A great man once said, "Politics is inherently stupid." That great man was me.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Canadian Soldier Wounded in Suicide Attack

A Canadian soldier and six Afghan civilians were injured Thursday when a suicide bomber struck a convoy in Kandahar -- the third attack in three days against Canadian Forces.

The soldier was travelling Thursday morning in a joint Canadian-Romanian convoy headed for the Gombad area to resupply a forward base when the attack happened.

The wounded soldier was taken by helicopter to the main base at the Kandahar airfield. His injuries aren't believed to be life-threatening.

His identity was not immediately released.

The Afghan civilians are in hospital.

CTV's Ellen Pinchuk said a driver wearing explosives tried to wedge his car between the convoy.

"The car managed to apparently hit one of the vehicles. It did explode," Pinchuk told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday.

She also said there are reports that the Canadians fired a round at the vehicle -- as is procedure when a vehicle gets too close to a convoy -- but that could not be immediately confirmed.

Earlier reports indicated one, then two separate incidents, but the military later said there was just one.

The attack occurred very near the Kandahar Gates on the outskirts of the city, she said.

That's close to the area where Canadian diplomat Glyn Berry was killed in January. The suicide bombing also seriously injured three Canadian soldiers. One man, Master Cpl. Paul Franklin, eventually lost both his legs.

Canadian Forces in Afghanistan have faced an upswing in attacks in recent days.

A Canadian soldier died Wednesday in a major firefight with Taliban insurgents in Helmand province, about 110 km north of Kandahar.

Pte. Robert Costall, 22 and a U.S. soldier were both killed in the firefight. Three other Canadian soldiers were wounded.

On Tuesday, the main Canadian base in Kandahar came under rocket fire early. The blasts injured no one and caused no real damage.


Source

Jill Carroll Released!!

The Christian Science Monitor and the US government reports that freelance journalist Jill Carroll has been released from captivity in Iraq:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- American hostage Jill Carroll, the freelance journalist who was kidnapped in Baghdad in January, has been released unharmed, U.S. law enforcement officials and The Christian Science Monitor said Thursday.
"This is a wonderful day," said David Cook, Washington bureau chief of the Monitor, the paper for which the reporter was freelancing.
Carroll, 28, called her father, Jim, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to let him know she was safe, the officials and newspaper said.
A security source in Baghdad also said Carroll was "in safe hands" and "has spoken to her parents." News of the release came a day after her twin sister, Katie Carroll, publicly pleaded for her captors to let her go.


This is wonderful news. Between the Christian Peacemakers' release and this, it's been a bang-up week.

It's clear the massive public outcry from Muslims and non-Muslims alike led to her release. The moral of this story is an important one for the Iraq conflict: you must remain strong and united in the face of terror tactics.

Only by mobilizing the complete support of the Iraqi people against the insurgency will this conflict be won. If the terrorists have nowhere to hide and no population to support them, they're as good as beaten. The trick is to show the Iraqis that the intent of the US is entirely peaceful and helpful.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Canadian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

-UPDATE-: Remember in your prayers Pte. Robert Costall of the PPCLI. CBC has the most info right now.

No details as of yet, but a Canadian and an American soldier were killed in a firefight with Taliban terrorists today in Afghanistan. Keep both of them, nameless as they are yet, in your prayers.

Source

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Stone Advocates Oral Sex?

Someone lacks a basic understanding of sexually transmitted diseases. That someone is Sharon Stone (I know the crack you're making right now, wipe that smirk off your face), who apparently believes that you can't get venereal disease from oral sex. It's criminal for Ms. Stone to make such a dangerous statement.

H/T to Drudge

Say What You Will About the Canadian Media


...They know when to keep their collective mouths shut...sometimes.


Source

Monday, March 27, 2006

Media Trickery?

Check out the image of Harper in this story. It looks to me like it's been edited, and not in a flattering way - more of an "eternal prince of darkness" way, actually.

Also, the article refers to the "release" of the Peacemaker hostages instead of their "rescue."


Yeesh.

Hibernation

Due to the fact that most of my grades will be decided in the next three weeks, expect posting from me to be light. I know, you're probably thinking to yourself, "How will I go on?" and if you're of the female persuasion, you're probably swooning right about now.

You'll get over it. Eventually, they all do.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hillary Clinton: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

I'm curious if Senator Clinton knows how unbelieveably transparent she's being:

NEW YORK -- Invoking Biblical themes, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton joined immigration advocates Wednesday to vow and block legislation seeking to criminalize undocumented immigrants. Clinton, a potential 2008 presidential candidate and relative latecomer to the immigration debate, made her remarks as the Senate prepares to take up the matter next week. Clinton renewed her pledge to oppose a bill passed in December by the House that would make unlawful presence in the United States _ currently a civil offense _ a felony. The Senate is set to consider a version of that legislation, as well as several other bills seeking to address the seemingly intractable issue of immigration reform. Surrounded by a multicultural coalition of New York immigration advocates, Clinton blasted the House bill as "mean-spirited" and said it flew in the face of Republicans' stated support for faith and values. "It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures," Clinton said, "because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself." Clinton did not specifically endorse any competing legislation, including a bill co-authored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and another by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), saying she hoped the Senate Judiciary Committee would produce a compromise incorporating the best elements of all the bills and would remove the harsh penalties contained in the House measure.

I'm wondering how long it will be before we see Senator Clinton talk about how abortion flies in the face of scripture (let alone basic human rights). I'm curious to see just how far right she's going to make herself appear in her zeal to get elected.

Notice also how Clinton didn't submit her own proposal on this matter - it's very easy to stand in the Senate and say gee, I hope that whatever we do has the best parts of all the bills we're considering. It's completely risk free. All the sound bite and none of the afterbite.

Throw in a "Jesus" every now and then with a pinch of "values" for good measure. Add two teaspoons of shameless self promotion. Broil for ten seconds. Serves one: senator Clinton. For everyone else, it just leaves such a bad taste in your mouth.

Walloped by a Wallaby

I've never met an Australian I didn't like. Our two nations have a lot in common, but I've always seen Australia as Canada done right. Things like this just don't happen in Canada:

CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Two Australian fighter jets bombed and sank an impounded North Korean cargo ship on Thursday in what Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said was a strong message to Pyonyang about its involvement in drug running.
The 4,000-ton ship the Pong Su had been impounded since 2003, when it led the Australian navy on a 1,100-kilometers (680-mile) chase off the southeastern coast after being spotted unloading part of a 150 kilograms (330 pound) shipment of heroin at a secluded beach.
The ship came to a spectacular end on Thursday when two Royal Australian Air Force frontline F-111 jet bombers fired missiles into the vessel during target practice at a secret location offshore.


Can you imagine Canada impounding a Portugese vessel for fishing inside the 200 mile limit off the nose and tail of the Grand Banks - and then using it for target practice? Australia takes its sovereignty seriously, and their drive to protect their citizens from selfish foreign interference is something Canada should be paying close attention to.

