November 29, 2005
— Ace I don't say "torture," because it's not clear to me that any of the techniques used by the CIA or military intel guys are actually "torture." Waterboarding comes the closest, but it's still not torture. Or, at worst, it's a very low-level sort of torture perfectly justified for use against the bastards we're up against.
Let me deal with the objections constantly offered:
— Ace The Excitable One is on a tear:
"BE AFRAID!": If the guiding mantra of the last Pope was "Be Not Afraid!", the lodestar of the current one is, arguably, the opposite. Everywhere, there are reasons to be afraid: the great work of celibate, faithful gay priests, the insights of independent lay women, inter-faith communication, theological debate, the new frontiers of science, and on and on. The spirit of a saint like St Francis - so open, so confident, so unafraid - is obviously one that Benedict needs to control and silence, as he must control and silence every other aspect of the Church that does not conform to his views. And so another window closes. Eventually, the darkness will be perfect.
Yeah, who elected this guy Pope? Oh, right, the College of Cardinals.
Saint Andrew, it's not the celibate gays the Church fears. I'm sure you must have heard -- in fact, you blogged about it quite a bit -- that it's the non-celibate gay priests the Church fears.
Who could tell if a celibate man were gay or straight?
See, I hate to remind you of this discomfiting fact, but the dust-up began when gay priests started being pretty damn non-celibate with underage boys.
Do straight priests take advantage of the young? Indeed, they do. But the number of females taken advantage of by priests is dwarfed by the number of boys so violated.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know: The fact that a man has sex with a boy doesn't make him a homosexual, it just makes him a pedophile, right?
Well, yes, it does make him a pedophile, but it's kinda hard to ignore which gender constitutes object of his nasty affections, unless one is resolutely blind to such minor details for political reasons.
Do gay men molest boys in higher proportions than straight men molest girls? The numbers suggest the answer is, unfortunately, yes. (Attempts to demonstrate equal propensity to molest do so only by defining many man-on-boy molestations as not really "homosexual" at all, which seems a rather ludicrous semantic dodge.)
But it certainly seems the case that gay priests molest boys more than straight priests molest girls. That isn't necessarily a knock on gays as a whole; it may just be that the many gay men who join the priesthood do so to avoid confronting their sexuality, to a greater degree than straight men do. (A greater of proportion of straight priests may simply have low sex drives compared to the average man.)
And repressing one's sexual appetities, if one has them, can only work for so long.
In any event, I don't think the Vatican is particularly worried by celibate priests of either sexual orientation, and it's just another absurd Sullivanism to claim otherwise. One can argue if the presumption of guilt is fair or not, but to reduce it, as always, to a concerted campaign against people who just happen to be gay is just his typical uncivil assignment of bad motives to a political opponent.
— Ace I won't go into long Andrew Sullivan-like details about my health (once again, we need to know about each and every sniffle suffered by Saint Andrew of the Sacred "Heart-Ache"), except to say that, while I have a Constitution of 19 and a Strength of 18/75, even I come a little under the weather sometimes.
Karol and I weren't able to get a guest for this week, and that, combined with the fact that I failed my saving throw against fatigue, has suggested to us that maybe a week off would be a good thing. A repeat will be on; I think it will probably be last week's show with Peter Schweizer, which was pretty good. (At least the beginning was.)
Then again, it may be something else. No one tells me nothin'.
Sorry for the late start. I'll try to rally and put some stupid crap on this retarded moronblog today. I'm all goofy on Nyquil, though, so the high-quality you've come to expect from this site -- okay, the low-to-middling quality -- may not be on display.
— Ace Here, enjoy:
MALKIN AWARD NOMINEE: "That McCain broke under torture doesn't make him any less of an American hero. But it does prove he's wrong to claim that harsh interrogation techniques simply don't work." - from an article titled, "John McCain: Torture Worked on Me," on the right-wing website, Newsmax. Just when you think the pro-torture right cannot sink any lower, they do.
What, precisely, is objectionable about that, Saint Andrew of the Sacred "Heart-Ache"? One of the lies the torture hysterics have been peddling for years is that torture never works. No one ever gives up any valuable information; everyone will say whatever you want them too when you break out the tongue-forceps.
It's untrue and it always has been. I link, once again, an article from the Atlantic Monthly by Mark Bowden of Black Hawk Down fame, in which he interviews a professional torturer. The man's opinion? Of course it works. It always has worked and it always will. It's a question of when, not if.
