs to be the unwitting or witting spreader of junk emails, and, sadly, blogs seem to be the perfect place for that.

Taken from customerservant.com

While reading one of the blogs listed on my blogroll, I found out about something called a carnival. Basically, a carnival is an effort by a group of bloggers to cull articles and posts from various blogs fitting specific criteria set out by the host of the carnival, and then having links to the submissions culled together in one article. It’s a way to generate publicity with a group effort. I don’t know how well this works with LiveJournal, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. You can submit posts to a number of carnivals by going to Taken from customerservant.com

This is just too much.
Why is it that everywhere seems to be reverting to a high school mentality?
I remember being told not to wear offensive t-shirts in school, as well as during the orientation at work.
Those places are fine.
But on airplanes too?
Come on!
Personally, I don’t agree with the t-shirt mentioned in this article, but whether or not the t-shirt, (or others similar to it) are worn shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
It’s not like anyone’s forcing anyone else to look at the thing.
I can already see where this has the potential of going.
It’s going to have the fundamentalists, (along with a bunch of other people) up in arms, and this time, I happen to agree with them.
All it will take is for someone to get offended by a shirt that says something like “If you don’t like the heat, stay out of hell”, and the t-shirt wearer will be kicked off the plane faster than you can say Halleluyah.
This ranks up there with the story about Muslim employees in British public offices getting offended by Whinnie the Pooh and Piglet toys.
People, get over yourselves!
I suppose, though, that the argument could be made that the airlines want to make sure that the planes maintain some sort of sudo business atmosphere, and that would be fine if the only people, or the majority thereof, traveled solely on business.
I might have to pass this one on to some of the people I know who make business trips frequently to get another perspective.
But for now, the whole thing sounds pretty ridiculous.
The below article is taken from today’s edition of the New York Times.

Passengers, Check Your T-Shirt Before Boarding

By [3]MICHELLE O’DONNELL

ALONG with lighters, penknives and other forbidden
objects on
airplanes, you can now add something entirely new:
T-shirts with
objectionable messages.

On Tuesday, Lorrie Heasley was forced to leave
Southwest Airlines
Flight 219, departing Reno, Nev., because she was
wearing a T-shirt
that featured pictures of President George W. Bush,
Vice President
Richard Cheney
and Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice
and an
expletive phrase playing on the title of the popular
movie, “Meet the
Fockers.”
Ms. Heasley, 32, a lumber saleswoman who was
traveling with her
husband, said she bought the shirt as a gag while
visiting Venice
Beach, Calif.
So when can a T-shirt, admittedly vulgar, get you
thrown off a plane?
It depends on the airline. When asked this week,
many airlines said
they must balance between protecting one passenger’s
rights and making
sure the comfort of other passengers is not
compromised. Some, like
United and Midwest Airlines, said they would not
remove a passenger
over language on a shirt. Others referred to their
policies on
passenger behavior and attire stated in “contracts
of carriage” that
many post on their Web sites.
In Southwest’s contract, passengers are forbidden
from wearing
clothing that is “lewd, obscene or patently
offensive,” said Beth
Harbin, a spokeswoman.
Who decides what’s offensive? At many airlines, like
Southwest and
JetBlue, it’s the job of flight crews.
It can be a nasty business. The crew of an American
Airlines
flight
once removed a passenger after others complained of
his strong body
odor, said Tim Wagner, an airline spokesman. The
passenger was given a
voucher for a nearby hotel and returned for a later
flight after he
had bathed.
Either way, constitutional law experts say that as
private companies,
airlines are well within their rights.
“The Constitution only restricts the government,”
said Geoffrey R.
Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago
and the author of
“Perilous Times: Free Speech in War Times.”
He added, “One of the most basic facts of the
Constitution that the
general public doesn’t understand is that the
Constitution governs the
government, so only the government can violate the
Constitution.”
Unless Congress passes a law forbidding airlines
from removing
passengers because of messages on their T-shirts, no
statute has been
violated, said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the
University of
California, Los Angeles.
For her part, Ms. Heasley said she and her husband,
Ron, are currently
seeking refund for their airfare from Reno to
Portland, Ore., or the
cost of their rental car, hotel and gas for what
turned out to be a
10-hour drive home.

Taken from customerservant.com