Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Final Cut is the Deepest

Bring me the head of a software engineer!

After months of work and scads of money, I sit down at the new workstation in front of the big shiny monitors and I get set to log and capture some HD video footage. And what does a couple of thousand dollars worth of software say? Nuh-uh. What device, there ain't no device attached to the fireware. So I scramble and tweak and ponder. Time passes, brain hurts...mayhem is tempted. So I shut down the state of the art video editing software and I start up the free bundled software. In seconds, I'm digitizing footage.

There is just no excuse. Steve Jobs, put down your stupid iPhone and fix your warez. Gawdammit.

Monday, July 30, 2007

There has to be a name for this kind of psychosis.

It's not the fact that Canada's neo-con cementheads once again freeped an online poll:

“All that freeping paid off,” crows the Big Blue Bigot, adding “The Blogging Tories collectively deserve a round of thanks for their efforts in this contest.” To the contrary, they deserve our abiding contempt and scorn for spoiling and subverting yet another online poll with their tactics of manipulative coercion. What could have been an interesting little exercise by The Beaver to determine some of our more infamous historical figures of note has instead been crassly perverted for purely partisan and ideological reasons.

Yes, it's an unbelievably childish thing to do, equivalent to mindless, valueless, online vandalism. But RT's missing the larger point. After deliberately going out to radically skew the results of a public opinion poll, some of these very same Blogging Tories then turn around and treat the results as if they're somehow meaningful:

My readers are probably quite aware that I despise Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I am so glad and he and fellow abortion lover Morgentaler ranked 1 and 3 on the worst Canadian list.

Take a minute to think about what sort of mental delusion it requires to do this -- to deliberately tamper with the results of a questionnaire, then present the hopelessly-inaccurate results as if they somehow reflect reality. How utterly deranged do you need to be to behave this way?

And no, I don't really want to know the answer. It was a rhetorical question, fer Chrissake.

Smile, Kate: You're on CNN.

And, sometimes, the stars align at just the right time since, if you go peruse this article at CNN, this is what you see at the bottom at the moment if you expand the "From the Blogs" link:

God, I love synchronicity.

Lying sack of weasel feces: Kate McMillan edition.

Holy. Fucking. Shit. There's misrepresentation, and then there's just flat-out, bald-faced, rancid bullshit (emphasis tail-waggingly added):

I Hope You're Sitting Down

"A War We Just Might Win"

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

was from the New York Times.

Why, yes, Kate, it was ... so let's see whose work it was, shall we?

A War We Just Might Win

Published: July 30, 2007

Yeah, that would be this Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack:

“As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily ‘victory’ but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with,” O’Hanlon and Pollack wrote in an article entitled “A War We Just Might Win.”

Yet the authors – and the New York Times – failed to tell readers the full story about these supposed skeptics: far from grizzled peaceniks, O’Hanlon and Pollack have been longtime cheerleaders for a larger U.S. military occupying force in Iraq.

Indeed, Pollack, a former CIA analyst, was a leading advocate for invading Iraq in the first place. He published The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq in September 2002, just as the Bush administration was gearing up its marketing push for going to war.

British journalist Robert Fisk called Pollack’s book the “most meretricious contribution to this utterly fraudulent [war] ‘debate’ in the United States.” (Meretricious, by the way, refers to something that is based on pretense, deception or insincerity.)

And things in Iraq getting so much better? Eh ... not so much:

U.S. drops Baghdad electricity reports
The daily length of time that residents have power has dropped. The figure is considered a key indicator of quality of life.

WASHINGTON -- As the Bush administration struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that Baghdad residents could count on only "an hour or two a day" of electricity. That's down from an average of five to six hours a day earlier this year.

Honestly, Kate, why don't you just copy and paste directly from Matt Drudge or Michelle Malkin or Michael Yon, and stop even pretending to have an original thought? As a blogger, you're a dishonest, neo-con bottom dweller that's an embarrassment to the species. As a simple stenographer, though, you're not bad. So if I were you, I'd just go with your strength. It's a lot easier, and your adoring minions certainly won't think less of you. They're all idiots, anyway.

YOUR CC HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: I just know there are an increasing number of blog articles that tear both O'Hanlon and Pollack a couple new orifices for that inane op-ed piece. If you run across particularly good ones, leave the URLs in the comments section, and I'll start collecting them up here. I'll start things off, 'cuz that's just the kind of guy I am:

IT'S JUST DEPRESSING. Seriously, it's breathtaking to witness the collective lunatic dementia in the comments section at Kate's place. Like this one:

I have to respect O'Hanlan and Pollack becauase they seem to be two of the very few people who write or simply spount off about Iraq who do not manifestly suffer from severe confirmation bias of pre-existing political agendas. They actually went back to Iraq, did a comparative analysis of earlier work and came to a starkly different conclusion. A rare feat these days; one that in itself lends substantial credibility to their report.

Posted by: murray at July 30, 2007 7:43 PM

How do you even begin to respond to such inane blather? Better yet, why would you even try? Best to leave "murray" gazing up at the chartreuse-coloured sky on his planet. He seems so blissfully happy, it would be a shame to disturb him.

And what's missing from THIS picture?

Sometimes, it's what you don't read that changes the complexion of the story:

Taliban leaders OK hostage deadline

KABUL - Taliban leaders said yesterday their fighters would kill 22 remaining South Korean hostages if the Afghan government did not release rebel prisoners by a new deadline of 3:30 a.m. EST this morning, a spokesman said ... the Korean group ... the remaining hostages ... the hostages ... the Koreans ... foreign guests ... the remaining hostages ... the hostages ... the hostages ... etc, etc, etc.

And what salient detail is noticeably missing from that news coverage? Ah, yes:

Taliban threatens to kill South Korean missionaries
By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent
Published: 23 July 2007

Afghan negotiators were last night locked in talks with the Taliban to release 23 South Korean Christian missionaries that the fighters have taken hostage and threatened to kill unless a deal is reached today.

Yeah, that's sort of a big part of the picture -- the fact that those folks were there for no other reason than to spread the Good Word. In a war zone. To unfriendly Muslims. Whoops, there goes my sympathy and, apparently, all of this is causing some serious reconsideration of just how freakin' stupid you can be and still deserve to live:

Korean Missionaries 'Rethinking Ambitions' - Time Magazine

Time magazine reported in its online edition Friday that the abduction of 23 Koreans in Afghanistan has "forced Korean Christians to rethink their evangelical ambitions."

No. Fucking. Shit. And if you keep reading, it turns out that even those Bible-whomping nutjobs' own countrymen are wondering what in hell possessed them to do something that asinine:

Under the title "Korean Missionaries Under Fire," the magazine said, "The execution earlier this week of one hostage, pastor Bae Hyung Kyu, 42, brought the expected outpouring of grief and condolences. But non-evangelical Koreans are still scratching their heads over why the Saemmul church group trotted off to such a volatile region, thumbing its nose at government warnings not to enter Afghanistan."

Oh ho ... so they were explicitly warned against doing something that moronic. But it just gets better and better:

It went on to say, "An unfortunate side to the evangelical movement in Korea is increased competition. Churches number in the tens of thousands here, and are competing so intensely for members that pastors feel pressured to engage in a kind of one-upmanship: sending congregants on as many overseas missions as possible. New markets and riskier missions tend to garner more publicity, which until now has translated into more kudos and ultimately more money for the pastor and the church."

There's a phrase that the wingnut-o-sphere likes to keep parroting ... what was it again ... oh, right: "personal responsibility." As in -- if you do something incredibly fucking dumb, you might die because of it. And that's nobody's fault but yours, isn't that how we're always lectured?

I'm sure the word "accountability" shows up there once in a while, too.

P.S. Oh, and "actions have consequences." How could I have missed that one?

Must-see TPMTV.

