November 28, 2008

When Religions Collide!

There is a scheduled counter-protest of the Westboro Baptist Church in Vancouver today by local Pastafarians.

That would be these folks:

Protesting these folks:

Who want to protest these folks:

But usually fail instead.
posted by Thursday at 8:04 pm 0 comments

November 27, 2008

From Douchebag to Loser in One Easy Step

So, how can you tell when you're a douchebag? The secret lies here:

Claiming that he has been unfairly branded a "douchebag" in the book "Hot Chicks with Douchebags," a Las Vegas man has filed a libel lawsuit against the volume's author and publisher.

You may notice the link to said website off to the right there, down at the bottom. The host, Douchebag1, has a fine compilation of the greasy, the scungy, and the repulsive. Or you could just ask Elizabeth Banks.

The amusing thing is that he's not the first to launch a lawsuit against the publication:

According to a New Jersey Superior Court lawsuit, the women--Yvette Gorzelany, 22; Joanna Obiedzinski, 21; and Paulina Pakos, 24--have been forced to undergo medical treatment and psychological therapy [because of the book].

Because after all, what's a douchebag without hot chicks? Nothing, that's what. Though I do have one word of advice for the theoretical "hotts" who were complaining:

Angered that their photos appear in "Hot Chicks with Douchebags," three New Jersey women have sued the book's author and publisher, claiming that the "vulgar" title has unfairly tarred them as "females who date dubious men."

Don't date dubious men. Problem solved!


posted by Thursday at 8:40 pm 2 comments

November 22, 2008

'Science' in the House


You may or may not recall one of Plastic Man's first acts as Prime Minister was to demote the position of National Science Adviser from the Privy Council, where he reported directly to the PM, to Industry Canada; which I think tells you all you need to say about the Conservatives' attitude to science.

Or I thought it did.

There's a new man appointed to Minister of Science and Technology. Unlike the demoted 'science adviser', (who had over 300 publications in peer reviewed journals, was president of the National Research Council for 10 years, was a former president of the Canadian Society for Chemistry, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, is an Officer of the Order of Merit in France, had served on many, many boards of science and industry councils, has honorary degrees from thirteen universities and honorary professorships from two more, has worked on advisory boards in several countries, and has five patents among other notable accomplishments and awards), this new guy graduated cum laude from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. School motto: "Do you have great people skills and the drive it takes be an entrepreneur? If so, becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic may be in your future!"

Now, I know what you're thinking: why didn't they just nominate a chiropractor in the first place? After all, they link to a study that concludes:
Providers, policy makers and insurers need to move toward universal, validated, evidence-based treatment guidelines.
And if that's not support for chiropractors, I don't know what is!

Even if this government appointment thing doesn't work out for him, Minister Goodyear can always fall back on his fellowship in clinical acupuncture. Plus, he's apparently worked as an 'adviser to investment firms in the biomedical industry'.

So really, as far as our government understanding complex scientific questions, we're in good hands.


posted by Thursday at 11:30 am 2 comments

November 20, 2008

Holy Crap

Every now and then I pick up Maclean's to see just how far it's fallen (this week: a panic piece about how kids ain't as smrt as thy wuz befer all them 'puters an' junk!) and give a small sad sigh.

Then I glance through the Wall Street Journal and find things like this:
One man's theory: A nation whose people can't say "Merry Christmas" is a nation capable of ruining its own economy.

No, really.

Okay, Maclean's has taken on the personality of a coot in his wifebeater demanding punks stay off his lawn, sure; but at least they're not following you down the street whispering madness sotto voce.

