Let's start with the bad: one last time, science is going to suffer at the hands of the current President before he is finally (and mercifully) sent packing back to that shithole we call "Texas."
Before he leaves, Dubya is filling federal positions dealing with science policies with the same type of people he has always appointed: those who are grossly unqualified. Needless to say, AAAS President James McCarthy is pissed:
"It's ludicrous to have people who do not have a scientific background, who are not trained and skilled in the ways of science, make decisions that involve resources, that involve facilities in the scientific infrastructure," said James McCarthy, a Harvard University oceanographer who is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "You'd just like to think people have more respect for the institution of government than to leave wreckage behind with these appointments."
Ouch. This is coming from one of our most austere science organizations, and one that was slower than most to criticize ID for fear of offending people. Glad to see McCarthy pulling no punches over this.
So how bad could it be?
"In one recent example, Todd Harding -- a 30-year-old political appointee at the Energy Department -- applied for and won a post this month at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There, he told colleagues in a Nov. 12 e-mail, he will work on "space-based science using satellites for geostationary and meteorological data." Harding earned a bachelor's degree in government from Kentucky's Centre College, where he also chaired the Kentucky Federation of College Republicans.
Also this month, Erik Akers, the congressional relations chief for the Drug Enforcement Administration, gained a permanent post at the agency after being denied a lower-level career appointment late last year.
And in mid-July, Jeffrey T. Salmon, who has a doctorate in world politics and was a speechwriter for Vice President Cheney when he served as defense secretary, had been selected as deputy director for resource management in the Energy Department's Office of Science. In that position, he oversees decisions on its grants and budget."
Can we please get this dangerous, simpering git out of Washington as soon as possible?
Ok, good news to balance that out. A Florida court has overturned the ban on gay adoption, and has included us a wonderful paragraph of sanity:
"It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent. A child in need of love, safety and stability does not first consider the sexual orientation of his parent. The exclusion causes some children to be deprived of a permanent placement with a family that is best suited to their needs."
Of course, we're already hearing "Judicial activism! Waaaaaaah!" from the
"Everywhere in the law where children are affected, the standard must always be what is in the best interest of the child," said Stemberger, an attorney in Orlando. "What is stunning to me is that when it comes to dealing with gays, that standard goes out the window. Children do better with a mother and a father."
To quote my dad:
"They shovel that manure out as if leaving 2/3 of the foster care kids with NO HOME AT ALL somehow achieves that "best environment" and somehow doesn't "harm children in ways that show up later in life". How stupid and gullible can people be? Talk about shit for brains.
You have to hate and fear homosexuals a lot to pass a law that hurts both children and heterosexuals in order to "get the gays". I think it is both disgusting and pathetic that people would use children as expendable pawns in their culture wars."
You know what? Statistically, kids to better with rich parents than they do with poor parents. They also do better with educated parents than with non-educated parents and better with white parents than they do with black parents (statistically speaking), but any laws prohibiting those demographics from rescuing a child from a fucking orphanage would rightly look cruel and retarded (as long as we're talking about throwing standards out the window, jackass)
And as usual, what's the culprit? Faith. Not stupid people who happen to be religious, but faith. The culprit is the very notion that believing in things (and hence formulating your world view) without evidence and clinging to that belief no matter how ridiculous, discriminatory, or malicious is not only a good thing, but the best thing. It's the only way that people could divorce themselves from basic human empathy to such an extent as to harm children to get a group of people that want to help the children. And it's the only way people could so eagerly spit on the products of our 21st century understanding in order to do so.
Yet it's "disrespectful" for people like me to point out how indescribably stupid those beliefs are. Tough shit, your religion is false. Your religion, the only motivation there can possibly be to discriminate against these normal people given the findings of science is false, so you can stop believing it. There are no talking snakes, witches, or pernicious gods that get pissy when people work on the wrong day (and there never were), and dredging the moral imperatives of times before Christ into the 21st century based on believing such nonsense is the very definition of pious idiocy. At the very least you deserve to be mocked for being so gullible, even for the minority of voting Christian voices who don't let their credulity turn them into bigots.