Conservapedia:World History Lecture Fourteen
Our journey through world history reaches the present in this final lecture.
The Christian population has steady increased from 0% in 6 B.C. to 33% today. Although Christians have always been a minority in the world, this minority has led the world in accomplishments and achievements. Ask yourself as you complete this course: What is the future for Christianity?
|One word sums up most historians’ view of the world today: “globalism”. That was not even a word 20 years ago. “Globalism” means treating the world as one political unit, as one massive village. Distances appear to be shortening between people, cultures and nations. Travel is more affordable for more people. Mobility is greater. Trade among nations is larger. Television and the internet link the world’s population of six or so billion people like never before.||[Crackle of rusted, uncleaned speakers]
Come on then, folks. Time to alight from Andy's shoddily-engineered train of thought and relax with a stiff gin in the station bar. After that clunking, clattering, hideously diverted journey through the warped journey of Mr Schlafly's mind, we need it. Especially after all those derailments. At least Andy is consistent to the end, by opening this Lecture with random, unnecessary statistics and a pithy attempt at rhetoric. Who cares what students' opinions on the future of Christianity are? This isn't a thought exercise in theology, it's a World History lecture. Or at least it's meant to be (and anyway, do written documents count as "Lectures"? Unless they're transcripts of Andy's droning sermons in his creepy basement - in which case I feel even more sorry for his acolytes than before - these are not "Lectures". Oh, and if Christians have "led the world in accomplishments and achievements", who led the non-Christian world? Before Christianity existed, or in areas of the world which weren't - and aren't - Christian, are we to assume that nothing of note happened? As for Christians being a minority, that's bullshit. Christianity is far and away the biggest religion in the world. Although admittedly, it's split into factions. Why did Andy include this incorrect and pointless snippet? Is it a lead-in to another of his whining diatribes about how contemporary evangelical "Christians" in the United States are hideously persecuted by those evil commie kitten-eatin evilooshunist lib'rul atheists...?This opening paragraph is not only poorly written, it's also just delicious. Recall how, in earlier Lectures, Andy couldn't go five minutes without trundling out his sacred Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. He apparently abandoned it somewhere in the nineteenth century; a bad mistake if ever there was one. Andy claims that the word "globalism" did not exist in the 1980s. According to Merriam-Webster, the first recorded appearance of the word was in 1943. Great work there, Andy. He then implies that he has poor vision (despite the thickness of his spectacles - an unnatural entity which Man had to invent in order to repair God's piss-poor workmanship on the human eye, but something which Andy apparently doesn't think about), says that "trade among nations is larger" (does he mean that we are trading bigger products these days? I'm confused) and finally gets the global population wrong. It's seven billion, not six. Seeing as Andy modified this Lecture in late 2011, after we passed the 7,000,000,000 mark (oddly, Andy only made one minor change to this final Lecture. Must have lost interest), he really ought to have included this factoid. And as for travel being more affordable and more rapid, that's a half-truth. Just because wealthy Westerners can hop on a plane from Athens to New York, doesn't mean that a cocoa farmer in Uganda, or a sweatshop labourer in China, or a street sweeper in Paraguay, can do the same. And just because travel is available, doesn't mean that people want to travel. How many Americans own a passport? Not many.
|One invention in late 1947 made most of this possible. Three scientists invented the transistor at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey (exit 44 on I-78, near Berkeley Heights). This tiny invention brought about a massive revolution in computers and communications. With improvements, the transistor permitted microelectronic control and amplification of signals. This greatly advanced communication, as in radio, television, telephone and later the internet. This also permitted the storage of massive amounts of information, as in computers. Bell Labs, then part of AT&T, made this invention available to the entire world. Soon transistors replaced vacuum tubes in radios and televisions, enabling them to work better. The Japanese flooded the market with improved products.||What the hell is this?? Why is ndy giving directions to a bloody computer laboratory?! Is there a fieldtrip for this course? Christ. School trips for history are usually to places of historical importance - monuments, battlefields, etc. Not component assembly plants! It's Bart Simpson's fieldtrip to the box factory all over again... Note Andy's final snipe at the Japanese. We'd momentarily forgotten how much he hates them. Thanks for reminding us.|
|Apple Computer sold a personal computer for home use in the late 1970s and, in 1981, IBM introduced its own personal computer. Time magazine declared the personal (or home) computer to be “Man of the Year” for 1982. Fifteen years later the internet became popular for connecting computers. In 2000, presidential candidate Al Gore attempted to take credit for helping create the internet, and the world ridiculed him. No politician, and certainly not Al Gore, can take credit for all this.||Oh great. Yes, the internet has been a phenomenon of great historical importance, and in fairness it should be mentioned. We could even be tempted to give Andy a point for mentioning the internet - something which few real historians do - but he doesn't discuss the social, economic, political, cultural, or technological changes it helped bring about. Instead, he merely uses the internet as a foil for him to bitch about Al Gore. How depressing.
The internet is not something which appeared overnight. It emerged slowly - evolved, if you will - in the late 1980s from earlier computer linkages. Notably, the Pentagon's ARPAnet provided an existing infrastructure upon which bits and pieces were added, developed, and integrated in order to create the current World Wide Web. Lots of people had a hand in developing the internet, and sadly for dear old Andy, Al Gore was indeed one of those people (and why can't Andy consider that a politician can help develop technology? They're people too!). He never claimed to have invented the internet, but merely helped develop it. Which he did. And nobody ridiculed him, except for scoffers in New Jersey homeschool basements. So there, Andy.
Oh, and the other day I came across a nice little factoid which is relevant here. The webcam was invented not for the purposes of long-distance visual communications, but for something far more fun (and we're not talking about saucy shenanigans here). Apparently researchers at the Cambridge University got sick of going to the coffee machine in the common room only to find it empty, thus making a wasted journey. Thus the webcam was invented so said scientists could check the level of the coffee pot without having to leave their desks. Isn't that fun! Sometimes Andy-style factoids can be remarkably entertaining!When he can be arsed to get them right, that is...
|Other inventions also helped improve the world. The invention of plastics enabled the mass production of inexpensive goods, everything from drinking cups to watches to car and airplane furnishings. Robotics lowered the cost of manufacturing for everything. In the United States unions resisted some of these changes. The Japanese companies, benefiting from cheaper labor and lack of unions, surpassed American companies in many industries. Economic problems later caught up with Japan in the early 1990s, but even today its car industry (especially Toyota) does better than Detroit car manufacturers. Voluntary import quotas have kept Japanese car imports lower than they would be without any trade barriers, and the Japanese began expensive selling luxury cars (such as the Lexus) as a way of making more money with fewer products.||Hooray! It's the return of the patented Grocery List of Random Historical Paraphernalia™! And coupled with the Pogo Stick of History™! That's fun!! Note how Andy jumps seemingly at random from plastics (not an invention of the twenty-first or even twentieth centuries - Parkesine was invented in 1856) to robots, to trade unions, to more bitching about the Japanese. And oh, what's this? It appears to be a mention of Detroit! How terribly novel. Never seen that before... What's this now? The seventh or eighth reference to Detroit in this series? For God's sake, what is Andy's obsession with Detroit?!|
|In addition to Japan, other Asian nations also thrived after World War II. The “Four Tigers” are the prosperous Pacific Rim nations of South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. (Hong Kong is now part of communist China but is allowed to remain free until at least the middle of the 21st century.) Even communist China has grown stronger economically by trading with the United States. Malaysia and other Asian nations have prospered too.||Right, Andy. China has only experienced economic growth because of Uncle Sam. Uh-huh... Oh, and Hong Kong isn't a nation. Try for a little less error, young Master Schlafly.|
|The world today has numerous “multinational” companies having offices in many different countries. Many American companies now have offices or factories even in communist China now. These multinational companies are attracted by the low wages and inexpensive raw materials, and by the opportunity to sell their products there. Increased regulation and taxes in America also encourage companies to transfer to their jobs to foreign countries, where there is less regulation and fewer lawsuits.||Andy just can't stop mentioning the Reds, can he? He doesn't appear to be capable of mentioning China without underlining its communism. This paragraph is rather oddly written - it appears that Andy is trying to reconcile his hard-on for laissez faire commercial capitalism and liberal economics (yep; when it comes to the economy, Andy's a lib'rul) with his overwhelming desire to bitch about the manufacturing sector moving from the post-industrial West to the industrialised Far East. It's always entertaining when Andy is caught in a dilemma like this. The best was when he had to write about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ("Reds fighting Izzlamists? Who do I support?!"), but this is rather ticklish too.|
|Beginning soon after the end of World War II, the western nations discussed agreements to reduce tariffs for trade among themselves. In 1947, they entered into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in order to decrease tariffs that interfered with trade. This marked a significant change from how nations had used tariffs in the past to protect their domestic industries and raise revenue. Under GATT, western countries first froze the tariffs (preventing them from increasing) and later began reducing the tariffs. In 1995, this approach was taken one step further with the World Trade Organization (WTO), which included non-western countries and also established international courts for deciding trade disputes among nations. There are 150 members of the WTO today, and Vietnam (which the communists won by war in the 1970s) joined the WTO in 2007.||And now Andy dazzles us by discussing the Bretton-Woods organisations! Without actually mentioning the words "Bretton-Woods". And without mentioning more than the GATT. Maybe, in his world, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund don't exist. Well here in reality they do exist. Established after the Second World War to try and prevent another global financial crisis like the Great Depression, the Bretton-Woods institutions are key players in globalisation. Andy doesn't have to like them - the boards of directors of the World Bank and IMF aren't exactly hotbeds of decency - but if he wants to talk about commercial globalisation, he really ought to mention them. But instead, he takes this paragraph as an opportunity to bitch about the Vietnamese. Rather a random insertion, even by Andy's standards.|
|Western European nations also joined the European Common Market after World War II, and then in 1958 joined the European Economic Community (EEC) to reduce tariffs among themselves. The EEC later became the European Union (EU), which includes all Western European countries except Switzerland, which has never joined anything and fiercely defends its independence, Iceland, and Norway. In 2002, all of EU began using a common currency known as the “euro”, except for Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, which still use their own currencies. In 2004, many Eastern European nations also joined the EU. A map of the EU is to the right.||Hooray!! All rise for the Hymn to the European Empire. It's astonishing that Andy is able to mention the EU without bursting into tears about lib'rulizzm, snarling at it being a foul morass of socialist bureaucracy, gloating over the current sticky situation over the Euro (remember, he "updated" this Lecture in November 2011), or wandering off onto a tangent about how the European Union is "the beast with seven heads" foretold in the Book of Revelation. Bravo for your self-restraint, Andy. Note his claim that Switzerland "has never joined anything" (cough**United Nations**cough) and seems to think that there are only three member-states of the Union which don't use the Euro. Great Britain, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Hungary are all full members of the Union but do not use the continental currency. Get it right, Andy. Well, at least we don't have to deal with his map of the EU. I got all excited at the thought of Union cartography, but then remembered I really don't want the topic of my PhD to appear on Conservapedia...|