CNN

Aid Workers Freed!

EDIT: Okay, Okay, I'll be honest. When I saw the words "multinational military raid" I immediately suspected Canadian involvement, but I didn't want to be premature. Good to see that Canada stood up to rescue it's own. Can you imagine Martin doing something like this? (I expect that will become a catch phrase at this blog over the next year).
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three Western aid workers held hostage in Iraq for nearly four months have been freed in a multinational military raid, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said.
Briton Norman Kember, 74 and Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32 were freed in Thursday's military operation in Baghdad involving special forces, Straw said.
Speaking in London, Straw said Kember had been taken to the high security Green Zone in Baghdad and was in "reasonable condition."

Great news, I'm very glad to see that these people have been freed. Remember in your prayers, however, Tom Fox, who the terrorists brutally murdered sometime around March 9, 2006. Let's hope that American resolve in Iraq will see the day through so that things like this don't happen again.

I'm curious to know which countries were involved in this raid, aside from the US military. I'm not in any way suggesting Canadian involvement, but "multinational" usually means more than just the Brits and Americans. I'm just wondering who else we should be thanking today, that's all.

Christian Peacemaker Teams still misplaces the blame for the kidnappings, however:

Christian Peacemaker Teams posted a statement on its Web site expressing joy in the hostages' release but also criticizing the U.S.-led operation in Iraq.
"We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq," the statement said. "The occupation must end."


If American troops pull out, I guarantee you the Peacemakers will come running after them, tails between their legs. Otherwise, if the "occupation" ends you'll see a lot more of your 'peacemakers' dead. I hear Al Qaeda in Iraq doesn't take to kindly to Christian infidels in Muslim nations.



Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Actual Conversation I Had Today

"Who's that in the picture with you there?"

"...the Foreign Affairs Minister..."

Feminist Journalist: Men Are Bad

Typical:

"The problem of manliness is not that it does not exist," Mansfield [author of "Manliness"] concludes. "It does exist, but it is unemployed."


Ruth Marcus doesn't think so.

"Well, um, excuse me, but I think -- it's just my opinion, now, maybe you disagree, and I'm sure we could work it out -- Mansfield has it exactly backward. Manliness does exist. The problem is that it's overemployed -- nowhere more than in this administration. Think about it this way: Is a trait exemplified by reluctance to ask directions -- "for it is out of manliness that men do not like to ask for directions when lost," Mansfield writes -- really what you want in a government deciding whether to take a country to war? Mansfield writes that he wants to "convince skeptical readers -- above all, educated women" -- that "irrational manliness deserves to be endorsed by reason." Sorry, professor: You lose. What this country could use is a little less manliness -- and a little more of what you would describe as womanly qualities: restraint, introspection, a desire for consensus, maybe even a touch of self-doubt. But that's just my view."


Ruth is actually right, because it's a well known fact that no woman has ever led her country into a war. Except Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Cleopatra, Boadicea, Eva Peron...

Give the sexism a rest, will you Ruth?

Source

Why is Europe So Neurotic About Bird Flu?

Probably because of something called the "Black Death."

Source

Marine: Going to Canada "Wasn't Worth it"

Heh, I don't know whether I should be offended or if I should laugh:

YAHK, British Columbia (AP) -- A Vietnam war-era deserter who was caught crossing into the United States and held for a week says he made a mistake when he fled the Marine Corps in 1968. "When I was 18, I wasn't aware that duty and honor would mean as much to me as they do now," Allen Abney, 56, said Monday in this southeast British Columbia town.
"Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have done what I did 38 years ago," he said. "It wasn't worth it, all the pain I caused my family."


I doubt that the marines feel any loyalty to someone who deserted them - even if it was over thirty years ago - but it's a tribute to the USMC that he was treated so well.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Shot Down!

Brigitte Bardot is rapidly learning that the new Conservative government will not be dictated to by anyone but the Canadian people:
French actress Brigitte Bardot won't be getting a warm welcome from politicians when she travels to Canada this week to protest the seal hunt.

Both Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn have refused to meet with Bardot on her visit to Ottawa Wednesday.

"I think giving people like that attention and publicity just furthers their cause," Hearn told CBC News.

Let me tell you, Loyola is one heck of a guy and I'm glad he's the fisheries minister. I give the Liberals full credit for not caving in to the Anti-Seal-Hunt lobbyists, but it's sure great to see our guys give the old 'heave ho' to these washed up has-beens for a change.

Is Brigitte Bardot even still alive anymore? She looks like a mummy:

Video Game Logic

The moral of the story, terrorists of the world, is you don't (expletive) with the Canadian prime minister.
Source: Avenge the Canadian PM's Assasination in a New Game

Well Hell, Why Not?

The family of the man shot by Canadian troops in Afghanistan is now demanding compensation - in the form of Canadian citizenship.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The price of compensating Nasrat Ali Hassan's immediate family for his accidental shooting death at a military checkpoint should start with an offer of Canadian citizenship and education, the victim's eldest brother said Monday. "Afghanistan is too much broken," Qasimali Ali Hassan, 64, said in an interview with The Canadian Press through a translator. "The family should be taken to Canada, where it is safe. If the children are taken to Canada for the highest education, it would be appreciated."
The family's bid to immigrate has the backing of Mohammed Yousef Hussaini, a local Kandahar politician running for Afghanistan's parliament. "If Canada does not agree to this, then Canada is not our friend, Canada is our enemy," he said through a translator.
If our country is responsible for the death of a man and the family still wants to come here - that speaks an awful lot about Canada's reputation in the world. Even if the request reeks of blackmail. In the end, all they want is peace and an education. Isn't it the least we can do?

Thoughts, anyone? The floor is all yours.

Surprise!

Shapiro finds Harper and Emerson completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

See for yourself:
Therefore, my conclusion is that neither Mr. Harper nor Mr. Emerson contravened any of the specific Sections of the Members’ Code.
At the risk of sounding facetious - Well duh.

H/T to the Elusive Phantom Observer!

Ashley MacIsaac To Run For Liberal Leadership

No word yet on whether he is expected to expose himself during his speech to the party. Or do crack. But you should probably expect it.
He will finance his bid by selling some art he owns. Leadership contenders must pay the Liberal party $50,000.

The three pieces consist of paintings of: the House of Commons, a Canadian flag and a cartoon depiction of the Last Supper with 9/11-era world leaders and terrorists [Emphasis mine].
Cute.
He also wants to run to bring his youth to the party and to end the "continuous mockery that's been allowed to take place of my party."
What part of Ashley MacIsaac's drug-addled mind thinks that overall mocking of the Liberal Party is going to decrease if he becomes leader?

Trust me, Ashley. As long as I'm around, there will always be mocking of the LPC.

