Monday, April 30, 2007

Dear Kate: That's called "projection."

There's the setup:

The Secret To Being A Liberal Hysteric


No secret: just treat adults like children, and treat children like adults. Require adults to ask the government “mother may I” for every least little thing, ...

and there's the smackdown:

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has imposed central control over all information and comments to the public issued by government officials and even cabinet ministers, directing them to have everything cleared by the Prime Minister's Office, according to an internal e-mail and government sources.

Degree of difficulty: 0.01.

Must ... control ... fist ... of ... death ...

Then there are days when I want to claw my eyes out just so I wouldn't accidentally read stuff like this.

P.S. Don't worry -- we'll be getting back to the Blogging Tories shortly.

Somehow, the word "irony" seems inadequate.

Right-wing, neo-con hack William Kristol, attacking George Tenet's credibility:

According to Kakutani, Tenet concludes by paraphrasing Daniel Patrick Moynihan's comment: "Policymakers are entitled to their own opinions--but not to their own set of facts." How many other facts has George Tenet invented?

Yes, that really was Bill Kristol, accusing someone else of making shit up. If you hadn't read it with your own eyes ...

AFTERSNARK: Pay close attention to the breathtaking contradiction that Kristol seizes on:

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has now learned of a second, more stunning error in Tenet's book (which is due to appear in bookstores tomorrow). According to Michiko Kakutani's review in Saturday's Times,

On the day after 9/11, he [Tenet] adds, he ran into Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative and the head of the Defense Policy Board, coming out of the White House. He says Mr. Perle turned to him and said: "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility."

Here's the problem: Richard Perle was in France on that day, unable to fly back after September 11. In fact Perle did not return to the United State until September 15.

Appreciate, if you will, that Kristol must certainly have been watching the recent Alberto Gonzales proceedings, during which Gonzales allegedly couldn't remember squat about anything that happened only a few months ago, but Kristol thinks he's found that smoking gun based on George Tenet being perhaps three days off about something that happened over five years ago.

But if you pointed that out to Kristol, I'm willing to bet he wouldn't be even remotely embarrassed. That's because these people have no shame.

Apparently, I have some entertainment value.

You'll laugh! You'll cry! Well, actually, we're not quite sure what you'll do.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The "L" word.

Dear wanks:

Can we finally -- finally -- claim, without fear of disagreement, that someone in the Bush administration "lied?" Seriously, will you finally give us one? Or are you just going to chalk it up to semantics the way you always do?

Enquiring minds want to know.

A little consistency would be nice.

You know, it seems like only yesterday that Canada's wingnut-o-sphere was downplaying the existence of global warming, while simultaneously excoriating the Liberals for having failed, for 13 years, to deal with that very same (allegedly non-existent) issue.

Apparently, it's deja vu all over again, with those same Cons pooh-poohing allegations of torture of Afghani prisoners:

"I think what's disgraceful is to simply accept the allegations of what some Taliban suspects say at face value," Harper said in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. "That's not appropriate."

while, at the same time, now accusing the Liberals of having known about that (allegedly non-existent) torture all along.

Really, guys ... would it be that much of a stretch to get the left and right halves of your brains to communicate with one another once in a while?

Aaron Lee Wudrick: Credit where credit is due.

Every one of you should go read this:

Let's not make it more personal than it has to be. Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor served his country for 30 years in uniform for the armed forces. But on both principled and political grounds, he needs to resign over the Afghan detainees issue.

And after you appreciate what Aaron has written, feel free to contrast that with:

Not to minimize the egregious wrongs committed by the Afghan police/military against their own countrymen in their own country -- but why are we supposed to care?

Then you can sit back and wonder how the fuck those two people can possibly share the same aggregator. Go figure.

SOMETIMES, THESE PEOPLE MAKE MY EYES BLEED. Over at Aaron's blog, commenter "Joanne (True Blue)" understands what's truly important:

You make a compelling argument. The trick is to make a shuffle and still save face for all concerned.

Attagirl, Joanne ... when we're talking about torture and possible violations of the Geneva Conventions, what really counts is first making sure that nobody gets, you know, embarrassed or anything.

Just kill me now, Lord.

Um ... no John, that's not quite the conclusion I drew.

For posterity's sake, the good folks over at TPM are keeping score:

Our Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials

* Scooter Libby - Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff - resigned after being indicted for Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, and Making False Statements in connection with the investigation stemming from the leak of a CIA operative's identity.

* Lester Crawford - Commissioner, FDA - resigned after only two months on the job. Pled guilty to conflict of interest and making false statements.

* Brian Doyle - Deputy Press Secretary, DHS - Resigned in wake of child sex scandal. Pled no contest to 32 criminal counts.

* Claude Allen - Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy- resigned, pled guilty to shoplifting from Target stores.

* David Safavian - former head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget - convicted of lying to ethics officials and Senate investigators about his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

* Larry Franklin - intelligence officer, Defense - resigned, pled guilty to passing secrets to Israel.

* Roger Stillwell - desk officer, Interior Department - pled guilty to failing to report Redskins tickets and free dinners from Jack Abramoff.

... and on and on and tediously on, etc etc ...

Based on which you can, of course, draw only one logical conclusion:

April 28, 2007

The truth is that the Bush administration has been extraordinarily scandal-free. Not a single instance of corruption has been unearthed.

When they refer to us Lefties as the "reality-based community," that's not a joke.

(H/T TPM, naturally.)

No, Brian, don't thank me, I'm just trying to help.

Recall that, recently, I introduced you to Blogging Tory Brian Lemon and his ambitious plan to expose that nefarious mainstream media bias. (In case you've forgotten, that would be the same Brian Lemon who promised to remove an atrociously dishonest post if it was proven to be nonsense but, sadly, hasn't quite gotten around to it, what with his being busy exposing that nefarious mainstream media bias and all.)

In any event, I'm sure exposing that nefarious mainstream media bias is a tough job, so I thought we could all help him out -- make it a group effort, as it were. So I figured I could start things off here, where The Politic's George Freeman is just all gushy over the Western Standard's resident screeching, religious street person Ted Byfield:

Byfield cites a good exchange—a succinct comparison—in a recent radio interview:

[As compared to the odd shooting of an abortionist, there is] the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the nightclub in Bali, the theatre in Moscow, the school in Chechnya, the slaughter in Nigeria over a beauty contest—one death against thousands.

Now, what strikes you as a bit odd about the above? Give it time, it'll come to you.

Why, yes, there it is. First, Byfield downplays the murder of abortion providers ("the odd shooting of an abortionist"), but then goes on to quantify that number as "one." Now, I may not have the entire collection of slain abortion doctor action figure playing cards, but I'm fairly sure it's more than one. In fact, I can pretty well guarantee that it's at least three. I'm hoping that Brian will agree here that, when it comes to bias, even right-wing whackjobs should agree that one doesn't equal three. But it doesn't end there.

One wonders why Byfield sees fit to not mention Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who openly admitted in an interview with Time magazine that, while he wasn't a regular churchgoer, he was still somewhat religious (168 killed, just in case you're keeping score). And who among us could forget Eric Rudolph (emphasis added):

... an American anti-abortion extremist and domestic terrorist who committed a series of bombings across the southern United States, which killed three people and injured at least 150 others...

Rudolph was "connected with the Christian Identity movement, a militant, racist, and anti-Semitic organization."; today, he self-identifies as a Catholic.

Correct me if I'm wrong but, so far, that strikes me as more than "one."

So there you have it, Brian -- some serious media bias over at the Western Standard, and I'm assuming you'll be all over that like Steve Janke on Cindy Sheehan's laundry hamper.