It's tough to expect much from a paper who knowingly publishes Peggy Noonan, but it would be nice if they occasionally thought about what might work in financial markets instead of preaching the repeated idiocy of that financial wizard Saint Ronnie. But it has it's echo in the current *ahem* leadership of George W(ho?) Bush who said this at the Manhattan Institute last week:

History has shown that the greater threat to economic prosperity is not too little government involvement in the market, it is too much government involvement in the market. (Applause)

Somehow I can't shake the feeling that simplistic, ritualized chanting just might have something to do with being incapable to anticipate future complexities. For instance, how many people in that room remembered the words Bush spoke less than two minutes before:
One vital principle of reform is that our nations must make our financial markets more transparent.
Secondly, we must ensure that markets, firms, and financial products are properly regulated.
Third, we must enhance the integrity of our financial markets. For example, authorities in every nation should take a fresh look at the rules governing market manipulation and fraud -- and ensure that investors are properly protected.
Fourth, we must strengthen cooperation among the world's financial authorities. For example, leading nations should better coordinate national laws and regulations.

There wasn't any applause for those lines, so maybe the folks in attendance just missed them. But back to the importance of Jesus to banking futures. In the writer's own words:

One had better explain that.

You think?
The path to 50% wealth reductions and the death of Wall Street was paved with good intentions, notably the notion that all should own a house, even if that required giving away the house to untutored borrowers with low-to-no-interest loans. This good intention set off history's largest chain of moral hazard.

Moral hazard? Moral hazard? How about using hyperbole to throw blame on whoever's poorest, instead of noting a complete lack of safeguards and greed and a system that rewards signatures on paper instead of the appropriateness of the mortgage granted? That morally hazardous enough for you?
Little or nothing that has occurred through this crisis discredits the system of free-market capitalism. Across several centuries of rising world incomes and social gains, the system has proved its worth. In this instance, the system has been badly used -- by mere people.

And for the writer, nothing ever, ever will. One gets the impression Mr. Henninger would be all for selling children, so long as it happened on the free market. Hey, at least the hands that molested them would be invisible.

When the Social Security and Medicare meltdowns arrive, as precisely foretold by their trustees, will we ask again: What were they thinking?

"...So long as we don't have to ask it now about this collapse, okay? Because that would be wrong. But the fact that hard-line free market fanatics have been hobbling these programs for the past thrity years must never be discussed; likewise that other nations can somehow manage both of these better than America can manage either one. Damn commies."

What really went missing through the subprime mortgage years were the three Rs: responsibility, restraint and remorse.

Amazing how these things also rather famously "went missing" in the 1980s (say hello to Mike Milken for me, would you?) isn't it? Despite the nation being led by another great moral leader...

Anyhow, three quick questions:
1) Responsibility to whom;
2) Restraint to what level; and
3) Remorse about what, exactly? By its very nature, you cannot feel remorse except in retrospect; this means you've already acted badly, so remorse isn't doing much good there, is it?

Responsibility and restraint are moral sentiments. Remorse is a product of conscience. None of these grow on trees.

So we're only getting semi-metaphysical here, or was noticing that "restraint" wasn't a vegetable an accident?

It has been my view that the steady secularizing and insistent effort at dereligioning America has been dangerous.


That danger flashed red in the fall into subprime personal behavior by borrowers and bankers, who after all are just people.

And no one else. Ever. Do not look behind the curtian. This had nothing to do with insurance investors purchasing and repackaging mortgages a number of times.

Northerners and atheists who vilify Southern evangelicals are throwing out nurturers of useful virtue with the bathwater of obnoxious political opinions.

This one's fun to parse.

In one sentence, Henninger says: atheists are neither Northerners nor Southerners; no Southerners vilify Southern evangelicals; Southern evangelicals are the only sources of 'useful virtue'; these self-same nurturers are also holders of 'obnoxious political opinions'.

So virtue and reasonable political views are mutually incompatible? Interesting that he's found the courage to say so in print, but you have to wonder who he's expecting to nod in agreement here.

My favorite pearl of sad wisdom is this:

In this instance, the system has been badly used -- by mere people.

Not sure who Mr. Henninger's banker is, but one hopes it's a human. Of course, that could explain his anger when the fish flakes market bottomed out in '03.

