Silly Conor

Doesn't he understand that the mind of the pure right-winger (unlike a fallen apostate like himself) is protected from these sorts of trifling contradictions?

The conservative mind is like a partitioned hard drive. One partition deals with Obama rumours; another deals with our need to fight evil with evil. The idea that evil Obama would have control over those evil weapons of anti-evil would require one partition to talk to the other and compare notes.

But since that doesn't happen, there's no problem.

Come On Now, Really?

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present exhibit... christ, what letter combo would we be on now, ZXF?... on why it's impossible to take the right wing seriously anymore.

The MEND program is exactly the kind of thing they should be applauding -- fueled by volunteers and donations, taking no dirty government money, etc. Instead they can't get out of the way of their own braindead preconceptions long enough to recognize a good thing when they see it, or even do any basic research to challenge those preconceptions -- you'll notice in the original article, for instance, that Gunlock simply assumes that anyone who uses a soup kitchen or similar service must a priori be homeless or unemployed.

(Of course it's unfair to generalize a right wing "they" from Gunlock's arrogant stupidity. Or at least it would be there weren't plenty of other similar examples just a Google search away).

Absorbed By the Googleplex

I got pissed off with Firefox's recent slowness and general suckitude, so I'm giving Chrome a whirl. So far, it's a bit better, although it's having trouble with a few sites that I frequent [insert porn joke here].

Soon enough we'll all be eating Google Crispies for breakfast.

Letter-Writing Time!

To Fox News anchor Shep Smith regarding this:

Keep Up the Good Work, Shep

Just saw the clip of your interview with Rep. Hoekstra from yesterday. It's nice to see that journalism is not quite dead in this country.

If America becomes a torturing nation, then we have abandoned the trust that was passed down to us, generation after generation. The American Experiment will have been proven a failure if we can't stop the spread of this cancer. Please, PLEASE, keep fighting this fight.


And to Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer regarding this:

Re: Waterboarding as Torture

Earlier this week, on Dennis Miller's radio show, you said that you "personally don’t think [waterboarding] is [torture] 'cause it’s an absurdity to have to say the United States of America has tortured over 10,000 of its own soldiers because it's, you know, it’s had them waterboarded as a part of their training."

Sir, SERE training and its related programs are specifically designed to help our soliders survive torture, and to understand their own responses to being tortured. By definition the techniques used in SERE training, including waterboarding, are torture -- otherwise, there would be no point to using them as part of that program.

If you choose to defend our use of torture on suspected al Qaeda prisoners and others, you are certainly free to do so. But denying the basic facts of the situation does no credit to your arguments, and just makes you look hypocritical and disingenuous.

Crazy Talk

Having not been out for teh singingz since the weekend, I'm feeling a bit twitchy. I might try to pull of the difficult Triple Bill -- start the evening at Hoops (if karaoke hasn't been pre-empted by hockey), head down to Tequila Sunrise, then finish the evening off at the Dog's Bollocks.

Or maybe start at the Bollocks and trace that route backwards, so I can just walk home afterwards.

Or maybe I'll get 'stuck' at one of the three because I'm having too much fun to leave. We shall see.

My Multicultural City

So the Tamils had another protest today, down around where I work. The police had set up sort of a 'chill area' about a block away, where the cops who weren't on active duty at the protest itself could rest and relax. Mid-afternoon, I walked through the 'chill area' and back on my way to get a refreshing beverage.

On the way back something struck me, and I turned around and took another look at the couple of dozen or so SWAT cops and other officers who were there.

Every single one was a white male.

My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style

Might as well explain what my tags mean:

Self-Referential Crap: stuff about ME
Degenerative Poker: stuff about poker
Jock Talk in the First Degree: stuff about sports
Film Snobbery: stuff about movies
Music Snobbery: stuff about music
Pundificating: stuff about my political opinions
Stupid Politician Tricks: stuff about stupid politicians
Teevee Snobbery: stuff about TV
Torontauvanism: stuff about the city in which I live
Warbling: stuff about karaoke
Media Bloodclots: rampant acts of media fuckery
Art Snobbery: stuff about classy forms of art
Board Game Snobbery: stuff about board games
Roommate Follies: stuff about the poor souls stuck living with me

Losing the Moral High Ground

So apparently even the North Koreans have higher standards than we do when it comes to how they treat their prisoners. They've now officially joined the ranks of moral nations who look down at torture-mongers like us, right alongside such human rights stalwarts as Iran.

Once upon a time there was a shining city on a hill. Then Hurricane Dick caused a mudslide that dumped the entire city down into a dark valley.

Trusting My Instincts

While there are plenty of areas of my poker game I need to work on, the one that keeps kicking me in the ass is my instincts. Not that they aren't pretty good -- they are -- but I don't trust my reads all the time.

Two examples from this weekend:

Playing Omaha, I'm on the button and limp in with AQ22 double-suited in clubs (the nut draw) and hearts. Plenty of other limpers built the pot (which is usual for that crowd). Flop hits K-10-7 with two hearts. Ray bets a couple hundred in chips from middle position, but a bet from him means very little usually and he gets about five callers, myself included. Turn hits the 4 of clubs, now giving me both flush draws and the inside draw to Broadway, so I'm definitely interested in seeing that river. I check, as does everyone else until Bob a few seats before me, who bets 500. A bet from Bob does mean something, but I still have great odds to call. I consider a raise but give him enough respect to just flat call. Everyone else folds but Ray.

River is the 2 of spades. Bob fires out 1500 when it's his turn to bet.

I hem and haw. I've hit trips, but my gut is telling me Bob has a higher set. He's not a reckless player, and he very easily could have just called that bet on the flop, taken the lead on the turn and bet big when none of the draws hit. On the other hand, he might do the same thing with a kings over two pair kind of hand. 1500 was a huge chunk of my stack, and represented about half what was in the pot, giving me good odds. I reluctantly called based on the odds, and Bob showed his pocket kings.

Same kind of situation arose in the 'main event' hold 'em tourney we have on these weekends. We're down to the final five -- top four spots pay out. I limp in under the gun with A2 spades. Ian completes from the small blind and Willie, a more aggressive player, checks. Flop hits 10-8-5 with two hearts. Both blinds check. I consider firing, but I'd been firing at a lot of pots with position in the last while and Ian has a rep for not putting up with that, so I just checked.

Turn is the 2 of clubs. Both of them check again, I bet out 1200 (blinds were at 400-800), Ian flat calls and Willie gets out of the way. Hmm.

River shows the ace of diamonds. Ian checks, I bet another 1200 and he comes over the top all-in for another 4300.

Yes, I know. Probably shouldn't have bet the river in the first place. But what could he have to beat me? If he had a better two pair I can't imagine he would have checked twice with that board. He would have taken a stab at it. He isn't the kind of player to bluff with a busted flush draw, not with me representing something. And there wasn't any other... oh. 3-4, to make the wheel, calling from the small blind because it was cheap. It was the only thing that made sense.

And yet I called off two-thirds of my stack anyway, really just to prove to myself I was in fact correct. And I was.

I still finished third in the 'main event', and was well up for the weekend ($250 bankroll, came home with $465. We mostly play $30 buy-in tourneys, with the hold 'em tourney being $60 and some side $20-$10 rebuy games as well.)

At some point I assume I'll be confident enough in those kinds of reads and deductions that I won't need to make huge, stupid calls to reinforce them, and based on my recent online play I thought I was already at that point. Apparently not.

And... I'm Back

Weekends away with no internet access are both relaxing and frustrating.