Monday, July 31, 2006

Damian Penny: Just slightly behind the times.

First, there's Damian's attempt to keep us up to date:

The Israelis have suspended air strikes against Lebanon for 48 hours:

Israel suspended air attacks on south Lebanon for 48 hours starting early Monday in the face of widespread outrage over an airstrike on a house that killed 56 Lebanese, almost all of them women and children.

The announcement made by a State Department spokesman with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Jerusalem appeared to reflect American pressure on Israel to make some concession after the strike.

In addition to suspending air attacks, Israel will also allow the opening of corridors for Lebanese civilians who want to leave south Lebanon for the north and would maintain land, sea and air corridors for humanitarian assistance, officials said.

Israeli officials confirmed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to an immediate 48-hour halt in the airstrikes beginning at 2 a.m. Monday while the military concludes its inquiry into the attack on the south Lebanese village of Qana. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Wait a minute ... there's something missing here ... oh, right:

Israeli air strikes resumed in southern Lebanon on Monday, less than 12 hours after Israel announced a two-day suspension in the wake of dozens of civilian deaths.

Daimnation: When you absolutely, positively need only half the story.

And by "we," I mean "people other than me."

People too stupid to realize when they've been smacked.

Neo-conservatism, in six panels.

Every Blogging Tory you've ever met:

You're just NOW figuring out how this works?

The rest of this article is worth the read, but here's the best part:

Night after night and day after day, hundreds of thousands of Israelis have had to huddle in bomb shelters when, for most people in this country, it has always been their enemies who've run for cover. On television, the people here have seen reports of hysterical Israelis confined to hospital wards — so traumatic is the experience of being attacked.

I'm sorry ... you're just realizing the potential trauma of being shelled ceaselessly, and that's been after only a couple of weeks? How about you give it a few years of that, and then you'll have a right to whine.

The entertaining dangers of home schooling.

I'm starting to notice a serious correlation between Christian home schooling and really stupid people.

A little late to the party.

Spent most of the weekend away from the keyboard so this came as a bit of a surprise:

U.S. to push for Mideast ceasefire
Will seek a UN Security Council resolution this week

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday she will push for a cease-fire and a "lasting settlement" in the conflict between Lebanon and Israel through a UN Security Council resolution this week.

I'm sorry ... I turn my back for a couple of days and, suddenly, the U.S. is trying to work with the U.N. Security Council?? When the hell did that start?

Well, THAT didn't last long, did it?

Then (all emphasis added):

Bush: 'I'd like to close Guantanamo Bay'

President Bush said today that he would like to close down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp on Cuba, but for the fact that some of the terror suspects held there were too "darned dangerous" to release...

"I’d like to close Guantanamo," Mr Bush said. "But I also recognise that we’re holding some people that are darned dangerous, and that we’d better have a plan to deal with them in our courts.


New maximum-security jail to open at Guantanamo Bay

Far from winding down, the controversial US detention centre is expanding

The controversy over the US-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is to erupt anew with confirmation by the Pentagon that a new, permanent prison will open in the Cuban enclave in the next few weeks.

Don't even pretend that this surprises you.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Religious freedom, in a nutshell.

See, here's how it works. "Religious freedom" means that you have the right to hold any idiotic, asinine beliefs you want, while I have the right to tell you to fuck off because I don't want to hear them.

Are we all clear on the concept now?

The things that happen when you're not paying attention.

Shorter Joseph Lavoie: "They're allowed to shoot back? Since when?"

"And if you don't like THOSE principles, hey, I've got others."

The people in charge of the Conservative Party of Canada are clearly learning well from their American masters, especially in the area of pompous, blowhard rhetoric. Catch a couple excerpts from their latest bit of sleaze:

"Our Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper was amongst the first of the world's leaders to take a principled stand on the new turmoil in the Mid-East."

These days, apparently, it's not physically possible to just take a "stand" anymore. No, one must always take a "principled stand" since principled stands are way cooler than regular stands, what with all the principle involved and everything. (It doesn't matter, of course, if the principle is based on ignorance, bigotry or just overwhelming stupidity -- the principle's the thing.)

And as for this delightful bit:

"Since then, leaders the world over have risen to stand with Stephen Harper."

well ... I don't think so, Tim.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Well, NOW I won't have to feel guilty about it anymore.

Apparently, genocidal violence is suddenly a good thing (emphasis added):

At today’s press conference, NBC’s David Gregory noted that, three years ago, the Bush administration predicted that “the invasion of Iraq would create a new stage of Arab-Israeli peace,” but that hasn’t happened.

In response, President Bush proudly declared that American foreign policy no longer seeks to “manage calm,” and derided policies that let anger and resentment lie “beneath the surface.” Bush said that the violence in the Middle East was evidence of a more effective foreign policy that addresses “root causes.”

Excellent. Me, a Blogging Tory and a tire iron. Time to address the "root causes" for all that "anger and resentment." Don't wait up.

: As the years go by, this will never lose its entertainment value.

This just gets better and better.

And for "Most Creative Re-Interpretation of the English Language Resulting in Loss of Life," the award goes to this guy (emphasis added):

Israel vowed yesterday to keep up its military offensive against Hezbollah, as one of the country's senior generals said the air strike that killed four unarmed peacekeepers, including Canadian Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, at a United Nations post on Tuesday was deliberate but accidental.

Brigadier-General Shuki Shahar, deputy chief of the Israeli military's Northern Command, said soldiers in the field had accidentally called in the co-ordinates of the UN base and that the air strike had been approved up the chain of command.

Hey, shit happens, right?

"Sometimes mistakes are made and innocent people are hit," Brig.-Gen. Shahar said. "We do the best we can. We didn't recognize it as their base."

You know, for most people, those 10 panicked phone calls pleading for the shelling to stop would have been a clue.

"Me? No, I'm not with those guys. Honest."

This is hysterical.

The shamelessness of David Frum.

It occurs to me that anyone who writes this:

Whose side is the left on?

really doesn't have the moral foundation to write this three weeks later:

Iraq: New Plan Wanted

BONUS SNARK: Apparently, David has a lot to answer for.

The seven habits of highly effective sergeants.

"Look, it was hot, we were tired, there were all these full magazine clips in the Hummer ..."

Blogging Tories Short Takes: July 28, 2006.

Shorter Sham the Tory Man: "Stuff so super-duper, top secret, you can only find it online at public web sites."

Shorter Pete Rempel: "On the other hand, I have no problem with churches being tax exempt. That's totally different, right?"

Shorter Dr. Roy: "It's appalling to execute innocent civilians by hanging. Precision, laser-guided missiles do a much better job."

Shorter dissonance and disrespect: "Then there's these two faggots who walk into a bar ... oh, man, sometimes I crack me up."

Uh oh ... now things are going to get ugly.

Oh, dear ... someone hasn't been paying attention:

Wife of Cdn. peacekeeper killed by missile strike in Lebanon demands answers

Blames Israel for targeting observation post

Let the Cindy Sheehaning of that ungrateful, Canada-hating bitch begin. Take it away, Blogging Tories.

"Wankersphere! About ... FACE!!"

PM Stephen Harper: "Israel has the right to defend itself and we're not going to blame them!"
Wankersphere: "Israel has the right to defend itself and we're not going to blame them!"
PM Stephen Harper: "We demand answers from Israel regarding this tragedy!"

Sound of much neck-snapping whiplash follows ...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Plan B. We have a Plan B, right?"

