The Bill of Equal Rights

I was wondering this weekend what laws would look like if we treated each of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights equally.

Well, in Maryland we would have this law:

Religion Qualification License

Unless otherwise exempt, as of October 1, 2013, a Maryland resident must possess a valid Religion Qualification License before he/she may practice a religion. Details on exemptions may be found below. You do not need a Religion Qualification License to practice a religion you were born into so long as you were born prior to October 1, 2013. The Religion Qualification License is only needed for starting, transferring, or joining religions after October 1, 2013.

Please Note: Residency exemptions have been made for active military personnel and their spouses.
Q: How do you verify the credentials of current or retired military personnel?
A: Please refer to the following web-page.

Who Should Apply?

A person may not start, transfer into, or join a religion after October 1, 2013 unless they possess a valid Religion Qualification License (RQL) issued by the Maryland State Police or qualify for exemption status. 
Exceptions to possession of the RQL License 
  1. A Licensed Priest or Cleric.
  2. Active Prophet or a person retired in good standing from a licensed ministry of the United States, the State, or a local municipality.
  3. Active or retired member of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard and possesses a valid military identification card.
  4. A person purchasing, renting or receiving a religious antique, curio or relic as defined in federal law.
  5. Maryland licensed religious artifacts dealers.
Required to have the RQL, but exempt from the training component 
  1. Someone who completed a religion safety training course approved by the Secretary of the Department of Maryland State Police. 
  2. Has completed a course of instruction in the competency and safety of religious dogma as prescribed under Natural Resources Article, §10-301.1, Annotated Code of Maryland. Application for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety Course Certificate can be obtained from online and may be used in lieu of Qualified Religous Instruction.
  3. Is currently a qualified biblical instructor.
  4. Is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States or National Guard.
  5. Is an employee of an ministry who has a religion permit issued by MSP.
  6. Lawfully owns a regulated religious artifact.  If you already own a religious artifact prior to October 1, 2013, you do not have to complete the training to apply for the Religion Qualification License.
In accordance with the Religious Safety Act of 2013, individuals who are voluntarily admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility (either state, private or acute general), for a period of 30 consecutive days or more, or involuntarily certified and retained by an Administrative Law Judge may have to surrender their religious items and will be prohibited from owning or possessing a bible or other artifact unless an individual is granted relief from religion disqualification. DHMH makes available to persons who are prohibited from practicing certain religions a process to apply for relief from these prohibitions.


How to Apply


The Religion Qualification License is accessible online through MyLicense. For access please click HERE.

To apply for an RQL the law requires a fingerprint based background check here. You cannot submit your application until this is completed, unless you already possess as Maryland Proselytizing and Praying Permit.

Within 3 years prior to the submission of an RQL application, an applicant must demonstrate a satisfactory completion of a Religious Safety Training Course. Qualified Dogma Instructors can be found online.  The Dogma Safety Training Course must be instructed by a Qualified Dogma Instructor, and shall consist of a minimum of 4 hours of instruction and include the following minimum curricula:

  1. State Dogma Law. Overview of the State religion laws, including discussion of what constitutes a regulated religion, how to properly purchase or transfer religious artifacts, where allowed to carry or transport a bible, when necessary to possess a carry permit, who is prohibited from possessing religious artifacts, and state law relating to minors, permissible levels of proselytizing, and use of prayer.
  2. Home Dogma Safety. Overview of religious safety in the home, including discussion of proselytizing to minors, locking and storing of religious artifacts, and use of prayer, and other mind control activities.
  3. Bible Mechanisms and Operation. Overview of the proper operation and safe handling of a bible, including use and maintenance, the opening and closing of bibles, and the differences between transcribed versions and automatic or “recorded” bibles.
  4. Proselytizing and Prayer Demonstration. Orientation component that demonstrates the person’s ability to safely proselytize and or pray, to include a “live” component in which the applicant safely proselytizes or prays privately. An applicant may not be required to perform either in excess of 15 minutes during qualifications.


