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BUSH WATCH...Dom Stasi
Dom Stasi is an engineer working in the television and motion picture industry in Hollywood. A veteran, Mr. Stasi flew aerial reconnaissance during the Cold War and worked on Project Apollo. He is a frequently published science and technology writer.
"We have been children long enough. We must now unshackle our minds and begin acting as independent beings." – Noah Webster, First American Dictionary
Two framed pictures hang on my office wall. Each is accompanied by a timely message.
The frame atop holds a portrait of colonial patriot Samuel Adams. (Yes, the beer guy. My hero on so many levels.) Below the picture are his words, written at America’s birth: “The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men.”
When I look at the framed document and I see the idealized portrait - Sam Adams of the set jaw and steely eyes - I feel as though he is reaching across the centuries and speaking directly to me, admonishing me to beware the artifices of designing men.
Then I lower my eyes. What I see lowers my spirits as well. For immediately below the Sam Adams quote hangs another frame. This one contains a front page from the London Daily Mirror. Above the newspaper’s headline floats another picture, this one of a befuddled-looking, newly “reelected” George W. Bush. The headline reads: “HOW CAN 59,054,087 PEOPLE BE SO DUMB?”
Now, while I’ve asked myself the same question innumerable times since November 4th, I’m not so sure the answer is as simple as the British tabloid would have us think. But think we must. So it is this lower frame, and the many messages and subtexts its simple words convey, on which I cannot help but concentrate my attention and this article.
If we’re not dumb, then how can 59,054,087 people – Americans all - appear so dumb?
For what did cause so many of our countrymen to behave so strangely on Election Day, 2004, and thus to appear stupid – very stupid - in the eyes of the rest of the world? We are after all, the melting pot, the world’s amalgam. Intelligence distribution is Gaussian.
To understand the Mirror’s headline one must understand its readers. The headline is not an indictment of American intellect by jealous Europeans as xenophobic propagandists like Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh would have us think (Forgive the writer’s indulgence. I’ve always wanted to use the words Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Think in the same sentence, if only to prove it could be done.)
No. By judiciously avoiding the word Americans in referring to the 2004 Bush voters, and simply calling them “people,” what the Daily Mirror’s headline does is articulate what seems an enigma to our foreign earth mates. To most of them America is smart enough, like it or not. America is the most commercially and scientifically advanced society on Earth, like that or not too, and ours is the only society we know that’s made it off Earth as well. So, to them, the sheer unexpectedness of our apparent and hopefully temporary stupidity is what has the thinking world reeling – not our actual stupidity. Our countrymen’s behavior has proven particularly vexing to Europeans. But they see this not as an American failure of intellect, but a human failure, thus the word people. So – unlike many of us - they’re asking legitimate questions, so is their press.
Look at the 2004 election from their point of view. The vast majority of Americans are descended from European families, even those Americans who trace their heritage to Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Africa. European blood courses the veins of most Americans. European blood is shed on American battlefields. To a greater extent than all others combined, Europe is the foundation of American culture. In fact, even the most fundamental genetic science long ago proved our common lineage.
As such, Europeans do not hate America or Americans, quite the contrary. How could they? Neither do they think us stupid out of proportion to the world’s general population. No. They see us as themselves, their brothers and sisters who’ve left behind abusive parents to strike out on our own. We proclaimed that we did not need kings and overlords. We can govern ourselves! we declared. And by extension, so could they. The familial metaphors are profound.
So, when it seems that we cannot, when we – we who are free to select from all of our extraordinary people not just some arbitrary nobility – still select inbred dynastic fools to lead us, when we allow the most commonplace of buffoons to guide the supertanker of state that is America, Europeans take notice. When we get it wrong twice, they feel the sense of failure and disappointment even before we do ourselves. They have no skin in the American game, so they don’t fool themselves into denial. Their newspapers don’t sell well here. Their journalists can be objective. We’re cut from the same ancestral cloth. If we’re stupid, then by extension so are they. Europeans realize this, so they ask, how can it be? Is it in our blood? Are white people genetically doomed to self destruction?
To many of my readers, these may appear radical musings, even for me. But I assure you, I do not arrive at them lightly. I spend a great deal of time abroad, particularly in the capitols of Western Europe, and not as a tourist. In fact not a month has passed this year that has not found me working in a foreign city: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Stockholm. Between times I might be in Oklahoma or Texas, LA or New York. I mediate among a very diverse group of humans, far more than most.
Wherever I may be, I drink the water, read the newspapers, or have them translated for me. I speak with my many friends in pubs and restaurants and coffee shops and the places where we work. I do this on both sides of the Atlantic, both sides of the Pacific. I watch their TV news programs. Many of my colleagues produce these programs, write these newspapers. I know what they think, and I know why they think it. Many of them consider their American journalistic counterparts cowards and whores. I find that I think it too. Sometimes I realize what’s happening, then I fight it back. Other times not. For there is but one constant among the variables: whether I’m in Paris Texas, or Paris France, I’m American. England or New England: American! American to the bone.