H/T to Neale

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ah Hell, You People Make Me Do Stupid Things

You know, I'm supposed to be writing up a research paper.

Saw this and couldn't resist.

MUNCH TUMOR SNOT:

What you can do if you don't like me.

MUCH STORM ON NUT:

My posts on Jack Layton.

SUCH MUTTON, MR. NO:

That's Dr. No to you.

TUCSON NORTH, MUM:

Some bad directions.

UNCOMMON THRUST:

Moving along...

Why Attack Harper?

As we recently came upon the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the obligatory protests (failed as they were) were held in cities around the world. Toronto, of course, was no exception and 1,000 people turned out to express their, um, displeasure with conservatism.

Oops! Did I say conservatism? Surely I meant the war in Iraq, right?

Sort of.

The war in Iraq has been controversial (that was for those of you who've been living under a rock since 2003). As there are people out there who will protest any use of armed force, this should come as no surprise. But the reason for these protests goes deeper than a simple opposition to the use of military force to unseat a brutal dictator.

Why do I say this? Because of this:


As an aside, take a look at the placard in the back, circled in red:

Say what you will about the lefties, they're nothing if not creative. Which, I guess, makes up for their poor spelling. Seriously, if you can't even spell the name of the country, what the hell are you doing protesting its invasion?

If you wave a protest flag visibly enough, sooner or later they all congregate. To protest whatever.

Getting to the point, if you look at the placard the bearded moonbat is hoisting, suddenly Harper is the bad guy, even though we haven't even sent any troops to Irak- sorry, Iraq. That's why these protests are principally assaults on conservatism. Why else are these people suddenly protesting the important work CF personnel are doing in Afghanistan? Because. We need something to be mad at the Conservatives over, after all. That Harper, he wanted us in Iraq, didn't he? Who cares if hindsight is 20/20! He should have consulted a psychic to see how things would turn out. No blood for oil! See, it's easy - all you have to do is write in Harper on your placards where you'd normally write Bush. Proper spelling is optional.

For all their vaunted talk about our proud "peacekeeping tradition," the moment it becomes politically expedient to attack it every politician and protester with an axe to grind against the Conservatives abandons it with breathtaking hypocrisy.

And before you start bringing it up in the comments, we've been involved in combat operations in Afghanistan since the day the first Canadian soldier set foot there. What the hell do you think they were doing during the initial invasion, sunning themselves?

You can be against the use of military force all you want. No sane person on the planet delights in violence and war. But what the far left will never accept is that sometimes, war is necessary to preserve what we hold so dear. That doesn't make it any less hard to stomach. But you have to do it all the same. You can't hide your head in the sand every time a tinpot tyrant rattles his sabre.

Finally, for all their talk about respect for human rights, I'm still left scratching my head over why I haven't seen any thousand person protests in Toronto over Saddam's human rights violations. Saddam was in power for 35 years in Iraq and I don't recall ever seeing even one protest by the lefties during all that time. Yet here we are, barely three years later, and we're still hearing every possible flawed argument there is about how Bush is the real terrorist - for removing a dictator and bringing democracy to a country.

There was some sanity though, in the form of American passerbys:

Julia Fairchild of Boston was angered by one chant in particular: "Canada ... U.S.A. ... How many kids did you kill today?"

Her retort: "I didn't kill any kids today - and that's not why we're in Iraq. They're making us sound like monsters. Nobody talks about how bad Saddam Hussein was for Iraq."

You said it, Julia.

Source

Milestones and Apologies

So, since November of last year when I installed a counter, this site has had 10,200 visits! Considering that this blog was started in August of last year, that means I passed the 10,000 mark a while back. Thanks for visiting, and I hope you'll stick around as we chart new territory with a new Conservative government.

With that in mind, I have to also apologize to you all for being so scant of posts as of late. Crunch time has started at my University, and I've been very busy with research seminar papers and other term papers and tests. For those of you also in university, rest assured: I feel your pain (but not in the Clinton way).

Posting will resume shortly, I promise.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Democrats Promise Broadband For All

Paid for, of course, by the American taxpayer. Because nothing is more important than guaranteeing 16 year old boys the right to surf the net for porn.

Yeesh...

(Via Drudge)

International Eat A Tasty Animal For PETA Day

While you're celebrating today (and thank you Damian!) by roasting some suitable cuts of prime rib, take some time out to remember Robert C. Baker, the inventor of the chicken nugget, who died on Monday. Apparently his funeral will be preceded by a chicken BBQ, which is quite possibly the most brilliant idea ever conceived. Please excuse me while I go change my will.

I'm sure many tears will be shed over this at The Meatriarchy today. Stay strong, Meatriarchy. Stay strong.

Dangerously Incompetent?

I'd like to point out to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) the importance of including a proper noun in her sentences. Otherwise, this picture sends an entirely different message. I'm sure that this picture will be a great asset to her future opponents if she runs for the senate again.

"Now that's some good tape!"
Thanks to Drudge.

Alberta De-Kleins

Some would say it's the end of a dynasty. Love him or hate him, Ralph Klein transformed Alberta and put a new face on the west. Klein has been Alberta's premier for the last thirteen years and is the longest serving out of all of the current premiers.

Klein will stay on until October of 2007. Barring some catastrophic scandal, Alberta will go Conservative once more - but the question still remains: who will take his place? Some early prospects have been considered: former treasurer of Alberta Jim Dinning is seen as a contender, as is Klein cabinet minister David Hancock. Certainly though, the race for a new leader is on.

Source

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I Always Do My Research

Do These People Have Anything Better to Do?

VANCOUVER (CP) - Two men are in custody facing mischief charges after Vancouver police caught protesters dumping manure outside embattled MP David Emerson's constituency office early Monday.
ADVERTISEMENT

Officers also noticed protest signs and graffiti spray on the building. The international trade minister has been under fire from some Vancouver-Kingsway residents over his decision to switch parties after the Jan. 23 federal election.

Protests outside Emerson's office have become a regular occurrence since he decided to cross the floor from the Liberals to take a cabinet position with Stephen Harper's Conservative government within weeks of the election

Does anyone ever wonder why you never see conservative protestors outside liberal establishments?

I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that Conservatives can usually be found working. Listen, if anyone is in the Vancouver-Kingsway area, pop by the protests and have someone snap a few pictures of you with some "protest-warrior" type signs. That would put a smile on a lot of faces, let me tell you.



My favorite part is the slogans on the protest signs. I'm pretty sure "de-elect" isn't a word, lady.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Day Canada Stood Up

Today is a monumentous day for Canada.

It's been extensively debated over the last 20 years just how Canada lost its place in the sun. While the US has entered into global prominence after our joint military adventures overseas in the First and Second World Wars and in the Korean War, Canada has drifted back into relative mediocrity, content to sit back and more or less let our neighbours to the south manage world affairs. In that time we have prospered and become a wealthy nation. We've also developed a solid and clean reputation among the nations of the world. However, we accomplished this by by keeping our collective noses out of worldly affairs. Our greatest forays outside our borders have been in the form of our vaunted peacekeeping operations and the occasional limited combat role in UN sponsored actions such as the First Gulf War.

