Friday, June 30, 2006

What a difference a decision makes.

Hey, kids ... remember when five unelected lawyers were the heroes of the entire neo-con universe? Apparently, things have changed.

Fucking lawyers.

Blogging Tory drive-by smackdown.

Tight schedule so must smack this idiot upside the head with all possible brevity, as he mindlessly reproduces a CPC missive (emphasis added):

News release

Statement by Conservative Party on Convention Fees

The Party’s convention arrangements in 2005 fully respected the law.

The fees we charged our delegates to attend did not exceed the costs of running the convention. The fees covered such things as meals, hall rental, security and the like, and there was no net revenue earned by the Party. Consistent with interpretations of the Elections Act and the Income Tax Act issued by Elections Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency and applied many times in the past concerning the price of admission to political events, receipts for a political contributions were therefore not issued for any part of the delegate fee.

Hall rental? Security? Since when?

Mr. MacKinnon explained that a part of a convention fee can be considered an expense for the person attending. The price of a dinner, for example, would not be considered a donation. However, other costs, like microphones and speakers, cannot be deducted, he said.

So one would think that figuring out who's correct here would be fairly straightforward, no? Apparently not, despite the fact that Mr. BBS claims to have "studied the Election Act extensively over the last six months." And, apparently, learned absolutely goddamned nothing. How exactly does one study the Election Act "extensively" for half a year and still not know what constitutes a legal deduction and what doesn't?

Take it away.

Mother. Of. God.

If you've never seen the movie "Flowers for Algernon," don't sweat it. Here's the abridged version.

Stupid or dishonest? You make the call.

In the midst of this CPC illegal donations dust-up, there's one line that really leaps out at me:

"Some political parties take their delegate fees to a convention as being a donation. My party at the last convention did not," [Treasury Board President John Baird] told the Senate's legal and constitutional affairs committee.

So one has to ask the obvious question: Why not? What the above shows is that Baird can't claim ignorance, can he? It's not like he was completely unaware that delegate fees might be considered a political donation. He openly admits that he knows that other political parties have treated them this way, so how is it that Baird has suddenly decided he doesn't have the same obligation? What does he know that everyone else doesn't?

Perhaps I can use the same defense. Why, sure, I realize that all of my IT consultant colleagues treat their income as taxable. But I've decided not to. Is that a sweet deal or what?

In any event, this is clearly not an issue that hinges on bad advice or an honest mistake. Baird knew that there was a precedent for treating delegate fees as donations, and he explicitly admits that the CPC chose not to follow that precedent. Based only on that, they can't possibly claim ignorance as a defense.

Breathtaking stupidity ... OK, that I might buy. They are Tories after all.

Conmpassionate conservatism, illegal-donations style.

I'm pretty sure a few choice excerpts will tell you everything you need to know:

"I believe John Baird & Don Plett completely ... I also believe them ... the party may not have been given the proper & necessary advice ... Honest mistakes happen ... People accept honest mistakes ... own up to their errors ..."

Apparently, those Blogging Tories are a forgiving bunch. When did that start?

Compassionate conservatism, north-of-the-border style.

Oh, my ... now here's a CPC cabinet minister in the making:

Kate at SDA has a post up saying the Indians are planning an anti-Canada Day rally on July 1st. If they follow through with this shameful act of provocation the federal government should take action.

Because nothing says "brutal government crackdown" like holding a rally, does it?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The focused selectivity of outrage.

OK, then (emphasis added):

TVO confirmed today it is cancelling Studio 2 and developing a new nightly current affairs program called The Agenda to take its place, to be hosted by Studio 2 co-host Steve Paikin.

The new program will have a one-or-two-issue format each night that the network said will deliver "more voices and viewpoints reflecting the diversity of today's Ontario."

But opposition critics like Conservative Leader John Tory and New Democrat culture critic Peter Tabuns smelled something more nefarious at work, citing Studio 2 as a persistent thorn in the side of the Ontario Liberals.

"I'm sure the government felt discomfort from time to time, perhaps as often as every night, with the outspoken commentary and the panel discussions," Tory said.

And if there's one thing about the conservatives you can count on, it's defending taxpayer-funded Canadian broadcasting from political pressure.

If I have to explain the irony to you, I might as well just kill you now.

A million here, a million there ...

Oh, look ... some Blogging Tories have suddenly discovered thoughtful nuance and objective, political analysis. Go figure.

Supreme Court to Commander CrotchBulge: Bite me.

It's not the delightful smackdown that's so amusing:

The Supreme Court today delivered a sweeping rebuke to the Bush administration, ruling that the military tribunals it created to try terror suspects violate both American military law and the Geneva Convention.

In a 5-to-3 ruling, the justices also rejected an effort by Congress to strip the court of jurisdiction over habeas corpus appeals by detainees at the prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

It's this part:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. did not take part in the case, since he had ruled in favor of the government as an appeals court justice last year.

Oh, man ... it's gotta hurt to have the Supreme Court -- of which you are now the chief justice -- overturn one of your own decisions. I'm pretty sure it doesn't get much more embarrassing than that.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: June 29, 2006.

Shorter Mathew Siscoe: "I hope you now appreciate the dangers of religious fundamentalism. Um ... wait, let me rephrase that ..."

Shorter dissonance and disrespect: "Festering stories of political corruption are for Liberals."

Shorter Spirit of Man: "Sometimes, freedom of religious expression really pisses me off."

The joy of SPAM.

Every so often, I'm grateful that something gets through my SPAM filter:

Christianity in America Won't Survive Another Decade

Christianity in America won't survive another decade unless we do something now. This generation of teens is the largest in history and current trends show that only 4% will be evangelical believers by the time they become adults. Compare this with 34% of adults today who are evangelicals. We are on the verge of a catastrophe.

Imagine an America at 4%: Church attendance dwindles; Tithes and offerings are at an all time low; New church buildings sit empty; Life giving sermons go unheard; The role of a church leader becomes irrelevant...

And the actual downside would be ... ?

Sadly, no drinking this evening.

Too much work, too little time. But you must be prepared for the next suggestion. It may come on short notice and you will have to respond quickly. You know -- sort of like the Blogging Tories when confronted with another story about evil, brown people.

Well, OK, maybe not that quickly.

Suddenly, I have this overwhelming urge to be objective.

"OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD Saddam has WMDs and we have to invade and OHMIGOD the Iranians are going to make the Jews wear badges and OHMIGOD the evil terrorists walk among us and we're all gonna die and ... hey, have you read that the CPC may have taken millions of dollars in illegal political donations and this is an interesting story but I think we should wait until all the facts are in and not jump to conclusions because I don't see any immediate reason to take this story seriously but it might be worth following, strictly speaking from an objective point of view to see how it plays out and OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD Saddam was breeding a race of killer lizards that could shoot laser beams out of their eyeballs OHMIGOD ..."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It's called unleashing your inner child.

Oh, my ... this has potentially unlimited entertainment value, don't you think? A slapfest between the moderate wingnuts and the serious wingnuts? Crack open a Moosehead and make yourself comfortable. Popcorn might be a good idea, too.

P.S. I'm amused by Dante's comment (emphasis added):

Well said. The great thing about ‘Blogging Tories’ is that it encompasses a wide variety of conservative beliefs. We’ve got monarchists, social conservatives, libertarians, and social/fiscal liberals - and that’s just for starters. In the end, however, we’re still all Tories.

Whoops. I'm guessing that little nugget wasn't meant for public consumption, was it?

