Friday, November 30, 2007

Kate, you ignorant slut.

You know, it seems like just yesterday when Crazy-Assed Racist Redneck™ Kate McMillan was getting all wet over the idea of Iraq slowly but surely taking control of its own provinces little by little (and, no, I'm not linking anymore, since Kate is too much of a gutless hack to allow redirects from this site so you'll just have to trust that I don't make shit up but, hey, mistakes happen):

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

Michael Yon strikes a familiar theme;

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. 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. Some of the biggest battles in Iraq today are being fought not with bombs and bullets, but with cameras and keyboards. For whatever reasons—and there are many—today, when Western media is most needed here, it’s nearly gone.

So, how is all that going, Kate? Are we on schedule? What is the schedule, anyway? Ah, here we go:

President's Address to the Nation
(January 2007)

... To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November.

Whoopsie. I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened, but I'll bet you won't be hearing anything about that from Kate. After all, she's got thermometers to take pictures of. It's a tough job, but some worthless, neo-con hack has to do it.

Awwww ... Damian's so cute when he's trying to be clever.

Damian Penny goes all Full Metal Hypothetical on us:

1. If Stephen Harper and the Conservatives romp to victory in the next election, earning well over 50% of the vote, will you agree that they're entitled to do pretty much anything they want because they were fairly elected?

Sure, Damian, why not? As long as you agree that they can't use that majority to violate the basic civil rights of Canadians, in the sense of, oh, reneging on gay marriage, or passing laws that protect the rights of civil servants to discriminate on the basis of religion or sexuality, and so on and so on.

More generally, Damian, would such a majority mean that you and the rest of your Blogging Tory comrades would fall lockstep behind every single thing Harper and his Harperettes chose to do? Or do you think there would still be room for dissension in Steve's world?

Just curious.

I love the smell of fact-checking in the morning ...

... it smells like journalism.

Let the games begin: Craig Chandler edition.

Oh, this should be good:

EDMONTON - Premier Ed Stelmach hasn't committed to signing the nomination papers of outspoken Conservative candidate Craig Chandler and won't do so until he sits down with the Calgary Tory hopeful and ensures he's a "committed team player."

Chandler has raised eyebrows over the past few years for his strong, right-wing political bent, including suggesting in August that new Albertans "must adapt to our rules and our (conservative) voting patterns or leave."

Stelmach said at the time those sorts of comments wouldn't be tolerated.

Comments? What comments? Oh ... those comments:

Just because I probably won't have the opportunity to take shots at the nominated PC candidate in my home riding past Saturday, I thought I'd toss out a few gems from the best of Craig Chandler courtesy of today's Globe & Mail:

Earlier this year, a settlement arranged by the Canadian Human Rights Commission forced [Chandler] to publish an apology for comments made on a radio program that he co-hosts - among them, reportedly, that "God sees murder as equal to homosexuality." As part of the settlement, he agreed to "cease and desist" from posting information on the Internet claiming that "homosexuals are conspiring against society" and that they are "sick, diseased or mentally ill."

His homophobia appears to know few bounds. On the website of Concerned Christians, he approvingly pointed to a letter by Calgary pastor Stephen Boisson charging that "[w]here homosexuality flourishes, all manner of wickedness abounds." When Belinda Stronach ran for the Conservative leadership, he suggested the presence of gay activists on her campaign team meant "a takeover from the militant homosexual movement" was at hand.

Oh, man ... it really is true what they say: You can take the boy out of the white sheet, but ... well, you know how that ends, I'm sure. Stay tuned -- we're not done here.

AFTERTHOUGHT ONE: It should be entertaining to see how gingerly the Blogging Tories step around this little IED. Here's Civitatensis, parsing those words about as carefully as words can be parsed:

I am a conservative of the social kind, for example, and I find myself in agreement with Chandler on a significant deal of issues. But I am yet to agree with the way in which he sets out to do or say things. The difference is not ideological but prudential. The leader of the party and the executive (not to mention the press) need to weigh that aspect of things more than they need to scrutinise his beliefs.

Then he tiptoed delicately away. Alberta Tory was also all about the non-commitment:

Much like my friend Mr. Denis, I will take the high road and congratulate Mr. Chandler on his victory. Speculation of what his candidacy will mean for our party is something that I will stay away from for the time being.

Good job, guys -- way to take a stand on principle. This really is going to be too much fun for words, isn't it?

One day in Bangkok ...

Because everyone needs a little more surreal in their life.

Copyfight! Protect Canada From Abusive New Legislation.

Sigh. Just exactly when will governments stop selling out our rights to the corporate sector. I have been among the voices cautioning against the incursions of large media into the copyright arena at the expense of end users. With the ever tightening consolidation of media, entertainment and information companies, the public interest has been lost, hell, abandoned. The new year is going to be a busy time for intellectual property rights advocates as we will be going to battle against the combined weight of the half dozen corporations that have monopolized media distribution and their elected accomplices.

At risk are your rights to fair use, parody and reasonable copying of products you buy from one format to another. At risk are schools and libraries and their ability to share and disseminate knowledge. At risk are Canadian innovators and home grown companies and creators. New copyright legislation is in the pipe and word is that the Conservatives are intent on fast tracking it with a minimum of public input or debate. I will have much more to say on this issue in the near future. In the mean time please take a look at this from Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow, a Canadian science fiction writer and champion of your rights. And while you're at it, you should partake of the expertise of Michael Geist, an Ottawa law professor who has been stalwart in covering these issues and fighting for your benefit.

The online grass roots, in concert with Canadian artists and Canadian labels like Nettwerk have been instrumental in protecting the interests of consumers as well as educators, libraries and other stakeholders in the intellectual property area. Together, we have kept a light on the dark dealings of government serving their corporate masters. We kept the heat on Liberal Sarmita Bulte and helped to see her defeated despite the piles of cash flowing into her campaign from international entertainment and media cartels. We kept the heat on Conservative Bev Oda and exposed her bellying up to the same bar and filling her coffers with money from the lobbyists she was supposed to be regulating. The fight is not over and will be ongoing for some time.

Right now, you have a chance to raise your voice. The government, regardless of party, is supposed to protect our interests. We are the voters, we are Canada and Liberal, Conservative or otherwise, elected officials have been given our national trust and we can not allow them to abuse it. Please pay a visit to CBC's Search Engine and remind Jim Prentice who he actually works for.

Your daily stupid: Denyse O'Leary edition.

Shorter Denyse O'Leary: "Someone somewhere wrote an article about something I don't understand; therefore, let's make fun of materialism."

Support the troops! In Kitchener! With beer!

This will be your final reminder of regular commenter Matthew Bin's book thingy this Sunday at Caffe Gallery Bolero from 2-4 pm, at which you can chat with someone who, unlike the regular stable of pissing and moaning Blogging Tories, actually knows something about, you know, stuff. After which a select group of us will retire to some local watering hole, just as soon as Matt is informed where that will be.

And for people with different tastes, this is apparently a co-launch with one Marianne Paul, so there will be something for everyone. Guns! Poetry! Alcohol! Does life get any better than that?

Answer: No.

P.S. Bring money.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dishonest or delusional? You make the call.

In a fit of incredibly poor judgment, Blogging Tory Celestial Junk's "Junker" shows up at Dave's place to take issue, and the downright hilarity begins:

That’s all fine and dandy that you found a single convenient target to prop up your case, but I really must reject your notion that the left side of the blogosphere is the only one pointing out said injustices towards the troops. I just can’t accept that.

In the first place, Junker, we did not just find "a single convenient target" -- what we found was a spectacularly ignorant Canadian wanker who, against all odds, was unaware that U.S. war veterans were being treated like crap going back years at this point. We in the Progress-o-sphere have become depressingly used to Canadian conservatives being just flat-out ignorant about stuff, but the thought that someone who is part of a flag-waving cabal that is always pissing and moaning about how we should "support the troops" could be that clueless about military-related matters was what inspired this.

