Friday, March 31, 2006

Blogging Tories: Always looking out for their own.

Now here's an amusing observation for a Friday afternoon. As of right now (almost 3 p.m.), I was poking around the Progressive Bloggers site and decided to make a list of everyone just on the home page who had written on criminally stupid CPC MP Colin Mayes, who had suggested jailing journalists who write, in his opinion, "distorted" or "inaccurate" articles.

Not surprisingly, the progressive blogosphere is less than impressed with this asinine idea, as you can see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. (And, again, these links were just the ones on the main page at as of 3 p.m.)

And the Blogging Tories? Well, you'd think that, being the pathological liars that they are, they'd be even more displeased with this idea. And you'd be wrong. Again, as of a 3 p.m. snapshot, the BT home page (as best as I can tell) contained exactly three pieces by its membership on ths topic: this one, this one and this one. Notice anything a bit odd about those particular BT authors? Why, yes, yes you do.

The first is "The Progressive Right," who is also a member of and whose piece is already included in that first list, the second is Andrew at Bound by Gravity, who is widely considered to be the sole clinically sane person over at BT, and the third is ... well, I'm not sure but I will give him props for taking Mayes to task. All in all, not an impressive display of concern for free speech.

No, while one of their own party MPs was seriously suggesting jailing journalists, they were more captivated by stories of the time slot for The Amazing Race, Democratic Congresswomen about to be arrested, Pamela Anderson and more Pamela Anderson (same guy -- get a freakin' life fer Chrissake), among other things.

Always nice to find out what one's priorities are, no?

: Dave over at TGB makes the case that the Mayes stupidity is just the beginning of the flood. Oh, man, I can't wait.

Dear Stephen: Resolve THIS.

The lead-in:

PM, Bush eager to resolve softwood dispute

Stephen Harper and George W. Bush ushered in their newly minted relationship yesterday with orders to their staffs to find ways to kick-start talks aimed at resolving the softwood lumber controversy.

OK, I'm going to type this slowly and with really short words so even people like Stephen Harper and his slobbering, sycophantic lap dogs can understand my point.

When it comes to the softwood lumber dispute, there is nothing left to resolve. There are no open issues on the table to be closed through negotiation. All of the resolution has already taken place through the NAFTA legal process and Canada has won all of that.

When it comes to settling this, I don't want International Man of Mystery PM Stephen Harper going in with a firm determination to "resolve" this. I want him going in with a firm determination to tell that worthless, lying airhead of a U.S. president that he owes Canada $5 billion. Plus interest.

This is not a case of both parties having to "resolve" anything. Everything has been resolved. This is a case of those thieving American fuckers accepting that they owe us, and to finally pay up.

Now, what part of that is giving you trouble?

"The State of the News Media 2006:" What about blogs?

Continuing to deal with the silliness that is Russell Smith's Globe article on blogs, recall that Smith used this study as the foundation of a number of uncomplimentary observations on blogs. (Sadly, you can't see his Smith's claims themselves but, trust me, none of them paint blogs in a positive light.)

But as commenter "noel m" points out back here, Smith is being awfully selective with his quotes since that study most certainly does say good things about blogs (all emphasis added):

What we found, generally, is that readers of those blogs learned of some of the same stories that were in the traditional media that day, but often from a different angle or different source. They also heard about many items not found in the other media, such as a scholarly debate over the concept of a “living constitution,” a recent blogger convention in Nashville, a controversy at Commonweal Magazine over the dismissal of the editor, thoughts from a group of Iranian bloggers who met with one of their presidential candidates, and the blogger Wonkette’s “Bushfish” logo. In this regard, the bloggers are adding not just opinion to the media mix, but also new items to the agenda.

The Daily Kos offered the most multi-tiered post. It began with a link to an Associated Press story that he pulled from Kos picked up on an interesting element missed in the mainstream press coverage we examined — the practice of having new police force recruits line up together outside before they are searched. “Umm, why do they still do this? . . . Why don’t they search people before they stand in line? That much explosive can’t be easy to hide from the most cursory search,” Kos wondered.

Well, how about that? Apparently, blogs have something to contribute to the discourse after all. Not that you'd have learned that from Smith's piece. What a wanker.

Serious dumbfuckery down at the Corner.

Sometimes, you seriously have to wonder how stupid a human being can possibly be and still be able to use a keyboard. Witness Corner Kiddie Tim Graham here:

One more note on yesterday's "War on Christians" thread: the phrase sounds more hyperbolic when liberal newspapers don't tell Americans what Canada has already done to intimidate Canada's Christians from sermonizing against the sin of homosexuality in public.

Naturally, you should follow the link provided to here, just so you can luxuriate in the overwhelming idiocy. But the part I find the most interesting is this: Why is it that a law condemning hate speech against gays is being touted as "anti-Christian" given that that law applies to everyone? (Naturally, that's a rhetorical question since we all know that it's primarily Christians who are so virulently homophobic that they might run afoul of the law. So I'm just teasing you here.)

In any event, Graham seems utterly incapable of distinguishing between laws that outlaw hate speech and attacks on a religious denomination. Unless, of course, that religious denomination espouses outlawed hate speech. And if that's the case, whose fault is that?

Quickly, Boy Wonder! Into the blogrollmobile!

I'm embarrassed to admit that, all this time, I never realized that I had never added Declan to my blogroll. Oopsie. Fixed.

P.S. I'm starting to like this guy, too.

Dear "Globe and Mail": I dare you. A challenge to my readers.

[UPDATE, Sat, Apr. 1: So far, not a peep out of the Globe regarding Smith's asinine column. I'm guessing this is the beginning of a really depressing trend at the Globe -- say stupid things about bloggers without giving them a chance to read and respond. I'm shocked. Well, no, no I'm not. Anyone who would publish Mark Steyn has clearly chosen their intellectual level.]

[UH OH: I just got a reply to my email to the Globe, stating that it was rejected due to delivery failure. Has anyone else seen this?]

[UPDATE: According to this page, you can reach Gorham here, so I'm going to give it another shot.]

Just now, I expanded on my snotty remarks directed at Globe And Mail media person and frustrated wannabe journalist Russell Smith here, and it occurred to me that there was one point I wanted to follow up on.

I find it particularly galling that someone would take the time to write an entire article slagging bloggers, and then not make that article available online so that bloggers could respond. That strikes me as cowardice of the lowest form so here's what I'm proposing.

I suggest we all send a short note to the Review Editor, Andrew Gorham, and ask him to make Smith's article freely available online, along with a completely unmoderated comments section so we can all give Russ the benefit of our collective wisdom and experience in Blogland.

If Russ wants this to be a useful experience, then when he attacks an entire demographic, he should be prepared to suffer the slings and arrows of return fire. So that's the challenge to my readers -- take a minute to send Gorham a note about this. And be polite. There's no need to refer to Smith as a cowardly little weasel or anything like that.

Wait for the comments section to open first.

OK, I'VE DONE MY JOB: My request is now in Gorham's mailbox. Now it's your turn.

OH, THE IRONY. Perhaps the funniest thing about Smith's entire piece is this bit, which I will graciously reproduce for you 'cuz that's just the kind of dude I am:

A recently published study by the U.S. Project for Excellence in Journalism, The State of the News Media 2006, commented on this. The report analyzed seven political opinion blogs in the United States for one 24-hour period to determine how they compared to the mainstream media in various areas. The study looked particularly at how much blogs added to the news that was factual. And guess what they found? Not much. "Very little of what a journalist would call actual reporting was evident."

