On this day in 1925, John Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution in Tennessee by a dozen apes.
In related news, the Census Bureau reported Friday that the geographic center of ignorance in the U.S. has shifted radically east since January 2001, now placed at 38° 53' 52" N, 77° 2' 20" W.
Columbian president Alvaro Uribe admitted today that members of the hostage-rescue team last week wore the Red Cross symbol during the mission, which is a serious violation of the laws of war:
Such a use of the Red Cross emblem could constitute a "war crime" under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law and could endanger humanitarian workers in the future, according to international legal expert Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.
Misuse of the Red Cross emblem is governed by articles 37, 38 and 85 of Additional Protocol One to the Geneva Conventions, the international rules of war. The articles prohibit "feigning of protected status by the use of ... emblems" of neutral parties and say that such misuses are considered breaches of international humanitarian law that qualify as a "war crime."
I had just started to write about the despicable ICE raid in Postville, Iowa, last May, when my only dog puked a volume of food so large I didn't know his stomach could hold that amount, right onto a 19th-century Persian rug.
In situations like these, you can't get mad at the dog, but oh my goodness you really want to.
Update: Nature's Miracle seems to be working, but that can't be good for the rug.
Via Talking Points Memo, North Carolina Agriculture Dept. employee L.F. Eason III retired rather than lower the flags at his state lab to honor the passing of Sen. Jesse Helms:
Eason, a 29-year veteran of the state Department of Agriculture, instructed his staff at a small Raleigh lab not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday, as called for in a directive to all state agencies by Gov. Mike Easley.
When a superior ordered the lab to follow the directive, Eason decided to retire rather than pay tribute to Helms. After several hours' delay, one of Eason's employees hung the flags at half-staff.
Nice. I approve.
Via Talking Points Memo, oy gevalt:
An AP-Yahoo News poll found that pet owners favor McCain over Obama 42 percent to 37 percent, with dog owners particularly in McCain's corner.
I mean, wow. Just when you think political reporting can't get stupider.
That said, Parker, like his owner, supports Obama.
Milestone: about 13 minutes ago, fewer than 200 days remain in the worst presidency in U.S. history.
That is all.
I try not to be part of the blogosphere echo-chamber, but I think it's important people get what Josh Marshall is saying here:
There's nothing odd or contradictory about Obama saying that he'll change the policy to one of withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq with a specific timetable but that he will consult with his military advisors about how best to execute that policy.
The simple truth is that this campaign offers a very clear cut choice on Iraq. One candidate believes that the US occupation of Iraq is the solution; the other thinks it's the problem. John McCain supports the permanent deployment of US troops in Iraq. That is why his hundred years remark isn't some gotcha line. It's a clear statement of his policy. Obama supports a deliberate and orderly withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. It's a completely different view of America's role in the world and future in the Middle East.
Our best friend (nationally speaking) is 141 years old today.
Her Majesty the Queen has punished the unspeakably foul dictator who has ruined Zimbabwe and thrown millions into starving poverty, by stripping him of his knighthood. This, on top of her government's ongoing finger-wagging and tut-tutting, will no doubt shame Robert Mugabe into better behaviour. Morgan Tsvangerai, you can go home now.
Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama have finally spoken up, though. They are probably the two most influential people in the world on this matter, so perhaps—just perhaps—things may start to change.
In Chicago, we have an annual vehicle tax of $75. Many neighborhoods also have restricted parking zones; permits are $25. Both vehicle stickers and parking permits expire on June 30th.
I mention this because I went to renew these things in person this afternoon down at City Hall. Yes, three business days before their expiration, I stood in line. How long? you wonder. This is city government, after all.
Chicago really is the city that works.
I even had time to go to the County Assessor's Office to clear up an issue with my property tax. That adventure took—wait for it—no time at all because the receptionist walked me through the process as soon as I entered the office.
City and county services like these make my head spin. Let's review: I walked into the building at 4:15 pm, and walked out at 4:45 with my vehicle sticker, parking permit, and corrected property tax information.
Try that in any other major city in the world. Ha!
And as an added bonus, via Calculated Risk, 75% of Americans blame the Current Occupant (208 days, 16 hours, 20 minutes) for the deteriorating economy. For the record, I'm one of them.
Side note: Chicago is wikitravel's destination of the month.