A human being, no matter how heroic or fanatical, can only take so much misery and pain and dispair before breaking.
So Newsmax offers the genuine martial and moral hero (at least he was such some time ago) of John McCain as yet another strong, committed, patriotic man ultimately broken down by torture. Andrew Sullivan finds this, of course, objectionable.
It reminds me of a correction a judge issued to a lawyer. Evidence may be excluded from court if it is unduly predjudicial, that is, while it has some relevance, its propensity to turn the jury against one party for irrelevant reasons ("He's just a bad guy, all around") makes it prudent to exclude it. In a case, a lawyer objected to evidence, citing the fact that it was "prejudicial."
"Of course it's prejudicial," the judge explained. "If it weren't predjudicial, the other side wouldn't be offering it at all. The question is whether it's unduly prejudicial."
"This really hurts the bullshit case I'm trying to make" is not considered a legitimate objection to evidence.
But that Andrew Sullivan for ya. The Shrill Shill writes in the most overblown and emotional and ad hominem of terms, but when relevant evidence that damages his claims is offered, he cries foul. It's just not civil, he whines.
The fact that McCain broke under torture is no knock against him, and Newsmax didn't mean it as such. (Little hint: they state clearly that the fact "
— LauraW. This is pretty good.
I've been following Tex at Whacking Day's fun and games with a Green Party candidate in Australia.
The candidacy is over, but the fun continues.
Thom said he was drafted into the RAAF, yet elsewhere claimed he volunteered. Thom has not provided any details of when he served in the RAAF, not to mention the fact that nobody was drafted into the RAAF.
When asked - repeatedly - to clarify wether he volunteered or was drafted into the RAAF, Thom again refused to provide details, and raged at me that I was mentally imbalanced and "a danger to the community".
According to Tex, this fellow also has claimed to have been in the USAF and to have worked at Los Alamos.
Tex is a hoot. Well worth going back in his archives to find more quotes from the esteemed Thom Lyons of the Australian Greens.
Once again; those who are utterly antagonistic to the military take some perverse pleasure in pretending to have served. I don't think its all about getting creds. Part of it is pure fantasy fuel.
November 28, 2005
— Ace Lovin' the troops, Rall-style.
— Dr. Reo Symes Notable arrests yesterday in the parking lot of Tampa's Raymond James Stadium during the Bucs - Bears game, arising from a mobile strip club:
Undercover officers fumbled upon the business running under the name DÃ©jÃ Vu when they found them distributing flyers promoting the mobile strib club. Police found several bouncers and dancers inside the 40-foot-long 1987 motor home.
Police found alcohol being sold inside and lap dances being conducted at $20 if the girl was topless and $40 if she was nude. Officers confiscated $2,000 and the arrests were made before kickoff.
I have no clever comment to make and merely marvel at the 'why didn't I think of that' business savy of the alleged entrepeneurs. Aside from the illegality, an idea of simple, elegant genius.
— Ace Cinderella
Once upon a time there lived a sad little girl named Tara Reid Nipple Slip. She lived in a great old castle with her Stepmother and her two step-sisters, Terrell Owens and Anna_Kournikova_Bends_Over_To_Tie_Her_Shoes.jpg.
The Prince, who was very Kevin Federlane Is A Worthless Douche-Nozzle, sent out word throughout the land that he intended to marry, and that he would select his bride from all of the Naked Field Hockey Bulldykes In Heat who attended his ball.
But Tara Reid Nipple Slip's wicked Stepmother would not let her attend the Free Penis Enlargement Hypnotherapy. Instead, she made poor Tara Reid Nipple Slip clean all of the chimneys of ash and soot and Jude Law Naked Dick-Pics.
She was cursing her fate when suddenly her fairy godmother appeared, dressed in shimmering Secrets From the New Harry Potter Book. The fairy godmother turned a pumpkin into Tom Sizemore Sex Tapes and her mice into The Hot Russian Fake Lesbians From "Tatu."
Her stepsisters were shocked to see Tara Reid Nipple Slip looking so resplendant at the ball, and the Prince was taken with her as well. But as he was about to propose, Tara Reid Nipple Slip had to rush back to her Paris Hilton Cellphone before midnight, as at that time the magic would be undone and once again she would turn into a plain, poorly dressed Ask Jeeves: Seriously, What's the Skinny on that Richard Gere/Gerbil Story?
