Shame on the Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and the Creation Museum have made a joint marketing agreement and are selling “combo tickets” to get into both attractions for one price.

The Cincinnati Zoo is promoting an anti-science, anti-education con job run by ignorant creationists.

Unbelievable.

Here’s a little bit about the Cincinnati Zoo. I’ve highlighted a few key words and phrases.

Part of the public school system in Cincinnati since 1975, the Zoo hosts a four-year college prepatory program – Zoo Academy. The Cincinnati Zoo is proud to serve as the leading non-formal science educator in Southwest Ohio. Over 300,000 students participate in the Zoo’s educational programs annually.

The Zoo has long been successful at captive breeding, starting with trumpeter swans and sea lions back in the 1880s. The Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) was founded in 1986 to strengthen the tradition. The research conducted here has made the Cincinnati Zoo an international leader in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants around the world.

Rated by peer zoological parks as one of the best zoos in the nation, the Cincinnati Zoo continues to set the standard for conservation, education and preservation of wild animals and wild spaces. Over 1.2 million people visit the Zoo annually. The Zoo features more than 500 animal and 3,000 plant species, making it one of the largest Zoo collections in the country.

I believe the Cincinnati Zoo has betrayed its mission and its trust in a disgraceful way, by aligning themselves with a creationist institution that is a laughing stock to the rest of the world, and a mark of shame to the United States. I urge everyone to contact the zoo; write to their education and marketing and public relations departments in particular and point out the conflict between what they are doing and what their goal as an educational and research institution ought to be.

While you’re at it, it might be even more effective to contact the newsroom at the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Cincinnati weekly, City Beat. Let’s raise a stink and give these guys the bad PR they deserve.

Quackery…on Scienceblogs.de?

Look, I don’t need this. It’s been a rough weekend, with way too much travel for my mental and physical health, and I started off today with the Atheist Talk radio broadcast, which was good, but it was bracketed by those horrible woo-woo infomercials that always piss me off, and then I had to drive three hours to Minneapolis to send my son back to school, and then three hours back, and I haven’t had time to sit down and eat yet, and the email piled up something fierce while I was away, and I still have lots of grading to do for tomorrow, and when my brain is burned out I forget how to end sentences (with a period, I suspect), and they just run on endlessly…so. There, I stopped. OK, what’s this with an anti-vaccinationist on scienceblogs.de? We’re not going to run him out on a rail, but it is a disappointment that the vetting process on the German side seems to have been a bit lax.

Anyway, Orac is looking for some help from our readers who are more fluent in German — help him diagnose the krankheit so he can slam the bad posts with some schmerzen und weh und so weiter.

Guess who the first leader of the Soviet Union was

The conventional wisdom is that it was Vladimir Lenin, but officers in our military have access to secret knowledge, thanks to Rick Warren: it was actually Charles Darwin. We learn this from one of those ghastly power point presentations the military churns up, this one from Air Force Chaplain Christian Biscotti, who argues that the way to prevent suicide is to throw away the facts. At least, that’s the impression I get from the twisted history he serves up to justify his thesis, that Warren’s vacuous little book provides the way to make troops combat ready. It might even be true, if turning soldiers into misinformed and ignorant morons makes them better warriors.

Catholic hypocrisy…of course

A Catholic abbot is accusing Disney of corrupting children. It’s not because they are transmitting bad ideas, but that they are all tied to Disney’s corporate motives.

While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil, he argues this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be “a good and happy family”.
He cites films such as Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians that feature moral battles, but get into children’s imaginations and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them.

Now I can sympathize to some extent — Disney’s be-all and end-all is profit, after all — but … it’s coming from a high-ranking member of the Catholic church. You could say exactly the same things about the church: they are promoting high-minded moral values, but at the same time they are tying them to the exclusivity of their church. Why should I think Disneyism is any worse than Catholicism or Lutheranism or the Baptist church?

There’s also another little matter of hypocrisy here, since the Catholic church is one of the last organizations that ought to be complaining about the corruption of children. In another piece of news, a document explaining the Catholic church’s official policy in response to child-abuse allegations has come up. Guess what the message is?

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of ‘strictest’ secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to ‘be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.’

You got it — the concern is not for the well-being of children, but for an immediate clamp-down of information and maintenance of internal secrecy. Disney and the Vatican may both be evil organizations, but only one shows a world-wide pattern of child molestation and a policy of protection of serial child abusers.

