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May 31, 2009

Let's put marriage to a vote, shall we?

The logical outcome of what would happen if everybody's marriage were subject to the Prop H8 treatment.

Not very Christian, is it?

Music for a Sunday: Hold the phone!

May 30, 2009

Mario Vargas LOSER!

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"Must smash that pesky insect! Why does he taunt me so?"

Well, Mario--maybe it's because he's a popular, elected leader, while you're a sad, old, sold-out fart with no new ideas of his own, who lost his own election bid rather badly for that and other reasons. Kiddies, this is what the bitter old guy came to Venezuela for. Basically, to preach the same old racist-putschist-capitalist gospel that he thinks should pay off far more handsomely than it actually does:

Hundreds of right-wing political leaders and representatives of pro-capitalist think tanks from across the world gathered in Venezuela's luxurious Caracas Palace Hotel this week for an exclusive event titled "International Conference for Freedom and Democracy: The Latin American Challenge."

A major theme of the conference was how to put an end to the political changes been carried out by President Hugo Chávez and a wave of other progressive presidents who have been elected across the region over the past ten years.

Peruvian author and former Peruvian presidential candidate Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the high profile keynote speakers at the event, framed the Chávez government as the chief obstacle to the progress of capitalist free markets in the region.

"The path of progress is not the path of collectivism, it is not the path of state-ism, it is not the path of social property," said Vargas Llosa, referring to new forms of social property that the Chávez government has promoted to co-exist with private property, which remains protected by the Venezuelan Constitution. "Property is individual and private or it is not property," said the author.

Gee, that's about as original as an old, worn-out cookie cutter. Hey Mario, ever hear of public schools? Public hospitals? Public roads? For that matter, how about the public airport at Maiquetía, by which you arrived in the country whose leader you came to insult? All of those and more are property--and they're not individual OR private!

Vargas proceeded to encourage the wealthy and powerful conference attendees to impede the Chávez administration's progressive policies, which have been approved by a decisive majority of Venezuelans in more than a dozen democratic elections. "If this path is not interrupted, Venezuela will be converted into the second Cuba of Latin America," said Vargas Llosa. "We should not permit it. That is why we are here."

This is hilarious, coming from a man who once ardently supported and defended Fidel Castro, back before the plagues ate his brain. Kiddies, allow me to present and translate for you the words of one Mario Vargas Llosa, back in the day:

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That was his 1967 speech upon receiving the Rómulo Gallegos prize for his novel, The Green House. Here's what it says, in my own translation:

The American reality, clearly, offers the writer a veritable banquet of reasons to be a conscientious objector and live in discontent.

Societies where injustice is law, a paradise of ignorance, of exploitation, of inequalities that blind one with misery, of economic, cultural and moral condemnation, our tumultuous lands submit to us sumptuous materials, examples, to show in fiction, in a manner direct or indirect, after facts, dreams, testimonies, allegories, nightmares, or visions, that reality is badly made, that life must change.

But in ten, twenty or fifty years, the time for social justice will have come for all our countries, as it has for Cuba today, and a united Latin America will have emancipated itself from the empire that robs it, the classes who exploit it, and the forces that today offend and oppress it.

I hope that this hour arrives as soon as possible, and that Latin America enters, once and for all, into dignity and modern life, and that socialism will free us from our anachronism and our horror.

Emphasis as in the original.

Gee, Mario, what the hell happened? You've gone from being an ardent, pan-Latin-American socialist, to being a neoconservative imperialist--living in Spain, no less! But I suppose you don't remember having said that. After all, it was more than 40 years ago, and a lot of things have happened since then. No doubt you took one look at what happened to Chile and Argentina a few years later, not to mention Bolivia that same year, and decided that maybe this whole rebellious, dignified socialism thing wasn't such a good idea after all. It's not hard to see why; the iron heel of fascism was a pretty good persuader that maybe capitalism was the way to go after all--eh, Mario?

Of course, there are other great writers, your contemporaries, who haven't given up on socialism. Eduardo Galeano, who lived in Argentina after fascists had driven him out of his native Uruguay (and just before the junta took over there in 1976), was menaced frequently at his office by the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance. They threatened him with death. His response? "The schedule for calling in threats, Sir, is from six to eight!" He wrote this incident up in his book, Days and Nights of Love and War. It was originally published in Cuba. He, too, is an award-winner. He also has not stopped being a socialist; he's a great observer of Chavecito's Venezuela, and these days, I daresay, his oeuvre is more keenly appreciated there than your old stuff is. (Have you read it, Mario? Does it shame you? Or did you quit touching things with Cuban germs on them before that amazing book came out?)

It would certainly give pause to me, Mario, if I were like you--an old sell-out. Fortunately, I'm not there yet; if I'm lucky and if I keep my head, I never will be. I can't help thinking of what Che Guevara once wrote in a letter to his mother: "Not only am I not moderate now, I shall try never to be. And if I ever detect in myself that the sacred flame has given way to a timid votive flicker, the least I can then do is vomit over my own shit."

But like I said, I'm not there yet. I'll have to vomit over other people's shit instead. Yours, Mario, will have to suffice.

Wankers of the Week: Wankin' on a waterboard edition

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1. Erich Fucking Muller, alias "Mancow". For FAKING his waterboarding. Cowardly fucking wimp.

2. Liz Fucking Cheney. Figures that the Big Dick's original get-out-of-Vietnam-free card is still busy bailing her dear ol' dad out of taking responsibility for his own actions after all these years. It's only been--what--42? How old is this woman, anyway? Whatever her age, she's spent every day of it, from the moment of her old man's ejaculation on, keeping his ass out of a well-earned sling. Isn't it time she retired and let him take his lumps?

3. The Big Fucking Dick is a logical follow-up to the above. When your own former senior interrogator in Iraq (ouch!) disputes your shit, shouldn't you stop spouting it, just shut the fuck up, and go the hell away?

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4. And oh yeah, how about Sean Fucking Hannity? Has he wussed out of his own promised waterboarding, or has he gone ahead with it after all? Anybody know?

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5. John Fucking Yoo. Another one who really needs to shut the fuck up and go the hell away, because he's done enough damage "excellence". No, on second thought, let's waterboard HIM, too--maybe then we'll get him to revoke his own legal opinion. Ya think?

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6. John Fucking Hawkins. Dumbest fucking twit on Twitter? Could be. What say we waterboard him against his will to show him that yes, it IS torture?

7. William Fucking Brennan. Maybe he needs some time on a waterboard next to John Fucking Hawkins; it seems that nothing less than harsh experience will convince them that the technique IS torture.

8. David Fucking Riley. Just because some military members underwent waterboarding during training, doesn't mean it's not torture. And if "only" three people were tortured by interrogators, that's still three too many. For what information? Well, David, check it out for yourself right here. Then you can tell the good folks at Firedoglake if it's "actionable intelligence" or not. What it all makes no difference to is the plain and simple fact that it's barbaric, and that those who use it have no business calling themselves free and democratic, no matter how many or how few times they've used it in the name of freedom and democracy. The point is that no free democrat uses it at all.

9. Bryan Fucking Whitman. Sorry, but the UK Telegraph is right--there ARE pictures of sexual abuse taking place at Abu Ghraib, and some of them can be seen right here. In fact, this story isn't even new. I've known about these rape accounts since 2004, when they started coming out in the media! Pentagon spokesmen lie! Gosh, who knew?

And finally, anyone else out there who thinks that waterboarding (a) isn't torture, (b) saves lives, (c) can defuse a ticking time bomb, or (d) is just what those ragheads need to bring them around to the Amurrican Way. I have an inclined board with a few restraining straps, an old rag, and a bucket of water with your name on it, punk-ass.

May 29, 2009

Oppo journalists in Venezuela--such victims!

Or maybe not.

