Monday, December 31, 2007

Lying liars lying again!

Not again!!? Oh well, they lie all the time so it comes as no surprise that the sad tale of woe about the Humpty Duhhhhmb-ty fetus fetishist who took big fall from "atop his car" is starting to emanate the septic smell of Bullshit. Like all good dawgs, Dr. Dawg did some digging in the story's back yard and discovered a stinky, stenchy bone of contention, the Questionable Credentials of its source, the TFP:
"This is the American chapter of an organization concocted by the Brazilian extremist Plinio CorrĂȘa de Oliveira in 1960. Given that we have been discussing fascism in a previous thread, it seems opportune to take a closer look at this organization. Indeed, one can learn more than one might want to know about this sordid outfit by reading Penny Lernoux."
Not exactly a reliable source, like most of the sources of these fetus fetishizing fables of pro-choice persecution. The lack of coverage by anyone other than producers of hysterical anti-choice propaganda always makes a story suspect. It looks like just one more in a long and vile series of lying lies.

So what really went down? The old fucktard obviously sustained some injuries, so something happened -- but what? Is it possible that the nitwit got so carried away with bellowing into his bullhorn that he stepped a little too close to the edge of his Pontificating Platform and found himself in mid-air before the Rapture? Supposedly the patient's companion leaped up on the vehicle with him -- did he take a reflexive step backwards and whoops! do a self-inflicted header off the roof of the car?

The Harrisburg local news doesn't report on any arrests, or even on the actual event. Come now, if they'd report that Baby Jebus was stolen from a Nativity Scene, surely they'd report on the assault of an old fetus fetishizing codger. Oh no... could it be that it was all just an accident and his "friends" took the opportunity to twist it into a case of *gasp* pro-choice persecution!? That sounds about right to me!

LMAO UPDATE: PSA did some digging...

UPDATE 2: Looks like the story isn't total bullshit and I apologize profusely for my vile suggestion that it might be, as most of their scare stories are, a load. Still, there are some unanswered questions, like: (1) The assailant supposedly scaled an 8-foot fence? Why isn't he busy training for the Olympics? (2) What exactly did Mr. Snell say that so infuriated his assailant that it caused the shot of adrenaline which enabled him to accomplish this feat? (3) What the fuck was the guy doing standing on top of his car in the first place? The 8-foot privacy fence is there for a reason: privacy. What part of that doesn't Mr. Snell understand?

Pakistan: more new video

Amid rumours that Pakistan is considering delaying its January 8 elections (well, no kidding), a new videotape has emerged that seems to support the original explanation of the Bhutto assassination -- she was shot:
"The tape provides the clearest view yet of the attack and appears to show that Bhutto was shot. That would contradict the Pakistan government's account.

A previously released videotape shows a man at the right of her vehicle raising a gun, pointing it toward Bhutto, who is standing in her car with her upper body through the sunroof. He fires three shots. Then, there is an explosion.

In the video that emerged Sunday, Bhutto is standing, and her hair and scarf appear to move, perhaps from the bullet. Bhutto falls into the car. Then, the blast.

These images seem to support the theory that Bhutto died at the hands of a shooter before a bomb was detonated, killing another 23 people.

Everyone inside Bhutto's bomb-proof car lived. Those traveling with her say they saw her bleeding, and the heavily blood-stained interior appears to support their accounts."
Watch the tape here.

So how many does that make: (1) She was shot, (2) She was hit by shrapnel from the bomb, (3) She died of a concussion sustained when her head hit the sunroof, (4) She was shot.

GST cut to 5% effective midnight

It's New Year's Eve and Harpie's on the Campaign Trail. As reported yesterday, he returned to the scene of his previous GST announcement, an electronics store in Mississauga:
"Harper is to visit the same electronics store on Monday in Mississauga, Ont., where he first unveiled the Conservative party's pledge to reduce the goods and services tax to five per cent from seven per cent over five years."
I just watched the dork Live on TV, where he announced that "2008 will be a Happy New Year for Canadian taxpayers, as the GST will be cut from 7 to 6 to 5%, 3 years ahead of schedule". "From 7 to 6 to 5%" appears to be the operative buzz-phrase, a mantra intoned several times during the presser.

Though a GST cut sounds good, it's mostly optics: in reality it only rewards those who buy the most "big ticket" items. On a purchase of $50, the GST cut saves you a grand total of 50 cents. Wow. An income tax cut would be far more equitable, since it would benefit everyone who works and pays income tax -- we wouldn't have to buy a new car or fridge or stereo system to realize noticeable savings. Back in late 2005, when Harper made the same announcement on the campaign trail, economists agreed:
"If you want tax cuts that are going to promote work, going to promote saving, help us invest more and raise living standards in the future, the GST is not the tax you would go after." Robson said it would be better to cut personal income taxes."
What are the odds of Harper scoring a majority out of this Christmas re-gifting? From 7 to 6 to 5%?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New OBL tape

Mr. Gray is back in play:
"Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaeda and vowed to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."
"Most of the 56-minute tape dealt with Iraq, apparently al-Qaeda's latest attempt to keep supporters in Iraq unified at a time when the U.S. military claims to have al-Qaeda's Iraq branch on the run."
I'd think by now most of the evil al qaeda terraists that were hanging around Iraq are now in transit... see ya, Iraq. Helloooooo Pakistan!

