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Friday, August 24, 2012

Illustrations of madness (Updated)

The entire world spent much of last week talking about Todd Akin's inane views of human reproduction. But he's just a symptom of a larger disease. As Timothy Egan writes in the NYT...
On matters of basic science and peer-reviewed knowledge, from evolution to climate change to elementary fiscal math, many Republicans in power cling to a level of ignorance that would get their ears boxed even in a medieval classroom.
Egan cites three congressmen who prove the point:

Representative John Shimkus of Illinois. He's the climate-change denier who chairs a subcommittee on climate change. Shimkus assures us that global warming can't be real because all of the Biblical signs of the Apocalypse are not yet in place.

Representative Joe Barton of Texas. He argues against deriving energy from wind power because doing so would "slow the winds down" and make the world hotter.

Paul Broun of Georgia. He sponsored legislation that gives any fertilized human egg full constitutional rights. Give that embryo a gun!

By why limit ourselves? We need not restrict ourselves to scientific issues, and we may look beyond Congress for examples of a party -- a nation -- gone mad.

Rush Limbaugh says that that the Hurricane projected to hit Florida during the Republican convention is an Obama conspiracy.
According to Limbaugh, Obama is so worried about Mitt Romney that he had the National Hurricane Center change the path of the storm, and the president intends to send FEMA into Tampa to make the Republican convention look like a disaster area.
And now let's get really weird...

Frank Szabo is running for sheriff in New Hampshire. He says that he would use deadly force to stop a woman from seeking an abortion -- because that's how strongly he feels about human life.

Tom Head is a judge in Lubbock, Texas. Here's his forecast of what will happen if Obama wins re-election:
“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy. Now, what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want them in Lubbock County. Okay? So, I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here.’ And the sheriff, I’ve already asked him. I said, ‘You gonna back me?’ and he said “Yeah, I’ll back you.’ Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”
In many countries, that kind of talk might result in a trial for treason. I wish this country could deal with dangerous kooks like Head appropriately.

Speaking of treason...

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist for the Washington Times who thinks Sean Penn should be tried for treason. See if you can spot the contradiction in the following. (I've made the job easier by using boldface.)
Sean Penn loves dictators, especially if they are anti-American leftists. Recently, the Hollywood star visited Venezuela to campaign for strongman Hugo Chavez. Mr. Penn joined Mr. Chavez at a major rally in the city of Valencia. The actor has been a longtime friend of the despot. With Venezuelans going to the polls on Oct. 7, Mr. Penn came to bolster Mr. Chavez’s re-election efforts.
Didja see it?

Ted Cruz wants to be the GOP's candidate for Senate in Texas. He thinks Rick Perry is too liberal. I'm not kidding.
How far out is he, you ask? One of the white-hot talking points Cruz used to fire-up the narrow extremists who now control the Texas GOP is that he will, by God, defend America's golf courses! You might not have realized that golf course defense is a burning national issue crying out for U.S. Senate attention, but such deep vigilence is apparently what makes Cruz a tea party fave. He says that he has ferreted out a diabolical United Nations plot to "abolish 'unsustainable' environments, including golf courses."

Attention Patriots: grab your putters and rush to your local links, for the UN is coming! To burnish his crazy bonafides, Cruz adds that, "The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros."
Who, in turn, takes his orders directly from...Satan!

Christine O'Donnell. The ever-reliable non-witch claims that Barack Obama is guilty of "Marxist sound bites" and of producing "a tax code that punishes hard work, a tax code that reduces everybody to exactly the same.” (In fact, federal tax rates were far, far more progressive under Reagan. Just how has Obama changed the tax code, exactly?)

When asked to define "Marxism," O'Donnell couldn't do it.