Globovisión, Venezuela's equivalent of FUX Snooze, has been a news item in itself for the past few weeks, and for all the wrong reasons. Here's one of them:

Video in Spanish, but the pictures speak for themselves. Watch the chick with the blond bob, the little hand-held camera, and the bared teeth. Aggressive, isn't she? Her name is Beatriz Adrián, and she's supposed to be a journalist. But it seems that her real job is that of agent provocateur (or should that be agente provocateuse?) in the ongoing, futile and dirty fight by the ancien régime of Venezuela--now the opposition--to oust a popular, freely and democratically elected president.

So how is she a provoc?

Well, a few months ago, she claimed to have been harrassed by Chavista goons at a bakeshop where she and a friend went to breakfast one day. Turns out, the "Chavista harassers" were nothing of the sort; they were private security men on the job at the shop, and they didn't touch her. But she squeaked, and she squawked, and her "report" made the news on her channel, where everyone rallied around poor, brave, beleaguered Beatriz--at least until Mario Silva dissected the whole story on his VTV show, La Hojilla, and proved it to be more full of holes than a strip of Brussels lace. The defamed men, meanwhile, went to the authorities with their side of the story. (If you click on the link, you'll immediately see what was really at play--the guys she complained about are kind of non-white.)

More recently, Beatriz thought she'd scored a journalistic coup by bribing a National Assembly staffer to hand over some confidential documents. The staffer lost her job; Beatriz, again, got the kind of media exposure she hadn't counted on when the building's security cameras caught the whole shebang. But unlike the luckless lady from the National Assembly, she got to keep her job. After all, Globovisión needed her...

Which brings us to the videos above. Beatriz Adrián, apparently, has gone from phony "victim" of private security to taking the job on herself. When a VTV reporter, Erika Ortega Sanoja, tried to ask some questions of poor deluded old Mario Vargas Llosa, who was in country to make an ass of himself at a "forum" supporting the putschy ancien régime in the name of "freedom and democracy" (and who, incidentally, was NOT "detained" by security at any time--more on this later), Beatriz took exception to Erika's questioning, and repeatedly pushed and shoved her. At one point, witnesses say, she hit Erika on the head with her microphone; the latter ended up seeking first aid at the airport's infirmary, and reported the assault to the civil defence officer on duty. Beatriz Adrián, however, exhibited only rudeness and defiance throughout the encounter. She notably asked NO questions of Vargas Llosa herself, which is a very unjournalistic sort of thing to do. Instead, she kept spinning around, snarling, taking pictures of everyone around her, as if gathering evidence that she had been the victim of aggression--interesting, since the video cameras of more than one channel, including her own, caught her being very much the aggressor. At several points, she launched herself at other journalists present, including a cameraman for the Caracas community channel, Avila TV. (She missed. Kind of a metaphor, don'tcha think?)

By now you might be wondering why all this journalistic own-goaling is happening. Well, Globovisión is slipping closer and closer to the edge of having its licence revoked. As I've noted before, this sort of thing happens all the time in democracies when a broadcaster violates the terms of use for the public airwaves. But in Venezuela it isn't supposed to happen, and certainly not to overtly right-wing channels looking to overthrow a democratically elected government. Especially not if the owners of the channel also happen to own other highly lucrative things--such as, in the case of Globo's Guillermo Zuloaga, two Toyota dealerships recently busted for jacking up the price of the merchandise two- and threefold, thus ripping off the car-buying public. But again, that's grist for another story. Perhaps I'll make the entry about how this sort of price-gouging is emblematic of the "freedom and democracy" that Mario Vargas Llosa came so touchingly to defend, at great risk to the security of his person...from self-appointed guards like Beatriz Adrián.

Such poor victims, the whole lot of them--piss-poor victims, that is.

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Hey, where'd his legs go?

Evo played soccer outside the presidential palace in La Paz yesterday, but something is wrong with this picture:

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HE'S NOT WEARING SHORTS!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Damn.

May 28, 2009

Quotable: Jean Raison on Voltaire

"Sir, 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it' was said not by a Frenchman but by an Englishwoman; it is not a genuine quotation from Voltaire but an imaginary one claiming to express 'his attitude' in The Friends of Voltaire (1906) by S. G. Tallentyre, the pseudonym of E. Beatrice Hall. In fact this was not his attitude; although he took a great part in the struggle for toleration, he also took great care not to risk his liberty, let alone his life, for the cause: no wonder, considering the treatment he suffered for careless talk in his youth, and the treatment so many of his writings suffered at all times.

"It would be better not to attribute to Voltaire a rhetorical statement he never made, and to remember instead the practical things he actually said (in the Treatise on Toleration and the Philosophical Dictionary) and did (in particular cases and in the general campaign) to crush the infamy of intolerance and to make it possible for us to take the freedom of speech for granted."

--Jean Raison, letter to the Times of London, August 8, 1981

('Bina's note: Are they sure that's an Englishwoman, and not a Frenchman whose name, in English, would be "John Reason"? In any event, what a relief not to have to defend fascist speech to the death, but rather to FIGHT it to the death in the original spirit of "écraser l'infâme"!)

May 27, 2009

Nice to see those music lessons paid off

A couple of FAO Schwartz employees show off their mad organ skillz:

The tune is the "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" by Johann Sebastian Bach.

IAPA committee admits the blindingly obvious, wins prize

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ZOMG! What's the world coming to when fascists can't claim oppression from a supposedly commie government in Latin America anymore? Get a load of this:

The president of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), Enrique Santos of Colombia, certified on Wednesday, during a meeting with President Evo Morales in the Quemado Palace in La Paz, Bolivia, that in Bolivia there is freedom of the press.

"What we were able to determine is that in Bolivia, press freedom exists," said Santos, who also represents the newspaper El Tiempo of Bogotá.

"From all one can see, hear and read, it can't be said that here there is no opposition press, that there are no criticisms of the government," said Santos.

The head of the IAPA, which brings together 1300 private media outlets of the Americas, underscored that "it is important for me to say this clearly."

Translation mine.

Holy shit, a Colombian commercial media type says there's no censorship, no oppression, and a loud, critical oppo media mafia? Well, we already knew THAT. Nice to see him confirm it, eh?

But wait, there's more:

Santos and four delegates of the IAPA were invited by Morales. The president showed them a series of proofs, in audio and video, concerning the least-biased treatment of information by the IAPA's affiliates in Bolivia.

Presidential spokesman Iván Canelas demonstrated one by one the cases, principally in newspapers and television, in which the information was "manipulated", in order to steer public opinion against the policies of the Morales government.

Canelas laid out, among dozens of cases, an unfounded accusation which the newspaper, La Prensa, made against Morales last December, which is currently before the courts.

The Minister of the Presidency, Juan Ramón Quintana, also exposed before the commission of the IAPA the economic links between the private media and the ex-prefect, Leopoldo Fernández, in the Amazonian department of Pando. Fernández currently faces charges in the murders of 18 campesinos in September 2008.

For those who've been paying attention, that last one is no news. El Duderino has some good details here. But now, at least, Evo's getting a chance to respond, and to take up his concerns with the IAPA personally--something that the oppo presstitutes themselves were not willing to grant him.

But the real shocker comes just before the end of the piece:

After the series of expositions by Canelas, Quintana and the vice-minister of the Presidency, Sacha Llorenti, the second vice-president of the IAPA, Gonzalo Marroquín, said that "the IAPA never defends acts of corruption".

"We believe that they should be denounced" and brought to justice, Marroquín said. He also characterized as "positive" the co-operation of Morales "in the area of tolerance".

Santos added to this a remark that "the media who lie are digging their own grave."

Well. That was the blindingly obvious. Now here comes the prize, kiddies...

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Congratulations, IAPA bigwigs. It looks as though you're finally coming of age as journalists: hearing both sides of the story, sorting out the lies, telling the truth, and being fair and honest to those who, no doubt, make you grit your teeth. At this rate, you might even become fit to report real news eventually!

