My Vanity Fair Piece on Conservapedia

If you're looking for an amusing distraction this morning, you might be interested in a little piece I wrote for Vanity Fair on Conservapedia and the wackiness to be found therein.

Now, you're probably thinking to yourself, "I already know all about the general douchebaggery that goes on at Conservapedia. Like every liberal with an internet connection, I went over there a couple of years back and read the article on evolution and how it was invented by Hitler or some such, and I even checked out the early version of the page on Nineteen Eighty-Four, the one that explained that the ending 'has something to do with rats.' Surely, I have nothing to learn from your little article. I am the Alpha and the Omega."

Well, perhaps you're right, although I find your boastfulness a little off-putting. But, let me ask you this - did you ever check out the article discussion pages?

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The Life and Times of William Bennett

Occasionally, a book is best reviewed more than a decade after it's been written. William Bennett's The De-Valuing of America, published in the otherwise uneventful year of 1992,  is such a book.

    To judge from the dust jacket review blurbs, Bennett's first foray into the literary genre of the ex-politico memoir - traditionally a haphazard mash-up of policy suggestions, political narrative, and personal musings - appears to have been a well-received one. Rush Limbaugh calls the book "inspiring." Beverly LaHaye, president of Concerned Women for America (and, tellingly, wife of Tim LaHaye, brainchild of the Left Behind empire) gushes that "[h]is keen strategies help equip all of us involved in the accelerated warfare for the very heart and soul of America's children." And the Wall Street Journal refers to Bennett as "Washington's most interesting public figure," apparently intending this as a compliment.

    But praise from allies is like a mother's love. More surprising is the dust jacket quote from The New York Times, of all things, informing us that Bennett "brings refreshing intelligence and common sense to a debate long dominated by ignorance and confusion." This strikes me as a nice way of saying that Bennett is better educated than most of the people who believe the things that he believes.

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Jindal: "I've given her protection from demons"

The new Republican governor of Louisiana is, one must admit, very impressive in some respects, being not only a young man with obvious intellectual gifts in the practical sphere (if not the theoretical one), but also that rare breed of modern Republican who actually wants to fix a couple of those things which everyone agrees ought to be fixed - Louisiana, for instance. Moreover, he's being seriously considered by McCain as a possible running mate, and is in fact meeting with the Maverick at his Maverick Straight Talk Honesty Ranch on this very day.

This is all well and good, but it does not change the fact that Bobby Jindal also believes that demons regularly possess Christians for presumably nefarious purposes, and that in such cases, the only cure is a prompt and well-attended exorcism.

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