Gerrymandering as a Republican instinct

Today I learned that the far right in the upper midwest is clamoring to secede from those lefties in the Twin Cities to form a Republic of East Dakota. They’ve been doing the same thing in Washington state and Oregon, all the conservative farmers living on the relatively barren lands of the eastern part of the states begging to join Idaho. It’s not going to work.

The first thing I saw that inspired their rage here in the midwest was this map:

That’s reality. Most of the population of the Dakotas live in the cities like Fargo and Sioux Falls, that hug the eastern edge of the state bordering on Minnesota. Everything else is the Great Empty. They’ve still got 4 senators to Minnesota’s 2, though, and most rational people would look at that and say they’re over-represented in Congress. For that matter, most of Minnesota’s population is localized to the eastern part of our state — it’s like a big gradient of people, getting thinner and thinner the farther west you go.

Far right loons looked at that map and said it doesn’t go far enough, we ought to consolidate all that emptiness and low population density into one grand state, the Republic of East Dakota.

Why they think that would help, I don’t know. That would be a very Republican state, for sure, but it would be underpopulated and devoid of any significant economic power. It would be a collection of dairy farms and tiny towns where all the children dream of growing up and moving away to the big city.

Some went even further and created an imaginary state of East Dakota by carving out the cities of Minneapolis, St Paul, and Duluth and, I don’t know, throwing them away?

Don’t they realize that that is where most of the people, and money, live? My little county of Stevens, population 10,000 (optimistically) benefits immensely from the state money flowing out of the counties of Hennepin, population 1,300,000, and Ramsey, population 550,000, and we’re just going to sever ourselves from those funds and make common cause with even more destitute yokels to our east? That’s crazy talk, man.

If we really want to get serious about radical reorganization, I suggest fusing North and South Dakota, stripping them of two senators, and giving most of it back to the Lakota. That makes more sense than creating another state out of a vacuum.

Please show me how to calculate a “wokeness” index

The loons are just making up numbers now.

Australia is going to “dramatically” increase in its wokeness in the next year, says The University of Austin Founding Fellow Peter Boghossian.

“If Stalin’s Soviet Union was a ten, and Portland Oregon is an eight, Australia is hovering around a three,” he told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“However, I predicted that number will go up rather dramatically in the next year.”

He only gives Australia a three because the “toxic ideology” hasn’t had time to “metastasize” and “worm its way through the system.”

I’m not clear on how he used “reason to wake the woke,” as he claims, and I have no idea what weird diverticulum of his monstrously bloated colon he pulled those numbers out of. Where I come from, yanking out random numbers and pretending they’re authoritative is frowned upon. Or laughed at. Either response is appropriate here.

First feathers, now lips?

OK, guys, this has gone far enough. I grew up on images of dinosaurs that portrayed T. rex as hulking, scaly, snaggle-toothed dinosaurs, stomping through jungles and roaring. Now look at this…this…revisionism.

Theropod dinosaurs such as the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex have long been portrayed with their teeth fully visible, similar to extant crocodilians. This pattern of portrayal largely had to do with relatedness between dinosaurs and crocodilians and the relationship between tooth and jaw size. Cullen et al. tested hypothesized facial reconstruction in this group using histological analysis of tooth wear patterns and quantitative relationships between skull length and tooth size in both extinct and extant reptiles. Contrary to depictions that have dominated for more than a century, they found that theropods, including T. rex, had lips that covered their teeth, leaving them looking more like modern Komodo dragons than crocodiles.

Apparently, they covered up their dagger-like teeth behind lips, like perfect gentlemen.

Comparisons of the reconstructions of T. rex. (A) Skull, based on Field Museum of Natural History specimen FMNH PR 2081. (B to E) Two hypothetical flesh reconstructions, one with exposed teeth (B) and an associated cross section of the snout (C) and one with extraoral tissues covering the teeth (D) and an associated cross section of the snout (E).

I tell you, if some smarty-pants does an analysis next that shows that T. rex had a lovely singing voice and went “tweet tweet,” I’m going to turn this thing around and cancel the time machine project. There’ll be no point.

