Pharyngula

Give Tom Toles a gold star

Chris has his latest, greatest cartoon. It’s correct: you’re either nuts, short-sightedly stupid, or venal to an extreme if you support the Republican party in any way anymore.

Comments

  1. #1 craig
    August 29, 2006

    Love Tom Toles. Buffalo misses him.
    I’m kinda ashamed to say I crank phone called him when I was a teenager. 🙁

  2. #2 oldhippie
    August 29, 2006

    Great cartoon!

  3. #3 Dustin
    August 29, 2006

    Hello everyone. My name is Dustin. I used to be a Republican.

    *pauses while you all say, “Hello Dustin”*

    Anyway, I’ve been clean for 10 years now.

  4. #4 Louis
    August 29, 2006

    When Al Gore, as VP, signed the Kyoto Protocol, he announced loudly enough so that everyone could get the message that the United States was not actually bound by it until it was ratified by Congress. John Kerry vigorously opposed ratification. Yes, the Bad Cop Party sucks, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that the Good Cop Party is your true friend on this or many other important issues.

  5. #5 theophylact
    August 29, 2006

    Unfortunately, it’s not funny. I think Toles is the best political cartoonist working, but while what he’s saying is absolutely true, as a cartoon this one’s a failure.

  6. #6 Jimbo
    August 29, 2006

    Point taken Louis. There are lots of other choices than the Democrats – and I say this as a Democrat. Once the Republican Party is on the ash heap of history we will see who will actually step up to champion the interests of life on this planet. If it’s the Dems, good on ’em. If not, same trash pile for them. We don’t have time for these games.

  7. #7 MartinDH
    August 29, 2006

    theo said:

    Unfortunately, it’s not funny…[snip]…this one’s a failure.

    Cartoons, especially editorial ones, don’t have to be funny to be successful. Any of the tricks: “dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes, satire”, or even successful hyperbole (usually caricaturely [surely not a word!]) is sufficient to make a cartoon successful.

  8. #8 speedwell
    August 29, 2006

    I’m with Louis and Jimbo on the Repubs and Democs. Pox on both their houses. When you can’t remember which party your elected officials belong to because they act the same no matter what, they ARE the same.

  9. #9 386sx
    August 29, 2006

    The best political cartoonist is probably Pope Benedict XVI.

    Adolf Hitler and Russian leader Stalin were possessed by the Devil, the Vatican’s chief exorcist has claimed.

    Father Gabriele Amorth who is Pope Benedict XVI’s ‘caster out of demons’ made his comments during an interview with Vatican Radio.

    Father Amorth said: “Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations.

    “I am convinced that the Nazis were all possessed. All you have to do is think about what Hitler – and Stalin did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil.

    “You can tell by their behaviour and their actions, from the horrors they committed and the atrocities that were committed on their orders. That’s why we need to defend society from demons.”

    According to secret Vatican documents recently released wartime pontiff Pope Pius XII attempted a “long distance” exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect.

    Father Amorth said: “It’s very rare that praying and attempting to carry out an exorcism from distance works.”

    Man, that is some classic 6th century humor folks. That’s one thing Father Gabriele Amorth has in common with D. James Kennedy: they don’t blame Stalin and Hilter for Stalin and Hitler.

  10. #10 stogoe
    August 29, 2006

    I’ll say here what I said over on Dispatches. If we had Instant Runoff Voting, I’d vote Green first, then Dem. But we don’t, and won’t for some time. So I vote Dem. Even if it is the lesser of two evils, it’s got less evil, and thereby more good, than the party of hateful slaughter and unthinking obeisance.

  11. #11 QrazyQat
    August 29, 2006

    Tom Toles has been, for me, the best editorial cartoonist ever since he started drawing little Ronnie Raygun and his Particle Board Beam space weapon.

  12. #12 gideon
    August 29, 2006

    When you can’t remember which party your elected officials belong to because they act the same no matter what, they ARE the same.

    Only a complete idiot would miss the fact that the Bush, Bush and Reagan presidency’s have been worse than the Clinton presidency.

    No elected official is going to be sunshine and puppy dogs for everyone, welcome to reality. But it’s painfully obvious to any sane individual that the current situation is far worse than if Gore had been President.

    So while the “pox on both of your houses” tact might make you feel morally superior it’s wrong and has resulted in the current situation (think Nader, Florida.)

  13. #13 Rey Fox
    August 29, 2006

    “as a cartoon this one’s a failure.”

