Louie Gohmert really is the dumbest man in congress

And when the dumbest Christians collides with one of the smartest Christians I know, the contrast is dazzling. Here’s Gohmert grilling Barry Lynn on proper Christian beliefs. Apparently, he doesn’t want to judge — only God can do that, he piously declaims — but he does want Lynn to declare that all non-Christians are condemned to Hell right this minute. Don’t ask me how that simultaneously judgmental and non-judgmental thing is supposed to work, I think you have to have a gigantic hole in your brain to accommodate both views at once.

And it’s true that even when talking to a swarm of atheists, Lynn doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a Christian minister.

Girl criticizes math ability of old man

But…but…everyone knows that girls suck at math. So how can Christie Wilcox batter George Will’s out-of-his-ass math calculation so thoroughly? This cannot be.

I have a theory, which is mine, that Republicans have been experiencing many generations of selection for stupidity. This theory makes a prediction that newer Republicans ought to be significantly stupider than older Republicans. I know what you’re thinking: George Will is pretty damned stupid. How could they get worse and still manage to reproduce?

But here’s a case in point. Eric Cantor, also pretty damned stupid. But is he stupider than George Will? Well, that is debatable, but we do know that he’s stupid enough to get defeated by a teabagger in a landslide. And one thing we know for sure, his challenger, Dave Brat really is incredibly stupid.

As for the winner, Brat seems a very bad combination of serious religious quester and devout Randian economist, a combination that would have had Ms. Rand herself reaching for the opium pipe. He got his undergraduate degree at Hope College in Michigan, which is run by the Reformed Church in the United States, a conservative evangelical wing of the United Church Of Christ. He then got a Masters in Divinity at Princeton, which is a very conservative seminary and now, according to his website, Dave attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church with his wife Laura and their two children: Jonathan, 15 and Sophia, 11. So either he’s a Douthatian convert, god help us, or his faith is all over the lot, which may account for his rather startling announcement last night that he won because God was speaking through the voters of the Seventh Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

So far, my hypothesis is confirmed. Rather strongly confirmed. I predict that by 2020 the Republican establishment will be plucking up dying earthworms on the sidewalk after a rain and running them for high office as intellectual superstars.

And then Christie Wilcox will just have to sit there, stunned into silence, rather than running circles around Republicans who try to do elementary arithmetic. That’ll teach her.

Texas Republicans setting a bad example

You really must read the temporary Texas Republican Party platform for 2014. They have a clear vision for the future of America, and it is a hellhole. I skimmed through it this morning and there was much to fill me with dismay and amusement, all at the same time.

Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism, in all of its forms.

We are special. Don’t you forget it.

Inasmuch as the Civil Rights Movement argued against using race as a factor in American life, affirmative action reintroduces race as a divisive force in American life. The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender. Affirmative action casts doubt on minority achievement making such achievement as seemingly unearned. We believe that true minority advancement will come from a demand for personal responsibility, accountability and competitive excellence.

Racism is over.

While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, “climate change” is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or “climate justice” initiatives.

Texans prefer ideology over data, and the way to manage that is to declare all scientific evidence ideological.

We believe we are to be good stewards of our planet and thus manage the resources it provides. We believe that the changes in climate that we have observed are simply part of the ongoing natural planetary cycle; we reject the use of this natural process to promote more government regulation of the private economy. Furthermore we reject the idea of “climate justice” and the accompanying redistribution of wealth that comes with accepting it.

“Climate Justice”…it’s bad. This reminds me of the kooks who belittle social justice — apparently, just as adding the word “family” to anything makes it praiseworthy, “justice” is a dirty word to the regressive right.

We urge amendment of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status. We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send the government any personal information about their contributors.

This is the “protect religious privilege harder” platform.

We oppose calling welfare and other income and product redistribution schemes “rights” or “entitlements”. We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They are not products of others labor. Unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech, religious freedom, self-defense, etc. do not impose on others rights whereas income and product redistribution invariably do so.

Any kind of social safety net is unconstitutional — suffer and die, losers, I got mine and you don’t get any of it.

We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Ten Commandments or other religious symbols.

Satanic statues are therefore OK. I’m fine with that.

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.

Texas must be suffering from a plague of unnatural people right now.

Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.

Shame the gays.

You have to read the next two together:

We revere the sanctity of human life and therefore oppose genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.

Properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be swift and unencumbered.

Only some life has sanctity, I guess.

All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.

Yay! They’re going anti-vax!

