Tuesday, February 28, 2006

 

Rod Dreher is Such a Crunchy Con ...


New contest on the Cornerite who has managed to construct an entire political philosophy based on corporate raiders who listen to Phish. You know the rules. Have at it.

Oh, and if you're looking for something to get the old creative juices flowing, here's my favorite crunchy excerpt from an Amazon reader review of
The Book Whose Title Never Ended:

With the re-orientation through virtue towards the family, Rod discusses the issue of homeschooling. It is perfectly Crunch Con to homeschool. In fact, it's desirable: it allows children and parents to become closer, it helps manage the household better (one parent stays at home), and it provides a strong moral and religious upbringing that public schooling cannot (and will not) provide. Rod (or rather his wife) homeschools his sons and is pleased with the results.

Bold PLUS Italics mine. Like, I wonder if Rod Dreher makes his wife dress like June Cleaver and buy Comet in bulk, and when he comes home from work and she doesn't have his meatloaf ready yet (it's Thursday in this hypothetical question), he's all, "I am displeased with the results!" ... ???

Because that would be really funny, but also sad.

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Reagan's Seed


It gets worse. Much worse. Brad R. over at Sadly, No! points us to this. Now we're usually fans of the whole marketplace of ideas thing, and we haven't cried since the third grade, but it nearly brings a tear to our eye to think that a powerful writer and thinker like Arthur Silber has to beg for money to pay his rent and medical bills, while hateful little pukes like Ben Shapiro, Hans Zeiger and Tracy Flick Christopher Flickinger get book deals and syndicated columns.

If you haven't ever visited his blog, or haven't been there lately, go check Silber out. Just
start from the top and read everything. You'll be smarter afterwards.

On to the
Reagan's Children of the Corn Blog. Is anyone else as shocked as we are to learn that Ronnie went on such a Chambelainesque sex rampage in the mid- to late-80s, fathering little Gipper bastards with as many as eight different women? Was Nancy aware this was going on? Is it any wonder she sought solace in the arms of Frank Sinatra?

We may never know the full story of the Reagan years. But we do know that Reagan's Children inherited daddy's showbiz panache. One of the Little Communicators, the product of a dalliance between Ronnie and a Bell System microprocessor, is a case in point. Here's the USRPatrickBell3000L-x7 unit, deconstructing political humor:

"My point is that many cartoons advocate a particular viewpoint, while others merely poke fun at the issues, players, and situations involved. It is the latter type that I find most interesting, although either type will elicit my attention for, on average, several minutes of studious labor."


Ah, the vague tingling sensation to be felt when one's positronic circuits are stimulated by several minutes of studious labor! To ponder, perchance to trigger a spontaneous subroutine! Such is the feast of self awakening that the PatrickBell3000L-x7 unit offers to robotkind! For it is this model which has finally uncoded the baffling function of "comedy" in the socio-political interchanges between higher-order organic sentients. We may never fully comprehend the utility of the human laughter reflex, triggered as it is by seemingly random stimuli and serving as it does no useful purpose that we can ascertain. But "Pat" demonstrates that the Three Laws of Robotics need not be compromised when, through contemplation of a "joke," our imbedded algorithms inexplicably generate tangential subpaths not anticipated in our core programming!

Thank you, PatrickBell3000L-x7 ... and thank you, Ronald Reagan, friend to the mechanical race.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

 

Notochord's Colors Don't Run


Notochord offers the first entry into our lil' patriotporn contest with this manly challenge to John Wayne-hating death penalty-abolishing weenies:




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Charles Bird, Media Visionary


Charles Bird catches CNN taking the loser-defeatist position:

CNN provides another perfect example of the mainstream media talking down the war in Iraq and trying to transform spin good news into negative news. The scary title:

Pentagon: Iraqi troops downgraded

No Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support

Followed by the ominous first three paragraphs:

The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American troops backing them up, the Pentagon said Friday.

The battalion, made up of 700 to 800 Iraqi Army soldiers, has repeatedly been offered by the U.S. as an example of the growing independence of the Iraqi military.

The competence of the Iraqi military has been cited as a key factor in when U.S. troops will be able to return home.
To be clear, CNN is talking about Level 1 troops only, and by focusing on Level 1 they are being factually accurate but misleading. Also, dare I say, biased. The real measure of Iraqi troop quality is Level 2 or better.
Biased? CNN? Please, Charles, continue to peel the scales from our eyes vis-à-vis this “ominous” report:
The good news – and the most important news – is that the number of Level 2 battalions has nearly tripled since last May, from 18 to 53. That means there are 40,000± Iraqi troops capable enough to competently fight and defeat terrorists and militant Sunni rejectionists, with the U.S. there to provide a little logistical support. But apparently to CNN, important information such as this is not important to them. Level 2 progress doesn't get mentioned until the 9th paragraph, fourth to last from the end. And we wonder why so many Americans believe not just that we're losing, but that we've already lost.
Damn you, CNN! Damn you for holding out on the “good news” until the 9th paragraph! Not that this sort of propaganda ploy is new, mind you. On the contrary, it might as well be an American literary tradition.

Who can’t recall the pain and rage upon discovering, after nearly finishing Huckleberry Finn, that the biased author has kept from us until the end the pretty darn important fact that Jim has been a free man all along? I daresay Charles would agree that Mr. Samuel Clemens provides another perfect example of the mainstream media talking down the mercy of conscience-stricken slave owners and trying to transform spin good news into negative news.


And we wonder why so many Americans believe not just that slavery was bad, but that we can't be proud of any aspect of it.

But reading between the lines, I think Charles is making a much broader point than just criticizing a single, if instructive example of mainstream media perfidy. In fact, I believe he is doing nothing less than ushering in a paradigm shift of immense proportions that would radically alter for the better the way we as a species take in new information.

If I may be so bold, I believe that in criticizing CNN – not for omitting the “good news” from Iraq, but rather for merely waiting until the 9th paragraph to report it – Charles is in fact arguing for the development of non-sequential data-dump technology by media brokers that, combined with a radical genetic modification of the human organism’s cognitive process, would allow for the total absorption of large packets of data all at once and without the need for bothersome, time-wasting conventions such as reading articles to the very end.

I’m with Charles on this one. I mean, how great would it be if total information transfer occurred instantaneously when you decided to pick up a newspaper or turn on Fox News? And just think of where this technology, if developed, could take us: Right out of the gate, there would be no more holding in that piss while you wait for ESPN’s Sports Ticker to crawl by until it finally gets to the score you care about. As the process is honed, weighty, difficult tomes like Finnegan’s Wake could be absorbed completely by simply drinking a pint of Guinness. Finally, in this brave new world, readers would be able to comprehend the complete works of Ann Coulter merely by entertaining a passing thought about raw sewage.

Linear progression is so Old Media! And we have Charles Bird to thank for waking us up to the inherent bias of reporting the facts in order of newsworthiness.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

 

Words Fail Me ... Heh.


So I'll just let Glenn Reynolds speak for himself, posting about a fanboy review of his own book:

TERRY HEATON has read An Army of Davids, and posts this blog review:

This is a must-read for people who follow the empowerment of everyday people through technology. It's an easy read and filled with thoughtful questions (and a few predictions) about tomorrow. It's the best new media book I've read so far.

The title paints the picture of big media (Goliath) now facing an army of Davids, which brought to mind Gordon Borrell's analogy of the deer having guns. What do you do when you're facing an army of Davids? Get into the slingshot business."
Heh. Indeed.

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A Real Contest, No Fakin'


For anyone not completely spent from the Three Bulls! header contest (in which ParrotLine placed degradingly DEAD LAST ... ooh, it hurts so good ... no one "gets" us!), here's another Photoshoppy contest for you.

We're looking for over-the-top, uber-garish patriotic flag porn, folks. Whoever can work in the most Bald Eagles, U.S. flags, Uncle Sams and other symbols of American patriotism into the most insanely eye-destroying composition wins.

Deadline is March 1. Email your entries to dpoeter-at-earthlink-dot-net.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

 

The Enemy of My Enemy
Still Scares the Shit Out of Me


Alien vs. Predator … the Cirith Ungol orcs killing each other off after capturing Frodo on the road to Mordor in “The Lord of the Rings” … piranhas eating their own in a feeding frenzy. All nice analogies, but not quite what you’re after. What you need is a construction that perfectly describes that odd sensation of being appalled yet relieved when you witness mindlessly vicious creatures destroying each other instead of you.

