To See The Stars, To Know One’s Mind
August 26, 2012

I’m normally a pessimist regarding global warming, the depredations of the human race, and the big issues. And with justification, I think. Civilization is coming to an end because we screwed with the laws of physics and as a species we continue to demonstrate that we simply don’t understand the laws of physics and that they apply to us. So, civilization is over. Mass extinction is underway. Our intent, as a species, is to hasten it.

But this morning, while the sky was still dark, I went out on the porch and looked up. A bright planet to the east, I think Venus, sat like a jewel among the stars. So many stars, yet only a small fraction of what I could see if the lights of the town and the neighborhood were off. Even so. So many. So bright. So far. It was wondrous to look at them, to realize what they were, to understand how they got there, how they came to be, how they work. And equally wondrous to know that there is so much we don’t know about them, and how much we can learn.

That’s a feeling the religionists cannot have. To them their god made the stars and planets. Not for them the understanding of the subatomic processes that keep the stars glowing for billions of years. Not for them the incredible processes of a nova, a supernova, a stellar collapse. God did it. Religion, religious belief, god: those stunt the mind, weaken the intellect, narrow mental and emotional horizons, undermine the human species, and now, hasten life toward extinction.

Perhaps that is pessimistic, to think, to believe that most of life in this biosphere will soon disappear. On the other hand I’m not afraid of it, no more than I am afraid of my own death. Because I am an atheist the religionists tell me I will burn in eternal torment once I die, while they will go to some place of eternal bliss, such place usually described as one of the most inconceivably boring, dull, terrible places imaginable, where one’s whole being must spend eternity worshipping some hugely narcissistic being. I’ve always said that given the choice I’d take the torment because the really interesting people and interesting ideas would be found there. Religious people tend to be boring even in this life: apparently their idea of bliss is eternal boredom and enslavement to a narcissistic being, and their idea of hell is a ferment of ideas and questioning and seeking after facts and evidence and truths. They have much to fear, and much to torment themselves with.

I have none of that. I think it sad that we are so incompetent as a species that we are willing to destroy life on earth in order to satisfy the whims and stupidities and fears of our weakest minds, but I know that the laws of physics will operate no matter what we do. By understanding and following them, we might save the biosphere. Unfortunately, and in large part due to religious ignorance, willful ignorance it must be said, and human stupidity and greed and selfishness, we choose to ignore physics. Nonetheless I take comfort in the fact that the laws of physics do work, that they aren’t subject to the caprice of invisible beings, and that we can understand them. That knowledge gives me a sense of optimism, a sense that though we will extinguish most life, including our own, in time life will rise again on the planet, and it is to be hoped that it will be devoid of the flawed intelligence evolution gave us, intelligence that cursed the world.

As for the theists and the rest of the superstitious crowd, frankly I do hope they get to their heaven of eternal worship. I can think of no greater curse to call down on them while I drink my morning coffee and gaze at the stars.

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The Fallacies of James Holmes
July 23, 2012

Just in case you don’t recognize the name, James Holmes is the guy who shot up the movie theater in Colorado Friday. His act goes a way toward revealing a couple of American fallacies.

One of the results of his murderous spree  is the howling from the juvenile fantasists comprising the gun culture in the United States, particularly those like Russell Pearce, the state Senator in Arizona, who claim that a) it was the victims’ fault for not stopping Holmes, and b) if everybody were armed in society this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.

As for a) Russell Pearce would probably have crapped his pants if he’d been in the theater. He’s a loudmouthed, ignorant bigot who authored Arizona’s Latino Bigotry Act.

As for b) if everyone in that theater had been armed, including of course the little six-year-old who was killed, then James Holmes would not have had to shoot anybody. All he would have had to do was pop a couple of smoke bombs, fire a few shots into the ceiling, and walk away. Then all the armed jackasses could have committed a greater slaughter than Holmes did by himself. The upside is that there would then be fewer armed jackasses walking around.

Of course the NRA nutcases claim that gun owners are properly trained, take safety courses, and understand when it’s appropriate to use a gun, and so on and so forth ad nauseam. Which is pure bullshit. The only people ‘properly trained’ for high stress panic situations are a few elements of the military, and a few elements of big city police forces. A few hours of NRA bullshit won’t get you through an Aurora situation. More likely you’ll shoot yourself in the foot or you’ll kill innocent people.