Some hot Republican-on-Republican action.

OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD ... same-sex marriage!!!

"I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one," said Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.

OHMIGOD OHMIGOD OHMIGOD ... flag desecration!!!

In fact, when the question was put to 19 Senate supporters of the amendment yesterday in the Capitol corridors off of the Senate chamber, only one -- amendment author Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) -- asserted that this was indeed the nation's No. 1 priority. And that was only after some serious goading.

And 2,500+ dead soldiers in Iraq? Dude ... it's just "a number."

Quick, before it disappears!

I'm guessing DC Comics are going to get their superhero tights in a bunch over this real soon now.

Danger! Danger! Reality alert!

This is Winston:

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

And this is Winston coming dangerously close to having a clue:

hI think I have lost faith in US government's method of dealing with the Iranian regime.

Tune in next episode when Winston starts to wonder if killing tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians is really the best way to teach them democracy.

Caution: Light blogging ahead.

Given my workload this week, blogging will be sporadic, perhaps with time only to make fun of Pete Rempel's unseemly obsession with gay men. Methinks someone protesteth way too much.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Drinking carefully in Toronto.

As I'm back in Toronto this week, there's always the possibility of beers some evening. I'm thinking Thursday evening, anywhere that's convenient to get to from Lawrence and Avenue Road.

Subsequent hangover optional.

It's a context thing again.

Apparently, sometimes personal privacy is a good thing (emphasis added):

Rush Limbaugh was detained for about 3 1/2 hours at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription.

The 55-year-old radio commentator's luggage was examined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after his private plane landed at the airport around 2 p.m. from the Dominican Republic, said Paul Miller, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office...

"We believe there may be a second degree misdemeanor violation, which is possession of certain drugs without a prescription, because the bottle does not have his name on it," Miller said.

A doctor had prescribed the drug, but it was "labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes," Roy Black, Limbaugh's attorney, said in a statement.

Rush's Viagra-related privacy: Critically important.

Your personal privacy, according to Rush? Not so much.

AFTERSNARK: I'm betting Daryn Kagan is infinitely grateful about having bailed just in the nick of time. That CNN water cooler gossip can be so cruel, you know.

Hi, Jinx. Bye, Jinx.

Yes, that recent infantile party-crasher "Get to the Shrink!" was, of course, none other than our very own Jinx McHue, once again hiding behind another pseudonym to spew childish epithets. Attaboy, Jinx. I'm sure you're making your pastor proud.

JINX MCHUE AS CHRIS GRIFFIN: There's a scene in an early episode of "Family Guy" where the Griffin family is at the neighbourhood pool and teenager Chris is up on the edge of the diving board, trying to get his mother's attention: "Hey, mom, look ... mom, look at me, mom ... mom, mom, look ... look, mom, look at me ... mom, look, mom ... hey, mom, look at me ... MOM, LOOK, MOM!!!"

Yes, there's our Jinx, desperately waving his arms from the swamps of Wankerville, hoping desperately that someone notices him again. See, he used to be a regular feature here, until pretty much everyone (including me) got bored with his childishness and proceeded to just ignore him. We got on with our lives and, for the most part, forgot about him (aside from the occasional brief, cheap shot when I needed an ignorant, Bible-thumping wank to refer to strictly for comparison purposes.)

Life was good but, alas, it was too good to last, as Jinx clearly can't stand not being the centre of attention, even if, by "attention," we mean the target of unceasing ridicule.

I once asked Jinx what it would take to get him to go away since he clearly wasn't welcome here, and he replied that all I had to do was to stop linking to him. Well, that's easy enough, so I stopped. Not surprisingly, Jinx lied since, even after I started to ignore him, he returned, first as "anonymous" and more recently as this demented (and illiterate) psychopath commenter "Get To The Shrink."

There's something genuinely pathetic about someone whose sole claim to fame is to be the gold standard for appalling ignorance and religious idiocy. Not to mention someone who, just recently, celebrated that his blog passed all of 35,000 hits. Whoo hoo! Yee ha, eh, Jinx? Man, it must give you a serious woody to know that you're setting the blogosphere on fire with your average of 39 hits a day. Although I'm personally kind of put out that you didn't at least give me credit since I'm guessing several thousand of those hits were me sending folks your way just to see what kind of insufferable buffoon you were. Oh, well, I can live with it.

So keep up the good fight there, Jinx. You keep taking wild, uneducated swings at me, and PZ Myers, and anyone else thoroughly out of your league intellectually. Whatever gets you hard. And don't forget -- we're not laughing with you, we really are laughing at you.

POOR JINX. Apparently, Jinx has just plumb forgot that I banned him from commenting here until he answered one simple yes/no question: Does he accept, as literal truth, every word in both the Old and New Testaments? And after all this time, he's still too much of a gutless pussy to post an answer. Typical. Mister SuperChristian, still too scared to say whether he actually believes in Holy Scripture but still trying to sneak back in under a psudonym.

In any event, Jinx, no more comments for you. Pansy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Civil discourse: the latest fashion.

Once upon a time, accusing someone of "lying" was not just intellectually acceptable, it was all the rage.

Not long afterwards, though, a funny thing happened. Accusing someone of lying was suddenly a hideously classless, mean-spirited, demonstration of shrieking moonbat Bush Derangement Syndrome -- proof positive of total clinical sociopathic madness.

Hey, kids ... guess what's back in style?

Heads, I win. Tails ... I still win.

Ah, now I see the pattern. See, if you're a blogging liberal full of anger and outrage, well, that makes you part of the Angry Left and just another thuggish blogofascist.

On the other hand, being a howling, hateful member of the neo-con blogosphere makes you a "brilliant satirist."

Man, where do I sign up to get that kind of deal?

A THOROUGHLY CONFUSING ARTICLE: As some commenters have observed, it's hard to tell whether Meghan Daum's article is itself satire, but I went with this line near the end:

Coulter, with her lucky genes and shrewd marketing instincts, isn't self-loathing enough to be a comedienne, but she's a brilliant satirist in spite of herself.

If Daum's piece is truly satire, well, I missed it completely.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I hate to say "I told you so" ... well, actually, no, I don't.

It was way back in December when I wrote this (important bits emphasized):

Regular readers of this blog (other than Pete Rempel and Jinx McHue, that is) may recall that I regularly ask when (or if) Iraq will eventually become fully "sovereign," or whether that question even has any meaning, given the frequency with which the Bush administration keeps yammering on about how they will, some day for sure, "grant" full sovereignty to Iraq, as if they're doing Iraq a favour or something.

This has become a bigger issue lately given that the Bushies have kind of, sort of promised that, if Iraq told the Americans to leave, they would, which kind of, sort of suggests that the Iraqis really are running things, no?

There's more, but here's the recent, fun development:

A national reconciliation plan for Iraq calls for a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops and, controversially, amnesty for insurgents who attacked American and Iraqi soldiers.

In short, the Iraqis have pretty much had enough and want to know when the U.S. is going to get the fuck out. And that upcoming clash of wills would be amusing all by itself without Dick Cheney opening his mouth and putting his foot in it:

What the Democrats are suggesting, basically, about a withdrawal -- you can call it redeployment, whatever you want to call it. Basically, it in effect validates the terrorists' strategy.

Oh, man. I can't wait to see how this plays out.

THEIR sources are anonymous. OUR sources are just nameless.

Awwwww ... the outrage is so adorable, isn't it?

