Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Captain "Special Ed" screws another pooch.

Oh, Lordy, I'm not sure how much more pure Captain Ed-inspired wingnuttery I can take but, what the hell, let's rip him another orifice, shall we?

See, on May 18, with respect to the possible incident at Haditha, Captain Ed was wailing on Rep. John Murtha here, thusly:

"Murtha leaping to conclusions ... has decided to skip the investigation ... leapt directly to conclusions ... jumped the gun ... made this leap ... blah blah blah ... ".

You get the idea. Murtha was completely irresponsible, prejudged the investigation, etc, etc. And that was on May 18. Got that?

Fast forward to May 31 in which that same Captain Ed, desperately trying to defend the Pentagon against increasing charges of a cover-up of the Haditha massacre, writes (emphasis added):

Pentagon Understood Haditha Contradictions, Ordered Investigation

The Haditha investigation started earlier than previously thought after a Marine Corps investigator noticed key discrepancies between the physical evidence and the reports from the Marines involved. The New York Times reveals that the Pentagon had already referred the matter to criminal investigators weeks before Time Magazine reported the alleged atrocities at the end of March, ...

By the time that Time reported this incident publicly in the March 27th issue, the US military had already determined that war crimes had potentially been committed at Haditha.

So, to recap, in Captain Ed's universe, Rep. John Murtha was a treasonous jackass for engaging in speculative, unfounded, rumour-mongering about the Haditha incident in May, but the Pentagon -- God bless 'em -- was on top of things, having bravely and commendably determined that something was seriously rotten in Denmark about this whole Haditha cock-up back in March.

Have no fear, folks. We'll get to the bottom of this. Captain Clouseau is on the job.

Harry Reid: 1. Blogging Tories: 0.

Well, well, well ... lookee here (emphasis added):

It would have been against state law for Harry Reid to have reimbursed the Nevada Athletic Commission for credentials.

So, when can we expect some thoroughly sheepish retractions from some seriously dumbass Blogging Tories? I mean, there's this dumbass. And, hey, let's not forget this dumbass, too.

Well, guys? Any time you're ready. Especially you, Captain Ed. After all, you seem to have a soft spot for retractions. Or is that just when other people have to make them?

"War?" What "war?"

Oh, man. How many times -- how many, O Lord??? -- have I blogged on the issue of whether we (and by "we," I mean other people) are really "at war?" Not surprisingly, it's convenient to answer that question differently on different days, isn't it?

Why, yes ... yes, it is.

, if the troops have just been told that we're not really "at war" and that the Geneva Conventions aren't in effect, would it still be morally justified for a member of the Taliban to kill PM Stephen Harper? Discuss.

POINTS TO PONDER: It's hard to believe that anyone in a position of responsibility could be so mentally retarded as to send Canadian troops into armed conflict, then publicly announce that the Geneva Conventions don't apply.

I'm guessing that Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor doesn't quite grok that the Geneva Conventions are as much for Canadian troop protection as for the opposition, in order to guarantee that our soldiers are treated humanely when they're captured. And O'Connor has just made it clear to the world that they're not.

Bonus exam question: Would a member of Canada's military be morally justified in killing Defence Minister Donald O'Connor for being such a total asshole? Discuss. Show your work.

WELL, YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING. Cathie wrote about this as well, and it was only a matter of time before the citizens of Lower Wankerville started chiming in on how the Geneva Conventions apply to us ('cuz we're the good guys) but don't apply to them (for whatever reason happens to be convenient).

For example, Cathie's commenter "Lance" makes an ass of himself by bloviating:

Respectfully . . . you don't have a clue about what you are talking about.

Go read it.

First article regarding Land forces -
Third article regarding POW's -

Particularily the part about what defines persons protected under the Geneva Convention. Silly little requirements like uniforms, and chains of command.

Oh, yeah. Can't have a war without proper uniforms, dontcha know? Except that's utter rubbish. So before anyone decides to leave a comment trying to educate the rest of us on what the GCs really mean, do us all a favour and go read them first.

I'd like to get your opinion on what they actually say, rather than what you heard Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly say about them. Is that asking too much?

Outrage? What outrage?

Via Liberal Catnip, I notice that Motor City Moonbat Ted Nugent has a solution for evil in general:

How do you get peace, love and understanding? First of all you have to find all the bad people. Then," Nugent adds, "you kill them."

Sure, why not? And what do those on the Canadian Right think about this idea? After all, they were the ones who went apeshit over Brit George Galloway's suggestion that, in the Global War on Terror™, a suicide bomber would be morally justified in killing enemy leader Tony Blair. I mean, hell, this undoubtedly values-based conservative suggested that Galloway should simply be killed for his opinions. My, but they are an easily outraged lot, aren't they?

Or are they? Given Nugent's philosophy above, one would think that all those Blogging Tories would be similarly horrified and putting fingers to keyboard to express their disagreement. Sure they will. And on that day, Satan will be ice skating to work.

Don't hold your breath.

And the Crazed One unleashes her yapping minions.

Uh oh ... someone's got their bikini briefs in a bunch. What's the matter, Kate? That last Harley airbrush job not quite work out or what?

Michaelle Jean meets Dustin Hoffman.

Peter MacKay: "Is it safe?"

Stephen Harper: "Oh, yes, yes, it's safe. Completely safe. Absolutely. Couldn't be safer. No problem."

Michaelle Jean: "Is it safe?"

Stephen Harper: "No, no, it's not safe. Not safe at all. In fact, it's very dangerous. Very dangerous, indeed."

Blogging Tories Short Takes: May 31, 2006.

Shorter Sham the Tory Man: "Speaking as a member of Canada's values and morals-based party, what about a bullet through the brain? Seriously."

Shorter Dr. Roy: "I've heard rumours that the Israelis do this sort of thing to Palestinians as well, but I don't believe a word of it."

Shorter Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck: "Wow! Channeling Glenn Reynolds is even easier than I thought. Heh."

What can possibly go wrong?

Well, huzzah and hoorah! Apparently, Captain Special Ed is movin' on up to the east side. Now, an even larger audience can appreciate Captain Ed's contribution to the discourse, with stunningly investigative pieces like, oh, this one.

Oh, come on ... you haven't forgotten already, have you? God save the Washington Examiner, because nothing else will.

: If you have the time, peruse the comments section of that post, just to see what happens when a couple commenters who aren't clinically insane try to explain the facts. My favourite contemptuous wanker dismissal of reality is this one (emphasis added):

Just because he didn't ultimately get what he wanted, it doesn't mean he didn't sell his influence. Is it only a bribe if he's successful? Is it only a bribe if he gets caught?

And frankly, reported or not, someone in his position should set a higher standard than just meeting the letter of the law, particularly when he is a member of the body that makes the law. Do you truly see no conflict of interest at all in this???

Yes, by God, just because Reid never showed any favouritism, made his position clear from the beginning and obeyed "the letter of the law," that's no reason to not suggest that he's a thoroughly corrupt patsy and sleazebucket with a raging conflict of interest.

Your wankersphere in action.

BY THE WAY, do I really need to point out how Captain Ed flat-out lied in that Reid-related post when he wrote (emphasis added):

Now the Democrats have to add their own leadership -- again -- as the Senate Minority Leader has been exposed as taking favors from a notoriously corrupt industry while he intervened on their behalf:

As we have already established, Reid did no such thing -- he voted against the Nevada Athletic Commission. So you can spin this any way you want but the fact is, Captain Ed is lying here. Is anyone prepared to hold their breath waiting for a correction, retraction or apology?

Me neither.