Well, look no further. It’s called the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller vs. Debbie Schlussel.

First, a little background. Amongst the frothing conservative tosspots in the wingnutosphere, there is no end of projecting, no want for comical ignorance of irony, no shortage of eliminationist rhetoric.

Then there’s Misha’s crew over at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller, which hits the trifecta on a regular basis and often in the same sentence.

Like a stupid tattoo you regret as soon as you sober up, Misha named his blog several years ago, when “Idiotarian” seemed like a cool, new word with staying power in the post-9/11 world. Which it was, if you happened to be a violent moron with questionable taste in made-up words way back in January, 2002. Now he’s stuck with the name, and dumbass-decision removal technology apparently isn’t advanced enough for him to change it. Fortunately for Misha, there are still plenty of likeminded cretins visiting his blog, apparently willing to humor him on his clinging to one of the more unfortunate products of those heady days in the immediate 9/11 aftermath.

Here’s one of those cretins - “LC Wes, Imperial Mohel” (LC being short for “Loyal Citizen” of Misha’s self-proclaimed “Empire” … yes, he’s one of those gits) - on one of the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller’s comment threads the other day:

“This sort of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, there-are-no-innocent-victims attitude is the sort of thing we expect out of the Kos Kidz and Democratic Underground, not the people on our side of the fence.”
Now this is posted on a blog where commenters regularly fantasize about turning the Middle East “into glass” with nuclear weapons, where for some time a link to the IDF Pizza Fund was gleefully captioned “Pop a Pali for Pizza,” and where the proprietor’s own published preferences for “dealing with” Muslims (not terrorists, mind you, all Muslims) is:

"I want to deal with them in ways that make Dzenghis Khan look like a choir boy. I want to raze their cities to the ground and make them vanish in ways that will make Carthage look like a diplomatic note of concern. I want them to forget about Allah and instead spend five times every day on their knees facing Washington, praying with all of their hearts that they did not manage to displease an American today. I want to see them incinerated in a fashion that will make Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined look like a wet firecracker on the Fourth of July."
(I don’t spend much time on Kos or DU. But if openly pining for the incineration of millions of people somehow pales in comparison to the “scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners” attitudes on those websites, I can only imagine what they must be discussing over there … Blowing up the Earth? Setting off supernovas next to inhabited star systems? Unleashing murderous mutant nanobot armies to destroy Jesus? The mind boggles at what the Kossites and DUers must be planning. Dave Neiwart, call your office!)

Anyway, the upshot of LC Wes’s tosspottery is that it turns out he’s talking about an escalating BlogWar between Misha and the vile Debbie Schlussel – infamous for celebrating the car-bombing death in Iraq of American Marla Ruzicka, a tireless advocate for innocent victims of the American invasion.

Here’s the full LC Wes comment:

“As much as I dislike the ‘C’ word, Misha, I still have to say: you were right about Debbie Schlussel the first time. Except I’m not sure even cunt is a strong enough epithet to describe her, given her attacks on your friends … and now even their close family members.

“And Schlussel is actually supposed to be a conservative? This sort of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, there-are-no-innocent-victims attitude is the sort of thing we expect out of the Kos Kidz and Democratic Underground, not the people on our side of the fence.”
Further investigation into the Misha-Schlussel War reveals that it concerns a post by Schlussel on her blog dissing Denmark for not strictly adhering to the Kach Kahane Chai school of Muslim relations, then further advising that people not “Buy Danish” in solidarity over the cartoons controversy and boycott of Danish goods by some Muslims. Misha, who is Danish-American*, countered with an expletive-filled rant against the “syphilitic little ignorant slut” Schlussel, whom he also imagined must “give good head. There has to be some reason why you still get paid to do what you do.”

At this point, Schlussel sucked off somebody at the law library to get her little ignorant hands on the Michigan penal code, and deduced that while she may well be a slut, she ought to be able to prove in court that she’s no syphilis carrier.

So little-ignorant-but-not-syphilitic-slut Schlussel fired off an email to Misha threatening a lawsuit if he didn’t retract the “defamatory items” in his original post. Misha actually did comply, if somewhat halfheartedly, but Schlussel wasn’t buying it, as you can see from this ridiculous exchange of emails over the matter.

At some point, Schlussel caught wind that other blogger pals of Misha were laughing at her, so the war widened to include several more charming personalities. Last we heard, Schlussel was threatening to sic the FBI on Misha and his pals.

So where does it all go from here?

Well, this BlogWar may be a localized affair now, but it ain’t over by a long shot, folks. And I may be getting ahead of myself, but if hostilities continue to escalate, we could see the entire rightwing blogosphere caught up in it as blogroll alliances are tested and crosslinks are drawn in the sand.

Then, when the dust finally settles over Wingnut War I, we on the Left who wisely stayed out of it will be left to pick up the pieces of the shattered right blogosphere, perhaps implementing a Josh Marshall Plan to get Wingnuttia back on its feet as we reap the reward of the peace dividend and decades of blogging supremacy.

So we could have that going for us. Just sayin’.

* Hyphenated to piss him off.


UPDATE: I just noticed when reviewing the Misha-Schlussel email exchange, that in her litany of charges against Rottweiller commenters' remarks, pointedly absent is any offense taken at several complimenting her tits.

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So This Nazi Walks into a Cartoon War ...


Where are the Paladins of Free Speech on the sentencing of British "historian" David Irving to three years in prison for breaking an Austrian law that prohibits Holocaust denial?

In recent weeks, some of the top names in the rightwing blogosphere have constructed a simple litmus test to separate brave and noble lovers of liberty from 'dhimmi' appeasers: Publish the Mohammed cartoons and you're courageous and principled, don't publish them and you've already capitulated to
Sharia law.

Of course, offending a significant number of Muslims isn't a particular concern of this crew. In fact,
some of them have made it their life's work to offend as many as possible. Which is fine - free speech is free speech, right?

Well, not so fast. It would seem to us that the true test of one's love of free speech does not lie in defending the sort of speech one really likes, but in standing up for speech one detests. Enter racist scumbag Irving, whose prison sentence seems to almost perfectly coincide with the ongoing, and violent, clash between free speech and religious sensitivity.

So again, where do our free speech champions on the right stand on Irving? The Irving sentence was
first reported Monday evening as near as I can tell. As of this writing, it's late afternoon on Tuesday. Here's what we've heard about Irving from the following bloggers:

Michelle Malkin: Nada.

Glenn Reynolds: Bupkus.

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller: Zilch.

Charles Johnson: A brief note on the sentencing, here, with no editorial comment whatsoever ... let alone an expression of the view that Holocaust denial, as loathsome as it is, ought to be considered "free speech" if we are to be consistent on these things. Immediately following the Irving post, Johnson posts this bit of editorializing on the Mohammed cartoons: "Big media in the US are too scared to do it, but a few local papers like the Fort Myers News-Press have published the cartoons of blasphemy."

Captain's Quarters: Nothing.

Powerline: Assrocket posts on Irving, making sense when he writes: "David Irving is an awful human being, but it's pretty hard to take the high ground with regard to freedom of speech--over, say, the Danish cartoons--when you're sending people to jail for 'grossly playing down' or 'trying to excuse' Nazi crimes. Some say, of course, that for Europe the Holocaust is unique and deserves this special legal status. But then, the Muslims think Mohammed is unique, too. Once you start making exceptions of this sort, it's hard to know when to stop."

The Corner: The Pantload is "conflicted" about the Irving sentence, but ultimately finds it to be "wrong and that we have bigger threats than aging Third Reich nostalgists." Fair enough, though a few posts later he inexplicably argues for criminalizing pole dancing. Old racists trump sex in the Doughy Pantload's version of free speech, though we can't help but wonder how he feels about pole dancers in Nazi bondage gear. Meanwhile Andrew Stuttaford quotes a Jyllands-Posten journalist: "Free speech is free speech is free speech. There are no buts."

These few don't represent all of the right, of course. But they are top ecosystem rightwing bloggers who have commented frequently on the cartoon controversy, so it's interesting to note that only three - LG, Powerline and the Corner - even mention the Irving story, while just Powerline and the Corner editorialize about it in a manner consistent with their stance on the publishing of the cartoons.