"Anonymous Sources have become principal sources for some MSM outlets like the New York Times. The problem with unnamed sources is that no one can ever question them, test them, or counter-punch accurately, because they are just shadows. Much like using the town gossip for information, unnamed sources are unreliable sources. There is never any telling if one has been fed the truth or just a load of good’ol Alberta night soil from the corral."

I'm sorry ... you were saying?

"Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day," U.S. President George W. Bush said recently.

Another time he said, "Some say that if you're Muslim you can't be free."

"There are some really decent people," the president said earlier this year, "who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care ... for all people."

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.

When the president starts a sentence with "some say" or offers up what "some in Washington" believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.

The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Mr. Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

He typically then says he "strongly disagrees," conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.

To paraphrase my good buddy Steve Janke, taking right-wing hypocrisy and ripping it a new orifice. But always with a touch of snark.

Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winner!

It was almost two months ago that your humble correspondent wrote this:

As the American midterm elections approach, there's more and more chatter about the possibility of a Republican-inspired "October surprise" -- some momentous event that will suddenly drive the votes in favour of the GOP.

As the old saying goes, speculate and you shall receive:

"[Troop withdrawals] shouldn’t be a political decision, but it is going to be with this administration. … It’s as clear as your face, which is mighty clear, that before this election, this November, there’s going to be troop reductions in Iraq and the President will then claim some kind of progress or victory."

Try not to look shocked. It doesn't become you.

O. M. G.

There are no words in Entish or Elvish or the tongues of men to adequately describe the unspeakable idiocy that is this.

(H/T to commenter Shannon.)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Deja vu all over again.

"OMFG, we're all gonna die and ... hang on (emphasis added):

Indictment of suspected terrorists contains little evidence of plot

Even as Justice Department officials trumpeted the arrests of seven Florida men accused of planning to wage a "full ground war against the United States," they acknowledged the group did not have the means to carry out the plan.

The Justice Department unveiled the arrests with an orchestrated series of press conferences in two cities, but the severity of the charges compared with the seemingly amateurish-nature of the group raised concerns among civil libertarians.

"We're as puzzled as everyone else," said Howard Simon, the director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. "There's no weapons, no explosives, but this major announcement."

The seven men are charged with conspiring to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and FBI buildings in five cities. Prosecutors said they swore allegiance to al-Qaida after meeting with a confidential government informant who was posing as a representative of the terrorist group.

But after sweeps of various locations in Miami, government agents found no explosives or weapons. Investigators also did not document any direct links to al-Qaida.

No explosives? No problem. Dial 1-800-THE-RCMP. Thirty minutes or it's free.

Well, it was amusing until that illiteracy thing kicked in.

Finding out you have your own Internet stalker: Priceless.

Having to point out their lack of fundamental literacy: Moderately embarrassing.

The "unreality-based" community strikes again.

First, there's the reality (emphasis added):

The Bush administration has spent nearly $43 billion over the last five years on missile defense systems, but with North Korea poised to launch its most advanced missile yet, U.S. government assessments and investigative reports indicate little confidence in the centerpiece portion of the program.

Eleven ground-based interceptors in Alaska and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California, the cornerstone of the administration's new system, have not undergone a successful test in nearly four years and have been beset by glitches that investigators blame, at least in part, on President Bush's order in 2002 to make the program operational even before it had been fully tested.

In all, the interceptors hit dummy missiles in five out of 10 tests, but these were under controlled conditions that critics say do not reflect the challenges of an actual missile launch.

Problem? Hell, no. Welcome to the faith-based missile defense program:

North Korea gave no hint of whether it will fire a long-range missile as widely feared, a New Zealand diplomat said Saturday after a trip to Pyongyang, as the U.S. expressed confidence it can intercept an incoming missile from the North.

So here's my idea. Given PM Stephen Harper's enthusiasm for the American BMD program, I propose that Harper invite North Korea to launch a missile aimed at, say, 24 Sussex Drive. The Americans would be simultaneously invited to defend us against said missile.

If the missile is intercepted, then we sign on to the American BMD program tout de suite. If it isn't, well, that's kind of what you call good news and bad news, isn't it?

No wingnut wanker left behind.

This is what happens when you refuse to recognize the dangers of social promotions and let someone start a blog anyway (emphasis added):

Can anyone tell me why this program is a matter of public interest? The monitoring is done overseas, and does not involve monitoring purely domestic transactions (although I wouldn’t see the problem if it did).

And from the very article to which said wankers link (emphasis again added):

While many of those transactions have occurred entirely on foreign soil, officials have also been keenly interested in international transfers of money by individuals, businesses, charities and other organizations under suspicion inside the United States, officials said. A small fraction of Swift's records involve transactions entirely within this country, but Treasury officials said they were uncertain whether any had been examined.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Unless it's one of these folks. Then it's just a terrible thing.

One of these things is not like the other.

His privacy is important. Yours isn't.

The dance band on the Titanic.

Every so often, you're reminded that "fiddling while Rome burns" isn't just a cliche ... it's a way of life for entire populations:

Beijing's thirst for skiing is quickly sapping city dry

... just northeast of Beijing is the most bizarre sight of all: a massive 10-storey indoor ski resort, Qiaobo Ski Dome, which provides artificial snow on two slopes at a constant temperature of three degrees below 0 C, even in the oppressive heat of a Chinese summer.

The temperature climbed to a sweltering 33 C in Beijing this week, but newly affluent Chinese yuppies in the latest ski fashions were zipping down the 300-metre bunny hills and snowboard jumps at the indoor ski resort -- the first in the city's history. For their après-ski pleasure, the resort also includes a sauna, spa, karaoke lounge, restaurants, bars and VIP hotel rooms.

So what's the problem?

All of this is a boon for the pampered lifestyle of China's nouveaux riches, but it's provoking concern in the government. Beijing has endured a drought for the past seven years, and China is facing a severe shortage of water. The crisis is aggravated by surging demand from ski resorts, spas, saunas, massage centres, manicured-lawn villas, fountains, and all the other indulgences of the newly wealthy.

The government has already warned that Beijing residents must take urgent measures to save water or else the city will face a shortage of 1.1 billion cubic metres of water by the time of the 2008 Olympics. Beijing has promised a "Green Olympics" in 2008, but it will have to take drastic action to achieve that goal. Because of the drought, the water level in one of Beijing's main reservoirs has fallen 91 per cent below its average level.

The drought is compounded by heavy pollution, which has left more than half of the surface water in China's seven biggest rivers unfit for human consumption. Of the country's 600 biggest cities, 110 have serious shortages of drinkable water, and 320 million rural residents are also suffering water shortages. Last year, a chemical spill on the Songhua River left millions of people without water.

And when they seriously run out of water, guess whose door they'll be knocking on?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pay no attention to that legislation behind the curtain.

Apparently, lots of fuming, sputtering American wankers are really, really, really pissed that the cover has been blown on a super-duper, top-secret, Commander Codpiece, secret decoder ring program to combat swarthy evildoers everywhere:

A fresh barrage of criticism is erupting over the decision of The New York Times to disclose last night another classified surveillance program aimed at gathering information about terrorist plots...

The Times report, which appears in today's editions and was posted last evening on the paper's Web site, details the federal government's use of subpoenas to gather large troves of data from a Belgium-based consortium that handles international bank transfers, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as Swift.

The Times quoted an unnamed former government official describing Swift as "the mother lode, the Rosetta stone" of data on global banking operations.