But unlike their counterparts in the American media, my foreign friends ask valid questions. They ask the same questions more and more independent Americans are finally asking ourselves in the absence of a relevant corporate media here. For example, if it’s accepted that it wasn’t widespread American stupidity, then what was it that caused Americans to “reelect” little Bush, and by doing so allowing ourselves to be cheated out of our freedoms and liberties by the artifices of the designing men with whom he’s surrounded himself?
What indeed. And, what caused so many Americans (59,054,087 if one believes the Daily Mirror and the vote count) to reward this profoundly failed president and his designing men with a second term? What motivated so many of our countrymen, after observing this guy, this mutant prince, this chronic incompetent whose proximate tenure proved him neither intelligent nor rational nor honest nor temperate, what caused us to unbridle such a dismal failure by providing him a docile, if equally corrupt legislative majority of more designing men to do his bidding and pillaging in our name? What blinded nearly 60 million Americans to the folly of casting their collective lot with big-money-globalists and against their own? against their nation’s economy? against their families? against their freedoms? against their futures? against their civil liberties? against their – and our - blood-won civil Constitution?
What persuaded a majority of the lowest income white guys from those areas the Europeans see as America’s provinces (the red states) to enable and support federal policies intended to ultimately repeal the dividend tax? the estate tax? to impose a wartime tax refund for people (the noblemen) in the top 2% income bracket most of whom live in the blue states? What made agri-workers in the breadbasket states endorse the very president whose $200 billion in welfare to corporate farms will be spent to continue automating their jobs into oblivion? What inspired them to vote for economic programs that would provide an additional $70 billion in annual tax breaks to designing men who move American manufacturing jobs offshore? Why did lower-middle-income workers believe it would benefit them to redistribute their Social Security withholding to Wall Street (the blue heart of the bluest state) on the heels of a market collapse while the actual Social Security surplus edges toward two trillion dollars? Are the adjusto-tabs on their polyester baseball caps being pulled so tight that blood flow is cut off from their brains? These are the questions I’m asked.
It should be evident that stupidity alone would not account for this widespread illogic, though in speaking and corresponding with representative samples of any but the absolutely wealthiest Republican voters it becomes clear that if not stupidity alone, then willful ignorance as well is prevalent among them. But neither can these “attributes” alone account for such self-destructive behavior among so many millions of so called Americans. Even idiots have survival instincts. Even sheep recognize the slaughterer’s shackle and pike.
What then? What specifically, caused a substantial majority of non-union, blue collar middle-income white males in this country to twice vote in favor of an economic plan that would reduce their overtime pay-rates, while diverting more billions of their earnings to the designing men who quietly consider themselves these working men’s masters. Why did white collar white men vote against genetic research whose advancement would create countless American skilled jobs forever and healthier lives for their descendants? Was it their religious beliefs? If so, have not the sciences blessed this country as generously as all of the gods of all her religious factions combined? What made such Americans endorse a policy of spend and borrow that will inevitably send interest rates thought the sky, and eternally indebt their children to foreign banks? What? and what? and why? and why? ad infinitum.
Last month a Dutch woman asked me what caused 55% of white American women to endorse a policy wherein a bunch of (designing) men would be allowed to make these women’s reproductive decisions for them? How do I answer that? How, when I wonder myself what it was that made these free American women willingly hand over control of their very bodies to a bunch of right wing creeps with little boy haircuts whom few of such women would deign to acknowledge in a social situation? How would you answer?
Last May I found myself engulfed by a Roman anti-Bush rally. Citizens of this city built from the spoils of conquest were demanding Bush and Berlusconi end their illegal war in Iraq. Afterwards, walking past a billboard showing the mud-caked and bloodied little feet of children killed in that war, I asked my companion to translate the caption below the disturbing picture. “The Work Of Bush,” she answered.
Emboldened, she asked me a question – three questions. Why, she said, are so many American women quietly abiding the violent physical destruction of so many thousands of (Iraqi) children at the hands of a marauding army? Why have they not protested more vigorously? Did they not understand the unspeakable horror of such a rampage? I could not answer her.
After all, the infanticide’s been proceeding unabated for three years now. Have such American women still failed to take notice, or do they just not care? I did not know then. I still do not. After all, 55% of white American women voted for Bush again.
Further, what motivated a staggering 78% of the most ardent and absolutely milky whitest American followers of Jesus to first enable and then endorse the murder of 128, 000 innocents (so far) and the maiming of countless more of God’s children, most of whom literally were women and children. What made them do so in the shadow of His very cross? This, while a comparable 75% of non-Christian American whites voted to end such brutality in 2004. Could it be that in the eyes of white evangelicals, humans lose their right to life once they’re actually born? That makes sense.