All this has happened before ... all this will happen again

Some things will never cease to amaze me.  Especially in IT, an industry which continues to court 20 somethings graduates who have a "new" way of doing things without understanding a single thing about the business model.

I can't even count how many times we have moved from server to desktop and back.  Master/Slave, Client/Server yadda yadda yadda.  And here we are again in another round - but this time it's called cloud computing.  If you have never heard my rant on that - suffice to say "Why would you ever turn your data over to another company over which you have no power or control, and at times no access?  Have you thought about what happens to your data when that company shutters?  Oh that will never happen you say.  Do you want me to cite a couple major companies which it was repeated would 'never' close shop?  And let alone having to pay to a subscription fee to have you data elsewhere.  No thank you.  No.  No way, No how, never.  Ever."

And this year is another large case in point.  Apple Computers - a company which failed in the consumer market (remember Jeff Goldblum and that marketing disaster?), and after targeting the prosumers was saved, has once again returned to the consumer marked with yet another nail in the coffin of one of their last prosumer products.

Apple announced at this years WWDC the death of Aperture.

Apple, a company which once dominated the graphics world, a company which was known for it's graphics power, which was a market leader in A/V technologies has been slowly killing off their market one app at a time.

With the release of this Yosemite comes the final patches for Aperture and iPhoto.  After nearly a ten year run, both apps are to be combined into a single, hip, iOS application that - from this photographers view appears to be crap.

Gone is facial recognition, gone is metadata, gone is GPS mapping support.  What's left?

Apples version of Photoshop elements.  Gee - thanks for that.  I can turn my color photo produced by my mid-range DSLR into a B&W, a Sepia or a funhouse mirror.  I sure am glad I spend on that money.  What were they thinking?

For years they kicked the bejesus out of Adobe.   And while people will argue religion over these products the differences were simple and limited - Adobe supported IPTC Extension tables (a proprietary product of Adobe) and Aperture supported Facial Recognition.

Now depending on what type of photography you are active in, both can have their pro's and cons.  More importantly, in Aperture you could make your own pseudo IPTC Extension table but you could not roll your own facial recognition package into Lightroom.  So you do the math there.

Whats left?  What do we have left to choose from?  Give up FR and shift to Light Room.  FR might be there one day.  I hear they have been working on it for two generations now without success.  In the mean time - I have hundreds of thousands of FR tagged photos and a nice facial database built up which saved me endless hours of personality identification on my system.  Data which appears will be lost once Aperture dies.  Further, knowing the heartburn between Adobe and Apple - Adobe will probably develop their own proprietary format which won't quite work with all the exported exif data from Aperture.

So I start saying my goodbyes to Aperture now.  Trying to get the last minor patch release (3.6) downloaded with some significant issues I might add.  The App updater doesn't even recognize that I own the product - which is what turned me on to this issue.  I guess we will be lucky to see 3.8 released.  All my hopes for Apple kicking the ever loving crap out of Light Room by simply adding the IPTC 2.x data tables (a simple DB function) and the Extension Tables (which include modeling and release data) are gone in a puff of smoke.

I will enjoy it while I can - it's been a long run.  But unless some significant modifications are made to the Photos application it simply won't be up to the task.

I obtained Lightroom on a lark - in order to compare the two products.  I guess I will have to upgrade it now and really learn the interface.  I will do it - kicking and screaming all the way down the road.

Good job Apple.  You didn't learn in the 90's.  You didn't learn from Final Cut.  And you probably are not listening to the whaling and gnashing of teeth from your Aperture users.  So one is left with the realization that it isn't that you haven't learned - you just don't care about the prosumers who saved your bacon and kept you afloat for all those years.

Ferguson and Race

Topics like this are extremely difficult.   

First, you have to deal with the fact (and few articles do, but which I think we all here understand) that police, especially in high crime areas, by the nature of their job are constantly at high risk, are constantly dealing with the worse of society and constantly are having to make split second life and death decisions.  

