That’s… that’s not his mobile

Ann Althouse recommends careful use of breast power:

Women know what their breasts look like in their clothes. It doesn’t just happen. “Breast power” is real. We can pretend we don’t know, but we do.

While I’m never offended by even the most egregious abuse of breast power, I find it extremely irritating when women claim to be simply dressing for themselves or somehow unconscious of the effect created by displaying their breasts to their best advantage.

Women seldom dress for themselves when they’re going out in public. They’re usually dressing to interest men while simultaneously trying to avoid criticism from other women, but however the net effect turns out, it’s seldom accidental.

And it’s very simple to demonstrate that the display of sexual attributes is distracting to either sex and isn’t simply the audience’s problem. Consider the effect on an office full of women by a man sporting a massive erection under a loose pair of slacks, especially those women seated at their desks and forced to meet Priapus at face level.

Dr. PZ Myers ignores the evidence

Regarding his hypothesis that Christopher Hitchens is an impressive debater:

Minuscule, even. Flea-sized. How else am I to interpret Dinesh D’Souza’s challenge that he should pick on someone his own size, meaning D’Souza? I’ve heard D’Souza. He’s a babbling pipsqueak. But now he thinks he is a worthy opponent to confront Hitchens, because all the pastors that Hitchens knocks aside as if wielding the jawbone of an ass are such weak and timid little flowers.

I don’t know how D’Souza would do against Hitchens. But I know that I will obliterate Hitchens, Dawkins or Harris without ever breaking a sweat should I ever get the chance, simply because all three of them base their primary arguments against religion on ludicrous assertions that are demonstrably and unequivocally false. I’d even be happy to have PZ moderate any such debate, such is my confidence in the empirical superiority of my case.

Dennett is the only one of the four New Atheists – five if you count Michael Onfray – who will likely survive with a reputation for intellectual integrity intact.

Hitchens, despite his superior vocabulary, is actually the weakest of the three best-known figures, as can be seen in his spectacularly poor performance in getting bulldozed by Douglas Wilson at Christianity Today.

This bit was particularly funny: I have been asking you to provide a warrant for morality, given atheism, and you have mostly responded with assertions that atheists can make what some people call moral choices. Well, sure. But what I have been after is what rational warrant they can give for calling one choice “moral” and another choice “not moral.” You finally appealed to “innate human solidarity”….

I wonder how long it will take Hitchens to finally get around to basic utilitarianism. What’s most amusing about the New Atheists isn’t that they think they’re presenting new and clever arguments, it’s that so many other maleducated morons believe they are.

Ann brings the noise

Coulter finally goes after the treacherous Republican leadership:

Americans – at least really stupid Americans like George Bush – believe the natural state of the world is to have individual self-determination, human rights, the rule of law and a robust democratic economy. On this view, most of the existing world and almost all of world history is a freakish aberration.

In fact, the natural state of the world is Darfur. The freakish aberration is America and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world….

At the precise moment in history when the U.S. has abandoned any attempt to transmit Anglo-Saxon virtues to its own citizens, much less to immigrants, George Bush wants to grant citizenship to hordes of immigrants who are here precisely because they are fleeing cultures that are utterly dysfunctional and ruinous for the humans who live in them.

It’s taken her a while, but it’s nice to see that at least one of the leading conservatives isn’t afraid to stand by her principles instead of cravenly licking the boots of her party leadership.

Of course, this could also be an early sign that the cowardly “conservative” commentariat no longer sees any point in continuing to kowtow before a group of politicians who are soon to be out of power.

Should she turn against the occupations as well, we’ll know that withdrawal is near. And should she come out strongly for Ron Paul, we’ll know the Republican apocalypse is nigh.

So much for that surge thing

It’s increasingly obvious that despite the lulls in notorious hotspots, the insurgents are simply biding their time:

A series of fatalities announced on Tuesday in Iraq saw the US military’s death toll rise to its highest monthly level in more than two years.

The US army reported that eight troops died in roadside bombings and a helicopter crash, bringing total fatalities so far for May to 112, a level not seen since the insurgency took hold in November 2004. The spike in violence follows another bloody month in April, when 104 US troops were killed.

We had better bring them home before the war caused by the occupation precedes their return.

Michael O’Hanlon, a defence expert at the Brookings Institution, said the higher troop fatalities were only partly owing to the increased patrols US soldiers were undertaking. He said another significant cause of the violence was retaliation by Shia militias against US and Iraqi forces. He added that a key test would be whether the crackdown on militias produced a security pay-off or helped the extremist groups recruit more members.

Ah yes, the Rumsfeld metric. One guess as to how that’s going to turn out, given the way in which events have answered the former Secretary of Defense’s question with a resounding no.

