Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Well, here we are on the north end of a southbound year, and while most use this as a time to pause for quiet reflection we prefer to lose ourselves in the traditions we've developed here in the marbled halls of IM Central. No, not that tradition, These traditions. Well, truth be told, we're equal opportunity traditionalists, so while you enjoy meeting the last hound of the year, we'll be practicing our Russian. As they say in the motherland, "Moio sudno na vozdušnoy poduške polno ugrey."

And many happy returns.

Oh, wait, we almost forgot another tradition. What Friday would be complete without a visit to our favorite evolutionary dead end, The Overlord. Seems they've become somewhat reflective as well. Let's listen in:

“Greyhound racing is not in a growth mode. It is flat,” said Larry Baldwin, Naples-Fort Myers general manager. "And by flat I mean dying a slow and painful death."

Statewide, attendance is dropping and tracks are cutting back on the number of live dog races. The track in Tampa eliminated racing altogether in favor of a year-round poker room. "We figured the best way to get people out to the greyhound track was to do away with the greyhounds," Baldwin said.

“With the track in Bonita, we’re kind of in a wait-and-see mode for what to do next,” said Izzy Havenick, vice-president of Southwest Florida Enterprises, which runs that track and one in Miami. "We're waiting to see how many places will open up in the Walmart greeter training school, although personally, I'm thinking about a career in real estate. I think that's where the money is."

“I don’t see the future as too bright, but with the advent of new games — and if we are allowed to have those new games — it could perk up,” said Barbara Hecht Havenick, president of Southwest Florida Enterprises. "Anything that's not greyhound racing will help greyhound racing."

“The company and the family that owns the race track is very committed to greyhounds,” said Juan Fra, director of pari-mutuels and card rooms for both the Bonita and Flagler tracks. "Which is why we're doing everything we can to distract people from greyhounds. It's for their own good really. The more people know about greyhound racing, the more they hate us."

Yeah, well perhaps in the coming year you can work on that, but your future is looking much brighter, right Mr. Shortpants?

Mr. Shortpants has just arrived so we really don't know much about him yet, except that he raced mostly in the south, West Virginia and Alabama. As a public service we will keep you informed about his progress through the medical exam, fostering, and hopefully finding a forever home. Good luck Mr. Shortpants. Things are looking up, can you tell by the look on his face? For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Plus, They Called His Mom Twenty Five Times

We've been reading a lot about polls lately. No, not those poles, these Poles. Wait, not them either. These poles. No, no, the ones that are all mathematical and such, you know, polls. Yes, that's it. See, we always thought these polls were like, all scientific and stuff with lots of calculations and Greek letters and calculus and what not, but it turns out you can do a poll and pretty much pick what you want it to say.

All of which goes to show that Mr. Constant, our ninth grade algebra teacher really did have it in for us when he refused to accept our alternate solutions to his homework problems. "You cannot have more than one answer to math problems," he would say. Then, "Go talk to the counselor." Well, Mr. You Have To Memorize The Quadratic Equation If You're Ever Going To Pass This Class, take a look at this and tell me math can't have as many answers as Bush has reasons for invading Iraq.

President Bush and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton again top Gallup's annual lists of "most admired" men and women, the polling firm said. OK, right away when you read that, you know the Gallup company has rather loose policies on drinking at work, and it turns out you're not too far wrong, but that's beside the point. Let's apply our mad algebra skillz, courtesy of Mr. Constant, to this latest pollistical effluvia and see what squirts out.

Bush's support was the choice of 10% of 1,011 Americans polled. OK, we were awake in math class that day and we know if 10% of the people chose Bush, that means 90% didn't. So who else was on the list? Genghis Kahn? Charles Manson? George Steinbrenner?

Also, 10% of 1011 people is about 100 people. Wait. One hundred people still admire Bush? That might not be too far off. On the other hand, this was a phone survey and if you randomly call a thousand people or so, some of them are bound to be drunk or high. Then factor in that Gallup says each number has a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points and that could mean only 7% of the people still admire Bush more than Genghis Kahn. See, this math stuff isn't so hard if you just work at it.

Oh, and we never did memorize the quadratic equation.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hi, I'm Mitt Romney. What Do You Want To Hear?

We're coming to you from the Free Advice wing in the marbled halls of IM Central. The Free Advice wing is right off the Talk To The Hand promenade, which is across from the Department of Who Asked You?

Today we'd like to speak to those of you in the Romney campaign. It has come to our attention that your candidate is suffering from a bit of a decline in popularity despite the fact that he's on all sides of every issue, so that he like, totally can't make anyone mad. OK, it's true your candidate did score a first last week, becoming the first person in either party to receive an undorsement, but before you get too cocky, we have to tell you this isn't the momentum builder you think it is. See, what you're looking for is a more traditional response to your campaign. A response that points out the benefits of electing your man president, something that plays up your man's positives, something from a well respected, perhaps conservative leaning newspaper. Something like this:

There is a reason Mitt Romney has not received a single newspaper endorsement in New Hampshire. It's the same reason his poll numbers are dropping. He has not been able to convince the people of this state that he's the conservative he says he is.

Umm...OK, bad example, but never mind. We're going to help you overcome the fact that people are somewhat suspicious of your man. Well, the ones with IQ's above mushrooms that is.

Eds. Note: In all fairness we have to say we're talking about the common button mushroom here, and not the more intellectual Shittake which, as everyone knows are the Einsteins of the mushroom world.

