Daily Archives: 09/11/2003

Lord Almighty, I’m A Dork

So I’m driving home from work about an hour ago, listening to Echoes on KPRG. Announcer John Diliberto plugs an upcoming concert and plays a snippet of music. First thing going through my head – ‘That’s Phillip Glass.’ Second thing going through my head – ‘That’s Phillip Glass‘ soundtrack to Koyaanisqatsi.’ Third thing running through my head – ‘I got no business recognizing Phillip Glass compositions from obscure art house movies. I am a redneck from Missouri living on a tropical island.’

Sadly I do listen to public radio. I do enjoy Echoes and the ambient music. I like jazz, I like classical. I enjoy Fresh Air with Terry Gross. I own Koyaanisqatsi on DVD, along with the two sequels. I own several CD’s of Phillip Glass and many more obscure composers. I get my jollies star-gazing with a telescope, reading Russian literature, or poring over maps with a fine tooth comb. If I watch television, it’s either the Simpsons, Futurama, Star Trek or the Discovery Channel. I spend my days spinning a web of numbers in Excel and maintaining databases with reams of inscrutable data. I can program in at least four computer languages. Lately I’ve been drinking lots of Mountain Dew, and I enjoy it. Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I’m a geek.

Sweet Home Alabama

Alabama’s been hitting the headlines lately, making it apparent that Alabamans are reasserting their claim to being the most bass-ackward state in the union.

  • The Ten Commandments boondoggle – I abstained from mentioning this debacle with the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Courthouse but I think the time is right for me to chime in. Judge Roy Moore’s quest to introduce religion into the state’s judicial system is not a recent development. He tried this in 1995, 2000, 2001 and finally sneaked the granite monolith into the courthouse earlier this year under the cover of darkness. He loudly proclaims that the commandments are the basis of law in the United States, a statement that his patently false. Our legal system is a direct descendant of English common law, which dates back to the pagan Anglo-Saxons. Don’t believe me? Ask Thomas Jefferson, he might know a thing or two about it. A direct quote from a founding father:

    “I was glad to find in your book a formal contradiction, at length, of the judiciary usurpation of legislative powers; for such the judges have usurped in their repeated decisions, that Christianity is a part of the common law. The proof of the contrary, which you have adduced, is incontrovertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet Pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed.”

    Straight from the horses’ mouth. Of course this won’t quiet a demagogue like Judge Roy Moore, his agenda is the blind adoption of religion into the government of the United States. This is the very thing the progenitors of our country disavowed. It might seem like ancient history, but the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were rife with sectarian violence, Protestant against Catholic, Protestant against Protestant. The agonies of those centuries endures today in Kosovo and Northern Ireland. Our nation’s founders sought an end to such strife, and they correctly recognized that the source of conflict lay in the political endorsement of one religion at the expense of another. By installing the Ten Commandments, Judge Roy Moore selects one religion above others. Why not adhere to fundamentalist Islam, like the Taliban? Or endorse Hinduism or the teachings of the Buddha?
    It’s a slippery slope this religious fundamentalism, and it leads back down to the Protestant Reformation and the 30 Year’s War, the Hundred Year’s War, the English Civil War, the Inquisition and a number of other things I would hope we put behind us. Our forefathers were determined not to repeat history’s mistakes, they boldly set our nation apart as a nation created by and for all people, regardless of race or creed.

  • Apostate Republicans and a revamped tax code – Seems there might be a change fomenting among Alabama conservatives. Bob Riley, the Republican governor of Alabama turned his back on his party and political power base and introduced a new tax code for Alabama, one that raises taxes on the wealthy and propertied landowners while reducing the crippling tax burden on the poor. He cites an Alabama law professor and her biblical thesis as the reason for his turncoat behavior. Seems some conservatives are discovering that being a good Christian means helping the poor, not the rich. What a concept. This betrayal of the Republican party is being met with anger and discord among the state’s conservative power base. Voters will decide the tax issue on September 9th.
    Update: The tax revision was defeated at the polls today. Observers cite a successful disinformation campaign by the Republican party and conservative factions in the state against the governor.