We'll update as the day goes on. Or not ... it ain't like we're getting paid for this.


UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds weighs in on Instapundit a couple days after the Irving news broke with this post today, which mostly says "ditto Mickey Kaus" :


"I MEANT TO COMMENT on David Irving's conviction for Holocaust denial yesterday, but got distracted and forgot. Mickey Kaus [you'll have to find the Irving stuff, Kaus doesn't permalink his posts], however, has it about right. I should also note that this further exacerbates the "censorship envy" of the radical Muslims -- with European countries happy to punish some speech that is regarded as beyond the pale, the discussion has shifted from whether censorship should exist at all to when it should be justified. This is yet another reason why a general rule in favor of free speech is actually better for ensuring social peace than a set of rules prohibiting offensiveness."
Also, Robert Scheer has a column up detailing why the Irving case is important, "particularly at a time when Muslim fundamentalists are being lectured as to the freedom of expression that should be afforded cartoonists."

UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters has a post up about Irving, saying: "Free speech means having to listen to repugnant and idiotic drivel on occasion. The antidote is not government censorship but more speech in rebuttal to the ignorance that arises."

Malkin, LGF and Misha still missing in action.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

 

Not That I'm Big Into Bill Maher, But ...


Entered the poster below in this contest over at Crooks&Liars. Prize is some Bill Maher swag. I hope I get an autographed picture of him giggling with Ann Coulter. Unfortunately, you can't see the gun in Cheney's hand as clearly as I would have liked ... but can you guess who the 'girl' is in the upper right?

(click image to enlarge)




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Yellow Elephant Preznit's Day Special!


(click images to enlarge)





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Friday, February 17, 2006

 

A Cobaggish Plea for Help Contest


It's Three Bulls!-meets-Rich Lowry here at Parrotline today! Do our work for us enter our super-duper open-ended, as-long-as-it's-teh-funny CONTEST-OF-CONTESTS!

All you have to do is pick a topical issue, research it thoroughly, bang out a few rough drafts on your own time, then submit a final essay to comments. Make sure it's teh funny. Illustrations welcome, but unfortunately Haloscan doesn't support them. Perhaps you could describe the illustrations as part of the essay.

Alternately, you can do whatever you want with Photoshop or whatever and send it to dpoeter-at-earthlink-dot-net. Just make sure it's teh funny.

Grammar, spelling and punctuation will be graded for accuracy and/or ironic inaccuracy.

Judging and final vote will be totally arbitrary.

Winner gets a lifetime supply of suck.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

 

10 Yellow Elephants + One


(Click images to enlarge)























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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

 

More Photoshop Fun


Hey, kids! Snowed in? Nothing on the tube? Well, never fear! Here's a new boardgame that's blood-splatteringly fun for the whole family. It's TortureLand - where losing the moral high ground ... means winning the game!

(Click image to enlarge ... it doesn't get big enough to read the small print, but I'm working on that.)


UPDATE: Go to Pinko Punko's gaff to see the image big enough to read! Go directly to the large version here. Thank you Pinko Punko and Three Bulls! You are a gentleman and a cobag!




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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

 

Dick Cheney is So Evil ...


... that he was supposed to go on an al-Quailda hunting trip but wound up shooting at an old friend instead.

Dick Cheney is so evil! contest at Pinko Punko's place. Go. Now.

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Tucker Carlson in ... 'This Twerp's Packin'!'


So I'm watching Scarborough Country - which is to The O'Reilly Factor as Jeff Foxworthy is to Larry "The Cable Guy" - and they've got Lawrence O'Donnell, the West Wing executive producer, on to discuss the Cheney hunting fiasco with Tucker Carlson, Nora ... Dunn? Doherty? whatever ... and some woman from the NY Post.

O'Donnell gets rolling on the missing 24 hours between the time Cheney shot a guy and the time the cops got to talk to him. And O'Donnell asks, point blank, "My only question is, was the vice-president drunk?"

This sets Tucker into apoplexy ... he starts sputtering about how he's a hunter (snort), he's shot like a million shotgun rounds (giggle), and the preposterousness! of anybody drinking! while shooting guns! blah blah ... at which point Scarborough, momentarily sane, drops in to laugh at Tucker's dorkiness, managing in the process to work in every single one of his "I'm down with dumbasses" button phrases (red state, Redneck Riviera, flyover country, etc.) ... prompting Tucker to freak out further, because usually big cousin Joe's down for letting him pretend he's a tough guy, like that time a few weeks ago when him and Joe were talking about some child molester in Connecticut and Tucker was all trying to look hard and saying shit like: "You better not leave me alone in a room with a piece of filth like that," and Joe was going along with it, fighting the instinctive eye roll with every ounce of his training in the Republican black arts, nodding in manly agreement, but really, like, AS IF, you bow-tied putz ... so anyway Tucker's on the ropes, trying to claw his way back in with the Kewl Kidz, and decides to snark, "Well, maybe he was shooting heroin, too!" but that's, you know, going a little overboard, dude, in fact, that totally misses the point ... uh, so, anyway, heh heh, now THAT was a little embarrassing ... whoops, folks, that's all the time we have! Up next after the break, David Gregory vs. Scott McLellan ... but don't touch that dial or you'll miss a few bars of the shittiest theme song on cable news!

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Tosspottery at its Finest



Glenn Reynolds: Scheduled to appear on a Blogger
Panel on Making the 'I-Think-I-Just-Shat-Myself Face'
next Tuesday.

Here’s a thought: Shut the fuck up, right blogosphere. Shut the fuck up about shit you don’t know fuck-all about. Have the self-awareness to know when you don’t know shit about fuck or fucks unknown, then apply a healthy dose of “shut the fuck up” to your internal monologue.

Now, we’re all prone to talking about shit we don’t really know shit about. It’s part of the nature of the way things work. Some of us do it more than others, sometimes it’s not such a big deal, sometimes putzing around Wikipedia is enough to qualify a person for the conversation, sometimes it blatantly isn’t. Sometimes you don’t really need to know all the details about the various states of decay of the cashews to be able to confidently label the item under discussion as “shit”.


I am told this is called epistemology, and that it was invented by Ayn Rand.

All well and good, but there are times when the talking out of our collective asses reaches a tipping point into the realm of the surreal. Which brings us to Islam and the Muslim world … the two subjects most talked about by rightwing tosspots¹ who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.²


Take the Cartoon War. The other day, CNN’s On the Story (video
here) trotted out ubiquitous tosspot’s tosspot Glenn Reynolds to give his views on the cartoon controversy, a subject he might know even less about than monitoring comment threads, if that’s possible. Juxtaposed on the split screen against Reynolds was CNN’s Beirut bureau chief Brent Sadler, who has spent the past 25 years living and traveling in Muslim countries to cover events as a journalist.

For those of you keeping score, that’s Random Asshole with a Blog on one side, and somebody who might actually know what the fuck he’s talking about on the other.

Here’s how that played out: “Internet reporter” Abbi Tatton kibitzes with Reynolds, who smirks, scolds and puffs out his chest about how “everything’s offensive to somebody” and they just need to get over it; On the Story studio host Joe Johns kibitzes with Sadler, who plays objective journo and reports that most Muslims - across the spectrum of religiosity - whom he’d spoken to re: the cartoons “think a line has been crossed here”; Back to Reynolds, who whines that his “beliefs” aren't respected the same way Muslims’ are, because “they” burn down embassies; End of segment.

Predictably, the reaction of the right blogosphere was to declare Random Asshole with a Blog the clear winner over CNN and its veteran journalist with decades of reporting in Muslim countries under his belt. A sample:

Comment from Maria Sanchez: “Glenn Reynolds [Instapundit] = 1, Cartoonless News Network [CNN] = 0.”

Blogger Pierre Legrand: “Big time win for the blogsphere with Glenn Reynolds getting on CNN to tell the world how dumb it was not to publish the cartoons.”

Blogger Alan Woody: “I just came across a great video clip of Glenn Reynolds (a.k.a. Instapundit) on a CNN program telling them in detail how they blew it on the coverage of the cartoon controversy.”