She was in such a hurry to leave she left behind one of the shoes her fairy godmother had conjured for her, a beautiful bejeweled Bob Dole's Cock, which, frankly, really should have vanished at midnight along with the rest of the conjured crap, but this is a kid's story, and kids don't sweat massive plot-holes like that, because they're basically just little retards.
Anyway, the Prince searched for the one foot that would fit Bob Dole's Cock, and then found Tara Reid Nipple Slip at Free Metallica Dowloads. He placed Bob Dole's Cock on her Ashley Simpson Lip-Sync Video and found it was a perfect fit.
They soon married, and Tara Reid Nipple Slip was crowned Queen William Shatner Getting a Handjob From George Takei, and they all lived happily ever after.
Except for the wicked stepmother and stepsisters, of course, who wound up living poor and Half-Life 2 Walk-Thru and had to take jobs as College Schoolgirls Sharing Sexy Secrets About Their Dirty Stinky Feet.
— Ace Ramsey Clark vs. the judge in Saddam's trial.
One risks his life to achieve justice for Saddam Hussein and Iraq, the other parachutes in to suck up to yet another genocidal tyrant.
Which seems to have a better grasp of the American ideals of democracy, freedom, and courage in the face of fascism?
If a lot of Iraqis don't seem fully on board with this "freedom" and "human rights" stuff, bear in mind: a lot of Americans aren't really that thrilled with the ideas, either.
— Ace He used to sit the song out as a political protest.
But that was before he negotiated for higher money in free agency. After the issue was discussed with him, he's decided that his political protest isn't quite as important as following "team rules."
Some may call it yet more hypocrisy from the left. I, however, see it as a case of Cash-Money Censorship by Capitalist Stooges.
Poor Carlos Delgado. When The Man comes waving a fat check in your face, it's just another form of political oppression.
Thanks to The Wardrobe Door.
— Ace I still don't think it was intentional, or even a particularly noteworthy story, but I have no doubts that this fired operator pretty much sums up the consensus thinking at CNN.
This just goes back to my long-standing complaint that many, many liberals do not understand, or simply reject, the idea that there are some situations in which a political discussion is inappropriate. They have such a burning desire to prosyletize their politics they can't help themselves from making stridently political statements to almost complete strangers in inappropriate venues (a dinner party, during work while manning the complaint-lines).
Part of this is due to the fact that their politics are constantly reinforced by their fellows and by the "official" media/academic culture of the country. But a lot of it is due to the fact that talking liberalism is, for liberals, what bragging about frequent church-goin' is to the stereotypical Bible thumper that so fills their mindspace. It's a way of declaring their own superiority. Believing the right dogma -- and testifyin' about it, calling out "Can I get a witness?" -- makes them "good people," among the Chosen, among the Elect.
It's political Calvinism, and it's pretty fucking annoying.
— Ace Fortunately, the poll concerns M. Chirac of France.
The French people long for can-do confidence... such as will be on display in the new French version of Starsky and Hutch, to be called "Duval et Madani," featuring more "sensitive," less "macho" heroes.
The show is expected to be a hit among the key French demographic of 18-54 year old Total Fucking Pussies.
Did I tell you they were almost exactly 30 years behind us in virtually all endeavors or what? The thirty-year rule is sometimes painfully accurate.
Thanks to Utron for that last bit.
— Ace But his grand-dad says "he's a good boy."
Some good kids just wind up hanging out with the wrong crowd. Drug-users, smokers, "fast girls" and boys with "busy hands," the Infernal Legions of Lord Lucifer... Could happen to anyone, really.
He also links to The Evangelical Outpost listing the 100 most underrated/overrated films by category. Some good picks on the list -- Tin Cup is woefully underrated, for example -- but I have a hard time believing that Dr. Strangelove is overrated, and Josey and the Pussycats is underrated.
Caddyshack? Definitely overrated. Animal House? No way.
— Ace Two Washington State DJ's have been deemed to have run afoul of McCain-Feingold campaign contribution laws. The offense? By railing against proposed gas tax increases, they (and their station) were making "in-kind" donations to, I guess, political groups opposing the increases.
They used to call it "free speech" or "entering the marketplace of ideas." Now it's called an "in-kind campaign contribution" and "potential crime."
Wow. Remember when we used to actually voice our opinions publicly, before John McCain wisely took that alleged "right" away from us, in an effort to "increase democracy." (Try to find that made-up fakey "right" in the Constitution!)
he radio station had to put a dollar value on what the hosts had said. The estimate of that in-kind contribution of $100,000 of airtime was reported as a campaign donation under state law.