Ah, yes, keeping tabs on international banking to thwart global terrorism. What a splendid idea. Or, at least it is now (emphasis added):

Terrorists oppose scrutiny of offshore accounts. And so do many U.S. bankers and lawmakers

October 15, 2001 Posted: 2:45 p.m. EDT (1845 GMT)

The U.S. was all set to join a global crackdown on criminal and terrorist money havens earlier this year. Thirty industrial nations were ready to tighten the screws on offshore financial centers like Liechtenstein and Antigua, whose banks have the potential to hide and often help launder billions of dollars for drug cartels, global crime syndicates--and groups like Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization. Then the Bush Administration took office...

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the anti-money-laundering cause has sprung back to life. The Bush Administration, which is trying to hunt down Osama bin Laden's cash in tax havens and secret bank accounts, has suddenly got religion about tracking down terrorists' assets, know-your-customer laws for banks and an array of other tools on law enforcement's wish list. The antiterrorism bill the Bush Administration sponsored, augmented by tough money-laundering provisions proposed by Democrats, sailed through the Senate. But late last week House Republican leaders Dick Armey and Tom Delay thwarted efforts to include an anti-money-laundering bill in the chamber's antiterrorism legislation, sources tell TIME, endangering the entire banking reform effort.

You know, if the American public had a collective long-term memory that went further back than last week's episode of CSI, the Republicans would be in such trouble.

No sex, please -- we're Canadian.

In a ground-breaking development in social norms, Alison at Creekside reports that, according to a recent Angus-Reid poll, 33% of Canadians would like to see heterosexuality adopted as the official sexuality of Canada.

This was followed closely by metrosexuality at 28%, bisexuality at 19% and "wickedly hot girl-on-girl action, oh yeah" with 12%.

Trailing the poll were members of the Blogging Tories, who uniformly found anything involving sex "yucky" and insist on reproducing by mitosis.

Things going just swimmingly in Iraq, yes sir.

As freedom and democracy march on:

Iraqi govt declares state of emergency

The Iraqi government declared a state of emergency in Baghdad Friday, the prime minister's office said, after clashes broke out in a central district.

It also imposed a 2 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, sending residents of the capital scrambling to get home before it took effect.

Uh ... a 2 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew?? I'm betting that seriously cuts into that party time when all those jubilant Iraqis and their purple fingers would be out joyously celebrating their liberation.

On the bright side, though, it probably lessens their chances of being executed gangland-style. See? There's always a bright side. You just have to look for it.

And the WMD dumbassitude just rolls on ...

Another day, another Blogging Tory drinking the WMD Kool-Aid. Here, let me sum up the latest neo-con talking point to put the whole thing in perspective:

"It's about the WMDs, it's all about the WMDs, that's why we have to invade, that's the only justification for this war, Saddam has WMDs and .., OK, so maybe he didn't have WMDs but it was still worth it because ... um ... democracy and liberty and purple fingers and terrorists and ... hey! It's all about the WMDs after all!"

If it takes you more than one paragraph to encapsulate any right-wing talking point, you're doing something wrong.

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS. See, the U.S. knew about those "newly-discovered" WMDs all along but they never let on at the time because (wait for it, wait for it, here it comes ...) they were trying to protect France.

That's right -- all that anti-French boycott hysteria and smarmy shit about "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" and "Freedom Fries?" All a clever ruse, just misdirection, as the Bush administration totally trashed their credibility just to make sure they didn't hurt France's feelings.

Are those Bushies fucking princes or what? Man, they'd downright take a bullet for you, wouldn't they? Well, OK, they'd let someone else take a bullet for you, but that's mostly the same thing, isn't it?

Blogging Tories Short Takes: June 23, 2006.

Shorter Celestial Junk: "When conservatives block trolls, it's only because they're trying to keep out the annoying, off-topic, offensive riff-raff. Of course, when liberals block trolls, it's because liberals are cowardly weenies who are too scared to engage in honest debate and just want to censor other peoples' points of view."

Shorter Bill Strong: "I am a moron."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More WMD dumbassitude.

And the parade of right-wing gullibility continues unabated as The Strong Conservative weighs in with a post that is almost painful in its cluelessness.

Note first how Mr. Strong describes the report as "declassified" when, as anyone can read, it is in fact quite clearly labelled as "unclassified," with nothing whatsoever to indicate that it represents any astonishing new developments.

But perhaps I'll let Dafna Linzer of the Washington Post (via Glenn Greenwald) blow a gaping hole in Mr. Strong's cluelessness (emphasis added):

[Santorum and Hoekstra] pointed to an unclassified summary from a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center regarding 500 chemical munitions shells that had been buried near the Iranian border, and then long forgotten, by Iraqi troops during their eight-year war with Iran, which ended in 1988.

The U.S. military announced in 2004 in Iraq that several crates of the old shells had been uncovered and that they contained a blister agent that was no longer active. Neither the military nor the White House nor the CIA considered the shells to be evidence of what was alleged by the Bush administration to be a current Iraqi program to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Last night, intelligence officials reaffirmed that the shells were old and were not the suspected weapons of mass destruction sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

And another Blogging Tory embarrasses his species. Oh, yawn.

Sure, LET'S vote on same-sex marriage ...

... but, inspired by this, I'm thinking of a private member's bill in the House of Commons addressing the sanctity of "traditional" marriage, for which you will be ineligible to vote if you:

  • are single

  • are divorced

  • are separated

  • have ever committed adultery

  • have ever lusted after another in your heart (hey ... Biblically, that's adultery)

  • ever had pre-marital sex

Other than that, you're good to vote. Bring it on.

Men who love men.

Oh, geez.

Your morning dumbassitude.

Dont make me have to explain the irony here.

Jesus Christ, dear God, fucking hell, not AGAIN!

"Iran is going to make Jews wear badges!! It's the Holocaust, it's Nazism, it's Hitler, it's ... it's ... well, OK, maybe not real badges or anything ... um ... uh ... OHMIGOD, they finally found WMDs in Iraq!! WMDs!!"

Mother of God, what the fuck is wrong with these people? Is there nothing so jaw-droppingly stupid that they won't swallow it whole?

. The board is set, the pieces are moving ... and moving ...

: As is to be expected, the wanks over at Hot Air are all over this story but poster Allah Pundit at least has the grace to be a wee bit skeptical:

[Santorum is] reading from a document about it right now with Pete Hoekstra by his side. The shells allegedly contained degraded mustard or sarin gas. He says they believe there are other shells inside the country that haven’t been found yet.

WMD is WMD, but finding a shell here and there when Iran’s about to get the bomb next door leaves me somewhat ... underwhelmed.

Scroll down, however, for a lengthy list of trackback URLs from the dingbats in their hermetically-sealed echo chambers, wanking themselves into ecstasy over this exciting new "development."

Sometimes, I'm seriously embarrassed by my species. Is it at all possible I was adopted?

JUST TO BE CLEAR. I'm almost embarrassed to type this next part but, what the hell, one can never explain something too often to any Blogging Tories who might stop by.

The "munitions" that Santorum and Hoekstra are so excited about are not a "new" discovery in any way. They have been public knowledge since they were described in the "Iraq Survey Group Final Report:"

While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.

Do we understand the above? No, seriously, is that paragraph clear about the fact that everyone already knew about these things back in 2004?

Now, if you want to argue that they sufficiently represent "WMDs" to justify the invasion of Iraq, then fine, make that argument and back it up. But you cannot make the argument that these munitions represent anything "new." This is, quite simply, old news and thoroughly unexciting.

Reading list open thread.

What should folks be reading? Let me start things off.