Labels: ,

posted by Thursday at 4:25 pm 0 comments

Big Round Number!

"A statement of fact cannot be insolent."

Tough to argue with. As tough, in fact, as arguing with a faceless computer. Now try doing that 100 times...

Or you could see the 100th(!) edition of the Skeptics' Circle, which by sheer coincidence is a nice little primer to what Orac is, all packaged in an easy-to-read prediction of doom.



posted by Thursday at 3:34 pm 0 comments

November 18, 2008

Oh, No! Teh SEX!

There is a lovely little place in Seattle which is sex-friendly and also a private club.

And it's Sweeps Week for the local television stations.

See where this is going?

Mistress Matisse noticed, and she's not happy. And when the Mistress ain't happy, ain't no one within reach happy...


posted by Thursday at 10:41 pm 0 comments

November 14, 2008

On Acronyms and Being Helpful

Been looking around Kiva again and noticed a certain something: in theory, conservatives are the folks who believe the strongest that hand outs to poor people are a horrible idea, right? And that businesses are the foundation of a strong national economy, right? And that liberals are the ones who insist on government funding everything, right? And that President-Elect Obama is the most extreme leftist ever to exist in America, right?

So why is it that the top donor group to an organization that finances microloans to poor entrepreneurs is *gasp* Team Obama? They have loaned nearly $110,000 to people around the world as of today. They are followed closely by the Kiva Christians* group at $107,000; then a pack of atheists, agnostics and freethinkers at $103,000. The Conservatives for 2012 (hmm) are at $11,000 (not bad for a new group), more tha $3,000 ahead of the Beer Goggles Never lie...much group and $5,000 ahead of Goons Without Borders. They do drag behind the Flying Spaghetti Monster Religious Congregation by a couple of grand, though...

The individuals seem to be bringing game, even if their parties lag behind: Team Democrat has financed only $3,150 in loans, while the only Republican group I could find was Republicans help (sic), who have six members, and made two loans. Given minimum loans are a mere $25, it would be nice if... ah, never mind. Loan what you can, folks! The return rate is phenominal!

*Non-denominational. Not to be confused with RRCFs, or Religious Right Christian Fuckos. Those are the "people" who hate in the name of Jesus. see also: Propsition 8; Fred Phelps

Labels: ,

posted by Thursday at 6:59 pm 0 comments

But, From Here... Where?


Obama isn't going to be president for another two months, and already the panic has set in:
In a column posted on the Christian Worldview Network Web site, Dunbar wrote that a terrorist attack on America during the first six months of an Obama administration “will be a planned effort by those with whom Obama truly sympathizes to take down the America that is threat to tyranny.”

Bear in mind, this is coming from a woman who is on the Texas State Board of Education. No, really. Any surprise she's from the Regent University School of Law?

Funny thing is, her writing (which she believes to be totally accurate and not libellous at all):
“I don’t have anything in there that would be retractable,” said Dunbar, R-Richmond. “Those are my personal opinions and I don’t think the language is questionable.”

seems to have disappeared from the website it was originally published on. Funny, that.

Still, it's not like she's the only official afflicted with a ringing case of Stupid:
Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military. "That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

"Broun" in this case would be Congressman Paul Broun, who's website includes his "Four-Way Test" to see if he'll support any legislation he sees. First comes "Is it moral?", then "Is it Constitutional?" Which pretty much tells you where his heart lies in the religion/state debate. Yep, he's a university graduate who thinks the National Guard answers to an individual (Barack Obama, in this case) instead of the office (president), never mind conflating Nazis with Marxism.

Well, the degree was is chemistry rather than political science of history, so maybe we should cut him a little slack.
"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential."

Or not.

But then, Broun isn't without his defenders:
Hitler's group was called Gestapo — Hitler's Secret Police or "brownshirts." So, because he told the truth about Obama, Broun was 'forced' to 'take it back.' Question: Can anything be said about Mr. Obama that isn't an indictment?[...] [I]t's an icy chill running up the spines of even the bravest of us.