Another aspect of the Holmes shootings is that it was frankly a waste of a psychopathic or diseased mind. Holmes planned his attack for months, if the current information circulating in the media is true. He took months to purchase his weapons, his explosives, his armor, and to plan the attack. He put a lot of thought into it, and apparently a lot of skill and planning. But why waste all that intellectual power on a theater full of people who didn’t matter outside their sphere of family and friends? With some more work and planning he could have done the world some good: he could have taken out some dangerous politicians in the Senate or House, or even in some state legislatures, some sellout Supreme Court justices, the Pope, or at least some archbishops, or some of those fundogelical bigot preachers, or at the very least some known animal or child abusers. But no, he had to waste all that effort on powerless people who were only out to have a good time at the movies. Hell, if you’re going to commit some serious killings, at least make it matter. But what can you expect from a crazy person? (Crazy in this instance defined by the act, since we don’t know if Holmes is in fact insane.)

And speaking of fallacy and crazy, how about all the religious nonsense surrounding this event? All those people out there whose piety and love of some god or other that the media is showcasing. Right now the ‘public’ is wallowing in religion, many thanking god or whoever that so many were spared from the ‘evil’. God is good, god is great, blah blah blah. Well where the fuck was god during the several months that his creature James Holmes was assembling his arsenal, buying his ammunition and explosives, buying his body armor, and making his plans for the murders? The only answer the religious zombies can come up with is ‘It’s part of god’s plan’ or something similarly vapid and mindless. Religious people are delusional or stupid or both, often both. But that’s all we hear and read now about the incident. All the religious hokey pokey from a citizenry that worships celebrity, prefers mind-numbing television to active mental pursuits, bows down to money in the belief that it confers special powers, and ignores the facts of reality. Some twenty percent of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth. Over half believe a god created the world and that evolution is false. These morons put plenty of energy into protesting gay marriage and virtually zero energy into understanding and doing something about the global warming that is killing them.

But now we’ll be inundated with religious crap, with preachers going on about ‘evil’ and all the usual religishit about god’s plans as they try to understand why Holmes did what he did. All of that is utter nonsense. Holmes cracked, whether from some emotional pressure or from a psychotic break or physical brain disease. There’s no ‘evil’. There’s just a kid living in a culture that glorifies violence, that worships fame and celebrity, that wallows in ignorance and superstition and is proud of it, that thinks money is the highest value, and that rich and powerful people are demigods and should be given deference. There’s no ‘evil’ here. There’s simply the inevitable effect of a purulent society on unstable minds.

And what are the two most common solutions being passed around society today to deal with the problems of society that lead to the Aurora or to Columbine or the other mass killings?

More guns.

More religion.

Holmes is the logical result of a sick society.

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The Crazies Who Want To Rule Us And Why They’re Not Qualified
July 3, 2012

Here’s the transcript of an interview by conservative radio jock Laura Ingraham. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write an essay explaining why Ingraham and the other Conservacrazies, including those already in government, are not fit to be involved in governance at any level, including washing toilets in the local State House. This post will self-destruct in five seconds.

LI: Welcome to our show.

RT: Thank you for inviting me.

LI: You are a minister so I take it you follow the teachings of Jesus.

RT: Yes, that’s true.

LI: If Jesus were here today do you think he would counsel a woman to have an abortion?

RT: Jesus always showed compassion to women. He acted with respect even to the ones who were accused of sexual impropriety. I’m sure Jesus would do the same thing today, and that’s my model.

LI: [Angrily] You didn’t answer my question. So you think Jesus would applaud the murder of millions of innocent children, in the first, second, and third trimester?

RT: We know that abortion existed during the time Jesus was on earth, and for thousands of years before that. If he were opposed to abortion he would have said something about it.

LI: [More angrily] Where do you get the idea that Jesus knew about abortion?

RT: We know that abortion has existed for thousands of years, so I’m confident that Jesus would have been aware. There were many plants used as medicinal abortifacients in that part of the world. And yet his concern was for the way women were being treated.

LI: [Nearly screaming] What part of “Thou shalt not kill” don’t you understand?

RT: The Bible actually says “Thou shalt not murder.” I’m sure you would agree that every ending of a life is not murder.

LI: [Frustrated] Well you have your 40 prayers. I’ll pray for you and this interview is over!

LI: [Hangs up.]

The full story at Religion Dispatches. The comments there are interesting too.

This is a sample of why the Founders insisted on separating religion from the state. And it is a sample of why none of the current crop of Republicans should be allowed anywhere near the White House.

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Christians Teaching Bigotry, Hatred, and Murder To Children in Public Schools–Your Children
June 2, 2012

In after-school ‘religious clubs’ Christian evangelists are teaching children how to be good little killers of unbelievers.

