Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

27 February 2007

A Dead Dog Can Teach You New Tricks

My buddy has an unspellable, barely-pronounceable last name; something to do with ancestry. And his first name is common as muck. So it is understandable that he should have been casting about the internet for a new moniker.

As luck and the Canadian Broadcasting Company would have it, he was fortunate enough to discover the Dead Dog Cafe Authentic Indian Name Generator.



From Jasper Friendly Bear and Gracie Heavy Hand over at the DDC comedy show, this handy service makes assigning unique and screamable-at-the-top-of-your-lungs names to your offspring as easy as tanning moose hides. In my case I deliberately obfuscated the results after my initial result gave me "GleNn EaGLe SpeLling"

My buddy, Common Unpronounceable, now rides the prairie as:

Drago Whispering Moth

Some improvement, enit?

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Quote of the Day, Quoted

I was over at The Questionable Authority, where Mike Dunford has been re-diseccting the parodaic (Is that a word? It is now. It means something so self-consciously, seriously, un-ironically stupid that it parodies itself) "Conservapedia".

For the uninitiated, Conservapedia is a shelter for those who can't cope with reality, and prefer to float in a womb-like pink fog of Truthiness surrounded by the facts they know, rather than those that have been independantly confirmed.

However, the blogosphere has been into this like weevils in prison bread. Witness these comments from Dunford's prior post:
I'm having tremendous fun. I edited the article on Atheism to point out that it leads to pedophilia and bestiality. I checked back an hour later expecting my edit to be gone, but no: they didn't remove it, they added citations.
--Stevel

This is the best fun I've had all week! A search for "God" just now redirected to "Fictional Characters"! The first line of that entry is: "God is pretty popular, but judging by God's blog, and several thousand years of human history, He's kind of a dick."

It seems the godless atheists are making more use of this farce than the saintly Christians are!
--Emily

The perfect quote for today's post sprang to mind:

"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views ... which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering."
--Doctor Who, The Face of Evil

So I clicked to add it to the comments below, knowing my wisdom and insight would earn plaudits of all who happened to read ...

Except that I'd been scooped by one lurker#753!
Once I thought about it for a second, I thought:What better indication that a {name yer topic} geek is in the right place than to get scooped on an obscure SF quote?







Dan Liebert, Verbal Cartoonist

Lifted whole from McSweeny's Internet Tendency

Feelings
When women ask you to share your feelings, I found out that they really just want to hear about love.

They don't give a damn if you're feeling "patriotic and hungry."


I gotta get around to setting up a list of tags.

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23 February 2007

Co-Incidence? Could be.


As reported at the CBC, a beaver was seen in New York for the first time in 200 years. Which explains much about the state's junior senator.

In possibly unrelated news, Britney Spears checked her car-wreck of a sick-little-girl self into rehab, for the third damn time, to avoid having to pay child support to Kevin Federline, which would result in the classic trailer-trash happy ending being completly gender-reversed. No word on where her beaver was last seen, but everyone now knows she's shaved.

In totally unrelated news, after only a single week of silence, Metro is unable to shut up.







One Thing I Disike So Far


Actually there are two.

  • When I log in using my fantabulous new Google account (My fourth, actually, but who's complaining--oh ... right, that would be me), each time I navigate to a Google branded service such as the ubiquitous search engine, it proudly displays my new Google mail addy at the top of the screen for as long as I'm logged in. Likewise when I surf to other Blogger Il Deuce blogs.


  • I don't want this. It makes me even itchier. I feel as though I'm being followed around the 'net. Sure I know some agencies and organizations drop cookies on peoples' machines just to find out what they're up to, but I don't participate in the invasion of my privacy if I can possibly avoid it:

    I don't let sites "remember me on this computer". I close my mail accounts, and if I'm searching for something while this blog waits patiently in the background I'd prefer a sort of Chinese screen separating my blog from the stranger seeking "leather nurse nipples" just the thickness of a few electrons away.

    (I was looking for a baby bottle tough enough for my niece, okay? She's teething.)

  • Lack of stat tracking. There may be a plug-in I can stick into the template, but I ain't seein' one from Blogger Twoogle. If there is one, it's an independantly developed app.