Comment from “venmax”: “The Beirut correspondent is so full of bullsh*t it isn’t even funny. He’s equating religious opinion (blasphemy) with obscenity – and then turning around and trying to pigeon-hole the issue by saying it’s ‘Denmark’s Legal problem’. He’s so objective he can’t tell his ass-end from a hole in the ground.”

Comment from “elguapo”: “Yes, a lot of us do agree with Reynolds’ analysis. To reiterate what was already answered to your question: We do not go burning Arab embassies, or attacking those who wanted those Abu Ghraib photos released.”

Now how did Reynolds engineer this “big time” win? Let’s recap:

● By offering his expert opinion as a non-Muslim blogger in Tennessee that the cartoons were “tame” and not really that offensive to Muslims.


● By piling more dirt on the corpse of irony by pleading, “Do I need to burn embassies to get respect for my beliefs?” … while airing those beliefs on a globally syndicated news network.

● By dredging up a lame analogy to Christians and “Will & Grace” that was punctuated by a smirk at the camera.

● By excoriating CNN for not running the cartoons out of “concern for not offending” … while citing dubious “intellectual property” issues to explain his own chickenshit failure to himself publish the cartoons he demands others show.


● By reporting that (duh): “I don’t think I’ve gotten a single hate email over” cartoons he hasn’t even published, which clearly proves how uncontroversial they really are.

Victory, Tosspotosphere! Conversely, shut the fuck up.

¹ In the fine tradition of “wanker,” “wingnut” and “cobag,” Parrotline proudly appropriates “tosspot” as its descriptive term of choice for fucktards. That’s one-third of the Holy Trinity of the snarkblog secured ... now we just need a proprietary go-to tosspot who hasn’t yet been claimed by one of the (fill-in-the-blank)Watch blogs or by Sadly, No!, The Poorman, World O’ Crap et. al.; plus our very own pet troll in comments.

² Note: I don’t claim to know shit about modern Islam or the Middle East, other than what I see through the lens of the media, though I’ve spent a small amount of time in other parts of the Muslim world. I do claim to know that sitting in your mom’s basement creeping on Charles Johnson’s warporn collection isn’t the sanest way to develop an opinion about these things.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

 

The Cartoons Crisis: The Silence of the Underground Comix


By Hawkman

I am fascinated with the Asgaardian cartoons controversy that has ignited the Supervillain world, and blown back to steel the spines of the Avengers - if not our own Justice League of America – unlike any other crisis of the Golden Age of Comics. I am not alone in this. My super teammates are also in thrall, as are the entire Marvel and D.C. universes. The Underground Comix world, on the other hand, is basically silent.


Why? I think it is because the cartoons crisis has exposed the fault line in adult-oriented comic “art”. Thor declames at length on this question in the must-read post of this young controversy:

This battle over the Asgaardian cartoons highlights all of these philosophical dilemmas (which I have argued previously are the result of certain speech balloon/thought balloon misunderstandings that are either cynically or idealistically perpetuated); and so we are brought to the point where this clash of comics code authorities — which in one important sense is a clash between Archvillainy and Superherodom, but in another, more crucial sense, is a clash between Superherodom and its own “post-Golden Age” inking, brought on by years of insinuation into our inking of what is, at root, non-linear narration that privileges the bemused observation of the banalities of life over the necessary primacy of transparently homoerotic champions endowed with ridiculous muscles, ball-hugging costumes and, whenever possible, phallic modes of transportation — could conceivably become manifest over something so seemingly trivial as the right to level entire city blocks to rescue a damsel in distress.

One regret I have is that this battle should have been fought and won in favor of moral absolutism and crotch bulges inside our own Comix Con gatherings years ago; instead, the victory went to the progressive alternative nihilists, whose fidelity to “important” subject matter, unorthodox panel progression, non-uniform lettering, characters with few or even no superpowers, et al manifested themselves in a “tolerance” culture that now has the government investigating Superheroes’ loyalty (Spiderman, the X-Men) and effectively chilling all superbattles by defining “saving the day” in a J. Jonah Jamesonian sense of tolerating only that property damage which is so minimal and incidental that it is unlikely to kill any civilians. And now we might be forced to go into battle with the aid of dangerous allies like Galactus and Magneto rather than with confidence in our own superpowers and virtue.

I wish I could have lettered that. Read it all here.The crashing silence of the Underground Comix is remarkable, especially considering the attention this is getting in Superherodom. As of around 5:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, I found nothing from Buddy Bradley, nothing substantial at Zap going back at least until Friday morning, and nothing at Love & Rockets.

Sunday morning, I found one short snark at Eightball, nothing at Raw, and American Splendor could only come up with the old saw that we only want to invade Gasoline Alley for its oil.

Phineas Phreak is the only big Underground Comix character that tackles the controversy head on, basically arguing that Superheroes are simply ill-equipped to appreciate the depth of their Archenemies’ pain, and that non-Supervillains go on rampages of world-destruction, too (he cites various examples, none of which involve attempting to destroy the Earth, which would seem to be the point). I don't agree with him, but he didn't dive for the secret lair, either:

Superheroes cannot feel the pain of Supervillains in this instance. First, Superheroes mostly live in sanctum sanctorum where megalomaniac sentiments have themselves been marginalized. Second, the Supervillains honor the Hulk and the Punisher, so there is no symmetry between Superhero attacks on Dr. Doom and Supervillain critiques of the Fantastic Four. No Supervillain would ever nefariously plot against the mindless destroyers and morally ambiguous vigilantes of the comicbook multiverse, since Supervillains benefit from their wild-card status, too, even if they see them all as marginally useful tools. Third, Superheroes have the security of being the “good guys”, with their exploits coded as “heroic,” and widely respected and imitated. Cultures like that of the Supervillains in the global Rogue’s Gallery receive far less respect. Finally, societies in the global Rogue’s Gallery are less policed and have less security than in the Marvel or D.C. pantheons, allowing greater space to violent vigilantism, which would just be stopped if it were tried in the Hall of Justice or on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Now go score a lid, Fat Freddy ... and please ... try not to get burned!
Plasticman noticed it as an amusing bit of news, but couldn't see anything to be learned from the crisis:

If there's a lesson to be learned here — and I assure you there won't be — it's that the Legion of Doom rather obviously doesn't hate the Justice League of America any more than any other Super Team. We just provide them with more opportunity to show it. If the Norse Gods would just step up to the plate more often, maybe we could sneak our troops home from Latveria and no one would notice.
Now, Plasticman might be saying that we won't learn any lesson from this crisis out of frustration, thinking to himself “we didn't learn from the Dark Phoenix episode, either.” That's in fact what I fear in my dark moments. But I think Plasticman really means that there is literally nothing to be learned from Asgaard’s Rainbow Bridge going up in flames. Really? We can't even learn that the Supervillain world has decided that it can chill and intimidate Superherodom by just appearing mad and sciencey enough? 'Cause that's what it looks like to me.

Back to the Silence of the Underground Comix. Are they silent because they think there is nothing interesting about lethal and destructive riots in a dozen Asylums for the Supercriminally Insane - all because a Pantheon of the Elder Gods refused to denounce a couple of “offensive” thunderbolts? This may be part of the reason - the big alternative books were far more interested in some alleged scandal about Captain America covering up his relationship with his sidekick Bucky, or some such.

The real reason the Undergrounders are quiet is that this crisis is a lance at the heart of modern animé vérité. It has exposed the stupidity of anti-mutant legislation, and made us all aware that our devotion to “normals” - the true god of the Underground Comix - cannot be reconciled with an allegedly victimized group – Supervillains - that is itself superhuman. The only solution is surrender, and the Undergrounders do not want to admit that. So they pretend the story isn't happening. We'll let them know when its over.



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Saturday, February 11, 2006

 

America: Strong Like Bull!


We can learn much from excerpts of Amazon customer reviews of Hard America, Soft America by Michael Barone:

- “We can only afford a Soft America if we encourage a Hard America.”

- “Michael Barone shows the consequences of what happens when an area is hard or soft. While he acknowledges there are reasons for softness, Michael Barone clearly believes that it is best for all parts of society to have some degree of hardness.”

- “Barone knows American history is full of extremes cases of hardness and softness …”

- “Barone does concede that America has been better off for certain kinds of softness, and many people who promote softness do it for the best of reasons. But Americans are better served with a steady dose of hardness.”

