Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

2/11/2006

Tyrannosaurus Rex was a vegetarian

If you believe in Creationism, you're bound to find yourself committed to some strange things -
He showed the children a photo of a fossilized hat found in a mine to prove it doesn't take millions of years to create ancient-looking artifacts. He pointed out cave drawings of a creature resembling a brachiosaur to make the case that man lived alongside dinosaurs after God created all the land animals on Day 6.

....Ham encourages people to further their research with the dozens of books and DVDs sold by his ministry. They give answers to every question a critic might ask: How did Noah fit dinosaurs on the ark? He took babies. Why didn't a tyrannosaur eat Eve? All creatures were vegetarians until Adam's sin brought death into the world. How can we have modern breeds of dog like the poodle if God finished his work 6,000 years ago? He created a dog "kind" — a master blueprint — and let evolution take over from there.

Guantanamo

The typical conservative retort to those who raise concerns about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo is some variant of: "Terrorists don't have civil liberties." My response to this is usually to point out that the "terrorist" status of the detainees is something we are asked to take the Bush administration's word for, a proposition which any sane person would dismiss outright.

But as Lindsay points out, even by the administration's own account of the offenses that landed the detainees at Gitmo, it is inaccurate to refer to many of them as terrorists.

Most of them are, however, Muslims, so I guess it's OK.

The "moderate" Right

Andrew Sullivan, outraged that Muslim protestors are telling "the West" that it "must give up its freedoms in order to avoid violence" - though isn't that exactly what the Bush apologists have been telling us since 9/11? - reprints, approvingly, an email from a reader that basically endorses ethnic cleansing:
I'm honestly starting to suspect that, before this is over, European nations are going to have exactly four choices in dealing with their entire Moslem populations -- for elementary safety's sake:

(1) Capitulate totally to them and become a Moslem continent.
(2) Intern all of them.
(3) Deport all of them
(4) Throw all of them into the sea.
Anybody still under the illusion that Sullivan isn't a racist warmonger?

2/10/2006

You evil pricks

The South Dakota legislature is in the processing of passing a statewide ban on abortions, no exceptions for rape and health. Obviously, this is a blatant violation of the constitutional right to abortion, and won't take effect - at least not right away. Their intention is to get the law struck down, allowing them to re-fight the abortion issue in the courts, ideally cumulating with a case before a Supreme Court less friendly to women's rights since the arrival of Sam Alito.

Ann Coulter's new rule

“Rag-head talks tough, rag-head faces thunderous consequences.”

Those were her words today, according to this blogger (via a series of links the beginning of which I can't recall) who says he heard it first-hand (and is himself a conservative, FWIW).

Buddhism and Barbie's boyfriend

Ann Althouse:
The new Ken doll: He's into Buddhism, we're told. Shouldn't Buddhists be freaking out about the use of their religion as a fashion accessory?
I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure Buddhists shouldn't be "freaking out" about anything.

Atta boy, Kev

With all the hand-wringing over how liberals ought to "talk about abortion," it's nice to see a mainstream liberal blogger cutting through the bullshit:
I don't think nonviable fetuses are human beings. Terminating them doesn't bother me, and it's none of my business anyway. For all I care, women are free to use abortion as their standard method of birth control if they want to. Nor do I really care much if we reduce the abortion rate in America. Safe and legal is good enough for me. I don't think abortion is a morally ambiguous issue, I don't think getting one should be an emotionally traumatic experience, and no, speaking as a husband, I don't think husbands should have any legal say in the matter.
Well said.

Really?


The National Guard has decided to honor Bush's "service" by unveiling a bust of the president as a young man.

Grace says: "Sure to be available soon from NewsMax as a tacky, made-in-China paperweight."


UPDATE: If you look very closely, you'll notice that the pedestal reads:

George W. Bush

President of the United States

2001-


...thus the National Guard is allowing for one of two possibilities: (1) Bush's presidency continues past 2009, when the 22nd Amendment would seem to dictate it should end; or (2) Bush's presidency will end before 2009, a possibility which itself can be divided into at least four sub-possibilities - viz., (2a) Bush gets assassinated; (2b) Bush becomes incapacitated and is unable to execute his duties (though one might wonder whether possibility 2b has already come to fruition, ha ha ha); (2c) Bush gets impeached and removed from office; or (2d) Bush resigns in disgrace.

When religious fanatics are in charge

"Deeply disturbing" -
“The President can’t imagine that someone who is President of the United States could not have faith, because he derives so much from it,” Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, said. “I can see him struggle with other world leaders who don’t appear to be grounded in some faith,” he said. He added, “The President doesn’t care what faith it is, as long as it’s faith.”
Clearly, Iran cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons.

