Yippee skippee! The Supremes today ruled 6-3 that prayers at school football games are just like prayers at any other school functions — verboten. The school district argued that football games are voluntary, not mandatory, and that the students themselves elected the people who gave the prayers; Justice Stevens, representing the majority, ruled that “School districts cannot exact religious conformity as the price of attending extracurricular events,” and “School sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.” (The entire decision can be read here, in PDF form.)

In another decision I’m happy about, the Court held (via denial of review) that Louisiana cannot require school districts which teach the theory of evolution to also teach creationism. The logic was the same — that the law that would have required it is an impermissible mixing of government and religion — and not surprisingly, the voting blocs in both cases were the same (Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas on the minority side, and the other six Justices in the majority.) The PDF version of the decision is here.

I spent my whole day in the first of four intensive medical Spanish language classes, and I learned a lot about my brain. For instance, my four years of French are a lot closer to conscious memory than I previously thought; a number of times today, I read a Spanish phrase, and my brain quickly returned the French version thereof, rather than the English version. This is definitely one of those instances when I don’t get how I’m wired.

This makes me feel less-than-secure about flying out of LaGuardia, especially since nobody will confirm or deny that the air traffic controller at fault has been removed from his or her position in the tower.

Yummy yummy, new Bushisms of the Week. My favorite:

“I’m gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I’ve read—I understand reality. If you’re asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do.”

MP3Lit has a hilarious taped call by comedian Mike Loew to an anti-abortion center online; I particularly love the part where the second woman comes online and screams how Mike has been deceived by Satan.

David Strom’s pseudoanalysis of the Realtime Blackhole List has been getting a lot of playtime, but it’s hard for me to see how it’s all that great. His biggest complaint seems to be that the RBL rules enforce a behavior — closed-loop confirmations on mailing lists — that isn’t an industry standard. So what? Closed mail relays used not to be an industry standard; you used to be able to send mail through any damn mail server you pleased. But in the interest of spam prevention, open mail relays are now verboten, as should be mailing lists that allow anyone to add anyone else to the list.