Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Republicans: “We Don’t Need No Steenking Science!”

In the 1600s Galileo was thrown in jail when his scientific discoveries clashed with The Church. Things have sure changed since then, right?

Four hundred years later, some of the most powerful Republicans are bringing down their wrath on scientists whose findings are a threat to the Powers That Be. In 2003, the National Academy of Sciences completed a research project detailing the effects of thirty years of energy development in Alaska.

PopeSenator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, demanded to see the report, and threw a tantrum when he read it. Stevens has retaliated by threatening the future funding of the National Academy of Sciences.

Even worse is Congressman Joe Barton, R-Texas. He’s basically a prostitute; the oil industry is his pimp. He’s trying to derail the work of three of the country’s top climate researchers. Barton is demanding that they hand over to him a complete record of all financial support they’ve ever received. This includes speaking fees, grants, organizations they’ve done research for — you name it. Barton is even demanding the “exact computer code” they used which generated their findings.

It takes a lot of time and manpower to research decades’ worth of records — how much was I paid for that speech I gave 12 years ago, what was the fine print on that grant I received nine years ago, etc. These are manhours that obviously won't be spent doing scientific research. What a clever way for Big Business to keep the messenger quiet.

When America’s top scientists get thwarted by government thugs, America’s competitiveness suffers. More and more scientific breakthroughs may start coming from other countries, while American scientists turn into Yes-men for corporations who don’t want facts getting in their way.

Two of Barton’s fellow Representatives have condemned his sleazy tactics: “We are very concerned that the tone of your letters indicate that these were not requests for hearing background materials, but rather an attempt to intimidate …and discredit peer-reviewed scientific research.”

Things will get pretty grim if scientists start keeping quiet for fear of losing their funding, or if they start spending so much time searching for subpoenaed records that they don’t have time to do research. It’ll be Paradise on Earth for a few CEOs, and a bleak hellhole for the rest of us.

16 Comments:

Blogger Rambler Joe Snitty said...

Didn't you get the memo? If it's in the Bible, it's science. If it doesn't fit, it's "just a theory". Yee-haw!

August 5, 2005 at 5:22 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Rambler Joe Snitty: Damn, that's right, I forgot about that. And not just the Bible, but the Old Testament. Hallelujah!

August 5, 2005 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Brother Kenya said...

I'm just waiting for the loyalty test that involves jumping off a building because "gravity" is just a theory. Talk about lemmings...

August 5, 2005 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Jumpin' on the Bandwagon said...

How dare you talk about the God-fearin' REAL Americans that are trying to save our country from itself!!!

You heathens don't have the right!!!

Don't believe me? Go ask any of them, they'll tell you the same thing.

Next on the agenda- The sun actually does revolve around the earth. The scientists have just been lying to us. Damn commie lovin' scientists...

August 5, 2005 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Jake Porter said...

Actualy the bible tells us in Job 26, 7 that the earth is round. I find it amazing biblical scholars didn't realize this because they were too busy attacking scientists.

August 5, 2005 at 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Brother Kenya: With some people’s blind loyalty to Bush, I wouldn’t put it past them to jump to prove their loyalty. And since the Bible doesn’t mention anything about gravity anyway…

Jumpin’ On The Bandwagon: Yup, it’s time for decent Godfearing Americans to crack down on these heretic scientists. They need to be burned at the stake.

Jake: I haven’t seen that passage, but that makes sense. According to a history book I read — “Lies My Teacher Told Me” — people never thought the world was flat. Maybe back in the Stone Age, but for many centuries (or even millennia) before Columbus, people were trading and migrating all over the world.

August 5, 2005 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Porlock Junior said...

Well, sure the world is round, but does it move? No way, if the Lord "made the round world so fast that it cannot be moved." That's Scripture, from somewhere or other, probably a Psalm. I remember singing that phrase once, to very good music by Purcell. Nobody at the atheistic school where I was in the chorus was likely to be corrupted by it, but one should be careful about quoting it where the wrong people might hear it.

BTW I see you don't have a lot of More Catholic Than The Pope people here. If you did, they'd point out triumphantly that Galileo didn't get thrown in jail; he was held in custody (but not in jail) for his trial, and released to life-long house arrest. So sweet of the Inquisition to treat the old man so gently, don't you think? Anyway, some people make a big point of this.

Oh, and showing him the instruments of torture was just a formality. It's all their fancy, that; they never really tortures nobody, as the Gryphon said to Alice.

See how civilized we are these days? Barton hasn't even hinted that he'd send the scientists to Gitmo. But the Congress got several years ago into determining what is and is not good science, by formal resolution; what can you expect them to do if people keep defying them?

August 5, 2005 at 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Porlock Junior: I didn’t know about that passage. I guess that settles that. Since the Earth isn’t moving, then of course the sun revolves around the Earth. Galileo was doing the work of the devil, and we almost got fooled.

I remember reading that Galileo wasn’t actually jailed; he was under house arrest. But it makes better rhetoric to say he was jailed. Even being under house arrest, just for coming up with a new scientific theory — what a crock.

So far we haven’t sent any wayward scientists to Gitmo. Yet.

August 5, 2005 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Jake Porter said...

Tom Harper,

"So far we haven’t sent any wayward scientists to Gitmo. Yet."

That we know of because if they did they would have declared them a terrorist and never had a trial.

August 6, 2005 at 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Jake: Uh oh, you've got a point there. They could send them to Gitmo, give them an Arabic name and fabricate a complete "history" of terrorist activities. I wouldn't put anything past them at this point.

August 6, 2005 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Good post. Republicans and especially NeoCon GOP'ers are threatened by science because truth has a way of blowing the veil of propaganda away. If the average American knew that corporate America has been destroying the environment while selling jobs overseas and supporting the GOP which then goes and allows them to continue the process for little more than bribes, the public would stand up in an outrage and drag the GOP'ers out of office kicking and screaming. As it is, the GOP is good at propaganda and has the nation fooled. It's too bad a good post like this can't counteract the GOP Kool-Aid.

August 6, 2005 at 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

OK Liberal: You're right, science can be a threat to the status quo. Today's Republicans are just as threatened by climate researchers as the Catholic Church was 400 years ago by Galileo's telescope.

It's too bad Americans aren't better informed about what's really going on. The information is out there, but too many people are lulled into a stupor by the infotainment that passes for "news." It sucks that the GOP spin machine is so effective, but it's up to each citizen to stay informed and learn how to separate the news from the PR bullshit.

August 6, 2005 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Martian Anthropologist said...

Christians and Republicans ask themselves what the conclusion is, then try to find facts to support it.

August 9, 2005 at 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Martian Anthropologist: You've got it. That's just what they do. Don't confuse them with facts or they'll get even with you.

August 9, 2005 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger manofredearth said...

Ok, so now you know a Christian who is pro-science, pro-evolution, pro-family/marriage (not like those who are anti-marriage by attempting to amend the constitution to exclude some people from marriage), pro-environment, etc... any amended comments? ;)

August 10, 2005 at 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Man of Red Earth: Glad to know you're in favor of all of these. I know that lots of Christians are; unfortunately the Christian Right organizations have most of the political power.

August 10, 2005 at 4:54 PM  

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