Cliff Kincaid of GOPUSA thinks that conservative media outlets such as Fox News "feel it necessary to protect the President" and that
...the burden of proof is on Barack Obama to prove that his communist connections, which continued from his growing-up years in Hawaii to college to Chicago, were the result of innocence or naïveté.
Obama isn’t the only one benefitting from this double-standard. It is because of the false charge of McCarthyism that conservatives find it so difficult to get concerned about State Department official Huma Abedin to be taken seriously by top Republican officials and candidates.
James Lewis of the American Thinker thinks (Americanly) that radical Islam is simply the latest incarnation of Marxism.
If you wonder why Europe is still in a socialist mess today, look no farther than the Europeans' Marx-intoxicated educational system.
And now you know why school children in Mobile, Alabama are so much smarter than those dumb kids in Berlin or Paris. 

I could go on and on. Let me emphasize that all of the above happened recently; we get new examples every day. It is in the nature of modern conservatives to say insane things. They can't not be insane.

And that's why I'm forced to support Obama, even though I can't stand Obama. The modern GOP has turned into Wayne Manor: It's a billionaire's mansion perched atop a massive pile of batshit. It's time for the Democrats -- including the President -- to say it out loud: "The other party has gone nuts."

Update: No fewer than seven birthers are speaking at the GOP convention.

Update 2: Some astonishing brand-new examples have come to my attention...

Rush Limbaugh says that Barack Obama caused the Empire State Building shooting.

Tamara Scott, who is Michele Bachmann's campaign co-chair, says that if we allow gay marriage, then pretty soon people will be marrying the Eiffel Tower. It's the next logical step, right? (My ladyfriend says that she likes the Eiffel Tower, "but only as a friend." On the other hand, if the Tower needs American citizenship...)

Rick Santorum said in a speech that the University of California system does not offer any courses in American History. You can download UCLA's course catalog here; one relevant entry is pictured to your right. There are a number of other U.S. history courses.

Pat Rogers is a leader of the Republican National Committee. He criticized the staff of New Mexico's governor because they met with a group of American Indians. This meeting, wrote Rogers, "dishonored Col Custer." (Who was a General, incidentally.)

By the way: You gotta love the hypocrisy of the rightists. They want to see Julian Assange and Bradley Manning hanged, yet they don't complain when Fox reveals the true name of the Navy Seal who, under a pseudonym, wrote a book about the Bin Laden raid. That sort of thing is okay when Republicans do it. Remember Valerie Plame...?
From the Desk of Ms. Vandal:

Anything to just make sound, eh? Anything to detract from the actual problems America faces. I am becoming more and more convinced that the right wing faction is doing what they can to cement the election for President Obama. Every word they utter alienates them further from reality.
Alas, forced to vote for the lesser weasel!

BTW, an engineer could school Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) that "slowing the wind down" by converting its energy to electricity that is then transmitted to be used in another state is a good way to cool off Texas. But then he also probably believes that running a fan in a room cools it off.

We are truly screwed!
In many countries, that kind of talk might result in a trial for treason. I wish this country could deal with dangerous kooks like Head appropriately.

Here in America, it's called "sedition", "seditious conspiracy", or "advocating the overthrow of the government":

18 USC § 2384 - Seditious conspiracy:
f two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

18 USC § 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

Of course, these days we don't have to bother with messy jurisprudence or time-consuming due process.
I am becoming more and more convinced that the right wing faction is doing what they can to cement the election for President Obama.

And why shouldn't they? Barack Obama is the most successful Republican President since Ronald Reagan. He's taken every Bush-era abuse and doubled down.
Really great post. It's taken a long time living in their own bubble for them to become this crazy. Sanity isn't going to break out spontaneously or soon.
That Kuhner guy fills in for Michael Savage and they both make Rush Limbaugh look like a Moderate.

Yeah, the Democrats could call the republicans on their crazy, but they're on orders from Wall Street to keep shut.
We live in a really effed up country.
Custer held the temporary rank of Major General during the Civil War. After the war he reverted to the rank of Lt Colonel.

Still, that guy is a fool.
Anon -- thanks for correcting me. I always recalled him being called "General Custer" in the movies. But you can't trust movies...!
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