"The Swedes will not make the first move"


Gay penguins not interested in propagating the species:
Germany's gay zoo penguins still fending off female advances

Six gay penguins at a German zoo are still refusing to mate with females of the species flown in from Sweden in 2005, the zoo said.

The problem was that the female Humboldt penguins have proven too shy in their advances, the director of the zoo in the northern port city of Bremerhaven said.

"The Swedes will not make the first move," Heike Kueck said.

The females were flown in last year in a bid to bring the males to mate and help save the Humboldt species from extinction.

The initiative to "turn" the penguins and make them mate had prompted a furious response from gay rights groups.

In a statement posted on its Internet website, the zoo on Wednesday sought to defend itself from fresh criticism.

"We will be delighted if the penguins form even one heterosexual couple and manage to produce first an egg, and then a little one," it said.

"But of course we accept the male couples that have formed and we are not trying to enforce heterosexuality, as we were accused of doing last year."

2/09/2006

Libby to throw Cheney under the bus?

Maybe, but it's not entirely clear just what is going on:
WASHINGTON - I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, will in part base his defense on the claim that Cheney instructed and encouraged Libby to share classified information with reporters, sources familiar with the case tell NBC News.

Libby's attorneys discussed the matter with prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and the judge in the case in a recent conference call, the sources confirmed. An attorney for Libby flatly denied that version of events.
Full story.

The assassination of Alan Turing?

A new book suggests that Turing's death may not have been a suicide after all, but rather a political assassination.

2/08/2006

Quiet, morons

Being a left-wing blogger is kind of like being on the Harlem Globetrotters: whatever the argument of the day is, you know that our side is going to win it - the real challenge is doing it with style.

But style usually means effort, inspiration, etc. Well I, for one, am lazy, and I have a tendency to just roll my eyes when presented with the latest wingnuttery. This is one reason I spend a disproportionate amount of time criticizing - constructively, in my opinion - my fellow "lefties" (=to the right of Joementum). Blasting away at the Right feels like pointing out the obvious, and I figure the world doesn't need one more person doing that. Or rather, we do need more people doing that, but we need them doing it on television, in newspapers, etc., where it could actually have a significant effect.

Still, sometimes the shit these cretins try to pull is so grotesque that I am compelled to react. So, I'm sorry if this falls into the "No shit, Sherlock" category.

Conservatives are feigning outrage over Coretta Scott King's funeral being "politicized." But these assholes politicize EVERYTHING. From 9/11 to Terri Schiavo, they have never passed up an opportunity to exploit death for their execrable political aims.

They expect us to believe that they are sincerely offended by this "ungodly" insult to the memory of Mrs. King; meanwhile, they couldn't give two shits about one goddamned thing that Mrs. King or her husband fought for during their lives - in fact, it's probably not an overstatement to say that the raison d'être of the GOP is to subvert those ideals.

So spare me the sanctimony, you warped fucks, and kindly return to your usual routine of agitating for the extermination of Muslims and making jokes about Ted Kennedy.

Ho-hum, more hypocrisy on the Right

I wonder if the right wingers' newfound love for freedom of speech means they are retroactively outraged by the United States' suppression of the free media in Iraq? They didn't seem to have a problem with it at the time.

Heh heh heh

From the Onion:

Subwoofer Worth The Horrible Credit Rating

Subwoofer Worth The Horrible Credit Rating

2/07/2006

Michelle, dear...

Malkin:
I appeared tonight on Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes for an all-too-brief segment on the Muhammad Cartoons. Before I drove to the Washington, D.C., studio, I stopped by a Kinko's store, printed out the cartoons, and pasted them onto a piece of poster board. I then used my short time on the airwaves to do what no one wants to do on American TV:

I tried to show viewers all 12 cartoons to give viewers the full context of the Jyllands-Posten's decision to publish the artwork.

...Unfortunately, as I tried to walk through the content of the cartoons, the camera cut from my display to video of the Islamists' crazed, violent protests. As if we hadn't seen enough of that already.
On the front page of Malkin's blog, as of this writing, there are seventeen pictures of Muslims protesting.

And thus Malkin retains her title as the least self-aware human being on the planet.


... and then there's this:
If only the Islamists would start emulating more of the West's methods of peaceful, non-violent protest.
Michelle Malkin extolling the virtues of non-violence ...

WAAAHH!!! WAAAHHH!! WAAAHHH!!

Dear Wingnuts: would you like some cheese with that WHINE??? Ha ha ha.