And my regular readers are invited to help Brian out as well, except that he doesn't list an email address to get hold of him, which means that, sadly, he really doesn't give a fuck what you think but just send those tidbits to me and I'll try to keep Brian up to date as best I can.

It's the least we can do since Brian is obviously a crazy busy guy and, if we do the legwork for him, he might someday get the time to go back and, you know, correct the record.

We can always hope.

The CPoC loves itself some Al Gore. Or maybe not.

It was only back in February (all subsequent emphasis added):

During question period in the House of Commons last week, [Canada's minister of the environment, John] Baird read a statement by [Al] Gore that appeared to praise the Conservative policies regarding global warming.

"Canada [is] once again providing leadership in the world, fighting above its weight class and showing moral authority to the rest of the world. That's what Canada's known for," Baird read.

"Do we know who said that yesterday? Al Gore."

Yessir, the conservatives love that Al Gore. Whoops, hang on ...

Environment Minister John Baird learned an inconvenient truth Monday — that former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has not endorsed the Tories' performance on climate change.

So what's the problem:

Gore issued a statement Monday from his Tennessee office saying his comments were taken out of context and that they were made last summer, not last week.

But, by God, if there's anyone who knows what Al Gore really meant, apparently, it's not Al Gore:

Environment Minister John Baird wouldn't back down Wednesday from the way he used comments by Al Gore to discuss Canada's performance on climate change.

Baird denied he took Gore's comments out of context, and suggested that others may have been behind a statement from the former U.S. vice-president saying the minister misrepresented his comments by suggesting he was praising the Conservatives' actions on global warming. "It was entirely in context and entirely a fair representation of it," Baird said after announcing federal funding to promote environmentally friendly vehicles.

"I think what happened was, as I suspect, some Liberals got to Mr. Gore and said, 'You're not helping us out here."'

"But if you read the quote, if you read the context I gave it in, it was incredibly fair."

Exactly. Because if there's anyone who should be considered an authority on what Al Gore actually means, it's John Baird, who suddenly doesn't love Al Gore anymore:

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, now one of the world's most famous climate-change activists, has called the federal government's new green plan "a fraud."...

Conservative Environment Minister John Baird promptly shot back, saying Gore didn't do nearly as much to fight climate change during eight years in office.

And with their new marching orders, the Blogging Tory attack poodles are off and yapping. Oh, geez, I think something just peed on my leg ...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

If you blink, you can't even ridicule them anymore.

Let the "morals and values" games begin:

Randall L. Tobias, the deputy secretary of state responsible for U.S. foreign aid, abruptly resigned yesterday after he was asked about an upscale escort service allegedly involved in prostitution, U.S. government sources said.

Oh, man, this is going to be such fun ... damn, too late:

Within minutes of McCormack's announcement, Tobias's biography was removed from the USAID Web site.

Alberto? Alberto who? Never heard of him.

Dear dog: You suck. Signed, the cat.

And he started off so well -- a call to arms.

To his credit, Brian starts off sounding almost reasonable:

Yesterday I postulated that Broadcast Standards should suggest that any guest on any information program that has received money from the government and is commenting on government policy should be required to reveal this conflict.

I like the idea, Brian. You have my support. Brian goes on to point out that blogs have a much looser standard of objectivity, and that's what the blogosphere is all about, so no quarrel there. Sadly, though, that's the point where Brian descends rapidly into gibbering madness:

It is the Mainstream Media that fails to reveal the perspectives and biases that exist in their reporting and in the reporting of their guests. But not always... Fox News reveals its bias, but CNN does not.

Ummmmm ... yeah ... "Fox News reveals its bias." Ignore Brians's amusing admission that Fox is, yes indeed, biased (despite howling protestations from the rest of the wankersphere). This is, according to Brian, the network that openly reveals its ideological leanings ... how? Oh, right ... by advertising itself with the slogan of being "fair and balanced." Quite the admission of bias there, Brian. How ever could I have missed that all this time? Silly me.

But it's Brian's jab at CNN that's even funnier, as he's clearly implying that that network leans to the left, despite about a bazillion documented incidents over at Media Matters for America that demonstrate exactly the opposite. Nice going, Brian -- if you could have picked two more inappropriate examples for your thesis, I can't imagine what they would have been.

But, in the end, I like Brian's idea, even if he thoroughly pooched its presentation. I think a blog tracking blatant bias in the Canadian media would be a great idea, along the line of Media Matters. And as a starting point, I think the first example should be any mainstream news piece that refers to industry hack and corporate whore Tim Ball as a "PhD climatologist" -- you know, like this.

I'm sure the rest of the submissions will practically write themselves.

Celestial Junk: The gift that keeps on giving.

When Dana published this yesterday:

How Many Times Can the US "Capture" Someone?

The internets are chok-a-blok with triumphant stories of the "capture" of yet another Al Qaeda senior operative this morning. Apparently he was trying to sneak into Iraq. All crouched over with his jalabaya covering his head no doubt.

His name we're told is Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi.

Problem is that he's been listed as "captured" since March of 2003. Fox News and Free Republic say so, so it must be true. (You can use your pooters find function on those pages.)

my absolutely first reaction was ... which Blogging Tory would be the first to embarrass himself or herself by crowing over this new "victory" in the Global War On Islamojihadifarianism? Who, I ask you, who, would be so delightfully gullible as to swallow that story straight off the teleprompter?

I give you ... who else?

Sometimes, I think I need more of a challenge in my life.

NOW HERE'S AN INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT: In the comments section, "Junker" defends the honour of his blog thusly:

"It was reported in January 2002 that someone with the same pseudonyms Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi and Abu Abdullah had been captured in Afghanistan.[10] That person was also described as a training camp commander. But despite these coincidences, the two suspects are now known to be distinct people."

Now, unlike Junker's Blogging Tory colleagues, I'm actually going to follow up on this and, if it turns out to be true, I'll publicly issue a retraction. (I'm aware that neither Junker nor any of his BT buddies would recognize a retraction if it walked up to them and kneed them in the happy sack, so I'll be sure to put a big label on it.)

But before that happens, Junker. I'm curious -- did your co-blogger Paul already know that, or did he make that post, get called on it, then dig around and conveniently come up with that possible rationalization after the fact? After all, his post didn't mention a potential mistaken identity, and it's not clear how he confirmed that it really is al-Iraqi this time.

So, let's be honest, Junker -- what kind of corroboration did your buddy Paul perform before making that post?

Friday, April 27, 2007

It's easier if you just assume they're ALL idiots.

There's a classic joke about a college mathematics professor who, on a regular basis, received "proofs" of Fermat's Last Theorem. They were, of course, always incorrect, which inspired the prof to finally draft a boilerplate response of the form:

Dear ________:
We have received your proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. The first error is on page _____, line _____. Thank you very much.

at which point the prof would hand off the submission to one of his grad students to fill in the appropriate blanks.

At this point, I believe this is the only proper response to any post by a Blogging Tory -- simply assume that, at some point, you will encounter unforgivable dishonesty and dumbfuckitude, at which point you can stop reading.

At the risk of being repetitive from my very last post, let me demonstrate this new strategy with one "Paul" of the blog Celestial Junk (or, as we like to refer to it these days, Intellectual Dreck), where Paul deludes himself into thinking he has written something devastatingly stinging and witty when he quotes another blogger:

The idea is for Senate Dems to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the crucial Iraq theater of the War on Terror, despite most of them having voted in favor of removing Saddam Hussein from power. Another benefit from the Democrat point of view is that the bill's inevitable failure will delay funding our troops in the field, helping to demoralize them and bring about their defeat. With their control of the establishment media and extremely low opinion of the American public, Dems believe they can spin this defeat and its catastrophic consequences to their own benefit in the 2008 elections.

