Sunday, July 22, 2012

Still more July Internet wading

Some of what caught my eye this week…

Just when you thought every loony Republican idea was already on the table, along comes US Representative Darrell Issa of California who wants to rename the ocean after Ronald Reagan. Well, not exactly: He wants to name the USA’s claimed “Exclusive Economic Zone”, which ranges from 3 to 200 miles from the US shores, as “the Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone.” Quite understandably, a lot of people not only think this idea is daft on its own, they also see it as weird: Modern day Republicans, while worshiping at the shrine of Reagan, nevertheless ignore everything he did and stood for. Commented The Daily Kos: “it turns out that while they now hate most of what [Reagan] said and did, they still like putting his name on things. So he's a lot like Jesus in that way. Or would be, if Jesus hated unions and the environment and said things like "bring all of the offshore oil within two hundred miles of here unto me, because I hath called dibs upon it."

Eric Cantor, Majority Leader in the US House of Representatives, urged tolerance of gay people and Muslims. Uh huh. “I think an even bigger issue… from a cultural standpoint, is the acceptance of diversity. And the acceptance of diversity of opinion,” he said in an interview with BuzzFeed. “And it’s that tolerance, I think that that tolerance is something that enables people to be passionate about their positions. And if you’re for gay marriage, this country allows you to express your views. Some states support it and allow it, and others don’t. But its ok to have that difference of opinion in that.” This from the man who has the job of moving Republicans’ laser-like focus on jobs, jobs, jobs—by which I mean outlawing abortion and birth control—as well as promoting the rest of their radically conservative agenda. I’ll believe they’ve discovered tolerance of dissent within their party once they start practicing it.

No porn for you people! A former Republican official from the justice departments of Reagan and Bush the First, a man who is now head of a extreme rightwing “morals” group, claims that Mitt Romney has promised “to vigorously enforce federal adult obscenity laws.” (Source: http://tinyurl.com/d88nejc) Apparently, this means censoring the Internet, since US-based websites could easily relocate overseas. And since that’s impossible, a crackdown on porn is most likely just the morals guy’s own pornographic fantasy.

Speaking of feeling the earth move, this week the Central North Island’s Tongariro volcano's alert level was raised from zero to 1, after more than 20 earthquakes were detected under the volcano since July 20 (the normal amount is two per year). This does not mean an eruption is imminent, nor even necessarily that the volcano is “waking up”. Unless it does mean that, of course. We’ll see. But the siren alert system in Christchurch, designed to warn coastal residents of an impending tsunami has left locals unimpressed.

And that’s another small sample of what caught my eye over one week.

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