So, this afternoon the family piled into the car (not the big ‘ol van, because its carbon footprint is Sasquatch-sized) and headed to Costco for strawberries and an iPod accessory. When we finished our shopping and headed back to the car we found the vehicle parked next to us with plenty of bumper stickers on the back.
“Another family for peace”
OK, everyone is entitled to their opinion on the war. But, the following sticker started quite a conversation in the Cielo-mobile:
“After we rebuild Iraq, can we rebuild our schools?” and had a picture of a child at a desk with his hand raised. Well, where do I start?
Yesterday I heard a report on revisionist textbooks currently being used in public middle-and-high school Social Studies classes in Maryland schools. Here’s an excerpt from the Charlotte Examiner’s article:
Sewall complains the word jihad has gone through an “amazing cultural reorchestration” in textbooks, losing any connotation of violence. He cites Houghton Mifflin’s popular middle school text, “Across the Centuries,” which has been approved for use in Montgomery County Schools. It defines “jihad” as a struggle “to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil.”
- Islam. An individual’s striving for spiritual self-perfection.
- Islam. A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.
- A crusade or struggle: “The war against smoking is turning into a jihad against people who smoke” (Fortune).
Oh, another bumper sticker from the same vehicle was the chestnut “If going to church makes you a Christian, does going to the garage make you a car?” Little girl didn’t quite understand the logic of that one, so we started explaining it to her in terms she could understand.
Mom: Remember the report on Seattle’s proposed ban on bonfires because they contribute to global warming? It’s that kind of logic. If bonfires on the beaches of Seattle contribute to global warming, then doesn’t it stand to reason that forest fires contribute even more to global warming?
LG: Oh, yeah. I get it now.
Well, we decided to push that logic to it’s inevitable conclusion and Ta-Da! we solved the global warming crisis. Really, we did. Follow me here.
Yes, it is true that forest fires contribute more to the crisis than Seattle’s bonfires. Most forest fires are started by lightning. So, logically, shouldn’t we ban lightning too?
But, we can’t ban lightning until we ban thunderstorms, because they are the generators of the electricity that manifests itself as lightning, causing forest fires that contribute to global warming.
But, we can’t ban thunderstorms until we ban condensation, because it creates the storm clouds that generate the electricty that manifests itself as lightning, causing the forest fires that contribute to global warming.
But, we can’t ban condensation until we ban evaporation, because the water molecules that condense into the clouds that generate the electricity that manifests itself as lightning, that causes the forest fires that contribute to global warming, must first evaporate.
Well, how do we ban evaporation? Seems to me like we need to ban water, and the world’s limited water resources are recycled through the circle of rain, evaporation and condensation. Everyone knows that rainforests act as the world’s thermostat by regulating temperatures and weather patterns. But how do they do this?
Well, trees in the rainforest breathe carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (that’s good, it’s using some of the CO2 greenhouse gasses) and give off oxygen into the atmosphere. That oxygen combines with hydrogen to create, WATER. The water then evaporates into the atmosphere, where it condenses, forming thunder clouds that generate electricty that manifests itself as lightning that strikes the earth’s surface, starting forest fires that contribute to global warming by putting CO2 into the atmosphere.
Of course, the rainforests are supposed to remove that CO2 from the atmosphere, but since they helped put it there in the first place, (see logic above) then, if we remove them they can’t participate in the great circle of global warming contribution.
SO, LOGICALLY, if we ban rainforests we’ll be well on our way to solving the global warming crisis.
Under normal circumstances I would be donning my flame-retardant suit in anticipation of the flaming arrows that are inevitably coming my way as a result of this post. But, before you launch one in my direction, remember that fire contributes to global warming.
Insane, isn’t it? But no more insane than making sweeping generalizations about a war that began in 2003 causing the destruction of our school systems, when public school education has been in decline for, oh, at least 40 years prior to the beginning of the war that started in 2003 that has destroyed American public education. Or the sweeping generalizations about what does or does not make someone a Christian.
Back to the revised definition of jihad. While it is technically true that one of the definitions of jihad does not contain references to violence, one must also look at the meaning of the word in the context of its application. The jihad applied to New York and Washington that caused the war was certainly NOT non-violent. When we don’t use context to understand the world around us, we wind up with stupid arguments over warped logic.
Here’s another bumper sticker: “Am I liberal, or just well-educated?” You mean I can’t be well-educated if I disagree with everything liberal?
Where do I start?