Back in Denver

where anti-abortion dimtwits have been harassing a construction contractor at his private home, they're getting pretty bold. Now they've started harassing the guy's neighbours as well:
"This is ridiculous," said Hornady's neighbor."There is no end to what they'll do. This is not really about abortion. It's not about free speech. It's about intimidation. It's about harassment," said a resident, who wished to remain anonymous." [...]

"The family told 7NEWS they've been yelled at while simply doing yard work, as if they are somehow complicit in the construction man's endeavors.

They showed 7NEWS a plastic baggie filled with red liquid and a doll in the shape of an aborted fetus that they found at the end of their long driveway. Several neighbors found the same item early one Saturday morning, he said.The neighbor said a couple of dolls were even found inside mailboxes.

The family said the construction executive felt so bad he came over to apologize to his neighbors for all the commotion. They told Hornaday there was no need to apologize."
No need to apologize! Sounds like this intrusive little protest is only strengthening the neighbourhood's resolve to hang tough against the fetishizers. And counter-measures have started with neighbours videotaping the protesters, and the mayor stepping in to limit the protests:
"Mayor Nancy Sharpe said two emergency ordinances will be considered: they would limit the hours of the protests from sunrise to sunset, and would limit the size of signs to three square feet. In addition, another proposal would require groups of 15 or more to get a permit for a residential protest or parade."
Way to go, dumbasses, way to waste taxpayers' money. Now if only they'd all stand atop their cars, a co-ordinated surgical strike could be launched... fun for the whole neighbourhood. One, two, three... push!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Flying Fetus Fetishist!

D'oh! Someone finally had enough bullshit from the fetus fetishists:
"Pro-lifer Seriously Injured: Clinic Receptionist Shouts: “He got what he deserved!”
*snicker* Ahem. Bad receptionist! Bad! So what brought this on, anyway?
"When veteran pro-lifer Ed Snell was counseling women entering the Hillcrest Abortion Clinic in Harrisburg, Penn. from atop his car, he was thrown to the ground and seriously injured. He suffered internal hemorrhaging in his head, four compression fractures of vertebrae, a broken shoulder and two broken ribs. Doctors even feared he might die." [...]
That ain't good. But he's doing okay, already out of the hospital:
"Mr. Snell is recovering from his injuries at his home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania."
So that makes him ripe for ridicule. Okay, some questions: what the hell was the old bastard doing "atop his car" in the first place? And how do you "counsel" someone from "atop a car". I would think that "counselling" someone about a matter so private and personal would require some quiet one-on-one. If this nitwit was doing it from "atop a car", he must have been shouting, probably into a bullhorn, a situation not really conducive to personal "counselling". So it wasn't "counselling" -- he was up there on his car blathering a generic anti-abortion message to all and sundry. Now it all becomes clearer...

Yes, I can see it all now... as patients try to make their way into the clinic, the old fetus fetishizing blowhard stands "atop" his car shouting into a bullhorn about BABY MURDERERS and SLUTS, ETERNAL DAMNATION and HELLFIRE... maybe pointing to one patient in particular and harassing her individually, at which point her partner takes exception and knocks the stunned prick on his ass. Well, too bad, so friggin' sad! Anyone who's duhhhhhmb enough to build a platform for the top of his car so he can stand up there and pontificate from on high is asking for trouble. What if the brakes failed? (Better yet, what if someone got in and started the car, popped the clutch and took it from 0 to 60 in a few seconds? Woooo!)

Yeah, the guy who pushed him was wrong (bad!) and the receptionist who said he "got what he deserved" was wrong (bad!), but if the fetus fetishists want to get In Your Face about things, they have to expect the occasional In Your Face response -- call it "pushback", (heh). Besides, pro-choicers would have to push over a lot more of these nitwits before claiming anywhere near the number of casualties they've racked up.

(h/t: birth pangs)


It started with this. Escalated to this. And now: (edit: And now, nothing. Johnnytard's gone. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.) BAHAHAHAHAHA!

Another idea I wish I'd thought of. Hats off to whoever did.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Lulu at Canadian Cynic reports that racist nutjob Five Feet of Pigshit is foaming at the snout as she prepares for the upcoming Clash Of Civilizations (wherein frumpy middle-aged housewives take on Muslim vacuum cleaner salesmen). Piggie's getting a gun, and getting a little too excited about it, I might add. And not in a good way, if you know what I mean.

As a woman, I think it's a good idea for women to be able to self-defend. But as a responsible gun owner, I'm offended by wannabes who go into drooling paroxysms over deadly weapons and, presumably, the havoc they're capable of wreaking. Anyone who's gripped by such spasms of ecstasy at the sight of a gun would probably be better off with one of these:
"The Gunslinger!"

