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January 31, 2009

People who need to drop off the face of the Earth, NOW

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1. Daniel Fucking Cormier. The thing to do with a child you suspect was sexually abused is inform the authorities, right? Not according to this pervert, who thought the best thing to do was "marry" her in a bogus ceremony in a bogus church, of which he was conveniently the bogus pastor. His reasons? She "used every trick in the book" to seduce him--so sez he. Only problem is, she doesn't think so; she says he sexually abused her from the age of 9 until she was 13 (she's 19 now). Plus there's the additional problem that she is not his only sexual abuse victim "bride". And best of all, if you can read French, is the fact that this pervert has preached against homosexuality, calling it "unnatural". I have a feeling he's about to get really well acquainted with it in the federal pen. Hey Danny, don't drop the soap!--No, on second thought, please DO. Maybe then you'll understand how it feels to be the object of some, uh, unwanted attentions.

2. Bill Fucking Kristol. No, it's NOT enough that the NY Whore Times sacked him; he just fell straight up and landed at the Washington Whore Post, where he will undoubtedly inflict more of the same fact-free, reality-challenged drivel on a sick and tired public. What does it take for a derelict neo-con ideologue to get blackballed from every press outlet there is, onaccounta he writes nothing but pure crap? Whatever it is, for the love of all that's holy, let it catch up to The Bloody Kristol. PLEASE.

3. Alek Fucking Boyd. This crazy little Pinochetist shitweasel seriously thinks he's a human rights activist. He also seriously thinks he can pwn Noam Chomsky. And funniest of all, he seriously doesn't realize how hard he's been pwned by...well, Noam Chomsky. Hey Alek, let us know when your butt starts hurting from all that full-throttle autocopulation, eh?

4. Manfredo Fucking Kempff. For playing into outdated stereotypes about Bolivian indigenous people, this one really takes the biscuit. Or the buttplug. I guess Manfredo doesn't read, or he'd realize that there are no more illiterates left in Bolivia. Other than the likes of lily-white him, of course. And I agree, it certainly IS bordering on irresponsibility to let illiterates legislate. Considering that this guy served under an old military dictator who used to persecute indigenous people, I can see where he got that idea. And it's very instructive to see that Bolivia was in a state of advanced decline when Kempff was in office, no? Sure does prove his point...although, sadly, not quite in the way he intended.

5. Hony Fucking Pierola. Perhaps someone should start a Facebook group to contract a sharpshooter to "liquidate" this piece of shit, instead of Evo? That would be nice, but you know what's nicer? Getting his hate group hosed off of Facebook, and getting his name dragged through the otherwise whorish media. You know your shit stinks when even the AP just can't bring itself to swallow it holus bolus. Now, all that's needed is a Facebook ban for the cretin himself (and, come to think of it, a sweet little note to his ISP for violating their TOS), and the shit-flush will be complete.

6. International fucking banksters. What a sad statement about capitalism: Now it comes out that if it weren't for illegal drugs and the vast amounts of money they generate (which the banks then launder), the privateering scow otherwise known as the S.S. Free Enterprise would have sunk even sooner than it already has. Logical upshot: Best reason for legalization ever.

7. Keith Fucking Luke. Way to prove what every antifascist already knows: White supremacist ideology is for loo-hoo-hoo-hoozers.

8. Branko Fucking Marinkovic. Oh noes, Evo won't meet with him, or anyone else in the opposition, to water down the new constitution. Too bad, so sad, boo hoo, sniff sniff.

Oh, who am I kidding...

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Yo, Branko? Go blow an artery.

9. Leopoldo Fucking López. Riddle me this: How does the former mayor of the wealthy Chacao district of eastern Caracas end up wayyyyyy over in Táchira, a western Venezuelan state bordering on Colombia? And, more to the point: How does a mayor, whose job presumably entails keeping public peace and order, end up sponsoring "peaceful opposition student protests" like this one in Táchira?

It's worth noting that police officers got injured in this riot, in which the nice widdle oppo kiddies can be seen firing guns. But since the injured officers are not from the Polichacao, I guess that's neither here nor there with law'n'order Leo, who was recently feted in beautiful, democracy-free Dubai for some meaningless glitzy shit or other.

I also note, in passing, that all those flaming tires littering the street put the dirty lie to the notion that the opposition's mayors are finally doing something about that garbage problem they campaigned so successfully on, along with all that law'n'order stuff. When will the opposition search its underwear for some gonads, man up, and take out THIS flaming, smoking, stinking heap of trash?

10. Banksters' fucking molls. Poor widdle sugarbabies, now they have to break a nail and actually EARN a living, instead of just marrying it (or, even more pathetic, schtupping it on the side.) Life is so hard when you suddenly have to limit the number of designer bags you buy on his credit card this year. Sigh...

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Sorry, girls, but my supply of crocodile tears dried up long before your sugardaddies' bank accounts (and charisma) did. I spent it all on people more deserving. Now put down the sugary pink cocktails, knock off the gratuitous feminism-bashing, and get out there on the corner with the rest of your kind. If you're lucky, you might even make enough not to have to hock your entire collection of Jimmy Choos.

11. and 12. Fucking Harpo and Fucking Iggy. Christ. Why don't you two just get a room and stop swapping saliva all over Parliament Hill? And why can't the rest of us have a democratic opposition worthy of the name?

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Sorry, no LOLcat. I don't feel like LOLing about this, 'kay?

13. And finally, all the usual suspects--the Polite Language Police. You know what you can do to yourselves. Now go do it.

January 30, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Karaoke night at the World Social Forum

So who said all this democratic socialist leadership stuff was all serious, all the time? Not these guys:

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Evo: "Here, Lugo, it's YOUR turn to sing with Chavecito now. Quit laughing, it's contagious!"

For those who don't mind being bored by the biographical...

Here are 25 random things about me, from my Facebook page:

1. I'm multilingual; my first language was German. Counting all the "dead" languages I've studied, I've got about a dozen under my belt.

2. My first complete sentence in English was "I like the pink ones too." I was not quite two years old, and it was in reference to some salmon-pink gladioli my mom and aunt were discussing in the garden.

3. I majored in English Lit at university. Pulled down a solid B average, and aced the linguistic courses involving Old Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Middle English. My overall average would have been higher if I hadn't switched majors (from Life Sciences) after a nervous breakdown and the first failed courses of my entire education (university chem and physics, twice each.) Not bad for someone who only speaks English as a second language, eh?

4. I still like the pink gladdies, too.

5. I've begun writing snippets of poetry in Spanish. It's actually easier to rhyme, assonate or consonate in than English! Now, if only I could get a complete poem together. Oh well, next things next.

6. I narrowly survived being hit by a car at 14. One step further back, and I'd probably be in a wheelchair; two steps back, and I'd probably be in a coffin. But since I was quick on my feet, I left a nine-inch-deep dent in the careless driver's left headlight, and was back at school, walking normally, six weeks later. Best of all, I got out of gym class for the rest of the year.

7. I still don't have a driver's licence. The day I was supposed to take my test, I had a panic attack.

8. Yes, I think the two above are somehow related.

9. I've never gone a winter without having at least one bad cold.

10. I've never spent a winter down south, either. But after two unusually harsh winters in a row, I'm seriously thinking of moving to Venezuela!

11. I've been drunk a few times (I can count 'em on one hand), but I've never had a hangover. At least, nothing that matched the description. I've also never vomited or passed out after too many drinks; I can't hold enough alcohol to make me do either. And I can hold a LOT of it. (Figure that one out.)

12. I was made yearbook editor in the eighth grade, despite having no related experience. My English teacher thought I'd have an aptitude for it. She was right.

13. She also told me I should be a writer, not a doctor (as was my ambition at the time). Again, she was right.

14. I was always more popular with my teachers than with my peers. Might it have had something to do with my being the quietest and brainiest kid in the class?