Shorter Stephen Harper: "OK, magnanimous butt-kissing didn't work, so let's try steely-eyed resolve and see if that goes over any better."

The right-wing love affair with history (relevant or otherwise).

When you need a textbook example of rhetorical dishonesty, you can't do better than the ButtRocket:

Jennifer Harper of the Washington Times reports on a Harris Poll that, among other things, shows that 50% of respondents--up from 36% last year--believe that "Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded."

Stop right there. Note well the phrasing of that question -- whether Saddam had WMDs when the U.S. invaded, which is the only real issue here since, when you're arguing that the Saddam threat is "urgent", "immediate", "imminent" or what have you, it's really kind of crucial to keep the time frame in mind.

Having established that, note how ButtRocket immediately starts to conflate totally different issues:

The Harris folks term this result "surprising," but it's hard to see why. "Yes" is indisputably the right answer to that question. Liberals can dispute whether Iraq had as many WMDs as we believed they did; or whether they had all the kinds of WMDs of which they were suspected; or whether the WMDs Iraq had were mostly, or entirely, left over from the 1980s and 1990s; or whether the alleged mobile weapons labs really reflected nothing more than Saddam's taking a sudden, and very expensive, interest in weather balloons on the eve of war. But about the fact that Iraq possessed WMDs, there is no doubt.

So even though the burning issue is whether Saddam had WMDs at the moment of the invasion, ButtRocket suddenly gets all soft focus and nuancy, sweeping up possible claims from years before because, after all, nuance is a good thing, right? Which allows him to completely re-interpret the original question and come up with the convenient conclusion:

So it's hard to see how anyone can seriously argue that Iraq was not a threat under Saddam.

Which brings us to Michael K. over at Daimnation, who is apparently learning well at the feet of the master as he pulls the same dishonest shit:

From an e-mail by Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, the Canadian who was killed when a UN outpost in Southern Lebanon was hit by an Israeli bombardment.

...we have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both artillery and aerial bombing.

The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity.

Not surprisingly, being the hack that he is, Michael conveniently omits the date of that e-mail: July 18, a full week before the Israeli bombardment that killed Hess-von Kruedener, which is more than a niggling detail since Israel's entire defense for the attack would seem to be that they were under attack at the time and were forced to respond in kind. But producing an allegedly supporting e-mail and carefully ignoring its date doesn't really do much to support that scenario, does it?

In fact, the National Post gets tangled up in the same stupidity when it writes (emphasis added):

The United Nations appeared to be caught in a contradiction Wednesday after the world body claimed there had been no Hezbollah activity in the vicinity of a peacekeeping base destroyed in an Israeli strike, killing four UN military observers, one of them Canadian.

An e-mail written by Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, identified Wednesday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the dead Canadian, reveals Hezbollah was extremely active in the days and weeks before.

But, once again, how does one defend the hours-long shelling of the UN peacekeeping post unless there was nearby Hezbollah activity at that time? Like Michael K., the Post seems to be working overtime to deliberately confuse the issue when it writes further down in that same article:

The UN added fuel to the charge Wednesday when Jane Holl Lute, assistant secretary general for peacekeeping, told the UN Security Council that Hezbollah had not appeared to be militarily active in the area.

"To our knowledge, unlike in the vicinity of some of our other patrol bases, Hezbollah firing was not taking place within the immediate vicinity of the patrol base," she said.

One can certainly interpret Lute's statement as that there was no Hezbollah activity at the time of the Israeli shelling, which makes that shelling utterly unproductive.

So there really are only two questions to be asked here. First, is there actual evidence of Hezbollah military activity in the vicinity of the peacekeeper base aimed at Israel during the Israeli shelling that killed Hess-von Kruedener? And second, is there a single Canadian wanker who is not too goddamned lazy or dishonest to try to figure that out?

Sorry ... tell me again about the "Angry Left."

You want "compassionate conservatism?" I got yer compassionate conservatism right here, pal:

Here's another item to discuss in the next newspaper article about the "Angry Left": members of the Little Green Footballs community last night celebrate the death by Israeli bombing of four UN peacekeepers (UPDATE - the proprieter of LGF is apparently (and understandably) embarrassed by the comments appearing on his site and has therefore re-directed the link I had to that page to another blog. He has not, however, removed the comments from his blog).

20 - Too bad Kofi wasn't there, too.

22 - So what is Koffi going to do about it even if they did? I understand the paper cuts from a strongly worded letter can really hurt if desert sand gets in them. We are all at war with the UN, time to admit it.

37- I'm finding it hard to feel bad for these so-called peacekeepers. Most of them blindly shilled for Hezbollah while attacking Israel...

38 - I know it sounds a bit harsh, but I wish that it were deliberate, and that Israel came right out and said so.

All the UN seems to do is rape children, enable terrorists and act openly hostile towards Israel, If I'm Israel, I say any UN 'Peacekeeping' teams in the region will also be subject to attack.

63 - On the other hand, who could blame Israel for not shedding great big tears for the blue-helmeted terror enablers?

I love Glenn's opening bit. I mean, when even the proprietor of LGF is embarrassed by his own commenters, you know you've entered the Twilight Zone.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

By God, it's a good thing we got rid of those ethically-challenged Liberals. Otherwise, we'd still be swimming in a sea of political corruption. And that would suck.

It's just Damian being Damian.

Hey, you wouldn't believe what's happening in the Middle East right now. No, seriously. Apparently, we should get right on this.

Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Everything you need to know about the Canadian wingnutosphere:

"Have you read what Hezbollah did the other day? They shelled a UN post and they killed four peacekeepers! Peacekeepers! Including a Canadian! And it's not like they didn't know they were there! Those Hezbollah people got 10 phone calls in six hours, begging them to stop. Ten phone calls! And they kept shooting until they killed those folks. That just proves what kind of scum those people are. They're just murderous vermin and they deserve nothing better than to be wiped out, every last one of them and ... Sorry? What's that? It wasn't Hezbollah? It was the Israelis? Are you sure? (Very long pause.) Oh, well, all right, then, we're cool with that. Carry on. Sorry to have caused such a fuss."

See? I just saved you two hours reading the Blogging Tories. No, no, don't thank me. Thinly-disguised, infantile contempt is its own reward.


No good deed goes unpunished.

Shorter Babbling Brooks: "Acts of Arab charity just prove what kind of evil, opportunistic hacks they are."

Shorter Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck: "Me too, me too!"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

That's progress. I guess.

Only in the wingnutosphere would replacing someone who is clinically insane with someone who is clinically dead be considered an improvement. Just take your victories where you can get them.

(H/T Ms. Z)

The joy of having it both ways.

OK, then, let's not get all bent out of shape:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday he doubts that the fatal bombing of a United Nations observer post in southern Lebanon, killing a Canadian soldier, was a deliberate act. He called for an investigation on why that attack happened.

So, on the one hand, the Israelis are doing everything they can to minimize civilian casualties, based on the unerring, pinpoint, surgical precision of their attacks. On the other hand, when they fuck up on this scale, well, accidents happen but, hey, don't have a cow, man.

It's a good thing conservatives are utterly clueless regarding logic. Otherwise, I'm sure some of them would be confused right about now.

: Dave over at TGB, being the meticulous chronicler that he is, fills in more of the details.

Backseat Blogger, on the other hand, should learn to think before typing, to minimize the subsequent embarrassment of posting very silly things.

