Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Religion, Conservatism, and Facts

There are times where I wonder what planet these people are from, but then I remember they are Christian Conservatives and it all makes sense.

US Congressman Todd Akins is the Republican candidate for United States Senate from Missouri, running to unseat Claire McCaskill. Recently he got himself in trouble by saying that the female body would reject a pregnancy caused by a "legitimate" rape.

Not surprisingly, many people on both sides of the aisle reacted to such an incredibly stupid remark.  Also not surprisingly, some people felt compelled to support Rep. Akins and say that he was right.  The spokesman for the American Family Association, Bryan Fisher emphatically agreed with Rep. Akins, and Republican Rep Steve King of Iowa said he had never heard of an incest or statutory rape victim becoming pregnant.

They were both speaking in response to questions about the latest attempt by House Republicans to limit abortion.  Apparently among Republicans there is a growing movement to remove the rape and incest exemptions from most laws regulating abortion.  And part of that movement seems to believe that victims of rape or incest seldom if ever get pregnant.
In other words they are idiots.

Deliberately so.  It’s not like they morons don’t have staffs that can research their arguments to make sure they are factually based, they don’t care if they are factually based.  Remember the US Senator who went speaking on the Senate Floor claimed that 97% of Planned Parenthood’s business was abortions?  When he was confronted with facts that proved him wrong, the official statement from his office was that the Senator’s statement wasn’t intended to be factual.
These people don’t believe in facts.

It’s something that seems to have infected the entire Republican Party.
It ranges from the ridiculous stuff like Obama isn’t an American or wasn’t born in Hawaii to the silly like he Hates American or wants to punish success to simply lying about what he has said or done like the Stimulus didn’t create any jobs and President Obama wants to ban your guns.

And it extends to serious issue of policy like Tax Cuts pay for themselves, and those people who make over 250,000 are job creators, and global warming is a hoax.  All things that are simply not true.  There are some smart Republicans, who can actually read so they probably know what they are saying is not true.  And the rest are just sheep, believing anything Rush and O’Reilly say.
And I blame religion, particularly Conservative Christianity.

This is an old problem.  Galileo was imprisoned by the Catholic Church for having the audacity to claim that the earth was not the center of the universe.
More recently you have Conservative Christians that reject Evolution because the bible tells them so.  They bend themselves into rhetorical pretzels trying to claim that Creation Science is equally as valid as Natural Selection/Evolution despite the reality that the theories behind Evolution describe what we observe in the world far better than any competing theory and Creationism just pretends things like the world is only 5000 years old and man and dinosaurs were on the planet at the same time and that the first human was created 5000 years ago.  There is no evidence to support their theory, but they believe it anyway because they must.

I think of Creationism as the gateway drug to mass belligerent ignorance.
If Evolution is wrong, and all those scientists are wrong based on no evidence other than the bible, it’s no longer a challenge to just pretend that other things you don’t want to believe in aren’t true, despite the facts and data.

50 years ago, companies hired actual Physicians to advertise Cigarettes.  Then as the evidence became clear that cigarettes were both addictive and deadly, the companies launched a massive campaign to lie to the American people.  It was like the line from the some old country song, who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?  They would pay some scientist to pretend that the science wasn’t settled.  They couldn’t find actually medical doctors to lie for them anymore so they hired anybody with a degree that would say want the tobacco companies wanted them to say.  Meanwhile the US Surgeon General and very medical group in the country and any scientist who wasn’t paid by the cigarette companies were all yelling at the top of their lungs that cigarettes would addictive and deadly.  Yet some, mostly conservatives, chose to ignore the real science, to ignore the people who actually studied these diseases, because once you decided that science is just this stuff that those guys with degrees made up but you can ignore it just like you ignore evolution, then its easy to believe the utter bullshit pushed by the cigarette companies.
Finally, 50 years and uncounted millions of deaths later, nobody, not even shills paid by the cigarette companies, disputes the science.  But millions died while they were lying as loudly as they could.

And now we have the debate over Global Warming.
And the same pattern is being repeated.  The Science is clear.  The global average surface temperature is climbing and most of the current increase in temperature is the result of human activity.  And if we don’t change our ways we are going to devastate the global economy and displace hundreds of millions of people.  There really isn’t any doubt.  But shills and politicians paid for by the Coal and Natural Gas and Petroleum companies are willing to stand up and say it’s all a hoax.  Ignore all the science and focus on the fact that it snowed a lot in New York City last winter.  Steal some emails, extract stuff from the emails that makes the scientists look dishonest and then ignore the 6 separate studies that all conclude that the scientists didn’t actually lie or distort their data or conclusions.  Facts don’t matter to these people.
This facts don’t matter attitude, this deliberate and belligerent ignorance, is the essence of religious faith and the fact free rejection of evolution.  And its dangerous.

So now you have members of Congress claiming that rape victims don't get pregnant as a result of what was done to them.

And we have idiots defending them.

Because they live in a fact free universe where things are only true if they want them to be.

I wouldn't care if they were just idiots, but these are idiots in positions of power.  They can decide what a woman can do with her body.  They can impose medically unnecessary requirements on abortion clinics, and require that women have get vaginally violated by a doctor to have access to a safe and legal procedure, they CAN REQUIRE THAT YOUR DOCTOR LIE TO YOU about abortion.

The idiots that want to ignore the reality of Global Warming are tying to kill us wholesale, but idiots that are trying to ban abortion just want to kill women one at a time.  But they are idiots with power and that makes them dangerous.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Voter Suppression - The Never Ending Story

If you listen to Republicans as they try to defend all these new laws they are passing that make it harder to vote, remember the problem that they are trying to fix.

It's the demon Voter Fraud.

And they have the numbers to prove it.

The Republican Lawyers Association has a listing on their website of all the cases of voter fraud that they can find across this country in the past 10 years.

Look at it here (http://www.rnla.org/survey.asp)

340 or so cases.

In 10 years


What an epidemic of illegality

And about half are Voter REGISTRATION fraud, which all their new laws do nothing to prevent.

And another bunch are Absent Voter Fraud, which all their new laws do nothing to prevent.

So what are we left with


In 10 years

Maybe 70 cases.

And in order to prevent these 70 cases, they are willing, eager even, to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of legitimate voters.

And they claim to have the purest of motives.  But their actions call them liars.

There is no doubt that these new laws affect the poor, and the young and the elderly far more than they do the rest of America.  Put another way, these laws stop mostly Democratic voters from voting.

To prevent 70 cases nationwide over 10 years scattered across the country.

In Ohio, the Republican Secretary of State has cast the deciding vote in a number of counties on what hours the polling places should be open for early voting.  In counties that lean Democratic, he has voted not to allow evening and weekend voting.  You have to vote during normal business hours.  In counties that lean Republican he has voted to allow voting in the evenings and on weekends.

Are you tired of being lied to yet??

Are you outraged about a deliberate campaign to suppress voter turnout??

You should be!!

Its time to get outraged.