February 10th, 2012


Canada: The Closet Jack Bower


Canada ordered its intelligence agency to use information that may have been extracted through torture if public safety is at risk, it has emerged.

The directive, obtained by Canadian media through freedom of information laws, was issued in 2010.

It applies only in exceptional cases and does not urge security services to condone or engage in torture, the public safety ministry says.

So basically the Canadian government said "Okay, you can torture people but only if you REALLY need to. Don't be dicks about it, eh?"

This, unsurprisingly, isn't going over so well in the Great White North. As an American my first reaction is "Ha! And here you were looking down your nose at us. Turns out you're really not much better!"

Of course, that's just my knee-jerk reaction driven by a love all Americans share of ripping on filthy, filthy foreigners. American's shameful attitude towards torture in recent years is far worse. But the point I'm trying to make here is that while a lot of countries were right to denounce said policies, the people who live there shouldn't be so quick to assume that their hands are clean. Governments do a lot things behind closed doors and human nature will always trump national attitudes.


Friday lulz. Ramana magic!

Glue on the shoes? Hidden magnets? A stick up his ass? Your call. He calls it magic.

Magician Ramana also works for the corporate world to great effect. His specialty is to develop magic acts that can be used to promote products, services and ideas. This is called Ramana Brand-Activating Illusions. Within no time at all, the Ramana act creates a huge hype and media buzz for the company involved. That's lots of free publicity.

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Godzilla, default

Ursus for POTUS, why vote for the lesser evil:

I for one feel that General Ursus, the great gorilla explorer of the Forbidden Zone would be the best candidate for POTUS. He's got all the firebrand rhetoric of Santorum, the intellectual virtuosity of Gingrich and Obama, and the stirring rhetoric not seen since candidates were required to pass a blandness test before being nominated.

And as far as VPOTUS this is the guy I'd pick:

Because this way the prospect of the succession is the stuff of nightmares.

So, which characters would *you* pick to be leaders of your countries?

Seeking clarity

Question 1:
Just watched Romney's speech at CPAC while I was having lunch.  Apparently, it is a core conservative belief that the genius of the Constitution is to be found in its vision of a citizenry that achieves prosperity by freely pursuing individual happiness without government intervention.  Yet it is apparently also a core conservative belief that same-sex couples be prohibited from marrying.

Can someone help me understand why the Constitution apparently protects the unfettered acquisition of personal wealth regardless of its impact on others -- but it does not protect the rights of human beings to simply live their lives in a manner of their own choosing?

Question 2:
In his tirade against American queers, Romney boasted that he had kept Massachusetts from becoming "the Las Vegas of gay marriage."

What exactly is wrong with Las Vegas, anyway?  Is it a conservative belief that it is good to make money by gutting corporate assets and re-allocating capital -- but that it is bad to make money by putting up nice hotels and cute wedding chapels?  Is there something in the Constitution that explicitly or implicitly supports this distinction?

Question 3:
Romney claimed that he sees the awesomeness of the Constitution as resulting from both the hand of providence and the wisdom of fine men.

Does this mean that God is not a big fan of universal suffrage?  Would it help the economy if, rather than reform immigration, we simply restore slavery?  Given its obvious profitability, should the government really have the power to ban the plantation system?

That old canard.

Men will lose their minds if womenz are involved in combat.

So says Dicky Santorum, who is approaching modern warfare as a wives'-tale with a healthy dose of arm-chair psychology. The most striking thing about the hub-hub around his "argument" is that no one is really noticing that it isn't an argument at all.

No where in this old story about "emotions" and war, is it ever actually established or even argued that "emotions" hinder combat-effectiveness. Much less that male-female "emotions" hinder combat-effectiveness. Of course, anyone who has spent any time with men in combat knows that emotions are an unavoidable and constant condition to human war.

Rather, it is simply assumed and unstated that somehow this bogeyman story about "emotions" will wreck everything and make America lose. Wow, that's some real faith you got there, Dicky Boy. America has the finest military EVAR! But no wommenz! Then we'll suck! We are fragile bunnies! Then again, this sort of dissonance in the conservative mindset (that we are strong but also highly vulnerable) is sort of par-for-the-course. Without the appeal-to-conseqence fallacy of the just-around-the-corner disaster, conservative arguments tend to fall entirely flat upon their flat faces.

And of course, all of this being said, without once mentioning the fact that WAR IS A COMPROMISING SITUATION!