The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Friday, January 12, 2007

America makes me sad and angry

To: America


I am on your side! Seriously, I'm one of the few people left in this country who wish that "the special relationship" was a real thing. I'm not marching on the streets or making documentaries celebrating the fact that we paid off our World War Two debts to you on January 1st this year. I think the Bill of Rights is up there with the most inspiring documents of all time, and I think the biggest failing of the American Revolution is that it didn't wake up the Old Dart a little more. I'm rooting for Feingold in '08. I care about you.

But sometimes you do things. You know what I mean. You know I'm still upset about Kyoto and Gitmo, but today it's this. Let me sidestep the whole science-versus-religion-which-do-you-teach-in-science-class debate and just deal with this part.

...if (the movie) is going to take the approach of 'bad America, bad America,' I don't think it should be shown at all," Gayle Hardison said. "If you're going to come in and just say America is creating the rotten ruin of the world, I don't think the video should be shown."

Scientists say that Americans, with about 5 percent of the world's population, emit about 25 percent of the globe-warming gases.

"My country right or wrong" went out of fashion in about 1917 over here. How are you guys still holding on to that?

At the very least, you could have come up with some defenses. Like "Yeah, but we have a lot of forest and sea compared to other countries, so we offset some". It's not a good argument, but it's a start. Or "We export a lot of products, so some of our gases really belong to other people". That could be quantified, though you wouldn't do as well by it as China would. Or you could say "Those gasses aren't really globe-warming." You'd be going against scientific consensus, but at least it'd be a debate and we could talk about correlations and non-linear systems. When you say "You're not allowed to say that"... I don't know. I guess it reminds me of some guys you used to dislike.

Betrand Intangible


At 2:19 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Maxwell Edison said...

To me, by far the most shocking part of this is that there's someone called Frosty Hardison.

It begs the question where do we draw the line regarding alternative theories? We can't discuss everything damnit.

Anyway, my own personal theory is that people who think Science is wrong and shouldn't be taught in schools are stupid. I'm not going to back that up with arguments, because THAT'S MY BELIEF.

At 2:33 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Maxwell Edison said...

Oops, wrong debate.

At 3:47 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

I think the American school system needs some decent comparative religion classes, though I have to admit that I can see a lot of parents having their children withdrawn from those classes. "Why do we have to learn about FALSE religions?" they'll ask. Le sigh.

The whole "how many theories" thing is the direct inspiration for the FSM, a more recent and focussed application of the spirit that led to the IPU.

At 7:03 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

I think the problem is parents going berserk about school-dealings. Do you have any idea how many times I open the paper to see "Angry Parents Email School District About ___?" There's always creationism, a new (read: going against everything we know to be as true as possible) biology book, bringin' Jesus back (like JT without the new hit movie), and now global warming. At my high school, a parent went so nuts about a scheduling conflict that prevented her precious baby-son from attending a school sponsored man-pagent that she flipped out calling and emailing until my principal caved and moved the day of the pagent. It isn't that we're stupider than everyone else; we're just noisier. And when people have ridiculous beliefs, they think that everyone else should be forced to have them too.

At 7:04 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

Science shouldn't be taught in schools. It's advancing to the point that machines are going to take over the world and enslave the human race. You're telling me that you want that?

At 7:36 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Nathan said...

And how exactly will we fight back if no-one knows how to hack a mainframe? Is that what you want? Surrender? What are you, a european?

At 7:45 pm, January 12, 2007, Blogger Peter said...

Nathan, you're talking about reactive war, waiting until the robots attack to fight them. In the post-9/11 world, we use PREVENTIVE war. In this case, it means bombing ourselves back 200 years and destroying all of the evil machines - even your automatic teapot. Preventive war pwnz0rz 1r4k, n0w 4 da r0b0tz0rz.

At 4:24 pm, January 13, 2007, Blogger Maxwell Edison said...


[/a poor and unimaginative parody.]


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