Black, white and all that grey in between.

On a regular basis, we Lefties are accused of having no moral "compass," no moral, black and white absolutes, so that everything for us is shades of grey. This is a moderately amusing accusation, coming from those who have taken waffling to entirely new heights in defending the shrieking lunatic sociopath Ann Coulter.

As exhibit A, we have the aforementioned weekly dumbass Adam Daifallah, whose title says it all: "This isn't intended to be a defense of Ann Coulter, but ..." Ah, yes. "But." There's the magic word right there. See, it's not like Adam supports Coulter's savage attacks on widows who lost their husbands in the terror attacks of 9/11, oh, no, he would never stoop that low. And yet ... and yet ... there he is, stooping exactly that low. He doesn't want to defend Coulter but, well, fuck it, that's precisely what he's doing anyway.

Daifallah's title has become an absolute catchphrase in Wankerville these days. Note one of Adam's own commenters, Scott, who faithfully chimes in, "... and not that I am defending Coulter, but ...". Oh, yes, who's a good little attack poodle? Yes, you are, Scott, that's a good boy. And there is, of course, that previous Media Matters piece, whose first few words read, "Kurtz and Tapper criticized Coulter's invective, but ...". Yes, everyone's publicly appalled by Coulter's hateful screeching, even as they rush to her aid.

The main point here seems to be that, even if Coulter was -- how shall we say this? -- indelicate in her phrasing, she still had some valid point underneath the shrieking. What a fascinating suggestion. One might think that, using the same logic, those people might also take the position that, despite Howard Dean's one enthusiastic yell, he might still have some ideas worth listening to. But, sadly, it doesn't work that way, does it? Dean screamed, therefore, he can be utterly and totally dismissed for time immemorial. But Ann? Hey, she still has some good points, after you claw your way through the unrelenting, sociopathic howling.

In any event, I find it amusing that all of those insufferable wanks leaping to Coulter's defense are doing it only in the context of her political attacks on liberals. I note that none of them are actually taking up her lead in attacking biological evolution. Certainly, Daifallah doesn't go anywhere near the topic in his brief bit of stupidity. And Mark Steyn's asinine piece in Maclean's defending Coulter doesn't contain so much as a passing reference to the topic.

Come on, guys, suck it up. If you're going to defend Coulter, then defend all of her, including the outrageous scientific illiteracy. Political attacks are easy, since they're all just opinion. But science? Ah, that's where you actually have to know something. So come on, Adam, be a sport and defend Coulter's science. I'm sure I have at least a handful of readers who'd love to see you try.

However, as I said, that requires actually knowing some science, so we'll all understand if it takes you a while. Just feel free to check in every so often and let us know how it's going. And don't be afraid to ask for help. That's what we liberals are here for.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I wouldn't line my cat litter box with "Macleans."

As a brief addendum to the earlier post on dumbass Adam Daifallah, let it be known that any magazine that puts a piece of crap like this into print will never see the inside of CC HQ.

Besides, the National Post is far more absorbent.

Ann Coulter smackdown!

While I made note of this in my last post, it really deserves some serious billing. Just go read.

Blogging Tory dumbass of the week: Adam Daifallah.

Oh, man ... sometimes, this job is way too easy. Like when Blogging Tory Adam Daifallah starts a post with the title of "This isn't intended to be a defense of Ann Coulter, but ...", then you just know that hysterical idiocy can't be far behind, as Adam writes:

Throughout all this controversy I have not heard a single cogent argument put forward to counter the Coulter claim that the Democrats stifle debate by throwing victims out to speak for their causes -- the 9/11 widows, or so-called "Jersey Girls", to speak out against Bush, Cindy Sheen [sic] and amputated war vet Max Cleland to criticize the Iraq war, etc... The result is the other side is unable to criticize these people. This is true!

Actually, Adam, you insufferably ignorant buffoon, it isn't true, as rigorously documented by Media Matters here, who show beyond any doubt that the Right has absolutely no shame whatsoever in sparing no one from concerted attack by their legion of yapping attack poodles. Note well the savaging of the very people Daifallah describes as beyond criticism -- the "Jersey Girls," Cindy Sheehan and Max Cleland.

Poor Adam seems incapable of even recognizing the howling inconsistency in Coulter's position that the 9/11 widows are somehow unassailable, even as Coulter herself described them as "witches" who were "reveling in their status as celebrities." One wonders how much more self-contradictory someone would have to be for the light to go on above Daifallah's head.

We'll (sort of) give Adam the last word here:

Coulter may not have the most finessed way of making a point, but she is making a point nonetheless and it stands up to scrutiny.

I need some new descriptive phrases. "Unspeakable dumbfuckery" and "overwhelming assholitude" just don't do this idiot justice. Not even remotely.

P.S. I notice, Adam, that you carefully avoided any editorializing on the sizable chunk of Coulter's book devoted to trashing biological evolution. Smart move, I must say, given her indescribable ignorance on the subject. But just in case you feel like educating yourself (an unlikely prospect, I'm guessing, but one can always hope), I suggest you start here. God knows, you might even learn some science, although I'm not optimistic.

AFTERSNARK: Well, isn't this timely?

But, please ... not to call it "propaganda."

When reporting the news, you generally have two choices. You can just report it ... or you can sneak in a little editorializing along the way.

From today's Globe and Mail (no link currently available), carefully-chosen snippets from a front-page article regarding the killings of two U.S. soldiers in Iraq:

"Brutal killings ... marks of brutal torture ... the gruesome recovery ... apparently tortured and then "killed in a barbaric way" ... The brutal killings ... a brutal enemy that does not follow any of the rules ... mutilated bodies ... both bodies showed evidence of "severe trauma" ... It was brutal torture. The torture was something unnatural. ... killed in a brutal fashion ...".

This, on the other hand, is simply "collateral damage" because, hey, shit happens, ya know?

It's only tacky and tasteless if liberals do it.

Once upon a time, doctoring photos for the purpose of scorn and ridicule was grounds for unlimited fuming and sputtering. Mercifully, those days are gone. Bring it on.

The very definition of "idiot savant."

It would seem that a number of Blogging Tories are none too happy about a recent poll on child care, complaining that the questions were misleading, slanted or what have you.

I am, of course, fascinated by the fact that the same people who are incapable of looking at a simple line graph of increasing global temperatures and figuring out what it might mean are all suddenly authorities on statistical methodology. Don't that just beat all?

It's only corruption if you're a Liberal.

Is someone keeping a list of this stuff? First, let's bring you up to speed:

With the amount of Conservative corruption already being uncovered this may become a weekly feature...

and give Robert yet another entry:

Tories backtracking on accountability bill

The Conservative government has climbed down from its hard line toward senior Tories who worked on its transition team, bringing in an amendment to its ethics bill last night that would allow them to become lobbyists under certain conditions.

Team members who placed people in top jobs in ministers' offices and the Prime Minister's Office can lobby the very people they hired if an independent commissioner exempts them from the five-year ban that the new law creates.

Ladies and gentlemen: your morals and values party. How did we ever survive without them?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"Rules?" There are "rules?"

Talk about an opening for a followup question (emphasis added):

Q On the soldiers, the missing soldiers, have we confirmed that they're, in fact, dead?

MR. HADLEY: We have not confirmed. We believe that the two remains identified are the soldiers. We believe that's what's been announced by MNF-I out of Baghdad. The remains are being shipped home for positive identification, but we can't confirm it at this point. They've announced out of Baghdad that they believe it is the two soldiers, but we can't be sure.

