Category Archives: Politics

Of Chimps and Britons

Oour jocular title is to introduce two news items that are utterly unrelated — except that both will generate a lot of nonsense from creationists.

The first item is announced by this headline: Chimps are not people, cannot be freed from custody: New York court which appears at the Reuters website. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Chimpanzees do not deserve the same rights as people, a New York state appeals court unanimously concluded on Thursday, as it refused to order the release of two of the animals to a primate sanctuary. The 5-0 decision by the Appellate Division in Manhattan is the latest defeat for the Nonhuman Rights Project and its lawyer Steven Wise in a long debate over whether caged chimpanzees are actually legal “persons” entitled like humans to bodily liberty.

Is that case still alive? It seems that we wrote about it almost three years ago — see Oook, Oook — Chimps Lose in Appellate Court. Oh — it’s not the same case, just the same advocate — the Nonhuman Rights Project — this time on behalf of different chimps.

The Discoveroids are likely to jump on this. They’ve done so in the past because the concept of rights for chimps violates their creationist sense of “human exceptionalism”– see Discoveroids Oppose Frivolous Lawsuits.

Okay, that’s the first item. Now, from the Daily Mirror, a Labour oriented British tabloid published in London, we read: 7 nasty or awkward DUP beliefs that show their deal with Theresa May could be a coalition of chaos. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A comparatively little-covered party in Northern Ireland has agreed to prop up Theresa May after she spectacularly failed to win a mandate from the British people. The right-wing Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP ) confirmed they’re set to back a Conservative minority government to help Mrs May maintain a fragile grip on power. That means they’d vote in favour of a Tory Queen’s speech and budget. But what could they demand in return?

The astute reader of the Curmudgeon’s blog will remember that we’ve had occasion to write about the DUP before. In Bathroom Pervert David McConaghie Is Sentenced, we quoted a newspaper that said:

A disgraced former aide to a DUP MP [Democratic Unionist Party Member of Parliament] who secreted a camera in the constituency office toilets for sexual thrills was jailed for four months today.

You’re probably thinking that just because one high-ranking member of the DUP was a freakish pervert, there’s no reason to condemn them all. Keep thinking that, dear reader, as we quote a bit more from the Mirror:

Here are some of the more controversial aspects of the party Theresa May has got into bed with – or things that’ll just be really awkward for her.

They then discuss several DUP policy positions which we’ll list here without the tabloid’s commentary:

1. They oppose abortion, even for rape victims
2. They’re anti-gay marriage
3. Some uncomfortable past links [with groups like Ulster Resistance]
4. Climate change scepticism
5. Creationism

We’ll skip items 6 and 7, because we never heard of them before. Here’s what the tabloid has to say about the DUP and creationism:

Creationism is pretty rare in the United Kingdom, but not unheard of among the elected politicians of the DUP. Last year the party’s Assembly member for West Tyrone, Thomas Buchanan, praised an event promoting the rejection of evolution among children. He told the Irish News: “I’m someone who believes in creationism and that the world was spoken into existence in six days by His power.” And the Caleb Foundation – mentioned above – is described as one of the leading creationist pressure groups in Northern Ireland. It pushed for creationist theory to be displayed at the Giant’s Causeway – and its chairman met none other than Arlene Foster, then tourism minister and now DUP leader, to discuss the request.

So there you are, dear reader. Chimps have no legal rights in the US, and creationists may have risen to power in the UK. At the end of our posts about McConaghie, we always gave this advice:

Avoid using the bathrooms at any creationist organization — that includes creationist politicians, creationist “think tanks,” creation museums and theme parks, and the church buildings of creationist denominations.

Now we may have to give that warning for the entire United Kingdom.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Trump’s Army Secretary Nominee Withdraws

A few days ago we mentioned that Trump’s Army secretary nominee, Mark Green — a physician and a Tennessee state senator — was being criticized for being a creationist.

Today we have a follow-up on that. The Telegraph of London has this headline: Donald Trump’s pick for Army post drops out amid growing criticism. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The Republican state senator from Tennessee picked by President Donald Trump to be Army secretary has withdrawn from consideration. Mark Green steps aside amid intensifying criticism over his remarks about LGBT Americans and Muslims.

Huh? What about his creationism? We’re told:

A graduate of West Point and a retired army surgeon, Mr Green was selected after the previous choice, Vincent Viola, stood down following controversy over his financial interests.

It’s impressive that Green is a West Point graduate, but we still can’t figure out why Trump chose a physician to be Secretary of the Army. The Telegraph reports:

Several Democrats have denounced Green for declaring that being transgender is a disease. He is opposed to gay marriage. Reservations over his appointment had also been expressed by two leading Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

That seems to have been the big problem with this nominee, along with his criticism of Muslims — which is described near the end of the story:

During a speech last September, Mr Green urged that a stand be taken against “the indoctrination of Islam” in public schools. He also referred to the “Muslim horde” that invaded Constantinople centuries ago.

Apparently as an afterthought, the newspaper says:

He is also a “creationist”, who has delivered a lecture disputing the theory of evolution.

But it seems that wasn’t a political problem, nor was it a problem that a physician might not be prepared for the responsibilities of being Secretary of the Army. One last excerpt:

Mr Green says in a statement that “false and misleading attacks” against him have made his nomination a distraction. He says his life of public service and Christian beliefs have been mischaracterised for political gain.

