Saturday, April 29, 2017

#1827: Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly has been the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 3rd congressional district since 2011 and is the kind of person who thinks that the administrative decision categorizing contraception access as preventive health care was comparable to 9/11 and the attack on Pearl Harbor, and who says that August 1, 2012, when the HHS mandate passed, was “the day that religious freedom died”. That’s pretty silly, but illustrative of the persecution complex and willful failure to understand what “religious freedom” amounts to that characterizes Mike Kelly. In 2014 Kelly and Mike Enzi sponsored a bill that would allow adoption agencies to refuse to facilitate any adoption that “conflicts with … the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The motivation was, of course, neither religious freedom nor moral conviction.

Kelly is also on the record comparing the EPA to terrorists for regulating pollution from coal plants. He did admit that he used the word “terrorism” broadly. “Idiotic” is a better description, but yes: No one doubts that he went for inflammatory rhetoric rather than accuracy.

Unexpectedly, Kelly was no fan of Obama. Kelly thinks Obama “divides” Americans “on race”, presumably because Obama is black and some people react negatively to having a black president. Accordingly, Kelly didn’t rule out impeaching him to prevent him from dragging the US into a civil war. In 2015 Kelly blamed the Baltimore riots on Big Government, mostly because the riots were bad and so is Big Government. Apparently Obama also emboldens terrorists (note the dog whistles to the birthers in that one) because, well, apparently because Obama is in favor of gun control and legislation that is sensitive to environmental concerns.

Diagnosis: Saying something so patently idiotic as Kelly continues to say should make you ineligible for being left home alone, but in Pennsylvania’s 3rd District they apparently elect you to Congress instead. It’s hard to react with anything but a sigh at this point.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

#1826: Jon Kelly

Jon Kelly is a colleague of Alfred Webre, and a, uh, “researcher” on exopolitics. In particular, Kelly is “world-famous expert in the application of voice-based disclosure technology for revealing UFO secrets.” That would be … playing recordings of people speaking backward to see if they reveal hidden messages about extraterrestrials; “expertise” doesn’t seem to enter into the process at any discernible point. Now, apparently Webre is currently considered “fringe” even in the exopolitics community – which is like … well, I struggle to come up with a good simile – and was ultimately considered too crazy even for the Examiner website and given the boot in 2011. Kelly’s defense of Webre: “’s corporate publication ban against the Seattle Exopolitics Examiner is an Illuminati agenda-inspired media hit targeting the columnist who revealed President Barack Obama’s participation in the CIA’s secret Mars visitation program.”

As for Kelly’s own investigations, here is an example: Kelly analyzes statements by Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, and Edgar Mitchell about UFOs and Extraterrestrials using backwards speech analysis “and discovers startling revelations. One of these 4 may be an E.T. abductee. One of these 4 may have an E.T. implant. Only one of these four key actors in Exopolitics conscious mind (‘forward speech’) is saying what his subconscious mind actually thinks.” (By the way: Mitchell, himself a loon, is clearly part of the conspiracy – how conspiracy theory groups tend to dissolve into infighting and accusations that other conspiracy theorists are part of the conspiracy seems to be pretty lawlike.) So apparently forward speech reflects the conscious mind and backward speech the unconscious. Good to know. According to himself, Kelly has “responded to the call of science [yeah, about that …] for improved methods of UFO witness interrogation by revealing the UFO and extraterrestrial secrets of Kenneth Arnold, Betty Hill, NASA astronauts, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and President Obama.” And his credentials? “Jon’s work in sound and consciousness is heavily influenced by a multi-decade immersive study in classical yoga meditation.” Science, people.

And don’t worry: Kelly is pushing terrestrial conspiracies as well, for instance about how the UK Monarchy is using snipers to destabilize the world and push for WWIII. I suppose when you have figured out how you can use backward masking to uncover evidence for alien mind control, you’ll be able to find evidence for anything anywhere. Kelly can even predict the future. The novel discoveries he proudly mentions on his website are:

-       Accurately reported the ‘Shock and Awe’ strikes that opened the Iraq War 2 years in advance.
-       Successfully identified the BTK Killer on Wichita morning radio 15 minutes before he confessed.
-       Reliably disclosed Oprah’s true feelings about James Frey on Atlanta morning radio 2 weeks before she called him out as a liar on daytime television.”

We’re as impressed as anyone has any right to be. And if you wish, you could sign up for “Jon’s online streaming on-demand video class ‘UFOs and You: Experiential Contact for Beginners’ provides essential insights into Disclosure, UFO Communications, Psychic Dimensions of Contact and Night Vision Equipment in a way that students describe as informative, educational and riveting”.

