As I wrote that title, I realized that it's probably insufficiently informative - there are, after all, multiple parallels between Intelligent Design proponents and the crackpots dedicated defenders of the Constitution who continue to insist that Barack Obama is not eligible to be the President. Both groups, for example, have a blind devotion to a concept that has no actual basis in reality. Both appear to be remarkably skeptical toward the enormous amounts of evidence challenging their views while simultaneously demonstrating a remarkable credulity toward any evidence that might possibly be remotely construed as supporting their views, and both demand that they be proven wrong beyond an unreasonable doubt.
As obvious as the parallels between the two groups are concerned, I was actually struck more by their use of a similar tactic. Earlier today, I was watching the insane train wreck that is Orly Taitz reading through court documents in some of the not-yet-laughed-out-of-court still pending birther suits. One paragraph from one of the many motions filed caught my eye:
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Earlier today, Birther Leader Orly Taitz took time away from her busy schedule to explain the connection between Barack Obama's birthplace and Tropical Storm Grace to this reporter:
"If you look, you will see that the storm is just like Obama. It has come from Africa and turned everything left. But it's not a legitimate storm, so it will not do anything significant."
When informed that the storm had actually turned to its right, Taitz replied:
"Look, if you don't know left from right there's really no point talking to you because you will never see what is so totally apparent - the storm that came from Africa will not harm the United States because the impostor Obama is here so the storm is refusing to risk damaging his reputation. If Obama was really a natural born American, the storm would have no problems damaging us. It just goes to show....."
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I just playing an album I haven't listened to for a while, and I was struck by a sudden and painful sense of deja vu. As it turns out, the source of the feeling is available on YouTube, so I thought I'd share.
Tonight's entry in Conservapedia Foolishness is my favorite kind of entry to write - one where someone else did all of the work.
Over at Religion, Sets, and Politics, Josh Zelinsky has a fantastic - and amusing - look at a Conservapedia discussion thread where Andy Schlafly apparently redefines "liberal" to mean "less conservative than him", and says that his main problem with a British political party that his own website describes as "Neo-Nazi" is that the party also supports universal health care.
I'm rereading "Guards! Guards!" right now, and I just came across this quote:
But incompetents with possibilities, nevertheless. Let the other societies take the skilled, the hopefuls, the ambitious, the self-confident. He'd take the whining resentful ones, the ones with a bellyful of spite and bile, the one who knew they could make it big if only they'd been given the chance. Give him the ones in which floods of venom and vindictiveness were dammed up behind thin walls of ineptitude and low-grade paranoia.
Is it just me, or is this a good description for a large chunk of a current minority political party?
Dear National Republican Congressional Committee:
After reading a couple of very interesting blog posts today, I took a look at your website. It only took me a minute or two to identify some of your party's biggest problems. I know you didn't ask for my advice, but I'm going to give it to you anyway. I have to. I firmly believe that a healthy and loyal opposition party is vitally important to the success of any democracy, so I would be failing in my patriotic duty if I did not.
Your first and most obvious problem may be the hardest to fix: You Have No Issues!!!
Seriously, that's not good. I know you've been trying to avoid acknowledging this for a while now, but if you want people to vote for you, it really, really helps if you're actually for something. It's not enough to be against things:
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My last prediction seems to have worked out OK. Let's try another one. President Obama re-swore the oath of office tonight just to be safe and head off the tinfoil hat brigade. According to the pool report, he did not use a Bible for the do-over.
Would anyone like to bet on which right wing blog is going to go the most completely insane on that the fastest? Also, would anyone like to make any wagers on how long it will take for the no-bible retake to be touted as evidence that (a) Obama really is a secret Muslim; (b) Obama really is the anti-Christ; or (c) both of the above?
Note that I'm not asking if these things will happen. Just when.
1: Within the next week, at least one member of the tinfoil hat brigade will start to pitch a fit about how Obama's not really President, because he didn't really take the real oath.
2: It's more likely than not that someone (maybe the same person, maybe not) will claim that this is somehow or another tied to the whole "he's not a real American citizen" lunacy.
3: At least one of the nuts will try to file a lawsuit, and will probably try to demand that Roberts recuse himself due to his own involvement.
Anyone want to bet against any of those?
At his "farewell" press conference earlier today, President Bush commented that, "most Israelis understand there needs to be a democracy on their border in order for there to be long-lasting peace." A short time later, Israel announced that they were barring Arab political parties from running in next month's parliamentary elections.
There's a very interesting article over at Uncommon Descent about beavers, and the things that they do. I'm not entirely sure why they posted the article - Barry seems to be trying to make the point that because Beavers clearly can commit criminal acts but just as clearly can't form criminal intent, their brains are different from humans, and there's therefore something "non-materialist" and special about the human brain. I'd like to take a look at the same story, but with a slightly different focus.
Here's the story:
Green campaigners called in police after discovering an illegal logging site in a nature reserve - and rounded up a gang of beavers.
Environmentalists found 20 neatly stacked tree trunks and others marked for felling with notches at the beauty-spot at Subkowy in northern Poland.
But police followed a trail left where one tree had been dragged away - and found a beaver dam right in the middle of the river. A police spokesman said: "The campaigners are feeling pretty stupid. There's nothing more natural than a beaver."
Let's look at this story from the perspective of detecting design. That's a topic that's particularly relevant right now, given that Dembski himself has recently abandoned, then abandoned his abandonment of, the explanatory filter.
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