Thank goodness for ace reporter Courtney Tanner, whose recent piece in The Salt Lake Tribune dispelled myths that keep parents from trusting masks. According to doctors, masks don't make kids breathe their own carbon dioxide, don't cause kids to get anxiety or depression and don't weaken their immune system. Here at Smart Bomb, the staff scoured right-wing media to find more myths for freedom-loving parents who remain skeptical:
1—Masks can give your kids antisocial behaviors, such as armed robbery.
2—Masks could make you kids hate Halloween for the rest of their lives.
3—They will make your kids even more paranoid than you.
4—Wearing masks might turn your kids into bleeding-heart liberals.
5—Masks will also lead your girls to support the Equal Rights Amendment.
6—They could make your kids believe in Global Warming.
7—Wearing masks could get kids to believe in science, generally.
8—Masks would turn your kids against voting restrictions in minority districts.
9—They could turn your kids into gun-control freaks.
10—And wearing masks will make kids think they still have freedom!
Gerrymandering in Utah? Perish the Thought
Utah Republicans love to gerrymander voting districts to ensure that democracy is safe from Democrats. The fact that Salt Lake County, the Democratic stronghold, has been sliced up like a pie is really about saving Salt Lakers from themselves.
Ah, but there is a fly in the ointment. For the first time, the new Utah Independent Redistricting Commission will make boundaries more fair in the wake of Proposition 4, which was passed by voters in 2018. There is, however, a safeguard that may save us from real representative government. Republicans in the Legislature will have the final say as to whether to adopt the commission's voting-map recommendations or to continue with the GOP's modus of saving their right to deny people theirs.
The brethren on the hill are not only sanctimonious but are as wise as Herod Antipas. They gutted—er, uh, modified—three 2018 initiatives: Proposition 2, which legalized medical marijuana; Proposition 3, full expansion of Medicare; and Proposition 4, which established the redistricting commission.
Some hope the Republicans will accept the independent commission's voting maps. Well, maybe they will, right after congressional Republicans agree to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection—about the time hell freezes over.
Evolution is Only a Theory—Roll Over Darwin
If evolution were true, every other baby would be born a chimpanzee. We should have known by July 1925 that a lot of Americans think science is so much Voodoo. That's when John Scopes was charged with the crime of teaching human evolution, which was strictly taboo in Tennessee and much of Christian America.
After reading about the horrors of the 1918 "Spanish Flu" that killed some 675,000 Americans, President George W. Bush in 2004 ordered that a pandemic response be organized—and eventually it was, only to be thrown out by Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton. Nonetheless, the authors of the pandemic plan did not foresee that once a life-saving vaccine was created, people would refuse to take it, meaning the virus would mutate (evolve) and continue to infect people even if they were vaccinated. Many Christian groups have been dissing science for centuries—it undercuts belief in God, they say. You can believe in God or science, not both. Hello Galileo. Of course, they don't think about that when they watch a spacecraft go to the moon on TV. Who was it who said "there is no cure for dumb"? In this case—in a sort of reverse evolution—the ignorant may determine the future of the informed. Darwin, rollover.
Postscript—What if Robert Kennedy had been elected president in 1968 instead of Richard Nixon? Last week, Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan was granted release by the California Board of Parole. The Palestinian shot Kennedy after his victory in the California primary in June 1968 (Gov. Gavin Newsom must approve the parole).
Robert Kennedy may have pulled us out of Vietnam earlier, but one thing is certain—there would have been no "Watergate." It would be a different world.
And what if Al Gore had won Florida in 2000 to become president instead of George W. Bush? We wouldn't have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. A different world, indeed. The parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan are striking.Why we didn't learn from Vietnam that nation building can't work in a hostile country without institutions should tell us that our doctrine of global military dominance needs reexamination, to say the least.
So forget the old saw from George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Instead, we should face this reality from Friedrich Hegel: "The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history." And Wilson adds this: Human beings tend to screw things up. Amen, brother, amen.
Alright Wilson, that about does it for another fun-filled week here at Smart Bomb. So maybe you and the guys in the band can get us to kick back a bit with something that gives a nod to our forebears:
I look out my window, but I can't see the sky
'Cos the air pollution is fogging up my eyes
I want to get out of this city alive
And make like an ape man
Come and love me, be my ape man girl
And we will be so happy in my ape man world
I'm an ape man, I'm an ape ape man, I'm an ape man
I'm a King Kong man, I'm a Voo-doo man
I'm an ape man
I'll be your Tarzan, you'll be my Jane
I'll keep you warm and you'll keep me sane
And we'll sit in the trees and eat bananas all day
Just like an ape man
I'm an ape man, I'm an ape ape man, I'm an ape man
I'm a King Kong man, I'm a voo-doo man
I'm an ape man ...