First Period: English; Second Period: Algebra; Third Period: Jesus 101

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From Newsweek:
“Georgia marched back into the culture wars last week when Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a bill allowing Bible classes in public high schools. An estimated 8 percent of the nation’s schools offer some form of Bible study. But the Georgia law is the first to set statewide guidelines and earmark public dollars for a Bible course. Five other states are considering similar measures….
In the past, school Bible lessons were informal. Now two groups with national influence and powerful backers are offering states comprehensive curricula. Last fall the nonprofit Bible Literacy Project published “The Bible and Its Influences,” a textbook endorsed by moderate Christian and Jewish groups. So far, 30 schools are teaching the pilot program, and the group says 800 schools have shown interest. Meanwhile, the National Council for Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, backed by a long list of conservative evangelicals, including Pat Robertson, says its curriculum is already taught in 353 school districts. However, if Georgia opts for either program it will be the first time that a state has officially adopted a Bible curriculum.”

Even Neil Young has a blog now

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Via Huffington Post:

“…this is about exchanging ideas… it’s about getting a message out. It’s about empowering people by giving them a voice. I know not everyone believes what I say is what they think. But like I said before.. ya know.. red and blue is not black and white. We’re all together. It’s a record about unification.” -Neil Young (4/18/06)

Check it out Living With War.

Amusing as in ha ha or amusing as in are you effin crazy?!

From Think Progress:

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been doing a series of softball interviews with hosts like Rush Limbaugh in an effort to rehabilitate his image. On Monday, Rumsfeld appeared on the Bill Cunningham Show and had this to say about the retired generals criticizing his management of the Iraq war:
“Of course the implication that there was something wrong with the war plan is amusing almost because of the fact that the war plan’s fashioned by the combatant commanders and it’s reviewed in great detail by the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then it’s recommended to me and the President.”
In other words, Rumsfeld is arguing that there is nothing wrong with the Iraq war planning — but if there was anything wrong it wasn’t his fault.

Read the whole article here.

When they were indie…

RBally has a great set of MP3’s documenting an early REM performance in 1984:

This show is a reminder of when the band was the poster child for independent music and college radio, when Peter Buck still only knew three chords, and Mike Stipe mumbled his lyrics. And given the band’s current mainstream success, it’s easy to forget that the band toured and recorded non-stop through the early eighties, slowly building, and earning, the fan base that started reaching critical mass with Green (when the cool kids jumped ship)

Check ’em out here.

Don't know what we're more happy about…

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Captain Pretension and Porky the Tool have left the building. Now if Mugger and Rummy get fired, our day will be complete. We must admit, we’re secretly going to miss watching McClellan squirm in front of the press core. He is a true professional when it comes to lying and dodging. Someone needs to whip up a McClellan highlights clip, scored to Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better.”

Post 9-11 Bedwetting

Former guest blogger and FREEwilly friend, Kevin, has a great piece on Rightwing fear (he calls it post 9-11 “bedwetting”) on Firedoglake, where he’s been guest blogging. Atrios and nearly every other leftie blog has picked it up. Here’s an excerpt if you missed it:

[Righwingers] are scared is all. They’re scared of a lot of things because they need to be scared of a lot of things. They lack purpose without things relentlessly scaring the shit out of them. And in order to distract the media from the fact that they’re more juiced up on fear than love for their country, they constantly try to frame liberals‚Äîwho in their minds still wear patchouli, listen to Jefferson Airplane and love the fuck out of Jane Fonda‚Äîof being the cowards because, um, we’re “anti-war” (what fucked up times we live in where being “anti-war” is a “bad thing”) and we aren’t 100% freaked out that gay people, Mexicans, Arabs and the Dixie Chicks are roaming free in our streets.
You see, in reality, us “cowardly” liberals aren’t afraid of much of anything. Disgusted, sure. We’re plenty disgusted with a lot of things going on in America and the world today, and rightfully so, but our repulsion isn’t fueled by fear. It’s fueled by hope for better days in America, a concept so antithetical to the rightists’ junked-out need for a constant influx of “bogeymen” (they’ve been trained well) that they aren’t able to process the notion that we don’t hate our country, we just take great, full-throated exception to how it’s being run by them. Or, more to the point, run into the ground by them.
I didn’t really follow the explosion of bedwetting blogs post-9/11 because I was too busy languishing in my pre-9/11 NYC liberal mindset, but apparently the blogosphere was flush with dorks in crouched-down, defensive positions who pecked away at something they called “warblogs.” These, ahem, “warbloggers” (must … stop … tittering) thought they were at war and no amount of fear of Blogger’s registration process and/or HTML interface was going to get in their way to fight the good fight. They were G.I. Jonesin’ for some seriously manly cutting ‘n’ pasting as they bravely stormed the frontlines of HyperText Transfer Protocol. And some of them, primarily “9/11 Republicans” and alleged libertarians, were so addicted to the notion that “everything changed after 9/11” that they discarded large, important chunks of their belief systems because they figured the “everything changed” doctrine applied to their very beings as well.

Read the whole thing here.

Skeletons Out of the Closet

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The always generous Aquarium Drunkard has a new live show posted today in his “Live Upload Series.” Betraying the ultimate hipster taboo, he admits he likes the Grateful Dead. It’s okay, folks, settle down. Some of the band’s early stuff was actually pretty good. Check out Cornell ’77 here. Many insiders (aka stoners in tie dyes) say it’s the band’s best show ever. Start with “Dancing in the Streets.” We admit to playing this one a few times in high school. Aquarium Drunkard has more live shows too:
Live Upload Series I :: James Booker
Live Upload Series II :: Steely Dan
Live Upload Series III :: The Meters
Live Upload Series IV :: My Morning Jacket
Live Upload Series V :: Ryan Adams
Live Upload Series VI :: The Meters II
Live Upload Series VII :: Undertow Orchestra
Live Upload Series VIII :: Foamfoot (1-8-94)

William Sloane Coffin

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Gawker reminded us that we forgot to honor the passing of Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr. If good people actually “go home to be with the Lord” when they die, then the Rev. has secured himself a place in the Kingdom. In an age of Pat Robertsons and James Dobsons, Coffin was a true crusader. From Wikipedia:

Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr. (June 1, 1924 – April 12, 2006) was a liberal Presbyterian and United Church of Christ clergyman and long-time peace activist with international stature.
He was a CIA agent, and later chaplain of Yale University, where the influence of Reinhold Niebuhr’s social philosophy led him to become a leader in the civil-rights and peace movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
He went on to serve as Senior Minister at the Riverside Church in New York City, and President of SANE/Freeze (now Peace Action), the nation’s largest peace and justice group, and prominently opposed United States military intervention from the Vietnam War to the Iraq War.