It goes on but ... what's missing here? Why, a link to the study! Gosh, what if we wanted to follow up on that study to see how seriously we should take it? Which blogs? And what exactly did they have to say? But, darn it, Smith omits the URL that would allow us to make up our own minds. In fact, in Smith's piece, there is not a single online link to anything, despite his writing:

The report also noted that any conventional sense of sourcing was missing from many discussions. "Bloggers link to others but tell readers very little about who those fellow bloggers are, their backgrounds or what if any expertise, relationship or bias they may have on the subject at hand..."

No fucking shit, eh, Russ? Kind of like basing a large part of an article on a "study" without giving readers a link to it. Sort of like that, Russ?

Somehow, the word "wanker" just doesn't suffice here, does it?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Deep thoughts from the Globe and Mail.

Russell has opinions:

Demeaning discourse: how bloggers lower the tone

Dear Russell: Bite me.

LET ME EXPAND ON THAT: It didn't seem worth investing a lot of time in disemboweling Russell's ridiculous swill since his article wasn't available online but -- what the heck -- if Dave over at TGB can do it, so can I. My God, where to even begin? Hey, how about here?

Want to make your newspaper article/television report cooler? Mention blogs and bloggers.

Or here's another suggestion, Russell: write something worth reading. Now that would be cool. Give it a shot, you might be surprised.

Sadly, Russell sets the tone early:

We know that blogs have the advantage of speed. News and rumours (more likely the latter) ...

Ooooooh. Meow. Somebody clearly took a whiz in Russell's Wheaties that morning. Onward:

More importantly, they are a forum for "alternative" voices, usually cranky ones ...

OK, Russ, let me explain this to you. Just because that cute female blogger at the bar told you to take a hike, it doesn't mean that all bloggers are cranky, anti-social jerks. She just wasn't into you, dude. (And, as a pre-emptive bit of advice, she wasn't a lesbian, either. You're just a jerk.)

Moving on, here's another bit of Russ's eye-rolling analysis:

And so CNN now has a regular blog roundup, in which Internet opinions from the right and the left on the day's issues are summarized with meticulous balance. The opinions -- Democrats say x, Republicans say y -- are so predictable as to be uninteresting.

As opposed to how the "mainstream media" does it, which is ... how exactly? If there's one thing that defines the MSM, it's the ubiquity of "he says, she says" journalism. "Candidate John Simth today accused his opponent Fred Brown of being part of a Satanic cult and having sex with diseased goats and Iraqi war orphans. Brown angrily denied the charges."

Yeah, that's deep shit, Russ. Some of us, when presented with conflicting claims in a newspaper article, really wish the reporter had done a bit more work to tell us which of the claims is actually based on reality. You know, like when the Liberals and the CPC will make howlingly contradictory claims about, say, a budget issue and you and your colleagues will obediently and uncritically report both those claims. That's not being a journalist, Russ -- it's being an overpaid stenographer. And if you keep that sort of thing up long enough, well, you tend to get stuck with an uncomplimentary nickname.

And if you do actually take the time to dig into the story, well, you're not just a reporter any more, you're an "investigatve journalist." That's hilarious -- as if doing actual investigative work requires a special kind of reporter. "I'm sorry, I'm just a regular journalist. I don't do investigation."

But perhaps the most grating bit of Russ's rubbish (and, God, there is so much of it that one has to be selective about what to eviscerate) is that bloggers have somehow cheapened and coarsened the discourse. To which one can legitimately respond: Fuck you, Russ, you sophomoric little twerp. No, wait, that's unfair.

To which one can legitimately respond, dude, the discourse was coarsened long before we bloggers got here. Or don't you watch Fox News? And when it comes to bloggers and civil discourse, it really grinds my gears that Russ doesn't even vaguely distinguish between the left and right blogospheres. Trust me, if you need vile, loathsome and dishonest, just check out any of the big-name right-wing blogs -- Michelle Malkin, Free Republic, Blogging Tories .., oh, there's no end of wretched, conservative swill out there in Blogworld. But apparently trying to distinguish between the two worlds was a bit much for poor Russ.

One could go on and on and, God help us, tediously on, ripping Russ a new one, but what's the point? I'm just amused by someone who takes the time to attack bloggers from his perch at the Globe and Mail, then doesn't make his article available online so we could go after him in return.

So here's my challenge to you, Russ: convince your editors to make that article freely available online. If you want to bitch and whine childishly (and dishonestly) about all of us nasty bloggers, then at least give us the chance to return fire. That would be the honourable thing to do, don't you think?

My, but we're all feeling sanctimonious, aren't we?

Well, aren't we all just puffed up with moralistic pride this morning, patting ourselves on the back that the Canadian government showed the principle to cut aid to the new Palestinian government due to its terrorist history. Turning our back on them -- that'll show them. A little international isolationism is the best medicine, isn't it? Damn right. Teach those murderous little fuckers a lesson, we will.

Of course, it's a different story when it comes to associating with, say, countries with horrific records of human rights violations. In cases like that, why, walking away would be a terrible idea. No, the best way to deal with ruthless, oppressive regimes like that is to continue to "engage" them since, as we all know, that's the best way to effect a change. The fact that those countries might be valuable trading partners has nothing whatsoever to do with it and perish the thought that you'd even consider such a thing.

The poster child for this sort of fake sanctimonious bullshit these days is, of course, Google who, being fully aware of China's record on human rights (somewhat less than stellar), have nonetheless decided to stay in the game:

We believe that our continued engagement with China is the best (and perhaps only) way for Google to help bring the tremendous benefits of universal information access to all our users there.

Of course, it's not clear how they plan on doing that when part of their arrangement is to suck up to the Chinese government:

GOOGLE will today cave in to pressure from the Chinese Government by launching a local website that strips out information not approved by the Communist authorities.

The company, whose motto is “Don’t be evil”, is launching a version of its site that restricts Chinese people from searching for information about Tibetan independence or the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

“In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on, in response to local law, regulation or policy,” the internet company said in a statement issued yesterday.

In any event, it doesn't seem that that whole idea of continued "engagement" makes much of a difference in the end, human rights-wise:

Appeasing another is not really engaging them. This form of 'engagement' has not worked to improve human rights conditions in China or Tibet. Since Western governments began expanding trade relations with China while de-linking the issue of human rights from trade, religious repression has drastically worsened and China has refused all request to negotiate with the Dalai Lama.

Whoops, that's not the way it's supposed to work, is it?

So, sure, let's all stroke ourselves with the way we've shown those uppity Palestinians who's in charge here. Fuckin' A. And in the meantime, let's keep doing business with China 'cuz that's like, a totally different situation. I think it has something to do with cheap goods and sweatshops, but I could be wrong.

P.S. It's outrageous -- outrageous, I tell you -- that the new Palestinian government refuses to acknowledge even the very existence of Israel. Now, China refusing to acknowledge the existence of Tibet -- totally, totally a different thing. Totally.

Conservative family values?

Yeah, I got your fucking conservative family values right here, you cocksucker.

New adventures in American jurisprudence.

I'm sorry ... what page of the criminal code are you reading from?

A 13-year-old Ockerman Middle School student has been charged with threatening George W. Bush, just days before the president is set to throw the first pitch for Reds Opening Day in Cincinnati.