|The large Muslim nation of Turkey has requested to join the EU. One opponent is the new Pope Benedict XVI of the Catholic Church, who succeeded Pope John Paul II in 2005 upon his death. Pope Benedict has emphasized the need to keep Europe Christian, and he sparked Muslim riots in late 2006 when he repeated a provocative quote about Islam. One of President Barack Obama’s most significant statements after his election was to call for the inclusion of Turkey in the EU.||It's the long-awaited return of Andy's awkward, clunky grammar! "The large Muslim nation of Turkey". But in the previous Lecture (or maybe the one before that), Andy whined about how Atatürk made Turkey into a haven of secularist kitten-eating. Now all of a sudden it's predominantly Muslim? Make up your damned mind, Andy! Why is Andy so concerned about Christianity in Europe, anyway? Doesn't he loathe Europe? In his mind, we're a ghastly hellscape of socialism, lib'rulism, free state education, free universal healthcare, continental-scale bureaucracy, Democratic Peace, and all those other ghastly little things which make American Tea-Baggers soil themselves in End-Times-Prophecy fear. Shouldn't he be welcoming the further decline of religion in Europe, as a precursor to Lawd Jeezuz coming back to smite us all? Oh well, at least he was able to mention Obama without underscoring "HUSSEIN". Not that Obama's view on EU integration policy is a particularly significant factor. Last time I checked, the USA wasn't a member of the European Union...|
|North America has also created a free trade zone (free from tariffs) with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was never ratified by the Senate as a treaty but which Congress passed into law anyway. NAFTA establishes international courts that have already been used to force the United States to open its borders to Mexican trucks, which are less safe than American ones. The importation of drugs into the United States from Mexico has increased since NAFTA went into effect.||This is just adorable. Andy bursts into tears about imports from them damned dirty ferriners putting Americans out of work; thus he is desperate to start building walls faster than he gets an erection thinking about Newt Gingrich, and slapping protectionist tariffs on non-American goods with all the stinging authoritarianism of a backhander to his basement-shackled homeschoolers. But that comes into conflict with his divine Free-Market Economic Lib'rulizzm. The result, therefore, is this weird combination of singing the praises of laissez-faire international commerce while crying about Congress and the Mexicans. Just brilliant, Andy. What the hell's this about Mexican lorries being unsafe? What, do they attach scythe blades to the wheels like Celtic charioteers? Are Mexican trucks constructed exclusively of asbestos and napalm, and driven on Walls of Death round local childrens' hospitals? Of all the things we anticipated for this conclusion Lecture, we didn't anticipate that World History would wander off onto a bitchy comment about vehicle manufacturing...|
|There are other free trade zones. LAFTA is the Latin American Free Trade Agreement passed in 1961, and replaced in 1981 by the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI). ALADI has not been very successful and therefore several Latin American countries decided to form new free trade zones. The most successful free trade zone in Latin America is the South American Common Market (Mercosur) which has Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela as members. Other trade zones in the Americas include the Andean Community, the Central American Common Market (CACM) and the Caribbean Common Market (Caricom). Supporters of these agreements assert that they help Latin American countries develop economic independence from foreign powers. There is CAFTA, a recently enacted Central American Free Trade Agreement that the United States joined. There is ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines to combat communism. ASEAN signed trade agreements with Japan (1977) and the European Community (1980). All these agreements and associations seek to reduce tariffs between member states and promote so-called “free trade.”||Ahh, the Grocery List of Random Historical Paraphernalia™. We've missed that. And look; combined with another snipe against the Reds! Perhaps Andy isn't aware that the Cold War is over. He can't just blame everything on the Commies. The last sentence is rather interesting. Apparently Andy doesn't approve of laissez-faire trade. Fancy a few Victorian-style protectionist measures, Comrade Andy? Be sure to mention that at your next Tea Party rally. "Big Government" must be used to enact protectionist measures. The cornerstone of libertarian thinking!!|
|The promotion of “free trade” has many opponents. Conservatives object to sending money to foreign countries and the resultant loss of American manufacturing jobs to near-slave labor in foreign countries. A consequence of “free trade” is an increase in illegal drugs from foreign countries into the United States, often hidden within other goods. Foreign countries, particularly China, have been putting cheaper but dangerous substitutes into goods that result in injuring Americans, including children and pets, who end up using them. Unions object to their loss of jobs that result from “free trade,” as it is cheaper to have goods manufactured outside of all the expensive regulations and lawsuits that occur in the United States. Many inside and outside the United States also object to a culture of “consumerism”, such that people are encouraged to buy more than what is healthy or necessary. Brand names like McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Nike dominate television and the culture of teenagers. “McDonaldization” is when American advertising (as in the case of McDonalds) has an influence on the world culture, causing distant children (like Chinese) to repeat a McDonald’s slogan they heard on television.||Oh wow, it just keeps going!! We all know that Andy creams his jeans when he thinks of capitalism, and each night kneels in prayer before his shrine to Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. Yet here he is committing heresy of the vilest sort, whining about economic liberalism! Quick, someone phone up Republican Party headquarters and request an emergency Inquisitor. It appears that Comrade Schlafly needs to be sent for a spot of re-education...
For a start, Andy seems to be confusing foreign aid with foreign trade. Or perhaps he just doesn't understand the concept that foreign imports have to be paid for. Next, he whines about slave labour overseas (a real problem - nice of Andy to fly the flag for humanitarianism) in spite of the fact that his economic drivel back in lecture Nine made it quite clear that Andy's envisioned Utopia is one where top-hatted capitalists feed the factory furnaces with child workers. Then, he returns to bitching about the international drug trade without giving any specific examples of whatever the hell it is he's whining about, before sniping at Chinese manufacturing processes being part of some devious conspiracy to maim puppies. Ooh, that's a good one. He then starts defending trade unions - an act sure to have Andy shackled to a pyre at the Republican National Convention and this apostasy purged with fire - and then bitches about the very protectionist legislation he has been screaming for. And then, the coup de grâce. Andy criticises consumer capitalism, the sacred creed of all God-fearing Reaganauts.Go on Andy, start singing the National Anthem of the Soviet Union. You might as well. Once Fox News and the Party commissars get wind of this merry little romp into political apostasy, you'll be needing a jaunty tune in your head to keep you sane through all the re-education.
|Americans discovered crude oil (petroleum) near Titusville, Pennsylvania, and drilled their first oil there in 1859. It began yielding 25 barrels a day. The world would never be the same again. By 1906, American oil production had reached 126 million barrels a year. Today petroleum constitutes 40% of Americans’ overall energy consumption in the United States, with coal being the other big source of energy. Most of the cheap, readily accessible oil in the world is under the control of Muslims in the Middle East.||Is Andy claiming that petroleum was first discovered by Americans? It's an ambiguous sentence at best. Petroleum has been known about for thousands of years - the Ancient Egyptians and Babylonians knew of it, the Byzantines used it to make incendiary weapons, and it was known of by the Imperial Chinese, the medieval Arabs - and even medieval Europeans. What is notable, though, is that while it was widely known about among alchemists and scholars, there was very little practical use for crude oil. It was occasionally used to make incendiary weapons, such as naptha or Greek Fire, or, like the medieval Arabs, used to create tar with which to surface city streets. But aside from these limited applications, and the tinkering of alchemists, oil was largely useless. In the eighteenth century the French, Russians, and Holy Roman Empire began collecting oil to use as a lighting fluid in palace and church lamps, but even that was a very limited operation. It was only with the decline of whaling in the nineteenth century, and the subsequent demand for an alternative to whale oil with which to fuel lamps, that petroleum extraction became important. Wells and primitive refineries cropped up in Europe, Russia, and North America (the Canadians were drilling and processing oil long before the Americans) to create paraffin/kerosene for lamps, and while the late nineteenth century saw the beginning of a gradual shift to electric lighting in industrial cities, the demand for oil grew even faster due to the development of the internal combustion engine. The history of oil is rather interesting; like aluminium, uranium, and the theory of a spherical Earth, oil is one of those things we've known about since the dawn of civilisation but have only recently had any use for. Yet apparently Andy deems this all irrelevant, and instead plumps for some dull statistics (note that one of his three footnotes is a pointless factoid about Titusville's production capacity a century and a half ago) before whining that most of the planet's oil is in the Middle East. Sufficient evidence, perhaps, that Earth was not designed by God. For if He had done so, surely He would have put all the oil in the borders of His favourite nation...?|
|To keep the price of oil higher than it would be in a free market, Middle Eastern countries formed OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) in 1960. The original members were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq and also the Latin American country of Venezuela. African and Asian countries later joined OPEC too. Angered by American support of Israel during the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, OPEC placed an embargo on the shipment of oil to the United States. Prices jumped by a multiple of four in two years, and there were many long lines and shortages at American gas stations. The worldwide economy was hurt by this shock in energy prices, aggravating a problem with inflation and unemployment late in the 1970s. Japan, which relies heavily on oil imports, was hit hard. But OPEC’s influence has steadily declined due to increased competition by other countries. Mexico and Russia have become large oil-producing nations, and they have not joined OPEC. In 2007, the net revenues from oil to OPEC nations will be about $500 billion, while the non-OPEC nations will have net oil revenues of about $225 billion. The United States imports about $170 billion-worth more of oil than it exports.||Hang on, wasn't Andy just whingeing about the horrors of the free market in the last section? Suddenly it's back to being divine. Apparently consistency is less important than concocting conspiratorial crap that Muslims, commies, and darkies all banded together just to annoy Uncle Sam. How dare they! Note how apparently the worst thing about the 1973 oil crisis was that Americans had to wait an extra ten minutes at the petrol station. Ohh, boo-hoo. We're so sympathetic to their horrific plight.|
|Many claim that the involvement of the United States in the Middle East is to protect the cheap oil there. In late 1990, Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded and conquered Kuwait, a large oil producer. In January and February 1991, the United States (with the support of the United Nations) responded with Operation Desert Storm, and liberated Kuwait in this Gulf War. Saddam Hussein, in retreat, lit fires on the Kuwaiti oil wells and dumped two million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf. This seemed to anger environmentalists more than the loss of life! The environmentalists called this action by Saddam Hussein “environmental terrorism.”||"Many claim" - and Andy doesn't deny the theory. He appears to be tacitly advocating the idea that Dubya's merry little crusade was simply in order to get his fat, greasy paws on cheap oil. Andy is certainly no stranger to setting up strawmen simply in order to knock them down, but here he lets it slip by. Hmm. Interesting. And what the hell is this claim that "environmentalists" (can't you be a little more specific, Andy?) couldn't give a shiny shite about the casualties of the war? It's peculiar that Andy claims this, and even more peculiar that he then performs a volte-face from slagging off environmentalists to suddenly wheeling them out in order to flaunt the T-word. Whose side is this man on?|
|In the late 1990s, politicians and some scientists began to cite a warming trend in the earth’s weather as evidence of a “global warming” caused by the burning of oil and the release of chlorofluorocarbons, a chemical. They blamed factory smokestacks and automobiles, and especially refrigerators and air conditioners. The loss of trees in rain forests was also supposedly a cause of global warming. Regulators began banning the use of certain chemicals in hairspray, and the Kyoto (Japan) Treaty was proposed to limit the pollution each country could generate each year. Political opposition in America prevented the United States from ratifying the Kyoto Treaty.||Yeah, thanks for that, Republican Party. We all really appreciate you fucking up the global climate and setting back international relations by giving the middle finger to a global treaty. We're not going to bother refuting Andy's shit-for-brains claim that climate change is not happening. After all, people like him seem perfectly content to bugger up the global ecosystem in order to make profit, because it doesn't matter - Jesus is coming any minute now to smite us all, so who cares if the rainforests are cut down, the sea levels rise, the air and water dirtied? All True Christians™ will be raptured off this rock, leaving us dirty sinners behind to deal with their mess. Charming, eh?
