“Because It’s Moooooooooving Day, Mooooooooving Day –”

“– rip up the carpets off the floor/get on your overcoat/you’re out the door/because it’s mooooooooving day–”

The process that began in March 2004 and should have been done November of 2004 is finally wrapping up this weekend, with crucial but relatively quick labor (final installation of carpet, heating baseboard, electric and lighting fixtures) to soon follow. The completion of the studio/office/library is in reach at last, and I couldn’t be readier for the move. Despite the work left to be done, once the shelving is in place and my cleanup/touchup/painting touchup chores are done before I fall down this evening, I’m beginning the momentous task of organizing and moving a vast portion of my library and collection into place, while setting up the computer and writing work area and a long-needed corner for drawing and art production.

Shambling about through 30 years of accumulated material — art, books, files, papers, etc. — has been one of the great obstacles week-to-week, though I’ve managed to do so with enough effectiveness to complete a multitude of projects. Pitiful attempts to lend some order to all this since Marj and I moved into our present abode (the first I’ve owned rather than rented) in March of 2002 have been sporadic at best: whenever the next feat of construction or renovation was necessary, I’d have to shuffle it all about anew, and it’s pretty hopeless at this point. Some of these projects have been research-intensive, leaving heaps of discards and relevent materials in various corners once a given project is done and on its way. It’s a process any writer or artist dependent on access to research fully understands, and laypersons can only shake their heads at.

I’ve managed to wade through some staggering tasks amid all this chaos, and have had pretty solid luck finding all I’ve needed when I’ve needed it. Still, much of what I sometimes need is still boxed and sealed and stored in the second floor of our garage (like my entire paleontology book collection), and I’ve turned down some attractive work offers for lack of anywhere to execute such gigs. For those I have taken on and completed, the void of a dedicated organized workspace has been crippling at times, and the chore of shifting and sifting through the increasingly discumbobulated collection to complete research has become since September a weekly ordeal as I prep my CCS sessions (the average lecture incorporates over 200 images, scanned from various comics, books, and documents scattered — and I do mean scattered — over three floors of our home).

Soon, that will all be behind me, and I’m eager to claim the new space and use its abundance of storage, shelving, and work space to reorient literally two floors of my debris and spread-like-a-madwoman’s-shit chaos.

That all this is coming together in our little corner of Vermont within a week or two of displaced Hurricane Katrina receiving their December 1st eviction notices from various FEMA-financed shelters (hotel rooms, etc.) leaves me mortified at how much fucking space I fill with my accumulated career/collection shit. I’m feeling criminal, claiming all this turf — but still, Marj and I worked hard for it, we’ve ended up paying through the nose for it (no thanks to the original contractor who effectively stiffed us when he abandoned the job), and I’ll nevertheless savor the process of moving at last.


We’ve Got Mail!

Write again with confidence, we’ll reply with the same!

Thanks to the great grand & glorious Mark Martin, our Yahoo email account is up and working perfectly now. Thanks to all who wrote with advice (and even invites to open new email — thanks, Mitch, Andrew), but Mark was first to provide the needed technical recommendation — which should have been waiting in my mailbox from Yahoo the morning of their system revamp. As Mark said to me, “They added that ‘feature’ to ‘enhance’ your experience. It’s just like you suspected – something you did not ask for, don’t want, etc – but god dammit you are gonna get it!!!” Ya, just like Alan Goldstein used to “enhance” the only computer at First Run Video I depended upon — “enhancing” later-necessary files out of existence. Anyhoot, thank you, Mark — it was an elegantly simple operation, but one I neither Marj or I would have thought of or inadvertantly stumbled upon in weeks of Sundays.
___

Awoke this morning (via Marj’s radio alarm) to the dulcimer tones of our lying sack-of-shit Vice President Dick Cheney honking off at those pesky Democrats who apparently found the roadmap to one of their testicles this past week or two and are finally aggressively criticizing this Administration’s rush to war in 2003.

Lying sack of shit, I say. This isn’t a matter of opinion about Cheney: it’s a fact. Lest you’ve forgotten, Cheney proved himself a complete sociopath before the nation in the very first words out of his piehole during the Vice-Presidential debates when he claimed to have never met Senator Edwards before, much less ever seen him on the Senate floor. This first-volley dirt-cheap shot at his debate opponent was countered within hours with news footage of Cheney himself magnanimously introducing Edwards and his wife before some event on the Senate floor. Cheney neither apologized nor was shamed. He is clearly incapable of the latter, and has steadfastly refused to do the former however callous his behavior or blatant his deceptions.