The teen - described by a police investigator as a student of presidential politics - remained in the custody of his mother Tuesday afternoon at their Florence home.

He is charged with one felony count of terroristic threatening.

"Terroristic threatening?" Can "terroristic money laundering" be far behind?

The 101st Fighting Keyboarders and the Skyscrapers of Death.

Well, who knew those neo-con armchair warriors were this brave?

Michael Ware: Let's look at it this way. I mean, you're sitting back in a comfortable radio studio, far from the realities of this war.

Hugh Hewitt: Actually, Michael, let me interrupt you.

MW: If anyone has a right...

HH: Michael, one second.

MW: If anyone has a right to complain, that's what...

: I'm sitting in the Empire State Building. Michael, I'm sitting in the Empire State Building, which has been in the past, and could be again, a target. Because in downtown Manhattan, it's not comfortable, although it's a lot safer than where you are, people always are three miles away from where the jihadis last spoke in America. So that's...civilians have a stake in this. Although you are on the front line, this was the front line four and a half years ago.

Now, before you make fun of poor Hugh, let us also keep in mind that he was probably sitting at a desk -- the same type of furniture that was being used by so many office workers who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And perhaps he was talking on a telephone, just as many of those unfortunate victims were. And -- who knows? -- perhaps he was drinking coffee as were so many of those thousands now dead.

My God! Will the similarities never end?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"You break it, you ... hey! Where you going?"

Uh oh ... is this what they mean by "cut and run"?

The Harper secrecy obsession: what's "legal" versus what's "right."

There's an interesting meme spreading through Wankerville North these days -- a legalistic, nitpicky, hair-splitting talking point regarding whether PM Stephen Harper has the right (constitutional or otherwise) to drastically reduce public and media access to official government functions, meetings and so forth.

The overwhelming pedantry of these arguments can be seen at this previously-referenced wanker site, where one can get a flavour of the legalism just by extracting the nitpickery:

... Constitution ... Charter of Rights and Freedoms ... Canadian jurisprudence ... Privy Councillors’ Oath ... section 69 of the Access to Information Act, section 70 of the Privacy Act, and section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act ... Franco-American interpretation of constitutional power ... documentary justification ...

Well, you get the idea -- much arm-waving, blustery legalese and linking, as if any of this had any relevance whatsoever. Because, of course, it doesn't. The people making these arguments have completely lost sight of the real issue here and that is not whether what Harper is doing is legal or constitutional -- it's whether what he's doing is right.

As an example of the difference, one need look no further than the constant badgering by Bible-whomping Christians to be able to spout their religious gibberish at every public event they bother to invade. At least in the U.S., every one of these arguments is buttressed by tortured readings of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, writings of the Founding Father and so on; in short, a completely litigious approach to the argument.

But no one bothers to step back and ask the simpler question: "Even if you folks could establish the legal authority to do this, is it really the right thing to do? Even if you were allowed to do this, isn't there something unseemly and just plain rude and bullying about forcing your religious views on those who have very politely said that they just aren't interested and thanks but no thanks?"

Returning to the case of Stephen Harper, everyone seems to be asking him how he (constitutionally, it appears) defends this latest strategy. But that's the wrong question. The right question is much simpler, and can be asked both of Harper and his litigious defenders, and it would be: "Even if the legal right exists, don't you think Canadian citizens have the right to know about the workings of the government they voted into office? Don't they deserve that? Isn't that how democracy works?"

Don't tell me what you think is legal. Tell me what you think is right. That's the more important question here.

The buck stops ... uh, over there.

(CC NEWS) -- In a surprising change of focus, the Bush administration has suddenly stopped blaming its difficulties on a former president who has been out of office for over five years, and begun blaming a former dictator who has been in prison for over two years.

In other news, absolutely no one was surprised.

Spot the pattern! Win valuable prizes!

June 24, 2005:

The Prime Minister [Jaafari] is a great Iraqi patriot, he's a friend of liberty, he's a strong partner for peace and freedom. For more than two decades, he served the cause of Iraqi freedom in exile as a fierce opponent of Saddam Hussein's tyranny. Today this medical doctor now serves his people as he works to build a new Iraq...

I appreciate Prime Minister Jaafari's brave leadership. Prime Minister Jaafari is a bold man. I've enjoyed my discussions with the Prime Minister. He is a frank, open fellow who is willing to tell me what's on his mind. And what is on his mind is peace and security for the people of Iraq, and what is on his mind is a democratic future that is hopeful.

I want to thank you for your courage. I want to thank you for your understanding about the nature of free societies. I want to thank you for helping Iraq become a beacon of freedom.

March 28, 2006:

Senior Shiite politicians said today that the American ambassador has told Shiite officials to inform the Iraqi prime minister that President Bush does not want him to remain the country's leader in the next government.

Moving on, March 28, 2006:

In terms of Canada, this will be the President's first meeting with Prime Minister Harper since he took office -- he had met with him briefly previously when he was the opposition leader. And each of these relationships -- the relationship with Mexico, the relationship with Canada -- is a unique relationship. We've had good relations with both countries. And the President looks forward to visiting with Prime Minister Martin [sic] and strengthening our relations. So he very much looks forward to this trip.

Tick tick tick ...

(Shamelessly plagiarized from First Draft 'cuz it's just the conservative thing to do, ya know?)

Where are we going, and why am I carrying this basket?

If you've ever wondered what it's like when someone's life suddenly turns to shit, well, wonder no more. (And the fun never ends, does it?)

Blogging Tories Short Takes: March 29, 2006.

Shorter Phantom Observer: "Like many of my conservative colleagues, I too have recently developed a deep and abiding respect for the concept of governmental privacy and secrecy. Since around January 23, if memory serves."

Shorter GayandRight: "I'm sure I have a point here and if you can figure out what it is, by all means, let me know."

Shorter Adam Daifallah: "Caspar Weinberger -- now there was a man who knew how to lie to Congress. God, I'll miss him."

Shorter Dr. Roy: "I'm with Stupid."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Democracy, Iraqi ... uh, American style.

Hey, kids ... remember those vaunted elections that were going to bring real "democracy" to Iraq? Oh, dear. Apparently, democracy has an expiry date.

UH OH ... This should be interesting.

OK, now he's just making fun of us.

I'm not sure I can take any more of the irony:

Bush extends olive branch to Canada in runup to meeting with Harper

Um ... we give them billions of dollars in illegal softwood lumber duties and, in return, we get ... a branch? I'm pretty sure that's not going to cover it.

Yeah, we're movin' on up ... to the east side ...

Well, this is just too exciting ... seems I've made the blogroll over at Jesus' General. This calls for a celebration! Beers for everybody!

In a purely heterosexual way, of course.

George Bush, softwood lumber and Reuters screwing the pooch.

Sigh. Where to even begin?

Bush eager to resolve lumber row with Canada

President Bush said he is eager to resolve a long-simmering dispute with Canada over softwood lumber, as he prepared for meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Eager? Why? When he can just ignore the clear requirements of NAFTA, what's the rush? Of course, I don't even want to think of what Commander Chimpy means by the word "resolve," but it gets worse:

Both countries have pursued legal action at the World Trade Organization and under NAFTA. Rulings from the WTO have gone in favor of the United States recently, while NAFTA panels awarded Canada several victories.