Talk about offensive! On more levels than I can even begin to address. But that kind of makes it a perfect match for FFoPS, doesn't it?

No bullet

From Pakistan today, this depressing bit of spin:
"X-ray showed no sign of bullet injury in PPP leader Benazir Bhutto's body, the doctor who treated her at Rawalpindi hospital said.

The doctor claimed that Benazir's death was due to some shrapnel, which hit her head and fractured it.

He also added that Benazir's cardiac arrest was due to brain injury.

The Pakistan government has also said she did not die of bullet injuries." [...]

"However, the earlier version was quite different. It was said that the assassin was at the entrance to the rally ground, standing in the middle of a crowd of PPP workers shouting slogans.

Benazir stopped the car and stood out from the sunroof of the SUV to wave at party workers. The lone assassin was standing behind the car and he now fired three shots at Benazir Bhutto from close range."
Hmm. Could ballistics testing identify military-issue bullets? Just a thought. Although I guess we can assume that anyone close enough to have clearly seen what really happened isn't in a position to talk about it at this point.

Update: And now they're saying it wasn't shrapnel either, she died from hitting her head on the vehicle's sunroof after the blast. Um err, yeah right. Nothing to see here...

Thursday, December 27, 2007


When I heard about the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto this morning on my way to work, I reflexively pounded the steering wheel and cursed into the darkness of my truck. Not that the news was unexpected -- every time I read about some public appearance or speech she gave since returning from exile, an icicle of fear stabbed at my gut and I wondered how long until...

I've always thought Benazir Bhutto was nothing short of amazing. A woman in leadership is unusual enough in that part of the world, but Bhutto's bravery in carrying on her father's political legacy was truly inspiring. And in a part of the world dominated by military and theocratic dictatorships, the democratic Bhutto seemed like a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. And now?
"This is an immense tragedy," said Raheel Raza, the Toronto-based author of Their Jihad ... Not My Jihad. "It is a blow in the face of democracy, human rights, women's rights, everything that we look forward to in a democracy."

Raza, who interviewed Bhutto five years ago, said Thursday's slaying is seen as "a win for the Islamists, the extremists, because they have been allowed to take the life of a woman. They could never come to terms with the fact a woman could be leader and she would bring about democracy."

It's not hard to figure out who might have been behind this: as the saying goes, follow the money. Who benefits? It looks like someone (probably the notorious ISI) has not only given President Musharraf a pretext for imposing some form of martial law, but an opportunity to delay Pakistan's upcoming election indefinitely, while eliminating his most threatening competition. And while Musharraf may not be directly responsible for the assassination, one might wonder whether it was partly orchestrated by his failure to prevent it.


Back in the early 90's, before we had Teh Terraists, we had Evil Dog Breeds that wanted to Kill Your Family. Pitbulls, Rotties, Dobies, even German Shepherds, and especially the exotic wolf hybrid were all potential Canine Terrorists. The media routinely jumped on the Bad Dog Bandwagon, running liver-quivering accounts of babies torn asunder by Evil Al-Canida operatives.

I used to raise wolf hybrids back then, a pursuit which entailed (for me, anyway) optimizing my knowledge of both domestic dogs and wolves, and I came to realize that even in the late-20th century, there was a mindblowing amount of dark-ages bullshit floating around about wolves (and by proxy, wolf hybrids). One thing wolves rarely if ever do is attack humans -- certainly they do it a lot less than the aforementioned domestic dog breeds. So this is the kind of hysteria-mongering news story that used to drive me apeshit because it contributed to negative wolf mythology (and made my neighbours give me weird looks): "Family dog saves children from wolves"... SHRIEEEK!
"With their protruding rib cages and shrunken bodies, there was no question the wolves were hungry.

Shadow saw them almost immediately; the children and their parents didn't.

In the dusky northern light three days before Christmas, two Fort Nelson families came dangerously close to two hungry wolves, until the family dog, Shadow, narrowly averted disaster.

The wolves appeared quietly at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, as darkness was creeping in on the winter wonderland 100 kilometres east of Fort Nelson, where the families were tobogganing.

About 30 metres away, a sleighful of three children - one aged four and the others aged three - were being happily towed along the base of a hill by an all-terrain vehicle." [...]

Okay, right here I'd suggest that towing kids on a toboggan with an ATV probably puts them in more danger than any wolf. So Teh Stupid in this story starts with humans who've become so fucking lazy that they can't pull a sled themselves like my parents did. But anyway...

"Father Kyle Keays was oblivious to the danger until he suddenly heard his wife's shriek from the top of the hill.

Shadow, their Rottweiler-cross, had broken from the grasp of Keays' wife and was bounding down the hill toward the wolves, who were moving in toward the children.

"I looked back and saw my dog intercept the lead wolf - there were two of them. They were heading towards the kids and the dog came in," said 36-year-old Keays, who was riding on a separate ATV.

Being too far from the children, Keays headed to his nearby work camp to grab a rifle." [...]