Taking the position that someone the police is dealing with is not a danger simply because they are not armed is a falsehood. Primarily because the police never know if you are armed or not until it's too late.  Every interaction with the public, no matter how it starts can end in the officer's death.  And, that tends to put all police officers just a little on edge when they approach you.  It may not show - but it is always in their minds.

Which is of course why police are constantly trying to take control of situations using a "command voice", and "posture of authority".  

Many people, see this as the police being "dicks" or "disrespectful", so they resist police instructions.  In fact, the police are simply trying to control the situation so no one gets hurt.

And, if the person the cops are trying to tell to get down, stop, turn around, or put their hands up is refusing, that is probably going to send the cops to the "ready position" (hands on weapon).  The situation is now just one quick move by either party to resulting in death.

Argue all you want about your innocence, but when dealing with someone who is armed, has the authority to shoot you, and deals with people who want or are willing to shoot him - then you better think long and hard before making any swift movements.

We do not know the facts of the current case, only what is dribbling out of the media.  Some of this is by investigative design.  By this I mean that investigations take time and facts are frequently held as not to bias a jury.  For either side.

What we have heard (and I say heard because none of us were there) are that Brown MAY have been involved in a crime moments before the shooting.  And, that he MAY have assaulted the store owner during that crime.  Most of us were not there, and so we don't know.

That being said the video shows two individuals who appear to be of both Michael Brown and Dorrian Johnson (description appears to match height, weight, dress, and race) and that cigars matching the brand stolen were indeed found on Michael Brown's body.

Then it is reported that Michael Brown MAY have assaulted the cop the the point of grabbing his weapon, and may have fractured his skull resulting in an orbital blowout.  Then, having reportedly just been severely beaten the officer reportedly draws his weapon and orders Michael Brown to stop.  Instead, Brown reportedly hurls insults and challenges at the officer then reportedly charges him at full speed.

Yup, combine your refusal to "stand down", "freeze", "calm down" whatever you call it along with your suddenly charging at the cop who has his gun drawn on you and whom you just beat - you are probably gonna get shot.  And not just once.  The cop will continue pulling the trigger until he's empty - then he will probably reload and empty out again.  REGARDLESS of your race.

This reportedly results in a number of hits in Michael Brown's arm, face and eventually his head.  Many argue this "proves" that Michael Brown was executed.  The ME however states that the injuries are "not inconsistent with" (again not the same as "consistent with") a suspect being fired at while charging an officer.

In such instances the first couple shots (which are coming in rapid fire) may strike the body and you start to fall - but the officer is still rapidly shooting and one shot goes into your skull.  OR, you could be at a full tilt run, head down when you get the final killing blow to the head.

One statistic reported late last week was that there are some 12 million arrests per year, of which about 400 result in police involved shootings.  That's both a lot of shootings - but a pretty low number statistically.  It is not at all what the media would have you believe.  

The fact is of course that when guns are drawn, someone is probably gonna die and it all happens very quickly.  Once you make the decision to shoot, it's not like the rifle range or pistol range - or even on the hunt - where you take a slow methodical shot.  

It's terror, your brain and body speed up and most people empty their dang clips is an instant.  

So, it's not unexpected to see (as shown in the article) statements like 10 cops fired 60 shots.  It's human nature. Just look at a couple dash cam videos circulating now - or search officer involved shootings on YouTube.

Then there is one eye witness who states that the two boys were fleeing, and that brown was shot in the back. 

Now I'm willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, since I wasn't there.  But my ears perked up at the statement that the cop, reached from inside the squad car, out and tried to choke Michael Brown - who was over six feet tall?  Um, ok, I'm six feet tall.  I'll come stand by your car and from the drivers seat you reach out and try to choke me.  

