Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. - Mark Twain

Friday, October 27, 2006

Left Wing Values
by Lee

What is true evil?  Islamofascist terrorism?  Chattel slavery?  Genocide?  Kiddie porn?  Let’s ask Moby.

“If there is true evil in the world - it is republican conservatives. They won’t stop at anything - not even ridiculing a man with Parkinson’s. They are so ignorant it’s unbelievable.”

Ignorance appears to be in the eye of the beholder.

Update: When Reagan announced he had Alzheimer’s, something tells me that Moby wasn’t as outraged at the abusive, offensive commentary coming from the left.

Posted by Lee on 10/27/06 at 01:41 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Like An Animal
by Lee

There’s a lot of hot animal action in Norway.

Giraffes mounting, aroused whales mating and dragonflies copulating--perfectly normal, tender scenes--although perhaps not for all, as in this case these animals are of the same sex.

Breaking what is taboo for some, the Oslo Natural History Museum is currently showing an exhibition on homosexuality in the animal kingdom which organisers say is the first of its kind in the world.

“As homosexual people are often confronted with the argument that their way of living is against the principles of nature, we thought that ... as a scientific institution, we could at least show that this is not true,” exhibition organiser Geir Soeli tells AFP.

“You can think whatever you want about homosexuals but you cannot use that argument because it is very natural, it’s very common in animal kingdom,” Soeli adds.

But the bests part comes right at the end.

While the images displayed at the Natural History Museum wash over passing school children, the exhibition has sparked consternation in conservative Christians.

A Lutheran priest said he hoped the organisers would “burn in hell,” and a Pentecostal priest lashed out at the exhibition saying tax payers’ money used for it would have been better spent helping the animals correct “their perversions and deviances.”

That’s right, folks.  We need to teach animals to be heterosexual.  Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.

Update: There’s more on this over at Reason.  Trust me, take a look.

Posted by Lee on 10/27/06 at 08:19 AM in Science and Technology  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Macaca Strikes Backa
by Lee

This is, truly, one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever seen.

Sen. George Allen, R-VA, unleashed a press release late Thursday that exposed his rival’s fiction writing, which includes graphic underage sex scenes.

The press release, as provided by the Allen Campaign:

WEBB’S WEIRD WORLD

The Author’s Disturbing Writings Show a Continued Pattern of Demeaning Women

· Some of Webb’s writings are very disturbing for a candidate hoping to represent the families of Virginians in the U.S. Senate.

This is so stupid I don’t even know where to begin.  These books are FICTION.  When Tom Clancy writes, in detail, what goes on inside the mind of a terrorist, does this mean he shares the values of that terrorist?  How about Steven King, do his books indicate that he’s a serial killer/vampire/haunted car/werewolf?  The idea that these books have any relevance on Webb’s capacity to be governor is asinine, and shows just how desperate the Allen campaign is.

Posted by Lee on 10/27/06 at 08:04 AM in Election 2006  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It Doesn’t Work
by Lee

For months now I’ve been repeatedly making the point that the information obtained via torture is virtually worthless.  It is not accurate and actionable, if for no reason other than a tortured man will tell you anything you want to hear to get the torture to stop.  And there’s no better example of exactly this point than this.

An Al-Qaeda terror suspect captured by the United States, who gave evidence of links between Iraq and the terror network, confessed after being tortured, a journalist told the BBC.

ban al Shakh al Libby told intelligence agents that he was close to Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and “understood an awful lot about the inner workings of Al-Qaeda,” former FBI agent Jack Clonan told the broadcaster.

Libby was tortured in an Egyptian prison, according to Stephen Grey, the author of the newly-released book “Ghost Plane” who investigated the secret US Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA) prisons that housed terror suspects around the world.

… Libby was apparently taken to Cairo, Clonan told the broadcaster, after being captured in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

“He (Libby) claims he was tortured in jail and that would be routine in Egyptian prisons,” Grey said.

“What he claimed most significantly was a connection between ... Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. This intelligence report made it all the way to the top, and was used by (former US secretary of state) Colin Powell as a key piece of justification ... for invading Iraq,” he told the broadcaster.