What inspired a majority of white veterans - and this one hurts most on a personal level - those who know the stink of burned and rotting flesh, of cordite and kerosene, those who know what it means to feel your wingman’s presence – to know absolutely – that he’s on your flank, at your twelve, got your back no matter what the odds – what makes such vets allow lesser men, men who were not there when we turned around, yet reappear as if by magic whenever it’s time to once more send our young to burn and rot, to kill and be killed on foreign soil based upon fear – fear and deception – what made most veterans support such scum? Have we too forgotten what was done to our generation by “men” such as these, safe in their Washington and Texas easy chairs? It appears we have. So soon. So very soon.
Elderly. What drove our white seniors to enrich those who consider the fixed-income elderly as excess baggage and a no-longer-useful element of society? What so enraged or so terrified Americans of the generation that faced down the Axis and the Soviets that they would vote for false security at the expense of the respite they’ve already paid for in blood, sweat, tears, money? What made these people throw in with those who will obviate their every social and financial contribution to our way of life by taking the money that American seniors themselves have set aside for an honorable and safe twilight of their glorious years. The fake conservatives in power today are uniformly on record as disdainful of anything “public,” such as Social Security, Medicare, and aid for the disabled. They brag about it. So what, then, drove a majority of our Caucasian elderly to empower these savages who want to divert every public penny to war costs or to themselves thus leaving our social programs bankrupt – deliberately bankrupt? What?
The answers to these questions are many and varied. None of them are flattering. None of them reflect the actions of a smart, rational or informed electorate. Many of them represent dangerous reactions by a downtrodden, emerging, easily-frightened, and politically ignorant white middle America. All of them are an inherent threat to representative democracy. All of them remain unchanged by the facts of these last five abjectly dismal American years. All of them should be disturbing – very disturbing - to real Americans.
Europeans seem to understand the founding principles of our democratic republic better than we. What will it take to awaken the real Americans?
That’s right, real Americans! By that I mean those of us – right, left, and center - who understand that representative democracy demands participation and who participate. (A “God Bless America” bumper sticker is not participation.)
By real Americans I mean those of us smart enough, aware enough, awake enough, American enough to know the difference between true patriotism and blind jingoism.
(A note to my legion of fuming detractors: after you look up the meaning of “jingoism,” get all judgmental on me and scrawl another of your angry, pointless, and unimaginative name-calling diatribes, let me help you with your research by answering the inane assumptions and mostly irrelevant questions you’ve already been programmed to ask me: I am a white guy and in that despised top 2% of Americans in both income and IQ. I report every penny of my income, none of which is derived from writing or any other form of environmental pollution. I am not a pacifist. I’m a veteran and unlike your poop-suited war-president, my USAF crewmates remember me as I do them. I’m prone to political compromise in the public interest. I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Communist party. I have no prison record, and have never taken an illegal drug. I eat meat. I drink mostly coffee, beer and Jack Daniels and have since childhood. I dislike all wines except Champagne (from France!), which I especially enjoy in the company of one or more like-minded women (from anywhere). I’m not sure what latte is. In my teens I was a member of the Young Republicans. I once walked away from a job as US Foreign Service Officer because I would not engage in overt propaganda. I’ve three times held a Top Secret government security clearance, and three times I’ve obeyed its rule and its spirit to the letter. I’ve been married to the same long-suffering, amazing, and still beautiful gal for 40 years. My children respect and love me and even call me on the phone. I recognize wedge efforts at “gun control” as precisely that, but consider civil liberty a far more powerful weapon than any firearm – and one whose ownership is proportionally more threatened by this government’s attempts at control. I am a real American. And yes, I am a Hollywood Liberal and damned proud of it. At least most of you got that right. So, if you must waste your time and mine by calling me names, call me that one. Just spare me the other crap. Come up with something new, and add a comma now and then – it won’t use up that much of your crayon.)
As for the remainder of our countrymen and women, it should be apparent by now that few realize better than do I how tempting it is in this frustrating age to blame their apparent stupidity simply on actual stupidity. But, to do so would be a mistake. It would be a mistake that would mean their manipulators have manipulated you and me as well.
At this point things have gone too far to blame the still-widespread denial on stupidity: No WMD. No al-Quaida connections to Saddam. Destruction of the world’s oldest civilization for no plausible reason. Terrorism run rampant as we spend and kill mindlessly. No yellowcake. No aluminum tubes. The Downing Street memo. Traitors in the White House. Remember the Road Map? How about the mission to Mars? Ha! I could fill the page with this administrations lies and failures. But the point is this. Continued denial by Bush’s supporters in the face of such evidence does not derive from their stupidity alone. It is much more serious than that, much more serious.
We must step back from our anger and realize this.