First there's that name thing. What does Mitt stand for? Now, we know the reason he's Mitt is because his real name is Willard, which, if anything is worse, but what does it say about a man who abandons a clearly underperforming name like Willard...but then picks Mitt? That's the kind of guy that will abandon a group of people he previously supported so that he can associate himself with another group of people he wants to impress. Kind of like Barbara Binder did to us the second she found out Leslie had broken up with Jim Chase. Oh, sure he was on the football team and all, but we were just two matches away from qualifying for the state chess tournament, and did that make any difference? Oh no, not a bit. In fact...well, long story with a sad ending, so let's get back to Mitt.

We suggest at the first appropriate time you start calling him Doogie. Now this may seem strange at first, but think about it. Doogie is not someone you would expect to hold strong views, right? Doogie is a sort of go along to get along kind of name and that fits your candidate's views almost perfectly, right? We mean, look at the record. When Romney was governor of Massachusetts and the people who voted for him were pro-choice, so was he. Then he started hanging around with a different crowd who weren't pro-choice and presto changeo, neither was he.

Now, that wouldn't be so surprising if his name was Doogie. You sort of expect something like that from a guy named Doogie. A guy named Doogie probably doesn't have that many opinions anyway, again, a perfect match for your guy. Plus, people can't get upset at a guy named Doogie. Even when he says some totally bizarre stuff like Jesus is Satan's brother, people just smile and go, Oh that Doogie, he's such a card.

Look, just try it out for a while and if he doesn't like it he can change back. Heck, he's changed everything else about himself, why not his name too?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hounds Home For The Holiday

Regular readers of this blog are sometimes very astute, erudite and no doubt handsome people. Threw you a bit of a curve there didn't we? Well, never let it be said that we denizens of the marbled halls here at IM Central fail to give praise where praise is due. OK, let it be said, because truth is...we do.

But not this time. In the comments to yesterday's post we heard from a Mr. CJSzar...or Ms., or Mrs., what do we know? Anyway the commenter in question had this to say:

We stumbled upon a feature from your blog back in Sept. of 2005 featuring our pup MJ's Poison Ivy! Adopting her was a life changing decision and we are so happy that she completed our little family. We are giving her some extra hugs after reading this reminder of where she came from.
See? And you thought this blog had absolutely no socially redeeming value. Oh wait, we're the ones who think this blog has no socially redeeming value. Well, no matter. If you put enough monkeys in a room with enough typewriters eventually they'll produce one of Bush's State of the Union speeches, and if we write enough posts, eventually one of them will actually be useful.

So what do you say we do it again Effie?

Effie is very happy and curious. She likes to be with people. She is a quick learner. She is energetic and playful. She loves attention and likes to cuddle. She likes to play ball. She is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Effie would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. She is good with other dogs and would probably be fine as an only dog. She tends to be a bit vocal, so would do best in a single family home. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

And if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance for Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

Special Bonus for Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivis, Sol Invictus, oh heck, here's a picture of MJ's Poison Ivy just because we feel like it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Well, here we are on the front lines of the War of Christmas again--which we feel obligated to say would be going much better for the forces of Jesus if all his troops weren't out at the mall maxing their credit cards instead of taking their turns patrolling The Highway of the Christ and doing a few drive by conversions.

While we're at it we'd like to say that his choice of highway is a little lame as well. Personally we'd have gone with the back roads. Interstates are all right, but they're just a tad impersonal for a loving god, don't you think? Seems to us the creator would want to get to know his children and believe us people, that ain't happening at those highway truck stops.

But back to the overlords. We're happy to say that in this season of giving, the overlords haven't been left out because they've been given something as well--the cold shoulder.

An open house was held in hopes of finding homes for more than 30 greyhounds before the Corpus Christi Greyhound Racetrack closes next month.

As you might imagine a track closing is a good news bad news situation. The good news is another opportunity to exploit innocent animals to feed the greed of a few heartless, talentless hacks has gone by the wayside. The bad news is because the overlords see no value in the dogs short of helping them make the rent money, when a track closes the dogs have four options: be carted off to a less competitive, and less safe track in the hope that a few more dollars can be rung from their skinny frames; be sold for medical research; be killed out right; be adopted.

The dogs seem to prefer option four. Right Curt?

Curt is playful and a quick learner.He is happy, friendly, outgoing, and affectionate. He is a vocal boy who barks from time to time. He is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Curt would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. He is good with other dogs and would probably be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

And if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance for Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hounds Home For The Holiday

Long time readers of this blog are more than aware of their own mean know that each year around this time we uncork one of the few traditions we have here in the marbled halls of IM Central that can be discussed in polite society, and that is Hounds Home for the Holiday.

But first, in the spirit of the season,we bring you tales of the overlords and their ongoing commitment to providing the finest care to their This week, Dr. Evans.

At a hearing, the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons found an Oldham-based veterinary surgeon guilty of serious professional misconduct for treating two greyhound bitches with an oestrus-suppressing medicine that he ought to have known was banned by the National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) as it does not have a veterinary product licence.

The Committee accepted Mr Evans' explanation that he mistakenly believed that the NGRC prohibition did not apply to norethindrone, because it was widely used and had previously gone unchallenged by the NGRC, and also because he believed it had a lesser effect on performance than licensed alternatives. "Got to keep the dogs running now don't we?" Evans testified at the hearing.