Cheney was the most visible Administration official to maintain the deceitful, non-existent link between the 9/11 attacks on the US and Saddam Hussein, hours after President Bush had admitted publicly none existed. Cheney, our first cyborg Vice, will demonstratably say or do anything with arrogant bravado and unshakable confidence to support whatever lie he chooses to tell or debunk whatever lie he pretends he didn’t tell, and his bold bullying of the past days does nothing to counter the rational and long-overdue debate over the deceptive manner in which Bush, Cheney, and their cronies “sold the war” (their own term, mind you) to a gullible American public.

That they — Bush and Cheney — are so publicly tag-teaming in the current campaign to (a) legalize their torture state while (b) lying before the entire world (from foreign soil no less, moving from Bush’s stand-by “America does not believe in torture” to the emphatic “America does not torture”) is the latest one-two punch from men so intoxicated with power that they can’t see or don’t care about the basic incompatibility of these two synonymous positions. They apparently believe, given how “we” as a country continue to apparently support their rogue corrupt state, that “we” stupidly won’t notice. This lethal pathology is growing more blatant and transparent, and one no longer knows how to react when (for instance) Bush lectures China on the principles of democracy (from a podium in Japan, mind you: given the centuries of animosity between China and Japan, Bush just topped his President Pop’s faux pas of vomiting into a Japanese diplomat’s lap: with a single speech, he humiliated both Japan and China, his host and the very country he is visiting next — and remains oblivious to having humiliated both parties).

Just last week in England, Tony Blair couldn’t get a bill passed extending detention of terrorist suspects from 14 to 90 days; in the US, “detainees” are still being imprisoned without charges for years on end. As of November 17th, AP reports we now have “detained more than 83,000 foreigners in the four years of the war on terror, enough to nearly fill the NFL’s largest stadium” (“83,000 Foreigners Have Been Detained in War on Terror: Prisoners in Custody in Iraq Hit a High of Nearly 13,900 on November 1″ by Katherine Shrader and Robert Burns, 11/17/05). These are our contemporary concentration camps, which “we” emphatically maintain “we” have a right to maintain indefinitely as our President and Vice-President campaign to extend such abuses of power into the realm of legalized torture even as “we” are and continue to torture without such “legal” sanctions (from the same AP story, just to summarize the situation: “…On Capitol Hill, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is leading a campaign to ban cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody. The administration says the legislation could tie the president’s hands. Vice President Dick Cheney has pressed lawmakers to exempt the CIA…”). If you personally don’t believe we’re torturing detainees, take a moment to read Amy Goodman‘s sobering interview with American soldier (former U.S. Army interrogator Specialist) Tony Lagouranis

  • here.
  • We clearly are out of control. We are behaving like a rogue state, a rogue superpower, led by an American rogue’s gallery like none in living memory.

    Of course, this is only further eroding whatever shred of credibility or illusion of decency left to our nation.

    This morning’s radio-broadcast spectacle of mock indignation and no-doubt genuine outrage from the man who told Senator Leahy on the Senate floor to “go fuck yourself” and thereafter expressed his glee with having said it is just further evidence of the shameless guile, bile, and deceit this motherfucker revels in. It isn’t swagger, it’s his fundamental behavior pattern.

    I can’t recall any Vice President since Spiro Agnew who has been so destructive to our country or the basic principles of democracy. Agnew was a piker next to Cheney, who 20 years ago would have seemed too incredible a character in the context of the most asinine of Charles Bronson or Chuck Norris thrillers — and yet here we are, in the 21st Century, with this mind-boggling villain speaking (literally out of the side of his mouth) on behalf of our country time and time again, pretending to speak for our shared values, demonstrating the utter bankruptcy of our sham pretense to civility, decency, and democracy.

    He clearly has no shame.

    Have we no shame?


    We’ve Got Mail!

    Write again with confidence, we’ll reply with the same!