May 26, 2009

Does Israel get its news stories from bombproof Colombian laptops?

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Well, if Israel doesn't, I know who does--the Dissociated Press, of course!

Venezuela and Bolivia are supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear program, according to a secret Israeli government report obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The two South American countries are known to have close ties with Iran, but this is the first allegation that they are involved in the development of Iran's nuclear program, considered a strategic threat by Israel.

"There are reports that Venezuela supplies Iran with uranium for its nuclear program," the Foreign Ministry document states, referring to previous Israeli intelligence conclusions. It added, "Bolivia also supplies uranium to Iran."

The report concludes that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is trying to undermine the United States by supporting Iran.

Venezuela and Bolivia are close allies, and both regimes have a history of opposing U.S. foreign policy and Israeli actions. Venezuela expelled the Israeli ambassador during Israel's offensive in Gaza this year, and Israel retaliated by expelling the Venezuelan envoy. Bolivia cut ties with Israel over the offensive.

There was no immediate comment from officials in Venezuela or Bolivia on the report's allegations.

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Funny, but Bolivia DOES have something to say, and I hereby translate for the benefit of the Israelis--and their Dissociated Press pals:

The minister of the Presidency of Bolivia, Juan Ramón Quintana, called the supposed secret information that Bolivia and Venezuela are supplying uranium to the Iranian government, a "clownish farce".

"Only a clown would let such barbarities happen. Since it's so, it must be said that a certain Israeli agency is an agency of inepts, incompetents, and clowns," said Quintana during a press conference at the government palace.

[...]

Quintana said that the supposed denunciation "is part of the anthology of stupidity" because if anything characterizes the politics of the Bolivian government, "it is the politics of international peace."

"The principles which guide our constitution are set out most clearly--to promote a culture of understanding between peoples, and to improve integration. The Bolivian constitution clearly expresses our renunciation of war."

Uh, Houston? I believe we have a bitch slap.

But wait, it gets even funnier. According to that very same Dissociated Press piece,

Bolivia has uranium deposits. Venezuela is not currently mining its own estimated 50,000 tons of untapped uranium reserves, according to an analysis published in December by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Carnegie report said, however, that recent collaboration with Iran in strategic minerals has generated speculation that Venezuela could mine uranium for Iran.

Charmed. Does this remind anyone of anything?

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Yep, kiddies, that's right...the Carnegie Endowment thinks Venezuela and Bolivia are committing pre-crime...by NOT EVEN TAPPING their uranium deposits, much less selling any to Iran. Next up: Venezuela and Bolivia found guilty (God only knows how!) of selling some to Kim Jong Mentally Il...thereby resulting in this week's 4.7 magnitude nuclear squib.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go disarm my head. It feels like it's about to go up in a mushroom cloud from all this stupidity.

UPDATE: The Old Grey Whore has a "brief" from the Dissociated Press, noting that Venezuela and Bolivia have "ridiculed" the "report". They're only a day late, and their coverage leaves, as usual, much to be desired. Guess that bit about being a clown was so horrifying that they couldn't reprint it. Good thing you got me, eh kiddies?

May 25, 2009

Oh Henry!

WTF is Henry Ramos Allup (in dark leather jacket and white shirt) doing here?

Looks like the head of Acción Democrática, the discredited old Venezuelan party of the so-called centre-left (but now on the far right along with all the rest of the anti-Chávez parties) is handing out some rather sizable sums of money to some fellow Adecos. He's counting out a wad of 50-bolivar bills. But obviously this is not a legit transaction, or he wouldn't be doing it so furtively in an "undisclosed" location. (He was caught on video by an alert, unidentified local citizen of the La Florida neighborhood of Caracas, who recognized him.)

Mario Silva, who presented this video on his show, La Hojilla, identifies the other Adecos, along with Ramos Allup's driver. He also uses Globovisión's "ZOMG, something's happening!!!!11eleventy-one!!!" terror music. And if you stick around till the end, you'll also hear Henry rapping a few hilarious key phrases.

What I'd sure like to know, though, is what Henry Ramos Allup said to those other Adecos as he was handing out what looks like an awful lot of corruption money. He sure talks a lot with his hands...

May 24, 2009

One more reason to despise Microsoft

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...as if we all needed one.

Microsoft, the informatic giant founded by Bill Gates, has decided suddenly to cancel its Messenger service to those countries against which the United States maintains a commercial embargo.

Among those affected are Cuba, Iran and North Korea, who have all openly rejected the policies of the US. Also included are Syria and Sudan.

Right now, all cybernauts of those countries trying to log on to the popular Windows program have begun to receive the error 810003c1, which prevents them from going online in Messenger.

"Microsoft has cut Windows Live Messenger IM for all users in countries embargoed by the United States. Microsoft will no longer be offering service for Windows Live in your country," reads the support page in Windows live when anyone looks up the error in question.

Translation mine.

Fortunately, there's an easy way around this: Simply change your settings so that it says you're not in an embargoed country, such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria or Sudan. Tell them you're a Canadian. Problem fixed--embargo lifted!

Being a Mac user, however, I prefer to just go on avoiding them and all their endless bugs-disguised-as-features...and feeling damned smug about it.

Music for a Sunday: When the bullet hits the bone

A paranoid classic, with a wonderful acoustic treatment.

May 23, 2009

Wankers of the Week: Old Faceful edition

When it's a pissing contest, remember...whoever "wins", is still a wanker. Here are this week's winners--or rather, wieners:

1. and 2. The two dumb wankers who peed in Old Faithful while the famously timely geyser wasn't erupting. A pity it couldn't have shot up and boiled their balls. Firing and fining is entirely too good for them.

3. Jim Fucking Cramer. A normal human being would admit he was wrong, apologize and stop doing it. Not Mad Money Jim. He vows revenge against Jon Stewart for showing him in his true (unflattering) colors. That's even LESS smart than all the dumb wankery that got him the Stewart treatment in the first place.

4. Bill Fucking Keller. Congratulations, you've totally killed the Old Grey Whore. It's not enough for the NYT to make "a lot, a LOT" of money from digital advertising; no, you just decided you HAD to charge by the word and scare away what little dedicated readership you had left. Well, it's not as if the old gal was an accurate purveyor of information anyway. I imagine most people are only reading it for the crosswords nowadays, or maybe the recipe pages. If you really care about making people want to read the NYT, here's a good place to start: FIRE SIMON ROMERO. And from there, proceed to cleanse out all the other hacks, spooks and shills. You can't call it a newspaper if the "news" is not worth the paper--or the electrons--it's printed on.

5. Luis Fucking Fleischman. Chavistas, a "threat"? To whom? Oh yeah, the YewEssAy. Venezuela is as big a threat as al-Qaida! But where? Only in the fever swamp of Screwy Louie's right-wing brain. This silly piece was published at something calling itself The Cutting Edge News, but it reads like the same diarrhea we've been getting from all the usual unreliable sources for the last ten years. Actually, it reads like that same diarrhea, redigested and regurgitated all over the dog's dish. Blurrrrghhhhh.

6. Christopher Fucking Sabatini. If you're not defending the "right to private property" of those who already have more than any one person can possibly live on (or off of), who aren't using it to produce anything, and who got it all by screwing others out of it (usually by mercenary murder or by forcing them off it to fend for themselves in the Caracas slums), then you're violating universal human rights. No shit, he really said that. Can we possibly cry more crocodile tears for the Venezuelan oligarchy? Sorry, my lachrymal ducts are dry. And they are apt to remain that way, unless Old Faithful happens to erupt while I'm standing over it looking down.

7. Tim Fucking Graham. He styles himself "Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center". O rly? Funny, he looks to me like a fat right-wing slob, weakly defending another fat right-wing slob (Rush Fucking Limbaugh, if you must know) by attacking, in his very first line, the manhood of progressive talk show host Ron Reagan Jr. (who is, in my not so humble estimation, much more of a man than his father was.) Only, of course, Graham isn't man enough to do it directly, so he puts his words in the mouth of some nebulous, and probably imaginary, "they". The only problem is, Reagan was right--the Pigman IS fair game. Need I remind you of why?

Picking on a man with a real, chronic, degenerative disease--by mimicking the signs and symptoms of that disease? Pure class, lardass.

Yeah, Tim, you picked a real winner to defend. Especially since his Viagra use is a fact.

8. Glenn Fucking Beck. In answer to the title question at the link, I'd have to go with "yes, he IS a lying sack of dog mess". Only, of course, I wouldn't be as polite as Whoopi Goldberg was about it. I think I'd come right out and call him a walking hemorrhoid. He's fair game, too.

9. Manuel Fucking Rosales. Still yapping politics even under a Peruvian gag order? That should spell expulsion, but we all know that Alan Fucking García loves him a corrupto.

And finally, that damn troll who keeps spamming this blog with nonsense and gibberish and links that lead nowhere. You know who you are, asshole, and this song's for you:

May 22, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Guess who's ten years old this week...

It's Chavecito's TV show--Aló Presidente!

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The show is the ultimate in audience participation and direct democracy. It's also downright gonzo at times--and can go on for several hours at a stretch. When Chavecito's in town, anyone can take up any issue with him, right there at his desk. (It used to be a phone-in show, but then it got so popular that the lines got jammed.) In between issue-taking-up and general kibitzing, it's also often an opportunity for Chavecito to raise awareness of history, put current events in context, announce new social projects, and occasionally, give the fascist leadership of the oppos a hard time (and more than a little public humiliation, like the time he fired several of the top brass at PDVSA for corruption, incompetence and general mismanagement--and attempting to illegally privatize the state-run company).

Appropriately, he celebrated the anniversary in his home state of Barinas, where he addressed a gathering of locals, university students and the military:

"Do you want to see a student march? Do you want to see it? I'm capable of bringing together a million students in the street."

He's not shitting. They get up and spontaneously start chanting, cheering and waving banners for him. And, given that the majority of Venezuelans are Bolivarians, it stands to reason that a majority of students also are. And no wonder: in the last ten years, untold opportunities have opened up for them, thanks to Chavecito and all those crazy, loopy projects he announced for the first time on that crazy, loopy show of his.

Happy anniversary, Chavecito--and may you and your crazy, loopy show have many more!

May 21, 2009

Some US citizens who get it...

....and who are out to make sure a certain deeply despised Bolivian ex-president feels it:

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"Goni: Human rights abuser fleeing justice in Chevy Chase"

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"The US harbors terrorists"

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"Human rights abuser living in Chevy Chase"; "...do you feel safer?"

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"Goni be gone!"

Looks like they might get their wish, too. Thomas Shannon, the US Undersecretary of State (for Western Hemispheric affairs) was in Bolivia today, talking with Evo up close and personal. One of the topics that came up was--drumroll please--the prospect of extraditing Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, so that he can face trial for the murder of 63 Bolivian protesters in person (instead of in absentia as is the case right now).

Does this mark a sea change in the US's stance on Bolivia? Let's hope it does.

PS: Otto reports that Branko Marinkovic is feeling a little, um, downhearted. Maybe he met with Shannon too--and got the bad news that Obama-ma doesn't intend to support him in his little fascist crusade to take Santa Cruz back from the uppity Injuns?

May 20, 2009

ALBA to get another joiner?

Could be...could be El Salvador!

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Awwwww...don't they look cute together, Chavecito and Mauricio Funes, getting along so nicely? Looks like they might soon get along a whole lot MORE nicely, if this is any indication...

Mauricio Funes, the president-elect of El Salvador, made a formal visit to Venezuela to meet with President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday. In a meeting that lasted more than five hours, the two leaders discussed deepening cooperation between the two countries, especially regarding oil.

[...]

After the meeting, the two leaders announced the creation of a bilateral commission between the two countries to develop projects of cooperation in commerce, energy, and other economic sectors, and social exchange.

Funes said his government will prioritize the poor, "the vulnerable, the destitute... those without voice... who need the new government to represent them," and declared that his country will continue to receive Venezuela's cooperation to develop health programs and social projects.

"...will continue to receive Venezuela's cooperation to develop health programs and social projects."

You mean they're receiving it ALREADY? Holy fucking shit, the Axis of Evo is already at work in Central America...HELPING CENTRAL AMERICANS! Oh, the HORROR!

But wait, it gets even scarier...

Another key point of discussion was oil, where the two leaders discussed the possibility of the El Salvadoran state importing it, rather than mayors.

In April 2006 the Venezuelan government signed an agreement with the Inter-Municipal Association of Energy for El Salvador (ENEPASA), an association of 20 FMLN mayors, to start a joint company which would provide oil cheaply to El Salvador. Now, Funes said El Salvador will consider joining the Petrocaribe program through which Venezuela provides oil at below market prices to participating Caribbean countries.

Funes also raised the idea of Venezuela buying more of its raw materials. "Venezuela buys a good part of its agricultural raw materials from Colombia and could instead buy it from El Salvador," he said.

Holy effin' crap, they also have an OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM! Ye Gods and little fishes, that's TRADE! What else have they got going on?

To Chavez, Funes said, "I passionately salute this sentiment of solidarity that you represent and which for the Salvadoran situation has meant important support in two fundamental areas. First, with petroleum, to the extent that we are a country, as are many in Central America, which doesn't have an essential resource on which to build our economy, like petroleum. Secondly, with health aid, the cooperation that the noble people of Venezuela have given us through [the free eye treatment program] Mission Milagro."

Funes said he was visiting Venezuela to "encourage [Chavez] to continue with this spirit of solidarity because only solidarity and the spirit of Latin American unity that is behind it, is going to make the transformation of our nations possible."

Frackin' holy mackerel! SOLIDARITY! Free eye care! Why, I bet the Cubans are in on that. That's COMMUNISM! Holy shit, the Reds have eaten Central America, one eyeball at a time! And this under the nose of Gringolandia. OH NOES!!!

Okay, time to quit hyperventilating. All this co-operation happens also to include somebody else. Guess who? Back to the top of the Venezuelanalysis piece we go...

Funes's critics have said his presidency will be heavily influenced by Venezuela, while Funes has emphasized that "integration with Central America and strengthening relations with the United States will be the priority of our foreign policy."

Gasp. You mean they plan on getting along with the gringos AND the socialistas? And worse, they plan on integrating with their fellow Central Americans (and by extension, Latin Americans)? Are such things even possible?

Well hell YES, they ARE. Provided, of course, that the State Dept. doesn't put its foot in it and fuck things up. Didja hear that, spooks? I'm talking to you directly now. I said don't fuck it up. If Central America can get along with Cuba and Venezuela, you can bloody well suck it up and admit that you've had things very wrong for the last fifty years (and more). It's high time you got it right--Venezuela and El Salvador are definitely trying to do just that. Time to do with them what they're doing with each other--TALK.

And leave the gunboats at home from now on, capisce?

May 19, 2009

Advanced Cat Yodeling

I'm sorry. My cats made me do it.

May 17, 2009

Bolivia terror plot: A new ringleader fingered, plus more members come to light

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Just like a bad penny, some nasties (like the Szekler Legion, screengrabbed above) keep coming back...and yes, there are Irish and Corrib project crests on that page. Hmm, whatever could it mean?

I've been meaning to translate this item for a few days, and just now got around to it:

A Hungarian, Tibor Revesz, has been fingered as head of the suspected terrorist cell broken up last month in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Revesz is believed to have had more power than the Bolivian-Croatian-Hungarian Eduardo Rózsa Flores, according to revelations by an opposition deputy, Bernardo Montenegro, of the Podemos party.

