Archive for October 7th, 2011

Martian Anthropologist Field Notes #1

| October 7, 2011 | 1 Reply

A few months ago, my Martian supervisor sent me here to gather notes on human animals. I randomly chose the United States as my research base. I’ve had a good time for me here on Earth–human animals can be quite hospitable–but lately I’ve become too confused to tell any coherent story based on my field notes. Therefore, I’m publishing my field notes here at Dangerous Intersection with the hope that some of you Earthlings might help me out.   It seems that my disorientation with human animals intensified after I began watching television.

I am aware that there is a big election coming up, but even though it’s more than a year away, the people on your television can’t stop speculating about who might win; they keep speculating but they won’t discuss the issues, and it keeps happening.

Apparently, the people who run the television stations don’t like most of the Republicans, so they spent weeks running stories about how a man who doesn’t want to run might run.  In the above news show, they showed that man looking like a soldier.  Apparently, in America, one needs to act like he or she likes wars in order to be elected.  But after Mr. Christie made it really clear that he didn’t want to try to be president, the TV show needed to get people excited about another story, and that’s what really has me confused.

A “Christian” man who believes in invisible people and people who are alive even after they died called another man crazy for believing in the same sorts of things.   The TV show called it “Breaking News,” and they talked about it

all afternoon today.   They said it over and over and over and over.  The news apparently kept “breaking.”  The “Christian” man kept smirking and saying that the Mormon man named Romney was part of a “cult,” because he believed in strange things.

Both these men sound crazy to me, because I haven’t seen any evidence of any of the things these men claim to be true as part of their “religions.”  You equipped me with the finest scientific monitoring equipment, and I’m never seen evidence for invisible people, or virgins having babies, or people suddenly able to speak new languages, or angels.   Yet most of the people here talk as though these things make sense.

After they talked and talked, they took a “commercial,” where the TV station allows people to try to sell things.   The commercial that most puzzled me was the one telling people to burn lots of a dirty fuel called “coal.”  And get this:  The commercial called it “clean coal,” even though there is no such thing.

The TV stations also keep talking about “Michael Jackson,” even though he has been dead for years.   Perhaps they think he is one of those invisible people.   I’ll need to keep working hard to gather data, so that I can get to the bottom of this.

I’ll keep working at this, and I will try to write a coherent report someday, but for now, I’m finding human animals quite disorienting.

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God’s candidates

| October 7, 2011 | 4 Replies
God’s candidates

God called Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan to run for President of the United States of America.

The only problem is that Bachmann, Cain, Perry and Santorum are all declared Republican candidates for President in 2012. In a Republican presidential primary season so far filled with over a dozen candidates, the numbers called by God to run are ever increasing and may give us an all time high for those to whom the Almighty has spoken.

With what appears to be a record number of Republican candidates called by God to run for President in 2012, Mike Lofgren’s characterization of the GOP and its relationship with the Almighty rings ever more true. This article is the second in a series of three analyzing recent statements by Mr. Mike Lofgren, who spent 28 years on the GOP staff of the US House and Senate Budget Committees. He had some interesting things to say about the Republican love affair with the Almighty as the guide for its members’ ambitions. For instance, Mr. Lofgren says the following:

Give me that old time religion. Pandering to fundamentalism is a full-time vocation in the GOP. Beginning in the 1970s, religious cranks ceased simply to be a minor public nuisance in this country and grew into the major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa Caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. The results are all around us: if the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution versus creationism, scriptural inerrancy, the existence of angels and demons, and so forth, that result is due to the rise of the religious right, its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican Party and the consequent normalizing of formerly reactionary or quaint beliefs.

I guess the rest of us, not called by God to run for President, have some less lofty calling or are just somehow less morally upright than those chosen few of the GOP. But, I just wonder what really is going on here? I mean can God have called all these people to run for President? How did they receive their call? Is it the height of hubris to claim the allegiance of the Almighty or just another day on the 2012 Republican Presidential campaign trail? I can honestly say that I have not been called by God to run for President and that fact does not upset me in the least.

[More . . . ]

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Paul Krugman sums up the epicenter of the Wall Street Protests

| October 7, 2011 | Reply
Paul Krugman sums up the epicenter of the Wall Street Protests

Paul Krugman applauds the protesters who, in his words, are “angry at the right people.” Here is the short story of the reason for the protests:

In the first act, bankers took advantage of deregulation to run wild (and pay themselves princely sums), inflating huge bubbles through reckless lending. In the second act, the bubbles burst — but bankers were bailed out by taxpayers, with remarkably few strings attached, even as ordinary workers continued to suffer the consequences of the bankers’ sins. And, in the third act, bankers showed their gratitude by turning on the people who had saved them, throwing their support — and the wealth they still possessed thanks to the bailouts — behind politicians who promised to keep their taxes low and dismantle the mild regulations erected in the aftermath of the crisis.

Given this history, how can you not applaud the protesters for finally taking a stand?

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