Reason to Steal: “It’s the Economy, Stupid!”

At least according to what a robber told the teller in the following story,

FBI: Bank Robber Says He Needs to Eat

Look, I don’t know this fellow’s situation. I’m not going to sit here and pontificate on what I would do if I was in his position.

It is peculiar that the alleged thief’s getaway car was a “tan gray or silver 4-door Chrysler sedan with custom rims.”

Rims
Too bad you can’t eat one of these

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Omaha

Omaha

(Pic source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/84263554@N00/204089511/)

So, where are all the cornfields?

Yeah I know, but some leeway should be given considering that people who move to Texas think that we’re all rocking cowboy hats down here and that there is a hitchin’ post outside every business, even Starbucks.

“Omaha, somewhere in Middle America…” or so goes the line from the Counting Crows tune that is shares a name with this post.

Middle America, now there is a loaded term. More often than not, it refers to the middle class here in these United States. You know, the demographic that politicos of every stripe take for granted except around election time.

I’m currently reading a book in which at one point, the venerable writer calls out ‘many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians’ and describes them like this:

[Their] ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christians friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave submiddle-class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.

I must admit this hits a bit too close to home, yet… yet, does not this ambition at times seem harmless and dangerously appealing?

Don’t Read the Bible Aloud on the Bus

According to this story,

“Woman Escorted Off Bus For Reading Bible Aloud”

A woman in Forth Worth was kicked off the bus for reading her Bible out loud to her kids.

I can’t say if this is “persecution” or not, it probably isn’t. I did find a comment attributed to a transit company’s rep interesting,

“Anyone who is loud will be asked to be quiet,” said representative Joan Hunter. “That is a standard policy across country in the transit industry.”

It’s interesting to me because I ride public transportation to work every day here in Houston and people yakking away on their cell phones is extremely annoying, yet to this date I have not heard any driver ask any of these folk to be quiet.

You know it’s bad when you hear the words “Hey, I’m on the bus…” because you know that a conversation which will last the entire hour bus ride will ensue.

You know it’s going to be really bad when the first person they call can’t talk and they go to the next entry in their Contacts.  Of course, it gets progressively worse as more Contacts either can’t talk or don’t pick up their phones.

A conversation which will reveal to anyone within hearing distance all sorts of details about a total stranger’s life which the rest of us would just be as happy as to remain ignorant about.

A former co-worker who also rides the bus to work and got fed up with these folk made a suggestion. To start reading something (anything) out loud to the talker in the hopes that he/she stopped chatting away.

While uncharitable it seems like an interesting social experiment so long as you don’t use a Bible.

Anything for Hannah Montana Tickets

This story is somewhat beyond belief but not entirely due to the Hannah’s fanatical following:

“‘We Never Said This Was A True Story’
Hannah Montana Concert Winner Wrote Untrue Essay On Dad’s Death”

I initially heard about this on the local news and truth be told when the mother was confronted (on camera) about the lie by a reporter she did what most every human being does when caught in a lie: mutter incomprehensibly, avoid eye contact, duck, and dodge.

Here is the essay according to the above story,

My daddy died this year in Iraq. I am going to give my mommy the Angel pendant that daddy put on mommy when she was having me. I had in in my jewelry box since that day. I love my mommy.

Texas Bedevils Arizona State

Didn’t watch the Holiday Bowl due to the simple fact that we do not have cable, but thanks to YouTube as well as the gentleman who provided the video embedded below, I caught the highlights,

How ’bout those highly-paid ESPN analysts? LOL…

For a spot-on analysis of the game click here.

The Chris Comer Mess

I’m a creationist. I believe that God created the heavens and the earth, as to the time frame in which he did it, as a friend of mine likes to say, “it depends on what day of the week you ask me.”

To be sure I tend to lean towards the literal interpretation of Genesis since that is what Scripture seems to indicate, but I don’t consider a literal view a litmus test for orthodoxy.

I thank Paleontologist Kurt Wise for summing things up,

Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.

I’m not a big fan of the Intelligent Design movement mainly due to their ambiguity as to who this Designer is. God has revealed Himself through Scripture, one can be repulsed by that but it doesn’t change the fact.

I do not believe that this point of view should be taught at public schools. For reasons which Romans 1 talks about the scientific establishment has stood its ground on the modern synthesis.

It would be an injustice for Christian students wishing to go into the scientific field not to be taught evolutionary theory for they will have to know what its claims are to be able to get any sort of scientific degree. They don’t have to agree with it but I do believe they should know what it’s about.