Most Americans – a substantive majority in fact, and whether liberal or conservative or anything in between – are neither stupid, nor do we all want different things from our government. What most of us want is honesty. We’re not getting it. If we force them to give us that, the rest will follow. But only those capable of critical thought realize this.
Many Americans simply refuse to accept such a view. It’s an ugly view of our beloved country. It’s really ugly. There is so much that is already ugly in the world of those who allow others to think for them – the world of Fox “news” and Ann Coulter. For these easily-led people to accept that we Americans are the proximate cause of so much of the ugliness would test their self-discipline too rigorously. Accepting that our beloved country and its form of government have fallen victim to criminals represents a monumental psychological obstacle to them – a cognitive dissonance - not unlike that faced by the mother who won’t accept that her child is the serial killer the police have been hunting. We’ve all seen such tragic people on the “news.”
Making such ugliness even more difficult to accept, is that, just like the mother, to accept reality is to also accept that the killer came from her genes from her very womb. Similarly, the voter who enabled the Bush administration must accept some responsibility for the mass murder, the war crimes, the suffering that proceeded from their actions. So they stand in strident denial. They ride beside us on the freeway. They’re the ones with the bumper stickers that say things like, “Power Of Pride,” whatever that means. They can bellow all they want, what their jingoism says to me is they’ve put self above country. Whenever you see such a bumper sticker, it should say it to you as well.
To not accept the glaring reality of what has happened to our beloved representative democracy is to put self above country. To do that yet live under her sky is patently un-American. Like the rest of us, the now growing majority of us, these people too must put pride behind them and do what is right – what is right for America. Their mindless flag waving makes me sick. If they don’t get what America means, then it is not their flag!
Though the manipulators of media and government do count heavily on their base being a little light in the critical-thinking area, that’s not stupidity. Laziness, credulity, naïveté? Yes. But not stupidity, not all of them, not even most. Be angry with that. It will allow you to focus on the right target. To focus on stupidity, however apparent it might seem, will be to waste your rage on the wind.
Add to this dissonance the realization that we’ve been raised and educated to expect “good government.” Everything we’ve been taught about America since childhood is that it is the beacon of good government. How then can one accept that at the moment, ours is the most dangerously corrupt government in the world, run by a gaggle of universally failed incompetents? Has adding high treason to the crimes of this White House further cemented their base of adamant intractables?
How does one who loves his or her country accept that, especially when his or her vote contributed to the atrocity?
By facing it, that’s how? By being an adult, that’s how. By being an American, that’s how! By being an American, that’s how! By being an American, that’s how! By being an American, that’s how! How many times must it be said before it sinks in? Must we fall first? We surely will if America is left to the artifices of the designing men who’ve taken charge of her government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Conclusion: Though I cannot answer all of my European friends’ questions any better than I can answer those I ask myself, what I do know is this. Many Europeans have conveniently forgotten that before us, they were history’s fools. Many more have not. The latter realize that we are their families’ descendants. Our ancestries are common. Our future is too. Europeans eat cheeseburgers. Americans eat pizza. The world has gotten very small. A terrorist’s shrapnel kills all her people with comparable efficiency.
Thus, most Europeans do not think Americans are stupid. Neither do they want to think it. Inexperienced? Yes. Naïve? Yes. But not stupid.
Europeans see our countrymen’s behavior for what it is: naïve nationalism. They see us as falling victim to the same propaganda that has devastated them throughout recorded history. Today’s Americans – or half of us - are just the latest iteration of history’s fools. They wonder if we too will be its victims? Will we follow the disastrous path to fear-bred despotism that our country’s founders escaped? Have we already taken our first steps along that path?
We must wake up and regain our country from the criminals, fools, and traitors who’ve assumed it. We must regain it for human posterity. We must regain it for our children. Yet, instead, we are close to falling victim to the same exploitation that caused our ancestors to lose control of their destinies in decades and centuries past.
The vast majority of Americans are honorable people. But Americans are people who’ve been lied to by those in positions of trust for so long and so often that they’ve lost their ability or their desire to recognize the truth. Our countrymen and women won’t be brought back to rationality through anger. Only reason can accomplish that. And now, perhaps as no time before, as their leaders scramble and plot to save their own worthless skins, and do so with no thought of what their actions have done to the greatest country the world has ever known, perhaps, just perhaps, reasonable Americans are ready to put their pride behind them and literally, literally listen to reason.
I despise the hypocritical traitors of the corporate press, right-wing media, fundamentalist pulpit, and what today passes itself off for the Republican party as much as anyone can. My words have made that apparent. But we cannot let our anger become our enemy’s weapon. For to do that would be to follow our European predecessors to ruin. If they are more aware than we, it is because they learned a very hard lesson from a very stern master: history.