(As an aside, even though Paul didn't actually pen the above, I'm going to write as if he did because, here at CC HQ, when we link approvingly to something, we take responsibility for its correctness, rather than acting like a weaselly little shit and complaining after the fact that, hey, that wasn't us, we just, you know, linked to it. Not around here -- you link to it, you own it.)

So, to business, where we learn that we don't have to get very far into Paul's post before the dumbfuckitude rears its ugly head (dumbfuckitude emphasis added):

The idea is for Senate Dems to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the crucial Iraq theater of the War on Terror, despite most of them having voted in favor of removing Saddam Hussein from power.

Hmmmmmmm ... what an interesting choice of words ... that "most" of the "Senate Dems" voted for the resolution. One wonders why Paul is being that selective. If we check out the actual 2002 vote, we find that, yes, in fact, that's true:

The Senate vote sharply divided Democrats, with 29 voting for the measure and 21 against.

And although "most" Senate Democrats voted for the resolution, a 29-21 margin isn't what you'd call an overwhelming landslide. But we're still left wondering -- why did Paul pick only on the Senate Dems? And the answer is not hard to track down:

This is the 296-133 roll call by which the House voted Thursday for a resolution to authorize President Bush to use military force in Iraq.

A ``yes'' vote is a vote to approve the resolution. Voting yes were 81 Democrats and 215 Republicans.

Voting no were 126 Democrats, six Republicans and one "independent."

Well, how about that? It turns out that, while the Senate Democrats went marginally for the resolution, the House Democrats resoundingly voted against it, by a whopping 126-81 margin. Gosh, that might have been nice to know. So when you add all those Dems together, the majority of them still voted against the resolution. That's what you call selective reporting. But wait -- it gets better.

Paul writes of the vote as being based on the idea of "removing Saddam Hussein from power." In fact, that wasn't the resolution at all, as you can read in the opening paragraph from that earlier CNN article (emphasis added):

In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.

As anyone with a functioning brain stem can read, the resolution said nothing whatsoever about "removing Saddam from power." It referred solely to approving military action if Saddam didn't turn over his (non-existent) WMDs. And even if the resolution had involved regime change, I believe we can all safely say that that's not really much of an issue anymore since, the last time I looked, Saddam is now adequately dead to make that pretty much of a non-problem.

(And, against my better judgment, I'm going to be polite to Paul and not harp on the fact that the only reason even that many Democrats voted for the resolution was because the Bush administration flat-out lied to them about the absolute, guaranteed, "slam dunk" existence of WMDs. That's rich -- you lie to someone's face and then, down the road, you criticize them for being taken in by your lies. That takes some nerve.)

In short, then, Paul quietly and sneakily misrepresents the results of the actual vote at the time, as well as the contents of the actual resolution, suggesting he is either ridiculously dishonest or breathtakingly stupid -- perhaps even a little of both.

In any event, we can fill in our boilerplate:

Dear Paul:

Thank you for your conservative wankitude. The first example of idiotic and/or dishonest dumbfuckitude is in paragraph 1, line 3. Thanks for playing. Better luck next time.

I rather like this new approach. I see it being a real time-saver.

MIGHT AS WELL KICK HIM WHILE HE'S DOWN. I realize there's not much value in laying in a couple final boots to the nads while Paul's lying bleeding on the asphalt but -- what the fuck -- it's cheap entertainment.

Paul seems ever so excited that so many Democrats voted for the Iraq resolution back in 2002, but he fails to supply the context or the reservations so many of those Dems had at the time. You know, reservations like this (emphasis added):

In the Senate, 22 Democrats and one independent opposed the president in a vote just after 1 a.m. Friday. Many cited concerns that Bush might take military action without U.N. approval and provoke a terrorist reprisal from Hussein or from al Qaeda or other militant groups.

Um, yeah ... a lot of those Dems had concerns that Commander Chimpy might go it alone without the U.N. and invite a terrorist backlash. Gosh, who'd a thunk it?

Was that some seriously kick-ass foresight or what?

Blast! Paul has discovered our nefarious plot.

Apparently, you just can't sneak anything past Blogging Tory Paul, as he quotes approvingly:

The idea is for Senate Dems to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the crucial Iraq theater of the War on Terror, despite most of them having voted in favor of removing Saddam Hussein from power. Another benefit from the Democrat point of view is that the bill's inevitable failure will delay funding our troops in the field, helping to demoralize them and bring about their defeat. With their control of the establishment media and extremely low opinion of the American public, Dems believe they can spin this defeat and its catastrophic consequences to their own benefit in the 2008 elections.

Damn it all to hell, he's on to us. First, the Dems will send to the White House a funding bill with a withdrawal timetable, then they will use their terrible powers of telekinetic mind control to force President Chimpy McFlightsuit to veto the bill, after which the American troops still in Iraq will be hideously demoralized by the thought of getting the fuck out of there and perhaps not being killed after all.

Who let Paul in on this? Was it you? You son of a bitch ...

Your daily "Whaaaaa?"

Blogging Tory "Responsible Government League" asks the burning question: "What's so wrong with privatization?"

Yeah, that's kind of where I stopped reading, too.

One of these things is not like the others.

See, on the one hand, you have some total unknown Marine corporal, running off at the mouth against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and, JesusMaryMotherOfGod, the fuckwit-o-sphere is all over that baby!

Fast forward a few days to a slightly different and more interesting development (all distinguishing emphasis added):

Army Officer Accuses Generals of 'Intellectual and Moral Failures'

An active-duty Army officer is publishing a blistering attack on U.S. generals, saying they have botched the war in Iraq and misled Congress about the situation there.

"America's generals have repeated the mistakes of Vietnam in Iraq," charges Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, an Iraq veteran who is deputy commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. "The intellectual and moral failures . . . constitute a crisis in American generals."

Yingling's comments are especially striking because his unit's performance in securing the northwestern Iraqi city of Tall Afar was cited by President Bush in a March 2006 speech and provided the model for the new security plan underway in Baghdad.

He also holds a high profile for a lieutenant colonel: He attended the Army's elite School for Advanced Military Studies and has written for one of the Army's top professional journals, Military Review.

And there's just so much more crunchy goodness in that article:

Many majors and lieutenant colonels have privately expressed anger and frustration with the performance of Gen. Tommy R. Franks, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno and other top commanders in the war ... "Our generals are not worthy of their soldiers."

In the interests of balance and fairness, the wingnut-o-sphere will, after having mercilessly hyped Cpl. Rock, proceed to completely ignore Lt. Col. Yingling 'cuz, well, "Rock" is such a cooler name than "Yingling."

Right, Jonathan?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

And if you don't believe THAT version, well, I've got another one.

Apparently, there's dissension at Wingnuttia on the Rideau:

The Conservative government seems to be changing its story on the status of Canada's access to Afghan detainees.

Really? Whatever could the difficulty be?

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor announced Wednesday that a deal had been struck with Afghan intelligence to get access to prisoners to investigate allegations of torture.

OK, so a deal was recently finalized. That's a promising development. So what's the problem? Oh, wait ...

Today, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day stunned the opposition by saying corrections officers have always had access to Afghan detainees after they have been transferred to Afghan officials.

Um ... so there's been a deal all along? That's a bit of a surprise. Let's let Captain Charisma sort this out, shall we?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed on Thursday during question period that officials had yet to draft the aforementioned agreement.

But he added that the government expects to "formalize" a deal soon.