We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty, which includes the contribution and assimilation of different racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the US and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism. Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property

Because forcing people to recite a loyalty oath automatically makes them loyal.

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.

The usual creationist boilerplate. “Strengths and weaknesses” is the give-away phrase.

America’s founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment with clear intent – no level of government shall regulate either the ownership or possession of firearms. Therefore we strongly oppose all laws that infringe on the right to bear arms. We oppose the monitoring of gun ownership, the taxation and regulation of guns, ammunition, and gun magazines. We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well. Until such time we urge the state to re-introduce and pass legislation easing current restrictions on firearms such as open carry and campus carry. Stiff penalties shall be imposed for frivolous litigation against legitimate firearm manufacturers. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas. We urge the Texas Legislature to enact legislation to protect law-abiding firearms owners from having their right to bear arms infringed by federal agencies due to such minor mental health diagnoses as non-severe PTS (post-traumatic stress), seeking counseling for minor depression or other minor mental health diagnoses.

There’s a lot of gun stuff in here. Texans want to carry their guns with them everywhere they go.

We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state. We urge the Legislature to increase the ability of faith-based institutions and other organizations to assist the needy and to reduce regulation of such organizations.

God magic!

Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.

Wait…higher ed costs are out of control because state legislatures constantly whittle away all local support, so Texas will bring those costs under control by whittling harder?

We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs.

Fire good.

We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed

That only benefits poor people.

Our Founding Fathers warned us of the dangers of allowing central bankers to control our currency because inflation equals taxation without representation. We support the return to the time-tested precious metal standard for the U.S. dollar

This is why all the wacky grandpas who watch Glenn Beck get slammed with commercials about gold. Because they’re idiots.

This one is titled “Bilingual education”.

We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within
three years.

Shouldn’t that be renamed “Monolingual education”?

It’s only 40 pages of far right, Fox News-style, Libertarian bullshit (which makes it a little bit ironic that another of their points demands that bills shall be less than 30 pages). Read it and see where these loons want to take our country.

Democrats: You suck.

I made a donation to the Democratic party once. Little did I know that it would lead to a deluge of spam. I am now getting a dozen emails a day from dccc.org, and their latest tactic is fear. They all have subject lines like “All Hope is Lost”, “Painful Defeat”, “DEVASTATING Defeat”, “EVISCERATED”, “throw in the towel”, etc., etc., etc. And then when I open it up (which I rarely do anymore), it’s got some simple message in a giant font telling me there’s an important deadline right now for me to give them money. It seems to be a new imminent deadline every day.

I also get daily phone calls asking for money. At least I think that’s what they’re doing; I now look at the incoming source, and if it’s the Democrats, I don’t bother to pick up. And here I am, entirely sympathetic to that party (if dissatisfied with their conservatism), and I have a conditioned aversion now.

I’ve had enough. I can learn. And the moral I have learned is to never donate to the Democratic party.

Who’s the idiot behind this campaign? Is it actually working for them?

James O’Keefe finally accomplishes something

O’Keefe, who has made a career of stunts to mislead people about the Left’s political goals, has screwed up again. He tried to entrap an environmentalist documentarian, Josh Fox, by having one of his accomplices pose as an agent for a Saudi sheik, and trying to get Fox on tape accepting money from Big Oil interests. O’Keefe then appeared triumphantly on Fox News with a tiny sliver of a recording that has Fox saying one sentence that sounds like he’s willing. That was it.

We are familiar with what creationists do all the time, aren’t we, boys and girls? You know what we should immediately suspect Mr O’Keefe of doing, shouldn’t we? Quote-mining. Blatant editing. Unfortunately for him (although this won’t hurt his reputation, since everyone knows that if you look up Bumbling Sleazebags in the Yellow Pages, you can get O’Keefe’s number), Josh Fox recorded the full ten minute phone conversation. You can guess what’s on it: Josh Fox refusing to work for anyone without full transparency, and just generally finding the whole discussion suspicious and weird. O’Keefe tried to play gotcha, and instead Fox got him right back.

But there is good news. O’Keefe’s stunt and backfire got one happy result: I am now aware of Fox’s movie, Gasland, which is available on NetFlix right now for streaming. I’m going to watch it this weekend.

Say…if I were Alex Jones, I’d be wondering if James O’Keefe was a secret agent for the environmental movement who had just carried out a successful false flag event to raise awareness of the perils of fracking.

TESTS WARP YOUR BRAIN

That will be the new mantra of students — giving tests has a secret agenda to brainwash you. Charles Van Zant, Republican wackadoodle from Florida, thinks standardized tests will turn children gay. This is all in response to the commission of a company to administer tests statewide.

