“I’d offer a pithy opening quote,” Professor Plum said as he walked into the mail room, “but I lack the mental equipment for pithiness.”

At least he read the mail. (More)

Ms. Scarlet took his hand and they left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they will spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor wondered if he had the mental equipment to figure out Chef’s final bet. She had opened the pot with a raise, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor called with a pair of red Tens. The flop brought the Queen and Ten of Clubs and the Nine of Hearts. Chef checked and the Professor of Astrology Janitor offered a small bet with his three Tens. She called, leaving him to wonder if she had opened with a King-Jack and now held a straight, or with two Clubs and was drawing to a flush. On the other hand, she might also have a pair of Queens or Nines and think he had a straight. The Five of Hearts on the turn seemed harmless, but again Chef checked. The Professor of Astrology Janitor again bet cautiously, and again Chef called. The river brought the Eight of Clubs and Chef offered the minimum bet.

Had she made her Club flush and now hoping he would call? Was she betting a straight or three Queens, ready to fold if he raised? Or might she want him to raise, having opened with the Jack and Nine of Clubs and now holding an unbeatable straight flush? Any of those hands were better than his measly three Tens, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor decided not to risk the bluff. He folded and Chef turned over her Queen and Ten of Hearts, for only two pair.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling and Chef went to the kitchen to make Brain Boosting Egg & Salmon Breakfast Sandwiches, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

It has become clear – in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Gaza and elsewhere – that radical Islamists are incapable of running a modern government. Many have absolutist, apocalyptic mind-sets. They have a strange fascination with a culture of death. “Dying for the sake of God is more sublime than anything,” declared one speaker at a pro-Morsi rally in Cairo on Tuesday.

As Adam Garfinkle, the editor of The American Interest, put it in an essay recently, for this sort of person “there is no need for causality, since that would imply a diminution of God’s power.” This sort of person “does not accept the existence of an objective fact separate from how he feels about it.”

Islamists might be determined enough to run effective opposition movements and committed enough to provide street-level social services. But they lack the mental equipment to govern. Once in office, they are always going to centralize power and undermine the democracy that elevated them, and that’s why I support the coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

David in D.C.

Dear David,

We concede that President Morsi betrayed the democracy that elected him by using the power of government to suppress his opposition. However, we suggest that many American conservatives also “lack the mental equipment to govern.” Consider this letter that we received this week….

Dear Ms. Crissie,

If you want to go home and have your wife boss you around and lord over you, I’ll tolerate you doing that. But that’s not the way it’s going to be in my house, because I’m actually a real man who actually is in charge in my home, and I’m not an effeminate man who lets my wife boss me around and tell me what to do, like most men are becoming today, unfortunately.

Also, the Bible actually teaches that gays should be executed. Now, I’m not saying that I would ever kill anyone, because I never would, but I believe that the government should use the death penalty on murderers, rapists, homosexuals, and that’s what the Bible teaches very clearly. Nothing in the Bible has been proven not to be true. And I’ve been alive for 31 years and everything I’ve ever seen just proves that the Bible is true.

Steven in AZ

David, we suggest there is little if any difference between fundamentalists like Steven in AZ and the Islamists you describe in Egypt. Would that justify a military coup to remove Republicans?

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Steven in AZ is just a preacher. He’s not in government.

David in D.C.

Dear David,

We thought you might offer that response, so we offer this letter from former Texas State School Board member Don McLeroy, explaining why he believed Texas schools should teach creationism in science classes:

Dear Ms. Crissie,

We agree that historical sciences like evolution are “tested” by the evidence. My key insight from our discussion is we disagree about the amount of evidence needed to demonstrate evolution. I want to see significantly greater evidence than you do.

I admit that I do not have the time to read all the technical articles and read all the links you have referred to, but I do not admit that I am unable to judge the adequacy of the evidence evolutionists have presented for evolution. I have read the popular literature of highly acclaimed evolutionists; I have thought about how much evidence is required to demonstrate evolution. And, I have found it unconvincing.

Of course our major disagreement is that I am a theist and you are an atheist. I wonder how much that “colors” our view of the sufficiency of the evidence for evolution.

Don in TX

Surely this self-confessed theistic resistance to scientific evidence proves that fundamentalists here in the U.S. “lack the mental equipment to govern.” Don’t you agree?

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

I agree that Don in TX is not fit to govern, and so did the people of Texas. They voted him out of office in 2010.

David in D.C.

Dear David,

We see. The issue is whether someone currently holds elective office. In that case, we offer this letter from this week:

Dear Ms. Crissie,

My wife worked at a home for unwed moms, and one of the little kids that was born, his name is David. David came about as a result of his mom and dad, who were just 16 at the time, going to a Planned Parenthood deal where they taught them how to use contraceptives. They were not sexually active at that point. They got into the car, and they were so hot and bothered from this deal, he couldn’t even get the condom on. So that’s why you shouldn’t teach contraception in schools.

Steve in TX

When another Texas state legislator asked for data to back up this anecdote, Steve in TX offered none, perhaps because the scientific evidence disagrees. Yet I don’t hear you calling for a coup in Texas.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Texas is just a state. They’ll have state elections and the people of Texas can vote out Steve, just like they voted out Don.

David in D.C.

Dear David,

Ahh, we understand. The issue isn’t merely holding elective office, but holding federal elective office. In that case, we offer this recent letter:

Dear Ms. Crissie,

There is no question in my mind that a baby at 20-weeks after conception can feel pain. The fact of the matter is, I argue with the chairman because I thought the date was far too late. We should be setting this at 15-weeks, 16-weeks. Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?

Michael in TX

We note that Michael in TX is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He is also a physician and thus, at least in theory, familiar with anatomical science. Yet he ignores neuroscience showing that fetuses don’t develop the mechanisms to feel pain until 24-26 weeks, trying to turn women into incubators because he sees random movements on fuzzy ultrasound images as fetal masturbation. We suggest that alone should prove he lacks the mental equipment to govern.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

So you’re saying we should have a coup in the U.S., or at least in Texas?

David in D.C.

Dear David,

We would not support a coup in the U.S., not even in Texas. Rather, we wonder why you failed to mention the same faith-based, fact-resistant rejection of rationality that is manifest in many American conservatives. We conceded that President Morsi betrayed the democracy that elected him, as have other autocrats in the past. But in framing the issue in terms of whether Muslims “lack the mental equipment to govern,” you broadcast your White Man’s Burden racism for the world to see.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Umm, I don’t have anything to say about Egypt or Texas, but I’d like to know how if Chef’s Brain Boosting Egg & Salmon Breakfast Sandwiches will make me smarter. Also, how do I make them?

Boosting for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Boosting for Breakfast,

Chef says her Brain Boosting Egg & Salmon Breakfast Sandwiches will give you the protein and long-lasting energy you need to read, and that will make you smarter. To make one, first sauté 1 Tablespoon of red onion in ½ teaspoon of olive oil until the onions begin to soften. Then add 2 egg whites, ½ teaspoon of capers, and a pinch of salt and scramble them until the eggs are set. Finally, place the eggs on a toasted English muffin, along with a slice of smoked salmon and a slice of tomato. Bon appétit!

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Sources:

David in D.C..

Steven in AZ.

Don in TX; voted him out of office in 2010.

Steve in TX; the scientific evidence disagrees.

Michael in TX; fetuses don’t develop the cognitive mechanisms to feel pain until 24-26 weeks.

White Man’s Burden racism.

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Happy Sunday!