Uh ... so there actually is no deal, recent or otherwise, but, by God, they're working on it, which is good since, as we all know, it's critically important that we get some kind of arrangement in place because ... because ... because why? Ah, let's let Mike explain it to us:

I have not in any way, shape or form outrage, concerned or regret about how these scum get treated. Get smacked around by their guards?? Don't bat any eye lash, getting tortured?? I say it's quite well deserved. As for summary execution, I am not bothered the slightest by this allegation, in fact I believe it's poetic justice. These scum plot in multiple ways to slaughter our troops with the most cowardly & awful ways known to man, & for them to meet this fate is fitting.

OK, then ... apparently, there's no rush on this since, if we wait long enough, problems like prisoners in Afghanistan have a tendency to, you know, solve themselves, if you catch my drift. And I think you do.

I'm sure Mike knows exactly what I mean.

Simple answers to simple questions.

Canadianna shows the compassionate side of compassionate conservatism:

Not to minimize the egregious wrongs committed by the Afghan police/military against their own countrymen in their own country -- but why are we supposed to care?

Um, you're not, sweetie ... you're a Blogging Tory, remember? Giving a shit about other people is our job.

Why, yes, I HAVE stopped beating my wife. Why do you ask?

And in a delightful display of synchronicity that follows this recent post, we have Gavin over at Sadly, No blogging on what passes for deep thought in the Dumbass-o-sphere:

Where does a thought come from? How much does it weigh? What is its physical makeup? It is these quesitons which demonstrate that the neo-Darwinist “its all blind, evoutionary chance” school of thought is, well, insufficient: The two major flaws in evolutionary theory are that it can’t explain how life arose from lifelessness, and it can’t explain how my material brain plays host to my immaterial mind (or thoughts, if you like).

Yes, indeed ... where does a thought come from? And if science can't quite answer that, then the only reasonable option, of course, is to hand that question over to the one collection of deep thinkers who have never, ever been -- scientifically speaking -- right about anything in the entire history of their existence.

After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Sometimes, too good to be true is just that.

Over at TGB, Dave reproduces a withering craigslist post from an alleged recent widow thanks to Operation "Make Yourselves Comfortable, You're Not Leaving Any Time Soon," with tasty excerpts such as:

How do I dare say this to you moronic war supporters who are "Supporting our Troops" and waving the flag and all that happy horse shit? I'll tell you why. I'm a Marine and I served my tour in Iraq. My husband, also a Marine, served several. I left the service six months ago because I got pregnant while he was home on leave and three days ago I get a visit from two men in uniform who hand me a letter and tell me my husband died in that fucking festering sand-pit. He should have been home a month ago but they extended his tour and now he's coming home in a box.

You fuckers and that god-damn lying sack of shit they call a president are the reason my husband will never see his baby and my kid will never meet his dad.

Yes, it's powerful stuff, but there's some definite controversy over whether it's legit. If I were you, I'd hold off on quoting that story any further until there's more verification. That is, let's not jump to shrieking conclusions. You know ... like this.

When you've lost the National Post ...

Poor John Baird. Even the National Post has finally pulled up short, muttering, "Oh, no ... that way lies madness and dumbassitude":

Terence Corcoran, National Post
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2007

... After last week producing a sound and lucid report on how Canada's Kyoto carbon emission targets were unworkable and economically dangerous, the Conservatives yesterday set course for even greater lunacy than Kyoto, led by John Baird, the Environment Minister. In a speech that even Sheila Copps in full discombobulated flight could not have delivered, Sheila [sic?] Baird invented, distorted, misrepresented and fabricated his way to a potential regulatory nightmare...

Maybe Tory policy, when released today, will turn out to be less onerous and crazy than Mr. Baird's speech. It's hard to imagine a sloppier piece of writing, filled with bulls--t in the true philosophic sense of the word.

Come on, Terence, don't hold back ... tell us how you really feel.

: "thwap" suggests that maybe it's all a clever ploy and mere posturing. You mean, like this?

Now, THIS is why we think they're idiots.

First, there was this post over at Dust My Broom, in which said poster didn't get the satire and took Sheryl Crow seriously:

Via Hot Air, “Green Earth = Brown Hand”: Sheryl Crow recommends reducing the number of squares of toilet paper you use to save the forest.

Then, when people who aren't morons began pointing out that Crow made that suggestion tongue firmly in cheek, we got to see the Blogging Tory version of a retraction:

Sheryl Crow rescinded her toilet paper remarks yesterday after wrapping up her Stop Global Warming tour.

Of course. The folks at DMB were too stupid to have figured it out the first time, therefore ... Sheryl Crow "rescinded her remarks."

Man, I want a gig like that -- where my retarded dumbassitude and appalling lack of reading skills is always someone else's fault. That would be sweet.

Maybe there's an opening at The Politic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Registered commenters only open thread.

Sadly, since some of those on the Right have never progressed beyond the intellectual age of, oh, eight, I've thrown the switch to accept comments from registered users only.

And they wonder why we think they're infantile.

Been there ...

... seen that.

Well, OK, I've been there but things weren't quite so awe-inspiring during my visit. Clearly, I must go back.

Your daily parade of cluelessness.

How many different ways are there to demonstrate pure dumbassitude? Let's count them, shall we?

Dust My Broom:

"Via Hot Air, “Green Earth = Brown Hand”: Sheryl Crow recommends reducing the number of squares of toilet paper you use to save the forest."

The Canadian Sentinel:

"One, two, or three measly little plies to get the dirty, disgusting daily job done? Is she fecking nuts?

She expects us to believe she gets by with one, two or three measly little plies? Yeah, right. And I bet her shit doesn't stink, either."

Celestial Junk:

"By now you’ve probably heard of Sheryl’s claim that all we ever need to use during potty breaks is “one square” of toilet paper."

And now, let's go to the official transcript, shall we?

Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating. One of my favorites is in the area of forest conservation which we heavily rely on for oxygen. I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don't want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required. When presenting this idea to my younger brother, whose judgment I trust implicitly, he proposed taking it one step further. I believe his quote was, "how bout just washing the one square out."

Yes, dear God, the Blogging Tories really are that fucking stupid. I'm sure you're shocked.

UPDATE: Someone who bit but eventually clued in.

: Help me out ... I need a word that's below "retarded" on the intellectual scale. Over at Celestial Junk, one commenter actually explains what's going on here:

Uh, guys - it's satire and humour! Best sarcasm I've heard in a very long time.

to which CJunk's "Paul" is too dense to back away sheepishly, preferring to continue to make a total ass of himself:

That's right Lindsay ... travel in the Dr. Albert Gore GW Parade, preach to the lesser folks, then make fun of it all ... and all while you travel in a flotilla of buses and semis.

What do you do with morons like this? That not only don't recognize satire, but still don't get it even after you spell it out for them??

Seriously, what do you do?

Um ... best two out of three?

GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani tries his hand at stand-up comedy:

Rudy Giuliani said if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001.

But if a Republican is elected, he said, especially if it is him, terrorist attacks can be anticipated and stopped.

“If any Republican is elected president —- and I think obviously I would be the best at this —- we will remain on offense and will anticipate what [the terrorists] will do and try to stop them before they do it,” Giuliani said.

Added Giuliani quickly, "This time. I mean, we'll anticipate and stop them this time."

On the other hand ...

The Blogging Tories' Dr. Roy:

Religion is a good basis to start life.

In the interests of fairness, there is the dissenting view, of course:

An 8-year-old boy is dead because of the "horrible abuse" inflicted on him by his parents, strict disciplinarians who followed severe religious doctrine, a prosecutor told a jury Tuesday.

Sonya and Joseph Smith were watching an online church service offered by the Remnant Fellowship Church on Oct. 8, 2003, but their 8-year-old son, Josef, was misbehaving, according to prosecutor Eleanor Dixon.

