It's easy to dismiss the intelligence of the American people. We eat like assholes, nod our heads in agreement when sports franchise owners want to steal public funds and make total shit like Two and a Half Men one of the highest-rated show of all times.
But clearly, we're not that bad. After all, we said adios to Rick Santorum.
Sure, Rick was the second-place finisher to the nomination for the most powerful seat in all of the land. (Or, I guess, Newt technically still is the second-place finisher, seeing as that pompous bit of lard refuses to waddle out of the proceedings.) But that was more an indictment of conservatives not being enamoured with Mitt Romney's robotic features and just looking for someone, anyone else. Santorum never really was actually in the running.
Let's all be honest here: Was there ever a moment where you were scared he was going to get the nomination? And then, that he'd actually defeat Obama in a general election? It's simple to be all, “Americans are dumb enough to elect Rick Santorum.” But until it actually happens, until the American people prove to be that dumb, that's merely holding onto a comfortable elitist attitude that actually isn't all that realistic.
If the threat of a Santorum presidency is/was being used as a way to galvanise the liberal base, then fine, so be it, any scare tactic is legit when the stakes are that high. But at the same time we can't believe that the American people, on the whole, are that stupid. Yes, there are still plenty of racists, bigots, women-haters and religious fanatics. (In many cases, one person actually covers all four of these bases, a homerun of dipshittery.) But the numbers of them are not a threat to the normals of us out there.
It is a mistake to confuse the high volume of a single crazy person for a chorus from the masses.
Onto the roundup!
- In Santa Ana, California, a “spiritual healer” was arrested when he followed some weird raw egg cleansing ritual with some old-fashioned raping.
- Those anti-female laws that have been passing in Republican strongholds have been terrible, yes, no doubt. But things could be worse, say, if America starts passing laws like Kuwait, where it is now a death penalty offense to curse God, the Prophet Muhammed or his wives. Meaning, if I'm reading this ruling correctly, that “Jesus-fucking-Christ” will still be allowed. So: Jesus-fucking-Christ!
- Hot on the trail of highlighting the assheadedness of former famous person Kirk Cameron last week comes this video from the Funny or Die folks featuring former child stars coming out against Cameron's said dickheadedness.
- Tennessee, that bastion of intellectualism, approved a law that will allow teachers to explore the “scientific strengths and weaknesses” of evolution and climate change. Interpreted for the layperson, that means teachers will now be able to strongly suggest that evolution and global warming are bullshit.
- In Texas, a science teacher at Heritage Christian Academy was fired from her job after getting knocked up out of wedlock. Knocked up, mind you, by her long-committed fiancé.
- More than 30 people died in southern Yemen as fighting raged between good ol' al Queda and the Yemeni soldiers.
- A bomb placed in a busy Somalian market by Islamist militant sect al-Shabab left at least 12 people dead, mostly women and children.
- In Afghanistan, a pair of suicide bombers from the Taliban blew themselves up and took at least 18 people with them. Later on in the week, Taliban went ape-shit and carried out a series of attacks, focusing on British, Russian and German embassies, as well as NATO headquarters, military bases and parliament. No estimate yet on how many dead.
- As if it was ever under doubt, college football in Arkansas is now officially more important than God: Fans of AU are asking for the school's athletic director to follow the example of Christ and forgive former coach Bobby Petrino, who was fired after he was caught having a highly-improper affair with an employee 26 years his junior.
- Have you been following this awesome Mel Gibson nonsense? Wherein Joe Eszterhas – writer of such iconic silver screen gems as Showgirls and Basic Instinct – who had been hired to write Gibson's latest film about the Maccabees of Jewish lore, says the film was shelved because Gibson's inherent and obvious anti-Semitism? You should be following this story, is the point.
- Sure, religion doesn't specifically get mentioned in a new study linking those who are homophobic to those that are, in actuality, homosexual. But it certainly isn't a stretch to extrapolate that the “authoritarian parents” mentioned in the first paragraph may be super-religious.
- Arizona: Now officially the hardest place to get an abortion after Republicans in that state's legislature got their way. But don't tell that to the official GOP website, who seem to finally be realising that maybe it's not the best idea to tell 50% of the voters to go fuck themselves, as evidenced by their condemnation of “liberals” and “Obama” who just can't stop insulting women every chance they get!
- In Pakistan, nearly 400 prisoners are free after more than 150 heavily-armed members of the Islamist militant sect Tehreek-e Taliban broke them out of prison.
- All across Europe, pro-Palestinian activists were not allowed to enter Israel and stir shit up by hanging around Tel-Aviv Airport for a week with signs saying, “Welcome to Palestine.”
- Well, what do you know? States who've decided to teach abstinence-only sex education also have the highest rates of teen pregnancy. What a strange coincidence.
- And finally, our Hero of the Week: Marty Rathbun, who had a nice profile written about him in last week's The Independent. Rathbun was once a high-ranking member of the Church of Scientology before pulling a 180 and becoming one of the church's fiercest foes/whistle-blowers. Without folks like him, we wouldn't really know exactly how full of shit the Scientology folks are. (Spoiler: A whole hell of a lot.)
Previously: Careful Construction