Then came September 11th, 2001 and Afghanistan. On the surface, our involvement in Afghanistan has not been that different from the course Canada has stayed since the 1960's: we've maintained limited combat operations and have focussed largely on humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping.

Then came March 13th, 2006, and Afghanistan. This day is a watershed for Canada's foreign involvement.

Canada has always been viewed as a country that flexes its soft power - diplomacy, economic pressure and our good reputation. Our forays into global affairs have always been passive, following other nations and supporting their actions. We've never much considered ourselves leaders. We've never much seen our Country as particularly strong.

But the world woke up this morning to a different Canada. Today they stare with wonder at a nation that has announced that it will no longer passively follow the plans of others. Today Canada stood up and announced that it will be a powerful and positive force for change in the world. Today Stephen Harper, our Prime Minister, showed true leadership in announcing that regardless of the politics at home, Canada is here to stay. Canada will stay the course and get the job done. We will not abandon the people of Afghanistan because of weak-willed politicians at home. Today, Canada showed the world its backbone.

Thank you, Prime Minister. I have never been prouder to be a Canadian.

Stephen Harper...



Shamelessly stolen from Chuck Norris Jokes. Thanks to Fred in the comments for the idea:
  • Stephen Harper does not sleep. He waits.
  • Stephen Harper has counted to infinity...twice.
  • Stephen Harper, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair all died and went to Heaven. Each of them hope to occupy the seat next to God. God asks Tony Blair why he thinks he should have the seat and Tony replies, "I believe... I should have the seat because of my great leadership." Jacques Chirac says, "I believe... that I should be the one sitting next to you because of all my achievements." God then turns to Stephen Harper, who replies with, "I believe... you are sitting in my seat."
  • They say that lightning never strikes the same place twice. Neither does Stephen Harper. He doesn't have to.
  • The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. The only thing fear has to fear is Stephen Harper.
  • Stephen Harper was sending an E-mail one day, when he realized that it would just be faster to run and deliver the message himself.
  • Stephen Harper does not leave messages. Stephen Harper leaves warnings.
  • There is no theory of evolution. There is just a list of animals Stephen Harper allows to live.
  • Stephen Harper is the reason Waldo is hiding.
  • Crop circles are Stephen Harper's way of saying that sometimes corn just needs to lay the hell down.
  • Stephen Harper is not lactose intolerant. Stephen Harper just refuses to put up with lactose's shit.
  • Stephen Harper is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right fists.
  • Stephen Harper is the only man to have ever beaten a brick wall in a game of tennis.
  • It takes Stephen Harper 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes.
  • The Bermuda Triangle used to be the Bermuda Square, until Stephen Harper kicked one of the corners off.
  • When Steven Seagal kills a ninja, he only takes its hide. When Stephen Harper kills a ninja, he uses every part.
  • The original draft of The Lord of the Rings featured Stephen Harper instead of Frodo Baggins. It was only 5 pages long, as Stephen kicked Sauron’s ass halfway through the first chapter.
  • Stephen Harper once destroyed the periodic table, because Stephen Harper only recognizes the element of surprise.
  • Stephen Harper once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as Giraffes.
  • The phrase 'dead ringer' refers to someone who sits behind Stephen Harper in a movie theater and forgets to turn their cell phone off.
  • Stephen Harper was banned from competitive bullriding after a 1992 exhibition in Calgary, when he rode the bull 3,553 kilometres to Ottawa to pick up his dry cleaning.
  • When Arnold Schwarzenegger says the line "I'll be back" in the first Terminator movie, it is implied that he is leaving to ask Stephen Harper for help.
  • Stephen Harper is the only man who has, quite literally, beaten the odds. With his fists.
  • When you play Monopoly with Stephen Harper, you do not pass go, and you do not collect two hundred dollars. You will be lucky if you make it out alive.
And for those of you who'd like to see Chuck Norris read out Chuck Norris jokes, here you go.

Stephen Harper is an Action Hero



Now that's a photo op! Way to go, Steve!

This Can't Be Real

This is like something out of the Onion:
Mary Carey, the buxom, XXX movie star who caused an uproar last year for dining with President Bush and her pornographer, apparently still has a hunger for the nation's capital, and will have dinner with the president once again this week.
The former candidate for California governor is to attend the United to Victory dinner with Bush on Thursday, and have lunch at a related event Wednesday where Bush adviser Karl Rove is the guest speaker. She says she's taking part at the invitation of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is organizing the events...
"I'm really excited to be going back to Washington D.C. to see the president again," said Carey. "Everyone thinks that politicians are stuffy, but we all had a great time last year, and I had fun signing a lot of autographs. Wait till they see that I have lost 20 pounds since the last time they saw me. Watch out Mr. President!...I'm always excited to learn more about what's going on in our nation's capital, since most people in the porn industry think an Iraqi pullout is a form of safe sex," she quipped. "Since I'm seriously considering running for governor of California again, I'm going to need a lot of support from Republican lawmakers nationwide – however I can get it."...when asked about Bible verses condemning adultery, she responded, "Bill Clinton committed adultery. [Doing] adult movies is acting, portraying a role. It's not Mary Ellen Cook, the real me."

For the record, defending your actions by saying "Bill Clinton did it" is quite possibly one of the worst defense strategies I've ever hear of. Bill. Clinton. What were you thinking?

We're Sorry, You Don't Think the Right Way

-UPDATE-: Whoops! I had Denmark on the brain! Ottawa Core, thank you for pointing out my absentmindedness!

The latest in politically correct re-education:

AMSTERDAM: Two men kissing in a park and a topless female bather are featured in a film that will be shown to would-be immigrants to The Netherlands.

The reactions of applicants will be examined to see whether they are able to accept the country's liberal attitudes.

From Wednesday, the DVD -- which also shows the often crime-ridden ghettos where poorer immigrants might end up living -- will form part of an entrance test, in Dutch, covering the language and culture of Holland.

Those sitting the test will be expected to know which country Crown Princess Maxima comes from (Argentina) and whether hitting women and female circumcision are permitted.
I have to question whether or not that's going to be an effective test, considering that humans have, on occasion, been known to lie. Shocking, I know.

Is Holland trying to say that you can't be Dutch unless you agree with homosexuality? Holland is a very liberal country, but for them to more or less state that if you disagree with homosexuality then you can't be Dutch, well, that's a little presumptuous on their part. I'm not entirely comfortable with the sight of two guys kissing, but I'm also in no position to tell them what they can or can't do. That being said, even I think that this policy is misguided.

It seems to me that this is nothing more than re-education, and it's wrong on so many levels. I'm all for the Dutch limiting the number of hardline Islamists they let into Holland but this is thought-control.