I feel quite a heretic to mention this, but in the spirit of curiosity it ought to be stated. As a cartographer I come across some curious maps, and recently encountered a map of the world if the polar ice caps were to melt. Far from being a Kevin Costner-style liquid planet, there would still be a sizeable amount of land. And - here's the bizarre thing - even though there would be less land, the flooding of inland basins in the Sahara, Siberia, and Northern Canada, along with warmer ocean currents, would actually provide us with more arable land than we have today. Although there is more land now, so much of it is uninhabitable - but were the polar caps to melt, we'd be able to grow crops just about anywhere. That's not to say it'll be good, for God's sake. Most of the major cities will be submerged, entire nations will cease to exist, and the world will look very, very different. But it wouldn't be the end of human civilisation, and absolutely not the end of life on Earth. Just a change in layout. After all, our far-distant Ice Age ancestors who planted the first seeds and herded the first animals, lived in a world with far, far more land than us. Who's to say we can't get by with less land?But please refrain from saying this to a slash-and-burn dickhead like Andy. Just chuck him in the sea.
|In the first decade of 21st century, worldwide temperatures have not increased, and in the past few years the average world temperature has actually been decreasing at a rapid rate. Proponents of “global warming” (including Al Gore) refuse to debate this, however, and insist that the science is settled in favor of their theory, and that more governmental controls of energy are needed. This is a familiar pattern by some: they always seek theories and ways to increase governmental control.||Err, yes they have, Andy. Try opening a book - they're far better places than your own rectum in which to find reliable information. Perhaps Andy doesn't realise that climate change does not automatically equal scorching temperatures. A slight rise in temperatiure will have a major effect upon ocean currents and can cause the temperature to fall, precipitating a mini Ice Age. I'm a Human Geographer rather than a Physical Geographer so I won't "pull an Andy" by pretending to know far more about this than I actually do, but the scientific consensus is indeed that the climate is changing. Whether this is natural or triggered by human activity is another matter, but change appears to be occuring. But hey, in Andy's mind, none of that is important. Like the debate between creationists and evoluti- I mean normal people, the opposition have no intention here of "Teaching the Controversy". Andy doesn't present two sides to any argument - he merely presents his view, demands that the government enforces it, and flatly refuses to debate. It's the pot calling the kettle black. The sort of behaviour we might expect from a six-year-old, but not a Harvard-educated lawyer in his 40s.|
|President Barack Obama has called on Congress to pass a law by the end of May 2009 to place limits on energy production, particularly the production of coal, supposedly to help reduce “global warming.”||No emphasis on "Hussein" again. Strange! Why is this factoid in here? May 2009 was a long time ago. Andy updated this Lecture in November 2011. Why didn't he feel the need to alter the wording?
Well, that was an interesting little trip down the rabbit-hole. This section was meant to be about global energy. Y'know, the issues, politics, technology, etc of such things as fossil fuels, nuclear power, renewable energy, energy security, etc. But instead it's little more than a soapbox from which Andy can bitch about Muslims, lib'ruls, and Obama. How terribly disappointing. Yet how terribly predictable, too.
|Advances in communication technology, such as the internet and cell phones, have created a worldwide culture that increasingly prefers English over local languages. English is easier to type into a computer than Asian languages, for example. At the same time, the cultural varieties of distant places such as India and Southeast Asia can be appreciated more in the Western world. Restaurants featuring foreign food are prevalent across the United States now.||Oh GOD!! Not the Linguistic-Technological Determinism again!!! When will Andy realise that English is merely one lingua franca among many? Two hundred years ago it was French. Five hundred years ago it was Latin. Two thousand years ago it was Greek... and so on, in various regions of the world. Right now the lingua franca is English, but two hundred years from now it will be something quite different. Chinese, or Arabic, or Russian, or Klingon, or whatever. And you know what? They'll get by just fine with whatever alphabet they use then. Why is Andy mentioning restaurants in a section entitled "Technology"? Are restaurants in New Jersey exceptionally high-tech? Are they staffed by sentient androids who teleport synth-food straight from the Replicator to your quantum table? I should eat out in New Jersey more often...|
|Improvements in jet propulsion and rocketry made travel faster and easier than ever before. Such advances were spurred on by the World Wars. The urgent need for pressurized stratospheric bombers like the B-29 and advanced ballistics like the V2 missile advanced human knowledge by several decades. By 1956, airliners replaced ocean-liners as the primary means of trans-Atlantic travel. Remnants of Nazi Germany's scientific community fueled both American and Soviet space programs, ultimately culminating in the first manned spaceflight, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.||I've never been a fan of this "ahead of its time" attitude towards technology. How are we to measure whether or not an invention "advanced human knowledge by several decades"? Is there a flowchart somewhere which says when we are allowed to invent something?
"Ah good morning, Signor Da Vinci! Always a pleasure to see you! So, what's this you have drawn? A device for building bridges across rivers, you say? Ooh, sorry; according to our records that can't be invented until 1938. Come back in a few hundred years and we'll see what we can do. Next!"Inventions and inventors are a product of their time and are neither ahead nor behind. Especially not in cases like the pressurised aeroplane, where the change was a relatively minor upgrade to an existing technology rather than a whole new technology suddenly appearing out of thin air - like the aeroplane itself. Note also Andy's admission of Operation Paperclip, an ugly little affair whereby Nazi scientists were indeed sheltered in the USA to help America in the technology race against the then more advanced Soviets. It's surprising of Andy to mention the Reds without making a snide comment. Is he suddenly a supporter of Comrade Cosmonaut Gagarin? Ahh... to have seen the hammer and sickle flying on the moon instead...
|Technology has brought some medical advances, most notably in the expanded use of antibiotics after World War II. Physicians say that most of medicine today was discovered in the past 70 years. The modern inventions of the MRI and CAT scan have improved the ability to view the human body, and treat illness. Other modern developments, such as widespread vaccination and insecticides, are more controversial. Preventive vaccination is credited with eliminating the terrible diseases of polio and smallpox, but other, newer vaccines are opposed by many parents.||"Technology has brought some medical advances". Go fuck yourself, Andy. Apparently it's acceptable to spend three paragraphs bitching about climate change, but acknowledging the monumental advances in the field of medicine - advances made by real scientists and scholars - is reduced to a pithy, dismissive claim. Again; go fuck yourself, Andy.
Medicine has seen such astonishing changes in the last century that it's now practically impossible for us to imagine what it used to be like. For the vast majority of human history, life was painful and short. Medical knowledge was a mixture of weak folk cures, useless religious rituals, and archaic traditions; while God help you if you needed surgery. Without anaesthetics surgery was indistinguishable from torture (the best you could hope for was to be knocked unconscious, or get so drunk you were on the borderline of fatal alcohol poisoning), and without antiseptics your chances of survival were pathetically low - assuming that you didn't die of shock on the operating table as a gang of muscular men held you down as the doctor cut and sawed and hacked at your body with a variety of ghastly instruments. Doctors did their best with what they had available and genuinely tried to ease the suffering of the sick - just look at Andreas Vesalius and Ambroise Paré, not to mention medieval Muslim doctors who looked beyond the Dr Zoidberg school of "Scalpel! Blood Bucket! Priest! Next!" - but it was not until the scientific approach to medicine, starting with men like Paracelsus in the sixteenth century and advancing towards the slick, sleek science of asepsis, anaesthesia, public health, Germ Theory, sanitation, and all the wonderful discoveries of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, that humans could live longer, infinitely less painful lives. At least, the lucky ones. We should get down on our knees and thank the hundreds of thousands of men and women who, over the last two hundred years, have toiled in obscurity, been up to their elbows in gore, and one by one helped advance our species from the ghastly hell of plagues, pestilence, premodern surgical torture, and being sealed in your coffin before the age of forty; to the point whereby we live long lives and when sick, can pop into the chemists and get a course of antibiotics or a packet of painkillers.
And all of that is due to the sort of secular science which Andy and his ilk attack, deny, warp, or try to censor. Perhaps, next time one of them is sick, they should take the Christian Scientist approach and do sweet fuck-all in the hope that God will snap his celestial fingers and make it all better, or else follow the Bible's medical knowledge. Jesus himself claimed that disease is caused by daemons, while the Old Testament has some fun-sounding "cures" for disease.Remind me - how does one spell "hypocritical, ungrateful, apostate bastards"?
|Proposals to spend taxpayer money on embryonic stem cell research are controversial and open to much criticism. In Germany, where the people experienced the horrors of the medical experiments connected with the Holocaust, the people are strongly against embryonic stem cell research. Private investors show little interest in spending their own money on this even in the United States. But a political movement linked to the abortion industry demands that taxpayer money be spent on this research, without any evidence that any good will ever come of it. If embryonic stem cell research were so great, then why wouldn’t there be many private investors spending money on it?||Why is this in here? This section was meant to be about technology, not a whining rant about medical ethics. I'm allowed to rant because I'm rebutting Andy's crap, but he's meant to be talking about history. Not ethics. As for this claim about Germany, we'd like to see some evidence. Come on Andy - you're a lawyer! Where's the evidence for your case? Pithy rhetorical questions aren't sufficient. We want facts. Well, we'd prefer to have history instead, but we're not holding our breath...|
|The United Nations promotes abortion worldwide through its U.N. Fund for Population Activities. Even though the world population will peak and begin to decline in the 21st century, the promoters of abortion continue to demand more and more killing of unborn children. This is promoted using taxpayer money. The United Nations also pushes its pro-abortion agenda through the World Health Organization (WHO).||Yeah that's right. The UN's goal is to eradicate human life. All those vaccination programmes, medical and nutritional studies, personnel training, disease eradication - they don't exist. Or at least, they're just a smokescreen for a global abortion agenda. Oh, and here Andy claims that the global population is set to decline in this century. This is far from certain, and indeed the strongest proponent of this demographic scenario is the United Nations. If they're so evil, why is Andy trusting them?