    Thanks to the great grand & glorious Mark Martin, our Yahoo email account is up and working perfectly now. Thanks to all who wrote with advice (and even invites to open new email — thanks, Mitch, Andrew), but Mark was first to provide the needed technical recommendation — which should have been waiting in my mailbox from Yahoo the morning of their system revamp. As Mark said to me, “They added that ‘feature’ to ‘enhance’ your experience. It’s just like you suspected – something you did not ask for, don’t want, etc – but god dammit you are gonna get it!!!” Ya, just like Alan Goldstein used to “enhance” the only computer at First Run Video I depended upon — “enhancing” later-necessary files out of existence. Anyhoot, thank you, Mark — it was an elegantly simple operation, but one I neither Marj or I would have thought of or inadvertantly stumbled upon in weeks of Sundays.
    ___

    Awoke this morning (via Marj’s radio alarm) to the dulcimer tones of our lying sack-of-shit Vice President Dick Cheney honking off at those pesky Democrats who apparently found the roadmap to one of their testicles this past week or two and are finally aggressively criticizing this Administration’s rush to war in 2003.

    Lying sack of shit, I say. This isn’t a matter of opinion about Cheney: it’s a fact. Lest you’ve forgotten, Cheney proved himself a complete sociopath before the nation in the very first words out of his piehole during the Vice-Presidential debates when he claimed to have never met Senator Edwards before, much less ever seen him on the Senate floor. This first-volley dirt-cheap shot at his debate opponent was countered within hours with news footage of Cheney himself magnanimously introducing Edwards and his wife before some event on the Senate floor. Cheney neither apologized nor was shamed. He is clearly incapable of the latter, and has steadfastly refused to do the former however callous his behavior or blatant his deceptions.

    Cheney was the most visible Administration official to maintain the deceitful, non-existent link between the 9/11 attacks on the US and Saddam Hussein, hours after President Bush had admitted publicly none existed. Cheney, our first cyborg Vice, will demonstratably say or do anything with arrogant bravado and unshakable confidence to support whatever lie he chooses to tell or debunk whatever lie he pretends he didn’t tell, and his bold bullying of the past days does nothing to counter the rational and long-overdue debate over the deceptive manner in which Bush, Cheney, and their cronies “sold the war” (their own term, mind you) to a gullible American public.

    That they — Bush and Cheney — are so publicly tag-teaming in the current campaign to (a) legalize their torture state while (b) lying before the entire world (from foreign soil no less, moving from Bush’s stand-by “America does not believe in torture” to the emphatic “America does not torture”) is the latest one-two punch from men so intoxicated with power that they can’t see or don’t care about the basic incompatibility of these two synonymous positions. They apparently believe, given how “we” as a country continue to apparently support their rogue corrupt state, that “we” stupidly won’t notice. This lethal pathology is growing more blatant and transparent, and one no longer knows how to react when (for instance) Bush lectures China on the principles of democracy (from a podium in Japan, mind you: given the centuries of animosity between China and Japan, Bush just topped his President Pop’s faux pas of vomiting into a Japanese diplomat’s lap: with a single speech, he humiliated both Japan and China, his host and the very country he is visiting next — and remains oblivious to having humiliated both parties).

    Just last week in England, Tony Blair couldn’t get a bill passed extending detention of terrorist suspects from 14 to 90 days; in the US, “detainees” are still being imprisoned without charges for years on end. As of November 17th, AP reports we now have “detained more than 83,000 foreigners in the four years of the war on terror, enough to nearly fill the NFL’s largest stadium” (“83,000 Foreigners Have Been Detained in War on Terror: Prisoners in Custody in Iraq Hit a High of Nearly 13,900 on November 1″ by Katherine Shrader and Robert Burns, 11/17/05). These are our contemporary concentration camps, which “we” emphatically maintain “we” have a right to maintain indefinitely as our President and Vice-President campaign to extend such abuses of power into the realm of legalized torture even as “we” are and continue to torture without such “legal” sanctions (from the same AP story, just to summarize the situation: “…On Capitol Hill, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is leading a campaign to ban cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody. The administration says the legislation could tie the president’s hands. Vice President Dick Cheney has pressed lawmakers to exempt the CIA…”). If you personally don’t believe we’re torturing detainees, take a moment to read Amy Goodman‘s sobering interview with American soldier (former U.S. Army interrogator Specialist) Tony Lagouranis

  • here.
  • We clearly are out of control. We are behaving like a rogue state, a rogue superpower, led by an American rogue’s gallery like none in living memory.

    Of course, this is only further eroding whatever shred of credibility or illusion of decency left to our nation.

    This morning’s radio-broadcast spectacle of mock indignation and no-doubt genuine outrage from the man who told Senator Leahy on the Senate floor to “go fuck yourself” and thereafter expressed his glee with having said it is just further evidence of the shameless guile, bile, and deceit this motherfucker revels in. It isn’t swagger, it’s his fundamental behavior pattern.