It seems they're purposely engaging in a program that discriminates against Arabs. Others might say that showing images of ghettos is just being honest about what immigrants from the Middle East might face if they come to Holland but honestly, the intent of the video is not in doubt - if you're Muslim, we don't want you. And as much as I detest Islamic fundamentalism, it's hypocritical for this supposedly "tolerant" nation to engage in a practice like this one. Not everyone who migrates to the west from the Middle East is a hardline Islamic terrorist, quite obviously. Some of them are trying to leave that kind of culture behind.

I understand Holland's position and I can see why they are trying to do what they're doing, but something about it unsettles me.

I sound like a liberal. Yeesh.

I Hate To Say it

...but it's probably me - sorry, I mean, I told you so!

Seems like the conspiracy theorists are going to be out in full force over Milosevic's death. Anyone want to take bets on how quickly someone high-profile blames this on Bush?

And still others say Milosevic did it to himself accidentally! That would certainly be ironic.

Apparently the socialists want to give him a state funeral. Yeesh.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Moonbat of the Week Award

Seeing as how we've got a BT Site of the Week Award, I figure that it's time to create my my own dubious honour for all those moonbats out there who take the time each day to to pollute the internet with their half-cocked theories and insufferable rants!

I'll have a beautiful award logo done up for them and they can proudly display it on their site as they say, "Yup! I was worthy of the Moonbat of the Week Award for my post on how pharmaceutical companies are working in conjunction with Big Oil to oppress organic farms in Buenos Aires!" Or something like that.

This Week's winner? Drumroll please...

Zaphod's Heads!

You may remember Glyn Evans from the CBC roundtable that Kate over at Small Dead Animals took part in during the election. He gets this dubious honour for a number of reasons: poor fact-checking, ample use of conspiracy theories, indecent use of hyperbole and the like. But what netted Evans the truly great honour that is the Moonbat of the Week Award is this nice little gem:



As Stan Lee would say - 'Nuff Said!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Milosevic is Dead

-UPDATE-: I told you so.



From canada.com

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav leader branded "the butcher of the Balkans" for orchestrating a decade of wars that eventually broke up his country and led to his war crimes trial, was found dead in his prison cell Saturday. He was 64.

Milosevic, who suffered chronic heart ailments and high blood pressure, apparently died of natural causes and was found in his bed, the UN tribunal said, without giving an exact time of death.

He had been examined by doctors following frequent complaints of fatigue or ill health that delayed his trial, but the tribunal could not immediately say when he last had a medical checkup.


I'll bet there will be some sort of inquiry into whether or not he was given "adequate medical treatment." Hmmph.



In the words of Dennis Miller:
"Cleanse this, mother****er!"

The Pope Loves His iPod

Pope Benedict XVI loves his iPod. Having a nano myself, I know why. I thought I'd give you a look into what he listens to:

The Pope is said to be a firm believer in iPod.

According to media reports, staff at Vatican Radio gave a Nano, Apple's new portal music device, to Benedict XVI as a present last week.

His staff have even loaded the device with what was described as "special Vatican Radio programming and classical music," plus pieces by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin.

In addition, a sampling of the radio's programming in English, Italian and German had been loaded.


What they didn't tell you was the other stuff on his playlists:
  • 50 Cent's "Many Men (Wish Death on Me)"
  • Juvenile's "Back That Thang Up"
  • Chingy's "Right Thurr"
  • Especially prominent is NWA's "Straight Outta Compton," which the Pope says reflects his "Ghetto Thug days."


How I can live with myself, I honestly don't know.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Clinton In Canada




"No, no, Mr. Clinton. I said we're going to see Regina!"



The average thought of someone waking up in Regina this morning: Why do I feel dirty all of a sudden?



For the love of God, whatever you do, don't tell Bubba that the Liberals are looking for a new leader!



What a great picture. I can keep this up all week, people.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

This is Outstanding

I was just shown this, and you need to see it. Now. Or you will explode immediately. Unless, of course, the idea of a live action Simpsons intro doesn't turn your crank. And if it doesn't, then what's wrong with you?

Bloody Sickening

I heard reports in the news a while back about people who solicit customers for child pornography via E-mail. Usually these sickos will send random E-mails out in the hopes that they'll find another sicko who wants to buy some. The whole thing turns my stomach and is just sickening.



Well today I got one of these unsolicited and most certainly unwelcome messages in my inbox. I went to cybertip.ca to report it, but in the process I found out that the RCMP is well aware of this specific message and is already conducting an investigation. I hope they catch the sick freaks.



I'd like to take this time to remind you all that the Internet is a lawless place. If you accidentally stumble upon images of child pornography or offers to buy it, report it to the RCMP immediately. Some people worry that they'll get into trouble if they get involved and report this kind of thing, but it's important to realize that you haven't done anything wrong and, far from getting in trouble, you'll actually be commended for it. Remember, a child's safety is at stake. Don't walk away - you may be their only hope.

Final Comment

Having the right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.

-William Safire

More Things To Make You Question Your Sanity

Some days you just have to shake your head in disbelief:

EXCLUSIVE: A Liberal MP says he is "extremely concerned" about a leak to the Globe and Mail that Liberal MP Scott Brison was interviewed as part of the RCMP's income trust investigation.

Wayne Easter, a Solicitor-General in the Chretien government, is now saying the RCMP should look into how that information got out to the media, whether it was politically motivated or if it came from the office of Public Security Minister Stockwell Day.

The RCMP is one of six agencies that reports to Day's department.

"The real issue here now is how could the minister of public security allow either out of his office or the RCMP's offices a leak that could undermine the credibility of a potential leadership contender," Easter said in an interview with PoliticsWatch.com.


I don't know how Stockwell Day even comes into this, but I guess he's as good a target as any for a partisan hack. Moving on:

"What we have here is a leak that … could undermine the credibility of a potential leadership contender," said Easter. "This almost goes back to Watergate."

"We know that some people in the Conservative party are still quite upset about Mr. Brison coming across to the Liberal party. Did this leak come out of Stockwell Day's office? There really should be some kind of investigation into that by the RCMP itself."


You might not be able to see it, but I'm slapping my face in disbelief right now. Yes, we all recognize this as pure pathetic spin in an attempt to take the heat off of Brison, but come on! "He told on me!" No he didn't, and even if he did it would have been the right thing to do. Please.

H/T to NealeNews.

Cartoon Madness Part Four: The Final Chapter?

-UPDATE- : I forgot my witty repartée. Oops! It's included at the end, now.

I conducted an E-Mail exchange with Mike Sutton regarding his cartoon. I'd discuss this, but you can see for yourself. Apparently I was right in my inital assesment of the cartoon's intent all along.

Mike, I respect greatly the fact that you made yourself
available to both criticism and praise over your cartoon.
It takes a big man to face his critics head on, and that's
exactly what you did.