  • Why in the FSM's name would Google totally neglect that? Or is it that they think their clients really don't care if anyone comes to read? Do they think this is some sort of solitary exercise in literary self-pleasure? That I do this just to hear myself talk inside my own head?

    Hello?

    Anybody out there?

    Google remains silent.

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    Mwaaahahahahaha!


    Ron Chusid is commenter of the day. I found his off-topic remark over at Pharyngula.

    First, read the story, which is all about to do with mammalian spears, but has no aquatic component--unless fishing with those spears is involved. Does anyone know if primates hunt the beaver, and if so would they have shot their spears at it?


    Now read the comment:
    Off topic, but I figure more evidence for evolution is always on topic here.
    [...]
    Chimps show they are more like humans than previously believed. They learn to use spears as weapons, and they go after BUSH BABIES. If only we were smart enough to wipe them out when we had the chance.







    22 February 2007

    Blinks Twice, Looks Around Suspiciously



    When returning to consciousness, there are a few precious seconds in which the brain takes stock of the situation. While the eyes are still closed the mind is trying to make out where the body is and what's happening around it, checking to see that it's still getting the signals from the toes and other extremities, and looking for clues from the ears:
    "Hold still, mate, I've got you" is good.
    "Geez honey--you were amazing, and my sisters each left a big wet kiss for you" is better.
    "You two hold his arms" is no good at all.

    In this case, the Metroblog has undergone a sort of body swap. That's right. For all my bitching about being forced to migrate to Der Neue Blogger (Schnell, schnell, Bloggischer Schwein!) , I've done it. This blog is now on Blogger II, as you can obviously tell, right?

    My reasons for doing this are multiple, but the main ones were:
    "Metroblog" on WordPress has been squatted. I wouldn't mind if it was actually in use, but the site as constructed seems to serve no purpose other than to annoy yours truly. The user name "Metro" has also been taken, which matters not so much, but just makes things more difficult. There may be a way around it, and I'm looking into an idea or two.

    On exploring WordPress, I found I "kind-of" liked it. Yet the alien feeling never quite wore off. In the end I decided that I'm more comfortable in the Blogger environment for now. I'm going to build an anonymous little nothing blog somewhere on WP and play with it to see if I start to enjoy it more.

    At the time I moved the blog I had over 600 posts. They seem to have arrived here all right. I'm still looking around, in particular to see whether Blogger finally has some way of tracking my stats. And I have a WordPress blog on standby, just in case. But so far I cannot say I have any complaints, except for being pried from my former comfortable spot.

    Quote of the day. From P.G. Wodehouse:
    "Will you inform her that I called? The name is Psmith. P-smith."
    "Peasmith, sir?"
    "No, no. P-s-m-I-t-h. I should explain to you that I started life without the initial letter, and that my father always clung ruggedly to plain old Smith. But it seemed to me that there were so many Smiths in the world that a little variety might well be introduced. Smythe I look on as a cowardly evasion, nor do I approve of the too prevalent custom of tacking another name on in front by means of a hyphen. So I decided to adopt the Psmith. The p, I should add for your guidance, is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan. You follow me?"
    "Y-yes, sir."
    "You don’t think," he said anxiously, "that I did wrong in pursuing this course?"
    "N-no, sir."







    15 February 2007

    Because I'm Far Too Busy to Post Today


    Via BoingBoing, a piano-playing pussy.



    In other news


    Mme Metro told me the other day that she'd been forced to change over to the "New" Blogger. I thought privately "Naw--musta been a mistake. After all, aren't Bloggers' new lords and masters the company that says #1--Don't be evil (shut up you Chinese people)?"

    Today the Blogger start page opened up and said something like "Happy happy joyjoy to you! We've made little changes to your Blogger account. All you have to do now is change your online sign-in and stuff."

    Did I ask you to switch me up, you bastards? Lest you should prove hard of thinking: No I did not.

    I was fine just the way things were. And I (O sweet lord liftin' leapin' lyin' Jeezus bleedin' screamin' dyin' DO I) HATE being made to change, or to adopt technology by a company that theoretically serves the consumer.