Finally, we’re going to see an arrest!

Trump indicted! Now the process begins.

What do you think happens next? Voluntary surrender (seems unlikely) or arrest (but he might want to avoid the spectacle)?

Either way, it’ll be mugshot time. I look forward to that.

Eventually, a trial. I very much doubt that he’ll enter a guilty plea.

Also, the shrieking has officially begun.

This might be fun. It might be agonizing. Isn’t it great, living in eventful times?

Florida. Charter school. Principal a fan of Elon Musk. Need I say more?

This is not the person you want running your school.

A Florida principal resigned during an impassioned school board meeting on Tuesday, after it was revealed she tried to send $100,000 from the school’s account to a scammer posing as Elon Musk.

Jan McGee – the principal of Burns Science and Technology charter school in Oak Hill – claimed she spent months talking to a man online who was pretending to be the richest man on Earth, NBC affiliate WESH reports.

McGee was reportedly trying to net a multi-million dollar donation in the school, in exchange for a $100,000 check. Thankfully, the school’s business manager cancelled the check before it could be cashed.

The principal was repeatedly told she was speaking to a scammer, according to other administrators at the meeting. School staff members also pointed out other issues they have with McGee and accused her of fostering a toxic work environment.

McGee resigned after multiple staff members said they refused to work for her any longer, according to WESH.

If I really wanted to be a con artist, I would definitely move to Florida.

Evolutionary relationships are just whatever Ken Ham decides

Time to revise all of taxonomy, according to Ken Ham. He was annoyed by a sign at the local zoo.

Humans are animals? Something must be done!

From a biblical worldview perspective, humans are different to animals. Only human beings are made in the image of God. ““Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”” (Genesis 1:26).

God made animals differently, “And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds”” (Genesis 1:24). When God created Adam, He brought animals to him to name to show there was no one like him, as none of the animals were made in God’s image, “But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:20).

Because of the emphasis today that man is just an animal & thus affecting people’s view of humanity & how they view various moral issues, I suggest Christians use the criterion “made in the image of God,” for an additional Kingdom. This would place man in his own Kingdom, The Human Kingdom. We need our children to understand that humans are special & made in God’s image, whereas animals are not made in God’s image.

He’s gonna fix that. First step: redesign that zoo sign.

Humans are as different from all other organisms as paramecia are from sequoias, or elephants from mushrooms. The evidence for that is a) the Bible, and b) Ken Ham.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to demand a full phylogenetic analysis of that tree. I don’t think Answers in Genesis can do it. I don’t think they have the slightest conception of the rigor required of systematics.

The Christian rot is everywhere

Hey, isn’t that Achilles from the movie Troy? I had no idea he was Christian.

I am not at all surprised by the revelation that evangelical Christians think they’re waging a holy war against trans people. Now we have even more evidence, in the email lobbyists write to politicians, with both incessantly claiming that God is on their side.

“Under His wings,” one lobbyist wrote in an email. “The Devil never sleeps,” another person sent in an email chain about the distinction between gender and sex. “I pray for the 2nd coming more and more.”

These missives are part of a trove of leaked emails between South Dakota GOP Rep. Fred Deutsch, anti-trans lobbyists, and other state lawmakers about anti-trans policies that are filled with language so deeply religious that, at times, the communications read like scripts from The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s the language, one expert told VICE News, of Christian nationalists who believe they’re engaging in a holy war.

The way these people talk to each other…it’s all Bible references and piety, while they’re advocating to increase the suffering of children. For someone like me, who is rather firmly anti-religious, it’s repulsive.

The repeated notes about “blessings” and “prayers,” as well as sign-offs like “God bless you” and “Under His wings,” proliferate throughout the emails, which frequently reference explicit religious motivations for targeting trans people.

“Know that many have prayed and are praying for you this day. Do not back down, nor should you be afraid. Know that the Lord is with you. The children of South Dakota belong to him. He is jealous over them. Let his jealousies be spoken forth in the House of Representatives of South Dakota today so that his children would be made safe. Know you are HIS representative today. Do not be afraid. Stand firm in what is right,” wrote Vernadette Broyles, a lawyer and president of the Georgia-based Children and Parental Rights Campaign, which mobilizes against “gender ideology,” in 2020.

They can’t muster a good argument or a rational defense for their behavior, so they resort to claiming Biblical authority. It’s lazy and stupid and done for an evil purpose, and damn the evidence. For the Bible tells me so (which it doesn’t, actually — most of this stuff is interpolation and reading their biases into the text) is all they’ve got.

Emails from 2020 show right-wing lobbyists and politicians rejoicing after Idaho passed two anti-trans bills. One of the bills, which is still being fought by the ACLU, bans trans women and girls from girls’ sports, and is rooted in the myth that trans women have a leg up in sports, though evidence has consistently stated the opposite. “Dear Friends,” wrote Young, the Idaho representative, “I cannot thank you enough for your help and support! It is official—Governor Little signed both H500 and H509 today! Many tears and prayers of gratitude! The fight goes on!” Young sent the email to nearly 30 people, some of whom have also lobbied against abortion, including Deutsch.

It’s the same story with the abortion holy war. It’s all based on emotional biases and ignorance, bolstered by a misreading of their holy book. I bet if we had a trove of email from anti-abortion lobbyists and politicians, it would be full of the same sickening god-talk.

It’s also driven by paranoia and a persecution complex. They actually believe that trans people are an overwhelming powerful force bent on destroying a tiny band of Christian martyrs, so they need to eradicate them first.

“Stopping the existence of transgender people and the acceptance of trans people in the public sphere is to them some sort of religious imperative,” Lecaque told VICE News.“It’s particularly fascinating that this group that has all this money, control in state legislatures, control of the house, they had a presidency, is acting like somehow they are David in the struggle.”

None of this is particularly surprising, and none of it is new. Today’s Christian nationalists believe that America is an inherently holy, Christian land, and that it’s their duty to restore God’s kingdom in order for Jesus to return. Part of this means that they think the country’s laws, policies and cultural institutions should reflect evangelical Christian values, VICE News previously reported. As a result, contentious cultural and political issues, like drag queen story hours and “critical race theory” are perceived as Satanic. Indeed, the Devil came up in the leaked emails.

“I completely agree that it is Christian Nationalism, although I tend to refer to it as religious extremism,” Shupe said in an email to VICE News. “Christian Nationalists are a danger to the LGBTQ population, and society in general: a genuine threat to people’s lives and safety. They feign compassion while doing everything possible to strip us of our civil rights and ability to safely exist and participate in society.”

Yes! Christianity is the poison in America’s veins. It’s everywhere. It is the Goliath that you find imbedded in every city, every small town, and every little farm across the country.

It’s not the only cause for the prejudice, though. I have to wonder about the atheists who are happily siding with religious extremists to condemn the trans ‘agenda’.

Those dirty, filthy, disgusting rainbows

The puckered sphincters who run Wisconsin schools constricted a little more. They banned a song from a first grade class.

Administrators at a Wisconsin elementary school stopped a first-grade class from performing a Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton duet promoting LGBTQ acceptance because the song “could be perceived as controversial.”

Students at Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha had prepared a rendition of “Rainbowland” for their spring concert, but school officials struck the song from the lineup last week. Parents in the district say the decision was made because the song encourages LGBTQ acceptance and references rainbows.

Superintendent James Sebert, who did not immediately return a call on Monday, confirmed to Fox6 that administrators had removed “Rainbowland” from the first-grade concert because it might not be “appropriate for the age and maturity level of the students.” He also cited a school board policy against raising controversial issues in classrooms.

Sebert has previously prohibited rainbows and pride flags from being displayed in Waukesha classrooms and suspended the school district’s equity and diversity work in 2021.

It’s just hatred all the way down, isn’t it? Mr Sebert must gnash his teeth in frustration when he steps outside after a rain. All these horrible people with sticks up their ass seem to be pretty good at clawing their way into positions of petty power, I must say.

Of course, you know what I must do: I must post the song and help it spread.

Damn. That’s so obscene…to a dirty little mind.