And as for whether or not you can "accept" that, let me be the first to assure you that none of us over here really give a fuck one way or the other whether you can accept it. Luckily, reality is on our side, and you're welcome to what's left. But let's not stop now -- let's let Junker bury himself good and proper, as he steels himself to confront our logic and rhetorically attacks head-on with:

I’m not going so far as to compile a list of examples.

Well, that didn't last long, did it? Game, set, match, thanks for playing, Junker. Next time, bring your "A" game. But we're not done here -- not even fucking close. Here's Junker, laying down the bullshit and hoping no one checks up on him:

But I rest easy with my case, knowing that my blogging partner and I have been all over these issues for as long as we have been blogging.

Have you, Junker? Well, that should be easy enough to check, then.

Let's refresh everyone's memory regarding, say, the fiasco involving the appalling treatment of returning U.S. vets at Walter Reed hospital, shall we? Something I personally blogged about here. And here. And here. Now let's see how that stacks up against what's been happening at that pisshole of a blog of yours, Junker, where, using the handy-dandy search feature and feeding in "Walter Reed", we find a grand total of two posts: this one (in which your father pathetically can't even spell Jon Voight's name correctly), and this one, in which your increasingly pathetic father dismisses the horrors of Walter Reed with what appears to be a lame attempt at humour:

Nothing a Little Bit of Capitalism Wouldn't Fix

Annie looks at the problems at Walter Reed ... strangely, they're the same problems we face almost everywhere that over regulated, over unionized, and over protected government employees are in charge:

and links to Ann Coulter for fuck's sake! This is your idea of "supporting the troops" outrage? Parroting Coulter when she tries to blame it all on the Democrats? Jackass.

Yes, Junker ... apparently, you and your dad have been all over that story like Dick Evans on NAMBLA's home page. What self-delusional bullshit. But Junker just doesn't know when to let it go, as he takes an axe handle to what little is left of his credibility:

A side note on Scotians comment. It pains me to see such ignorance on certain matters. The US military is not in tatters. There no longer exists a recruiting crisis in the US.

I have an idea -- let's have some not-stupid people fill us in. Say here:

Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq

Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis.

And as for recruiting going just peachy keen, Junker, well, let me introduce you to reality:

U.S. Army expands by lowering the bar on recruits

WASHINGTON: Two weeks ago, the Pentagon announced the "good news" that the army had met its recruiting goal for October, the first month in a five-year plan to add 65,000 new soldiers to the ranks by 2012.

But Pentagon statistics show the army met that goal by accepting a higher percentage of enlistees with criminal records, drug or alcohol problems, or health conditions that would have ordinarily disqualified them from service.

In each fiscal year since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, statistics show, the army has accepted a growing percentage of recruits who do not meet its own minimum fitness standards. The October statistics show that at least 1 of every 5 recruits required a waiver to join the service, leading military analysts to conclude that the army is lowering standards more than it has in decades.

So, Junker, are we done here? Seriously, are we done? After the public humiliation above, do you have the sense God gave a turnip to slink off quietly and lick your wounds and maybe think about how worthless are your opinions on this topic? Or are you going to be as abysmally pathetic as your father and just keep repeating the same dishonest tripe over and over, hoping someone even stupider than you eventually believes it? Because, really, it makes no difference to me.

You just keep lying to yourself, Junker, if it makes you feel better. But feel free to drop by my place or Dave's when you want to find out what's really happening out there. And we'll keep blogging about how to really support the troops. And you can keep blogging about the super-duper, wicked coolness of your yellow ribbons and fridge magnets and red t-shirts.

Does that sound fair, Junker? Does that work for you?

BY THE WAY, JUNKER, your father is as screamingly ignorant about things climatological as you are about things military. I didn't even think that was possible, but I'm always willing to be surprised.

You bring the fair, I'll bring the balanced.

Blogging Tory Civitatensis would like a moment or two of respectful silence:

Henry John Hyde, the man who led the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives in its impeachement of President Bill Clinton, has passed away. Hyde was a tireless opponent of abortion and a formidable orator. One of my favourite lines of his was articulated in a speech to the House during the Clinton impeachment debates. In reference to the president braking the law, he said: “Is he one of us, or is a Sovereign?”

Fuck it ... moment's over.

Yeah ...

... that's gonna leave a mark.

Missing the point in a big way.

Shorter "Celestial Junk" Paul: "Well, sure, we're all gullible scientific illiterates who will happily promote the stupidest imaginable dreck put in front of us, but pointing that out is really, really mean."

, make sure you appreciate the crushing irony here. After all, it was only a week ago that Paul was all about the credibility and credentials. Today, however, he's publicly defending a man who didn't have the sense to even briefly check into the background of what turned out to be a hilarious hoax.

That's some cognitive dissonance you have going there, Paul. When it finally causes your head to explode, one can only hope no innocent children are injured in the blast.

Why, yes, what a relevant observation.

Heh. Indeed:

A lot of the same people who back Harper’s Government not stepping up to the plate regarding death row prisoner (Canadian) Ronald Allen Smith are up in arms about a (British) teacher in the Sudan being punished for breaking [Sudanese] law - come on folks, ya can’t have it both ways.

Um ... yes, they can. They live to have it both ways. Or hadn't you noticed?

Dear Texas:

You are so fucked.

P.S. Holy crap. Someone should lose their job over this. And I don't mean the one that already did.

Low-hanging fruit: Dr. Roy edition.

In a recent post, Canada's Dumbest Blogger™ is all over a defense of keeping crosses on Utah public land (emphasis added):

The Utah Highway Patrol Association defends the crosses, which have the Highway Patrol logo on them and have been erected on government land. It says they are secular symbols that both honor the troopers and remind speeding drivers to slow down.

In unrelated news, let's check in on the good doctor when, curiously, that same cross was a sacred, religious icon that should be protected from vile desecration.

Yes, it really is too easy, isn't it?

Dear readers: We need to talk.

OK, listen up ... we desperately need to have a chat, since it's clear that some of you still need some assistance with this whole "The Blogging Tories are a bunch of retards" theme we have going on here at CC HQ.

See, when I send you over to read stuff like, oh, this, it's not because I want you to engage Paul in intellectual dialogue, or attempt to enlighten him in the ways of basic science or even fundamental climatology. No, the reason I refer to you to stuff like that is for the simple pleasure of ridiculing someone who is way stupider and more dishonest than you are. Do you see the difference?

Quite simply, you are not going to educate Paul. He is too much of a moron, which is easy to see if you read that article and the accompanying comments section, after which you can see the way Paul's brain functions, as in:

  • Paul will immediately and uncritically swallow whole the most ridiculous piece of pseudo-scientific tripe put in front of him, embracing it whole-heartedly and presenting it as incontrovertible proof of "The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time ", and yet

  • Paul will simultaneously demand nothing but the best in terms of scientific rebuttal and opposing evidence, to the point where he sets an impossibly high standard for any and all counter-claims and your evidence is never quite good enough.

See how that works? I mean, if I was being cruel, I could have pointed out that the very paper he is creaming himself over actually references one E.-G. Beck, who was stripped naked and paddled soundly for his ignorance here, thereby driving just one more nail into his hero Zbigniew Jaworowski's coffin. And now that I've pointed that out to you, you might be tempted to rush over to Paul's place and try to set him straight.

Please don't.

As I've already explained, that's not why we're here. You're not going to teach these people anything because they are simply unteachable. There's an old saying: Trying to educate a creationist is like trying to teach a pig to sing -- it's a waste of time, and it annoys the pig. The same applies to the vast majority of Blogging Tories, and the sooner you come to grips with that, the better off we'll be.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Late night retro.

The last marionette-based series by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, with one of the all-time wicked coolest theme "songs" in the history of TV.


Thanks, Raph, but we have a handle on the situation.

