Friday, April 23, 2004

No Scientific Method Please, We're Fundies
Harper's Index reports that one in three American adults believes government and politics are too complicated to understand. The figure for those who were home-schooled is one in 25. Which makes it significant that members of the first graduating class will get their diplomas from Patrick Henry College in Virginia this spring. The school, which is aimed primarily at Christian home-schooled students, was established in 2000 with one major--public policy.

The Independent reports that the college has become a rich source of interns for--you guessed it--Republican representatives, senators, and the White House. The report is one of the creepiest stories I've read in a long time. Patrick Henry College is seeding the public policy arena with young conservative pod people who will presume to govern a world about which they know practically nothing by experience, and who will stand in the way of common sense and human progress for the next 50 years or more. And the report ought to give pause to anybody who thinks that simply by electing John Kerry we can stop the government's ongoing colonization by the fundamentalist Borg. Fact is, although only 15 percent of Americans claim to believe in or belong to a fundie sect, it's their country and the rest of us are just living in it. (In The Guardian earlier this week, Georges Monbiot explained the fundie mindset to his European readership.)

Late last year, Washington Monthly reported that the majority of staffers of the Coalition Provisional Authority running Iraq are young Republican political operatives--as opposed to people who are experts in any of the various functions the Authority is responsible for. Recently, reporter Jason Vest got his hands on a confidential memo written by an officer of the Authority. The identity of the author is unknown, other than that he/she was someone who has steadfastly maintained faith in the rosy neocon dream that regime change in Iraq would transform the Middle East. Nevertheless, Vest reports, the memo offers a candid critique of how the United States has screwed up the regime change so far, and how much trouble our screwups portend for the future. (Vest's report will be appearing in alternative papers all over the country this week. This is your chance to read it now.)

Recommended reading: Arianna Huffington has discovered the blogosphere--and she likes us! She really likes us! "[The blogosphere] reminds me of my schoolgirl days when providing the right answer wasn’t enough for our teachers--they demanded that we "show our work." Bloggers definitely show their work. It’s why you don’t just read blogs--you experience them."

If you want to know what's really going on, you've got to be out here with us. But don't just read me. Click any of the links on the right side of this page--or go to Blogdex, Blogwise, Salon Blogs, or any of the other blog directory sites on the Web to find something that suits your interest. And here's the really shocking thing--not all blogs are about politics. (Although what's the point otherwise?)

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