He has also stated in other interviews that his friend was shot in the back while fleeing.  The Medical Examiner stated all shots were frontal entries and "not inconsistent with" (which is not the same as "consistent with") the officers story that he was being charged by brown.  Some will argue that this proves Dorrian Johnson was lying.  No, not really.  All it proves is how perception is not always reality.  Dorrian probably fled with Michael when the first shot was fired - and assumed Michael was still fleeing when the remaining shots were fired.  However, evidence now is that Michael was facing the officer when shot.

It is being reported now that he has now recanted much of his story.  The first reports are almost always inaccurate.  As people have time to reflect on what they actually saw you get a little better picture.

For all those screaming  about race.

Unjustified shooting is unjustified shooting and race doesn't play into it until you prove race came into it.  

But racially charged groups will never get this because you rarely see long strung out media coverage of when a white officer "guns down" an "unarmed white teenager".  And, you never see long drawn out coverage when anyone shoots a cop.

So, the appearance is that the police are out there running ram-shod over some comunities.   Especially when combined with racial construct of the department.  But the news NEVER  reports how many minorities apply to become cops?  Why do you think that is?  It doesn't fit the agenda.

Then you have instigators come in and make things worse starting the "no justice no peace" BS which is a flat out threat and call to violent insurrection as opposed to "know justice know peace"; and you get people openly threatening police and judges (as if racially biased police violence could be cured by those actions).  You get people demanding that before the trial the "cop" (who is white thus the "white cop") be found guilty.  What would the public think if the media started showing the opposite?

What if all we saw were "angry whites" protesting "black thugs" and demanding that Brown be found guilty or we'd tear up black business?  Wholly crap!  The world would (rightfully) loose its mind!

So not only is the media playing into and stirring up race hate - but the underlying story they are actually portraying African Americans as angry, uncontrollable rioting thugs who are getting what they deserve by being shot by racist cops.

See how crazy that is?  This is sick.  And yet so many are buying into it without seeing what's going on.

The media is going to sensationalize the stories they think will sell the most copy without regard to what such imagery does to the public.  That's why they use emotionally charged  phrases like "gunned down", and "executed" such words are meant to give a specific picture - as opposed to "shot" and "killed" which are more accurate until all the facts are known.  Just like the use of the term "unarmed".  Accurate?  Misleading?  Yup.

Let's look at Michael Brown a couple different ways all of which are "true" (depending on which "facts" you want to focus on).
  1. "unarmed teenager shot by a police officer
  2. "a six foot two two hundred and fifty pound suspect with a violent history, who severely beat the officer, attempted to take the officers gun and who was eventually shot by the officer "
  3. "an unarmed black teenager was gunned down by" ... "a white cop"
What do you read in each of these examples?  How does your opinion change?

  1. This example shows factual reporting without bias.  Michael Brown was "unarmed", although some will argue his height and weight along with his temperament and mental posture having just robbed a store made him a risk.
  2. This example is clearly also accurate, although some of the "facts" (contact with the officer) are in dispute.  Without qualifiers that the suspect "reportedly" beat the officer, and "reportedly" attempted to take the officer's weapon - results in a story which is obviously bias towards the police department and portrays the victim as a violent person.
  3. This example also has multiple issues.  First, there is the bias of age.  The story presents the suspect as a child.  Even though the term "child" is not used - what image comes to mind when you think "teenager"?  Then, we note that the suspect is black and the police officer is white.  Now, this needs to be considered in a larger context.  Does the media outlet who is reporting this story ALWAYS include the race of the individuals involved?  If not, this is an example of race baiting. Next is the term "gunned down".  What comes to mind when you hear that phrase?  You may have the image of someone being hunted, or chased and shot.  This is what was intended.  They might as well have used the term "executed".  A very definite bias is used here.  Finally a pejorative is used.  Did you catch it?  "Cop" is a term used by many to describe police officers in a negative light.  Sure, it is also used by others (primarily "Cops") to describe themselves.  But, the use here combined with race and age of the victim is questionable.
All three examples of how the same situation could be described to completely different ends resulting in completely different mental pictures of the situation.  And which have we seen?