"Mrs. King's funeral just had it's [sic] political moment ... even with the president in attendence. What is it about the culture of funerals?" -Kathryn Jean Lopez

"Jimmy Carter is making a political speech at the funeral, rather than a eulogy. Jimmy Carter is a disgrace to this country ... I'm not sure what I was watching today... a funeral for Coretta Scott King, or a Bush-bashing festival. I'm reminded of Paul Wellstone's funeral... disgraceful." -Blogs for Bush

"I suppose after having watched the Paul Wellstone funeral here in Minnesota four years ago, I shouldn't be shocked by Democrats turning bipartisan shows of respect at memorial services into partisan sniping. President Bush and his family had to endure the bad taste of several speakers who used Coretta Scott King's funeral as a forum to snipe at his politics." -Captain Ed

"The problem with today's Democrats is that they try to invest the naked hunger for power with the dignity of the civil rights movement, a dignity that they no longer possess because it was based on a self-discipline that they no longer possess." -Instadouche.

"The Democrats just can't restrain themselves. Absolutely ungodly." -The godly Michelle Malkin


...and the best response, from a reader of AMERICAblog:

"Why couldn't the service just be nice? Why did they have to bring up the ENTIRE POINT OF HER AND HER HUSBAND'S LIVES, STRUGGLES AND DREAMS?"

The Master

When it comes to sheer density of buffoonery, few can beat the public proclamations of Pat Robertson:

"Studies that I have read indicate that having babies is a sign of a faith in the future. You know, unless you believe in the future, you're not going to take the trouble of raising a child, educating a child, doing something. If there is no future, why do it? Well, unless you believe in God, there's really no future. And when you go back to the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, the whole idea of this desperate nightmare we are in -- you know, that we are in this prison, and it has no hope, no exit. That kind of philosophy has permeated the intellectual thinking of Europe, and hopefully it doesn't come here. But nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, Europe is right now in the midst of racial suicide because of the declining birth rate. And they just can't get it together. Why? There's no hope."

D.I.Y. doggie wheelchair

Caring for a disabled pet can seem overwhelming to some people, but there are a lot of clever folks out there who are constantly devising ways to make it easier. 

Witness: How to Make a Dachshund Wheelchair.  Via Majikthise.

2/06/2006

Get smart

Most pundits seem to be working with an understanding of the world that borders on infantile. In their worldview, leaders of nations where the people are mostly brown are always despots (e.g., Hugo Chavez), and leaders from the Middle East are always homicidal lunatics (Ahmadinejad). Thus the U.S. cannot tolerate the development of WMD by such nations - otherwise, we will be defenseless when the crazy dictator gets a wild hair up his ass and decides to take out Chicago. Are YOU willing to sit back and hope that won't happen?

Maybe there is some scenario where such a framework is appropriate; the "situation" with Iran is not one of them. Matt Yglesias, who has been surprisingly good on this issue, puts it well:
A surprisingly large number of people seem to me to be taking the view that the current president of Iran is "crazy" and therefore likely to launch an unprovoked nuclear attack on the United States or, perhaps more likely, Israel. It's worth emphasizing that under the Iranian political system the president can no more launch nuclear weapons than the Chief Justice can here in America ... it's worth understanding how incredibly unlikely this is.

An unprovoked nuclear attack wouldn't be some kind of risky gamble; it would be a certain guarantee of national suicide ... Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, has spent years rising through the political system of a repressive autocracy where the leading authorities reserve the right to send you to jail and have you tortured if you piss them off. The people who rise to the top in these kind of systems are going to have to be people whose instincts for self-preservation are stronger, not weaker than your average person's. His public persona aside, if Ahmadinejad were truly someone given to flying off the rails at random times and taking actions without thinking through the consequences, where would he be today? Not president of Iran...
But people just can't seem to wrap their minds around the fact that the president of Iran is not a dictator, and does not have absolute power even within the borders of his country, even though Iran is full of Muslims. And of course, any one who harbors the slightest doubt that the Iranians are planning to attack the U.S., without provocation, is ridiculed for putting his trust in these obvious maniacs, even though they've shown absolutely no inclination towards such aggression - which is of course more than we can say for the U.S.

Sad

The Bush administration's new budget proposal would cut funding for the Army Corps of Engineers by over 11%.

It says a lot that this move is even a politically possible one - a mere five months after Katrina, cutting funding for the USACE ought to be unthinkable. Instead, no one will even notice this.

But hey, look over there - Iran is developing WMD!


UPDATE: Chief Ninja Monkie notes that the article that Lindsay links to doesn't say what she says it does ... a little research indicates that this isn't her fault; rather, the Washington Post seems to have swapped out the original article with a different one, and the new one doesn't say anything about an 11% cut. So I don't know quite what's going on.

You know what I've always thought the world needed?

Beer for dogs.

Now, that day has come.

2/05/2006

Iraqi freedom

I would imagine that it's hard enough to be gay in the U.S. But in Iraq, not only can you be killed for being gay, it's not even necessarily against the law - despite the Bush administration's "liberation" of the Iraqi people. And if you are a woman who cheats on her husband, you too can be murdered, and your killer protected by the law.
Since 2001, an amendment to the 1990 Penal Code has made homosexual behaviour between consenting adults a crime. In that year, the Revolutionary Command Council issued a decree making the offences of prostitution, homosexuality, incest and rape punishable by death, according to Amnesty International.

It is believed that the sudden introduction of the death penalty for these acts was tied to a desire by Saddam Hussein to win the support of Islamic conservatives.

The law has not been changed since the US-led invasion of the country.

Under Islamic law, the penalty for men engaging in anal sex is also death.

...

So-called "honour killing," the murder of a family member by a relative to protect the family's reputation, often occurs in Iraq when a man is believed to be gay, according to the Human Rights Ministry.

Article 111 of the Iraqi Penal Code exempts from prosecution and punishment men who kill other men or female relatives in defence of their family's honour.

"He who discovers his wife, one of his female relatives committing adultery or a male relative engaged in sodomy and kills, wounds or injures one of them, is exempted from any penalty," the law states.

Fifteen cases of honour killings have been reported in the past two years for crimes against homosexuals in the capital alone, according to a Baghdad-based lawyers' association.

Abu Qussay said he killed his son after discovering he was gay. He said he was now considered a hero by his friends.

"I hanged him in my house in front of his brother to give an example to all of them and prevent them from doing the same," Qussay said proudly.

After the father of two was arrested for the murder, he was charged with the killing and then released a month later when his lawyer explained why his client had committed the crime.

The willfully stupid right

Watch the right-wing distortion machine in action:

Atrios has a sensible post on the Iran "issue":
I don't want Iran to have nukes. I don't think that's a good thing for the world. I certainly didn't want Pakistan or India to have nukes. But is a nuclear Iran really a threat to us? Certainly an Iran-with-nukes could blow the hell out of a city or two, but an Iran that did such a thing would pretty much cease to exist. It isn't mutually assured destruction, it's you fuck with us a little bit and YOU NO LONGER LIVE BITCHES!
NRO's Byron York spins this as if Atrios were saying "Who cares about a city or two," and other wingnuts hop on board, claiming that Byron York "caught" Atrios "opining about how the US could afford to lose a city or two at the hands of the Islamofascists in Iran."

Atrios responds to wingnuts:
I of course never even implied the notion "who cares about a city or two?" The point is that the deterrence that kept a few thousand ICBMs coming our way from the Soviet Union should also work with smaller state nuclear powers, with the added benefit that "mutually assured destruction" simply becomes "assured destruction" - theirs, not ours.
York responds to Atrios:
Atrios suggests that if Iran becomes a nuclear power, and if they "blow the hell out of a city or two," then the United States would retaliate. But isn't that what the entire world is hoping to avoid? If a nuclear Iran took out Jerusalem and London, to name a city or two, wouldn't that be really bad -- even if the U.S. was capable of devastating retaliation? Wouldn't it be better to prevent such an outcome, even if it involved a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities?
Now, York is no genius, but even he is not stupid enough for this to be an honest misreading of what Atrios is saying. Any literate person could understand exactly what he meant: that the assured destruction of Iran, should they decide to launch a nuclear attack, would prevent them from doing so. Obviously, he is not saying that it would be OK if Iran took out a city or two, since the US would be able to retaliate - it's that Iran never would take out a city or two, since they know what the extent of the retaliation would be.

I mean, are we really supposed to believe that York doesn't understand what a fucking counterfactual is??

More generally, are we really supposed to believe that even the right-wing war mongers actually believe that Iran would launch an unprovoked nuclear attack on the U.S.? Nobody in their right mind believes that. Yet the Right is in the process of creating a political environment where it will be impossible to state the patently obvious: that Iran is not a threat to the United States. And if history is any guide, they'll be getting help with that process from the "Sensible Liberal" set.

Don't fall for it, and certainly don't abet them in their attempt to promote these lies to the status of unquestionable "truth".


UPDATE: This is funny. Doughy Pantload, a.k.a. Lucianne’s Dipshit Kid, a.k.a. Jonah Goldberg, comes to the defense of his colleague:
the President of Iran is reportedly a member of a cult which believes in sowing chaos in order to hasten the arrival of the twelfth Imam. This inclines one not to put too much stock in his rationality.
Yes, and, as we all know, the president of the United States is a member of a cult which believes in (and welcomes) the inevitability of an apocalyptic war in the Middle East in order to hasten the Rapture. This inclines some of us, at least, not to put too much stock in his rationality either.

You knew somebody had to say it

It was just a matter of time:

"We are all Danes now"


Also, wingnuts are calling this whole mess "The Cartoon War" - as in, they consider it an real, live war, and they're pissed at the media for not referring to it as such.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory Sanity is not statistical.