Thursday, May 31, 2007

You mean the bar can go LOWER?

And just when you think you've reached the bottom of the barrel creation science museum-wise, someone comes along and lifts up the barrel.

Right-wing logic, as it were.

Shorter Fred: "Some city council members somewhere in England are idiots; therefore, all environmentalists are mathematically illiterate morons."

Hey, can I play, too? Let's see -- some members of the Blogging Tories are inane, babbling dunderheads ... do I really need to finish this for you?

I can't wait for the last three stages.

Apparently, we've graduated from denial and have moved on to anger. On deck: bargaining.

Smug Yankee bastard.

Apparently, our wingnuts don't measure up to their wingnuts. I'm thinking we could punish them by cutting off our major American exports.

That would be hockey players and Arctic air masses, in case you were wondering.

You can't make this stuff up.

Blogging Tory Joanne writes of the unselfish courage of a brave few (emphasis added):

We human beings have learned a few things over the centuries - One of them is that belonging to a 'group' of some kind enhances our chances of survival. And along with that privilege come rules of some kind.

One of those rules, is the code of silence.

In today's society, there are times when this code or oath of silence is ethical and necessary; for example cabinet members in matters of national security; doctors regarding patient records; banks concerning their clients' financial records, and so on.

However, there is also the "unwritten" code of silence that exists among other groups and organizations.

This code exits in unions, in gangs, in families and even in school boards.

Thus we see a picture now emerging of a very closed society in schools such as C.W. Jefferys, and the results of an attitude of secrecy and willful blindness that seems to work to circumvent any effort to air dirty laundry in public.

Brave teachers are now stepping forward
to tell the truth about a school environment where rules are ignored with little if any repercussion. Indeed, the code of silence is reinforced by rewarding see-no-evil teachers with a lighter workload, and ignoring the complaints of the few that do voice concern.

Yes, yes, oh God, yes, what we need these days more than anything are those courageous souls who are willing to risk their comfort and well-being to tear away the veil of secrecy and expose its sleazy underbelly so that we have transparency and accountability in our society.

In other news ...

And for those of you who want an alternative to actual science ...

[And a big Canadian "How's it goin', eh?" to all the visiting Pharyngulites ... Pharynguloids ... whatever. You know who you are.]

... we have the embarrassment of Alberta's spanking new Big Valley Creation Science Museum, whose founder Harry Nibourg has already convinced the scientific illiterates at the CBC that this is somehow news.

Any snark on my part could not possibly do justice to the eye-rolling ignorance on display in the general press release (dumbassitude emphasis added, as if that's necessary):

There are numerous themes presented in the museum displays including:

"Evidence From Geology" display which deals with the geological column, the fossil sequence and the profound evidence for a global flood such as the Quartzite boulders of the Cypress Hills in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

"Fossils and the Flood" is a fantastic visual arrangement that contains only genuine, museum quality fossils and a giant model of Noah's ark. The museum presents the answer to why fossils are profound evidence for the flood of Noah.

"Dinosaurs and Humans" display shows considerable evidence that not only did dinosaurs exist recently, but also that humans existed with them. This evidence is fatal to the evolutionary dogma which has dinosaurs extinct at least 60 million years before humans evolved.

I'm sorry ... if I read any further, I'd have to start stabbing myself in the eye with an ice pick or something -- the stupidity is almost indescribable, but here's the part I found most intriguing:

Currently we cannot offer tax deductible receipts for donations (charity status paperwork is in progress) ...

Excuse me? The BVCSM is applying to be a tax-deductible charity? Now that's an interesting development since it wasn't that long ago that the Canadian wingnut-o-sphere couldn't strip the Status of Women Canada fast enough, given that the SWC was involved in (gasp! horrors!) "advocacy."

But now, we have the BVCSM -- a religious advocacy group if there ever was one -- taking a shot at charity status which means they'd be getting funded, at least partially, by the Canadian taxpayer.

One wonders if those same Blogging Tory guardians of the public purse are going to be equally outraged by this outright theft of the taxpayer dollar, or whether they're going to be their typical, hypocritical selves.

(Note: That last issue was purely rhetorical. But you knew that, didn't you?)

And, no, we're not done here. Not by a long shot.

A CC READER CHALLENGE: Can we start a list of prominent Canadian wingnuts who have publicly promoted this kind of scientific inanity? Of course, first and foremost on that list would be current Minister of Public Safety and Total Douchebaggery Stockwell "Doris" Day:

Day was also angry at CBC Television on Wednesday. He said a report on The National the previous night, examining the relationship between his religious and political beliefs, was an example of "yellow journalism."

"CBC was a dredging up of things that were dealt with months and months ago," he said, adding he was upset he wasn't asked to comment.

The CBC report included an interview with a teacher who said Day told students at Alberta's Red Deer College in 1997 that creationism was as plausible a theory as evolutionism.

And I have to think Doris isn't the only intellectual illiterate in that collection of assclowns. So leave your suggestions in the comments section. Lines are open, and operators are standing by to abuse you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I need a word beyond "stupid."

If you have a few minutes, feel free to peruse something I write exactly a year ago today -- pay special attention to the part involving the bogus death rate comparison. Take your time, I'll wait ... dum de dum dum ...

And now, let's see what Proud to be a Dumbass's Joel Johannesen wrote just today.

It just leaves you speechless, doesn't it?

HIT HIM AGAIN, HE'S STILL MOVING. I know it's flogging a mentally retarded horse, but it's worth pointing out just what kind of imbecile Joel Johannesen really is. Note carefully how he's terrifically impressed with the following bit of idiocy:

This is an interesting statistic

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of the U.S. involvement in Iraq, here is a sobering statistic:

There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,867 deaths. That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.

The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 persons for the same period.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capital than you are in Iraq .

Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington.

Lord Almighty, where to even begin? First, it is complete bullshit that "there has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months." The average number of troops in Iraq is normally given as around 135,000, with the figure of 160,000 coming from here:

As of 01 March 2006 there were 133,000 US troops in Iraq, down from about 160,000 in December 2005 during parliamentary elections.

Yes, you read that right -- the figure of 160,000 represents a peak, which is dishonestly being passed off as an average just so the death rate can be artificially reduced. If one used the more honest value of 135,000, that monthly death rate would jump from 60 per 100,000 soldiers to 71. Not a massive increase, but a noticeable change, nonetheless. But the dumbfuckitude doesn't end there, oh no -- we're just getting started.

From where comes this figure of "80.6 per 100,000 persons" as the death rate in D.C.? According to Statemaster, the rate of death by firearms for D.C. is only 31.2 per 100,000 for the year 2002, a considerably smaller figure. As best I can tell from poking around the Internets, that value of 80.6 per 100,000 represents the D.C. death rate when it peaked in 1991, so to use it as an average value is simply dishonesty heaped on top of dishonesty. But that's not the best part.

The best part is that the D.C. death of 80.6 per 100,000 is an annual death rate -- that is, over the course of an entire year, while the rate of 71 troops per 100,000 killed is, as you can clearly see unless you are a completely dumbass motherfucker or Joel Johannesen, a monthly average. Extrapolating this to a full year gives us a kill rate of something like 852 dead troops per 100,000 per year, versus around 31 for D.C.

Well, how about that? Isn't math wonderful? Isn't Joel Johannesen an asshole?

BONUS SNARK: I'm wondering how many of you caught this bit of Joelitude from that article, as he writes of those utterly bogus death rates:

Of course it’s trashy internet humor, right? Sort of but not really. I checked some of the stats myself, and it turns out it's based on fact, ...

In other words, Joel wasn't just a simpleton who gullibly believed the stupidity emailed to him. Oh no, he did his own research and verified those completely fictional values. I can't even imagine how retarded you have to be to do that. And I can imagine quite a lot.

