"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Get your smite on
Biblical video games, because you know you wanna see Jesus kick Satan's ass and if you get one more request for one more meeting at the office you're gonna stick your head in the paper-shredder

Friday, July 06, 2007

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming
to bring you our suggestion for the new motto of the Canadian Cynic blog:

I was also touched to hear that her whole entire perspective on life has completely and forever changed in a totally serious kind of way that she really means! I don’t know about you but I find that the thoughtful words of contrition and the newfound maturity typically displayed by the recently incarcerated signal a profound desire to lead a more responsible life that will endure for decades to come. (The previous sentence is brought to you by sarcasm – Sarcasm: for those times when cynicism’s not quite enough, but hitting the person with a plank of some kind just isn’t possible!)"

-From Scott Feschuk's blog at Macleans

We now return to your regularly scheduled snark

Thursday, July 05, 2007

An Inconvenient Arrest
Al Gore's son held over speeding, drugs charges.

From the "Liberal" New York Times

The son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested yesterday on speeding and drug charges, and released from a California jail 12 hours later after his sister Sarah posted cash bail of $20,000.
Mr. Gore’s son, Al III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius at a speed of about 100 miles per hour on the San Diego Freeway near the Crown Valley exit in Laguna Hills when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy about 2:15 a.m., said a Sheriff’s Department spokesman, Jim Amormino.
The deputy smelled marijuana and searched the car, Mr. Amormino said. The deputy found less than an ounce of marijuana and prescription pills that included the narcotic Vicodin, the addictive sleep and anxiety aids Valium, Xanax and Soma, and the amphetamine Adderall. “He doesn’t have a prescription for any of these pills,” Mr. Amormino said, “and that’s what makes it illegal.”

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

With friends like these...
Another friendly fire death confirmed in Afghanistan. It's bad enough when Canadian soldiers are killed by the Taliban, but roughly ten percent of our losses to date have been to the United States military. I know that accidents happen, and that friendly fire deaths have occured in every war, but to lose a tenth of our dead to the people who asked us to go and help them out is unacceptable.

Update: I was having trouble getting this link to work in the comments, it is to a story about an earlier friendly fire incident that killed one Canadian soldier and wounded 30 others. Shooting first and asking questions later when your flying an A-10 against an enemy with no anti-aircraft capability strikes me as a fairly crappy way to fight a war.

"Shut up and stop trying to censor me!"

Censorship and free speech seems to be a slippery concept for some people. Bill O'Rielly's schtick is yelling at guests he disagrees with to shut up and having their microphones cut off, but when Media Matters reruns his racist hateful facist crapola and criticizes him for it, he accuses them of trying to censor him, calls them the worst people in the world, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I'm all for letting anyone say anything they want, but if the nazis want to march, they better be ready to be met by a massive countermarch. If Wingnuts want to talk trash on the radio they better be ready to be universally mocked.

I also believe that media outlets using the public airwaves have a responsibililty to present opposing views and give equal time in a fair way.

CC over at Canadian Cynic has been going around and around with a two of a group of total jackasses over his policy of removing people from his blogroll if they also blogroll the aforementioned jackasses. Which I think is reasonable -- If someone on my blogroll started blogrolling Stormfront or Free Republic (no way in hell am I linking to either one here, if you need to look at them, go find'em yourself) I'd drop them like a bad habit.

You have the right to post whatever you want on your blog, but I have the right to criticize you for it on my blog and even to come and criticize you for it on your blog comments. But once I've made my point in the comments, if I continue to be a boring pain in the ass, it is no longer valid criticism -- its trolling and i deserve whatever I get, whether it is countertrolls on my blog, being banned from your comments, being told to shut up and get lost etc etc.

I wouldn't deny racist fuckwits like RightGirl and Kathie Shaidle the right to say whatever hateful idiotic dumbass thing they want on their blogs, but they need to expect that they will be made turned into social pariahs, universally mocked and despised for it. Free speech has consequences, you are responsible for what you say, so if you say something stupid, expect an earful for it.

That is not censorship. Censorship is when the government comes along and makes you shut down your blog, or bans you from having a computer/printing press/radio station, or makes it illegal to mention certain things or talk to certain people. Media organizations self-censor every day. That's why you won't see the headline "President fucks up again" in the New York Times.

In Japan, as in Canada, there is no official government censorship. The government often doesn't release embarrassing information, even when requested, but more influential on media self-censorship is the chilling effect of the violent right wing extremists. Their intimidation, combined with a lack of testicular fortitude on the part of the media and a do-nothing attitude on the part of a sometimes sympathetic police force mean you will never see a Japanese newspaper write negative things about the imperial family, conservative politicians or the right-wing extremists. People have gotten killed for it and the mainstream media here is unwilling to take the chance. So there is no examination of the "Nanjing Massacre Incident" or the sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of women by the Japanese Military the possibly forcible recruitment of some women to serve as comfort women, most of whom volunteered

In North America the chill comes from fear of losing business. I have some personal experience with this: I was once fired from a small newspaper for publishing stories about a local politician and businessman who was also a major advertiser. (I sued the publisher, we settled and no, I won't elaborate.) This was not censorship, this was just cowardice on the part of the publisher.

Big companies that own media outlets don't like to see stories critical of them or their favorite politicians. Izzy Asper centralized editorial control of their papers at one point. Conrad Black simply cut half the editorial staff at his papers (thus scaring the hell out of the other half and making them afraid to offend the boss) as a 'money-saving measure' .It doesn't have to be heavy handed. Often it is simply a publisher or editor worrying about pissing the owner.

At one place I worked, the owner was well-known to be a tory, the local MP was a tory and a buffoon, but we shied away from reporting on his buffoonery because we knew it would lead us to grief with our boss, not for any specific act, but we knew how unpleasant she could make things for us.

Big media outlets know that if they self-censor too much, they cease to be interesting. If they slant the news too much, they lose credibility. Fox News has had a good run, but unless they start pandering to the left when the political pendulum swings the other way, or actually try to become a neutral news organization, they will be out of business. Democrats refusing to be interviewed and businesses refusing to advertise will hasten that process. Wingnuttery still abounds there, but as the conservative movement totters toward smoking ruin, their days are number. You can already see some of their pundits trying to distance themselves from Bush.

Bloggers refusing to link to, blogroll or read idiots will hasten the departure of the idiots from blogtopia or at least marginalize them and grind away the veneer of respectability some of them have acquired. Eventually that means if they want to have a conservative blogger on TV it won't be Canada's Lowest Common Denominatrix (nicknamed by Pretty Shaved Ape at Canadian Cynic) or the Bush worshipping dingbats from Powerline.

So let us rejoice in the chaotic nature of the blogosphere and speak our minds while remembering that in doing so we have a responsibility not to make stuff up, spread lies or generally behave like assholes. And we have a duty to fight irresponsible hate-mongering stupidity wherever it is on the political spectrum.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
suck (8x)
death (7x)
murder (6x)
dick (4x)
stab (2x)
ass (1x)

I guess I'd better stop writing about the Vice President and his hobbies

Sunday, July 01, 2007

How the other half "thinks"
A must read post on a dangerous religious fruitcake over at Recursivity: Kirk Durston: Apologist for Genocide
Mr. Durston says that genocide is ohkey-dokey as long as the little voice in his head he presumes to be god says it's all right. I expect Charlie Manson said the same thing.
(via Canadian Cynic)