BETTER AND BETTER: Media Matters lays a serious pasting on this whole Harry Reid boxing story. But note how, whereas journalistic hack John Solomon "failed to inform readers that, rather than taking any actions favorable to the NAC, Reid allowed the specific legislation that the agency had opposed to pass," Captain Ed goes one step further and, as I pointed out earlier, just outright lies about it.

Captain Ed: A douchebag for douchebaggery.

HA HA! Will the hackery never end? What will we tell the children? Damn it, it must be time for another conference on blogger ethics!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Why the word "chickenhawk" just isn't enough.

Now here's a fine post, which suggests that maybe whether or not you lower the flag to half-mast on Parliament Hill isn't quite as important as making sure those folks don't get killed in the first place.

Blogging Tories Long Takes: May 30, 2006.

Oh, man, there is just way too much chewy goodness over at the BTs for "Short Takes" this morning so we're going to take our time. Get a coffee, settle in.

First, there's the incomparable idiocy of Dr. Roy, who refuses to acknowledge the distinction between accepting gifts against which the Senate ethics manual merely "warns" in case there's a perceived conflict, and the massive culture of corruption inside the Republican Party and its supporters that has numerous members under investigation, being indicted and now, finally, being sent to prison for lengthy stretches. Sure, no difference there to speak of. I'm guessing you don't do "nuance," am I right, Doc?

[EVER SO TIMELY UPDATE: Oh, man ... Dr Roy versus TPM. The word "smackdown" doesn't even begin to describe this, does it?]


Next, we have CPC Pundit Stephen Taylor, demonstrating that he knows how to spell certain logical fallacies without really understanding what they mean. Apparently, in Stephen's world, any cross-border comparison now represents a new logical fallacy that he has named reductio ad americanum and which, if I read him correctly, is being used to simply slam the door on meaningful debate.

I can see his point. I can't imagine the value in any further discussion once someone has whipped out a vicious, anti-American, comparative smackdown such as, "Policy planners are looking at American-style Senate elections, where voters would cast ballots for certain senators on one six-year cycle, and other senators on a second six-year cycle." I mean, holy fuck! Using the same voting cycle as the Americans? Are we insane? God in Heaven, how will we ever protect the children?

I'm amused by the fact that, in his lengthy list of alleged logical absurdities, Taylor carefully avoided any example related to, say, statistics on handgun-related deaths. Are we still allowed to bring that up, Stephen? I mean, if we're talking gun control, you'd think that might be a useful set of facts to bring to the table. Can we still talk about that without being chastised by you, Stephen? Huh? Can we, can we, can we?

(Is it worth pointing out that both Andrew and Damian think Stephen is making a terrific point? I'm pretty sure nothing more need be said there.)

[UPDATE: By the way, Stephen, while we're on the subject of logical fallacies, you ought to check out this one: "Hasty generalization." It has to do with drawing sweeping conclusions from an insufficient number of samples. Sound familiar?]

Finally, we learn from Uncommon Truths that "You're more likely to die walking around in Detroit than in Iraq." Why, sure, and if a Republican congressman says it at, it must be true.

Ignore, of course, that Rep. Steve King (R - Delusional Fantasyland) gets to cherry pick the most violent cities in the U.S. for his comparison. Ignore that this comparison involves pitting those most violent American cities against the country of Iraq as a whole which would, of course, include large areas of relatively peaceful countryside that would skew the values drastically. (Are we allowed to ask what those figures would look like if Detroit was compared specifically against, say, Baghdad? Or Fallujah? I'm betting things would be noticeably different.)

But perhaps the funniest observation is that the claim refers specifically to "civilian deaths." And why just civilians? Because if you make the same calculation for just American troops in Iraq, you could be generous and point out that members of the American military are being killed at a rate of about 60 per month these days. If you assume 135,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, that works out to be about 44 deaths per 100,000 troops. Per month. Not annualized. Not per year. Per month. In short, the comparative death rate of the American military in Iraq is some twelve times as high as that of civilians in the most violent American city.

And remember, these are not helpless civilians we're talking about in Iraq. These are members of the most powerful military fighting machine on the planet, with automatic weapons, flak jackets, body armour and wicked pissah Humvees and everything else, who will waste you for just looking at them the wrong way. And they're still being killed at a rate twelve times as high as civilians in Washington, D.C.. But, hey ... let's not let those unfortunate numbers get in the way of a great talking point. That would be so ... depressing.

I think we're done here. Time for coffee.

AFTERSNARK: There's just so much hideous dishonesty associated with that whole "Iraq/D.C. death rate" comparison, and it's not hard to find. Take, for instance, this delightful example of bogus statistics from back in 2004:

The average monthly death toll for US soldiers in Iraq is 55.6 deaths per month while the average reported murders per month in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City are 48.7, 51.9 and 49.3 deaths per month. The murder statistics in the US cities are for hostile deaths only — whereas the death toll in Iraq includes both hostile and accidental deaths. This makes our own murder rates in LA, Chicago and NYC even more appalling. Yet there is not an equivalent amount of reporting or hand wringing.

And when you read the above carefully, what's missing? Why, yes, the admission that the population of, say, New York is considerably larger than the population of American troops in Iraq. Calculating the actual, honest comparative values on a per capita basis is left as an exercise for the reader.

Monday, May 29, 2006

There's funny "ha ha" ... and then there's funny "yeesh."

This is "priceless." Why, yes, Greg ... yes, it is. This, on the other hand, is just plain creepy. And, truth be told, only one of them makes me want to back out of the room slowly without making any sudden, startling movements with my hands.

P.S. In case you've never heard of Jeff Goldstein, he's "the best blogger in the world." I'm guessing that means that, in Kate's little echo chamber, all of them are even dumber. Feel free to come to grips with that idea.

Did I mention that I hate Microsoft? No, really.

Just when you think the evil is exhausted, well ... here we go again:

automatix writes "Microsoft's new competitor to the omnipresent JPEG format has been shown at WinHEC and is discussed on CNET. The Windows Media Photo format has many promises associated with it. The program manager is claiming 'We can do it in half the size of a JPEG file.'. While 'the philosophy has been that licensing should not be a restriction', it is interesting that the specification requires a click-through agreement to even read it."

Random thoughts to follow later, so feel free to start things off.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: May 29, 2006.

Shorter Dr. Roy: "Will you please get all this stuff about tens of thousands of slaughtered Iraqi civilians off of my keyboard? I'm trying to write about something important!"

Shorter Joanne: "Hitler. Hitler Hitler Hitler. Did I mention Hitler?"

Sorry ... what was all that "values-based" stuff again?

Poor Ralph -- the more you know him, the less you like him:

In August 1999, political organizer Ralph Reed's firm sent out a mailer to Alabama conservative Christians asking them to call then-Rep. Bob Riley (R-Ala.) and tell him to vote against legislation that would have made the U.S. commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands subject to federal wage and worker safety laws.

Now those seven-year-old words are coming back to haunt Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition and a candidate for the Republican nomination to be Georgia's lieutenant governor.

"The radical left, the Big Labor Union Bosses, and Bill Clinton want to pass a law preventing Chinese from coming to work on the Marianas Islands," the mailer from Reed's firm said. The Chinese workers, it added, "are exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ" while on the islands, and many "are converted to the Christian faith and return to China with Bibles in hand."

Awwwwwww ... that's so sweet. This next part -- not so sweet:

A year earlier, the Department of the Interior -- which oversees federal policy toward the U.S. territory -- presented a very different picture of life for Chinese workers on the islands. An Interior report found that Chinese women were subject to forced abortions and that women and children were subject to forced prostitution in the local sex-tourism industry.

Because, in Ralph's Gospel-inspired world, nothing says "God loves you" like forced abortions and child prostitution. But don't worry, Ralph. No matter how loathsome or despicable a human being you're exposed to be, God will still love you. And, for that matter, so will these people.