Powell claimed in a UN Security Council meeting in February 2003, weeks before a US-led coalition invaded Iraq, that the country under Saddam Hussein had provided weapons training to Al-Qaeda, saying he could “trace the story of a senior terrorist operative”, whom Grey alleges is Libby.

“At the time, the caveats to say this intelligence was extracted under torture were not provided,” Grey said.

So, there you have it.  We torture this bastard, he tells us what we want to hear, then we base policy on this false information.  How, exactly doe this make America safer?  How does this support the troops?  How, in any conceivable sense, does this protect America?

It doesn’t.  It’s a perfect example of the point I’ve made time and time again, that no matter how much terrorists might “deserve” torture, as a tool of interrogation it’s absolutely worthless.  And when we act based on worthless information, Americans die as a result.  But, if you’re primarily concerned with the “screaming Arab” component, this should sit with you just fine.  After all, “they’re trying to kill us.”

Posted by Lee on 10/26/06 at 08:39 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Rolled War
by Lee

There’s a war Bush didn’t start, but he has no plans to stop it any time soon.

President Bush never tires of wasting our tax dollars losing various wars. Now he wants to give Colombia another $600 million International Herald Tribune reports.

From where I am sitting right now I could find cocaine within a one mile radius in less than five minutes.  There are better ways to prevent people from using drugs than to continue pouring money down the drug war toilet.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/06 at 12:02 PM in Politics  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Big, Fat Hosers with Weapons
by Lee

Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

A minimum level of fitness is no longer required of those who wish to join the Canadian Forces.

A notice posted in the recruiting section of Canada’s military website says that, as of Oct. 1, the regular test to determine physical capabilities that has traditionally been demanded of all new applicants has been eliminated.

It’s a change that comes as the Forces, stretched to the limit with deployment of more than 2,200 soldiers in Afghanistan, tries to increase its ranks by 8,000 members over the next five years even as attrition is depleting them.

After joining the Forces, however, recruits will still be subject to a medical examination — and those who can’t meet the grade physically will be turned over to trainers who will try to get them into the kind of condition required to begin their life in the military, the notice on the website says.

… The physical fitness evaluation that had previously been required of people joining the military does not seem to have been terribly onerous. Men under 35, for instance, were required to perform 19 pushups, 19 sit-ups, squeeze 75 kilograms in a hand grip, and run 2.4 kilometres in an acceptable period of time.

The fitness guide also suggests that new recruits arrive with a weight that is acceptable according to the body mass index scale. That concern has apparently diminished.

“If you’re 450 pounds, they will recruit you and then put you in a fat camp until you are ready,” said Scott Taylor, a military veteran and editor of Esprit de Corps magazine.

Basically the Canadian government is using the military as a huge fat camp.  Every fat bastard in the country who needs to lose 100 lbs or so will enlist.  I mean, it’s exactly like Stripes!

My name’s Dewey Oxberger. My friends call me Ox. You might have noticed I’ve got a slight weight problem.  Anyway, I went to this doctor.  Well, he told me I swallowed a lot of aggression, along with a lot of pizzas.  Pizzas!  I’m basically a shy person. I’m a shy guy, and he suggested taking one of these aggression-training courses.  You know, these aggressive training courses like EST, those type of things. Anyway, it costs a thousand bucks to join this thing.  Well, I didn’t have the money.  And I thought to myself, “Join the Army. It’s free.” So I figured while I’m here I’ll lose a few pounds.  You got a six- to eight-week training program here, a tough one.  Which is perfect for me.  I’m gonna walk out of here a lean, mean, fighting machine.

Considering that John Candy was Canadian, the Canadian Army should do a whole recruiting campaign featuring Dewey Oxberger.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/06 at 08:06 AM in Those Wacky Canadians  • (6) TrackbacksPermalink

Islamic Law
by Lee

Unlike most of the rest of the world, at least one Danish court has the balls to say what needs to be said.

A Danish court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Muslim groups against the newspaper that first published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that triggered protests across the world this year.

The City Court in Aarhus said on Thursday it could not be ruled out that some Muslims had been offended by the 12 drawings printed in Jyllands-Posten, but said there was no reason to assume that the cartoons were meant to “belittle Muslims”.

“It cannot be ruled out that the drawings have offended some Muslims’ honour, but there is no basis to assume that the drawings are, or were conceived as, insulting or that the purpose of the drawings was to present opinions that can belittle Muslims,” the court said in its ruling.