You bet. Look we only use them for a few years anyway then dump 'em. What's a few banned substances when there's rent money at stake?

Yeah. It's not like your life matters or anything, huh Keelin?

Keelin is an easy going, well-mannered boy. He is friendly and playful (at the appropriate times). His handler’s call him a gentle giant. He is affectionate and loving with everyone. When he wants something, will nuzzle his face against your leg. When he gives a full body shake, his two front paws clap together like a seal. He strikes a pose anytime you walk by. He is a happy boy whose tail spins in a circle like a helicopter. Keelin would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. He is good with other dogs and would probably be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sex Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be. Just Ask Your Mother

We think it was the great and powerful TBogg who opined that some people choose abstinence, others have it thrust upon them. Apparently, the latter category having been handed the reigns of power by our democratic system (or what's left of it) have attempted to make their circumstance the choice of all those rutting little bags of raging hormones generally referred to in polite society as "the kids."

It's worked about as well as you might have thought it would had you ever been young and had the stink of abstinence on you like hopelessness. Not that we ever...well..., choice is such a slippery word. Besides, what about Elizabeth? Did she choose to wear those skirts with the slit up the side? Did she choose to walk by your desk five times a day in History class? Did she choose to flaunt that glimpse of perfect thigh just inches from our fevered brows? And what about Natalie, running to the bus after school, the sun glancing off that golden hair, those legs, so long and tanned flashing under her billowing summer dress, so perfect...yes, it's all coming back to us now like an old movie seen again after many years. A movie with a sad ending. Many sad endings. Many sad, lonely endings. Excuse us a minute.

Yes. Well. Where were we?

The number of states refusing federal money for "abstinence-only" sex education programs jumped sharply in the past year as evidence mounted that the approach is ineffective. We think by "evidence" they mean in most classes the students end up explaining things to the teachers, but we're not sure about that.

"We're concerned about this," said Stan Koutstaal of the Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the program. "My greatest concern about states dropping out is that these are valuable services and programs. It's the youths in these states who are missing out." Mr. Koutstaal, the "youths" haven't been missing out, and that's the problem.

The trend has triggered intense lobbying of state legislators and governors around the country. Supporters of the programs are scrambling to reverse the decisions, while opponents are pressuring more states to join the trend.

See, here's the problem. supporters are doing this, opponents are doing that. WHO'S WATCHING THE KIDS?

"We hope that it sends a message to the politicians in Washington that this program needs to change, and states need to be able to craft a program that has some connection to reality for their young people and that is not a dictated by Washington ideologues," William Smith of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States said.

"Hey. I'm no ideologue," Koutstaal said. "I've had dates,"

"Our critics would have governors believe that these programs are just somebody standing in front of the class wagging a finger and saying, 'No. No. No. Don't have sex.' That's not what these classes entail," Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association said. "We have five or 10 people standing in front of the class wagging a finger and saying, 'No. No. No. Don't have sex.'"

The jump in states opting out follows a series of reports questioning the effectiveness of the approach, including one commissioned by Congress that was released earlier this year. The "Foley Report" showed a distinct drop in Congress members practicing abstinence starting with the republican takeover of both houses.

"This abstinence-only program is just not getting the job done," said Cecile Richards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Just look at those horndogs in Congress. Telling them to keep it in their pants is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

"Um...this is about the kids," said Koutstaal.

"Oh, yeah. Sorry," Richards replied.

Koutstaal took issue with critics who blame abstinence programs for the increase in teen births, noting that rates have continued to decline for 10-to-14-year-olds -- the ages typically targeted by the programs. "I think it's awfully hard to blame abstinence education for the increase in birth rates," he said. "Sure, as soon as they get out of the program they go at it like rabbits on steroids but is that our fault? It's abstinence only, not abstinence always.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Texas! Motto: Forget About Alabama*, We're The New South

Oh man, where were these guys when we were suffering through chemistry, physics, biology and all those other ologies inflicted on us by our educorporate overlords. If only we had known the secret back then. If only it had occurred to us what the answer was. If only we had thought it through instead of fantasizing about standing under the safety shower with Kristina Wosinkowski. Ah, those plain white blouses. We just knew if we could get one wet...sorry, where were we? Oh yeah, science.

The answer was right in front of us all along: Don't like school science? Make up your own!

A California-rejected Christian research institute cleared a hurdle in its bid to obtain approval from the state to operate its master's degree program in Texas when a committee recommended that it be allowed to seek accreditation. "What really sealed the deal for us was when they promised to eliminate the number six in all their programs," said a member of the committee. "Because, you know, 666? Satan? Can't have Satan contaminating our science."

Allow us to step in here and say that we realize the juxtaposition of the terms "christian" and "Research" may be jarring to readers who do not find the 21st century fraught with peril, but bear with us, it's just Texas. (Note to James, nothing personal, dude. Just business)

The Institute for Creation Research offers online degrees in science education, provided students don't care too much about the science part. Its courses are taught from a literal biblical worldview for students who plan a career interfereing with biology and other science classes. It is run by home schooled young earth creationists, who believe that God created the earth in six days between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, and have yet to go on a date without their mothers.

