Friday, June 21, 2013

TGIF - Time for Some Humor about the Anti-Science Republican Propoganda

Stupid Party aka Republicans strikes again this time on dumb things they think and say about Science

It is TGIF so I thought I would have a little fun with Alternet's article on 7 Jaw-Droppingly Dumb Things Republicans Think About Science.  They didn't even include the unborn boys masturbating from this week as one of the seven.  That stupidity was covered at the beginning of the article.  Anyone with a brain  knows that a new born cannot hold a bottle but Texas Representative Michael Burgess wants us to think a boy boy masturbates for pleasure as a fetus so they must feel pain.  That is sick!  Where did the GOP find these people to run as they are so far out of the mainstream I cannot believe.

Enjoy reading about the lunacy of the hard right followed by my experiences with these people.  Used to think they were only in Oklahoma but there seem to be popping up everywhere although we have more than our fair share:
1. Abortion Leads To Cancer, Birth Defects, And Everything Else 
Burgess’ absurdity actually masked a very serious GOP belief. The “fetus pain” theory, which holds that fetuses begin to feel pain around 20 weeks, has been the primary logic behind a slew of recent abortion bills in state legislatures. As no reputable science backs the theory up, the GOP has been forced to find anything wearing a lab coat to make stuff up
Abortions are rare after 21 weeks, and usually occur when a woman develops serious complications with her pregnancy. But some Republicans go so far as to think the health exemption is a cover for the abortion industry. “There’s no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing,” Joe Walsh said in 2012 on his way to losing his House seat. “With advances in science and technology, health of the mother has become a tool for abortions for any time under any reason.” (Republicans have no problem invoking science when it suits their needs.) 
Burgess is hardly alone in digging up scientific-sounding nonsense to back up his abortion views. Rick Santorum was the most recent peddler of the long-discounted theory that abortions lead to breast cancer, while out in Virginia, which has a nasty strain of abortion-based delusion, a state delegate advanced the notion that abortions lead to handicaps. “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps have increased dramatically,” Bob Marshall said. “Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.”
Note:  I would have dropped the GOP a long time ago if I knew that the anti-abortion crowd that doesn't think the life of the mother counts as an exception was going to someday take over.  Anyone who has had a c-section could have a lot of complications if something goes wrong so don't tell me that the life of the mother cannot be impacted to the point a pregnancy has to be terminated to save the mother.  A patient of my OB/GYN doctor in CA lost a patient due to rupture of stitches at a little over five months - lost the mother and the baby because her husband was adamant about her having her tubes tied after her third c-section.  Ended up costing her three children their Mother.  
2. Everything They Say About Rape 
Burgess’ comment was notable for not featuring the word “rape,” the hook on which many right-wing legislators hang their crazy coats, to the point that Stephen Colbert has instituted a “Days Without a Rape Reference” segment. 
This started with Todd Akin’s famous “legitimate rape” comment last fall, though the theory is still being repeated. Akin’s comment was so bad that even lawmakers who didn’t entirely agree with it were caught in its net: Richard Mourdock blew a gimme election in Indiana when he tripped himself trying to get away from Akin’s remark. 
Like Burgess, Akin’s comment was important not because it was an aberration, but because it reflected a real belief on the right, one that’s beginning to infect policy. Arguing against a rape exemption in his anti-abortion bill last week, Trent Franks stated that the incidences of pregnancy from rape are “very low.” Some see daylight between Franks’ iteration of the rape/pregnancy connection and Akin’s, but it’s minor. And while Akin’s view was rooted in medieval medicine, Franks’ theory traces its lineage right back to Nazi experiments. Whether dealing with centuries-old pseudo-science or its bleak modern mutations, the GOP’s rape/pregnancy link is bad science at its most savage.
Note:  First time I heard a hard right candidate say that if you are being raped, just lay back and enjoy it because you cannot get pregnant  I was appalled and furious.  Told the candidate what I thought and he said I didn't know anything about science as it is almost impossible to get pregnant from a rape.  I told him that is one of the dumbest things I had ever heard.  Then he told me most rapes are not rapes because women want rough sex.  I told him I wouldn't vote for him if he was the last person standing and left the room.  You cannot have a discussion with a moron.  He didn't get the nomination but that was before the hard right nutcases took over and the anti-abortion crowd became the face of the Republican Party.  Men have been dominating the discussion in many states about abortion and now in Congress.  
3. Climate Change Doesn’t Exist, and If It Does It’s Caused By Trees 