    I clicked the link that said "Skip this step and go to your Blogger account (You can only do this once)". I have only seen one person who didn't have any trouble migrating her Blog into Der Blog II; And as I said, I hate that I'm being forced into it. As a conservative and untutored economics student I value choice in most consumer decisions.

    Blogger II may be very nice. But I did not want to be forced into finding out. If they'd left me alone I might have found out. As things are, the blog may be down awhile while I investigate the feasability of moving it to Wordpress. Blogger has generally been becoming less friendly and reliable lately anyway.

    Death to all tyrants!







    14 February 2007

    Al-Sadr Flees Iraq


    The fundamentalist Shia cleric seen as the biggest threat to unity in Iraq has fled to Iran, according to American officials.
    --The Telegraph

    In related news:
  • Weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq, Say American Officials

  • Hideout of Osama Bin Laden Discovered, Say American Officials

  • US Administration Credibility Gap Non-Existent, Say American Officials


  • The actual biggest threat to stability in Iraq was realized in 2003.







    Civil Discourse From the Right


    There are, I am sure, conservatives who support the right of people to disagree with them. There are probably people who argue in measured, rational tones to attempt to persuade people to their point of view without invoking violence, torture, hatred, or death threats.

    "Mr. Bill" Donahue is not one of these. Lately he pulled a Michelle Malkin and went so far as to encourage his merry band of good Christofascists to engage in some grass-roots, serious, issue-driven debate:

    Via FDL and Jesus' General:
    It's just too bad your mother didn't abort you. You are nothing more than a filthy mouth slut. I bet a couple of years in Iraq being raped and beaten daily would help you appreciate America a little. Need a plane ticket ?
    --from Good Christian Bud Phelps, who dislikes ugly language.
    And this little gem:
    YOU RACIST WHORE. FAT UGLY BITCH. SUCK MY LONG COCK ASSHOLE I HOPE YOU KIDS NEVER LIVE AND YOUR PARENTS DIE A TRAGIC DEATH YOU ASSHOLE BITCH!
    I HOPE YOUR WOMB IS BARREN AND YOUR CAREER PLUMMETS TO HELL YOU BITCH
    --from one Romanco De Leone. All caps make the point so much more clearly than simply foaming at the mouth, dontcha think?
    Of course it's not all "torture and kill the infidels":
    Problem with women like you, you just need a good fucking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven't found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good fucking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn't want to give you the fucking you deserve b/c the shit that would come out of you ears.
    --Andy Driggers just wants to make love to them (the way his daddy did to him).

    And that's just a sampling. Surely Ms. Marcotte and Ms. McEwen must be some real bad eggs to excite this sort of thing from Good Christianists, eh?

    Where this all starts is that Crazy Mr. Bill got uptight when the John Edwards '08 campaign hired people he characterised as "anti-Catholic" and "vulgar". The two non-man bloggers had made disparaging references to the Catholic church's positions on certain issues. In some cases (Shock! Horror!) profanity was used (Profanity in the blogosphere? What the ₤µ¢λ?). Two samples:
    "The Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics"
    "What don’t you lousy motherfuckers understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds, and our families?"


    Methinks Mr. Bill is mischaracterized as a Catholic (as here by famed wingnut organ ABC/Disnazi). He is the real American Taliban. All the elements are there: the use of faith to promote hatred, the suppression of any dissent, the use of tactics designed to frighten the opposition through violence and threats. Oh--and the ban on certain heathen foods (Google "Bill Donahue" and "Lipton's Onion Soup").

    As an ex-Catholic, I sincerely hope that Mr. Bill is right and there is an afterlife. Because if you stand me up in front of the god that I reject, and stand him up next to me, it's clear which one of us would be allowed into heaven.

    Also as an ex-Catholic, I feel that true Catholics need to get on the stump and shout him down. Fox News and ABC/Disnazi don't control all the airwaves. If you're sitting there wondering why the Muslim community don't disavow terrorism, then you have a God-given duty to speak against this sort of extremism. It makes all Catholics look equally bigoted and stupid.