15. I'm rarely, if ever, the life of the party. So what? Parties aren't the life of me, either.

16. I'm an introvert and a night owl. Good thing I'm not a dyslexic agnostic, too, or I'd lie awake all night wondering if there really was a Dog.

17. I've been doing yoga since I was six years old. I consider Madonna a n00b.

18. One of my grandfathers was a deserter, and the other was a prisoner of war in Scotland for three years.

19. My dad somehow managed to get away with not joining the Hitlerjugend. After the war, he sometimes poached for food and bootlegged schnapps for a living. I probably get my independent streak from him.

20. My mom was a refugee from a German enclave in northern Yugoslavia. She lost her baby sister to the diseases of war and poverty: malnutrition and dysentery. I didn't find out about that until I was 12 years old, when she finally got around to telling me about Gerdi. I've been a peacenik pretty much ever since.

21. My mom's grandfather, who died in a displaced persons camp, locked up his home-made wine in a hillside cellar before fleeing Yugoslavia in 1944. He never saw it again, but he was damned if he'd let the invading Russians get it.

22. I probably got my multilingualism from my mom's father (who was the PoW). He spoke three languages: German, Hungarian and Serbo-Croatian. Which, along with his height (six feet even), made him valuable to the SS; they conscripted him for a prison-camp guard. After the war's end, he didn't know where to report for demobilization, because the German armed forces were kaputt. So he reported to the Brits instead. That's how he wound up in Scotland.

23. My other grandpa was smarter; he deserted as soon as the British front passed over northern Germany. He'd been a horse-cart driver for the Kriegsmarine, and his horses bolted and ran away when the guns got too close. He ended up surviving a shelling by burying himself in a manure pile. Afterwards, he knew it was pointless to go back to war. He got some work clothes from a farmer, buried his uniform and military papers in a field, and simply walked home.

24. I probably got my smart mouth from my dad's father. He actually dared to say he'd never voted for Hitler, and didn't know anyone else who had, either. He got called on the carpet by the Gestapo for it once. They shut him up by threatening his four kids.

25. Because of my family's wartime experiences, I'm a firm believer in learning from history. And that's why I'm appalled at those who are doomed to repeat it--and those who only think they are free.

January 28, 2009

Dubya vs. Hopey, Iconic Photographs Division

Compare and contrast: The cat...

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...who ate the canary:

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January 27, 2009

Evo phones in

Listeners of Chavecito's radio show in Venezuela got a treat yesterday:

Chavecito got Evo on the horn to congratulate him on the big constitutional referendum victory.

Extraordinary rendition: what really happens to the victims

A half-hour documentary featuring the stories of two victims: Khaled el-Masri, a Lebanese-German kidnapped and taken to Afghanistan; and Binyam Mohamed, a British Muslim still languishing at Gitmo.

January 26, 2009

The Little Injun That Could

Heeeere's Evo...

...thanking the people of Bolivia for a rockum-sockum victory of 61.96% Yes on their new constitution, which goes into effect immediately.

Naturally, the English-language media have all gone gaga over this, interpreting it as either a loss of ground for Evo (whose popularity rating sits at 67%), or some ooky racial thing (as though there were no white Bolivians who agreed that it was time for a change from the old days of selling off the country to foreign capital.) BoRev has some hilarious deets (although he may want to change the numbers in the title of his piece).

Speaking of weird-ass racial things, El Duderino wonders who in Rancho Cucamonga is reading him, and whether they have trouble seeing through the eyeholes in their satin sheet.

I don't know who "they" are, but I suspect their problem with Evo (and that of the whore media, too) looks something like this:

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PS: Holy shit, talk about people with racism problems...get a load of what El Duderino has also found. Someone please inform that old has-been that (a) illiterates didn't write the constitution, because illiterates can't write (no duh!), and (b) the people that used to be illiterate in Bolivia aren't illiterate anymore. No thanks, I might add, to the ex-politico who uttered that drivel. Now we know why he's an ex, eh?

PPS: Aporrea now has the Yes count at 63%. As the elevator guy used to say, back in the days when they had elevator guys..."Going UP!"

Barquisimeto loves Chavecito

A student march in favor of Chavecito's latest constitutional reform, one which would allow him to run for president as often as the people will vote for him. As you can see, they filled the downtown core with happy, bouncy spirit. Ska-P provided the background music with their tribute to Chavecito, "El Libertador".

January 25, 2009

Chavecito kick-ass, Venezuelan oppos lame-ass

A little video that says a lot, eh...

Chavecito and his "Yes" campaign for the constitutional amendment abolishing term limits. Get a load of the reception he gets, and the size of the audience for his speech in the second video. Then feast your eyes on the opposition's "No" campaign, and see the charming arguments THEY have to offer. They actually pray to Alberto Federico Ravell (the vendepatria media baron of Globovisión) to save them! And the best they can do is soak a flag in blood (or something that looks like it.) Which actually, subconsciously, reflects just the sort of people they are.

Meanwhile, Chavecito's having fun mocking them: "Do you think it will rain? 'No is no!' Do you want coffee? 'No is no!'" Whatever question you ask them, that's all the answer you'll get. Which says something equally pathetic about them...and makes me certain that Chavecito's in for a major, MAJOR valentine next month.

January 24, 2009

The ugly truth about the Bolivian opposition

El Duderino and El Gaviero have both been busy blogging the sugary propaganda videos of the "No" side in tomorrow's Bolivian constitutional referendum. Judging strictly the commercials and music videos, you'd assume that the opposition were a nice, harmless bunch of dissenters who care about freedom and democracy, and for that reason don't want the new constitution to pass. The truth, however, is a lot uglier:

Four-part documentary video in Spanish, showing the Porvenir massacre of September 11 of last year in detail. The trouble began when a campesino group supporting Evo tried to march to the town hall in Cobija to demonstrate for land rights. They were met at a roadblock by a group of oppos, who had dug a trench across the road. Rather than engage in dialogue, the oppos told the campesinos to go back, or else. A computer simulation shows the oppos, in green, chasing the indigenous campesinos, in white, into the woods. Then the campesinos stop, round on their pursuers, and a confrontation takes place--a very unequal one, since the oppos have guns and the campesinos don't. There are numerous killings, as well as torture and terrorism inflicted by the oppos on the campesinos. The shooting only stops when a second campesino contingent arrives from the opposite direction, riding trucks and tractors; then the oppos make a run for it, with the campesinos chasing them. But the confrontation doesn't end there; a group of armed oppos chase some unarmed campesinos to the river, forcing them to make a swim for it. And then they take shots at them while they're in the water. Several more campesinos were killed this way. Since the river is infested with piranhas, there are several missing bodies which have not been found. The official count is something like 16 to 18, but the actual death count is much higher.

If you wonder why the opposition side, the "No" to the constitution, is going to lose big-time tomorrow, your answer is above. They are violent punks, and they have a major hate-on for democracy. Especially when it leads to progress for indigenous campesinos like the people they abused and killed in the video above.

Human Enema Nozzles: That was the week that was...

Ahem. Before I get into this week's barrel-o-bile, I just thought I'd share a little something that Jim wrote at The Scarlet Pimpernel. Something that made me sad, and made me rethink the whole notion of trying to be noble:

Sorry, I had to do 'Bina's Snarkiness of the Week since she went an got all serious on us. I really liked the cat that told people how to go away, too. And, since Otto went all Hollywood on us trying to get an Oscar....Oh, it wasn't an Oscar?...Oh, I get it, People's Cholce... NO? ..But they said something about the best analyst in a supporting role!...Well, whatever... I wanted to get some snarkiness in of my own. BoRev has been having too much of a free ride since 'Bina and Otto went and got all serious and respectable on us. :)

Serious? Respectable? Moi??? Non, non, NON!!! Ceci n'est pas un blogue respectable! Ceci n'est pas un blogue sérieux! Ceci n'est pas le snarque, ceci est la fouquetarderie!!! Tabernac!!!!11onze!!!