"According to the information we have, Tibor Revesz was the head and organizer of this group. Not only here, but in his own country, he had knowledge of the organization of irregular groups," Montenegro told the Special Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, which is investigating the case.

Montenegro revealed that this new element came from the declarations of the Bolivian, Mario Tadic, and the Hungarian, Elöd Tóásó, survivors of the police operation that killed three other assassins last April 16 in the Hotel Las Américas in Santa Cruz. The two prisoners are currently incarcerated in La Paz.

The congressman said that Revesz had been in Bolivia throughout the first stage of the formation of the irregular group, and that for some as yet unknown reason he left the country and left behind five persons, three of them later killed: Eduardo Rózsa, Michael Martin Dwyer (of Ireland), and Arpád Magyarosi (of Hungary), as well as the two detainees, Tadic and Tóásó.

"There definitely were not only these five persons in this irregular group. There were other persons who came to Bolivia, such as the Hungarians Revesz, Gabor Dudog, and a man named [Daniel] Gaspar. Tadic said that at one time, he heard someone say to Mr. Rózsa that it was cheaper to buy two bullets than to pay for travel tickets," said Montenegro.

According to Montenegro, Revesz is in Hungary, for which reason Tóásó fears for his family. Revesz has an extensive criminal record when it comes to forming irregular (i.e. terrorist) groups.

"He is a person very much connected to irregular groups. He is believed to have been the mentor to various irregular movements and apparently came to Bolivia and began to form this group. One of the hypotheses is that he was in charge of this cell, above Rózsa," Montenegro said.

I've done the Googly Moogly on Tibor Revesz, and here's what I found:

  • He was with Mike Dwyer in Ireland, and is suspected of having recruited him when both worked as security goons for I-RMS, the private-security contractor for Shell Oil. They worked together on the controversial Corrib gas line project. He is now suspected of having been the unnamed "mutual friend" who hooked Dwyer up with Rózsa and travelled with Dwyer from Ireland to Bolivia, only to return later on.
  • Revesz is also known as "Photosniper" and is believed to be a member of the infamous Szekler Legion. His résumé is chock-a-block with "security" activities that would also be of benefit to a would-be mercenary...or terrorist. His profile definitely matches that of the unnamed "32-year-old Hungarian" who travelled with Dwyer to Bolivia.
  • This Hungarian blogger has heard reports that Revesz was arrested. So far, I haven't found further details. I would welcome more, if anyone knows.

The other "new" Hungarian name on this blog's radar, Gabor Dudog, also worked "since January" for a security company in Ireland. Hmmm, also for Shell? His mother, predictably, claims he "didn't do anything wrong". Now, where have we heard that before? BTW, Indymedia Ireland is doing terrific research on this case, check it out.

According to the Hungarian ambassador to Bolivia, Dudog and Daniel Gaspar (the other "new" name) have already left the country. No explanation, but if they have ties to this unsavory bunch, none is really needed. They are wanted for questioning (at the very least) by Bolivian authorities, so I foresee an extradition hearing. Play nice, Hungary!

Meanwhile, there's a real effort to paint Elöd Tóásó as a poor suffering innocent, here. There's also a "defense fund" and petition, which I hope won't find many contributors. I don't buy any of this "oh, but he's innocent and a hero" crap--I've blogged the cellphone video indicating him as being involved in the conspiracy up to his eyeballs. Not to mention I have the pic of him with the big fat sniper rifle. Innocent, my ass--and if he's suffering now, GOOD. He ought to, for what he tried to do. Foreign intrigue is not fun and games, people. If he's co-operating with the authorities and singing like a canary, fine--but he does not deserve freedom. He knew what he was involved in, and his moral sense didn't dissuade him. I hereby remind anyone coming here to troll on his behalf that he faces charges of terrorism and attempted multiple murder, and that this is not some set-up on the part of the Bolivian government, as some people appear to think.

Now, on to the next piece of translation, in which more names are named:

According to today's edition of the state newspaper Cambio, three names were found in the pocket of the Bolivian-Croat cell leader, Eduardo Rózsa Flores, who died resisting arrest.

One of the implicated is Juan Líder Paz, an engineer by profession, who, according to the inquiry, financed the extremists. Paz is a fugitive from justice as of Thursday, but yesterday his attorney presented a request establishing legal residence on his behalf before the prosecutor in charge of the case, Marcelo Sosa.

The other implicated man is Héctor Renato Laguna, also an engineer, in charge of recruiting youths to the so-called Bolivian Socialist Falange ['Bina's note: a known fascist organization] in order to commit separatist and seditious acts.

According to Cambio, the third man is Enrique Vaca, member of the directorate of Fexpocruz, the agricultural fair of Santa Cruz. He is believed to have supplied [fake] credentials to Rózsa. At the present time, Vaca is also a fugitive from justice.

The commission also took statements yesterday from the Bolivian citizen Ignacio Villa Paz, nicknamed "El Viejo" (the Old Man), who is considered a key witness for the prosecution. Villa was one of the closest persons to Rózsa, for which reason his statements are of relevance to the clarification of the international network's activities.

In the statements of "El Viejo", several names of opposition authorities and members of the business sector of Santa Cruz recur. According to Villa, departmental prefect Rubén Costas and businessmen Branko Marinkovic, Mauricio Roca and Guido Nayar also aided the extremist group.

According to the information obtained so far, the group intended to perpetrate separatist actions and had plans to assassinate president Evo Morales and various members of his cabinet.

More on these new guys later, I'm sure. Meanwhile, enjoy this pic I found of Mike Dwyer and Eduardo Rózsa Flores in shorts...

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Somehow, neither looked quite as good in them as Evo, eh?

UPDATE: Otto has a nice, incriminating partial translation of the Cambio piece mentioned in the Prensa Latina article above. Check it out. Among other things, it totally blows to smithereens the notion that Mike Dwyer was in Bolivia on some "bodyguarding" course. He was clearly under shoot-to-kill instructions from Eduardo Rózsa Flores, as the incident of the night of the bombing of Cardinal Terrazas' house indicates. And he seemed very keen to do the job, too. (As though all those guns down his pants would indicate anything else.) BTW, the article also blows to shit any notions that there was a legal basis for what Rózsa was doing (as he indicated in his interview with Andras Kepes in Hungary). The man was a terrorist, as was everyone else in his band. Any questions?

Stupid Sex Tricks: Father doesn't know best, after all

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Because if he did, he would know better than to solicit a prostitute to...oh, read:

The court heard that the father, who came to Britain eight years ago, was arrested last July during an undercover operation by the city's vice squad.

Prosecutor Adrian Harris said the man and his son had approached the undercover officer whose code name was Sarah and beckoned her over .

He asked "Sarah" how much it would cost for her to have sex with his son and they agreed on a 20 pound fee. However, when the car pulled over, the man was arrested by plainclothes police officers.

"The boy said that they had driven past the girl and his dad pointed to her and said 'will she do?'" Harris said.

"He said 'yes' and they had turned round. He said his dad did this because he was still a virgin and he was taking care of that for him."

Item: The boy was 14 years old. At that age, it's not exactly shameful to remain a virgin (in fact, it's kind of a good idea, at that age). Now, if he were 40...

Maracaibo goes to hell, in true paramilitary style

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Ever since Manuel Rosales fucked off to Peru, falsely claiming he was being "persecuted", the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela, has been effectively without a mayor. But even when Burusas was still in the city, he was apparently either grossly incompetent or flat-out criminal, if this story is any indication:

"Commando-type men arrived, armed to the teeth, and shoved us against the wall. They told us that if they saw us talking on the corner again, they would fuck us."

So says Francisco (name altered to protect the privacy of the 17-year-old), who was threatened with death along with six other young people by a suspected "death squad" in the Lomitas del Zulia sector of the Francisco Eugenio Bustamante parish, population 93,967, on April 24 at 8:00 pm.