“Even if the text accompanying the pictures could be read as being derogatory and mocking, the cartoons are not offensive,” the court said.

We should get a pool going on when the charred, beheaded corpses of the judges involved will begin turning up.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/06 at 07:57 AM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Kicking Ass and Taking Names
by Lee

Helmet-cam video of US Special Forces rescuing Polish business man Jerzy Kos from Iraqi kidnappers.

Posted by Lee on 10/26/06 at 12:30 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hey Hey We’re the Homos!
by Lee

Uh-oh.  It looks like Vito Spadafore is going to be able to eat Johnny Cakes in bed.

New Jersey’s highest court opened the door Wednesday to making the state the second in the nation to allow gay marriage, ruling that lawmakers must offer homosexuals either marriage or something like it, such as civil unions.

In a ruling that fell short of what either side wanted or feared, the state Supreme Court declared 4-3 that homosexual couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual ones. The justices gave lawmakers 180 days to rewrite the laws.

The ruling is similar to the 1999 high-court ruling in Vermont that led the state to create civil unions, which confer all of the rights and benefits available to married couples under state law.

“Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state Constitution,” Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the four-member majority.

The court said the Legislature “must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure” that gives gays all the privileges and obligations married couples have.

A couple of points.  First off, this is EXACTLY how I feel about this issue.  Whether or not this is or should be a marriage is an issue best left to the legislatures of each state.  What is clear, however, is that we have a large number of citizens in this country who are being denied equal protection under the law.  Whether or not you are opposed to gay marriage is not the issue, it is whether the government has a legitimate interest in denying equal treatment.

Now, that being said, if the Republicans have any brains at all they’ll make this one of the cornerstones of their election gambit.  “See what will happen if the Democrats get in power?  Why, soon your child’s teacher will be wearing leather pants with the ass cheeks cut out!  There will be gay sex taking place in every church!  Heterosexuality and traditional families will be outlawed!” This is one area where people still see a marked difference between the Republicans and everyone else.  When all else fails, scare the evangelicals about the rising pink menace.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/06 at 03:27 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Don’t Have a Cow, Man
by Lee

Allow me to give you a preview of what the Republican blogosphere is going to go apeshit over today.

An episode of Fox’s The Simpsons scheduled to air two days before next month’s midterm elections has stirred up a political flap. As reported by the online Radar magazine, the episode, titled “The Day the Earth Was Stupid,” a spoof of The War of the Worlds, shows an invasion of the Simpsons’ home town of Springfield, a prelude to an occupation of the entire planet. “Well, the Earthlings continue to resent our presence,” one of the aliens says. “You said we’d be greeted as liberators!” The other replies, “We still have the people’s hearts and minds.” At which point, he holds up a heart and brain. Al Jean, the show’s executive producer, told Radar that Fox raised no objection to the episode. Although Rupert Murdoch, the network’s owner, is regarded as a conservative and a supporter of America’s policies in Iraq—his News Corp also owns the conservative-leaning Fox News Network—he has maintained a hands-off policy towards The Simpsons, arguably the most profitable program the network has ever aired. “I’d like to take credit for being adventuresome,” said Jean, “but I think we’re expressing a viewpoint 69 percent of the country agrees with.”

If the Republicans lose Congress it’s sure as hell not going to be over a Simpson’s episode.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/06 at 08:34 AM in Election 2006  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Not Satisfied
by Lee

Here’s Bush on Iraq, today.

In a somber, pre-election review of a long and brutal war, President Bush conceded Wednesday that the United States is taking heavy casualties and said, “I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq.”

“I’m not satisfied either,” he said at a speech and question and answer session at the White House 13 days before midterm elections.

With American deaths in Iraq at their highest levels in a year, Mr. Bush said the “events of the past month have been a serious concern to me.”

At the same time, he said, “it remains critical that the United States defeats the enemy” in a long and brutal war.

“Our security at home depends on assuring that Iraq is an ally in the war on terror,” Mr. Bush said in the opening moments of a White House news conference less than two weeks before midterm elections.