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Ahem. Now that I've got THAT off my chest, here's who's in dire need of a flip-off this week.

1. That fucking whiny-ass little right-wing cretin who refers to himself as "Ace of Spades". He's not an ace of anything, except maybe self-pitying sexism, and trust me, that shit don't go down well with the ladies, any more than that other shit, namely Ace himself, will go down (well or otherwise) ON them. If you scroll down well into the comments, to about #237 or so, you'll see I have some sound advice for guys like him. But really, it would do the ladies far more favors (sexual and otherwise) if "Ace" and all the rest of his unsexy ilk simply fucked off.

2. Krishna Fucking Urs. If you don't want someone like, say, the president of Bolivia saying nasty things about how your country has been interfering in his country, the logical thing to do would be to stop the interfering, no? Well, no. Not according to this Krishna dude. To him, the logical thing to do is walk out and not listen to the unattractive truth. If you're gonna be that way, pal, the best thing to do is just fuck off out of the country and quit the diplomatic corps too. DIPLOMACY--Urs doin it rong!

3. Abe Fucking Foxman. Another one who can't handle even a little truthiness. Especially where Israel's actions in Gaza are concerned. Someone please remind him that human rights are for everybody, not just those who fancy themselves a Chosen People. And if he can't handle the reminder, he can fuck off.

4. Shitfuck and his fucking cronies. A whole rogues' gallery in one little item? Shit, yeah. And doesn't the air smell cleaner now that they're FINALLY in the process of fucking off?

5. Those fucking Venezuelan oppo leaders (they know who they are) who went to meet with a certain US diplomat in Puerto Rico. How much did he pay them to interfere with the upcoming referendum on February 15, and what exactly was he paying them to do? I'm sure we'll find out when Eva Golinger files the FOIA request. And she might just get it back sooner under Hopey's new directives. If so, it's gonna be extra sweet to watch their feces hit the fan. Meanwhile, they too can fuck off. (Especially the one who told off that cute journo-dude from Avila TV. Is that any way to talk to one's betters?)

6. Larry Fucking Kudlow. And all you other fucking supply-siders and John Fucking Galt wannabes. Your time is OVER. Your credibility is SHOT. Your pontifications are hereby consigned to whatever circle of Dante's hell is dedicated to liars, damned liars, and bad statisticians. Now fuck off!

7. Lisa Fucking Schiffren. So, Rev. Lowrey's benediction reminded her of the kind of rhymes posted over California's potties during a water shortage? Well, here's a rhyme for Lisa: If the 'winger bitch is white, she's a big fat piece of shite. Pee-pee, ca-ca, doody-oody-doo. Please flush, and don't forget to wash your hands. And fuck you very much, Lisa.

And finally, to all the usual suspects--namely, those whose virgin eyes I've gouged out here. If you don't like it, I have nothing to say to you that these folks can't say better.

January 23, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging Too: The bestest-named anti-Bush site EVER.

For the title alone, it's a must-see.

Festive Left Friday Blogging: And they said it wouldn't last...

But here's Evo, confounding the critics by completing a third year in power, still untoppled and unresigned, and going for yet another big victory in the constitutional referendum to boot. What's his secret? I have a fair idea...

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Surely it's not the impure thoughts that pictures of him like this one inspire? Nahhhhhhh...couldn't be!

January 22, 2009

Quotable: Sir Gerald Kaufman on Israeli double standards

Mike Malloy just played this on his radio show. There really is nothing to add to this, other than a loud, proud "RIGHT ON!"

Obamarama is off to a roaring start

The closing of Gitmo within a year is a great move on the part of Hopey; so's this:

It's only his first day in office, but President Obama has already signaled a serious commitment to transparency and accountability in government. The President ordered federal agencies in a memorandum released today to approach the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) "with a clear presumption: in the face of doubt, openness prevails."

[...]

This statement is almost certainly meant to address a controversial memo issued by John Ashcroft in the wake of 9/11, which ordered agencies to disclose information only after considering all possible reasons to withhold it, and assured them that government lawyers would defend their decisions in court unless they had no "sound legal basis." Many open government advocates believe Ashcroft's policy effectively gutted the FOIA over the past several years. Today's memo doesn't explicitly reverse that policy, but directs the incoming attorney general to issue new FOIA guidelines to agencies "reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency."

Emphasis added.

Excellent news indeed, especially in light of the struggles of Eva Golinger and Jeremy Bigwood to break the news of interference in Latin America by the so-called National Endowment for Democracy (which Hopey might want to think of closing for good, if he's a committed small-d democrat). Secrecy plays majorly into the NED's activities, and no wonder: it covers a multitude of antidemocratic sins. Would the US public like to know that their tax dollars were being put not toward hospitals, schools and highways, but into the subversion of democracies abroad, specifically the healthiest democracies in South America?

Which brings me to another point: Hopey really, REALLY needs to get to know Chavecito and Evo better. A LOT better.

Just nice little student demonstrators for democracy, eh?

Then riddle me this: Why are these opposition muchachos in Venezuela buying spiked drinks from a truck driven by a Primero Golpista leader who has previously sworn to depose Chavecito "even if it costs us blood, sweat and tears"?

Video in Spanish, but surely you don't need a translation to know what a Molotov cocktail looks like.

What's really shameless is the fact that they're passing them to the not-so-nonviolent kiddies from a truck decorated with portraits of Simón Bolívar. Who, as history demonstrates, had his own "democratic" opposition to deal with. I'm sure, however, that the irony is totally lost on these anti-Bolivarians.

PS: For an additional layer of irony, see Otto.

January 21, 2009

BushCo Death Watch: The Final Chapter

Dubya's final moments in Washington. Savor this, kiddies, especially the boos...

...and the black folks singing "Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye".

Here's why THAT is so significant:

...and why it's so fitting that they sang that song. What color are all those congressional caucus members again?

January 20, 2009

The beginning of the end of an error

In the midst of today's Obamarama, I feel a strange need to look back, reflect...and remind you of just why so many people are jubilant over the swearing-in of the new president of the United States. Part of it, I'm sure, has something to do with this:

Compare and contrast what you saw here with what you saw on the news. That is all.

January 19, 2009

The Rebel Rooster of Gaza

Venezuelan TV host Walter Martínez has lately taken to running a live feed from Ramattan TV on his show, Dossier. Since it's just before dawn in Gaza at the time of Dossier's live broadcast, you get to hear some interesting sounds from there:

...including the muezzin's call to prayer from a local mosque, the buzz of various drone planes patrolling with night-vision cameras, and...cock-a-doodle-dooooooo!...a defiant rooster, yelling his own "fuck youuuuuuu!" to the Israeli army holding the city under siege.

In this video, he appears to have company--several human voices join the cock-a-doodle chorus. And a Chilean cartoonist in Venezuela has also picked up on the rooster's rebellious symbolism:

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Long may he crow.

Stupid Sex Tricks: Quasimodo caught on camera

Memo to all "bellringer-cam" operators: Make sure you check your camera angle before letting something like this go to air. Bwahahahaha...

January 18, 2009

People who could make a saint swear

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Who could be bad enough to elicit this kind of sentiment from Jesus and me? Well, this week it's the following...

1. The fucking Venezuelan opposition. Can't they teach their kids some manners, at least, so they stop pulling shit like this?

Or, for that matter, how about their fucking media moguls, pulling shit like this?

Look, people, haven't you gotten the message yet? How many times do you need to get discredited before you learn? No matter how many times the dumbshit gringos pay off you bottom-feeders, no matter how many of these "non-violent" terror attacks you stage, the democratic process of the Bolivarian Revolution is going ahead. With or without your co-operation, and always in spite of your attempts at provocation. Now fuck off!