Is that it? Oh. Wasn't the section entitled "Technology"? Maybe Andy has redfined the word to mean "Tea Party Propaganda". Ahh, Newspeak. Everyone's favourite form of communication...
|The “green revolution” was a worldwide effort to increase the food supply through better farming, particularly in undernourished regions like India and South America. By increasing the amount of farmland and obtaining better crop yield from existing farms, the food supply increased such that India began producing more food than it could even consume, and exported its surplus. Worldwide, the crops of rice, wheat and maize (corn) all increased.||Oh, this is novel. An entire section on agriculture. It's noticeable that there isn't a corresponding section on industry, though.|
|Popular and easy to grow in the Asian climate, rice was historically the world's most popular crop. But maize (corn), wheat and sugar cane have surpassed rice in popularity. Here is the list of the most popular crops in the world today:
||Hmm. I wonder where Andy got his grocery list from... Oh, and rice was not historically the world's most popular crop. Rice is a thirsty plant and is very labour-intensive; for pre-mechanised farmers sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, rice was a hellishly hard crop to cultivate, irrigate, and harvest. Wheat, which you and I would struggle to cultivate, was infinitely easier in comparison to rice. Hence, the staple food for Eurasia was bread. Even the Imperial Chinese supplemented their rice stocks with wheat, which has been the staple crop of the rest of Eurasia and North Africa since the Neolithic Era (due to the extremely low population density of Sub-Saharan Africa - with the partial exception of coastal West Africa - prior to the nineteenth century, my ancestral kin were able to get by on a variety of other non-cereal high-starch foods, such as plantains and cassava, before the arrival into Africa of sorghum, millet, and rice during the Columbian Exchange). Andy also could have noted that the reason maize - once the Aztecs' staple crop - is so popular is not that everyone is a fan of corn on the cob, but because it is primarily used as feed for livestock. Equally, sugarcane is the world's most-grown crop not because we all snort sherbert on an hourly basis, but because it takes a lot of sugarcane to make those kilogram bags of sweet stuff you buy down at the supermarket. Anyway, what has this got to do with world history?|
|Pesticides and fertilizers were used to increase production during the green revolution, and many wonder if they are harmful to our diet. A massive market has developed in “organic” goods grown without the use of pesticides. Today, there is also controversial use of genetic engineering of crops to increase crop yield (the amount of food produced per a given area).||"Many wonder". Including Andy? Notice that, yet again, he has mentioned a claim but hasn't refuted it, thereby tacitly supporting it. Maybe Andy is one of these chemtrail crackpots who thinks that the big evil World Government is secretly poisoning us all. Or maybe he's actually General Jack D. Ripper from Dr Strangelove.
Group Captain Mandrake: "Good Lord, Jack."
Ripper: "You know when fluoridation first began?"
Mandrake: "I... no, no. I don't."Ripper: "Nineteen hundred and forty-six. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with the post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works!"
|Environmentalists complained that increased irrigation for crops has depleted ground water and an increase in the salinity of the soil. Many ground wells in the United States may be polluted from hazardous waste (such as dumped oil), or possibly from fertilizers or pesticides.||Wasn't Andy just getting paranoid about genetic modification and pesticides? Why's he now mocking environmentalists for expressing concerns? Or perhaps he isn't mocking the tree-huggers, but instead is trotting them out as allies. Ooh, that's an ugly alliance for both sides. And not a voluntary one, at least not for the Greenpeacers. And look - a final note which implies that Andy wants to see tighter environmental protection legislation! Bet the Republican Party will be thrilled to hear that...|
|In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States and Soviet Union engaged in a “Space Race” to see who could explore and perhaps claim outer space first. In 1957, the Soviet Union shocked Americans by being the first to launch spacecraft (“Sputnik”) into orbit. The first astronaut was a dog named Laika, which sadly did not return alive. The name “Sputnik” inspired the name chosen by a hippie-like leader of a new counterculture movement in San Francisco: “beatnik”. The beatniks in the late 1950s laid the foundation for the hippies in the 1960s.||Oh Lord. Conservapedia... in Space. Welcome aboard Starliner Schlafly...
It's nice of Andy to mention poor old Laika, but he could have given a little more context to the Space Race. The geopolitical rivalry between the two superpowers of the early Cold War; the development of rocketry by the Nazis; the desire for international prestige; Khrushchev's encouragement of science and technological progress which had been repressed under Stalin... y'know, relevant stuff. Laika is only vaguely relevant and wasn't even the first animal in space. Albert the monkey was sent into space in a captured Nazi V2 a decade before Laika, while the first organisms deliberately sent into space were fruit flies aboard a rocket in 1947. I don't know what their names were.And predictably, in a section on Space exploration, Andy has shoehorned in a socio-political gripe of his. Beatniks. Sigh. As far as I'm aware, there was no single leader of what was an extremely ill-defined collection of pretentious snobs. Among notable literati who defined themselves as part of the "Beat Generation", the most prominent was arguably Jack Kerouac. Contrary to what Andy claims, Kerouac did not change his name to "beatnik". And claiming that beatniks were the precursors to hippies is not only irrelevant and simplistic, it's rather a long bow to draw. Again we are forced to ask - what is this doing in a World History Lecture?
|Sputnik, which was hyped in the media, alarmed some Americans, and politicians vowed not to remain in second place in this Space Race. America launched a project in the 1960s to land a man on the Moon, and used a series of spacecraft named “Apollo”. In 1969, with the immortal words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the Moon. Some conservatives felt that the Soviets never intended to go to the Moon themselves, but wanted Americans to waste money on the project. It’s unclear what good came of the lunar project. Some schoolbooks and promoters of the space program teach that the space program led to the invention of Teflon, now widely used in cooking, but that claim is false.||Sputnik was launched at a time of heightening tension between the Soviets and NATO. By 1957, Khrushchev's strategy of détente between the communist and capitalist powers was failing. Had Sputnik come a few years earlier, there probably wouldn't have been an issue. But it came at a time when the West was growing deeply suspicious of the USSR. Indeed at a summit meeting in Paris between de Gaulle, Eisenhower, Eden, and Khrushchev, the Soviet leader started shouting about NATO spyplane flyovers of the Union. In response, de Gaulle icily responded that since the talks had begun, Sputnik had passed over French airspace several times, without French permission; and could France really trust Khrushchev's claim that Sputnik wasn't crammed with spy cameras? Following this incident, Eisenhower rapidly realised that the United States was falling behind the Soviet Union in science and technology, with consequent threats to American security and American prestige. So, Eisenhower began the space programme.
It's surprising that Andy has mentioned the Apollo programme without wandering off into a Moon landing conspiracy (all of which, by the way, is pure bollocks. The Americans did land on the moon and the photographs are real), and has utterly neglected to mention the Soviet space programme. As the USSR had bigger and better rockets than the Americans, the first breakthroughs in space exploration were made by Comrade Cosmonauts. The first human in space, the first spacewalk, the first human orbit of Earth, the first space stations, the first prototype space shuttles - all of these were built in the Soviet Union and manned by Soviet personnel, while the Americans were scrambling to catch up. However by the mid 1960s, the USSR was falling behind. While the Soviets had excellent Soyuz and Vostok rockets (the same ones which, had the big red button been pushed, would have carried atom bombs to capitalist cities), they were somewhat inefficient. Attempts to build better ones, such as the N-1 Nedelin, were failures which diverted a lot of resources and personnel. And as is so often the case in dictatorships, government bureaucracy got in the way. Soviet bureaucracy - like the bureaucracies of Nazi Germany, communist China, and Fascist Italy - was not a smooth, well-oiled machine. Rather, it was made of different civilian and military power centres all squabbling with one another over limited resources, leaving all departments underfunded and undersupplied. Meanwhile, NASA was ironically much more like a dictatorship, with a single leadership able to assign resources, research, and personnel efficiently and smoothly. While the Soviets were the first to send probes to orbit the Moon, photograph its far side, and even land and return with samples of moon rock, the sleek efficiency of NASA compared to the petty bitchiness of Soviet departments meant that the first human to walk on the Moon was an American, and not a Russian.Contrary to Andy's claim, the first words spoken on the Moon were not "One small step". Nor "The Eagle has landed". Aside from the relayed details radioed to Earth as the module landed, the first words were "I'm going to step off the LEM now". Not quite as much fun. Oh, and Armstrong objected strongly to raising an American flag on the Moon. He wanted to unfurl a United Nations flag, but was ordered to use an American flag by NASA, largely in order to thumb their nose at the Reds. Following the first Moon landing, the Soviets planned to send a manned mission but soon lost interest. Eventually Brezhnev pulled the plug and restricted Soviet space operations to Earth orbit. It's remarkable that Andy mentions the contemporary concern that space exploration was a waste of money, but he neglects to mention that the Soviets spent just as much as, if not more than, the Americans. And as for his tangent about Teflon - which apparently deserves a footnote - it's simply the height of irrelevance. It's also notable that in his earliest drafts of this Lecture on Conservapedia, Andy indeed made the claim that Teflon came from the programme, until one of his acolytes pointed out Emperor Andy's glaring error. Wonder why he didn't just delete it...
|The Soviet Union continued a more limited space program, and in the 1970s the two superpowers began to collaborate on docketing their spacecraft together in orbit, creating space shuttles, and even building space stations. In 1975, the Apollo spacecraft and the Soviet Soyuz successfully docked together in space.||The Soviet space programme was not exactly "limited". Soviet investment in space stations, rocketry, and satellites, for military and scientific purposes, remained high right up until the Soviet financial crises of 1988-1991. Consequently, NASA spending remained equally high, lest the Reds gain (potentially military) control of near-Earth orbit (contemporary geopolitican Everett Dolman delightfully refers to this as "Astropolitics"). Also note Andy's use of the word "docketing". He means "docking". "Docketing" is what you do with envelopes. Unless space stations are being sent through the mail, you don't "docket" them. Better trundle out your Merriam-Webster, Andrew...|
|Americans continued to explore planets with the Hubble Telescope (to explore distant space in 1990) and the Pathfinder space probe (landing on Mars in 1997). For most of the 20th century scientists (and popular movies) claimed that life must exist in outer space. Claims of life existing in outer space may have anti-Christian motivations and effects, as they tend to contradict the Christian view of the creation of life and the redemption by Jesus Christ. No extraterrestrial life has ever been found, despite all the exploration costing billions of dollars.||Ohh, this is just wonderful!! I've been waiting to wheel out my bedside book!!
The concept of other worlds, and life on other worlds, is far from a modern idea. It was one of Napoleon Bonaparte's favourite topics of after-dinner conversation; Immanuel Kant referred to the idea in his eighteenth-century political treatises; and stories which we would term "science fiction", wherein humans discover aliens or aliens land on Earth, were written down as early as Johann Kepler's Somnium in 1609. Even before that, the Romans and Greeks had made a distinction between supernatural beings and simple flesh-and-blood aliens. Democritus, the founder of Atomism, and Epicurus, an equally famous philosopher, wrote that it was inevitable that there are worlds and civilisations beyond our own. The Roman poet Lucretius wrote extensively on this subject; in his view the Gods had made Earth and Man, and with that sort of power it was inevitable that they would have made other worlds and other creatures to inhabit them. Now here's where Christianity steps in.