    I'm waiting, Your Holiness.

    As for John Edwards: He initially fired both women, then re-hired them in a panic when it turned out his support base gave him no sympathy for caving in to TalibanAmerica. I feel he's lost any hope of decent support (or should have now) and should throw what little he has behind my man Barack Obama.

    But the point is that the self-described "Conservatives" of the right in America have clearly lost sight of what "civil discourse" means. Remember, these are the people who are represented by Dick "go ₤µ¢λ yourself" Cheney.







    13 February 2007

    Speaking of Fine Arts


    Via Firedoglake comes this glorious offering. It's justified because it relates to "24", the Republican fetish for torture porn, the (also very Republico-Conservative) inability to tell truth from fiction, and of course, Canadian screen talent who all seem to have been hewn from the same log--perhaps the Captain's?

    SimShatner: The William Shatner Acting Simulator.
    Might I suggest just playing with this acting simulator instead? It's low on the torture porn, but it does satisfy the wooden acting criteria completely. (Okay, I admit it. I've been waiting and waiting for a reason to link this up. It's laugh out loud funny.)
    Youmust; GO. Click. Now!

    Personally I like hitting buttons Blue 2, Red 2, Green 2, Yellow 3 and Red 2. No special reason. Slashfic fans make that Blue 1. Reality slashfic fans make that Blue 3.







    Drumming: A Fine Art


    In theory I'm not opposed to drumming. As ex-front man for more than a couple of bands I'd go so far as to say that nothing rocks without the drums. The brief bout of spontaneous party percussion lasting until the drummer passes out or forgets what he was doing? Fine.

    However the drummer who has been standing on the street near my office door should be forced to drum in a soundproof room until his forearms wear off.

    Half-an-hour is fine. Three hours of stoned, rhythmic whopping is justification for homicide. Thank the FSM for the internet, where YouTube offers an (ahem) harmonious solution:



    Rita Moreno. My kinda woman!







    12 February 2007

    Via Interrobang





    A fine response to "If the [Insert bugaboo-of-the-week here], we'll all have to {insert phobia-of-week}", crafted from the ultimate terror machine.







    Prisoners of Conscience?


    Over at The Questionable Authority Mike Dunford posted regarding the effect of religious prejudice on health care.

    We've already heard some of the horror stories that allowing "freedom of conscience" in this sort of matter leads to in the US. Women turned away by "Christian" pharmacists who refuse to give out the "morning-after" pill. Kids who can't get condoms because their local druggist won't sell them. Girls who request the pill from their physician and get outed to their parents.

    In Saskatchewan, a marriage commissioner is fighting board discipline over charges that he discriminated against a gay couple by referring them to another comissioner. As a Baptist, he feels gay marriage is wrong, so he refused to perform it.

    His argument is that it's his rights being violated. After all, he sent them to someone who would marry them, right? So they weren't discriminated against, apparently. But if he is penalized for failing to do his job, his freedom of worship is allegedly violated.

    The example people who wish to excuse such excrable behaviour often use is Quakers in the military:

    "Quakers are pacifists, and are allowed to serve in the military in areas such as the medical corps, to help them avoid violating the strictures of their faith."

    Therefore, runs the logic, personal prejudice should be an applicable standard in the provision of professional service.

    Bullshit.

    Quakers wind up in the army only under conscription (doubtless there's an exception or two, but statistically they're insignificant). Otherwise, they find occupations in which killing people is a less-than-likely duty.

    No-one is forcing Nichols to be a marriage commissioner. He was licensed by the province to sanction such marriages as are approved of in Canada. This now includes gay marriages. If he doesn't like that, figures it's not what he signed up for, I'm sure there's other work for him.

    Nichols has surely married one or two couples who were shacking up, too, and seems to have had no objection, despite what Baptists think of sex before marriage. Or indeed sex in general. I'm sure he's married people who drink, too. And maybe even people who danced!







    11 February 2007

    You See?


    How come nobody ever takes me seriously when I say that one day all of humanity will cower before my might?

