Saturday, December 30, 2006

Grand Canyon and creationism

It's official, the Bush administration is living in Fairy-Tale Land. Nobody cares much where you worship but people draw the line at myth being passed off by the government as fact. Science, one of our most civilized accomplishments as humans, and of which God, if there is one, would surely be proud of us for, must not be supressed in the public and educational arena. It is science that is going to save us from global warming, industrial pollution, nuclear waste, and rampant mutant bacteria. Trying to force myths and stories down our throats as fact will do nothing but make things worse, and it appears BushCo supports this practice as some kind of diversionary tactic. The BushCo bullshit machine is continuing its policy of spreading lies and insane policy throughout the federal government, in this case at the Grand Canyon.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is publicizing the fact that federal workers at the Grand Canyon are not allowed to state the age of the canyon. Morons appointed by BushCo supporting the right wing Christian agenda also won't allow the canyon bookstore to sell books about geology, while allowing the sale the sale of just one new book, a book stating the Grand Canyon was created in the same flood that Noah got mixed up in. A pamphlet written for Park Service interpretive rangers detailing how to discuss the difference between science and religion was also supressed by BushCo over the past four years.

Now, this is in a U.S. national monument, here, land stewarded by the federal government, and last time I looked our government has a pretty strong policy about separation of church and state.

Apparently that doesn't really matter to BushCo, who, with this action and many, many others like it, is promoting a very false view of reality. I suppose this is because the only people who support Bush and his henchman, besides those who would gleefully dig up the Grand Canyon to mine copper, are fucking gullible morons who believe whatever they're told and who're too subsumed with guilt to distinguish between myths and stories versus reality.

In the TV culture-age marketers tell us that if a lie is hammered home again again and again people will eventually come to believe it and support it. Like the idea that McDonald's serves food, for example, or the idea that sending the best and bravest and brightest folks in the U.S. military to Iraq was somehow necessary.

In a further demonstration of BushCo standard operating tactics, the huge uproar over the bookstore policy and the creationist book being passed off as science, and the supression of actual scientific books, was quelled by an empty promise to "review" the moronic fake-science book about a supposed biblical origin of the Grand Canyon. A Freedom of Information Act request by PEER revealed BushCo standard operating procedure: lie, redirect attention, and keep on doing stupid shit. From the press release of 12/28 published on PEER's website:
In August 2003, Park Superintendent Joe Alston attempted to block the sale at park bookstores of Grand Canyon: A Different View by Tom Vail, a book claiming the Canyon developed on a biblical rather than an evolutionary time scale. NPS Headquarters, however, intervened and overruled Alston. To quiet the resulting furor, NPS Chief of Communications David Barna told reporters and members of Congress that there would be a high-level policy review of the issue.

According to a recent NPS response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by PEER, no such review was ever requested, let alone conducted or completed.

Pitiful, eh? Don't let's tolerate this kind crap in the government that represents us.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Weakening organic standards

The USDA has an organic advisory board which is being packed with representatives from large industrial agribusiness concerns. The board is in a position to define what the word "organic" means, as far as what practices are observed to eliminate pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, antibiotics, and other chemicals and poisons from the food we eat. Read about the current state of the board here in the article by Megan Tady of the New Standard.

Presumably, this article also functions as a good indicator of the state of the USDA during the Bush regime. In other words, the USDA functions to represents big business rather than to keep food supplies safe, and agriculture renewable and sustainable.

I don't know why it is but since we've had that psychopathic moron Bush in office, there has been this idea stated over and over again that these huge businesses that control so many things can be trusted with our food supply, our economy, our infrastructure. It was bad enough under Clinton, there was NAFTA, and a lot of creepy pro-megabusiness things going on. But now, given the evidence of so much greed and corruption (Haliburton comes to mind- read up on the scandals surrounding its stake in the Iraq boondoggle), it is particularly unwise and devastating to continue to allow foxes to guard our henhouses.

The Organic Consumers Association is grass roots non-profit that works, among other healty, vital things, to keep the meaning of the word organic from changing into something the mega-corporations can throw around in an attempt at short term gain and smashing competition from smaller farms.

If huge corporations had their way, our entire food supply would be nothing but tasteless poison. You can easily taste the difference between vegetables and meat grown in corporate conditions versus those grown in a truly natural setting. Places like McDonalds have to infuse their food with flavor agents to make it even taste like food. Read Fast Food Nation for a chilling, well researched and packed-with evidence report on routine agribusiness practices. I heard the movie was not that good- but the book showed the journalistic talent of the San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Eric Schlosser, who wrote it. I have not spent a dime at McDonald's or the like since, except for the time I saw a movie with a coworker who needed to have coffee and cookies after.

Organic farmers have an eye toward a healthy end product, without the wake of environmental and economic destruction left by mega-agribusiness. Tune in and think. Read up. And think what happens when our food supply consists of frankencrops and animals not even given the dignity due to living things. We parish, that's what. We can't survive eating poison and shit, and that's what the mega-corporations like Con Agra and the like feed us- it's well-documented, and with the money these folks are making (that's right, at the heart of all this nasty stuff is people, not some robot like corporate entity, but people, very very rich people) it is best for them to invest some in changing their ways of doing business so that our one-and-only planet, and our one-and-only community are sustained in a healthy manner.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Viewing a hardon from space

This is classic, apparently, according to this story in UPI, schoolboys painted a giant dick on the roof of the Yarms school in STOCKTON-ON-TEES, England. The penis could be seen from space and made it to the venerable Google Earth.

Hint, if you read the news story: In Britain, "Willy" means "dick."

Apparently, they also burned a big dick into the grass.

Let's hear it for dick from space!! I always knew dicks from space could be seen as important, and I've always sensed Google Earth could be used for something humorous, or at least a venue for the interstellar transmission of some kind of fertility symbol.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pacifica radio network and digital preservation

Pacifica radio was where I discovered jazz when I was a kid. WPFW in Washington, D.C. did a lot to lift me and my buddies out of the 70's doldrums.

It turns out Pacifica is a lot older than that, having been there during the civil rights movement, the times of the Beat generation and much more. Not only did they broadcast a significant portion of culturally vital events, they also recorded them.

Digital preservation is a way to stay in touch with heritage, the different cultures we all come from, and culture we all, to one degree or another, share. In this article in Raw Story, the story is on how Pacifica is looking to spread the word and collaborate to preserve our heritage, and the voices who have let us all benefit from, and demand a true freedom.

In the library/computer geek world it's called LOCKSS, "lots of copies keep stuff safe." Work is involved, cooperation is involved, and, these days, unfortunately, having courage to stand up against copyright paranoia and culturally repressive trends is also involved. Tune in to a Pacifica radio station today. Delve into heritage, and history, and the voices and ideas that make our country great.

Info can be had about, and donations can be made to, the Pacifica Radio Archive here.