2. Joe the Fucking Plumber. Well, actually, his name's not Joe, it's Sam, and he's not a licensed plumber, either. He's now a Pajama Party "war correspondent", but he doesn't believe journalists should report on war, either--or at least, not the truth. (He also thinks that giving Jesus a handjob makes him missile-proof. Jesus would surely beg to differ.) So what is he, if not Joe the Plumber or Joe the Journo? He's Sam Worthlessfucker, basically. And he should get the fuck out of the war zone that he's not reporting on because he's not a journalist, go back home and get a real plumber's license, do a real job, and just fuck off already.

3. The simpletons at the Pajama Party who are now trying to put a positive spin on this sorry sack of shit. Painfully pathetic, or pure comedy gold? You be the judge.

4. The nucking futjob who planned to kill Barack Obama. No, he's not racist (so sez he), he's just antisemitic. Phew! For a minute there, I thought he just meant to kill Obama because he was non-white. Now we find out it's because he's not shunning the Jews and promising to throw 'em all in concentration camps to freeze, starve and be worked and/or gassed to death. Still, that doesn't explain his slyly defending the specifically racist use of the word "nigger". Care to 'splain it to me, Lucy? Or would you just prefer to fuck off and die?

5. Ruth Fucking Wisse. Yes, I realize that "working" for the WSJ gives one a certain licence to practise crackpot history, but what "dictator" did Bill Clinton "install", exactly? Yasser Arafat? Gimme a fucking break. That wasn't an "installation", you idiotess, that was peace-brokering--you know, the closest it ever came to actual peace in the Middle East? Yasser Arafat was not a dictator, he was a secular Palestinian party leader who later became head of a provisional Palestinian authority--one who scared the piss out of certain Israelis to the point where they actually funded Hamas to try to neutralize the threat of actual Palestinian independence he represented. And many Palestinians said he was too submissive to the Israelis--wow, some dictator! But hey, at least Dubya got rid of Saddam. Big fuckin' whoop. There's a reason I can never get this pic out of my head, Ruthie-dear, see if you can name it:

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6. Andrew Fucking Bristow. Tortured Peruvian campesinos are, like, totally off limits for discussion, y'know? The main thing is that mines make money. Especially in these recessionary times, which are like a licence to print death certificates, at least if you do business in Latin America. But all is not lost; Otto tells you exactly where you can tell him to fuck off, right here.

7. And while we're on the subject of oppression in Peru, how 'bout them threatened Peruvian journalists? Where're the IAPA when you need 'em? Too busy harping on Venezuela, still? Does Human Rights Watch plan on putting out any breathless reports on this one?

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Thought so.

8. The Fucking American Life League. Bad enough that they spread misinformation about birth control pills (which, for the record, do not kill fetuses--they prevent them from forming by stopping ovulation; my doctor, many years ago, told me they do so by tricking your body into thinking it's already preggers.) But now, they've got a hate-on for Krispy Kreme doughnuts--why? Because the latter used the concept of freedom of choice in its free-doughnut giveaway in honor of the upcoming inauguration of (pant, pant) Barack Obama. Who, as all the anti-choicers "know", is the mastermind of some sick scheme to rip potentially viable fetuses out of the bellies they're in and just leave 'em on the floor to die if they survive the operation, or some such shit.

(On second thought, maybe I shouldn't mention fucking in conjunction with these people. The last thing I want them to do is anything that might lead to reproduction, because the world's already screwed up enough by these people as it is, and doesn't need more of them.)

9. Rick Fucking Fascist Warren. Somehow, I don't think the real Jesus would want his followers to be a Hitlerjugend. For the thousandth time: Obama, ya shoulda gone with Barry Lynn.

10. And last, but certainly not least, George Dubya FUCKING Bush....

...who can hereby sit and spin on his own fucking finger. For what? For eight years of unadulterated shock, horror, war, terrorism, economic fuckery, ecologic catastrophe, and just plain sheer hell. In two days we'll be seeing the back of him, and it's none too soon. Whoever kicks his departing ass first, wins.

Ciao, motherfucker. Y'all don't come back now, y'hear?

January 16, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: LL Cool E

So, they hate Evo in Santa Cruz, do they?

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Funny, but these very un-indigenous ladies haven't gotten the message from Branko & Co. Or maybe they're just so happy that the president of their land showed up in person to inaugurate a new, and much needed, bridge. Whatevah. Evo's golden there, and that's all you need to take home from this.

January 15, 2009

Say goodnight, (dis)Gracie...

Just heard of this site on Mike Malloy's radio show:

Finger Salute to Bush dot org

For those who believe such a gesture is inappropriate or obscene, there is nothing more inappropriate or obscene than wholesale killing. Unless you believe that you are on track for some type of Sainthood, you have quite likely used such a gesture in the past - at least once. If such a gesture can be employed for trivial circumstances, certainly murder is worthy of such disdain.

Word.

And don't miss the pix, either!

Quotable: Maria Hampton on the need for a new feminist movement

"We stopped working together for reform and are now being forced to conform, dying deaths of a thousand choices. [...] Right now the consumer trance that ensnared [Betty] Friedan's classmates is stronger than ever: eight-year-olds wear knickers with "Babe" emblazoned on the crotch, post-feminists get empowering bikini waxes, Paris Hilton is an ironic role model, and we have earned the right to watch TV shows where strippers in nipple tassels tell us how to lap-dance our men to orgasm. We have been distracted by personal rather than political empowerment and dragged low by the constant blandishments of a culture that tells us the only path to empowerment is through shopping, plastic surgery and pandering to the so-called ironic fantasies of chortling men."

--Maria Hampton, "Betty Friedan: A Life and Death in Feminism", Adbusters, May/June 2006

This just in: Drunken Fratboy of the Sky gets pinned to Sweetheart of the Death Squad

Awwww...don't they make a luvverly couple?

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"Jeebus, this thing's harder'n undoin' a bra strap!"

January 14, 2009

Evo's my hero, yet again

And now he joins Chavecito in diplomatic sanctions against terrorist warmongers:

Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Wednesday his country cut diplomatic ties with Israel over the offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed hundreds of Palestinians.

"Bolivia had diplomatic relations with Israel," Morales said in a speech before diplomats in the government palace. "Considering these grave attacks against ... humanity, Bolivia will stop having diplomatic relations with Israel."

Of course, this being Reuters, the reporter couldn't resist trying to subliminally link this decision with the fact that "Venezuela is a major supplier of aid to Bolivia." As if it were somehow relevant (it isn't. Evo has a conscience, dumbass.)

Now, will El Ecuadorable make it a three-fer? How about Cuba? (Is Israel on speaking terms with Cuba anyway, diplomatically speaking?) How about any of the rest of LatAm, the Caricom, or the ALBA? C'mon, guys, step up to the plate. It's cojones time.

PS: Check out El Duderino's piece on the same story. He's got pix of what Evo's speaking out against. Yep, it's really got bugger-all to do with Venezuela's aid.

It's 22 degrees below freezing tonight...

...with a windchill in the minus-30s. Do you know where your music is?

Here's a little something by Bruce Cockburn, for all my fellow deep-freeze-bound North Americans.

Stay warm, y'all.

Quotable: Robert Scheer on Israeli double standards and media complicity

"The basic argument is that Palestinian terrorists represented by Hamas are given to an irrational hatred of Jews so profound that it invalidates their movement, even when they win elections. That was not the view of the Israeli security service when it earlier supported Hamas as the alternative to the then dreaded PLO. Also, history is replete with examples of terrorists becoming statesmen, even within the early ranks of Jews fighting to establish the state of Israel.

"One of those was Menachem Begin, who went on to be an elected leader of the new state. But before Begin attained that respectability, back in 1948 when he visited the United States, a group of prominent Jewish intellectuals including Albert Einstein, Sidney Hook and Hannah Arendt wrote a letter to The New York Times warning that Begin was a former leader of the 'Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.' The letter urged Jews to shun Begin, arguing, 'It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.'

Begin's new party was then participating in the Israeli election, and Einstein and his colleagues, many of whom like the physicist had been victims of German fascism, stated, 'Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character.'"

