There was a public record before the current adventurism of Bush & Associates. Fortunately one can find interesting notes on the web .. many of them diametrically opposed to the history that B&A is rewriting.
Perhaps it is reasonable to deny people in Georgia anything that has been the result improvements to Science that are based on the scientific process associated with understanding evolution. I wonder how many people would move?
They seem bent on destroying the futures of their children. I would think admissions boards for top ranked colleges would think a few times about admitting students from a state that teaches pseudoscience. I can also imagine literate parents avoiding the state for fear of having their kids get a substandard education.
Some time ago Scientific American ran a piece that gets to what Science really is - something that is missed by the folks who are into such things as intelligent design.
I had a request to help a student compile LilyPond on OS X. I had never heard of the project and a tour shows something rather interesting.
Score made with computers are generally detectable by their visual ugliness. Everything is there - it is just ugly. LilyPond is an effort to move towards a score that looks as if it was engraved by someone who knew what they were doing.
Salon has a commentary on An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror by Frum and Perle. The authors are the pillar's of the neocon movement that has captured America. While the Salon piece has a sensationalist flavor, it does make a case for a rather bizarre book (which is now on my reading list)
an excerpt from Salon (membership or free daypass required)
Here are some of the authors' policy recommendations:
Preparing to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea, after moving our troops out of range of their artillery and missiles.
Taking direct action to topple the regime in Iran, by providing aid to Iranian dissidents.
Being prepared to invade Syria, of whom the authors write, "Really, there is only one question to ask about Syria: Why have we put up with it as long as we have?"
Being prepared to invade Libya. "The illusion that Muammar al-Qaddafi is 'moderating' should be treated as what it is: a symptom of the seemingly incurable wishful delusions that afflict the accommodationists in the foreign policy establishment." (Now that those accommodationists in State have been proven right, don't expect an apology from the authors: They'll claim Qaddafi got rid of his WMD programs only because Bush invaded Iraq. All other answers, no matter if they're true, don't fit with their Manichaean, evildoers-respond-only-to-force worldview. Besides, those who are always right must never apologize. It is a sign of weakness, which our evil Muslim terrorist enemies (TM) will exploit with evil terror.)
Taking a superconfrontational line with Saudi Arabia, including letting them know that if they don't reform we would look with favor upon a Shiite uprising in their oil-rich Eastern Province.
Abandoning the Israeli-Palestinian peace process altogether. In a radical departure from U.S. policy, they say the Palestinians should not be given a state. Creating a Palestinian state out of the West Bank and Gaza, they write, will not bring peace to the region, because the Palestinians and other Arabs are only interested in vengeance, not justice. Instead, the Palestinians should "let go of the past" and content themselves with becoming citizens of the Arab countries in which they now live. The authors do not say what should happen to the 3.9 million Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories: Presumably they should either agree to become second-class citizens like the other Israeli Arabs, or leave.
Their domestic policies are equally arresting:
Requiring all residents to carry a national identity card that includes "biometric data, like fingerprints or retinal scans or DNA," and empowering all law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws. The authors admit that such a card "could be used in abusive ways," but reassure us by saying that victims of "executive branch abuse will be able to sue." Those who have done nothing wrong have nothing to fear!
Encouraging Americans to "report suspicious activity." Apparently alone among Americans, the authors lament the demise of the TIPS program.
Changing immigration policy so that the U.S. can bar all would-be visitors who have "terrorist sympathies." The authors define "terrorist sympathies" so broadly that this would rule out a high percentage of visitors from Muslim or Arab countries.
Reforming the CIA to make it more hard-line on the Middle East. There can be no argument that American intelligence desperately needs reform. But after the yellowcake scandal, after the Valerie Plame leak, after the lies and distortions and creation of special offices to cook evidence, for Bush hard-liners to trash the intelligence community and the State Department takes some chutzpah.
The remarkable thing about these ideas is that, just a few years ago, they existed only in the feverish fantasies of wack jobs at extreme right, virulently pro-Israel think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute. But then came Sept. 11, 2001, and an ill-starred roll of the dice that brought together superhawks Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, hard-line Likud supporters Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith (and Richard Perle, offstage), and a devoutly religious, intellectually overmatched, politically shrewd president who embraced a permanent war on terror as if God had spoken to him (and as the only way to salvage his disastrous presidency). The result: Not only were these radical ideas given respectability, they actually became U.S. policy.
Not all of them, of course. One of the few interesting things about this insufferably smug, intellectually shallow book is trying to predict which of the authors' wilder policy recommendations will actually be implemented, and which will remain mere gleams in the right wing's Cyclopean eye. In fact, none of their dreams are likely to become reality. The U.S. is not going to invade North Korea, thereby condemning tens or hundreds of thousands of Koreans (from both North and South) to death. Nor will it invade Iran: After the Iraq debacle, even the most ignorant, deluded neocon is probably beginning to realize that toppling the mullahs will not guarantee that a U.S.-friendly regime would follow.
One of the things that is fascinating about the administration's move towards (some would say the capture by) the neoconservative movement is that the core components of the conservative "big tent" seem to be drinking the koolaid even though their views may be diametrically opposed in some areas.
The Wikipedia has a short discussion of the subject that is a good jumping point for exploration of the subject.
So how do you get public buy-in of such a radical departure in policy? Tapping and manipulating post 911 patriotism as a tool is a possible explanation.
This seems like a good time to mention my favorite two quotes on patriotism:
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
Theodore Roosevelt (1918)
Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country
A few days ago we noted an effort to get NASA and Congress to see the lack of reason in the President's Martian dreams. When I called my Senators last week I learned that complaints were a very hot topic (this was prior to the hearings) near or at the top of the voter communication lists. One of the offices described voter comments as several hundred to zero against a manned program to Mars with support of the Hubble Space Telescope ...
Now it appears we have been heard ... at least a second hearing seems on tap. Of course getting the attention of the legislators was the result of a concentrated effort, but now the folks who want an expanded human program have to make their case. This may be a very difficult task.
Note that Bush isn't mentioning going to the Moon or Mars these days. Folklore has it that it polled poorly. With the continued explosion of the deficit, it seems less likely than ever.