Friday, April 15, 2005

A Fitting Tribute. French Or Thousand Island?

Bush, Cheney, Rummy "Honored". Slime-Mold Beetles Not Amused.

In a fitting tribute, a pair of entomologists have named three species of slime-mold beetles to honor President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Thanks to Em Jeigh for forwarding this CNN story. Of course, by now, every other blogger in the aether has taken their shots at this story, so I'll just show an excerpt:

ITHACA, New York (AP) -- Not just anybody can say he has a slime-mold beetle named in his honor. But George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld can.

Entomologists Quentin Wheeler and Kelly B. Miller, who recently had the task of naming 65 newly discovered species of slime-mold beetles, named three species after the president, vice president and defense secretary. The monikers: Agathidium bushi Miller and Wheeler, Agathidium cheneyi Miller and Wheeler, and Agathidium rumsfeldi Miller and Wheeler.

Naming the beetles after Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld was intended to pay homage to them, said Wheeler, who taught at Cornell University for 24 years and now is with the Natural History Museum in London. "We admire these leaders as fellow citizens who have the courage of their convictions and are willing to do the very difficult and unpopular work of living up to principles of freedom and democracy rather than accepting the expedient or popular," he said. Wheeler and Miller, who was at Cornell and now is a postdoctoral fellow at Brigham Young University, published the names in the March 24 issue of the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.

I will assume that these guys are playing it straight with this homage that reads like an Onion piece. Full story here:
I guess this kind of thing is one way to ensure that your grant money continues to roll in. Still, you've gotta love that line about not "accepting the expedient or popular". So what are the Vegas odds that these guys end up with a reality TV show by the end of the summer? Cameras could follow them as part of a group of research scientists 24 X 7 as they go through their routines. Eliminations could take place when one of them commits an act of eggregious butt-kissing as they try to mold theories about potential new discoveries, or twist established theories, to fit the Bush administration's view of life.

For example, if H. Rodney McKenzie-Guthwaite of Trenchmouth College announces that, from his research into the potential for slowing the spread of AIDS through use of vampire bats, he has found a particular type of bat whose bite renders the recipient immune to the disease. He might then be inclined to name the bat after someone like, oh, Paul Wolfowitz, the new head of the World Bank. At this point, the other scientists could vote him out of the lab for such a blatantly stereotypical tribute. Or if Randall F. Mantramocker of Miskatonic University announced that, through his years of observations using the 8.3 mile-diameter Unbelievably Friggin HUGE Telescope, that the alleged Face on Mars is not only an artificial relic, but is in fact the face of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, then the other scientists could boot his ass when he suggests that the Face be re-named for the former Top Cop. To protect this potentially hot intellectual property, this post serves as a legally binding form of communication in the event that any greedy network hacks try to jump my claim...

I Wonder If It Was French Dressing?

A few words are in order about the recent spate of attacks on conservatives. Okay, maybe just two words: RIGHT ON!!! Ann Coulter, William Kristol and Pat Buchanan have been attacked by people who threw pies and salad dressing at them during their speaking engagements. Buchanan's incident here:

Strangely, I had mixed feelings when I heard about the Buchanan incident. Even though I think he's nuts, he has never been shy about admitting that he is an unfeeling, uncaring, unapologetic xenophobe/homophobe. That is an endearing quality in a way because Buchanan, unlike Coulter and her "Liberals Are Responsible For Everything Bad That Has Ever Happened Since The Fall Of The Roman Empire, Which, By The Way, They Helped To Usher In", is actually well-read and articulate. You may disagree with his positions, but you cannot doubt that he has put in some serious time and effort into researching the subjects he addresses (I just wish he'd use his powers for good, not evil). Coulter, by contrast, has been exposed as a fraud and a liar due to the sloppy research that makes up the bulk of her shitty books.

My conservative friends, of course, wailed long and loud about the "pettiness" of these attacks by liberals against conservatives. They tried to pin my position down to see if I condoned such "lawless behavior". I paraphrased Bartcop as part of my response.
A. It was the conservatives who asked for this treatment by promising to "change the tone" of the discourse in DC. So as part of this change, they quickly jumped into the gutter by defaming war heroes like Max Cleland and dropping f-bombs on Patrick Leahy. So if you find your guys getting pied, I'm not going to cry for them because...
B. These attacks employed the use of pies and salad dressing. Your side employs the use of bullets and disables small airplanes. The difference should be obvious.

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