    Your results:
    You are Dr. Doom



    Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.
    Dr. Doom

    78%
    Mr. Freeze

    75%
    The Joker

    71%
    Venom

    70%
    Lex Luthor

    67%
    Apocalypse

    66%
    Magneto

    65%
    Two-Face

    65%
    Juggernaut

    61%
    Kingpin

    58%
    Catwoman

    56%
    Poison Ivy

    55%
    Riddler

    54%
    Green Goblin

    53%
    Dark Phoenix

    51%
    Mystique

    33%



    Click here to take the "Which Super Villain are you?" quiz...


    --Via Omnibrain







    09 February 2007

    Update: Spocko V.: The Rat of Cant


    I think the biggest distinction between those who consider themselves on "the left" or "liberal" side of an issue and those on "the right" or "conservative" side is humour. I apologise to all of the above, as I think these terms are an absurd oversimplification of complex political positions, but please bear with me.

    The "right" seems very strident, and are always denigrating. Rush, Hannity, Malkin ... loads of loathing, even self-loathing, but no jokes, nothing humourous about 'em.

    Not unless it involves someone's gonads and a car battery.

    Possibly because "if we start laughing, then the terrorists have already won"? Or because it takes intelligence to use humour creatively? Or because their worldview is so scary it leaves no room for joking?

    On the other hand we have the good "left" folks at Online Blogintegrity, who cause me to laugh out loud with their good-natured skewering of the torque-to-90 ft/lbs @$$#0!3s over at KSFO snuff radio.

    In witness whereof: El Gato Negro's musings on the continual whining of KSFO hosts that "those quotes [advocating torture, murder, and genocidal practices] were taken out of context"!

    And the post by Ripley:
    Remember what actually turned this into a big ordeal? An attorney for ABC (KSFO’s parent company), Enid Karpeh, sent Spocko’s hosting company a C&D letter regarding copyrighted materials on his website, and his site was pulled, Fair Use be damned!

    Did you check the URL for Sussman’s apology? Let me post it for you:

    http://www.melaniemorgan.com/1_short_sussman_apology.mp3

    Yes, Melanie is hosting, not linking, copyrighted material on her personal website. Material that is copyrighted to ABC Radio/Disney.

    [...]

    That’s 6 hours of ABC copyrighted material - not links to KSFO, but files stored on Melanie’s personal website. Now, raise your hand if you think that Melanie or her hosting company will receive a C&D letter from ABC attorney, Enid J. H. Karpeh.
    There's more, but I'm trying to keep this short. Go have a good laugh. I'm sure if Morgan and her coven had the faintest glimmer of a sense of humour, they'd find this at least as funny as, oh, say, shooting Nancy Pelosi or chopping off a detainee's penis.

    But it's part of whatever problem these people have that they can't distinguish between the real world and the unfortunate humourless delusion they live in. Which is why they freaked out when Spocko posted their own clips right back at them. And why laughter will act on them like water on the Wicked Witch.

    They got the gun nuts, but we got the Vulcans.







    Update: The War Against Terror


    BoingBoing covers the new book review from, of all places, The American Spectator, a right-wing nutrag experiencing, it seems, a moment of clarity.

    It just proves that many of the "Conservatives" out there are also sick of an administration and business culture that's getting rich on keeping people frightened all the time.

    BoingBoing writer Mark Frauenfelder says:
    I, for one, would be willing to roll back to airport security to pre-9/11 levels. I would abolish Homeland Security and get rid of the TSA, saving us billions of dollars a year. The real question is whether we'd prefer to continue spending billions on pointless security theatre or devote more of that kind of money toward education and science, which might actually make our country a better place to live, now and in the future.
    All I can say is "Amen, Mark".

    Once the hysteria and the hype (and as a result, BushCo, because without fear he's nothing) are gone, perhaps America will come off this five-year bender of hypertension, violence, bigotry, cherished ignorance, and suspicion.

    The hangover oughta be something to see.

    One sticking point: The TSA and the Fatherland Insanity Department should be disbanded as soon as possible--tomorrow won't be soon enough. All they are is paranoia production machines.