Q I just wonder what, tactically, you make of that? You know, their abduction and their apparent death. Does it say anything about the tactics of the insurgents and terrorist groups at this point that may be changing in any fashion?

MR. HADLEY: No, I think it's a reminder that this is a brutal enemy that does not follow any of the rules. It attacks civilians for political gain, it provokes sectarian violence and it really follows no rules of warfare. It's a very brutal enemy and it's a reminder to all of us about what we're up against. And, obviously, any loss of life is a source of great regret.

And how is it even remotely possible that not a single journalist present had the presence of mind to ask, "Ummmmm ... exactly what 'rules' are we talking about here?"

Oh, man. The hilarity that would have ensued.

If it's Tuesday, I must hate polls.

Some days, polls are just the gosh-darned greatest things going. Other days, well ... not so much.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

"Whoops, I see our time is up here."

It's always easier when you avoid the tough questions, isn't it?

Does anybody care to take a guess as to what the international outcry will be over reports that 2 American troopers were tortured and killed by Islamo-fanatics in Iraq? How many days of condemnation will the MSM dedicate to pillorying Islamist fanatics? How many of the world’s leftist elite will step forward and condemn the crime without the usual excuses thrown in (ie: If the USA wasn’t in Iraq, this wouldn’t happen)? How many lefty blogs will condemn the crime without drafting moral equivalency arguments that include Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or Haditha? And, how many politicians from the “progressive” camp will condemn the deed without piggy-backing into a “withdrawal timetable”?

And, while we're on the topic, how many right-wing, fighting keyboarders are going to whip themselves into a froth over this without ever once pointing out that it was the Bush administration that decided to flush the protections of the Geneva Conventions down the loo before this happened?

As Jon Stewart would say, "Awwwwwwkward."

P.S. I'll bet this guy would appreciate the irony of the situation. If he wasn't dead, that is.

If you blinked, you missed it.

Once again, we bring you the Coalition of the "We are so getting the fuck out of here."
June 16:

Japan denied a newspaper report Friday that it was considering pulling its troops out of southern Iraq after Britain told Tokyo that coalition forces in the south would soon hand over responsibility for security to Iraqis.

June 18:

Top Japanese officials delayed a decision Monday on when to withdraw Tokyo's troops from southern Iraq, pending the transfer of security in the region to Iraqi authorities, officials said.

June 20:

Japan will withdraw its ground troops from Iraq, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has announced.

Now that's efficiency.

Dear Michelle: About those Geneva Conventions ...

Whoa ... it would suddenly appear that barbaric torture of combatants is a bad thing. When did that start?

P.S. This would be the same Michelle who had such overwhelming compassion for the Guantanamo suicides. I'm just sayin'.

Little liberal thugs and big conservative ones. Part 1.

Danger, danger, Will Robinson! New neo-con talking point approaching! And as Our Lady of Hateful Bile reports here, "The tolerant Left targets a 7 year old homophobe," describing how a bunch of little liberal "thug-kins" put the boots to ... oh, read it yourself.

Naturally, we on the Left are supposed to be outraged over this but, strangely, I'm having some difficulty getting all cranked up about it. See, I'm wondering where all that Kate-flavoured outrage was when, say, abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian was murdered in front of his family. Or when Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence because of his sexuality. Or, if you want to get into simple assault, when a Young Republican kicked a female protestor who was already being held down by three secret service agents.

So, really, Kate, you have a lot of nerve being this annoyingly selective about what gets your thong in a knot. And while I don't condone a bunch of kids ganging up on a single victim, comparatively speaking, I still don't think that equates to beating someone to death. So just spare me the righteous indignation, OK? The day you start treating all of these cases equally is the day clinically sane people will start taking you seriously.

And, no, we're not even remotely done with this incident yet. But coffee awaits.

, it's more than a little grating to read McCullough's closer to that article:

It's also very sad that Ash's compadres have sunk to the level of assaulting the seven year old child of David Parker in their attempts to shut him up.

But then again liberals don't believe in absolutes, morality, or the law - so why should we be surprised?

Why, yes, Kevin -- if we liberals really don't believe in morality or the law, why should you be surprised? You and the rest of your right-wing nutbar friends spend all your time accusing all of us over here on the Left of a total lack of moral absolutes, but still manage to work up suitable outrage when we allegedly act that way.

You might want to try a little consistency there, Kevin. It might hurt the first few times, but you'll get used to it, I'm sure.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Blogging Tory dumbass of the week: Barry Stagg.

Here we go again. Here's Mr. Stagg:

This story should be a catalyst for apologia and liberal self-loathing from the hate America first brigade. What can they do to make amends to these heroic freedom fighters once again hell bent on mass murder in New York?

CBC News: N.Y. subway was al-Qaeda target, book claims:"Al-Qaeda came close to attacking the New York subway system with highly poisonous hydrogen cyanide gas in early 2003, a new book claims."

Hey, I know ... let's see what CNN has to say about this. Not the whole article -- just the tantalizing bits (emphasis added):

Two former U.S. officials with knowledge of the terror plan confirmed to CNN on Saturday night some details from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind's "The One Percent Doctrine," but disagreed with others...

They disagreed with Suskind
that the terrorists were thwarted within 45 days of the planned attack; the officials said the proposed timing was not that precise...

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said authorities took the plot seriously but were never able to confirm its existence...

So, in summary, the terrorists are here, we're all gonna die, yadda yadda yadda. Is there anything good on TV tonight?

Remember when it was all about the lying?

That's right. When the Right was looking to take down Bill Clinton, it wasn't about the sex, oh no, it was about the lying. Under oath. And that was enough to demand that he be driven from office, you bet.

Fast forward several years, where we read that an increasing number of right-wing commentators are publicly suggesting that Scooter Libby should receive a presidential pardon. For lying. Under oath. To a federal grand jury.

We need a new word, since "hypocrisy" doesn't even remotely do this justice anymore.

Well, THAT was particularly bad timing, wasn't it?

June 5, 2006:

The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Conventions that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.

June 19, 2006:

An umbrella group linked to al-Qaida in Iraq claimed Monday that it had kidnapped two American soldiers reported missing south of Baghdad, where 8,000 Iraqi and U.S. troops were conducting a massive search.

So ... who's going to be the first dumbass, shameless, arrogant wanker to publicly demand that al-Qaeda respect the treatment of captured prisoners under the GC? Go on ... somebody must have the pre-requisite assholitude to write something that stupid.

That was then, this is now.

Apparently, yesterday's statements are inoperative.

Still waiting for all that Blogging Tory outrage.

One more time now (emphasis added):

The complex structure of a real estate transaction in Kendall County last December left [Republican] House Speaker Dennis Hastert with a seven-figure profit and in prime position to reap further benefits as the exurban region west of Chicago continues its prairie-fire growth boosted by a Hastert-backed federally funded proposed highway.

Instead of cash, Hastert (R-Ill.) took most of his share of the proceeds in land, some of it less than 2 miles from the parcels he and two partners in a land trust sold for nearly $5 million to a developer who plans to build more than 1,500 homes and commercial space on the property near Little Rock and Galena roads in Plano.

Hastert received five-eighths of the proceeds of the sale, which worked out to a profit of more than $1.5 million for him on property that he and his partners accumulated in a little more than three years.

I guess it's a good thing boxing tickets weren't involved. God only knows the reaction we would have seen from Special Ed.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: June 19, 2006.