Dear Reuters: In the first place, what the WTO thinks is not relevant since this is a NAFTA issue. And in the second place:

December 5, 2005 (12:40 p.m. EST)


Canada is pleased with today’s World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body decision, which supports Canada’s position that U.S. procedures used to establish countervailing duties (CVD) on Canadian softwood lumber imports are inconsistent with WTO rules.

I swear, some days it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: March 28, 2006.

Shorter Dr. Roy: "Have you ever noticed how these "culture of life" things aren't always black and white?"

Shorter Kate McMillan: "I think it's outrageous when those on the Left use the most extreme, loony, wingnut examples of conservatives to discredit the entire right-wing movement. Hey, here's a good one ..."

Shorter Adam Daifallah: "Sometimes, I'm just so angry with the CBC's liberal bias, I could switch to watching Fox News. They're fair and balanced, you know."

Shorter Aaron Lee Wudrick: "Yeah, yeah ... openness, accountability and transparency. Jesus, you people are a bunch of whiners."

Shorter dissonance and disrespect: "Speaking as a man in a predominantly Christian culture, I feel so oppressed."

George W. Bush: He means what he says, ambiguously speaking.

There's a certain amusing surrealism to watching White House Press Weasel Scott McClellan explain how absolutely every single thing President Chimpy McFlightSuit ever said didn't exactly mean what everyone thought it meant at the time.

As the perfect example, we have Holden's ongoing obsession with the gaggle here, during which Li'l Scottie has to re-interpret and spin and dodge and weave and tap dance and indulge in little bits of historical revisionism and and so on.

This is, of course, amusing since part of Commander Chimpy's populist appeal was that he was the steely-eyed rocket man, the straight-shooting, straight-talking, tell-it-like-it-is Texan whose word you could always count on:

[Bush] liked to brag sometimes in the campaign "You know who I am--I say what I mean and I mean what I say." Actually, it wasn't bragging, for it was true.

One of Bush's absolutely favourite expressions is "Let me be clear" -- he's a man who has no time for any of that namby-pamby, liberal, left-wing, gray-area "nuanciness." Which makes it all the more entertaining that, these days, everything that ever came out of his mouth has to be re-read carefully to appreciate what he was really saying at the time, and it has to be put in its proper "context," of course, otherwise you're simply "mischaracterizing" what he said and that would be bad.

The rootin', tootin', straight-shootin' George Bush suddenly discovering the joy of nuance. Who would have guessed?

FURTHER PONDERING: The more I think about this, the more I believe that the White House Press Corps should really be pounding this point home to take away some of Li'l Scottie's favourite talking points.

When asked a question he doesn't like, McClellan frequently dodges it with something like, "The President has discussed that before and he's been very clear about it so I would just say you should look at the record." But at this point, it would be entirely appropriate for any reporter to respond with something like:

But Scott, how are we supposed to just go back and look at the record when you so frequently tell us that we're not representing it properly, or that we're 'mischaracterising' it or that we're not putting it in the proper context?

This administration has now, on countless occasions, made what seemed to be at the time fairly unambiguous claims, only to start re-interpreting them down the road. You can"t dismiss questions by telling us to look at the record, then reject our interpretation of that record when we do.

For example, I think it's fair to ask, does this administration believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11? If I were to go back to "the record," I can show numerous examples where this administration claimed exactly that. But if I make that suggestion to you today, I'm sure you'll tell me that that's not true and that I'm mischaracterising or quoting out of context or something to that effect.

So I think it's not unreasonable to ask, how do we know which administration claims we should take at face value, and which claims will suddenly be re-interpreted down the road to mean something totally different from what we all understood them to mean at the time? How do we do that?

Yes, I'm dreaming. It happens.

Monday, March 27, 2006

People too stupid to know how stupid they are.

What is it with home-schooled children and their parents?

Let the mayhem begin!

I have no idea how this will affect the current firestorm but you just know it's going to be an issue:

Family kept Loney's homosexuality quiet, feared actions of Iraqi captors

TORONTO (CP) - The co-director of the Christian Peacemakers Teams says the family of freed Christian peace activist James Loney kept his sexual orientation quiet out of fear for his safety.

Oh, yes, you just know the wingnuts are going to do something with this. You just don't know what.

How totally unsurprising.

Diplomacy? Fuck diplomacy.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: March 27, 2006.

Shorter Bill Strong: "What's so bad about irreversible, catastrophic climate change?"

Shorter Civitatensis: "Man, it's a good thing I don't have to care about all dark-skinned foreigners this much. It's exhausting."

Shorter Kate McMillan: "Pardon me while I revel in the joy of other peoples' misfortune."

Shorter Barry Stagg: "I am an idiot."

Condi Rice: A douchebag for compassionate conservatism.

Just in case you needed any more evidence about what sort of thoroughly unprincipled, sleazy hack Condi Rice is, we have this gem (via John at AmericaBlog, and all emphasis below added):

Rice Accepts DJ's Apology for Racial Slur

Hmmmm ... the headline seems to start off well ... where's CC going with this, you ask ...

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has accepted the apology of a disc jockey fired for using a racial slur to describe her, saying the incident shows that even mature democracies take centuries to heal racial wounds.

Wow, that's mighty big of her, letting someone off the hook for denigrating her with a racial slur based on centuries of racial stereotyping. So what exactly happened?

"My understanding is that he apologized, said he didn't mean it," Rice told "Fox News Sunday."

Ohhhhhh ... he didn't mean it? So it wasn't really a deliberate racial slur after all? Details ... we clearly need details:

Dave Lenihan of KTRS in St. Louis apologized on the air immediately after making what he said was a slip of the tongue during his morning show on Wednesday.

Lenihan had praised Rice, who has frequently said she aspires to run the NFL one day but has ruled out seeking to replace retiring Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who recently announced his retirement.

On his show, Lenihan said: "She's been chancellor of Stanford. She's got the patent resume of somebody that has serious skill. She loves football. She's African-American, which would kind of be a big coon. A big coon. Oh my God. I am totally, totally, totally, totally, totally sorry for that."

He said he had meant to say "coup" instead of the slur. KTRS president and general manager Tim Dorsey agreed that the remark was accidental but announced the same day that Lenihan had been fired.

So that's it. He misspoke (something that never happens in the Bush administration, of course) and Rice, clearly realizing that it was a mistake, graciously accepted his apology and ... hold on, what's this?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has accepted the apology of a disc jockey fired for using a racial slur to describe her, saying the incident shows that even mature democracies take centuries to heal racial wounds.

Um ... it was a mistake. Nothing to do with democracies and racial wounds, Condi, you dingbat, he made a mistake and immediately apologized for it. So, finally, Condi gets it and ... whoa, what the hell?

"I accept that because we all say things from time to time that we shouldn't say or didn't mean to say."

It was a mistake, you stupid woman. What part of "mistake" do you just not get? So, finally, Condi twigs to the notion of making a simple verbal gaffe and we can put this behind us and move on and ... bloody hell, now what?

Rice said Sunday that the incident is evidence that the "birth defect" of slavery infuses even mature democracies with racial tensions that take generations to heal.

Rice added that she hopes the episode inspires Americans to "be a little bit more humble" about the progress of emerging democracies such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jesus, Mary, mother of fucking God, the man misspoke a single goddamned word, then got down on his knees begging for forgiveness, and Rice still took the opportunity to beat the living daylights out of him and use the incident as political cover for her administration's neo-con, imperialist adventures overseas.