A total of 11 sectors are alarmed at the presence of a violent group that is trying to take the law into its own hands.

Francisco says that days before the men came to the neighborhood, the residents of Calle 60B-1 in Lomitas del Zulia were shocked to find a leaflet stuck in the doors of their houses, warning of a "social cleansing" due to the rise in juvenile delinquency in Maracaibo.

Panic took hold in the zone as people recalled the threats of the "death pamphlets" which circulated in the city and other muncipalities over the last two months.

Francisco recalls that the six armed men got out of a grey Ford Fiesta Power and corralled him when he was conversing with a group of other boys. "One of them wanted to leave on his bicycle, but they pointed a pistol at him and frisked him to see if he was armed."

A neighbor intervened, and assured that the boys were all right and asked that they be left alone. "Then they went away. But if we see them again in the street, we won't respond," said one of the boys, in a hoarse voice.

From then on, the residents changed their routine. They live in fear of the men who threatened them with death.

The same thing happened a week before, in the Libertador neighborhood of the same parish, when several hooded men shouted at passersby that they would kill "delinquents and drug traffickers", according to Adolfo Jacobo, a Maracaibo taxi driver.

"20 days ago, a friend showed me a flyer that some guys were throwing around in the streets, saying they would kill criminals, never mind if it took the lives of any innocent people," said a resident of Avenida 95 in the same neighborhood, who declined to be identified. He added that as of that moment, the neighbors all locked themselves indoors after 7:00 pm, for fear of "being caught in a shooting."

"We are worried about the lack of (police) patrols. Now we can't even stand in front of our houses because of the insecurity and the threatening pamphlets," said Eduardo Rincón, an electrician from Lomitas del Zulia in eastern Maracaibo.

His version coincides with that of Commissioner Jotny Márquez, chief of the CICPC-Maracaibo, who questions the crime-prevention work of the regional police because crime rates have risen.

In the José Antonio Páez neighborhood, near Lomitas del Zulia, people are also alarmed by the appearance of the pamphlets.

Aura Medina, a 47-year-old housewife, said that after the leaflets were distributed, several suspicious cars were seen passing through the neighborhood during the night. "We're afraid that they will do what they did to those young guys, and take people from their houses and kill them," said Medina, referring to a case of some young people who were taken from the La Chinita neighborhood, in the southern part of the city, last April 18.

Families of the victims have joined the CICPC and the Ombudsman's office in calling for justice for their loved ones. "Right now, we know that they called several municipal police officers to testify who were involved, and we hope they will clarify what happened," said Aída Rodríguez, mother of Jender Soto, who was killed by gunfire.

A spokesman for the CICPC informed that five members of the Maracaibo police were called to give statements about the occurrences. However, a tribunal source denied, for the time being, that the officials were directly involved in the murders.

The pamphlets found in Maracaibo were of the same content as those which circulated in Colombia in 2008.

Translation mine.

It seems pretty clear what's going on. Colombian paramilitaries have been a problem in western Venezuela for years, because that region borders on Colombia. And right-wing politicians, too, have been western Venezuela's bane for the same amount of time. It seems only logical to suspect that the two are somehow connected; the paras "provide security" to the rich, corrupt right-wingers, and do so by menacing the poor. They also seem to have had some collaborators among the Maracaibo police, and this even when Giancarlo Di Martino, a member of the PSUV (Chavecito's party) was mayor of Maracaibo and trying to get a handle on the situation. Do the PoliMaracaibo respect no authority unless it's that of a fascist enabler? Sure smells that way.

It doesn't hurt, either, to recall that Colombian paramilitaries have been found to be involved in several failed coup plots against Chavecito--always hired at the behest of those same right-wing political figures who pose as heads of "civil society" and NGOs, and who are constantly screeching about political persecution when the law starts catching up to them.

So, when will the Dissociated Press, the Old Grey Whore and the WaHoPo write about the truly persecuted in Venezuela--the residents of neighborhoods terrorized by these right-wing commandos, operating illegally at the behest of poor, persecuted Manuel Rosales? Don't hold your breath, kiddies, they're still busy painting Chavecito as the villain on whose shoulders all of this somehow must fall.

Music for a Sunday: Today's Kid

Dame Pa' Matala has the diagnosis of what's wrong, and what's to be done:

May 16, 2009

Wankers of the Week: Open mouth wide, insert foot (or gun) edition

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Perhaps a cup of STFU would be better for the following people. Too late now! Now, there's nothing left but to tell them to fuck off...

1. David Fucking Feherty. Look, I dislike that military-industrial moron, Nancy Pelosi, as much as anyone--for taking impeachment off the table, for yelling "Oh, you BRUTE!" at my man Chavecito, and for other reasons too numerous to mention (suffice to say she's a DINO and a low-down disgrace.) And I'm no fonder of Harry Reid (wimp), and a lot less fond of Osama (probably dead, if Beni Bhutto is anyone to go by.) But to advocate shooting the former and strangling the latter two, is just fucking stupid. One expects better of a CBS commentator, although at this point, one doesn't expect much better anymore.

2. Brian Fucking Mulroney. So, just "all of the sudden, out of the blue", our worst-ever former PM (before Harpo) is a criminal because he took corruption money from Karlheinz Schreiber? No, Lyin' Cryin' Brian, you became a crook a long time ago...by taking corruption money from Karlheinz Schreiber. You did it not once, but several times! If you were an honest man, you wouldn't have taken so much time and care to salt that money secretively away, either. Stop blaming the media and the Mounties. Man up and admit your guilt. Because everyone else BUT you can see it, and your crocodile tears aren't fooling anyone.

3. Harvie Fucking Andre. Pushing nuclear energy in the tar sands at the expense of public health? Pushing Dr. Helen Caldicott and the general public out of all "public" consultations, just because they would offer a contradictory opinion or, worse, contradictory facts? Someone deserves a push...right out the ol' door. Preferably applied by the sole of a foot to the seat of a pair of pants.

4. Jacques Fucking Chaoulli. This so-called doctor's been a wanker pretty much consistently everytime his mug appeared in the media, advocating for two-tier healthcare in Canada. His "reasoning": Private-for-profit clinics will "ease the strain" on the overcrowded public emergency rooms by draining off the not-so-urgent care patients who can afford to pay extra for the privilege of being fast-tracked at a private-for-profit facility, thus ultimately saving lives. In actual fact, Chaoulli's own clinic ended up causing the death of a man who came there for the urgent care Chaoulli himself boasted that said clinic was capable of providing. What did the emergency service actually consist of? Forcing a 77-year-old man in obvious respiratory distress (due to a pulmonary embolism) to sit down and wait instead of wheeling him immediately into the ER ahead of the rest of the triage line, thus easing the strain on the public system. In the words of Dr. Don McCanne,

Dr. Chaoulli's patient did not die while on a waiting list for an elective orthopedic procedure. He collapsed and died in Dr. Chaoulli's private waiting room. Dr. Chaoulli withheld cardiopulmonary resuscitation - a standard of care that surely would have been provided in any public health care facility - with questions over whether or not he had adequately trained staff and appropriate equipment to initiate such care. Dr. Chaoulli then asked his nurse to call 911 (to have the body removed), and he returned to his work. Only after the ambulance team arrived was cardiopulmonary resuscitation instituted.

Yeah, private-for-profit is so much more caring and efficient than non-profit publicly-funded, QED. But wait, the fun doesn't end there: Chaoulli's grandiloquent efforts involved copying Gandhi's hunger strikes (for more money to buy more filet mignon?), and he claimed also to be right up there with Tommy Douglas--the father of Canada's single-payer, non-profit system of health insurance. Chaoulli makes Wankers of the Week this time 'round because that's when this particularly egregious item crossed my screen, but he could easily be on there every week if I didn't find him just incredibly tiresome. Well, perhaps with all the profits he's raking in, he can hire a part-timer to blush, squirm and be heartsick in his stead. Because I can easily foresee the patient who died in his care having a lot of company before long, if this wankery keeps up.