I almost feel guilty about this since Raphael Alexander is one of the few Blogging Tories that is clinically sane and worth reading on occasion, but I have to take serious exception with his bitching and moaning here:

Worth Repeating: U.S. Cheating War Veterans

One could write it off if it were one or two stories in the media, perhaps even from news sources considered to have a political bias. But more and more lately we are hearing about Iraq war veterans being cheated out of bonuses, compensation, and basic benefits in all forms of the American media. Not too many bloggers have picked up on this story, but it's an important one to tell The idea that the U.S. is cheating war veterans first caught my attention in October ..."

You don't say, Raph. "Not too many bloggers have picked up on this story," but the fact that U.S. vets are getting reamed up the ass by the Bush administration finally caught your attention last month, did it? Man, we are so lucky to have you on the case, aren't we? But Raphael isn't done suspecting something is rotten in Denmark:

Army officials and government bureaucrats insist that incidents like this are not the norm. But time after time, we read differently. It's getting difficult not to acknowledge something is amiss.

Yes, you just can't sneak anything past junior cub reporter Raphael Alexander, can you? But seriously, Raph, you'll have to trust me when I say that we in the Progress-o-sphere have already noticed this, as evidenced by our 58 billion, zillion, skajillion posts on that very topic going back way earlier than last month. So while we appreciate your sudden enlightenment and concern and participation regarding the systematic fucking over of U.S. troops by the Republican chickenhawk administration down south, we really do have the situation under control on this side of the aisle. But thanks for offering to help. We appreciate it. Really.

AFTERSNARK: At one point in that article, Raph is apparently appalled by, get this, "absolutely shocking and tragic stories of Iraq veterans committing suicide after serving their country honourably." No way, dude! Get outta town! Who knew?

Seriously, Raph, when I say we have things under control over here, I mean it. But thanks for showing up. Better late than never. Now why don't you go back to dissing global warming or whatever it is you folks do over there in the Rightwing-o-sphere while we progressives are breaking the real news.

There's a good boy.

BONUS TRACK: Over at TGB, Dave yanks down Raphael's panties and gives him the public spanking he deserves. And by "spanking," I don't mean in a good way.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wait for the stupid ... you know it's coming ...

And since right-wing hack Matt Drudge linked to this column in the Telegraph:

... This carefully ignores the latest US satellite figures showing temperatures having fallen since 1998, declining in 2007 to a 1983 level ...

it should be safe to conclude that it is, in fact, utter bullshit. Hey, I know ... let's get a chart and see what those temperatures have been doing lately:

Now, if I wanted to make the case that temperatures have been declining, what year might I carefully select as my starting point for comparison ... think, think, think ... tough decision ... so many possibilities ...

Do I even need to ask how quickly this talking point is going to show up in the Canadian Dumbass-o-sphere?

(The above shamelessly purloined from Tim Lambert.)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a weiner.

I was going to wait until the end of the year to give out an award for the downright stupidest thing ever uttered in the blogosphere but, seriously, there's no way anyone is going to outdo the following comment.

Responding to a piece of Denyse O'Leary's which describes how Harvard is a bit miffed that the hacks at the Discovery Institute took one of Harvard's videos, stripped it of its narration and credits and gave it a new voiceover, which apparently prompted Harvard to threaten legal action for copyright infringement, we have commenter "leo_s":

When the Darwinists have to stoop to enforcing the law, they must know their silly theory is about to fall.

Because nothing says earth-shaking, scientific paradigm shift like protecting what's yours.

Go on, top that. I dare you.

A day in the life ...

And, no, I'm not interested in your opinion. Why do you ask?

Your Blogging Tory stupidity two-step.

Phase 1: One or more Blogging Tories go into pure sexual ecstasy over the latest right-wing talking point.

Phase 2: That talking point is shown to be utter crap.

Tune in tomorrow when we do it all over again.

Your literary enlightenment for the week.

One of my all-time favourite pieces of literature, for reasons that should be painfully obvious.

I feel a stupid in the force ...

And in local news, a religious group is taking a break from demanding "equal time" and encouraging all of us to "teach the controversy" and promoting the idea that it's critically important to hear "both sides" to clarify that that doesn't apply to other people:

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board will be pulling from its school shelves a teacher resource book that includes sections about homophobia.

The book, Open Minds to Equality, will still be available as an optional resource to teachers but only at the Catholic Education Centre teacher resource library in downtown Kitchener.

The socially conservative lobby group Defend Traditional Marriage and Family filed a complaint about the book in the spring, after a teacher whose identity has never been disclosed brought it to the group's attention.

Because if there's one thing we're not going to tolerate, it's books that promote tolerance. And in terms of keeping that book out of the hands of youngsters and out of the news, how's that working out? About as well as can be expected:

The complaint by Defend Marriage has drawn considerable attention to Open Minds to Equality. Since the group raised its concerns, the book has been signed out 72 times. The board has 123 copies -- one in each school and one in the resource centre.

But give them credit -- they're only trying to protect their kids and ... and ... sorry, how's that again?

Catholic board spokesperson John Shewchuk said he checked voter lists and found only six of the executive members are registered as Catholic school supporters and none of the 11 has children in the system.

"It seems fairly obvious this group isn't as concerned about Catholic schools and Catholic education as they would have local Catholics believe," Shewchuk wrote in an e-mail.

So ... they're not trying to protect their kids, they're trying to protect your kids. Because, clearly, you suck at that.

If I were you, I wouldn't put up with that kind of disrespect. But that's just me.

Stupidity should be punishable.

And, lo and behold, sometimes it is.

Whoring the Olympics

In an effort to exploit the stuffed toy market, Vancouver's Olympic committee unveiled not one, not two, but three official mascots for the 2010 corporate games. For the next two years, these cloying creatures will represent the relentless goal of separating parents from their money. We can be certain that many thousands of dollars were pissed away in the creation of these ridiculous anime influenced turds. Focus groups were focused, power lunches were pigged down and this is what they arrived at,

"They include:

• Miga -- a snowboarding sea-bear inspired by the First Nations' legends of the Pacific Northwest. Miga, described as mischievous and outgoing, is part sea-bear and part orca whale.
• Quatchi -- a shy and gentle Sasquatch with a long brown beard and blue earmuffs meant to conjure the mystery and wonder associated with Canada's wilderness.
• Sumi -- an animal guardian spirit, who flies with the wings of the thunderbird, is described as "a natural born leader with a passion for protecting the environment."
• Mukmuk -- a Vancouver Island marmot sidekick considered an honorary member of the mascot team."

Yup, they even have an honorary member of the mascot team. Just in case, I don't know, one of these fuckers gets busted in a plush-porn ring going down on a stuffed Mickey. And thanks be to Jeeziz that one of these little puke inciting, saccharine shills has a "passion for protecting the environment" because their corporate masters sure as fuck don't. But hey, it's all about the kids, right?

"VANOC head John Furlong told CTV News British Columbia that he watched the ceremony with a little girl who was in awe of the production.

"She just all of a sudden had this beaming smile across her face and it just made my day sitting there watching all that happen , watching how connected she felt with these characters," he said."

Aw. Isn't that special! You can just hear the sound of the cash register, chiming a happy song in the brisk, winter air. That beaming smile on the little girl giving ol' Mr. Furlong some persistent money wood. Get ready to be besieged by an endless assault by these three fuzzy fucks. They'll be all over your teevee, they'll be selling you official super-sized fries and pops and snacks and candies and anything else they can think of to rip another penny out of your pocket. Charming.

"They will also serve to "bring humour and light-hearted fun to the Games experience and help provide a warm welcome to athletes and visitors from around the world," the Vancouver Olympic Games website said ahead of the announcement."

Gosh, humour and a warm welcome, those will be important. Especially for those international visitors, just you folks forget all about the nice men with their TASERtm brand not-always-lethal greeting guns. Might want to bone up on a little English, you fucking foreigners. Handy phrases like, "Help. I'm lost. Don't kill me please." In fact, I think the whores at VANOC missed the boat with their mascots. To really capture the spirit of the games, let me suggest some alternate mascots. There's Pokery the adorable blood doping syringe, Zappy the cuddly mountie with his sparking TASERtm toy for tots and Shilli the lawyer, helping the world by suing anyone trying to participate in the Olympic bonanza without paying protection money to the racket. That Shilli! Raping the spirit of the Olympic ideal for money, what a scamp. Oh and let's not forget our precious alternate mascot, Homey the disappeared homeless and impoverished poppet. Wouldn't want those dirty poor folk spoiling the scenery, it's bad for the money.