Will our countrymen ignore that lesson? Now that would be stupid. --posted August 30, 2005
“The fundamentalists, by 'knowing' the answers before they start examining evolution, and then forcing nature into the straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of science - or of any honest intellectual inquiry.” - Stephen Jay Gould
THE ORIGIN OF SPECIOUS National Mutation Through Unnatural Selection
By Dom Stasi ResponDS1@aol.com
George W. Bush wants to see “different ideas” introduced into the science curriculum of our public schools. That’s fundamentalist code for, “I want to indoctrinate your children to Creationism.”
In case you’ve just arrived here from the outer planets and haven’t heard the “news,” the latest inanity our prez has used to throw the country’s “reporters” off the Karl Rove stench, while driving another wedge through what remains of her people’s unity is this comment, he made last week: “I think part of education,” expounded Bush the philosopher, “is to expose people to different schools of thought.” He went on to say he would endorse placing intelligent design on an equal curricular footing with evolution.
My god! Are we so insane now that we’re about to allow George W. Bush to influence our children’s thinking and thus the next generation of American scientists – or would alchemists be a more appropriate title? How about sorcerers?
I shudder at the thought, because we do not teach fantasy in science class. If the only criterion we use for selecting our impressionable young students’ material is that it represent a different “school of thought,” or a “different idea,” perhaps we should begin teaching history students that the holocaust never happened. That’s a different school of thought, and a widely held view by those who have a problem with reality. How about the one that says we never landed on the moon? Then there are those who say the 3.5 billion year old Earth is really 4000 years old. Bush is one of the millions who buy that different idea. What interesting geography lessons (if rather hapless geographers) those “different schools of thought” would produce.
No. When facts contradict or fail to support hypotheses, there is no place for such speculative mental meandering in the disciplines. Different schools of thought about solid deterministic tenets, whether viable or specious, are examined in philosophy class or the advanced sciences, and generally to mature, trained minds. When ideas grow up and get factual, then they can find their way into the proximate (elementary and secondary) disciplines. Until then, and if we’re serious about the development of rational young minds,
fantasy-subjects will just have to languish in the electives. That Bush casually disagrees with the world’s greatest minds on the origin of species, particularly so as relates to the creation – or genesis - of humans is hardly a basis upon which to change traditional education and qualify solid science. Simply stated, though I doubt he is aware of it, Bush prefers the hypothetical postulation of intelligent design to the evidence-laden Unifying Theory of Biology. The former is popularly, if often incorrectly, known as creationism; the latter is popularly called Natural Selection, Survival of the Fittest, or of course the biggie (or Big E) - Evolution (Never to be confused in the Creationist mind with the infinitesimally small “e” – evidence). Thus, he wants this patently religious, Christian fundamentalist contrivance taught in our tax-funded, secular public schools and he finally came out and said so.
Though it has come to the surface this week through Bush’s comments, this personal if irrational preference is strikingly absent in his approach to governance. On that front – through bullying, intimidation, retribution, rewarding loyalty, imposition of force, size, physical strength, bigotry, violent elimination of the physically inferior, obeying the orders of those he considers his betters, reacting to instead of leading with ideas, pack-mentality dedication to those of similar stripe, etc. - his actions are social Darwinism made manifest.
But let’s get back to the disturbing prospect of imposing Bush’s brain on the brains of our school children. As usual, when obviating fact through fantasy, the child-like Bush eschews empirical evidence and is ignorant of both fundamental logic and scientific method. He presumes instead to change the physical world through the adamant insinuation of personal preference, often sans the requisite reality check. He hears something, usually from God or some guy with bad hair and a fake southern drawl, he believes it if it suits him, and that’s all there is too it. From that point forward it is policy - or will be. This is not unlike a petulant child clenching his fists and holding his breath to presumably get his way with a pliable parent. With a worthless legislature in place thanks to choices made at the midterms by our credulous, fear-driven general population, the parent – in this case, Congress - is more than pliable, it’s downright obedient.
Now, in keeping with his ever-more-apparent disregard for what his slowly-awakening constituency actually wants, or more to the point what is obviously and irrefutably in the American public’s best interest, Bush is suggesting that intelligent design be taught in the science classes of our tax-supported public schools. Not content to use my tax money to simply kill other people’s grandchildren, he now wants to use more of it to confuse mine by exposing them to what is nothing more than a hoax all dressed up as science.
Not surprisingly, this latest intelligent design utterance has gotten a lot more ink from the corporate “press” than has Bush’s silence regarding the probability of a traitor creeping around inside the oval office while President Tex enjoys his 362nd day of vacation. Nonetheless, it does little to belie that our president is a slave to his personal biases and monumental ignorance, not to mention the will of his ideological masters. He has referred to evolution as only a theory. By doing so he reveals his misunderstanding of theory in the scientific sense, or deliberately confuses it with hypothesis. Either way, he’s got it wrong.