Not all Republican science denial involves evil lady parts. Their resistance to the very idea of climate change is so staunch that it bred an entire theory of GOP-specific ignorance
The least crazy of the party acknowledge climate change is occurring but refuse to link it to human behavior, instead seeing the rise in temperatures as part of a natural cycle. After all, it’s not like Hurricane Sandy was the first extreme weather event in history. “I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy,” Texas congressman Joe Barton said during a House hearing on the Keystone Pipeline. (You will remember Barton from his apology to BP over the company’s oil spill.) 
There’s one problem with this: refusing to link global warming to human behavior greatly reduces your options for curtailing it. See Dana Rohrabacher, a far-right California congressman, who found a natural solution to a natural problem. "Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rainforests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases?” Rohrabacher asked during a House hearing on U.N. climate policies. 
This is for the Republicans who actually admit climate change exists. Many don’t, and they made sure we knew about it last year when they rejected an amendment that would have simply acknowledged the occurrence of global warming. The amendment didn’t garner a single GOP vote.  
It gets worse. In 2012, North Carolina’s legislature went the full-ostrich route. Not only did they refuse to admit that global warming was happening, they actually banned scientists from researching it, passing a bill prohibiting the measurement of sea-levels so nobody could notice they were rising. (The ocean rudely rose anyway.)
Note:  The 1984 Olympics is the best example of how climate is affected by humans.  First of all they planted numerous trees and ask residents to do the same throughout SoCal to help air quality because they understood the science of using trees:
Trees Improve Our Air Quality
Urban forests help to improve our air quality. Heat from the earth is trapped in the atmosphere due to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases that prohibit it from releasing the heat into space. This creates a phenomenon known today as the “greenhouse effect.” Therefore, trees help by removing (sequestering) CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis to form carbohydrates that are used in plant structure/function and return oxygen back into the atmosphere as a byproduct. Roughly half of the greenhouse effect is caused by CO2. Therefore, trees act as carbon sinks, alleviating the greenhouse effect. 
On average, one acre of new forest can sequester about 2.5 tons of carbon annually. Young trees absorb CO2 at a rate of 13 pounds per tree each year. Trees reach their most productive stage of carbon storage at about 10 years at which point they are estimated to absorb 48 pounds of CO2 per year. At that rate, they release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. Planting 100 million trees could reduce an estimated 18 million tons of carbon per year and consequently save American consumers $4 billion each year on utility bills.
Then for two weeks, trucks were forbidden from being on the freeways except at night which should have been the standard because there was no smog.  Where we lived, we could actually look down and see parts of the valley that normally had smog hanging over it.  We were above the smog area then.  If you looked east from our home, it was beautiful but if you looked west on a hot afternoon you just so gunk hanging in the air.
4. Breast Implants, On The Other Hand, are a Fine Use Of Science 
Okay, most of their science denial involves lady parts, but not all of it’s negative! Tom Coburn proves the GOP would be scientists’ best friend if those nerds would stick to expanding things men want to look at. 
"I thought I would just share with you what science says today about silicone breast implants,” Coburn said during a hearing on class action lawsuits, a nagging problem for plastic surgeons. “If you have them, you're healthier than if you don't. That is what the ultimate science shows. . . . In fact, there's no science that shows that silicone breast implants are detrimental and, in fact, they make you healthier." (They don’t.)
Note:  I am sitting here drinking a Coke while I do my blog today -- almost lost it when I read #4.  Abject stupidity is all I can say.  Guess the lawsuits were phony on breast implants.  What is it with Republican males and their focus on a woman's body to the stage that it is creepy?  Guess the GOP is the party in favor of bigger breast even if phony.
5. No Dead Fetuses In Your Soft Drinks' 
But the GOP’s science permissiveness begins and ends with breasts; anything that might help with, say, medical research is off the table. Stem cells in particular give Republicans the bends. 
Where most see the frontier of medical research, Republican candidates for senate see islands of Dr. Moreaus. 
“American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains,” Christine O’Donnell told Bill O’Reilly in 2007. Talking Points Memo guessed O’Donnell was referencing an experiment in which doctors grew human brain cells within mice—“not the same as an actual functioning human brain, but a demonstration that human brain cells can be made from stem cells”—but they didn’t sound too confident speculating on her inspiration. 