"Mascots can bring in millions of dollars in merchandising, leave a legacy of civic pride and provide a visual identity for the Games. VANOC hopes the mascots will bring in $600 million in sales."

Well it is all about civic pride, ain't it? More than half a billion civic prides, filling the proud wallets of a few fat assed bastards. Well here's what will make me proud, boycotting anything and everything to do with these games. You retailers want to buy in and stick the rings on your product, I'll shop with your competition. Slap one of these mascots on your drink cup, I'll eat elsewhere.

And just for fun, as the games approach, I'll be making extensive use of all of the brand protected terms that the VANOC pigs have stolen from the language. Look for my line of "See You in Vancouver" lube, then there's the "See You in Whistler" baked beans and who could forget my famous "Let the Dreams Begin" brand of opiate suppositories. Ah, Vancouver Olympic Committee, stick the games up your ass and dream.

When a man's reach thoroughly exceeds his grasp.

There's nothing more depressing than seeing someone who is hideously, gloriously, spectacularly out of his depth, intellectually speaking. Like this yahoo:


I have a strong desire to help people understand the way culture determines our decisions and faith for us. We all like to think that we make our own decisions and direct our own lives, but if our culture puts blinders on us, we simply decide whatever the culture dictates. We think we are free when we are not, which is the least free of all. My particular issue is how our culture can determine what we believe and don’t believe, regardless of the facts. The most blatant example of this, but by no means the only one, is mass acceptance of the theory of evolution. Certainly one can believe in evolution from study, but most people accept it without facts or reasoning. Not only have they not seriously considered contrary evidence, most unwittingly self-censor. In this blog I will address this and other issues from a sociological, as well as other, scientific points of view. I hope you find the discussion fascinating and enlightening, and I look forward to debate that sharpens us all.

Well, that's certainly ambitious, isn't it? Let's see how well that's working out, shall we?

Cascading problem in science

The Oct 9, 2007 issue of the New York Times discussed in its Science section a sociological phenomenon called "cascading." Author John Tierney here introduces me to a new term, but it beautifully describes an experience I had as a Boy Scout. Though that was so many years ago, it still burns in my memory that I was so taken in. It was over a merit badge, and it has to do with estimating distances. We were taught a technique for estimating, and then asked to apply the technique for the width of a stream we could not cross. The scout master gave the same assignment to about five of us boys at one time and then went down the row asking our answers. I was the last boy, and as I heard each boy ahead of me agree with the first, I concluded that my answer, far different from theirs, must be wrong. By the time the pointed finger of scout master got to me, I agreed with the answer of all the others. Then he scratched his head with that finger and said, "That’s amazing: Every one of you got it wrong!" He announced the right answer, and it was very close to the one I had swallowed. Too late to get that badge now!

All right, then, so we've established that AFB (I'll call the author "AFB" since he chooses to remain anonymous, which is cool, and probably a good idea given what's coming) was a total Milquetoast as a Boy Scout. And where are we going with this? Like you had to ask:

The specific examples given in the article dealt with health, but if the phenomenon is true in one area of science, we should not close our eyes to its reach in all aspects of science. (Life in general, for that matter, but the impact would be so much more consequential in science.) In the early pages of Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells talks of how his training as an embryologist brought him to the realization that the evolutionary parallel argued for embryonic development was flawed, but he assumed that the evidence in all other fields must be robust. After all: everyone knew it was true. I think the last paragraph of Mr. Tierney’s article could well be applied here:

“’This is a matter,’ he continued, “of such enormous social, economic and medical [make that scientific] importance that it must be evaluated with our eyes completely open. Thus I would hate to see this issue settled by anything that smacks of a Gallup poll.’ Or a cascade.”

Quite right, since succumbing to peer pressure from four fellow Scouts is exactly equivalent to decades worth of research and overwhelming evidence that supports biological evolution. Where to begin pointing out the flaws?

Well, there's the fact that, while AFB superficially went along with his buddies, he really believed that the answer was different, and if you want to draw an analogy, that suggests that some of the worldwide evolutionary cabal genuinely does not believe in evolution -- they're just putting on a show. One wonders how you'd establish that, but let us not tarry here -- we have bigger fish to fillet.

AFB also seems to think it's appropriate to generalize from five Scouts standing next to each other to hundreds of thousands of research scientists working independently worldwide over a span of more than a century. Sure, and what's not to like about that comparison? But here's the best part.

If AFB wanted to prove that his compatriots were wrong, he could simply show his work. He could start from scratch and show his calculations, to finally demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt the right answer, at which point his buds would have to accept his logic. And, failing all that, he could finally just arrange for a boat to cross the river and measure the damned distance with a chunk of rope or something.

In short, if AFB thinks he knows better regarding the distance across the river, it should be fairly trivial for him to make his case. Which, sadly, today's anti-evolutionists are wholly incapable of doing, which means AFB's analogy is, quite frankly, crap.

So, in closing, AFB might want to reconsider that ambition of his to provide debate that "sharpens us all." Someone here definitely needs his saw sharpened, and I'm reasonably sure it's not the rest of us.

It's those omitted details that make all the difference.

Blogging Tory Mathew Siscoe is determined to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Or some similarly tortured metaphor:

Out of curiosity . . .
. . . is Warren Kinsella mocking the former British PM about his religious beliefs?

Because, you know, that'd just be a low-blow, and not the sort of thing you'd expect out of Mr. Kinsella.

Oh . . . wait a minute . . . [paging Stockwell Day, Stockwell Day, to the main office please]

Really? Warren Kinsella made fun of Stockwell Day's religious beliefs? Let's go see:

(There was only one other thing we loved as much - and that was a stellar report on CBC Television, by Senator Paul Hunter, about Mr. Day's belief that dinosaurs and humans co-existed - which prompted me to remark on Canada AM, in a moment of weakness, that the Flintstones was not a documentary.)

Here's a thought, Mathew -- when people drag out Stockie's infamous quote regarding men and dinosaurs, they're not "mocking his religious beliefs," they're merely pointing out how he is an ignorant retard and scientific illiterate.

Please try to appreciate the difference.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some serious retro, because I'm busy as crap today.

All right ... how many of you remember this?

BONUS RETRO: And at no extra charge:

Dear wanks: Tell me about that "free market" thing again.

It's hilarious to hear dyed-in-the-wool conservatives whinge on and on about "the welfare state" and personal responsibility and accountability and the joy of unfettered competition when you have to put up with crap like this:

Stan O'Neal got the fifth-largest exit-pay package for a U.S. executive when he left Merrill Lynch & Co. with $161.5 million in securities and retirement benefits, according to research group Corporate Library.

And what exactly did Mr. O'Neal do to deserve that kind of reward? Oh ... right:

Merrill Lynch, the world's largest brokerage firm, ousted O'Neal as chief executive after reporting a $2.24 billion loss on Oct. 24, six times its forecast and the biggest quarterly loss in the company's 93-year history.

Gotcha. And, hey, what about Charles Prince?

Charles "Chuck" Prince, the deposed head of Citigroup, is in line to walk away from the Wall Street giant with a total pay, perks and shares payout worth just under $100 million, it has emerged.

The payout for Mr Prince, who stays on as a consultant until the end of the year, include a pro-rata cash "incentive award" currently estimated to be worth $12 million.

It also includes $10,716,469 in restricted share awards and $16,046,703 in stock options that will automatically vest at his departure.

And Mr. Prince's stellar accomplishments while at the helm? Behold:

Merrill wrote down $7.9 billion but said last night that its exposure had reached $27.2 billion.

But never forget -- raising the minimum wage would be very bad for the economy. Disastrously-bad ex-CEOs with multi-million dollar severance packages say so.