Go. Watch. In particular, watch closely when Sen. Orrin Hatch (R - Hypocritical Piety) claims that, after all this time, there's been "no impropriety." You'll know what I mean when it comes by.

And OUR stupid scale, well, it goes to 11 ...

Back here in the comments section, we have a bit of ideological philosophy that is so breathtaking in its eye-rolling dumbfuckitude, well ... we'll let commenter "Skip" speak for himself:

You know, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the left is afraid of freedom, not just the right. It would make sense - freedom implies the need to make decisions for themselves and take personal responsibility, something they pathologically seem incapable of.

That's us Lefties, all right ... worrying about accidentally running into "freedom" around every corner. That would, of course, be us Lefties who are advocating a withdrawal of military forces from Iraq so that they have the freedom to run their own country and not be continually killed by American troops.

And who keep promoting the "freedom" to worship (or not, as the case may be) whatever the hell religion we want (or perhaps none whatsoever), without some ignorant, fundamentalist goombah ramming their particular deranged superstitution down our throats or trying to codify it into law.

And who continually defend the freedom of people to marry whoever the fuck they want, even if those people turn out to be (gasp! horrors!) the same sex. And so on, and so on. Yes, Skip, that's us -- purely terrified of the very concept of freedom and stuff like that there.

Tell me, Skip, are you really that retarded? Or are you simply a clever, progressive plant whose job it is to make conservatives look like the stupidest life forms in this galactic quadrant? At this point, I could be persuaded either way.

Kate McMillan: Selective reporting at its Blogging Tory finest.

First, there's the bad news:

Hunger, disease spread in Iraq - Oxfam report

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Hunger and disease are spreading in Iraq as violence masks a deepening humanitarian crisis, British charity Oxfam said in a report on Monday.

The charity said 28 percent of Iraqi children are malnourished, 15 percent of Iraqis regularly cannot afford enough to eat and 70 percent lack clean drinking water, all sharp increases since 2003.

"The terrible violence in Iraq has masked the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Malnutrition amongst children has dramatically increased and basic services, ruined by years of war and sanctions, cannot meet the needs of the Iraqi people," Oxfam director Jeremy Hobbs said...

Two million Iraqis have been forced to flee the country since 2003, and at least as many have been displaced within Iraq.

Not to worry, though, because all of that poverty, disease, homelessness and misery is apparently counterbalanced by:

OK, moment's over, now we can go back to killing them. But it was fun while it lasted, wasn't it?

P.S. I wish I could have seen "Terror"'s team uniforms. I'll bet they were really cool.

P.P.S. If you have the stomach for it, read the comments at that article of Kate's. Really, just posting excerpts wouldn't begin to do justice to the mind-numbing, batshit craziness of Kate's adoring howler monkeys. It must be read to not be believed.

... Reality steps up and delivers a Kate-sized towel snap to her privates (emphasis tail-waggingly added):

Iraq captain says he fears for his life, calls for US to leave country

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Younis Mahmoud's victory celebrations were tempered by reality.

Mahmoud scored the winning goal in Iraq's 1-0 Asian Cup final win over Saudi Arabia on Sunday, yet he feared for his life if he went home to celebrate the stunning victory, and said he would not be returning to the war-torn country.

"I don't want the Iraqi people to be angry with me," he said. But, "If I go back with the team, anybody could kill me or try to hurt me.

"One of my closest friends, they (the authorities) came to arrest him, and for one year neither me nor his family knew where he is."

The Sunni Muslim Iraqi captain — who like the rest of the team wore a black arm band to remember the dozens killed by carbombers following the side's semifinal victory over South Korea on Wednesday — said the American presence in his homeland was a "problem."

"I want America to go out," he said. "Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn't invade Iraq and hopefully it will be over soon." ...

The team's players do not live in Iraq and work for clubs across the Middle East — Mahmoud works for Qatar club Al Gharafa and was leading scorer in the domestic league last season.

Iraq hosted the 2002 World Cup qualifiers in Baghdad — the last event held there before the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Preparing for major events takes place on foreign soil.

It's amazing what you can learn when you take the time to actually, you know, read. And stuff.


The Great Canadian Debate: Get ON with it, fer Chrissake!

You know, I wouldn't be making such fun of the Great Canadian Debate if those folks got off their posteriors and started publishing something. But it's been over a month now, and I'm sure it's terribly impressive that you have your forums, and your categories, and your archives, and your moderators, and your user registrations, and your search window, and various doo-dads and gee-gaws and all, but what you don't have yet is any actual debates.

As Red Tory comments back here:

I don't know what the hold-up is with this silly debate. I wrote my piece ages ago (took all of about 15 minutes) and sent it to Olaf. I haven't heard anything back yet. Whatever... Evans is so dead in the water on this one. Maybe I'll just publish it anyway and let them go about their business. My argument is completely irrefutable, so it's kind of a done deal, but it would be somewhat amusing I guess to see what Richard comes up with.

You might as well publish your piece, RT, because that first topic is an eye-rolling no-brainer:

Must a person be in favour of the Afghan war in order to "support our troops"?

And the answer is "no." See how easy that was? So let's get this show on the road, otherwise, I'll have to keep making fun of Adam Daifallah and, Lord knows, even that has limited entertainment value.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'd leave that off your resume if I were you, Adam.

Great moments in right-wing, legal punditry:

Conrad trial update

Steve Skurka on the first two weeks:

Not a single witness at this trial has identified Conrad Black’s direct involvement during the currency of the period covered by the indictment. Not a single mention or a single word about his Lordship. Judging by the blaring headlines in the media, you might properly conclude that Conrad Black is losing this trial. Wrong. So far it’s a shutout for the prosecution.


Make sure you leave room on your schedule to attend law student Adam Daifallah's first felony case, when he tells his client, "Don't worry, I can read the jury like a book, we've got this one in the bag."

Not the Blogging Tories news: July 29, 2007.

In exciting news of blatant GOP corruption, current U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is now, beyond any reasonable doubt, a lying piece of right-wing shit who perjured himself. In response, Canada's obedient conservative howler monkeys, the Blogging Tories, immediately leapt into action to cover their ears and look away.

On the other hand, if you want to know all about Democrat John Edwards and his haircut, well, the BTs are so all over that baby. It's a priorities thing.

Just when you think they can't get any stupider ...

Some day, there will be a final, apocalyptic reckoning for people this ignorant:

The current system is not secular by nature, it is anti-religious. These so called public schools offer children one choice, science over god, evolution over creationism.

If Blogging Tory co-founder Stephen Taylor had any pride, I'm sure he'd be embarrassed. No worries there, though, right, Steve?

DUMB AND GETTING DUMBER: Apparently, there's no level of dumbassitude you can attain that opening your mouth can't make even worse:

sfrank85 Says:

Jim, it was Christianity which led to the Enlightment.

That's right, Jim ... how dare you forget that shining example of Christian intellectual development that was the "Enlightment." I'm assuming that was the part between when the Church burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for being a "heretic," and that bit of unpleasantness known as the "Inquisition." Or was it the other way around? I always get those two mixed up.

How stupid is too fucking stupid? The Richard Evans drinking game.

Document the dumbassitude:

The MoonBats are continually screaming about CEO compensation.

Except, it seems, when it comes to Oprah.

She pulls in 250 million/year and this is what we get from the left side of the blogosphere: [listen] [crickets chirping]

Why do you think that is?

Posted in MoonBats by: Richard on: July 26, 2007

Yes, that would be this Richard Evans:

Hello all. Sorry, I've been derelict in my posting duties here, as a result of the Great Canadian Debate experiment, which, despite how little we have to show for it so far, has been surprisingly labour intensive. Anyways, things are moving along, however slowly, and here's an update for all you paying attention...

The first round

The "First Round" of Debates, which we hope to start posting next week, are here in no particular order:

Must a person be in favour of the Afghan war in order to "support our troops"?

Red Tory - NO; Richard Evans - YES ...

So let us all prepare for the impending amusement, where you will work your way into a state of irresponsible intoxication according to the following rules:

  • Richard writes something illogical: One shot.

  • Richard writes something utterly irrelevant: One shot.

  • Richard makes an ad hominem attack: Two shots.

  • Richard calls someone a "moonbat": Take your bottle and club yourself into unconsciousness.

Come on, come all. It's fun for the whole family. I can't wait.

P.S. Dear Paladiea: I have to admit, you are one clever lady. Promoting a series of allegedly intellectual debates and, as your first offering, getting the clinically deranged and intellectually infantile Richard Evans to represent the Right? Genius. Absolute fucking genius. Even I couldn't have come up with such a deliciously evil plan.

All is forgiven.

: Take it away, Dick:

We can pretty much all agree that leftists hate talk radio, yes?

Um ... no, Dick ... only the irredeemably retarded among us would "pretty much agree" with that hideously overgeneralizing bit of stupidity.

Please, Paladiea, let's get that first debate up. This will, I'm sure, represent a whole new standard in high expectations versus low actuality. I can't help thinking that presenting Dick with a coherent and logical argument is going to end up something like, well, this:

And I'm being optimistic.

You keep using that word "sovereignty" ...

Lost in the current bitchfest that is the U.S. Congressional debate over troops in Iraq -- "We're pulling out! No, we're not! Yes, we are! Airhead! Dumbass! Traitor! Pedophile!" -- is a simple fact that everyone seems to have forgotten: Iraq is a sovereign nation and, by that definition, should have the sole authority to make that decision, don't you think?

Oh, I'm sorry ... you'd forgotten about that whole sovereignty thing? Here, let me refresh your memory (emphasis added for the hard of thinking or the Blogging Tories):

U.S. Makes Early Handover of Iraq

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq became a sovereign country on Monday, 15 months after the United States led a coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from power and two days before the June 30 deadline for control to be turned over to the interim Iraqi government. ...

"This is a day of great hope for Iraqis and a day that terrorist enemies hoped never to see," [Commander Chimpy Chimpster Mc]Bush later said in an address with Blair. "The terrorists are doing all they can to stop the rise of a free Iraq but their bombs and attacks have not prevented Iraqi sovereignty and they will not prevent Iraqi democracy.

"Iraqi sovereignty is a tribute to the will of Iraqi people and the courage of Iraqi leaders." ...

Saying the turnover is a "proud, moral achievement" for the U.S.-led coalition, Bush said, "we pledged to end a dangerous regime to free the oppressed and restore sovereignty — we have kept our word." ...

Bush was passed a note from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that put it this way: "Mr. President, Iraq is sovereign." Bush wrote "Let freedom reign!" on the note and passed it back.

But what's the value of alleged "sovereignty" if you can't even use it to kick an invading foreign power out of town?

The Bush administration has gone and on and on and droningly on about elections and purple fingers and the courage of all those little, brown Iraqis and their amusing headgear to stand up to the "terrists" but, in the end, all that supposed courage to elect their own government has meant exactly squat since it didn't do them any good at all. Their country is still occupied, they're still not running it, and all their natural resources are being looted out from under them while the U.S. is happily still building the largest monument to diplomatic excess in the history of the universe.

It would be amusing to watch someone in the White House Press Corpse (no, that's not a typo) put this question directly to administration Spokesreptile Tony Snow, sort of like this:

"Tony, it's been over three years since this administration explicitly and unambiguously declared Iraq to be a 'sovereign' nation. And yet, the U.S. continues to occupy that country and make all of the political decisions for Iraq. Under the circumstances, then, can you explain what it even means to have declared Iraq as 'sovereign' in the first place? And, as a followup, given how much this administration praised the Iraqi people voting in elections to take control of their own country, wouldn't you say that this administration owes all of those people an apology for having encouraged all of that 'democracy' which, in the end, made no difference at all in terms of their ability to exercise their freedom as a 'sovereign' nation?"

Yeah, it would be worth it to watch that wretched little fuckface Tony Snow try to dance around that one but, as with all things around here, that's not even the best part.

Given that Iraq is a member of the United Nations, one wonders why those folks don't just go before the General Assembly and ask for military assistance to drive out the occupiers. I can just imagine it now:

"Mr, Secretary General, it was 1990 when the former government of our country launched an unprovoked invasion of the country of Kuwait, and this body -- recognizing its international responsibility -- quickly responded with military assistance to drive the invaders out of Kuwait. Today, we ask you to again recognize your obligations, and help the struggling and sovereign nation of Iraq to expel the foreign force that has occupied our conntry for the last several years. You did the right thing with respect to Kuwait, now please do the right thing with respect to the invasion of our country by the United States."

Yes, that would be quite the little speech, wouldn't it? I'm sure it would have no effect whatsoever, but it would sure make for some awkward moments, wouldn't you say? And it would be fun to see the frantic tap dancing from all of Wankerville as they sputter their standard refrain of "But ... but ... that's different!" Yes, it always is, isn't it? But I'd still watch for the entertainment value. Because wankers might be ignorant, infantile jackasses, but they do have their entertainment value.

P.S. It's unlikely that any argument on the topic of "sovereignty" would be terribly meaningful to Admiral McFlightSuit, if you know what I mean:

AFTERSNARK: Given the hilarious irrelevance and dishonesty of Commander Codpiece's "Let Freedom Reign" comment above, you'd have to be pretty much a deluded dumbass to use that as your defining ideological slogan and ... oh, never mind.

UPPITY DATE: The Rev. makes the following point:

Lets just backtrack there for a minute. The U.S. has control over its troops and can pull them out anytime it damn well wants. The sovereign government of Iraq has not yet asked them to do so, though I don't doubt a lot of people would love to see them gone. The government is unlikely to ask the U.S. to leave as they are currently refereeing a civil war and forking over lots of weaponry and cash to the government for the right to do so.

Sure, the U.S. can leave whenever it wants, but the question is, would they leave if asked? And, these days, all the indicators are "no."

As it stands, it appears that the Iraqi government doesn't have any say on things like what the U.S. chooses to build in terms of embassies or military bases. And here's an interesting recent exchange (emphasis added):

Sami al-Askari, a key aide to al-Maliki and a member of the prime minister's Dawa Party, said the policy of incorporating one-time Sunni insurgents into the security forces shows Petraeus has a “real bias and it bothers the Shiites,” whose communities have been targeted by Sunnis in Iraq's sectarian conflict.

“It is possible that we may demand his removal,” al-Askari said.

A lawmaker from the al-Sadr bloc, who wouldn't allow use of his name because of the political sensitivity of the matter, said al-Maliki once told Petraeus: “I can't deal with you anymore. I will ask for someone else to replace you.”

Such a request isn't likely to get much of a hearing in Washington
, where the Bush administration presents Petraeus as one general who can improve the Iraq situation.

As recently as this year, the Bush administration publicly assured everyone that, 'If Iraq Says Leave, "We Would Leave."' But I haven't seen anything that suggests that that's even remotely close to the truth, and it would certainly be fascinating to see that assurance put to the test, wouldn't it?

P.S. Note well the situation described above, where U.S. General Petraeus is doing things that Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki clearly does not approve of. So who do you think is really running this show?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The stupid! It burns!

Holy. Freakin'. God. I need a word more demeaning than "retarded."

Oh, those wacky FDers.

BigCityLib has been doing a good job staying on top of the free speech fiasco over at Canada's answer to people in white sheets and hoods, "Free Dominion." But all of that controversy can't stop the joyous festivities:

Connie Wilkins and Mark Fourier, co-owners of Free Dominion, get married tomorrow. Good luck, and I hope the weather holds.

Sure, good weather would be nice, but it also wouldn't hurt to have a thunderstorm, just to make sure the generators stay powered up:

Dear JR: Over-generalize much?

I'm sure the irony here was entirely unintentional:

The lefty mind

In an excellent discussion between David Thompson and Ophelia Benson (co-author of ‘Why Truth Matters’) we get some insight into what goes on in lefty heads.

Why, yes ... because when I want to know why truth is a big deal, the first person I tend to ask is a Blogging Tory. But that's mostly because I'm an imbecile.

And as for JR's ideological role models:

Mises, Hayek, Friedman and Steyn are tops.

Um, yeah ... I'm guessing that's this Mark Steyn. If I were you, JR, I might keep that unseemly hero worship under wraps. Nothing I can put my finger on, but the word "creepy" kind of leaps to mind.

BONUS DUMBASSITUDE: This is the sort of thing that makes you wonder just how fucking stupid one human being can possibly be. Then you realize he's a Blogging Tory and it all makes sense.

Support the tr ... oh, fuck 'em.

Via Annemarie, we have all those patriotic American whingers supporting the troops in exciting and eye-opening new ways:

Brian Rodriguez is a fighter, an honorably discharged soldier who'd been deployed in Iraq.

"I was a combat engineer," Rodriguez said. "We deal with land mines, explosives."

He fought for his nation, only to return to his homeland and wage a fresh battle.

Former Army Specialist Rodriguez started getting bills for $700 for lost or damaged government property this summer. Although he was discharged some four years ago, bills recently arrived demanding payment, but giving no details on what or why -- nor do they offer a way to dispute the charges.

"For doing my job you're going to bill me?" Rodriguez said.

It occurs to me that, rather than continually finding new and indirect ways to screw over the troops, members of the Bush administration can simply greet them when they disembark from Iraq, and spit on them. It would save everyone piles of time, don't you think?

It's not a "disease," it's an "abomination." There's a difference.

Shorter Gay and Right Fred: "Thirty years ago, those disgusting communists thought homosexuality was a 'disease.' Luckily, today's conservatives are much more enlightened."

Warren Kinsella: Big freaking deal.

You know, I'm really trying to muster some outrage over this:

TORONTO -- A battle of the sexes erupted at the Ontario legislature Tuesday after an editorial photo illustration, deemed by many to be derogatory to women, was discovered on the website of Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella.

The photograph posted Monday depicts former Lanark Landowners' Association president Randy Hillier at an Ontario Progressive Conservative barbecue accompanied by Leader John Tory and Conservatives Scott Reid and Lisa MacLeod.

Thought bubbles beside each of the politicians suggest they're not particularly pleased to be sharing a stage with the controversial farm activist. The blurb beside MacLeod, however, suggests she'd rather be "baking cookies'' than standing beside her leader at a campaign event.

"I very much wish I was somewhere else, at this very moment. Baking cookies, perhaps. Oh my,'' reads the caption.

But I can't. When various members of the Blogging Tories regularly post their boneheaded, hateful screeds, and the lunatic Free Dominion web site pretty much defines the concept of "hate speech," the sexism inherent in baking cookies just doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense around here.

I think everyone needs to recalibrate their outrage-o-meter.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday afternoon sheer laziness.

Letters to the editor: How dumb is TOO dumb?

Apparently, the National Post has, for the last couple days, been dealing with the fallout of a piece on atheism, that fallout including letters to the editor as sophomoric and idiotic as this one:

Re: Science, Atheism & God, Letter To The Editor, July 26; The God That Whined, Barbara Kay, July 25.

When Pierre-Simon de Laplace published his famous work Celestial Mechanics, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte asked him if God appears anywhere in his treatise. Laplace responded, "I have no need of that hypothesis."

Upon hearing this, the eminent contemporary mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre remarked: "Such a pity. A beautiful hypothesis. It explains so many things."

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Eli Honig, Toronto.

Now I'm sure that that counts as devastatingly witty repartee amongst Mr. Honig's circle of friends, but it is, as I hope you can appreciate, content-free swill of the highest order.

God ... a "beautiful hypothesis" that "explains so many things." Why, yes ... yes, it does. In fact, it can be used to explain pretty much everything, can't it? Puzzled? Intellectually stumped? No problem, God did it. How did Noah get all those animals on the Ark? God did it. Why do bad things happen to good people? Hey, God's responsible.

Yes, "God did it and he works in mysterious ways" does explain everything, doesn't it? Which means, of course, that it explains absolutely nothing. To say that God did it is as vacuous and uninformative as saying that the Great Green Arkleseizure or the Flying Spaghetti Monster did it. In short, it explains nothing whatsoever, which is what makes Mr. Honig's literary smirk so thoroughly unjustified. But that's not why we're here.

I've become more and more curious about how some letters make it to the letters page. Obviously, some editor must have read that piece and decided, for whatever reason, that it deserved publication. Maybe because it was allegedly amusing or because the editor thought it had actual intellectual value. But are there, in fact, any intellectual standards for published letters whatsoever? Sure, it's nice to let everyone have their say, but is there some boundary beyond which something is just too freaking boneheaded to see the light of day?

For example, whenever the topic of biological evolution comes around, there is invariably someone who gets to say in print, "Evolution is impossible because it contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics." No, it doesn't, but that never stops some editor from giving said moron their 15 minutes of fame by reprinting it. But why?

Does the editor not even realize that that claim is utter horseshit? Can editors really be that ignorant? Or is it that they just don't care? Is it not their problem whether a letter is total nonsense? Or does that just not fail within their mandate?

Seriously, for those of you involved with modern journalism, what's the deal here? Is there a limit to the dumbassitude that will be accepted for the letters page? Or is there just no such thing as too stupid?

ONGOING DEVELOPMENTS: In the comments section, "m@" writes:

To the credit of our local paper, The Record, Jeffrey Shallit's letters almost always appear in response when they print some cro-magnon's anti-evolutionary views. I don't know if it's a matter of giving equal time, or something, but at least they print Shallit's very persuasive prose in response.

To that extent, it's a good thing, but it doesn't address the issue of why newspapers continue printing the same illogical rubbish time and again. Say said Cro-Magnon writes in, claiming the aforementioned Second Law violation, after which I write in, demonstrating beyond any reasonable doubt that that position is hogwash.

I may feel satisfied until the issue comes up again, at which point the newspaper will print the same idiotic claim sent in by a different reader. And on and on and tediously on.

It's one thing for everyone to be entitled to their own opinion. But it's quite another for that opinion, after it's been savagely debunked, to keep showing up in the letters section on a regular basis. Put another way, I don't want the paper to graciously print Jeffrey's stinging rebuttal. I want it to stop publishing the same stupid shit again and again when, by all accounts, they know it's crap.

Busy week open thread.

It's been busy. What's up? Try not to shoot anyone in the face.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Canada's Wingnut Government™: Getting on your last nerve.

Quelle surprise:

'New Government' mantra wearing thin, poll finds

OTTAWA -- Canadians are growing weary of the Conservative government's claim it remains "Canada's New Government" after 18 months in power, a recent poll shows.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. Who'd a thunk it?

The mantra turns up constantly in government statements and speeches.

The survey published this week found it's not just members of the press corps and the opposition who groan every time they see a news release containing those three words.

Three-quarters of the voters who responded to the Innovative Research survey objected to the phrase, some because they find it stale and some because they objected to it from the start.

The poll found 37 per cent thought it was OK in 2006, when the government was new, but now put it in the misleading-advertising category. Another 38 per cent said the Conservatives should never have used it to describe the government in general, since the government is permanent.

Only 16 per cent, most of them Conservative supporters, believe the phrase still fits the Harper government, the survey found.

I'm guessing that would be the same 16 per cent who genuinely think Stephen Harper is a "leader," and that the earth is 6,000 years old and that climate change doesn't exist. Yeah, that 16 per cent.

In any event, I have decided that, to counter the insufferable arrogance of the term "Canada's New Government," we here at CC HQ will, from this point on, refer to PM Stephen Harper and his collection of bound and ball-gagged Harperettes as "Canada's Wingnut Government™".

Feel free to share in the fun. Use that designation liberally (no pun intended). It may be demeaning, offensive and juvenile, but it does differ from the original phrase in one critical way -- it's accurate. And that's all that counts, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dear wankersphere: And now, in other news ...

It wasn't that long ago that the dumbshit-o-sphere was practically creaming itself over the smackdown of Democrat Harry Reid by one Cpl. Tyler Rock in Iraq:

yeah and i got a qoute for that douche harry reid. these families need us here. obviously he has never been in iraq. or atleast the area worth seeing. the parts where insurgency is rampant and the buildings are blown to pieces. we need to stay here and help rebuild."

Oh, yes, Cpl. Rock was quite the stud in the wankersphere. So one wonders if those same wanks are going to give such enthusiastic coverage to this soldier:

"It's a joke. We will have spent 14 months in contact, basically fighting all 14 months…first week in Baghdad we lost two guys in our battalion, and it hasn't stopped since...

Or this one:

"I challenge the president or anyone who has us for 15 months to ride alongside me. I'll do another 15 months if he comes out here and rides alomg with me every day. I'll do 15 more months. They don't even have to pay me extra."

Fair and balanced, remember? Yessir ... fair and balanced.

Or so I've heard.

Oh Punky, how could you?

HAHAHA! Seems old Warren the Conscience Kinsella has gone and joined the ranks of us uncivilians. Let the wringing of hands commence.

" A battle of the sexes erupted at the Ontario legislature Tuesday after an editorial photo illustration, deemed by many to be derogatory to women, was discovered on the website of Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella."

I repeat HAHAHA!

Separate schools

An interesting comment from this post:

"Scott Tribe said...
I should state here that Catholic (or separate) school funding is protected under the original BNA Act. It would be rather hard to remove it.. and if someone tried, there would be hell to pay, literally.

Ontario by the way, has been cited by the UN twice since 1999 for being discriminatory against faith-based schools for refusing to fund them like the Public and separate school boards. You either have to find all of them or none of them.. and since funding none of them is not realistic, I believe funding all of them is the proper thing to do. It removes discrimination."

I had been under the impression that such funding occurred under the government of Bill Davis. So I hit teh Google. It seems that both Scott and I are partially correct. The BNA Act did provide for separate school funding and in Ontario, that funding was extended beyond 9th grade by Bill Davis. But scanning this article in Wikipedia would suggest that not only can such funding be removed but has in fact been removed in other provinces. The hell to pay would just be a lot of noise from our Catholic neighbours and not a constitutional crisis. From the article,

"In the Quebec education system there were separate Protestant and Catholic school systems until 1998 when the system was replaced with linguistically based secular school systems. Similarly, Newfoundland and Labrador had schools organised on a confessional basis with separate denominational schools for Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists, Salvationists, Pentecostals, and an integrated stream. This was abolished by referendum in 1997 and a single secular system was introduced to replace the previous streams."

And since we in Ontario have indeed been tut-tutted by the UN for this inequitable funding arrangement, allow me to renew my call for the end to this system of imbalance and discrimination. Also according to the artice,

"A province-wide newspaper survey conducted between 1997 and 1999 in 45 dailies indicated that 79% of 7551 respondents in Ontario favoured a single public school system. But rumours that the Catholic Church had instructed its parishioners not to respond to the survey suggest that it may have produced inaccurate results. Regardless of whether the results were accurate or not, no widely supported movement to amend the Constitution Act, 1867 has developed."

So it would seem that there is a pre-existing popular interest in using public moneys for only the public system. Contrary to Mr. Tribe's warning, it seems that by precedent, it would require no more than a referendum to make the change and truly end the discrimination. Rather than stripping the public sustem by as much as half a billion dollars a year to placate the superstitious vote, let's place our money into creating the very best public education system we can and allow the religious folks to fund themselves. If Count Popenstein wants to indoctrinate his follower's kids, the least he can do is pick up the tab. As for hell and the payment thereof, well, I guess you'd have to believe in that malarky to worry.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Monica chronicles.

From the comments back here, Monica gives us all sorts of ideas for upcoming pieces:

Thanks for the interesting topic suggestion...I would be happy to write about that. My Master's thesis was actually on U.S. military wives and their inability to openly oppose the Iraq War. Anyway, it'll probably take me a few days before I'm able to respond properly as I'm a Program Manager and Victim Advocate for a Native American domestic violence/sexual assault program and its grant reporting time...I'm swamped this week.

Oooooh ... oooooh ... something on the military wives issue would be interesting, too. I'm betting my regular collection of shrieking, leftard moonbats would enjoy that. (Is any of that material available online?) But whatever floats your boat, Monica.

And take your time ... we're in no rush, we're patient people here. I mean, we've been waiting for the Blogging Tories to evolve brain stems and develop social consciences for some time now, so we know these things don't happen overnight. If ever.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Shopping for Votes in Ontario

According to the CTV Mr. Tory has an idea about how to spend some of my money.

What the fuck? Ontario Provincial Con leader John Tory figures he can make some political hay by promising to shell out some of those good, good tax dollars to "faith based schools". Well Mr. Tory, how about we return to the 21st century. How about we de-fund the Catholic school system and give public money to public schools. Parents are welcome to place their children in religious schools or private schools and more power to them. But we shouldn't be sharing the bill. You want a specialized and separate education, fine, pay for it yourself.

Tory is trying to pull a fast one and hell, full points for greasing the pig there J.T.,

"I want to reach out to parents and children currently outside of the system of public education and invite them in," Tory said. "I want children of all faiths to be part of ... a system that reflects our shared Canadian values."

Yeah, right. These parents are placing their kids in different schools precisely because they do not want to be part a system that reflects our shared Canadian values. We live in a rich, multi-cultural province. The public school system exists to provide a standardized, high quality and free education to the public, supported by tax revenues. I went through school with mostly white, western derived kids. They were from a variety of christian sects, some were religious, some weren't. One of my best friends was Jewish. Me, I left the Catholic school system after the 1st grade convinced that God was a fairy tale and that child abuse wasn't an effective educative tool.

As I got older and more immigrant families arrived, we were joined in school by kids of Kurdish, Pakistani, Indian, Egyptian and numerous other backgrounds. We each believed or didn't believe as we saw fit. We also, largely, got along okay. There were some issues of bigotry that were resolved quite effectively with a reading of the riot act. We got to know each other and learned to get along and we even actually learned a bit about each other's cultures and faiths. I would never have experienced a Bar Mitzvah if my buddy Seth had gone to the Beth Jacob School. I wouldn't have learned a lot if we'd all been taught in separate enclaves. The most important thing we wouldn't have learned is how to coexist peacefully and accept each others differences and appreciate our many similarities.

And Tory is a slick act, he needs to put lipstick on this pig, so...

"But Tory (sic) it shouldn't be done without extensive consultation and thought -- so he pledged to bring in the man who initially gave funds to Ontario's Catholic schools in the 80s.
The Opposition leader said he'd appoint former premier Bill Davis to look at the plan's feasibility. With the green light from Davis, Tory said pilot projects could begin around fall of next year."

Because really, who's going to be in a better place to understand the nuances of buying non-secular votes than the guy who pioneered that shit in the '80s?

"There are some 53,000 students attending religious schools outside the public system and they deserve the same support children who attend Catholic schools currently get, Tory said.
All religions should be treated fairly and schools should reflect Ontario's diversity in the 21st century, he added."

Well, he has a point there. All of those kids deserve the same level of publicly funded support as kids in the Catholic system. And that level of deserved support would be none. Why are we giving public money to one of the world's wealthiest organizations? Let's face it, if little Pope Ratzo wants to help the kids he could sell a few hundred thousand hectares, open the Vatican vaults and liquidate some of the plunder, treasure and spoils to get it done. I'm in favour of treating all the religions fairly and equally. If all of those diverse communities and faiths want to engage in the beautiful diversity of Ontario in the 21st century, let's give them the very finest public education system in the world. I'd happily pay for that.

Mr. Tory, quit shopping for votes with my tax dollars. Fix the education system we have before you go adding layers of bureaucracy, red tape, expense and bullshit to the price tag. This is a cheap (well, very expensive actually) and transparent attempt to buy some votes.

Dear Congress:

Go fuck yourself.

Sincerely yours,

Gordon O'Connor's big adventure!

After shopping at the talking point show and sale, big, dumb Gordie decides to try on his new purchases. CTV reports as he spins the hem of the emperor's second hand clothes.

Allow me to translate...

"If all goes according to plan, Canada could begin backing away from its heavy combat role in the south of Afghanistan in about six months as the Afghan National Army matures -- something it is showing signs of doing, said Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor."

If we don't fuck up some more, we can pretend something good will happen in a Friedeman on account of the brown folk standing up so we can stand down. Look a pony! A breathtaking display of bullshittery. If...about...showing signs, can you smell the leadership? Don't step in it.

"O'Connor was responding to new poll numbers that suggest support within Canada for the deployment is dropping while opposition is rising."

Look at the pony! Don't you never mind those tanking poll numbers.

"During an appearance on CTV's Question Period that aired Sunday, O'Connor said those numbers are largely due to Canadians' lack of clear understanding of Canada's successes in Afghanistan, as well as the challenges faced there."

After half a freaking decade of action, as the mission steadily deteriorates and the liberation slowly decays into ineffectual occupation, as the will and patience of both the Afghan and Canadian populations erode, we just don't understand that our troops have Tim Horton's coffee. And according to big Steve our military just keeps getting better and better with every flag at half mast. Shame that Gordon O'Lobby can't seem to present a clearly understandable picture of our "success". So buck up anyway, whiners.

"He said there is reason to believe that the situation in Afghanistan is improving, and Canada's frontline role will soon be reduced."

There is reason to believe that there will soon be ponies! Honest. This time for sure, ponies and rainbows. The good rainbows, not those fag rainbows.

"O'Connor said Canadian troops recently sponsored an Afghan infantry battalion, providing intense mentorship and training, and as a result the battalion is now out conducting its own operations."

Sponsored and mentored, now with added intensity! Victory! Why all across the middle east units and battalions are conducting their very own operations. They have shirts and hats and they love us, they really do.

"He described it as a success that will be used as a model for training other battalions, and will eventually take pressure off the Canadians. "Over the next four or five months were going to be picking up four or five additional Afghan battalions to train and mentor and get them out into the field," O'Connor said."

That scraping noise? Pay no mind, that's just the sound of goal posts moving. Unless it takes, oh, about a month to train an Afghani battalion. You know, a battalion here, a battalion there, a bit of training and then we're out of there. That's like a fucking plan or something. Four maybe five battalions. In the field. Good as new. Hearts and Minds.

"We're hoping by the end of this rotation that's going in now, the so called Van Doos rotation, we'll have about 3,000 Afghan army operating within the Kandahar province, and as we train more and more of the Aghan army to carry out their own operations we'll continue to withdraw, put more emphasis on training, and at some stage basically be in reserve." The Van Doos rotation in Afghanistan will last six months."

And given how popular the Van Doos rotation was with the folks in Quebec, I'm sure that they'll be thrilled to know that. Hey, if all goes according to wishful thinking, er, plan, one of those so called Van Doos soldiers might get to be the last to be blown to rat shit in a Gator. And we can all look forward to the future, in reserve, at some fucking stage.

"O'Connor also renewed his call for other NATO nations to step up their involvement and allow their troops to take part in combat operations in the more volatile regions of the country. At the moment, most of the heavy lifting is being done by Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands and the U.S. "It would help the situation if more NATO nations sent troops to the south and the east but we can't put all our eggs in one basket. We have to train the Afghan army as quickly as possible and that's what we're doing," O'Connor said."

So all we need is one more little Friedman for the brown fellas to stand up so we can stand down and bask in all of the successes that we can't clearly understand once we can get some of those other NATO guys to help us get out of this quagmire. I guess Gord is just a-sitting in his office waiting for his red NATO phone to ring and find out who is going to volunteer their soldiers to spell us. Easy. Thanks Gord, I feel so much better now.

Oooooooooh ... that's gotta hurt.

And a big Nelson Muntz "Ha ha!" to you, JoJo.

Atheists: We're here, we're queer ... no, wait ... that's not right ...

The National Post is so cute when it's trying to be clever and failing miserably:

Ditching God

Emboldened Atheists Are Finding Purpose In Coming Out Of The Closet

"Out of the closet." Awwwww ... isn't that just too adorable? Of course, many of us have never been "in the closet" to begin with -- we've been godless and proud of it all along. But here's an interesting passage:

In Canada, the number of people who categorize themselves as atheists, agnostics, humanists or no-religion rose to 16.2% in the 2001 census, up from 12.3% in 1991, and 7.4% a decade earlier.

And why would this be? Could it be a Canadian resurgence of critical thinking and logical analysis, bolstered by rigorous intellectualism, allowing people to treat Christianity with a more skeptical eye?

Or could it be that Canada's avowed representatives of Christian morals and values, the Blogging Tories, are such breathtaking examples of ignorance, hypocrisy, racism, bigotry and seething hate that they're enough to put anyone off their lunch, religion-wise?

Tough questions, yes indeed. Grapple, grapple ...

It's a good thing kerning wasn't involved.

As if you needed any more evidence of the global Seculoislamodefeatist conspiracy, Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix™ brings you the smoking gun:

Russ Vaughn;

The cost of an issue of TIME: $3.95; the time needed to flip through the unrelentingly liberal rag: two minutes, max; their use of a Russian helicopter to depict their hoped for retreat from Iraq by American forces: PRICELESS!

Small Dead Animals: Because nothing says vast, sinister, "cut-and-run" liberal media conspiracy like an underpaid graphics layout intern not knowing her military helicopter silhouettes.

Traitors, the lot of them.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mark Steyn: The low-hanging fruit edition.

Seriously, it's not like you get any bonus points for laying a beatdown on Mark Steyn anymore -- there's no degree of difficulty involved.

Oh, I'm sorry ... you've never met Mark Steyn? My bad. Here you go. No, no, don't thank me -- ruining your Sunday brunch is what I live for.

Better late than never.

You might want to have a thesaurus handy for this gem.

Oh. Dear. God.

Steve Janke: Boy Lawyer. You have to know this is going to end badly, don't you?

AFTERSNARK: When one reads the following snippet from Janke's infantile scribblings:

Is a police investigation considered a judicial proceeding? Are police acting under the authority of a court of justice?

Or is there another part of the Criminal Code that says you can't offer money to people in return for not reporting a what might be a criminal act?

Or is it legal in Canada to make that part of a contract? Especially if one party has already indicated that they are considering calling the police because of strong suspicions held that a crime has been committed?

Interesting questions.

one gets the distinct impression that Janke is not so much laying out a careful, methodical and well-researched case so much as he's begging his readers to do all the work and answer all his questions for him. And, yes, now that you mention it, that does sound familiar.

It's depressing to think that the loftiest ambition you have is to be Jonah Goldberg when you grow up.

While you were sleeping ...

Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix™ wants to bring to your attention the appalling irresponsibility of those who would publish scurrilous untruths and biased rubbish that cheapen our national discourse and pollute the precious bodily fluids of the blogosphere.

In other news ...

Say hello to Monica.

Monica -- cousin to one Wanda Watkins -- has dropped by and left a lengthy comment here, so I suggest that, since she's taken the time to pen something, you similarly take the time to go and read it. (Yes, I meant now -- what did you think I meant?)

Monica closes with:

Let me know if you have an actual topic that you would like me to write on and I'll see what I can do...

and since it's my blog, I'm going to open the bidding.

It's a common position in the Left-o-sphere, Monica, that the whole philosophy of "Support the troops" has become so politicized that it's virtually impossible for anyone who opposes the mission in Afghanistan to still say that they support the troops, since that (troop) support will immediately (and dishonestly, of course) be re-interpreted as support for the mission. So my question for you, Monica, is two-fold:

  • Do you agree with what I just said above regarding the frustrating (and dishonest) politicization of this whole troop support thing? And,

  • If Canada's progressives are tired of being misrepresented this way, how should they publicly announce their support for the troops while making it clear that that support doesn't extend to the mission?

A good answer to that second question would go a long way towards settling this current dust-up. And if you want to address that (or anything else related, for that matter, it's up to you), e-mail the end result and I'll post it.

And thanks for showing up. This might end up being surprisingly productive.

P.S. Just between you and me, Monica, I agree that, yes, I was a bit over-the-top and there was no real need to come on that hard-assed but one of my cats was hit by a car and killed last weekend so it's been a shitty week all around and I felt like venting and, unfortunately, your cousin happened to wander in front of the sights at just the wrong time and ... well, you get the idea.

So let's just move on and see what we can accomplish here, OK?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The new kids on the block.

Apparently, a few refugees from "The Next Agenda" have some new digs at "A Creative Revolution," so that might be worth a look-see. Of course, my pimping is based purely out of self-interest because, apparently, they've been following the excitement.

So there's your first lesson, kids -- don't try this sort of thing at home. Remember, we're professionals.

Wave bye-bye to Patrick.

Serial annoyance Patrick Ross has simply become tedious, so he's been shown the door. If you're pathetic enough to need to know what he thinks, well, help yourself.

The shrieks of "censorship" should be starting any minute now ...

SOMETIMES, THEY'RE JUST SO ADORABLE. On his way out the door, Mr. Ross can't resist giving the junior high school war cry of victory:

Hey. If you boys aren't game-ready, don't step on the field.

Don't pick up the ball if you don't wanna play, Ann.

You know what's coming, don't you? Yes, you do ...

Dear Mike: Man, that's gotta sting.

The setup:

Hey Mikey, can't take the heat????

Well get out of the kitchen, then. Actually, just get out of the kitchen entirely, it sure looks like ya spend a teensy bit too much time in there. You've seen by know the Fat Bastard blew his lid at Wolf Blitzer on CNN, & why?? CNN had the cojones to hold the sumbitch accountable. Imagine that!! It's nice to see that finally, finally!! the MSM is holding this guy accountable. He's gotten away with so many lies, distortions & grade A bullshit over the years that he thinks he can continue to do so with impunity. Michael Moore has been exposed as a bully & a thug & that the best way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him. Good on CNN for leading the way & standing up to the Fat Bastard.

And the delicious Mike McGuire-sized towel snap to the nads (emphasis gleefully added):

Michael Moore makes CNN blush

After a much publicized tête-à-tête between Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, and the outspoken director of "Sicko," the network released a rare statement of apology. In it they owned up to two errors made while reporting on Moore's new documentary...

"CNN confirmed that all our statistics in "Sicko" are the correct numbers from the sources we cited," Moore writes. "Although CNN still prefers to use older World Health Organization statistics, we will stick to using this year's Bush administration stats and more recent UN data. (In "Sicko," we consistently use only UN Human Development Statistics unless it's for studies they don't do or have recent numbers for."...

Moore's beef with CNN first began during a July 9 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Prior to that segment, the show played a fact-check piece on "Sicko" by Dr. Gupta. That report led to a contentious exchange between Moore and Blitzer. It also fueled Moore's ire further on July 10, when he and Gupta butted heads on CNN's Larry King Live.

When asked by King why he took such exception to Gupta's piece, Moore replied, "He said the facts were fudged. That's a lie."

In Gupta's original piece he refuted figures Moore presented regarding Cuba's per capita spending on healthcare. Gupta alleged that the $251 per person cost reported by Moore was untrue.

Yet on "Larry King Live" Gupta admitted the error was his, not Moore's. "Michael correctly said $251 in the movie."

Gupta also made a correction statement on July 11.

"To be clear, I got a number wrong in my original report, substituting the number 25, instead of 251."

Snap. But don't worry, Mike -- you're a Blogging Tory so it's not like anyone's going to hold you accountable or anything. They never do.

Chet speak.

You listen.

Ed, here's what you are required to do now.

You will apologize, abjectly, cap in hand to the millions of people who were right when you were wrong. You will admit that you were wrong. You will also admit, out loud, that what you are doing now is in no way emboldening the enemy or undermining the nation, and that those you accused of doing so were not in fact doing so. You will admit to having absolutely no comprehension of international politics, and you will express sincere regret in opening your big festering mouth on a topic you do not understand. You will then apologize to Senator John Kerry for undermining him at the Republican convention in 2004. You will then give up your membership in the Democratic Party, and join no other party for the rest of your life.

You will then vanish, never speaking in public on any topic ever again.

Get to work.

The same can be said for about 250 of these ignorant yobs, but I wouldn't bother holding my breath.

Not your Blogging Tory news: July 21, 2007.

So ... how's that "surge" going? Uh oh ...

Daily attacks in Iraq hit new high in June

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) - Attacks in Iraq last month reached their highest daily average since May 2003, showing a surge in violence as President George W. Bush completed a buildup of U.S. troops, Pentagon statistics show.

The data, obtained by Reuters from the Defense Department, showed an upward trend in daily attacks over the past four months, when U.S. and Iraqi forces were ramping up operations against insurgents and militants, including al Qaeda, in Iraq.

You might as well read it here, because you sure as hell won't read it there.

Your daily "Whaaaaa?"

Um ... yeah:

The level of discourse from Blogging Tories is much higher, more respectful and tolerant than any of the leftist blogs... but that's not hard to do.

I don't make this stuff up. I don't have to.

Make yourself comfortable ...

... it's worth the read.

The forest and the trees -- more lessons in civility.

And while the wingnut-o-sphere is still yanking themselves into a frenzy over my intemperate remarks, Big City Lib is staying on top of the current brouhaha involving the Human Rights complaint against Free Dominion involving Christian activist and deranged loon Bill Whatcott.

That would, for you newbies, be the same Bill Whatcott who really, really, really wants to put gays in jail for being, well, gay:

I see I will have to start another post soon on the wisdom of criminalizing homosexuality (I refuse to use the term gay as homo-sexuals are not happy).

I'm sure Warren Kinsella will be all over this the instant he sobers up.

And the Lord said, "Yea and verily, break me off a piece of that chocolate lovin'."

Apparently, some of those "morals and virtues" folks are down with the swirl, if you know what I'm sayin':

Coy Privette, a retired Baptist pastor, conservative lawmaker and outspoken advocate for Christian groups, was charged Thursday with paying a prostitute for sex acts.

And the Rev. Privette became aroused, and lo, he unsheathed his divine rod of retribution ... OK, I'll stop now.

Great moments in intellectual, right-wing discourse.

From the comments section:

At Fri Jul 20, 10:56:00 AM EDT, ootpoot said…

If you were Ann Coulter's cousin, would that justify supporting her inflammatory lies about the 9-11 widows?

It is quite apparent from even a quick reading of the Canadian Cynic commentary that he is using a writing style called "satire" to highlight the two-faced obsequieousness of the rightwing's support of Coulter-style rabid attack dog moonbattery.

You seem to have easily slipped into the self-righteous whining "Boo hoo, think of the children" defense that particularly characterises the fundamentalist hypocrites.

Not buying it, JJ.

At Fri Jul 20, 10:58:00 AM EDT, Joanne (True Blue) said…

Ootpoot, you have made a bizarre comparison there with Coulter. It's not even worth addressing.


And just so you all know, I will delete any comment on a whim.

No reason. No apologies. My blog, my rules.

JJ then went on to tell ootpoot that he was ugly, and that he smelled bad.

: At that same post, commenter "Kingston" proffers the following:

I have a suggestion, and I would like to hear other thoughts on it. The vast majority of our little blogging family that we all surf to belong to BT,Liblog, or PBlog. Can we not request the leaders of these three main entities hold a meeting and form some kind of common ground rules that will be adhered to, even to sitting up a non-partisan little disciplinary board to govern the common blogs. i.e. penalties could be, some form of censure such as removal from blog rolls, etc. I think it could be easily setup if Mr.Taylor, Mr. Cherniak, and not sure who runs Pblog were agreeable.

Why, yes, Kingston ... and let's have Canada's conservatives finally decide that it's time to clean up the toxicity of the blogosphere. What a ducky idea.

I'd write more but I'm busy snorting milk out of my nose.

That whole "anonymity" thing -- Part 2.

Back here, one "Patrick Ross" has been on an absolute mission, badgering me incessantly to get me to reveal who I am, as if that would somehow contribute to this discourse in some meaningful way. This leads me to ask the simple question, Patrick: If I told you who I was, what would you do with that information?

What would be the value of that information, Patrick? Would it make my posts suddenly easier to address or refute? Would it allow you to more thoroughly engage me on the field of intellectual combat? What? Because I'll tell you what it would allow.

It would allow people like Celestial Junk's Paul to exercise his rather peculiar notion of "free speech":

Civil society offers us legal remedy via the courts. The Left has fought for this more than any other group ... so, Mr. CC would have to face the very institutions and standards that have largely been advanced by the Left.

In CC case, I doubt that the courts would be necessary ... a simple exercise in free speech by the other side would likely have him groveling like a kitten. But you see, the other side can't exercise their right to free speech unless CC were known. And that, is where he and others like him are operating outside the bounds of civil society.

So, apparently, the "other side" has been utterly unable to respond to me and exercise their right to "free speech" because ... they don't know who I am? Yes, let's ignore the dozens and dozens of comments I've allowed them to leave on my blog, and let's ignore their freedom to have written dozens of posts, expressing their opinion on the subject because, in Paul's opinion, that doesn't qualify as "free speech".

No, in Paul's world, "freedom of speech" must necessarily involve, as you can read above, having the ability to make me "grovel like a kitten." So let's strip the veneer of civility off of this discussion, shall we, Mr. Ross? Because, quite simply, for Paul (and a frightening number of people just like him), the only definition of "free speech" that means anything to them would be the freedom to learn who I am so they can take it from there.

That "freedom" would undoubtedly involve harassing me incessantly, leaving threatening messages on my answering machine, maybe vandalizing my car and, hey, probably just plain tracking me down to physically assault me. Don't believe me? Then explain what Paul could possibly mean when he writes that he and others can't exercise their right to "free speech" until they find out who I am.

You think I exaggerate? Not even a little bit. And there is, at that comments section of Paul's, this comment directly underneath the one I quoted:

Ah, but Paul - someone out there knows who CC is. An ego like his is unable to keep silent. All it takes is one of his entourage to let slip the information.... And that shouldn't be hard. An offensive individual like that is bound to seriously annoy someone close to him, annoy enough to provoke creative retaliation. Unless, of course, CC has no friends at all, and is shunned by his family, always a possibility.

One thing few people realise is that no one is truly anonymous on the internet. A good techie could track CC down. Anyone out there want to give it a shot?

Anonymous | 07.20.07 - 7:09 pm

And the point of "tracking me down" would be ... what, exactly? To personally engage me in witty, intellectual banter? I think not.

These people have had unfettered freedom to exercise their "freedom of speech" every which way from now to Sunday but, apparently, there's something they can't quite do until they find out my true identity. Now what could that be, Patrick? Hmmmmm? What could that possibly be? Think hard ... given time, I'm sure it will come to you eventually.

So how about you put away that childish attitude, Patrick, where you keep challenging my "courage" for choosing to remain anonymous. I have my reasons. Now it remains to be seen whether you're too fucking stupid to finally realize what they are.

The Wanda Watkins saga: The family members.

I just noticed that, deep in the comments section of the article that started all this, there are some recent comments from a "Monica" who claims to be a cousin of the aforementioned Ms. Watkins (and I have no reason not to believe her), and I'm going to address some of what she writes in two parts.

First, Monica accuses me of something I didn't do:

Additionally, your sarcastic apology and suggestion that my cousin is "enjoying the death of her son immensely" is disgusting.

I never said that, Monica. What I wrote was:

Yes, from the comments section back here, it would appear that, at long last, I have no sense of decency left at all and, upon reflection, the majority of commenters would seem to have a point.

It was, I admit, beyond the bounds of decorum to have told grieving mother and convenient neo-con propaganda mouthpiece Wanda Watkins to fuck right off. Instead, I should have suggested that she was merely enjoying the death of her son immensely, since that would have been the right wing thing to do.

As you noted, Monica, that was sarcasm, and was meant to highlight the difference between what I wrote, and what was written about the 9/11 widows. I was drawing a (perhaps badly-phrased) analogy to show that the same people who were climbing all over me for my alleged callousness had no problem whatsoever with the far worse, mocking cruelty of people like Ann Coulter. I was demonstrating the inherent hypocrisy, nothing more. But here's the second part.

Monica also writes:

I have a B.A. in "political science" and a Masters Degree in "gender and peacebuilding" from the United Nations mandated University for Peace.

It occurs to me that someone with those qualifications doesn't deserve to be buried 55 comments down in a days-old article here, so I'm inviting Monica to write an article which I'll post at this blog, verbatim. (I reserve the right to follow up with a comment to disagree with what I feel are simple inaccuracies but, other than that, I promise to post, front and centre, whatever she wants to write, unedited, in its entirety.)

And, as an added bonus, now that the Canadian shriek-o-sphere has agreed that they wouldn't touch this blog with Ann Coulter's dick, perhaps we can even have a reasoned, nuanced and thoughtful discussion for a change. If you're interested, Monica, drop me a note at the e-mail address to your right. I'm guessing my regular readers would also be interested in what you have to say.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Great moments in journamalism.

Apparently, that "free speech" is devilishly tricky stuff.

Shorter "Celestial Junk": "I'm a big fan of free speech. Except for CC."

Yes, let's talk about "hate speech," shall we?

Given that my original post back here inspired the following, rather deranged comment:

What you have written is "hate speech" pure and simple and I am going to notify the proper authorities in the morning.

I think I'll be keeping a close eye on this. And if some people pay attention, maybe they'll be able to tell the difference when it's all over.

We should be so lucky.

Dear wanks: How's that "surge" coming?

Ooooooooh ... not so well (emphasis added):

If the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq is reversed before the summer of 2008, the military will risk giving up the security gains it has achieved at a cost of hundreds of American lives over the past six months, the commander of U.S. forces south of Baghdad said Friday.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, mentioned none of the proposals in Congress for beginning to withdraw U.S. troops as soon as this fall. But he made clear in an interview that in his area of responsibility south of Baghdad, it will take many more months to consolidate recent gains.

"It's going to take through (this) summer, into the fall, to defeat the extremists in my battle space, and it's going to take me into next spring and summer to generate this sustained security presence," he said, referring to an Iraqi capability to hold gains made by U.S. forces.

Another Friedman or two. Just be patient. They're working on it.