Literally. No metaphor, no figurative intent.

From an article in Daily Kos:

Paraphrasing the Old Testament scripture I Samuel 15:2-3, the Child Evangelism Fellowship’s new lesson plan teaches, "You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left." The manual then instructs the teacher to tell students, "That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?" Stewart continues,

"Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:

"The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment."

The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed."

Stewart emphasizes, it doesn’t stop there. As I Samuel describes, Saul was not fully compliant with God’s orders to kill every last one of the Amalekites and their livestock – he let the king and some of the animals live. The lesson repeatedly hammers the point to students that Saul did not pass the "test" of obedience to God’s word.

The Kos article takes off from the work of Katharine Stewart, writing in The Guardian, quoted above. (Interesting we have to hear this from a British newspaper.)

These are the people who will tell you about the peace and love of their religion, and if you don’t believe them they will beat you until you do or just flat out kill you. Or have one of their children do it. Or have your child do it.

There is no moral distance between what Christians are doing and what warlords in Africa are doing when they kidnap and indoctrinate children to murder, to hack off limbs, to kill indiscriminately.

There is no moral distance between what Christians are doing and what the Taliban is doing, what Islamic fundamentalists are doing, what murderous thugs around the world are doing.

And if these perverts gain political power in this country, they will create a hell on earth that makes Hitler and his legions look like saints. Lest you forget, Hitler and his legions were Christians to the core.

Christianity is a moral sewer of lies and hypocrisy and willful delusion. Any religion that breeds the psychotic sickness that Stewart writes about is a moral sewer, and all religions breed this foulness, this moral stench, this bloody, putrid stain on the heart.

And when some Christian says that it’s just a small minority, that they don’t really represent Christianity, ask them what they are doing to stop their brethren from indoctrinating children into murder and hatred. And when they mumble some defensive bullcrap, which they will, spit right in their face.

The disgusting perverts of the Child Evangelism Fellowship and the New Apostolic Reformation represent the logical outcome of Christian doctrines. (Sarah Palin is one of these cretins.) They have one goal and that is to bring this country down into their moral sewer, to turn the United States into a mindless, murderous, hate-filled theocracy. Pol Pot and his ideological killers had their torture prisons and death camps, and the Christians will create the same in the United States, and wherever else they spread their stench.

And right now they are spreading their moral stink, their emotional evil, their mental sickness in your public schools, among your children, with the blessing of the United States Supreme Court, and the blessing of every Christian who does not act against these hell-filled teachings of their brethren.

Are they active in your schools? Do you want to find out?

Or maybe you should wait until your child comes into your bedroom spouting Biblestink and wielding a machete.

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The Inquisition Lives! Or You Never Know When To Expect Joey Ratz.
May 25, 2012

From the BBC:

The Vatican has said it has detained a person it suspects of leaking a series of confidential documents and letters to the media.

The leaks have described alleged corruption, mismanagement, and internal conflicts among top Holy See officials.

The Vatican said the person was being questioned by Vatican magistrates, but gave no further details about their identity.

The "Vatileaks" scandal, as it is known, has enraged the Holy See.

Last month, Pope Benedict XVI set up a special commission of cardinals to investigate the leaks.

"The inquiry carried out by Vatican police… allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential documents," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists.

"This person is currently being questioned."

In the Vatican dungeons, no doubt.

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The United States of America in The Year 2050
May 25, 2012

The Dominion is the current government of the United States of America. It is a Protestant-rooted government, now in power since 2020, when it took over the previous government and replaced it with a theocracy.

The movement had its roots in right-wing conservatism, beginning with the corruption and weakening of American democracy under Ronald Reagan. Further degradation of the American Republic occurred under succeeding Presidents, and culminating in the final nails in the proverbial coffin pounded in by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, both under the baleful influence of the terrorist campaigns of Osama bin Laden and a variety of terrorist networks. In effect the Americans were terrified by fanatic theocrats  into creating a dictatorship of theocrats.

The initial movement, rooted in the Tea Party, was funded secretly by a cabal of billionaires and millionaires, including many who were responsible for bringing down the American and world economies late in the first decade of the century. These men, including the Koch brothers and other wealthy right-wing families, wanted to have the power of government to themselves, to create the American world so that it would benefit them and to hell with the four hundred million American citizens who actually made their wealth possible.