Dear CBC:

From a recent interview with creationist dingbat Harry Nibourg of the Big Valley Creation Science Museum to this afternoon's session featuring New Age quack Deepak Chopra, apparently there's no one too airheaded to get their 15 minutes on CBC Radio One.

And, yes, we'll be getting to that Creation Science Museum real soon now.

The most irritating eight seconds you'll ever spend.

The Blogging Tories' "Crux-of-the-Matter" lets you know in no uncertain terms just how breathtakingly productive Steve Harper and the Harperettes have been since they took over from the grown-ups:

Readers can be the judge.

So far, the Harper government has:

1. Passed the Federal Accountability Act; ...

Yup, that's where I stopped reading.

The CPoC's Scott Reid: Still struggling with that "causality" thing.

Poor Scott Reid -- still having trouble with the concept of "time" and "before" and "after":

Tory MP Scott Reid suggested that New Democrat Pat Martin may have broken the law by giving committee members copies of secret documents in which information that was to be blacked out for public consumption could be read. Even though the supposedly secret excerpts were first published in two newspapers, Reid asked Parliament's law clerk to rule on whether Martin was "guilty of an offence" under the Security of Information Act.

No fear, though, as Scott will have his way as soon as he finishes the construction of his time machine and goes back to prevent the public dissemination of that material in the first place. Then, by God, Martin will be in trouble.

(Wag of the tail to Alison @ Creekside.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's what we call a "conflict of interest," Dave.

David, David, David ...

Bush staffer failed to disclose Conrad Black payments.

Black is currently on trial in Chicago for fraud and racketeering. Prosecutors allege he and three co-defendants stole $60 million from his former company, Hollinger Inc. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum has publicly defended Black against the charges. But Harper’s Ken Silverstein reports that between September and December 2000, Frum received $16,667 a month from Hollinger, an arrangement he has failed to disclose. Frum said he feels no need to reveal the payments when defending Black because disclosures “can easily become silly and pedantic.”

Oh, crap. If only he'd used the word "shallow" instead, the joke would have written itself:

Steve Janke: He's so adorable when he's tap dancing.

The premature eJankulator puts on his Boy Detective decoder ring, then fills us in on the latest adventures of "Taliban Jack":

The NDP organized a fund-raiser for IRFAN, a registered charity, but one that has been alleged to have strong ties to Hamas. Those allegations have been known to the highest levels of the Canadian government, and widely reported in the press. But despite that, the NDP feels that helping raise thousands of dollars for this group is a worthy exercise, and MPs Alexa McDonough and Irene Mathyssen lent their presence to make sure as much money as possible is sent from Canada to this group.

Shocking! Shocking, I say! Although, if memory serves ... ah, here's Steve again:

Jason Kenney, Conservative MP, has been called a hypocrite for criticizing a Liberal MP who spoke in support of a terrorist organization this past week, but who himself appeared at a rally for yet another terrorist organization in April 2006. That group was listed as a terrorist group, under a different name, in May 2005.

Oooooh ... that's gotta be awkward. No problem though since, according to Steve, Kenney apparently had no clue about, well, anything:

Jason Kenney grabbed a megaphone and spoke some words of support for democracy ... Kenney didn't even know that the rally was for the PMOI ...

Ted, though, would beg to differ:

Kenney, of course, denies knowing that the rally was organized by a terrorist group. However, after initially saying he couldn't even remember being at the rally and then saying ""I told them I would pass by if I could. And I was running up to the Hill, I just literally grabbed a megaphone", he then seems to recollect a great detailed about the preparations, about the due diligence done before attending, about the circumstances leading to his invitation to speak, about the interview conducted with the organizer before the meeting, and so on. That certainly undermines his claim that he merely "grabbed a megaphone" while he was "running up the Hill". Given his boast that he also "double-checked the background" of the organizers, it is hard to imagine it just happened to have slipped his mind to also ask them what the rally was about.

I like it. Now, in addition to the Alberto Gonzales defense of "I don't recall," we now have the Jason Kenney defense of "Please don't blame me, I'm too stupid to be held responsible for anything."

Yeah, that sounds about right.

What colour IS the sky on George's planet?

See, that's why they call us the "reality-based community."

I think David MacLean's life just got a bit more uncomfortable.

And over here, Giant Political Mouse ties up some loose ends regarding the Saskatchewan Taxpayers Federation's David MacLean but, truth be told, I have just a small bone to pick with GPM when he writes near the bottom of that post:

It is not the anonymity of David that we have a problem with, it is his unacceptable attacks on our blogs. If he wants to pick a false name and start a false blog, fine, go ahead.

Actually, that's exactly what I have a problem with -- David's use of a pseudonym. It's one thing if David wanted to blog/comment under a pseudonym on topics totally unrelated to his position with the STF. If David was an active member of a Star Trek blog, no one would give a shit if he made an ass of himself using the online name of "ferengis_rool" or something equally inane.

But it's a totally different thing when he chooses to blog/comment anonymously on the very issues that he represents publicly on behalf of the STF. That is absolutely unacceptable behaviour.

If David chooses to be a public and named advocate on behalf of certain political viewpoints, then it's only fair that he take responsibility for his writings -- all of them. To do anything less is pure cowardice, plain and simple.

And no amount of tap-dancing should allow David to dismiss this as no big deal.

Nostalgia, Kate McMillan-style.

It was a couple years back that Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix™ was just wetting herself over John Kerry's totally idiotic "nuance":

Nuance, Expanded

"I voted for the 87 Billion before I voted against it" is about to be officially retired. John Kerry has handed the Bush campaign something better. His "nuance" has morphed into "nuisance".

From New York Times magazine:

"We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,"

And if the choice of the word "nuisance" wasn't bad enough -

"As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life."

Yeah, that John Kerry ... I mean, how freakin' retarded do you have to be to suggest that you can measure success just by bringing the violence down to an acceptable level that represents nothing more than a "nuisance?" Oh ... apparently, this retarded (emphasis added for commenters like "jvzjhnn" who need things spelled out for them with large-font alphabet blocks):

In remarks made Wednesday to the Associated General Contractors of America, President Bush defined his view of the success in Iraq that he hopes to accomplish.

"Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed," he said. "And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not no violence."

While saying "succeed," Bush appears to chuckle.

The president then compared Iraq to the United States, saying that there were parts of the US with "a certain level of violence," but that "people feel comfortable about living their daily lives" in those areas. That level of violence, said Bush, is what the US is aiming to achieve in Iraq.

In other news, I can safely predict that Kate has posted something recently that we'll all be able to look back on and ridicule in a year or two. She hasn't let us down yet, has she?

Miss C does Canada ...

... but in a strictly platonic way. What were you thinking, you pervert?

Would you like some cheese with that whine, Adam?

The Blogging Tories: they can dish it out, but they can't take it. Yeah, I'm sure you're surprised.

Monday, May 28, 2007

It's funny until someone makes an ass of himself ...

... then it's downright hilarious. Spend a few minutes with Glenn Greenwald as he explains how the dumbass-o-sphere practically wet themselves dissing an embarrassing memo that turned out to be genuine.

This is, of course, in complete contrast to members of the Canadian dumbass-o-sphere who fell over themselves promoting as fact a story that turned out to be utter hogwash.

The wank-o-sphere: consistent only in their amazing inconsistency.

Steve Janke could learn a thing or two.

When it comes to sleuthing, this is what you call big-time busted. I'm almost hurt that David's never shown up around here -- I have a towel snap to the nads with his name on it.

Dear readers: Undercover black man wants YOU!

Recently extracted from the CC mailbag, in between the numerous submissions from Nigerians who want to give me money and Nigerians who really want to give me money:

Greetings, CC.