If only that poor guy has just plagiarized something. He'd probably still have a job today.

BONUS TRACK: How timely.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

March. Freaking. Madness.

George Mason over U. Conn. in overtime. So how many of you had the Patriots going to the Final Four? Yeah, I thought so.

The upside of tighter border security?

To make sure people like this don't slip across the border and perhaps procreate:

Bible tells the truth about our creation

Why is it that these evolutionists are trying so hard to deny that God created the Earth and all that is on it? Now we have an "educated" minister who claims that seminaries have proved that the beginning chapters of the Bible were not written according to the Word of God, but by unknown authors and added to the Bible by some editor. How about the words in John 1:1-4?

I don't think much of a minister who felt it was more important to preach about things he didn't believe, rather than risking his post by not pleasing his (ignorant) congregation.

The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know. For instance, when and how did water evolve? How does it happen that gravity can hold us to the Earth, and at the same time allow us to step up without any trouble? How did it happen that the Earth is spinning at the exact rate that keeps us from feeling that movement?

I find it much easier to believe that Genesis tells us the truth of the creation when we know from God's own Word that nothing is impossible for him to do.

Carol Crooks, Greer

I'd like to think that this is just someone pulling a prank. The alternative is, frankly, just too horrifying.

FOLLOWING THE TRAIN OF THOUGHT ABOVE: And how is it that our noses and ears are in just the right places to support wearing glasses? And the fact that our legs are exactly the right length to reach the ground -- is that freaking amazing or what?

That letter has to be a joke. It just has to be.

Driftglass does Domenech.

Oh, yes.

Dear dog lovers.

This is why I'm a cat person.

Just use your imagination ... it won't take much.

Gunman kills 7 including himself.

(CC NEWS) -- According to police, a young neo-conservative hack killed six journalists at the Washington Post before turning the weapon on himself.

The shooter, a disgraced serial plagiarist named Ben Domenech, had recently been dismissed from his position as a blogger after having been exposed as a thoroughly unprincipled liar, thief, plagiarist and racist.

According to security cameras, Domenech could be seen moving from room to room, firing at Post employees at random while yelling, "Ruin my fucking career, will you? You people are nobodies! I know Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt, and my daddy knows George Bush! You fucking liberal bastards!"

Acquaintances of Domenech's who could be reached for comment would only say that he seemed like a quiet and humble man, who spent his spare time editing other conservatives' books, slagging liberals, accusing civil rights heroes of being "Communists" and spewing racial epithets at black people.

The Ben Domenech fallout.

Ooooh ... they're taking it well, aren't they?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Blogging Tories Short Takes, March 25, 2006 -- Bonus edition.

Shorter Steve Janke: "Speaking as a conservative, let me explain how cognitive dissonance works."

Shorter Damian Penny: "And while we're on the topic, I would now like to address the numerous U.N. Security Council Resolutions that Israel has violated which ... oh, darn, I see my time is up."

Shorter Conservative Life: "And then sometimes my bank gives me free money just because they like me and making too much profit would be bad, and ..."

Shorter North American Patriot: "Isn't it amazing how that one blowjob is responsible for the entire culture of Republican corruption these days? Who would have guessed?"

Shorter Blue Blogging Soapbox: "It's not all mindless, unspeakable violence in Iraq. Sometimes we take cute videos of local children before wasting them and their families."

OOPS: My mistake, that wasn't Damian Penny but "markc" posting on that site.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: March 25, 2006.

Shorter Pete Rempel: "It's really horrific when gay people beat children to death. When Christians do it ... eh, not so much."

Shorter Dr. Roy: "Look out! It's the SUVs of terrorist mass destruction!"

Shorter dissonance and disrespect: "When you have a point, make it. When you don't, bash Bill Clinton."

Shorter Kate McMillan: "It's critically important that we appreciate the long, historical struggle that resulted in the modern protections of human rights for all of us. Well, except for native aboriginals. And faggots."

Shorter Bill Strong: "Can we please resolve this so I can go back to not caring about dark-skinned foreigners?"

(More) shorter Pete Rempel: "And now, a little shout-out to my 12-year-old groupies ..."

The assholitude of Ben Domenech.

While history has shown that the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky shitstorm was little more than a carefully-choreographed, right-wing smear campaign, there is one thing that Bill Clinton does have to answer for, and always will.

When he initially denied "sexual relations" with that woman, his closest friends took him at his word and publicly defended him, only to learn later they'd been hung out to dry because Clinton had lied to them and left them looking infinitely foolish and betrayed.

Sound familiar?

The fact is that Ben Domenech is second-rate. He used other people's words to make himself look good. He is a coward who let his friends at redstate defend him all this week when he knew he was guilty. Mike Krempasky and Josh Trevino made complete and utter fools of themselves all week long defending their buddy who lacked the balls to call them off.

Who knew Ben Domenech aspired to be Bill Clinton?

GLENN GREENWALD WEIGHS IN: This is a pretty good read demonstrating how, with a few exceptions, the lifespan of a conservative principle is about as long as it takes to start dreaming up the next excuse for unethical behaviour.

SNARK AT NO EXTRA CHARGE: Shorter Jeff Goldstein: "Ben always had the honour and integrity to sign his name to whatever he wrote. Except when he didn't, but that's OK because that's different."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mark Steyn and really stupid, neo-con talking points.

Hey, kids! Remember what kind of dick Mark Steyn was being back here, going on about the fraction of provinces in Iraq where you probably wouldn't get your ass blown off by an IED and being annoyingly deceptive about it?

Well, just so you know, Mark's not the only dumbass pushing that bit of dishonest sleaziness. Over here, we have U.S. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch promoting the same crap (but, thankfully, getting called on it a couple of paragraphs later):

In a rundown of recent military activity, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the U.S. military spokesman, said most violence was focused in three central provinces, including Baghdad.

"There is not widespread violence across Iraq. There is not. Seventy-five percent of the attacks still take place in Baghdad, al-Anbar or Salaheddin (provinces). And in the other 15 provinces, they all averaged less than six attacks a day, and 12 of those provinces averaged less than two attacks a day."

He said attacks nationwide were averaging 75 a day, a level that has been generally sustained since August.

The three provinces he cited, however, are home to about 9 million people, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development — a third of the country's population of 27 million.

All right, AP. Nice smackdown.

There goes the office pool.

Well, that didn't take long. Whoever had between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., you're a winner.

MIGHT AS WELL KICK HIM WHILE HE'S DOWN: Over at DK, DHinMI takes the Washington Post out to the woodshed over this.

Michelle Malkin, in a nutshell.

Shorter Crazy-Assed Racist Bitch: "There are times for sick gloating. This isn't one of them."

"No comment."

"No, really, we have no comment. Seriously, we have nothing to say. What part of 'no comment' don't you get? I mean it, we have no comment so will you people all just fuck off and leave us alone because we're not going to comment, OK!?"

The ignorant dumbfuckery of Damian Penny.

Every time I think the Canadian wankersphere can't possibly sink any lower, they manage to purely take my breath away. Consider this dishonest piece of swill from the keyboard of one Damian Penny, which we shall deconstruct little by little, with Penny including excerpts from, and responding to, a recent writer in the Globe and Mail:

[PENNY] It is this sort of idiocy on the part of Mr Martin that makes it hard to take many Canadian journalists seriously (full text not online).

[MARTIN] Among the international agreements that Mr. Bush has spurned or abandoned are ...the ban on weapons in space..

