Turns out my cartoon yesterday linking the birther conspiracy theory with other forms of paranoia was more accurate than I had guessed. “Crazy Eileen,” the birther made famous by a YouTube clip of her confronting her Republican congressman (and then leading everyone in reciting the pledge) subscribes to more traditional forms of delusional fantasy.

“I have actually talked to an angel who came down in human form,” she said during the Jan. 1 show. “We will have alien contact in October of this year, in the southwestern USA.”

Sigh. If only Carl Sagan were still alive to see this. Shortly before his death from cancer, Sagan wrote The Demon-Haunted World, extolling the scientific method to question claims of alien abduction, angel sightings, and other paranormal and conspiracy claims. (I read it only recently, so it is fresh in my mind; now I am picking up The New Skepticism by Paul Kurtz, who taught philosophy at SUNY at Buffalo when I was there — too bad I never took one of his classes.)

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