My name is David Mills. I’m a former journalist (Washington Post), and now I blog as “Undercover Black Man” in Southern California.

Which in no way explains how David found his way here but ... onward.

As you’re probably aware, immigration is a huge political issue in the U.S. Some folks are particularly worried about America’s shrinking white majority (67 percent of the population now, compared with 89 percent in 1960)… and how society might change as a result.

From personal experience, it meant better access to authentic Mexican cuisine in North Carolina, but I'm guessing that's not quite what David had in mind.

Looking for a handle on this issue, I’ve wondered about Canada. So I’ve decided to ask some Canadian bloggers to answer a few questions and share a few thoughts. I’d be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to reply. And I’ll post about it on my blog. Which, by the way, is here:

I was surprised to discover that, according to the Census of Canada, 18.8 percent of Canada’s population was foreign-born as of 2001. That’s compared with 12.1 percent of the U.S. population (in 2006).

You guys got more immigrants than us, per capita… but I get no sense that immigration (and non-white immigration in particular) is a hot political topic or a pressing social problem in Canada. Perhaps we’re just not hearing about it down here?

Canada (per ’01) has more than 300,000 African immigrants; more than 120,000 Jamaicans; close to 54,000 Haitians; more than 116,000 Mexicans and Central Americans; 84,000 Guyanese; 322,000 Indianas; more than half a million Chinese. (And, for some reason, more than 300,000 foreign-born Italians… or perhaps they’re from somewhere else by way of Italy.)

My questions, Mr. Cynic, are these:

1) What social problems, if any, have come along with this immigrant influx? More big-city crime? Any gangs? Unemployment? A drain on social services? Inter-ethnic conflicts? Is there any general
Canadian consensus that there has been some “downside” to large-scale immigration?

2) Is there any political movement (from the conservative side) to restrict immigration? Is there much public discussion about the racial dimension of immigration? Is anyone voicing concerns that the character of the Canadian nation will change if there are too many non-white immigrants?

3) What’s your take on this issue, personally? Think large-scale immigration is good for Canada, bad for Canada, or is it a wash?

Thanks for hearing me out.

Warm regards,

David Mills

Dear readers: Go wild.

TORONTO AND JAMAICAN GANGS: Since David brought up Jamaicans, I would be remiss in at least not referring to the issue of Jamaican gangs in Toronto. Regardless of how seriously one takes the issue, it's safe to say that, at the very least, the perception exists.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thank God for short memories.

Blogging Tory R. Alexander lets us know in no uncertain terms what he thinks of Muslim taxi drivers in Minnesota refusing to pick up fares who happen to be carrying alcohol:

I think the situation is best summed up by Jack Lanners, chairman of the Metropolitan Airports Commission:

It's not an accommodation issue, it's a service issue. If your job is to take people from one point to another, i.e. in a taxi, then you'd think you'd be qualified.

Exactly. One can only hope such nonsense doesn't spill over into cities in Canada.

Yeah, the freakin' nerve -- allowing your personal, religious beliefs to dictate which members of the public you're prepared to serve. I mean, you let that sort of thing get out of hand and who knows what sort of evil dumbassitude you'll end up with.

I'm sorry -- did I telegraph that one just a bit too much?

Um ... wow ...

... I mean ... just like ... wow.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT THE FIRST TIME. Just to make sure you caught the howling illogic in DBT's post, let me take you back a few months to here, where I explained how, if the Democrats flexed their muscles and forced the Bush White House into some compromises on Iraq, any further chaos and carnage there would, naturally, be the Dems' fault, which leads you to appreciate the utter dumbfuckery of this idiocy from DBT:

It is a sad state of affairs indeed when the Dems refuse to take responsibility for years of their own rhetoric, especially after last week's Senate vote.

See, if the Dems' had got their way, then Iraq would have been their fault. But since, during last week's Senate vote, the Dems caved to Bush utterly, totally and completely, and effectively gave the Bush White House everything it wanted, well, then, it's somehow still their fault.

I want to live in DBT's world. You know -- one where facts just don't matter anymore. It must be a pleasant place.

Fuck you Mr. Cheney

During graduation ceremonies at West Point, villainous cur, Dick Cheney croaked a speech at the future leaders of America's Army. Not content to honour the dedication, sacrifice and achievement of these young officers, he took the opportunity to sow the seeds of dishonour, evil and ignorance among them. As Vice President of the United States, it behooves Cheney to at least pay lip service to the values that the instructors have worked so hard to instill. He even lists the seven core values of the Army officer, "loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage". He then goes on to take a shit on those values by questioning the Geneva Conventions.

"As Army officers on duty in the war on terror, you will now face enemies who oppose and despise everything you know to be right, every notion of upright conduct and character, and every belief you consider worth fighting for and living for. Capture one of these killers, and he'll be quick to demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States. Yet when they wage attacks or take captives, their delicate sensibilities seem to fall away. These are men who glorify murder and suicide. Their cruelty is not rebuked by human suffering, only fed by it. They have given themselves to an ideology that rejects tolerance, denies freedom of conscience, and demands that women be pushed to the margins of society. The terrorists are defined entirely by their hatreds, and they hate nothing more than the country you have volunteered to defend."

How fucking dare he? What values remain in western civilization are defended at great cost by these young men and women. Their lives and bodies will be placed on the line and imperiled by his administration's foolhardy escapades. This was not a graduating class of Waffen SS officers. To even suggest that these officers go into combat with a question as to the validity and necessity of the Geneva Conventions is a disavowal of all that America purports to stand for. In these remarks, Cheney suborns treason, encouraging a gross lack of faith in lawful treaties signed by the sovereign government of the United States of America.

Not content to undermine the values and honour of soldier and state, he goes on to lie through his vulgar teeth.

"The terrorists know what they want and they will stop at nothing to get it. By force and intimidation, they seek to impose a dictatorship of fear, under which every man, woman, and child lives in total obedience to their ideology. Their ultimate goal is to establish a totalitarian empire, a caliphate, with Baghdad as its capital. They view the world as a battlefield and they yearn to hit us again. And now they have chosen to make Iraq the central front in their war against civilization."

They have chosen? Perhaps if Cheney and his ideological bedmates hadn't rolled out the blood drenched welcome matt of illegal war and pre-emptive murder. The good men and women of West Point and those under their command would not be destined for the killing fields of Iraq. A land that posed no threat to America. A land that, for all of its faults, denied and opposed the goals of Bin Laden and al Qaeda. If there is a regime that seeks world domination and adherence to a totalitarian goal, it is that of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. The criminal enterprise currently occupying the White House have abandoned efforts to capture the perpetrators of 9/11. They have shut down the CIA's unit dedicated to capturing Osama Bin Laden. They have created the hell storm that has befallen the innocent population of Iraq, cost more than 3,000 American service men and women their lives and plundered the treasure of America for a war based on lies.

"In Iraq today, the al Qaeda network that struck America is one of the elements trying to destroy a democratic government. They are surging their capabilities, attacking Iraqi and American forces, and killing innocent civilians. America is fighting this enemy in Iraq because that is where they have gathered. We are there because, after 9/11, we decided to deny terrorists any safe haven. We are there because, having removed Saddam Hussein, we promised not to allow another dictator to rise in his place."

In Iraq today, Cheney's spiteful ignorance has erupted into a sectarian civil war. The al Qaeda network that was behind the attacks of 9/11 continues to work toward their goals from the frontiers of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It continues to be funded by Saudi interests and has only grown in strength and influence through the imperial arrogance and mindless actions of Cheney and Bush and their fellows. Iraq is not where the enemy has gathered, Iraq is where the enemies of America are being created and converted, not by the charisma of Bin Laden, but by the actions, policies and madness sown by America's leaders.