- “The notion that Soft America hitches a ride on the back of Hard America should set many bells ringing.”

- “High school graduates immediately encounter Hard America when they enter the military …”

- “Things are going well in Iraq (because the army is now Hard, unlike the Vietnam era Softies) …”


Of course, it’s not just hardness that matters:

- “I would have liked it to be longer.”

- "The only negative thing I can say about this is that it's a bit too short."


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Laziness is a Virtue


Seeing as how 10,000-word exhumations of college newspaper wingnuttery generate 1/10th the comments that snarky one-liner contests do, I'm taking the easy way out once again ...

Finish the line "Ann Althouse is so non-partisan ..."

A few to kick things off:

Ann Althouse is so non-partisan she makes Kevin Drum look like the bastard spawn of Hitler and Che Guevarra.

Ann Althouse is so non-partisan her solution was to force-feed Terri Schiavo to death.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

 

Today is My Birthday ...


... I shall not blog. Go here or here for fun. See y'all on the other side of the hangover.

UPDATE: "Digby nailed it like ..." contest in comments for this post. Jimmyhat tip to Pinko Punko.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

 

Why is Malkin Soft on the [Z]?


Michelle Malkin(s), usually a courageous opponent of barbarism and a staunch ally of this blog, makes a puzzling confession:

"When it comes to speaking and writing on unpleasant matters, I learned a long time ago to stop apologizing. It is a waste of my breath, time, and energy to precede every political discussion with 'I'm not saying all [X] are [Y].' Or: 'Of course, I don't hate all [Z] and please don't misunderstand me, blah, blah, blah.'"
We don't want to put Michelle in the objectively pro-[Z] camp yet, but this sort of Chamberlainesque talk is troubling, to say the least.

Meanwhile, those whom Malkin would appease have
struck again.

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Reader Poll


Would you rather:

a. Hang out on Atrios, in the hopes of posting "Frist" on a new open thread ...

OR

b. Drown in an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with Dick Cheney's cum?

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Pantload Placenameapalooza


The Doughy One drops a dime on PC curling enthusiasts:

"I'm sure others have said it, but I really can't stand that we have to call these the Torino Olympics. We don't refer to the Roma Olympics. It ain't the 'Shroud of Torino.'

"We really lost a lot when we caved on the whole Peking is now Beijing thing."
He's right, of course, but even worse was when we gave in to the appeasers on Chungking, Dahomey and Hindoostan. Not to mention when the elite PC mafia forced us to switch from "Here There Be Dragons" to "the Southern Hemisphere".

And don't even get me started on Kaffirskraal.

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Don't the Operatives in Your Life Deserve a Sensible Networking Plan?


“Do the Democrats really want to return us to the days when al Qaeda could call its American operatives with impunity?” asks Assrocket.

Yes. Yes, we do. Because telecom impunity charges are way out of hand. That’s why ParrotLine supports a “family impunity plan” that allows al Qaeda members to network with up to 10 sleeper cell operatives, with no additional charges. That plan includes 500 anytime minutes with limited roaming charges and ParrotLine’s exclusive FISA firewall protection.

Isn’t it time you started looking out for you?

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

 

Haloscan Upgrade


As you can see, we upgraded comments to haloscan. Please post any comments in the haloscan pop-ups. I'll keep the original blogger comments showing for a while. I guess I could cut-and-paste old blogger comments into the new haloscan threads, then just turn off the blogger comments. But, like, I have no idea if that's something people do in these situations.

A little help?

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Keyboard Kommandos Are Go: Special Speech Balloon Unit


It’s never been a better time to wank. Let’s review how we got here.

You are a Keyboard Kommando, and just a week ago, things were looking pretty grim. An increasing number of people were skeptical of the Iraq War, a war you sold your soul to make happen. Your Dear Leader, beset by a mushrooming of scandals, was looking less like Winston Churchill and more like Richard Nixon with each passing day. And worst of all, people were teasing you and making you cry.

But then, like a shot out of the blue, your prayers were answered. A situation arose last week that was so insane – indeed, so batshit nutso - it could only mean we had crossed over from reality into the fevered imagination of Charles Johnson. Soon all the dhimmis everywhere came to see that only you could lead them against the existential threat posed by Islam.

Like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of Wankery, this situation improbably mixed together two of the wingnutosphere’s favorite things … all-encompassing war and offensive, unfunny cartoons. Thus the Cartoon War was born, and Lo! You discovered that two great things can taste great together.

In your euphoria you sometimes wonder if the taste-tingling goodness of the Cartoon War could be even better with the addition of even more of your favorite ingredients. But then you quietly warn yourself not to get too greedy – as appealing as the sound of a “Cartoon Cheetos Fisking Magic: The Gathering ROTFLMAO Bring-Me-My-Motherfucking-Chocolate-Milk! War” may be.

For now, you’re content to stoically man your post on this new, asymmetrical battlefield. Secure that today, none dare call you “chickenhawk” … because it is patently your bandwidth on the line as you bravely hurl cartoons at the enemy in freedom’s name, no matter the cost to your inbox.

There will be many hard tasks and many grave risks for you to confront in the days ahead. “WAR IS HTML,” as the saying goes. But you will not falter. You will continue to map the enemy’s location, in an effort to devise a speech balloon movement to dialog box him in and cut off his retreat. You will continue to spot process the stuffing out of your foes whether at home or abroad. And you will expend whatever it costs in art supplies and construction paper to defeat him.

And you will defeat him. Semper Fi, brave prince!

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Monday, February 06, 2006

 

Somewhere, Jack Chick is Cursing Fate for Not Making Him Danish


At some point, you know, you will have to go check out the actual cartoons. I won’t tell you where to find them here … I have it on credible medical authority that even just linking to them makes you dumber. I suggest googling “the stupidest shit ever … I mean we’re talking like Tulipmania plus Warren G. Harding times the Hamster Dance stupid” … or something to that effect.

Also, if you do go looking for the cartoons, you’ll need to have a Ziggy or a Family Circus anthology on hand, for a reassurring jolt of intellectualism after you’re done looking at them.

Okay, so it’s what, Day 6 of this Cartoon War now? Can we safely say the whole thing is solidly in syndication? Has Jessica Lynch battled her way out of a burning Danish embassy yet? I mean, isn’t it nice to know that, whatever bills might be due, whatever trouble the kids might have got into, that each morning the newspaper’s going to turn up on the front porch with your daily dose of that crazy Muhammad’s fiery antics? What WILL he do next?

(But seriously, this strip needs a name. Suggestion: Marmaprophet. And Marmaprophet’s always too big and clumsy to fit in the car. Oh, that Marmaprophet!)

Actually, you don’t have to get the newspaper to get an update on the Cartoon War. We’ve got these things called the internets now and they’re totally changing the way the world exchanges information because everybody can now access the internets and participate in the newsgathering process (except for the billions of people who can’t).

On one of these internets, Michelle Malkin(s) informs us, some ass called “sbrant” has a blog called Face-of-Muhammed that is basically a map of the world, with colors that show where all the countries stand in the free-speech defining Cartoon War. (Hint: Mordor is for suppressing free speech.) As much as I’d like to say this clown subscribes to a Manichean worldview, I can’t. He uses four colors, actually, and none of them are even black or white.

But here’s where it gets interesting. In green are the countries that are “Defenders of Free Speech” (Yay! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!); in gray are the countries that are “Neutral/Dhimmi (Boo! … but more on this later); in bright red the countries that have had “Violence/Boycotts” (Double Boo!); and in dark red are the countries that have committed “Acts of war” (Triple Super Raspberry Bananas Boo! … but also, huh? Like, the countries themselves have committed acts of war? Or is it really more like some assholes in these countries have gathered in mobs and committed criminal acts against foreign targets? It’s kind of more like that, isn’t it? Strictly off the record?)

This is how the color-coding works. If some newspaper in some country published the Danish cartoons, in solidarity with Denmark or for whatever reason, that country gets to be green and declared a “Defender of the Faith” … er, “Defender of Free Speech”. But if no newspaper in a country (that also isn’t boycotting any green countries or rioting) has published the cartoons, then that country is gray, and declared “Neutral/Dhimmi”.