Patricia Nason, the institute's department chairwoman for science misinformation, said most of the institute's students end up teaching at private christian schools "because they can't get hired anywhere else." But, she said, they learn about evolution and are qualified to teach in public schools. "If by qualified you mean they've been trained stick their fingers in their ears and go 'LALALALALA I can't hear you,' every time someone mentions the Discovery Channel," she added. "Besides, the christian schools can only support so many of these bozos. We've got to find someplace else for them, or our placement statistics will drop."

It has about 30 students from around the world who couldn't get into the University of Phoenix, most of them misfits or aspiring perverts, and four full-time faulty members. It requires students to minor in subjects such as why our god is the coolest, bestest god evah!, and Nason said the faculty use "current literature in the sciences and also in science education. Of course by 'current' we mean Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will make a final decision next month on whether to issue a certificate of authority, which would give the institute two years to obtain accreditation. An advisory committee voted unanimously Friday to recommend the board grant the certificate. In related matters, the committee also voted to reconsider giving women the vote, and to bring back stoning as a punishment for blasphemers, and people from blue states.

*Alabama: Gateway to the 1600's

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Public Service Announcement From The Staff at Ironicus Maximus

Every once in a while we like to take a little time out from heaping boatloads o' funny on your scrawny reader behinds and do some good for the community. Other times we do this:

Now, you may wonder why this little piece of advice is relevant. You may say, "Ironicus, what would cause you to proffer such a suggestion as this?" You may inquire of your neighbor, "Neighbor, do you know Ironicus has advocated a totally panicked, spittle flecked, wild eyed flight from hearth and home?" To which your neighbor would reply "Ironicus? What's that?"

All worthy questions and deserving of answers, but time is of the essence here. That distant rumble you hear is the approach of Catastrophe. The Four Horsemen have been loosed; the seventh seal broken; Pandora's box has not only been opened, it has been turned upside down and shaken.

Ladies and gentlemen, George Bush has taken the measure of our economy...and pronounced it well.

Yes, Mr. WMD, Mr. Good Job Brownie, Mr. Iran has nukes, Mr. SCHIP is helping too many rich kids, Mr. We take care of our veterans, has applied his considerable analytic skills to the American economy and found it possessed of a strong "underpinning."

This can only mean one thing: Those unable to flee will be eaten by roving band of Jackals after the collapse.

Bush tried to position himself as an advocate for working families by taking aim at his favorite target: the Democratic Congress. "The Congress cannot take economic vitality for granted," Bush said. "Especially with someone like me in the White House. You think what I did to New Orleans was special? You ain't seen nothing yet."

"The most negative thing Congress can do in the face of economic uncertainty is to raise taxes on the American people," Bush said. "And by the American people I mean those who use private jets to go to the store for a pack of cigarettes."

Bush chose to highlight positive economic news, such as job growth. "People are working; productivity is high," Bush said. "Of course salaries are crap, and health benefits are disappearing faster than a page at a republican caucus, but hey, no plan is perfect."

"I just want to let you know we've got a strategy," the president said. "I developed it along with my Iraq strategy, my plan to rebuild New Orleans, and my policy for dealing with Iran."

Bush spoke at the Yak-A-Doo's restaurant inside a Holiday Inn. The White House wanted to keep the flavor of the local Rotary meeting and throw off the protesters, so there was no banner or backdrop. Bush was not even introduced because the people on the dais were all drunk; he just showed up, drawing a round of applause until the audience realized he wasn't the impressionist who had been scheduled as the luncheon entertainment.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Regular readers of this blog are probably disappointments to their mean have probably noticed that during the week we like to point out the foibles of our betters in the public service, or as they like to call themselves, The Best That The American System Of Government By The People Can Produce. Friday's however, are set aside for a look into the vale of tears, dashed hopes and shattered illusions that is the life of the overlord set.

This week however, we are proud to say that due to the skill of our investigative prowess, the reach of our influence, and the power of our observational abilities, we have managed to bring both of those worlds together for your reading pleasure. That and someone sent us this article. And for those of you keeping score at home, yes, our little drama unfolds in Texas. Motto: Every thing's bigger in Texas, even idiots.

Tax Assessor-Collector Cheryl Johnson said her office was closed for training. She said she scheduled a full day of training for employees at Gulf Greyhound Park. When asked why she had chosen a greyhound track she replied that there were no events scheduled at the local horse racing facility. "And there are too many people at the casino," she added. "We like to keep our training low key."

Critics speculated that most of the day had been spent in a Christmas celebration. "That is unequivocally false," Johnson told reports. "Have you ever been to a greyhound track? Place is like a morgue."

Johnson finally returned calls to The Daily News for the first time since the meeting. She contended the newspaper was unfair in its coverage. "What are you guys doing following us around anyway, " she asked. "There's bound to be a white woman missing somewhere."

Johnson said the training was booked at Gulf Greyhound Park because it was an economical and central place outside the office to train employees. "Plus it was 'Thirsty Thursday' which is half off all bottled beer. I'm just trying to use taxpayer money responsibly."

She said the day was filled with presentations by invited speakers and by people who head departments within her office. "I particularly enjoyed the magic show," she told reporters. "But the ventriloquist was good too."

She said she’d notified other county officials that her office would be closed. Other county offices close for training and other events, yet nothing was said about those decisions. "Oh sure, they had their training sessions like at schools and whatnot, but you can learn stuff at greyhound races too. I mean there aren't a lot of distractions. Just a bunch of drunks losing their rent money two dollars at a time. I'm talking about the regular customers, not us."