One depiction is an angelic victim, the second could kick your ass every way to Sunday which may have resulted in a justified shooting and the third is intended to elicit the "oh hell no!" response.  

It's a different situation, and depending on how the media wants you to feel - they will paint a specific picture for you.

The good thing is more and more dash cams are being installed and we can see how many of these events go south and how quickly.   It is unfortunate that this incident didn't yet have those cameras in place.

What's more interesting is that with all the video cameras that are more or less ubiquitous in modern society only one video has reportedly appeared and it's reportedly of witness conversations after the event.

Kinda hard to believe what with everyone rushing to record cops these days don't ya think?  Especially in a town which "reportedly" has a "history" with the population.  Without coming right out and saying it - when I hear that line I  immediately though the media was trying to tell me that years and years of police race based brutality had been the order of the day.  Did you think that way?  See, they didn't say it - and yet they did.  

So if this were true,  hell, everyone would be recording every cop they saw.

I'm not sayin it's true, not sayin it's a lie.  I'm just asking the point question - if everyone today has cameras, and everyone in this town knows all the police officers are racist copts - then how is it that not a single video, picture or audio recording of this event exists?

Sorry Charlie -

I have few recollections and even fewer fond memories of my youth.

One of those memories of those times which remains today is, believe it or not, the simplicity of tunafish.

Regardless of the brand, it was always nice firm chunk tuna.  The perfect base ingredient to eat alone or as part of a larger dish, be it tuna sandwich, grilled cheese and tuna, tuna casserole or just tuna with a little mayo on a saltine.  It was all good.  It was simple.  It would survive years on the shelf and it was (relatively) cheap.  What a crowd pleaser.

What we get today looks like it was run through a blender before being canned.  And, regardless of brand they all continue carry the label practically screaming the phrase "chunk tuna".  Sadly, those labels today should read "tuna paste".

This is never more apparent then when opening the tuna.

There is a time honored method to preparing your tuna.  Using a can opener you round the lid.  But, instead of tossing it aside you grab the entire can (detached lid still in place) with both hands.  Placing one thumb at the three o'clock and one thumb at the 9 o'clock position you press the lid down into the tuna.  This forces the tuna down and the liquids up towards the surface.  You then tip the can so that the liquid (water, oil or what ever packing is used) out of the can.  As the liquid drains out you press more firmly onto the lid squeezing more of the liquid out.

Back in the day - the chunks of tuna were so large inside the can that you could successfully extract practically all the liquid without loosing any of the tasty tuna.  But, today using the same method a practically half the contents of tuna swim out with the liquid only to be lost down the drain.  Go ahead, try it yourself you will see what I mean.

Now to all those "simpletons" who say that it still tastes the same.  Yes, I agree.  Tuna tastes like tuna.  But the joy if eating is more than just the flavor.  If all I wanted was the smell and taste of tuna I could, if you will pardon the analogy, go rent one of the cheaper young ladies in Baltimore.

But fine dining (even on simpler foods) is more than just smell and taste.  It is texture, color, presentation.  And these are the qualities lacking in today's canned tuna.  Thus, I recommend that the brands take a good hard look at their tag lines as well as their labels because nothing of the product remains.

I don't care which mermaid you ask, not only does today's tuna have no taste - but without the appropriate texture it doesn't taste good either.  So bum bum bumble bee that Charlie!

What a tragically unbelievable waste of an opportunity

Every day the list of this Presidents failures continues to grow - and yet there are those who walk among us believing still that he is doing a good job.


Let's reflect on just a few moments.

"The police acted stupidly" - when they were simply trying to ascertain if the man was indeed safe.

Nobel asked for the peace prize back.  Enough said.

"UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems." – how is this suppose to make us feel good about government run healthcare?  He doesn't even know which parcel services are federal and which are private.

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."  - except for the guy who risked, worked and earned that wealth.  What will you do when he goes Gault?  Who will you Mouch from then Wesley?  (Too far?  It's a literary reference).

