More pesky high school students

JISHOU, HUNAN — And I’m not talking about Archie and Jughead, or even Beavis and Butthead. Amy Myers the Bachmann Slayer (and Scourge of the Right Wing) is not the only high school student making national news. Damon Fowler and Zack Kopplin, both of Louisiana, have made some national waves recently, too. Fowler is a 2011 graduate of Bastrop High School in Bastrop, La. Earlier this term, he learned that there would be a school-sanctioned official prayer at his graduation ceremony. He objected, and asked that the prayer be scotched. (FYI, the Supreme Court has held that public school-sponsored prayers are verboten under the First Amendment, which Fowler knows but the school apparently didn’t.) The ACLU followed up with a letter advising the school of the legal requirements and ramifications. School officials agreed to forgo the prayer. As if. In the meantime, the community got wind of Fowler’s objections and the shit hit the fan. Fowler got threats of violence and death. His fellow students turned on him. One of his teachers publicly berated him. His parents kicked him out of the house, and put his possessions (except his PS3) out on the porch. The graduation went on without him, ...

Amy, the Bachmann Slayer 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — I haven’t blogged about high school students lately, I guess because I’m not in the high-school teaching biz anymore. But Amy Myers’ story caught my eye today. She’s the high school sophomore from Cherry Hill, NJ, who has challenged Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) to a debate about the US Constitution. The challenge, issued publicly, is noteworthy in and of itself. But even more newsworthy is the reactions against Myers from Bachmann’s rabid fanbase. And I do mean rabid, as in snarling, drooling, yelping dogs. Bachmann is the darling of the right wing, a conservative Christian who is at once outspoken and photogenic, and who frequently gets her facts wrong. It was her declaring in a televised speech that the Battles of Lexington and Concord happened in New Hampshire, and that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to abolish slavery that got Myers’ dander up. Figuring her knowledge of US history and the Constitution was superior to Bachmann’s, she issued a public challenge to a debate. The response from Bachmann has been “no response.”. There have been plenty from Bachmann’s adoring fans, though. Here are a few samples from Free Republic, which houses quite a few rabid dogs. Remember ...

The new rightwing CO2 meme: CO2 is safe and natural

JISHOU, HUNAN — Do people forget basic science when they become Republicans? I’m not talking about understanding complex questions like global warming, stem cells or genetic engineering. I am speaking of really, really basic stuff, like knowing carbon dioxide is not safe. A couple of weeks ago, the shining star of Minnesota Republican dumbness, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, expounded on the House floor that there was no need to tax and cap CO2 emissions, because CO2 is a safe and natural gas. Humans exhale it every day, after all, she said. Now, the Mr. Big of the the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, has repeated the same meme on his ridiculously popular radio show. WTF? Sure, we exhale CO2, for a good reason. Our bodies can’t use it! It’s basic biology: breath air in, extract the oxygen, expel what our bodies don’t need. I learned this in elementary school, for pete’s sake! I thought everyone did. Logically speaking (I know, I know, considering who I am highlighting here, I am asking way too much) … Logically speaking, any idiot, if he or she took time to consider the question, would realize if humans (and other animals) could use CO2 we would NOT exhale ...

The crazy lady from Minnesota: CO2 is safe and natural 3

JISHOU, HUNAN — Capping and taxing rising carbon dioxide levels is a waste of time and money, says Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). After all, carbon dioxide is a natural component of the air we breath, so why worry? Bachmann, one of the GOP’s crazier and louder loudmouths, delivered this load of non-scientific blathering on the floor of the House this week: TRANSCRIPT: BACHMANN: But people talk about cap and tax and they aren’t sure exactly what we’re talking about. Let’s get back to step one. What is the problem? Why do we have to have this tax in the first place? It’s about carbon dioxide. Well, what is carbon dioxide? Let’s just go to a fundamental question. Carbon dioxide, Mister Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural. It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular lifecycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can’t even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that’s on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that — that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part ...
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