In other words -- in the name of campaign finance "reform" -- free speech no longer is free. If that ruling withstands appeal, especially if it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, it would have profound ramifications for media nationwide.
If this ruling is not struck down, anytime anyone in the media (including the Internet) decides to speak out on an issue, it could be considered an in-kind contribution.
And if federal or state election laws limit the amount of money that can be donated to candidates or causes, the mere mention of an opinion could be estimated (by the government) to be worth the maximum dollar amount allowed to be contributed and thereby prohibit any other reference regarding the subject.
f McCain and others get their way, there could be new legislation further rationing free speech to limit the First Amendment rights of the 527 nonprofit groups.
When the government -- and that means politicians who will do whatever they can get away with to preserve and increase their political power -- wants to silence its critics, it will do so.
But unlike in a dictatorship, it will be done very subtly, bit by bit, all in the name of reform, good government, cleaning up politics or whatever else a gullible citizenry will swallow.
Allow politicians to put a price on free speech and then keep your mouth shut when you discover it's more than you can afford.
Bear in mind, John McCain has always been a very thin-skinned politician. I can't help but he's rather pleased that the riff-raff may soon be limited to how many criticisms of him they may make.
The McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act
We had to destroy the village in order to save it.
Meanwhile... McCain is said to be increasingly palatable to Republican voters.
Except, of course, the actual committed base. Nominating McCain would rip the party in two.
— Tanker Here is the latest missive from BBC dickhead John Simpson.
Ever on the lookout for a way to bash America, he has come up with a real doozy this time!
Faced with the horror of seeing Saddam on trial rather than George Bush, he does his best at spinning the BS.
How about this for pulling some inuendo out of thin air?
He will presumably defend himself by pointing out that the Americans and British, who later overthrew him, were only too happy that he invaded the newly established Islamic Republic of Iran, following the overthrow of the Shah - Britain's and America's ally.
Maybe Britain and America dropped a hint that they wanted him to invade? If so, we will certainly hear about it in court during the weeks ahead.
Brilliant! The world's biggest pacifist putz Jimmy Carter gave good old boy Saddam the wink wink nudge nudge for invading Iran! Maybe he just forgot his calendar and thought Reagan was already in office.
Then this mental midget goes on to conradict himself, practically in the same breath!
How about this for inconsistency?
The resistance movement has gone from strength to strength ever since the attack on Falluja, and though Tony Blair was wrong to think it might drive the coalition out immediately, the Americans and British have been on the defensive ever since.
Then 2 sentences later...
Six months ago, that road was the most dangerous in the country, with car bombs going off virtually every day.
Now there are scarcely any attacks at all.
The fact that British citizens are forced to pay the salary of this 21st century Lord Haw-Haw is pathetic!
— Ace Rejected names for the aphrodisiac include "Ruffies-Whiz" and "Vaginal MSG":
A new nasal spray aphrodisiac for women that works in minutes may soon hit the market, according to a Local 6 News report.
Doctors said women who used the drug PT-141 in test studies felt a tingling or throbbing followed by a strong desire to have sex immediately after spraying their noses.
PT-141 is a synthetic version of a sex hormone that works on both men and women, according to a report.
Yes, I'm sure that's why the main purchasers will be men. Because we all have trouble getting that "tingly feeling."
"In the case of women, what we're really doing is sensitizing the vaginal tissue so when they get touched or stimulated, they would feel it a little bit more," Dr. Carl Spana said.
Shares of the biotech company jumped 20 percent earlier this week after word got out about the new sex drug for women.
Ace of Spades Health Alert: Ladies, be wary of men who just so happen to have an inhaler or decongestant spray on them when you need it. You just might end up with a whole different version of post-nasal drip.
Thanks to VonKreedon, who's not only the President of the Ruffies Aerosol Club, he's also a member.
— Ace The jokes:
For comedian Sarah Silverman, Sept. 11, 2001, the worst day in this countrys history, could be twisted into a business coup for American Airlines.
If only the company would use her suggested slogan: American Airlines: First Through the Towers.
In the movie Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic the 34-year-old jokester quips in the big-screen version of her one-woman show that it was doubly tragic because it happened to be the exact same day I found out that a soy chai latte was, like, 900 calories.