Just no accounting for taste, I guess.

: I can only imagine how horrified these folks will be over the thought of forced abortions and child prostitution, so I'm bracing myself for the tidal wave of outrage sure to be emanating from that site any minute now.

Yessir, annnnnnny minute now ...

Dear Stephen: Two can play at that game.

I meant to write something on this a few days ago but you know how it is when beer drinking gets in the way. From Ms. Z, quoting colleague Susan Delacourt, on the topic of Stephen Harper's childish tantrums regarding the Parliamentary Press Gallery:

These are rules that have functioned for many years, to the benefit of reporters AND politicians. Because there are organized scrums after cabinet, for instance, ministers aren't chased around the clock at restaurants, at their homes and outside their offices. Canada has not seen the kind of excessive camera-stalking of politicians, for instance, largely because we've had a civilized dialogue on the rules of engagement here.

And there's your solution. If Harper doesn't like the benefits of working within the system, then let's scrap it altogether and let it be a free-for-all. You're a journalist who wants some information? So call Stephen at home. Frequently. Late at night. Can't reach him there? No problem. Follow him to restaurants and interrupt him in mid-bite for that potential scoop. If you can't reach Stephen, then just irritate his wife and ask to leave messages. And, hey, if that doesn't work, you can always waylay his kids and slip them a note, asking if Daddy could please give them a call. Yeah, I'm sure that would represent a huge improvement over the current system.

Of course, there should be limits. Personally, I'd draw the line at publicizing his private cell phone number. I mean, you have to be a real asshole to do something like that.

Really, really stupid quote of the day.

"You can't arrest me. I'm a basketball player."

The mote in one's eye, and all that.

Well, now, here's some awkward introspection:

Pope Benedict XVI visited Auschwitz on Sunday, walking through the gates in the footsteps of more than a million Jews, Poles, Roma, gays and others who were killed at the Nazi concentration camp...

"In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

Why, yes, and that's an excellent question. Given that so many Christians reject biological evolution unless you can give them an hour-by-hour, exactly-detailed report on every step in the process and show them a fossil for every single organism that ever existed throughout the history of time, it's just a little weaselly for some of those same folks to be standing there with this vacant expression on their faces, going, "Yup, that was some bad craziness, all right and don't that just beat all? Man, He sure does work in mysterious ways, don't He?"

No shit. And when those folks can produce an excruciatingly detailed, rigorous and thoroughly complete rationale for why their deity sat back on His Ass and allowed arguably the most horrific example of genocide in the history of mankind, then we can have this evolution chat again, don't you think?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

For cat lovers only -- too damned funny for words.

Some folks have way too much time on their hands. (Yeah, yeah, the Dave Brubeck thing is good, too.)

CPC to RCMP: Bite me.

It's kind of pathetic when American bloggers have good reason to describe Canada as intolerant. The opening lines from that referenced article:

The Harper government has forbidden its MPs from discussing the first same-sex Mountie marriage, referring all questions on the subject to Stockwell Day.

But Mr. Day, public safety minister and a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, wouldn’t speak about the upcoming nuptials of two Nova Scotia Mounties, Const. Jason Tree and Const. David Connors.

"The minister won’t have any specific comments on this," Melissa Leclerc, Mr. Day’s communications director, said Wednesday. "That’s their private life. There’s nothing much we can say."

Sure, let's campaign as the law-and-order party, and then personally snub members of the RCMP. Good plan. But I'm betting the fun is just beginning:

Mr. Comartin said Mr. Day likely doesn’t want to comment about this marriage because his party has promised to bring same-sex marriage before the House for another vote, a vote most observers believe is destined to fail.

Oh, man ... I can just see that CPC press conference now:

"I just want to make it perfectly clear that, while we fully respect the current legal situation in Canada with respect to same-sex marriage, and while we have the utmost admiration for the members of our law enforcement agencies, we still believe that these two individuals are abominations that should be stoned to death at the city gates for crimes against God, and may they burn in hell for all eternity. Thank you. No questions."

The entertainment value is almost boundless, isn't it?

AFTERSNARK: It should be obvious that the CPC government is in an awkward position here. They can't really offer any congratulations when they've already made it clear that they would like to see the current SSM law overturned, but it's Stockwell Day's rationale for the no comment that's so entertaining:

"The minister won’t have any specific comments on this," Melissa Leclerc, Mr. Day’s communications director, said Wednesday. "That’s their private life. There’s nothing much we can say."

Really, Doris? One would think that two people deciding to get married is about as private a part of life as something gets, but that's never stopped you or the ignorant, whackjob dingbats in your party from expounding at length on how you'd like to take that right away from some people.

I'm betting that respect for privacy is going to disappear come that open vote.

And a good time was had by all. And will be again.

And just to follow up on Bow James Bow, yes, a good time was had by all, even when Greg, Greg and IP began discussing electoral reform with great gusto, at which point one could shut them up only by refilling their glasses and hope they noticed:

"Well, sure, single-transferable voting has its appeal, but when you compare it to MMP ... oh, look! Beer!"

And since IP is leaving us this week, perhaps we can squeeze in one more evening of drinking pragmatically. We'll just have to watch her blog closely for details.

UPDATE: New details on next book launch here.

With God, all things are possible.

OK, maybe not.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: May 28, 2006.

Shorter GayandRight: "With Jews, it's outrageous. With women, it's just kind of amusing."

Shorter Mark C.: "Speaking on behalf of an entire demographic that swallowed the whole Iran/Jews/badge fairy tale in its entirety, how can you possibly trust anyone who mistakenly referred to the B-2 as the B-1?"

Shorter civitatensis: "Just because I spell it 'Gurman Grewald' doesn't mean people shouldn't take me seriously. Right, Mark?"

Shorter Dr. Roy: "I mean, you're a man of the world, you've been around, you've 'done it', right? ... Wot's it like?"

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Look out! Fake outrage alert. (Part 2.)

And assuming you've read Part 1, we can finish our business here. As we've already established, not only was George Galloway's comment not particularly outrageous but, in the context of an actual "war," it was perfectly reasonable. If you were technically at war and had the opportunity, with the sacrifice of a single low-level soldier, to assassinate the political leader of one of your enemies without killing a single non-combatant in the process, you would be, quite simply, a moron not to take advantage of that.

"Morally justified?" Well, duh. One could say that, in a military context, you almost have a military obligation to do that, given the clear value. But having settled all of that, what does this have to do with "fake outrage?"

Quite simply, fake or faux outrage is one of the Right's favourite little propaganda tools. If you want to discredit an ideological opponent but can't find anything legitimately drastic or horrifying to tar them with, well, the next best thing is to find something not quite as horrific and then dress it up to look really, really scary, and hope everyone buys into it.

Without a doubt, the best example of this over the last several years was the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton. His crime? Getting a blowjob, then lying about it under oath. Now, if it had been presented merely like that, there's little doubt that most people would have just thought something like, "Geez, what an asshole," then got on with their lives. Blowjob? Lying about it? Well, OK, that's classless but, in the grand scheme of things, I'm pretty sure there are bigger issues. But that's not how it was played by the Right.

If you listened to the population of American wingnuts at the time, you'd swear that Clinton's hummer and trying to cover it up afterwards was the end of the Republic! I mean, holy fucking shit, how will western civilization survive? My God, what will we tell the poor, poor children? Holy crap, civility and democracy itself are hanging in the balance and, son of a bitch, this man must be driven from office in deep disgrace and humiliation to salvage what little is left of the morality of America! And incessant bullshit like that, you get the idea. On and on and tediously goddamned on, with every worthless, neo-con wank trying to outdo the one before with how emotionally traumatic this whole thing was to their delicate psyche.