Their miscalculation involved the religious right, especially the people of the Dominionist movement, a Christian sect that believed it should, could, and would rule the country and create a nation that functioned according to Biblical law tempered by the philosophy of Jesus Christ. The cabal of wealth attempted to use the religious right, including the Dominionists, to further their own agenda, knowing that the American people were not, generally speaking, the brightest lights in the closet and would fall hook, line, and sinker, for a movement professing to clean up Washington and bring morality back to the nation. They were right, of course, especially given that they were responsible for the degradation of education and the dumbing down of the press.

What they didn’t count on was the determination of the Christian sects to rule, especially the Dominionist sect. Intellectually the cabal was outmatched by the Dominion, despite the Dominion religious delusion. But the Dominionists believed in their delusion, believed wholeheartedly that they were the chosen ones, born to lead the nation into the bosom of Jesus Christ, even if a few people had to die under torture on the way to the promised land. Not a few of those were members of the cabal.

The cabal pumped money into political campaigns that featured seemingly moderate candidates with a religious bent, candidates who were Dominion but who were careful to keep their deeper views under wraps. As the cabal controlled the press and the press had long since decided to act like lapdogs to wealth and power, the electorate, most of it, bought the story of a return to honesty and integrity in government and were willing to admit a strong religious element as well. So seat after seat, in the House and the Senate, the Dominion gradually took over Congress. It took only a few years. In 2020 they took the Presidency, throwing out the incumbent, a man wholly owned by the cabal. In 2020 the Dominion had taken over the government of the United States, legally, at the ballot box, although they were dishonest about it.

In 2020 the gloves came off. The military, long a hotbed of Christian religious fundamentalist fever, went along with the new program and became a domestic enforcement arm of the new government. Throughout society Catholics and Jews were eased out, or thrown out, of positions of influence, replaced with loyal Protestant hacks. The courts were turned into religious courts. The schools were required to teach the Bible and Dominionist theology. Liberal professors and administrations in colleges were removed, replaced with dogmatists. Teaching evolution was outlawed. Social Security, Medicare, the entire Democratic New Deal platform of programs, all were scrapped under the guise of personal responsibility and self-reliance and dependence on the god of the Dominionists.

And the people bought it. They had long since allowed themselves to be castrated by a corporate press, by a consumer ideology, and by a weak education system. There was grumbling, of course, but the grumblers somehow managed to disappear and after a while the grumbling stopped and people got on with their lives as best they could, and kept silent while at it – after all, there seemed to be spies everywhere – you couldn’t trust the neighbors anymore.

There were during this time many battles between the Dominion’s military arms and various Protestant sects that disagreed with Dominion theology, though very few of them disagreed with the religious takeover of the government. These were street battles, militia wars, gang fights even. Though fewer, they continue into the present.

The Dominion’s foreign policy caused consternation in the world, though it was cheered by the wingnut yahoos on the home front. After all, they controlled the most powerful armies and arsenals in the world, and were quite willing to use them in the name of God. The Vatican War in 2030, though it lasted only a few hours until Vatican City was reduced to rubble, put the world on notice, and the world cowered. The Europeans knew what they were up against: their history was full of the depredations of religious tyrants, and since the Europeans were no match for the military might of America they simply stood back and waited for the drama to play out.

The nuclear destruction of Tehran, Baghdad, Cairo, and Beijing followed soon after the Vatican War, and then there was no one to pose a credible threat to the Americans. The Russians simply crawled into their shell and the world hunkered down to wait out these new, deadly Americans.

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American Military Has Forgotten 9/11, Learned Nothing
May 13, 2012

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has revealed that…

…officers from all four branches of the U.S. Military were instructed at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, VA, that the “option” of waging total war on civilian populations of the Muslim faith in a manner similar to the “historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki” should be openly embraced and explored.

The tenor of the ideas taught, and the arrogance and utter stupidity of the teachers, and of the military itself in allowing these teachings, can be summed up in this quote from the MRFF article:

“We have now come to understand that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’…This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.” Such phrases, as uttered by JFSC faculty member Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, constitute openly genocidal hate speech — the likes of which have led to some of the worst horrors in modern history.

Those statements are the ravings of arrogant minds, of minds disconnected from reality, of minds that accept, as Jacob Bronowski noted, no test in reality. These minds are unhinged, are cast loose from the moorings of the real world. And these statements are the core of the education being given to American staff officers, the people who run the military.

The article goes on to note:

Firm countermeasures must be put in place to prevent the further propagation of criminal tactics and military strategies, as exemplified by the hypothetical destruction of Mecca and Medina (the paramount holy cities of the Muslim faith), and the reduction of Islam “to cult status” at the hands of a global “anti-Islamist” coalition bizarrely envisioned by JFSC faculty member Lt. Col. Dooley.

Destroy Mecca and Medina?