Denyse O'Leary: Lying for God.

If it's a day of the week that ends in 'y', then Canadian ID hack Denyse O'Leary is fibbing about something. Let's pop in for a visit:

Apparently, Bill Dembski is taking some heat over the occasional use of some animated footage captured from the Internet that turned out to belong to Harvard: ...

Some innocuous video "captured from the Internet" that "turned out to belong to Harvard," is that all it was, Denyse? Gosh, it all sounds so trivial and unintentional, doesn't it? Hey, I know -- let's check in with someone who won't lie about the critical details:

[The Discovery Institute] grabbed the video, retitled it, removed the biological explanations for the phenomena, dubbed in a really bad, unprofessional narration on top of it, and stripped off the credits.

Yeaaahhhh ... those are the picky details you don't quite get if you just read Denyse's interpretation. Which is, sadly for Denyse, starting to become an unfortunate habit.

When Denyse finally arrives at the Pearly Gates, I'm guessing St. Peter is going to have some words for her. And not the good kind, if you know what I'm saying.

BONUS TRACK: More non-Denyse flavoured reality.

BY THE WAY, just so you truly appreciate the dishonesty here, here's plagiarist William Dembski defending himself (all emphasis added):

Back in September of 2006 I announced at my blog UncommonDescent that a “breathtaking video” titled “The Inner Life of Cell” had just come out (see…/the-inner-life-of-a-cell). The video was so good that I wanted to use it in some of my public presentations, but when I tried to purchase a DVD of it (I sent several emails to relevant parties), I was informed it wasn’t ready (to my knowledge the video is still not available for sale in DVD or any other format — if it were, I would gladly purchase it and encourage others to do so). Moreover, at the time, the video did not have a voiceover explaining the biology of what was being shown.

Although the video was at the time and remains to this day widely available on the web (YouTube has many copies — go, for instance, here), most simply have some background music that do not explain the relevant biology. A few months after announcing the video at UncommonDescent, I found on the Internet a version of the video that did add a voiceover, giving the relevant biology, and was in a format that allowed me to incorporate it into my PowerPoint presentations. I used the video a handful of times, including at a talk in Oklahoma this September.

So, are we good here? Do we understand that Dembski is claiming that the original video had no narration or voiceover at the time, and that that situation apparently persisted for several months thereafter, which apparently gave him license to use another version with an unofficial (ID-oriented) voiceover? Do we all see that? Good.

So let's go back to that original post of Dembski's of September of 2006, where we find the following comment:

sagebrush gardener


12:44 am


Great animation but I wish it was ten times as long…

The video preview shown here is a three-minute condensed version. The full version has a voice over and is eight minutes long.

Why, yes, you are reading that correctly -- one of Dembski's own commenters is pointing out to him in September of 2006 that there is a full-length version of that video, and that it does indeed have a voiceover.

I believe the word you're looking for here is "busted." Or, in Dembski's case, "liar."

The rigourous precision of college football.

Um ... come again?

An additional 10 yards was tacked on for "gettin' all up in his grill," plus a game misconduct for "dissin' a homeboy something proper."

I'm sure I've seen this bad movie before.

Meet the candidates. And now, meet the Conservatives.

I'm sure that, with Kate's legendary fairness and objectivity, she'll be all over this recent outrage like Richard Evans on NAMBLA's home page.

Long-distance sympathy is always easier, isn't it?

Shorter Steve Janke: "Like many of my Blogging Tory colleagues, I prefer to reserve my compassion for the oppressed, persecuted and downtrodden overseas because, as long as they're several thousand miles away, I don't have to, you know, touch them with my hands or anything."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Yeah, about that "free market" thingie ...

Unfettered capitalism, let the market decide, only the strong survive, the joy of unbridled competition ... whoops, hold everything:

Save Tucker?

“Rumors have been flying recently that Tucker Carlson could soon be on the way out at MSNBC.” Tucker’s show is “in real danger of being canceled,” according to an NBC official, but the right won’t let him go down without a fight. TVNewswer reports that a few of Tucker’s die-hard fans have launched a petition drive to “save Tucker.” The group’s webpage states, “This decision by MSNBC will silence a conservative voice, part of a move by MSNBC to swing left and become ‘FOX for the Liberals,’ dropping any pretense of objectivity or balance.”

Or, conversely, he should have his sorry ass canned because he sucks and no one is watching him. What to do if you're a staunch, free-market conservative? Tough decision. Grapple, grapple ...

AFTERSNARK: It's not so much that Carlson's ratings suck, but that he really is a putrid, little hack. Either of those should be firing offenses.

Sunday, December 2: Guns and beer.

A reminder that regular commenter Matt Bin has got himself something going on this Sunday. And since that get-together ends at 4 pm, we might just have to collect a small group of like-minded bloggy folks and wander off to find some beer afterwards.

Dear Canada:

Welcome to 2016.

OK, Mark, now let's work with that ...

Over at Daimnation, Mark C. seems to be enjoying himself putting the boots to psychoanalysis:

Little science, much arts

The postmodern, post-colonial, Freud dude:

A new report by the American Psychoanalytic Association has found that while psychoanalysis — or what purports to be psychoanalysis — is alive and well in literature, film, history and just about every other subject in the humanities, psychology departments and textbooks treat it as “desiccated and dead,” a historical artifact instead of “an ongoing movement and a living, evolving process.”


Scholars in the liberal arts have tended to use Freud as a springboard to examine issues and ideas never dreamt of in his philosophy — like gender studies, post-colonial studies, French postmodernism, Queer theory and so on.

“American clinical psychoanalysis, and analysis as represented in academe, are at risk to become two ships that pass in the night,” the report said. As an example, the report points to a course on psychoanalysis and colonialism, two terms most clinically based analysts would never have imagined in a single sentence.

“I honestly couldn’t understand what they’re talking about,” said Prudence Gourguechon, the psychoanalytic association’s incoming president, referring to those kinds of courses...

Hey, here's a thought, Mark ... go back and replace every occurrence of "psychoanalysis" with "Christianity". You'll be amazed how well it still reads.

"Neo Conservative" and the Arnold Rimmer defense.

In one of the early episodes of the British comedy series "Red Dwarf," the dead but hologrammatical Arnold Rimmer asks Holly (the ship's computer) to read some of the crew's confidential files to him, finally asking to have his own read back to him, during which Holly narrates the captain's observation that Rimmer "constantly fails the engineering exam."

"Constantly fails the engineering exam??", explodes Rimmer in annoyance, "I'd hardly call eleven times 'constantly failing'. I mean, if someone ate roast beef eleven times in their life, you'd hardly say that that person 'constantly ate' roast beef, would you?"

You can see the logical absurdity here -- whether something happening eleven times should be considered unusual depends, of course, on the event, which leads us to Blogging Tory "Neo Conservative", and his head-shakingly bizarre dismissal of the number of Taser-related deaths in Canada over the years:

There have been 16 taser related deaths in Canada over the last four years.

That works out to 4 instances per year... which, my paranoid friends, is statistically insignificant.

Quite right, Arnold ... I mean, Neo. Are members of Canada's law enforcement community regularly murdering people with Tasers? Oh, pish -- if someone eats roast beef four times a year, you'd hardly say that they're regular consumers of roast beef, now, would you?

Neo Conservative -- the Arnold Rimmer of the Canadian blogosphere.

P.S. For those of you who don't appreciate Neo's utter and overwhelming Rimmerness, well, here's a clip from the series, during which the crew of the Dwarf answer a distress call from a crashed Earth ship, on which the resident android assures them there are three remaining female officers, and Rimmer pleads with Lister to build him up at the impending meeting, and call him "Ace" and "Big Man" and go on and on about how Rimmer's had just tons of girlfriends and is incredibly brave, in order to impress the chicks.


Yeah, well, that's, um ... different.

In Leftie-bashing news, isn't it appalling how all those unhinged, deranged, moonbat leftards just plain celebrate the bad news coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan, what with people getting blown up and troops getting killed? It's almost as if they enjoy the carnage, because it gives them a chance to revel in their terrorist-loving ideology, just to make a point. Bastards.