Glad she cleared that up. Well, aren't you proud that you played a role in increasing the efficiency of local government Free Girl?

Free Girl is very outgoing and full of energy. She is affectionate and she will go out of her way to get attention. She enjoys playing with the other dogs in the program. She is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Free Girl would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. She is good with other dogs and would probably be fine as an only dog. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Alberto Gonzales: Man of the Year--In Bizarro Land

OK, fair warning. We're not going to be able to take much more stuff like this without doing serious damage to our liver.

Negative news coverage may have cost former attorney general Alberto Gonzales his job, but it won him a dubious honor from a magazine published by the American Bar Association: Lawyer of the Year.

Now, you're thinking anything coming from an organization of lawyers probably should have the word "dubious" in front of it, but at least the awarders are honest about one thing:

"Think about Time magazine's Person of the Year," editor and publisher Edward A. Adams said in an interview. "In years past they've named people like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin. So we're not suggesting by these awards that these are the best lawyers in any sense of the word."

Hmmm...let's think about this for a minute. Adolf Hitler? Joseph Stalin? Alberto Gonzales. OK, we see where you're going with this.

Adams said the magazine's picks "do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the ABA. Usually we just pick up a couple bottles of Johnny Walker, head back to the office and pull names out of a hat, then hit a few strip clubs."

Well, why didn't you say so in the first place? How do we get on that nominating committee?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh, And Magnetism? Just Angels Messing With You. Really

OK, we get it. You don't like that whole earth is over 6000 years old thing. We understand it was hard for you to accept that the sun is at the center of the solar system. We're sorry that scientists keep explaining things like lightening and eclipses. You've made it very clear you don't want to be associated with the monkeys. Frankly, the whole poop flinging thing isn't that big a draw for us either, but look, when you go into education as a career you're sort of expected to, you know, like deal with the facts and all. Just saying.

A key state official plans to vote against Florida's proposed new science standards because evolution would be taught in public schools. "What's next?" asked Donna Callaway of the State Board of Education. "Expanding universe? Germ theory? Where does it end, that's what I want to know."

The former Tallahassee middle school principal is the first board member to make public comment on the standards. She was also the first board member to argue that god meant things to be measured in inches and not meters; that using Greek letters in math and sciences classes is a form of Satan worship; and that students interested in medical careers only needed to be taught about the four humors.

The proposed standards are controversial because they would, for the first time, require public school students to learn about evolution. "How are Florida's students going to compete for jobs in the knowledge economy if they have to learn stuff?" Callaway asked. "Wait. That didn't come out right."

In an editorial in the Baptist Witless, Callaway urged Baptists to speak out against the standards because they attempt "to make evolution dogma" the rule and ignore the belief that God or an "intelligent cause" created living things from three rocks and some dirt.

The editorial appeared in the December 6 issue of the Baptist newspaper, which is delivered to some 40,000 homes, said James Smith, the publication's executive editor. "Of course of that 40,000 only about six can read, so we're not sure what the effect will be," he added.

"I firmly believe that a child can deal with the proof of science along with a personal belief in God as the Creator of the universe at the same time." Callaway said. "And I believe that because I'm doing such a good job of dealing with it myself."

Callaway's comments in a church-based paper troubles Florida Citizens for Science, which supports reality. "She's allowing the voices in her head to cloud her judgment on science education in Florida," said Brandon Haught, the group's spokesman.

The proposed standards were written by teachers and professors with the goal of beefing up science education in Florida, where fewer than half the students are proficient on state science tests. We've got to do something to improve that," Haught said. "This isn't Texas after all."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Now We Know Why Biologists Shouldn't Be Home Schooled

OK, full disclosure. As denizens of the educorporate training facility in our neighborhood we would to say this politely...engage in a little one sided jocularity at the expense the local population of students for whom science class was the highlight of the day.

What the kids today we believe. Yes, our local contact informs us that nerds is the preferred term. Well, not among the nerds of course, but hey, when your name is Henry Botando, you have red hair and you solve calculus problems in your head, it's not like you have a lot of pull is it...Piggy? You think you can speak? You think you can, four eyes? And you Jack, you couldn't even kill the piglet, what right to you have to the knife? Because you can sing? Fat lot of good that does us. Look around you boys, I say. Who is your rightful leader? Who is the strong one? Who doesn't hesitate? Who is...

Sorry. Having a bit of a flashback. Where were we?

Oh yeah, Nathaniel Abraham.

Nathaniel Abraham filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Boston saying that the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution dissed him in 2004 because of his Christian belief that the Bible is god's big book of facts. "How was I to know the building was full of scientists," Abraham said. "I just liked the pretty fishys."

Abraham, who is seeking $500,000 in compensation for a violation of his civil rights, says
that he lost his job as a postdoctoral researcher in a biology lab shortly after he told his superior that he did not accept evolution as scientific fact. "Well, in my defense I have to say I was working in the biology lab," Abraham told reporters. "I didn't think it would be that big of a deal."

Woods Hole officials released a statement saying, "The Institution firmly believes that its actions and those of its employees concerning Dr. Abraham were entirely lawful," and that the center does not discriminate on the basis of religion. Later an official from Woods Hole admitted that the fact that Dr. Abraham's degree came from the Face of Jesus in Your Toast College and Cafe "should have been a clue."