As for your cartoon: I believe [The Submission's Editor] was completely
correct in his analysis of the issues: certain people,
regardless of their faith, use their belief systems
inappropriately to justify some completely outrageous
things. "Muslim" terrorists committing violent murders and
burning cars is one example. "Christians" who parade
around with posters claiming God hates gays is another.
People have misused religion to justify just about
everything during human history. If that was the point of
your cartoon, you would be right.

If that's the case, the problem is I don't believe you
went about getting your point across in the right fashion.
Whether or not you see it this way, the title of your
cartoon went too far - it was insulting. I've talked to a
lot of people about this: Christians, Hindus, Muslims and
Atheists. By and large they agree that the title was
disrespectful - regardless of their faith.

The other problem I had with the cartoon was its
insinuation (once again, intended or not) that these
beliefs were indicative of Christianity as a whole. Here
I'd like to point out something: I'm not in any way some
sort of evangelical Christian. On the contrary, I think
people like Jerry Falwell are loudmouths who would do well
to just keep quiet. I'm simply an ordinary guy whose
beliefs are just one part of who I am.

But when I saw the cartoon, it seemed to me to be just
another ubiquitous example of someone knocking my beliefs
without really understanding that the Jerry Falwells and
Pat Robertsons of the world don't speak for me. And that
bothers me, because all too often people think that they
do. And I can understand that: it's a lot easier to focus
on bigots shouting "God Hates Fags," than it is to focus on the actions of, say, a
young girl holding the door for someone behind her. But
just because those little things don't get attention
doesn't mean that the good things about Christianity don't
exist. We don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
Bigots of any faith who use it to justify hatred and
intolerance do not speak for the members of that faith -
just look at the image problem Islam has because of these
types of extremists.

Mike, you had every right to print that cartoon. But just
because you have the right to do something doesn't
necessarily mean you should do it. Perhaps I am wrong
about your intent, but it remains that the cartoon was
insulting to me and to many others. In a society where
religious tolerance seems to be extended to every group
except "those narrow-minded and intolerant Christians," it
is important to remember that religious respect belongs to
all. Denmark's Jyllands-Posten would have done well to
have printed a cartoon showing Mohammed shaking his head
in disbelief at what people are doing with his religion
instead of Mohammed with a bomb for a turban. Sure, the
cartoonist of that cartoon had every right to do what he
did - but look at what happened because of it. You've got
to be careful and show basic human respect for the
religious beliefs of others. Maybe you should have made
your point by writing and drawing the cartoon in a
different way.

In the end, although you had a right to print the cartoon,
I had a right to take issue with it as well. Democracy is
a wonderful thing.

Anyhow, thanks for making yourself available to discuss
this. It speaks well of you.
Now, I know you're thinking that I was far too polite and courteous with him, but in my defense I don't think you should convict a man before his trial is over. I always give people the benefit of the doubt. Blame my parents if you want.


Mr. Sutton wasn't long coming up with a reply:
First I find it a little disconcerting that you are so
quick to remove you name from the blogs comment section. I
supposed there is a certain luxury to profess opinions
from the safety of a pseudonym.
Unfortunately when a wacko right wing Christian from
Vermont called every Michael/Mike Sutton in the St. John's
telephone directory at 1am last night there isn't the same
luxury (My number is unlisted.
My note: Did he make that up? I don't know. But he just made my own counter-argument as to why anonymity comes in handy. Thanks, Mike.
Do I hate Christians? No. Hell, I am friends with a few
and probably dated a few more.
My Note: "Some of my best friends are black/Christian/gay etc." Standard argument.
Do you know if any of your grandparents were killed by
lions, there are many Canadians who grandparents were
killed in gas chambers so it is an obvious case of the
proverbial tea pot calling the kettle black.

You object to the persecution of Christians in
historical time yet condone the persecution of minorities
in the present day. Don't try an put a glossy spin on
Christianity. As a whole it professes:

1. That god created the earth and to suggest otherwise
would be heresy.
2. That Homosexuality is a sin.
3. That the rights of an unborn child should be
protected over the mothers.
4. By crucifixion of Jesus the Jewish people forwent
their right to the kingdom of god and will forever be
punished for that sin, from this Christianity evolved.
My Note: Apparently I hate Jews and gays. News to me. Does this mean I can't read Gay and Right anymore? Newsflash Mr. Sutton: This isn't the dark ages!

Am I pro-life? You bet - murder's just plain wrong. Do I think God created the earth? Yeah - it was called the "Big Bang." To me, Science is God's blueprint for the universe - but you don't have to believe that if you don't want to. I think that section really showed Sutton's ignorance about Christianity.

The degree to which a Christian will act on these beliefs varies. Thankfully, here in Canada, the majority
of Christians see the issues as benign, for a portion
though, they see it as their personal calling to implement
the kingdom of god on the earth.
It's from this we see the killing of health care
providers, the bombing of clinics and bars, the violence
against other citizens, law suits attempting to prevent
people from marrying, and the suppression of
scientifically accurate teaching.
My Note: a vast rolling of eyes.
After the Danish cartoons were published there were
people killed during the rioting. Christians everywhere
were amazed and shocked that people would behave like this
over cartoons. Yet when a Jesus cartoon was published in
the Muse some right wing nut demanded an apology. This
preceding incident was referenced in the first frame of
the cartoon. In the last frame you will notice a suicide
bomber. This is to suggest that fanatical Christians are no better then suicide bombers. [emphasis mine]
My Note: Is that vomit I taste in my throat?
What is the difference
between blowing up a bar or entering a crowded bus with a
bomb strapped to your chest. Different religion, different
region but just as disgusting.
I personally believe you are a extremist Christian, 99%
of the people who I spoke to (100% of whom where
Christian) didn't have a problem with the cartoon as it
didn't apply to them or their system of beliefs. In fact
most agreed with my view point.
I believe anyone who was offended by the cartoon was
offended primarily that I should be insolent enough as to
question their actions. Its fine for a Christian to
protest what they disagree but when a religious leader
attempts to get a court injunction to prevent Canadians
from marrying I believe they have gone past "expressing an
unfavourable opinion". A clear example of a vocal majority
trying to suppress the rights of a smaller section of
society.
You absolutely right I had every right to print the
cartoon and you have every right to critique it on your
blog.

In one sentence you say I had the right to say it, then
in the next, you demand a apology from me, the author, and
the medium, the muse. Hows that for hypocrisy!

If you happen to have a bible in your home review Judges
6:24-32.

It summarizes my entire argument. If your god is a god
let him defend himself. Don't run around acting on his
behalf, exterminating Jews, killing homosexuals and asking
apologies from cartoonists.

Sincerely,

Mike Sutton

Did he just say Christians are responsible for the holocaust and then equate the holocaust with me writing a letter to a newspaper? On top of that, I'm pretty sure he just accused me of exterminating Jews and gays. Wow. Wow. That's all I can say.