Josef wasn't being obedient and wasn't praying.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based church encourages parents to physically discipline their children and maintain strict dietary control.

Dixon said Josef's then-13-year-old brother told police that his parents decided to punish Josef by putting him in a small wicker box with the lid closed, then tying electrical cords around it to prevent him from escaping...

"The evidence will be there was no trip to the doctor and no trip to the counselor," Dixon said. "There was beating after beating after beating and then he died."

The prosecutor said Josef's brother will testify that his parents regularly beat the boy, using everything from a 12-inch glue stick used inside a glue gun to coat hangers to a wooden board they called "the butt-buster."

Over here in the reality-based community, Doc, we call that a "counter-example."

That's a good little stenographer, Jonathan. Here's a biscuit.

And, true to form, "Strong Conservative" and Blogging Tory Jonathan Strong obediently reproduces his assigned right-wing talking point:

Marine Rips Harry Reid a New One

Cpl. Tyler Rock, stationed in a hostile area of Iraq, lambasted Senate Leader Harry Reid (Democrat) for saying that the war is lost...

Sadly, Jonathan provides no link to the actual source so, here, let me help you out. Ah, yes, the New York Post -- for those days when Fox News is just too fair and balanced for you.

Also sadly, Jonathan can't be bothered to cover actual news like, oh, how the death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman was covered up, or how Private Jessica Lynch is tired of having her life fictionalized, or how (despite Cpl. Rock's macho bluster) the troops and their families are disgusted with having their tours extended to 15 months.

But give Jonathan a story of some loudmouth corporal shooting off his mouth in East Raghead, Iraq and Jonathan's all over that story like Kate McMillan on a biker gang.

Good boy, Jonathan. When they hired you for your unquestioning stenographer skills, they certainly got their money's worth.

I'M GOING OUT ON A LIMB and suggesting there's more to this story than meets the eye. It's just too convenient that, in the midst of the political slugfest down south, the Wingnut-o-sphere just happens to come up with a Marine corporal who allegedly rips Harry Reid a new orifice.

Here's a thought -- let's sit on this story for a few days and see what shakes out. After all, it wouldn't be the first time the Bush administration faked something for political purposes.

in how the New York Post pumps up the reputation of a totally no-account Marine corporal, describing him as a "hero" and a "tough U.S. Marine stationed in one of the most hostile areas of Iraq" who criticized Reid using "raw and emotional language from the bloody front lines." Even the name adds to the manly awesomeness of it all: Rock. Tyler Rock.

My God, if only he'd been a sergeant, it would have been perfect.

UPDATE: Welcome, adoring groupies of Pat Dullard. Pull up a chair, set a spell and, by all means, feel free to utterly and totally misunderstand everything you read here. Apparently, that would jive nicely with your intellectual level. Or so I've noticed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dear Catholic Church: You got nuthin'.

Oh, dear God (pun so deliciously intended):

Pope Writes on Evolution, Limits of Scientific Reason

And if there's anyone who should be lecturing us on the limits of scientific reason, it's a man who firmly believes in invisible sky monsters. Oh, yes, this is going to be entertaining. Let's read on.

Apr. 11, 2007 ( - Pope Benedict XVI discusses the limits of the scientific method, and in particular of evolutionary theory, in a new German-language book issued on April 11.

Schoepfung und Evolution ("Creation and Evolution") represents the product of a seminar held last September at the summer papal residence in Castel Gandolfo. At that seminar, Pope Benedict and his former theology students discussed the theory of evolution in the context of the Catholic faith.

Because, I'm guessing, it would have been intellectually taxing to have discussed the theory of evolution in the context of, say, actual science. Does this mean we can discuss Catholic dogma in the context of, oh, critical thinking and logical consistency? I can hardly wait. But let us not tarry. So much crunchy, Catholic wingnuttery awaits.

In his own essay, Pope Benedict acknowledges the many advances that science has brought, but observed that scientific findings often prompt further questions which science cannot answer.

An example would have been nice but ... onward.

Reliance upon science can become a handicap, he argued, because "it tends to take away from us dimensions of reason that we still need."

Yes, that must be it -- becoming overly dependent on the scientific method tends to lead one dangerously away from rational analysis. No, really. But the best is yet to come.

The Pope went on to say that today's world needs to recover an appreciation for ultimate philosophical questions, which science cannot properly address. While the use of scientific reason is necessary and proper, he explained, that form of reason cannot address certain questions-- such as, for example, the origin of rationality itself.

Let us understand one basic and inarguable truism -- neither the Catholic Church, nor any other form of religion -- organized or otherwise -- has anything of any value to say on any subject in any context. Nothing. Nada. Squat. Zip. Sweet fuck all.

It's always amusing to watch Catholics calmly argue that, while science has, you know, its place and value, it can't address the more pressing, more philosophical or metaphysical issues of the day. Let's deal with that in two parts, shall we?

They're right about the first part. The Church has nothing of any value to say about science. It has been howlingly wrong about damned near everything related to science ever since its inception, so it's no surprise to understand that, when it comes to dealing with stuff like testability and reality and empirical evidence, the Church just flat out blows dead bears. But what about that second part?

The Church would have you believe that, where science (allegedly) falls down -- morals, ethics, stuff like that there -- the Church is ready to rush in and pick up the slack and handle all those tricky questions like: Where did we come from? Why are we here? And how does Tori Spelling keep getting work?

In fact, the Church's pronouncements on those topics are utterly and absolutely worthless. Having failed to understand and accommodate itself to even the most fundamental scientific principles, it seeks to lay claim to everything else for which it thinks it only has to wave its arms and issue sanctimonious proclamations.

Fuck off. Just fuck right off.

There is absolutely nothing about the Church that suggests it has any authority to speak on any subject and be taken seriously. One need only take a quick look back to see how they seem to be constantly apologizing for being out to lunch on so many things. You know, like Galileo. And the Crusades. And the Holocaust. And, oh yeah, there was that recent "Um, you know all that limbo stuff we've talked about for so long? Well, heh heh, funny story ...".

Perhaps no one addresses this egotistical territoriality (is that actually a word?) like Richard Dawkins in his book "The God Delusion" (p. 55, hardcover edition)

What are these questions in whose presence religion is an honoured guest and science must slink respectfully away?

Martin Rees, the distinguished Cambridge astronomer whom I have already mentioned, begins his book Our Cosmic Habitat by posing two candidate ultimate questions and giving a NOMA-like friendly answer. 'The pre-eminent mystery is why anything exists at all. What breathes life into the equations, and actualized them in a real cosmos? Such questions lie beyond science, however: they are the province of philosophers and theologians.' I would prefer to say that if they lie beyond science, they most certainly lie beyond the province of theologians as well ... I am tempted to go further and wonder in what possible sense theologians can be said to have a province. I am still amused when I recall the remark of a former Warden (head) of my Oxford college. A young theologian had applied for a junior research fellowship, and his doctoral thesis on Christian theology provoked the Warden to say, 'I have grave doubts as to whether it's a subject at all.'

What expertise can theologians bring to deep cosmological questions that scientists cannot? ...

It is a tedious cliche (and, unlike many cliches, it isn't even true) that science concerns itself with how questions, but only theology is equipped to answer why questions. What on Earth is a why question? Not every English sentence beginning with the word 'why' is a legitimate question. Why are unicorns hollow? Some questions simply do not deserve an answer. What is the colour of abstraction? What is the smell of hope? The fact that a question can be phrased in a grammatically correct English sentence doesn't make it meaningful, or entitle it to our serious attention. Nor, even if the question is a real one, does the fact that science cannot answer it imply that religion can.