That they're ignorant and easily terrified means nothing: they're still supporters, right?

Here, by the way, is the AARP's take on the speech:
From Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, presidents and those who aspire to be president have long put forth calls for greater public service. Some found success, while others fell short of their lofty rhetoric.

Roosevelt formed the Civilian Conservation Corps and Kennedy created the Peace Corps with strong support and participation, while Clinton's AmeriCorps has never fully realized its full potential, hampered by ongoing funding struggles since its 1994 inception.

Still, as Sen. Barack Obama called for greater public service Wednesday, some experts predict the potential now exists for programs seeking an expansion of volunteerism to succeed, despite a slumping economy and the nation being at war.

But then, we know how that turned out, with the Clinton Youth marching in the streets, driving their foes before them with violence and hatred...

Funding for AmeriCorps has been a constant strain amid agency mismanagement and disdain for the program among some Republicans.

Still, it recorded its 500,000th participant last year. Volunteers nationwide have provided service to needy communities by tutoring children, feeding the homeless, caring for the elderly and rebuilding areas struck by disaster.

Oh. Still, all this is awfully familliar stuff to anyone who was around for the 1992 and 1994 elections.

Any how, here's the YouTube video so you can join the panic yourself (with histrionic personality disorder commentary included at no extra charge).

Of course, it's not all about the Dreaded Muslim o' Terror that has conservatives wetting themselves. There's also a strong (yellow) streak of Fear of Actual Cooperation with Other Nations, as evidenced by Ron Paul guesting with the hilarious Alex Jones' Prison Planet:
Commenting on the much touted “International crisis” that luminaries such as Colin Powell, Joe Biden and Zbigniew Brzezinski have all guaranteed will occur within weeks of Obama entering the White House, the Congressman stated that he believes it may be a catalyst for a shift toward world government: “I think it’s going to be an announcement of a new monetary order, and they’ll probably make it sound very limited, they’re not going to say this is world government, even though it is if you control the world’s money and you control the military, which they do indirectly.”

Because as we all know, international cooperation and regulations are bad things. Who knows what sort of chaos might happen financial institutions are forced to behave less like eight year olds with Red Rider BB guns and more like adults? It would be MADNESS, I tell you!

And, of course, there's the usual panic about guns:
The fears aren’t unfounded. Clinton’s gun ban crippled many gun stores and increased the prices of assault weapons already in circulation to such a degree that the average Joe couldn’t afford them anymore.

That the average Joe is packing around assault weapons doesn't seem to worry this guy, because he's ready for he self-described (and eagerly anticipated) End Of The World As We Know It.

The next four (eight?) years are going to be fun, fun, FUN! Can't wait until the next Timothy McVeigh to show up, and for the clueless panic-mongers to wonder whatever could have driven him to do it!?!

You know it's going to happen, right?


posted by Thursday at 4:40 pm 0 comments

November 08, 2008

More Interesting Than I Thought I Was


So I'm flicking around teh intatron, when I spot a poster for a fetish night in Vancouver:

Check out what's required to get past the front door:

Not permitted: plain jeans, cargo pants, briefs or boxers, t-shirts, suits and work clothes. Absolutely no street or casual wear! Lower genital nudity not permitted. Highly encouraged: suggested attire includes but is certainly not limited to - vinyl, leather, PVC, leather, bondage, straps, chaps, full-on goth, punk, cyber, tuxedo, tailcoats/fancy dress, military/full uniform, fantasy or period costume, armour, drag/cross-dress, body paint, fancy lingere, kilt or any other risque costume your perverted little mind can dream up...

Besides wondering what the heck "upper genitals" are supposed to be, I have to ask: tuxedo? Since when have I been dressing up in fetish gear while bartending the more expensive catering jobs? Not that I mind so much, but it would have been nice to know: I could have charged more.


posted by Thursday at 6:50 pm 0 comments

Love is Less Important Than Sex!