In a 2004 letter to Abraham, his boss, Woods Hole senior scientist Mark E. Hahn, wrote that Abraham said he did not want to work on "things that are, like all sciency and stuff" of the National Institutes of Health grant for which he was hired, even though the project clearly required scientists to use the principles of evolution in their analyses and writing. "Well, no job is perfect," Abraham said.

When asked to explore why zebrafish mutants that lack notochords exhibit relatively normal neural development, including differentiation of floor plate and motoneurons, Abraham's eventual report stated that it was due to the fact that "Jesus watches over the little sparrows just like he watches over you and me."

"It wasn't something we felt was up to the standards of Woods Hole," Hahn said.

"Was it because I didn't mention the fish?" Abraham asked. "I probably should have mentioned the fish."

Abraham did not return a telephone call seeking comment because telephones aren't mentioned in the bible. He now works at Liberty University, a Christian Profit Center in Lynchburg, Va., founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell, who recently evolved into a dead person. "We understand he's researching whether Adam and Eve would have been able to tame the dinosaurs after the fall," Hahn told reporters.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of cases pitting creationists against scientists in academic settings, or what people are calling Smackdown in Monkey town. Last year, a University of Rhode Island student was awarded a doctorate in geosciences despite opposition after it became known that he was a creationist. "People ask me how I could get through a whole program in geosciences and not learn anything at all," the student said. "Easy. Just listen to the voices in my head instead of the professor"

Earlier this year, an Iowa State University astronomer claimed he was denied tenure because he did not believe in evolution. "Well, that and the fact that he believed the stars were god's dandruff," said a university representative.

"It is inconceivable that someone working in developmental biology at a major research institution would not be expected to deal intimately with evolution," Eugenie C. Scott, executive director for the National Center for Science Education said. "A flight school hiring instructors wouldn't ask whether they accepted that the earth was spherical; they would assume it."

Oh Great. Now we've got another reason to be afraid to fly.

"Woods Hole would have assumed that someone hired to work in developmental biology would accept that evolution occurred. It's part and parcel of the science these days," she said.

"Oh. You wanted me to do Science," Abraham said. "Well, why didn't you say so? Sorry can't do that stuff. $500,000 please."

Later that day, unidentified assailants pushed Abraham into the girl's bathroom..

Monday, December 10, 2007

And Jesus Saith Unto The Multitudes, "Liquidity Is Thy Savior"

Once upon a time in our misspent youth, we were stopped by a local law enforcement official for some minor youthful indiscretion--70 in a 30 or some such--and asked by said official to exit our vehicle.

We demurred, having had the areas of our brain that concern themselves with judgment, balance and self preservation shut off by a noxious cocktail of substances which we would normally have completely shunned had it not been for the seductive pleadings of one Natalie Livingstone. Ah, Natalie...the ache she could bring to our vulnerable hearts with just a shy hint of a smile, or innocent tilt of her raven-haired visage. We would have eaten glass if she asked us to. But we digress.

Long story short, the cop told us to get out of the car and we said no. He then proceeded to convince us, using the techniques of classical rhetoric, Aristotelean logic, and we believe one of those collapsible batons why we should always do as those in authority ask.

We have made that a motto and mantra in the years since, and it has stood us in good stead in subsequent dealings with the minions of the power class. So you can imagine our dismay and distress at finding out today that we have been one simple word away from being able to live lives of complete anarchy and wild abandon in full view of the authorities. And that word is, Reverend.

A second Christian ministry is refusing to meet a deadline for a Senate investigation into preachers' salaries, perks and travel. "Separation of Church and state baby," said Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church and Investment Club Inc. "Now, what's that the reverend Hammer says? Oh yeah, 'Cain't touch this."

A lawyer for preacher Creflo Dollar of Money Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta had earlier said that the investigation should be referred to the IRS or the Senate panel should get a subpoena for the documents. "Or they could take my suggestion about the rolling donut," the lawyer added.

The ministries preach a form of Word of Faith theology, known as prosperity gospel, which teaches that God wants believers contribute to an increase in material rewards for their pastors. "Think how much Jesus will appreciate you if you give me all your money," said Hinn.

Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, has insisted his investigation "has nothing to do with church doctrine. Well, except for the part that says the ministry needs a private jet. I can't find that in the bible," he told reporters.

"Well that's because they didn't have jets back then," Dollar said. "See, we're trained to interpret the bible in terms of the current cultural milieu, so we know when it says Jesus rode on a donkey, that really means get yourself a Citation. It's heavy duty theological exegesis. You wouldn't understand."

Other televangelists have been noncommittal in their public comments, preferring to funnel their money off shore, but some have voiced strong objections that echo Dollar's. "Hey, drug dealers have the bling and the IRS doesn't go after them," said Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of the Dow Jones Out Performers. "You can't save souls if you're constantly worried about your portfolio."

Georgia Democratic state Representative Randal Mangham agreed, arguing that appearances matter. “It’s important for kids to see you don’t have to sell drugs to drive a nice car,” he told the Los Angeles Times. "Lord knows true religion is all about the appearances," he added.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Regular readers of this blog probably don't have very well defined life mean have probably noticed that from time to time (like every Friday) we like to take a look at the wacky world of unit exploitation and make some off kilter observations about the so called people who populate this particular vermin ridden corner of what passes for popular culture these days.