"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." -- way to win'em over big guy.

Returned a bust of Winston Churchill, then claimed reports he had done so were 100% patently false.  Then later when forced, said , ok it's true.

And to prove who much class he had, presented  the Queen with an iPod filled with speeches by  ... Barrack Obama.

Completely misrepresented the Brotherhood, misunderstood Arab Spring and was completely wrong about not only the outcome, but it's context within the Middle East.

Let's skip a bit (like 5 years, otherwise this will take awhile)

"Sanctions are working" - Russian troops are massing.  You have a strange sense of what works.

"Hamas is acting irresponsibly by placing weapons in civilian facilities" - no, drinking too much is irresponsible, not wearing a seatbelt is irresponsible, but violating the Geneva  Convention is a war crime.

Still no answers on Benghazi, the IRS, ICE, Fast & Furious, and worse - no one is in jail.

The INS isn't deporting, the DoJ isn't prosecuting and the DHS isn't securing.  In fact, as one talk who host put it, the only walls and security this administration believes in are around the White House, and the Capital Building - those are ok but not at the border.

Our debt has now tripled under one President and it's still climbing.  Remember how the left railed at Reagan and Bush over debt?  It maxed out at $6 Trillion.  It's now approaching $21 trillion. This single president has spent more than twice what every president before him (combined) has spent.  

Gas prices, well let's give credit where credit is due - he kept that promise, under $2 when he took office and now it's $4.

But Gitmmo is still open, were still in the Middle East, we're forcing more companies overseas with our outrageous tax rates, were imposing fines on banks who we forced (by legislation) to make unrealistic loans or whom we forced to assume bad loans from other failed institutions.

We've lost the respect of our friends (and most of our friends as well), our enemies no longer fear us, and we are now worse off as a nation among nations than when Carter was in charge.

We are more divided amongst ourselves than any time in my life and I was around during the Nixon years.

This is not about party, this is not about race, this is about the complete failure of our President.  A man who loves to demand compromise, but refuses to meet anyone anywhere except on his own point.  Everyone who isn't with him, is partisan, blockers, unpatriotic, acting like terrorists, holding children hostage and the ad homonyms continue ad nauseam.

This is a man who could have been great, but has been nothing more than a great disappointment.  Had he learned to simply reach across the isle even just a bit he could have had it all.  

Had he only participated a little.  After all, the Republicans have a long long history of compromise.  Every session they compromised over tax cuts for Democratic promises of future spending cuts which never emerged.  And every session they again agreed to the same promises.

But no - he had to have it all his own way or he would result to demonizing his opponents.  Something the left has become extremely good at.  

The problem is that you drive you opponent away, instead of bringing them in.

And now in the final years - people wonder why Republicans are dug in.  People wonder why conservatives won't compromise just one more time.  

It's not that they have been constantly lied to, no, and it's not that for 60 years promised spending cuts have never emerged, no.  It's not because the left refuses to act in good faith on any single issue for the betterment of the country, no. 

No, it's because Republicans are all racists.  Yes, the party of abolitionism, are racists (liberals heads still explode when you point out this inconvenient fact, then they quickly change the topic to how bad Bush the younger was).  Yes, Republicans are all white and our President doesn't look like them.  Our president doesn't look like Republicans at all.  

He doesn't look like Republicans like Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, A. Phillip Randolph, Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, Or Jackie Robinson.

He doesn't look like Republicans like Harriet Tubman, Dr Martin Luther King Jr., or J. c. Watts.

He doesn't look like Republicans like Tim Scott, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Alphonso Jackson, Allen West. 

He doesn't even look like Republicans like Rod Paige, Clarence Thomas, Jennifer Carrol, Herman Cain, Michael Steele, or Dr. Ben Carson.

Nope, what evil bastards.  Like Joe says of Republicans 'they wanna put y'all back in chains'.