Or so say the supporters of the banning of gay marriage.

Don't believe me? Then explain to me why people who love each other are forbidden from forming a life-long bond in the eyes of government, whereas two drunken idiots with a couple hundred bucks and fifteen minutes can get hitched without a blink?

Or are you one of those "progressive" types who doesn't care what people do with their genitals, but also think that marriage is a sacred rite and must remain the same no matter how society evolves (BAD WORD! BAD WORD!)?

May I suggest talking to Jake over at NoFo? He has a story you may appreciate.

Labels: ,

posted by Thursday at 10:54 am 0 comments

November 06, 2008

Short-Term Memory Loss Victim #3,468

So apparently there have been voices inside the McCain camp that are anonymously talking smack about the other Great Not Quite Leader:

If the anonymous McCain insiders are to be believed, Palin, a 44-year-old mother of five, was unaware that Africa was a continent, arguing that South Africa was simply a region of the larger country of Africa.

My first question is: where the hell were these folks when the election was going on, and knowing this could have made a difference?

My second? What about those wingnuts that became so insanely obsessed with Palin's very existence that they were pitching her for a 2012 run? (Yes, they're out there.) What ever will they do?

Well, obviously they'll have to do what they always do: DESTROY!!!
RedState is pleased to announce it is engaging in a special project: Operation Leper.

We’re tracking down all the people from the McCain campaign now whispering smears against Governor Palin to Carl Cameron and others. Michelle Malkin has the details.

One problem: that would mean them fighting against Republican nominees, and half of these jokers vowed they would never vote for John McCain, yet within one month were convinced he would lead them to the Golden Throne that is the White House. Do they really expect to remember who their enemies are four years from now? Or even two years, in case of senate elections?

Apparently so:

We intend to constantly remind the base about these people, monitor who they are working for, and, when 2012 rolls around, see which candidates hire them. Naturally then, you’ll see us go to war against those candidates.

I fully expect this dedication to last about as long as it takes for them to be distracted by a shiny belt buckle. Or pair of glasses.


posted by Thursday at 3:09 pm 0 comments

On Time This Time

Right! None of this lazing around for two weeks before mentioning the Skeptics' Circle this time!

Circle #99 is up and running, even as we speak.


posted by Thursday at 2:49 pm 2 comments

November 05, 2008

Sacrameto, We Have a Problem

So for the good news, there's going to be a whole new president of the United States in a few months, much to most of the world's relief. And that's "new" in a lot of ways: I expected the first non-white/non-male president would be Republican, and a conservative one to boot.


On the down side, California seems to have allowed this goofy-ass Proposition 8 to pass, effectively banning gay marriage in that state.

One problem: the State Attorney General says that those folks who already got married will be allowed to remain so.

Now, either:

A) Jerry Brown doesn't realize the sheer volume of lawsuits that allowing some exceptions to the law is going to create, in which case he's not qualified for the post; or
B) he knows perfectly well, and also knows that the courts are not going to allow that state of affairs to continue, using the upcoming decision as a leverage point for allowing gay marriage to be officially enshrined in California, possibly as a Governator going-away present.

I fear it's the former, but trust it's the latter. In the mean time, I'm not moving there any time soon, so my concern is more for the well being of others than it is for those I know and love.


Update: Ah, lovely! If you remember the hyperventilating that Obama is a "closet Muslim", and if he were ever elected sharia law would be declared and women would have to wear chadors and etc etc etc?

Think naming the son of a zionist militant as his chief-of-staff will curb that angle of attack at all? Or more is it more likely that Rahm Emanuel will be declared a "traitor to his blood" or some other idiotic thing? Because you know it's just a matter of time...

Labels: ,

posted by Thursday at 4:54 pm 0 comments

November 03, 2008

Some Call It Trivia...

The Washington Redskins lost 23-6 in Monday Night's game.

Just thought Obama fans would want to know.


posted by Thursday at 11:51 pm 0 comments