Reachin’ For Fireflies

I am not a good person.

I know that.

I took entirely too much glee in the Kansas win over Ohio State. Entirely too much.

I loathe Ohio State. It is not “THE” anything.

I loathe it because I am from MSU. I loathe U of M too. I dance on their graves.

I would root for satan in a match between them.

I am thrilled to squash their little heads in my hands until their brains squirt out.

I am not a good person.

But we all have our little quirks don’t we? :)

I believe in God. I have a worked out theology that I’m comfortable with. I fit in pretty well in most of the mainline Catholic, Protestant theologies. We quibble around the fringes. I consider myself sane and reasonable, and frankly normal.

Much as I admire the intelligence of Richard Dawkins, he would not return the favor. He thinks I’m nuts, and I frankly don’t appreciate it. I saw him on Chris Hayes Up a week ago, and found him as I usually do, just a bit too insufferably arrogant. The problem was put in a nutshell by Quinn O’Neill from 3quarksdailythe man cares more about eradicating religion than he does in keeping vacuous “creationism” out of school curriculums. And that is simply wrong in my opinion.

Dawkins actually now advocates outright, in-your-face ridicule of believers. He doesn’t differentiate between the knuckle-dragging fundies who believe the earth is flat and only 6,000 + years old and those who believe that the universe is the creation of a greater mind who nurtures life and encourages connection to a fuller life.

On the other hand, there are folks like Robert Wright, whose book I reviewed here, who take a very different tack. In his article at The Atlantic, Wright argues that such an approach is needlessly confrontational and creates enemies where none need be.

While I agree and have argued here, that the far far Right is unreachable by reason, that is simply not the case with a great many who hold anti-science opinions, simply because that is what they were taught at home and they’ve never had the need or reason to confront an alternative explanation. These people can be persuaded by real evidence, and that opportunity is missed when you come at them like a Rottweiler.

Both are worth reading.

Which brings me to art. Now, I am not what you call art savvy. I know what I like and what I don’t like, and I’m not impressed with experts on this issue, because I think a piece either speaks to you, or it doesn’t and that is the point is it not? It says something about life, the human condition or you simply love the colors and it matches the sofa. I am thusly a live and let live woman when it comes to what makes you swoon artfully speaking.

That said, I saw a segment on 60 Minutes about the pop art of the day, and the unbelievable prices for which the stuff goes. Some of it is crap, and I wouldn’t want it sitting at the end of my drive way awaiting the trash collector. Other stuff I thought “wow, I’d love to have that!”

Except that I can’t. These art fairs are singularly held in the playgrounds of the rich and famous, and while you make look, you may not touch, unless you have at least $250,000 to plunk down for that rusty faucet dripping water, or that hoe with an entangled bunch of hose and some flamingo boas entwined in what can only be described as  “I found a way to make a million exercising only 1/10 of my brain cells” chic.

Yes, I’m well aware that there are little known “local fairs” with a bunch of local artist wannabes and a few genuine original geniuses possibly to be found, but I can learn to throw a pot too ya know. So my question is still valid.

My question?

Yes. Is there no morality to art?

Meaning–where are the artists who so love their work that they want the little guy to have a chance to own a piece? Where are the artists who refuse to let their pieces initially sell for more than say $50 or at least no more than 20% over the cost of materials? Am I whacked for even suggesting it? Is art only the play toy of the rich and famous?

You tell me.

On a final note, a little help.

We are not looking for you to vote and decide for us.

But, we are entirely conflicted regarding our dog Bear. Some days we feel we should have him put down and bury him with Brandy, and at other times, he seems good to go. We don’t trust ourselves any more. It would be vastly easier to not take him. How much is this truth likely to push us in the wrong direction?

Here are the facts.

  • He is incontinent either through dementia or just not giving a rat’s ass any more. We have to cut him off from water by 8 pm or face a clean up the next day.
  • He is increasingly hard of hearing.
  • He has some difficulty on some days getting up and down the porch steps (he had his leg badly broken as a youngster).
  • He gags some days all day, a bit between gagging and coughing (which can be a sign of heart trouble or at least some growth)
  • He is in his 14th year and that is really old for a border collie.
  • He took Brandy’s death very badly and it took weeks before he pulled himself out of it. The trip would be disorienting and confining. He would be on a harness and leash for months.
  • He’s always been free to roam and this meadow has been his home for 12 years.

On the other hand:

  • He eats  fine.
  • He seems to eliminate fine.
  • He seems in no major pain, though we suspect he aches (he paces some nights)
  • He still likes to go for a ride, and experiences some interest in sniffing around, if only for a short time now.
  • He still seeks pets and affection.

We are thinking of taking him to the vet and having him checked out and let the vet guide us. Any other ideas we have missed ? 

Annual Grifters Conference Held in Shangri-La

Grifters from around the world are gathering in Shangri-La for their annual conference.

This years attendees seem to be particularly numerous especially from the “dictatorship” category, as many now deposed autocrats are looking for a refresher course in “how to dupe all the people all the time.”

We scurried in and grabbed a program of seminars that are hot this conference:

  • Dissembling: The Art of the Dodge
  • Slight of Hand: as in Where are the Jobs?
  • Perfecting the Non-Answer and Redirecting the Discussion to Banalities
  • How to Spot the Lazy Mark
  • Methodology in Fear Tactics and Creation of the Other to Blame
  • Developing and Massaging the Greedy Publisher: Lies Sell!
  • Staying on Message: The Art of Lying

Prominent speakers at this conference are listed as:

  • Sarah Palin “How I Turned My Lack of Knowledge into Big Bucks”
  • Newt Gingrich: “Creating Nice Sounding Organizations that Pay YOUR Bills!”
  • David Barton: “You Too Can Re-Create Your Country’s History with These Easy Steps” CD’s and books available!
  • Muammar Qadaffi: “Secreting Billions for That Future Retirement”.
  • Brian Fischer: “Finding the Target: Who to Hate?”
  • Panel Discussion by perennial favorites: Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh–“How to be Svengali At the Workplace or Any Where You Want Control”

Yes folks, and a time will be had by all.

I suppose it was inevitable. That little report from CERN that perhaps a certain type of neutrino might, (possible) go faster than the speed of light, long believed to be as fast as anything could go, has brought out the usual crazies.

Climate change deniers ponder, if Einstein might be wrong about relativity, then perhaps plug in your favorite scientists might be wrong about plug in your favorite “wrong” science.

This has led to the Twitter hash tweet: #WSJscience, where in, the WSJ stands for Wall Street Journal and the idiot Robert Bryce. Apparently all manner of funny tweets have been produced, so head over to Twitter and look it up and enjoy the fun.

Samples include:

“If serious scientists think that Einstein might be wrong about relativity, then we might have to rethink whether the sun revolves around the earth.”

Enjoy.

Which all suggested to me that it might be fun to visit the antithesis of rational thought, Conservapedia and see some of these items of misinformation.

  • The scientific evidence points to a young age of the earth and the universe. The biblical creation organization Creation Ministries International published an article entitled 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe, that provides much of the scientific evidence in support of a young Earth. (prominently cited as proofs are St. Irenaeus and Arthur C. Clark, the science FICTION writer.)
  • Creationist research is having a global effect that is worrying the atheists and secularists of this world. They have had it all their own way for over a century but things are slowly changing. For almost twenty-five years now, Journal of Creation has been publishing cutting-edge creationist research that has been fueling the war against evolution, creating little fires all around the world, including Great Britain. (This from Creation Ministries Int’n, and references to “Evolutionists Stumped Confused and Dumbfounded by 15 questions!” a YouTube entry)
  • Creation science shows that dinosaurs lived in harmony with other animals, (probably including in the Garden of Eden) eating only plants[4]; that pairs of each dinosaur kind were taken onto Noah’s Ark during the Great Flood and were preserved from drowning[5]; that many of the fossilized dinosaur bones originated during the mass killing of the Flood[6]; and that possibly some descendants of those dinosaurs taken aboard the Ark are still around today. (Yep, you just turn left at Albuquerque, and head to Middle Earth. Watch for Hobbits crossing!)

  • Modern feminists:
    • never wanted gender equality; they want power for the female left[4]
    • in movies, falsely portray the men as inherently evil, dumb or incompetent, and the women as inherently good, smart or competent (note that this conflicts with gender equality)
    • pretend that there are no meaningful differences between men and women when that advances liberal causes (e.g., women and men equally in military combat, to weaken the U.S. military), but reject equality when that results in more money to women (e.g., VAWA funding of women’s groups)
    • oppose chivalry and even feign insult at harmless displays of it (see battle between the sexes)
    • view traditional marriage as unacceptably patriarchal
    • belittle and mock other women who desire to have children or raise a family[5][6]
    • shirk traditional gender activities, like baking[7]
    • support affirmative action for women
    • prefer that women wear pants rather than dresses, presumably because men do[8][9]
    • seek women in combat in the military just like men, and coed submarines
    • refuse to take her husband’s last name when marrying[10]
    • believe marriage implies female servitude when it is in fact a mutual bond
    • distort historical focus onto female figures, often overshadowing important events (Eg: Henry VIII’s wives take precedence in common knowledge to his actual reign.)
    • often condemn the God-Given order of gender roles, as laid out in the Holy Bible
    • object to being addressed as “ma’am,” or feminine nicknames such as “sweetheart” or “honey”;[11] object to other female-only names, such as “temptress”
    • take offense at grammatical rules of the English language, like using the pronoun “he” when referring to a hypothetical/anonymous person, or phrases like ‘fireman’ and ‘stewardess.’
    • support of the homosexual agenda (why I’m sending in my KitchenAid mixer this very moment. The stuff about men being inherently dumb is mostly true, but I will change my name back to my maiden name. What WAS I thinking. Dusting off my Feminist membership card even as we speak.)
  • Liberal creep is liberal biasthat gradually creeps or distorts an entry, definition, explanation, description, or historical account.Former Utah state Sen. Bill Wright may have been the first to coin this term in spring 2008 when he “warned of liberal creep — the ‘education of indoctrination‘ — in which the media peddle “socialism and programs. We have been so dumbed-down, so indoctrinated with all this information we’re in a haze; we can’t see through it. We must find out for ourselves.”[1]Examples of liberal creep include:
  • Ronald Reagan left the White House with the best approval ratings of any president, up to that time, at the end of his term, yet the media and history books have since relentlessly tried to downplay and distort his political achievements.
  • Reverse to the above example, Bill Clinton [2] left office after a failed impeachment attempt on perjury charges, yet liberal creep ensures that this is downplayed and distorted.
  • Many early scientists such as Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei were heavily influenced by Christianity and would never have made their important discoveries without their faith in the Lord Almighty, yet that faith has since been downplayed in liberal atheistic public school textbooks and Wikipedia.[3] [4]
  • The ferocity and savageness of the Native Americans towards American settlers has gradually been downplayed, while the relocation of the Cherokee has been gradually inflated to the point that some liberal textbooks treat it as an atrocity comparable to the Holocaust. Similarly, there has been an increase in denial of the many technological and spiritual improvements the settlers brought to previous inhabitants. (gosh I feel all creepy now. The antithesis of Liberal Creep: Conservative Hate)

New Conservative Terms:

  • Drive-by media: liberal MSM assault on Conservative and GOP values and principles, deceitful attacks
  • fleebaggers: deceitful Democrats who deny their sworn duties for political gain.
  • Hoax and Chains: Keynesian economics (as opposed to trickle down)
  • manufactured outrage: fake Democratic anger used to pursue an agenda
  • schlockumentary: documentaries based on half-truths and lies
  • refudiate: combination of refute and repudiate as “coined” by Sarah in 2010

Oh gosh, one could go on, but my sides are splitting. Is it any wonder the right-wing TeaNutz® are ignorant? Enjoy your Saturday.

 

Cul-cher-alee Speakin’

On Friday, or any other day that the mood strikes me, we hear at AFeatherAdrift (doncha love that “we” crap?), like to offer a more culturally mature post, directing you to the kinds of things that will impress your boss, your uncle Bart and the mail deliverer.

So grab a chair, belt up, and be prepared to be bedazzled with high-minded fare.

The New Atlantis has a nice long but very entertaining piece about travel in the age of GPS. If you are like me, you have had the experience of landing after a long plane ride, all of a sudden thrust into a wildly different environment, all peopled by folks who seem to take it as quite normal to be there.

The author muses about Kerouac, Odysseus, Huck, Quixote and others and how they would have found traveling in a world where “you are here” is a constant given. Good writing to boot. What more can you ask for?

It’s downright amazing how things just come to you. Ironic things, or sudden connections. Oddities and as “they” say these days, “ah ha moments.

Well, if you recall, Darwin was talking about changes the species over time caused, as we now know, by mutations. He posited that those species whose mutations led to their being better able to survive, did so at a greater rate than those that were not so fortunate. Over time, the better abled might well push out or “cause” the extinction” of the less abled.

Some (so they thought at the time) smart intellectuals (the very ones no doubt that the knuckledraggers of Trailer Town USA, so loathes today, thought it wise to slap Darwin’s species “survival of the fittest” onto ONE species, that of humanity. They posited that those humans most able would naturally rise to positions of power and wealth because of their superior survival abilities–abilities they believed were inborn.

Well, here is the ironic part.

The Republican intelligentsia  and their followers are to an inordinate degree not believers in Darwin per se. A goodly number agree with their uneducated mob that Darwin is an atheist nightmare and belief that we “came from monkeys” is some satanic plan to destroy us all. Darwin and his “theory” is only just that–a theory–a barely workable working hypothesis that is so full of holes and “gaps” that we can relax, read a much easier tract (read Bible), with a much much shorter story, and rest happy in our salvation.

Except that juxtaposed along side this treatise of idiocy lies their other chief tenet–survival of the fittest, which is nothing much more than the hidden framework for the much touted and Godly “Protestant work ethic.” You see, the reason that the likes of Rubio, Ryan, Perry, Bachmann, and all the other swill (read Republicans) are so against such things as social security, medicare, welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, and so forth is because they think it makes us “weak” as a people. We aren’t striving to survive which is what insures our evolutionary dominance. Oops, did I say evolutionary?  

I wonder do they catch themselves making that mistake? How do they live with the contradiction? I mean I know how the masses live with it. They aren’t smart enough to either realize it or if they did, make any sense of it. But some of the Republican intelligentsia must get it. I suspect they do, but they aren’t really creationists either–just for the masses.

Ironic isn’t it?

Ever thought about walking? In our house it’s a topic of conversation now and again. The Contrarian is not a walker–he will get in the car to drive 100 yards. He saw nothing so awfully wrong in Chris Christie’s taking a limo to drive him the twenty yards from helicopter to baseball seat. 

I have a love-hate relationship with walking. I like to walk on flat ground, not so much uphill. We gotta lot of uphill crap here. I’m hoping for more flat in the neighborhood I will inhabit in Las Cruces.

Once upon a time, walking a few miles a day was fairly ordinary. I recall reading about Henry Ford walking from Dearborn to Detroit to work every day. I lived in both, so I have some sense of the distance. We see refugees on long marches across often inhospitable territory in the hopes of finding safety. They often walk for days, even weeks.

Walking is great for thinking. As one writer says, you need to walk because it slows down the brain. We need the time and space. Nothing else quite gives that to us.

We walk to get from place to place, and we walk to make statements, and to raise money. We walk for health, and for penance. We walk because we can. Do we walk as a reminder of one of the things that makes us unique in the world? We walk to discover that which cannot be seen or appreciated by driving or riding in some vehicle.

Sit down with this article this week-end. Not so long.

Ya know I noticed something the other day. The Contrarian and I were headed to the VA for his yearly check-up and we were on a main thoroughfare through the city of Cedar Rapids. One that once was probably a more pleasant and quiet neighborly street.

Near the urban center, the houses were large with two stories, and wide wide porches, open or enclosed. Some were clearly not being used, others had the obligatory furniture of chairs and plants, making the house look cheery and welcoming.

As we progressed farther from the heart of the city, the houses abruptly changed. Gone were the wide and long porches, and porches became nothing more than a small platform from which one launched to the driveway or into the house. One couldn’t fit A chair on the “porch” and still open the door.

I’d say the first section were homes built in the 30’s and 40’s, and the porchless houses were circa 1950+. Times change, nobody sat out on the veranda and chatted with neighbors passing by in the evening any more. By the 50’s socializing with a family affair, conducted out in the back yard, privately.

Funny, that I just noticed that very physical transition the other day.

Everything I Say is a Lie. . . .I’m lying

Note that the cartoon pictured at left carries the “Answers in Genesis” website. I believe that these are the same people who bring you the “Creation Museum” in Kentucky and are building the Noah’s Ark as their next “reality” project.

I am generally not a big fan of atheists, at least the mocking types. It’s all well and good to conclude that there is no proof of God and that you are content to let it be, living your life by perfectly good standards of conduct, without resort to any religious faith. I tend to be in agreement with atheists who take on the fundamentalists, because they don’t represent any kind of believing that I can understand nor accept and their actions are damaging for the most part.

I do tend to get rather pissy with atheists who lump all believers, of ANY faith into the same basket and make fun of them, such as referring to their belief in “faeries” and boogie men. It tends to belie your own faith in your own beliefs of “there is no God” when you are so insecure as that.

So, I’m not, generally speaking, a great fan of Richard Dawkins, though I certainly have no quarrel with his evolutionary statements. I find them compelling and utterly credible, as the entire field of evolution seem to be to me. But recently, Dawkins had some words for our new pal Ricky Perry and the field of GOPers who adhere to the “safe” haven of “it’s ONLY a theory.” (By the war, Al Gore points out in An Inconvenient Truth, that “it’s only a theory” is the intentional plan of attack of those who wish to confuse any issue, be it global warming or evolution.)

My thanks to Joe.My.God for the quote:

There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.” – Famed atheist Richard Dawkins, responding to Rick Perry’s denouncement of evolution.

Speaking of evolution, there is a rather fascinating book published in 2010 about what the author calls RD or “renewed Darwinism“. Paul Lawrence area of expertise is in business, and he was near retirement from the Harvard Business School when he became dissatisfied with the “agency model” of business leadership, finding that it seemed to relate only to making stockholders happy. He began to investigate other fields and found in Darwin his answer.

Lawrence posits that man is evolutionarily driven to four things: acquisition, bonding, defense, and comprehension. We are, he suggests, constantly engaged in the activity of balancing these four things. He claims that things appear out of whack now because a “few bad apples with an outsized drive to acquire and no moral conscience” have prevailed, because they have no apparent need to bond.

So far, studies looking at Lawrence’s model of leadership tend to confirm it. Those companies who exhibit a healthy balance of all four things, tend to show good results, those that don’t, don’t.

I must say I’m good. I read this headline in my reader: “Perry retreat co-host MLK deserved no credit on civil rights.” Well, I knew it could be none other than our ubiquitous TeaNutz® faux historian David Barton. Yes, Perry continues to double down in his unity with all things wingnut crazy, alienating all non-Christians and not a few Christians, and now African-Americans.

It seems that Barton is of the belief, that while MLK is a deserves a “place” in history, “Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.” Barton is almost too stupid to attack. I mean, dude, seriously, your “analysis” is childish.

Barton and others have done their level best to rewrite history books for Texas schools, seeking to minimize such folks as Thurgood Marshall and César Chávez. This all in an attempt to glorify white Christians, to the exclusion of all others in the history of the US.

Ya know, Jebby Bush warned ‘em when he was last interviewed on Faux Noise. He said, it’s fine to criticize the President’s policies, but hey, lay off challenging his motives. But of course, no, that would not be cool would it? The National Review, long since sunk in a cesspool of what else? poo, has decided that the President’s VACATION READING FARE is not appropriate! Angry Black Lady Chronicles has the story (Not sure if they got it from Think Progress?) 

 

A Lot is Up for Grabs Today

Today is the big day.

It seems like only a few weeks ago that the streets of Madison were filled with angry citizens, come to tell their gestapo-type governor that they would not stand for his draconian laws that stripped good working people of their money, they benefits and offered them up to business interests in the guise of “balancing the budget.”

Wisconsin’s shanghaing was the talk of the country as Governor Walker held the hard-line oblivious to the desires of his constituents.

Well it all comes down to today when up to six Republicans are up for recall. And nobody is quite sure how it will come out. According to some sources, a couple of the GOPers trying to save their jobs are now pointing fingers at the Governor, claiming that he threatened them, forcing them to go along with his union-busting plans. And it appears that none of the GOP stooges chose to use Walker in their “don’t throw me out” campaigns.

Everything is at stake here. Much more than people realize. Are Democrats and union people just flash in the pan blowhards or do they have what it takes to stay the course and follow through? If the Republicans maintain control of the Wisconsin legislature, you can be sure that Walker and his Koch-henchfolk will be further emboldened to take even worse actions against the people. And this all bodes ill for Democrats in the nation.

Pray if you do, and cross your fingers if you don’t.

Word is that Ricky Perry is about to announce a run for the GOP nomination. Mr. “we might have to secede” Perry will be a welcome addition to the group of goofs already in the action. I for one find Mitt “I am trying to look like the common man” Romney just a greasy snake oil salesman. Perry has plenty of skeletons in his closet we may be assured.

Name a scientist (other than Stephen Hawking!). Dare ya. Michio Kaku? Brian Cox? All three are media favorites. We watch tons of cosmology shows on Discovery and so forth, yet, I am afraid I can’t remember the names of hardly any of those theoretical physicists. If we are a singularly un-intellectual nation, part of the reason may be the natural reluctance of scientists to engage in the body politic. Ain’t it about time they did? The NYTimes addresses the issue.

Did I tell ya about the fabulous Pass the Doucheys on the Right Hand Side? Well if I didn’t, I am now. You really need to read this lady. She is snarky as all get out, right on politically, and funny as hell. Need I say more? This piece is about raising kids and the serious question of a very very stupid woman who worries about satan, dinosaurs, and rocks can’t be bones. Confused? Well get on over there and read it!

We are so used to it that it becomes funny. Rethugs consistently turn on a slug. They must never have heard of flip-flopping before they attached it to John Kerry, but they all seemed to have learned the art. I guess they saw the sense of it since their followers are dumber than a nose hair that lands in your soup. See you can say really really inconsistent things when your following is too dull to recognize it.

Michele of course was utterly against raising the debt limit, suggesting that any downgrade would have no real effect. Now of course she is shrieking that the President is to blame, and “left Washington” instead of running to the nearest microphone and urging calm.

Foxy Noise is no exception. A few days ago, Neal Cavuto (a dull bulb if there ever was one) and John Stossel (who never met a fact he couldn’t twist out of reality) were musing that a downgrade might be a very good thing for America. It was the right thing for Restuplicans to hold the country hostage and cause this result. Now that it has happened, it’s a “tragedy” and all Obama’s fault.

Okay Mr. TeaNutz®, now scratch your expanding belly, belch, and go get another beer.

Come on, tell me you didn’t start counting the minute you heard that the Palinator’s son just had a baby. Yeah, his bride was pretty darn pregnant when they tied the knot. And a little extra goodie on the link. Instead of the latest Bristol Creme claim that “she basically was too drunk to realize that she had been taken advantage of”, maybe she might have been a bit more knowledgeable. Go read the link and enjoy. Just call me trashy rumor!

See this is how Foxy Noise works. First they find a “concerned parent” to talk about how inappropriate she feels it is for Wisconsin teachers to be teaching her children about the history of the union movement. This of course is played up with excerpts being used often. What Fox doesn’t tell you is that the “concerned parent” is also a GOP operative, actually the chair of her county GOP party. What Fox also doesn’t tell you is that the woman subsequently resigned after crashing her car while drunk driving with her three children in the car. Now that’s some kind of “concerned parent” ain’t it?

That’ll do it.

 

Whatever He said. . . .I Say the Opposite

This is the GOP mantra, and has been since the day after the 2008 election. Whatever the President says or does or doesn’t do, they immediately say the opposite. It’s the last part that keeps getting them in trouble.

Latest case in point:

Newty (the garden slug) Gingrich just can’t make up his mind on what to do about Libya. When we were doing nothing, he was for the US to step in. When we did, he was against it.

He said we could take care of the whole problem with air-power. Until we used air-power then he said it was a typical politician’s error to think that air power solves all problems.

In the end, Newt admits that his answers to these questions are simply “responses to what the President does.”

Ya see Newt, when the president doesn’t do something, and you say he should, it’s really bad form to then say he shouldn’t have. And then before he has done something, don’t tell him how he should do it, because when he does it, and does it that way, you end up saying he should know better not to do it that way.

Is this an Alzheimer’s moment Newt? Or are you just the hateful vindictive, wannabe that we really think you are?

Help! Infection alert!

Decontamination areas are being set up all over Iowa in anticipation of the likely bacterial infection set to enter the state.

Tomorrow gadzillions (make that a few dozen) really creepy and crazy people are set to have a day-long conference in Des Moines about who should be the GOP candidate. All manner of sleaze is attending, including M. Bachmann (crazy eyes), H. Barbour (racism is behind me), H. Cain (uncle Tom’s cousin), N. Gingrich (garden slug), R. Santorum (wontcha love me again?), J. Bolton (the stash is my cash), and well others.

All rational humans are urged to get a shower and take the recommended dosage of Tylenol to forestall bouts of insanity. Symptoms include itchy skin, double vision and the uncanny feeling that you’ve been hijacked by aliens. See a veterinarian immediately if you have any of the above.

I just love ‘strict constructionists. You know who I mean, those folks that want our country returned to its Founding Father principles, the C O N S T I T U T I O N. Now what they actually mean by this is something you might not quite get, if you ain’t one of them.

Cases in point:

Bryan Fischer, AFA leader and all around hater of everything not white and fundamentalist, claims that the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion, does not include any rights for Muslims, since the FF could not have had them in mind. Why we don’t know, but he says that we give them rights as a “courtesy” only.

David Barton, pseudo-historian and all around wacko nutjob who shleps for the GOP and it’s business elites, has explained that the Declaration of Independence is “nothing more than a list of sermons” which might surprise Thomas Jefferson. Further the Constitution was written directly out of the Bible, and that all leads up to the fact that Jesus was and IS against the minimum wage and well anything that corporate America doesn’t find conducive to racking up profits.

Sadly, people actually get in their cars, travel to auditoriums, sit their skinny butts in chairs, and listen to this drivel, rather than say, pop popcorn and watch Monty Python’s Holy Grail. I kid you not.

Texas has been in the business of late in revising the history of the US of A, to reflect whatever it wants to be the truth. This is not news. Bill Zedler, Texas Rethuglian legislator, introduces a bill to make it “illegal to discriminate against creationists.” Yes, and next he plans to introduce one that makes it illegal to discriminate against stupid people. In both cases that would be him.  [h/t to Crooks and Liars]

Discover Magazine has an interesting article, entitled “Does the Universe Need God?” This is an excerpt from a larger article, and there is a link to that. This is a thoughtful reasoned argument, not the usual atheistic meanness that we’ve come to see from to many. I don’t agree with the argument, but I find it cogent and worth considering.

Ever heard of William Cronon? I hadn’t. No reason I should. He’s a university professor at Wisconsin, and well-respected by his peers in his area of expertise, that being history. He recently did an op-ed piece in the NYTimes on the recent union issues in Wisconsin, and was critical of the Governor and Republicans who would try to take away long-standing collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin citizens.

Well, that pissed off the GOP, and it, the state GOP that is, has launched a legal action to get to his e-mails to uncover whether they can prove that he’s been active in protests. This all aimed to of course intimidate and discredit him. This is what I guess the GOP calls democracy. We call it Joe McCarthyism. How low can you limbo Wisconsin GOP? [h/t to Daily Dish]

I know you all read Moe at Whatever Works, and I’m stealing this “entire” post, but she posts usually several a day, so please don’t miss her stuff. She does a great job of keeping us all aware of all the nefarious goings on, everywhere. But this is precious and so true:

“Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives.”
                                                         – Editorial Page, Portland Oregonian 

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It’s leftovers today!

Just Wiggly with Wampum

Have you noticed that talking to a GOPer is pretty much the same as conversing with a psychotic or paranoid schizophrenic? I have. Actually, I think I prefer the latter. At least their theories are more interesting. With GOPers, one continually tries to make sense of their words. This is a mistake, but one we continue to make. With the insane, we expect exactly what we get. It’s not so confusing.

I could give you examples but you undoubtedly have examples of your own.

Me, I like a world that has room for foil-capped flying-saucer nuts. Everyone knows the guv’ment is prone to lie, is it so outrageous to think that they lie about alien visitation? See? You can have a good time with these conspiracy theorists, and only realize that something is not quite right when you find an alarm clock in the freezer. You make allowances.

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I’m not buying the “explanations” about what is going on in Arkansas. Plain and simple, I put this down as a guv’ment cover-up, no matter what they have induced its residents to claim. Proof is in the pudding as they say, or in the Arkansas Family Council which is hosting a 2-day seminar starring the pseudo-historian David Barton. This is all for the benefit of the state’s legislature, to teach ‘em about how our country was founded on “Christian principles.” Oh, and while they are at it, bein’ Christian and all, would they mind making sure no gays are allowed to pollute the environs with any of that equal rights crap?

The obsessiveness with which the far religious right attacks homosexuality, suggests that for some reason closet homophobes tend to gravitate to such organizations in droves. “NO, NOT ME. NO, I’M STRAIGHT AS AN ARROW!” Yeah tell us.

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I’m beginning to think that Sarah Palin’s troubles with “what books do you read” is pretty indicative of the GOP in general. Jon Stewart mentioned that the candidates for the GOP leadership were asked this and Michael Steele, said “War and Peace,” and then quoted from it: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Tolstoy and Dickens exchanged graves at this point. Another lady chairperson wanna be, said, “the kitchen table.”

Now we learn the Michele Bachmann, that bastion of educational superiority, notes that she was a Democrat but was so incensed by Gore Vidal’s hatred of the founding fathers in Burr that she instantly became a Republican. Make any sense? Of course not. We said Michele Bachmann didn’t we?

The full article at Salon is actually very good, and well worth your link up.

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Atheists believe,  but cannot prove that empiricism is the only basis for discovering truth. Hawking claims that philosophy is dead, fallen to the god, science. Now I revere science as much as the next gal, but I think First Things (a publication I normally don’t much cotton to) makes a very excellent point. Hawking in the end just “kicks the can” further down the street, by positing an empiricism that is subjective to the model used. Sorta like multiple realities emanating from rationally generated multiple models. Or, philosophy?

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Of all the new teabuggers in Congress, Alan West (R-FL) may be the wackiest. Now he’s claiming that sharia law is just infesting our systems! Yikes, get out the bug spray. I am guessing that most of those fine Florida voters must have been ironing the wrinkles from their skin every time West opened his mouth, and missed just how insane the man is. Or perhaps they misheard–Adam West? Thought they were electing Batman?

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Biologos does a great review of Conor Cunningham’s book, Darwin’s Pious Idea: Why the Ultra-Darwinists and the Creationists Both Get it Wrong. In the end, we learn what many of us, most of us perhaps, have always known. There is no “issue” between Darwin and faith. From the review it seems like a most worthwhile book to pick up. Eerdmans is the publisher if that helps your assessment.

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John McCain is getting to be a bore. Mr. Walnuts as he is called by some is just a crotchety old man who can’t get over being rejected twice for the job that he feels America owes him–the Presidency. Everything he now does is explained by that fact.

Sarah Palin is getting to be a bore. Everybody, even boring people can come up with Palin jokes. I mean you don’t have to even be witty. She’s such a huge target. Will she? Won’t she? Palin is just a woman from nowhere in particular, stuck in a backwater state, doing nothing in particular. She wanted to be rich, and she wanted to be famous. Everything she now does is explained by that fact.

I’ve decided that my new idiot par excellence is (drum roll) LINDSAY GRAHAM. The perpetual bachelor whom everyone knows is gay. He hitched his sled to Johnny, who failed. He couldn’t hide behind Johnny’s pant leg any more, so he extracted his nose from the Walnutz ass and decided to become a full-fledged wacko all by his self.

He’s a weasel, he whines, he snivels, he moans that it’s just so hard being a senator that the Democrats like to wore him out asking him to put in full days of reading and thinking during that lame ducky thing. He’s pouty. And me thinks he is running scared, since he did that whole Mavericky thing with Johnny, and now the teabuggers are none too happy with him, so he’s swung to the opposite pole, and is getting his tips from Bachmann and King, and DeMint.

Lindsay has hitched up his pants and said he will vote NO!!!! dammit to raising the debt ceiling. He is gonna play the game of brinksmanship. No statesmanlike status for him. Oh no, he prefers the buffoonery approach.

I say, let us stare the fools down. Do they really want to do that? I suspect even they will blink. Otherwise we, Obama, that is, might as well back and leave Washington and give them the entire ship of state.

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What’s on the Stove: Venison Stroganoff, with noodles and salad with blue cheese, and rolls.