    I can’t recall any Vice President since Spiro Agnew who has been so destructive to our country or the basic principles of democracy. Agnew was a piker next to Cheney, who 20 years ago would have seemed too incredible a character in the context of the most asinine of Charles Bronson or Chuck Norris thrillers — and yet here we are, in the 21st Century, with this mind-boggling villain speaking (literally out of the side of his mouth) on behalf of our country time and time again, pretending to speak for our shared values, demonstrating the utter bankruptcy of our sham pretense to civility, decency, and democracy.

    He clearly has no shame.

    Have we no shame?


    Yes, We Have No Email Today…

    Notice to friends and associates:

    With some sorely-needed sleep, the cool light of reason and a new morning, it’s now evident that the overnight change in systems at Yahoo’s email functions is indeed non-functional at the Bissette household, on any and all of our three computers. Switching, per Yahoo’s suggestion, to Safari or Mozilla’s “lastest” (typo on Yahoo’s instructional banner) system only immediately shuts down our internet connection. We can now only read, but not reply to, all incoming email.

    So, if you’re reading this blog, and have emailed me in the past two days, you now know why there’s been no reply.

    There may not be, either. We’re unsure what we’re going to do, but either a change in email service/address or a decision to simply abandon all email until this can be resolved may be forthcoming in the very near future.

    This is rather symptomatic of my ongoing interaction with computers: as soon as I gain a level of interactive competence with current systems, some dramatic overnight overhaul of systems renders my ability to interact with systems moot and obsolete. This then requires further expenditures of time, money, and effort into forced reeducation, all of which seems to me an increasingly fruitless waste of said time, money, and effort. Still, I soldier on, though I do resent at times the capitalizing on my time this vicious cycle requires. (Wouldn’t you all rather I be writing or drawing in any case?)

    In this matter — and I do hope I’m wrong about this — it may be the internet/email systems are simply no longer serving those of us still limited exclusively by geographic issues beyond our control to ‘dial’ phoneline access. Marj and I live in a region of Vermont where no rapid-alternatives are available (no cable, no satellite access). Hopefully, I am dead wrong — but if so, this may prove to be one of those turning points where we say “ah, fuck it.”

    (The impending, long-promised Federally imposed High Definition television changeover promises to be another such turning point — we’re not going to blow $1000+ for HD monitors and the technology upgrade necessary to access television we no longer watch in any case. TV is no longer part of our active lives, and hasn’t been for some time, so it’ll be easy to bail out when the TV simply no longer functions with broadcast signals of any kind.)

    Mind you, this is not a willful abandonment of computers and the internet — that’s become a staple of our day-to-day lives — but if communication in one-way as our email now is, it serves little useful purpose.

    So, email — we’ll see.

    But at present, if you’re writing me, I can read your email — I can’t respond.

    Sorry. Will keep you posted here, one way or the other.

    ___

    (BTW — apologies to the rest of you — quick replies to pending emails to folks I know read this blog: Thanks, Heath, but that’s not a Hamilton’s Invader insect, whatever the auction site says; many thanks for the effort, though — Salvo, got your email, all is well; don’t despair, snail-mail is slow twixt the US and Italy — Oh, no, Implosia, be careful, and pleasepleaseplease, don’t fucking do that! You’ll never be able to replace/supplant that organ!
    __

    And speaking of regionalized constrictions on access to interaction with the rest of the world:

    Re: “Intelligent Design”

    As the current regional democracy of school boards shapes our national dialogue on this topic (note the tight swing vote in the current Kansas school situation, and that last week’s election locally ousted the Pennsylvania school board members who had voted for “Intelligent Design” being taught in their school), keep in mind that choosing to pay attention to science may be determined by such democratic process, but the scientific principles at stake will not be deterred. Ignorance may impose local-government-sanctioned ignorance on the next generation, but the rest of the world marches on. The consequences will eventually become so real that ignoring them becomes impossible.

    In the 21st Century, an American determinative refusal to engage with science as the rest of the world does will simply place the burden upon our country, culture and children of a self-imposed exile from reality. We pursue this path to the detriment of our own assumed future role in the global community. If faith-based redefinitions of the sciences continue to gain momentum, we’ll drift back to the illusory succor of a new Dark Age while Europe and Asia usurp our positions in evolving (yes, evolving) technologies and sciences. Willful stupidity is no excuse.