    However, I don't think getting rid of them will lead to greater investment in education and science on the part of George Bush the Lesser. No, not at all. It's a point of pride with him that he managed to be appointed president knowing absolutely nothing.







    08 February 2007

    As I Said


    Sometimes it's all about the caphalopods.



    From Worth1000 via Boingboing.

    Ia! Ia! Bhenan djeri ftagn?







    07 February 2007

    'Cos Sometimes You Have to Post About Squid


    Via new Other Voices denizen Omnibrain.



    Squid ties. Bet that really makes 'em squirm and grunt in the boardroom.







    06 February 2007

    It's Things Like This That Make Me Love the 'Net


    I mean, where else could you ever have found a Tragically Hip/Samurai Pizza Cats mash-up?



    Two of my favourite things.







    For All You Noobs Out Thar


    Johnny Cash meets World O' Warcraft.



    Some people honestly need to get out more; me for a start.







    05 February 2007

    Enough With the Serious!


    Time for a stupid quiz.

    I am a seatbelt!
    Find your own pose!







    Lies, Damn Lies, and the MPAA


    --Via BoingBoing

    Recently the MPAA and associates whined that they might have to delay movie releases in Canada by as much as two weeks; because Canada was the source of most camcorder copying. They claimed that Canada needed stronger copyright laws, as indeed the New Conservative New Green Government (Conservative) of Canada (New) is mulling over.

    I smell a PR campaign, and a rat. After all, as Michael Geist points out in his column.
    The MPAA's own website specifically points to Canada as an example of how many countries have legislation that prohibit illegal camcording. The movie lobby group states that "in Canada camcording is an infringement under the Copyright Act, regardless of whether it is for the public or personal use of the person making the copy."
    So why this stream of articles highlighting alleged piracy in Canada? Could it have to do with the company the Minister has been keeping?

    For doing exactly the same things, Bev Oda's predecessor, Sam Bulte, got booted out. Time for the other shoe to punt, I think.







    The Conservative in My Shower


    As I have said elsewhere in this blog, I am a conservative. I believe in small government, fiscal and financial responsibility, and good old Canadian values.

    Most self-styled "Conservatives" aren't. Just the opposite; they don't want to conserve anything. What they want is to be permitted to go on wasting stuff. "Don't change anything." "I'm all right Jack." "It was good enough for my grandfather ..." These are the chants of cultural Conservatives. And this attitude permeates the smallest details of everyday life.

    In witness, I present you "The Bureaucrat in Your Shower."
    You might have some vague memory from childhood, and perhaps it returns when visiting someone who lives in an old home. You turn on the shower and the water washes over your whole self as if you are standing under a warm-spring waterfall. It is generous and therapeutic. The spray is heavy and hard, enough even to work muscle cramps out of your back, enough to wash the conditioner out of your hair, enough to leave you feeling wholly renewed — enough to get you completely clean.
    Jeffrey Tucker is unhappy with modern showerheads, apparently because he's not wet enough; and unclean. I have no idea how dirty he may be. But he's certainly all wet.

    This man thinks 2.5 gallons--just under ten litres--of water per minute is not enough for a reasonable shower. Never mind that the US army in Iraq makes do with one gallon per minute to get clean the sweaty bods that spend their days humping packs in 45 degree heat and dust; He thinks it's his right to hack his shower to evade US water-conservation law. In the revolutionary spirit of Patrick Henry he will bathe himself in 12.7 damn gallons per minute if he feels so inclined because that's his right.

    My favourite quotes:
    As with all regulations, the restriction on how much water can pour over at once while standing in a shower is ultimately enforced at the point of a gun. [...]

    One can see federal S.W.A.T. Teams screeching up to your house, black-clad men pouring out, securing the perimeter, and shouting through a bull horn: "Drop the soap and come out of the shower with your hands up!"
    The mind boggles.

    He implies that some bureaucrat will soon insist on installing timers on shower heads; because as he says "there is no way to regulate how much water we use (and pay for)". But he's wrong.

    More importantly, he is being disingenuous. I will happily allow him his 3-gallon, 4-gallon, or 50-gallon-per-minute shower if and only if he pays for its consumption.