--Robert Scheer, "Why Do So Few Speak Up For Gaza?", at Truthdig

January 13, 2009

Horseapples

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A dirty old bastard finally goes to meet his lord

And no, it ain't Jesus for this racist SOB:

William Devereux Zantzinger, the Southern Maryland tobacco farmer convicted of manslaughter in the death of barmaid Hattie Carroll in a celebrated 1963 case, died Jan. 3, according to the Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home in Charlotte Hall. He was 69.

No cause of death was reported. His burial was today.

The victim in that case, a 51-year-old black barmaid at Baltimore's old Emerson Hotel, died after being struck with a 26-cent carnival cane used by Zantzinger after he complained that she was slow in bringing a drink he had ordered at a society ball there. Carroll, the mother of 11 children, had a history of heart problems. Zantzinger was convicted of manslaughter, fined $500 and given a six-month sentence.

His trial, held in Hagerstown at the height of the civil rights movement, was the subject of many news stories and gained national attention in a Bob Dylan song, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll."

Zantzinger made news again in 1991 when he charged rent for ramshackle properties he no longer owned. Charles County State's Attorney Leonard Collins charged him with one count of unfair and deceptive trade practices, accusing Zantzinger of making "false and misleading oral and written statements" in his rental arrangement with a couple who formerly lived in Patuxent Woods, a community of houses without indoor plumbing.

Zantzinger owned Patuxent Woods properties until May 1986, when the county foreclosed on the half-dozen houses because of his failure to pay more than $18,000 in property taxes and penalties. Court documents said he continued to charge residents rent, sometimes taking them to court when payments were overdue, according to court records.

Read this, and tell me if you don't think he deserved all he got and more:

According to press accounts of Zantzinger's trial, he and his wife arrived at the ball, a charity event called the Spinsters' Ball, at the Emerson Hotel on Friday evening, February 8, 1963. He was in top hat, white tie, and tails, attire with which a cane is optional. Unlike other guests, Zantzinger didn't check his cane at the door because, as he said, "I was having lots of fun with it, tapping everybody." Tapping turned to hitting; a bellboy named George Gessell said Zantzinger struck him on the arm, and a waitress named Ethel Hill said Zantzinger argued with her and struck her several times across the buttocks. At about 1:30 a.m., he ordered a drink from the bar from Hattie Carroll, one of the barmaids. When she didn't bring it immediately, he cursed at her. Carroll replied, "I'm hurrying as fast as I can." Zantzinger said, "I don't have to take that kind of shit off a nigger," and struck her on the shoulder with the cane. Soon after, Hattie Carroll said, "I feel deathly ill, that man has upset me so." She then collapsed and was taken to the hospital.

"What makes it hard to bear was that no one at the party challenged him, no one stopped him," Rev. Jessup said. "He was bold enough to behave like this in the presence of many people, and not one of them intervened. Maybe they had connections to him, maybe they came for business, or their hands were tied by who he was. But not one of those people stood up for her."

[...]

Zantzinger was sentenced in the Hattie Carroll killing on August 28, 1963. As it happened, that was the day of the March on Washington, when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Baltimore Sun all ran stories about the sentencing; the Times gave it a short, single-column write-up on page 15; the stories in the Post and the Sun were not much larger. None mentioned that anybody objected to the lightness of the sentence.

All three papers devoted pages and pages to the march; and it is striking, to a reader with the perspective of four decades, how blind (for want of a better word) the coverage in all three papers was. What comes through in the stories about the march is a vast relief -- shared, presumably, by the reporters, the papers' management, and their readership -- that the 200,000-plus assembled Negroes hadn't burned Washington to the ground. All three papers used the adjective "orderly" in their headlines; all reported prominently on President Kennedy's praise for the marchers' politeness and decorum. The Post and the Sun gave small notice to Dr. King, and less to what he said. Neither made much of the phrase "I have a dream." Only James Reston of the Times understood that he had witnessed a great work of oratory, but even his story veered into brow-wiping at the good manners of the Negroes.

Listening to "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" today, you can hear Dylan shouting against exactly this blindness. The song he wrote took a one-column, under-the-rug story and played it as big as it deserved to be. Dylan's voice sounds so young, hopeful, unjaded, noncommercial -- so far from the Victoria's Secret world of today. Even the song's title is well chosen: Before I went to Hattie Carroll's church, I hadn't quite understood why her death was "lonesome." But of course, as Rev. Jessup noted, "not one of those people stood up for her"; in a party full of elegant guests, Hattie Carroll was on her own.

At the time of his death, Bill Zantzinger was working as a foreclosure auctioneer. This man profited off the less fortunate all his life, and it's clear that he had nothing but contempt for them. Deeds speak.

Rot in hell, Zantziger...and may the demons eternally cane your worthless, sorry ass to this tune:

Quotable: Greg Palast on the sub-prime mortgage fiasco

Money quote: "There is no reason for sub-prime mortgages in America."

January 12, 2009

Dept. of Unintended Results, Israel, Inc.

Found at the Scarlet Pimpernel:

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No doubt the Israeli hacker who used this 'toon to deface the Palestine Chronicle website (which is now, happily, restored) thought he was being clever by slamming Hamas (baselessly) as a bunch of cowards using children as human shields. But what this anonymous Einstein forgets is that the Israeli soldier in his cutesy widdle doodle--supposedly a brave defender of babies--apparently has no qualms about aiming his gun at a Palestinian baby.

Incidentally, the hacker is also a master projectionist. We have yet to see credible evidence that Hamas uses Palestinian children as human shields, but hey--we can't say the same about Israel!

Fatty, fatty, two by four...

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...I wanna be a media whore!

Why is it that whenever a small-timer in the US desperately needs something to attract attention, he has to resort to cheap-shot shit like this?

Flipping through my WSJ this morning, as usual I was skimming the articles and mostly looking at the pictures.

And I couldn't help but notice that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is turning into some kind of bloated caricature of himself. Whereas the American presidency seems to leave its occupants drawn, gaunt and gray, apparently leading Venezuela has quite the opposite effect.

The picture on the right is from Friday. Granted, Chavez has never (at least as president) really cut a svelte figure. But interestingly, as oil revenues dry up for his country (and his government), the president himself seems to be swelling. Perhaps he thinks that by stockpiling oil inside is own head, he can raise the price...Maybe the figurative swollen head has finally given way to a literal one.

Haw, haw, haw...you're so witty, pal. (Or at least you think so, but you're only half right.) Reading the WSJ for the pictures, and praising what has got to be the most moronic PBS doc ever, because it confirms your right-wing prejudices--and those of your (shrinking) target demographic? Nice to know that the public media in the US are still working so hard to accommodate the intellectually disadvantaged. But as for whether it makes ME want to listen to or support Minnesota Public Radio, I think I'll let the LOLcats speak for me:

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Free advice: If you wanna be a respected public broadcaster like Amy Goodman, be a real journalist like Amy Goodman.

And oh yeah, leave out the ignorant editorializing on competent foreign leaders' weight, lest you look like a lightweight in more ways than one. (Major-ass gorditos, like the man Otto calls "Twobreakfasts", are excepted because they got that way by being incompetent and/or super-corrupt.)

Various things the Israeli authorities don't want you to see

Thanks to commenter Utpal for alerting me to this one:

A CBC report with Neil Macdonald, showing the ethnic-cleansing angle on the murder of a Palestinian mother. The soldiers the Israeli news crew interviewed are most explicit on the point--one of them calls the Palestinian house they just invaded "dirty".

Naturally, the Israeli authorities are pissed at the light this puts on them and their military operations. One of them, who condemns Palestinian "censorship", actually says the Israeli station, Channel 2 (who deserve a lot of credit for filming this and having the guts to air it openly) should have exercised "self-censorship"! Double standards, anyone?

A commenter at YouTube writes:

If the failure to evacuate the injured woman was a mistake, then why are there so many reports of same or similar actions. It seems that there is a pattern whereby the Israeli military prevents humanitarian aid to reach the wounded and dying. And maybe there is a policy of such behavior.

It would certainly not be the first time an operation like this was ascribed to "a few bad apples"--remember My Lai? How about Abu Ghraib? Those were due to "bad apples" too, according to the US government. But the truth is that there was a pattern, and when followed to its source, it went straight to the top. The original Winter Soldier hearings proved that My Lai was not a "mistake", nor an "exception", much less "the fog of war". One former GI said that the "last lesson you catch" before shipping out was how to disembowel and skin a rabbit--a clear exercise in brutality, and a demonstration of what soldiers bound for Vietnam were expected to do to any locals who got in their way. As for Abu Ghraib, it's clear that all that abuse came from the top, too--someone in the bowels of the Pentagon must have had orders to use abusive prison guards, who had been that way in civilian life, as prison guards for Abu Ghraib. Just recently, Dubya admitted to having personally authorized the use of waterboarding. (He also vetoed a ban on it, which is a clear indicator of where he stands.)

No, this is not a case of "a few bad apples". This is ethnic cleansing. Someone taught that "good Hebrew boy", as the one soldier calls himself, how to dehumanize and brutalize Palestinians, and how to view them as unclean. It's a lesson the Israelis have learned well from their US patrons. And THAT is something the IDF and its masters in the Israeli government don't want you to know.

Last night I happened to be watching a CTV (Crappy TV) nightly newscast, and they came right out and told how the Israelis were controlling the media--especially foreign media. They won't let them into Gaza unless maybe they're "embedded" with the IDF, in which case, again, the Israeli authorities are clearly doing their best to make sure no one sees anything they don't want the world to see--that is, anything that doesn't present the Israelis as innocent victims defending themselves against an Islamist assault. It was not something I'd have expected from CTV, which is second only to CanWest Global in cheerleading for all things Israeli. I nearly fell out of my chair in shock. Even CBC didn't air such a report, although as the Neil Macdonald piece above demonstrates, there is ample opportunity for them to report and comment.

Meanwhile, Media Lens demonstrates another media phenomenon, common in Britain as well as over here and in Israel--the blatant favoritism of the media in conflict reporting. The report is called "An Eye for an Eyelash", and it's the first of two parts, well worth reading.

January 11, 2009

Quotable: Justin Podur on crapaganda in the Canadian media

"Modern Western armies, like those of Israel, the US, and Canada, think of information as part of warfare. They expend tremendous time and resources mobilizing support for their violence. They do this by controlling information, disallowing independent journalists (as Israel is doing), using embedded journalists, and running a massive public relations machinery designed specifically to deliver arguments and propaganda for the foreign press and for foreign consumption. There is a special machinery just for Canadians, and a special strategy to sell war in Canada. There was one for the Iraq war, there is one for the Afghanistan war, and one for Israel's wars as well. What is so unusual about the media environment today is that all this expense, all this media machinery, can be circumvented by anyone in its target audience by the simple click of a mouse. So click away."

--Justin Podur, "Turn off the Canadian Media, Please"

West Bank Palestinians praise Hugo Chávez at rally

Demonstrators in Ramallah fly the Venezuelan flag and carry Chavecito's official portrait during an anti-war demonstration. They are thanking him not only for having the cojones to kick the Israeli ambassador out of Venezuela on principle, but also for the humanitarian aid he promised--and delivered--to their brethren in the Gaza Strip.

Yes, this is just another of those unreported and very inconvenient news items that don't make it through the lamestream filter.

January 10, 2009

Simon Wiesenthal Centre jumps the shark

Oh, the poor Wiesenthalers, how they've come down in the world. They've gone from hunting Nazis...to inventing them where none exist. How pathetic is this?

It appears that Mr. Chavez did not wait very long to do an about face. And it unfortunately demonstrates that such declarations and agreements do not really reflect the "facts on the ground". It is not yet understood why the Wiesenthal Center waited until the Ambassador left this morning to issue this release.

The Wiesenthal Center indicated that Chavez is in violation of the agreement which calls for "Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela to condemn racism, religious intolerance, racial discrimination and related intolerance".

It may also be that the Wiesenthal Center is taking prophylactic measures against what others have stated may be violations against Venezuela's current Jewish population. It is unfortunate, however, that both Brazil and Argentina have had their share of anti-Semitic incidents, despite having sizable Jewish communities.

Emphasis added on the most interesting bits.

Notice that there have been no antisemitic incidents named--at least not in Venezuela. That's because there haven't been any. Brazil and Argentina, on the other hand, have had them, but since their presidents have not expelled any Israeli ambassadors, they're not being singled out for whatever threats the Wiesenthalers are trying to make. What does that tell you?

Here's what it tells me:

This is not about antisemitism or "violated" agreements in Venezuela; this is about punishing a leader who dared to speak out against human rights violations committed by the Israeli government and military. In other words, they're denouncing Chavecito for holding to his agreement, but not in the "right" way. He's opposed to racism, religious discrimination, persecution, etc.--not only against Jews, but also Arabs, Muslims, and most specifically, the Palestinians of Gaza. Somehow, though, that's not kosher with you-know-who.

The Wiesenthal Centre has just tipped its hand and revealed that it is no longer a human-rights organization, but a tool of Israeli foreign policy. They've also revealed that when it comes to Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, they make a major exception to their anti-racist/anti-discrimination stand.

In short, they've jumped the shark. The only difference between them and Fonzie is that the Fonz never did a faceplant at the end of his shark-jump.

Short, sweet and to the point...

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This goes out to anyone who'd call me, or any other peace activist critical of the actions of Israel, "disgraceful apologizers for Muslim aggression against Jews".

I suppose I should put out the welcome mat for all you whiny little trolls, so here it is:

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I'm gonna go right on criticizing until they stop giving the world shit to criticize. And if you don't like it, you know where to shove your double standards.

January 9, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: What the world needs now...

...is love, sweet love...

Since that seems to be in short supply, though, I'll settle for a pic of Evo, yummy Evo:

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...who has left no doubt where he stands on the mid-east peace issue. That's why we love him...

And speaking of love, Beirut has named a street in Chavecito's honor. For some reason, Latin leaders who take principled stances are very popular in the Middle East.

January 8, 2009

The Bad German dares to hope...

...for what? Peacekeepers in Gaza! When? SOON!

Germany has welcomed a proposal by Egypt's President Hosny Mubarak for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also expressed satisfaction with Israel's willingness to establish corridors for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. High-ranking members of both parties in Berlin's grand coalition government have declared a willingness to provide German peacekeeping troops to monitor a possible truce in Gaza under a UN resolution. However, a German government spokesman called any such discussions premature.

Premature, maybe. But this Bad German is still saying Bitte, bitte, bitte...

January 7, 2009

Opposing a terrorist war is NOT antisemitic!

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Jewish women sitting in for peace at the Israeli consulate in Toronto. Photo by Judy Rebick, Rabble.ca

If it were, why would Jewish Canadian women do it?

Toronto police have been called in to remove a group of Jewish Canadian women who occupied the Israeli consulate at 180 Bloor Street on Wednesday.

The group is protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza and calling for an end to what they say is an 18-month long siege that has prevented the flow of humanitarian aid.

"(They are) carrying out this occupation in solidarity with the 1.5 million people of Gaza and to ensure that Jewish voices against the massacre in Gaza are being heard," the group, Jewish Women For Gaza, stated in a release.

Here's a link to the group's most recent press release, at Sources.com. Here's an excerpt:

The group is carrying out this occupation in solidarity with the 1.5 million people of Gaza and to ensure that Jewish voices against the massacre in Gaza are being heard. They are demanding that Israel end its military assault and lift the 18-month siege on the Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian aid into the territory.

Israel has been carrying out a full-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip since December 27, 2008. At least 660 people have been killed and 3000 injured in the air strikes and in the ground invasion that began on January 3, 2009. Israel has ignored international calls for a ceasefire and is refusing to allow food, adequate medical supplies and other necessities of life into the Gaza Strip.

Protesters are outraged at Israel′s latest assault on the Palestinian people and by the Canadian government′s refusal to condemn these massacres. They are deeply concerned that Canadians are hearing the views of pro-Israel groups who are being represented as the only voice of Jewish Canadians. The protesters have occupied the consulate to send a clear statement that many Jewish-Canadians do not support Israel′s violence and apartheid policies. They are joining with people of conscience all across the world who are demanding an end to Israeli aggression and justice for the Palestinian people.

The group includes: Judy Rebick, professor; Judith Deutsch, psychoanalyst and president of Science for Peace; B.H. Yael, filmmaker; Smadar Carmon, an Canadian Israeli peace activist and others.

Judy Rebick is a well known name up here in Canada, as a feminist primarily; she used to be president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. She's now a social justice activist, founder of the popular progressive news forum Rabble.ca, and oh yeah, she's also a prof at the same university where I studied journalism--Ryerson, in Toronto.

Judith Deutsch is also an illustrious and prominent Canadian, as a scientist and peace activist.

And of course, we know how Chavecito and Evo feel about this war. Looks like they're in good company. Excellent company, in fact.

I'm not Jewish (Wiccan here!), but if I could join this sit-in, I'd do it proudly. In a vicarious sense, by following news like this (very underreported, so's you know), I am.

January 6, 2009

Two for Palestine

Spanish punk group Boikot (how do YOU think it's pronounced?) featured in two videos--a photo-collage set to their "Wall of Shame", and a live rendition of the power-rocky "Scorched Earth".

Enjoy!

What the lamestream English media won't show on Gaza...

...Venezuelan TV will:

Walter Martínez and his excellent current events show Dossier bring you the whole story. Including some shocking violations of the Geneva Conventions, namely the use of white phosphorus on Gaza by the Israelis. Video in Spanish, but refreshingly propaganda- and bullshit-free.

January 5, 2009

Goodnight, Half-(assed) Moon

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From ABI, some interesting recent developments regarding the so-called "Half Moon" of anti-Evo fascist prefects...

The Executive Power and five prefects agreed on Monday to put forward a referendum on autonomies for the departments of Chuquisaca, La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro and Potosí, whose voters did not approve this system of territorial administration in the referendum of July 2, 2006.

[...]

In the autonomy referendum of 2006, the departments of Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando were subjected to an autonomous regime, even though their prefects attempted to impose it unsuccessfully and unconstitutionally.

Ouch! Was that a pwnage for the "Media Luna" prefects, who did not show up to this meeting? I think so, in light of this other ABI piece:

On Saturday, the Executive Power anticipated the failure of the so-called "Media Luna" in its intent to prejudice the meeting of prefects on January 5, and guaranteed an autonomous State after the constitutional referendum.

"It's a strategy bound to fail for the opposition prefects, because now we are discussing the implementation of autonomies in the democratic autonomous regions", assured the minister of labor, Walter Delgadillo.

[...]

Delgadillo lamented that the prefects of Chuquisaca, Savina Cuellar; of Beni, Ernesto Suárez Sattori; of Tarija, Mario Cossío; and of Santa Cruz, Rubén Costas, refuse to sign on to the Framework Law of Autonomies, when in those regions, except for Chuquisaca, the demand for autonomy came through the vote of local residents.

Translations mine.

Of course, the named prefects were invited, but they didn't show. As usual, they're shooting themselves in the feet. Oh well, things went on without them, and more productive meetings are expected to take place this coming Wednesday.

Goodnight, Media Lunatics. Hope you enjoy your impotence.

PS: Speaking of impotence for the Media Lunatics, get a load of the latest survey results. 65% approval for the new constitution, and only 16% against. The 25th is going to be very interesting for the fascists, in a Chinese-curse sort of way.

Personally, I'm enjoying watching this "half moon" crumble like the rotting green cheese it is.

Spare a thought for the White House cat

Sad news, fellow cat lovers...India the White House cat is no more.

A longtime member of the Bush family died Sunday at home in the White House: a cat named India, after a favorite Texas Rangers baseball player.

The Scottish terriers Barney and Miss Beasley have been more visible first pets, with their own webcams and holiday-themed videos.

But the 18-year-old black American Shorthair had been with the Bushes since she was a kitten, giving her a decade of seniority over Barney.

Tempted to send sympathy cards to the Bushes? I dunno. Considering what that kitty had to put up with, I think she's the one who deserved the sympathy. Now she's gone where good (and long-suffering) kitties go, and I'm sure there's one heckuva reward in store for her.

Rest in peace, India Bush.

NYT finally admits the obvious...

Yep, ladies 'n' gents, it's finally official:

The Old Grey Lady comes clean about being in the Oldest Profession, and hangs out her shingle openly for the firstest time ever.

Of course, I've long known that the entire first page was for sale to the highest bidder, as were all the contents. Only now, they're finally selling ad space on it...to someone other than the CIA.

You GO, capitalist girl...

Hamas rocket damage: The latest pictures are now in!

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Reuters photo. Taken on the road near Sderot. Gee, I bet that one left a crater.

And remember, kiddies, this is what the Israelis are bombing Palestinian welding shops for.

Quotable: Michael Zuckerman on neo-cons

"In French slang, the word con means jackass or imbecilic wuss. So when the néo-cons--the néo-cons as the French read the term--went ahead with the ill-considered invasion and imperialist occupation of Iraq, the French thought that this was just the sort of thing that néo-cons--incompetent fools, milksop morons--would do."

--Michael Zuckerman, "American Conservatism in Historical Perspective"

January 4, 2009

Gaza through the eyes of the devastated, and some devastating truths

Video taken on December 27, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, by members of the International Solidarity Movement. As you can see, the devastation of the Israeli bombings is much more severe than the TV news in your area has probably led you to believe. In this video, a school and a police station suffered damage. It puts the dirty lie to all the assertions that the Israeli bombings are "surgical strikes". There was nobody from Hamas in the school OR the police station. These are NOT Hamas compounds. This is the targeting of civilians, a tactic of total war. Over 200 Gaza Palestinians died in this particular attack alone.

Incidentally, the Israeli military has a big PR offensive going. Apparently they've learned only one thing since their last attack on Lebanon, and it is NOT how to make peace or behave decently; it's how to get the major media and the Internets onside. They're now posting their PR on YouTube (and no, I'm not linking the channel; the last thing their propaganda needs is more admiring eyes.) They've already falsified one particularly nasty bombing, claiming to have taken out a truck full of Grad missiles when, in fact, it was a family that owned a welding shop, rescuing their oxygen cylinders from a bombed area. The incident was so grotesque, and the propaganda so blatant, that Israeli human rights group B'Tselem saw fit to decry both.

When an Israeli major says that "The blogosphere and new media are another war zone," you quickly realize that you're not about to get the truth from anyone with a dog in the fight. The coverage of the warring factions has fast dissolved into propaganda, and in the western media, it's definitely one-sided coverage favoring Israel. I have no more stomach for that side of the story than I have for hearing the propaganda of Hamas or any other militant group. It's not the warring factions whose story must be told, but that of the innocent, and that of those who demand peace. Human rights organizations on the ground are our best hope for getting the truth of what's going on in Gaza; let's hope they can continue to get videos like the above out to us. It's going to be harder to find, however, as the ground invasion of Gaza goes on; telephone lines and Internet access are collapsing as I write. Vital informational ties between Gaza and the world are being severed. Very likely we won't know the whole story until after the fact--that is, after the damage is done. And, most likely, after the Gaza strip has reverted to Israeli control, as I suspect is the real objective here.

This is not legitimate self-defence, nor is it a proportional response to the paltry amount of damage the Hamas rockets have done. There is no excuse for what either side has done, but it's clear to me who has done the most and the worst. Considering how the TV in my neck of the woods has been flooded for the past few months with tourism ads for Israel, stressing the word shalom, I find the irony striking. Have they forgotten that shalom means peace?

