Monthly Archives: February 2005

Hang Up and Order!

The woman in front of me at my regular lunch spot today was blathering on her cell phone the entire 10 minutes we waited in line. When we finally got to the front of the line, the man behind the counter looked her right in the eyes and said, “I will wait on you as soon as you hang up the phone.” I thought it was a pretty gutsy thing to do, especially given that the owner was standing about 5 feet away. Someone has to draw a line somewhere, though, and I thought this was a reasonable line to draw. That’s not to say that I’ve never gone through a checkout line while talking on the phone, but every once in a while we need to be reminded to practice some basic human decency when we interact with the clerks, attendants, and counter people who make our lives a little more pleasant. (He actually waited on her when she put the phone down by her side, even though she didn’t hang it up.)

Kilgore Controversy

This morning’s lead article in the Roanoke Times is about an election scandal in rural Gate City, Virginia. It would scarcely be news, except for one tiny fact. At the center of the controversy is the Scott County Voter Registrar, Willie Mae Kilgore. See, in addition to being the Voter Registrar of Scott County, Ms. Kilgore is also the mother of one Jerry Kilgore, the likely Republican candidate for Virginia governor this year. I just thought you folks in NoVA might like to know. (I suspect this story wasn’t front page, above-the-fold in the Washington Post…)

Of course the Kilgore clan says that it is a smear campaign, but the numbers definitely suggest something rotten in Gate City…

NAS President Responds to Behe

A number of very good letters have been published in the NY Times in response to Michael Behe’s piece that I linked last week. Unfortunately, many of them slipped into the obscurity of the paid archive while I wasn’t paying attention. Perhaps the best, though, was this response by Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, who was quoted by Behe in his essay.

Skimming the NY Times

First some good news. Efforts to put a stop to the gerrymandering which is running roughshod over our republic. Here, here! Hear, hear!

Second, Michael Behe explains the intelligent design hypothesis. Hint: It’s not religious and it wouldn’t really supplant the teaching of evolution if properly applied. (Of course, though, it is being invoked by those who would remove evolution from the curriculum altogether.) In general, I think it’s an idea that is misunderstood and is being abused (on both sides, actually).

Finally, Bob Herbert with disturbing reports dribbling out of Gitmo. Most interesting (and well substantiated) is the story of Shafiq Rasul, who admitted to things that he could not have done under conditions which must be described as psychological abuse. That this is being done in my name makes me almost physically ill.