    You see, most places in North America don't meter water use. You pay a flat rate for the service, no matter how much you actually use. That's because traditionally water was regarded as a resource without limit. How quaint.

    But living in the desert as I do, I pay for a basic cubic volume of water, and a per-litre surcharge if I go over it. And it's measured by a water meter affixed to my intake pipe.

    If we install a meter and charge not a base rate and surcharge, but a per-litre fee, every consumer would pay for what s/he consumed. Assuming Mr. Tucker is willing to abide by the reading on his meter and pay for every litre he uses, I think he should be allowed whatever form of shower he likes.

    Of course water is a finite resource. And as Mr. Tucker himself observes, finite resources need to be conserved. So simply pricing a good at a flat cost does not account for overconsumption, because as Mr. Tucker drains the reservoir, the resource becomes scarcer and the price climbs to the benefit of no-one but Mr. Tucker. So there has to be a conspicuous consumption charge to account for any disproportionate strain one is placing on that resource.

    Doubtless Mr. Tucker would then complain about bureaucrats in his wallet. I privately feel that it's the bees in his bonnet that are the problem. Or possibly the bats in his belfrey.

    For myself, I am seeking a store that will sell me a one-gallon-per-minute navy-style showerhead, and looking for a dual-flush equipped six-litre toilet.

    Because as a conservative, I seek to conserve.







    04 February 2007

    Flip-flopping on Climate Change?


    During the last presidential campaign in the US, John Kerry was viciously attacked by various people, mostly self-styled "conservatives", for having "flip-flopped" by changing his stance on the Iraq war. It seems to me that most of the people who opposed the idea of climate change are self-styled "conservatives", or shills for people who are. So let us hold them to the same standard. But how to measure the degree of flippy-floppiness?

    Well I thought we might try this: In newspaper business sections one often sees little items claiming that "If you'd invested $1000 in company X today, it'd be worth $233,096 today!" So I decided to conduct a similar experiment.

    If you had been offered a thousand-dollar bet ten years ago that climate change due to global warming was real and was primarily man-made, how would you have fared until yesterday?

    Well, if you'd taken the position that yes, climate change was real, that it was due to global warming, and that global warming was primarily man-made, you'd be ahead a thousand bucks. Net position: $2000.

    If you took the position that climate change was not happening: You'd have lost $1000. Net position: -$1000.

    If you then went double-or-nothing on the idea that climate change wastaking place but had nothing to do with global warming: You'd have lost again. Net position: -$2000.

    If you again went double-or-nothing, accepting that there is climate change, and that it is related to global warming, but claimed that it had little or nothing to do with humans--you'd have lost. Net position is now -$4000.

    And now, after the IPCC report, which has confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that a) climate change is taking place, b) it's related to global warming, and c) global warming is 90% likely human-made, the people who opposed the very idea of climate change are now saying that "Oh well, it's going to continue for at least two hundred years, so there's nothing we can do. We shouldn't even try. We'll just have to wait until we develop some way to stop it with science*."

    My first question to these people is "Who exactly is flip-flopping? And who has been proven correct at every turn?"


    My second question is: "Double-or-nothing?"



    *But not the science we have now. Some other kind of science yet to be invented.







    02 February 2007

    Burning Money Partly to Blame for Climate Change "Controversy"


    The American Oil-sorry-Enterprise Institute resorted to desperate bribery as the IPCC report neared completion, say some scientists.

    They tried to suborn members of the US delegation to the International Panel on Climate Change and other experts with offers reported at $10,000 for articles disputing the panel's work.

    The UberKonservatif AEI, known to do the heavy intellectulalizing and rationalizing of some of the loonier "industry-friendly" Bush policies, is not so much "tied to" the oil industry as "a political wing of". From the Guardian:
    The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN's panel as "resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work" and ask for essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs".

    Climate scientists described the move yesterday as an attempt to cast doubt over the "overwhelming scientific evidence" on global warming. "It's a desperate attempt by an organisation who wants to distort science for their own political aims," said David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.


    The policy of the AEI on science is well known: Science that advances deristricted greed is cool, which helps fight global warming, so they have to increase the supply.