    Seems a rather narrow definition of “cartoon”. But didn’t you at least get a little chuckle out of the scribbling at the bottom of the last panel? (there must be a term for the little marginal drawings that accompany many editorial cartoons)

  14. #14 elroy
    August 29, 2006

    I don’t see the humor in this piece either. It’s not satire, it’s not irony, it’s just another anti-administration jab. I don’t agree with the Republicans on much, but saying they are all worthless because of their view on global warming seems a bit myopic. There are other issues that are important to us athiests PZ. How about the entitlement mentality of this nation? The lowest common denominator public school policies and my ever increasing property taxes? Your weblog is SO good when you arn’t marganilizing whole groups of people who agree with you on most issues.

  15. #15 stogoe
    August 29, 2006

    Their myopicacity on global warming is only a symptom of their entitlement mentality.

    And do I detect a hint of anti-tax libertarian nutwingery?

  16. #16 elroy
    August 29, 2006

    Yes, your getting it! The Libratarians, now there is a party I could see voting for. Im tired of paying taxes for things that people can and should be doing for themselves. Roads and transportation, Police and firefighters, thats what our government should be doing. Not handing out perscription drugs to well-to-do seniors and doling out cash to people who “choose” not to work. To me, saying that global warming is not debatable is like saying that evolution is. For christ sake, they were waring us of the coming ice age just 30 years ago!

  17. #17 speedwell
    August 29, 2006

    “Only a complete idiot would miss the fact that the Bush, Bush and Reagan presidency’s have been worse than the Clinton presidency.”

    And is the POTUS the only elected official where you come from? I was talking about state and local officials, too, big talker.

  18. #18 Ichneumon
    August 29, 2006

    Your weblog is SO good when you arn’t marganilizing whole groups of people who agree with you on most issues.

    I was going to post something making the same point, but I see that elroy has beaten me to it.

    PZ, you do a great job on biology, but when it comes to politics, your views are very close to just as naive, misinformed, vastly oversimplified, knee-jerk, and consistently wrong as the anti-evolutionists are on the topic of science.

    Worse, you torpedo your own primary topic. You destroy your credibility with those who most need to be educated on science. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wanted to direct some misguided conservative to one of your blog entries on evolutionary biology (or science in general) in order to correct one of their misconceptions, only to realize it would be counterproductive because they’d also notice your laughably childish attacks on people who disagree with you politically. This would destroy your credibility with those you attack (making them doubt your competence at biology since you’re so incompetent at politicals and public policy and understanding those you denigrate), and would additionally reinforce the unfortunate stereotype of pro-evolution folks as nothing but “godless liberals” spouting dogma instead of knowledge.

    Way to go, guy…

    Signed, an extremely knowledgeable person who understands science in general and evolutionary biology in particular, who is nether nuts, nor short-sightedly stupid, nor venal to an extreme, yet supports the Republican party for reasons you obviously can’t even begin to fathom due to your own short-sightedness and adherence to partisan shiboleths. But thanks so much for the insult, asshole.

    I voted for Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, and Clinton (sorry if that makes your head explode, since you were likely considering me a knee-jerk lifelong Republican who was raised by morons and just doesn’t know any better), but had an epiphany during the Clinton administration when I finally noticed that the Democrats had been taking over by barking moonbats who had no regard for truth or integrity, only political advantage (in a classic case of “I didn’t leave the party, the party left me). And I have seen nothing to alter my opinion since.

    True, the Republicans have a large number of their own variety of moonbats (what party doesn’t?), but on the whole the Republicans still operate on some semblance of adherence to practical reality (with certain lapses, of course), whereas the Democrats function on a mix of anything-goes political sleaziness and starry-eyed idealism that doesn’t have a prayer of working in the real world (and is in fact recipe for complete disaster paved with good intentions). And yes, I’m sure many of you have the opposite opinion — I’ve seen the various claims of the “Bush is Hitler” form of insanity which has devoured the brains of all too many liberals these days, so don’t bother — I’ve examined the claims and found them laughably unsupportable. Unlike the more wild-eyed liberals, I’m capable of independently researching and assessing the claims of both the anti-evolution nutballs *and* the political nutballs. I’m sorry to note that a lot of other people aren’t, and that they mistake their competence in science for competence in politics or world affairs.

    So in short, how about laying off the self-serving broadsides against millions of people you clearly haven’t the first clue about? When you do this you sound like the creationists do when they attempt to guess the motivations and intentions of “Darwinists”… i.e., like a complete moron who mistakes his own uninformed fantasies about someone else for some kind of reality.

