America has become the laughingstock of the world.
Of course, that wouldn't be so bad if the Republican Party wasn't also working so hard to destroy our democracy.
Christian evangelicals are helping them do it, because... well, what else would you expect? They're faith-based, not evidence-based. So they're always excusing right-wing Republicans.
Can you imagine how they would have reacted if anything like this had come out about Barack Obama? Can you imagine how they would have reacted over the antics of the Palin family, or Newt Gingrich's affairs, or David Vitter's,... I could go on and on ... if it had involved our first black president, instead?
Would they have been fine with Russia helping Hillary Clinton get elected? Would they have shrugged that off? But when you're faith-based, none of this matters - just like how evidence doesn't matter, and reality doesn't matter, and scientific research doesn't matter.
All that matters is what you want to be true.
I don't know how I'd survive without political comedians these days! And we did this to ourselves. If you voted Republican in 2016, or if you threw away your vote on an idiotic third party candidate, or if you couldn't be bothered to vote at all, this is your fault, at least in part.
Incidentally, did you see the million dollar payoff from Charles Koch to Paul Ryan and the Republican Party just 13 days after the GOP slashed his taxes? This is one of the most corrupt political parties we've ever seen.
I'm not going to comment about this, not really. I'm just going to point you towards this post at Stonekettle Station. Read it. Read it!
Note that the post isn't necessarily going where you might think it's going. I'd like to quote the last two lines, because I feel exactly the same way. But read the whole thing. You won't get the ending without that.
Also, note that much of Jim Wright's background is similar to my own - up until he joined the military, at least (at which point our stories definitely diverge). I'm a little older than him. I'm also a straight white man, but I grew up watching those old TV shows myself.
And I lived in a small town that was 100% white and 100% Christian (as far as I knew, at least). Even when we went to a larger town for high school, all of my classmates were 100% white all through high school. I'd never even met a black person until college.
I've got a good life. I retired at 55, and I do whatever I want. Do you think I don't know how privileged my life has been? I've seen it all my life. Even as a child, I saw how differently I was treated because I was a boy. Later, I realized how privileged I'd been in other ways, too.
We weren't rich, but I'd always assumed that I'd go to college. I worked my way through college, but there was never any doubt in my mind that I would go there.
There was never any doubt in my mind that I could be whatever I wanted to be. (I didn't know what I wanted to be. That was the problem.)
OK, I am commenting, aren't I? Heh, heh. I don't mean to, but this just really struck home with me. Read the post. Jim Wright says it far better than I could. Optimism shouldn't be just the privilege of some of us!
I'm a skeptic. I think it makes sense to have reasons for what I believe, so I apportion my belief to the evidence. You're welcome to disagree. Please, tell me I'm wrong. I probably don't agree with anyone about everything. Why should disagreement be a problem? Check the Pages section below for series posts and links to book reviews and game posts, as well as contact info. Unfortunately, I rarely blog at all, anymore. So don't expect new posts. - Bill
We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. - Robert Wilensky
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong - Richard Feynman
The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. - Sir Francis Bacon
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. - Hal Clement
No matter how many times a theory meets its tests successfully, there can be no certainty that it will not be overthrown by the next observation. This, then, is a cornerstone of modern natural philosophy. It makes no claim of attaining ultimate truth. In fact, the phrase "ultimate truth" becomes meaningless, because there is no way in which enough observations can be made to make truth certain and, therefore, "ultimate". - Isaac Asimov
The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. - Treaty of Tripoli, passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams (1797)
I don't doubt the sincerity of dowsers, but even after we've demonstrated that they can't produce results that are any better than chance they'll still go away believing in their abilities... It is like the mother whose son is caught shoplifting on tape. She wonders why someone would want to frame her child by producing a fake video. - James Randi
During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church ... imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. - Bertrand Russell
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. - Friedrich Nietzsche
I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. - Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.
This is not about proof. Science does not use proof. We favor evidence, and the work consists largely of the slow accumulation of evidence in support of ideas, not magically potent proofs that establish an idea as unassailable. - PZ Myers
No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. - President Barack Obama
The formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat. - Shekhar Gupta
We are prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small, persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs. - Carl Sagan
We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. - Richard Dawkins
120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer. - Sam Harris
To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine, but to kill a man. - Michael Servetus, burned at the stake in 1553
Democracy is not about majority rule; it is about minority rights. If there is no culture of not simply tolerating minorities, but actually treating them with equal rights, real democracy can't take root. - Thomas L. Friedman
We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason. - Thomas Macauley, 1830
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men. - Edward R. Murrow
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Science is simply common sense at its best - that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. - Thomas Huxley
There is no absurdity so obvious that it cannot be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to impose it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity. - Arthur Schopenhauer
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. ... Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. - President Thomas Jefferson
To be elected in America, no matter from what party, the candidates have no choice but to year after year pledge to lower taxes further and further. We have become the nation of Ken and Barbie, looking good but very poor at the math. - Rack Jite
Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them. - Steve Eley
We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. - President Franklin D. Roosevelt
I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn't actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle. - Molly Ivins
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H. L. Mencken
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill