Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The only sentence you need to read.

"In recent years, the politicization of science by the left has become a serious problem."

All life is equal ...

... but some life is more equal than others, apparently.

Try as I might, I couldn't resist pointing out this, in which our good buddy and uber-Christian Jinx/Jason gives us a heart-wrenching, "uplifting" update on abuse survivor Haleigh Poutre who state officials wanted to remove from life support.

Curiously, Jason's heartfelt compassionate conservatism didn't seem to extend to one Sun Hudson, a six-month-old baby who was removed from life support against his mother's wishes. And why wasn't Jason all that concerned about Hudson?

Well, here's Haleigh Poutre. And here's Sun Hudson. Any questions?

"CULTURE OF LIFE," INDEED. If you (by some fluke of the universe) needed even more evidence of the pathetic hypocrisy of the Jesus freaks, you really need look no further than the differences in their treatment of, as I've written here, Terri Schiavo and Sun Hudson.

In the case of Schiavo, despite the fact that numerous doctors had testified that there was no chance of her ever regaining consciousness, there was an overwhelming hue and cry from the freak show about how Schiavo's condition wasn't terminal, how there was always a possibility she might recover and what the fuck did all those doctors know anyway, bunch of ignorant wanks, the lot of them. And besides (and here's the positively best part) pulling life support was nothing short of murder. That's right. Murder. No ifs, ands or buts.

But when it came to Sun Hudson? Ah, no big deal. The general prognosis for his condition is that it's only a matter of time because, you know, that's what the doctors say and if you can't trust those doctors, who can you trust, right? I mean, they know best.

But none of that explains how what used to so clearly be murder -- pulling the plug and withholding life support -- suddenly wasn't murder any more, was it? Heck, no. In fact, it wasn't even worth working up a sweat over, was it? That is, until the next time it involves a white Christian.

Then, suddenly, it's going to be equivalent to murder all over again. Funny how that works, isn't it?

AND THE DEFENSE RESTS: Not surprisingly, Jason tap dances up a storm over here about how these two cases are, like, totally different but I want you to read only the first half of the first sentence of his post:

CanadianCynic is trying to take me to task for saying nothing about Sun Hudson, ...

Exactly. Jason said nothing about Hudson. Ever. Remember, Jason and his hypocritical brethren were going absolutely ballistic over Terri Schiavo, weeping, wailing, beating their breasts ... oh, it was quite the Jesus freak show, wasn't it?

And their reaction to Sun Hudson? As Jason so aptly admitted, "nothing." Even if one allowed them to split hairs, it would still have been nice to read that they cared, that they sympathized, that perhaps they were praying for Hudson or something like that.

Instead, all we read was how those two cases were not the same, and that Hudson didn't count. It was, quite simply, an exercise in technicalities for those ghouls, and nothing more. Terri mattered, and Sun didn't. And that's where it ended.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Why do the troops hate the troops?

Apparently, 72% of U.S. troops in Iraq want to cut and run. Why do those troops hate America?

Come on, baby! Holden needs another pony!

It wasn't even that long ago that First Draft's "Holden" was earning himself a pony when Commander Chimpy's popularity dipped below 40%.

But now, with the Chimpster's ratings in freefall and now at 34%, are we looking at the frightening possibility of Peak Pony?

UPDATE: Speaking of Holden and his pony ...

The universe works in mysterious ways.

The newest candidate for "fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth." And, amusingly, his name happens to be "Jason." This is when you know the universe is having some fun with you.

P.S. If you read that piece at KFM and substitute "religion" for "movies" everywhere, the similarity positively makes your skin crawl, doesn't it? In a "fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth" kind of way.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Oh, no. Not again.

The invaluable Dan Froomkin:

"As with the controversy over the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, insiders say Bush today resents anyone raising questions about his effectiveness in protecting national security.

" 'He's angry that he's being challenged, and it's affecting his judgment again,' says a Republican strategist who advised a previous GOP president."

Identifying the overwhelming irony is left as an exercise for the reader.

It works both ways, Bill.

The wisdom of Bill O'Falafel:

They've got all kinds of Muslim crazies up in Canada running around.

Sure, Bill. But we balance that out with the whackjob, fundamentalist Christian crazies. You can have them all, but only as a package deal.

To absurdity ... and beyond!

Shorter Sheila Wray Gregoire: "And what if pigs had wings? Why, I bet they really could fly."

Likes long walks, sunsets, cuddling ...

You better hope to God this is a joke.

Stories of the disappeared.

As the Tragically Hip once lamented, "No one's interested in something you didn't do."

So you think you know the Bible, do you?

Why not see how smart you really are?

Looking on the bright side of sectarian violence.

Oh, come on ... that whole "civil war is a bad thing" is just so last month.

It's Miller time in America.

And for every awe-inspiring, Olympic success story like Canada's Cindy Klassen, we have the sheer assholitude of complete prats like the U.S.'s Bode Miller.

Nationalistic? Who, me?

P.S. And over at Tom Watson's blog, one of the commenters introduces us to the anti-Bode.

Joe Klein. Hacktacular.

If the image of "journalist" Joe Klein fellating Dick Cheney is more than you can handle, you really shouldn't read this. I warned you.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The strength of their convictions. Not.

Now, this is why I'm generally not interested in getting into protracted discussions about actual theology with Bible-pounding, Christian fundamentalists. Even as Jinx/Jason is getting his ass handed to him back here (having not even provided a basic definition of that which he wishes to defend), he still has time to be sanctimonious and condescendingly snarky over here.

That's right -- even as Jinx is getting smacked down intellectually and theologically, he nominates the very people doing the smacking as "Screwballs of the Month." I guess it beats trying to engage in actual conversation.

Another one bites the blogroll.

If you haven't yet discovered "Liberal Catnip," you don't know what you're missing.

When life imitates art, part 4,826.

Why does this sound so eerily familiar?

Q You're not in denial here? I mean, the President has got his lowest job approval ratings in his presidency. Do you not acknowledge that that's not, as Secretary Rumsfeld would say, not exactly helpful to Republicans?

MR. [SCOTT] McCLELLAN: We have a proud record of accomplishment and a positive agenda for the future. And we look forward to continuing to talk about it.

Q -- the public doesn't agree with --

MR. McCLELLAN: I mean, you can get caught up in polls; we don't. Polls are snapshots in time. The President is someone who is --

Q It's quite a snapshot --

MR. McCLELLAN: But let me mention -- let's look at the facts. The President is a strong leader who addresses big challenges and who thinks long-term. That's what the American people want, someone who's going to go after the big issues facing this country, and the issues that the American people care most about, and solve those challenges.

Ah, now I remember:

[Ian's office]
Marty: The last time Tap toured America, they were, uh, booked into 10,000 seat arenas, and 15,000 seat venues, and it seems that now, on the current tour they're being booked into 1,200 seat arenas, 1,500 seat arenas, and uh I was just wondering, does this mean uh...the popularity of the group is waning?

Ian: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no...no, no, not at all. I, I, I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.

You know your career has pretty much tanked when you've become a parody of a parody movie.

GOP corruption! Get your program here!

How do you expect to keep up with Republican corruption without a program? Thank God none of it involved a blowjob. That would have been awful.

Watching America -- it's a filthy job but SOMEONE has to do it.

Following up on a personal e-mail from a few days back (and, yes, I do get around to e-mail when time permits ... and I feel like it ... and you're not a dick), we have a pointer to a web site that's just a bit different.

"Watching America", according to co-founder Robin Koerner, "translates foreign news about the U.S., to enable Americans (and all English speakers) to read what is being written about them and their country throughout the world."

I'm assuming Koerner and his colleagues first filter out the obscenities. Or not.

BONUS TRACK: The Christian Science Monitor takes notice.

Don't worry! Homeland Security is on the job!

Are these people prepared or what?

While an initial lab test showed the substance discovered Thursday was ricin, two other tests did not, he said.

It's ricin! No, it's not! Best three out of five?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Open thread.

Because making the world safe for rational discourse is hard.

And the list of the clueless just gets longer.

It's like you can't even keep up with the cluelessness anymore. In addition to Commander Chimpy, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Peter Pace and Treasury Secretary John Snow not knowing about the Dubai port management deal, now we have, of all people, Homeland Security Secretary Micheal Chertoff professing ignorance:

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was not aware a Dubai-owned company was seeking to operate terminals in six U.S. ports and that his agency was leading the review until after the deal's approval, an administration official said yesterday.

So who the fuck knew about this before it happened? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

It's OK if you're a wanker, I guess.

A much shorter Glenn Greenwald:

Howard Dean: "We've lost the war in Iraq."

Wankerville: "Traitor! Traitor! America-hating, terrorist-loving, traitor! Prosecute, revile, hang!! TRAITOR!!"

William F. Buckley
: "We've lost the war in Iraq."

Wankerville: ... crickets ...

I'm sure you're shocked.

It's called an "analogy." Deal with it.

There's an interesting attitude prevalent among the devout that, if you're not a Christian -- that is, if you don't actually believe in Christianity -- then you can't possibly be qualified to pass judgment on it.

By the same token then, perhaps those folks who don't actually believe in biological evolution should just shut the hell up from criticizing it. I'm just saying.

"You're going the wrong way!"

"How would he know where we're going?"

Sept, 2005 ...

The number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help has dropped from three to one, ...

Feb, 2006:

The number of Iraqi army battalions judged by their American trainers to be capable of fighting insurgents without U.S. help has fallen from one to none since September, Pentagon officials said yesterday.

Look on the bright side -- it can't get any worse, can it?

Dear Jinx: Here's your chance to shine.

Back here, you can see the classic example of what passes for intellectual discourse with one Jason/"Jinx McHue:"

Someone: [Well-reasoned and comprehensive argument.]

Jinx: Well, you're just ignorant, that's all.

Apparently, your humble correspondent (uh, that would be me) is just, like, totally ignorant of things theological such as the concept of Biblical innerancy and stuff like that. Apparently, in Jinx's world, being a Christian means he is the de facto expert on things Christian, while those of us who are not cannot possibly have anything to say on the subject.

(This attitude is especially amusing since Christians in the United States are, as a lot, stupefying ignorant of even the basics of Christianity. And we're not talking deep, philosophical issues -- we're talking that they barely know half of the Ten Commandments, simple stuff like that.)

So, against my better judgment, I'm going to invite Jinx to enlighten us all on Biblical innerancy and how, by whatever definition he chooses to defend, none of this constitutes errors, discrepancies or contradictions. But there will be rules.

As regular readers have already noticed, Jinx has a nasty habit of making claims, being called on them, refusing to address those criticisms and storming off in a huff, spewing ignorant epithets all the way. So here's what's going to happen.

I'm inviting Jinx to explain what he means by "Biblical inerrancy." If he does so by actually addressing the issue, I'll allow the conversation to continue. The instant he tries to tap dance his way around the issue or avoids the subject at hand, the dialogue is over.

Jinx (and other Bible-pounding wanks like him) love to don the mantle of Christian martyrdom, and bitch and whine about how they're being "censored" by bloggers who, finally fed up with their sanctimonious stupidity, simply start deleting their comments. Well, now's his chance.

I'm officially inviting Jinx to submit here, as long as he addresses the issue, and only if he addresses the issue. Now we'll see if Jinx is actually capable of intellectual discourse, or if he's just a typical Christian blowhard. Place your bets.

Jinx, the ball is in your court.

BY THE WAY, one common apologetic to dismiss obvious contradictions between the Old and New Testaments is to claim that the rules in the NT somehow supersede those in the OT. People trying this strategy will generally point to NT passages like this:

Matthew 5:38-39: "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

to bolster their claim that Jesus is obviously rewriting the rules. Sadly, that flies in the face of verses earlier in that same chapter:

Matthew 5:17-19: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

In short, Christians try to explain away numerous discrepancies in Scripture with a strategy that is, in fact, contradicted by Scripture. You have to love the irony.

The Bush clan, and the dumbing down of America.

A few people have been linking back to this 2003 piece from the Washington Post to point out, in the wake of "Portgate," the connections of Bush sibling Neil to the United Arab Emirates. But that's not the part I find so entertaining.

Me, I like Neil Bush's approach to education which, because of the apparent need for free registration, I have reproduced in full.

It was the spring of 2002 and [Neil] Bush was speaking about education at Whitney High School in Cerritos, Calif., considered one of the best public schools in America. He was touting Ignite!, which was being tested there. In the audience was writer Edward Humes, taking notes for his book on Whitney, "School of Dreams," published last summer.

Ignite! is designed, Bush said, to make learning fun for "hunter-warrior" kids who don't like reading. It's a computer curriculum that uses music, graphics and animation to teach middle school kids.

The program's first course -- eighth-grade American history -- was tested over the last two years in schools in a dozen states. Available commercially for the first time this year, it is being used by about 40,000 students in 120 school districts, mostly in Texas, at a cost of about $30 per pupil.

One school that uses Ignite! is Mendez Middle, a predominantly poor and Hispanic school in Austin. After three years of using the program, says Principal Connie Barr, the number of students who passed the state's eighth-grade history test has risen from 50 percent to 87 percent. "That's incredible," says Barr. "It doesn't replace the teacher or the textbook. What it does is give the teacher another way to deliver the information."

However, Ignite! has been attacked by other educators for dumbing down history. Among its controversial aspects is a lesson that depicts the Seminole Wars in a cartoon football game -- "the Jacksons vs. the Seminoles" -- the animated Indians smashing helmets with animated white settlers. The Constitutional Convention is taught in a rap song:

It was 55 delegates from 12 states

Took one hot Philadelphia summer to create

A perfect document for their imperfect times

Franklin, Madison, Washington -- a lot of the cats

Who used to be in the Continental Congress way back

Ignite! is working well, Bush wrote in an e-mail: "Teachers and students have given anecdotal feedback that confirms the powerful impact our program is having on student achievement, student focus and attitudes, and teacher success in reaching all of their students."

But at Whitney reviews were less laudatory. "The kids felt pretty strongly that what this was about was lowering the bar," says Humes.

Humes wasn't impressed, either. "There was a lot of rhyming and games," he says. "It reminded me of what my son uses -- but he's in kindergarten."

When Bush spoke at Whitney, several students began arguing with him.

"He was very surprised," Humes recalls. "You had to see the look on his face when one young woman got up and said she liked calculus. He said it was useless. This is the branch of mathematics that makes space travel possible, and he said it was useless."

So how can this come as any surprise?

FOX News and CNN officially on the side of the terrorists now.

So it wasn't that long ago that civil war in Iraq was a bad thing and was what the insurgents wanted:

"As Iraqis prepare to vote on their constitution in October and elect a permanent government in December, we must be prepared for more violence," [Bush] cautioned, adding that extremists sought "to set off a civil war."

Well, look who's all rah-rah for that civil war thing now.

"Munich in America." Your homework reading assignment.

For those of you who are capable of deep thought, Rolf at Jamonation recomments this piece over at TruthOut: "It’s Munich In America. There Will Be No Normandy."

For those of you who are not such deep thinkers, well, you keep trying to figure out how many angels can fit on the head of that pin.

THE BEST PART: I particularly like this bit of the article:

The truth is, there is a government in office which seeks such complete power and dominance that even some conservatives have started to notice. Too blind to see the true intentions of this bunch, they can at least figure out that an imperial presidency created by George Bush might one day be inherited by Hillary Clinton (complete with her plans for a revolutionary dope-smoking lesbian Marxist state and global UN domination, enforced by an armada of black helicopters), so now even these fools are getting nervous about where this goes.

Yes, there is a delightful hypocrisy here, isn't there? The same neo-con hacks who are adamant that George Bush as president has absolutely unfettered power as the unitary executive would absolutely start bleeding from the eyes if President Hillary Clinton were given that same authority. You know that all of those wanks would suddenly have their "road to Damascus" moment and start howling about the necessity for congressional oversight, don't you?

It's not even a challenge to dissect neo-con thinking any more. You just assume they're thoroughly unprincipled douchebags, and everything else just follows naturally.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Onward, Christian martyrs.

Jeff Shallit reports on a Christian whiner who seems to think it constitutes religious discrimination if the world doesn't revolve around her. You can read the whole thing for yourself and follow the links, but here's the part I find the most entertaining:

In an isolated e-mail, another UBC student said of a prominent Christian politician that he made him “recall fondly a time-period when Christians were stoned.”

Excuse me? Another student, in an unrelated e-mail, takes a whack at someone's religion, and this constitutes discrimination? Are you serious?

So does it constitute discrimination if I suggest that way too many Christians are a bunch of whiny-ass titty babies? Or do I still have the right to free speech?

Dear Andrew: Try to keep up.

Boy, you just can't put anything over on Andrew Sullivan, oh no. Andy's shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- by breathtaking, stunning evidence that then-Sec Def Donald Rumsfeld just made up shit about Iraq's involvement in 9/11. Shocked, I say. (Did I mention he was shocked?)

Of course, as Matthew Yglesias points out here, everyone else has known about this for years since everyone else isn't, well, as dense as Andrew.

Coming soon: Andy's heart-pounding scoop on someone named "Monica Lewinsky." Can you stand the suspense?

Well, who didn't see THIS coming?

Shorter U.S. ambassador to Iraq: "Hey, you know we hate to bomb and run but you know how it is: so many countries to invade, so little time. Let us know how that insurgency thing works out."

, we had this:

"As Iraqis prepare to vote on their constitution in October and elect a permanent government in December, we must be prepared for more violence," [Bush] cautioned, adding that extremists sought "to set off a civil war."

So it's not like this imminent civil war should come as any surprise, should it? It's not as if the Bush administration can claim to have been blind-sided by this, can they?

Just watch them try, anyway.

Paul speaks. You listen.

When Paul Krugman puts pen to paper, it's generally a good idea to pay attention.

Apparently, the buck always stops somewhere else.

So ... Commander Chimpy didn't know about the port outsourcing deal; neither did Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld nor Chairman of the JCS Peter Pace. And now it's Treasury Secretary John Snow's "Deal? What deal?" moment.

Apparently, this whole process was investigated, approved and finalized by Carlos, the stockroom boy. Now that's empowerment.

Beware the Unitarian Jihad!

Via Jamonation, we have the attack of the Unitarian Jihad!

Civil war? WHAT civil war?

Apparently, some people still haven't moved on from that "going to be a cakewalk" mentality.

"Biblical contradictions? Surely, you jest."

From dim memory, I recall the story of a writing instructor who, more frequently than he would have imagined, had to explain to his students the concept of continuity and contradiction. On numerous occasions, he would sit down with a student and have to explain how that student had totally contradicted himself (or herself) in the space of a short essay.

"See," the instructor would say, "back here, early on, you said this, but now, you're saying this, which is the complete opposite."

"But," the student would invariably respond, utterly confused about what the problem was, "that was back then and this is now."

In other words, it's not that the student was being obstinate about it -- that student truly didn't understand the concept of defending some fundamental principle in their work, and not simply abandoning it later when it became convenient. Or something like that.

Sadly, you'll find the same principle at work when you try to discuss Biblical "contradictions" with the unthinkingly devout since, in their minds, such things just do not exist. Contradictions in the Bible? Laughable. Unthinkable. Preposterous.

Not surprisingly, Scriptural contradictions abound, as you can see in this small sampling here. Some of the contradictions have deep philosophical implications. Are we allowed to kill or not? What's the Scriptural position on stealing or lying? What about idolatry? Slavery? Rape?

Other contradictions are far more amusingly obvious. How old was Ahazian when he began to reign? How many animals were taken onto the Ark? How many stalls for horses did Solomon have? And so on.

With respect to the first category, if you present any of them to the devout, you're almost certainly letting yourself in for a long, tedious, mind-numbing presentation of Christian apologetics, in which perfectly normal words are twisted and re-defined out of recognition so that, for example, abortion is unacceptable murder while capital punishment is, like, totally all right and everything.

With contradictions of the second form, though, weird things start to happen as the devout, quite simply, will frequently just not understand what your point is. "Look," you say, "here it says Solomon had four thousand stalls, and here it says forty thousand stalls. Isn't that a contradiction?"

"No," they'll say, "it isn't. I don't know what your problem is." It's not that they're being deliberately obtuse -- it's that, believe it or not, they really don't see the discrepancy.

What's happening here is that, for these believers, the Bible is defined -- at its core -- as the literal and innerant word of God. Put another way, by definition, the Bible cannot contain any contradictions. What this means is that, regardless of how blatant and obvious a discrepancy you find in Scripture, it will be explained away, not so much by dodging, weaving and redefinition, but by simply saying, "That's not possible, the Bible does not contain contradictions."

These people will follow your finger to the verses and they will read the words, but they literally do not see the problem because Biblical contradictions are just not possible in their universe. It really is that simple, and it's why arguing with these people is about as productive as trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. It's just not worth the trouble.

Not surprisingly, the denial of Biblical contradictions can be ever so embarrassing at times, like at this blog, which advertises the Biblical verse:

The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. -- Ecc. 10:2

Apparently, poor Jinx never read far enough to run into this passage:

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[a] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

No big deal, though. I'm sure Jinx would be happy to explain that apparent discrepancy away. On his own blog, of course.

AFTERSNARK: One of my favourite examples of the overwhelming hypocrisy of Christians is their annoying insistence on public prayer, despite the fact that public displays of worship were clearly discouraged by Jesus.

So, first you point those believers at the relevant passages from Scripture. Then you tell them to shut the fuck up. The order here is important.

Man, I wish my job was this easy.

Shorter Tom Blackwell: "Well, OK, by 'Canadian scientists' I really mean an infinitesimally small 'handful' -- rounding error, actually -- of ignorant, Bible-inspired loons, some of whom are technically engineers which means they don't really qualify as 'scientists' but I have to pad these numbers somehow and, journalistically speaking, it would have been great to have presented a dissenting view to all of this but I just hit my word limit and don't you hate it when that happens?"

Let me explain "out of context" one more time.

OK, here's how it works. If you claim that you've been quoted "out of context," what that means is that you have the right to go back and add that missing context to what was already disclosed, in order to show that that additional context changes the fundamental meaning.

It does not mean that you get to go back and completely redefine what was originally said. Do we finally understand one another?

"Jon Stewart? Never heard of him. Why?"

Apparently, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich isn't exactly 10 pounds of hipness in a five-pound bag.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Intelligent design" comes to Canada.

Oh, yawn. I'm not sure I even have the energy to ridicule these people. Just give me some time to crank up a little outrage.

Plus ca change ... yadda yadda yadda.

Oh, Jesus:

The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion. A much more senior Iraqi interlocutor (a widely experienced Iraqi-American lawyer) became so exasperated with the young man's audacity that he finally challenged him:

``You must have thoroughly studied the history of the British occupation of Iraq.''

``Yes, I did,'' the young American replied proudly.

``I thought so,'' said the Iraqi, ``because you seem determined to repeat every one of their mistakes.''

What is it with this Republican affinity for really, really stupid 24-year-olds?

Gangway! Compassionate conservatism coming through!

Men behaving badly:

Setting up South Dakota to become the first state in 14 years to start a direct legal attack on Roe v. Wade, lawmakers voted on Wednesday to outlaw nearly all abortions...

After more than an hour of fierce and emotional debate, the senators rejected pleas to add exceptions for incest or rape or for the health of the pregnant woman and instead voted, 23 to 12, to outlaw all abortions, except those to save the woman's life.

They then went home and slapped around their wives.

Dear readers: Please ignore "Jeff."

As I have already described earlier, I am not accepting any more comments from one "Jeff" who, in the course of about a day, managed to act like enough of a dick to get himself banned from this blog. (By "banned," I just mean that I will methodically delete any further comments he leaves here but, in the interests of fairness, I'm leaving his earlier ones that folks have already responded to. But all future comments will be removed.)

Jeff will, of course, whine about "censorship," to which I can only respond with the best comeback I've ever read on the topic, from BitchPhD:

Comments are great; obnoxious comments get deleted. Deal.

You don't get banned from this blog for being disagreeable. You get banned for being a dick. And as for Jeff -- feel free to get your own blog. And a dog.

Now THERE'S irony.

With respect to the whole U.S. port management outsourcing dust-up, it's more than a little amusing to note that the same GOPers who are turning on the White House and demanding that their concerns be heard are, for the most part, the same hypocritical wanks who were adamant -- adamant, I tell you -- that Congress had absolutely no authority to second-guess the administration on the matter of domestic spying and that presidential power gave Bush all the authority he needed to do whatever he wanted, Congress or no Congress.

So I ask you -- are these people stupid, or do they just have embarrassingly short memories? No, wait ... I don't really want to know after all. Sorry I asked.

, Glenn Greenwald makes much the same point here, albeit far more eloquently.

When lunatic Republicans turn on one another.

Oooooooh ... smackdown! I'm betting Sue won't be getting a White House Christmas fruitcake this year.

Politics Watch: Just off the turnip truck, I see.

Liberal Canuck blogger "catnip" reports here on the Canadian blog "Politics Watch," who apparently haven't quite figured out that whole "Internets" thing since the bottom of their home page reads (in part, emphasis added):

Republication or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc.

Dear Politics Watch: Bite me, OK? (I am, of course, just playing into their hands, aren't I?)

Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder ...

Jeuss, you know things have gotten out of hand when Tom DeLay comes across as the voice of reason. (Via Atrios.)

AFTERSNARK: I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. From today's NY Times,

Panel Saw No Security Issue in Port Contract, Officials Say

The Bush administration decided last month that a deal to hand over operations at major American ports to a government-owned company in Dubai did not involve national security and so did not require a more lengthy review, administration officials said Wednesday.

So, let's recap, shall we? Apparently, it's critically important that the administration violate the U.S. Constitution to keep tabs on those dangerous, terrorist-loving, America-hating Catholics and vegans. Oh, and Quakers. Don't forget those treacherous Quakers.

But outsourcing port management to a company owned by a foreign country with a long history of supporting terrorist activities? Apparently, no big national security issue there.

You just cannot make this stuff up, can you?

BY THE WAY, the latest talking point from Wingnuttia is that any opposition to this deal is clearly racist since it involves a foreign company. Let's be clear -- this is not a foreign company, this is a company owned by a foreign government. There's a difference and if you can't understand that difference, you really are too stupid to be having this conversation. (Media Matters hammers home that point here.)

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: In all fairness, as Dave explains over at TGB, it's quite possible that, when you finally dig down into this whole port management outsourcing thing, it's not as horrendous a development as it first appeared to be.

But there's no way to escape the simple fact that the optics are just horrible, and the administration's absolute insistence that the deal go through is what's putting most people on edge, to the point where they're not even willing to think rationally about it anymore. Quite simply, the administration is saying "Trust us on this one," to which most folks are responding, "Fuck, no. Not again."

In any event, there's still some serious strangeness about this whole deal. Josh Marshall explains some of it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Get your (civil) war on.

And so it begins. Luckily, none of this will be the fault of the Bush administration, given those wonderfully convenient recent elections that will make it possible to dump all of the blame back in the lap of the Iraqis.

What luck, eh?

Dear "Jeff": Buh bye.

Not sure who new commenter "Jeff" is, but he's just been banned as well, and for no other reason than just being too stupid to live.

When it comes to outsourcing port security, it's all about the money.

It's all about the money. In fact, I'll go out on the edge and challenge anyone to find a single example of White House policy over the last five years that didn't have, at its core, the personal enrichment of George Bush or his cronies.

One example. Just give me one.

"Um .. Dubai? Never heard of it? Why?"

It's officially gone beyond comedy and has descended into pure farce. Recall from here that Commander Chimpy never heard of the port outsourcing deal that he's so adamantly defending:

Bush was unaware of the deal until he heard reports of the congressional uproar, presidential adviser Dan Bartlett told CNN.

And now we find that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also had no clue what was going on:

RUMSFELD: I am reluctant to make judgments based on the minimal amount of information I have because I just heard about this over the weekend.

And the same apparently holds for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace. The phrase "fucked up" doesn't begin to do this justice.

Man, I can't wait for the next press gaggle here to see what the press corps does to Li'l Scottie, if he even has the nerve to show up.

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

Hands up, whoever didn't see this coming:

U.S. reopens abortion debate

Newly reshaped by two conservative appointees, the U.S. Supreme Court plunged into the politically charged abortion debate yesterday, announcing it would review the controversial issue of so-called partial-birth abortions.

And was there even a suitable period of mourning for womens' rights in America?

The announcement was made on Justice Alito's first day on the bench, three weeks after the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination.


On the brighter side, Democrats in the U.S. have vowed that, if President Bush nominates another Supreme Court justice, well, by gosh, this time they're going to ask some really, really, really hard questions, before they vote for confirmation.

Really hard. They promise.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

And you thought Cheney shooting a guy in the face was callous?

Shorter George Bush: "Those 3,000 people who died during 9/11? Fuck 'em."

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT HAVE CHANGED. One of the more amusing defenses from the Bush administration of the port outsourcing deal (emphasis added):

“After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward,” Bush told reporters who had traveled with him on Air Force One to Washington. “I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company.

See how that works? If you have a problem with this deal, it's up to you to step up and make your case.

Those of you with functioning brain stems probably still remember how things were different once upon a time with respect to Iraq, Saddam, WMDs and Al-Qaeda. See, back then, if you suggested that there was no evidence that Saddam had WMDs, the immediate response was that, well, there was no evidence that he didn't. So there. (Ignore the logical absurdity of trying to prove the non-existence of WMDs -- it was still your problem.)

If you pointed out that there was no proof of a link between Saddam and 9/11, well, there was no proof that there wasn't a link, was there? And does Jinx McHue commit incest with his two pre-school children? Well, admittedly I can't prove it but, then again, he can't prove he doesn't, can he? And on and on and tediously on.

But now ... woo hoo! Things sure have changed, haven't they, with critics of the administration being told that it's now their job to produce the smoking gun, as it were. And if the Bush administration claims that you can't prove a link between the UAE and terrorism, and you were to claim that, well, you can't prove there isn't one either, well, by gosh, you just know you'd get laughed out of the building by the same wanks who were absolutely sincere and dead serious when they used that very same argument not that long ago.

Logic and the Bush administration. Never a dull moment.

ALMOST FUNNY: You know, a couple weeks ago, this would have been knee-slappingly hysterical. But now ...

The jaw-dropping line of the day.

With respect to the outsourcing of management of several American seaports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, we have:

Bush was unaware of the deal until he heard reports of the congressional uproar, presidential adviser Dan Bartlett said.

Apparently, you just don't disturb the prez when he's clearing brush.

"Startling" breakthroughs: They're the new terror alert.

Tanking polls, Constitutional scandals, outrageously corrupt party members, ... what's a sitting U.S. president to do? Hey ... bright shiny thing!

Saying the country is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would "startle" most Americans, President George W. Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.

And why is this so incredibly important?

Less than half the crude oil used by refineries is produced in the United States, while 60 per cent comes from foreign countries, Bush said during the first stop on a two-day trip to talk about energy.

Um ... right. And we all know how concerned Commander Chimpy is with the U.S.'s dependence on foreign oil, don't we?

Cue traditional media dutifully falling into line and repeating White House spin. My God, it almost makes you wish for coverage of a missing white woman, doesn't it?

, no political motivations here, no way. From that original article:

On Tuesday, Bush plans to visit the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., to talk about speeding the development of biofuels.

Yeah ... about that NREL:

On the eve of a presidential visit to a renewable energy lab in Colorado, the Department of Energy said it has transferred $5 million to the operation, which had funding cut and employees laid off this month due to budget shortfalls.

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman transferred the money over the weekend to restore jobs at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, according to a department news release.

Just a coincidence. Yeah, that's the ticket. Just a coincidence.

It's a "truthiness" thing, you know.

See, it's not whether it's true -- it's whether you think it's true:

RadioShack Corp.'s embattled president and chief executive, David Edmondson, resigned Monday following questions about the accuracy of his resume...

The Fort Worth company said last week that it would hire outside lawyers to investigate errors in Edmondson's resume, including claims that he earned two college degrees for which the school he attended has no records...

Edmondson, 46, joined RadioShack in 1994 and has been CEO since May. He said Wednesday he believes that he received a theology diploma called a ThG, but not the four-year bachelor of science degree listed on his resume. He added that he cannot document the ThG diploma...

Ah, the power of belief. In that case, I believe I am the sexiest man alive. (Pause.) Darn!

American religious dumbfuckery comes to town.

Via a link from Alison over at Creekside, we learn that it took no time at all for the fundamentalist nutbars from Focus on the Family Canada to start promoting the idiocy of creation science evangelist Kent "Dr. Dino" Hovind here.

I'm pretty sure that piece tells you all you need to know about the intellectual level of the FOTF folks when they can't even spell the guy's name correctly (it's "Kent," not "Ken"). And, no, I'm not going to disembowel Hovind slowly and lovingly -- much smarter people than me have already done that.

I have nothing to add.

: Note that Kent Hovind is not just another ignorant huckster for Intelligent Design. Rather, Hovind is a strict, young-earth, Biblical creationist, which is quite an amazing thing these days.

While you might think that the ID folks are a bunch of reprehensible sleazebags (and you would, of course, be correct), they at least have made peace with things like a very old earth and the fact that biological evolution has occurred.

Not so Hovind, who blatantly rejects all of that sciency stuff for an absolutely literal reading of Holy Scripture. Under the circumstances, it's not clear that you can even have a conversation with the man or his groupies, given how little they know about anything related to science.

It's not clear that there's anything you can do about Hovind, but it's useful to remember that the FOTF seems to like his stuff, which tells you everything you need to know about how stupid they are.

When life (sadly) imitates art.

Does any of this sound eerily familiar?

US lags in propaganda war: Rumsfeld

The United States lags dangerously behind al Qaeda and other enemies in getting out information in the digital media age and must update its old-fashioned methods, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday...

The Pentagon's propaganda machine still operates mostly eight hours a day, five days a week while the challenges it faces occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rumsfeld called that a "dangerous deficiency."

Ah, yes ... it's coming back to me ...

Gen. "Buck" Turgidson: I think it would be extremely naive of us, Mr. President, to imagine that these new developments are going to cause any change in Soviet expansionist policy. I mean, we must be increasingly on the alert to prevent them from taking over other mineshaft space, in order to breed more prodigiously than we do, thus, knocking us out in superior numbers when we emerge! Mr. President, we must not allow a mine shaft gap!

It would be amusing if it weren't ... nah, it's just amusing.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sometimes, it's hard not to think "cause and effect."

Hey ... remember this guy? Sure you do: "... unparallelled corruption ... stunning betrayal of the public trust ..." Yeah, that guy. And how is it that someone turns into that much of a complete scumbucket? Oh:

“They always encouraged me to face things with the Lordship of Christ in mind,” Cunningham wrote, “rather than selfish ambition.”

Well, OK, that explains the unparallelled corruption part. I'm guessing just being a Republican explains the rest.

Comments, setting a lower level for stupidity, and "Jinx McHue."

You think I would have learned by now that, whenever I get involved in a discussion with the commenter once known as "Jinx McHue" (now going under the name "Jason"), it's going to end badly, with Jinx displaying such an appalling ignorance of simple Christian theology and scholarship, I finally have to just ban him from commenting.

(As an aside, note how I'm very careful to say that Jinx knows absolutely fuck-all about Christian scholarship, which generally involves having a clue about the history of the religion, its origins and so on. Jinx is certainly an expert at Christian apologetics, which represents the sort of thing you hear from Sunday morning TV preachers and should in no way be confused with actual scholarship.)

Back here, Jinx was howling with laughter over the suggestion that Genesis having two conflicting creation stories was, as I put it, "well known." When I pointed out that a simple Google search on that notion came back with over two million hits, his reaction was, well, what does that prove? And it's at that point where you know that any further discussion is pointless so I'm going to take some friends' advice and, once again, just delete any further comments from Jinx on this blog.

Jinx will, of course, claim victory and accuse me of censorship. Not at all -- anyone who wants to continue reading his ignorant swill is welcome to visit his blog here, where one is certain to find the latest in wretchedly dishonest Christian-based rubbish. I would never dream of trying to keep Jinx from publishing whatever asinine religious nonsense his little heart desires. But I reserve the right to decide that what he's posting here is just too stupid to waste any more time on.

To paraphrase a well-known saying, trying to educate Jinx is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of time, and it annoys the pig.

JetsGo: Still flying. Sort of.

Apparently, bankrupt, discount Canadian airlne JetsGo is still flying, if only in theory (emphasis added):

THE American military have been operating flights across Europe using a call sign assigned to a civilian airline that they have no legal right to use.

Not only is the call sign bogus — according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) — so, it appears, are some of the aircraft details the Americans have filed with the air traffic control authorities.

In at least one case, a plane identified with the CIA practice of “extraordinary rendition” — transporting terrorist suspects — left a US air base just after the arrival of an aircraft using the bogus call sign.

The call sign Juliet Golf Oscar (JGO) followed by a flight number belongs, says the ICAO, to a now bankrupt Canadian low-cost airline called Jetsgo of Montreal.

Sure, it's tacky but, come on -- JetsGo is bankrupt. It's not like they need that call sign or anything, right?

Sorry ... what's the French word for "whore?"

As the old joke goes, we've already established what you are, now we're just haggling over the price (emphasis added):

Bloc plans to prop up Harper's minority

The Bloc Québécois says it intends to keep the Conservative minority government in office for a “good while,” encouraged by the Tories' openness toward Quebec ...

Mr. Gauthier said the Bloc will not spearhead specific policies, but will push to ensure government policies are good for Quebec.

As Roger Waters once sang, "Each man has his price, Bob, and yours was pretty low."

The latest word on FEMA funding and evacuees.

Since I blogged on the alleged cutting off of FEMA funding for evacuees back here, it's only fair that I give prime time to a dissenting opinion from someone who is actually on the ground and directly involved, who writes in that comments section:

Just reading this today. Two corrections:

1- FEMA has not cut off funding to disaster victims.

2- most disaster evacuees are employed in their new cities. I have about 8,000 Red Cross cases open right now. They have no homes to go back to and are on hold to begin rebuilding until either their insurance or FEMA covers thier loss. This process is expected to take 18-24 months, so in the meantime housing expenses and travel back to New Orleans to help in the recovery are being PARTIALLY reimbursed to those who apply. (at present I have only 8000 of the original 25000 cases pending) Those who did not own homes, ie renters, are relocated, paying their own rent and hoping they can move back home in the next few years since apartment reconstructino will lag behind single family housing by an estimated 24-36 months.

Consider that a bucket of cold water thrown on petty ranters. Be informed before you blog.

Thus far, I stand corrected. If anyone else wants to jump in here, feel free.

Open thread, Canadian wingnut style.

Feeling a bit out of sorts today, so I'll let the usual suspects pick up the slack, including Dave over at TGB who details the delightful smorgasbord of Christian whackjobs who couldn't be happier to have a like-minded whackjob at 24 Sussex these days.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

More Christian, anti-science stupidity.

Bloody hell, it's like you can't turn around these days without running into another example of the anti-intellectual moronicity that is fundamentalist Christianity, and this one's a beaut. Personally, I really like this bit of indoctrination:

"Who's the only one who's always been there?" [creationist, evangelist and pompous dumbfuck Ken] Ham asked.

"God!" the boys and girls shouted.

"Who's the only one who knows everything?"


"So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?"

The children answered with a thundering: "God!"

Now that's pretty amazing, isn't it? For a guy who undoubtedly accuses the entire scientific community of unthinking, arrogant, closed-minded dogmatism, Ham sure doesn't express any doubt about his position -- a position based on no evidence whatsoever.

That takes some nerve, doesn't it?

: I do realize that this piece is several days old so I'm late coming to this particular party and that others have already been there. Like this guy, who writes:

I wonder if Ham needs to prey on five year olds because middle and high schoolers are just too smart for him?

Actually, that's not it. The purpose of indoctrinating kids to do the dirty work is so that the grownups can stay safely in the background and hope no one will try to correct those kids' thinking because they (the critics) would be accused of beating up on children, or something like that.

Many moons ago, I gave a public presentation on the intellectual bankruptcy of creation science and, after the talk was over and several attendees were milling around the front with me, a man approached, gently but firmly pushing his son (about 10 years old or so) in front of him to get to me.

When they finally reached me, the boy said he had a question about radiocarbon dating. OK, said I, go ahead, knowing full well what was coming. The boy, in a stuttering, halting way that made it clear he really had no idea what he was saying but having been coached to say it anyway, said that he'd heard that radiocarbon dating can be unreliable because when a tree is hit by lightning, that can change the age of the carbon in the wood.

I patiently explained to him that that really didn't discredit the entire field of radiocarbon dating, but I gave his father a suitably dirty look to make it clear I knew what the game was and that I thought he was a total dick, since that was obviously the father's opinion but he was too much of a coward to present it himself and therefore primed his son to do it for him. Fucking pussy.

In any event, that's what's happening here. Those kids are simply memorizing catch phrases to repeat at the earliest opportunity, while the grownups hang out in the background and wait for the first chance to accuse the teachers of treating their precious little ones badly by telling them they're full of shit. Not in so many words, of course.

You have to be a special kind of douchebag to get five-year-olds to fight your battles for you.

Making sure everyone sees the evidence.

There's one thing I've found just a little strange about the Cheney/Whittington hunting comedy of errors, and that's the photo of Whittington after he was released from the hospital:

And the oddity is -- why did no one try to minimize the evidence of Whittington's injuries? Surely it wouldn't have been that hard to put on some sort of flesh-toned makeup to hide the worst of it. How difficult can that be?

But, no -- the obvious damage is right out there. It's almost as if Whittington wanted everyone to see it. Or is that just my tin-foil hat talking?

Islam: Pretty much setting the standard for "idolatry."

You know, when it comes to the current anger in the Muslim world over the cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad being based on an objection to "idolatry," I'm thinking that argument would be a wee bit more convincing if it wasn't coming from people whose own religion is pretty much built on a foundation of pure and unadulterated idolatry in the first place.

It was only a few days ago that I was half listening to the CBC when I heard a Muslim explain that, in a typical Muslim household, the Koran is normally stored in a high location -- that is, above the heads of everyone to signify its proper place in the hierarchy of ... well, everything. At which point, I realized that, for a religion that is so vocally opposed to the practice of idolatry, those folks are pretty much hip deep in it 24 hours a day, aren't they?

Note well the definition of the word itself: "Worship of idols" or "Blind or excessive devotion to something." And if the Muslim relation to the Koran doesn't just scream "idolatry," I don't know what does.

Now, note well what I'm talking about here. I'm not talking about the general strength of one's religious beliefs, oh, no. If that was all, then one could fairly say that a lot of Christians are in the same boat with their slavish, mindless devotion to the literal innerancy of the Holy Scriptures. But that's just a general worship of the beliefs, or principles, if you will.

Islam quite clearly takes this whole idea one giant leap further by making the physical book itself an object of veneration. I'm sure readers will remember the controversy in the Muslim world regarding accusations that American guards were infuriating Muslim detainees by desecrating the Koran.

And note, again very carefully, those accusations weren't bsaed so much on guards demeaning Muslim religious beliefs, or questioning their devotion. No, it was based on little more than stories of someone desecrating just the physical book, perhaps by flushing it down a toilet. And when a religion elevates the simple physical object of the book itself to that level of devotion and worship, well ... you are pretty well swimming in idolatry at that point, aren't you?

And it's worth seeing how the Christian and Muslim religions differ on that point. Certainly, there are Christians who are equally devout in their religious beliefs in the absolute, literal innerancy of their holy book but, interestingly, those people don't seem to have any problem putting copies of that same book into every hotel room on the planet, in the hope that the occasional person might somehow be indoctrinated by it.

Those Christians can't possibly have any idea what random hotel guests are going to do with that copy of the Bible. They might read it, they might ignore it or they might rip a few pages out of it to prop up that unstable table in the corner of the room. In any case, those Christians seem to be careful about drawing a distinction between their fundamental beliefs and the physical copy of the book that holds those beliefs, and good for them.

Not so with Islam, apparently, when even threats of Koran desecration can drive Muslims into a rage. But, really, when one is that blindly and excessively devoted to a mere physical object, what else is that but idolatry?

Does it get any more ironic than this?

"Intelligent Design": Looking for more local targets.

Given the adequate number of folks south of the border minding the store down there when it comes to smacking around Intelligent Design, maybe it's time to set our sights more locally.

I'm thinking it's time to deal with this insufferably pompous ultra-maroon, keeping in mind that one has to recognize when something is so stupid, it doesn't even deserve a refutation. You know -- like dealing with Jinx McHue. Sort of like that.

Biblically correct stupidity.

And via the rev, we begin to understand why other countries are closing the gap on the U.S. in terms of scientific progress, technical achievements and, in general, having a citizenry who isn't as abysmally stupid as Jinx McHue.

: I'm perpetually amused by anyone who tries to read Genesis chronologically, given that there are two separate Creation accounts, and they blatantly disagree with one another.

I could explain this in detail but I'll just give you a hint and you can take it from there. The first account begins, of course, at Genesis 1:1 and ends at Genesis 2:3, while an inexplicable second account (perhaps God saying, "Hang on, let me rephrase that") starts up again at Genesis 2:4.

Feel free to read the two accounts yourself (perhaps here) and see if you can spot the chronological inconsistencies.

WELL, YOU KNEW THAT WAS COMING. And who but Jinx/Jason would show up to demonstrate his appalling theological ignorance by refusing to accept the well-known proposition of two different creation accounts in Genesis, even when I give him the exact fucking chapter and verse so he can see for himself.

I believe Jason's insipid comment proves that, when it comes to the two of us, only one of us has actually taken the time to read the Bible. And it's not him.

OH, YAWN. It's almost like there's no fun in watching Jinx/Jason prove what kind of theological ignoramus he is anymore. Regarding my claim of two separate creation accounts in Genesis, Jinx writes (in a stupefying demonstration of ill-informed ignorance):


"Well-known proposition!" Good one, CC! You're pretty funny when you're being dead serious.

No, it's actually not well-known and if you were to ask the average person on the street about it, they'd give you a richly deserved "what the fudge are you talking about" look.

Now, by "average person on the street," I'm assuming Jinx really means "average idiot in his immediate circle of friends," since one is free to Google on the words "two separate creation accounts Genesis" to get this -- over two million hits. Obviously, not all of those deal directly with the two creation stories but, just as obviously, it shows that the idea of two stories is not some incredibly obscure notion, and that, yes, Jinx really is an ignorant dimwit.

Perhaps this whole discussion is best summed up here:

Scholars categorize these two stories into two separate time frames. The first is known as the Priestly (P) account because it is associated with the priestly caste of ancient Israel, while the second is known as the Jahwist (J) account because the J writer always calls the Creator, Yahweh.

The P account is dated much earlier than the J account because it is mythological in nature. Scholars believe that it was based on the Enuma Alish, an ancient Babylonian myth. The P account also tends to try to "de-mythologize the cosmological myths" (Buchner, Frank. Ph.D. "Genesis 1-3") in the final analysis. The emphasis here is on the Sabbath (the seventh day when God rested) and also on the image of mankind as being in the image of God so that man is perceived as being superior to all other of God's creations.

On the other hand, the J account is less concerned with trying to historicalize the act of creation and more interested in explaining why mankind differs from both the LORD God and the LORD God's other creations. It shows how man and woman try to become like the LORD God by means of eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil and so are inferior to the LORD God, but also how they are separated from the LORD God's other creations because they marry, they are ashamed of their sexuality and nakedness, they must work hard for their food, and why women experience pain during childbirth.

Note that first sentence: "Scholars categorize ..." "Scholars," who have actually taken the time to study the text, as opposed to ignorant, wingnut fundamentalists like Jinx who get their theology from badly-drawn cartoon tracts. There's your difference.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Learn from your mistakes? Not Harvard.

So here's how it works -- Harvard gives this dumbfuck an MBA, and turns down this guy's early-decision application. You'd think an institution of higher learning would be that stupid only once. You'd be wrong.

The times, they are a changin'.

Apparently, down south these days, protecting the public's civil liberties is now "intellectual terrorism." Who knew?

And this one's for the ladies.

This is just too precious not to share. I do know my wingnuts, don't I? (And remember ... this guy's married.)

It all depends on your definition of "sex," doesn't it?

Via Pam Spaulding, we learn that no one was actually going to have "sex" with the goat. Well, OK, to be precise, they weren't going to have "sexual relations." So I'm guessing a little oral action wasn't out of the question.

No big deal -- it only involved sacks of cash.

And if you read the entire entencing memorandum, not a blowjob to be seen. Whew. The republic is safe.

AFTERSNARK: I'm guessing any snotty comments about right-wing morals and values would be entirely gratuitous.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The inevitable consequences of stupidity.

Feel free to draw the connections here. As you read recently, we have this:

You will never need to know algebra. I have never once used it and never once even rued that I could not use it. You will never need to know -- never mind want to know -- how many boys it will take to mow a lawn if one of them quits halfway and two more show up later -- or something like that. Most of math can now be done by a computer or a calculator. On the other hand, no computer can write a column or even a thank-you note -- or reason even a little bit. If, say, the school asked you for another year of English or, God forbid, history, so that you actually had to know something about your world, I would be on its side. But algebra? Please.

Which might be somehow related to this:

After more than a half-century of unchallenged superiority in virtually every field of science and technology, from basic research to product development, America is starting to lose ground to other nations.

Which means you shouldn't be surprised by something like this:

The business world and government departments depend upon it, grade-school kids are taught how to use it and Osama bin Laden’s followers have become skilled practitioners. But congressional investigations of government responses to Hurricane Katrina have revealed that two of the nation’s key crisis managers, the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, do not use e-mail.

Which might be amusing except when that same Luddite attitude turns up in places like this:

By ignoring the less glamorous duties of his post, [Louis] Freeh put the FBI in a terribly disadvantaged position. The FBI's intra-office computer system was old and ineffectual. The 56k modems the agency used were so slow, agents frequently communicated using faxes instead. Inevitably, many of these memos were lost. There were so few around that numerous agents had to share computers. While Freeh diverted millions of dollars overseas to establish FBI bases (a desirable goal), the agency's headquarters here in America were falling into disrepair. The Information Technology programs the FBI did undertake went millions and millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. In the absence of results even by the pathetic standards of the U.S. Congress, further monies were withheld. Freeh himself, despite his pro-technology rhetoric, booted the computer out of his office on day one and, incredibly, never used e-mail during his tenure as Director.

I'm pretty sure you can connect those dots all by yourself, no?


The United States lags dangerously behind al Qaeda and other enemies in getting out information in the digital media age and must update its old-fashioned methods, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday.
The Pentagon chief said today's weapons of war included e-mail, Blackberries, instant messaging, digital cameras and Web logs, or blogs.

"Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but ... our country has not adapted," Rumsfeld said.

... said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who refuses to use e-mail. You just can't make this stuff up.

Guns don't shoot people. Apparently, NO ONE shoots people.

Ah, the beauty of the passive voice:

Q: Yes, Mr. President, do you feel it was appropriate that the vice president didn't reveal his shooting accident until the next day, and through a private citizen? And do you think it was OK that he didn't talk to you about it, personally, until Monday?

Bush: I thought the vice president handled the issue just fine. He went through -- and I thought his explanation yesterday was a powerful explanation. This is a man who likes the outdoors and he likes to hunt. And he heard a bird flush and he turned and pulled the trigger and saw his friend get wounded.

Yes, it was devastating. That old guy went down like ... like ... like he'd been shot! Oh, the humanity!

And that's when Dick went back to the ranch and had a cocktail. Because it's hard just watching people get wounded.

NOT A JOKE: Stolen shamelessly from TPM:

And don't let it happen again, dumbass.

Yeah, THAT'LL make SportsCenter.

Repeat after me: Win first, celebrate second.

Are you feeling safer yet?

You know, the Bush administration might want to back off the insinuations that Canada's security makes it too easy for terrorists to enter the country when they do stuff like this.

Ignorant fucktard of the day.

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen. I mean, how stupid do you have to be to admit that you don't understand percentages, fer Chrissake!?!?

And as much as I think SF author Robert Heinlein was an insufferably pompous dick, I'll give him props for the following perspective:

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe and not make messes in the house.

Sadly, though, it doesn't stop him from being a columnist for the Washington Post.

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE: I didn't even realize PZ was all over this as well, but I should have guessed.

AFTERSNARK: I'm absolutely riveted by the fact that Cohen admits he just doesn't do percentages. How, then, does he figure he's going to write anything on, say, the U.S. budget? Or be able to criticize the blatantly misleading math coming out of the Bush administration?

Pop quiz: Imagine that, over the last year, prices have gone up 3% due to inflation. In response, the administration states that it will compensate for that by increasing funding for low-income families from $500 million to $510 million. Quick, Richard! Does that increase keep pace with inflation or not? Sadly, Richard doesn't have the tools to figure that out, which I suspect is why one won't ever read him analyzing the intricacies of high finance.

What an unspeakable idiot.

FOLLOWUP: "Michael" in the comments section is not happy with me, but let's go over Cohen's piece again to really understand where he (Cohen) screws the pooch on this one.

First, I never said anything about this earlier, but I'm just a little suspicious of this story in the first place. It may very well be true, but there's just something odd about someone in the 12th grade -- that close to graduation -- who bails because she can't pass algebra. After six attempts. I have no proof, but I can't help but think there's more to this story than what Cohen reports.

(Read that last sentence again: "I have no proof." Got that? I'm just hypothesizing here. Is it possible that there is another reason that she left school, and that algebra is just a handy scapegoat? I guess we'll never know. In any event, onward.)

Cohen next mentions that "the L.A. school district now requires all students to pass a year of algebra and a year of geometry in order to graduate." Under the circumstances, then, for that young lady, unless she can pass that algebra course, her options are severely limited.

Cohen would like to paint a picture of a life of options without that nasty algebra. But that's just bullshit in this case. Without algebra, no high school diploma. And with no high school diploma, you are basically fucked. You might be able to blow off finishing high school if you're some kind of whiz kid, technological wonder genius who's going to start his own Internet company at the age of 15 or something. But if you bail from high school because you can't pass algebra, you have pretty well fucked up your future in a big way.

(And let me emphasize one more thing. No one is demanding that this girl ace the course. All they're asking is that she pass it. If you can't even get better than an F in a first course in algebra, then there is something seriously wrong.)

Maybe this girl has a learning disorder, who knows? But for Cohen to suggest, hey, it's no big deal, algebra is overrated, is perhaps the stupidest thing imaginable he could have said. What he is in effect saying is, hey, don't sweat that high school diploma, you can get along just fine.

It may surprise you, but I can sympathize with that student while still thinking Richard Cohen is a world-class jackass. I really can hold two different thoughts simultaneously. Trust me.

OTHER VOICES: Not surprisingly, others have added to the din about Cohen's column. I haven't read those pieces yet and it's possible there are some Cohen defenders there. Never say I didn't try to be fair. Even to complete dumbfucks.

Dick Cheney: "Would YOU buy a used car from me?"

Shorter Dick Cheney: "You can't seriously believe anything I say anymore, can you?"

"I only hit you because I love you."

Apparently, Wal-Mart doesn't stock the "Plan B" morning-after emergency contraception pill because "women's health was a high priority for Wal-Mart stores."

No, wait, sorry ... apparently, they don't stock it because, despite the fact that women's health is a high priority for them, there are "broader considerations" and it was purely a "business decision" for the corporation and, anyway, Wal-Mart had already assessed that "demand for the product was not very high."

So, I'm guessing that if someone were to do an analysis of all of the drugs that Wal-Mart carries, there's no chance they'd find any for which the demand was even less than for Plan B, yet which you could still find on Wal-Mart shelves. Because if they did, then that would make Wal-Mart a bunch of moralistic, weaselly, two-faced hypocrites, and that would be really, really upsetting.

Cue Jason/"Jinx McHue" completely misunderstanding the issue and commenting idiotically.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

By the process of elimination ...

Let's see here ... we have, via A BCer in Toronto, that Stockwell Day's senior adviser believes that "the charter helps only murderers, pedophiles and judges."

And from Ezra Levant himself, we have the plaintive cry of "Uh, isn't freedom of expression protected by our beloved Charter?"

OK, let's think this through. I'm pretty sure Ezra isn't a judge ... and I don't think he's ever killed anyone ...

We're behind you all the way, Duncan. Seriously.

Sure, Duncan ... you tell Dick Cheney he should resign, and let us all know how that turns out. Try to catch him when he's sober; I hear he's a real mean drunk.

"Paging Dick Cheney. And please bring your shotgun."

... And in the category of "Most Obscenely Meaningless Awards Show of the Year," we have this year's Junos, featuring the likes of Nickelback, Diana Krall and Michael Buble, and topped off with a bunch of artificial "stars" from "Canadian Idol."

Thank God Bryan Adams is performing to give the whole thing some relevance.

Charles Krauthammer: Hacktacular!

Remember how, a few days ago, neo-con dipstick Charles Krauthammer was a total hack? Well, nothing's changed since then.