At least O’Donnell wasn’t actually a lawmaker. Last year, Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortley got wound up over a zany Internet theory claiming stem cells were being used in the production of artificial sweeteners, and proposed a bill prohibiting companies in Oklahoma from using aborted fetuses to make food.
Note:  The 'I am not a witch' O'Donnell strikes again.  Funniest part of her video saying she wasn't a witch was she was wearing a black outfit.  The word that comes to mind is dumb.  Why am I not surprised that another Oklahoman would make this list.  Speaking of dumb OK State Sen Shortley gets the prize.  Cannot even believe he submitted a bill prohibiting companies in OK from using aborted fetuses to make food.  That is one sick individual.  You could probably sell him anything if he believed that.
6. Evolution Is (Still) Out To Get Jesus 
“I’m not a scientist, man,” Marco Rubio recently told GQ. “I can tell you what recorded history says. I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians. 
Whether the Earth was created in seven days, or seven actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that.” 
But Rubio’s fellow Republicans think they have answered it, as evidenced by the fact that they want schools to teach that humans and dinosaurs used to read GQ together. Republican-controlled state legislatures have been busy trying to pass bills forcing public schools from elementary to college to teach that the world was created 6,000-9,000 years ago. 
Their cover for this is the necessity of "teaching both sides” of the debate—though only one has scientific backing—but Georgia Representative Paul Broun recently showed the right’s hand. 
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell,” he said during his (unopposed) run for reelection last year. “And it's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
Note:   Another Oklahoma one where most evangelical churches here teach the earth is around 7,000 years old and refuse to allow their children to take trips to the Sam Noble Museum of History on the OU Campus because they might actually learn about the real word through the exhibits and how the earth evolved.  I thought people spouting that theory were kidding so I put foot in mouth asking if they were sure you haven't been watching too much of the Flintstones where there Dino the dinosaur acts like a dog.  Received a whole lecture.  Then my son told me that is what they actually believe - dinosaurs and man roamed the earth together.  Now these people run the Party in my State and others and wonder why a lot of us are telling them and the GOP to take a hike.  Would never give one red cent to a party who refuses to acknowledge the scientific evidence of how the earth has evolved along with plants and animals.
7. It’s Only Science If Republicans Agree With It 
In perhaps the most unintentionally revealing law ever written by a Republican on science, Texas Representative Lamar Smith recently proposed that all scientific knowledge get his okay first. Called the “High Quality Research Act,” Smith’s bill would require any research receiving federal funds to go through Smith’s Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology, all in the name of “accountability.” Accountability in this case means agreeing with Smith, a climate change denier who has no problem going after projects he, or his donors, disapprove of. 
If the GOP had its way, this is how all science would work: no rising sea levels to worry about, and all the breast implants Congress can afford.
Note:  Cong Smith (R-TX) was my Congressman before we moved to Norman, OK.  I could not get over when GOP Leadership made Smith the head of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology when he has been living in the dark ages when we were in Texas refusing to acknowledge the role of science in so many endeavors unless some donor wanted it and then he jumped on board.  

If someone had told me in the 90's that Smith would be heading a Science Committee for the GOP, I would have burst out laughing.  Trust me the only thing I am laughing about now is how stupid the GOP Leadership headed by Boehner and Cantor really are - word incompetent comes to mind.  As I was sitting here going over these dumb GOP beliefs, it is such a relief to know that's not my party.

Yesterday I received a survey from the RNC for the 4th District for me to fill out.  As one of my last forms I fill out while still a registered Republican, I am going to enjoy this one.  Then when I am done going to scan into my computer and let everyone see my answers to some really dumb, slanted questions.  Shocked I even received one as last year I wrote comments against Romney and the GOP all over my survey last year along with going after the Tea Party and religious right.  All I got back was a letter thanking me for my participation.  I would have taken me off the list so fast after those comments last year that I would have been on no mailing lists but that didn't happen.

Let's vote out the anti-science party in November 2014 and replace them with common sense.  Republicans have showed they cannot lead as witnessed yesterday by the Farm Bill failing and then blaming Democrats which I am still laughing about.

Hope this gave you a laugh for your Friday afternoon as much as it did me!  Have a terrific weekend!

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