Diagnosis: He adds some color. We’ll give him that. Probably harmless.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#1825: Rebecca Keller

Real Science-4-Kids imprint publishes student texts, teacher manuals, and student laboratory workbooks –ostensibly covering chemistry, biology and physics to serve kindergarten through ninth grade – specifically targeted at homeschoolers. The material does, of course, not primarily seek to introduce kids to science, but to religiously motivated science-denialism, including creationism, and Rebecca Keller, who runs the outfit, has realized that since creationists can’t challenge scientists on evidence, truth, accountability and research, they should focus on “educational” materials aimed at kids instead. This is of course the usualy ploy among denialists: there’s a reason the Intelligent Design movement has focused on getting Intelligent Design taught in public schools and not on doing research to establish Intelligent Design as a viable scientific alternative. Keller has frequently spoken at intelligent design conferences about and provided testimony for teaching the controversy and allowing students to “critically evaluate” all scientific data that support and/or oppose scientific conclusions, once again because the focus of Intelligent Design conferences tend to be outreach, not science.

She has also been directly involved in various attempts to get Intelligent Design creationism taught in public schools. For instance, in 2006 she was invited by Mike Fair to testify before the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee in favor of language to allow students to “critically evaluate” all scientific data. Like all such attempts, this one didn’t include any discussion of how students, with little or no prior knowledge or understanding of the field, its questions, or research, would be in a position to “critically evaluate” any of it.

Now, Keller herself is a former assistant professor at the University of New Mexico, where she did indeed work in molecular biology. Her rejection of evolution was not grounded in science, however, but in religious fundamentalism, though it provided her with the credentials needed to be a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s petition A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. Keller herself is currently a home-schooling mom with no academic or research affiliation.

Her educational material is apparently extensively used, however, since many homeschoolers are religious fundamentalist science denialists.

Diagnosis: Anti-scientists. And that is of course precisely what makes her and her writings rather popular in certain quarters. Influential and dangerous.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#1824: Crockett Keller

Legendary crank magnet Jim Keith seems to have passed away. Crockett Keller, however, doesn’t deserve more than a brief note. Keller is a store-owner in Texas who in 2011 got some attention for an ad for his own courses on gun safety for people to receive their conceal/carry permits, where he stated thatif you are a socialist liberal and or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class. You have already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as under the law” and “if you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you the class with no shame” because “the fact is if you are a devout Muslim then you cannot be a true American.” Keep in mind that this was supposed to be a gun safety class.

He later doubled down on his claims and equated giving Muslims handgun training with providing flight instruction to the hijackers responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks: “Why would I teach people who have sworn the annihilation of the United States and who can lie, cheat, steal and murder Americans in order to further Islam?” said Keller: “Why would I arm someone like that? Why would I enable them to carry a weapon legally? I don’t want to be a part of that.” No, he displays no hint of understanding what Islam is.

Diagnosis: I don’t think you should trust someone as deluded and crazy as Crockett Keller to give you gun safety advice in any case. Deplorable git.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

#1823: Merrill Keiser

Merrill Samuel “Sam” Keiser Jr. is an insane religious fundie nutter truck driver from Fremont, Ohio, who got a few minutes in the spotlight when he attempted to run as a candidate in the Democratic primary for Senate in 2006 against Sherrod Brown. Keiser ran on a platform of “traditional values”, including opposition to gay marriage, appointment of strict constructionist jurists on every level, “winning” the War on Terror (and the War on Drugs), teaching and encouraging school prayer, taxpayer-financed school vouchers, support for a strong military and using the US armed forces to “battle drugs and terrorism”, supporting US withdrawal from the UN, anti-abortion and a “Biblical” view of Israel. He was also opposed to embryonic stem cell research, saying that it “is a ploy of money-hungry academic researchers and blood-thirsty liberals and politicians who want to bring a culture of death to America and it part of their religion. It is just like the religions of old in which they used human infant sacrifice in idol worship.” Yeah, throw in a conspiracy theory for good measure. Of course, “money-hungry academic researchers” is sort of a contradiction; if you’re money-hungry, you’d stay as far away from academic research as you’d get. Keiser’s premise is really rather just the good’ol one that he doesn’t like or understand stem cell research, and everyone who disagrees with him is corrupt.

During his campaign Keiser called creationism “true” and endorsed the position that creationism, not evolution, should be taught in public schools (since “if you teach kids that they’re here by accident rather than purposely by somebody putting them here, their self-worth won’t be more than any other animal,” an argument famously championed by Jack Chick). School children should be “taught to pray,” and “liberals” have spent too long worshipping the “god of Reason.” Yeah, that bloody hallmark of heathen perversion, reason. As Mark Rushdoony says, “we must base our laws on faith, not reason.”

In May 2006 Keiser called for homosexuality to be punishable by death: “Just as we have laws against taking drugs, we should have laws against immoral behavior,” said Keiser. He has later apparently modified the position, claiming that although he would not oppose making homosexuality a crime punishable by death for the overall spiritual and moral health of society, he himself, would not introduce such legislation In March 2006, Keiser suggested that Elton John should be killed (“worthy of death”), as should Mary Cheney (daughter of Dick Cheney), for being homosexual.

Diagnosis: One of many raging about the evils of radical Islam while themselves favoring a society governed by principles somewhere to the extreme right of the Taliban. Deranged fundie bigot, and apparently his votes in the 2006 primary exceeded what can be explained by ballot-marking errors, which is scary. Then people elected Trump.