October 27, 2008

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just “people of faith” but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.

– Christopher Hitches in Sarah Palin’s War on Science

Sorry to be so political lately, but seriously. There’s crazy. And then there’s stupid.

And I don’t want either of them near the White House any time soon.

Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not. [Hearty laughter from the Real Americans in the background.]

– Potential Future Vice-President Sarah Palin

Oh Sarah, if only there wasn’t a non-zero possibility that you could be the next vice-president of the United States, your complete lack of understanding about basic science research would be funny.

No, now it’s just scary.

Basic science gets results. Even stuff that the ‘Real America’ can appreciate. Well, maybe not appreciate. I guess ‘use’ would be the right word. Science is too ‘hard’ for them to appreciate something as marvelous as a refrigerator (thermodynamics, anyone?). Or, say, a computer (electrical engineering… though it owes a lot to electromagnetism). Yeah, and that silly ‘fruit fly research,’ even (“genetics… what has that done for me lately…”).

Maybe God should stop blessing America and start putting a little more intelligence (or common sense) in our ‘Real’ counterparts.

Sigh.

Two more weeks!

The Election of 2004

September 11, 2008

Another creative writing assignment. We were told to write about a time that we wanted something we didn’t get. Since I (would like to think that I) don’t have a melodramatic bone in my body. I went with the 2004 election. With election season here again, I felt this would be appropriate.

I wasn’t even eighteen.

I wasn’t even eighteen, and yet the only thing on my mind was the election. During the fall of 2004, I became politically aware. Of course, I had voted before. I mean, I voted in my middle school’s mock election in 2000. When voting involved pushing a button on a computer and going about my day. When voting didn’t matter. When Gore won.

Politics and high school do not mix. Or perhaps they mix too well, like fire and gasoline, inevitably causing a spark. Because really, high school is ‘politics.’ I lost a friend or two because I forgot the trope that one should never discuss religion and politics in the cafeteria. With all the self-righteousness a seventeen year old could muster, I proselytized for Kerry. Even when friends reminded me, “You’re not even old enough to vote!” I still didn’t stop. And so the friends left the lunch table.

When the election finally came, and the next day I learned that Bush had won with a ‘mandate,’ for some reason, the jokes about ‘man dates’ didn’t quite cut it. I had put my faith in the American people. I couldn’t imagine how they could vote a man into office a second time, a man that had completely ruined our standing in the world and our conditions at home.

Which is why this year scares me. Because I care again. And this time, I am old enough to vote. This time, I believe that the American people couldn’t possibly vote in another term of ‘the guy (or gal) next door.’ I have not learned my lesson. But I suppose this never-ending string of Greek comedies and tragedies, this four year cycle of hope and loss, will teach me soon enough.

In my high school election, Kerry won.

September 10, 2008

When killing wolves on foot just isn’t enough

Sigh.

September 6, 2008

Americans have an unhealthy desire to see average people promoted to positions of great authority. No one wants an average neurosurgeon or even an average carpenter, but when it comes time to vest a man or woman with more power and responsibility than any person has held in human history, Americans say they want a regular guy, someone just like themselves. President Bush kept his edge on the “Who would you like to have a beer with?” poll question in 2004, and won reelection.

This is one of the many points at which narcissism becomes indistinguishable from masochism. Let me put it plainly: If you want someone just like you to be president of the United States, or even vice president, you deserve whatever dysfunctional society you get. You deserve to be poor, to see the environment despoiled, to watch your children receive a fourth-rate education and to suffer as this country wages — and loses — both necessary and unnecessary wars.

McCain has so little respect for the presidency of the United States that he is willing to put the girl next door (soon, too, to be a grandma) into office beside him. He has so little respect for the average American voter that he thinks this reckless and cynical ploy will work.

– Sam Harris, from Palin: Average Isn’t Good Enough

September 2, 2008

Nothing quite like a pro-life, pro-abstinence education candidate w/ a pregnant teen daughter to make this election SUPER awkward.

– Jason S.

Get the story here.

Hm, this is going to be an interesting race. A very interesting race, indeed.

But still, go Obama!

Video of Waterboarding

July 6, 2008

In case you wondered if waterboarding in torture:

Friday was a day to remember all that is good about this country. Perhaps we can take the next few days to remember all that is wrong with it…

Hey, Mr. President!

July 3, 2008

Apparently the powers that be in the scientific community are trying to hold a science debate between the presidential hopefuls.

The last time they tried this, the debate didn’t pull through. Imagine that, politicians not wanting to answer questions a little outside their areas of expertise (that is, non-BS).

Hopefully Obama and McCain will both agree to attend this event. In my opinion, a debate like this could tell us more about how well-suited each candidate is for the office more than 20 ‘policy’ debates.

Really, I’d love to have an engineer as president (can you imagine having someone with the applied know how and critical thinking skills of an engineer as president of the US?), but I guess this is the next best thing.

Hurrah, science!!!

Looks like Obama’s clenched the nomination. This is exciting. For the first time, there’s really a politician I feel like I can stand by intellectually, economically, environmentally, foreign policy-ically (okay, that one may be pushing it a little), and heck, even spiritually.

Now let’s hope he really is the golden boy I / the media make/s him out to be. There may only be one good politician in a thousand, but maybe he’s that one.

Obama ’08!