"Keays, a licensed hunter, followed the tracks, found the wolf about 300 metres away and shot her."
And they all lived happily ever after! (Except for the wolves, whose hides will probably soon grace this guy's living room wall.)

What the wolves were really up to is debatable -- if they were that thin and only travelling in a pair, they might well have been looking for food. But it's highly unlikely they were "stalking" the kids -- probably they were just hoping to find something tasty amid the garbage that humans inevitably leave in their wake. Whatever they were doing, if their presence was upsetting these human interlopers, one would think the idea of leaving the area might have occurred to someone? Nah, no need to be inconvenienced, just shoot whatever's bothering you, problem solved. Jerks!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

2007 Wingnut Roundup

I didn't think anything could beat 2006 for conservative lunacy, but this past year was absolutely positively rich and rife with it. Global warming denial, Islamophobic paranoia, persecution complexes, authoritarian interventionism (especially into our S-E-X lives), fetus worship, racist tripe, misogynist garbage, homophobic bullshit by the steaming shovelful... whew. All that and more were evident in that mass of roiling putrescence that was the right-wing rage-o-sphere of 2007.

In an exercise that tested the bounds of my nausea threshold, I've assembled what I recall as some of the highlights of the past year's wingnuttery. In no particular order, here's some of the freaky phenomena they visited upon us:

1. Freeping! The practice of "freeping" online polls really came into its own in the Canadian wankosphere this year. It was especially popular among social conservatives like SUZANNE, who've finally figured out that it's the only way they'll ever get to see poll results that show the majority of Canadians agree with their authoritarian, sexually-obsessed nanny-statism. Through determined freeping campaigns, they succeeded in showing, time and again, that online polls can be manipulated to skew the results. Revelation! It was kind of funny to see them run around all excited, thinking they'd proven that Pierre Trudeau and Henry Morgentaler are Canada's first and third-Worst Canadians when all they've proven is this.

1(a) Facebook Freeping! No mention of the year's freepage would be complete without a nod to that Social Conservative pinnacle of freepiosity, the CBC Facebook Wishlist. CBC formed a Facebook group to ask Canadians what they wished for Canada, the top wish to be given some airtime after the contest closed. Socons desperate for attention recruited every wingnut with internet access, Catholic school kids, non-citizens and that weird guy who stands outside the Parliament Buildings with a dead fetus poster, and feverishly freeped the Wish List, freeped it long and freeped it hard. When it had been well and truly freeped, the results were surprising to say the least. Environics pollsters take note: forget environmental issues, Afghanistan and health care, the Number One wish of all Canadians is that a minor elective medical procedure be banned. Also high on our wish list -- ban gay marriage and install a theocracy. Now, who fucking knew?!

2. Creeping! Conservative wingnut, um, I don't know, "writer"? "commentator"? "entertainer"? "curiousity"? Rachel Marsden found that Old Habits Die Hard, and two of her old habits, stalking creepily and talking stupidly, came back for a bite. Talking stupidly about torture led to her being shit-canned from the Toronto Sun, then Christmas came early for progressive blogging snarkmeisters when Rachel thought "Christmas stocking" meant "Chri
stmas stalking" and she went back to her old standby activity.
3. Anti-semitism! Wingnut pun-dit Ann Coulter suggested that Jews needed to be "perfected" -- a concept eerily similar to one advanced in Germany in the late-1930s. Anti-semite? Nahhh... she just thinks Jews are less perfect than Christians. Kind of like Larry Craig isn't gay, he just likes having sex with men. Okay, well uh... Achtung!, Annie.

4. Racism! It was everwhere this year, but never more expressively oinked out than by Canada's own "Five Feet of Pigshit". Her witty repartee about first nations people (including a sassy little call for more genocide and a denial that the first genocide even happened) was a laugh-riot... isn't she just the edgiest evah? But it was her deranged hypothesis about the poor in America -- and by "poor", FFofPS means "those who are any colour darker than deathly pallid" -- that gave her the 15 minutes of fame she longs for at the able keyboards of USian bloggers TBogg and Sadly No. The evisceration, while fun to watch, was short-lived: she's just not interesting enough to command the attention of anyone who matters for longer than that.

5. Misogyny! In certain conservative circles, a year without misogyny would be like a year without... misogyny. My favourite mind-blowingly misogynist blog post ran December 6, which is of course the anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique tragedy, and was titled "Gamil Gharbi Appreciation Day", after the cool dude that murdered the 14 women. Hyuk! Hyuk! Hyuk! Nothing tickles the funnybone like disrespect for the dead! Especially dead women! Cuz they prolly axed for it, d'yup. Hyuk!

6. Homophobia! 2007 was a banner year for homophobia, not so much on its own than as a springboard to free speech debates. Nitwits like Wartcott, Boissonn and little nazi Jessica Beaumont were all given legal slaps upside their vacuous heads for engaging in incendiary speech against gays, muslims or both... anyone who isn't just like them will do, really. Free Dominion has been plagued with ongoing human rights complaint problems, which they intelligently deal with by posting even longer, more offensive threads and going on the radio to announce that "gay men like to walk down the street naked". Uh yeah. The Great Free Speech Debate goes on, but I'm not so sure it's free speech they're worried about as much as their right to be assholes to minorities.

