There is, I discover, a website for an organization called the Flat Earth Society, advocating what you would expect such a society to advocate. I would like to assume that it’s a put-on, attracting people like the wags at the Journal of Irreproducible Results. But in modern America, you can’t be confident of such a surmise, lest you discover that legislators in Texas and Tennessee are introducing bills to demand that the science textbooks give equal time to the theory that Earth is a flat disc, wackadoodlery being endemic in the Republic, like Ebola in Gabon.
The Rapture not having occurred on schedule—was it only a week ago?—Harold Camping has recalculated his timetable, promising that the actual End Time will arrive in October. We’ll see if his followers have any savings left to advertise this date.
Meanwhile, if your interest lies in cranks who comb texts for hidden codes and clues, there is a website that will direct you to some of the more noted exponents of the Shakespeare-didn’t-write-Shakespeare industry. (One of my favorites is that Christopher Marlowe, fatally stabbed in a tavern brawl in 1593, was busily scribbling acts and scenes twenty years afterward. But, as always, let your own taste be your guide.)
An article in Sunday’s editions of The Sun quotes the comedian Lewis Black—to the extent that he can be quoted in a daily newspaper—as saying that the Democrats are the party of no ideas and the Republicans are the party of bad ideas. I think that, on the whole, he is correct, but they sometimes switch sides. The Republicans’ proud endorsement of Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare scheme, the Democratic demagogy that followed, and the Republican candidates’ edging away from the Ryan plan are but the start of the delicious twists and turns we can expect over the next several months as members of both parties shrink from difficult choices.
And in Maryland, the state Board of Physicians has suspended the license of Dr. Mark Geier for using the drug Lupron to treat autism, which he believes to be the result of mercury in vaccines. Lupron, in one of its approved uses, chemically castrates sex offenders. And the governor has fired Dr. Geier’s son, David Geier, from the Commission on Autism. (We should probably check to see how much pertussis has resulted from Jenny McCarthy’s evidence-proof views on the supposed link between vaccination and autism.)
I must be a fair wackadoodle myself, posting this late at night on a holiday weekend when no one but other wackadoodles would be online. (NOTE: For wackadoodle, see Mr. Safire, back before The New York Times allowed a wackadoodle editor to drop the language column.)