Even more striking is this: Hamas would never have achieved the strength it now has if Israel had not attempted to use it to drive a wedge between Palestinians, and to oppose the PLO. Now they have their blowback, and they are using it in turn to justify the eradication of Palestinian Gaza. Remind you of anyone or anything?

And of course, there's the unreported angle on this story: What happened to cause Hamas to start rocketing as soon as the ceasefire ended? I googled the terms "Israel, Hamas, ceasefire, provocation"--and found a snippet of a clue in a guest column by Rabbi Michael Lerner in the UK Times:

Hamas had respected the previously negotiated ceasefire except when Israel used it as cover to make assassination raids. Hamas argued that these raids were hardly a manifestation of a ceasefire, and so as symbolic protest it would allow the release of rocket fire (usually hitting no targets). But when the issue of continuing the ceasefire came up, Hamas wanted a guarantee that these assassination raids would stop. And it asked for more. With hundreds of thousands of Palestinians facing acute malnutrition, Hamas insists that the borders be opened so that food can arrive unimpeded. And in return for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, it asks for the release of 1,000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

Whoa there, hold up--ASSASSINATION RAIDS? Under the cover of a CEASEFIRE? Looks to me like someone was provoking Hamas on purpose. That puts rather a new light on all this pious talk of "self-defence" and Israel's right to exist, does it not?

And then I flash back on my earlier findings of Israel fostering Hamas, and another volley of questions arises: Why would Israel deliberately nurture a militant Palestinian group that will not acknowledge Israel's right to exist? Was it only trying to thwart the PLO? Or did it do so with full knowledge that if Hamas ever took power in a legitimate election, it would furnish Israel with an ideal excuse for wiping out Palestine forever?

Not being privy to what was going through the heads of a succession of Israeli leaders, I can only guess at their ultimate objectives in such an irrational act. But given the fact that Israel has now invaded Gaza, and given the fact that the airstrikes have been anything but surgical, it's definitely tilted my inner scales toward the pan labelled "ideal excuse for wiping out Palestine forever".

--Special thanks to Slave Revolt for asking me to comment on this matter.

January 3, 2009

Evo to US: Coercion doesn't work anymore, suckaz!

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I do believe this constitutes a flip-o-the-bird to someone at DEA headquarters in Washington, does it not?

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, assured that the first textile exports from his country to Venezuela will be set for before January 15.

[...]

"Yesterday I spoke with officials of the government of Venezuela, and at latest, before the 15th of this month, the first bundles of textiles will be leaving Bolivia," said Morales in a statement made in Cochabamba.

The Bolivian leader referred to deals which Bolivian exporters made with Venezuelan businesses to the tune of 47 million dollars at a meeting held in November, organized by the executive of La Paz.

The Morales government intends to make the Venezuelan market an option for Bolivian exporters, since the United States has suspended import preferences for Bolivia under the ATPDEA.

[...]

Morales congratulated the initiative of Mercosur in absorbing, along with Venezuela, the Bolivian exports which the ATPDEA covered up till last December 15, as he announced at a recent Mercosur summit in Brazil.

"When there are problems with the US government, with co-operation or the market, other countries come to receive us," said Morales.

Translation mine.

Yup, it IS a fuck-you to the DEA. Heh heh.

And also proof that despite its efforts to monopolize Latin America on other fronts, the Land of WallyWorld has less and less to say there every day now.

Nazis, nitwits and numbskulls of the New Year

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Fast away the old year passes, falalalala, etc. Time to bid the Hardcore Stupid adieu, also, on a speedy trip to Fuckovia. Here's who gets it (for not getting it) this week:

1. Rod Fucking Bruinooge. The actual question on whether a fetus is a person was settled around 1988 in Canada; it's why we have not had any abortion laws since then, and why a solid majority of Canadians are cool with that. But shhhh, don't tell it to Rod. He seriously thinks that there is a "debate" to be "reopened". Why? Because he's an insecure little man who (a) thinks kidneys are valued more than fetuses, and (b) fears that all his precious homunculi will be spurned by the poor wretch with the misfortune to be his wife (who, I understand, has recently popped out another one). Rod, on the grounds of sheer stupidity, which I hope you haven't passed on to your offspring, you are hereby cordially invited to fuck off. (Preferably into a wad of Kleenex. Spare your wife for a bit, 'kay?)

2. And speaking of homunculi and the judicious use of Kleenex and/or sinks, how about that Dennis Fucking Prager? Does a man even exist who is more likely to inspire revulsion and emetic reactions to the very idea of him planting a slimy gob of homunculi in one's belle chose? Seriously, I think even his dominant hand is reluctant to have sex with him. Can you blame it?

3. Richard Fucking Fifer. Martín Torrijos, go wash your hands. And use antibacterial soap. The slime, it is a-catching.

4. The Fucking Moonie Times. Alvaro Fucking Deathsquad Uribe is their pick for best foreign leader of the Fucking Year That Was. Why? Because he's best at killing campesinos and dressing up their corpses as FARC guerrillas, why else?

5. Alberto Fucking Gonzales. Paul Krugman is searching for the right word to describe this hubris-ridden whiner and torturemonger. I think "asshole" about covers it.

6. Roger Fucking Simon. Will he ever write anything I'd want to read, and do I fucking care?

7. Pickles Fucking Bush. She's just had her very own "beautiful mind" moment. And after the 20th, it'll be fading into Xanaxed oblivion. Not a minute too soon, either.

8. Michael Fucking Dare. You're not funny and neither's your racist Magic Negro song, so here's a "gracious but heartfelt fuck you" right back at you. And until you're clear on the concept of satire, which by definition has to be funny as opposed to merely lame, you can go right on fucking yourself.

9. The Fuckwitted Fucking Fuckheads at RaptureReady.com. Something tells me these morons will be left with one more Great Disappointment this year. But hey, at least they'll all have their hair and nails done for the occasion!

10. The Fucking Miami Mafia. So they're all still chewing their toenails about the Cuban Revolution now being 50 years old, and with no end in sight? Here's me, registering what I think of them for that:

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(See, Otto, these cat things ARE useful after all...LOL!)

11. Anyone who's so fucking naïve/stupid/in denial/head-up-ass as to claim that racism isn't still a major, MAJOR problem in the US.

And oh yeah,

12. Anyone who thinks oppressive verbal wingnuttery is "free speech", but my blue language should be censored or spelled with asterisks, pound signs, ampersands and interrobangs. Fuck you very much, but it's really the other way 'round.

G'night.

January 2, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Yes, I WOULD like some salsa with my revolution, thanks!

Grupo Madera brings you the new year's big hit:

Those red blouses and white skirts on the dancers are super-cute (and in Canada, they'd be downright patriotic). I especially like the rappin' muchacha at the end.

January 1, 2009

Screw New Year's resolutions...and screw this concept, too.

"Personal Responsibility". A personal fave of mine. This guy gives it the best skewering I've ever seen.

Chavecito's New Year's message

Happy New Year, everybody, from you-know-who:

It starts with his swearing-in, in which he promises on the corpse of the old constitution to give Venezuela a new, improved one (the first mischievous, dramatic and prophetic act of his presidency). Then it moves on to history lessons--if he ever doesn't get re-elected, he's got a great career as a history prof ahead of him. And of course, economics, in which the 'Cito points out how social inequality has dropped over the course of his reign. The only time it ever rose was when the right-wing sectors tried to wreck the economy with the intent of forcing him out. As soon as that failed, things rectified themselves again with a vengeance. It's a terrific lesson in what the "market forces" got wrong, all in all, and a great way to mark ten transformative years in office--in which so much has changed for the better. For those who don't understand Spanish (or have the patience to sit through a three-quarter hour speech), a Reader's Digest condensed version can be read at Venezuelanalysis.

Feliz año nuevo, everyone!