PAY ATTENTION, DAMN IT, because I don't want to have to explain this again.

There are two issues here that some unfortunately clueless readers and linkers seem to be having trouble with. First, one does not have to, in any way, pass judgment on whether this attack was accidental or deliberate to recognize the overwhelming hypocrisy.

The Israelis are currently defending their bombardment of crowded civilian areas by claiming that they are being really, really, cross my heart and hope to die, careful and accurate so as to minimize civilian casualties. However, describing this latest clusterfuck as an "accident" of some kind means that those same Israeils now expect all of us to accept that they are hopelessly inept in terms of their ability to target the enemy so we should forgive them for it. If you don't understand the hypocrisy and inconsistency involved here, go back and read it again until you do. But that's not all.

There seems to be a groundswell of admiration for Prime Minister Butt-Kissing Suck-Up in that he is nobly withholding judgment until all the facts are in. Well, that's just ducky, except that's precisely what we don't need right now.

Given that we now have yet another Canadian who's died as a result of an Israeli attack, we don't need a spineless milksop who calmly states that he's going to give the killers the benefit of the doubt until he learns otherwise. Even while all those facts are still coming in, at this point we need someone who has the fucking balls to represent Canadians and, at the very least, make a phone call and demand to know what the fuck is going on here!!

You don't need all the facts to still be a little bit pissed, and you don't need every detail to still have the right to raise your voice a little bit and want to know just what the hell is happening and who's constantly screwing up, do you?

And I can only speculate that it can't be a real morale booster for Canadians in general to read that their fellow citizens are being killed by their supposed allies, and the best they can get out of that gutless, chickenshit prime minister of theirs is little more than, "Well, yes, we should wait until we get all the details, but I'm sure they didn't mean it, things happen, que sera sera and all that."

So far, at Canada's expense, Steve's gone to bat for the U.S. over softwood and for Israel over dead Canadians. One can only imagine how he's going to sell us out next. I should start a pool.

All civilians are equal but, apparently, some are more equal than others.

We have the enlightening observation from Robert McClelland (emphasis added):

By now you’re probably aware of the efforts of Alan Dershowitz and other right whinging blowhards to provide justification for the Israeli government murdering civilians in Lebanon. The crux of their argument is that since Lebanon is a democracy they’re ultimately responsible for its actions or lack of action against Hezbollah and therefore legitimate targets. This argument has been heartily endorsed by right whingers like Dumbnation’s Damian Penny and KKKate McMillan; who also seems to think Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, makes a good source of information.

Hmmmmmmm ... simple civilians being ultimately responsible for the actions of their country's military forces? An interesting proposal, given that, when the idea was floated not that long ago regarding whether or not it was morally justifiable for a suicide bomber to kill Tony Blair, the wingnutosphere went positively batshit crazy with outrage.

So, if I understand this correctly, mere civilian citizens who have no control over terrorist forces in their midst are to be considered fair game, while the civilian leaders who actually control their country's military are totally out of bounds. Fascinating. I'm sure I could appreciate this more, as soon as I have my brain replaced by a cauliflower.

A man can only take so much of this, you know.

Oooooooh ... this has some potentially ugly consequences:

Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, and Newt Gingrich finally come to the same conclusion that the left side of the blogosphere reached years ago: Condoleezza Rice is incompetent.

Oh, shit. Let's not let that get around or you just know what's gonna happen:

And, as I recall, that was kind of creepy the first time.

You keep using that word "handled" ...

A little levity with your morning croissant:

As the world's leaders gathered, the Middle East burst into flames. How President Bush handled the biggest foreign challenge of his second term.

Thank God for Newsweek. Otherwise, I'd have to get all my satire from The Onion.

Apparently, shit happens.

Oops. Just another dead Canadian. Nothing to see here, move along, right, Steve?

Burning people alive and feeling good about it.

Clambering out of one snake pit only to step bravely into the next one, the adorable Ms. Z touches on the subject of incendiary devices; specifically, the allegations that Israel is using white phosphorus munitions against Lebanon.

Ms. Z links to CNN's Anderson Cooper who, for someone who is usually on the ball, muffs this one badly when he claims (emphasis added):

We're hearing charges from Lebanon that Israel is using bombs containing phosphorus, which is an incendiary substance that can cause severe burns. Here's the raw data.

White phosphorus is a colorless substance with a garlic-like smell. It ignites when exposed to air. It's primarily used as smoke screens or signaling devices. The United States and Great Britain have used it in Iraq. White phosphorus is not specifically banned by the international rules of war.

Unless of course, you're using it against civilian populations -- then it sure as hell is out of bounds:

Protocol III
Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons.
Geneva, 10 October 1980

Article 2
Protection of civilians and civilian objects

1. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.

2. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons...

As you can read (unless you're a total cementhead or Damian Penny), it's not enough to simply not explicitly target civilians, is it? Point 2 makes it clear that it's illegal to use those weapons against even clearly military targets if they're in a civilian area. But that's not the real issue here, is it?

No, the real issue here is that the same wankers who were howling with outrage over Saddam Hussein's alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction or chemical weapons, and shrieking that, holy fucking shit, he's a monster, he gassed his own people, are suddenly seriously cool with dropping incendiary devices on civilian populations. As Juan Cole so aptly put it:

The US military is puzzled about the outcry over the use of white phosphorus at Fallujah. After all, a 500-pound bomb is also destructive. My guess? You can't go to war against Saddam on the grounds that he has stockpiles of chemical weapons, and then turn around and use incendiary bombs of a sort that much of the world regards as a form of chemical weapon. It is the hypocrisy factor.

No shit.

Sometimes too stupid for words.

You know, someone really should take Damian Penny aside and explain to him the basic concept of a "thought experiment."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm guessing this still counts as "measured."

First, the lead-in:

Dirty bandages hid the worst of 8-year-old Zainab Jawad’s swollen, bloodied nose Monday. Her arm, fractured in two places, was strapped to her chest.

Stretched out on a bed at Najem Hospital, Zainab squeezed her brown eyes shut as memories of the attack flooded back, some of her words muffled as she fought sobs.

A day earlier, Israeli bombs destroyed her family’s home in the southern village of Ayta Chaeb. Then rockets slammed into the family’s car as they fled.

“I don’t want to remember, but I can’t help it. What I remember most is the sound, the sound of the planes, and I was scared because I thought there were so many. I fell asleep last night, but all I could hear in my sleep were planes.”

Zainab’s aunt was in the next bed. Her mother, Usra Jawad, and 4-year-old brother, Mohammed, were across the hall. Mohammed’s eyes fluttered as he slipped in and out of consciousness; his leg was in a cast to his hip. His mother’s leg was in traction, with steel pins in several places.

The week before, Usra Jawad’s three sisters visited her village to see the new family home. When the bombing started, the four sisters fled in a car with the two children, hoping to reach their parents’ home north of Tyre.

But rockets hit their car. Two of the sisters, both teachers, were killed.

“Now I have no house. My sisters are dead,” Usra Jawad said. “I can’t do anything.”

So far, so good. And then we read:

Jawad Najem, a surgeon at the hospital, said patients admitted Sunday had burns from phosphorous incendiary weapons used by Israel. The Geneva Conventions ban using white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas. Israel said its weapons comply with international law.

Note that fascinating non-denial denial. Not "We don't use phosphorus weapons," rather, "We comply with international law." Which brings us back to a piece I wrote a few days back in which I suggested it might be interesting to have the residents of Wankerville ahead of time take a position on what they would consider non-measured or over-the-top military action by Israel. One imagines that, if the topic of phosphorus incendiary weapons had come up then, a few people might have drawn the line.

As it is, though, now that it appears to have happened, one guesses that those same wankers suddenly don't have a problem with it. I'm just speculating of course since, as we all know, it would be irresponsible not to.

. Given Israel's curiously-worded denial, one might wonder if they're taking a page from their American mentors in playing some clever word games:

During and immediately after the invasion, US officials denied claims that napalm weapons were being deployed. However, as military personnel and journalists in Iraq quickly presented evidence of their use, by August 2003 Pentagon spokesmen were forced to admit that MK-77 firebombs had been dropped. Past denials were justified on the grounds that questioners had used the term 'napalm' instead of 'firebombs' or 'MK-77s'. The US claims to have destroyed all its stocks of 'napalm' and argues that the MK-77 cannot be included in this term. However, the Pentagon admits that the MK-77 is an incendiary with a function 'remarkably similar' to that of napalm.

See? It wasn't napalm after all. And international law breathes a huge sigh of relief.

AFTERSNARK: Apparently, whatever you might think of incendiary devices that are illegal under international law and that violate the Geneva Conventions, one is still entitled to be outraged by ball bearings.

So conservatives are still capable of outrage; they just prefer to ration it carefully.

Mission freakin' accomplished!

Ah ... it's all clear to me now:

On March 16, conservative pundit Dick Morris told Sean Hannity things were going better than people thought in Iraq, arguing “what is going on is not a civil war.”

Now, Morris believes that there is civil war in Iraq but argues that it’s a good thing. Appearing on the O’Reilly Factor last night, Morris said “a civil war is progress, because it means it’s no longer a war against us.”

In short, having destroyed the country and inspired uncontrolled ethnic cleansing, George's work in Iraq is done. Next stop: Lebanon.

Oh, God ... I'm sooooooo confused.

There's this:


But wait! That can't be right:

U.S. won't pressure Israel for quick end to violence: Rice

The United States is looking for a "sustainable peace" in the Middle East and won't pressure Israel for a quick end to its military campaign in the region ...

Thank heavens for the mainstream media; otherwise, I'd never know what was going on.

Oh, THIS should be delightful.

And this time, we really, really mean it:

Rice calls for 'new' Middle East

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday the time has come for a new Middle East and an urgent end to the violence hanging over the region...

"It is time for a new Middle East,” she said. “It is time to say to those that don't want a different kind of Middle East that we will prevail. They will not.”

That's right -- Middle East 3.0, from the folks who brought you Middle East 2.0. But don't worry -- we're pretty sure we've got all the bugs worked out this time.

Attention deficit disorder as a foreign policy.

Apparently, Iraq is so last week:

If you hate reality, well, there's always the Blogging Tories.

Meet Winston:

Winston is a Nom De Plume for a Canadian based Pro-America Iranian neo-conservative, seeking a democratic regime change in Iran! Winston is also a supporter of the Global War on Terror & President Bush's policies in the middle-east.

Meet reality:

Iran activist 'snubs White House'

Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji declined to meet White House officials during a visit to the US, he has told the BBC.

Mr Ganji said he had been invited to discuss the current situation in Iran. The White House declined to comment.

He said he rejected the offer because he believed current US policies could not help promote democracy in Iran.

In a speech last week in Washington DC, he also criticised US policy in Iraq, saying: "You cannot bring democracy to a country by attacking it".

Sometimes, it's easy to see the appeal of conservatism. 'Cuz actually knowing stuff is, you know, hard work.

Just slightly behind the curve, as they say.

May 5, 2006: The incomparable Glenn Greenwald recognizes the coming talking point:

Conservatives try to distance themselves from "Bush the liberal"

Yesterday, I referenced an article in National Review by Jonah Goldberg in which Goldberg argued that the two most glaring examples of failed Republican presidents -- Richard Nixon and George Bush -- weren't conservatives at all, but were actually liberals. I characterized this claim as "dishonest" because, as I pointed out, virtually no conservatives were claiming that Bush was a "liberal" when his popularity ratings were in the 60s and he was perceived as some sort of heroic, beloved political figure. It is only now that his approval ratings are reaching historically low levels, and it is becoming unavoidably apparent that his presidency is dying and failed, that conservatives are seeking to claim that Bush's failure is not a failure of conservatism because -- as it turns out -- Bush was really a liberal all along. Alas, Bush's failure is simply the latest instance of the failure of liberalism.

July 26, 2006: It takes Adam Daifallah only a couple of months to clue in:

Conservative circles here in Washington have been abuzz with William F. Buckley's admission to CBS News that he doesn't believe George W. Bush is a "conservative."

Coming soon: Adam is shocked to learn that something's up in Lebanon and, by God, he's going to find out what it is.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Canada tech news: AMD purchases ATI.

For the geeks in the crowd, American chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has just announced a purchase of Canadian graphics chip designer ATI for $5.4 billion.

For the non-geeks, well, here's ATI's "Ruby":

God, I love high tech.

The carping from the peanut gallery.

Apparently, I suck. Must be a slow news day or something.

The danger of conventional wisdom.

You know those folks who keep telling you there's no such thing as a stupid question? Sadly, they're wrong.

Softwood victory smackdown! Whoo hoo!

All right! Party time!

Canada and its lumber industry have won an important victory against punitive American duties in the U.S. Court of International Trade.

In a ruling issued Friday, the U.S. trade court upheld a Canadian claim that the U.S. Commerce Department illegally continued to charge anti-dumping and countervailing duties on lumber after a North American Free Trade Agreement ruling determined there was no basis for them.

Yeah! Fuckin 'A! I'm cranked! You're cranked! We're all cranked! Um ... well, OK, maybe not all of us (emphasis added):

Federal International Trade Minister David Emerson was unavailable for comment but his communications director said the ruling changes nothing.

"The fact is this decision can be and most likely will be appealed rather quickly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the federal circuit," Robert Klager said from Ottawa. "The final outcome of that probably wouldn't be learned until mid-2007."

Ya know, I was kind of hoping for a little more enthusiasm from the home team. With friends like these ...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hell, no, I don't mind the competition.

Well, of course there aren't enough left-wing progressive blogs covering things Canadian, so I don't mind at all when another one shows up.

Far be it from me to gaze longingly on the tasteful aesthetics, the tags feature, the user registration, or gnash my teeth jealously over the Google and Amazon ads. I'm a grown-up, I can take it.

I know. Friday cat blogging. That'll even things out. Here, kitty, kitty ...

Floyd rocks.

And just when you thought the feel-good sports story of the year couldn't get any better, it does.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

10 a.m. delivery, or they're free.

The U.S. military: when you absolutely, positively have to kill someone overnight.

Not what they meant by "winning hearts and minds."

I'm fairly sure this violates something in the Geneva Conventions:

Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to "kill all military age males," according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated Press.

The soldiers first took some of the men into custody because they were using two women and a toddler as human shields. They shot three of the men after the women and child were safe and say the men attacked them.

"The ROE (rule of engagement) was to kill all military age males on Objective Murray," Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard told investigators, referring to the target by its code name.

I'm guessing that's why they called it "Objective Murray." Calling it "Objective Kill All Military Age Males" might have aroused a few suspicions.

Afghanistan: Mission not quite so accomplished.

Well, this should be a big morale boost to our brave troops over there:

The most senior British military commander in Afghanistan today described the situation in the country as "close to anarchy" with feuding foreign agencies and unethical private security companies compounding problems caused by local corruption.

The stark warning came from Lieutenant General David Richards, head of Nato's international security force in Afghanistan, who warned that western forces there were short of equipment and were "running out of time" if they were going to meet the expectations of the Afghan people.

So ... is anything going well? Ah, yes, here we are:

The government admits that Helmand province is about to produce a bumper poppy crop and is now probably the biggest single source of heroin in the world.

Excellent. So they still might be killed in a spontaneous firefight or assassinated by local warlords but look on the bright side -- you'll probably never get a better deal on some high-grade smack.

Not quite the whole story.

So what's wrong with this picture?

Humm, Israel using leaflets to warn, vs. Hezbollah using ball bearings to kill... you decide who's the real guilty party here.

Ah ... those would be the new precision, laser-guided, medium-range ballistic leaflets from Lockheed Martin, would they?

Man, I gotta get me some of those.

"You keep using that word 'measured', ..."

For several days now, one of the raging debates is whether the Israeli response to the capture of two of their soldiers has been "measured." Not surprisingly, the majority of Wankerdom, from Prime Minister Cowboy Hat on down, thinks that response (which included the killing of eight Canadians) was perfectly appropriate. And what's aggravating is that any attempt to debate the issue is doomed to utter failure for a very simple reason.

As long as the wankers have the benefit of hindsight, it goes without saying that any Israeli response will be defined as appropriate. As it stands, the fact of eight dead Canadians doesn't seem to have set off any alarm bells in Wankerville, which suggests that all of those folks have somehow rationalized that ugly fact.

But what if it had been, say, 10 dead Canadians? Chances are, there would still have been a rationalization, perhaps involving pulling in more examples of Hezbollah atrocities. 20 dead Canadians? No problem, I'm guessing -- just keep digging further and further back into history to balance the scales. 50? Same deal.

See how this works? As long as conservatives have the benefit of hindsight, arguing about whether the Israeli response was "measured" is pointless, as those conservatives will always be able to defend their position after the fact. So the trick is to take that loophole away from them, and that's surprisingly easy to do.

The trick, quite simply, is to ask the wankers to define, ahead of time, what would constitute an Israeli response they would finally accept as inappropriate and over the top. If they're not bothered by eight dead Canadians, what about 10? Or 20? Or 50? Or 100? At what point, you can ask them, would they have finally admitted that something here was dreadfully wrong and inappropriate? And, amazingly enough, that's a perfectly valid question.

Naturally, the wankers will disagree and refuse to answer such a question, claiming that it's "hypothetical" or that the question doesn't make sense. They would be full of shit. Simply, it's logically absurd to categorize something as "measured" unless you can define what that word means. It's logically idiotic to describe something as appropriate unless you are prepared to explain at what point it becomes inappropriate.

As a real-life analogy, say you're haggling over the price of a new car, the salesman makes an offer, and you respond that that price is "too high." The salesman counters by asking, "All right, what wouldn't be too high?", to which you respond confusingly, "I have no idea" or "That's not a fair question." As you can see, what you just did here was indescribably asinine, since it's meaningless to describe something as "too high" unless you know where the dividing line is between too high and not too high. Similarly, it's ridiculous to speak of something as "measured" unless you're prepared to explain where the breakpoint is; otherwise, you're just spewing meaningless, undefined gibberish. Which brings us back to all of this wanker inanity.

Rather than debate the appropriateness of what's already happened (an argument the wankers will always win), they should be forced to define ahead of time what is and is not an appropriate Israeli response, in relatively precise terms. First up -- how many Canadians would have to have been killed for them to have condemned the Israeli attack? Come on, let's have a number. And not only do the wankers have an ethical obligation to supply such a number, they're now involved in a no-win situation.

First, if they pick a realistic but fairly low number (say, 25), it's not hard to imagine that the next Israeli attack might, in fact, kill enough additional Canadians to exceed that value, at which point, based on their own stated position, they now have to admit that Israel's response is no longer "measured." The other option is to pick a ludicrously high number (say, 1000) that almost certainly won't be reached, but this just makes them look like total assholes for obvious reasons.

In any event, that's the challenge to any citizens of Wankerville who want to take a shot at it. If you think the reaction by Israel until now has been "measured," then I want a clear and precise definition of what you would consider to be not measured. With numbers, so we can record those definitions for posterity and pull them out to beat you with when the time comes.

The comments section is open and submissions are welcome, with the caveat that I will, with no apologies whatsoever, delete any entries that consist solely of whining, snivelling wankeritude about how this is unfair.

I'll call that the "Pete Rempel" rule.

: If you propose this sort of challenge to a wanker, almost certainly their reaction will be that that's unfair and how on earth are they supposed to be able to put an actual number on when something becomes inappropriate?

Well, in the first place, if they can't come up with a fairly precise definition of what they're blathering about, they really shouldn't be blathering in the first place, should they? But if they still have trouble with the concept, it helps to start with an extreme example and take it from there.

As a thought experiment, let's imagine that the Israeli Air Force, without warning, attacks and sinks a ship carrying Canadian evacuees out of Lebanon, killing all 500 Canadians on board. The Israeli justification is that they heard a rumour that there were two mid-level Hezbollah terrorists on board trying to sneak out of Lebanon and, while they had no confirmation, they figured, better not take the chance so they sunk the ship and killed all those Canadians just to play it safe.

Is there anyone who would argue that that was a measured and appropriate military action? (Sadly, while I'd like to think the answer to that is a no-brainer, with the collection of loons over at the Blogging Tories, you just never know, do you? But I digress. Onward.)

I think it's safe to say that most people would agree that the Israeli action in that situation would be, shall we say, slightly over the top. But as soon as a wanker is forced to concede that, you've at least now put some bounds on where the measured/non-measured breakpoint is, haven't you? You've established that, apparently, eight dead Canadians is fine, while 500 is not so fine. At that point, you just start shrinking the interval and see where you end up.

To recap, anyone who uses the word "measured" should be forced to define just what they mean by the term. And is there any Canadian journalist who would be willing to put such a question to Prime Minister Photo Op?

Or is that asking just a bit too much of our intrepid press corps?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Peter MacKay: Whiny-ass titty baby.

Dear Pete:

You know, after your government gives almost the entire Canadian media the finger, it takes one serious amount of nerve to bitch and moan when that same media have to go elsewhere for their information.

Stephen. Plane. Anti-aircraft missiles. Some assembly required.

Just this once, I'm going to agree whole-heartedly with the Blogging Tories and commend PM Stephen Harper for his personal devotion to humanitarianism in accompanying his government plane to Lebanon Cyprus to pick up Canadian evacuees.

Personally, the combination of Stephen Harper, a slow-moving plane, a war zone and numerous rocket-powered munitions is something that doesn't happen nearly often enough for me.

Oh, those wacky pro-choicers!

Apparently, Joanne (whoops, Suzanne) is just a bit peeved:

The front windows of New Brunswick’s Right to Life office in Fredericton have been smashed, and a sticker reading “choice” affixed to the front door, reports The Daily Gleaner...

"We tried to be a witness in a quiet way, but the protest made some people erupt and someone has taken their anger out on us because of where we stand on the issue," Ryan continued. "It's unfortunate there are people so disturbed that they would need to turn to violence and destruction."

This is disappointing since, as we all know, vandalism solves nothing. The proper course of action is, naturally, to form a human blockade and scream endlessly at those you disagree with.

Or simply kill them. I've heard that works, too.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Government surveillance humour, Canadian-style.

You have to love them, just for the name.

It's just Ann being Ann.

Now this is too fucking delicious for words:

Coulter Jokes to Reporter About Mailing White Powder to 'NY Times'

According to a published report, Ann Coulter has (in jest, we assume) claimed to have sent that mysterious white powder to The New York Times.

Reporter Jacob Bernstein, in a "Memo Pad" item in today's Women's Wear Daily, wrote that he received a message from a New York Times source saying that Friday's powder mailing -- which included an Xed-out Times editorial and what ended up being corn starch -- "makes all of Ann Coulter's comments a little less funny. I wonder if she considers herself at all responsible when lunatics read her columns and she says that we should be killed."

Coulter, whose column is distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, has "joked" that maybe terrorist Timothy McVeigh should have blown up the Times building and that maybe Times Executive Editor Bill Keller should be executed.

"Memo Pad" sent an e-mail to Coulter's AOL account and according to Bernstein, received a reply claiming that she was the sender of the mysterious powder.

"'So glad to hear that The New York Times got my letter and that your friend at the Times thinks I'm funny,' she wrote back. 'Good luck in journalism and please send me your home address so we can stay in touch, too.

So, Steve ... what's your take on this? You at all worried that Ann might know where you live? And you too, Joel. Got any juicy quotes for the liberal media?

I mean, it was only a few days ago that threatening people's well being was too reprehensible for words. I'm guessing the rules have suddenly changed.

Don't worry -- that's just Stevie being Stevie.

It's never so much of a clusterfuck that PM Steve Harper can't make it worse (emphasis added):

Micromanagement by the Prime Minister's Office and a lack of resources in Lebanon contributed to the confusion and anguish at Beirut's port Wednesday as Canadians trying to flee Israeli bombardments watched boats chartered by other nations sail away, leaving them behind.

It is expected, ultimately, to be the largest removal of Canadian citizens from a crisis zone ever arranged by the federal government. But, as early as Sunday, there were complaints about delays in arranging ships to carry people to safety, as well as lineups and inaction at the Canadian embassy.

The perception of inaction was exacerbated by the lack of information flowing last week about Canadian efforts to organize a response.

In fact, Foreign Affairs staff realized last week that there was an emergency situation involving tens of thousands of Canadians brewing in Lebanon.

But federal sources say there was an edict handed down by Sandra Buckler, the Prime Minister's communications director, dictating that the situation was to be kept under wraps.

Attaboy, Steve. You're doing a heckuva job.

Too dumb to even make fun of.

This is the last time, I swear, since beating up on poor Andrew is kind of like slapping paraplegics out of their wheelchairs: it's not difficult, and it's even less fun. In any event, take it away, Andrew (all emphasis tail-waggingly added):

It seem like there's been broad condemnation of President Bush's veto of a bill that would use federal money to research stem cells ... US law allows stem cell research, so long as it is not federally funded.

Then, of course, there's reality:

The House on Wednesday failed to muster enough votes to override President Bush’s veto of a bill to expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research... Bush on Wednesday rejected the legislation that could have multiplied the federal money going into embryonic stem cell research, ... Bush was making good on a promise he made in 2001 to limit federally funded embryonic research to the stem cell lines that had been created by the time.

As the saying goes, Andrew, you're entitled to your own opinions. You're not entitled to your own facts.

BONUS SNARK: What would I do without the somewhat popular TBogg? Probably have to develop some actual talent and, God knows, that sounds like work.

"You have the right to remain an imbecile ..."

Back here, we were having some light-hearted, harmless fun with Conservative Elitist Andrew Smith, who appears to have a real talent for following up something stupid with something even stupider. To wit:

I think adultery should be a criminal offense.

Let's follow the logic and see where this takes us, shall we?

First, given that the Religious Right is frothingly opposed to the "redefinition" of marriage to include same-sex marriage, it's safe to conclude that those same RRs feel that it is the Church, and no one else, that should have the right to define what "marriage" represents. In short, the Church clearly wants to "own" the concept of marriage, as it were. With me so far?

But if that's the case, what does it mean to commit "adultery?" If the institution of marriage is defined exclusively by the Church, then the act of adultery represents nothing more than a violation of Church doctrine, and what this has to do with the Criminal Code of Canada is, I confess, a bit of a mystery.

Is Andrew seriously suggesting that the Canadian legal system be used to punish religious transgressors? What a novel idea. And once the courts deal with the adulterers, perhaps it can take care of those who, say, take the Lord's name in vain. Or, better yet, those who worship some other God. Oooooh, that would be delightful -- criminalizing non-Christianity. (Although, technically, we atheists should be safe as we don't actually worship a different deity, as it were, per se.)

In short, if the Church wants to claim the entire institution of marriage, then they hardly have the right to ask the State to help them police it. You don't like adulterers? Tough shit. The last time I looked, that's what the general concept of ex-communication was for.

In a nutshell, look after your own house and leave the rest of us the hell out of it.

Then we can airbrush out all the dead people ...

The Republican Party: Protecting America, one photoshopped image at a time.

It's called "synergy." Don't waste it.

It's so rare when a blogger and his commenters deserve each other so profoundly. Enjoy it.

Oh, man, this is just too cool not to share. From "Sadly, No," we have the various levels of wanker denseness, giving us D, FD, CFD, Steve and Steve's commenters although, being the magnanimous type that I am, I'm willing to debate the proper placement of "CFD."

Actually, no, I'm not.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

And the creepy parallels continue.

And in his ongoing efforts to emulate George W. Chimpster, PM Stephen Harper has decided to make a total clusterfuck of emergency rescue operations in the midst of a major disaster:

Canada's effort to get its citizens out of Lebanon degenerated into chaos Wednesday as twice as many people as expected showed up to board evacuation ships that hadn't yet arrived.

I'd suggest that we might see Steve clearing brush any day now, but I'm pretty sure that's what he has Peter MacKay for.

Another evangelical douchebag for Christ.

I swear, it should be illegal for me to be enjoying this as much as I am.

Ironically, they don't even LIKE the Jews.

These days, there's no quicker way to be labelled an "anti-Semite" than to complain about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, or that country's approach to diplomacy (read: bombing the crap out of everyone they don't like.)

It doesn't matter how adamantly you try to explain the distinction between your attitude toward the Jews as a people versus the Israeli government's treatment of other populations -- according to those on the Right, you're just a Jew-hating, anti-Semite and that's the end of the discussion.

This is more than a little ironic since those very same hard-right conservatives suffer from exactly the opposite problem -- while they will staunchly defend Israel (the country), when it comes right down to it, they don't much care for Jews (the people).

As a recent example, remember this? Of course you do. Reading all of the news reports, it seems that one could conclude that the very same people (on the Right) who couldn't be happier about the current Israeli bombing campaign just couldn't wait to drive those nasty kikes out of town. How curious. How odd. And, of course, it just gets better.

Go a little bit further to the right, and you end up deep in white supremacist country. You know -- the Aryan Brotherhood, cheery folks like that who like to sport swastikas and the like. Under the circumstances, it's pretty ballsy for serious conservatives to accuse those of us on the Left of anti-Semitism. But, when you think about it, the apparent contradiction is pretty simple to understand.

It's all about Armageddon. The "End Times." Which means that all of those rabid, fundamentalist loons can embrace the state of Israel, even while they continue to despise the Jews that live there. It's really not that difficult a concept, once you think about it.

As one final example, one need look no further than this morning's Globe and Mail, and a column by right-wing whackjob Marcus Gee, in his piece predictably entitled "Why we must stand with Israel." Predictable, but just a bit odd since, in that entire piece, Gee refers to the state of Israel by name some sixteen times, yet does not use the word "Jew" or any variation of it even once.

OK, that's not quite true, as you can read in Gee's very last sentence:

What the world needs to do is recognize the new reality and stand with Israel as it combats this remorseless enemy -- a threat not just to the Jewish state but to the whole democratic world.

So Gee finally manages to choke out the word but, as you can see, he is simply referring to the "Jewish state" -- that being Israel, of course. That's impressive, isn't it? Writing an entire column about Israel and managing to avoid referring to its inhabitants even once. That, folks, takes talent.

And that's why Marcus is a professional columnist and you're not.

BONUS SNARK AT NO EXTRA CHARGE: It's trivially easy to find prominent examples of right-wing anti-Semitism. Here, we learn of the SBC's Dr. Bailey Smith, claiming that "God Almighty doesn't hear the prayers of a Jew." Yow. Getting a bit territorial there, are we, Doc?

And, of course, there's the staunchly pro-Israel Rev. Jerry Falwell, who nonetheless has claimed that the anti-Christ is probably alive today, and is a male and Jewish. Is it irresponsible to speculate that it's Jeffrey Goldberg? I'm guessing it would be irresponsible not to. But that's just me.

Your right-wing line of the day.

How 'bout this one?

I am against divorce, unless it is under the most extraordinary circumstances – such as if a man abuses his wife or a woman commits adultery.

Go ahead ... top that.

Today's example of terminal, fundy stupidity.

Who else? Seriously, take a minute and appreciate -- I mean, truly appreciate -- how badly Jinx/Jason misunderstands PZ's point.

How the fuck do people this stupid even remember to breathe?

Canada needs a Ralph Reed.

Well, he does have more spare time on his hands these days.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sometimes, a shoulder massage is just a ... hey! What the fuck are you DOING back there?

Not surprisingly, James Wolcott has plenty to say about George's improvisational grope of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, none of it good.

God only knows what kind of diagnosis we would have been getting from Charles Krauthammer if it had been Al Gore.

How can you tell when a wanker is lying?

When their fingers are typing. For instance, what's wrong with this picture? (Emphasis added for the hard of thinking.)

SD Abortion Ban Supporters Get Death Threats


South Dakota state Rep. Roger Hunt pushed ahead with the bill in spite of nasty opposition in the House. Now he says he and his family are getting harassing phone calls.

"We've received some at home, and we've gotten emails," he told Family News in Focus. "The governor did arrange for the state highway patrol and local county sheriff to pass through our neighborhood more often than usual and look for things, but I haven't had anybody actually initiate any actions.

You have ten seconds. Go.

Those tax-and-spend Conservatives.

You know what grinds my gears? It's those tax-and-spend Conservatives, always blowing the taxpayers' money on the stupidest things. Like this, for instance:

The Conservative government plans to evacuate at least 20,000 -- and as many as 50,000 -- Canadians from Lebanon to Cyprus by cruise ships, starting tomorrow, authorities said yesterday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said the government has chartered six cruise ships, each with a capacity of 600 to 900 passengers, to start picking up Canadians at the port of Beirut as of midday. They will ferry evacuees back and forth for at least three days, possibly more...

The plan is to have chartered flights at an airport in Cyprus to fly people back to Canada, Mr. MacKay said, although that part is still a bit sketchy and depends on numbers of people and the capacity of the airport.

For now, Canada has chartered three planes.

So ... six chartered cruise ships, plus all of the essential crew, making, what, possibly 50 round trips, maybe more. Then there's the three chartered airplanes, and all on whose tab? Why, yours and mine, of course. The Canadian taxpayers'.

You know what would have been cheaper? Picking up the phone and calling Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, maybe along these lines:

"Hey, Ehud? It's Stephen Harper. Stephen. Harper. H-a-r- ... right, that Stephen Harper. Listen, about this massive attack on Lebanon. Well, funny story, you actually killed at least seven Canadians so, the thing is, I'd like you to stop. Seriously, just knock that shit off. And I mean, right fucking now. Are you reading me? Because if you don't, I will personally come over there and kick your sorry ass all the way to Damascus and back. Are you getting all this? No, I don't give a good goddamn who started it! What are you, eight years old, fer Chrissake!? Now you knock off that shit right this instant or I swear, as God is my witness, I am going to bitch-slap you from here to next Passover. Are we clear on this?"

I figure that conversation would take at most a couple of minutes so it would be waaaay cheaper than those ships and planes.

Heck, if Stephen was patient, he could wait a couple more hours and get the evening rates.

Too-tired-to-give-a-crap open thread.


Some straight-shootin' shit there, pardner.

Well, it's about time that George W. CrotchBulge told it like it is:

Bush told Blair: "See the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over."

It might be labeled the shit heard round the world, but I'd like to think of it as some much needed clarity from the President on the issue. While President Bush is not known for his skills with the English language, he's summed up the way to resolve the crisis almost perfectly in this instance.

And when George gets down and speaks his mind, well, what can possibly go wrong?

Apparently, there are a couple Blogging Tories who think it's just awesome for George to be laying' down the law, Texas-style -- none of that pansy-ass, pussy-footing around, as it were.

Sort of like how George made it clear that, dadgummit, he would fire anyone in his administration that leaked information about the identity of a covert CIA officer. Whoa, hang on ... he really meant that he would fire anyone in his administration who committed a crime related to leaking information about the identity of a covert CIA officer.

OK, bad example. But you know what I meant, right?

Is Damian Penny the worst blogger in Canada?

A leading question to be sure, but certainly not out of bounds based on an amusing online survey currently running at Damian's site -- "Who's the Worst Person for America?"

Amazingly, all of the candidates are liberals but I'm sure that was just a coincidence, right, Damian?

P.S. I'm sure it's entirely unintentional irony that, if you supply your e-mail address when you vote, "you will also begin receiving exclusive newsletters from Ann Coulter, Bob Novak and Newt Gingrich ...". Well, we were in the neighbourhood already ...

: Hey, Damian, do we get to do write-in votes?

What the f...?

All right, this is just plain creepy and hideously inappropriate behaviour. Not sure if that represents the next stage of this particular affliction, but I'm sure Charles has a diagnosis for it. Right, Charles? Charles?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Anti-Semitism, AIPAC-style.

Given the current context, this article is probably a worthwhile read. Whether you agree with it or not, it should at least give you something to think about.

That gosh-darned liberal media.

Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required. I'm sorry ... was that in bad taste? So sue me.

Nuance? We don' need no steenkin' nuance!

Uh oh ... apparently, things in the wankersphere start to get ugly as soon as you introduce shades of grey.

Oh ... this can't end well.

Immediately upon reading this:

The Girl Guides of Canada are shelving their wholesome image in a surprising recruitment campaign, in favour of provocative photographs of young women.

In one ad, a fictitious popstar named Candi promotes her songs Naughty Girl and Taste Me Again. At the bottom of the ad, a girl guide points her finger in judgment to emphasize the tagline: "Why Girls need Guides."

all that came to mind was:

Clearly, I need to get out more often.

Dead Canadians in Lebanon -- let the calls for political restraint begin.

"In the wake of 9/11 ... ever since 9/11 ... given the thousands who perished horribly on 9/11 ... everything's changed since 9/11 ... hey, how dare you use these recent, unfortunate deaths for political grandstanding!?"

Conservative discourse, as it were.

This is every discussion with a wanker that you've ever had.

BONUS TRACK: If you have nothing better to do and have time to kill, go here and start reading. After a while, some of the names might seem familiar. (The fun starts just below halfway down, if you're pressed for time.)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blogging Tories Short Takes: Jul 16, 2006.

Shorter Backseat Blogger: "Considering a different perspective ... what a novel idea."

Shorter Damian Penny: "I knew I could work Nazism in here somewhere."

Shorter dissonance and disrespect: "You need to be careful about that drunk driving stuff. It has a bad habit of leading to blowjobs, which makes you entirely unqualified to hold public office."

Shorter Jesse Gritter: "Now watch me write bad things about progressivism without understanding that either."

Theological scholarship, as it were.

How far would you have to read into the following to realize you'd come to the wrong place?

Fascinating post and comment at The Maverick Philosopher this week. Bill asked his readers to spell out exactly what is meant by the term ‘Biblical inerency’. ...

Sometimes parody just writes itself, don't it?

You might want to hold off on that cheerleading.

Whoo hoo! It's freakin' party time! (All freakin' emphasis added.)

The White House on Tuesday slashed its forecast for this year's budget deficit to $296 billion, crediting its tax cuts for the improvement, but Democrats said the deficit's size was nothing to boast about.

The updated projection for the 2006 fiscal year was $127 billion lower than the $423 billion shortfall the White House forecast when it unveiled its budget in February, but only slightly below the $318 billion dollar gap of 2005.

And why might you want to hold off tapping that keg just yet? How about this from 2004?

How does the idea of the deficit getting $70 billion bigger translate into fiscal success? It's easy, when you combine Washington's bizarre budget accounting rules, the increasingly superheated campaign season, and some Orwellian rhetoric. You see, last February, President Bush projected the deficit for this year would hit $521 billion. Now, thanks to a growing economy, the Bushies figure it will come in $76 billion below that number. Thus, we have a whole new way to game the budget debate: Overestimate deficits at the beginning of the year, come in below that forecast, and declare victory.

Ouch. Or there's this from January of this year:

One administration official who briefed reporters on the deficit while requesting anonymity said the White House forecast was released early in part to blunt pressure to increase spending.

The release of the record deficit figures also may allow the White House to boast if this year's actual shortfall turns out to be lower than the estimate, as was the case last year.

Robert Reischauer, president of the Washington-based Urban Institute and former director of the Congressional Budget Office, suggested the White House is setting itself up to ``overestimate and then gloat that the deficit is lower than projected, acting as if the mis-estimates represent a true deficit reduction.''

And what kind of terrorist-loving, America-hating, commie, pinko, leftist rags are pumping out this defeatist swill? I'm glad you asked. You can find that first excerpt here, and that second one here.

What? You were expecting "Mother Jones" or something?

An affair to not quite remember.

They like me! They really, really ... oh, wait ... no they don't. And, yet, life goes on. Go figure.

Gosh darn that liberal media.

You know what the problem is these days? Liberal bloggers. Yeah, that's the first thing that leapt to my mind.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The stupidest man on the planet.

What can you possibly say about this?

``In my judgment, the best way to stop the violence is to understand why the violence occurred in the first place,'' Bush said.

And how precisely does this aid in the stopping of the violence, one might reasonably ask? One would think that, after understanding has been gotten, there is still the need for some concrete, you know, actions.

In any event, if you're predicating the success of any venture on its understanding by George Bush, I think you can assume you're doomed to failure before you even pull out of the driveway.

When your doofusness is out there for all the world to see.

There are times when you do something totally clueless and you pray that no one finds out about it and that it just disappears quietly into the dustbin of history.

This is not one of those times.

Well, this is timely.

You remember that little discussion we had about the notion of fear? I rest my case.

It's what dreams are made of, isn't it?

Go ahead ... admit it ... you've fantasized about this, too.

P.S. If you think the above is just a wee bit tasteless, then you might first want to come to grips with right-wing screech harpy Ann Coulter:

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

Then you can fuck off. The order is entirely up to you.

Israel to Bush: Bite me?

Now here's an interesting development: Commander Codpiece has made it clear he has no intention of getting into the middle of this thing:

President Bush rejected Lebanon's calls for a cease-fire in escalating Mideast violence on Friday, saying only that Israel should try to limit civilian casualties as it steps up attacks on its neighbor.

"The president is not going to make military decisions for Israel," White House spokesman Tony Snow said.

But that's odd. After all, given the potential for this spiralling entirely out of control, one would think Bush would have at least a little incentive to get everyone to step back and take a deep breath. What might explain this? Oh, wait ... this might:

Although I do not have independent confirmation, I heard the rumor from a well-placed source that Secretary of State Rice attempted to increase pressure on Israel to stand down and to demonstrate "restraint". The rumor is that she was told flatly by the Prime Minister's office to "back off".

Suddenly, it all becomes clear, as George sees the possibility that, if he tried to intervene, he would be told to fuck right off in a very public and humiliating way. I'm pretty sure his ego wouldn't take kindly to that, so he's just going to sit this one out. Better to watch the Mideast tear itself apart than let your pride take a beating.

P.S. If you want a good idea of just how out of control this is getting, you might want to check out Juan Cole. Or you could subject yourself to the predictable idiocy of folks like Michelle Malkin and remain as stupid and misinformed as ever. The choice is yours.

P.P.S. And for those unspeakable dumbfucks who think Israel's unrestrained bombing of civilian areas is just ever so peachy, those folks might want to think just a little longer term, as Cole explains:

Americans have to understand that when Israel goes wild and bombs a civilian airport and civilian neighborhoods in Beirut, a lot of the world's Catholics (Lebanon is partially a Catholic country) and its 1.4 billion Muslims blame the United States for it. Israel is given billions every year by the United States, including sophisticated weaponry that is now being trained on the slums of south Beirut. It should also be remembered that Bin Laden said, at least, that he started thinking about hitting New York when he saw that 1982 Israeli destruction of the skyscrapers or "towers" of Lebanon. How many future Bin Ladens are watching with horror and rage and feelings of revenge as Israel drops bombs on civilian tenement buildings? When will this blow back on Americans? (I mean blow back in other ways than an already painful further spike in petroleum prices).

You want "blowback?" When those "future bin Ladens" go looking for asses to kick, what do you think they'll do with something like this?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Thursday condemned the abduction of Israeli soldiers by Hamas and Hezbollah, saying he supported Israel's right to "defend itself" and characterized its response to the kidnappings as "measured."

I'm guessing life for Canadians in general just got a lot more interesting. And a lot less safe.

Thinking ahead, CPoC-style.

Let's see ... first, there's this. And this. Then there's this. Followed up, of course, with this. So ... is anyone thinking that our own Stevie Boy might be wondering about his future after politics?

Feel free to connect the dots any way you want.

There is a God after all, oh, yes.

You all remember this creationist wingnut, right? No? No matter. You can still appreciate the entertainment value here.

For no obvious reason, my iced, hazelnut, no-foam, double frappuccino tastes particularly good this morning.