Insane, Ignorant, and Objectively Wrong

First, the insane: the charming folks at Westboro Baptist are thrilled by the tsunami because it killed lots of "fags and dykes," as well as an even worse breed of people: Swedes. (These are the folks who picket funerals of gay people, including Matthew Shephard, with signs reading "____ IS IN HELL.") Just once I would like to hear of a mainstream Christian pastor preaching a sermon about how evil these people are, but I'm not holding my breath.

Now, the ignorant: from an editorial in yesterday's New York Times: "According to a poll, most Americans believe the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on aid to poor countries; it actually spends well under a quarter of 1 percent."

How fucking stupid are our fellow citizens? It's no wonder we see the voting patterns we do when so many people cannot flip the channel from the latest reality show to find out something about what their government is actually doing. They think we spend a quarter of our budget on foreign aid? A people that cannot be bothered to find out things that are easy to uncover about what is happening to their tax dollars don't deserve democracy. A national press that doesn't talk about this more is an embarrassment to the profession of journalism.

Finally, the objectively wrong: most bright people go through their Ayn Rand phase (usually around age 16-19) and then discover that they have a soul and grow up. Others go on be part of the Ayn Rand Institue, and write about why we should not give a penny is tsunami aid. Of course these are the folks who consider volunteerism immoral, so what do you want... but still.

Off to my flying tin can. Again - happy new year!

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