"Last night, President Bush signed into law the war supplemental that we worked hard to achieve. As we look to the future, I want to say this to the graduates, and to all the men and women of the Corps, and to the families gathered in this stadium today: Whatever lies ahead, the United States Army will have all the equipment, supplies, manpower, training, and support essential to victory. I give you this assurance on behalf of the President. You soldier for him, and he will soldier for you."

All of the equipment, except up-armoured vehicles, body armour, clean food and water and a sufficiency of rest, re-equipment and retraining between deployments. Mr. Cheney, your assurances and those of the petulant fool in chief are worth less than the paper you wipe with. These young men and women have undertaken the path of duty and honour. That a man like Dick Cheney, who made every effort to avoid service and who lives without honour, lies to their faces is a stinking shame. That he uses the opportunity to undermine their hard won honour, by bringing the Geneva Conventions under question, is a fucking crime. These young officers deserve better.

Investigative Blogging 101: The Kate McMillan edition.

There are a number of reasons you shouldn't spend a lot of time reading the Blogging Tories and their right-wing colleagues in the Wingnut-o-sphere. Mostly, it's because you'll just get increasingly misinformed and stupid if you do and I'd like to demonstrate this with a recent post of Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix™. So don't be scared -- let's all just follow along and watch the unintentional hilarity as it develops, shall we?

As Exhibit A, I give you the Katester, waxing rhapsodic over wondrous new developments in the Global War on Non-White People:

May 22, 2007

"One by one, the 18 provinces of Iraq are being turned over to the Iraqis"

As the British increase their forces in Afghanistan, they are drawing down in Iraq. Although the drawdown in Iraq is based on pragmatism, the enemy apparently is attempting to create the perception of a military rout. So while the British reduce their forces in southern Iraq, they are coming under heavier fire and the enemy makes claims of driving “the occupiers” out.

In reality, the Brits were about to transfer authority over the Maysan Province to the Iraqi government.

Now, without question this is good news since, as we all know, in the midst of the growing carnage and increasing body count in Iraq, the foremost issue on the minds of everyone in Wingnuttia has been that single, burning question, "When can we restore Maysan Province to the Iraqis?" Certainly, that very issue has clearly been knawing at Kate for God knows how long.

Well, OK, maybe not, but it would be juvenile and classless to suggest that Kate is being a cheap hack opportunist by advertising good news whose significance she doesn't have a freakin' clue about. Onward.

Let us now descend into the comments section at Kate's original piece to read the very first comment from one "ron in kelowna", who is obviously auditioning for the part of "Most Perky Cabana Boy" as he writes:

And again, more 'tell-it-like-it-is' truth at sda than in our beloved media.

But then, why would the MSM report on a humanity success story. Girls in school, women being free to have a life, the DICKtator gone....

By God, yes ... even in the midst of all that carnage, surely we have to appreciate the giant strides made by Iraqi womanhood, like this:

Women Lose Ground in the New Iraq
Once They Were Encouraged to Study and Work; Now Life Is 'Just Like Being in Jail'

By Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 16, 2006; Page A12

BAGHDAD -- Browsing the shelves of a cosmetics store in the Karrada shopping district, Zahra Khalid felt giddy at the sight of Alberto shampoo and Miss Rose eye shadow, blusher and powder.

Before leaving her house, she had covered her body in a billowing black abaya and wrapped a black head scarf around her thick brown hair. She had asked her brother to drive. She had done all the things that a woman living in Baghdad is supposed to do these days to avoid drawing attention to herself.

Zahra Khalid, 30, left, shops in Baghdad on her first outing in two months. With Islamic fundamentalism and sectarian warfare on the rise in Iraq, more and more women live in fear.

It was the first time she had left home in two months.

"For a woman, it's just like being in jail," she said. "I can't go anywhere."

Um ... OK, bad example. Let's try another source:

Iraq’s women under pressure

The lives of many Iraqi women have become appreciably harsher following international sanctions and the US-led invasion. Although pleased to see Saddam toppled, some look back on the prosperity and social liberation of the Ba’athist years with nostalgia.

Oh, dear. It appears that "ron from kelowna" fits right in with your average commenter over at SDA -- dumb as a fucking post. But enough of Kate's teeming, howler monkey minions and their embarrassing dumbassitude -- let's return to Kate's main point for a closer look, shall we, to gauge the proper level of celebration (emphasis added):

In reality, the Brits were about to transfer authority over the Maysan Province to the Iraqi government. Thus, the day’s purpose, although seemingly more ceremonial in nature, was to counterpunch in the perception war, by focusing on the progress being made by the Iraqi Security Forces in the region.

Ah, yes, let us all appreciate the overwhelming significance of something that is "seemingly more ceremonial in nature," but pretend that it's much more important than that. Otherwise, whatever would Kate have to whinge on about? But we're not done here, oh no.

Let us all hop into the wayback machine, back to October of 2006, where we read:

British Army to hand over Iraqi province by January
By Marie Woolf
Published: 29 October 2006

British forces expect to be able to hand over Maysan province to Iraqi control by "around the end of the year", to allow UK troops to concentrate on Basra. Defence sources said they were confident that by January, three of the four provinces under British control would be under Iraqi administration.

Um ... excuse me? As I read it, that handover should have happened around five months ago, so I'm not celebrating so much as I'm wondering who's responsible for being five months behind schedule. Still, a handover is a handover, until you finally get to the fine print (all good parts tail-waggingly added):

Although security for Maysan was taken over by the Iraqis on Wednesday, there are still about 400 British soldiers in the province, all engaged in long-range reconnaissance along the border. The Iraqis asked the British to continue monitoring the border, and this role is likely to remain a British responsibility throughout the six months in which Prince Harry is serving in Iraq...

In Maysan the British withdrew from their permanent base at Camp Abu Naji near al-Amarah last August, and focused all their efforts on patrolling the border areas. The handover of Maysan to the Iraqi Army 10th Division is not expected to lead to any reduction in the British presence in the province.

Whoops ... that little detail seems to have been omitted in Kate's cheerleading. And how's life for those "reconnaissance" Brits, anyway? Ooooooh ... not so good:

Two British soldiers involved in a long-range reconnaissance patrol along the border between Iraq and Iran were killed by a huge roadside bomb today which ripped through their Scimitar armoured vehicle.

Another soldier in the same Scimitar was “very seriously injured” and his condition was described as “critical”.

In other words, despite the hand-clapping optimism emanating from over there at Small Dead Brain Stems, what we actually have is an Iraqi province that Kate had never before heard of, being "handed over" to the Iraqis in what even the British call a "ceremonial" exercise, happening some five months behind schedule, where the British who are doing the "handing over" aren't actually even leaving and, inconveniently, they're still being killed. Somehow, that kind of takes the lustre off the old apple, doesn't it?

And as the ultimate in unintentional hilarity, we have Kate, calling her flying monkeys to the battlements:

If you're inclined to write the editors of those newspapers whose commentary on Iraq offers little more than recycled UN reports by Bush-bashing Ottawa imbeds, you might include a link to Michael Yon's dispatch to remind them what journalism looks like.

Or you could you just point them to this blog post, so they can see what actual blogging looks like. Because if they've been spending all their time over at SDA, I'm guessing they've forgotten.

The invasion of the white people snatchers.

And over at SDA, Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix™ takes a break from quoting Matt Drudge in order to quote WingNutDaily to warn her frantic readership of the invasion of the brown people:

"White America is in flight."

In the 1990s

... for the first time since the Spanish came, whites left California. Two million departed. From July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, 100,000 more packed up and headed back whence their fathers came. The "Anglo" population of the Golden State is down to 43 percent and falling fast. White folks are now a minority in Texas and New Mexico. In Arizona, Hispanics account for over half the population under 20.

The future is not in doubt. Why ought this be of concern?

