Rick Perry Displays Ignorance, U.S. Shrugs Collective Shoulders

While taking a break from attacking President Obama for the GOP-induced credit downgrade, Rick Perry stripped off the kid gloves and came out swinging against one of the neocons’ favorite foes — climate change.

Pictured: The Governor of Texas protects America from socialists with a grenade launcher.

The Governor of Texas would like you to believe that not only is global warming a process completely independent from human activity, he actually accuses climate scientists of ethical misconduct. After kinda-sorta threatening the Chairman of the Fed with physical violence, Perry’s latest bombastic tirade has the feel of an act that will soon become routine:

1.) Wear hair gel and cowboy boots as often as possible.
2.) Be angry, yet folksy.
3.) Yell at things that Republicans are supposed to dislike.
4.) Try to make everyone forget about the last Texan to occupy the White House.
4.) Become a caricature of the last Texan to occupy the White House.

Pictured: Rick Perry enjoys a qui...wait. Oh wait. That's actually Josh Brolin's exaggerated Bush character from Oliver Stone's "W." Well, close enough I guess.

Unfortunately, behind the laughable soap-boxing effort Perry put forth, he makes some very real, very serious remarks about the integrity of American scientists. I know that when Perry pictures “Americans” he is not thinking of those individuals who toil in laboratories around the country (they generally make for poor photo ops), and I know the word slander is over-used, but this is one situation where its use might be appropriate. Though Perry didn’t use any names, his slur is nonetheless both untrue and potentially damaging. Shame on him.

Pictured: After his prayer rally failed to end the withering drought in his home state, Governor Perry gleefully unloads a full cylinder toward heaven, just to show Jesus that he doesn't fuck around.

For those who may not have been following the climate change “debate” I can summarize it quickly: 97% of scientists accept and understand that man-made global warming is occurring.

This is roughly equivalent to the number of scientists who breathe air and eat food. Unless you are involved with the sciences, it would be difficult to explain how tedious it is to come to a consensus on anything, and how alarming it is that our elected officials pretend that science and statistics only matter for polling numbers. Apparently, not only can you be basically uneducated and run for President, such a display of intellectual…umm…”independence” is actually encouraged.

Pictured: After a strong showing at a rally in Iowa, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann prepares to unfurl her wings and return to her nest.

To put this as plainly as possible, modern climate-change “deniers” are the spiritual successors to those who claimed tobacco was not addictive or deadly in the 60’s and 70’s. With lots of money and effort, tobacco companies successfully suppressed legitimate scientific data in the name of (perceived) potential profit loss. There is no debate, and we have gone so far down the climate change road that we have already done permanent damage. That’s really all there is to it. Damage control is the best we can do now.

I can only hope that there are enough intelligent, reasonable people in the United States to prevent another smooth-talking, sweet-praying, shitkicking, wanna-be cowboy from occupying the White House.

Pictured: Potentially the worst re-run of all time. Maybe even worse than when you lose the remote and "According to Jim" is about to come on. *shudders*

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“City of Ideas”

Here’s Sam Harris, a neuroscientist, author, skeptic one of the so-called “Four Horsemen of Atheism,” explaining why evidence is critical to studying our world, and how the “God of the Gaps” hypotheses put forth by many theologians are logically fallacious. I think he does it respectfully and in a way that is easy to grasp.

Why the “Schedule I” Status of THC is Bad Science

Here’s another visual aid I will be bringing to D.C with me. It’s a comparison of various commonly used/abused drugs, their lethal doses and their legal status (“Schedules”). I’ve also included a few, choice, therapeutic indices for comparison. For those who are not aware, therapeutic index essentially shows how much of a given pharmaceutical you would have to take for the dose to be lethal. So, a T.I. of 10:1 means that if you were to ingest ten times the recommended dose, there’s a good chance it’s deadly.

Regardless of your position on the overall legal status of marijuana, it is disingenuous to have it on the “Schedule I” list, which the government says contains drugs with no medical value, and a high potential for abuse and/or a high degree of danger. Beside the fact that peer-reviewed data shows that marijuana alleviates certain side effects of cancer and decreases intra-ocular pressure in glaucoma patients, the National Cancer Institute recently finished a study that shows THC can actually reverse cancerous tumors! Imagine if GSK or Pfizer came out with a pill that measurably decreased the size of a tumor safely and reliably. You can bet it would be in a commercial during every show on every network. But because of antiquated biases and willful ignorance, our politicians have been silent on the benefits of THC–to the detriment of patients world-wide.

The argument for complete legalization is a separate (but not unrelated) topic of discussion. My interest in creating this chart is to illustrate that bad science has no place in government policy, ever. No excuses.

*Note: The asterisks near the therapeutic doses of THC and Ethanol indicate that there is not an true “medical” therapeutic index for these substances.