    With the summer boost President Bush‘s input fully acknowledged herein (further evidence of his disdain and fundamental refusal to engage with science on any level beyond that which sanctions his dangerously narrow “What, Me Worry?” worldview), I humbly add the following to my earlier posts on the topic:

    First off, author John Rennie provides some insightful retorts to fifteen key points in the current ID dogma in

  • Scientific American responds to ID
  • Give it a read. There will be a test in 2007.

    Bringing to the table his mastery of the language (he is, after all, linguistics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as an activist writer), Noam Chomsky reorients the discussion. He suggests we adopt new terminology, proposing the moniker “Malignant Design”. Hmmmm, it does explain a good deal, doesn’t it? The November 14th Toronto Star article includes the following bon mots:

    President George W. Bush favors teaching both evolution and “intelligent design” in schools, “so people can know what the debate is about.” To proponents, intelligent design is the notion that the universe is too complex to have developed without a nudge from a higher power than evolution or natural selection. To detractors, intelligent design is creationism — the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis — in a thin guise, or simply vacuous, about as interesting as “I don’t understand”…

    So far, however, the curriculum has not encompassed one obvious point of view: malignant design. Unlike intelligent design, for which the evidence is zero, malignant design has tons of empirical evidence, much more than Darwinian evolution, by some criteria: the world’s cruelty.

    Intelligent design raises the question of whether it is intelligent to disregard scientific evidence about matters of supreme importance to the nation and the world — like global warming. An old-fashioned conservative would believe in the value of Enlightenment ideals — rationality, critical analysis, freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry — and would try to adapt them to a modern society.

    America’s Founding Fathers, children of the Enlightenment, championed those ideals and took pains to create a constitution that espoused religious freedom yet separated church and state.

    The United States, despite the occasional messianism of its leaders, isn’t a theocracy. In our time, Bush administration hostility to scientific inquiry puts the world at risk. Environmental catastrophe, whether you think the world has been developing only since Genesis or for eons, is far too serious to ignore.

    Perhaps only the word “malignant” could describe a failure to acknowledge, much less address, the all-too-scientific issue of climate change. Thus, the “moral clarity” of the Bush administration extends to its cavalier attitude toward the fate of our grandchildren.”

    (Special thanks to ‘Artemis’ aka Ashley and to HomeyM for their always generous input.)

    Taking my own advice to heart, you’ll of course excuse me now while I try to reorient myself to the rather sudden and completely unexpected evolution in my email system.

    Are those feathers sprouting on my keyboard, or am I evolving a third eye?


    Yes, We Have No Email Today…

    Notice to friends and associates:

    With some sorely-needed sleep, the cool light of reason and a new morning, it’s now evident that the overnight change in systems at Yahoo’s email functions is indeed non-functional at the Bissette household, on any and all of our three computers. Switching, per Yahoo’s suggestion, to Safari or Mozilla’s “lastest” (typo on Yahoo’s instructional banner) system only immediately shuts down our internet connection. We can now only read, but not reply to, all incoming email.

    So, if you’re reading this blog, and have emailed me in the past two days, you now know why there’s been no reply.

    There may not be, either. We’re unsure what we’re going to do, but either a change in email service/address or a decision to simply abandon all email until this can be resolved may be forthcoming in the very near future.

    This is rather symptomatic of my ongoing interaction with computers: as soon as I gain a level of interactive competence with current systems, some dramatic overnight overhaul of systems renders my ability to interact with systems moot and obsolete. This then requires further expenditures of time, money, and effort into forced reeducation, all of which seems to me an increasingly fruitless waste of said time, money, and effort. Still, I soldier on, though I do resent at times the capitalizing on my time this vicious cycle requires. (Wouldn’t you all rather I be writing or drawing in any case?)

    In this matter — and I do hope I’m wrong about this — it may be the internet/email systems are simply no longer serving those of us still limited exclusively by geographic issues beyond our control to ‘dial’ phoneline access. Marj and I live in a region of Vermont where no rapid-alternatives are available (no cable, no satellite access). Hopefully, I am dead wrong — but if so, this may prove to be one of those turning points where we say “ah, fuck it.”

    (The impending, long-promised Federally imposed High Definition television changeover promises to be another such turning point — we’re not going to blow $1000+ for HD monitors and the technology upgrade necessary to access television we no longer watch in any case. TV is no longer part of our active lives, and hasn’t been for some time, so it’ll be easy to bail out when the TV simply no longer functions with broadcast signals of any kind.)

