Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Watching Cartoons
Used to be that conservatives saw themselves as fearless, upright, and manly individualists (even the women) who wouldn't be told what to do, but would follow the Lodestar of Self-Evident Truth wherever it led them. They surely weren't like liberals, who were a bunch of bed-wetting nancy-boys whose testicles were full of tapioca. But with the illegal wiretapping scandal, the whole thing's turned on its head. Suddenly, conservatives are saying the only proper course is to trust the administration, and most important of all, not to ask questions, but to do your duty meekly, in whatever way your duty is described to you by people in a better position than you to know what it is. At Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte charts the paradigm shift.

On the subject of "truth," last Sunday we introduced you to George Deutsch, 24-year-old public-affairs officer at NASA, who presumed to explain science to scientists by editing their reports so that they didn't claim the Big Bang or global warming theories were true. Turns out it's even worse than it seemed last week. If he were only a Bush appointee with a journalism degree, he would still be clearly unqualified to tell professional scientists anything except when their coffee is ready--but it turns out that he never actually graduated from A&M.

You couldn't make this stuff up.

Doonesbury They Ain't: I haven't spent a great deal of time reading about the Danish cartoon controversy that's inflamed the Muslim world--in fact, if The Mrs. wasn't of mostly Danish ancestry, I probably wouldn't have spent any time on it at all. I have noticed that American media outlets either won't show the cartoons at all, or digitally obscure them when they report on the reaction to them. How precious. They claim it's to avoid offending sensitive viewers, but it's mostly ass-covering. Of course, it's not the first time they've been cowed into submission for fear of offending fanatics. It's been happening almost daily for the last five years. Over at Best of the Blogs, Blackdogred notes, and not for the first time, that there's a fine line between Muslim fanatics and right-wing Christian fanatics--who continually go looking for reasons to launch their own jihads against "blasphemy." So winger criticism of the embassy-burners' actions is a little bit hypocritical.

It seems crazy to burn down embassies over some offensive cartoons, but a lot of things people do in the name of religion seem crazy to me. If you want to see the cartoons--which are neither especially clever nor funny--click here.

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