After I recovered from that - I'm not one to quote the bible, but this begs for it: "He saved other why can't he save himself?" (Matthew 27:24 - I googled this, Mr. Sullivan - the tool of any Christian extremist, I'm sure). They asked God to save himself when he was upon the cross, I think it's highly ironic that Sutton ends his comments with this.

Asking for an apology isn't hypocrisy on my part - like I've said at least ten times by now, just because you can do something doesn't mean it's right to do it. Hell, I'm legally allowed to sleep with the neighbour's wife, but I should probably apologize to him if he finds out about it (if only because I value my life).

Of course, the letter doesn't actually end there. Next he lambasts me with the Torah/Old Testament (which, by the way, is the holy book of the Jews originally, Mr. Sutton. Where's your tirade against the Jews?).
6:25
And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said
unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second
bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of
Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is
by it:

6:26
And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top
of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second
bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the
grove which thou shalt cut down.

6:27
Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as
the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he
feared his father's household, and the men of the city,
that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

6:28
And when the men of the city arose early in the morning
behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove
was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was
offered upon the altar that was built.

6:29
And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing?
And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the
son of Joash hath done this thing.

6:30
Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy
son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar
of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was
by it.

6:31
And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye
plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for
him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if
he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath
cast down his altar.

6:32
Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying,
Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down
his altar.
Yipes. I hope he didn't expect me to read all that. In any event, they're talking about Baal in that quote. It's essentially a Jewish warning against worshipping false gods. Don't tell Sutton that, he's probably allergic to scholarly interpretation. Sort of like the McCartneys, now that I think about it.

People, be courteous if you want, but after that rant you can give his inbox both barrels for all I care. Jeepers creepers, this guy is a piece of work.

And here's my final response:
Mr. Sutton, It's very clear to me that I wasted my time in
communicating with you. I gave you the benefit of the doubt
as to the intent behind your cartoon, but it seems to me
that you're simply someone who looks at things with tunnel
vision. I garner from your reply that you truly did intend
nothing more than offense with that cartoon.

I'm sorry you chose not to believe me as to where I stand on
things. I told you I wasn't any kind of an evangelical
Christian, and whether or not you believe that is really of
no consequence to me. Furthermore, You don't need to quote
from the Bible, Mike. The bible says a lot of things, some
of which should be looked at in the context of the time in
which it was written. You would do well to look at these
things with a scholarly perspective instead of treating
everything at face value.

The people you have talked to may have agreed with you about
your cartoon Mike, but I'm willing to bet they all share the
same narrow-minded anti-Christian viewpoint.

In the end, Mike, you simply come across as just another
bigot with an axe to grind. I guess I was right in my inital
analysis of the cartoon all along. You obviously haven't
read anything I've written or looked at it beyond the scope
of your personal predjudices. I'm sorry you feel the way you
do about people with different views than your own. A little
tolerance would be in order. Inform yourself. That being
said, I want no further dealings with uneducated, uninformed
bigots such as yourself.

Have a nice day,

-Danté
There ya go!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cartoon Madness Part Three

The author of "Too Many Christians Not Enough Lions" has made himself available for comments and criticisms. I know I don't need to say this, but I will anyways: be civil and respectful when discussing any opposition to the cartoon with Mr. Sutton. He can be reached at mikesuttonstjohns@yahoo.ca.



-UPDATE- : Kate has some more to discuss over the "Capitalist Pig" controversy at SDA.



On an unrelated note, I wonder if I'll face a firing squad tomorrow...more later, If I'm right.

Iran's Newest Threats

You may have all heard about the "harm and pain" comments. But last week, Iran's foreign minister made some more...unsettling threats:
  • Wednesday he threatened "nasty boo boos"
  • Thursday he menaced that he was going to "take off his belt"
  • Friday he angrily exclaimed "Just wait 'til your father gets home"
  • Saturday, he issued the mother of all threats: "That's it, no TV for a week."

God help us all.

And I Can't Even Win a Damn Donut

It's just not fair. Well folks, this just goes to show you that you can win in a contest; it doesn't always happen to someone else (of course, to someone else, you are someone else).



If you buy coffee at Tim's, roll that rim up. That may have been you who threw away that free car.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Why We Fight

In case you needed a reminder.

The next time this man says he supports peacekeeping and then out of the side of his mouth says he wants us out of Afghanistan, remember just who's playing politics with that little child's life.



-UPDATE-: Aaron Lee Wudrick dishes up NDP soufflé and points out Layton's moral waffling on our peacekeeping operations.

More Cartoon Madness: Hypocrisy?

From my comments on SDA:



Now I know a lot of you support the decision of Denmark's Jyllands-Posten to publish the Mohammed cartoons. I do too. Because of this, we are being criticized by many who see this as evidence of crass hypocrisy on our part.



I can see why some people would think this; but there is a very important difference that shouldn't be overlooked here: many of the Danish cartoons were innocuous. They were also printed to prove a point: you shouldn't be afraid for your life to draw a cartoon in a free and open western democracy (Y!PH [the Sheaf cartoonist] take note, these people stood up for your rights by doing what they did).



The cartoons from The Muse and The Sheaf have no such underlying goals. The only purpose of both cartoons is for the cartoonists to smugly congratulate like-minded individuals on their supposed "moral superiority" to Christians. I'm not going to comment on who's got the moral high ground here. That's not my intent. These cartoons were designed specifically to offend. As I've noted before on my blog, offending to make a valid point is one thing, but offending just for the sake of offending is quite another.



I can completely see why Muslims have gotten upset over two of the real cartoons Jyllands-Posten printed (as opposed to the faked ones designed to stir up mobs in the Middle East). And to be honest, I can sympathize with Muslims here. I get annoyed when people criticize my religion, even if they are making a valid point in doing so. I understand where moderate Muslims are coming from. What some people are missing is this: conservative bloggers aren't supporting Jyllands-Posten because they hate Islam. They're supporting Jyllands-Posten because of the violent reaction to the cartoons in the middle east (and yes, for the most part we're quite aware this has much to do with the politics of the region. Islam is simply the justification used by these rioters). There is no hypocrisy on the part of conservative bloggers when it comes to this issue - we support freedom of speech in the face of oppression and violence, but by and large we do not condone the random slurring of the religious beliefs of one billion people. And neither should The Muse or The Sheaf when it comes to Christianity. It's all about respect.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another Campus Newspaper Features an Anti-Christian Cartoon

UPDATE: Thanks to Kate over at Small Dead Animals for the traffic, and a big welcome to SDA readers!



UPDATE 2: I see all the "progressive" bloggers came out to play as well.


You've all missed the point I so clearly made at the end of the post: Offending to make a valid criticism is one thing - offending for the sake of offending is quite another. The Danish cartoons were largely innocuous and made to show that people should not be afraid for their lives to print cartoons - The Muse's cartoon is titled "Too Many Christians, Not Enough Lions." I'll just leave it at that.