Let me make this abundantly clear, because it is abundantly clear: Intelligent Design (I prefer simply ID, as the concept is neither intelligent nor have its proponents produced any viable evidence of design) is not science. It’s not even bad science. What else ID ain’t is a theory. It’s a hypothesis, hardly more than an assumption, plain and simple. Or more simply stated, a chimpanzee in an Armani suit is still a chimpanzee.
Science – real science - is not some convenient collection of ideas and preferences whose fundamental tenets are not falsifiable. Neither does spelling out the postulations of convenience comprising ID in non-peer-reviewed essays laced with esoteric language elevate them above what they are – baseless fantasy.
No. No! Science is a very rigorous mechanism of processes, falsifiable proofs and refereed or demonstrable conclusions. Science is how humanity aggregates its knowledge. Each subsequent generation starts where its predecessors left off, adds its findings to that, and passes it all on to the succeeding generations, ad infinitum. Science – science in a culture that has sent its people to another world, cured infectious diseases, yes, blown ourselves up on more than one occasion - is not a mechanism for justifying concepts spelled out in an ancient book. To paraphrase author Sam Harris, the people who wrote the Bible would have been absolutely flabbergasted by the sight of something as futuristic as a wheelbarrow! If the Bible is indeed a human transcription of the word of God, then its deliberate misinterpretation in the light of knowledge, for whatever reason, is heresy.
“The Bible is not a natural science text book, nor does it intend to be. It is a religious book and consequently one cannot obtain information about the natural sciences from it. One cannot get from it a scientific explanation of how the world arose; one can only glean religious experience from it. Anything else is an image and a way of describing things and whose aim is to make profound realities graspable to human beings.” - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1995 (Now Pope Benedict XVI)
The Bible, for all its majesty, is not the place to learn good science in the modern world! The Earth has no corners or edges. It is not a circle. It orbits the sun. So on. We get it. But science is not about ambiguity or metaphore. It’s about science. If the Republican Right want to get their science from literal interpretations of the Bible, they should find some physical evidence for the flood. Where, for example, did all the extra water come from? Where did it go? How could all the animals have fit on the ark – any ark. If they figured out these things, they could then pollute and overpopulate to their black little hearts’ content and maybe then they’d shut up.
Science is our greatest blessing; willful ignorance our greatest curse. Intelligent Design comprises none of the former, and all of the latter. Each of its postulations has been either soundly debased or built upon an obviously incomplete and juvenile interpretation of very complete laws.
For example, I’ve personally witnessed ID’s proponents and preachers fail miserably to prove their assumptions through the deliberate misuse of known scientific tenets. I’ve endured their misuse of entropy theory to postulate a completely new Conservation of Information “law.” I’ve watched them attempt to make converts through a childish corruption of the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics (an especially esoteric concept ID’s proponents knew the vast majority of their sycophants would not understand). That failed attempt at legitimacy had this writer and many others far better versed than I, shouting from the aisles. Did they actually think no one knowledgeable in these areas would take notice and speak up? Finally, having failed as well to have their postulations included in but a single refereed scientific journal on the topic, ID’s leading apologist William Dembski has come up with a quite amazing 4th Law of Thermodynamics in a desperate ploy to prove his point. Though his legion of faithful believe him, no empirical evidence or viable postulation of such a phenomenon as Dembski’s 4th Law has yet been forthcoming. It is a hoax on the order of Piltdown Man. Nonetheless, one can only imagine the traffic jams that must be collecting even now as the trucks delivering the many Nobel Prizes as would surely accrue to such a discovery jockey for position outside Dembski’s laboratory. No? No prizes? Well, have faith. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
If the ID gang, or creationists, or whatever they’re calling themselves today really want some empirical evidence to refute evolution, they need only look inward – to one of their own: G.W. Bush. After all, the scientific pretext of evolutionary theory is elevated above hypothesis by postulation from empirical evidence. Thus, we who comprise today’s remnant of the American republic have for some time considered the empirics which conclude that in a mere 200 years, the impossible linear successor to the genius of Thomas Jefferson, is none other than a drug and substance abusing military deserter and business failure whose family fortunes derive in part from Hitler and Bin Laden, and whose intellect is roughly akin to that of Australopithecus. Simply stated, our president has the smarts of a pre-adolescent human child and the mores of a mosaic virus. This character with his finger on the button that can destroy the world is a demonstrable bonehead. Think what he might do if he ever learns to pronounce nuclear. But the point is this, if evolution is real, wouldn’t presidents be getting smarter? Why then do ID “scientists” fail to ponder that?