The proceedings themselves were the best part, with each hypocritical, Republican hack, one at a time, taking centre stage, barely being able to choke back the tears of national shame, and intoning solemnly about how this blight on their country's honour must be rectified, with the funniest part being how each and every one of them felt the need to refer to the President by his full name -- "William Jefferson Clinton" -- just to make sure that you didn't confuse him with some other currently-sitting president named "Bill Clinton."

Oh, yes, by the time those proceedings were over, I have to imagine that there wasn't a single person in America that didn't know Bill Clinton's middle name. Hell, I'm guessing there were natives deep in the jungles of Borneo who ended up knowing Clinton's middle name. But it was all part of the script: "All right; slow, solemn walk to podium; eyes downcast to reflect national shame; barely-controlled tearful emotion and, lots of references to president's full name. Got it? Good. Knock 'em dead. Afterwards, we'll go out for beer and hookers."

And you can see the modern incarnation of this bullshit, as numerous members of the Blogging Tories blather on idiotically about how they're just appalled, disgusted, horrified with George Galloway, all of it accompanied by their best expressions of sputtering outrage that they've been practising in front of the mirror for the last several hours. And make no mistake -- these wanks are not in any meaningful way horrified by Galloway or his opinions. But they've all received the memo, and they're all playing along like good little soldiers, because that's what they do.

Save it, guys. You've milked that bogus, contrived emotional trauma once too often. If I wanted third-rate, over-the-top acting, well, I know where to find it.

The man with his finger on the button.


Who, me?

Neo-con journamalism, as it were.

Ah, this must be that "values-based journalism" I keep hearing about. Quick -- time for another conference on blogger ethics!

The principles of Alberto Gonzales.

Shorter Alberto Gonzales: "I would rather resign than compromise my investigation of a Democrat."

Look out! Fake outrage alert! (Part 1.)

If there's one thing the citizens of Wankerville do better than anyone else, it's generate bogus outrage. I mean, fuming, sputtering, gnashing of teeth, howling with righteous indignation kind of outrage that is, with rare exception, ridiculously out of proportion to the actual "sin."

Recently, the Right's favourite British whipping boy, George Galloway, opined that it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to kill British PM Tony Blair, at which point several members of the Blogging Tories went just freaking berserk. What's amusing about this whole incident is that Galloway was perfectly correct and, unlike the BTs, we here in the reality-based community are going to take a minute or two to understand why.

See, there's a "war" on. You remember the war, don't you? The Global War on Terror™? Brought to you by the Project for the New American Century and Halliburton. That's right ... that war -- the one that, after 9/11, changed everything about everything.

Now, the thing about it is, war is a dirty, filthy, stinking business, althought it's not like many of the BTs would appreciate that, seeing as how the closest many of them ever get to actual war is when they flip past it on the evening news, screaming at the TV about how, damn it, what the fuck channel is "American Idol" on and if those damned kids touch the TiVO again, I'll tan their hides, I swear!

The nasty thing about war is that part of it involves people trying to kill other people. You try to kill them, they try to kill you -- it's been like that for quite some time. Most of the time, you have to be satisfied with just killing another grunt on the ground but, if you get the chance, killing one of the enemy's leaders is a major bonus!

As it stands, if one looks at the invasion of Iraq, one sees how George W. McFlightSuit, along with his sock puppet Tony "Lamb Chop" Blair, invaded another country under utterly phony and fictitiious pretenses, wiped out a large part of that country's infrastructure, and proceeded to slaughter thousands of its innocent civilians. (But, please, not to call them "civilians" -- the proper term is, of course, "collateral damage.")

Add to the above the atrocities of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and the Americans clearly settling in for a long stay what with their "long-term" bases and super-duper new embassy and it's not hard to understand why native Iraqis might be a wee bit miffed.

But let's not lose focus here. The issue here is that neo-con wankers everywhere are adamant that this is an honest-to-God war, so what's their problem when someone points out that, in war, part of the goal is to kill the other side's leaders? It's not like this general concept has ever bothered these bloodthirsty chickenhawks before.

When the Coalition forces indiscriminately bomb civilian areas on the off chance that there might be a low-level al-Qaeda operative hanging out there, you don't hear a lot of agonized bleating from the right-wing sheep about the inevitable civilian casualties. It's "unfortunate," those deaths but, hey, this is war, dontcha know?

And you certainly don't hear much objection when wanker role models like Ann Coulter suggest that "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." Hmmmmm ... "kill their leaders?" That sounds suspiciously like ... nah, couldn't be.

But perhaps the most entertaining part of this so-called "war" is how it's only a "war" when it's convenient. For instance, when it comes to respecting the Geneva Conventions, well, apparently it's not a "war" anymore. All those fighters? "Unlawful enemy combatants," therefore not entitled to any protections.

So, to recap, what we have here is an utterly contrived invasion of a foreign country by a far superior military force that pounded the crap out of them with "shock and awe" which resulted in the devastation of that country's infrastructure and, to this day, ongoing hardship for its citizens, not to mention the also-ongoing military strikes on civilian areas that continue to kill innocent Iraqis, a complete disregard for the fundamental protections of enemy soldiers and let's top it all off with the the obvious observation that this has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with oil and -- appreciating all that -- we have a number of cementheads at the BTs freaking out over a comment by George Galloway.

Let's be clear here -- if this be war, then the assassination of PM Tony Blair by a suicide bomber would be absolutely and entirely justified. And note carefully that the original question that Galloway was responding to involved a suicide bomber who could pull this off without the loss of life of any innocents. I find it fascinating that the same BT wanks who seem wholly unconcerned about Iraqi collateral damage get bent out of shape when discussing a war-time assassination that would kill no one but the intended target.

Naturally, I don't expect anyone over at the BTs to be able to process all of the above, but there's a much simpler way to look at this. Let's ask a simple question. If it were possible to, with absolute certainty, assassinate Osama bin Laden with the accompanying loss of only a few innocent civilians, would these outraged wankers think that was "morally justified?" If it's outrageous for Tony Blair, then it should be similarly outrageous for bin Laden. (And don't even think of saying something stupid like, "But ... but ... that's different!" If you do, I will spank you thoroughly and send you on your way.) But here's what I think is the most amusing part of this.

If you look at the history of the Iraq war, there's a common thread running through it. First, the Coalition made damned sure that, before it invaded, the U.N. inspectors removed as much of Saddam's armament as possible. Then it stripped all enemy combatants of their rights under the Geneva Conventions. And finally, there is the outrage over the suggestion that it might be morally justified for the enemy to try to kill an opposing leader.

What all of the above means is that wanks like the Blogging Tories and others are all gung-ho for war, as long as the other side is not allowed to fight back. See the connections? Strip them of their weapons, take away their rights as combatants and, while we can try to kill their leaders, well, holy fucking shit, how dare those uncivilized savages try to do the same to ours?! I mean, the fucking nerve of them, having the unmitigated gall to try to resist! Where did they get those kinds of crazy ideas, eh?

Yes. Where did they get those crazy ideas after all?

(To be concluded in Part 2.)

, even if I don't actually do anything about it, is it all right to just think about it?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Don't forget Bloggerapalooza.

Just a gentle, slap-upside-the-head reminder. And, yes, if any of you magnanimous souls who were planning on attending felt like showering me with appreciation in the form of the Chicks' latest album, why, that would be just delightful. I'd even buy you a beer.

That's a beer. Singular.

P.S. I like Neil Young, too. Just sayin'.

Dixie Chicks to Wanker critics: Bite me.

He who laughs last ... is probably selling out their concert dates. Or something like that. "Not Ready to Make Nice," indeed.

BONUS SNARK: And to Damian Penny and the incomparably mentally-defective Dr. Roy, who both took such delight in the mediocre rankings of the Chicks in the Billboard rankings and on country radio, what part of #1 on Amazon do you just not get?