That being said, Chris Comer, the Texas Director of Science, was forced to step down. The reason? According to the story,“Hey Science, Don’t Mess with Texas” (I like the misleading title),

We begin our story on October 26 when Comer forwarded an e-mail announcing a presentation titled, “Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse,” by Barbara Forrest. Forrest co-authored a book arguing that creationist politics are advancing the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools, and are doing so through public relations rather than through scientific research. Shortly after forwarding the e-mail, Comer was put on administrative leave.

“Ms. Comer’s e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker’s position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral,” according to the author of a TEA memo calling for Comer’s firing.

How can the Texas Education Agency justify her firing her for endorsing a view which is taught at every Texas public school?

How can you blame Comer for holding a view which public school biology teachers throughout Texas are forced to teach?

Is TEA going to fire every biology teacher who teaches evolutionary theory? There’d be no bio teachers left!

Now Barbara Forrest (the fact that she is a philosopher speaks volumes) has replied to this unfortunate incident by writing a statement,

Barbara Forrest on Chris Comer’s forced resignation”

I don’t blame Forrest for her dismay at what happened, if I shared her viewpoint I’d be similarly outraged, heck I don’t but I’m still confused as to why Comer was let go.

Something which Forrest said in her statement grabbed my attention however for its naked irony,

Has the process of administering the public education system in Texas become so politicized that even the truth is a threat to people’s jobs? One can only conclude that it has.

This cuts both ways for scientists who are creationists and find themselves in the situation which Forrest laments. Their commitment to the inerrancy of the Bible whose author is Truth Himself is a threat to their jobs. I wouldn’t even go as far as creationists I would say anyone who questions evolutionary dogma, as Ben Stein will allegedly make clear in his upcoming movie, “Expelled”.

I don’t expect those who hold Forrest’s worldview to agree, how can they when their minds are still in the dark?

Elderly Women in front of a Counter in a Small Town

During the winter break of my first year of college I worked as a cashier at a now defunct truck stop in a small town.

The memories I have from said time are lively to say the least. Two incidents are still vivid in my mind after “all these” years.

If you hung around this blog long enough you know that I am Mexican. No, not of Mexican descent only (that is Mexican-American) but actually born in México.

Personally I can’t recall being discriminated against because of that, at least directly. I know there are people who think Mexicans inferior and all that but I haven’t directly been the target of such ignorance.

To be fair, I probably don’t fit the image most people might have of Mexicans for I’m not dark-skinned or swarthy or perhaps even wear a sombrero (If that is your impression of us, well you haven’t been exposed to very many of us). The accent I did have when I first started speaking English on a daily basis, is by all accounts gone.

The 2 incidents which I recall are in this vein. The first involved an elderly inhabitant of the aforementioned small town. The woman, she couldn’t have been younger than 70, and her sister came to buy something or other and as they were paying me they laid out their cash on the counter to count it (after all isn’t that what a counter is for?).

Now the women were Anglo and probably grew up during a time in this country were racism was not only extant but acceptable. As they finished coming up with the cash to cover their purchases one of the women turned to the other and dropped this line,

Put your money away before a Mexican comes and steals it

Now I found this amusing though I didn’t react visibly. My initial thought was, “This woman doesn’t know I’m Mexican or if she does she doesn’t care”.

I know such an incident might send some of my compatriots (real or pretend) scrambling for the nearest phone so they can call some civil rights group and demand so-called justice.

At the end of it I dismissed it as the ignorance of a woman who grew up at a time when such ignorance was believed and perhaps even encouraged. What question did arise in my mind was the following,

Were (are) Mexicans really viewed as thieves? Just waiting to part a fool from his/her money?

The other incident involved a couple of elderly Mexican women. Sometimes I would have to work the graveyard shift (Midnight-8am) and the middle of the night would bring bus after bus of gamblers (the vast majority Hispanic) going to or from the casinos in Louisiana (gambling is not legal in Texas).

One night a bus disembarked and sure enough it was a bunch of elderly Hispanics. Understand that working this shift is hard for it is somewhat unnatural to be awake during these hours. I probably didn’t look as awake as I could have been.

So these 2 Mexican women roll up to the counter to pay for whatever it is they bought and one of them tells the other one in Spanish,

This guy doesn’t even look like he’s awake

Of course she was referring to me and I let her know (in Spanish) that I was quite awake. The reaction was priceless as they always are when one commits such a faux pas. The woman was understandably embarrassed (unfortunately, I’ve been in her shoes and believe me it’s embarrassing) yet didn’t offer an apology.

She merely said, “Well you do look half-asleep”.

I know Pearl Jam sing about an “elderly woman behind a counter in a small town” but as for me the ones in front of a counter have proven more entertaining.