The MAGA-Evangelical Alliance

In many American places on a pleasant Sunday afternoon it is possible…to have coffee in the city at a bohemian cafe draped with rainbow banners, then to drive 30 or 45 minutes into the country to find small towns where Confederate and Trump flags are flown. The United States sometimes feels like two nations, divided by adornments defiantly affirming their political and cultural affinities.

…But, as a religious person (on my better days), what concerns me are the perverse and dangerous liberties many believers have taken with their own faith. Much of what considers itself Christian America has assumed the symbols and identity of white authoritarian populism — an alliance that is a serious, unfolding threat to liberal democracy…

Leaders in the Republican Party have fed, justified and exploited conservative Christians’ defensiveness in service to an aggressive, reactionary politics. This has included deadly mask and vaccine resistance, the discrediting of fair elections, baseless accusations of gay “grooming” in schools, the silencing of teaching about the United States’ history of racism, and (for some) a patently false belief that Godless conspiracies have taken hold of political institutions.

Michael Gerson’s article carries on through a piece of the Washington POST…properly analytical IMHO…and worthy of reading and reflection. His views aren’t mine. But, you’re at least as unlikely to bump into his views as folks who don’t read leftwing blogs like mine…are to read criticism this literate about the Republican Party.

Texas puts ‘In God We Trust’ signs in schools. They’ll be getting some in Arabic, too.

As he rode his bike Sunday, longtime political prankster Chaz Stevens ruminated on a law that was irking him: A Texas statute requiring schools to post donated signs with the United States motto, “In God We Trust.” Texas legislators, Stevens thought, were trolling people who don’t believe in a Judeo-Christian God.

Now, Stevens wants to troll them back…

The South Florida activist had raised more than $14,000 as of Thursday evening to distribute “In God We Trust” signs to public schools across Texas. The catch? The phrase is in Arabic…

The Arabic text is meant to invoke Islam and some Christians’ discomfort with that faith, Stevens said. He’s hoping for even one school to hang up the poster — in his view, making a point about applying the controversial statute evenly to people of any religion or no religion.

But Stevens, a self-described “staunch atheist,” is also prepared to try to turn a loss into a win. If a school rejects his poster, he said, he plans to file a lawsuit and use the court case to challenge the statute itself.

Sock it to ’em, bro’!

Most popular car on TikTok

Analyzing the number of views on TikTok using hashtags mentioning each vehicle brand and model, research by Confused.com revealed the most popular car models and brands on the app. The Ford Maverick topped the list, with over 10.9 billion views and a range of media and consumer content. Scroll through #FordMaverick on the app and you’ll find thousands of videos with owners showing off their truck—but none from Ford itself. The official Ford TikTok page is lightly populated and shows no Maverick content, cementing the truck’s popularity as relatively organic.

My wife’s Maverick is Cactus Gray. The truck’s name is Moxie.

Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

(The Borowitz Report)—Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them…

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Davis Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

Har!…Yes, this is satire…even though it wouldn’t be a surprise, eh?

Vasectomy time!

Urologists told The Washington Post that they have seen a spike in requests for the procedure in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

[Doug]Stein said that before Friday, he received four or five vasectomy requests a day. Since the court’s decision was announced, that number has spiked to 12 to 18 requests per day…

Some physicians are facing confusion and fear in a post-Roe world. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) joined several other professional organizations and medical journals in the past few days in warning that the ruling will affect health care beyond abortion, posing new risks for patients and possibly increasing maternal mortality. Doctors are concerned about the impact on situations including miscarriage and in vitro fertilization. The practice of medicine will be reshaped, the group said, or even contradicted “by laws not founded in science or based on evidence…”

There has been a push for vasectomies in anticipation of Roe being overturned and antiabortion legislation taking effect in states across the country. Stein and other vasectomy proponents have taken to the streets and child support offices to encourage people to get the procedure.

When I got my vasectomy in 1960, I lived in what was often termed “a good Catholic state” … 13 years before Roe vs Wade became the law of the land. So, if you’re wondering where this crap focus on anti-abortion regulation can lead, I should let you know that religious nutballs have no intention of stopping anywhere short of that spooky old bearded ghost that whispers in their ear when they’re high on Godspeak in their church of choice.

Vasectomies were written into that state’s anti-abortion regulations. Their Catholic God told them it was as much a sin as an abortion … and the penalties for getting that simple procedure were the same as an abortion. The urologist was liable for just as much jail time as any gynecologist performing an abortion.

Welcome to the nutball political past.