    Additionally, if you think that climate change is the end-all-be-all issue in the world today, or that its degree, causes, future trajectory, or effectiveness (and unintended consequences) of any potential “solutions” are in any way beyond question at this point, you’re revealing the same kind of jaw-dropping overconfidence and blind certainty on this topic as the creationists do on biology, and the same kind of Chicken-Little hysteria. Yes, it’s something we need to be concerned about and learn as much as we can about, as well as investigate possible responses. No, it doesn’t make anyone stupid or insane if they don’t think this warrants the immediate shutdown of industrial society or the imposition of draconian changes that might do more harm than good. So give the hysteria and the insane attacks a rest, eh?

  19. #19 Ichneumon
    August 29, 2006

    Only a complete idiot would miss the fact that the Bush, Bush and Reagan presidency’s have been worse than the Clinton presidency.

    No elected official is going to be sunshine and puppy dogs for everyone, welcome to reality. But it’s painfully obvious to any sane individual that the current situation is far worse than if Gore had been President.

    I am neither “a complete idiot” nor “insane”, yet I disagree with your conclusion. Perhaps you could find a way to state your case without being an obnoxious jerk about it, nor arrogantly overstating its likelihood of being the one that any sane none-idiot must necessarily arrive at…

    Way too often, folks on these blogs sound just like the creationists, with the only difference being their choice of favorite buzzwords… The arrogance, cocksureness, childish oversimplification, and contempt for the possibility of any reasoned disagreement is sadly often exactly the same, though.

  20. #20 Carolinaguitarman
    August 29, 2006

    Ichneumon said:

    “PZ, you do a great job on biology, but when it comes to politics, your views are very close to just as naive, misinformed, vastly oversimplified, knee-jerk, and consistently wrong as the anti-evolutionists are on the topic of science.”

    “Way too often, folks on these blogs sound just like the creationists, with the only difference being their choice of favorite buzzwords… The arrogance, cocksureness, childish oversimplification, and contempt for the possibility of any reasoned disagreement is sadly often exactly the same, though.”

    Thunderous applause!

  21. #21 Black Ops
    August 29, 2006

    You destroy your credibility with those who most need to be educated on science.

    Ich, what makes you think this place is about science or education? This is about the Left proclaiming its ownership of an issue that is perceived to give them a political advantage over their opponents. And here at Pharyngy, politics will always trump science.

  22. #22 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    Oh yeah. Success in Iraq is just around the corner in 6 months.

    There’s no global warming.

    Mission accomplished.

    Whatever guys.

  23. #23 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    What reality based republicans could you be talking about?

    The one’s that said a brain dead schiavo was responding to stimulus?

    Or the one’s that think Iraq is a success story, just stay the course?

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/009579.php

  24. #24 knobody
    August 29, 2006

    so, why is it not okay for us to fuck up the planet? i mean, really, if we do that bad a job taking care of it our extinction will just come that much earlier. okay, yeah, boo hoo on all the other species we will take out with us, but that’s life on this planet.

    george carlin had it right.

  25. #25 Black Ops
    August 29, 2006

    LOL. When they won’t respond to the points you make, and start trying to change the subject, it’s usually a pretty good indication that you’re on to something.

  26. #26 Louis
    August 29, 2006

    Hey, Gideon, I think the situation is beyond the point where not being as bad as the Republicans is good enough, unless you’re satisfied to go over the cliff at 60 MPH rather than 90 MPH. But look, the Dems are capable of doing the right thing if you scare them enough. If Pure Capitalism has clearly failed and the population is looking at the available alternatives, you will get the New Deal. If Black rage is about to explode across America, you will get the Civil Rights Act. But if you are simply trusting the Dems because they’re pro-choice, you will get the Telecommunications Act of 1996, NAFTA, a grade C- (Bruce Vento’s grade, not mine) environmental policy and other souvenirs of the Clinton/Gore administration.

  27. #27 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    I think you misunderstood Carlin.

  28. #28 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    I thought Republicans and “reality” had become the subject.

    Not that the two are at all related.

  29. #29 elroy
    August 29, 2006

    Ichneumon has it right PZ. Why trade your credibility as a scientist for the chance to take a swipe at a group of “wingnuts” (as you call them)? I don’t see how it can possibly be worth it. Your not going to change the politics of this country (or even a handful of peoples minds with regard to political parties). So how can classifying people who dissagree with you on things like the war, the economy or the environment as “short-sightedly stupid” be of any help to your noble cause of spreading the word of science and evolution? I just don’t see the need to mix politics with evolutionary thought and athieism. You are needlessly alienating a huge group of people who are rallying around the cause of minimizing religious influences in our lives. Stick to what your good at.

  30. #30 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    So you’re saying PZ should shut up about the things you don’t agree with him on?

    I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    It also happens that the environment is a concern of science.

  31. #31 Black Ops
    August 29, 2006

    So how can classifying people who dissagree with you on things like the war, the economy or the environment as “short-sightedly stupid” be of any help to your noble cause of spreading the word of science and evolution?