In unrelated developments, more people have been murdered in Toronto. Whoo hoo! Slap my hand, dammit! High five! Yeah!

And after Brian's breathing returned to normal, he lit a cigarette.

Fox News: Unfair and unbalanced.

Fred says so.

I honestly wish I had a zippy punchline for this but ... I got nuthin'.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wait ... that sounds eerily familiar.

Halls of Macadamia's "Neo Conservative" is not at all happy about this new "hands-off" style of bravery:

UPDATE: Celebrating voyeurism and apathy

"More than 1,000 people chanted 'Thank you, Paul,' as Paul Pritchard spoke to the rally yesterday, about how he came to record the last moments of Dziekanski's life."

You notice, of course, ol' Paul didn't actually step in and help this guy... he merely filmed his death throes.

And having bravely blogged on the subject, Neo steeled himself to continue his courageous struggle against global Islamojihadirastifarianism from the safety of his up-armoured comfy chair, a mere several thousand miles from the horror of actual combat.

Somewhere, Hugh Hewitt is beaming with pride.

, Neo responds for the eleventy-umpteenth time with that one comeback he knows. I do hope he never figures out a second one -- I'd have to take a minute to fabricate a brand-new, savagely witty rebuttal.

And when I say "a minute," I'm being generous.

Perhaps if you speak really, really slowly ...

Oh, dear ... Aaron is about to embarrass himself:

Selective Blindness

Are Canadian progressives aware that their latest darling, Australian Prime Minister-designate Kevin Rudd, supports the mission in Afghanistan? Or were they too busy pointing to his positions on Kyoto and Iraq to notice?

Let me explain this very carefully, Aaron. Even if Kevin Rudd is not the perfect progressive, he's still a noticeable improvement over that hideous Bush poodle John Howard. And we on the Left can live with that because we on the Left are the ones who are capable of dealing with, you know, nuance and subtleties and stuff like that, and we understand shades of grey, and we're willing to celebrate the defeat of someone who is utterly evil by someone who is only partially evil. Get it, Aaron? In short, we'll take our victories where we can get them and relish the moment. How hard is that to understand?

Uh oh ... along comes commenter Stephen Taylor:

and Rudd's position on Kyoto isn't all that different from Harper's.

Rudd agrees that any future climate change treaty must include emissions caps on developing nations as well.

Rudd also believe that marriage is "between a man and a woman".

But hey, relativism has always been practiced by the left and since Howard was labeled Bush-like, they'll take the Aussie who is Harper-like... although they'd never admit it because in relativistic terms, Harper is still "Bush-like" to them.

The mind boggles.

*Sigh*. Let me explain this very carefully, Stephen ...

Harper from Kampala, "Smoke 'em While You Got 'em"

In the wake of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's principled (his principles, not mine) stand to prevent action on climate change initiatives at the Kampala conference of Commonwealth states, the good readers of the Globe & Mail hold forth in some profusion. The discussion, in excess of 600 comments, runs the gamut from, 'I am ashamed of the PM's stance and his representation of Canada' to 'Hurray! The PM saved Canada's economy from the ravages of the eco-liberal fascists'.

On the one hand, there are the folks that either accept the reports of impending climate crises or are at least willing to hedge their bets and adapt rather than face the potential consequence. Then there are those who are unwilling to adapt for any reason at all and especially if someone else doesn't suffer equally for their inconvenience. Some of the arguments are utterly bizarre,

"John McMortimer-Boyles from An Undisclosed Underground Location Safe From Nuclear Attack, Canada writes: The problem with an agreement that has binding targets for some countries and no binding targets for others is that it doesn't solve a global problem.

Say we reduce our own emissions by 300,000,000 metric tonnes, at the same time India increases its emissions by 300,000,000 metric tonnes. Are we as a planet really any further ahead? Sure, the problem hasn't gotten any worse, but it hasn't gotten any better either.

The ideal solution would be one where we cut our emissions by 300,000,000 metric tonnes while India increased theirs by 0 metric tonnes, but we would still be further ahead if India's increased by only 100,000,000 metric tonnes.

The only deal that is a good deal is one that recognizes that a solution has to be global with a global reduction to emissions with all countries pulling their weight."

Now can anyone else spot the problem with this conservative-quality appraisal? Let's review the dear lad's math shall we...okay, should we agree to a reduction goal, we reduce our emissions by 300,000 tonnes. Check. India increases by the same amount. Check. Therefore we are right back where we started from, right? Well, only if you're using the Con guide to maths. Refusing to make an agreement to any reduction in the first place means that we don't get that initial advantage. Let's face it, if the government won't demand a reduction, no reduction will be made. So we WON'T voluntarily reduce 300,000 tonnes of emissions, India still increase by the same amount and voila, Harper's solution. Fuck it! We're making petrodollars.

What this embarrassing schmozzle equates to is the doughy PM-load standing aroundl with 53 other leaders, all emptying their bladders into the village well. Some smart-arsed, book larning type pushes the specs up her snoot and blinks a few times then says, "If we don't stop pissing in the well, well, soon we'll all be sipping pee." The rest of the leaders make like they might think about zipping up. Without a thought, chunky Steve turns, stream unchecked and piddles on the feet of the pesky, bookish beeyotch, proclaiming that unless everyone everywhere stops peeing in wells at the same time, then he sure ain't gonna stop pissing. Because of so there, commie. After all, it costs money to dig a latrine that's down stream from the well.

Now maybe I'm crazy but if this is an all or nothing game, nothing is what we're going to get. I'm starting to think that "global warming" and other such complex notions are a detriment to the greater effort. What the Pillsbury Prime Minister is advocating is unchecked pollution, in this instance in the form of green house gases. Why? For the sake of profit and convenience and the foolish, short sighted love of the status quo. This isn't about global warming or green house gas, it is about pollution, plain and simple.

Some folks might think it is unkind to pick on the barkingly stupid, I consider it a public service. Take this benighted doink from the big city,

"Opinion in Toronto from Toronto, Canada writes: Good for Harpur. Kyoto is pure left-wing ideology run rampant. No country should sign Kyoto without understanding the true cost on ordinary citizens. In Canada, signing Kyoto would mean restrictive car usage (say 50 Km per week per vehicle), higher unemployment, higher taxes, collapse of housing prices in suburbs, and a vastly reduced lifestyle. This may be welcomed by some. For many, however, it would represent an extreme hardship, especially for those who do not live within walking distance of their work or who depend upon salary income for living."

Okay, the fifth letter in the PM's name is a vowel and there are at least five to choose from, we'll let it slide. "The cost on (sic) ordinary citizens" oh good grief. Anyway, literacy failures aside, allow me to suggest that "restrictive car usage" is a noble goal. But let's just go with better design to start with. I say that as someone who turned 46 on Friday and who has never had a driver's licence. I have managed to live quite well without. I take public transit routinely. That has saved me countless thousands of dollars. As for those that don't live within walking distance, for about eight years I commuted to Toronto for work in films. How ever did I manage? Well, we arranged car pools when there was more than one from my agency in the cast and on other occasions I'd hop a bus from K-W and then the TTC. When I had very early calls, I'd arrange to head in to the big city the night before and stay at a friend's.

Was my lifestyle reduced? Fuck no, I've followed my dreams and had a total blast along the way. Have I experienced hardship? No more than any artist that has chosen to accept the consequences of an unpredictable profession. Inconvenience, sure, that just meant I had to think ahead, innovate and problem solve for myself. As for the collapse of housing prices in the suburbs, well, here in southern Ontario, that would be a blessing. The insane desire to burn up some of the best farmland in the world with shitty, mini-mansions defies all logic. I don't begrudge anyone a home but if people are foolish enough to covet thousands of impractical square feet of unsustainable, badly built monstrosities, forgive me my lack of sympathy. Your enormous mortgages and unsustainable properties are your own fault. The rest of us should not suffer for your short sighted, greedy ignorance.

