Sunday, March 04, 2007

Conservapedia

Wow. I'm stunned. No, actually I'm not. Head on over to Conservapedia. "A conservative encyclopedia you can trust." Read: the conservative answer to Wikipedia.

Entries are to follow strict " Conservapedia Commandments." I've starred the entries I found interesting:
"1. Everything you post must be true and verifiable.
2. Always cite and give credit to your sources, even if in the public domain.
*3. Edits/new pages must be family-friendly, clean, concise, and without gossip or foul language.
*4. When referencing dates based on the approximate birth of Jesus, give appropriate credit for the basis of the date (B.C. or A.D.). "BCE" and "CE" are unacceptable substitutes because they deny the historical basis. See CE.
*5. As much as is possible, American spelling of words must be used.[1] (the footnote clarifies: "You will only be blocked for violating command 5 if you repeatedly change words from American spelling to another spelling.")
6. Do not post personal opinion on an encyclopedia entry. Opinions can be posted on Talk:pages or on debate or discussion pages."


The site gives an exhaustive list of examples of "bias" in Wikipedia. Among the complaints: "Wikipedia's entry on abortion reads like a brochure for the abortion industry."

The articles are ridiculous. There are highlights of Bill and Hillary Clinton's failures and Nixon's triumphs, and JFK is completely absent. Sorry, Nixon's entry warrants a complete quote:
"Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the Christian United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. He was the 36th Christian Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, in the administration of Christian Dwight D. Eisenhower. As a Congressman from California, he investigated communists and instigated the successful prosecution of Alger Hiss. Nixon served as Vice President under President Eisenhower from 1953 to 1961, and lost his first presidential race to John F. Kennedy by a tiny margin. In 1968 he won the election to president, and was reelected in 1972 by a landslide, but had to resign the following year due to a threat of impeachment by Congress for the Watergate scandal.

President Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was the first President to visit communist (Red) China. He appointed a conservative (William Rehnquist), two moderates Warren Burger and Lewis Powell) and a liberal (Harry Blackmun) to the U.S. Supreme Court. Nixon was from a Quaker family. His Christian foreign policy as president was marked by d├ętente with the atheistic Soviet Union and the opening of diplomatic relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. His centrist domestic policies combined conservative Christian rhetoric and liberal action in civil rights, environmental and economic initiatives. As a result of the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned the presidency in the face of likely impeachment by the United States House of Representatives. His successor, Gerald Ford, issued a controversial pardon that cleared him of any wrongdoing. "
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I could go on. But here's the point: what the hell are they thinking? Wikipedia, as I've mentioned before, has a communal entry system. Anyone can come in and write anything they want. If it's biased, that's because the people writing the entries are. So why not encourage conservatives to write entries on Wikipedia? Maybe it will even out the supposed bias (I'm pretty sure I disagree there is one in the first place).

And can I just go on a brief tangent about CE and BCE ("common era" and "before the common era")? Why would anyone have a problem with this? It's not "ignoring" history. It's simply making room for everyone's beliefs without changing our entire calendar. Okay - end tangent.

Is this a country that can't cooperatively write an encyclopedia entry? Do we need to have separate but equal -pedias? Is this democracy at its best? Do we need places to go and only hear what we want? Is truthiness truly the wave of the future?

Okay. I'm done. Look at the site. Explore. I know I'm giving them traffic, but it's terrifying to see this segregation of "facts." I don't understand it.

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