7. Islamophobia! SHRIEEEEEK! This could go with "Racism", but it's really kind of a category unto itself. It's been on the march for about 6 years -- SHRIEEEEEEK!-- but 2007 was the year Islamophobia bloomed like a putrid skunk cabbage. The paranoia was manifest in the increasing number of right-wingers warning -- SHRIEEEEEEK! -- that "western" society, society "as we know it", our "traditional" society (okay, we get it -- "white" society) is about to collapse and crumble into the dust because we aren't as prolific as Da Moooslims, and are in fact about to be -- SHRIEEEEEK! -- "overrun" by Them. No, their extremists don't help matters, but I'm thinking that their extremists and our extremists are starting to be not that far apart.

8. Global Warming Denial! Oh yeah, this was non-stop. Pictures of weather meters and barbeques abounded in the jerkosphere this year, where genuine Scientists were shunted aside in favour of retired weathermen. And that sentence alone says it all better than anything else I could possibly come up with, although the expression "LALALALALALALA" sort of comes to mind.

9. Conservative Family Values-style Hypocrisy! You knew I wasn't gonna let this one pass by without comment. Senator Larry Widestance "I'm Not Gay (I Just Like Sex With Men)" Craig led the conga line in this always-crowded dance category. The "Stall of Fame" also includes such lavatory luminaries as GOP congressman Bob Allen. But apart from the "public washroom" aspect of things, these at least involved normal gay sex. There was also some genuine conservative depravity: Scuba Sex with the Rubber Reverend, and *gag* child sexual abuse with this piece of crap, a registered republican prosecutor. It got so bad this year that a frustrated GOP strategist lamented,
“The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” said Mr. Reed, sounding exasperated in an interview on Tuesday morning. “You can’t make this stuff up."
No. For purveyors of progressive snark, it was 2007 and the livin' was easy.

And finally...

10. A Miracle! Huh? What? A Miracle? Yes, there was a miracle, a Conservative Christmas miracle, a Doughy Pantload of miracles: Jonah Goldberg's book, "Liberal Fascism", 10 Friedman Units in the making and re-making, was finally published a couple of weeks ago, and *gasp* will be on sale in January. A sneak peak at the contents page reveals snarkbait aplenty; I can hardly wait for the "reviews" of the actual book.

There's more, of course -- there's always more from these nitwits. But I don't have all day week.
So that's it. The bell has almost rung on this year, and it's definitely rung on this post. Have a merry merry and a happy happy. I'm sure next year will be... oh good god in a go-kart, I almost forgot! Next year there's a Preznitial Election! It'll be just like this year -- except worse!

2000 miles

Chrissie Hynde & the Pretenders

Monday, December 24, 2007

The mess they made

Turkey is bombing northern Iraq (Kurdistan) for the second straight day:
"Turkish jets bombed separatist Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq for the second day in a row, Kurdish security officials said Sunday, although there was no immediate confirmation from the Turkish military.

Jabbar Yawer, the deputy minister for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s security forces, said that the aircraft hit a remote border region 50 miles north of Erbil but that there were no civilian casualties because the area was deserted.

Mr. Yawer said he did not know if there were any fatalities among the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party, known by its Kurdish initials, P.K.K. The Turkish government accuses the group of launching attacks into Turkey from remote bases in the mountains of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq."

Turkey is supposedly an ally, a rare asset in that part of the world. The Kurds are the only people in Iraq who are pro-occupation -- another rare middle-eastern ally. I'd posit that the Bush administration could fuck up a two-car funeral, but are they really to blame? I mean, who could have predicted such an event?

A War on Christmas Carol

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, "A Christmas Song"

We're down to the wire, troops

... only one more sleep until the final apocalyptic battle in the War on Christmas. I've assembled all my anti-Christmas artillery, and my War on Christmas tree is loaded. The anti-War on Christmas insurgency continues apace, with some sectarian disputes arising. And suddenly...

...BOOM! Reports from the Front Lines are coming in: the War on Christmas surge is working!

A Creative Revolution reports on the Pagan origins of the Christmas Saturnalia tree!

The Galloping Beaver has more on the dark Pagan underside of Christmas and ponders whether the War on Christmas should be moved back three days... a sure sign that it's all but won!

Rants from the Rookery reports on the crucifixion of Santa Claus and naked drunken Santas running amok!

Creekside reports that sectarian War on Christmas dissension has led to some defecting to our side! The good news just keeps coming!

It's the Mother of All War on Christmas battles: Bring 'em on!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Battle Hymn of the War on Christmas republic

Fairy Tale of New York, the Pogues & Kirsty McColl:

The War on Christmas crie de la guerre: "Happy Christmas yer arse!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice: Time to get serious

about the War on Christmas.