    Elroy, you’re assuming that spreading the word about science and evolution is the primary goal, and that therefore what’s being done and said should support that goal. This is, obviously, exactly backwards – science and evolution are simply a means to a (political) end, not an end unto themselves. If the usual denizens of this joint were forced to choose between acceptance of mainstream science becoming a tenet of the right, or continuing to use it as a stick to whack conservatives with, I have no illusions whatsoever about which they’d choose.

  32. #32 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    Black ops. The all seeing eye.

    I don’t think we’re worried too much about republicans embracing science.

    It would scare their fundie base.

  33. #33 Black Ops
    August 29, 2006

    Don’t bother denying it or anything. LOL.

  34. #34 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    It’s so completely ludicrous what would be the point?

  35. #35 Black Ops
    August 29, 2006

    Anyone who was laboring under the illusion that you’re particularly interested in science or education would have been readily disabused by the fact that you furiously avoided talking about the points raised by the original poster, and instead attempted to launch (yet another) political attack. Which is, to be honest, what this site is really best at – being a launching pad for political attacks. Science and education, not so much, but you just go on telling yourselves that it’s what you’re actually about, and it’s all good.

    I’ll jam now, because the point Ichneumon raised is obviously an uncomfortable one for you, given your obvious inability to address it in anything resembling a coherent fashion. Just remind yourself that you’re the forces of reason, and so the ends always justify the means, and then go on back to sleep.

  36. #36 elroy
    August 29, 2006

    Black Ops, I think I am beginning to see your point. Have I clouded myself in a delusion? I fear that may be the sad truth. Must be too much of an idealist I guess. Its just that I like what PZ has to say most of the time and I find it hard to believe that he may be as much of a hippie-left-wing-dogooder as any campus academic out there. I hate when I find someone with whom I can agree on so much, but then later come to find out that there is in fact someone else lurking behind the curtian. 🙁

  37. #37 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    Yeah because wanting to stop global warming is the hippie do-gooder thing to do.
    Are you denying that Bush will do nothing about global warming during the remainder of his term?

    I don’t think anyone here wants to shut down industry to help the environment.
    That’s just a republican strawman.

    We’ve heard the “republicans are the rational adults” argument plenty.
    It’s just that the majority of the country no longer believes it.
    I don’t need to address Ichne’s argument because it’s so blatantly trite and boring.

  38. #38 JakeB
    August 29, 2006

    Black Ops, I assume you are referring to Ichneumon’s post? If so, you seem to have failed to notice that he didn’t actually make any arguments except that PZ’s expression of his political views may undercut the education of people sent here to learn something about biology, and that climate change isn’t that important. The rest were essentially claims about how much smarter he is than people around him. Also, you may wish to note that while his tone is insulting, he failed to provide details, structure, or other materials to bolster his claims–presumably because we readers wouldn’t be able to understand them. I have to admit that he has provoked my curiosity, though. He sounds like the kind of person who would belong to Mensa. I wonder if he does?

  39. #39 PZ Myers
    August 29, 2006

    Let’s see. So in order to maintain ‘credibility’ with people who deny global warming, who are in bed with the Religious Right, who are promoting a criminal war, who are undermining the constitution to put the power of the presidency outside the law, who endorse torture, who believe women have no rights over their own bodies, who are corrupt, who…oh, it goes on and on…I’m not supposed to damn the Republicans? I’m not sure why. Is it that their delicate feelings might be hurt?

    Are you guys nuts?

    Why should anyone shut up about their opinions?

  40. #40 ÆdeagusDei
    August 29, 2006

    elroy: “Black Ops, I think I am beginning to see your point. Have I clouded myself in a delusion? I fear that may be the sad truth. Must be too much of an idealist I guess. Its just that I like what PZ has to say most of the time and I find it hard to believe that he may be as much of a hippie-left-wing-dogooder as any campus academic out there. I hate when I find someone with whom I can agree on so much, but then later come to find out that there is in fact someone else lurking behind the curtian. :(”

    Hmmm…I hope you’re not implying that your agreement is contingent on anything other than the evidence. It seems that Ichneumon doesn’t hold his fellow conservatives in very high intellectual esteem if he is honestly worried that they will evaluate the arguments and evidences for evolution presented here according to unrelated political comments rather than their actual strength. I should think that evidence would be paramount to members of the “realist” party.

  41. #41 TylerD
    August 29, 2006

    I must say, Ichneumon’s posts here have been very educational. In fact, I’ve managed to learn to following:

    1. The fact that PZ has opinions on things that are not related to evolution totally undercuts his credibility everywhere.

