The Most Howard County Election Thing Ever

Defaced Trump sign and "Choose Civility" sticker
Defaced Trump sign and “Choose Civility” sticker

Here in Maryland, Howard County has a bumper sticker you see on almost all the cars – it’s basically that green sign on the top right (without the deplorable thing, of course). So when I saw this, I was blown away at the awesome creative nature of the situation. It’s a nice bit of humor in what’s been a horrible election.

It would be awesome if he finished by dropping the mic….

Here’s a letter Governor Jerry Brown sent to Ben Carson when he said that climate change was irrelevant:

Dear Dr. Carson,

I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to the Golden State. It’s come to my attention that while you were here you said the following regarding climate science:

“I know there are a lot of people who say ‘overwhelming science,’ but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming evidence, they never show it…There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused. Gimmie a break.”

Please find enclosed a flash drive with the complete United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “Synthesis Report,” the concluding installment of the Fifth Assessment Report, published earlier this year. This report assessed over 30,000 scientific papers and was written by more than 800 scientists, representing 80 countries around the world, who definitively concluded that: “…human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed across all continents and oceans.”

This is just one of the thousands of reports authored by the world’s top scientists on the subject, including a study published just last month by Columbia University, University of Idaho and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies scientists that found climate change has intensified California’s drought. These aren’t just words. The consequences are real.

Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material. Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics.

Sincerely,

Jerry Brown

Why would you think war was over?

After all, we’ve always been at war with Eastasia Afghanistan and will always be at war with Eastasia Afghanistan.

The war in Afghanistan is not ending, US government attorneys said in court documents unsealed Friday, undercutting statements President Barack Obama made last December and in his State of the Union address a few weeks later when he formally declared that “the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion.”

But Obama didn’t really mean that the war was over, the government now argues.

The Long-lasting damage of cop misbehavior

The lives lost are tragic, but the constant police misbehavior has an even worse effect on society. I came across the following today on an article about Stingrays:

Well, the supposed “good guys” (cops) no longer really care what is legal and what is not, so why should I?

Once this type of sentiment becomes entrenched, civil society is in danger. Just like paying taxes, we need people to believe in the social rules or the illusion comes crashing down.

Next time you hear about the 2nd Amendment to defend against tyranny….

Some folks (especially Americans) seem to think that their AR-15s are a guarantor that they can resist tyranny. But guns are an 18th century response to 18th century threats to democracy. Capital doesn’t need to point a gun at you to remove your democratic rights: it just needs more cameras, more cops, and a legal system that is fair and just and bankrupts you if you are ever charged with public disorder and don’t plead guilty.

Charlie Stross

Explaining Conservatism?

I heard an interesting theory today – not sure if it’s a causal or correlation relationship, but it goes as follows:

We know that genetics plays a role in how naturally fearful people are. If you’re more towards fearful on the spectrum, you’re not going to want to live in a big city full of lots of fear-causing agents. So you live in the country. Also, if you’re fearful, you’re going to be happier believing in a god that can protect you from all the things you fear. Finally, fearful people hate change. They’ll want things to remain the same – to be conserved. Conservative. It certainly explains the way conservatism manifests itself in the USA.  (although I’m sure because of the negative connotations, people would resent being called fearful) It also explains the return to conservatism when times are tough. But, doesn’t necessarily mean causation, maybe it just appears at the same time and there’s another explanation we haven’t found.

It Shouldn’t Be This Way

Some things people don’t know because they weren’t taught. Or it was taught in a way that didn’t make sense to the way their brains work. Or it was beyond them for some reason. All of this is fine. It’s the prideful ignorance that is really wreaking havok with this country. The following Daily Show clip is what inspire this mini-rant:

 

Humanity Has Truly Changed Very Little

Yesterday I read through the intro of Don’t Know Much About Mythology. It posited that one possible reason for myths was for the rich to control the poor. I thought, “Yeah. Makes sense back then with their god-kings, but we’re smarter now.” Then I thought about American politics and realized nothing has changed over the past 10000 years.

By the way, so much of the Christian discourse in America is so far away from the actual content of the Bible that regardless of whether you believe in Yahweh/God and Jesus’ divinity, you should regard most of what you think you know about Christianity as mythology.