    Short-sighted damnned fools, the lot of them. This is as stupid and transparent as renaming something "Intelligent Design" to try and pretend that there's a rational alternative to Evolution.

    I wish to thank Avid Fan PJ for the link to this article.







    Inconvenient, But True


    It's official. An exhaustive analysis of international climate-change research has led to the foregone conclusions that:

  • Global warming and the associated climate change are real.

  • This change is primarily man-made,

  • Now I want everyone who has decried global warming as some sort of "scare tactic", or expressed similar sentiments, to hang his or her head and say "You were right. I was wrong."

    Mr. Bush? Mr. Harper?

    It's only polite to admit you're in the wrong when you've spent a decade demonizing reputable science in favour of oil-company propaganda. Michael Crighton will doubtless be first to the microphone to apologize?


    In Related News


    The Conservative New Green Green Conservative Government of Canada™ has welcomed the report. In keeping with their new green profile they have decided to do ...

    Nothing, actually.

    You see, they feel that their old "just-you-wait-a-half-century-or-two" clean-air plan was just fine. Never mind that global warming (now an incontrovertible fact that possibly even Dubya couldn't deny) will continue for centuries no matter what action we actually take. Never mind that the electorate they rule over would like to be chivvied in the right direction. Kyoto was unrealistic, so we're not going to set any targets.
    Harper said the only way to achieve absolute reductions was through the applications of new technologies over time.

    "I don't think realistically we can tell Canadians -- stop driving your car, stop going to work, turn your heat off in the winter -- we need to adapt to new energy realities so that we can achieve emissions targets."


    I would say that in this, as in all things, Harper will naturally be following his master's lead. And maybe he's right. After all, if the nation that emits a quarter of the world's carbon dioxide doesn't see the need to slow down, then why the hell should the rest of us, right?

    In short, Canada's Conservative New Green Conservatively Green Government™'s Conservatively Green Strategy (also ™) is to:

    1) Carry on exactly as we have been so far, and
    2) Wait until science finds a way to stop it.

    Just like it did with the common cold and cancer.







    01 February 2007

    Delivering Sweet Liberty


    And winning hearts and minds.

    Right up front I'll say that I don't know that the video is genuine. But the point is completely valid: Who cares about putting an Iraqi on a leash and humiliating him when the US has done, permitted, condoned, and continues to do far worse?

    Next time some clown spouts off about all the good the invasion of Iraq has done for its citizens (aside from the 600,000-plus killed as "collateral damage"), and next time said clown wonders why Iraqis have decided they'd rather have Saddam back, and next time this or any other clown wonders why Iraqis have learned to hate the US and her allies, send them here.



    On the subject of authenticity: The US Defense Department apparently thinks highly enough of this to take it seriously.







    The Face of Terror


    1) Someone dreams up a fairly innocuous, if not terribly bright, little guerilla advertising campaign.
    2) This someone plants a bunch of devices in ten cities. The devices look like the picture below.
    3) Someone else sees one of these gadgets and calls the bomb squad. Terror alerts spew forth, one device is blown up, and countless people have a fairly busy day interrupted as the mechanisms of "terror response" come into play.
    4) Ted Turner chuckles all the way to the bank as millions google "Mooninite" and "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" because there is no such thing as bad publicity.



    The mayor and the governor are making silly remarks about this being a "hoax". Wouldn't that mean that the people who planted these gadgets intended that the Boston emergency services would mistake these things for bombs?

    It wasn't a hoax. It was a case of the reaction being totally inappropriate to the "threat". I mean, when you see the pic above (which I totally swiped off Jesus' General), is the word "bomb" the uppermost thing in your mind?



    If so, you need your paranoia chip de-tuned. Please see your nearest CIA agent--you need look no further than the person you think is your best friend.

    I note that Seattle authorities didn't seem to think too hard about it. Nor did the other eight cities that have been quietly battling the Mooninite invasion for about three weeks.

    To the Boston police and related agencies who blew about $2 million running around on high-panic alert: Learn to recognize the device below when you see it.



    Feel like practising to be a terrorist? Try this