Preeminent Harvard psychologist, Lawrence Kohlberg sums up human moral development in five categories. The least of these is not surprisingly Stage Zero. Kohlberg writes, "Stage Zero: Egocentric judgment. The child makes judgments of good on the basis of what he likes and wants or what helps him, and bad on the basis of what he does not like or what hurts him. He has no concept of rules or of obligations to obey or conform to independent of his wish." Perhaps this stage of arrested development is best evident in our grown-up president’s own words, “I see things in black and white. I’m not about nuancing.” Or, in his summation of the ideological motivations of the entire human race, all 6.8 billion of us, “You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists.” And my personal favorite, when speaking to Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, the president of the United States said, "I am the commander, see. I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they need to say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
Responding to this last statement, psychotherapist Dr. Carol Norris observes, “What a profoundly childlike thing to say (not to be confused with childish). It sounds to me like a kid trying desperately, yet transparently, to convince people he is fit for a role he secretly is unsure he can fulfill and discuss.” She goes on to add, “It's called: Stage Zero.” 3
In a representative democracy, these learned assessments say at least as much about a president’s constituency, as they do about the “leader.” In aggregate, that’s what’s really troubling… really, really, really troubling. If there are none so blind as those who will not see, then the blind truly are leading the blind in the intellectual disgrace that is 21st Century America.
What then qualifies Bush to presume expertise on our children’s science education. It cannot be his record of performance or decision-making skills. Let’s look back:
Easily persuaded by his delusions of god (“God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.” – George W. Bush) and those of his advisors (“…he doesn’t know very much.” - Richard Perle ), Bush has been little more than a credulous, exploitable mouthpiece for the Reagan era ideologues and crooks with which he’s surrounded himself. The president of the United States is little more than an organic ventriloquist’s dummy with some sort of inexplicable – if fast eroding - populist appeal. His stupidity and the tragedy of September Eleventh have been used to plunge this country into war and insolvency for reasons neither this president nor his advisors can or will demonstrate. He's been prepped and coached and used to mutate a great American tragedy into an instrument of even greater tragedy: September Eleventh/Operation Iraqi Freedom (or its original name, Operation Iraqi Liberation: O.I.L. for short). Lest we forget, this is the “man” who stood upon the crushed and smoking remains of the dead at Ground Zero, and used his words to seal the fate of more innocents than Osama (Remember Osama?) had ever dreamed. He stood upon that hallowed ground and deliberately misled this country into believing he is a great deal more than the abject incompetent that has characterized every single one of his prior and subsequent endeavors. From his Washington easy chair, he’s taken countless lives, while the “news” tells us of the Runaway Bride, baseball players on steroids, common crime, and “Bradjolina.”
Now, while blowing up two foreign lands, imposing untold suffering on random innocents, depleting the US Treasury of what will ultimately become $7 trillion, and using the naiveté, grief, nationalism, and terror of our own citizens as carte blanche to advance the agenda of the warmongering lunatics comprising his cabinet, he got away with it and was returned to office after refusing to reveal what was probably the most important part of a tax-funded report on the events and motivations leading up to the whole horrific affair. Do not forget, the President of the United States refuses to this day, to release us a major part of the very report we the people had funded and for which we've been waiting through four of the most divisive and critical years in our nation's history. To this day Bush refuses to release to us, huge sections of the very report justifying or criticizing the greatest act of faith exhibited by any peoples toward any leader in our combined national history. He's taken us to war. He's bankrupted us. Our children are being murdered in foreign streets daily. He's encouraging the loss of personal freedoms. But no matter how heinous the outrage, most Americans have gone along with the apparent stupidity out of some sort of nationalistic sense of country. Some might call it fear.
As he today hides evidence concerning who “outed” Valerie Plame, withholds 50, 000 pages of background information on Judge Roberts, sneaks a whacko UN Ambassador into office while the country is at war and the people’s branch is in recess, let us not forget the most important secret Bush continues to harbor. To this very day, while he pulls weeds on his Crawford ranch, Bush still has not told us truthfully why we are at war! The reasons remain hidden as our young people die, hidden, horded by these tyrants in the used and abused name of security. Why are we allowing it? Why have we forgotten it? How do we know such control of information is not compromising our security? Where in the hell is the outrage? What in God's name has become of us?
Consider how this man’s simplistic interpretations led us to this travesty of power. Bush was told of a New Domino Theory. It went something like this: once a tyrant or two falls through overwhelming American military force, democracy would spread through the Mid East country-by-country like tumbling dominoes. He liked what he heard. With no substantive frame of reference, the stupid president believed it. Perhaps uncurious George W. Bush should have read about the old Domino Theory before invoking the new one, since it was, after all, only a theory. But he acted on his faith – a dismal substitute for knowledge - despite that there is no evidence in all of human history to support such lunacy. Thousands upon thousands died and are dying still. Now, having used up all of his prior excuses, he justifies the bloodshed with sophomoric claptrap. He's already sacrificed our troops to Afghanistan only to let it fall back into the chaos of a Taliban controlled heroin capitol of the world. Now, with the place in a worse shambles than it was when he found it, but with a powerless American-installed puppet government in place, Dubya's cronies crouch in the shadows, waiting to step in and build the pipeline from the sea to the Urals that his own father tried and failed to do by creating the Taliban in the first place. And finally, with Iraq on the verge of civil war as we endure the bloodiest days since the invasion began, the road to ruin spreads before us. We need only keep following it, driving at breakneck speed with the headlights off and our eyes clenched.
