Monday, July 31, 2006

Blood Pressure Rising

Today, one of my co-workers claimed that global warming is an evidence-free hoax perpetuated by angst-filled hippies like Al Gore who simply can't stand the idea that some of the rest of us are having a good time. Comments like these make my blood pressure shoot up so fast that I can almost feel my veins constricting. My anger is not directed so much against the absurd falsity of the statement itself--although I'm sure that scientists who make up the The American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science would be more than a little bewildered to find out that they're all a bunch of fun-hating, spiteful hippies--but against the attitude that it represents.

It's simply a fact that a statement of such arrogance must necessarily stem from a position of ignorance, if only because no well-informed person could honestly hold it. What bothers me so much is that this attitude is so common. Many people seem more than happy to read an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal or listen to a rant from Rush Limbaugh and decide that they've done enough "research" to blithely wave away decades worth of experiments and research that they don't even understand. It's just the intellectual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and repeating "Your wrong! I'm not listening!" over and over.

Here's an idea to keep in mind: just because you've read Michael Crichton's factually-challenged thriller about evil environmentalist conspiracies doesn't make you a climate science expert. Hell, I frequently read books and articles by scientists on the subject of climate change, and the more I learn, the more I realize that I don't know anything about it. That's just the way it is--learning new stuff requires lots of hard work and effort!

It takes a mind-bogglingly large amount of hubris--not to mention a rather under-developed set of critical thinking skills--to stand in a place of complete (or near complete) ignorance on a topic and accuse thousands of trained professionals--people who have devoted their lives and their livelihoods to the subject--of fraud and/or incompetence. And yet, I manage to come across plenty of global-warming deniers--and no small number of creationists--who are more than willing to do just that on a regular basis. It makes me sad and angry. It's okay to be ignorant; it's even okay to be arrogant, but to be both at the same time, about the same thing? That's unacceptable.

For the sake of fairness, I humbly request that if anybody catches me bloviating on a subject that I'm clueless about--and that's a long list of topics--please, please, please give me a swift kick in the ass at your earliest opportunity. I might not like it at the time, but eventually I'll come to thank you for it; and you'll be doing your part to make the world a better place.

The sole caveat to all of this are the so-called "literary theorists." Everybody who isn't an idiot knows that "literary theory" is a pile of garbage concocted by a bunch of know-nothing blowhards who wanted to make themselves feel important, but didn't have any real talent. I, of course, don't need to know anything about literary theory to make that judgment; it's just obvious.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Asher!

For the few people who read my blog, but don't read my, my sister's, after nine months and more pregnanacy-related blog posts than this non-father could believe possible (just kidding, Cath!), she has finally given birth to a healthy, blond-haired, baby boy named Asher. He was born yesterday afternoon. Welcome to the world, little guy! I'm sure many awe-inspiring photos will be forthcoming. I can't wait to see 'em!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Something I don't understand

Hezbollah militants/terrorists/freedom fighters/Islamofascists/whatever kill three Israeli Soldiers and kidnap two others.

That's bad.

In response, Israeli forces start bombing Lebanon, knocking out the Beruit airport and killing 53 civilians.

Isn't that worse? I just don't get it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Questions about Ethics

A query:

If I happen to catch a colleague reading the World Net Daily website, and I have good reason to think that he's not just doing it because he's amused by the rantings of crazy people, am I allowed to think less of him?

A follow-up query:

If the answer to the previous question is "no" and I already do think less of him, should I feel sorry about this?

A final query:

If the answer to the first question is "no," and the answer to the second question is "yes," and I don't feel sorry about thinking less of him, should I engage in regular, wet-noodle-facilitated bouts of self-flagellation in a desperate attempt to repair my ailing conscience?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Victory in Berlin

My fellow Patriotic Americans,

Today is a day of celebration for all those believe in our cherished, blue-blooded American values! Our European nemeses, those pretentious, head-butting surender-monkeys, the French, have suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Italian national soccer team. The Italians--who will no doubt soon be names as honorary American citizens by a united (except for the irrelevant, whiny, French-loving Democrats) act of Congress--has defeated the neo-marxist French team to become World Cup Champions. The Italians played gloriously and easily defeated the cheese-eating French, who seemed far too concerned with appeasing terrorists to succeed at something as manly as a national sporting event. Please join me and the rest of the civilized world in laughing in the face of wine-snobbery and cowardice, and give a hearty cheer for free-market capitalism, cheap beer, and all Italians everywhere! Huzzah!

P.S. Some Un-American traitor-types may be wondering why the Americans had to rely on another European country to defeat the much-hated French. Well, everybody knows that Soccer is just a mild form of Collectivistic Socialism, and we Americans hate that sort of thing, so it's no wonder that we're no good at it. If the French are foolish enough to decide that they want to try they pathetic hand against us in a real, Capitalistic sport like baseball, basketball or football--not hockey, though; hockey is only played by Communists like the Canadians, Russians and Minnesotans--we'll be happy to kick their pansy asses ourselves.

Again, Huzzah!

Monday, July 03, 2006

In the annals of "That's just weird and creepy!"

From here:

Church constructs monument to Christianity in likeness of Lady Liberty

As drivers wait for a green light on Winchester Road, they automatically lean their heads forward to view the 72-foot sea-foam-green Statue of Liberation overlooking Hickory Hill.

The towering replica of the Statue of Liberty -- with a few Christian touches -- is being erected in front of the 12,000-member World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church at Winchester and Kirby Parkway.

Replacing the recognizable torch, Lady Liberty holds a cross.
A beige sheet veils much of the $260,000 statue and will be removed during a Fourth of July ceremony.

Lady Liberty's uncovered eyes already peer down on the community. A tear falls from her right eye representing her concern for America.

Church members said the mixture of the statue and Christian symbols represent "America belonging to God through Jesus Christ."

The statue's famous inscription -- "Give me your tired, your poor ..." -- has been replaced with Roman numerals representing the Ten Commandments.

The seven-spiked crown that represents the seven seas of the world, has been changed to signify the seven redemptive names of Christ, according to church pastor Apostle Alton R. Williams.

Inscribed on the crown is the name Jehovah.

Democracy? Who needs democracy when we can have a good, old-fashioned theocracy?