The unbounded joy of the Internets.

You know the greatest thing about the Internets? They have a looooooong memory. For example, they remember stuff like this (emphasis added):

Direct mail, email, websites, print ads, media appearances by MPs, radio ads, TV ads... whatever. Go around the media. Get the message directly to Canadians. And do not shut up about it. Ever. Some shmuck at CBC Radio asks a question about whether Stephen Harper is too "angry" to be PM? Cool. Respond by talking about CPC plans for reforming the criminal justice system. Or healthcare. Or R&D investment. Or whatever

Too angry to be PM? Oh, pish posh. Schmuck, indeed. Stevie Boy sure showed them, didn't he? Fucking CBC and their liberal media bias.

Werner Patels: You are SO banned.

No, he hasn't done anything on this blog but, given his track record, I figure better safe than sorry. Think of it as a pre-emptive strike. We're still doing pre-emptive strikes these days, right?

Revenge is a dish best served by wankers.

If there's a common philosophy running through the subhumans that inhabit Wankerville, it's that they dearly, dearly want to make you pay for your dissent. If you happen to disagree with them, well, sure, they'll say, it's a free country, and everyone's entitled to their opinions, and naturally they support free speech -- just before they launch the offensive to punish you for those opinions.

Examples? Why, yes, thanks for asking.

Remember Gen. Eric Shinseki, the uppity general who suggested that it would take some several hundred thousand troops to militarily pacify Iraq? Turns out that not quite what the neo-cons at the top of the Bush-run food chain wanted to hear. The result? Not so good for Shinseki.

Former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill and former top economic advisor Larry Lindsey, who didn't quite toe the party line on budgets and tax cuts, and had the gall -- I mean, the gall -- to want to deal with reality? Gone. But it's not all in the Bush administration.

Want to express your constitutionally-protected freedom of speech? Might want to be careful there:

DENVER - A Denver police sergeant is under investigation for reportedly telling a young woman he'd arrest her if she didn't remove a bumper sticker that had a profanity directed at President Bush.

Of course, you don't even need to be vulgar about it. Apparently, you can be fired for just being, um, well-informed and progressive:

A San Diego County woman is suing her former employer, accusing her manager of firing her on the spot when she saw the woman's car had a bumper sticker advertising a progressive talk radio station.

The suit also alleges that, after seeing the sticker, the employer commented that the woman could be a member of al-Qaida.

And why the fuck does that bitch hate America, anyway? But, of course, you don't need to go south of the border to see this kind of vicious, childish, vengeful petulance.

Remember Belinda Stronach? After she crossed the floor, it just wasn't enough to bad-mouth her and describe her as a "whore." Hell, no, what we needed was for the clinically insane Kate McMillan to go after her personal life:

Can anyone confirm if this is Belinda Stronach's personal cell phone number?

Not surprisingly, Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck is back at it, punishing the transgressors:

A reader has asked a very good question - is there a list anywhere of the names of the members of the Ottawa press gallery who walked out on the Harper news conference on Darfur?

I'd appreciate the information, if someone has it to send along or drop into the comments section. The media demands transparency from politicians - Canadians should expect no less from them.

Let's have the names, and those of their employers.

Why, sure, Kate, let's do that and publish the results. But something that infantile is just not worthy of someone of your pathological talents. Come on -- you can do better.

Let's publish their home addresses and phone numbers -- even their private cell numbers. That'll teach them. And the names of their family members, too. No sense leaving them out of the mix, right?

Hey, I know! What about advertising where their kids go to school? And the route those kids take to walk there? Would that be just too cool for words or what? And if someone could get ahold of their medical records? Oh, man, the fun we could have!

Can you just imagine the hilarity that would ensue if it turned out that some of them were on anti-depressants? Holy Jesus, I'm betting that would be good for days of knee-slapping entertainment. And, oh my God, if some of the women had had abortions? Well, the sky's the limit for how you could publicly humiliate them, right, Kate?

So, come on, Kate, don't let us down. Names and employers? Oh, please -- even a talentless, Neanderthal hack like Damian Penny could do something like that. You are the Crazy One, Kate. Surely you can come up with a way to put those journalists' lives and those of their family members in actual danger.

We here in the left-wing blogosphere expect no less. Don't let us down.

BY THE WAY, from the Department of "Can Dish it Out But Can't Take It." Take your time to truly savour the overwhelming hypocrisy there. No, no, don't thank me. I consider it a public service.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Not only that, it turns on a dime, I guarantee it."

Wankerville: "Oh, man, have you read about this? William Jefferson -- a Democrat -- corrupt as hell. And just look at those Democrats, how they're all circling the wagons to defend him. They're all just crooks."

Pelosi, as House Dem leader, tells Jefferson to quit panel

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi demanded Wednesday that embattled Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana resign his seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee in a strong signal that she wants to end a growing scandal that threatens to drown out the Democrats' message that majority Republicans have created a culture of corruption in Congress.


Wankerville: "Man, did you see how Pelosi demanded that a black politician resign before he was even charged? Doesn't she understand how you're always innocent until proven guilty in America? It's obvious those Democrats don't like black people. They're all just racists."

Coming up on tomorrow's program: How being anti-death penalty means you support serial killers.

Karl Rove arrested for carnal knowledge of barnyard animals!

And since rampant, single-source, implausible speculation is the order of the week for neo-cons everywhere, let's get us a little piece of that, too:

Waas: Rove Was Novak's Source; Two Men May Have Planned Cover-Up

National Journal's Murray Waas reports that Karl Rove was in fact columnist Robert Novak's source for learning Valerie Plame's identity, and that the two men, upon learning of a federal investigation, spoke and may have created a false cover story to hide the truth.

In other words, there's mounting evidence that Novak and Rove not only lied to the FBI and grand jury, but they conspired to obstruct justice.

But don't worry. I'm not actually claiming that this happened, per se, as it were. No, no, we're just shooting the breeze here, just us guys, right? Just talkin'. Of course, if this turns out to be true, well, I'm going to be downright insufferably smug.

As magic dolphin woman once said, "Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to." Damn straight, Peg. Damn straight.

Maybe there is a God after all.

Now this is the sort of thing that makes even a hard-core atheist stop and think:

Lay and Skilling guilty

Enron former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling and founder Kenneth Lay were found guilty Thursday of conspiracy and fraud in the granddaddy of all corporate fraud cases.

On the sixth day of deliberations, a jury of eight women and four men convicted the former executives of misleading the public about the true financial health of Enron, whose collapse in late 2001 symbolized the wave of corporate fraud that swept the United States early this decade.

Skilling was found guilty on 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud, false statements and insider trading. He was found not guilty on eight counts of insider trading.

Lay was found guilty on all six counts of conspiracy and fraud. In a separate bench trial, Judge Sim Lake ruled Lay was guilty of four counts of fraud and false statements.

Both Lay and Skilling could face 20 to 30 years in prison, legal experts say.

Bye, guys. Try not to drop the soap.

BY THE WAY, when we Lefties snicker over Lay and Skilling doing hard time, well, we're just being childish gloaters, reveling in the misfortune of others. When it comes to the backlash against the Dixie Chicks, well, those traitorous little sluts had it coming to them, dontcha know?

I'm glad I could clear that up for you.

This isn't rocket surgery, folks.

March 31, 2006:

Conservative MP for Okanagan-Shuswap, Colin Mayes has advocated jailing journalists who write 'distorted' or 'inaccurate' articles.

May 24, 2006:

Harper says he'll avoid national media because they're biased against him

Well, duh.

One of these things is just like the other ...