One year after 17% of voting age Americans swept this familied ne’er-do-well into office, a panicked and irrational electorate swept away our founders’ and our constitution’s system of checks and balances by replacing the balanced legislature with an equally frightened gaggle of primitives, thus leaving the criminal usurpers of the executive branch free to pillage our nation. They did exactly that again in November of 2004. Within this administration’s tenure we will see the largest federal budget surplus in American history gave way to the largest government deficit in the history of all the governments of the world combined – 5.4 trillion dollars. Nearly a trillion federal tax dollars have already vanished since 1999. Where are they? Tell me. I challenge you to tell me the truth without incriminating this administration!
Every week comes a new outrage.
How very far we’ve fallen as a peoples in but 200 years. Two hundred years ago Thomas Jefferson was America’s president. It seems incredible. He’d already written the Declaration Of Independence. No man since has been better fit to lead this country, no man more deserving of the honor. On January 1, 1801 Jefferson was inaugurated America’s 3rd President. At his inauguration, he said these words, these amazing words, "The essential principles of our Government... form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.”
Two-hundred years later, the masterpiece our country’s architect had built us, fell before the twin wrecking balls that are today his party and his high office: the unelected Republican partisan, George W. Bush.
And while lineage, wealth, family, and observed behavior clearly qualify Junior as what Jefferson rightly called an artificial aristocrat without virtue or talents, his nearly every word and deed expose his dismally inadequate intellect as well and disqualify him as our president to say nothing of the architect of our children’s schooling.
Nothing in his past qualifies him to be our president. Nothing in his DNA qualifies him to be our president. Nothing in his actions or policies qualifies him to be our president. Nothing in the 2001 election results qualifies him to be our president. Every day it becomes more apparent that nothing in the 2004 elections qualified him to be our president. So despite the admonitions that we “get over it” coming from the morally-superior hypocrites such as Rush (the name takes on a whole new meaning today, doesn’t it) Limbaugh and the other charlatans whose babble dominates the American airwaves, this American - me - will never get over it. Never! Not while there’s breath in my lungs and blood in my veins.
Now he wants to have at our children’s very minds. The willingness to believe when faced with a mountain of contradicting facts which characterizes the Bush supporters has always been based upon a heady amalgam of convenience, ego, and ignorance. It’s an easy mindset to instill in the young. When it comes to the sciences, a topic difficult at best to understand, such behavior is not uncommon in humans. At least it is not uncommon in humans who inhabit places like the American Bible Belt, or the interior reaches of Borneo. What is unusual, is that today America finds herself with a president who not only rejects the theory of evolution, but whom all evidence would suggest, has also neglected to participate as vigorously as he should have in its practice. Stated more simply, George W. Bush is verifiably dumber than his traceable human ancestors, and history confirms that he’s dumber than every single one of his presidential predecessors – Reagan included. In fact, quoting a description of George W. Bush offered to reporters (back when there were reporters) by Richard Perle one of Bush’s most trusted advisors - and the man who invented the reasons for war with Iraq - Perle said, “He (Bush) doesn’t know very much.” Indeed he does not.
Conclusion: While spouting off about bringing unity to America’s people, Bush and his band of parasites and tyrants have used every trick in the book to polarize us culturally. They’ve given us labels. They’ve preyed upon the fears of the simpleminded, used our disdain for and our ignorance of one another from day one. Divide and conquer is their mantra. They persuade us that we’re a nation of left and right and nothing in between.
Baloney! We’re almost all of us in between.
Creation “science,” intelligent design, call it what you will, is simply another, and completely divisive, wedge this gang is attempting to drive through the heart of the American people. It takes great pains to ignore or to discredit the findings of biology, archeology, physics, and paleoanthropology – and it fails. It ignores the body of work done by the very Vatican’s own scientists in the field of Developmental Creation (theistic evolution). All of which adhered to strict scientific method, thus adding to the knowledge rather than defaming it in order to impose unacceptable divisive absolutes.
No. Instead, by taking such extraordinary pains to set traditional biological science in conflict with learned religious theology through the insinuation of nonsense, when it is far simpler and eminently more logical to celebrate and analyze the similarities extant in the theological and theoretical portrayals of the origins of life, ID’s proponents expose their underlying objective. They seem far less interested in enhancing our knowledge, than in dividing our people. --posted August 11, 2005