[PENNY] Mr Martin is dead wrong.

Stop right there. Note how, according to Penny, Martin is "dead wrong." Not just inaccurate, or misleading, or simply wrong. No, he's "dead wrong," phraseology that suggests a jaw-dropping, eye-rolling kind of dishonesty totally and utterly detached from reality in every possible way without even a scintilla of truth to justify its existence.

So how exactly is Martin's claim above "dead wrong"? Writes Penny:

There is no treaty banning weapons as such in space. There is however a treaty banning the placing of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in space. This is the 1967 so-called Outer Space Treaty.

There is also the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water.

Ah, there we go. Apparently, Martin wasn't pedantic enough for Penny, writing "weapons" rather than "nuclear weapons" or "weapons of mass destruction" or whatever it is that might have satisfied Penny's nitpickery; hence, Mr. Martin's "dead wrongness."

It's highly entertaining to see this kind of anal pedantry coming from the same class of neo-con wankers who, when actual WMDs weren't found in Iraq, proceeded to cast an absurdly wide net to drag absolutely everything under the umbrella of "WMDs." (Who among us will ever forget the fearsome Iraqi "Winnebagos of Death?")

Now, however, as you can see, Penny raises the art of nitpickery to a wankerrific new level in order to discredit Martin's claim. But Penny's dumbfuckery doesn't end there, oh no. Astonishingly, Penny moves one foot just long enough to make room for the other one as he responds to Martin's claim that Bush has "spurned or abandoned" the international treaties:

The US is a signatory of both treaties and has not withdrawn from them.

A senior Globe columnist should have greater knowledge or bother to do some research. Typical intellectual laziness--and shameless anti-Bush bias--on the part of our media.

Hmmmm ... maybe it's just me but I don't see that Martin ever claimed that Bush "withdrew" from those treaties, do you? I do read the words "spurned" or "abandoned" which, in my humble opinion, mean very different things.

By way of analogy, the Bush administration has most emphatically not "withdrawn" from NAFTA, although one could certainly make the case that it has spurned it given that it treats NAFTA with about the same respect as used toilet paper, which makes Martin's position at least potentially defensible. (There is, of course, the wee detail that the Pentagon really is looking to put weapons in space, but let's not cloud a good rant with actual, you know, reality, shall we?)

Damian Penny: Raising the bar for dishonest, nitpicky dumbfucks everywhere.

WMDs? Yeah, whatever.

It's amusing (well, OK, depressing and amusing) to watch the spin these days drifting up from the town square in Wankerville, proclaiming that WMDs were not a big deal in the decision to invade Iraq, and that WMDs don't really matter, and that that wasn't the real reason for invasion in the first place and ... yadda yadda yadda.

Of course, former White House Press Reptile Ari Fleischer would beg to differ (emphasis added):

Q Well, we went to war, didn't we, to find these -- because we said that these weapons were a direct and imminent threat to the United States? Isn't that true?

MR. FLEISCHER: Absolutely. One of the reasons that we went to war was because of their possession of weapons of mass destruction. And nothing has changed on that front at all. We said what we said because we meant it. We had the intelligence to report it. Secretary Powell said it. And I may point out to you, as you may know, there is a news conference at Department of Defense today at 2:00 p.m. to discuss one element in this.

Of course, the eagle-eyed reader will notice how Fleischer left himself a weaselly out by claiming that WMDs were only one of the reasons for the invasion, but he wasn't so careful here, was he?

Q Ari, part of the reason for the war was WMD. Now, well into the war, WMD has not been found. The American public is going to the television every morning, listening to the radio every morning, trying to find out if, indeed, WMD was found. Does the administration feel there's some awkwardness right now with these statements of they're professionals at hiding, and we know it's there? I mean, is there some sort of awkwardness about the fact that this has not been found as of yet?

MR. FLEISCHER: No. We know Saddam Hussein is there, but we haven't found him yet, either. The fact of the matter is we are still in a war, and not everything about the war is yet known. But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.

So ... can we drop this new talking point? It just makes you wankers look like fools. Even more than usual, if that's possible.

OK, that's progress. I guess.

A few months ago, it was a "national stategy." Now it's a "plan." Can a "strategic national plan" be far behind?

Getting all of the credit, but none of the blame.

Gosh, it sounded so promising just a couple days ago (emphasis added):

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. (CP) - The orderly rescue of dozens of people from a sinking ferry in the dead of night early Wednesday off B.C.'s north coast was nothing short of miraculous, the president of B.C. Ferries said Wednesday.

"Anytime you have a major incident and you have no one hurt or killed in this type of thing, I think you always think it's a miracle," David Hahn said. "You always think, thank God, and you (are) thankful for the crew. That's what they're trained to do. They've done their job once again."

Uh oh ...

Two passengers are now believed dead and questions are being raised about the safety of a B.C. ferry that sank after being ripped open when hitting a rock.

Um ... how 'bout them Leafs, eh?

Blogging Tories Short Takes: March 24, 2006.

Shorter Adam Daifallah: "Promises are for Liberals. It's silk, you know. The tie."

Shorter civitatensis: "Once -- just once -- I'm going to take the moral high road and ... oh, shit."

Shorter GayandRight: "Fuzzy rabbits and chocolate eggs -- the very foundation of modern Christianity, you know."

Shorter Damian Penny: "Pardon me while I criticize another slip-up at the Times while misspelling Nicholas Kristof's name."

Shorter Strong Conservative: "Personal bias has no place in the mainstream media. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Sometimes, I crack me up."

Shorter Sham the Tory Man: "Tell you what. Why don't I just reproduce verbatim entire pages from Fox News? It'll save both of us time."

Announcing the Ben Domenech Death Watch, Day 1.

Once you read this, you have to wonder how long young Ben is going to last at the WaPo. Should we start a pool?

UPDATE: Um, yeah ... it's a bloodbath.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"When I say 'support,' I don't mean by, you know, actually DOING anything."

Stealing shamelessly from POGGE, we have a somewhat pessimistic forecast from the sand dunes of Iraq:

Are the Americans here to stay? Air Force mechanic Josh Remy is sure of it as he looks around Balad.

“I think we’ll be here forever,” the 19-year-old airman from Wilkes-Barre, Pa., told a visitor to his base.

But look on the bright side, Josh. This guy is behind you all the way. Several thousand miles behind, if my geography hasn't let me down.

100,000 and counting!

Well, OK, technically not quite but, if trends hold up, I should get my 100,000th visitor around 3 p.m. today (3:30 in Newfoundland).

I apologize but I just haven't had time to throw together a celebration although, if you hang around for another year or so, we should have something for 200,000. Really.

And cake. We'll have cake.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: March 23, 2006.

Shorter Damian Penny: "It really pisses me off when other people use weaselly double-speak."

Shorter Sham the Tory Man: "Wow. So there's another demographic that's at least 30% racist? Who knew?"

Shorter Steve Janke: "Who needs reality when you have blogs?"

Shorter Blogging Tories in general: "Man, what a relief that this whole Abdul Rahman thing came along. We've been kind of at loose ends since Terri Schiavo."

There's some debate here.

Over at Ed Brayton's "Dispatches from the Culture Wars," Ed is all over the recent "news" that Jerry Falwell's Liberty University debating team is the "best" debating team in the entire United States, which would normally come as a bit of a surprise since most students who choose to attend Liberty University are, well, morons. So what's really going on here?