I don’t get email, and email I wish I didn’t get

This isn’t fair. Dawkins gets censored in Turkey, now Mike Haubrich gets a warning letter, and I get nothing other than invitations to debate Harun Yahya. I’m losing my mojo — I guess I’m not sufficiently scary to the Turks. Go ahead and say lots of rude things about these Turkish creationists in the comments — I’d like to catch up with everyone else.

In less amusing email news, as you all know, I get lots of drive-by abuse in my inbox, and it usually doesn’t concern me at all. Lately, though, I’ve been getting regularly dumped on by a guy going by the name Bayridge Brooklyn. It’s crazy stuff, and that’s what concerns me most: this fellow has real and serious mental problems. And he’s writing to me and about 30 other people every day.

Whenever and from wherever I turn on a TV that is broadcasting to me live I’m seen on the monitors in the TV studios or on the monitor of the live camera. This happens every single time I turn on the TV. IT’S BEEN HAPPENING SINCE 2004.

It doesn’t matter where the TV is being broadcast from – as long as it’s live – as soon as I turn it on I’m seen on the monitors in the studios or on the cameras. Thus I’ve been transmitted live to studios or cameras in Australia, US, France, Spain, China, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Indonesia, Germany, Chile. All the newsreaders of the news programs from those countries that are broadcast live to Australia have been seeing me since 2004, as well as all the guests who appear live on their programs. Also all the regular Australian newsreaders and live TV presenters and their guests. They have all been seeing me since 2004. Anyone could see me if they were in one of the studios or in front of one of the cameras that’s broadcasting live and I turned on that channel.

Then the criminals who control this technology started being friendly to me, so I began to treat this 2-WAY TV SURVEILLANCE as a joke and laughed and smiled and waved etc. at all the people, Newsreaders etc. who were seeing me on TV – ie. all the people in the TV Studios who were seeing me in my house. So they were mostly friendly, curious.

Then I started getting aggravated by the invasion of my and my family’s privacy that this “TIVO-1984 TV” represented. Sometimes I got abusive or confrontational. That didn’t help at all.

But then I realized that all they know is that I appear on the monitor – and that they don’t necessarily know about all the DIRECTED ENERGY and NEUROLOGICAL WEAPONS torture and abuse that’s being done to me. So I started holding up protest signs and signs telling them I was being tortured etc.. Now they know there’s definitely some “funny business” going on – and they give me concerned looks etc. I don’t know if any of them have taken any other steps to help me. Some are more sympathetic than others, some seem to be thinking along the lines of – “he must have done something to be put in that position”. All the Australian journalists know that it’s all completely out of the hands of the Australian Government because I have protested, abused, held up signs and messages to the Prime Minister, other Ministers, the Governor-General etc. when they have been live on TV – and they just have to sit there and take it.

In this way such people as Donald Rumsfeld, Christopher Hill, Nancy Pelosi, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Howard, Angela Merkel, Silvio Berlusconi, Richard Holbrooke, Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, and many other politicians, officials, commentators, journalists and celebrities have seen me and are all potential witnesses to this technology and this aspect of my abuse.

That’s only a small sample. He goes on and on for pages.

This sounds like classic schizophrenia to me. I’m only posting this in the hope that a) he’ll think reading blogs means the author will be able to read his mind, so he’ll turn off his computer; b) he will take the hint that he really needs to see a mental health care provider immediately; and c) that there will be some public record of the peculiar harrassment going on from Mr Brooklyn. Or, as he sometimes seems to refer to himself, as John Finch.

Slavery ain’t so bad

When you first read this, you’ll think the author has to be pulling our legs — it’s got to be a satire site like Landover Baptist or something. But the woman sure does a fine job of maintaining a consistent tone, and I know people who think exactly like she does. Her latest entry is an attempt to justify slavery, and keep in mind that she is a black woman.

Here’s the distilled essence of her argument.

Just as wives are to be submissive to their husbands, likewise slaves are to be submissive to their masters.

It’s an interesting sentence that can be interpreted in two ways, isn’t it? I prefer to read that as a message to women that perhaps they shouldn’t put themselves in the position of slaves to their husbands.

Since Kentucky hasn’t been subject to a terrorist attack, it must work

Well? Can you name a single terrorist attack on Kentucky soil? Hmm? (Aside, maybe, from the occasional abortion clinic bombing or KKK fear campaign, but since those are by home-grown white boys, they don’t count). You can credit a law that has been on the books since 2006.

Under state law, God is Kentucky’s first line of defense against terrorism.

The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.”

Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God’s benevolent protection in its reports, and it must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

I try to explain to people that American politics has been dominated by lunatics for many years, and they just don’t believe me.