5. The Big Fucking Dick. Here, read the pictures:

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From wanker to war criminal in four easy steps. Impressive in a grotesque sort of way.

6. Jeff Fucking Sessions. See above and add callous indifference and wanton stupidity.

7. Alberto Fucking Gonzales. Who the hell is HE to lecture anyone on "rewriting the law", much less to make it unequivocally clear that torture is illegal and unacceptable? Oh yeah, that's right...he's Dubya's little Tejano enabler. Niiiiiiice.

8. Juan Fucking Forero. For being such a predictably, consistently awful reporter on all things LatAm.

9. Sarah Fucking Litigious Palin. Get a sense of humor, and learn the Internet meaning of "redirect". It's not a hijack unless they make YOUR page redirect to "crackho.com", stoopid.

And speaking of fucking litigious, how about 10. and 11.--Larry Fucking Klayman and Ricardo Fucking Guaripa. Talk about yer frivolous lawsuits. Talk about yer shysters who should be disbarred. And talk about yer Radio Marti crapaganda whores whom no one in Venezuela misses (especially for smearing the good name of that great anti-imperialist, José Martí). If you're talking about that, you're talking about these two losers, who had best stop talking if they don't want to make bigger laughingstocks of themselves.

12. Rory Fucking Carroll. While we're on the topic of laughingstocks and Venezuela, it is SO nice to see the UK Guardian's resident snooty snotball eat a little crow and admit that the name of the new (and very popular) Vergatario cellphone is NOT in fact vulgar (it actually means "top quality"). The same could not be said about Rory Fucking Carroll and his gutter-ball brain. (Or those other UK geniuses at the Daily Fucking Mirror, who have since withdrawn their laughably titled "Hugo Chavez cocky over rude own-brand phone". It's now a 404 page, boo fucking hoo.)

And finally, anyone who claims I don't know how to be credible, but who won't elaborate as to how one goes about doing that because he's only here to troll and pull his impotent pud. (Yes, LARRY, I mean YOU.) Y'all fuck off now, with all due respect (i.e. NONE).

May 15, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Chavecito in Argentina

The highlights from his working visit today:

Cristina's looking increasingly plastic, but Chavecito's still got his natural good looks. (And yeah, I think he's handsome, so bite me.)

May 14, 2009

They're shuttin' Detroit down

A country song for all you city slickers.

PS: Detroit's not the only place hurting. Closer to my home, Oshawa is feeling the pain from the closure of a GM plant.

May 12, 2009

An open letter to the US State Department

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Hello, humorless suits...

A little birdie told me today that you've been reading this site--specifically, this entry. I'm not sure exactly what about it intrigued you enough that you took the time, but hey...thanks for taking the time. It's not every day that government agents read this humble blog.

Or is it? Maybe, from now on, it will be; I can only hope.

Now, why would I hope that the traditional enemies of democracy, the sponsors, mentors and trainers of death squads, would stick around here and read stuff I wrote and/or translated? One would think I might be freaked out to learn that you spooks had been here.

Not a chance.

Actually, I've been spoiling for a scrap with you guys. I was bullied as a kid, and now that I'm all growed up, I've decided to stand up for the underdogs, the way no one on the playground stood up for me when I needed it most. So, bullyboys, consider this your long-overdue punching-out.

Since so many people who have a major beef with you speak Spanish, and you seem to be utterly deaf to everything they say (even when they learn enough English to say "Yankee go home"), I've been diligently translating their news in the hope that someone pays attention and takes it to heart. And yes, I hope that someone is YOU.

You see, dear faceless suits and earpieces, I don't think you have any idea how bad you people look to the rest of the world. Especially Latin America. Oh sure, there are a few oligarchs, sell-outs, and paid-off local bottom-feeders who will still flatter you and fawn on you, and take your smelly money and your crappy "advice" on how to run their countries and their economies. They'll wave your flags at their astroturf demonstrations, and they'll go out of their way to eat your burgers and buy your overpriced crap. But in case you haven't noticed, they've lost a lot of ground among their own. Except for Peru, Colombia, Panama and Mexico, they're not in power. Everyone else has a more-or-less progressive government. There's a reason for that.

And no, it's not "anti-Americanism".

It's pro-Americanism.

Permit me to explain.

First of all, you people are NOT the only Americans. The Americas stretch all the way from our Canadian Arctic Circle to the ice-cold Argentine toe of Tierra del Fuego. Everyone from here to there is an American. Even the Cubans.

Secondly, all these Americans have a right to freely elect their own sovereign governments. Whether you people like those governments is immaterial; you don't get to decide anymore to replace them on a whim. Oh sure, for a while there you did...but those days are over. Got that? They're over. Finished. Kaputt.

(And yes, even the Cubans elect their representatives. They have elections; they just don't have multiple parties, and they don't have right-wing parties as a result, either. Maybe you don't like that. But whether you like it or not, I think it's safe to say that the Cubans prefer it to the alternative. Even your own former generals have admitted as much.)

Thirdly, the weak "democracy" you tried to peddle down there when your beloved military dictatorships failed hasn't worked out either. It was fraught with corruption (which I'm sure was to your benefit) and it left them in insupportable and often odious debt to the IMF, the World Bank and other "development" banks which were nothing more than ATMs for you, and cash vacuums for the people of LatAm. Please don't pretend that you don't know what I mean by that. Anyone can see by how rapidly LatAm grew poorer as the US grew richer that there was a two-way money pipeline operating, and the larger pipe of the two ran south-to-north.

Now that the various strong democracies are putting some serious muscle into turning off the valve and keeping more of their hard-earned dinero at home, diverting it into domestic channels instead of those of international capital, I can hear you guys crying foul. Oh sure, you do it in polite code. Sometimes you do it as yourselves. Sometimes you do it in the guise of media columnists (fifth columnists?) and "journalists" (note the quotation marks; they are there for a reason.) But no matter what way you do it, I know what you're saying. It's plain enough: you label anyone who doesn't keep the valve all the way open as a "dictator", or you claim that they have an "anti-freedom" agenda. You do this even when it's frankly ludicrous. It doesn't matter to you if it's true, as long as the US sheeple believe it to be true.

And yes, I'm well aware of the CIA's ongoing media project. It never really ended. Its job is to "influence" or "shape" public opinion--in favor of whatever the corporate sector and you guys decide between you is in your collective interest. Thus, for a couple of decades there, we got a lot of very strange editorials and opinion pieces proclaiming that brutal military dictators had "saved" Latin America from the communist boogyman, with a blithe glossing-over of the fact that democracy had also died there, in an apparent case of "collateral damage". Perhaps you guys mistook democracy for another nasty-wasty commie? It's an easy mistake to make.

(By the way, I'm also quite certain the CIA reads this blog. I get an inordinate number of hits from Virginia, and an awful lot of seriously stupid, intentionally misleading comments from people whose IPs trace back to there, too. Hi and a big fat one-finger salute to all you folks in Langley, and your Miami station too!)

In the end, though, all your efforts to subvert these countries' democracy--be it through outright dictatorship or the buying and rigging of elections, all the gambits you used have failed. There's only so much moral, intellectual and literal bankruptcy a country can take, and all those "little" countries (some of them as big as Brazil or Argentina) have either reached their limits or are approaching them now. Sooner or later, they were bound to turn their backs on you, the better to turn their faces back toward their own people.

Now they're looking at their own and trying to figure out how to do right by them. Their first priority is not what you think in Washington, or what your CIA pals think in Miami--it's what they themselves think. They might still be willing to have diplomatic relations with you, but this time around, they want it to be a two-way street, with you people listening respectfully for a change and KEEPING YOUR HANDS THE HELL OFF. That's not anti-you, it's pro-THEM. Pro-American, in the most catholic sense of the word.