Ed starts here back on Jan. 31 of this year, and quotes the following from MSNBC:

The Liberty team is currently ranked No. 1 in the country, above Harvard (14th) and all the other big names.

Now, even reading nothing else, it should be obvious that that doesn't mean they're national champions. Rather, it talks about rankings, so it's no big surprise that, when you do read further, these rankings are based on things like number of tournaments attended and so on. They have little to do with actual talent. In any event, you can read the whole thing for yourself to see how LU is playing fast and loose with the facts to artificially crank up their reputation. But it doesn't end there.

Apparently, Stephen Colbert (not recognizing "truthiness" when he sees it) had Liberty's debate coach Brett O'Donnell on "The Colbert Report," whereupon O'Donnell proceeded to mangle reality thusly:

Brett O'Donnell, the coach of the Liberty University debate team, was on the Colbert Report last night on Comedy Central. He actually talked about how great it was to beat Harvard and with all the talk of how Liberty is "better" than Harvard and Dartmouth and Northwestern, etc, not once did he even hint at the fact that they are #1 only because they send a lot of teams to weak regional tournaments as well as enter lots of teams in novice events.

Ed follows up with parts 3 and 4 here and here, that last installment explaining how CBS News has now bestowed upon LU the title of "national champions."

Sorry, what was all that about that one-sided, anti-Christian "liberal" media again?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dear troops: Make yourselves comfy.

Oooooh ... I'm betting those MREs aren't going down well today:

President Bush said Tuesday that the war in Iraq was eroding his political capital, his starkest admission yet about the costs of the conflict to his presidency, and suggested that American forces would remain in the country until at least 2009.

Have fun, kids. Try not to step on any suspicious mounds on the road.

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

You had to see this coming. WaPo's child wingnut, Ben Domenech, gets all weepy over Haleigh Poutre. And Sun Hudson? Not so much.

My head is going to explode.

Oh. My. God. What next? Mark Steyn getting a beat at the Globe? Oh, wait ...

HOW SLEAZY CAN ONE HUMAN BEING POSSIBLY BE? If you really need to know where to peg Domenech on your sleaze-o-meter, this should tell you everything you need to know:

Will Saletan is normally at least evenhanded. But his offhand dismissal of the reasons for teaching Intelligent Design in public schools is full of holes. He can't just dismiss intelligent design as "empy" or "full of lies or dogma," when no less prominent an evolutionist than Stephen Jay Gould has lent weight to the theories of Michael Behe and his brethren.

Really? He has? That's kind of a surprising development. So if we follow that link referring to Gould, surely we'll get to a piece in which Gould himself is taking this position, right? Right?


What we find is an article by someone else claiming that Stephen Jay Gould is "bad for evolution" which is, as I'm sure you can appreciate, not quite the same thing.

Where I come from, we call that being a dishonest, sleazy, unprincipled hack. Where Domenech comes from, I imagine they call it being a Republican.

DAMN IT. I swear, I wrote this piece before I popped over to Pharyngula to see that PZ Myers was all over this like Jonah Goldberg on a box of Krispy Kremes.

SNICKER. Everybody's taking a whack at the boy moron.

Mess with Noam Chomsky at your peril.

Oh, dear. So right-wing hack Peter Schweizer goes after Noam Chomsky and, for his trouble, gets slapped upside the head.

Tell us something we DON'T know.

Apparently (and brace yourself for this), the pro-Israel lobby in the United States wields an inordinate and perhaps dangerous amount of power. Shocked, you are, I'm sure.

Via Glenn Greenwald here, you can pop over here for the UPI piece or, if you're feeling ambitious, here for the full deal.

Let the charges of anti-Semitism begin.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: March 22, 2006.

Shorter Sham the Tory Man: "At any cost, we have to prevent the bomb from falling into the hands of war-mongering, religious extremists. That would be bad."

Shorter Kate McMillan: "Speaking from the perspective of a devout Christian, it should be obvious that the biggest problem with all those ragheads is their unshakeable belief that their deity will solve all of their problems."

Shorter Aaron Lee Wudrick: "Have you ever looked -- I mean, really looked at your hand?"

Mark Steyn and unfair comparisons.

Back here, I opined that there was something just a little weird about the synchronicity of conservative attack poodle Mark Steyn showing up in the Globe and Mail, and the Washington Post hiring a new right-wing blogger in order to provide a counterpoint to, um, lucidity and reason. It turns out this was an unfortunately unfair comparison on my part.

Over here, you can learn about Ben Domenech, the WaPo's new blogger who, as you can see, is best described as a total dingbat and nutbar, whereas Mr. Steyn is ... oh, fuck it. What was my point again?

: I'd dearly love to find online copies of a couple of Steyn's pieces of utter hackery. First, of course, it would be nice to find his opinion piece from yesterday's Globe ("The cost of not whacking Saddam was too high," written, of course, from the perspective of someone who clearly had no intention of being part of the actual "whacking" but content to write about it from the relative safety of being out of range).

And there's an earlier piece, "The civil war that wasn't," originally here but, sadly, now archived and inaccessible. Apparently, in that piece, Steyn makes joyous fun of all of those doomsayers who have the audacity to suggest that Iraq is headed for civil war. My request to find a copy has nothing to do with the overwhelming desire to rub Steyn's insufferably pompous nose in it. No, it's purely academic. Really.

, I'm guessing that this Steyn piece from 2003 is not something he's going to be trotting out on his resume any time soon.

REGARDING BEN, I was trying to be polite. Jane has no such social compunctions.

The predictability is getting kind of nauseating.

First, refresh your memory here. Then check out this stomach-churning Washington Post love song to President Chimpy McFlightSuit, with this depressing excerpt:

Mr. Bush, however, hasn't lost sight of the stakes. "The enemy has said that it's just a matter of time before the United States loses its nerve and withdraws from Iraq. That is what they have said," he told reporters. "And their objective for driving us out of Iraq is to have a place from which to launch their campaign to overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East, as well as to continue attacking places like the United States. Now, maybe some discount those words as kind of meaningless propaganda. I don't. I take them really seriously."

I believe this is what they call, in the biz, a "one-trick pony."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

When Mark Steyn met fractions, and fractions kicked his sorry ass.

As I mentioned earlier, the Canadian wankersphere is all aflutter over Mark Steyn's opinion piece in today's Globe, seeing it as perhaps a harbinger of things to come. Sadly, if it is, what it means is that we can look forward to even more eye-rolling mathematical illiteracy and dishonesty.

Steyn tries to paint a happy face on the current situation in Iraq with the subtitle, "Three years on, Iraq's glass is seven-ninths full," and expands on that thusly:

But in Iraq today the glass is seven-ninths full. That's to say, in 14 out of 18 provinces life is better than it's been in recent memory.

Steyn, like many other deluded/dishonest Bush apologists, sure is keen on this whole "14 out of 18 provinces" thing. Sure sounds impressive, until you take a closer look at those excluded four provinces:

So: the four provinces containing the cities of Baghdad, Fallujah, Mosul, and Tikrit. That's sort of like an American election in which California, New York, Illinois, and Ohio couldn't vote. In fact, it's worse: those four provinces contain about 50% of Iraq's population.