UPDATE 3: The Muse will be printing a rebuttal letter I have submitted this Thursday. I don't have access to it on this computer, but I'll post it later today for you to read. I'd like to state that so far I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from students on my campus about the letter, and despite the possibility that The Muse will publicly crucify me (no pun intended) I'm quite willing to take on any criticism for it. Apparently so are others: more students are now writing letters to complain about the cartoon. I'm glad to see that people are standing up for themselves.



And without further ado, here is my rebuttal letter:


If Sullivan's cartoon wasn't meant as a jab at Christians, then why was it called "Too Many Christians, Not Enough Lions"? Offending to make a valid criticism is one
thing. Offending simply for the sake of offending is quite another. Considering the Muse's newfound respect for freedom of speech, I challenge the Muse to print the
most controversial of the Danish cartoons in this week's edition – unless, of course, [The submissions editor's name] was just using "freedom of speech" as a smokescreen for defending Sutton's inexcusable cartoon.



Further to a post by Kate over at Small Dead Animals, I thought I'd post something that was printed in the February edition of my campus newspaper, The Muse. Now this is a typical university newspaper - that is, it's pro-CFS and hates anything conservative (small or big c). I was suitably bothered off when I saw this:





You bet I was bothered. I loved the title: "Too Many Christians Not Enough Lions." How about, "Too Many Jews Not Enough Gas Chambers?" Hmmm. I wonder if they're too afraid to print one called "Too Many Muslims, Not Enough Bunker Busters?"



So I wrote a letter. I generally don't read The Muse, but when I saw this it got to me. The reference to "Nick McGee's Cartoon" refers to a silly and inoffensive cartoon printed the week before, that somehow riled up those without a sense of humour. Here's my letter:

The recent controversy over Nick McGee’s cartoons is a lot of tempest in the proverbial pot of tea.

The cartoons are silly in the South Park / The Family Guy tradition of mock-outrage. Everyone knows Jesus wouldn’t beat someone up and that’s why the cartoons are funny. I burst out laughing when I saw them.

Mike Sutton’s cartoon in the last issue of The Muse, however, was another matter. What point was Sutton trying to make by insinuating that Christians are Klan members, science-haters, and gay-bashers?

If that’s the case, apparently I’m going to have to switch my biology major and dump three-quarters of my friends. How unbelievably insulting, Mr Sutton.

Give me a break. Was Sutton trying to make a point about the recent publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed in Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten? If so, he not only missed the mark but also managed to set his target on yet another religion in the process.

The only reason he submitted that comic was to take a cheap shot at Christians. Apparently it’s taboo to insult Muslims, but Christians are fair game.

If you’ve got a problem with someone else’s faith, that’s quite alright – it’s a wonderful thing called democracy. But the moment you cross that line and start insulting the beliefs of people, you end up with a situation like the one in the Middle East over the Danish cartoons.

It seems Sutton is oblivious to the lesson about freedom of speech and the responsibility it carries demanding basic respect for people.

My suggestion to Mr Sutton is this: Stop trying to be provocative. It’s boring and you’re only making yourself look like an ass.
-Dante

Of course, this being a student Newspaper, the editor gets to espouse his own views in the letters section (which is reserved specifically for the students, not the editor. Or so it's supposed to be...)

[Editor’s note: While I usually try to hold my tongue when we receive letters I disagree with, I really think I should say something in defence of Mike Sutton.


Here I have to step in and mention something. This guy opens his mouth to insult letter-writers regularly. He reserved an entire page of the newspaper once to insult one-by-one all the letter writers that week who submitted letters with opposing (read: sane) viewpoints. I'm not sure if he's trying to be sarcastic, but if he isn't he's big on nerve and short on memory.

When I first saw the comic, I was hesitant to print it due to the feedback from Nick McGee’s comics. At the end of the day, freedom of speech won me over and I decided I would deal with any possible storm of e-mails headed my way.

However well founded his argument may be, I think
[My Name] is missing the point. Although I am speaking for Sutton without his permission, I think the point of the comic isn’t that every Christian is a Klan member/science-hater/gay-basher.

As I see it, it makes the point that some groups use religion and God to promote their own motives. Ku Klux Klan members believe lynching a black person is simply carrying out God’s wish. Certain groups believe God hates homosexuals. Many individuals believe God frowns upon teaching evolution.

The point isn’t that Christians are evil – not by a long shot. The comic simply sheds light on the fact that groups exploit religions all the time and that Christianity is no different.

The one lesson to learn from all this? Freedom of speech doesn’t only work when you find it funny.

– The Submissions Editor (I have removed his name)

Nonsense. You've seen the cartoon and I doubt even one of you agrees with this cockamamie argument. Ladies and Gentleman, this is called damage control - for this guy to pretend he's trying to defend freedom of speech is really just too much. Am I supposed to laud him for insulting my faith and the faith of over a billion people?

Garbage. Offending to make a valid criticism is one thing, offending for the sake of offending is quite another. Both the cartoonist and the editor should be ashamed.


Harper to be Investigated

Give me a freaking break. Where was the ethics commisioner when Belinda defected?

Surprising


...and how. H/T to ThePolitic.

Mohammad Khatami has described the Holocaust as a “historical reality” - a stinging attack on his controversial and revisionist successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We should speak out if even a single Jew is killed. Don’t forget that one of the crimes of Hitler, Nazism and German national socialism was the massacre of innocent people, among them many Jews,” the cleric said in comments carried in the Iranian press on Wednesday.

The Holocaust, he asserted, should be recognised “even if this historical reality has been misused and there is enormous pressure on the Palestinian people”.


I don't know much about the man, I'll admit, but somehow I didn't expect an Iranian cleric and former president to speak out on behalf of Jews.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

God I Hate Fossils

It's 3:01 AM. I'm pulling so many late nights lately that I might start giving Blue Blogging Soapbox a run for its money. Tonight the reason for my forced insomnia is the cataloguing and dating of over 100 different fossils for a Paleontology Lab midterm tomorrow afternoon. God almighty, they're interesting things to look at but are they ever maddening.



So naturally I thought I'd share some of the pictures I'm cataloguing with you. This actually helps me, because I have to recall from memory the phylogenetic classification of these things as well as the geological era they came from. Enjoy your free crash course in natural history, courtesy of Uncommon Truths:



Phylum Mollusca, Subphylum Cephalopoda, Class Ammonoidea (Cretaceous)



Phlyum Porifera, Class Archaeocyathida (An extinct sponge group from the Cambrian)

Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Trilobitomorpha, Order Phacopida (A Trilobite!)

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoyed those three. I'm off to get some sleep. Tomorrow morning I critique a man's sloppy attempt at research in a seminar class on the Holocaust and defend Pius XII against revisionist history. Should be quite a day tomorrow.