Perhaps there are some genuinely profound and meaningful questions that are forever beyond the reach of science. Maybe quantum theory is already knocking on the door of the unfathomable. But if science cannot answer some ultimate question, what makes anybody think that religion can?

Exactly. Given religion's abysmal track record in things scientific, what kind of arrogance does it take for those same people to suggest that they'll do better with philosophy and metaphysics? While those of us doing science have been discovering things like the age of the universe and the secret of DNA and quantum mechanics, these are the same dingbats who are still pondering how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, or where unbaptized babies go when they die, or why bad things happen to good people, and whose best answer to all of that seems to be, "Well, God works in mysterious ways, you know."

And you're going to let these people answer the really tough questions? I'm surprised they can dress themselves in the morning without help.

, but I'll go out on a limb and bet that no one who takes offense to the above will actually try to address any of the issues. You know ... like the commenter who wrote:

There's nothing quite like an open mind, is there?

Wow, that's ever so clever and witty. So ... got anything meaningful to say? Or is that about the limit of your contribution? I mean, don't intellectually strain yourself on my account.

Yeah, it's JUST like that. Sort of.

Via Chester over at The Vanity Press, we learn that President Chimpy McChimpster is going to get his very own Purple Heart because ... oh, hell, let's just go to the transcript, shall we?

Thomas said he and his wife came up with the unprecedented idea to present the president with the Purple Heart over breakfast one morning a few months ago as they discussed the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chief has withstood during his time in office.

"We feel like emotional wounds and scars are as hard to carry as physical wounds," Thomas said.

I think I see Thomas' point. I mean, you have your emotional scars:

And then there's the other kind:

Yes, I can see the striking similarity. Well, except for the missing arms thing. That part's different.

IN ALL FAIRNESS, there's a lot less to this story than initially meets the eye.

When I first read it, I thought, "How the fuck can a veteran award a Purple Heart to Chimpy McChimpster?" But that's not what's happening. If you read the actual article, all that's happening is that vet Bill Thomas, who has three Purple Hearts, is giving one of them to President George W. McRetard. That's all, nothing more. And since they're Thomas' Purple Hearts, he's welcome to do whatever the hell he wants with them. Big whoop.

What is asinine is Bush's reported reaction:

"He said he didn't feel like he had earned it," Thomas said, noting the president looked thinner in person than on television.

Well, duh. But that's not really an issue here, is it? Bush certainly hasn't earned being awarded a Purple Heart but, again, that's not what's happening. Having someone else give him one is equivalent to an Olympic gold medalist giving his medal to his mother. No one's going to be dumb enough to argue that she didn't earn it, fer Chrissake, are they? But this utterly meaningless ceremony gives Bush the chance to do his self-deprecating "Aw, shucks, I'm not worthy" routine. Didn't "earn" it, George? Well, no, but in this context, what the hell does it matter? It's not official so nobody gives a fuck.

In short, all you have to this story is a veteran who's so stupid, he doesn't understand how badly Bush has treated the military in general, plus a chickenhawk president who makes a big deal about downplaying that he didn't "earn" a Purple Heart when that wasn't even an issue.

Big deal. Big fucking deal.

Maybe they're the lucky ones.

In a blinding flash of insight, former president George H. W. Bush may have put his finger on it:

In an interview with Larry King tonight, President George H. W. Bush acknowledges that the country is suffering from “a little bit of Bush fatigue.”

On the other hand, here's nine Americans who won't have to worry about it anymore. That's all right, though -- they were probably Democrats or something.

You two should meet, I think you'll get along.

Over at Proud to Despise Everything Canadian, Joel Johannesen is outraged:

The liberals’ Globe and Mail uses Virginia Tech massacre to try to advance their liberal-left political agenda ...

In unrelated news, the shooter was a liberal, of course.

If the irony were any thicker ...

Kate McMillan, Canada's Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck™ and a member of the Blogging Tories, writes (and I quote):

Nobody could be that stupid.

No, the context doesn't matter -- the unintentional irony would be just as delightful.

Monday, April 23, 2007

... and a good beating might have prevented all that violence.

Apparently, God can't do anything unconstitutional. Who knew?

Well, NOW you're just being mean.

Yeah, they're all a bunch of studly, fucking he-men, aren't they?

Amato: So Mr. Derbyshire, you are a coward. And if I saw you— face to face—I would call you a coward because you are.

Colmes: You care to respond?

Debyshire: Ah, no actually–I don't respond to abuse. I get a lot of abuse…

Amato: That's abuse? That's just fact.

Then there's the unconstrained savagery of GOP hit-man Karl Rove:

"She came over to insult me, and she succeeded," said a beleaguered Karl Rove of his encounter with Sheryl Crow on Saturday night.

On the other hand, these are the same kick-ass, cool-under-pressure dudes who'll count the shots and rush the shooter while he's reloading. I'm not sure how they'd manage that while sliding in a puddle of their own urine, but I'd definitely pay to watch.

Apparently, bankruptcy is only for rich people.

Via Atrios, we learn from Digby that Republicans hate poor people. No way! Get outta town.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

In the name of all that's supposed to be holy.

I don't do religion. I don't believe in gods or goddesses or supernatural spirits. Frankly, the whole notion of an invisible character in the sky, all knowing and all powerful strikes me as silly. For me, the greatest and most worthy of human endeavours is in the arts. True creation, fueled only by courage, curiosity and determination, art is that which truly illuminates. That being said, I do not begrudge anyone their beliefs, their idols or their gods. I recognize that the act of belief has a power unto itself and that such belief can give great comfort to those who choose to seek it.

Just the same, I recognize that religion like any powerful force can be used to do wrong. Crusades, jihad, inquisitions, all are the sins of organized religion and they have a long and terrible cost. Creatures like Fred Phelps and his lunatic enclave of inbred fanatics seek to do harm to others in the name of their particular brand of faith. With the freedoms guaranteed by secular rule, I am within my rights to disagree and speak against such individuals and organizations. Still, it would never occur to me to disrupt a service, even at Phelps Westboro Baptist. And I would certainly never stoop to desecrating his altar or destroying his Bible.

Sadly, that consideration is not repaid in kind. Jen at the News Blog reports that a group of more than 80 Christianists staged a protest against writer and monologuist Mike Daisey. As a performer, I can assure you that there is no more daunting place to be than alone onstage. When it goes well, it's all adrenaline and chocolate. When things don't click, it is a small eternity of discomfort and self-doubt. These ignorant, self righteous zealots, determined to be offended, rose en masse during Mr. Daisey's performance in Boston and began to walk out. But not being satisfied with simply disrupting the event for the artist and the true audience, they got on stage and poured water over his hand written notes, destroying them.

With their damage done, they continued to file out of the theatre and not one of them had the courage or the good grace to explain their actions or engage in dialogue with either the artist or the people in attendance. I'm sure that in their little empty hearts and heads they felt that they had struck a blow for decency because the artist used naughty words and discussed issues of the body and the bawdy. No doubt their actions were premeditated, no doubt they felt quite proud of their ignorant behaviour. No doubt these are the same sort of folks that whine and moan about the quashing of free speech when they aren't allowed to insert their faith into the lives of others and into the schools, governmental institutions and the laws of the free people among whom they live. Evidently their idea of freedom includes the desecration of art. I don't feel sorry for them but they are deserving of pity.

They chose the path of confrontation. They made a determined effort to cause harm. And they performed their callous act in the most cowardly possible fashion. If this is what they have gathered from the teachings of their Bible, then their Bible is nothing but a sham. Their faith is a lie. They are no better and little different from those that would seek to rule by their own very human interpretation of a god's word. They are no different from the clerics of sharia, I hope their god forgives them, I don't.