That is the statement, hypothetical or not, and one must suspect that it was not a hypothetical but a genuine belief, given the context, that is the statement that tells us that the United States Military has not only forgotten 9/11 but has lost its collective mind.

On 9/11 a handful of religious fanatics (a breed that currently pervades the entire American military command structure, according to the work of the MRFF) destroyed commercial buildings in New York City and part of the Pentagon, and killed, all told, some three thousand people.

The result was that the people of the United States united behind a religiously deluded President and went on a rampage in the Islamic world, a rampage that served no purpose, that destroyed two countries (three if you count the damage the United States has inflicted on itself), and that has done, in final effect, nothing to stem terrorism.

Do the geniuses at the JFSC think that bombing Mecca and Medina, located in the lands of an ally, Saudi Arabia, will bring the Islamic world to its knees? Do they think that inflicting massive civilian casualties (which we have already done in Iraq and Afghanistan, to virtually no avail) will make the Muslim world bow down to us, beg our forgiveness, and offer us free oil for a hundred years? That appears to be what the United States Military thinks and is inculcating in its command staff.

No. The Islamic world will do what the United States did. They will unite behind a leader, or a series of leaders, and there will be no place in the world, including at home, where Americans will be safe from the insanity an attack on Mecca and Medina will unleash. There will be no fleets of Islamic planes and ships attacking the United States, but no American corporation will be able to operate overseas; no American tourist will be safe anywhere in the world; no American politician will be safe walking from his front door to his car in the morning. And it is likely that following such an act against the Islamic world our allies in Europe and Asia will abandon the United States. With good reason: the United States will have become a bastion of madness and terror, a snakepit of delusion and mass hallucination, a genocidal horror loose in the world.

But our military geniuses apparently haven’t a clue. They have allowed the Christian crazies into their ranks and would seem to have bought into the Christian delusion of religious dominance of the world through the use of American military power. Christianity is at best a delusion, but coupled with military and political power it is a disease, a virulent sickness, a  mind-destroying plague that must be stamped out of our military, from top to bottom, without mercy.

And the sooner it is excised as well from our political life the better. America is a diseased nation, and the disease is religion. It leads to national madness, and the virulence infecting the military will feed into the plague infecting the civilian governance. The world, and the nation, will pay a horrible price for such delusional arrogance and madness.

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Pledge of Allegiance is UnAmerican
May 9, 2012

Much is being made in my town of a selectman failing to open a meeting of the Board of Selectmen with the Pledge of Allegiance, a policy that is only a little over two years old.

Her oversight was not principled. She was chairing the meeting and running late and decided to skip the pledge. Her only previous demurral regarding the pledge was that she was not comfortable with the phrase ‘under God’ and wouldn’t be saying those two words.

But for skipping the pledge at the meeting she chaired she has been vilified publicly and privately, and subjected to hate mail, death threats, and who knows what else. She was essentially browbeaten into making a public apology, an action strongly reminiscent of the public ‘confessions’ of dissenters and other miscreants under various communist regimes.

This town, Falmouth, Massachusetts, makes a big deal of  its public service committee called ‘No Place For Hate’. Apparently some kinds of hate are okay here.

I wish she had taken a principled stand and refused to speak the pledge or to stand for it when others babbled it.

The Pledge of Allegiance is a piece of unAmerican jingoism. More than that, it is a quasi-religious loyalty oath. It has no place in a diverse democracy of free citizens.

No one – no one – should be compelled by the state, by the law, by public peer pressure, or by petty public officials, as in Falmouth, to recite a public loyalty oath, nor to respect an oath that compels religious observance. Not in the United States.

Perhaps in petty dictatorships. Perhaps in fascist or communist states. Perhaps in authoritarian religious hierarchies among Christians, or Muslims, or Jews. Perhaps in the right-wing theocratic wet-dream nation the religious fundogelicals and the Tea Party desperately seek to create. But not here. Not here where dissent and the freedom of speech and thought were once among our highest values.

The Pledge is no more a sign of genuine patriotism than the flag lapel pins our Congressmen wear, or the flags being beaten up when attached to private cars wheeling around town, or the hateful, self-serving spewings of right-wing mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh and his ilk over the publicly-owned broadcast spectrum. After all, no terrorist worth his salt would refuse to speak in public, loudly and proudly, the American pledge of allegiance if it served his purposes.

When authorities call for the Pledge to be spoken, you can stand up for conformism and thought control and incipient tyranny, or you can sit down for democracy, freedom, and a nation of law and fact-based reason.

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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’.

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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.

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