A dog registered as a boxer has killed a woman in Montreal, so the mayor is calling for a ban on pit bulls. This would be amusing, if it weren’t so predictable and depressing: in few areas of public policy do you encounter thinking this routinely deranged. And it all starts with contempt for science.

Consider the National Post’s Barbara Kay, almost certainly Canada’s most prominent enemy of this ill-defined category of dog: the “pit bull.”

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Animals will never have the right to euthanize PETA’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk. This, arguably, is the intellectual flaw at the core of her special interpretation of animal rights. For PETA, it is a political movement primarily focused on the right to determine when and how an animal should die. The decision is never reciprocal, however: Newkirk has the right to kill — and PETA has killed tens of thousands of pets — but her own life is protected by law.

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“Screw PETA,” quoth Jennifer Lawrence, the actress of the moment. This is a young woman with genuine courage: a good thing, as she will likely be terrorized in the months to come.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals do not play nice. Not at all. In fact, in 2009 the US Department of Agricultural classified Ingrid Newkirk’s group as a terrorist organization.

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There are so many reasons to criticize President Obama’s decision to allow his daughter to spend her spring break down Mexico way in the city of Oaxaca. Some of these reasons are depressingly ignorant, but others are refreshingly stupid. Not knowing anything about Oaxaca is a good place to start.

I’m afraid Malia Obama was just not having a Jenna Bush-style spring break.

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A small movement — initially dismissed with contempt — has now acquired impressive momentum: the drive to have the Electoral College thwart the dangerous presidency of Donald Trump. Millions are now involved; the strategy has been covered in the national media; and the goal, however unlikely, is not impossible. Democrats have learned a brutal lesson in statistical odds, and success here seems hardly less probable than the election of a man like Donald Trump.

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We now know that the American election was stolen by a loose affiliation of Russian infiltrators, American white supremacists, and FBI enablers — with an assist from elected quislings like Mitch McConnell. Donald Trump, it turns out, is no more the duly elected president of the United States than I am the world’s most decorated ballerina. Luckily, this can be rectified.

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Inquiring minds want to know precisely how much John Yoo was paid to offer his opinions to the Wall Street Journal. We can assume it was less than his rate at the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he produced among the most toxic professional opinions in American history.

It was John Yoo, of course, who opined that the President was perfectly within his rights to have a child’s testicles crushed in the presence of the father, depending — and here’s where lawyerly nuance comes in — depending upon what the President intended by this act.

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When the No Kill shelter in Shelby County, Kentucky, recently announced that they had run out of space — and were hence going to have to start killing healthy dogs and cats — officials received a nice basket of gourmet cookies, with a note signed by PETA: “Thank you for doing the right thing for animals.”

Surely I’m joking here.

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Embattled White House spokesman Tony Snow distanced himself today from earlier remarks, by dismissing reports that he was “Tony Snow.” Yesterday, in the growing uproar over the US Attorney General’s widely perceived perjury, Mr. Snow found himself stressing that Alberto Gonzales’ lies were not “lies,” but truths which looked a lot like lies because they dealt with matters of national security that ordinary Americans were not allowed to know about and hence could not understand.

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An astonishing piece in the Wall Street Journal (subscription only), offers noted academic Harvey Mansfield casually rejecting — believe it or not — the rule of law. He’s not arguing that we should all be able to act in blissfully lawless ways, of course — simply that the laws of the nation should not be permitted to rule over (and occasionally over-rule) the president.

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This is an open letter to Andrew Sullivan:

Sometimes, when a man is consistently correct in his moral thinking, he is forced to change his language. Some words will no longer do. Believe, me, I admire the stance you’ve taken; I’d go so far as to say that I agree with ninety percent of what you say on your blog. You’ve held a merciless mirror to this administration, and it can’t have been boundless fun: you’ve predictably lost a few friends in the process.

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Nathan Winograd is the leader of the No Kill movement, a genuine revolution in animal welfare. Three million healthy and adoptable pets will be killed next year in America’s shelters. Not, however, if Winograd and his growing army have any say. I caught up with him a few weeks after the No Kill Advocacy Centre‘s annual conference in Washington D.C.