Predictably, a number of commenters tell heart-wrenching stories of an insufficient birth rate for Caucasians to keep up, even as they worship unabashedly at the feet of a single, white, childless screech harpy.

And, yes, that was irony.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Apparently, even imbeciles can have groupies.

In which the Blogging Tories' "A Step to the Right" bases his argument on the scientific credibility of Tim Ball, and we here at CC HQ beg to differ.

One wonders if "ASttR" could possibly be any more of a fawning sycophant unless he started his next blog post with "According to Kate McMillan ...".

Sometimes, the CRTC just pisses me off.

Via Buckdog, we learn that the CRTC is studiously watching out for stupid Christians:

The CRTC had recently required the Miracle Channel to provide revamped fundraising guidelines several months ago after fielding complaints.

Hosts have told viewers to cash in their RRSPs, one of several on-air statements that prompted CRTC concerns. "There is somebody right now watching, and God is speaking to them about RRSPs," a host told viewers in 2004. "They've got RRSPs, and they've got a sizable amount, and it's a security thing. Well, it's not a security thing; your security is in God. And God's speaking to you to cash those in. And I dare you to do it."

The CRTC warned the network in a subsequent letter: "Encouraging viewers to donate does not pose a problem in itself; however, manipulating viewers into giving to the station is not acceptable."

Dear CRTC: Piss off. I know you mean well but, really, I can't think of anything that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling like the idiotic devout cashing in their RRSPs and thereby setting themselves up for a retirement to be spent in abject poverty.

Because when I retire, I want a ready pool of poor people who are so desperate for cash that they'll be prepared to mow my lawn for five dollars an hour, while I sit on my porch, sipping Chateau St. Jean and exclaiming in a loud voice, "Have you read this latest article by Richard Dawkins, it's really excellent, hey, you missed a spot."

Old, poor Christians. They're the new Mexicans.

Saturday morning Demetri Martin.

As always, I love being right.

Quickly, Sherman, into the wayback machine to just two weeks ago, when your humble scribe made a bold prediction:

Oh, dear (do I really need to add the emphasis?):

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) - American troops launched a massive hunt for three missing comrades on Saturday amid fears they had been kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents during a pre-dawn attack that left five other soldiers dead.

Quick -- any bets on how long it's going to be before Americans rediscover the Geneva Conventions?

And pretty much right on schedule, the rediscovery begins:

Indeed, the news that Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr.'s body showed signs of possible torture has been met by the human rights brigade with...


The continued search for our two other missing soldiers has been met by the human rights brigade with...


This Memorial Day weekend, break the silence and remember our soldiers who suffered and sacrificed. Remember American courage and strength in the face of brutality. Remember the difference between good and evil.

And just in case you'd forgotten that difference, let me give you a quick refresher. Because, here at Canadian Cynic, being educational is what we're all about.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Boy kills giant pig

So who's going to make the call to Mrs. Hastert?

Courtesy, breitbart via boingboing

Thank God for Alzheimer's.

I mean, that's the only thing that explains how a 51 to 48 per cent victory in an election once constituted an overwhelming "mandate", while now allowing you to subsequently tell the 72 per cent who think the country is on the wrong track that they can go fuck themselves.

Yes, the world is always a much happier place when you're mentally handicapped. Just ask Joel Johannesen.

The Blogging Tories' Children's Crusade.

On the one hand, the National Post's Don Martin gets it (emphasis for various amusements added):

Afghan retreat
Martin: Canadian base becoming a favoured destination for politicians under fire

A strange new pattern of Canadian political behaviour is gaining momentum - when under heavy fire, flee to Kandahar.

The base for 2,500 Canadian troops has become the runaway photo op of choice for the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and government MPs trying to duck the harsh glare of their own poll-driven frailties and foibles back home...

The highlight of the first day was Mr. Harper visiting the same school where two of his ministers had already posed for pictures on separate visits. The school for the underprivileged received $39,500 from Canada last year, precisely matching the cost of Canadian International Development Agency Minister Jose Verner's visit with students there last October.

The only difference seemed to be that Mr. Harper gave the students pencil cases to put into the backpacks handed out by Ms. Verner...

These prime ministerial trips are logistical and security nightmares, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to fly politicians and their entourages halfway around the world to give the appearance of personal risk while wrapped inside a protective military bubble.

And the sheer number of politicians flying into Kandahar in the last year has undoubtedly inconvenienced the military base in hosting a blitz that smacks more of damage control for the Conservatives than morale-boosting for the troops...

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor has been to Kandahar three times with every trip taking off across the Atlantic just ahead of a rumble of calls for his resignation in the House of Commons. He was there just two months ago and is back there with the Prime Minister now...

If the Prime Minister and his ministers could report real progress, articulate a pressing reason to be there and actually listen to soldiers instead of unleashing the contrived rah-rah of their political thunder, there could be an argument to support their military manoeuvres.

If MPs went into the field of operations, visiting the forward lines to see the military's equipment, or lack thereof, in action, there could be acquired military intelligence.

But given they mostly stay inside heavily fortified zones, file no reports on the result of their visits and wrap the costs in the hazy transparency and hidden accountability that are quickly becoming the hallmarks of this government, they become a legitimate target.

And then there's the entertaining pontifications of the junior high school set:

Nothing wrong with Afghanistan Visit.

Frankly, I think Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Afghanistan shows exactly what type of committed leader this individual is when it comes to our military...

Why the criticism? Because the Prime Minister cares?

The Canadian Cynic: because after we report on how the grown-ups feel, it's only reasonable to point out what the 8-year-olds are thinking as well.

It's what we call being "fair and balanced."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

456 Billion

Our good friends at Crooks & Liars aim us at an article in Editor & Publisher which recounts a piece on the Boston Globe website, that asks how the estimated 456 billion spent on Iraq might have been better used.

The population of Iraq, pre-war, was about 19.9 million people. If George the lesser had really wanted to make things better in that troubled land, he could have written a cheque in the amount of $22,914.00 for every man, woman and child in that country. He could have insisted that in order to get the dough, that they renounce terrorism and oust Saddam in favour of a democratic government. If my reading of the human condition isn't too far off, we'd have a very grateful parliamentary ally in the region.

Then again, I'm just a crazy, hateful anti-war leftie.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bush passes wind

The Huffington Post offers up an article by the AP's Deb Reichmann that recounts President Chuckles address to the graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. My favourite quote,

"Here in America, we are living in the eye of a storm," he said. "All around us, dangerous winds are swirling and these winds could reach our shores at any moment."

Sure thing Commander Guy, tell that to the Katrina kids getting sick from formaldehyde off-gassing in their FEMA trailers. Dangerous winds indeed. Like the endless methane that percolates out of the Bush bubble.

To the best of our knowledge, no meth or gay hookers were involved.

You know, I figure it's almost time for another sanctimonious, well-coiffed Bible-head to take a hard fall and ... hello ... what's this?

Founder of Calgary Christian TV network resigns after affair

Oh, frabjous day ... let's read on:

CALGARY - The founder of Canada's first national Christian television network has resigned after admitting to having an "extra-marital relationship with another woman" according to a press release issued by the Miracle Channel yesterday...

"We do not condone his behaviour," said Ray Block, who has been named chief executive to replace [Dick] Dewert...

"We can only hope he will work towards restoration," said Mr. Block. "That's our hope for every person, no matter what walk of life they come from."

Of course, if you take the Bible literally, there might be some cause for concern:

Deuteronomy 22:22 "If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die."

Leviticus 20:10 "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death."

Somebody better be hoping that that other woman wasn't married, since that looks like the only loophole in town.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dude, where's my surge?

So ... how's that "surge" working out for you? Ooooooooh ... not so well, I see.