Shorter Le Blog de Polyscopique: "With enough practice and self-control, you too can use the phrases "Conservative Party" and "promises" in the same sentence with a straight face."

Shorter Mark C.: "With enough practice and self-control, you too can be a Blogging Tory and whine about "those who do not serve" with a straight face."

Shorter Celestial Junk: "In a perfect world, we'll keep getting their votes without having to, you know, actually touch them or anything."

Shorter Upper Canada Catholic: "And how about this one? A faggot and a nigger walk into a bar ..."

The conservative nanny state -- a free book.

Oh, this should be good, since anyone who spends more than a few minutes investigating can figure out that, while conservatives perpetually wail on about the left-wing, liberal welfare state, those same conservatives are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to sucking off the public tit.

As just one example, those on the (American) right are habitually incensed by the notion of affirmative action for getting lower-class or minority students into college, claiming that college admission should, naturally, be based solely and exclusively on talent and ability. Of course, these are the same whiny pussies who have no problem using the concept of legacy admission to find a college seat for their own lazy, worthless progeny.

Oh, yes, this should be a good read.

P.S. While you can download the entire 119-page book for free, you can also go for the gusto and bite the big one and spring for the $6.91 (US) to buy an actual copy. Or buy several, and give them away to members of the Blogging Tories.

At least those who can read.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Serious hangover open thread.

Let me know what's happening. But, for God's sake, do it quietly.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Your new favourite blog.

Despite the fact that this will cost me at least half my readership (as they wonder why they've been wasting their time here), let me recommend this guy.

It's enough to make us mere mortals want to give up blogging. Fuck. I hate people like that.

It's only corruption if liberals do it.

As I'm sure you all remember, the citizens of Wankerville had all sorts of fun accusing U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of a humongous breach of ethics for accepting (in their fevered imaginations, anyway) boxing tickets worth thousands -- I say, thousands -- of dollars! If memory serves, the Blogging Tories certainly had a field day with this, didn't they?

So I can only imagine the BTs outrage over this recent development:

The Pictures of Corruption: How Hastert Used Tax Dollars to Turn a $1.5 Million Profit

Here’s a graphic timeline explaining how House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) used a federal earmark to turn a $1.5 million profit ...

I mean, if the BTs were angry over Reid's boxing tickets, one can only imagine how livid they'll be over this. They're going to be really, really, really pissed, right? Right?

Otherwise, that would make them a bunch of worthless, kiss-ass, hypocritical pussies. And, God knows, we can't have that, can we?

Come on, all you BTs ... show me the outrage. You know you want to.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: June 17, 2006.

Shorter Upper Canada Catholic: "As a Catholic, I'm appalled by the thought of men sodomizing other men."

Shorter Dr. Roy: "This time, the National Post is going to get it right. Yes, sir, this time. Count on it."

Shorter Bill Strong: "Learning stuff is for liberals."

It's a "number." Wanna make something of it?

Uh oh. Apparently, the concern for dead American troops has fallen down the list, somewhere between keeping gays from getting married and banning sex with box turtles (emphasis gleefully added):

Q Tony, American deaths in Iraq have reached 2,500. Is there any response or reaction from the President on that?

MR. SNOW: It's a number, and every time there's one of these 500 benchmarks people want something.

I'm guessing, then, that 2,500 is just "a number" in the same way that the 3,000 killed on 9/11 is just "a number" and that the next time someone tells me that everything changed in the wake of 9/11, I have the legal right to drag them out to the parking lot and club them like a baby seal.

God, I love intellectual discourse.

Why Bill Dembski is a tool.

It appears that the proponents of Intelligent Design who don't understand basic science don't understand basic arithmetic either.

By the way, let's not forget that Dembski was Ann Coulter's source for all things scientific for her most recent, loathsome piece of dreck "Godless." Lord, but how those two deserve one another.

Jonathan Strong: The dumbass conservative.

I almost hate to do this because Jonathan has been moderately civil in terms of discourse but, really, there's no other way to describe it than that he's one of the most hypocritical twits in Wankerdom.

It's not enough that, after being slapped around regarding his idiotically gullible posts on global warming, he hasn't backed off even a little after the thorough thrashing he's received here. No retraction, no correction, no apology. No, it's better than that.

Here, Strong puts some amazing spin on the story that obviously-corrupt Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson has been turfed from his seat on the ethics committee. So what makes Strong such a dumbass about this?

First, his post headline reads simply, "Jefferson Loses Seat." Yes, and he lost it because his fellow Democrats kicked him out. It's not like he just showed up one day and his seat was mysteriously missing or anything. And how does Strong spin this?

First, he writes (emphasis added), "Dems have finally voted to remove Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson of his seat on the ethics committee." "Finally?" As if this has been dragging on and on and on whereas this whole process was actually quite quick as politics goes. But that's not the most idiotic part of Strong's silliness.

Strong continues:

Now make no mistake, Dems are not doing this because they believe this is the right thing to do morally. For the left, there really is no right and wrong, no black and white, its all shades of grey. They are doing this now for political reasons only, otherwise they would have nothing to say in November regarding ethics in Congress.

And now you see how it works. If the Dems had opted to leave Jefferson on the ethics committee, Strong would undoubtedly have howled about how they were protecting corruption. But since they chose to get rid of him, they're just doing it for political expediency. Those poor Dems. They just can't catch a break in Jonathan's world, can they? Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Of course, while the Dems are stripping their own ethically-challenged members of their committee seats, the GOP is holding fundraisers to cover their legal expenses. I'm guessing that, in Jonathan's bubble, that would just show the depth of their compassion. Or something.

P.S. I love the fact that Jonathan writes:

For the left, there really is no right and wrong, no black and white, its all shades of grey.

Remember, this is the same guy who tut-tutted back here:

Its easy to name call and label people liars, however I believe your cause would be better served by providing the actual evidence for global warming instead of believing in it blindly like someone in a cult.

Then again, liberalism shares many resemblances of a cult.

So it's a little gauche and tasteless to name call, unless it's to accuse an entire demographic of resembling a cult and of being morally bankrupt. I hope we've cleared that up for you.

Global warming and hopelessly ignorant wankers.

Tim Lambert is really becoming the go-to guy on debunking the right-wing stupidity regarding global warming. So, any chance that any of those wanks might reconsider their position? Maybe dig a little deeper to read the actual research? Perhaps be just a touch more skeptical when it comes to the sweeping dismissal of climate change from the scientific dumbasses over there in Wankerville?

I guess not. Apparently, once an ignorant buffoon, always an ignorant buffoon.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Selective thinking at its finest.

Giving the wingnut right years of accumulated evidence for global warming, and having them brush it off as "just a theory" or suggest it "needs more study:" Sadly predictable.

Giving those same people a single, unsourced, questionable document and having them embrace it wholeheartedly and accept its absolute authenticity without even a scintilla of doubt: Priceless.

"But science was wrong before, wasn't it?"

And as much as I hate to take up arms against an until-now reasonable and well-behaved commenter, I have to take serious exception to a good deal of what commenter "scout" wrote back here in the first comment, althought I'll limit myself to just one of the more egregious and maddening points made there:

science: there's merit but it's not the be all end all it proclaims. what is 'true' today will not be viewed as 'true' in 100 years, just like much of what science held as 'true' 100 years ago is not 'true' today.

In a word, bullshit. Now, one can read, for instance, this refutation of that particular bit of nonsense and, while I agree with Skeptico's explanation, I don't believe it makes the point forcefully enough.