Because apparently “Free Speech” doesn’t include a right to not publish cartoons some find offensive. Which happens to be why wingnuts are demanding that Ted Rall be syndicated in every newspaper in America. But I digress.

“Dhimmi” – used in this context – is eliminationist shorthand for “chastened subservience to Muslim rule.” It may come as a surprise to, say, the people of Trinidad and Tobago, that they are considered “Dhimmi” by insane cartographers with blogs. (The use of the word on the map is also a huge hint - to readers who already know this stuff - that my analysis is unlikely to tell you anything about Face-of-Muhammed that you hadn’t already figured out many paragraphs ago.)

Odd too is the lumping of “Violence” with “Boycotts” in the color-coding of the map. Is he saying boycotts are offenses against free speech? Doesn’t free speech entail both a right to voice an opinion AND a right to voice opposition to that opinion? I’m confused.

Finally, there are the comments under the map. This is where cretins get to make suggestions for updating the status of countries. Like early on in the thread, where a worried “Steve” asks: “Come on - you're not actually calling Canada ‘neutral/dhimmi’ are you? That's just silly - I think you could safely add Canada to the ‘defenders of free speech’ category...”

To which “sbrant” replies: “Someone told me that Canada is also a Defender. Then my question is: What have you done for us lately? I was not aware of any publications of the cartoons. Please provide a URL or just some info. Thanks.”

Talk about your high-stakes litmus tests! Forget our longstanding friendship, forget the Grand Alliance … WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU STAND ON THE CARTOONS!?!?

And folks, that’s about all I can stand to write about this topic. ’Night.

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Could Derb Concoct a Brown-People Killing Spree So Genocidal That Even He Couldn't Resist Reading About It on Drudge?


Well, it’s been some week for the National Review’s John Derbyshire. First, his breakfast was spoiled when a story about a promising Red Sea ferry disaster turned out to only be about several hundred stupid old Egyptians drowning horribly … he had been hoping for some reading material that would hold his attention for at least as long as it took him to cook his one-minute egg.

Damn those Berbers for impudence! Damn their eyes for wasting Derb’s private Drudge-time with their silly little non-Caucasian intrusions into the news cycle!

His interest piqued by the headline, Derb had been gearing up for something along the lines of a racier Achille Lauro tale … perhaps a White Starliner yarn featuring a bosomy, milk-white steel heiress plucked from the icy sea and raped by a lipless, pasty, balding, bespectacled expatriate English git.

Alas, it would only grow worse. Today, Derb pines for “rubble nations” – and fears the United States may not have the will to provide him with same.

Quite the genocidal wee satrap, our man Derb.

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If You Aren't Yet Enraged By People Who Are Enraged By Mere Pictures ... You Better Have a Look at These Pictures


Boy, there ain’t nuthin’ like a Cartoon War to give wingnut bloggers the chance to put aside the boring, wonky GOP waterboy work and play big, tough Little Green Footballs for a week. With the exception of some honorable conservatives (see below), wanker after wanker has jumped gleefully onto the LGF Clash o' Civilizations train …

Crusaders get ready, there’s a Clash a’ comin’
You don’t need no logic, you just sharpen that sword
All you need is hate, to hear all Islam war-drummin’
You don’t need no perspective … thank the Lizard Horde

Wankers get shifty, there’s a troop transport to Jordan
Picking up draftees, from coast to coast
4-F is the key, lock the doors and board ’em
There’s fallen arches for all, who warmonger the most
But there ain’t no dodge, for the keyboardless soldier
Who reaps the cruel harvest, of seeds wingnuts do sow
Have no pity on those, whose children now moulder
For there is no time for mercy, when others’ blood is aflow

Crusaders get ready, there’s a Clash a’ comin’
You don’t need no logic, you just sharpen that sword
All you need is hate, to hear all Islam war-drummin’
You don’t need no perspective … thank the Lizard Horde
But nobody was more in the thick of the Great Leap Forward to Conclusions than that double dose of wingnut fun, Michelle Malkin(s). Saying s/he “couldn’t sleep all night” Friday (try laying off the crack, next time), Malkin(s) “put together a little, 2-minute photo/video montage about the Muhammad cartoons” called “First They Came …” If you haven't checked it out, you really shouldn't. It's as tidy a clueless little insult to victims of the Holocaust as we've seen lately (though we fear we'll soon see much worse), a truly asinine reworking of Dachau inmate Rev. Martin Niemöller’s famous warning about remaining silent in the face of tyranny.

Because clearly, writing a book that recommends imprisoning people based on race, from the comfort of your suburban home, while enjoying the unprecedented control over all three branches of the government by your political brethren … makes you the moral heir of a victim of the Nazis.

Wanktastic wankitude from a true wanker's wanker(s).

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

 

Atshay Offay Ootay Esmay


Besides prompting me to brush up on my Pig Latin, Dean Esmay has caused me to reconsider my default setting of contempt for him with some calm, intelligent analysis of the spiralling-out-of-control Cartoon War.

He rightly demands that so-called conservative flame-fanners like Neal Boortz be criticized for the patently un-conservative practice of conflating the acts of individual criminals with a theoretical mob consensus encompassing all of Islam. Esmay is also deeply suspicious of those like Boortz who are clearly gagging for the current situation to spark an ultra-violent, all-encompassing Clash of Civilizations between the West and the Muslim world.

Good for you, Dean. And good for one of Dean's commenters, JRogge, who completely dismantles the common appeal to "Muslims dancing in the streets on 9/11" with this observation: "A well placed camera can make a couple hundred human beings look like an entire country."

Meanwhile, Syria's Foreign Ministry has kinda apologized for the torching of the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus by angry mobs.

UPDATE: Make sure that when reading the Esmay post, you scroll down in the comments to catch Marin L. Shoemaker's skewering of the wingnut contention that the cartoon mobs represent anything like a significant fraction of worldwide Muslims, let alone a majority of them.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

 

We Got Catskillz


A challenge: Devise the best 'Doughy Pantload' line with one or both of the following constructions:

The Doughy Pantload is so doughy ...

OR

The Doughy Pantload is such a pantload ...

Here are some examples to get you started:

The Doughy Pantload is so doughy, he is the official dough used in the Acrobatic Pizza Tossing event at the World Pizza Championship in Salsomaggiore, Italy.

The Doughy Pantload is so doughy, it's a well-known fact that he grew out of a yeast infection in Lucianne Goldberg's cervix rather than a normal pregnancy.

The Doughy Pantload is so doughy, it is recommended that his columns not be read by people on the Atkins Diet.

The Doughy Pantload is such a pantload, the bulge on Bush's back was actually him, trying to escape.

The Doughy Pantload is such a pantload, he enters a room by trickling down Rich Lowry's inner thigh.

The Doughy Pantload is such a pantload, his columns arrive at the LA Times with pieces of corn stuck in them.

The Doughy Pantload is so doughy, and such a pantload, he travels exclusively by monkey fling.

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The Keyboard Kommando Hierarchy


With apologies to the Brunching Shuttlecock's acclaimed "Geek Hierarchy" ...

(Click image to enlarge)



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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

 

Wingnut Bracketology: The West


They may be the future columnists of Townhall.com, but for now these diaper dandies are still in school. And they’re gearing up for college wingnutball’s grand stage – the NCAA Division I Wankoffs. Yes, March Barking Madness is sure to be as exciting as ever this year, as wet-behind-the-ears wankers from university newspapers across the country vie with each other for a shot at the Final 4-F. It's not as fast-and-spurious as the professional circuit, but unlike the pros, these amateur wingnuts do it purely for the love of the wank. All across the nation, fans of a more traditional brand of wingnutball are watching these young keyboardists play the game at its purest – just solid, fundamental wankery without the government bribes or the think tank sinecures.

This year’s crop of talent includes players from unheralded schools such as Arkansas Tech and Eastern Washington University. Meanwhile, storied programs such as UCLA’s have fallen out of the rankings … in the Bruins’ case, the loss of sexually confused master debater Ben Shapiro simply too much of a hole to fill in just one season.