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CNN at last has the decency to acknowledge the good work I’ve been doing in Iraq:

“War has wiped out about 655,000 Iraqis or more than 500 people a day since the U.S.-led invasion, a new study reports.”Violence including gunfire and bombs caused the majority of deaths but thousands of people died from worsening health and environmental conditions directly related to the conflict that began in 2003, U.S.
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The wages of sin are Me. In general, I get too little credit for my contribution to the Fall of Man. Kids, I was there in the garden; I was a major voice in the conference preceding the Apple Incident; I’ve done most of the grunt work when it comes to postlapsarian retribution. Before you get damned, you generally have to die, right? So it should be no surprise to you, especially if you’ve studied depth psychology, that I pretty much came up with the concept of sex.

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One of my favorite places in the second half of the twentieth century was a quaint, rustic torture complex in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh: Tuol Sleng Prison. Extinction without torture is like dessert without dinner (I am nothing if not an aesthete); death of the soul should precede – not accompany – death of the body. Let a man know that he is going to die, feel that state move in excruciating stages through his various gates of pain, experience the complete demise of happiness, hope, then dignity; and only then is his removal from this sphere a work of art.

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How long did it take, I ask you, for my good friend Joe Lieberman to invoke Me in an effort to bolster his campaign?

Now, I must confess, I think he overplayed his hand: you can capitalize on Death without trivializing the Holocaust. (I know I’ve been accused of insensitivity, but even I do not treat this subject lightly.) Still, this does indicate how potent the reminder of Me can be in garnering votes.
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Greetings, mortal Koslings.

I know that this site has some very powerful figures weighing in – senators, congressmen, and the like – but I suspect that I’m the first Eternal Force, Demonic, Ineluctable and Metaphysical, to grace your pages. And yes, I am a Republican, but I hope that you will welcome me nevertheless. (Not that anyone has ever had a choice in this matter.)

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They say that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. What this quip fails to acknowledge, however, is just what an achievement the camel is. No mean feat to design one.

Wikipedia is a camel.

I’ve always been a fan of Wikipedia. Detractors argue that you have to double-check everything you encounter there. I see this as an argument in its favor: you should double-check any fact, encountered anywhere, but only Wikipedia comes with this useful caveat branded on its communal forehead. Britannica’s

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At last we have details regarding “special rendition” (or, if you prefer, “extraordinary rendition” — a phrase which is even more doubleplusgood). This is important. If you are mistakenly kidnapped and tortured by the CIA, it’s useful to know what to expect. The intrepid Dana Priest (WaPo’s new star, now that Woodward has become Dubya’s pet hack), has written yet another remarkable exposé of the Cheney/Bush reign of (t)error — Wrongful Imprisonment: Anatomy of a CIA Mistake.

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If you’re not reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog, you’re not fully aware of what this administration’s doing to untried prisoners in the name of The War Against Other People’s Terrorism. Some technical details:
 
“TORTURE AND WATER: One of the experts on torture, especially that practised in Iran, professor Darius Rejali of Reed College, emails an exhaustive account of the various techniques involved, including their gruesome nuances:

 

This specific water torture, often called the “water cure,” admits of several variants:

(a) pumping: filling a stomach with water causes the organs to distend, a sensation compared often with having your organs set on fire from the inside.

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“He’s a vile, detestable, moralistic person with no heart and no conscience who believes he’s been tapped by God to do very important things.”

No, that’s not an assessment of George W. Bush. It’s the beginning of the smear campaign against the prosecutor: the quotation is from a “White House ally… referring to special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.”

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I had a dream about Harriet Miers the other night. (Yes, yes, I know: Cooper, get a life.) The dream — not my narrative unconscious at its most exciting, I’m afraid — involved George Bush withdrawing her nomination. That’s all I remember. However — and here is where this transcends a dreary “I had a dream that had nothing to do with sex” anecdote — I woke up in a bad mood.

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Remember when public figures were impressive? It’s a dim, distant memory, but not a nostalgic hallucination: once there were good men, and we’d occasionally elect them.

This desiccated memory crawled back to mind a few days ago, when John McCain rammed an anti-torture bill through the Senate. Now, there are those who would dismiss McCain as a foaming imperialist: James Wolcott in particular, whose reliable judgment seems to lose its compass whenever a pol or pundit refuses to insist upon an immediate retreat from Iraq.  

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