If there’s one thing Alex Jones is good for, it’s entertainment. I haven’t heard a fluoride in the water rant like I did on the radio this weekend in forever. He also thinks we’re being sterilized by basically everything. It’s a wonder we have fallen into some sort of Children of Men-like apocalypse.
Well, last week was fun, wasn’t it? Obama won a Nobel prize for no reason and conservatives went nuts. Which is entertaining and all, but then groups like the DNC and Media Matters attack them as unpatriotic and siding with terrorists. Which is absolutely vile and one of the reasons the last administration and its defenders were so odious.
By the way, what kind of joke was that? A Nobel Peace Prize? Are they high?
Then there’s this, another tactic I hated from the last administration (bear in mind that I’m not accusing Republicans of inventing it, just that I associate it with the Bush administration because that’s when I started paying attention). Picking out bits of larger legislation and accusing a person of being against something was a significant part of the anti-Kerry attacks in 2004. It wasn’t pretty then and it’s not pretty now.
Or I guess you can say that anyone who’s ever opposed an omnibus spending bill hates the military, schools, seniors, etc. How fun.
A health care bill banning rescission, disallowing coverage refusals due to pre-existing conditions, eliminating the wasteful Medicare Advantage program, and expanding coverage to 94% of the country seems like a step forward.
Then again, it’s a giveaway to teh evil corporations, so I’m clearly some sort of non-sentient shill. But the alternative is being complicit with murder, so hello persistent vegetative state.
How is this not awesome? Conservapedia has a Conservative Bible Project going. Because the people who do the NIV translation are a bunch of feminist liberals. Seriously. So they’re going to translate the KJV into more modern English.
For example, one of their suggestions from Mark is to replace Pharisees with “intellectuals” or “skeptical teachers.” One instance:
Jesus perceived immediately what the intellectual types were thinking, and he asked them, “Why are you so hostile to this?
If one of your goals is to enhance the intellectual force of the Bible, the phrase “intellectual types” isn’t helping.
(for reference, here’s what the NRSV translation is: “At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts?”)
This is also an obvious example of the flaws in what they’re doing (flaws? no way!). The fact is that Jesus’ conflict with the Pharisees is a conflict with a conservative religious establishment. The Pharisees are representatives of the ruling priests (from what I’ve read, anyway). Jesus’ is rebelling against a religious establishment, which is not a particularly conservative move. Characterizing the representatives of that establishment as “intellectuals,” which undoubtedly conjures up an image of anti-capitalist radicals in academia who want to destroy the very foundation of our country in their minds, is a bit misleading. Jesus is rebelling against tradition and is trying to shake the foundations of the contemporary religious establishment. You can make a better case that he’s analogous to their view of intellectuals. It would be stupid to do so, but less so than the Conservapedia alternative.
That’s not to say that verse is inconsistent with conservatism, just that using it to score conservative points obscures what Mark is describing. The world is too complicated to impose narrow ideological categorization on every event. Conservapedians, can’t handle that.
But we really already knew that, didn’t we?
Apparently. Did you know this person at The Corner can’t read her own chart? It’s true. Just look at the giant bar in the middle (2008′s projected budget deficit) and try to square it with “[e]ach year under Obama is worse than any year under Bush.” I’m pretty sure Bush was president last year.
This also invalidates her second point, but less humorously so.
UPDATE: This is what I get for ignoring how easy that was. Dave points out in comments that the graph is mislabeled and 2009 is the big bar in the middle. Of course, you can still point out that FY2009 includes TARP and the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac subsidies, both of which were Bush policies and a substantial portion of the projected increase. Not to mention the general economic deterioration which is difficult to blame on anyone. But that still means I should pay more attention.
I wonder if replying to emails I get at work with a Snopes link would cause problems.
In other news, you should read this. Of course, I’ve never read any Ayn Rand, so maybe I should shut up. I’ve sort of half meant to read a book of hers, in the same way that I half consider reading a Twilight book: I would feel better about considering them dreck. Alas, I have better things to do.
As it happens, I bought four at once just about a month ago and since I’ve only finished two of them, I’ll mention all four. That evens out to three, right?
- The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi. I read Old Man’s War earlier this summer and thought it was decent entertainment. Mostly because his blog is so entertaining, I bought this, even though Old Man’s War wasn’t good enough for me to be really excited about a sequel. It’s military SF, standard colonization of space type stuff. Old people can sign up for service with the Colonial Defense Force and get their consciousness transferred to a new body. The CDF also engineers people specifically to be soldiers, using the consciousness of those who didn’t quite make it to the transfer part (hence the name “ghost brigades”). TGB follows one of those soldiers. It’s not as good as Old Man’s War, but it still qualifies as decent entertainment. The universe is explained a little more and some of it is interesting, but the book really drags. I liked the end, though. So it’s a book I’m not enthusiastic about, but it’s a quick, enjoyable read.
- Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. I love this book. The planet is put inside a sort of cosmic sphere where time is massively slowed down. This leads to all manner of reactions, which are all fascinating. As are the characters. Wilson’s writing is superb and the answers to the mysteries of the “spin” are suitably mind-blowing. I’ve not read anything like this, but my exposure to genre sci-fi is relatively small. It’s easily on the list of my favorite books and makes a strong case for the top spot (it’ll have to fight 1984 for it). There’s apparently a sequel (called Axis), which I’m too scared to read, lest it sully my enjoyment of this book. I’ll get to it eventually.
- Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod. Maybe it was because I had just finished Spin, but I only made it through a third of this. There are two main storylines, one of which is a near future that deals with first contact with an alien race and the other a far future that has space travel and castles. The near future one was vaguely interesting, though the name dropping of “legacy” software was grating for some reason (I know exactly what he’s talking about, so it’s not that I don’t understand it). The far future storyline/world was just really unappealing. It was also confusing, mostly because I didn’t care enough to pay attention after a certain point. The writing is decent enough and I suppose if you find the world engaging you’ll like it, but it apparently isn’t for me and I decided to not waste my time on it.
- Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. I’m not very far in this one (couple hundred pages), but it’s good so far. It’s more space opera and has an odd structure, with a few storylines that aren’t necessarily happening at the same time. It’s strange, but it’s working well enough. I haven’t really been pulled into it yet, but it’s engaging enough to keep me reading. Unlike Cosmonaut Keep.
Are these books “comfortable” together? Well, given that all but one is space opera, I’d have to say yes. I don’t know why I bought a bunch of space opera, but there you go.