You can read Mike Daisey's response to and see the video of this vulgar scene at his site

"Why, I never ... of all the nerve ...!"

And while the Blogging Tory collective are still carefully averting their eyes from the Alberto Gonzales meltdown happening down south, even more of Abu Gonzo's own party members are turning on him.

Tune in later this week when the inevitable Gonzo resignation will be met with shocked outrage from the BTs, who will immediately label this whole affair as a "partisan witch hunt" involving "the politics of personal destruction."

Kathy Shaidle will, not surprisingly, blame the atheists.

Dragged kicking and screaming into the Middle Ages ...

Well, that's progress of a sort:

Catholic Church buries limbo after centuries
New document calls teaching an ‘unduly restrictive view of salvation’

The Roman Catholic Church has effectively buried the concept of limbo, the place where centuries of tradition and teaching held that babies who die without baptism went.

Yes, it's good news when those in power make a momentous decision about a totally hypothetical place for which there is absolutely no evidence and which none of them have ever seen.

On the other hand, they're still not sure about that biological evolution stuff ...

Raising the honesty bar, Steve Janke style.

Apparently, we have a definition:

Mark Holland has two statements on his website -- each depicts a different set of events. One must be a lie.

OK, then ... making two logically irreconcilable statements is officially a "lie."

Take it away, readers.

Ego surfing, Pretty Unshaved Ape style.

Because every now and then my life is better than yours. Check out this trailer for the Asian release of .45, an upcoming film. The nasty looking fellow with the mutton chops, leather vest and backwards ball cap at 1:07, that would be me. And in case you're wondering, Milla Jovovich is far more beautiful in person than she is on film, simply luminous. She is also one of the sweetest stars I've ever worked with. As your basic nobody, she had no reason to be as generous to me as she was. My one scene is brief, I buy a gun from her character Kate. I'm supposed to look mean and nasty but every time she entered the shot it was all I could do not to melt, my sneer, that's actoring.

It was freezing on the day we shot, Milla was in a little mini skirt and tiny top, I was in a sleeveless t-shirt. After every take, when the cut was called, our teeth chattered in stereo before the awsome wardrobe women charged in and threw huge down parkas around us. There are shows that treat little folks like me as though we're disposable, this was not one. I was only on set for one day and was treated with total respect by the director and the entire crew. At the end of my day, when my character was wrapped, Milla gave me a nice hug and thanked me. Back in the wardrobe trailer, the designers were kind enough to give me my wardrobe pants, a sweet pair of leather jeans. That sort of thing just never happens. When this comes out go see it and support an indie film made by a great crew of foks.

I guess I should be calling the office to see if I get paid for being used in the trailer.

Update: Seems they used later takes from the scene, when Milla had her yellow jacket zipped up. Also Stephen Dorff is in the film, I didn't see him on the day we shot my scene but I had worked with him previously and he was also a total class act.

Update 2: Upon further snooping, seems this film didn't receive a theatrical release in North America or if it did it was a very limited release. The good news is it goes on sale on DVD, Tuesday, April 24. In the interests of disclosure, I am not a credited player in the film. I could have petitioned for a credit but I hate that sort of backstage politics and it would have soured what was otherwise a great experience.

With religious fellow travelers like this ...

Oh, dear. Apparently, even Kathy Shaidle's fellow Catholics have had enough of her:

Earth Day is crap, or: My last column for Our Sunday Visitor

Actually, that's not technically true: they wouldn't run it so I quit. I bet they're pretty thrilled right now, all things considered...

Now, I'm not normally a quitter; I've stuck through day jobs and freelance gigs in spite of heroin addict bosses and bounced pay cheques and 2-hour commutes (each way). But OSV was almost always asking for changes, and, frankly, the ROI just wasn't there.

So what was the problem, Kath? Oh, right ...

This time, they wanted me to "tone it down." And my "tone" is pretty much all I got.

Good point, Kath. When your literary output is utterly lacking in anything resembling facts, logic or reason, go with tone. Hey, it's carried you this far.

P.S. I'm fairly certain that having to manage Kathy Shaidle would be enough to drive me to heroin, too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

But there's just all those words, and stuff.

What Barack Obama said:

Other politicians would -- and will -- stay with the concrete. They'll talk about this tragedy, and, soon, gun control.

But while Obama mourns the slain students, he takes the massacre more as a theme than as a point of discussion.

"Maybe nothing could have been done to prevent it," he says toward the end.

So he moves quickly to the abstract: Violence, and the general place of violence in American life.

"There's also another kind of violence that we're going to have to think about. It's not necessarily the physical violence, but the violence that we perpetrate on each other in other ways," he said, and goes on to catalogue other forms of "violence."

There's the "verbal violence" of Imus.

There's "the violence of men and women who have worked all their lives and suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them because their job is moved to another country."

There's "the violence of children whose voices are not heard in communities that are ignored,"

And so, Obama says, "there's a lot of different forms of violence in our society, and so much of it is rooted in our incapacity to recognize ourselves in each other."

What Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck™ heard:

Barack Obama, paraphrased - "Virginia Tech. Don Imus. Same thing."

Offering deep, intellectual, thoughtful nuance to Kate McMillan -- I think we all know how that's going to end:

And I'm guessing she'd have trouble with the "Ginger" part, too.

In the absence of shame.

Via Crooks & Liars.

Well at least someone is on Shaidle's side. WBBN780, a CBS affiliate, is reporting that none other than Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church are planning to picket the funerals and memorials of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings.

"The Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), which is not affiliated with any national Baptist organization, announced plans to protest at victims’ funerals only hours after 32 people were killed in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. They also may protest at other events on the Virginia Tech campus. "

To Ms. Shaidle, Mr. Steyn, Mr. Blake and Mr. Derbyshire, these people are now your peers. Here's hoping you enjoy the spiritual company you keep. One of these bright days, someone that is in the throes of grief is going to lose it with these people. While I do not condone violence, I would not shed a tear if someone slapped Fred Phelps vicious mouth right the around the back of his head. I sincerely hope that Phelps and his twisted goons find themselves in the back of a paddy wagon and that the families of Virginia Tech are allowed to grieve in peace. Virginia has already been forced to add funerals and memorials to their disorderly conduct statutes to keep these lunatics away from military funerals.

You sort of have to take one with the other, know what I mean?

For those of you who are not criminally stupid or bereft of any sense of history, if you think back a few years, you might remember this picture, which graced about a billion, skillion, kajillion newspapers and magazines:

Yes, that was Cuban miracle child Elian Gonzales, being mercilessly torn, at fully automatic gunpoint, from the loving embrace of ... well, let's let a couple of the more storied wingnuts have their say, shall we? Re-linking to Our Lady of The Dolphins:

Saturday, in the darkness, came the nightmare: the battering ram, the gas, the masks, the guns, the threats, the shattered glass and smashed statue of the Blessed Mother, the blanket thrown over the sobbing child's head as they tore him from the house like a hostage.

And wingnuttery just wouldn't be wingnuttery without the batshit craziness of David Horowitz:

LET'S BEGIN with the big lie—that Elian Gonzalez was separated from his father by his Cuban-American relatives living in Miami, and that father and son were reunited by Janet Reno's INS storm troopers. (What else can you call them, given their pre-dawn assault on a private home to snatch a child who was not a hostage, at gunpoint?)

Yes, the outrage was endless. Amazingly, though, the folks who were livid over the heavy armament that was used in the Elian Gonzales case are, curiously enough, the very same ones who are now arguing for unlimited weaponry for the masses, suggesting that, when a law enforcement officer opens a closet door, he might have absolutely no idea what kind of firepower is waiting for him, but it's just unseemly and inappropriate for him to be properly prepared for it.