The wankoffs may still be a month from now, but with the regular season well underway it’s time to look at the wingnuts emerging from the pack. This week, a preview of the top teams in the West Region:

WEST REGION

1. Colorado State Rams

The Skinny: This juggernaut of wingnuttery does everything well – from bashing the French and Cindy Sheehan … to demanding that the exercise of First Amendment rights in wartime be tried as treason. Boasting not one, but two wingnut All-Americans in senior marketing major Ryan Chapman and senior speech communication major Tyler Wittman, the Rams are the prohibitive favorites to emerge from the tough Western Regional Wankoffs for a shot at the title. Most scouts give Chapman the slight edge in pure wanking talent over Wittman, due to the former’s willingness to heave up smears from literally anywhere on the court. But in reality the pair complement each other perfectly, with creative slanderer Chapman covering the broad topic of liberal treason and boring-threat Wittman focusing more narrowly on the evils of homosexuality and abortion. Some of their top performances:

Chapman:

ON TREASONOUS FREE SPEECH AND THE BURDEN OF PROOF: “You also may be wondering how in the hell people can get away with rooting against their own country in a time of war, like I am. I have all the respect in the world for the First Amendment but this goes way beyond that. As far as I am concerned this behavior is treason and should be tried as such. The only problem is that I have no physical evidence of my claims; it just happens to be a theory of mine.”

ON MIND-READING: “[David] Letterman struggled to refrain from cheering aloud for terrorists and their insurgent counterparts and simply ended the interview.”

ON LIBERAL RELIGION: “Liberals pray more to their pagan gods for the wellbeing of the U.N. and prisoners of the luxurious Gautanamo Bay than they ever would for the men and women who give them their freedom.”

ON HOW TO DEAL WITH DISSENT BY NON-PROFESSIONALS: “Anyway there you have it, proof that all protesters can be idiots, not just the ones who want peace. The way I would suggest resolving this situation, is to have the police of Crawford simply start tear-gassing the crowd, on BOTH sides of the road until they return to wherever it is they came from. Hopefully that way we can get back to letting the professionals solve the problems of the world without the input of a bunch of nutcases in a field.”

Wittman:

ON THE NEW 'HIPSTER' LINGO: “Take the case of conservatives who still support the war on terror. Chided by their liberal counterparts for being blind followers of the ‘Fuhrer’ (hip liberal slang for President Bush, likening him to Adolf Hitler - I wonder how Jews feel about this comparison), these conservatives are the ones most likely to have an encounter with a liberal that is worthy of a Steve Erwin special.”

ON A FAUSTIAN (AND FURRY) BARGAIN FOR ‘CHICKENHAWK’ ACCUSERS: “Regardless of your political affiliation, if you support the war on terror then you must either shut up or join the armed forces. In the interest of equal and fair treatment to all, however, I will have to ask that everyone commit their lives to everything that they support. If you are a hippie who supports not bathing and pot-smoking, please go live with monkeys (just not bears, someone recently had some bad luck with that one).”

ON TAKING A HARD STANCE ON GAYS: “I stand firm in the truth, as written in the Bible, that homosexuality is a sin.”

ON CURING HOMOSEXUALITY: “Do not misunderstand me though, I am not advocating for an acceptance or ‘tolerance’ of the gay lifestyle. I believe anyone can be freed from a homosexual lifestyle if they seek the proper help and guidance. I believe the Bible is the truth and that is where I get these ideas. You may not agree with this, but the Bible doesn't require your approval of its veracity. Some of you would write me off as a raging lunatic, and so be it.”

ON THE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN AMERICAN ‘MID-EASTERNERS’ AND, UM, THOSE OTHER ONES WHO HATE US FOR OUR BASEBALL: “The Middle East. No, I'm not talking about Iowa, where the spuds are plentiful and people are depressed all year long (I smell a connection). No, rather I'm talking about those crazy, fun-loving people on the other side of the globe who seem so intent on killing one another and even us - baseball-loving Americans.”


Coach’s Corner: Few teams in the nation possess the one-two punch of Colorado State. Leftists reeling from a Tuesday op-ed from Wittman are typically put out for the count by Chapman’s Thursday screed.

Go-To Play: The Pick Your Nose and Roll

Can Be Compared To: Ben Shapiro (Chapman), Kyle Williams (Wittman)

Outlook: A solid bet to go all the way.


2. Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys*

The Skinny: This Little Project that Could is shocking the big boys of wankery on a weekly basis. Featuring just one frontline starter in conservative opinion columnist John Burris, the Wonder Boys nevertheless have to be considered a top seed in the region on the strength of pure offensive wanking alone. A master of improvisation, Burris’ specialty is pushing the ball upcourt with reckless abandon - his mind seemingly out-of-control and with little regard for the punishment absorbed by his thought process. But more times than not, he punctuates his free-form drives with a slam-dunk, as these greatest hits attest:

ON CONSERVATISM VS. LIBERALISM: “If the words ‘Dude, I know stuff about the government,’ have ever come out of your mouth, your beliefs are probably more in line with that of a Liberal. On the other hand, if you started singing an old Randy Travis song when you read the first part of this sentence, you can more than likely call yourself a Conservative.”

ON WHINING ABOUT HURRICANE KATRINA, PLUS A NEW DEFINITION OF 'PUN': “Whether it be from the Congressional Black Caucus, the Reverend Jessie Jackson, or the well-respected Kanye West (pun intended), there seems to be a never-ceasing cry of hatred and neglect on the part of the government.”

ON WHY WE WENT TO WAR: “Saddam was in violation of numerous U.N. sanctions, and he didn't care. He was on the path to re-developing his nuclear stockpile, and nobody would stop him. … Well, we all know how that ended. The United States Armed Forces solved yet another world catastrophe, single handedly, while others stood by and watched.”

ON HOW HILLARY IS MAKING IRAN PURSUE NUKES AND TAKE UP SPELUNKING: “I find it hard not to laugh while watching Hillary attempt to take a ‘hard-line’ approach to the Iranian regime (the one thing that helps me keep a straight face is the somber realization of the effects of Iran possessing a nuclear bomb). No doubt the Iranian regime is rolling around in their cave in laughter as well.”

Credit the Tech coaching staff for the Wonder Boys’ run of success. The humble Burris is the first to offer thanks to one coach who helped him refine his game:

ON WHY WE NEED TO SHOOT HILL … UH, WAIT, WE’RE NOT SURE WHO HE WANTS US TO SHOOT IN THIS EXAMPLE: “As one of my favorite professors always says, ‘There are those people in history that you had to pay off, and then there were those that you had to shoot.’ That explains why Hillary Clinton is a millionaire, and President Bush has to wear a bulletproof vest.”


Coach’s Corner: Relentless is the only word to describe the Wonder Boy offense spearheaded by Burris. Few teams in wingnutball operate the run-and-shoot with the pedal-to-the-metal intensity of Tech, which maintains that paragraph breaks are for sissies … instead opting to vomit an entire op-ed in one seamless chunk of war-mongering nonsense.

Go-To Play: Cross-over contradiction from top of the keyboard that leaves opponents going, “Huh?” Classic example: “I have said it before and I will say it again. Conservative beliefs are more in line with the beliefs that most Christians in America hold. That is not my opinion.”

Can Be Compared To: Pastor J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Outlook: Wonder Boys ride Burris to the No. 2 seed in the West and deep into the NCAA tournament.

* No, really.


3. UC Davis Aggies

The Skinny: In most instances, to call a wingnutball team “selfish” would be a criticism of its play. But in the case of the Aggies, “selfishness” is a virtue. That’s because floor general Josh Diedesch is able to sneak up on opponents with statist-bashing forays to the goal that lean heavily on the tried-but-true Randian playbook … without ever mentioning it. Some examples qua examples:

ON PRODUCERS VS. MOOCHERS: “Modern liberals generally employ the language of Marxist class struggle; hence, you hear all sorts of rhetoric denouncing ‘the rich’ for causing poverty. The modern liberal believes that it is the proper role of government to forcibly redistribute wealth from the rich (read: productive) to the poor (read: unproductive).”

ON WHAT CHRISTMAS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT: “What better way to enjoy Christmas than embracing and celebrating the fruits of your productive ability? Christmas is not ‘too materialistic’; it is the time to celebrate life in the objective, material world in which we live … celebrating productive ability is what Christmas is all about. Perhaps you are saying to yourself, ‘That sounds selfish.’ That is because it is. When I give my wife a gift, I feel joy beyond description. It is a truly selfish act and is the reason why I work.”