These people that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida, unless this is stopped, will promote double mindedness in state education, and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can. I’m sorry to report that to you. … I really hate to bring you that news, but you need to know.

He doesn’t know the half of it. I’m not gay, so my tests only inculcate atheism in all of my poor victims students. If I try harder, maybe I can get all of the students who take biology here to emerge as gay socialist godless abortionists, just by asking them questions about mitochondria or recombination or Sonic Hedgehog.

But the esteemed legislator does ask everyone to look at the website for the testing company, AIR, so I did. I’m not much of a fan of standardized testing — I think we lose sight of the individual when we develop a single instrument to measure — but a lot of what they say does makes sense, and I couldn’t find anything about their magic gayness-inducing tests. I did see stuff about standards of care for “many LGBT people [who] face harassment, violence, stigma, rejection, and discrimination in their families, schools, employment, and social settings”, or improving the well-being of LGBT youth or ending LGBT youth homelessness. I don’t see what there is to oppose in that, unless you think that LGBT kids should be treated violently, not be healthy, or not have a home.

We also have AIR’s official statement on the issue.

AIR’s Health and Social Development program develops knowledge and understanding about LGBT youth that takes account of their experiences and needs. AIR also enhances opportunities for the healthy development, well-being, and safety of LGBT children, youth, and their families by providing workforce training and technical assistance to service providers across systems addressing behavioral health, child welfare, education, juvenile justice, and homelessness.

Those all sound like desirable things. I guess it’s only if you’re a Republican that caring about children without reservations about their sexual orientation is considered wicked.

Marco Rubio is already Gish-Galloping

Marco Rubio is still staggering over charges that he’s a science denialist on climate change. He has discovered a familiar way to deal with it: distraction. Ask him about climate change, and he babbles about abortion.

Here’s what I always get a kick out of, and it shows you the hypocrisy. All these people always wag their finger at me about science and settled science. Let me give you a bit of settled science that they’ll never admit to. The science is settled, it’s not even a consensus, it is a unanimity, that human life beings at conception. So I hope the next time someone wags their finger about science, they’ll ask one of these leaders on the left: ‘Do you agree with the consensus of scientists that say that human life begins at conception?’ I’d like to see someone ask that question.

This is only settled science if you get all your science information from the preacher on scienticianology at your local fundagelical Church of the One True American Jesus. Let’s take that phrase “human life begins at conception” apart.

What do you mean by “life begins”? Was there some step between your parents and you where there was a dead cell? Life is continuous — there hasn’t been a transition from non-life to life for about 4 billion years. So, yes, I’d agree that the zygote is a living cell, but so were the sperm and egg that fused to generate it, and so were the blast cells that were precursors to it, and so were the zygotes that developed into your parents. We can trace that life all the way back to early progenotes with limited autonomy drifting in Archean seas, to self-perpetuating chemical reactions occurring in porous rocks in the deep ocean rifts. It’s all been alive, so this is a distinction without meaning.

What about “human”? It’s a human zygote, we’d all agree; but it’s also human sperm and human ovum. You can pluck a hair from my head and determine with a few tests that it’s a human hair; you can take a blood sample from me and check a few antigens and determine that it is human blood; you can similarly swab a bit of saliva or earwax or tears from me, and analyze its biochemistry and find that it is specifically human spit or earwax or tears. That we can tag something with the adjective “human” does not in any way imply that my earwax deserves all the protections and privileges of a full human being. “Human zygote” imposes as much ethical obligation on me as “human spit”.

And don’t even try to pull that BS about a unique, novel genetic individual being created at conception. One of the key properties of meiosis is a genetic reshuffling of alleles by random assortment of the parental chromosomes and recombination by crossing over — every sperm and egg is genetically unique as well, and we spew those profligately with no remorse. Conception just adds another level of semi-random rearrangement of a random assortment of genes that were made during oogenesis and spermatogenesis.

So what are we left with? An obvious attempt at distortion or incomprehension in which the common modifier “human” is used as an absolute signifier for sociological and historical and psychological of an entity as being a complete member of a higher level community. It’s a lie cloaked in ambiguous language.

And of course, at the end of that dissection, we’re still left with the fact that Rubio is dead wrong on climate change and threw out this whole line of argument to distract us from the point that Marco Rubio is an idiot.

It didn’t work.

Patriotic pratfall

Oh, how sad. The numbers for Operation American Spring fell a wee bit short of expectations…by about 5 orders of magnitude. But don’t you worry, the Moonie Times has an excuse.