Well, not today. We realize it has to suck being an overlord. Having to get people to read the MacDonald's menu to you, losing the instructions for brushing your teeth, or tooth as the case may be, and the problem of trying to find dress shoes with velcro ties because, well, let's just say life as an overlord is full of rather unique challenges.

So you would think that the fates would occasionally throw these sorry excuses for human beings a break. You know, hold off on the rain until they can duct tape that hole in the roof of the trailer, make it so they didn't have to lie and say they were used car salesmen so they could have friends, or even let them put up a lousy sign, even if it wasn't spelled correctly.

With the 50th anniversary of the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track approaching, the business had asked the city for permission to hang commemorative signs from light poles in the city. That was a request the council denied.

Councilwoman Martha Simons said she had an issue with the proposed wording of the sign: that Bonita Springs "salootes" the track. "I don't know that I want to salute the Greyhound track," she said.


Councilman Ben Nelson also said he had "mixed" feelings on allowing such a sign. "Sort of a mixture of revulsion and being appalled that we've allow this to go on in our community for so long," he said.

Ouch and double ouch.

Hey, what about a sign that says Bonita Springs apologizes for 50 years of cruelty, exploitation and unnecessary suffering inflicted on innocent animals? Think it would fly Dinky?

Dinky is adorable and will do full body wags when she greets people. When really happy, she will run and jump into your arms. She likes to bring all the stuffies into her crate to nuzzle. She can be a little skittish with new experiences but learns quickly. Dinky would do best in a home with children over age 6, as she tends to be a bit bouncy. She would be fine as an only dog or with other large breed dogs. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Texas! Motto: When Kansas Gets Too Progressive

We're coming to you today from the Science Wing here in the marbled halls of IM Central. Well, actually it's the hall closet, but we're pretty sure there's something going on in that old pair of Nikes we threw in here back in July. Suggestion for all you kids looking for a science project: Wet sneakers, dark room.

But we digress. Actually the topic of today's presentation is evolution, or in the case of Texas, lack of evolution.

After 27 years as a science teacher and 9 years as the Texas Education Agency’s director of science, Christine Castillo Comer said she did not think she had to remain “neutral” about teaching the theory of evolution. "I got the memo last month that said the Texas legislature had approved the theory of gravity, so I just assumed. My bad," she told reporters.

But now Ms. Comer is out of a job, after forwarding an e-mail message on a talk about evolution and creationism. "We don't like it when people talk about things," said Lizzette Reynolds, deputy commissioner for statewide policy and programs. "That's how ideas spread."

Ms. Comer said that she was called in and informed that Reynolds had seen a copy and complained, calling it “an offense that calls for termination. Or as the godless evolutionists would say, extinction.”

Ms. Comer said she had no idea how Ms. Reynolds, a former federal education official who served as associate wacko to George W. Bush when he was pretending to be governor of Texas, had seen the message so quickly, and remembered thinking, “What is this, the thought police or what?”

"Uh, yeah?," Reynolds responded.

Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the state’s education agency, said Ms. Comer “resigned. She wasn’t fired. We told her she wanted to spend more time with her family.”

Her departure, which has stirred dismay among science professionals is a prelude to an expected battle early next year over rewriting the state’s science education standards. "Well, rewriting is a loaded word," Ratcliffe said. "Actually we're just planning to recopy standards we used before. In 1840."

“Our job,” Ms. Ratcliffe added, “is to enact laws and regulations that are passed by the Legislature or the State Board of Education and not to inject personal opinions and beliefs.” When asked whose 'personal opinions and beliefs' Ms Comer had injected, Ratcliffe replied, "Why Darwin's of course. He wasn't even an American. Did you know that?"

Ms. Comer disputed that characterization in a series of interviews, her first extensive comments. She acknowledged forwarding to a local online community an e-mail message from the National Center for Science Education, a pro-evolution group. "OK, let me stop you right there," Ratcliffe said. "Our first question to Ms. Comer was what was she doing associating with a known radical group like the National Center for Science Education. Do you know that organization is full of scientists?"

Ms. Comer said state education officials seemed uneasy lately over the required evolution curriculum. "I think it all started the day Don McLeroy, a dentist and Sunday School teacher showed up in a monkey suit started flinging feces at the board members. Afterwards I was asked several times if there was an opt out clause in Darwin's theory."

Several months ago, in response to an inquiry letter, Ms. Comer said she was instructed to strike her usual statement about the board’s support for teaching evolution and to quote instead the exact language of the high school biology standards as formulated for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills test which says in part "We're sorry to have to keep teaching Satan's way. Soon we will drive the nonbelievers out and get back to instructing students in blind obedience to authority."

Ms. Comer said that Tom Shindell, director for organizational development, had told her to resign or be terminated for a series of unauthorized presentations at professional meetings and other reported transgressions. "He wanted to know what I, a representative of the state education agency, was doing going to conferences on education and giving talks about educational policy," Comer told reporters.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

BREAKING: Bush Threatens To Hold Breath Until Iran Restarts Nuclear Weapons Program

You know, sometimes it must suck to be president. Just when you think you've got ways to convince people that we should be fighting a meaningless war in a unnecessary place figured out and you're ready to do it all again, someone goes and harshes your mellow.

President Bush got the world's attention this fall when he warned that a nuclear-armed Iran might lead to World War III. But after the world made a few calls and got the president's medication changed, things returned to normal.