For some reason, be it laziness, lack of imagination or ambition, the majority of Harper's praise team are terrified of anything that smacks of adjustment, let alone change, to their precious gluttonous ways. As befits their penchant for trouser dampening fear, they ring the bell of a ruined economy and slobber with Pavlovian uniformity. They seem to have not the first concept of an adaptable economy. Nothing but the continued and persistent status quo could possibly be acceptable to them. They believe they'll either pilot their F-350s to the corner store or they live in caves. I wonder what the folks that depended on the carriage industry must have thought at the turn of the last century as the automobile appeared on their horizon. I suppose they all just died. After all humans are incapable of adaptation in the modern world.

Some of these wailing whingers insist we offer solutions to their night terrors. What can we do? How can these horrifying demands to reduce gorging on finite resources be made? Impossible! It can't be done.

"Richard Soley from Cochrane, writes: Have any of you pro kyoto posters thought about your position? How will you heat you home, keep delivery trucks running, travel, work, or just plain survive in winter? Climate change will happen and will not be reversed in our lifetime so let's go about this with some intelligence and find the solutions not just knee jerk reactions. Canada must have the rest of the world's countries on board or we face the prospect of freeze, starve, or move south. Think about it before wailing the kyoto song and dance mantra!"

Well actually Richard, I have thought about it. I've given a lot of thought to heating homes and such like. And my pants are cozy and dry. Consider, one of Canada's most outrageous producers of green house gases are the Alberta tar sand projects. They are slated to increase in scale by a factor of three in the next few years. A large number of Canadians heat their homes with natural gas. Yet, how will these moist lapped bozons feel as that commodity climbs in cost as a result of the greed for oil?

"The mining-extraction process requires about 750 cubic feet of natural gas for every barrel of bitumen, according to the non-governmental Pembina Institute report "Oil Sands Fever". The "in situ" process that pumps super-hot steam 1,000 metres underground requires 1,500 cubic feet of natural gas to produce a single barrel of oil.

Currently, about 0.6 billion cubic feet of gas is used every day in the oil sands region -- enough to heat 3.2 million Canadian homes, the report says."

How long will natural gas reserves last? When it starts becoming more scarce, who do these fools think will get priority, them and their 4,500 square foot ranch homes or the gigantic industrial beasts? Solutions, we need solutions. I'm no scientist but even an artsie-fartsie like me can suss out an opportunity when it presents itself. First, retrofitting existing homes to make them more efficient. Much of the vast renovation industry has been based around the purely cosmetic but a home going on the market with upgraded insulation and a high efficiency furnace will have an enhanced value to a wise consumer. But more than that, what about getting off the pipe?

At a depth of six to eight feet, the earth has a constant temperature of 60 to 65 degrees. Geothermal energy is available everywhere. It requires no shipping. It is why your basement only varies a few degrees in temperature all year. The technology exists to exchange the gas pipe for a safer, permanently renewable source of heat. Some smart cookies will be busy developing the technology, installation methods and advertising to create an entirely new growth sector of the economy. There are literally billions to be made in that area alone. Shame that Harper and his special kids are so frightened of innovation and change. Any clever liberal minded types care to start a consortium? Drop me a line.

I am astonished that all of the dunderheads lapping up Harper's widdle and declaring it gravy can't get this very simple notion through their heads, don't shit where you eat. If we continue to pollute we will live with the effects of pollution. They cry about their quality of life, then they wonder why their kids are sickly and suffering from allergies. Eventually that much stupid must be fatal, shame their ignorance will take the lot of us down with 'em.

I think Kirk has some serious 'splainin' to do.

Over at Larry Moran's Sandwalk blog, we've recently been having a go at Intelligent Design advocate Kirk Durston, and one of the objections to Kirk's propaganda was the two-faced way he insisted on interchanging the terms "evolution" and "Darwinism" (or, similarly, "evolutionary biologist" and "Darwinist") as I suggested here.

Kirk responded in short order, explaining himself thusly:

3. I make a distinction between 'Darwinism' and biological evolution or evolutionary biology. Biological evolution is a process that goes on in the real world and can be studied. Darwinism, in my view, is an a priori commitment to completely materialistic explanations for the origin and diversity of life within which any intelligent role is necessarily excluded. That is what I object to.

A reasonable position ... except for the fact that Kirk doesn't stick to it, as you can read in one of his papers here, where he writes (as the first sentence in Section B):

There are, at present, two candidate theories for the origin and diversity of life. The first is ID and the second is Darwinism.

Ooooooh ... that doesn't look good, does it, Kirk? I would have thought that the two competing theories were ID and evolution. Poor Kirk -- that's the problem with lying; you have to work so hard to remember your lies. And, when you least expect it, they come back to bite you in the ass.

And the dumb just keeps on coming: Denyse O'Leary edition.

Witness the airheaditude:

Why do people still take Steve Weinberg’s opinions seriously?

Here’s 1979 Nobelist Steve Weinberg on intelligent design of the universe:

I have been asked to comment on whether the universe shows signs of having been designed. I don't see how it's possible to talk about this without having at least some vague idea of what a designer would be like. Any possible universe could be explained as the work of some sort of designer. Even a universe that is completely chaotic, without any laws or regularities at all, could be supposed to have been designed by an idiot.

Not likely. A universe designed by an idiot would be ful [sic] of intelligently designed stupid systems. Just like a government.

Or like an aesthetically well-designed blog that's full of utter crap. Kind of like that, too.

AFTERSNARK: There's something weirdly amusing about someone as dense as Denyse O'Leary encouraging her readers to make fun of someone who won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics. One imagines that Denyse is utterly incapable of even understanding most of what Weinberg would have to say on any topic whatsoever.

It's sort of like that bit from the opening of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," during which we are informed that poor Arthur Dent no more knows his destiny than a tea bag knows about the history of the East India Company.

Denyse "Tea Bag" O'Leary. Yeah, that works for me. And I want 25 cents every time you use it.

Sunday morning YouTube.

I can see this becoming a regular feature.

And if you don't like our principles, well ...

... we've got others.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Well, that depends.

Apparently, reality is now context-dependent.

Joanne (True Blue) -- Down the memory hole.

I swear, I've never seen anyone so cavalier about just disappearing embarrassing blog posts, or the embarrassing portions thereof, as we can see here where JoJo's original headline accusing Red Tory of purveying "lies" (note the actual URL) has been quietly replaced with, well, most of you aren't Blogging Tories so you can read it for yourselves.

"'Liar'?", JoJo will now ask innocently, fluttering her eyelashes, "Why, darlin', I never called him a 'liar.' Whatever do you mean?"

And JoJo settles quietly another inch or two into the cesspool of dishonesty she's dug for herself.

P.S. And JoJo accusing others of being purveyors of untruths, misinformation and sloppy journalism? I swear, if my heart were any weaker, the irony would strike me dead.

P.P.S.: You have to love the appalling lack of grace with which JoJo "accepts" RT's apology: "Red Tory - Purveyor of Untruths, misinformation and sloppy journalism - Apology accepted." The relentless, childish classlessness of so many of the Blogging Tories reminds one of a saying by author Eric Hoffer:

"What monstrosities would walk the streets were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds."

Quite so, Eric ... quite so.

Life on Kathy's planet.

Uh oh ... apparently, Kathy Shaidle is hoarding her meds again, as she stumbles shriekingly into her world of tangerine trees and marmalade skies:

If I sued everybody online who called me a "Nazi," Canadian Cynic, Dr. Dawg and their tiny band of dickless wonders would all be huddled around an alleyway bonfire, warming up their last dented tin of Habitant pea soup.

Well, yes, Kathy ... I'll give you the "dickless wonder" accusation, since I'm guessing my schlong isn't anywhere near the terrifying hunk of man-meat like yours or Ann Coulter's. But calling you a "Nazi?"

It's possible, of course, since I've certainly pointed out on occasion how you're little more than a putrid racist and rancid bigot. But "Nazi?" You'll have to refresh my memory, as I've done a quick scan of the archives here at CC HQ and that accusation pointed in your direction just doesn't seem to pop up.