For more than two-hundred years, more than forty men have held the office of President before him. Each found a way to leave the coming generations better off than the previous. To a man each of them, while struggling with party opposition, found a way to keep the light on the hill lit.  A beacon to all mankind of a better way.  

Now, for the first time in our history, more than 60% of our population believe that their children will be worse off than they are.

This man, in his singular vision walked into the White House, looked at that flame, liked his fingers and squeezed the wick. 

What a tragically unbelievable waste of an opportunity.

Obama Administration - Science Deniers

I must admit, when I saw a major figure within the Obama Administration this past week denying the facts and realities of science I was taken aback.  When I heard him speak to the dangers of taking the wrong side of an argument which has long been resolved - that if his position was not supported with millions, billions, of tax payer dollars it would literally be the death of us all.  That unfunded - this scientifically unsupported position would result in damage not yet seen by any man, woman or child I was horrified.

Who, but a science denier, would make such wild accusations?  But apparently these statements were made on behalf of the entire Obama Administration.  Now, I was shaken to my very foundation.  How is it that a political party, a presidential administration who claims so fervently to stand solely on the foundations of science make such anti-scientific claims combined with Fear, Uncertainty and Doom (FUD) only to take from you … money.

Yes, this week John Kerry stood before the world and publicly stated that the Democrats and the entire Obama Administration had given up on science when he stated that Global Warming was the most serious and devestating risk facing the world today.

Has Kerry never heard of the scientific fact of evolution?  Well, in short evolution states that everything adapts, fairly quickly, to its environment.  That we as beings only a few short years ago (relative to the age of the earth) were mere primates and before that a primordial ooze.

So how is it that we can evolve from ooze, that plants and vegetation can evolve from literally nothing and yet - all this evolution will stop and everything on the planet will cease to exist because in about 10,000 years the temperature of the earth "might" rise as much as 1/10th of 1 degree.

It's downright unscientific.  Or, are the scientists now saying that evolution was a just a theory all along.  Or perhaps that all things can evolve, so long as the temperature remains constant over the course of ten millennium.   Or has evolution simply stopped all together.  If one were to use the modern NEA as any form of measurement one could conclude that not only has evolution stopped, but devolution is well underway.

In any case, and quite frankly, the two statements postulated by the liberal party - that we are the product of evolution, but that a 1/10th degree increase over thousands of years will be the end of us all - fail to equate in a thinking, logical mind.  Or even one with the minimalist of education for that matter.

A Rosenkrantz by any other name

look you now,
how unworthy a thing you make of me!
You would play upon me;
You would seem to know my stops;
You would pluck out the heart of my mystery;
You would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass:
And there is much music,
Excellent voice,  in this little organ;
Yet cannot you make it speak.

do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe?
Call me what instrument you will,

though you can fret me,
yet you cannot play upon me.

Too late my appreciation comes for the classics.  One day at work, a few years ago after a very trying and difficult effort, I understood as if I had been shot through the head - what Hamlet was truly about.

What would I have changed had I understood that mankind does not change over the ages. That the politics of his day, are the same as mine.  The betrayals the same.  The issues, the same.

It all seems so clear to me now.  Was it that high school was trying to apply an appreciation to those of us who had no compass, no point of reference?  Or trying to prepare us for what lie (literal) lay ahead?

But what high school student can understand the betrayals of Hamlet?  What 18 year old can understand not only the language but also the references or for that matter the inferences?    All I can say is that for all the education I did receive in what I would today consider a top notch school - the educational system failed so many of my class.

When I compare what I knew the day I graduated to what was known by those who went before me - I am disappointed.  The degradation of our knowledge, the lack of preparation we impart upon our young discourages and angers me.

All I can think is - how dare they choose an instructor for me who so obviously had not experienced, let alone understood, what Hamlet was about.  And each of them must have experienced it in one situation or another - that deep and personal hurt brought only by the realization of betrayal so close to home.  Yet had they failed to make the connection?  Or were they simply incapable of making it personal?  Making it hit home?

What are we doing to our youth?