Archive for April, 2012

Tennessee: Where children go to get stupid and reason goes to die
April 30, 2012

Here’s the latest from the pit of dumbassery and ignorance (one of them anyway – the South seems to have several):

TPM

It’s too pathetic to even comment on.

#

Advertisements

Mothers, don’t let your children grow up to be Tennesseans… ‘cause they’ll grow up stupid
April 20, 2012

No, this isn’t about the law down in Tennessee that will sneak religious fairy tales into science classes. Not directly anyway.

NPR’s Takeaway program this morning featured a discussion on the Tennessee law. On one side they had a representative from a national science organization. In the middle they had the usual not-too-competent interlocutor, John Hockenberry. And representing Tennessee they had a seventh grade science teacher.

Okay.

And then Hockenberry says the science teacher doesn’t believe evolution is true.

Think about that for a second. A certified science teacher, teaching seventh graders, who believes one of the most fundamental theories of science isn’t true.

The State of Tennessee certified this guy to teach science. To children. A guy who doesn’t accept the Biblical flood of evidence, of fact, of research, that support evolution.

This same State of Tennessee wants to make it okay to teach Biblical fairy tales in science classrooms. Or rather to protect teachers who want to do so. It’s all a little ambiguous, no doubt designed that way to cover its sins.

And during this little colloquy did Hockenberry ask the teacher to explain why he didn’t believe evolution is true? Barely in passing, and getting the answer, “There’s some problems with it,” which Hockenberry just brushed past. I should note that Hockenberry has had a distinguished career in journalism, but on this show he inserts his opinion too often, asks questions that roll on forever, and ignores key items, i.e., why was this guy certified to teach in Tennessee, and what the hell was Tennessee thinking when it certified him.

There’s about a dozen states trying to pull this off. It’s a little fluid, but the states where this is going on or has gone on (it never goes away) include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Indiana. And that’s likely not an exhaustive list.

What we’ve got here is a case of severe stupidity being enshrined in law and education, and in children’s minds, by the state, where citizens have chosen to elect incredibly narrow-minded, ignorant religious fundogelical freaks to their legislatures and state offices.

Never mind ‘America the Beautiful’. A more accurate song would be titled ‘America the Backward’.

#

Good versus evil, a thought…
April 18, 2012

This morning I went through some negativity regarding the United States, its culture, its politics, and so on. Nothing unusual about that.

But then I got to thinking that when anyone points out the negatives, which are indeed massive, some pollyanna will come along and say that it’s not that bad, that there are plenty of good things, and so on and so forth. I generally regard those sorts of comments as coming from our ostrich brain.

To a certain extent they’re right. There are some good things one can point to. They are apparently different to everyone, either in kind or degree.

But here’s the problem:

Good is hard.

Evil is easy.

And most humans, the great preponderance of humans, will usually opt for the easy way. That explains the anti-intellectual, the anti-science, the anti-immigrant tenor of the culture. Evil would have us teach religious mythology as science in our schools. Evil would have us bomb into the Stone Age cultures we don’t understand. Evil would have us eliminate most of government because it’s complex and costs money and is not easy to understand, except for the parts about bombing back to the Stone Age cultures that require us to use intelligence to understand. All of that is the easy way. That’s the way much of the country is going, wants to go.

And of course the politicians feed off of that, regurgitate it to their masses of constituents, who then accept the lies and distortions as truths and demand more, which the politicians give them, aided by a journalism establishment that too often goes for the easy way.

We seem to have decided, as a nation, that ignorance is acceptable, that science and intellect are crimes, and that killing is better than smiling and shaking hands and sitting down to talk. Life is just easier that way.

#

“Never Again!”–Well, Except Maybe This Time Because It’s Special… Syria.
April 5, 2012

Syria.

Syria, run by a psychopathic mass murderer and liar operating an army that drags children out into the street and cuts their throats, that drags old men into the street and shoots them in the head, that unleashes furious artillery bombardments on civilians, on Syrians – Syria, a blood-drenched span of territory that exposes the moral failure and cravenness of the Western European countries and the Arab world.

Never mind Russia and China’s objections. They understand Bashar al Assad. He’s doing what they do when they decide it’s necessary. The rule is to kill and keep killing until nobody is left to fight back. By their lights and their morality Assad is a piker, a ten-cent killer.

But the West?

Time and again the West and the Arab nations have taken Assad’s word that he would call off the murder of civilians, and time and again he has lied and continued the slaughter.

And the American State Department? They talk of two things. Graduated sanctions and stability. Nonsense on both counts.

Sanctions haven’t slowed down the killing. And if Assad wins out, crushing the opposition, what then of the precious sanctions? Keep them in place and further crush the Syrian people while Assad eats caviar and orders movies from Amazon? Or remove them and concede victory to a mass murderer?

And then there’s stability. That’s a big word with the State Department. We can’t arm the opposition, say the suits, because that might destabilize the country and the region. Apparently they don’t follow the news or read their own cable traffic.

The region hasn’t been stable since our own psychopathic killer, George W. Bush, illegally invaded Iraq nine years ago. And Syria is not going to be stable until Assad slaughters a few hundred thousand of his fellow Syrians.

State’s other big selling point is ‘We can’t arm the opposition because we don’t know what will come of it.’ Oh, well perhaps they know what will come of the ongoing slaughter? It seems they define certainty as continued slaughter by Assad until he is firmly in charge again.

The Arab world is no better. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the United States has armed to the teeth several Arab countries, and yet those arms sit quietly, unused, while the Arab leadership decries the murderous bloodbath in Syria.

And the United States itself? A complete moral failure compounded with rank hypocrisy. The West took on Libya with little delay, but Syria? Oh, the terrain is difficult there. And the military is kind of tough.

Did you ever notice that the only countries the United States is willing to take on militarily are weak, if not pathetic, militarily. Panama. Grenada. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan. Libya. The vaunted American military machine has shown that it can be stopped by little brown people armed with AKs and homemade explosives. The Syrian army is a different kettle of fish, isn’t it, Generals?

But this American military machine, backed by a vast and vastly expensive intelligence machine (turned against its own people of late), can’t take its million dollar cruise missiles and put them on Assad’s head and on his family’s heads and on the heads of the generals who murder children in the streets of Homs? That hugely expensive and expansive military machine of the Americans can’t send its billion dollar invisible bombers over Syria and cripple the tank columns of the Syrian army, smash command and control installations, flatten military supply dumps?

Apparently not. That might destabilize the country.

Here in America we make guns freely available to any creep, cretin, or violent moron who wants one. But we can’t provide small arms to people fighting for their lives in Syria? Because we can’t see the future? Because they might decide that the United States is crap and not to be trusted?

With this kind of thinking the Holocaust would have gone on until every Jew in the world was ashes; Rwanda would still be going on… oh, wait, nobody did anything to stop that either – they just ran out of people to hack to death; the Balkans would to this day be bathing in enough blood to satisfy even the depraved Countess Elizabeth Bathory. And on. And on. And on.

‘Never again!’ is a joke. It’s a phrase used by politicians and people everywhere to make themselves feel better when they haven’t the guts or the moral courage to do what’s right. It’s what they say when it’s happening, again, right under their noses. It’s their magic charm to ward off evil while they delicately and mincingly step around the pools of blood.

Syria will bleed and nobody with the power to stop it will lift a finger. And soon enough Bashar al Assad will again hobnob with the heads of state in the West and the Arab world. And no one will hear the blood of children crying out from the sands of Syria.

#