: Like the obedient little right-wing stenographer that she is, Kate McMillan brings us the good news from the killing fields:

"One by one, the 18 provinces of Iraq are being turned over to the Iraqis"

There's more optimism, of course, with nary a mention of this (from my earlier link):

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday.

When additional support troops are included in this second troop “surge,” the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq could increase from 162,000 now to more than 200,000 – a record high number – by the end of the year.

Gosh, Kate ... things might be getting quieter over there, and almost 40,000 more troops are on their way to Iraq. Think there might be a connection?

No, no, take your time, think it over and get back to me. I wouldn't want to rush you.

BECAUSE YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY BORED AND NEED SOMETHING TO DO, take a few minutes and read the comments on that post of Kate's. Really. The sheer airheaditude is something to behold. Feel free to select your favourite.

Radio Free Dumbass

The ABC News blog, The Blotter lets us know that George Bush's highly trained experts in all things broken have been handing broadcast airtime to terrorists. Just a hop, skip and Jesus away from reality. Is there anything these fools can do right? From the article by Justin Rood,

"Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program.
That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces."

The sad part of this is that I'm not even a little bit surprised. Given the Bush regime's penchant for hiring ideologically and religiously loyal dimwits, regardless of qualifications, this is business as usual. The man in charge, Joaquin Blaya has been an executive at Spanish language broadcasters and founded a series of professional tennis tournaments in Latin America. I'm sure Mr. Blaya did very well in that market, being of Latin extraction and all. His News Director, Larry Register is likely going to take the fall and a well deserved tumble that will be. From a piece on NPR,

"...Larry Register, who doesn't speak Arabic, has given voice to terrorists, airing a lengthy live broadcast of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, a live interview with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya and yet another with an al-Qaida operative."

The Blotter piece continues to inform us that,

"...the network's news division also had no assignment desk, he said. That left decision making over al Hurra's content in the hands of its reporters and producers, who are, according to Blaya, hastily-hired Arabic speaking journalists with insufficient understanding of Western Journalistic practices or the network's pro-Western mission."

Well , not that al Hurra has much of anything to do with journalism in the first place, it is at best a propaganda organ of the American government. Still, a complete absence of oversight is the hallmark of the Bush team's strategy in everything else, so why should a very expensive, new satellite channel be any different?

Source Watch fills in some details,

"The Hill reported in July 2004 that nearly half of the Voice of America's staff signed a petition complaining that the Broadcasting Board of Governors launched "new services in the Middle East with no editorial accountability" while cutting back VoA programs in the region. One VoA editor called the new Middle East networks - Radio Sawa, Al Hurra and Radio Farda - "expensive and ill advised." The VoA petition claims the new networks "provide inadequate news coverage and do not operate under VoA's charter, which guarantees balanced reporting."

Even the established American propaganda machine sneers at this new effort. Good job Mr. President! Have a pretzel. Sometimes I wish I could take a time machine into the future, just to hear the historians laughing at this chapter of American history. What a sick shame that so much blood has been spilled by Chimpasaurus Tex and his hand picked gang of retardoholics. Is it 2009 yet?

Tip of the lid to the ever amazing Crooks & Liars.

Support the tro ... ah, never mind.

What kind of fuckery is this? (emphasis added)

[U.S.] Military Dragged Feet on Bomb-Proof Vehicles

The Marine Corps waited over a year before acting on an "priority 1 urgent" request to send blast-resistant vehicles to Iraq, DANGER ROOM has learned.

According to a Marine Corps document provided to DANGER ROOM, the request for over 1,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles came in February, 2005. A formal call to fulfill that order did not emerge until November, 2006. "There is an immediate need for an MRAP vehicle capability to increase survivability and mobility of Marines operating in a hazardous fire area against known threats," the 2005 "universal need statement" notes.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I'm sorry ... do I sound callous? After all this blathering idiocy of "support the troops," these people sat on a high-priority order for IED-proof troop carriers for a year and a half.

Fuck 'em. If there are still people on the ground in Iraq that support the Bush administration, they deserve to die. Sometimes, stupidity should be a death sentence.

Vancouver 2010, The Olympic Scam and a number of other news agencies are reporting that Vancouver police pulled a shameless stunt in order to arrest an anti-poverty activist. Police posed as journalists from a free Vancouver paper, 24 Hours, to draw protester David Cunningham to a supposed interview in a sting operation. Upon arrival, the cops arrested Cunningham in order to issue a peace bond.

Cunningham allegedly uttered threats during a protest at the offices of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics. The extent of his threat was to tell the protesters that the Anti-Poverty Committee "knew where the Olympic organizers lived and worked and that they would take their demonstration directly to them". Seems to me that isn't a threat at all. That's serving notice that the protests will continue. He didn't threaten their safety or their lives. That said, it was a poor choice of words and fat-arsed, greed merchants are prone to over reaction. After all, the rules are different for them than for the rest of us.

This is the same pack of Olympic class whores that have claimed ownership of large chunks of the English language. They've threatened (real threats) to sue the snot out of anyone that infringes on the laundry list of words that might somehow be connected to the games, however vaguely. What the police did was beyond the pale. It isn't out of bounds for the cops to assume false identities in order to arrest criminals, though those are the sorts of tactics that are generally reserved for the abduction of killers and serious villains. Even in those cases, the police just don't pretend to be journalists. That is a serious breach of ethics that impedes the ability of the press to perform its job. This damages the credibility of a legit paper that was in no way involved with this sting.

"Journalistic ethics expert Nick Russell said what police have inadvertently done is tarnished the role of the journalist.
"For journalists, they've really only got one product to sell for the community and that's trust and credibility," he said. "If they lose the trust of the audience, then the rest of their work is wasted."

I don't suppose the police would appreciate a reporter posing as a cop to get a story, in fact they would arrest that reporter. What this all boils down to is big cash money. There are millions of bucks at stake in the 2010 Olympic pimp festival. And no ethical barrier will be left untainted in the advancement and protection of the sacred cash cow. The Vancouver police owe a huge debt of apology to the journalistic profession. Whoever came up with this scam should be demoted. And the Olympic committee organizers should be ashamed of being such a pack of whinging cowards.

For my own part, I will be boycotting the Olympics. I won't be watching and I won't be buying their branded crap. The Olympic movement died a wasting death some time ago. The introduction of massive corporate sponsorships and the use of professional athletes has killed the games. They are no more. The Olympic spirit has dissipated into yet another corporate opportunity for exploitation. I feel badly for the legitimate athletes, the dedicated competitors and officials, whose passion for their sports and the integrity of competition has been used so poorly misused. Screw Vancouver 2010, I hope the bastards lose their shirts.

Monday, May 21, 2007

As if I needed to point this out.

Despite the savage firestorm related to the current Alberto Gonzales and James Comey controversy, there is, of course, one place where you can go to escape from such awkward unpleasantries.

In other news, join the Blogging Tories as they point out the despicable bias in the mainstream media.

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

... and THEN we'll kick some quadraplegics out of their wheelchairs, damn straight!

The Blogging Tories' Joan Tintor is still as proud as all get-out of the spunk left in Commander Codpiece:

Just when you thought there was no fight left in the Bush administration . . .

From Reuters:

The White House on Sunday fired back at former President Jimmy Carter, calling him “increasingly irrelevant” a day after Carter described George W. Bush’s presidency as the worst in history in international relations.

Because nothing says kick-ass, in-your-face, motherfuckin' smackdown like using the bully pulpit of a criminally corrupt White House to slap around an 83-year-old Democrat who hasn't been president for 27 years.

Tune in tomorrow when Joan explains why poor people suck.

And they call it "democracy."

It's almost impossible to make fun of this to the extent that it deserves:

Tories spend thousands to preserve MP's nomination

CALGARY -- The Conservative Party of Canada is on the verge of winning an ugly, expensive fight with its own members in an upscale Calgary riding as MP Rob Anders heads toward his second acclamation in less than a year.