    2. The Republican Party is the realist party. I never would’ve guessed this otherwise because they seem to be fond of pressing nonsense that the vast majority of mainstream scholarship has rejected. But I now know what should be obvious: right-wing think tanks like the Hoover Institution, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation (which provide the Republicans with their data) are much more reliable than mainstream academic scholarship on economic, social and scientific issues. They, unlike thos who occupy academia, do away with preconceptions and wait for ALL of the evidence to come in and have no stated agenda or bias whatsoever.

    3. Ichneumon is way smarter than everyone here. The reason he provides nothing to substantiate his claims and instead bores us with a longwinded screed is because we peons would never be capable of understanding his arcane, esoteric wisdom.

    Thank you so much Ich, you rule.

  42. #42 Steve LaBonne
    August 29, 2006

    Republitrolls are so funny.

    It’s not just climate, or just science. Anybody who cares about America has no business voting for the party that has shredded the Constitution, dragged my country’s good name through the mud, and inflicted fiscal damage from which the country will suffer for many years.

    To all Republitrolls: Are you a patriot, or are you a Republican? It’s time to decide; you can’t be both, not at this point. Don’t like my saying that? Shove it.

  43. #43 Steve LaBonne
    August 29, 2006

    P.S. As the trolls bear witness, as rational people increasingly turn their backs on the Rethugs (witness Himself’s approval ratings mired in the low 30s), the Republican Party truly is becoming nothing but the party of crypto-fascist morons, ably represented by the likes of Tom Tancredo and Rick Sanctimoron.

  44. #44 Steve_C
    August 29, 2006

    They always want the Liberals/Progressives/Democrats to sit down and shut up.

    Ichne never did come back after dropping his turd in the post. And Secret Police I mean Black Ops… (sounds so fascist) never said more than (I’ll paraphrase) “Ichne is right so there! You think you’re so smart but you’re not!” Brilliant.

    Take it to Free Republic you buffoons.

  45. #45 raindogzilla
    August 29, 2006

    Considering that taking a position denying human-influenced global warming is every bit as anti-science as taking the ID/Creationist one, I don’t see a problem. Considering that the GOP’s “science” comes from industry think tanks and assorted biostitutes on global warming and the friggin Bible on evolution, no one who gives a shit about the future- of the planet and of the human race, could possibly justify voting “R”.

  46. #46 Desty Nova
    August 29, 2006

    You want to know why & how us pro-science folks can vote Republican? Here’s just a few direct examples.

    Democrats shut down the Superconducting Supercollider:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_Supercollider

    Democrats not enthusiastic NASA funding
    http://elandslide.org/preview.cfm?term=Space

    Bush wants to restart nuclear recycling program
    http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/34743/story.htm

    There are many more examples.

    In a nutshell: I vote Republican because feel-good but worthless environmentalist solutions, inane redtape, and lawsuit mongering has directly impeded far more scientific progress than idiots who were never cut out for scientific analysis believing in creationism. Indirectly, free trade (and thus cutting down on our ability & incentive to compete at a global level) and encroaching feel-goodism/PCism in education has hurt science more than creationism as well. You’re just like Ann Coulter… you preach to the choir to their thunderous applause, but are regarded about as seriously as Bozo the clown to everyone else.

  47. #47 ÆdeagusDei
    August 29, 2006

    Desty Nova: “Indirectly, free trade (and thus cutting down on our ability & incentive to compete at a global level)…”

    Is there a typo here? Are you actually arguing as a Republican that free trade discourages competition?

  48. #48 nate
    August 29, 2006

    Obviously Desty Nova did not intend for anyone to actually check the embedded links, because they don’t support anything Desty seems to be arguing about Democrats and their commitment to science–the wikipidia article discusses multiple reasons why funding of the supercollider was opposed and eventually ceased (and states that President Clinton tried to keep the funding, but (the admittedly) Democratic Congress voted to discontinue it); the “elandslide” articles, at least the two that I skimmed that seemed to have any relevance to Desty’s tirade, opposed President Bush’s proposal for spending billions on getting to Mars as opposed to pressing social needs such as education and health care, and Rumsfeld’s proposals for weaponizing space, but contained no general opposition to funding NASA; and, yes, President Bush wishes to start recycling spent nuclear fuel, but I doubt that will result in any great scientific progress as I am quite sure it is a rather common practice, though it could arguably be considered and effort to help mitigate the effects that burning fossil fuels has on the environment.

    Of course, I could have skipped down to see that Desty still voted Republican to know that there would be no support for any statement made. Further, it is hard to know what “feel-goodism” and “PC-ism” even is, or how it could possibly destroy science education more than creationism. Unless, of course, Desty is referring to science teachers’ self-censoring themselves when discussing evolution to keep from making creationist-moron kids from feeling bad about being creationist-moron kids. I doubt that was the point Desty was making, though. Although Desty does not provide any example of the supposed “feel-good but entirely worthless environmental solutions” (a common practice amongst Republicans–merely citing right-wing “think”-tank insults for actual proposals so Desty, and her fellow Republican ilk, never have to actually think through the proposals), I have trouble understanding how requiring cars to run more fuel-efficiently, requiring coal-burning and other polluting industries to find ways to cut down on polution (which would also spur scientific development), and making public transportation a more viable and attractive option to more people fall into the category Desty so strongly opposes. Further, free trade only works if the profit incentive is great enough to engage in the particular activity that is the subject of free trade, and unfortunately for Desty’s great overrarching theory of scientific progress, a great deal of scientific research that has a chance of being beneficial does not provide enough profit incentive (cost (c) does not equal the probability that something will generate profit(p) times the amount of profit that the something will generate ($) or c != p*$) for private industry to engage in the research absent government funding.

    Of course, Desty could just read “The Republican Assault on Science” or the webpage for the Union of Concerned Scientists, instead of lapping up the filth produced by the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, etc., etc., etc., and start using that massive brain that has developed through evolution, even with all of the hurdles nature has placed in its way, and start grasping some of these issues on a level at least above the grade-school name-calling level on which Desty currently seems to be stuck.

    My only requests, Desty, are that you please stop voting, and if you have already reproduced, please stop, and if haven’t, pleaase don’t start.

  49. #49 Black Ops
    August 29, 2006

    Why should anyone shut up about their opinions?

    Pointing out that your statements may be counterproductive to the cause of science and education is hardly telling you to shut up. Of course, pointing out that it may be counterproductive to achieving that end assumes that promoting science and education is what you’re all about, when that hardly seems to be the case. What seems tolerably obvious is that you’re not nearly as interested in promoting education and good science as you are in using science as a stick to whack your political opponents with.

    Let me hasten to add, in an attempt to forestall your next obvious (and stupid) objection, that this should not be construed as me saying you have no right to be politically active, or to pursue your particular political agenda. I merely point out that you, like everyone else in the world, cannot serve two masters and be faithful to both, and so a political agenda has quite clearly trumped the agenda of promoting science and education. Whether this is good, bad, or indifferent I leave to others to decide for themselves, but it most assuredly is, whether you care to admit it or not.

  50. #50 Dustin
    August 29, 2006

    Yeah, plus there’s a very large discrepancy between what Bush says he’s going to do for science and what, in the end, he winds up doing to science.

    Talk is cheap.

  51. #51 craig
    August 30, 2006

    On the issue of NASA funding… I have been a space nut for almost 30 years, have spent thousands of hours researching the subject… in the 80s my main drive was to research the secret soviet space program. The stuff is in my blood.

    On many levels I would love to see a piloted mission to Mars. It would be exciting, amazing, thrilling.
    I also realize that it would have almost nothing to do with science. It would be about national prestige, chest-beating, and another huge handout to the defense contractors. Any science involved would just be whatever it took to accomplish those main goals.

    Cuts to NASA are NOT anti-science unless they (as usual) are targeted only toward robotic missions, aeronautical sciences, etc.

    The ISS has zero to do with science – no science is being done, all work being accomplished is just housekeeping. The ISS is simply a WPA project to keep nasa jobs, give the otherwise useless shuttle a place to go to and more importantly to prevent Russian space scientists from selling their expertise to questionabl and worrisome buyers. Maybe its a good deal for that, but it ain’t science.

    I love human space flight, have for decades – but I haven’t fooled myself into thinking its about something that its not.

  52. #52 Ichthyic
    August 30, 2006

    If the usual denizens of this joint were forced to choose between acceptance of mainstream science becoming a tenet of the right, or continuing to use it as a stick to whack conservatives with, I have no illusions whatsoever about which they’d choose.

    of course not. the illusions are all yours.

    Why don’t you actually spend some time taking a gander at what the current administration has been doing to the reports from various science GO’s that it doesn’t “like”, eh?

    phht.

    the minute the republicans actually put an effort into representing science as something that doesn’t belong to the world of “geekdom”, i’ll be favorably impressed, let alone seeing them actually put a positive effort behind any field of science to begin with.

    oh, do go on and show us how the republicans have been doing on the science front for the last 25 years or so, eh?

    ignorant isn’t sufficient to explain your apparent stance on this issue.

