Democratic party leaders are idiots

This Connecticut mess is doing a great job of highlighting the structural incompetence of the Democratic party, isn’t it? Sisyphus Shrugged quotes Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on the current situation with both Ned Lamont, the official Democratic candidate, and Joe Lieberman, sanctified egotist candidate, running in the November elections there.

“Explain to me how two Democrats running is bad,” Mr. Emanuel said in an interview.

Setting aside the whole issue of the fact that Lieberman is not running as a Democrat…wait. Let’s not set that aside. What kind of flaming nitwit can Emanuel be to gloss over the fact that the state primary made Lamont the candidate? Jebus.

OK, now setting that aside, I’m a naive biologist, not a political scientist at all, and even I can see how having two Democrats (or, one Democrat and one “Democrat”) is bad. Does he think that every Democratic voter in Connecticut gets two votes? How can this bigwig in the party be unaware of such a basic fact of our electoral system?

Man, I look at the disarray of the Republican party, the mess their policies have put us in, and the general venal corruption of the ruling clique, and I feel pretty good about the next election—I think we’ve got a chance of kicking the vermin out. And then one of the beltway bozos of my party opens his mouth, and I realize…they’re damn good at blowing it.

Terrorism works!

A neurobiologist at UCLA, Dario Ringach, has stopped doing research on primates. The reason?

Colleagues suggested that Ringach, who did not return e-mails seeking comment, was spooked by an attack on a colleague. In June, the Animal Liberation Front took credit for trying to put a Molotov cocktail on the doorstep of Lynn Fairbanks, another UCLA researcher who does experimentation on animals. The explosive was accidentally placed on the doorstep of Fairbanks’s elderly neighbor’s house, and did not detonate.

Whoa. Incompetence and thuggish violence—what a combination. I love animals and think they needed to be treated with care and respect (although, if our cat pees on the furniture one more time…), and I can sympathize with people who are concerned about animal research. I would suggest, though, that they spend less time firebombing people and more time working for their local humane society. It’s penny wise and pound foolish to harrass scientists when all you have to do is visit your local grocery store’s dumpster to find malnourished, diseased, and injured cats scavenging for something to eat. Or look into animal hoarding—it’s more common than you might think.

Whatever you do, though, don’t throw away your moral compass as some fanatics do.

Jerry Vlasak, a practicing physician, a spokesman for the Animal Liberation Press Office, and a former animal researcher, said that “obviously the roughly 30 non-human primates [Ringach] was killing every year would be ecstatic” with his decision to halt his work. Vlasak said that when he was an animal researcher, he published papers on his work, but didn’t feel that he contributed anything important to society. As to the Molotov cocktail, Vlasak said that “force is a poor second choice, but if that’s the only thing that will work … there’s certainly moral justification for that.”

Why, no. No there isn’t.

It’s really that simple.

There is no excuse for bombing people. There is especially no excuse for being so stupid that you try to bomb random people. What this is is terrorism, plain and simple, and Dario Ringach is a victim of domestic terrorism.

(via Virtually Shocking)

Darwin’s Deadly Legacy: what tripe.

Well, I just watched the much-ballyhooed Darwin’s Deadly Legacy, with D. James Kennedy. Here are a few quick comments.

  • The opening scene was perfect. Kennedy walked onto a stage decorated with flasks and beakers and graduated cylinders full of brightly colored water. One had a small flame going under it; the graduated cylinder was bubbling. It was practically an admission that all of the science in the show was going to be fake.

  • In a show purportedly about science, how desperate do you have to be to give Ann Coulter that much face time? Triple points for irony, though, when Coulter calls Eugenie Scott a “hack.”

  • The first half was all Nazis and Columbine. No mention of Hitler’s Christianity, of course, everything was driven by “Darwinism.”

  • The second half was all about the “crumbling theory of evolution.” All the old chestnuts were tossed out. We got “just a theory”, 747s being spontaneously assemble while monkeys write Shakespeare, Behe babbling about “molecular machines,” Strobel saying there were no transitional fossils, Nebraska Man, teach both theories, and that famous paleontologist, Ann Coulter, telling us that all forms of life suddenly appeared in the Cambrian explosion…and did you know you’ll get sued if you mention the Cambrian in a classroom?

  • Francis Collins is still in the program, in the second half. His contribution was to help Kennedy argue that evolution is inadequate, that “man is a special creature,” and go on and on about how complex the genome is. Collins is back on my shit list. He may not have supported the Hitler connection, but he is a creationist dupe arguing against scientific theories.

  • There were a couple of times when the collection plate was passed. Kennedy offers a copy of Tom DeRosa’s book, Evolution’s Fatal Fruit, for any donation. Go ahead, give ’em a dollar and tell them to mail it to you. The address is:
    D. James Kennedy
    Box 555
    Ft Lauderdale, FL 33302
    Or call them toll free at 1-888-334-9680.

It was a truly vile exhibition, the fans of this kind of crap will eat it up, and man, is it ever easy for these guys to lie.

The Death of the Republican Brain

Perhaps this is redundant, since Jon Swift has already taken care of it, but how could I possibly resist an article titled “The Death of Science,” posted on a “Blogs for Bush” site? It’s got wingnuts, it’s got irony, it’s got dizzyingly inane interpretations of science. It’s like everything that’s wrong with the Bush approach to science, all in one short article.

What reasons could a blinkered Bush supporter with a petrified brain and no background in science possibly advance to support the claim that science is dead?

[Read more…]


For more metaphorical execution of the ghastly Mr Wells and his dumb little book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, my article on chapter 3 is now available at the Panda’s Thumb, and if you want something fresh, Burt Humburg tackles the internal contradictions and fuzzy thinking of Wells’ theology. Not that I would ever imply that there is a theology that isn’t fuzzy and contradictory, but Wells seems to have bunged up the job particularly well.