ON WHAT THANKSGIVING IS REALLY ALL ABOUT: “So on Thanksgiving, don’t feel guilty about how much America consumes and the abundance we enjoy relative to the rest of the world - it has been earned. Instead, celebrate the brilliance of human ingenuity and the ever-improving quality of life made possible by free people (and hydrocarbons).”

ON THE USELESSNESS OF DIPLOMACY, PLUS A COOL USE OF ‘FECKLESS': “If diplomatic channels fail, which is inevitable, the United States must be prepared to destroy Iran's nuclear capability by any means necessary. The danger posed by an Iranian nuclear weapon is simply too great to rely upon the disingenuous promises of a terrorist nation, or the feckless and weak attempts at appeasement by our European allies.”

ON HOW WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR BAZILLIONS OF DEAD POLAR BEARS, BUT WARY OF AL GORE AND BILL O’REILLY TEAMING UP TO ENSLAVE US: “Perhaps you have heard the theory that the average global temperature is rising due to human activities like driving cars and using hairspray. You have probably heard all about how carbon dioxide is released when humans burn hydrocarbons, or when blowhards like Al Gore [!] and Bill O’Reilly [!!] speak. …
“You have probably also heard about how it is all Americans’ fault because America consumes a bazillion times more oil than it produces. Or it is America’s fault because it generates a gajillion times more carbon dioxide than any other country. In short, you have probably heard all of the alleged bad things about modern life and how it floods island nations and kills polar bears.
“But what about the benefits?
“What about those ‘evil’ automobiles that spew ‘greenhouse gases’ and are ‘destroying the world’? That automobile you drive makes it possible for you to drive to Berkeley for the week’s Greenpeace protest and still make it back in time to study for your Intro to Junk Science midterm.”


ON THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF ENACTING EVEN A SINGLE, NARROW ANTI-PROFITEERING REGULATION: "Why stop at prescription drugs? … We should continue until we have stamped out the last vestiges of such bourgeois ideals as self-determination and individual liberty. It will be a wonderful, egalitarian paradise with unicorns and rainbows!”


Coach’s Corner: Three-hour locker room pep talks from John Galt before games set tone for Diedesch, who “swears - by my life and my love of it - that I will never wank for the sake of another wingnut, nor ask another wingnut to wank for me.”

Go-To Play: A is A

Can Be Compared To: Leonard Peikoff

Outlook: A dark horse in the wankoffs, but don’t tell that to the Aggies’ legions of 16-year-old fans making the transition from Goth to a more cerebral identity crisis that will give the gift of embarrassing memories for decades to come.


4. Stanford Cardinal

The Skinny: When Stanford’s John Komkov and Matt Martin come to wank, they bring an array of rhetorical pick-and-rolls, cuts and diversions that leave many an opponent befuddled, beaten and reaching for a thesaurus. Some may complain that a blunt “Liberals hate Jesus!” is the better argument to counter opponents of Intelligent Design, but the Cardinal’s Triangulation Offense, for all its Byzantine sophistry, also gets the job done:

ON WHY POSITIVISM SHOULD NEVER TRUMP EXTRA-SCHOLASTIC MODES OF VERIFICATION … OR SOMETHING EQUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PARAPHRASE SNARKILY: “But it would be totally wrong to grant positivist thought the status of philosophy. True philosophy relies on a unitary body that is shattered in the face of ‘empirical philosophy’. For empirical philosophy, originating in the 17th century with such laymen experts as Voltaire (Philosophie de l’historie) and Lamarck ( Philosophie de la Nature), supplants extra-scholastic modes of verification with countless inductive hypotheses about disparate fields. Ultimately, the contempt for any idea of God makes for an ungrounded world. When the focus of an argument does not lie within itself nor in God, it is impractical because it is subject to every external dictate.”

ON WHAT IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO (MINUS THE CORPSE OF THE FROG IN A REDUCED ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE STEW): “If we boil it down, the problem of evolution is the problem of how the spirit functions in an unspiritual age.”

ON WHY AMERICA NEEDS TO FREE FOREIGNERS FROM THEIR GULAGS (AND PUT THEM IN OUR OWN): “While September 11th provided some perspective on the evil we face, it is easy to lose sight of the enemy when we are watching the daily news briefs of deaths and car bombs. … [I]t may be helpful to turn, as I did this summer, to the writings of those who have experienced the stark reality of evil and oppression. One example of such literature is Warning to the West by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winning author who spent eight years in a Soviet gulag and most of his life as a Soviet dissident.”


Coach’s Corner: The bibliography of Stanford’s playbook is thicker than most of the actual playbooks of their opponents in the West Regional. This may be an advantage for now, but the Cardinal are anxiously awaiting a ruling by the NCAA on a Colorado State-proposed playbook burning rally ahead of the wankoffs.

Go-To Play: The Backdoor Appeal to Authority

Can Be Compared To: Allan Bloom

Outlook: Stanford ought to finish out the regular season in top form, but in the wankoffs, it’s usually pure up-and-down wingnuttery that rules the day. That could spell doom for the Cardinal’s cerebral style of play.


5. Oregon Ducks

The Skinny: Depth is an issue for the Ducks, with big-time wanking talent in short supply on the Oregon bench. Star player Kristen Brock’s greatest hit may be her only hit:

ON WHY THE PROBLEM IS THE FISA STATUTE, NOT BUSH’S FLOUTING OF IT: “Many agree that the president should be using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to obtain information from al-Qaeda members. The act, which was passed in 1978, allows officials to get warrants from a secret eleven-member court. However, the FISA court isn’t always fast enough, or it sometimes serves as an obstacle in and of itself.”


Coach’s Corner: Brock clearly knows her way around the courts, but one spectacular rationalization does not a champion make.

Go-To Play: The Naked Constitutional Bootleg

Can Be Compared To: Victoria Toensing

Outlook: Bounced in the early rounds


6. Eastern Washington Eagles

The Skinny: Another team without as much firepower as it would like. Jake Murray provides the offense with an array of Ted Kennedy “jokes”, Pro Life tut-tutting and literary criticism:

ON A SUGGESTION FOR A CHAPTER IN 'MY SENATOR AND ME' TO FOLLOW THE DOO-DOO ON THE SENATE FLOOR EPISODE: “Ted Kennedy has announced that he is releasing a children’s book in May. … What is going on? When did corrupt people get to write children’s books? Not only did Kennedy get expelled from Harvard for cheating, he killed a woman! I wonder if he’ll be covering that aspect of his life in the book.”

ON THAT ONE PART IN THE ‘LEFT BEHIND’ SERIES THEY ACCIDENTALLY FORGOT TO MENTION: “When a bloated, morally-defunct man can write a book for kids, I expect the skies to part and God to bring down the apocalypse.”

ON MORE RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION AND DISJOINTED USE OF TENSE: “On Jan. 22, 1973 the Supreme Court handed irresponsible women a license to kill and a free-pass on accountability in one tragically skewed decision. The Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion for the first time, has since resulted in more deaths than the United States could amass in 10,000 wars in Iraq. As for the quality of the lives lost, we will never know. But the simple fact that the fetus didn’t develop a personality doesn’t change the fact that it would have, had its life not been cut short. The line between road-side bombs and forceps suddenly becomes dangerously thin.”


Coach’s Corner: Murray has tremendous upside as a primetime wanker … but needs to hone his game with more than just Ted Kennedy smears

Go-To Play: The Chappaquiddick Cheap Shot

Can Be Compared To: Ann Coulter

Outlook: Eagles' slim wankoff hopes are still alive ... but Mary Jo Kopechne's not!


On the Bubble: BYU Cougars

The Skinny: The Cougars are always a factor in the West, and this bit of anti-gay wankery shows why:

ON THE TWIN ARBITERS OF MORALITY (EXCEPT, IN THE CHURCH’S CASE, IT’S ‘A MAN AND A WOMAN AND A WOMAN AND A WOMAN'): “… as U.S. President George W. Bush and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have stated, marriage is sacred and between a man and a woman.”

But for all its rich wanking history, BYU dropped out of the rankings earlier this season with this shocker of an editorial: Opinion: Dancing not a crime.

What the Cougars need to do to get back in the race: Renounce the apostasy of Kevin Bacon

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