    I’m surprised, since it was the subject of a recent thread, that Chris Mooney’s book hasn’t come up as a reference more often (nods to Nate), but I would recommend you take a gander at it, if for no other reason than to at least give you a place to start to patch that gaping hole in your perceptions.

    If I had a nickel for every GoP supporter who thinks that the issue is all about “hippie environmentalism”, I’d never have to work another day in my life, and I really COULD be a hippie.

    frackin’ idjuts.

  53. #53 romunov
    August 30, 2006

    And if you think party lines matter, you’re a fool. Just look at Lieberman – a “democrat”. The republicans are screaming their head off to get him re-elected.

  54. #54 Peter Barber
    August 30, 2006

    Ichneumon:

    Why bother with all these strawmen about environmentalism? Personally I think that anthropogenic climate change is the be-all-and-end-all issue today, since if climatologists’ predictions are correct, this planet won’t be a nice place for >6 billion people to share. In fact, it may no longer be possible for the planet to sustain that number of people at anything like current levels of consumption.

    I would like nothing better than to find out that ACC is either not occurring, or will have a net benefit for the planet. We could then use up the remaining economic reserves of fossil fuels without worries about their environmental impact except SO2 and NOx pollution, and have several decades to prepare for the inevitable end of cheap fossil fuel – though that doesn’t really make any difference to the fact that in future, energy is likely to be expensive (barring breakthroughs in nuclear fusion technology), and it seems to me that the sooner we get into the habit of frugality, the better.

    By the way, very few people are advocating the “shutdown of industrial society”, and most of the actions which would mitigate (sadly I can no longer say “avoid”) ACC would have net benefits to society: stimulation of investment in energy efficiency (and therefore profitable new technologies), a greater emphasis on public transport (hence safer streets and more equity in freedom of movement), greater energy security (through locally-sited and diverse energy sources), etc.

    And the only reason that these might be “draconian changes that might do more harm than good” is that we have waited so long before starting to act, and therefore lifestyles will have to change rapidly rather than gradually.

  55. #55 Kleyau
    August 30, 2006

    Republicans=Bad Science does not lead to the conclusion Democrats=Good Science. Kind of like if one scientific hypothesis is false, another is not then true by default.

    If your beliefs are that one party is better than the other, overall, you’ll always be fooling yourself. Each party has its strengths and weaknesses. You should vote on issues, not party lines.

    I voted for Bush over Al Gore, because I felt Gore wouldn’t adequately defend the country if it was attacked, and Bush would. I voted for Kerry over Bush because I think Bush overstepped his bounds with Iraq, and his religious leanings were becoming tiresome. I have no doubt these people, whether Reps or Dems, are in it for themselves, and when we give them loyalty just for their affiliation, we lose track of the fact that their are many issues that need to be resolved, and what party you belong to really isn’t one of them.

    Oh, and it’s climate change, not global warming. The climate might become very hot, or very cold, we don’t really have enough information yet. What we do know is that we are drastically changing the environment, and this could be very detrimental to our future. But, expressing a certainty in a science where the regression coefficients are far from high, seems a bit premature.

  56. #56 Kleyau
    August 30, 2006

    And PZ, keep throwing your opinions out there, for whatever political ideology. I believe people reach the best conclusions through debate, and you’re science writing brings in all sorts, while your political leanings stir up debate from people who can still find that common ground from science.

  57. #57 Steve LaBonne
    August 30, 2006

    Kleyau, sorry but I’ll always prefer the party that’s not constantly trying to lie its way into new wars, regardless of whatever other faults it may have. With Cheney and Rummy trying to drum up a nice little war with Iran to add to the nightmare they’ve already sucked us into, this is about the worst possible time to rehasah the tired old “no difference between the parties” schtick. All that is, is refusal to be a responsible citizen.

  58. #58 amk
    August 30, 2006

    All this “Pharyngula is great when it’s about science, but the political posts suck” remind me of something from Ambrose Bierce’s Fables, a story called “The Fabulist and the Animals”:

    A WISE and illustrious Writer of Fables was visiting a travelling
    menagerie with a view to collecting literary materials. As he was
    passing near the Elephant, that animal said:

    “How sad that so justly famous a satirist should mar his work by
    ridicule of people with long noses – who are the salt of the
    earth!”

    The Kangaroo said:

    “I do so enjoy that great man’s censure of the ridiculous –
    particularly his attacks on the Proboscidae; but, alas! he has no
    reverence for the Marsupials, and laughs at our way of carrying our
    young in a pouch.”

    The Camel said:

    “If he would only respect the sacred Hump, he would be faultless.
    As it is, I cannot permit his fables to be read in the presence of
    my family.”

