Wingnuts in Excelsis Deo

Um, I’m not entirely sure AT ALL what’s exactly going on here (neck-breaking, sodomistic vampirism perhaps?), but this, believe it or not, is a screengrab of the header from a charming new (well, new to me anyway) “Bloggin’ Tory” site of a Mark Steyn fan called “The Blog of Walker”…

The Blogging Tories, ladies and gentlemen — attracting the very best and brightest of the luminous (or is that lunarian?) Canadian right wing! Not to mention being an irresistible magnet for yet another exemplar of that hardy, old-fashioned “cold right-wing logic” that the hacktacular Stephen Taylor purports is characteristic of his philosophy.


“You know, the maladroit counterattacks of the Right might have a good deal more credibility if they weren’t being made by a bunch of cretinous fucktards and morally bankrupt twatwaffles.”

Just sayin

p.s. Nice invented word, Wendy! Kudos for that.

Correction: I’ve been informed that proper attribution of the clever term “Malwebolence” should actually have gone to Matt Schwartz at the New York Times.

A “Quiet Devolution”

Hey, remember Stephen Harper’s disturbing boast a number of years ago that “You won’t recognize Canada when I get through with it”? Well, it seems that threat may not just have been picaresque rhetoric after all. While you were sleeping (or perhaps sunning, writing a novel, and/or masturbating), it seems that there’s been a “quiet devolution” taking place in the land.

Referencing lofty proclamations by Transport minister Lawrence Cannon, Harper’s Quebec lieutenant, at the recent Conservative caucus in Lévis, Que., Andrew Cohen, at The Ottawa Citizen writes:

Ottawa will extend the economic autonomy of the provinces. More specifically, it will allow Quebec to negotiate a unilateral labour-mobility deal with France that would recognize the professional qualifications of its nationals, such as doctors, so they can work in Quebec.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Cannon casts this in the language of conciliation and accommodation. He always does.

“Quebecers are overwhelmingly tired of the battle between those who say they are federalists and those who say they are sovereigntists,” he told the Globe and Mail. “Quebecers are nationalist, Quebecers are autonomists, and our political formation is fully responsive to those desires.”

Well, there it is. Quebecers are no longer federalists, as Jean Chrétien or Brian Mulroney might have called them, appealing to their broadest instincts. They are no longer Canadians. Now they are “nationalist” and “autonomist” — and maybe opportunists, too, not that Mr. Cannon would say that.

So, as a national government (or “political formation”, as he says), let’s appeal to their smallest instincts. Let’s give them every power they desire. After all, they’re not federalist — a dirty word in Quebec. They’re nationalist! They’re autonomist!

Now some might well applaud the transfer of authority from the centre to the regions, but surely it seems reasonable to ask whether the ideological orthodoxy driving this structural transition to a new kind of “administrative federalism” should be carried out largely in stealth mode without any public discussion. It’s not exactly the sort of “transparency” and “accountability” that Harper promised when he was idealistically tilting at former Liberal governments of the day, is it now?

We Waited Seven Years… For This?

America now safe from Bin Laden’s chauffeur!

Well, the verdict is in from the trial of Salim Hamdan, the man alleged to have been Osama bin Laden’s former driver, who has just been convicted by the military commission established by the Bush administration on five lesser counts of “supporting a terror organization.”

Phew! Golly, that’s certainly a relief, isn’t it? Although to be honest, it really wouldn’t have mattered a whit one way or the other considering that the US government planned on “detaining” Hamdan indefinitely regardless of the verdict — or at least until the “War on Terra” had been won, which could take, you know, a hundred years or “whatever” according to John McCain…

Unsurprisingly, the left-leaning National Security Network think-tank is less than impressed:

The Bush administration’s policies have not only violated our basic values and traditions; almost seven years after the 9/11 attacks, they have failed to bring terrorists to justice while damaging the credibility of our justice system and our democracy in the eyes of the world. In fact, we learned during this trial that the Bush administration failed to follow up on Hamdan’s offer of assistance in helping track Osama Bin Laden — a revelation that further brings into question the administration’s strategy in the “Global War on Terror.”

Military commission finds Guantanamo detainee Hamdan guilty on lesser of two charges against him. The military commission established by the Bush administration reached a verdict in the case against Osama Bin Laden’s driver Salim Hamdan on Wednesday. The jury, made up of active US service members, found Hamdan guilty of material support for terrorism but acquitted him of the more serious charge of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. That means even under these extremely favorable trial procedures the government could not persuade a simple majority of the six jurors that Hamdan was guilty of conspiracy. Sentencing will follow, although the case is almost certain to be appealed to the Court of Military Commission Review as established by the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

The Bush administration’s military commissions system violates American values and constitutional traditions. The military commission in Guantanamo Bay was neither fair nor up to the standards of American values. Hamdan’s trial allowed the use of hearsay testimony. Conviction only required four out of six jurors to agree. Evidence procured from torture and other coercive interrogation methods – methods so troubling that Hamdan’s original prosecutor quit before the case began. Americans can be proud that individual military lawyers and judges tried hard to make this trial fair and it is they who deserve better from the U.S. government. Even had he been acquitted of the charges, Hamdan would not have been released until after the “war on terror” had ended. This would amount to incarcerating an innocent person with no certain date for release, after already having been imprisoned for 7 years. Such practices are far beneath American values.

And this, unfortunately, is the “legal process” that our current prime minister has inexplicably placed his confidence in to deal fairly with the case of Omar Khardr. Go figure.

China Bashing!

It’s all the rage these days with the cool kids, don’t you know?

Personally, when it comes to considering China, I’d rather look at the glass as being seven-twelfths full and five-twelfths empty.

Plus ça Change…

Shorter “Ranting Owl” screed: Hey, you kids — get off my lawn!

Young people, my age, you’ve seen them around, tight jeans, retro ironic t-shirts (which they probably spent lots of money on)…..Hipsters, mostly white, educated, and from middle to upper middle class background, the ones who appropriated working class culture along with post-war counterculture movements and mixed them all together into a void of commercialized boutique consumerism.

Hmmm. Sounds vaguely familiar…

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders… They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.”

Or perhaps somewhat reminiscent of this:

“The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they alone knew everything and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for girls, they are forward, immodest and unwomanly in speech, behaviour and dress.”

Quotes commonly attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Plato.


Taking Pride in Ignorance

Well, that rather neatly sums up the modern “conservative” movement right there, doesn’t it?

Once again, the bungling McCain campaign demonstrates a dire level of abominable retardation that consumes us with pity.

How sad is it that such puerile hackery and visceral stupidity defines our political discourse these days?

Now two points, one, they know they’re lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they’re making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.


Of course, your mileage may vary, as they say, but in broad terms, this ridiculously obvious yet perfectly sensible nostrum satisfied the question posed at a town hall meeting about what actions people could take on an individual basis to help mitigate effects of the current “energy crisis” faced by consumers struggling with exorbitant prices at the pump.

“You know the other day I was in a town hall meeting and I laid out my plans for investing $15 billion a year in energy efficient cars and a new electricity grid and somebody said, ‘well, what can I do? what can individuals do?’ Obama recalled.

“So I told them something simple,” Obama said. “I said, ‘You know what? You can inflate your tires to the proper levels and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we’d get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.”

The “liberal media” eagles at ABC News nit-picked this contention to death with a detailed “fact check” piece, but it despite some technical quibbles over the probable benefits that might be derived from this admittedly simple measure, if nothing else, Obama’s offhand recommendation still fairly served to illustrate how relatively insignificant the impact of offshore drilling would be in the overall energy consumption paradigm. But never mind all that.