We looked to see how other newspapers reported the news. The Tennessean reports:

President Donald Trump’s choice for Army secretary withdrew his nomination Friday after mounting criticism over past statements he made about gays and lesbians, Muslims and other groups.

The Washington Post reports:

The Trump administration’s second Army secretary nominee withdrew from consideration Friday amid mounting opposition to past comments he made about Islam, evolution and gender issues.

That was their only mention of evolution. The rest of their story is about the other things he said.

So there you are. Green won’t be Army secretary because of his politically incorrect opinions — but the fact that he may have been an unqualified ignoramus seems not to have been an issue.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Creationist Wisdom #763: The Theocrat

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Baxter Bulletin of Mountain Home, Arkansas. It’s titled America is a republic, not a democracy, and it’s the second letter at that link. The newspaper has a comments section, but there aren’t any yet.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But we don’t know his first name (or gender, but we’ll assume he’s male) because he uses only his initials, which are J. R. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

“Facts” that are presented to us, are not always factual, because so many professions, that we have been brought up to trust, have now been invaded by greedy individuals, who shamelessly present “lies” as “fact” in such a way that will pad their pockets.

Okay, but where is J.R. going with this? Here it comes:

So, what is the real problem? Our once beautiful Country is being presented as a Democracy by those who want to change America, and that is absolutely not true!

We all know that the US is a republic — that is, the people don’t directly rule, as they did in Athenian democracy. The American government (at all levels) is comprised of people who have been democratically elected, but we are governed by those who win elections, not by the whole of the people.

Then J.R. “proves” his assertion by referring to what he imagines is an undeniable authority. He says:

For starters, recite our Pledge of Allegiance — “and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one nation under GOD”. We are a Republic!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He could have referred to the Constitution, which describes how Congress and the President are chosen. Or he could have referred to Federalist Paper 39 (attributed to Madison), which is devoted to the issue. Madison wrote:

The first question that offers itself is, whether the general form and aspect of the government be strictly republican. It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government. If the plan of the convention, therefore, be found to depart from the republican character, its advocates must abandon it as no longer defensible.

[…]

Could any further proof be required of the republican complexion of this system, the most decisive one might be found in its absolute prohibition of titles of nobility, both under the federal and the State governments; and in its express guaranty of the republican form to each of the latter.

But no — J.R. cites the Pledge! It’s probably the only thing he remembers from his education. But wait — it gets even better. J.R. asks an important question:

So what’s a major difference between a Republic and a Democracy?

Brace yourself, dear reader. Here comes his answer:

The Bible, God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, is the foundation of a Republic; where as [sic] The People, The Majority Rules, is the foundation of a Democracy.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! J.R. is beyond clueless. The bible has no references to a republic (or to democracy either). It’s monarchy all the way, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Nevertheless, J.R. thinks American government is based on the bible.

The rest of the letter is anticlimactic, but we’ll see it through. J.R. tells us:

So how’s that working? The “voice of we the people”, sounds great. Unfortunately, when more and more of “the people” selfishly place themselves above “Love God and treat your neighbor as you wish to be treated”, the result is a disaster. Folks, you don’t have to be a “Republican” to live in a “Republic”.

He finishes with this:

You only have to Love God and your neighbor. Should we not live our lives, (1) God; (2) Family (neighbor); and (3) Country. And besides, when we do this, God is on our side. That has to be good.

Although J.R.’s letter wasn’t specifically about creationism, we are supremely confident that he’s a creationist, so it’s a great addition to our collection.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Trump & ObamaCare — What Went Wrong

As you know, President Trump’s plan to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare failed yesterday. Although this is a diversion from our usual focus on The Controversy between evolution and creationism, it’s a good subject for the weekend.

We touched on the topic several years ago, in The Curmudgeon’s Health Care Reform Plan. That was a few months before ObamaCare became law. The ideas we presented there still make sense for reducing the cost of health care.

Now that Trump’s attempt has gone nowhere, it’s appropriate that we stir things up by giving you our Curmudgeonly view of the fiasco. We know that most of you won’t agree with us, but we’re used to that.

First, the “repeal” part of Trump’s plan makes sense — at least to us — because ObamaCare is a failure. Repealing it could have been done easily. The real problem was the “replace” part. It doesn’t surprise us that the Republicans in Congress couldn’t reach any agreement. To put it bluntly, there is no Republican way to replace ObamaCare with some other federal program. The free market is the answer.

There are several ways to make medical care less expensive. Apart from those in our earlier post, which still make sense, the government could also make health insurance more affordable by allowing an income tax credit — not a mere deduction, but a dollar-for-dollar credit — for health insurance premiums. Also, health insurance could be made more affordable by eliminating federal requirement that such insurance should cover pre-existing conditions. That’s not insurance, it’s welfare, and insurance companies shouldn’t be forced to provide it. States already have programs that deal with the medical needs of those who can’t afford it.

Trump’s failure is because his proposal wasn’t sufficiently Republican. He asked his party in Congress to create a national program that would somehow be better than the mess created by Democrats. That is absurd. Instead of “repeal and replace,” the Republicans should have worked on repeal and reform. There are plenty of ways to reduce medical costs — but constructing a gigantic national program isn’t one of them.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article