    The Ostrich, seeing his approach, thrust her head in the straw,
    saying:

    “If I do not conceal myself, he may be reminded to write something
    disagreeable about my lack of a crest or my appetite for scrap-
    iron; and although he is inexpressibly brilliant when he devotes
    himself to censure of folly and greed, his dulness is matchless
    when he transcends the limits of legitimate comment.”

    “That,’ said the Buzzard to his mate, “is the distinguished author
    of that glorious fable, ‘The Ostrich and the Keg of Raw Nails.’ I
    regret to add, that he wrote, also, ‘The Buzzard’s Feast,’ in which
    a carrion diet is contumeliously disparaged. A carrion diet is the
    foundation of sound health. If nothing else but corpses were
    eaten, death would be unknown.”

    Seeing an attendant approaching, the wise and illustrious Writer of
    Fables passed out of the tent and mingled with the crowd. It was
    afterward discovered that he had crept in under the canvas without
    paying.

  59. #59 nate
    August 30, 2006

    I just want to say that I am not a Democrat. I voted for Kerry in the last election and did not vote in the election before that. I only vote for Democrats now because they are far, far, far less destructive than Republicans have shown themselves to be on multiple fronts: war-mongering, incompetence, destroying the federal courts with right-wing extremists, violating (or not adequately protecting)individuals’ constitutional and statutory rights, driving up the deficit, severely cutting successful social programs intended to bring this country closer to a meritocracy (by giving each individual a chance at success) while padding the already overflowing pockets of the wealthiest individuals, actively distorting and censoring scientific research that does not comport with the agenda of one of their donors and/or voting blocs, sanitizing the public airwaves, etc.

    I would love to have a choice, but I will vote only for Democrats in (at least) national elections until the Natioinal Republican Party becomes significantly less destructive. Though the state Republican parties are becoming just as destructive as the national one (at least where I live), so I will probably have to stick with Democrats locally, too.

  60. #60 Kleyau
    August 30, 2006

    Steve, I didn’t say there was no difference between the parties, merely that voting should be among the issues that individual candidates run on, not whether they are reps or dems. I would say that refusing to be tied up in the my group is better than your group argument, and believing that the issues of individual candidates are more important, is the model for responsible citizenship.

    By your same argument, religious folks who believe in the family would say that they’ll vote republican, no matter the other problems they have. And nothing is really solved.

    I think we should hold all politicians accountable, because even if they are the enemy of my enemy, that still doesn’t make them my friend, only a temporary ally. It’s not about excepting any group’s beliefs lock, stock and barrel. Every issue should be examined, and those that fall short should not be accepted because some others are legitimate.

  61. #61 Steve LaBonne
    August 30, 2006

    Of course we should hold all politicians accountable. But right now it’s only those from one of the two parties who have, and are using, the power to run this country into the ground. This is not the time for wishy-washiness, it’s time to take a stand and make a choice.

  62. #62 PZ Myers
    August 30, 2006

    If a Republican candidate were to come up who repudiated the religious right, admitted that the war in Iraq was a colossal mistake, and actually endorsed civil freedoms in reproductive rights and sexual behavior, I’d cross party lines to vote for him or her, in the hope of seeing some sanity return to the party.

    It’s not going to happen, though, is it? Even that “maverick”, John McCain, is splitting his time between kissing Bush’s ass and sucking up to Bob Jones University.

  63. #63 Steve_C
    August 30, 2006

    Isn’t interracial dating forbidden at Bob Jesus U?
    Oh wait. I think all dating is probably forbidden.
    It’s a “dry” campus. No drinking either. ;P

    McCain isn’t moderate. He just plays one on TV.

    Ahhh yes the respectable future presidential candidate.
    http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20060911&s=george_allen

  64. #64 AC
    August 30, 2006

    Indirectly, free trade (and thus cutting down on our ability & incentive to compete at a global level) and encroaching feel-goodism/PCism in education has hurt science more than creationism as well.

    If by “encroaching feel-goodism/PCism” you mean de-emphasizing academic competition in favor of self-esteem, NCLB, etc., then I lament it as well. But teaching creationism in public schools is also a problem. Both harm the quality of education and need to be reversed wherever they exist.

  65. #65 Steve LaBonne
    August 30, 2006
  66. #66 Steve_C
    August 30, 2006

    Iran is not a threat. Pakistan and North Korea are greater threats comparatively.
    No wonder Iran is not budging. The U.S. in in 2 neighboring countries.
    As far as Islamic countries go isn’t Iran almost moderate?

  67. #67 John M. Burt
    August 31, 2006

    If you want to increase NASA funding, the firts thing you should do is stop voting for people who are deliberately trying to bankrupt the Federal government so that they can “drown it in a bathtub”.

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