First, there's this, from back in 1999 (all emphasis added):

... But just when you think the cynical exploitation of the public can’t get any worse, along comes the Fox Network to set a new world record. In December, Fox issued a press release revealing the shocking news — brace yourselves! — that their Alien Autopsy special was a hoax! As anyone with any knowledge of photo lighting and more brainpower than a grapefruit could tell, it was not filmed in 1947, as claimed, but shot quite recently on video and converted to film.

Now, here’s where the really cynical part comes in: after two years of milking this bogus footage for every nickel it could generate from TV specials, videos, T-shirts and coffee mugs, Fox finally decided to come clean. But they didn’t just hold a standard Clintonesque “I have sinned” press conference. Oh, no: there’s no money in THAT! Instead, they aired a new special, World’s Greatest Hoaxes: Secrets Finally Revealed, in which they made millions of dollars in new ad revenues by exposing the alien autopsy hoax (and several others) that they themselves had profitably perpetuated.

But wait, it gets better! This new special was executive-produced by Robert Kiviat, the same man responsible for the original Alien Autopsy special! I knew that if you just gave the Fox Network enough time, they’d figure out a way to make money by exposing themselves on TV.

Then there's this:

And I quote the entire front-page Sun headline of Tues, May 16: "MILLIONS HELP 25-YEAR-OLD T.O. VIRGIN GET LUCKY ON ... eLAY." The cutline under the photo read "Sexual innocent Geoff launched a website on a bet and needs 5 million hits in 30 days to lose his virginity. Platonic friend Jen, left (whose identity hasn't been confirmed so we can't show her face), says she'll support him with his 'problem' if he pulls off his online stunt. With two weeks to go, he's logged 3 million votes of support.''

That's it. That's all. Not a hint of a shred of evidence that the story wasn't true. No skepticism to be found anywhere. Inside, the page 3 report, while tongue in cheek, did nothing to disprove the story...

So, strictly speaking, Parker was correct to say that I was wrong in my ''vitriolic rant'' to write that the Sun ''retracted'' its story. As he charged:

The Sun, and only the Sun, shone a bright light on an Internet scam, talked to real people face-to-face, and busted a phony site that could have easily surpassed the 5 million hits in a month which the marketers were seeking. The Sun's cred is fine. It's yours, Antonia, that nosedived.

So the Sun milks a fake story which it should have checked before splashing it all over its front page -- and then it dumps on me?

Please don't make me explain the parallels, OK?


I'm lazy. Go read about it here.

Redefining "stupid."

Jesus H. Christ, how dense can a human being possibly be?

Dear Damian: Put up, or shut the fuck up.

There's an old saying that goes, "Never miss a good opportunity to shut up," some valuable, folksy wisdom that is, sadly, lost on right-wing Canadian wanker and total dumbass Damian Penny.

Now, look, I'm not deliberately trying to pick on Penny these days but, let's face it -- when you want to slap around some Canadian neo-con stupidity, you don't even need to make a casting call. You need only wander over to Daimnation to check out Damian's latest example of utter assholitude. And this one's a beaut.

This particular example starts off with such promise:

The Post backs down

The National Post has apologized for its Iranian-dress-code story:

God in Heaven, Damian's actually going to do it. He's actually going to retract and accept that that story was pure swill from beginning to end. And then ... the crushing disappointment as you realize that that's just not going to happen:

Unless Amir Taheri can convincingly back up his assertions, this story is dead.

Memo to Damian: it is dead, OK? There is no "unless" about it by this point. Seriously. It's not just resting, or pining for the fjords. It's passed on, it is no more, it has ceased to be, it's expired and gone to meet its maker, it's a stiff, bereft of life, it rests in peace. It's kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible! This is an ex-story!!

But that's when Damian goes for the full tin-foil hat Monty:

Unfortunately, the sneering left now has just the excuse it needs to dismiss any news about Iran's repressive government, its nuclear program and support for terrorism, and Iranians' desire for change as "neoconservative propaganda".

Really? I don't recall doing that. Do you recall doing that? Of course not. This is just Damian being Damian, making shit up. But rather than dissect his idiocy logically, I'm going to make Damian an offer.

If Damian can produce a single example of someone in the blogosphere acting the way he just described, I will donate, to the charity of his choice, fifty dollars. No, make it a hundred. Oh, all right, then, two hundred dollars. Two hundred big ones to whatever charity Damian selects if he can produce just one example of a blogger that used the collapse of the Post story as total vindication of the Iranian regime. Some slightly restrictive rules first.

Just because it makes it slightly more entertaining, I'm going to limit Damian's submissions to Canadian bloggers who have at least a minimal track record and are well-known to be, at a minimum, left of centre. I don't think that's an unreasonable restriction. Also, potential submissions must have been published before midnight of Wednesday, May 25 (so that someone can't suddenly throw up a piece now in order for Damian to win this challenge.) But here's the tricky part. Who gets to decide if Damian has won?

Well, yes, that is, of course, a subjective measure, but Damian himself has made life easier by making such an all-encompassing accusation as "the sneering left now has just the excuse it needs to dismiss any news about Iran's repressive government, ..." [emphasis on "any" in original]. In short, since Damian himself made such a grandiose claim, he can't really get away with pointing at possible submissions that involve nuance, qualification or stuff like that there, can he? (Answer: no, he can't.)

And if it really comes down to a judgment decision, I will leave it to my regular readers to make the call, expecting them to be brutally honest and even-handed. I expect no less.

So, Damian, there you go. You made the claim, now you can back it up. My money's on the table. Time to fish or cut bait, as they say.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It is officially retraction time.

The prosecution rests.

Dixie Chicks to Blogging Tories: Suck on THIS.

I suppose it's entirely predictable that some of the less-developed examples of life over at the Blogging Tories would take time out of their busy days to take a swipe at the Dixie Chicks, those uppity broads who had the nerve -- the nerve, I tell you -- to call a spade a spade and an imbecile an imbecile.

There is, of course, the non-thinking man's non-thinking man, Damian Penny, who just can't contain his glee at the mediocre ratings of the Chicks' album airplay on country stations. And there's the incomparable Dr. Roy, who makes Penny look positively intellectual. Stellar examples of humanity, the bunch of them. (And the less said of their commenters, the better. Trust me on that one.)

Of course, one does have to sympathize with the Chicks, given how their musical careers have tanked since that fateful day back in 2003. First of all, their music just plain sucks:

NEW YORK (Billboard) - The Dixie Chicks lost many fans -- and the support of country radio -- after singer Natalie Maines declared in 2003 that she was embarrassed to come from the same state as fellow Texan President Bush. The group has re-emerged stronger, more defiant and more creatively ambitious than ever. The first-time pairing with producer Rick Rubin has resulted in a surprisingly cohesive mix of country and rock tunes, including co-writes with Sheryl Crow and Neil Finn. While many former fans remain critical of the group for its outspoken political views, tracks like "The Long Way Around," "Everybody Knows," "I Hope" (highlighted by a John Mayer guitar solo) and the chillingly sad "Voice Inside My Head" are sure to earn the group at least some of its fans back.

Um ... OK, bad example. Well, at least that whole 2003 fiasco taught them a lesson right in the ol' pocketbook that year, right? Right?

North American concerts gross $61M for Dixie Chicks

The North American leg of the Dixie Chicks' world tour grossed $61 million in ticket sales, the group's publicists say.

The Dixie Chicks wrapped up the North American leg Aug. 13 in Calgary, Canada. During the past three months, the Dixie Chicks have played to more 1 million concertgoers.

The $61 million in ticket sales make the Dixie Chicks the top grossing country tour of the year, according to the group's publicists. Pollstar's recent midyear review placed the Chicks third in overall concert sales, just behind the Rolling Stones and the pairing of Elton John and Billy Joel.