They all hate America

The Right-Wing News discovers that nearly every right-wing blogger doesn’t want what’s right for America:

1) Would you like to see the Senate Immigration Bill pass?

Yes: 1 (2%)
No: 49 (98%)

2) Do you think the Republican party would be better off politically
if the bill passes the Senate or better off if it fails?

Passes: 3 (6%)
Fails: 45 (94%)

George Delano is a treasonous weasel, with no loyalty to his party or his nation. As incredible as it may seem, he has actually turned out to be a worse president than I expected, and I was expecting him to rival Clinton as a massive disaster. I never expected him to do worse than Carter and Nixon, though.

At this point, only FDR, Lincoln and Wilson can be considered worse… and he may surpass Wilson yet.

Republicans who argue the “best deal we can get” case forget two things. First, if you take the deal, you are responsible for it. If you fight it and lose, you’re not. Second, even if the deal is struck today, there’s absolutely nothing preventing the Senate from modifying it and making it even worse two years from now, when Hillary is in office and the Democratic majorities are much larger than they are today.

Immigration Amnesty II is not only a disaster on principle, it is sheer insanity from a pragmatic perspective.

Even California conservatives have come to despise Bush:

I will remember this date as the moment I thought there was a tipping point in conservative support for him.

I have over a hundred relatives in California: all Republicans, all conservative. Some of the women have married into Mexican-American families. I talked to many over the weekend. Do they still like Bush? I cannot repeat their language. Let us just say: Not so much. The reason? Immigration. The three main Mexican-American families are all professionals. They consider the illegals riff-raff.

For them, they are more than disappointed with Bush. They feel angry and betrayed. You know, these are not the right words to describe their feelings. The right word is “bitter.” They are very bitter.

That’s what you get when you are stupid enough to choose pragmatism over principle. The sad thing is that most of those bitter Republicans are now wondering whether Giuliani or Romney is the lesser of two evils they should support, while there’s every reason to believe that either one of them would be even worse than Bush himself.

Support Ron Paul or sit it out. That’s my advice. It’s unlikely to matter either way, although I suppose that seeing the Republican Party lose by a 80-20 popular vote margin might be enough to reinvigorate conservatives in a third party.

None of this surprises me, and yet I find that I’m not enjoying the bitter awakening of the Three Monkey Republicans quite as much as I had anticipated.

Christian is the new black

Karl Rove is going to get a very nasty surprise next year:

Rove said, “As baby boomers age and as they’re succeeded by the post-baby-boom generation, within both of those generations there’s something going on spiritually—people saying it’s not all about materialism, it’s not all about the pursuit of material things. If you look at the traditional mainstream denominations, they’re flat, but what’s growing inside those denominations, and what’s growing outside those denominations, is churches that are filling this spiritual need, that are replacing sterility with something vibrant, something that speaks to the heart of the individual, that gives a sense of purpose.” Rove believes what he has always believed: that the Christian right and, to a lesser extent, tax- and regulation-averse businessmen will continue to assure Republican victories.

Yes, because they’re so profoundly and deeply stupid that they’ll continue to vote for Republicans who despise them and actively oppose their interests. They’re just going to loyally show up and vote Republican the same way that blacks vote Democratic no matter what. In case you ever doubted that report that Karl Rove is an atheist, this degree of vacuous cluelessness about Christian behavior should confirm it.

On an unrelated note, it still amazes me that people pay any attention whatsoever to the many “conservative” pundits who defended Bush and argued that what he was doing was not only good for the country but that he was putting in place his double-secret conservative plan that would lead to long-term Republican dominance. Once someone demonstrates that he can’t reason his way out of a paper bag, I cease to waste any time listening to him; that’s why I haven’t bothered to read Townhall for nearly two years now.

I don’t recall people like Gingrich and Goldberg talking about an inevitable Republican collapse two years ago, let alone six years ago.

Voting and freedom

In case you still believe that democracy and voting are synonymous with freedom:

The number of Venzuelans who think Chavez is trying to set up a dictatorship has gone from 40% to 60% in the last week. Alas, this realization may have comes a little too late. The president is already ruling by decree, with rubber-stamp legislature and judiciary. The tragedy of Venezuela has an overwhelming momentum now….

It’s really unbelievable that nearly 50 years after Castro turned Latin America’s happiest and most affluent society into its most miserable and destitute, another Latin American country freely elected a pro-Castro leader to chants of “socialism or death.” They may have historical amnesia as an excuse, but the Venezuelans really have brought this — and what’s coming next — upon themselves.

Of course, it can’t happen here. Because, you know, we have a democracy and all.