An unprecedented move by the party's national council to deny voting rights to new members in Calgary West is curtailing any potential challenges to Anders in a court-ordered second nomination battle.

Ah, those Tories ... ever the responsible, fiscal stewards:

The court battle to force the Tories into a competitive new nomination race in Calgary West has likely cost the party hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees as it hired some of the most prestigious Calgary law firms.

And we're not quite sure whether to file all of this under "openness", "accountability" or "transparency":

University of Calgary political analyst David Taras says the Tories' solution to the infighting in Calgary West flies in the face of the populist, grassroots-style party that Prime Minister Stephen Harper embraced as a Reformer in the early 1990s.

"What you really want is to have an open nomination process, and the purpose of course is to get the best candidates, to open it up to citizens, to stir involvement and passion. That's what political parties are all about."

"This is the Reform party in reverse. This is closing down memberships, this is not allowing the grassroots to be vocal and shows the great distance that's been travelled between the old Stephen Harper and the new Stephen Harper."

In unrelated news, Canada's Conservative Party is still outraged by the fact that the Liberals are not going to run someone against Green Party leader Elizabeth May, since that kind of cynical, opportunistic political manipulation just makes a mockery of the entire democratic system.

No, seriously.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Um ... about that sabbatical ...

Lord knows, I tried, but Teh Stupid kept calling me back. I'm sure I'd make a really bad cocaine addict.

No, we're in no rush. Why do you ask?

Oh, those Iraqis ... they're just so adorable sometimes:

Iraqi Lawmakers Back Bill on U.S. Withdrawal
Friday, May 11, 2007

BAGHDAD, May 10 -- A majority of members of Iraq's parliament have signed a draft bill that would require a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq and freeze current troop levels.

Dear Iraqis: I hate to be the one to point this out but ...

: And once you're had your fill of the perky, clap-happy, conservative wingnuts telling you (from the comfort of their parents' basement in Bumfuckistan, Alabama) how swimmingly things are progressing in Iraq, you might need some antidote:

Every time I cross over from Rusafa (Baghdad, east of the Tigris) to Karkh (Baghdad, west of the Tigris), my eyes are attracted to a very long line of trucks carrying bricks and other building materials, waiting for their turn to unload in a location that is known only for its magical quality to the greater majority of Iraqis, a locatoin inside that fairyland, the Green Zone...

The only signs of construction in our ruined city.

Our buildings are in ruins, our electricity nonexsistent, our sewage system flowing backwards, our drinking water would poison any but us - we have developed an immunity.... yet all the bricks, the cement sacks, the iron beams are headed down one direction, on the "Presidential Route" into the Green Zone.

What are they building?

Do you believe they will leave it behind?

Don't make me have to answer that one.

Yeah, that's a puzzler, all right.

Simply excerpting from this wouldn't do it justice, so here's Blogging Tory Dave Hodson in his entirety:

Over the last week, we’ve seen many reports that Canada’s trade surplus fell slightly to $4.6 Billion in March from $5.2 Billion in February. What has me confused, is how most of the media always report an increase in imports as inherently bad? When exports rise, media reports take on a positive tone, saying what a good job the country has been doing. When imports rise, the tone of the reports shift to sound more like someone explaining to their boss why they screwed up!

The fact is, we need both imports and exports, and we really can’t have one without the other. We trade with other countries because we each have comparative advantages in the supply of different things. We export what we’re better at supplying, and import what we’re not.

To read some opinions in the media, we should constantly be striving to increase exports while cutting off the stream of imports. But what good are exports without imports? When we export things to other countries, we receive money. We then use this money to import things from other countries. If we don’t import anything, then what good are the payments we receive for our exports?

Join Dave next week when he explains how, when you use a credit card, that stuff isn't really free but you still have to pay for it later, and how bummed out he was when he learned that.

Detachment from reality in 20 words or less.

The Politic's George Freeman checks in briefly from the planet Weembo:

Jimmy Carter: Sanctimonious Quack

Ahhh, Carter is at it again, griping over Bush being everything he wasn’t: effective and respected world leader, a Christian realist, willing to exercise courage for the sake of good policy, ...

Yeah, that's pretty much where I stopped reading, too.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Just ... ewwwwwww.

The shape of things to come.

You thought this was bad? You ain't seen nuthin' yet:

House GOP Uses Procedural Tactic To Frustrate Democratic Majority

House Republicans, fighting to remain relevant in a chamber ruled by Democrats, have increasingly seized on a parliamentary technique to alter or delay nearly a dozen pieces of legislation pushed by the majority this year...

Tensions over the maneuvers reached a boil this week. Republicans used procedural tactics to stall floor debate for four hours Wednesday, and they are threatening to tie up future legislative action.

Once the GOP learns a new trick, it's only a matter of time until they teach it to their Junior Fascist Youth Squad in Ottawa.

Just wait. It's coming. You read it here first.

And on the other hand ...

You can almost hear the childish glee as the Premature eJankulator points out the dissension in the Liberal-o-sphere:

Not all Liberals agree with Stephane Dion's ideas or are fans of his record

Stephane Dion is going to have some fun in the next election if the Liberal Party is going to field candidates who are on record as severely criticizing the leader.

Join us tomorrow when Steve, in order to be fair and balanced, points out how some Tories are so pissed off with Captain Charisma that they're seriously considering refounding the Reform Party.

No, really ... I'm sure he'll write something about that some day.

Saturday morning humour.

The Steven Wright-like meanderings of Demetri Martin:

Making good progress, George?

For all of our dear friends in the Friedman collection racket, some required reading is available at Inside Iraq. It's a blog maintained by the McLatchy Baghdad Bureau, updated by Iraqi and U.S. journalists. Here's a few quotes:

From the post, Just Do It,

"Its an irony that the US troops try to improve the social services in the hot spots. This will for sure reflect a bad image about the US trrops more than its now and may increse violence. people may beleive that violence is the only way to get what they want."

"Please pull out your troops quickly. dont fix anything. Dont implement any project and dont forget to take your democracy because we dont want the democracy of blood shedding. Just leave. JUST DO IT"

The next post, Leave,

"We are happy that we got rid of Saddam but we will never be happy to give away our country in return.
Sorry if our flesh harmed your knives... is that what they want us to say. Is this what they came for?
The failure of this invasion is a victory for FREEDOM and a defeat for radicals in U.S. and later in Iraq."

"Oh by the way before the troops leave they better do it right.. give the government 4 months to announce themselves as a transitional government to arrange the troops withdrawal, announce a draft among the Iraqi people to recruit young men in the Iraqi army so it will be national army not sectarian... and postpone the constitution amendments till the troops leave so the people will convince its a legitimate constitution and few things more... PLEASE dont let Bush plan for this, please... he will screw it..."

"we had enough, let our country go free. by staying; you are forcing people to join Al Qaeda and militias."

Followed by, The Right Tribe,

"The gun man gave me back my ID saying "be safe"
          I'm going to tell you what the man was looking for. The Iraqi ID includes a piece of information telling the name of the tribe. Mostly, its easy to know whether the carrier of the ID is Shiite or Sunni by reading his or her tribal name. I dont know who put this piece of information in the ID card but I know for sure that it had been in the ID card for more than 50 years. Also I know that our great government (Allah bless them and send them to heavens so soon) didnt even think about removing this piece of information from the ID although they always repeat that they are working hard in their reconciliation efforts and I think removing this useless and harmful peice of information would save the lives of thousands.
          Thanks Allah I was from the right tribe this time. I'm sure if the gunman was Sunni , my body would be found among the anonymous bodies that police find in Baghdad in spite of the very great secuirty plan that the great Iraqi and US military leaders implement."