He’s talking a good game.  I just wish it was more than cynical electioneering.  I’m not saying that he doesn’t care, I’m saying that he’s more interested in winning the war his way, using his people.  Why is Iraq a mess?  Because of the people he had plan and execute it.  The same people, using the same flawed plan, that he’s spent the last three years defending at every opportunity. 

I mean, seriously.  For three years we’ve had “stay the course.” Now, just before the election, when the state of the war is a primary focus of voters, Bush comes out with this.  It should be obvious what’s going on here. 

For me, at least, it’s too little too late.  He should have been saying this two years ago, during a press conference explaining why he’d fired Rumsfeld.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/06 at 08:14 AM in Election 2006  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Le Génocide
by Lee

It’s the latest UN peacekeeping success!

A Rwandan government-appointed commission launched a probe on Tuesday into allegations French troops supported soldiers behind Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and helped facilitate mass murder.

Rwanda’s Tutsi President Paul Kagame, whose government came to power after the genocide, has accused France of training and arming Hutu militias who were the main force behind a 100-day slaughter that killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

France had replaced ex-colonial power Belgium as Rwanda’s main Western backer. When Kagame’s Tutsi-dominated rebel army launched its war against the Hutu authorities in the early 1990s, France sent soldiers to Kigali.

France helped stop the advance of Kagame’s forces and then stayed on, as military advisers, up to the start of the genocide.

Kigali says France backed the government of Rwanda’s former President Juvenal Habyarimana, providing military training for government forces, despite knowing that some within the leadership were planning to use the troops to commit genocide.

France, which sent in soldiers under a U.N.-authorised operation, has always denied any involvement in the killings.

Officials said a seven-man commission, appointed by the government in April, will hear testimony from 20 witnesses over the next week. The testimony could be used as evidence in any legal action taken by Kigali against France.

“We will summon people like former militiamen who were trained and commanded by the French to kill as well as female survivors who accuse some French soldiers of rape,” Jean Paul Kimonyo a member of the commission told Reuters.

“We are also going to invite foreign witnesses including French nationals to testify before the commission.”

This is France, the pinnacle of human civilization, operating under the banner of the United Nations, the pinnacle of human achievement.  You know, the same people the world now looks at to solve Darfur.

Posted by Lee on 10/25/06 at 08:01 AM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just In Time for the Elections…
by Lee

Three years later, the penny has finally dropped.

Two weeks before U.S. midterm elections, American officials unveiled a timeline Tuesday for Iraq’s Shiite-led government to take specific steps to calm the world’s most dangerous capital and said more U.S. troops might be needed to quell the bloodshed.

U.S. officials previously said they were satisfied with troop levels and had expected to make significant reductions by year’s end. But a surge in sectarian killings, which welled up this past summer, forced them to reconsider.

I don’t think that’s the case at all.  I think that the GOP’s plan for the 2006 elections was to paint Democrats as being soft on terror.  Since the public has, in general, rejected that argument, and feels that the war is going badly, now the Bush administration and the generals running this fiasco have finally admitted what was painfully obvious two years ago:  we need more boots on the ground. 

And, just think.  All it took to get the powers that be to recognize reality was the impending loss of political power.  In other words, if the GOP was favored to retain control of Congress, we’d be “staying the course” and anyone who dared to suggest a change in strategy would be branded a “cut and run” type.

You know what?  I don’t give a damn what party it is or who is in power.  I just want to win the frigging war.  And if we’re not prepared to do that, we should pull out of the country immediately and let it sink.

Posted by Lee on 10/24/06 at 07:40 PM in Election 2006  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Wages of Death
by Lee

Here’s the fun taxpayer fact of the day.

The lethal injection took about six seconds to kill him. The official time of death was 10:26 a.m. The entire process took 25 minutes.

It cost $385,000 to keep Lundgren incarcerated for 16 years. His execution was $74.16.

I’m actually surprised that it only cost $400k to keep him locked up for 16 years.  That seems pretty cheap.

Posted by Lee on 10/24/06 at 01:23 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Those Wacky Muslims
by Lee

Here’s a fun exercise.  Take a look through the Islam Q & A archives and find the funniest response.  To get you started, search for the word “masturbate.”

Islam is a funny, funny religion.  And not intentionally.

Posted by Lee on 10/24/06 at 12:27 PM in The Religion of Peace™  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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