World Polio Day

Lines on the return of Polio

A mother, doing what she thinks is right
Believes the lies and chooses now to fight;
She will not vaccinate. She is too young;
How quickly we forgot the iron lung.

So today is World Polio Day, and the news is mixed. The good news is, it’s still a preventable disease, and it’s roughly 99% eradicated.

The bad news comes from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s third report (pdf; do read it–it’s a remarkable report)– there are continuing deficiencies and weaknesses in the global eradication programs. With the exception of India and Angola, every country where polio persists has more cases this year than by this time last year. Three countries have already exceeded last year’s totals. The goal of worldwide eradication by 2012 is not quite impossible, but extremely unlikely at this point. Ineffective strategies continue to be pursued and politics (in both the national and internal senses) gets in the way of goals.

The problems vary from country to country, from war to ineffective leadership of eradication programs. The report is remarkable in its frankness; I hope that the people they criticize are willing and able to change.

Headline Muse, 10/23

On the menu, you see what you wish
But it’s not what is served in your dish
If you’re looking to reel
In a mislabeled meal
Then the Globe has the answer: go fish!

Headline: On the menu, but not on your plate

A special section, actually, on a long-term investigation by the Boston Globe into restaurant fish. DNA analysis shows that what the menu advertised and what shows up on your plate are in agreement about half the time. The other half is a mix of innocent mixups and profitable deliberate switches.

The Perfect Republican Candidate

We’re looking for a candidate
A good and Christian man
We need to win the White House
With God’s help, I think we can

He loves the Constitution
And our freedoms and our laws
With the possible exception
Of one first amendment clause

Cos the freedom of religion
Is for Christians, as a rule
The founding fathers wanted
Christian prayer in public school

A candidate who’s proud to say
That Jesus is his savior
Is so much more important than
That candidate’s behavior

He’s so pro-life, he’s willing to
Amend the constitution
To make sure life’s protected
All the way till execution

He’ll put the Ten Commandments
In each courthouse in the land
A cross on every corner, and
A bible in each hand

The kids will pledge allegiance,
To their flag and to their god
Then time for their devotionals
And every head will nod

It’s possible, just maybe
Such a candidate would please us
And be worthy to be president…
Of the United States of Jesus

Kill! Kill! Kill!

On an overcast day off of west-coast Australia
A man, from his boat, took a dive
But he’d chosen a spot that’s a diner for sharks
So he never would surface alive.

The order has come now, to search and destroy
Permission to kill them on sight
It’s sharks being sharks, in their home habitat
So it’s time we should kill the great white.

When humans meet sharks in the blue of the ocean
And blood will be shed in the dark
One is the planet’s most dangerous killer;
The other of these is a shark.
[Read more...]

Denying Freethought Club “Essential” at U. of Dayton

It’s the truth—why, it’s the Gospel,
It is God’s Most Holy Word
To refute it or deny it
Is ridiculous! Absurd!
Our omnipotent Creator
Is behind its every letter—
It not only is The Good Book
But there’ll never be one better!

So we have to keep it coddled—
I don’t mean to raise alarm—
It’s so delicate and fragile,
We must keep it safe from harm
So the friars have decided
That the atheists can’t meet:
They believe in thinking freely,
And the Gospel can’t compete.

All the sordid details after the jump: [Read more...]

Headline Muse, 10/21

It’s not that they think she’s a ditz
And their hearts are not soon to be Mitt’s
But to have her ignore
Her professional corps?
Bachmann’s Granite State team calls it quits!

Headline: Bachmann staff in New Hampshire quits

When a ship is sinking, the rats are the first to leave.

Don’t worry, Michele; Fox News loves telegenic losers! Don’t think of today as the harbinger of doom; that’s not a death knell, that’s a very slow “ka-ching!”.