That'll teach those pushy broads, won't it? And it sure as hell won't get any better this year, will it, boys?

Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, and Martie Maguire unveiled a 44-show run today, kicking their North American "Accidents & Accusations" tour off in Detroit July 21 and finishing up November 11 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.

Of course, what really bunches the shorts of Damian and Dr. Roy is that stuck-up, elitist attitude that the chicks really don't need all those beer-swilling, knuckle-dragging country music fans to enjoy themselves quite nicely, thank you. I mean, talk about alienating your base. Well, at least that part of it that wants to kill you now.

Oh, well. Life's tough, but I'm pretty sure someone else will be happy to buy that goober's ticket.

You want to "cure" something? Cure THIS.

John brings our attention to a branch of "therapy" that makes Tom Cruise and Scientology look positively rational -- "curing" gays of their gayness.

I'll tell you what -- if these evangelical whackjobs want something to "cure," why don't they try curing stupidity? When they can take a fundamentalist Christian and get him to the point where he can say, "Oh ... so that's how biological evolution works," then I'll be impressed.

Colour me unconvinced.

Apparently, that Rev. Pat Robertson is one kick-ass, tough motherfucker:

Pat Robertson's Age-Defying Shake

Did you know that Pat Robertson can leg-press 2000 pounds!

Cue residents of Wankerville, frantically explaining how, technically, that's not a "lie."

Thank God for the wankersphere!

I mean, if it weren't for ill-informed, gullible dumbasses, I'm not sure where I'd get my fake news. Consider now-banned commenter "disavowed", who screeched:

I wonder how many left-wing asshats will be retracting their support of the fake Army ranger who claimed that the military was killing civilians in cold blood. Compare THAT to the armband story, jerkweed.

To which my immediate reaction when I first read that was, "What fake Army ranger?" Oh ... this fake Army ranger.

It's called "skepticism." You can look it up. And "gullibility?" You can look that up, too.

Perspective? Wankers don't NEED no steenkin' perspective!

One of these things is not like the others ...

On lying: "Well, sure, so Bush lied about Iraq's WMDs, and yellowcake from Niger, and Saddam's connections to al-Qaeda, and eavesdropping on the American public, and lots of other stuff. But Bill Clinton lied about a blowjob, so it all balances out."

On corruption: "Well, sure, the Republicans have an endless stream of party members under investigation, and being charged, and indicted, and going to prison for years, but the Democrats have this crooked congressman in Florida [sic], so both parties are equally dirty."

On George Bush versus Saddam Hussein: "Well, sure, life in Iraq under American occupation might be a bit tough but, get real, are you telling me that you can't tell the difference between those two? I mean, are you seriously trying to compare those two? You have got to be kidding me! Where's your sense of perspective, fer Chrissake? That's an outrageous thing to say! How can you not possibly tell the difference?"

On Karl Rove and badges for Jews: "Well, sure, the entire right-wing blogosphere gullibly ran with this story of Iran and badges and Jews but all those Lefties still haven't retracted their fairy tale about Karl Rove being indicted. So it all evens out in the end, doesn't it?"

Hey, HERE'S a suggestion!

Shorter Steve Janke: "Who needs the mainstream media when you have all us bloggers?"

Good idea, Steve. Let's give the Blogging Tories a crack at being the objective, fair and balanced sources of journalism in this country. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another smear, another swift boot to the nads.

Well, that whole Iran/Jews/badges thing didn't last long so, quick, while no one's paying attention, let's smear someone else. I know ... Al Gore!

Should it surprise anyone that, if you visit the Sludge Report, that bit of reprehensible dishonesty has mysteriously vanished? Man, this is getting predictable.

"Look! Bright, shiny thing!"

Shorter Damian Penny: "Hey, let's talk about something else for a while."

And "disavowed" is shown the door.

There are many sins for which one can be banished from this blog, but the most significant one is to be just plain uninteresting. Such is the fate of one "disavowed," whose prose you can read, say, here.

And before everyone starts howling about censorship and rubbish like that, I should point out that "disavowed" is more than welcome to start his own blog and rant to his heart's content. I will, being the magnanimous sort that I am, leave all of his current comments where they are, for the edification of future generations, so you at least know the minimum standards you have to surpass.

Which, in "disavowed"s case, shouldn't be that hard.

Glenn Greenwald and The Angry Left.

Yeah, we're angry. Deal with it.

The yellow stars that weren't there.

Dear Blogging Tories: This is how real journalism works. You should try it sometime.

UPPITY DATE: Just in case that horse is still twitching ...

The hoisting and petarding of Damian Penny.

Once upon a time, a group of neo-cons with visions of global imperialism (or "NAMBLA") insisted on invading Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They didn't just think he had them -- they knew, oh yes, there was absolutely no doubt. And he was getting yellowcake from Niger, too. I mean, if that don't just beat all.

So the neo-cons invaded and ... well, funny story ... no WMDs. Anywhere. Hmmmph. Bummer. But not to worry. See, even if normal people with a moderately-developed sense of shame might feel a bit embarrassed about that kind of clusterfuck, well, not these neo-cons or their supporters.

"Be patient," they said. "We're still looking and, by God, when we find them, well, then you're going to look silly, aren't you? You bet you will, yes sir, you'll be eating some serious crow then, damn straight." The lesson here was, as you can see -- you can't rush these things. When you make a spectacular, unambiguous claim with global consequences that results in the deaths of some 2,500 Americans, some tens of thousands of Iraqis, costs hundreds of billions of dollars and threatens to destabilize the entire Middle East, well, it might take a while to see if those original claims actually pan out so everyone can just sit tight and we'll get back to you. Feel free to check back next year, we'll let you know if anything's turned up.

Of course, it's different when someone claims that a weaselly, unprincipled little fuck that's been under investigation for two years has actually and finally been indicted by a grand jury because, if you can't back up that kind of shit now -- and I mean right fucking now, this goddamned instant -- then you're just a hypocritical hack. And no, you don't get a week or two to see how it might play out, what the fuck do you think this is, some kind of motherfucking charity, fer Chrissake!? And we want that Karl Rove apology and retraction this instant, you asshole motherfuckers! I mean, right now, do you hear me!?!?

And no, we don't want to talk about WMDs. Fuck off.

"AT&T: How may we violate your privacy today?"

Well, this is so overwhelmingly unsurprising. And as for you hardcore geeks out there ... don't let those schematics give you any ideas. I mean it.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: May 23, 2006.

Shorter Sham the Tory Man: "People who don't completely and unconditionally retract false accusations suck."

Shorter Mark C.: "Ten words or less, because I know my audience."

Shorter Joanne's Journey: "How dare someone else take away a woman's right to choose? That's our job!"

Shorter Spirit of Man: "Truth, truthiness ... what's the difference?"

Shorter GayandRight: "Yeah, what he said."

Monday, May 22, 2006

NOW you've done it, Stimpy!

The rule is, if you don't mention it, maybe it'll go away. Poor PZ (via the link to The Poor Man):

After 34 years of college teaching, I thought I had heard just about every imaginable student complaint. Last week, however, a freshman in my 300-seat US History Since 1865 course came in to discuss her exam with one of the graders and proceeded to work herself into a semi-hissy over the fact that we had spent four class periods(one of them consisting of a visit from Taylor Branch) discussing the civil rights movement.

“I don’t know where he’s getting all of this,” she complained,”we never discussed any of this in high school.” One might have let the matter rest here as simply an example of a high school history teacher’s sins of omission being visited on the hapless old history prof. had the student not informed the TA in an indignant postcript, ” I’m not a Democrat! I don’t think I should have to listen to this stuff!”

Retorts PZ, "I have never had a student this stupid." Yeah, well, just give it about three years.