In complete opposition to what Andy says, the Church has never denied the possibility of extraterrestrial life. By the time the Church was a significant power, in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, the Ptolemaic understanding of the universe (whereby the planets, sun, and stars revolved around Earth) was well-established, and meshed with the Doctrine of Plurality. This theological teaching was borrowed from the Atomists and Epicureans, and essentially argued the same thing - because God is infinitely powerful, anything that he can do he will do. Thus, because God has the ability to make other worlds, he does make other worlds. After all, he's omnipotent. And he has to do something to pass the time up there. The Church officially supported the Doctrine right through the Early and High Middle Ages, and it was only in the thirteenth century that the princple was challenged. And the challenge came not from the Bible, but from Aristotle.
With the rediscovery of Aristotle in Muslim libraries conquered by the Christian Spaniards, Europe began an intellectual renaissance as ancient and medieval thought blurred together. Yet this was bad for the Doctrine of Plurality. Aristotle had argued that Earth was unique, not because some deity willed it so, but because the rest of the universe must be made of strange and dangerous elements not conducive to life. As Aristotle was an intellectual messiah at the time, his thoughts on other worlds were snapped up. For much of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Church remained ambivalent - they did not want to support Pluralism, as Aristotle was strongly against it. But equally they did not want to deny it, as Aristotle was a pagan and Plurality had been supported by Saint Augustine and Saint Eusebius. By the early 1400s European scholars were starting to openly question and criticise Aristotle, and were moving away from blind worship of rediscovered ancient texts (Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, etc) as experiments and discoveries demonstrated that in fact, the Ancients had been wrong about many things. In response, a text was published in 1440 by Cardinal Nicolas Cusanus which, after a careful re-reading of Epicurus and Saint Augustine, made a bold argument in favour of Pluralism. This was quickly adopted as the Church's official position - that God could make other worlds and species, therefore he did Cusanus' argument remained standard until the twentieth century, until Pope John Paul II in 1966 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 made official statements that the Church recognises the possibility of alien life; and that the Doctrine of Plurality in no way contradicts the Redemption of Christ. Who's to say that God hasn't sent messiahs to other species? It's not as though God only has one son, after all...
Oh, and the Doctrine of Plurality is not a feature merely of the Catholic Church. The Orthodox Churches, which split from the Catholics in 1057, also adopt the Doctrine. The Patriarch of Constantinople, the Metropolitan of Moscow, and the Bishop of Alexandria have all made official statements in support of the possibility of Divine Plurality. Similarly, the Protestant Reformation in Europe brought Pluralism into Anglican and Lutheran theology; the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Koblenz have made similar statements. And - believe it or not - Islam, Hinduism, and even Orthodox Judaism all have equivalent Doctrines in their faiths.
So, Andy, in response to your claim that claims of alien life are anti-Christian: screw you. Try opening a book. Or at least, pay attention to what your own religious leaders are saying. You only have one body for the Inquisition to burn at the stake, so please stop tallying up all these heresies. It's unfair.
Still, we should be pleased that the Church's teachings on alien life are rather accomodating. We may avert the Church morphing into the Ecclesiarchy of Warhammer 40,000 after all.The Emperor Protects!
Security and Terrorism
|As communications and travel make the world seem like a smaller place, security issues become more important. America can no longer rely on the vast distance of the oceans to protect herself from her enemies. A terrorist is only a few hours away by plane, or by car in crossing a border.||Ahh fantastic, it's Andy's favourite mot du jour. Terr'izm. He appears to be labouring under the impression that all terrorists are from overseas, and that it is inconceivable that a terrorist can come from within the same country. Excuse me, I've got something in my throat. **cough**Timothy McVeigh**cough**. There are plenty of gun-toting, swastika-tattooed toy soldiers who have no more love for the Federal government, and are much closer to Washington DC, than fanatics on the other side of the planet.
And just for good measure, Andy drags up American Isolationism, with the implication that it is only the T-word which has forced the USA to interact within the global community. Yep, that's right. Were it not for Terr'ists, America would still be in isolation.Not that oceans and vast distances have ever saved Americans from genocidal thugs from abroad. Especially if you were a Powhattan, Iriquois, or Mohican...
|Terrorism is the main threat. It has existed long before the 20th century. The Crusades were a reaction to medieval terrorism in Jerusalem. The anarchist movement that began in the late 1800s, and which claimed President William McKinley as a victim (to assassination) in 1901, used terrorism. In 1920, a bomb exploded in a crowd in the Wall Street district of Manhattan, killing 40 and injuring 400. A warning note read, “Remember we will not tolerate any longer. Free the political prisoners or it will be sure death for all of you. American Anarchists Fighters.” The criminals were never caught.||Christ on His Cross, what's this??
First off, Andy makes a broad and sweeping generalisation which is crude in the extreme. Just because he considers terrorism to be the main threat (to what, exactly, he doesn't specify), doesn't mean that everyone considers terrorism the main threat. A tram driver in Buenos Aires who can't afford this month's rent; a tobacco farmer in Namibia whose crop is withering; a student in Hokkaido who lost her family in the tsunami; a government advisor at the Ministry of Finance in Athens - all these people may consider terrorism to be far less significant a threat than the problems immediately at hand. There are more pressing concerns in day-to-day life, and the very nature of humanity as an infinitely diverse species means that not everyone will assign the same priorities to social phenomena. You get the picture. For Andy to declare by fiat that "Terrorism is the main threat" is not only a gross generalisation in which he assumes that everyone in the world thinks like him, it's a stark reminder of just how privileged and out-of-touch with reality the man is. I, for one, am more concerned about paying last winter's heating bill than being blown up by al-Qaeda. Because, y'know, people like you and me - people who, unlike Andy, actually have to go out to work each morning - don't have the luxury of sitting in front of our computers all day, every day, reading all that right-wing shit which has colonised Andrew Schlafly's brain.
But anyway. That asinine statement was merely an hors d'oeuvres in the banquet of political crap. Andy is now serving us a selection of starters. He claims that "the Crusades were a reaction to medieval terrorism in Jerusalem". Ohh, good God. We're not going to get sidetracked into a discussion of the extremely complex context of the Crusades, as we did that in Lecture Five. However, we will remind Andy that applying vague, modern-day concepts such as "terrorism" (a loose, nebulous, and poorly-defined term if ever there was one) to the world of ten centuries ago in order to draw nightmarishly crude parallels, is not simply poor scholarship. It's cringeworthy. And yet, it keeps on coming! Following the platter of Crusader crap, the waiters at the Conservapedian Cocktail Party are now circulating with trays loaded with piles of hot, steaming, bullshit on late Victorian anarchist movements; alongside a poorly-chosen accompaniment of irrelevant 1920s tangents. Hmm, Andy isn't the best at matching his hors d'oevres. It's notable that he spends more time reciting, verbatim, one random note from nearly a century ago, than bothering to define what, in his mind, terrorism actually is.Sigh. This is going to be a long day. I say, waiter! More Margheritas over here! Yeah, just leave the tray. We'll be needing them all.
|Both terrorism and violent anarchism seek to disrupt and defeat authority. In 1995, a Japanese cult released poisonous nerve gas in a Tokyo subway, killing 12 and injuring thousands. In late 1996, Marxist terrorists captured and held hostages at the Japanese embassy in Lima, Peru. The oldest active terrorist group in the world is the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which has attacked and bombed Britain in an attempt to force it to relinquish control of Northern Ireland.||Oh at last, Andy hedges towards offering a definition. Well, more a description of what the aims of terrorism and anarchism are. Not that terrorism and anarchism are synonymous. Not unless you're reading The Times in 1882. While I have no love for the Anarchist movement, at least I'm able to distinguish between it and terrorism. And I'm a mere lib'rul. Surely Emperor Andy, with his monopoly on knowledge, can do the same...? Say what we will about Andy's poor choice of hors d'ouevres, at least there's lots of them! Here we get Aum Shinrikyo, the Shining path, and the IRA all chucked in together! Must be a novel experience for all of them. Not often that the three will rub shoulders. These appetisers, though, are shallow and lack substance. Andy doesn't bother to explain who these terrorist groups are, what their goals are (with the exception of the IRA), nor the socio-economic-political-intellectual context from which they emerged. It would be nice for Andy to flesh out the items on his Grocery List of Random Historical Paraphernalia™.|
|No sane person wants a terrorist to obtain a nuclear bomb. Most developed countries signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968 as a way of keeping nuclear arms out of the hands of terrorists and rogue nations. India and Pakistan never signed this treaty, and in 1998 both successfully detonated nuclear explosions in tests, proving that they have atomic bombs.||Sanity is a relative concept. And few people consider Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, or any of those petri-dish experiments to be sufficiently sane to control ten thousand nuclear bombs and the reins to the most bloated, high-tech military infrastructure in human history. Similarly, precisely who is defined as a "rogue nation" is relative. And as a final, cordon bleu flourish on this last of his appetisers, Andy whines about Pakistan while forgetting that it is a close ally of Uncle Sam. That won't go down well at your cocktail party, Andy. Insulting your hosts is bad manners. But criticising your allies is militarily insane.|
|Ireland is an island slightly northwest of England. “Northern Ireland” is in the northeastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland has about a million people, with slightly more Protestants than Catholics. It is part of the United Kingdom rather than the country of Ireland. Its Northern Ireland Assembly has 108 elected officials, of whom 59 are “Unionists” (who support remaining in the United Kingdom) and 42 are “Nationalist” (who seek joining the independent Irish Republic). The other seven do not specify their allegiance. The largest Christian denominations are Catholic, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Anglican Church of Ireland, and the Methodist Church, with the total number of Protestant members outnumbering the Catholics.||Ladies and gentlemen; dinner is served! And for the first course, it's the return of Andy's sop to physical geography! For the record, though, Ireland is not northwest of the British mainland. It's simply west. The population is 1.8 million, nearly twice what Andy claims (and when he wrote this drivel back in 2006, it was roughly 1.7 million); nice of him to actually bother checking. It's notable that this paragraph sees Andy regress into his awkward, choppy writing style, wherein random factoids are chucked in with no apparent connection or sequence. Why?|
|Irish rebellions against British control date back to rebellions in 1798 and 1803, and several secret Irish societies (such as the Defenders and Ribbonmen) played roles in those uprisings. There was an Irish Republican Army that fought the British at the Battle of Ridgeway. There was the Easter Rising from April 24 to 30, 1916, during which Irish rebels capture key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic. The British suppressed this and executed its leaders. But on 1919, the Irish Republic was declared through the efforts of its leader, Michael Collins (1890-1922). Unfortunately, Michael Collins was killed just three years later during an Irish civil war.||Oh for crying out loud...
Irish rebellions against British rule didn't start in 1798. They are much older than that. As Andy hates us British so much, and - as is evidenced by the tone of this section - he is simply wheeling out the Northern Ireland conflict in order to snipe at John Bull, he could have done a better job than this.
The history of Irish independence and foreign rule is traceable to Antiquity. As we saw in Lecture Four, the Roman Empire didn't consider Ireland worthy of conquest, and so left it alone; but in the Early Middle Ages following Christianisation, a number of large polities emerged in Ireland which encompassed much of the island. Most notable among these, arguably, was the kingdom established by Brian Boru, in response to Viking attacks. The English/Welsh/Scots at this time were fractured and warring people, and it was not until the Norman Conquest and subjugation of the Anglo-Saxons from 1066-c.1080 that the "British" started interfering in Ireland. And by "British", at this point in history, we mean a hotchpotch of Normans and their Anglo-Saxon underlings. Landing on the eastern coast of Ireland in the late eleventh century, the Normans/Anglo-Saxons/British/English/whatever rapidly established feudal fiefdoms based, as in England, around Norman castles and their surrounding territories. Nominally, these were loyal to the crown in London, and as Protestantism had not yet emerged the divisions were not based on religion but, as in England, upon the social divisions between the locals and the French-speaking Norman overlords. Anglo-Norman control of Ireland continued throughout the Middle Ages, during which the Normans and Anglo-Saxons merged into what we could describe as "English", but for much of this period English control of Ireland was merely nominal. Outside of the few towns and castles on the coasts, the population was for all intents and purposes independent. With the gradual shift on the British mainland, in the sixteenth century, to Protestantism, the landlords and nobility in Ireland became overwhelmingly Protestant while the local population remained overwhelmingly Catholic. Again, this was determined more by class divisions than theological disagreements. If you were a nobleman and wanted to continue rubbing shoulders with your fellow aristocrats, you had to be a Protestant; while if you were a local, and wanted to avoid being branded as some sort of lapdog to the aristocrats, you remained Catholic. Alright, that's a broad generalisation - the kind which we just criticised Andy for - but you get the picture.
By the time of the English Civil War in the 1640s, much of Ireland was still de facto independent of de jure English control. In 1641, the small cabal of Catholic gentry in Ireland started a rebellion against the Protestant English which dragged on, with no clear victories on either side, for a decade. Following his victory in mainland Britain, Oliver Cromwell decided to "pacify" Ireland and bring it under the control of the new English Republic. This "pacification", as might be imagined, involved deaths. Lots of deaths. At the Siege of Drogheda in 1649, the Parliamentarian army massacred not only the defeated Catholic Irish garrison, but many of the civilians too. Just how many, depends on who you ask. Yes, history can say different things to different people.
Following Cromwell's reconquest of Ireland and the establishment of a clear Protestant, English aristocracy (most of whom became "absentee landlords" living in London with no interest in their Irish land besides milking profits) over the Catholic Irish population, parts of Ireland became substantially Anglicised. Significant reforms were enacted for the Catholic population - such as the establishment of an Irish Parliament (composedof English landlords) - but these were far from universal, or broadly enforced. With the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, a rallying-point for independence and/or working-class movements across the continent, Wolfe Tone led his Society of United Irishmen in a rebellion against English rule. The threat of a French invasion of Ireland in support of the rebels, prompted the British to send a military expedition to crush the 1798 uprising. The Irish parliament was abolished and Ireland was officially joined to Great Britain in 1801, becoming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Andy completely ignores the events of 1801-1916 - the Catholic Emancipation Acts, the Irish Famine, the mass emigration, the growing demands for Home Rule and the subsequent transformation of Irish Home Rule into an issue which divided English/British politics in Westminster as much as on the streets of Donegal and Dublin. A number of Home Rule acts were passed, gradually transferring political power to Irish assemblies, with the Third Act being passed upon the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Yet the Home Rule Acts were a great concern to many Anglicised, Protestant Irish - mostly concentrated in the northeast and the cities - who feared that their voices would be drowned out by the Catholic majority in the rest of the island. Meanwhile, with the suspension of further Home Rule Acts due to the ongoing war, and rising anger at Irish losses on the Western Front, radical elements of the independence movement launched an armed uprising in 1916. This was indeed crushed by the British, but upon the end of the war in 1918 the situation changed. A civil war in Ireland between pro- and anti-independence movements broke out, with neither side gaining clear superiority. In the new era of national self-determination, Britain realised it could no longer cling on to Ireland and justify such a policy either to the international community (particularly the United States) nor the British population. Hence in 1919, the Republic of Ireland was formed. However, Northern Ireland immediately opted out and chose to remain part of the United Kingdom.
However, the independence treaty with Britain did not go far enough for some. While Michael Collins and his faction were willing to sign the treaty, the fation led by Éamon de Valera called for more concessions from Britain. In the resulting civil war, de Valera's faction - the genesis of the modern IRA - was gradually worn down by the Irish Free State's military and the war fizzled out in May 1923, with both sides reaching a very tense agreement and ultimately, a ceasefire.Why couldn't Andy mention any of this? He despises the British, so it's surprising he has chosen to ignore Britain's actions in Ireland from c.1080-1923. Doesn't he want to whine about John Bull any more?
|Northern Ireland remains in control of the British, despite the objections of the growing Catholic minority. On “Bloody Sunday” (1972), the Irish held a peaceful march for freedom in Derry, Northern Ireland. The British soldiers responded by shooting thirteen unarmed protesters dead, including six minors, and another died from the wounds a few months later. Five had been shot in the back. Army vehicles ran over two protesters. The British never punished those responsible and several songs (one by John Lennon, and other by U2) commemorate the tragedy. There is a Christian rock group that dedicates its name to the event, calling themselves “Bloody Sunday.”||Andy should be aware that Northern Ireland is not "in control of the British", Northern Ireland is British. It's one of the four component states of the United Kingdom, and it was through choice, not coercion, that the Northern Irish chose to remain part of the UK in 1922.
Andy's discussion of Bloody Sunday is warranted, but his tone is somewhat inappropriate. As is almost always the case across the world, the Northern Ireland conflict is a not a case of good vs. evil. Both sides are diverse, sometimes contradictory within themselves, and very frequently are just as bad as each other. Both the British and the IRA committed atrocities against each other, and as usual, it was the civilian population caught in between which paid the price. Hence this description of Bloody Sunday, which overlooks the countless other incidents of British killing Irish, Irish killing British, and Irish killing Irish, from 1922 to the present day, is not only inappropriate as it is the sole reference, but is written in a style which simply heaps blame upon the British and portrays us as evil bastards cruelly oppressing the innocents. Real life isn't like that. In any conflict, there are heroes and villains on both sides, and the Northern Irish conflict is no exception.On a more cheerful note, notice how Andy trundles out a Christian rock band, despite the seething hatred fro rock music which so many Christian fundamentalists display. Ooh, irony makes a nice accompaniment to this otherwise deeply bitter dish.
|This event made many Irish feel that complete independence is the only solution, and that armed revolt is the only way to achieve independence. Membership in the IRA then soared. At one point they launched missiles from a van, directed at the headquarters of the British prime minister, in the hopes of killing John Major. He escaped injury. More recently, violence in Northern Ireland has subsided, but there is no end to the controversy over whether the Protestants or Catholics should rule that northeastern corner of Ireland.||Oh go fuck yourself, Andy. This version of the Northern Ireland conflict is so one-sided, and utterly lacking in context, that's it's no longer simply tiresome. It's now returned to offensive. The tone of this paragraph reads like a manifesto for an armed revolution in Northern Ireland, in spite of the fact that most Northern Irish want to remain part of the United Kingdom. This is total shit, yet in a way it's unsurprising to find Andy taking the side of the IRA. Or at least, what he thinks the IRA is. Andrew Schlafly loathes and despises we British. That much is evident from reading these lectures, although the precise reasons why are something of a mystery. I very much doubt he gives a rat's ass about Ireland, and instead is simply exploiting a very, very ugly situation in order to snipe at us. It really wouldn't be surprising to see Andy cheering on al-Qaeda for the July 7th bombings in London, simply because it was against the British.
Anyway, wasn't Andy bitching about the horrors of anarchism nary three paragraphs ago? Now he's advocating armed rebellion against the authorities? Sigh. Better re-read 1 Romans 13:1-5, Andy. It'll give you something to think about when the Man Upstairs chucks you down into the Furnaces of Hades for advocating rebellion against the state.Still, it's nice to see that Andy's screaming, foaming-at-the-mouth polemic against terrorism has resulted in him taking the side of a group which is condemned by both the British and Irish governments as a terrorist organisation. Pass the irony, would you?
|Islamic terrorism has long plagued the Middle East. Palestinian terrorists grabbed and murdered eleven Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, shocking the world. A suicide bomber drove a truck of explosives up to a barracks of American Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, and detonated an explosion that destroyed their building, killing 241 of them in 1983. Within a year President Reagan pulled American troops out of Beirut. In March 1998, terrorists bombed American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Most suspected Osama Bin Laden as the mastermind behind these attacks.||And now, mesdames et messieurs, the main course.
In all fairness to Andy, we ought to give him a little pat on the back here. As a paragon of xenophobic, nationalist, militarist, sexist, racist, bigoted, foaming-at-the-mouth fascism, it's astonishing that he has devoted so little space to discussing a day which, in the minds of his American ilk, was the most important event in human history. He could very easily have wandered off onto a half-Lecture tangent about conspiracies lib'ruls, or the evils of the non-American world. But instead he's settled for a mere four paragraphs. Bravo, Andy! Although, as has been said before - it's sad when we have to applaud Andy for being a little less shit than he normally is.The random selection of terrorist attacks doesn't mesh with his crude geopolitical shoehorning. Munich isn't in the Middle East. Neither are Tanzania and Kenya (a shout-out for my country! Although I was living in Ghana at the time of the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings). The last sentence is curious. Is Andy claiming that Bin Laden was responsible for the 1972 Olympic Games killings? As he would have been 15 at the time, that's rather a stretch. Unless Andy wants to wheel out Osama Bin Laden as an example of a homeschooled teenager who changed the world...?
|But it was not until September 11, 2001 (9-11) that Islamic terrorism hit American soil. A group of 19 Muslims, most from Saudi Arabia, hijacked American airlines and flew one into each tower of the World Trade Center, a third into the Pentagon (probably after the pilot had trouble locating the White House from the air), and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania as the passengers attempted to retake control of the plane from the terrorists. Nearly 3,000 people died when the World Trade Center collapsed from the resulting fire, as millions watched it live on television. An outpouring of support for American followed, with only Saddam Hussein of Iraq refusing to fly his flag at half-mast at the United Nations.||Aww Andy, you've forgotten to mention how the 1683 Siege of Vienna, between the Christian Holy League and the Muslim Ottoman Empire, was also on September 11th! You did it so flawlessly in Lecture Eight!
I always thought Andy was a "9/11 Truther". It's remarkable to see that he subscribes to the actual version of events. Considering how much he pushes the "Obama is a Foreigner" conspiracy, it's curious why he toes the party line on 9/11. Possibly because it would implicate his wank-fantasy, George W Bush, and Andy can't have that. Note the brief reappearance of the Psychic Auspex of Historical Clairvoyancy™ which allows Andy to peer into the mind of a terrorist hijacker, before making a bizarre claim about Saddam Hussein that I can't verify. Anyway, why is Andy whining? A dictatorial leader thumbing his nose at the United Nations? Since when has that been bad in Andy's world?ADDENDUM: Also, Überscholar Andy has apparently never heard of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing which was carried out by...? Oh, yes Islamist fundies based on, among other things, the urgings of a radical Islamist cleric and receiving help financing their truck bomb from the main terrorist's uncle, a certain Khalid Sheikh Mohammed which again demonstrates Andy's complete lack of mastery or knowledge of context - or history. Bravo! ScepticWombat (talk) 14:53, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
|Led by America, a number of nations (mostly NATO members) responded by attacking Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, after the Taliban in charge of that nation refused to hand him over. Bin Laden is the leader of the terrorist organization called al Qaeda (spellings vary in translating that name from Arabic). Bin Laden fled, but al Qaeda was broken up in Afghanistan, the Taliban was overthrown, and many of Bin Laden’s top aides were killed by the end of 2001. Although a democratic provisional government has replaced the Taliban there, the persecution of Christians continues. In 2006, one Christian was targeted for execution by the Afghanistan country merely for converting from Islam, and the United States did not intervene. International pressure causes a suspension in the punishment.||Oh God, it's the return of Andy's Christ-awful grammar. He offers no background whatsoever on the Taliban government, instead plumping for clumsily-constructed sentences which read like they've been translated from cuneiform by a bugged version of Babel Fish. Which, oddly, is written in present tense. By the way, "al-Qaeda" isn't translated from Arabic, it's transliterated. There's a difference, which Andrew "Standards of English are Declining" Schlafly really ought to know. That one could have slipped us by, had we been blinded by Andy dragging out another nameless corpse in order to cry about Christians being persecuted. Well, at least this one's real. In places like Afghanistan, Christians really do face persecution, regardless of which government is in power. If people like Andy want to scream and cry and stamp their foot when the School Board requires the teaching of evolutionary theory, they should take a trip to Afghanistan to see what real persecution is. I'll chip in for the air fare.|
|In 2003, a coalition (made up mostly of American and British soldiers, with support from various other nations) invaded Iraq after Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate with inspectors of his nuclear facility and Americans feared that he had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The Iraq War was initially very successful for the coalition, as Baghdad was captured quicker than expected. The use of new body armor by American soldiers saved many lives that would have been lost at an earlier time. At the end of 2006 Saddam Hussein himself, after being captured by an American soldier and tried by the Iraqis, was hanged for his crimes. But in early 2007, three years after President Bush had announced victory in the war, he asked the American people to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq to try to finish the job. Terrorists there have caused a continuing stream of violence and killings for over three years.||Ahh, Iraq. The Opium War of the twenty-first century. Andy gives no mention of how it was Russian intelligence, not British, which suggested that Hussein was building big bombs; no mention of the extreme condemnation of Bush and Blair's little romp from their own populations and the global community at large; no mention of the illegality of the war or even the multiple violations of UN resolutions by Hussein (strange, after Andy wheeled out the UN two paragraphs ago); and of course, no mention of the bodies. Calculating the human cost of the war is extremely difficult, with estimates ranging from as few as 100,000 to over one million. The overwhelming majority of which are Iraqis. Fox and Sky News remind us every time an American or British soldier is killed, but for every dead man in a Western uniform there are 10,000 dead Iraqis. Oh, and lest I be accused of ignoring the deaths of Western troops in order to make a political statement, just remember that not so very long ago, I was one of those men in a uniform, picking up body parts with a sponge. Dear old Andy, meanwhile, ignores the casualties of both sides in order to talk about body armour (believe me Andy, it's nowhere near as effective as you'd think) and take a pot-shot at Dubya. Ooh, that's strange. Another skin-peeling at the Republican National Convention for Andy, methinks...|
|In the second half of the 20th century, people increasingly migrated to the United States and Europe. In the United States, the immigrants were welcomed with jobs. In Europe, the immigrants were first welcomed with jobs and became “guest workers,” but when the jobs became scarce the governments would welcome the immigrants with welfare. Some migrated to Muslim countries in the Middle East to work on oil wells.||Ahh, another political hobbyhorse crowbarred in to a "World History" lecture. Straight away, Andy makes broad and sweeping statements which imply that every country in Europe follows an identical immigration policy, and that we're all just a bunch of welfare-doling morons. Reality isn't like that. The sheer amount of bureaucracy one has to go through to get into a European country is staggering. And, as is so often the case among people who whine about migration, Andy has completely ignored the fact that most migration in the world is not into the West. It's between non-Western countries. When I moved from Kenya to Britain, every path was blocked by fortresses of forms and papers. But when I moved from Kenya to Tanzania, to Ghana, to Djibouti, nobody seemed to notice. I know anecdotal evidence is inadequate, but that's merely one example of a common phenomenon outside the West. The vast, vast majority of migrants don't arrive in Western nations. It's rather refreshing to see Andy return to his tried-and-tested trait of overlooking the non-Western world.|
|“Push-pull factors” caused the massive migration. The “pull factors” are those described above: better jobs and welfare. The “push factors” are poverty, violence, or religious persecution in a homeland. Hindus fled Muslim Pakistan, Afghans fled the Taliban and Cubans fled Castro. Sometimes refugee camps were necessary to take care of all the migrating people, as done in the Middle East for Palestinians and in Albania during the Kosovo crisis. Congo also established refugee camps for those fleeing from the ethnic cleansing of the tribal wars in Rwanda.||Hey, Andy! This is bloody good!! I mean, it would be, were it more appropriately put. A mid-40s Harvard-educated lawyer who claims to know something about history really should have discussed push-pull in the first lecture, or in a separate one on methodology and/or themes in history. To shove it into one sentence at the end would warrant a round of applause only if Andy were a lobotomised lab-rat; which seems to be the level of his intellect. As is sadly evidence by his examples. Yes, Hindus flee Muslim Pakistan; but Muslims flee India too. There are two sides to every story, Andy. Note Andy's mention of refugee camps. Yet in the previous lecture he claimed that there was no genocide in the Balkans c.1991-1999, and he didn't bother to explain the Rwandan Genocide. Great continuity there, Massa Andy.|
|When immigrants failed to learn and speak the local language, tensions arose. By the end of the 20th century, there was growing opposition in both the United States and Europe to the large amounts of immigration.||Oh God, please... don't wander off into Linguistic Determinism... Andy really ought to be aware that most people in the world are polyglot. We British and Americans (and the Australians and New Zealanders too, I imagine) are depressingly monoglot, a consequence of English having become the lingua franca of the world. We don't need to bother learning other languages, as we expect everyone else to speak English. Yet outside the Anglophonic world - be it downtown Paris or a tribal hut in Papua New Guinea - the ability to speak at least two languages to a passable standard is very normal. If Andy's going to start bitching about people refusing to learn the languages of their host country, perhaps he'd care to dazzle us with a demonstration of his skills in the native language of New Jersey. What would that be? Iriquois? Shoshona? Powhattan? Come on Andy, enlighten us...|
|The EU removed most internal border patrols, so people now flow freely from one country into the next, such as from Austria into Germany. The Muslim influx has been particularly high. In past centuries, churches would play a central role in integrating the immigrants into the local activities and culture. But churches, which have become largely empty in Europe anyway, cannot integrate the Muslim immigrants. In France, a politician Jean-Marie Le Pen demanded tougher controls against immigration. But the media then labeled him as a racist and he was badly defeated in the election for president in 2002. But meanwhile Islam is overtaking the Christian French culture, as the mosques are more vibrant than the churches in France now. In 2004, France desperately banned the wearing of the Muslim hijab (headscarf) girls in state schools.||This is a bizarre paragraph. It starts off with a crude paraphrasing of the Schengen Agreement, before bitching about Muslims, wandering off onto a lament about low church attendance, sniping at les enfants de la patrie, apparently supporting that fat bastard Le Pen, and finally mentioning clothes. I do wish Andy would remember to take his brain medicine on time. Churches in Europe are not "largely empty". As it is doubtful that Andy has ever actually come to Europe (obviously he fears being set upon at the airport by bloodied hordes of feral homosexuals who will bludgeon him to death with copies of Origin of Species), he must be getting this "information" from one of his piss-brained conservative webshites. It is true that church attendance here in Britain is lower than in the United States, but that doesn't mean that churches are empty, nor does it imply the same phenomenon across Europe. Europe is rather large and diverse, and can't be summed up in sweeping statements. And why is Andy suddenly lamenting the apparent downfall of France? Doesn't he hate the French? He also ought to be aware that since 1789, France has been officially secular. It's not a recent phenomenon and has sweet sod-all to do with Muslims. The French government (not a single town, Andy) didn't ban the burqa (along with the hijab) because they're frightened of Islam, they banned it for the same reason they banned Jewish skullcaps, Christian crosses, Buddhist robes, etc etc, in public places: Because Church and State are legally separate in France. And they have been since 1789. Something for us all to aspire to.|
|Many European nations now face the controversy of whether to allow women to wear the Muslim coverings. In late 2006, the Dutch government announced its plan to ban Muslim head coverings in all public places. In Germany, many teachers are forbidden from wearing the hijab. A Belgian town banned the burqa (full-body covering) and niqab (a veil that covers only the face) entirely from its streets. In Britain, schools were allowed fire teachers for wearing face-coverings. Even in the Muslim country of Turkey, its military rulers have banned any wearing of the Muslim veil in public buildings since the 1920s, when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established the modern Republic of Turkey.||Another paragraph about clothes? What happened to the discussion of human migration? Now Andy is chucking in the Dutch, the Belgians, the Germans, and the Turks. It's like lunchtime at the European Economic Council cafeteria. Note the vague statements which make no mention of specific places - apparently towns don't have names. What's this all in aid of, anyway?|
|Liberals are alarmed by this Muslim clothing because they frustrate the liberal desire to create a secular, atheistic society. It becomes difficult to complain about a cross somewhere when women are wearing burqas in glaring display of their faith. Also, some feminists object to the burqa as discriminatory towards women, subjugating them to an inferior position in society. Only in the sanctuary of the home do Muslim women remove their coverings.||Oh for crying out loud! ANOTHER paragraph on frigging clothes?! Apparently lib'ruls don't like Muslim clothing. So, using Andy's logic that Lib'rulizm=Bad and Conservatism=Opposite of Lib'rulizm, Andy Schlafly is all in favour of burqas. Because of course, he has to take the polar position of what he thinks lib'rul opinion is. Well we already knew that, considering his starry-eyed adoration for Islam back in lecture Five, and his "Rules of Chivalry for Girls" in the same diatribe, which exhorted females to dress like nuns. And of course, in trademark Schlafly Style, this apparent lib'rul crusade against the burqa is just a smokescreen for persecuting Christians. We didn't see that coming...|
|In the United States, the largest group of immigrants is from Mexico, and they are pouring into Catholic churches. For example, Catholics comprise less than 10% of Utah’s population, which is predominantly Mormon, but an influx of immigrants from Mexico is boosting church attendance there. But much of this immigration is illegal, and has created a subculture of 12 million people – close to 5% of the American population – that is not even supposed to be here. Illegal immigrants are winning robotics science competitions and garnering top prizes at universities. Many become self-employed due to the laws making it a crime for companies to hire them as employees. Congress proposed creating a “guest worker” policy that would allow the illegal immigrants to stay. President Bush said he would build a fence to stem the tide of illegal immigration, yet much of the promised fence was never built. Those caught for illegal immigration are typically returned to Mexico, only to return again illegally to the United States. Some have gone back and forth over a dozen times. Public schools welcome illegal immigrants, and some come here to obtain free benefits like schooling and medical care. Some heinous crimes and also fatal car accidents, perhaps due to a lack of an ability to read English signs or understand traffic patterns, have been caused by illegal immigrants.||What. The. HELL.
Andy's tone here is deeply unpleasant. Even for him. We all knew he was a complete cunt, but this segment is written like something from Volkischer Beobachter. Look. a subculture... not even supposed to be here... heinous crimes...". Deeply unsettling. We've gained a little peek into the warped horror of Andy's mind, and we don't like what we see. All that's needed is a huge header, in Gothic font, proclaiming JUDEN RAUS.
But on a light-hearted note, it's remarkable to see Andy bitching here about robots. Yep, that's right. Apparently immigrants are a threat because they build robots. It's Terminator in real life! He then goes on to imply that the USA has free healthcare (since when? Is Andy now in favour of Obamacare?), snipe at state education, takes another potshot at Dubya for failing to fortify the borders, suggests that Mexicans don't understand the concept of traffic, and implies that evil crimes are committed because their perpetrators can't read English. That's right, Andy. There are no crimes committed by Anglophonic Americans. It's all them dirty ferriners. But, fear not. With your head that far up your own arse, you'll be safe from the rampaging hordes running amok over the Sweet Land of Liberty.
Sigh."Give me your tired, your poor; Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."
|There has also been much migration within a same country. In developing countries, migration from rural areas to big cities caused huge increases in city population, and tons of pollution. Mexico City has become one of the most populated cities in the world from this type of migration. In developed countries like the United States, there is substantial migration in the opposite direction, from the city to the countryside, where it is easier to raise a family.||Andy really has a preoccupation with Mexico, doesn't he? In his world, it seems all migration is Muslims coming into Europe and Mexicans going into America. The rest of the world apparently doesn't exist. He also seems to be coming out against pollution, which is a novel change of policy for Andy "Slash and Burn; Drill Baby Drill!" Schlafly, and finally reveals himself as one of these morons who flees to the countryside to set up some weird little cult. Yes, there is migration to the countryside by normal people. But alas, Andy ain't normal, and given half a chance, we know he'dhead for the hills to establish himself as God-Emperor of some sadistic, evil little band dedicated to violently overthrowing the state and establishing a theocratic world empire. Or maybe not. After all, cult leaders need a modicum of charisma. And Andrew Schlafly has about as much charisma as dog shit trodden into the carpet. That's the level which, coincidentally, we should treat him at.|
|In Africa, ethnic cleansing plagued the nations of Rwanda (where the Tutsi minority was slaughtered by the Hutu majority) and in the Middle East, where the nomadic Kurds have been persecuted by Turks, Iranians and, most recently, Iraqis. The former Yugoslavia has also been accused of ethnic cleansing.||Ahh, "Human Rights". Based on what we've seen so far, what are the odds that this will rapidly divert onto a whine that Christians are persecuted...? It's notable that in earlier drafts of this Lecture on Conservapedia, Andy spelled the country as "Kwanda". That's right; the self-proclaimed Genius of Jersey can't get a country's name right. At least he mentions the Rwanda Genocide, but falls victim to the fallacy that it was a tribal conflict between Hutu and Tutsi. This is how it is portrayed in the media, but the truth is far, far more complex than a simple tribal conflict. Historical tensions between one group, privileged by the German and Belgian colonists, and economic divisions between native landlords and native tenants encouraged the emergence of two classes in colonial Rwanda, which came to be associated with tribal identities. When the genocide began, it was more of a working-class uprising against the bourgeoisie, which the West portrayed as Hutus vs. Tutsis. Not accurate. Oh, and thanks for not mentioning the 800,000 people killed in the genocide, Andy. The children thrown down wells. The old people hamstrung and set upon by dogs. The pregnant women disembowelled and their husbands forced to eat the foetuses. Oh yes, Mister Schlafly. These things happened. And unless people are made aware of them, they will happen again. So thanks, cunt, for utterly ignoring them.|
|International, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) formed in the 1960s to combat human rights abuses. The most prominent is Amnesty International, which has sought release of political prisoners and also opposed use of the death penalty. Sometimes these groups can obtain publicity and world pressure more effectively than governments can. But these groups are often biased in what they complain about, and rarely publicize human rights abuses by communist or Islamic governments. The persecution of Christians is unlikely to generate any outrage by NGOs or the press, unless (as in Afghanistan) the persecution is an embarrassment to Republicans.||Oh for fuck's sake. Go fuck yourself, Andy. Apparently the Rwandan Genocide only warrants a sentence, and the Balkan Genocide didn't even happen - yet a tangent about how Christians are persecuted by the lib'ruls deserves a full paragraph? Go FUCK yourself. Preferably with a pineapple. Or a hand grenade.|
|The United Nations issued a Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It included in basic human rights “life, liberty, and security of person.” In the United States, Rev. Martin Luther King led a movement in the 1950s and 1960s to establish civil rights for African Americans. There were many protests and arrests, and Rev. King himself spent time in jail at one point. But he and his supporters overcame the opposition and established equal rights regardless of race. Ever since, virtually every other movement has attempted to claim authority based on this major civil rights movement. Yet some movements today that claim to be civil rights movements actually conflict with Rev. King’s own Christian goals. For example, Rev. King spoke out against the black Muslim movement, but he is almost never quoted for it.||Ohh, now Andy is wheeling out MLK?! For a black man, that's cutting a little too close to the bone. Where'd I put my umuTsha and simi, again? Nice of Andy to ignore why King led a civil rights movement - namely that the Divine United States had legalised racism. Yeah, just ignore that. Just like we ignored the Native Americans. Can't have these nasty little stains soiling the perfect, crisp, white pages of American History. Purge them all. Except, of course, for when a historical figure is needed for one of Emperor Andy's crowbarring-in of Christofascist polemics.|
|Public praise of Christian human rights workers is also rare. An exception was in 1979, when the Nobel Prize committee broke from its own tradition and gave an award to an outwardly religious woman, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India. She was recognized for her work on behalf of the sick and poor of India. When the government of India announced its intention to tax her award, thereby preventing her from contributing it to her work, an international outcry caused the Indian government to allow her to receive her award tax-free. When Mother Teresa died in 1997, Indians gave her a funeral with full military honors!||Ah! Andy returns to one of his little bêtes noires, the Nobel Prize Committee! Still not sure just why he dislikes them so much, nor on what basis he accuses them of pursuing a perpetual conspiracy against Christians. He then uses this as a jumping-off point to whine about taxes - rather a strange leap to make. Maybe by this point, Andy was itching to get back to masturbating furiously over Fox News, so just decided to dump some random Conservapedian crap into this segment. Oh, and as for there being little public praise for Christian human rights workers, that's dangerously heretical for actual Christianity and the warped version which people like Andrew Schlafly follow. Real Christians don't do decent things in order to get acclaim from their peers. Remember Matthew 6:19-20. "Do not store up for yourselves riches on Earth; but through your works store up treasures in Heaven". Straight from the horse's mouth. And as for Andy's own brand of Fundafascists, don't they scorn "good works" in favour of "grace through faith alone"? As justification for them doing fuck-all to help others? Tsk tsk. Shame Andy only has one body. There are a lot of Inquisitors waiting to get their paws on him.|
|In the present day, genocide against native Africans in the Darfur region is one of the greatest human rights violations in the world.||Ohh, fan-fucking-tastic. We end with a random, non-contextualised, single sentence about the Darfur Crisis. What's the matter Andy, couldn't be arsed to read up about it? Even though tens of thousands of the victims are Christians? Well, they're not important. After all, they're only us darkies. Thankyou, Massa Andy. Tahnkyou so fucking much.
That’s assuming, of course, that Andrew Layton Schalfly is actually remembered by history. It’s all but guaranteed that he will be completely forgotten. Ultimately, we all will be. If there’s one thing studying history gives you, it’s a sense of your own mortality. We are tiny links in an unfathomable web of seemingly endless chains, and as such only a miniscule handful of humans are remembered – usually because they were exceptionally lucky or exceptionally evil people. The overwhelming majority of us, including you and me, will soon be forgotten by history. The memory of us will linger on among family and friends, but after a couple of generations, even that dims, and we will become nothing more than fading faces in an old photo album. Our legacy and our work may endure (I would certainly love for the books I write to still be read by students long, long after I am dead. The thought of future generations being cruelly tortured by having to read my dusty old books in their quantum cafeterias and laser-powered libraries makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside) – but the memory of us as actual people, rather than names on a page or pictures in a photograph, won’t last long.
That’s not to be gloomy. It is the destiny of all humans, from the first ones who climbed down from the trees on the East African savannah, to the last members of our species – whoever and wherever they will be. We each have our moment in the sun, then it’s time to step aside and let new lives have their moment. So it is essential that we make the most of life. After all, we only get one. If we’re lucky, we have the power to lead happy, fun, enjoyable lives and make the most of our lives.
But not Andy.
Andrew Layton Schlafly is one of the luckiest people in the world. He doesn’t appear to have a job (running his website and History classes are more hobbies than jobs), yet he’s financially secure. He doesn’t appear to suffer from any disabilities, physical or mental – being a crass, sexist, racist, xenophobic arsehole is a personality failure rather than a mental illness. He seems healthy, possesses a modicum of intelligence (he did go to Harvard; let’s give the devil his due), and must have at least a shred of social skill, else no-one would pay any attention to him. And notably, he’s a middle-class, English-speaking, white-skinned, male, in the most prosperous nation in the world. He’s got it fucking made. Life has handed him prosperity and security on a platter. He must pinch himself when he wakes up each morning, so effortless and lucky his life seems. He doesn’t have to even go to work, let alone worry about job security. He doesn’t have to worry where his next meal is coming from, or how he’s going to pay his mortgage. He doesn’t have to think about a disease or a disability, or worry about stepping on a landmine, or fear that he’ll be shot or kidnapped, or worry that his child is drinking water swarming with cholera and dysentry, or even worry that his grocery budget is being stretched ever-tighter on the weekly shopping and that he will struggle to pay this quarter’s electricity bill. He has a very, very, very rare opportunity to use this serendipitous position in life to transcend the banalities of the daily grind and actually do something useful, to make the world a better place. But he doesn’t. Instead he has devoted his life to spreading lies, slander, and general misery among as many people as possible. He has, in a nutshell, wasted his life.
Now that these Lecture analyses are over, my purpose at RationalWiki is done. I’ll switch off the computer, pick up my bag, and go out to my barbells and books. They’ve been missing me, and like any normal human, I’ve got other things to be doing with my time. But Andy doesn’t appear to have anything worthwhile in life outside his jealously-guarded blog. He’ll fritter away the remainder of his life with his ugly political rants, alienating all and sundry around him, and continue to accomplish nothing. When I die, at least I’ll be able to look back and think "That was a good run!" And hopefully, so will you. But Andy will look back and see a life of pointless unfulfilment. A total waste.
Go on. Get up from your chair, go out of the door, and live your life as best as you bloody well can.