Monday, February 26, 2007

Cartoons re: Fixed Earth Folk

Following up on my recent post about the inroads fixed-earthers are making in various state legislatures even though it's two-thousand-fucking-seven, a couple of good cartoons this week:

Some Guy With A Website (formerly "Xquzyphyr & Overboard"):
Some Guy With A Website

This Modern World:
This Modern World

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Gaffney Assassination

Please to be reading The Significance Of Frank Gaffney, by Jonathan Schwarz. In it, he completely destroys Gaffney, while simultaneously underscoring how unimportant either Gaffney or his complete destruction really is.
In a healthy country, Gaffney would spend his days arguing with his enormous collection of Star Wars action figures. Here in America, we constantly put him on TV as as "expert" on foreign policy and give him an organization with a $2 million budget.

...I don't [debunk Gaffney] in hopes Gaffney himself would ever acknowledge what he said was false; in fact, I doubt he can distinguish between fantasy and reality well enough to understand this. Moreover, even if you could get him to stop doing this kind of thing, it wouldn't make any difference. He'd just get fired, and his bosses would hire another mouthpiece.

...This, more than anything else, is why I compare Gaffney to Holocaust deniers. Holocaust deniers begin by holding a crazy position; say, no European Jews died during World War II. When confronted by overwhelming evidence to the contrary—for instance, there used to be all these Jews in Europe, and after the war they weren't there anymore—the most they'll ever say is that the missing people's whereabouts is a "mystery" that may never be solved.

Friday, February 16, 2007

State Reps Fight For Fixed Earth Education

Via Talking Points Memo, a story that may make you doubt not only what year this is, but maybe what century, and possibly even what millennium.

First Georgia State Rep. Ben Bridges (R), and then Texas State Rep. Warren Chisum (R), circulated around their respective state legislatures claims that evolution is really a Jewish conspiracy and that the Earth doesn't rotate or orbit the sun.

Barnes' memo pointed fellow state legislators to the information at which rails against the "a mystic, anti-Christ 'holy book' of the Pharisee Sect of Judaism" and claims that "the earth is not rotating ... nor is it going around the sun." They've even caught on to the "centuries-old conspiracy" on the part of Jewish physicists to destroy Christianity.

That site is awesome. With the aid of a breathtaking assortment of every font, color and means of emphasis known to man, it is "Exposing the False Science Idol of Evolutionism, and Proving the Truthfulness of the Bible from Creation to Heaven... since 1973"

Now that the word is out, our intrepid statesmen are trying to backpedal somewhat. I can almost see the Texan passing something along without "vetting the material more carefully," -- it's stupid, but we can almost give him the benefit of the doubt -- but that nutjob in Georgia had this to say (emphasis mine):
Asked if he agreed with the Kaballah evolution conspiracy theory and the earth's lack of motion, he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "I agree with it more than I would the Big Bang Theory or the Darwin Theory. I am convinced that rather than risk teaching a lie why teach anything?"

That statement defies belief. That it was uttered by a grown man, duly elected by other grown people to represent them in, well, anything at all, but especially in their state government, in 2007, defies imagination. Trying to grasp that the speaker was prompted by religious faith to warn of the risks of "teaching a lie" may, in fact, cause blurry vision, dizziness and loss of bowel control. If I were you, I wouldn't try it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Example Number One (of Approx. Two Kabillion)

Yesterday, I mentioned how there are more than plenty of actual, real, important issues that political leaders and presidential aspirants could spend their time thinking about, talking up and working on. Case in point, today's story: U.S. on List of UNICEF's Worst Countries for Kids:
A new report from the U.N. Children's Fund says the United States and Britain are the worst countries in the industrialized world in which to be a child. UNICEF says an examination of 40 factors, such as poverty, deprivation, happiness, relationships, and risky or bad behavior puts the United States and Britain at the bottom of a list of 21 economically developed nations.

An article about the report in The Guardian, UNICEF: U.S., British Children Worst Off, of course focuses more on the British bits. However, it also has this heartening news about life for the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society, here in the good ol' United States of Superpowerfulness:
The U.S. finished last in the health and safety category, based on infant mortality, vaccinations for childhood diseases, deaths from injuries and accidents before age 19, and whether children reported fighting in the past year or being bullied in the previous two months.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dear Presidential Hopefuls & Accompanying Media Circus: Please STFU

I can't take it anymore.

Instead of good guys fighting against good guys (e.g., Hillary, Obama Clash Over Iraq), wouldn't it be cool if the Democratic leaders would, you know, lead? And if the media -- the blogosphere included -- would stop feeding the flames by giving a crap about a race that's 20 months away?

I know the press wants the next year and a half to be all Election 2008, all the time. The ink wasn't dry on the 2006 midterm results before they started whipping up the frenzy over the presidential race. And what stories there are, already! Did you hear, one of 'em's a WOMAN! And there's a BLACK MAN! And a MORMON! How weird is that?! One campaign even hired a CONTROVERSIAL BLOGGER! WOW! OMG!! I think I just SHIT MY PANTS! WHAT COULD HAPPEN NEXT?!

Seriously. Think how much stronger the entire Democratic platform and party could be, if they'd focus half as much energy and attention on getting the country out of the various ditches Bush & Co. have driven us into, as they'll spend on jockeying for the White House. I mean, there is A LOT of work to do. If you pause to think about it for twenty seconds, and you can't think of at least five gigantic, generation-affecting issues that are totally ragingly out-of-control on fire, well, then as the bumper sticker says: you, my friend have not been paying attention.

What excuse do the candidates have for squandering their time like this? Why do people who think they're qualified to lead our nation think there's a minute to waste playing along with this freak show? Why do we let them get away with this? In what way is our democracy served by transforming these poor bastards into super-mega-media-freak caricatures of themselves for two years? And then we figure one will come out well-suited to be our head of state? Is everything just reality TV now? Is the makeup, the presentation and the staged, behind-the-scenes drama all that matters?

What a colossal fucking waste of time. Wake me on Labor Day, 2008. I'll try to give a shit then.

Monday, February 12, 2007

It Can Happen Here

It Can Happen Here book cover

So I joked about this one time, but saw today that there really is a book coming out on this theme: It Can Happen Here - Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush. The only part I got wrong was that it's by some live guy, Joe Conason, rather than a zombified, reanimated, spectral or otherwise undead Sinclair Lewis.

From the Publishers Weekly blurb on Amazon:
Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel It Can't Happen Here envisaged a right-wing populist president, advised by a cunning political strategist and backed by a cynical alliance of religious fundamentalists and corporations, who uses security threats to consolidate dictatorial powers, destroy civil liberties and establish folksy fascism. This is a virtual blueprint for the current Bush administration, a "corrupt and authoritarian ruling clique" that accords the president "the prerogatives of a king," argues political columnist Conason.

Available starting Feb. 20, until the next book-burning.