Then there's, Forbidden Oasis,

"Every time I cross over from Rusafa (Baghdad, east of the Tigris) to  Karkh (Baghdad, west of the Tigris), my eyes are attracted to a very long line of trucks carrying bricks and other building materials, waiting for their turn to unload in a location that is known only for its magical quality to the greater majority of Iraqis, a locatoin inside that fairyland, the Green Zone"

"Our buildings are in ruins, our electricity nonexsistent, our sewage system flowing backwards, our drinking water would poison any but us - we have developed an immunity.... yet all the bricks, the cement sacks, the iron beams are headed down one direction, on the "Presidential Route" into the Green Zone."

And it goes on like this, tales of loss, misery, deprivation and fear. These are the stories that America and the world aren't hearing out of Iraq. This is the "good progress" that George W. Bush keeps pretending to make, just as hard as he can. Please, dear chickenhawks, go forth and read the words of courageous Iraqis, trying to live in the charnel house your fantasies of surges and liberation have wrought.

Left brain, meet right brain.

I'm not sure what I'd do for entertainment without the excitable pre-schoolers over at The Politic to liven up my day, as does one Martin Street as he defends the most vulnerable and defenseless among us -- the oil companies:

Demagoguing gas prices is one of the easiest rackets in politics. For many people high pump prices indicate that some sort of duplicity is going unpunished, because they are willfully ignorant of basic economic ideas like the profit motive. The idea that big evil oil companies should be “allowed” to create maximum value for shareholders is simply wrong because it goes against what they superficially perceive as being the public good. As if corporations (except for their own employers, of course) were charities, and in the case of big oil, charities run amok that need to have their status reviewed.

Yes, those perky right-wingers who are adamant that businesses are obligated only to maximize the profits of their shareholders are, of course, the same folks who tell us that government functions should be privatized to just such companies since that would, in the long run (wait for it ... wait for it ... here it comes) save us money.

I await the day when the two hemispheres of Martin's brain are finally introduced to one another. I will try to have popcorn at hand.

There's deep thought ... and then there's Neo Conservative.

I could slowly and lovingly eviscerate the junior high school thinking here but ... why bother? Even Neo's right-wing commenters are trying to talk some sense into him. And not with a great deal of success, it would appear.

Why stupid people shouldn't be allowed to have blogs.

Because they have a tendency to post dumbassitude like this:

Bush Approval Rating: What about Congress

A lot is made of the George W. (Hitler) Bush dismal approval ratings, what with the constant reminders brought to us via the MSN [sic]. Yet, for some strange reason, the media seems to avoid reporting on the approval ratings given the United States Congress ... I wonder why?

So let's follow Paul's link to Bush's approval ratings to find that, yes, Commander Codpiece has an approval rating of about 34 per cent.

Now let's follow Paul's link to Congress' approval rating to find that, sho' nuff, the overall approval of Congress is even lower at 32 per cent.

But wait! What's this? If you examine that second link closely, at the top, you find some additional links labelled Congress: Republicans and Congress: Democrats where if -- unlike Paul -- you're sufficiently curious, you'll learn that Congressional Democrats have a current "Excellent/Pretty Good" rating of 35 per cent, while Republicans weigh in at a noticeably poorer 22 per cent. My, my, my ... the things you learn if you take the time to look a little closer.

And as for Paul's contention that "the media seems to avoid reporting on the approval ratings given the United States Congress," well, someone should really introduce Paul to Google. Then he might not sound quite so retarded.

Well, OK, he might not sound quite so retarded about that particular topic. I doubt we could do much for the rest of his public image.

. Shorter Paul: "If you ignore the growing mountain of corpses, things are actually going quite well. Front Page Magazine says so."

P.S. Go ahead, Dave ... take him apart. You know you want to.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Of Constitutions and Crisis

Something has been nagging at the back of my mind while the catalogue of Conservative crookedness just keeps getting thicker. It gets difficult to keep track of all the fibs and manipulations. I knew I had posted something about a time limit on Canada's New Disgovernment but I couldn't quite recall. So I took a trip into the archives.

Ah yes, that was it. Posted on February 9th, "dave at galloping beaver points at this cp globe (now behind the pay wall) diagnosis that gives our ailing new government only 60 days to adapt or be broken. the house will vote on wednesday, on a liberal bill that requires the new government to lay out their new plans for meeting new canada's kyoto accord commitments. this could be the iceberg that sinks the hmcs neocanadian. get one of your wetsuits laundered stockboy, there'll be some deckchairs to rearrange."

The upshot then, was that the Cons had two months to lay out a plan to meet the Kyoto goals or be in breach of the law. They figured they could ignore the law of the land and so far as I can tell, have done just that. They've given us the Clean Air Act which does not approach meeting our Kyoto goals and let's the big polluters continue with business as usual. They've given some poorly devised rebates on certain autos. But still no concrete strategy for meeting our obligations. The sixty days are long gone by.

Sure, they've been busy fibbing about Afghan detainees and human rights violations between bouts of obstructing Parliament. But these are the tough on crime guys, right? Well the law is the law and you conduct a minority government with the laws you have, not the laws you might like to have. Time is up, fuckers.

"60 days. what then? well, that's when things get interesting. if harper and his minority government refuse to abide by the law, they can either call an election or be sued on constitutional grounds. should they fail to comply with a court order, then we enter uncharted territory in canadian politics. a coup d'etat, for all intents and purposes and a constitutional crisis. i hope it doesn't come to that. i think it is time for mr. harper to answer to the people. canadians don't much care for autocrats and these tank grown thinkers don't seem to get it. so let's help them get it."

Seems to me that it's time to remind some of the members of Her Majesty's loyal opposition to check their calendars. I've had enough of the willful bluster of Harper and Day and Flaherty and Baird and Oda and O'Connor and the rest of the knobs fouling the house with their obstructions and lies. I think it is time to put on our voting shoes. What say you?

Canada's conservatives -- learning well from their Republican overlords.

The Bush administration: pioneers in time management and crowd control:

Panel Chairman Leaves Hearing
Sensenbrenner Ends Patriot Act Meeting as Democrats Plug On
Saturday, June 11, 2005

After repeated criticism of the Bush administration, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday gaveled a hearing to a close and walked out while Democrats continued to testify -- but with their microphones shut off.

And if you've found something that works, well, might as well milk that baby (emphasis added):

Don Martin: Tories have book on political wrangling
Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ottawa • A secret guidebook that details how to unleash chaos while chairing parliamentary committees has been given to select Tory MPs.

Running some 200 pages including background material, the document - given only to Conservative chairmen - tells them how to favour government agendas, select party-friendly witnesses, coach favourable testimony, set in motion debate-obstructing delays and, if necessary, storm out of meetings to grind parliamentary business to a halt.

In totally unrelated news, the Conservative Party of Canada is getting really, really, really tired of being compared to the GOP. That's just not fair so knock it off, OK?

OK, did not think that one through.

Neo-Conservative gives us a short course in the dangers of religious accommodation:

Some animals are more equal...

Than others...

-- EDMONTON -- A Hutterite community in Alberta that believes willfully being photographed is a sin has won the legal right to have a provincial driver's licence without a picture.

Madam Justice Carole Conrad wrote in yesterday's 37-page decision that driving is important to the Hutterites' communal way of life, and the lack of photo-free licences violated their Charter rights.

Where would we be without the sacred Charter of Rights... I mean, besides having one system of law that applied equally to each and every one of us?

A perfectly valid concern since, if you bend on driver's licenses', the next thing you know, those Hutterite bastards will be getting all uppity and refusing to, you know, dispense contraceptives at pharmacies and ridiculous stuff like that, yammering on about how it violates something or other.

Pains in the ass, those folks.