Were the famous character created by Frank Baum in 1900 and immortalized by Judy Garland in 1939 stuck in the Land of Oz today, chances are she wouldn't be so eager to return to her native Kansas. Comically guileless creature though she was, Dorothy surely would have recognized that spending the rest of her life among opium-crazed dwarves, malevolent wiccans, power-mad posers, and winged palatial guards chanting in doomsday fashion about Oreos would be preferable to being plopped smack-dab into a government-sponsored time machine bound for 4,000 BCE or so.

First, there's Attorney General Phill Kline's pursuit of an anti-abortion agenda under the transparent guise of seeking to prosecute child rapists. In essence, the notably anti-abortion Kline is saying he doesn't give a rip about patient privacy laws because if he has his way, abortion itself, third-trimester or otherwise, will ultimately prove to be a crime committed jointly by doctors and pregnant women. No one wants to see pre-teens knocked up and at the door of abortion clinics, but to claim that such cases represent a large fraction of legal abortions is a straw-man gambit. Kline should just admit to what he's up to; he's not fooling anyone who opposes his view, while those who favor it would happily stand behind him if he vowed to torch every Planned Parenthood in the state himself. Fortunately, not everyone in Kansas -- even among the God-fearing set -- is as blase as the anti-abortion but pro-death Kline would like about the trashing of the HIPAA, rightfully recognizing that this is fundamentally not an abortion issue.

It's not surprising that Kline has no problem trying to dissolve HIPPA. To him and his fellow inquisitors, who really believe God is watching our every move, nothing is truly private. This explains in part why why such hominids don't understand the difference between worshipping a personal psychotic pimple-popping gibberish-spouting skygod and shoving His supposed requirements, and in effect His purulent member, down everyone else's throats.

This Biblically driven effort to violate patient privacy under the auspices of protecting children is part of a long-range, two-pronged attack against science and modernity by Kansas religious conservatives, who, in a revival of their stubborn 1999 quest to dispense of facts that lead to untenable levels of cognitive dissonance in their brain-like organs, have targeted evolution for extinction from school science curricula. Kline himself is among the ignorant gasbags who favor slapping "warning labels" on biology textbooks to remind readers of the creationist canard that evolution is "only a theory." It's no coincidence that an issue that made the state a nationwide laughingstock in 1999 was quickly revived after last November's elections shifted the balance of power on the Kansas State Board of Education from 5-5 to 6-4 in favor of anti-evolutionists, with the newcomer to the board the unusually despicable wingnut Kathy Martin, whom I've mentioned before.

The Panda's Thumb, among many others, reported what was to come in Kansas and has been following ever since. This is too deep to do justice to in passing, but if you really want to see creationists -- for all of the good it will or won't do given the Jayhawk State's hapless, militantly regressive votership -- marauded by the sledgehammer of basic reason, check it out. Be prepared to spend several hours with this is you really want to get a handle on the nature and the scope of the problem, which promises to spread beyond the realm of biology if the ID creationists don't fully implode before they have a chance to regroup and go on the offensive again.


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