All-night stakeouts just got a lot more fun, I'm guessing.

Is that a nightstick in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Dear James: Bad blogger. No biscuit.

While I normally agree with blogger James Bow, I think he screwed the pooch on this one (emphasis added):

Witness the right wing blogs that leapt on this story and propagated the lie across the blogosphere and who now seem reluctant to admit their mistake. Witness the glee that left-wing bloggers are having shoving this mistake down the throats of their right-wing breathrens. Witness the vicious personal attack the otherwise personable Warren Kinsella of the Post makes on Antonia Zerbiasis of the Star for examining this story in detail.

And through it all, we seem to have forgotten that the Post made a mistake, and erroneous information was splashed across the front page. The search for truth has slipped into second place for both wings of the blogosphere as they alternately seek to score political points or cover their backsides.

Sorry, James, but the reactions from opposite sides of the blogosphere are not even remotely comparable in terms of justification. What the Post did was howlingly unacceptable for two glaring reasons.

First, given the charged political atmosphere these days regarding Iran and their alleged nuclear program, you'd have to be thoroughly retarded not to understand that suddenly, from out of nowhere, comparing them to Nazis and suggesting that they're trying to redo the Holocaust is obscenely explosive. It's precisely the kind of thing that plays into the hands of the same neo-con whackjobs who demonized Saddam Hussein in order to make the invasion of Iraq more palatable and emotionally satisfying.

That this sort of front-page story would drive the right-wing nutbars completely berserk was entirely predictable, so the Post doesn't get to pull that kind of shit, then try to make it better later with, "Oops ... heh heh ... my bad." That just doesn't wash.

More to the point, the Post didn't even come up with an acceptable retraction. What we saw instead, was that that story suddenly disappeared down the memory hole. Whoops, sorry, um ... nothing to see here, move along, hope nobody noticed that little faux pas.

That sort of crap doesn't cut it. When you've just splashed that kind of inflammatory headline across six columns of your front page, quietly deleting the online story later and hoping no one notices is not an acceptable about-face.

If you want to get into some kind of deep, philosophical dicsussion on moral relativism, James, feel free. But don't even think of suggesting that one of these things isn't a worse offense than the other.

Biological evolution, and the argument from personal buffoonery.

From one of my all-time heroes, Wesley Elsberry, we have this gem. I may never need to watch The Daily Show again.

BONUS TRACK: I am reminded of the classic courtroom exchange:

Prosecution cross-examination: "When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?"

: "Objection, your honour. That question should be taken out and shot."

That was then, this is now.

Shorter wankersphere: "It's appalling and disgusting how the Left jumped the gun on the Karl Rove indictment story! It's damaging, it's irresponsible and, God damn it, heads should roll over this!

"Oh, about those WMDs in Iraq? We're sure they're going to turn up any day now. Yessir, any day now. I hear they've been moved to Syria. Or is it Lebanon? Whatever."

Hold that thought, sweetie.

Shorter Crazy-Assed Racist Bitch: "How unspeakably dumbass stupid do you have to be to re-elect a failed, incompetent buffoon? I mean, really!"

Dear John:

Uh oh ... apparently, that whole John McCain honeymoon thing is over. I'm starting to see a pattern here.

AFTERSNARK: I'm not sure why McCain got such a rough ride at that latest gig. After all, things seemed to go so well only a few days earlier. Mystery.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: May 22, 2006.

Shorter Dr. Roy: "You have the right to my religion. What's the problem?"

Shorter Gay and Right: "Now when bad things happen to Christian children in the Middle East, that's different."

Shorter North Western Winds: "Upon careful reflection, it has become clear that there is no more pressing issue facing us today than why I am upset by a mediocre work of fiction."

Shorter Dr. Roy: "You have the right to my religion. What's the problem?"

Shorter Bill Strong: "I don't watch Fox News to see legitimate science, so I hope that unpleasant incident from last year doesn't happen again, all right?"

Shorter Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck: "It has just come to my attention that there is political corruption in America. When the fuck did that start?"

"Um ... that's not what I meant."

Unprincipled, political douchebags say the darndest things:

On the eve of her controversial speaking engagement at Boston College's commencement, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice celebrated her critics' right to object to her presence...

"We have overthrown a dictator who brutalized his population….Sometimes you have to get rid of really, really bad regimes"

They're trying, sweetie, but sometimes it's not that easy.

You can annoy some of the people some of the time ...

Weird ... for a second, I felt a distinct disturbance in the blog force ... ah, there it is:

You are a disgusting little toilet bug, aren't you? You jump all over conservatives for not retracting their comments about this story (or not retracting them in a way you approve of), but I don't see you retracting your comments about, oh, the false story about Karl Rove's alleged indictment. Hypocrite.

Oh, but please explain to us how the two things aren't the same. Explain to us how the Iran story is far worse than the Rove story. Explain how left-wing jackasses like yourself don't practice what you preach. Explain to us how your shit doesn't stink.

Weasel your way out of it. I know you'll try. It's what you do best when you're confronted with your own hypocrisy.

See, that's why I so appreciate TBogg. Without him, I would have been forced to write something like this. Except, not quite as brilliantly, of course.

And, no, I'm not going to explain how those things aren't the same. If you don't know what the difference is already, I'm fairly certain nothing I write is going to help.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Off to the big city" open thread.

And the first inaugural K-W blogger beer was a success, with "M@", "Idealistic Pragmatist", "Pretty Shaved Ape" and yours truly in attendance. Beer was imbibed, nachos were consumed and numerous individuals were insulted in absentia. And, yeah, you were probably one of them.

Back this evening. Try not to compare anyone to Hitler while I'm gone.

Man, those retractions sure are taking a while.

I'm sure it's the long weekend. Yeah, that has to be it since we know how seriously the Blogging Tories take their journalistic accuracy and objectivity.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, man, I have to stop doing that.

In any event, to recap, remember all these hyper-ventilating doomsayers from a previous post?

The Strong Conservative.
Christian Conservative.
Damian Penny.
Socialist Gulag.
(The positively incomparable wingnuttery of) Dr. Roy.
Dust My Broom.
Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck.

(I dropped the post by "Gay And Right" since it actually referred only to the reported dress code issue, which was a different story, so that piece really shouldn't have been included in the original list. My mistake.)

And, so far, we've had some form of back-pedaling (some notable, some not) from just the following:

Christian Conservative: Respectable.
Dr. Roy: Lame-ass suckitude.
Damian Penny: More lame-ass suckitude, with some childish misdirection thrown in.

We'll give the last word to Mr. Strong:

Its amazing how those on the left express more disdain and hatred for conservatives, Bush and Harper than they do for terrorists and those like Ahmadinejad.

Um, yeah. Kind of like the way it's amazing how those on the Right can put so much more vibrancy and enthusiasm into their original accusations than into their corrections and retractions. Funny that.

AFTERSNARK: I'm guessing we won't be seeing any meaningful mea culpa from this guy, what with this kind of weaselly, defensive petulance:

I don't see why I would have anything to retract. I am not the source of the info, even if it is erroneous, and the error is now part of the record. Did I fall for something? Not really. I made a comment about news as it was presented. Unlike many bloggers, I am not under the delusion that I am a journalist.

As to my own comments: Iran did change its name for the purposes that I mentioned, and their president has made all the intemperate comments that I linked to. Neither is it untrue that the theorcracy of Iran, like that of the Taliban, has serious totalitarian streams.

The reported story may be untrue –and if that is the case, it's good news for Iranians. But my personal comments stand.

In short, "I didn't make up that stuff, I just gullibly and uncritically presented it as fact to my readership."

You know, if you close your eyes and listen to that again carefully, you can almost make out, "It's not my fault, I was just following orders."