Quite simply, our level of scientific knowledge is directly proportional to our ability to measure and observe everything around us. Early, primitive man (that would be Neandertal, Cro-Magnon and Rob Anders) was convinced that the earth was flat and that the stars were holes in the sky and that disease was caused by evil spirits, or what have you. And all of that was perfectly understandable at the time since there was no way to disprove any of that. Early man simply had no advanced way to observe and measure the world around him.

As time went on, and we developed microscopes and telescopes and more advanced measuring and observing devices, we got to see things we had never been able to see before, and that made all the difference, and that's what drove the acquisition of scientific knowledge.

In fact, the idea of better and better devices fits in nicely with the common idiotic accusation that, hey, Newton was wrong about celestial mechanics and his rules were replaced by Einstein's theory of relativity. Well, sure, you can sit there and claim Newton was "wrong," if your goal is to be a pedantic dumbass. Newton was "right" to the best of his ability to be able to measure and observe, since the differences there only kick in once one starts talking about relativistic speeds. So Newton wasn't "wrong" so much as he was "incomplete," and his work was not corrected so much as it was refined and extended by Einstein based on more powerful measuring devices. See how that works?

This is how science operates -- we don't know something until we finally develop the tools that can observe and measure it, at which point we start to discover things we could never have seen or tested before. And because of this, it's highly unlikely that, all of a sudden, we're going to discover that what we believed for decades or centuries is suddenly completely wrong.

Does anyone seriously believe it's possible that one day we'll wake up and go, "Oh, wait, those bright lights up there in the night sky really are just holes in a firmament after all." Or that we'll suddenly decide that this whole "germ" theory is just silly and that it really is evil spirits? I don't think so. Just as it's hideously unlikely that the scientific community will, some day, suddenly exclaim, "Wait! This whole evolution thing is completely bogus! It really does make more sense to imagine a young earth and worldwide flood to explain everything around us." Yeah, that'll happen. When pigs freaking fly.

If you want to argue that science sometimes gets ahead of itself and has to be corrected down the line, fine, make that argument. And back it up with some actual examples. But don't come wandering in here, blathering about, hey, science was wrong before and it can be wrong again. That's a worthless argument, made only by people who, as Skeptico points out, have no actual case.

It's June, so it must be time to slap down Weasel Boy.

Every once in a while, I just get the urge so, without further ado, here's our old friend Jinx/Jason, complaining about being unfairly characterized:

Every left-wing troll I've encountered in a nutshell


And how does Jinx fight back against such defamation? Why, by regurgitating stupid, fundy, neo-con talking points.

Slapping around Jinx McHue -- degree of difficulty: 0.03.

AFTERSNARK: For those of you who are relative newcomers to this blog, Jason/"Jinx McHue" is an annoying, insufferably smug evangelical Christian who has a bad habit of expounding on subjects of which he knows less than nothing (including, sad to say, Christianity itself).

Some time back, based on his astoundingly-uninformed comments regarding the Bible, I asked him a simple question, and made it clear that any and all comments he left here would be deleted until he answered that question clearly and unambiguously.

The question: "Do you believe, word for word, in the literal accuracy of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments?" To this day, Jinx has refused to answer. That's pretty embarrassing for someone who presents himself as being such a super-Christian.

It is, however, par for the course for Jinx.

And biological evolution marches on, thank you very much.

Oh, look ... more evidence for biological evolution:

Scientists have uncovered remarkably preserved fossils – including feathers and webbed feet – of the oldest known relatives of modern birds, which also shores up the theory that birds evolved from aquatic environments.

Little is known about birds from the age of dinosaurs, since fossils that date back to the early Cretaceous Period – some 105 to 115 million years ago – have rarely been found. So the discovery reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science is particularly exciting for those trying to fill gaps in the avian family tree.

Cue spectacularly ignorant right-wing attack poodles, yammering on about "fact" versus "theory" and getting all of it gloriously wrong.

BONUS TRACK: And while evolutionary scientists do actual science, creationists do pretty much what they've always done.

OHMIGOD DOUBLE PLUS GOOD SUPER BONUS SNARK: Based on PZ's (inappropriate, in my opinion) sweeping condemnation when he writes:

Lying, stealing, and misrepresentation are common creationist values, I guess—Allah must endorse theft.

we have none other than our old friend Jinx McHue/Jason, weighing in with the comment, "Whee!!! Broad brushes are fun!"

Keep in mind, this whining about broad brushes comes from someone whose home page reads, "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. --Ecc. 10:2"

Yes, Jinx is just the person to be lecturing the rest of us about unfair generalization, isn't he?

Now THAT'S a smackdown.

This is what happens when you forget the difference between being a hawk and being a chickenhawk.

Blogging Tories Short Takes: June 16, 2006.

Shorter Spirit of Man: "Let me explain how bad Islam is in Iran, from the perspective of someone who isn't there."

Shorter Celestial Junk: "As a staunch, right-wing neo-con, let me be contemptuously dismissive of other people's dogma."

Shorter Strong Conservative: "Oh, look! Another corner!"

Shorter Dr. Roy: "Or you could just watch Fox News for yourself, then you wouldn't have to read me."

Shorter Cantor the Conservative: "And in non-Britney-related news ..."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

About that climate change thing ...

As a follow-up to my earlier piece, you might as well kick back, make yourself comfortable and go read. And not just because Tim's nice enough to give me a link at the bottom. That has nothing to do with it. No sir.

(By the way, note carefully how Tim, an Australian, knows enough about all of this to identify a "Canadian anti-Kyoto astroturf group." Suddenly, I feel so embarrassed. But nowhere near as embarrassed as the Blogging Tories should feel. If they had any shame, that is.)

And don't forget, kids, about those BTs that got absolute little woodies over that initial Canada Free Press article trashing Gore. There was The Strong Conservative, who opined that "some actual scientists with knowledge of the theory of global warming are speaking out, and quite critically."

Then there's the laughably-misnamed Technical Bard, who got all uppity about Gore's "scaremongering." And let us not overlook everyone's favourite whackjob and pathological liar Bill Strong, who described the worthlessly dishonest CFP article as a "must read."

I'm guessing that those of us who were hounded into exile about the whole Karl Rove indictment story shouldn't expect any sort of similar sheepish recriminations from the Right 'cuz, you know, that's just not the way they work. But you knew that.

. In the first comment below, ticked-off commenter and target "The Strong Conservative" whines:

Sir, Its easy to name call and label people liars, ...

And the title of his blog article to which I linked? "Gore's Convenient Lie."

Sometimes, this job is just way too easy.

Now THAT'S what you call "oblivious."

Over at Science Blogs, Ed Brayton has this piece, in which the school in question doesn't have a prayer of winning. As Ed points out, entirely correctly:

Under Lamb's Chapel and Good News Club, a school that makes their facilities available to community groups cannot refuse to rent to religious groups, nor can they charge them more than any other group.

But step back and appreciate for just a second what is happening here -- a Southern Baptist Church demanding nothing more than the right to be treated equally under the law.

I'll leave you to tease out the irony for yourself.

What the phrase "born for each other" was invented for.

First, you need to read this. Then immediately follow it up with this. Were there ever two sorry excuses for human beings that deserved each other more?

No, for God's sake, don't answer that! What part of "rhetorical" didn't you catch?

BONUS TRACK: Buried in that first piece is the convenient smackdown:

Actually, the very idea of 101st Keyboarders putting, so to speak, their money where their mouth is, is liable to make them terrified to the point of incontinence.

It just doesn't get more timely, does it?