The rightie-tightie religicons maintain that for some years now, "the leftists" have been feverishly waging an unrelenting War on Christmas. Our Mission: to destroy Christmas by any means necessary. We wouldn't rest (ye merry gentlemen) until Christmas lay in smoldering ruins, then we'd piss on it to douse the remaining fire.

However, it appears that we are failing in Our Mission. StageLeft has been monitoring the progress of the War on Christmas by tracking successful attacks by Warriors on Christmas, and to date, not even a single skirmish has been won. Nobody has been kept from celebrating Christmas, saying "Merry Christmas", buying Christmas presents, or making that gross Christmas fruitcake. In spite of our best efforts, Christmas is winning.

I tried my best. I said "Merry War on Christmas" to customers at work. I asked people if they were "all ready for the War on Christmas". I went out this morning and bought some War On Christmas presents. My War on Christmas lights have been a-twinkling in the window for over 2 weeks. Tomorrow I'll decorate my War on Christmas tree. But even with all that effort, the War on Christmas seems to be a lost cause. The shock and awe that we were sworn to unleash on Christmas turned out to be... a dud.

We only have two more days to make this happen, troops. Do you suppose a War on Christmas Surge would work?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sheeeeeeee's back! (Part 537)

Oh no. Oh yes! Marsden again. Being weird again. Being bugshit, batshit, head-in-a-360-degree-spin, kaaaaa-razay... again:
"A member of the Ontario police anti-terrorism section is under internal investigation following allegations he disclosed documents and details on national security operations to New York-based conservative political pundit Rachel Marsden.

The Ontario Provincial Police criminal investigations branch has already cleared Constable Tony Backhurst of any criminal wrongdoing. "We have conducted a thorough investigation and determined the complaint to be unsubstantiated," OPP Inspector Dave Ross said."

Like all ill-fated romances, it started so innocently... lust on the rifle range. But the incendiary combination of bullets, BJs and bugfuck insanity can never end well:

"They met two years ago when she was a Toronto Sun columnist. She visited a police firearms range where Const. Backhurst was working as an instructor, and they had a physical relationship, she says.

But in September, Ms. Marsden posted Const. Backhurst's photo on the Internet under the heading "Rachel's Jerk of the Day." The posting identified him as an OPP counter-terrorism officer.

Ouch. Hell hath no fury like a boink buddy scorned. Especially when said boink buddy also happens to be certifiably loony, lunched out, bunny-in-boiling-water psychotic. Marsden claimed that her erstwhile fuck friend was a threat to national security:

"It further claimed the officer had given her "top secret" police files. "So, hey, at least I got something out of this thoroughly deceptive 2 year relationship," she wrote.

Two days later, Ms. Marsden sent a letter to Detective Staff Sergeant Pat Morris of the OPP anti-terrorism section, indicating that Const. Backhurst had shared details of Canadian counter-terrorism operations with her."

Top secret police files? Riiiiight. (And after the next day's BJ he gave her an official map to where Captain Kidd's chest of dubloons is buried.) Marsden backed up her claim with naughty nudie pictures of the officer:

"As proof, Ms. Marsden sent the National Post sexually explicit photos that she said Const. Backhurst had e-mailed to her. But the photos do not show the man's face, and the newspaper could not verify the origins of the images and accompanying letters."
What can this mean? Are Canada's top security secrets tattoo'd on the Love Guns of our counter-terrorism officers, only readable when they get... excited? Not a bad idea, but I'm not buying it, and neither are the cops -- and to top it all off, Const. Backhurst has filed charges against Marsden for... for... what could it be... think hard... drum roll...


"The stalking investigation is now complete and has now gone to Crown prosecutors, who will decide whether to charge Ms. Marsden. A South Simcoe police officer informed her of the investigation last weekend."
But you already knew that, didn't you?

(h/t A Creative Revolution)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Unacceptable to some

The operators of the 2007 Canadian Blog Awards, hard-working and well-intentioned though they may be, have stepped in quite the steaming little pile by allowing a reasonable request for a "Best Feminist Blog" category to escalate into a blogospheric shitstorm. The CBA operators asked for feedback, got it, and summarily rejected it without even giving a valid reason:
"And “Best Feminist Blog” cannot be done, as it is unacceptable to some."
Oh yeah? Unacceptable to who? And what about those to whom the lack of such a category is unacceptable? What makes us lower on the food chain than than those who deem the category "unacceptable"?

There are many contexts where "unacceptable to some" would be a perfectly legitimate reason to reject a request: a "Best Pron Blog" category would be "unacceptable to some". Or how about "Best Visual Abortion Propaganda" Blog? No doubt unacceptable to most, never mind "some". But this just isn't the case with a Best Feminist Blog category. Not everyone supports feminism -- hey, I don't support conservatism, but I don't shriek and piss and clamour for it to be removed as a CBA category. Whether I support it or not, conservatism exists and its adherents are blogging. Just like feminism. So, just like feminism, it qualifies as a category.

