February 2007

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Ok, this has to be the most offensive picture I’ve ever seen. It conjured images of Chairman Mao dressed as the Pope, or Henry David Thoreau driving a tank. When I first saw it I had to make sure it was real. It looks more like something someone photoshoped for a joke. But upon closer examination, it surely is W. At least that’s what the embroidered pristine lab coat says. Why in the world would he need his name embroidered on a coat that will only be worn for the duration of the most grotesquely exploitative photo-op ever, besides for his own megalomaniacal and compensatory purposes. This is even worse than the “Mission Accomplished” debacle. At least he was in his element for that one (war ships, death machines).

I wear a name tag on my lab coat when I teach, but that’s only because my students can barely remember their own names most of the time, let alone where they’re supposed to be and who I am. And my name tag is not extravagent by any means. It is not embossed, has no emblems, just a few stick on letters. And I wear this thing twice a week. He wears a lab coat once, and gets some 10 yr. old Malaysian girl to embroider his name on it. Who doesn’t know who he is? Even cave-dwelling Afghanis know who him, but that’s a different story.

And then there’s the current administration’s track record on the manipulation of scientific data to fit policies. It is one of his cronies’ (John Marburger) job to do this. I hope he’s enjoyed the last few years because he’s severely alienated all notions of scientific rigor and critical reasoning, and along with it any chance of ever getting a non-republican-administration-run-government job. Ever. Not only does this guy fend off those wacky liberals and maddening conservatives alike on issues such as global warming and stem cell research, but he often finds himself at odds with the scientific community over data interpretation. The entire machinery that is modern science says one thing, and the gruesome twosome (W. and Marburger) say another. And guess who wins?

Ok I have to stop and try to get my blood pressure back down. Back to my subversive research.

What do the United States, Lesotho, Liberia, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland all have in common?

They are the only countries in the (somewhat) civilized world that do not have guaranteed paid maternity leave. Let’s hear it for the free market taking care of people. What incentive could businesses possibly have for providing paid maternity leave when the guy down the street doesn’t.

In other news the US has said that having aircraft carriers and other various warships in the persian gulf is not antagonistic. Cue Twilight Zone theme. Not antagonistic?? These machines are made with the sole purpose of blowing things up. What would you think if your neighbor went out and bought an anti-neighbor cannon and pointed it right at your front door?