I'm not saying it's not true, Kathy -- I'm just saying it doesn't jump off the page at me during a preliminary pass. So feel free to fill in the blanks. If you need help, I'm sure you know where to find Steve Janke.

P.S. For those who want to play along at home, if you look closely, you can see a small white text box up in the top left, in which you can type in a word to search for in the blog archives. And if you type in the word "nazi", you will indeed find numerous posts on this blog dating back to May of 2006 containing that word but, strangely, none of them making that accusation of ugly racist and genocide promoter Kathy Shaidle.

In fact, based on what I can read, I've never accused anyone of being a "Nazi" other than Jessica Beaumont, and that's only because she is a self-described Nazi sympathizer and advertises that fact quite proudly, so you really can't hold me responsible for that one.

Once again, then, it's always possible I've referred to Shaidle as a "Nazi" somewhere -- perhaps in someone's comments section. But if that's the case, it would be nice for that raving dingbat to at least provide a URL as proof. I'm sure she'll be forthcoming with that evidence any minute now. Yessir ... any minute now.

And a pony. I'd like a pony while we're at it.

P.P.S. It occurs to me that someone who publicly jokes about aboriginal genocide really doesn't have the moral high ground to be lecturing other people about hate speech, if you know what I'm sayin'.

P.P.P.S. I'm sure that, if Kathy's accusation against me turns out to be so much frothing puffery, then JoJo -- being the anal stickler for accuracy that she is -- will be all over Kathy like Patsy Ross on Werner's weiner. Anything less would be ... uncivilized.

: You know, as an avowed Catholic, I would have thought you'd be aware of that "not bearing false witness" thing. Apparently not.

Like pearls before swine ...

... so falls proferred advice in front of Blogging Tory "Joanne (True Blue)", who has the jaw-dropping audacity to write:

I'm always open to constructive criticism.

So here's some constructive criticism, JoJo -- stop being such a whiny, hypocritical, dishonest douchebag.

No, no, don't thank me -- helpful, character-building advice is what I'm all about.

And let's be careful (with our terminology) out there.

Apparently, we have a whole new forensic syndrome to deal with when it comes to tasers:

Police say medical evidence shows that, without tasers, prolonged and dangerous struggles occur with people suffering from what they term “excited delirium.” It prompted the force to release new rules in August allowing officers to use tasers multiple times to more quickly gain control.

The RCMP define excited delirium as a potentially fatal “state of extreme mental and physiological excitement that is characterized by extreme agitation, hyperthermia, hostility, exceptional strength and endurance without apparent fatigue.”

"Excited delirium?" I'm sorry ... that's a new one on me. An explanation, if you will?

But the term “excited delirium” is not formally recognized by the World Health Organization nor the American Medical Association as an actual psychological or medical condition.

However, the condition is being used increasingly by coroners tasked with attributing causes of death among victims in police custody. David Evans, Ontario's regional supervising coroner for investigations, described it as a “forensic term” not a medical one.

“I think previous to the description of excited delirium, [it] was sometimes called custody death,” he said.

So that's "custody death." That's funny -- I always thought this was "custody death."

I'm so confused.

That's some lowering of the bar there, Joanne.

Methinks life in the blogosphere just got a bit more interesting as Blogging Tory and perpetual whackjob Joanne openly admits that Red Tory made a mistake and got "sloppy," yet still insists on describing him as a "liar."

[Whoops: If you look carefully, you'll notice that JoJo has quietly changed the title of that post to not look so much like a shrieky dingbat, but you can still see the original title in the URL itself. Naughty, naughty, JoJo -- howzabout you take responsibility for your shrieky dingbatiness rather than sneaking it out of the way when no one is looking?]

And, oh, the endless possibilities this offers up to the rest of us. Let the open season on the Blogging Tories begin.

BY THE WAY, JOANNE, making an honest mistake and 'fessing up to it shortly thereafter is, technically, not a "lie." This, on the other hand ... that's a lie. See the difference?

If I were you, Joanne, I'd be really reluctant to seize the integrity-related high ground, if you catch my drift. And I think you do.

P.S. You'll notice how Joanne cleverly dumped the offending blog post down the memory hole to avoid any embarrassment. How clever of me to have quoted it sufficiently so that everyone can see the dishonesty.

Because, here at CC HQ, we are all about the contingency plan.

It's all about the friends you keep.

It's the Coalition of "Take your friend Bush and fuck off!". Pretty soon, Stephen Harper won't have to share George's dick with anybody. Then it'll be party time.

Get down.

And the Lord gave Spanky a sign ...

Shorter Aaron "Spanky" Unruh: "And the Virgin Mary showing up on a burrito? I am so down with that."

And in the end, there is balance in the universe after all.

Apparently, when it comes to political floor crossing, the Liberal party slowly collects those people who, because of moral principle and conscience, finally realize they have no place in the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Conservative Party, on the other hand ... well, let's just say they attract a slightly different crowd.

I guess it really is true that water -- and shit -- eventually find their proper level.


Mr. Khan won two elections as a Liberal, in 2004 and 2006, but took a surprise appointment as Mr. Harper's special adviser on the Middle East in August of last year — and then crossed the floor to the Conservatives last January.

"The more we worked together, the more both of us began to realize that, politically, we have an awful lot in common," Mr. Harper said when Mr. Khan crossed the floor. "In time, it became clear to me that Mr. Khan would be quite at home in the Conservative Party."

Truer words were never spoken.

Yeah, that's a bad sign.

(CC News) -- In a disturbing development, it's been revealed that there are five times as many brain-injured U.S. soldiers as had been previously reported by the Pentagon.

"Yes, it's worrying," said a Pentagon spokesman, "and we're not sure how we got the numbers so wrong. To be off by a factor of five -- that's really quite unconscionable."

When asked about the protocol for identifying potential brain damage, the spokesman replied, "Well, there are a number of quite sophisticated tests, but the most effective is to simply ask the soldier his opinion of President George W. Bush. Anyone who claims to approve of his performance has quite clearly suffered massive brain trauma. It's quite sad, really, to think of the damage necessary to produce that reaction. There's really nothing we can do for those poor bastards, other than make them comfortable and keep them stocked with copies of the National Review and the latest Jonah Goldberg columns."

In mostly-unrelated news, the number of troops being classified as emotionally and psychologically disturbed has also spiked drastically, based on the number of returning soldiers who think right-wing screech harpy Ann Coulter is "hot."

Kirk Durston: Hacktacular!

We've been having some fun over at "Sandwalk," the blog of U of T biochemistry professor Larry Moran, where we've been cleaning and filleting ID proponent Kirk Durston -- just check the most recent entries for the side-splitting entertainment.

But what surprises me is that, while Larry's linked to this interview with Durston at, no one's picked up on the obvious logical howler contained therein, and I quote: You may recall that politician Stockwell Day was publically ridiculed some time ago for his belief in Creation. What do you think this says about Canadian society, mass media and the general public's view of origins?

K.D.: It says a lot about the secular media.

Whoa ... hold on there, pardner. Stockie wasn't just ridiculed for being a Christian or believing in Creation; he was ridiculed for stating that he believed in a strict, young-earth creationism and that humans co-existed with dinosaurs.

So it behooves us to ask Mr. Durston: Don't you think the secular media had every right to hold Stockie up to public ridicule for saying something like that? Or is Mr. Durston saying he agrees with Day?

Elsewhere, Durston appears to claim that he accepts the notion of an ancient earth and the occurrence of biological evolution. But if that's the case, what exactly is out of place with making fun of someone who espouses a belief in young-earth creationism?

Come on, Kirk, you can't have it both ways. You can't admit that you believe in an old earth, then turn around and take shots at the media for properly chastising someone as scientifically illiterate as Stockwell Day.

So how about it, Kirk? What exactly are you trying to say here? If you're going to say uncomplimentary things about the "secular media," it might help to know precisely what you think is their sin here.