    Mind you, this is not a willful abandonment of computers and the internet — that’s become a staple of our day-to-day lives — but if communication in one-way as our email now is, it serves little useful purpose.

    So, email — we’ll see.

    But at present, if you’re writing me, I can read your email — I can’t respond.

    Sorry. Will keep you posted here, one way or the other.

    ___

    (BTW — apologies to the rest of you — quick replies to pending emails to folks I know read this blog: Thanks, Heath, but that’s not a Hamilton’s Invader insect, whatever the auction site says; many thanks for the effort, though — Salvo, got your email, all is well; don’t despair, snail-mail is slow twixt the US and Italy — Oh, no, Implosia, be careful, and pleasepleaseplease, don’t fucking do that! You’ll never be able to replace/supplant that organ!
    __

    And speaking of regionalized constrictions on access to interaction with the rest of the world:

    Re: “Intelligent Design”

    As the current regional democracy of school boards shapes our national dialogue on this topic (note the tight swing vote in the current Kansas school situation, and that last week’s election locally ousted the Pennsylvania school board members who had voted for “Intelligent Design” being taught in their school), keep in mind that choosing to pay attention to science may be determined by such democratic process, but the scientific principles at stake will not be deterred. Ignorance may impose local-government-sanctioned ignorance on the next generation, but the rest of the world marches on. The consequences will eventually become so real that ignoring them becomes impossible.

    In the 21st Century, an American determinative refusal to engage with science as the rest of the world does will simply place the burden upon our country, culture and children of a self-imposed exile from reality. We pursue this path to the detriment of our own assumed future role in the global community. If faith-based redefinitions of the sciences continue to gain momentum, we’ll drift back to the illusory succor of a new Dark Age while Europe and Asia usurp our positions in evolving (yes, evolving) technologies and sciences. Willful stupidity is no excuse.

    With the summer boost President Bush‘s input fully acknowledged herein (further evidence of his disdain and fundamental refusal to engage with science on any level beyond that which sanctions his dangerously narrow “What, Me Worry?” worldview), I humbly add the following to my earlier posts on the topic:

    First off, author John Rennie provides some insightful retorts to fifteen key points in the current ID dogma in

  • Scientific American responds to ID
  • Give it a read. There will be a test in 2007.

    Bringing to the table his mastery of the language (he is, after all, linguistics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as an activist writer), Noam Chomsky reorients the discussion. He suggests we adopt new terminology, proposing the moniker “Malignant Design”. Hmmmm, it does explain a good deal, doesn’t it? The November 14th Toronto Star article includes the following bon mots:

    President George W. Bush favors teaching both evolution and “intelligent design” in schools, “so people can know what the debate is about.” To proponents, intelligent design is the notion that the universe is too complex to have developed without a nudge from a higher power than evolution or natural selection. To detractors, intelligent design is creationism — the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis — in a thin guise, or simply vacuous, about as interesting as “I don’t understand”…

    So far, however, the curriculum has not encompassed one obvious point of view: malignant design. Unlike intelligent design, for which the evidence is zero, malignant design has tons of empirical evidence, much more than Darwinian evolution, by some criteria: the world’s cruelty.

    Intelligent design raises the question of whether it is intelligent to disregard scientific evidence about matters of supreme importance to the nation and the world — like global warming. An old-fashioned conservative would believe in the value of Enlightenment ideals — rationality, critical analysis, freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry — and would try to adapt them to a modern society.

    America’s Founding Fathers, children of the Enlightenment, championed those ideals and took pains to create a constitution that espoused religious freedom yet separated church and state.

    The United States, despite the occasional messianism of its leaders, isn’t a theocracy. In our time, Bush administration hostility to scientific inquiry puts the world at risk. Environmental catastrophe, whether you think the world has been developing only since Genesis or for eons, is far too serious to ignore.

    Perhaps only the word “malignant” could describe a failure to acknowledge, much less address, the all-too-scientific issue of climate change. Thus, the “moral clarity” of the Bush administration extends to its cavalier attitude toward the fate of our grandchildren.”

    (Special thanks to ‘Artemis’ aka Ashley and to HomeyM for their always generous input.)

    Taking my own advice to heart, you’ll of course excuse me now while I try to reorient myself to the rather sudden and completely unexpected evolution in my email system.

    Are those feathers sprouting on my keyboard, or am I evolving a third eye?