Couple of points:
I tend to get annoyed at comics whose main schtick is "shocking" me. It's a grating act at best. Sarah Silverman has always been a shock comic -- she's probably the filthiest female comic out there -- but the actual humor-to-shock ratio used to be much higher. Lately she just seems to be phoning it in with Wonkette humor -- "I'm cute and female, I'm talking about anal sex, isn't that incongrous and shocking?"
Neither of the jokes is funny. Both are derived from Howard Stern, and they were funnier when he did them... ten years or more ago. The first "joke" recalls his question about the plane in DC that crashed into a bridge: "Will this be a regularly scheduled stop in the future?" (or something like that).
The second is making a joke about one's own selfishness and callousness, as Stern would inevitably do after some serious, murderous natural disaster. As thousands died in a Mexican flood, let's say, he'd say, "What do I care. I've got my own problems. I can't heat my pool any hotter than 63 degrees." That joke also worked better for Stern, because of his long-developed character as a megalomaniac and sociopathic narcissist (which was probably about 60% real, in fairness).
There's always a question about when it's safe to begin joking about a tragedy, and I cerainly think that Sliverman has jumped the gun here -- deliberately -- in an effort to be "edgy."
But let's put aside questions of taste. Are the jokes funny? No, not really. They're, as Dave might have said in the past, quite old.
There's a rule, I'm pretty sure, that the more off-color or offensive a joke might be, the funnier it has to be to justify the offense. I once made a joke here about crippled people no longer wanting to be called "crippled" or "handicapped," but preferring the more politically-correct and sensitive term "People With Retarded Spines and Legs." I caught a lot of heat for that, and actually had to remove it after email after email came in saying I crossed the line. A shock joke, and, I think, a (darkly, sick) funny one, but ultimately not funny enough to justify the offense I'd given to anyone suffering from the affliction, oranyone who knows such a person, or anyone who just basically cares about their fellow man, period.
I put Silverman's jokes into that category, and they're not even as funny as the one I backed away from. And I'm not even a pro.
I'm not going to get on a high horse about Silverman. I'll just say she used to be one of my favorite comics, if not my actual favorite, but she's jumped the shark. If she's so spent of actually funny material she has to rely on unfunny shock value to convince people her act is worth watching, she's on the sharp decline.
After all, this is her movie. This is her top-drawer stuff, her chance to break through into wider public conscienceness. One would think the film should be filled with nothing but her very best A-material... and if this is her A material, I'd hate to see the sort of crap she's now doing on the road.
Which means, alas, that now she'll start getting big Hollywood contracts, just like Robin Williams did.
Thanks to the Artist Formerly Known As Boston Irish.
Thanks for the correction to Kristian. The DC flight I was referring to crashed into a bridge, not a building, as I originally wrote.
— Ace Via Traffic Non-Santa:
KURTZ: Welcome back to RELIABLE SOURCES.
Pam Hess, during Vietnam U.S. officials were often accused of distorting or even lying to the press to try to make it look like the war effort was going better than it was. When you were in Iraq did you feel like you were getting the straight story?
HESS: Certainly from the militarily I did. They have no interest in cooking the books, as it were, they -- they understand that they were blamed for Vietnam and what happened, and they don't want that blame again.
They want people to understand the kind of enemy that they are facing and how long it's going to take. And frankly, most of them said to me, "Please go back and tell them not to pull us out because we are finally at a point where we have enough people here now on the ground between soldiers and Iraqis that we can actually start doing some good and start turning things around. And if you pull us out, we're just going to be back here three years from now."
KURTZ: More optimistic, at least than some of the journalists.
And... A terrific smackdown of Frank (Who?) Rich in the New York Sun.
November 27, 2005
— Ace It really makes no sense that I spend my entire Sunday rooting for a bunch of complete strangers, pampered millionaires who are having the happiest, luckiest lives of just about any human being who's ever lived on the entire planet.
If Eli Manning wins a game, do I get an Eli Manning check? Why is it so important to me that Plaxico Burress gets a lot of chicks jumping into a hot tub with him? I don't know Jeremy Shockey. Why should I care if he's having a wicked-awesome night right now?
I don't know. But I care. Or I used to. The Giants losing would send me into a 24 hour funk. But the Giants and Patriots games today were such debacles I don't even care that they lost. I'm kinda happy about it, actually. FEA, as Dan Rather would say.
If you feel like it, rant or cheer here.
— Ace An appropriately empty venue for an empty headed woman.
Also, Al Jazeera begins a "Don't Bomb Us" blog.
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