“It’s a very dismal turnout,” said Jackie Milton, 61, a Jacksboro, Texas, resident and the head of Texans for Operation American Spring, to The Washington Times. He said hopes were high when he arrived in Alexandria, Va., a day or so ago and found motels and hotels were sold out for 30 miles around.

But weather’s dampened turnout a bit, he said.

“We were getting over two inches of rain in hour in parts of Virginia this morning,” Mr. Milton said. “Now it’s a nice sunny day. But this is a very poor turnout. It ain’t no millions. And it ain’t looking like there’s going to be millions. Hundreds is more like it.”

Tom Paine has a few words for these wankers.

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

If the idea that 9,999,900 patriots were dissuaded by the rain (it didn’t scare off the atheists when we had our rally in the rain) doesn’t sound very plausible to you, don’t worry — they have another excuse.

He also said the some of the planned Operation American Spring members who were planning to head to Washington, D.C., instead traveled to Nevada, to give support to cattle rancher Cliven Bundy in his fight against the federal government over grazing fees.

“A lot that were supposed to come here went there instead,” Mr. Milton said.

Imagine. 10 million people are now hanging out at the Bundy ranch in Nevada.

Another explanation, familiar to us teachers: 9,999,900 grandmothers died yesterday. It was a massacre among the elderly!

Since when is overthrowing the government constitutional?

Today is the day that Operation American Spring, Restoring the Constitution of The United States of America commences. This is a proposal by teabaggin’ wingnuts to march on Washington DC, depose Obama, all the Democrats, and those establishment Republicans who don’t follow Tea Party extremism with adequate zeal, and also repeal all taxes and declare America a Christian nation.

They are utterly bonkers.

They aren’t managing expectations very well, either. Here’s their proposal:

Phase 1 – Field millions, as many as ten million, patriots who will assemble in a peaceful, non-violent, physically unarmed (Spiritually/Constitutionally armed), display of unswerving loyalty to the US Constitution and against the incumbent government leadership in Washington D.C., with the mission to replace with law abiding leadership. Go full-bore, no looking back, steadfast in the mission.

Phase 2 – One million or more of the assembled 10 million must be prepared to stay in D.C. as long as it takes to see Obama, Biden, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, and Attorney General Holder removed from office.

Consistent with the US Constitution, as required, the U.S. Congress will take appropriate action, execute appropriate legislation, deal with vacancies, or U.S. States will appoint replacements for positions vacated consistent with established constitutional requirements.

Phase 3 – Those with the principles of a West, Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Lee, DeMint, Paul, Gov Walker, Sessions, Gowdy, Jordan, should comprise a tribunal and assume positions of authority to convene investigations, recommend appropriate charges against politicians and government employees to the new U.S. Attorney General appointed by the new President.

So, supposedly, ten million “patriots” are supposed to arrive in DC today. One million are expected to camp in the Capitol for an indefinite period of time. The Moonie Times is expecting more.

The group expects between 10 million and 30 million similarly thinking Americans to meet them in the capital on Friday for a rally that’s being billed as a sort of “Arab Spring” for Americans.

The logic behind these huge numbers is a little weird. They don’t actually have verified numbers, instead, it goes like this. Only 3% of the American population participated in the Revolutionary War. They were True Patriots™. We are True Patriots™ too, so 3% of the American population will actively join in our cause. 3% of 310 million is about 10 million, more or less, so we should expect about 10 million people to join us in our assault on the Washington establishment.

I don’t know where the 30 million comes from. Unbridled optimism, perhaps, or maybe just poor math skills.

I may have to turn on the television news today, to catch sight of the tens of millions of lunatics swarming the Mall. I wonder whether, if the numbers don’t come anywhere near their expectations, we’ll see the same kinds of rationalizations made that end-of-the-world cults make when their doomsday dates pass without a cataclysm?


I don’t think the kooks are helping.

oas

Another entry in the Republican insensitivity sweepstakes

Last week, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter were mocking efforts to publicize the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram. (Jon Stewart did an excellent job puncturing those blowhards). Apparently, we’re all supposed to shut up and be silent about any deplorable action in the world, because it’s pointless to communicate, say a couple of right wing bozos who’s entire business model is about complaining over left wing perfidy.

Here’s another one. Ben Shapiro thinks publicizing villainy is a bad idea because it doesn’t magically eradicate it.

Also ironically, on his twitter page he advertises his book, BULLIES: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America. How dare we encourage talking about world problems, that’s the same as silencing everyone on the right!