I prefer not to take any side but that of peace and friendship. It makes for better relations all around. But yeah, if it's a matter of picking sides between them and you, guess what? This former bullied child is gonna stick up for the underdogs. They need to know that someone in the Northern Hemisphere, someone not a native speaker of Spanish (but willing to learn, in fact willing to teach herself) will stand with them. They don't get a lot of solidarity from gringos, but perhaps this Canuck will do. After all, our country has been treated like your backyard, too, and a lot of us are just as angry and resentful at the way you've undermined and subverted us. Even as I write this, I'm seeing the way efforts are being made to privatize our public educational and healthcare systems, all in the name of compliance with NAFTA. Those systems were hard-fought-for in the 1950s by a democratic, elected socialist named Tommy Douglas, who faced ugly anticommunist hysteria back then, too. So, yeah, I can totally relate to the Latin Americans. And if they want to be socialist, I think they should be free to decide it without your interference, however subtle, sneaky, subversive and underhanded.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something. And I hope it makes you deeply doubt yourselves.

Bolivia terror plot: The Argentine connection, revisited and confirmed

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This is what they fear, kiddies...indigenous Bolivians fighting back against fascism.

Via ABI, I came across this report in Argentina's Página/12. It's shocking, explosive, highly relevant to what I've written about in here previously--and worth translating in its entirety, which I did:

"I was present in Beni (northern Bolivia) with an Argentine cell of eleven ex-carapintadas ("painted faces", notorious paramilitaries), along with ex-militaries who had been on missions in the Balkans. The above-mentioned 'Argentine cell' maintained contacts with sectors of the 'far right', opposed to the current Bolivian government, in Santa Cruz and Cobija, department of Pando."

The information, dated May 4, received by the Argentine Chancellery from the embassy in Bolivia and which was received by Página/12, indicated that "business owners and landowners of Santa Cruz de la Sierra requested the presence of the ex-militaries with the objective of training them in self-defence in case of their eventual imprisonment by the Bolivian authorities."

The pieces of the puzzle are beginning to fall into place following an investigation into a group of suspected terrorists, led by Eduardo Rózsa Flores, "Hero of the Balkan War", which was dismantled by the Bolivian National Police last April 16. President Evo Morales denounced the group for planning his assassination.

Last April 21, we reported that the vice-president of Bolivia, Alvaro García Linera, had communicated with the Argentine ambassador in La Paz, Horacio Macedo, to ask him to collaborate in the control of the border regions "due to the presence of Argentine activists in certain regions of Bolivia". At that time, there was mention of the travels to Bolivia of retired major Jorge Mones Ruiz, one of the "carapintadas" who between 1987 and 1991 took part in armed uprisings to demand impunity for repressors [active during the time of the Argentine military junta, 1976-83].

The new report states that "Mones Ruiz had been in contact with the late suspected terrorist/mercenary Rózsa Flores and with [Luis Enrique] Baraldini", another comrade-in-arms and fugitive-from-justice for his actions during the illegal repressions in La Pampa, and currently based in Santa Cruz under a false name. Mones Ruiz was assigned to Bolivia as an intelligence official of the Argentine army during the last dictatorship, and liked to boast of the recognition of his Bolivian comrades.

The ex-carapintada was seduced by his links to the ultra-right in Latin America. In '87, the Military Circle published his book, in which he outlined his expertise on the formation of commando groups against the revolutionary processes in Central America. This year, Mones Ruiz found anchorage in the so-called UnAmérica, an NGO claiming to be a counterweight to Unasur, the organization to which all the South American heads of state belong. Leftist governments, particularly those of Bolivia and Venezuela, were the focus of the efforts of the committee, led by the anti-Chavista Venezuelan, Alejandro Peña Esclusa.

Mones Ruiz showed his notions in various formats, but with the same obsession. With another of his carapintada comrades, Breide Obeid, he formed the "Conjunto Patria" (Homeland Alliance) and began to sing his own lyrics in all kinds of encounters. More academically, he published various books, among them "Argentina--without a future?". He studied the "new dangers" and broadcast himself on Web pages on subjects such as "misrule and institutional bankruptcy, attacks on businessses, price controls, energy crises, the 'Papeleros' case, citizen insecurity, corruption, 'twisted' justice, widening of the gap between rich and poor, 'crooked' legislators, social violence, forgotten military commanders, police forces with fewer rights than delinquents, etc., which are generating the conditions for structural changes that society demands." A hyperactive man, last year he began to show up during rural meetings and stir up conflict.

The violent entry of the police into the fourth floor of the Hotel Las Américas, which ended in the deaths of Rózsa Flores (Bolivian-Hungarian-Croatian), Arpád Magyarosi (Romanian of Hungarian origins) and Michael Dwyer (Irish), and the arrests of Mario Francisco Tadic Astorga (Bolivian with Croatian passport) and Elöd Tóásó (Romanian-Hungarian) exacerbated the virulence of the Bolivian opposition. President Evo Morales is looking for re-election next December 6, and read the actions of these transnational commandos as proof of a cabal with plans to assassinate him. Throughout this minefield, there are footprints of the same personages.

Five days after the sting in the hotel, the Hungarian Television Network broadcast an interview by journalist Andras Kepes on September 8, 2008, in which Rózsa confirmed that he was bound for Santa Cruz de la Sierra at the request of persons who asked him to form a "self-defence group" in the region and that if there was no peaceful coexistence with the rest of the country, they would seek independence. The newspaper El Deber, of Santa Cruz, stated that "the 49-year-old assured that his mission 'had legal backing' because the decision to organize his militia had the authorization of the Council of Santa Cruz. The president of the Departmental Assembly, Juan Carlos Parada, assured that he knew nothing about it and that he did not know which of the councils or assemblies of Santa Cruz had sought permission. According to Rózsa, a group of political opposition members contacted him about a year and a half earlier, from Santa Cruz. His principal mission was to defend the region against supposed armed indigenous groups and militias. "We were convinced after a few months that there was no peaceful coexistence and, in the name of autonomy, decided to proclaim the independence of Santa Cruz and create a new country," said Rózsa.

Rózsa recorded the interview as a kind of last will and testament, to be distributed only in the event of his death. The strange personage who had been a militant of Opus Dei, converted to Islam and was hailed as a "Hero of the Balkan War", ended up recruiting mercenaries to defend the Bolivian ultra-right. His participation in the Croatian war established ties with Latin American soldiers who found in these militias a sought-after niche in which to develop their competence as armed commandos.

The detailed report before the Argentine chancellery tells that businessmen and landowners in Santa Cruz de la Sierra appealed to the ex-militaries "with the objective of being instructed in self-defence in case of possible imprisonment by official organisms and various affiliates, including the taking of private lands by social entities such as the MAS"--alluding to the Movement Toward Socialism party led by President Evo Morales.

The "model" of Brazilian landlords who installed virtual death squads to counteract the landless peasant movements demonstrates what the reactionary secessionists of the rich regions of Bolivia had in mind. The "Human Rights Foundation of Bolivia", under the offices of Victor Hugo Achá, was a school in the strategies and objectives of UnAmérica, according to the report.

On April 30, prosecutor Marcelo Sosa announced that Achá would be called upon to testify, in order to corroborate the testimonies of various detainees in the case. The president of the HRF had gone to the United States one week earlier and announced that he would no return until he received legal guarantees that he would be able to defend himself against the accusations. However, in a telephone conversation with a local channel, he admitted that he had conversed on more than three occasions with Rózsa but, obviously, denied any ties with the militia organized by the Bolivian-Hungarian-Croat.

According to the daily La Prensa, of La Paz, Juan Carlos Gueder, recently arrested, declared: "There was another person with ties to the political field, to be assassinated in Bolivia, but I don't know his name either, because there are other people who should be coming forward here. