Friday, July 17, 2009

GOP Math Deficiency

One trillion, 4.5 billion or 6 thousand? Does it make any difference? Good old arithmetic. How many zeroes? Where do I put the commas?

The GOP these days is a queer lot both figuratively and factually. An odd conglomeration of divergent groups of white people who come together every two and four years to vote. The conglomerate sedimentary rock above, shaped like a turtle shell, might be a great graphic representation of today's Republican Party. I'm quite sure that there is some 'Luddite' mixed in with this assemblage of odd sludge.

I spent the day yesterday at a post-glacial lake formed 12,000 years ago during the last glacial ravage in what is now known as The Irish Hills of southeastern Michigan. The Wisconsinan Glacier, named for the state, slowly retreated northward leaving much debris in its melt. Some were mounded conglomerate deposits known as recessional moraines, others beach ridges of mostly sand. Still others were deposit-covered glaciers which slowly melted forming bowls which subsequently filled with water- the lakes of the Irish Hills.

While slowly putting around the lake on a pontoon boat, conversation turned to those funny fundamentalists- always good for a belly laugh at any occasion, and even more-so after a glass of wine or two. "How old is this lake?" I asked? Without hesitation, someone quipped, "Six thousand years!" "Exactly!" I replied, and we all chuckled, knowing that there were millions of Americans who date all earth events from that date, as implied in the Bible.

I was wondering, as the laughter subsided, whether there were any fundamentalist bodies wallowing in these same waters, ignorant of the mass of scientific data on the origins not only of these glacial formations and the earth itself. Enough geology; back to math.

Many Republican members of Congress have stood at the House and Senate microphones denigrating the so-called Obama Health Care proposal, putting special emphasis on the cost of such a bill. They enjoy mouthing the word, 'trillions,' as if it gives their tongue a special tickle upon leaving their mouth. It is oft-repeated during the harangue for emphasis.

They know their 'trillions', but have trouble with 'billions.' To be more precise, 4.5 billion, the estimated age of the earth. Those conservative christian and fiscally anal Republicans like the fluff of 6,000 rather than the hard fact of 4.5 billion. What's up with that?

Well, not much is up with them except the same old obfuscation, spin and other deviant practices that they have exhibited for the past two decades. At least, if nothing else, they can lighten the spirit with a good belly laugh.

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