It turns out though, that his stark warning came at least a month or two after he had first been told about fresh indications that Iran had actually halted its nuclear weapons program. "What? You think he understands something the first time we tell him?" said one White House aide who asked not to be named, "We're still trying to explain to him why he can't wear a flight suit and land on carrier decks anymore. God bless him, he really enjoyed that."

The new intelligence report not only undercut the administration's wild eyed, spittle flecked totally bonkizoid rhetoric over Iran's nuclear ambitions, but could also throttle Bush's effort towards more unnecessary death and destruction before the end of his presidency, which by the way, is 412 days away. "And that's really the disappointing part," said one of the three Bush supporters left in the country. "I mean, the guy is one war away from the record books. What other US president could say they started not one, but two meaningless, useless, unwinnable wars?"

"It's a little head-spinning," said Daniel Benjamin, an official on President Bill Clinton's National Security Council. "Everybody's going to be trying to scratch their heads and figure out what comes next."

Umm...we've got a suggestion: Rationality? Hey, we've tried clown-wonk for seven years, what could it hurt?

Bush administration officials who had not resigned yet said the report vindicated their concerns because it concluded that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program until halting it in 2003 and it showed that U.S.-led diplomatic pressure had succeeded in forcing Tehran's hand. "If we hadn't been telling you for the last four years that they had a program that they didn't have, who knows what they would have had," said national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley.

Hadley disagreed that the report showed that past administration statements have been wrong, noting that, "When you're lying, and you know you're lying, and you choose to lie, then you're not wrong. Delusional? Criminally culpable? Sure, but wrong? No way."

Hadley noted that collecting intelligence on a "hard target" such as Iran is notoriously difficult. "Welcome to the real world," he said. At that point the press conference had to be halted as Mr. Hadley's head exploded.

Later, he defended Bush's World War III reference and repeated it himself during a briefing, saying if the world wants to avoid an Iranian bomb and "having to use force to stop it with all the connotations of World War III, then we need to step up the diplomacy." At that point paramedics had to be called because Mr. Hadley's head exploded again.

Critics should be careful not to dismiss the threat, Hadley added, his voice muffled by the bandages, pointing to Iran's continued enrichment of uranium, which could eventually be used to assist a weapons program. "I'm sure some people will use this as an excuse or a pretext for, you know, moving towards peace," he said. "But we still believe we have a better than 50/50 chance to bomb them before this administration is over."

"While I was in the administration, I saw intelligence march up the hill and down the hill in short periods of time with no reason for them to change their mind," said John R. Bolton, Bush's former ambassador to the United Nations. "I've never based my view on intelligence. In fact I try to stay away from intelligence in all its forms, and if you look I my career I think you'll agree I've been pretty successful at it."

Republican candidates, who have expressed their readiness to attack Iran if needed to stop it from obtaining nuclear weapons, or Walmarts remained largely silent. "My guy thought we had already invaded Iran," said an aide to Senator Fred Thompson. Mayor Guiliani's campaign issued a statement that said the Mayor had personally gone to Iran and ended their weapons program as part of his defense of the country after 9/11. Mitt Romney said if elected president he would personally strap Ahmadinejad to the top if his car and drive around until Iran ended its nuclear program.

According to reports in the Washington Post and the New York Times, Democratic candidates for president Edwards, Clinton and Obama responded by respectively getting a hair cut, showing a little booby, and denying they were muslim.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sure, Other Countries Have Laws, But Our Laws Are Bigger

OK, we're not lawyers, although after a few Stolis we like to try and say things like a fortiori, contra proferentem, and our personal favorite, de bonis asportatis. That has got to be dirty. But we digress. the point is, we're pretty sure there's something wrong with this latest legal pronouncement from the Bush Administration.

America has told Britain that it can kidnap British citizens if they are anti war hippies, ethnic minorities, democrats, wanted for crimes in the United States. "Well, kidnapping is such a strong word," said one administration official. "We prefer to call it 'unexpected extradition.'"

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it. When asked what jurisdiction an American court would have have citizens from another country the senior lawyer replied that they had gotten the idea from Guantanamo. "We figured since that worked so well on terrorists, we'd try it out on other people we don't like," the aide explained. "Um...I mean criminals."

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects. "Sure, but like the president says, if you aren't with us, you're against us. Makes picking bad guys much easier."

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects out of circulation. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate. "The president got the idea after watching a Dog The Bounty Hunter marathon," said White House Press Secretart Dana Perino.

“The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared by those of us living in the real world ,” Alun Jones QC, representing the US government said.

“If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, their court has no jurisdiction to refuse — it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s,” Jones said. On the bright side though, we have gotten the Americans to agree not to call out suspects for a gun fight in the streets."

"Plus since we're America we get to do what we want," Press Secretart Perino added. "See we're sort of like Rambo, Chuck Norris and James Bond all rolled into one. OK, James Bond was actually English, but you get my point. Oh, and don't forget Jack Bauer. We're him too."

Legal sources said that under Bush's conception of American justice, rendition meant capturing people with inconvenient views abroad and bringing them to the United States so they can be imprisoned indefinitely without being charged. The term “extraordinary rendition” was coined in the 1990s for the kidnapping of brown people terror suspects from one foreign country to another for torture. "And it sounds so much better than 'put a hit out," said one administration official.

The US Justice Department declined to comment due to being too busy trying to suppress the ethnic vote.