The Right: supporting your local law enforcement. Up to a point.

Now THAT'S what you call a punchline.

Jarrett sets us up for the punchline of the week:

"The house that Chirac built"

As voting starts tomorrow, the BBC is taking a look at the legacy of France's outgoing president. They don't find a lot.

I get the feeling there are some similar parallels with him and ...

So Jarrett sets up the situation of a questionable political legacy, and proceeds to compare Chirac with ... no, I can't give it away; you'll have to go see for yourself.

Unintentional humour, I'm sure.

Apparently, when it comes to good-natured, smirking ridicule, "transgendered" is the new "gay":

A Fresno, California student on the announcement that a transgendered classmate will be running for the honor of prom king:

“We live in a generation now where dudes are chicks and chicks are dudes.” (AP)

And, sadly, we also live in a generation where those folks who want to stop any more troops from being killed are accused of not "supporting" them, while service-dodging, keyboard-pounding chickenhawks feel the need to tell us how they would have kicked some serious, handgun-wielding ass, fuckin' A!

It's a funny world, isn't it?

Think fa ... too late, you're dead.

I'm sure others have already blogged about this, but I'm supremely amused by the NRO's in-house killing machine John "Rambo" Derbyshire, who criticized the victims of the recent Virginia Tech shootings thusly:

At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands.

"Count the shots," suggests John. To which one can reasonably respond with the following hypothetical:

You're in a crowded classroom. You hear a door at the back of the room open and, a few seconds later, a fusillade of shots. You turn quickly, and see a man, blazing away with a handgun in each hand. Quickly: how many shots has he fired already, and how many more until he's out of ammo? Whoops, sorry, you just took too much time, and now you're dead. So let's make this easier.

I have two (again, hypothetical) handguns, John. I'm too far away for you to be able to identify them, but I want you to tell me how many shots I have available with a full magazine in each. No, you don't get to ask me what the makes of the guns are, and you can't have a closer look, and I'm sure as hell not going to tell you if I have oversized magazines or anything like that. So, John, tell me after which shot you can be relatively certain I'm out of ammo.

No, no, don't rush ... take your time, John. It's not like anyone's life depends on you making just the right snap decision or anything.

Oh, wait ... actually, it does. Bummer. Bang. You're dead.

In defense of (wingnut) internment.

Via PZ Myers, we see right-wing hack and vile excuse for a human being Dinesh D'Souza having his "Macaca" moment.

Ti-Guy's regular suggestion of re-education camps is starting to look better by the minute, isn't it?

You keep using that phrase "common sense" ...

And over at the He-Man Woman Haters Club, Spanky's bestest buddy George uses the words "common sense" and "Peggy Noonan" in the same blog post. That would be Peggy Noonan, our Lady of the Magic Dolphins.

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

: Our Lady of the Dolphins seems positively smitten with the somber gravitas of one John McCain:

On Wednesday John McCain distinguished himself with a closely argued and eloquent address in which he spoke seriously and at length of his position on Iraq...

My larger point, however, is that he sounded like a serious man addressing a serious issue in a serious way. This makes him at the moment stand out.

Um ... yeah ... that would be this John McCain.

I believe my work here is done.

Because it worked so well the first time, right?

Apparently, the Bush administration has learned well from its Jewish overlords. I'm sure they've worked out all the bugs this time.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sorry ... you were saying something about dead people?

Yes, it really is all about him.

Dear Blogging Tories: Alberto ... Alberto ... A-l-b-e-r-t-o ...

And when you've filled up on your daily BT feed of, well, Alec Baldwin, why, yes, you can certainly come here and learn about actual news, like how that greasy, little douchebag Alberto Gonzales is getting pimp-slapped around the room.

No, no, don't thank me -- I just try to balance the Blogging Tories news coverage with, um, what's the word I'm looking for? Oh, right -- "news."


Stick a fork in him ...

... he's done.

She comes not to bring peace but some serious kick-ass. Theoretically speaking.

In response to Damian Penny's eminently sensible take on the dumbfuckitude of people like Mark Steyn (yes, that's a tautology -- deal with it), Canada's Batshit Crazy Deranged Catholic™ Kathy Shaidle grabs her testicles and proceeds to channel her inner Soldier of Fortune:

Running away -- it's the new bravery!

So it's a good thing that these students (and apparently you, Damian) have dutifully absorbed their state sponsored, Oprah approved victim training?

Canadian "conservativism" just gets odder all the time...

Damian, remind me never to get on a plane with you, m'kay?

This from a screeching, spittle-flecked wingnut who doesn't allow comments on her blog. I'm thinking Kathy has a different definition of "bravery" from those of us who are, you know, sane.

Dear Blogging Tories: About that Nancy Pelosi pants-wetting of yours ...

My my my ... how about this? It wasn't that long ago that so many of the Blogging Tories were embarrassing their species and obediently regurgitating the right-wing talking points regarding Nancy Pelosi and her trip to Syria.

We had faithful neo-con stenographer Jonathan Strong referring to "Pelosi's Bungled Diplomacy," the Canadian Sentinel yammering on about a possible felony, and Dr. Roy just being his retarded dumbass self.

What a difference a few days makes:

Differing Tales of a White House Encounter

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues yesterday that she was incredulous after President Bush pulled her aside at the end of a meeting Wednesday and told her he did not criticize her recent trip to Syria.

After all, Bush and other senior administration officials and top Republicans had slammed the speaker publicly for meeting in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But in a private meeting with Democratic lawmakers yesterday, Pelosi said Bush told her in an unsolicited comment that it was actually the State Department that criticized her.

You can expect a correction/retraction/apology from any of the above about the time Satan begins ice skating to work.

"Lie" is such a strong word, don't you think?

Today is an unpacking and getting reacquainted with the homestead day, but I'm going to address briefly the idea of "lying" since, to this day, there are still people who refuse to accept that George W. Bush ever "lied" to anyone. That the evidence for this is overwhelming makes no difference to these folks -- their bubble chamber simply does not admit to such heresy.

I'll be posting on this topic at length soon but, as a data point, one might consider the following (emphasis added):

Bush pledged to veto either measure and said troops were being harmed by Congress' failure to deliver the funds quickly.

The Pentagon says it has enough money to pay for the Iraq war through June
. The Army is taking "prudent measures" aimed at ensuring that delays in the bill financing the war do not harm troop readiness, according to instructions sent to Army commanders and budget officials April 14.

Quite simply, U.S. President George W. McFuckwit has been relentless in claiming that the Democrats' refusal to present a no-strings-attached funding bill is currently harming troops in the field, even though the Pentagon has made it clear that debate over that bill is making no difference whatsoever since current finances are adequate to fund the war into June.

Thus, to wit and therefore, we can ask one question: Is George W. Bush lying? Yes or no. It's a simple question, and deserves a simple answer.

Have at it. I'm going to get more coffee.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And I'd keep a close eye on those Quakers, too.

And when it comes time to reconcile a loving, merciful God and 32 violent, senseless deaths, right-wing hack Dinesh D'Souza knows where to assign blame -- it's the atheists.

Join us next week when D'Souza examines the last several years of American, GOP-driven, imperialistic, neo-con clusterfuck and pins the fault squarely where it belongs -- on the Democrats.

You just have to time it carefully, that's all.

In an impressive display of exquisite timing, Canada's Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck™ pops her head out of her bubble chamber just long enough to be disgusted by people who make death threats against others.

If I have to explain the irony, you haven't been paying attention.