Ooooooh ... that's kind of an important detail, wouldn't you think? Of course, it's amusing to think that folks like Steyn who refuse to take into account the population distribution in Iraq when bellowing the good news are naturally the same ones who are absolutely incensed by the fact that, come election time in Canada, Ontario has such a disproportionate effect in terms of votes because of its population compared to the other smaller provinces.

Mark Steyn: Intellectually dishonest or mathematically illiterate? We report, you decide.

BY THE WAY, if you have an urge to see Steyn get bitch-slapped around the parking lot, you can start here.

Blogging Tories and rending garments.

Well, you had to expect the Blogging Tories home page to give major play to this story:

Afghan man faces death for turning to Christianity

KABUL — The judge deciding whether an Afghan man should be executed for converting to Christianity does not understand what all the fuss is about.

"In this country, we have [a] perfect constitution. It is Islamic law and it is illegal to be a Christian and it should be punished," Judge Alhaj Ansarullah Mawawy Zada said in an interview yesterday. "In your country, two women can marry. I think that is very strange."

Bloody savages. Where on earth did they get the idea that unbelievers deserved to be put to death? Oh, wait ...

2 If there be found in the midst of thee, within any of thy gates which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that doeth that which is evil in the sight of Jehovah thy God, in transgressing his covenant,

3 and hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, or the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;

4 and it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, then shalt thou inquire diligently; and, behold, if it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel,

5 then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, who hath done this evil thing, unto thy gates, even the man or the woman; and thou shalt stone them to death with stones.

OK, then. Sorry I asked. Carry on.

Pandering to the commonweal.

The similarities here are just a bit creepy. First, we have the Canadian wankersphere, getting little woodies over the fact that one of their heroes, Mark Steyn, had an opinion piece in today's Globe and Mail although there doesn't appear to be even a single reference to that piece from their web site, even to list it as a print-only article. And it's not at all clear whether this is a one-off piece, or the first of a regular series.

At the same time, in a weird bit of synchronicity, we have this:

'Wash Post' Launches Conservative Blog, Provokes a 'Firestorm'

During the recent controversy surrounding Dan Froomkin's blog at The Washington Post, editors not only decided to clearly label his column "opinion" but also to make an effort to hire a conservative blogger to balance his alleged liberal slant.

Today, the Post launched the result: A new blog called "Red America," created by Ben Domenech, co-founder of RedState, a popular community blog.

It immediately set off what Post political reporter Tom Edsall called a "firestorm" in his online chat today.

A former contributing editor to National Review Online, Domenech later became what he calls "the youngest political appointee of President George W. Bush." After a stint as chief speechwriter for Texas Senator John Cornyn, he became a book editor at Regnery Publishing, where he worked with Michelle Malkin and others.

Now, one can sort of understand the Globe/Steyn decision. Given a new CPC government, it seems like a reaonable marketing move to give extra space to a right-wing contributor.

But that doesn't explain the Post's thought that, in the midst of tanking GOP popularity down south, what they really needed was to lean even further to the right. What the hell are these folks thinking? And I use the word "thinking" in its loosest sense.

Blogging Tories Short Takes, March 21, 2006.

Shorter Joan Tintor: "Man, I hate it when politicians break their promises. Um ... I meant Liberal politicians, of course."

Shorter Dust My Broom: "'Demagogue'. That word only applies to foreigners, right?"

Shorter Strong Conservative: "And now, for a dissenting point of view ... whoops, reached my word limit again. Dontcha just hate it when that happens?"

Down the memory hole.

"Hey, that wasn't me ... that was my evil twin Skippy."

Canada: A long way to go to compete on the world's "war crimes" stage.

As we pointed out yesterday, the Canadian military has their work cut out for them if they plan on giving the Americans a run for the position of world leader in committing war crimes.

Yes, the Canadians are off to a good start by shooting someone in a motorized rickshaw but, surely, Canadian military leaders have to realize that this is penny-ante stuff when it comes to American atrocities:

The residents said troops entered homes and shot and killed 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.

OK, now we're talking. You know you're a serious bad-ass when you can waste a 3-year-old with automatic weapons. But it doesn't stop there:

Ali, 76, whose left leg was amputated years ago because of diabetes, died after being shot in the stomach and chest. His wife, Khamisa, 66, was shot in the back. Ali's son, Jahid, 43, was hit in the head and chest. Son Walid, 37, was burned to death after a grenade was thrown into his room, and a third son, 28-year-old Rashid, died after he was shot in the head and chest, Rsayef and Hamza said.

All right, then -- offing a 76-year-old diabetic amputee. Fuckin' A -- now that's attitude. And just in case the Canadians think they can even begin to compete at this level, well:

Rsayef said those killed in the second house were his brother Younis, 43, who was shot in the stomach and chest, the brother's wife Aida, 40, who was shot in the neck and chest while still in bed where she was recuperating from bladder surgery.

Oh, man -- snuffing someone who was recuperating in bed. Are these dudes bad motherfuckers or what? And the Canadian response?

Yesterday afternoon, when the Star's van fell in behind another Canadian patrol travelling through downtown Kandahar, a soldier riding in the back of the vehicle could be seen draining a bottle of water and then pinging the plastic container off the head of a young Afghan male walking along the street.

Oh, geez -- bouncing an empty plastic bottle off someone's head. Lame, lame, totally goddamned lame. It almost makes you embarrassed to call yourself a war criminal.

Come on, Canada. Show some pride and waste a 3-year-old or a geriatric amputee or something. I'm tired of always coming in second to the U.S. We can do better. Don't let me down.

Quick. Cancel NAFTA.

The solution is so, so obvious. First, we have the Americans, being the complete dicks they've always been with respect to NAFTA and softwood, even in the face of a unanimous ruling against them:

The U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports was not happy with the ruling.

"The NAFTA panel decision issued today is gravely flawed, and signifies a potential end to an important antidote in the U.S. lumber industry's efforts to counter the poison that is Canadian lumber industry practices," coalition chairman Steve Swanson said.

The Canadian industry gets "enormous subsidies" and "we will not stand for this absurd and unjust result," he added.

At the same time, we have the spectre of the U.S. using other provisions of NAFTA against Canada (as quoted here at POGGE):

Since the signing of NAFTA in 1992, gas exports to the US have sky rocketed from 41% to 56% of our total Canadian production, and oil from 44% to 63% of production. What’s more, as US exports continue to balloon, NAFTA prevents us from reducing this share to meet Canadian priorities.

The solution is simple: Cancel NAFTA. Just rip it up. At the moment, it would seem that it's not doing us any good, while it's simultaneously being used as a club by the Americans to extract Canada's natural resources.

Now, I am not a lawyer but the U.S. refusing to abide by NAFTA's rulings on softwood lumber strikes me as a fairly straightforward breach of contract, no? Which typically gives the aggrieved party the opportunity to void the contract and walk away. It strikes me that this is the perfect time to do just that.

So, quick -- let's cancel NAFTA while we have the chance. When you realize you've signed a really, really bad contract, there's nothing that should make you happier than to find out the other party is breaking its terms. Let's walk away now while the U.S. is doing just that.

Black (humour) Tuesday.

The bad news:

INNISFAIL, Australia (AP) -- Troops began moving aid to the cyclone-shattered town of Innisfail on Tuesday as residents picked through waterlogged streets littered with rubble and mangled roofs destroyed by Australia's most powerful cyclone in decades.

The unintentional humour:

U.S. President George W. Bush called Australian Prime Minister John Howard early Tuesday to offer American help if needed.

Make up your own punchline.