The CBA operators wonder why feminist bloggers are pissed that their request was denied, given that there was no similar category in last year's awards. What they're missing is that over the past year, issues like the Status of Women changes have mobilized feminist bloggers and changed the dynamic completely. What was once a loose network of individual feminist bloggers has evolved into a potent blogging movement as deserving as any other of a CBA category. Maybe the reason the feminist category didn't occur to the operators in the first place is that they're unaware of these blogospheric nuances. Or maybe it's just easier to cave in to the near-psychotic hysteria of those who find a feminist category unacceptable.

Anyway, while we're on the topic of all things unacceptable, here's something else I find unacceptable -- the "Best Blog" category. As CC points out here, the inconsistent quality to be found within the "Best Blog" category is a bad joke. No category that includes TGB and The Vanity Press should also be home to SDA. Though SDA does *what it does* very well, *what it does* doesn't qualify it to stand with high-octane blogs like TGB. To allow it is unacceptable, and not just to *some*.

So yes, there are things that are legitimately "unacceptable". A Best Feminist Blog category just isn't one of them.

White House smokin'

Is this a chain reaction or what? First there's a little explosion at Faux News, now it looks like the White House is on fire:
"WASHINGTON - Thick black smoke billowed from a fire Wednesday on the White House compound in the Executive Office Building."
Oh, and take a wild guess where the fire started:
"The blaze appeared to be located near the ceremonial office of Vice President Dick Cheney on the second floor of the building."
How much more proof do we need??

Time Magazine POTY

Time's Person of the Year for 2007 is creepy Russian President Vladimir Putin:
"...Russia is central to our world—and the new world that is being born. It is the largest country on earth; it shares a 2,600-mile (4,200 km) border with China; it has a significant and restive Islamic population; it has the world's largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction and a lethal nuclear arsenal; it is the world's second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia; and it is an indispensable player in whatever happens in the Middle East. For all these reasons, if Russia fails, all bets are off for the 21st century. And if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin." [...]

"TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world—for better or for worse. It is ultimately about leadership—bold, earth-changing leadership. Putin is not a boy scout. He is not a democrat in any way that the West would define it. He is not a paragon of free speech. He stands, above all, for stability—stability before freedom, stability before choice, stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred years."
And creepy, don't forget teh creepy. (Sorry Vlad, it's true.) Anyway...

Yep. Can't say I disagree that Putin's been a force for stability in a country that was teetering on the brink of collapse when he took the reins. As to his methods, well, the POTY distinction has more to do with the ends than the means. Putin is in his ascendancy at the moment -- he'll be a major newsmaker in the future.

Second: Al Gore, who I was expecting to win. (But he's got his Nobel Peace Prize to keep him warm.)

9/11 won't protect you from the fetus fetishists

I hope Rudy Giuliani is happy with what his party has wrought:
"National anti-abortion activist and Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry was one of 11 people arrested outside Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's campaign office yesterday." [...]

"Yesterday morning, police officers told protesters they would be arrested if they did not move out of the way. Police say the protesters said they would not leave, so they were arrested.

The police were called to the building by the property manager because the protesters were blocking the entrance to the building that is home to several businesses as well as Giuliani's campaign office. Campaign officials said they did not call police about the protesters.

According to a press release from Terry, the group came to New Hampshire to expose "the real Rudy."

"We will tear down the conservative facade that Rudy has built - to keep him from lying and seducing his way to the White House," Terry said in the press release. The release says the group of out-of-state activists will join with New Hampshire residents to target Giuliani's campaign offices in Manchester, Portsmouth and Concord through tomorrow."

Oh yeah... Karl Rove thought it was a grand idea to scrounge up a few more votes by cultivating the nut hatchery. All it took was shaking in a few pellets like conservative judicial appointments, late-term abortion legislation and the Terri Schiavo travesty and they swarmed to the surface of the electoral fishtank, voracious and demanding:

"Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos," DeLay aide Mike Scanlon wrote in an e-mail obtained by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee three years ago. "The wackos get their information from the Christian Right, Christian radio, the internet, and telephone trees." The idea was to bring out the wackos every two years, then work to placate them between elections."

Rove will soon be followed into the dustbin of history by his presidential creation, but the feeding frenzy goes on. Rudy appears to be next on the menu.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Naughty or nice

It's hard out there for a shopping mall Santa:
"DANBURY, Conn. - Santa Claus says that a woman who sat on his lap was naughty, not nice. A Santa at the Danbury Fair mall said the woman groped him.

"The security officer at the mall said Santa Claus has been sexually assaulted," police Detective Lt. Thomas Michael said of the weekend complaint.

Sandrama Lamy, 33, of Danbury, was charged with sexual assault and breach of peace. She was released on a promise to appear in court on Jan. 3.
Police quickly found and identified Lamy because the woman was described as being on crutches, said Capt. Bob Myles."
Crutches?! Whoa. A broken leg ain't gonna slow that galloping groper down. Hate to see what she does when she's not on crutches!

Monday, December 17, 2007

A little good news

The Saudi Arabian woman recently sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison for "allowing herself" to be gang-raped (but of course!) has been pardoned:
"Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has pardoned the victim of a gang-rape whose sentencing to 200 lashes caused an international outcry, a Saudi newspaper said on Monday." [...]

"The 19-year-old Shi'ite woman was abducted and raped along with a male companion by seven men last year in a case that piled international pressure on the government to step in.

Ruling according to the strict Saudi reading of Islamic law, a court sentenced the woman to 90 lashes for being alone with an unrelated man and the rapists to jail terms of up to five years.

The Supreme Judicial Council last month increased the sentence to 200 lashes and six months in prison and ordered the rapists to serve between two years and nine years in prison."
Apart from the ridiculously oppressive law that led to a victimized woman being charged for what amounts to her own rape, the court seemed to miss the fact that she wasn't there by choice -- she was abducted. Well darn her for allowing herself to be abducted. Oh well: in places like Saudi Arabia, women take their tiny victories where they can.

Now if we could hear about a reversal of the non-sentences handed out to the rapists of a 10-year-old Aborigine girl in Australia last week, and the firing of the racist pigshit of a judge who claimed the child "probably agreed" to it, my week would truly be made. Maybe there's a chance, now that the case has drawn worldwide attention to a widespread culture of abuse.

(h/t: bastard.logic)

Fox News explodes (a little)

Fox News was evacuated this morning after something sort of exploded:
"Fire officials said a chemical reaction caused a small explosion in the News Corp building in midtown Manhattan. One person has been injured.

The fire department says the 10:39 a.m. incident at 1211 Avenue of the Americas occurred on the 45th floor, which houses the heating and cooling systems and other utilities for the 47-story building.

There are no offices on that floor, or on the three floors above. All three floors have been evacuated. Fire spokesman Jim Long says: "We have some sort of reaction between two chemicals that caused a slight explosion." The chemicals are unknown."
Only one person injured, thankfully, and not seriously. So let us speculate on the real cause of the explosion. Chemical reaction? Or was Bill-O just having an unusually intense ragegasm? Did someone wish him "Happy Holidays"???

Creating your own reality

Maybe I'm missing something, but I really don't get the whole "freeping" thing:

When they look at the poll results, how do they feel?
"Bravo, well done, people. Another online poll manipulated into hopelessly skewed irrelevancy. Point-click activism is hard, hard work, but the results make it all worthwhile."
I'll never understand how they get some kind of charge out of looking at the fake results of a poll that's pretty irrelevant to start with. It's kind of sad, really.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Not such a cracked idea

While I support harm-reduction drug strategies like needle exchanges and safe injection sites, initially I had a pretty negative response to Vancouver Island's upcoming crack pipe distribution program:
"A crack-pipe distribution program driven out of Nanaimo by city council will become available throughout Vancouver Island in the new year.

The distribution will be at needle exchanges in Victoria, Nanaimo, Campbell River and Courtenay, and mobile units running in most Island communities, said Murray Fyfe." [...]

"For the first time, the Ministry of Health's harm reduction supply and services program will fund crack-pipe components -- such as plastic mouthpieces and filters -- through the B.C. Centre for Disease Control."
Nanaimo is close to where I live, and my rural neighbourhood is routinely looted by marauding crackheads from "town" (including my place -- twice). So my unthinking, kneejerk response to the crack pipe distribution program was "Noooo!!"

But then, that was my first response to safe injection sites. I thought they were a bad idea, not because of any moral opposition to drug use (it should be purely a health problem), but because I couldn't believe addicts would actually use them. The possibility that addicts might stop shooting up in doorways because there was a safe injection site 3 or 4 blocks away just didn't square with what I knew to be true from serious drug users of my acquaintance (in another life). I knew one cocaine user who was arrested shooting up in a Mcdonald's washroom... 2 blocks away from his home. Why he couldn't wait until he'd traversed the 2 blocks to the ultimate safe injection site -- his house -- is one of addiction's many riddles. Many addicts are driven and desperate enough to indulge the moment they acquire their drugs, wherever and whenever that may to be. So I couldn't see how a safe injection site would keep junkies from shooting up in the street, unless they happened to rendezvous with their dealers right outside the place.

Happily, I was wrong. Insite has been operational for 4 years and (much to the disgruntlement of the White House) all indications are that it works. Not only does it provide a safe place for drug users to do what they'd otherwise be doing in a park or alleyway, it gives them access to medical care, counselling, and ultimately, programs that help them leave drugs behind. It removes some of the anonymity that accompanies illicit drug use and makes it so easy for such people to be victimized. It helps stem the overwhelming tide of HIV and Hep-C. What it demonstrably does not do is encourage more drug use. Like the needle exchange programs from which safe injection sites evolved, there's no reason to believe that a crack pipe program would be anything but another effective harm reduction strategy.

Of course, as long as drugs remain illegal and therefore, astronomically expensive, users will continue committing crimes to finance their habits. Harm reduction can't address the problems that our idiotic laws engender. And Stephen Harper's statement about harm reduction -- "It is a second-best strategy at best, because if you remain a drug addict, I don't care how much harm you reduce, you're going to have a short and miserable life." -- is emblematic of that idiocy.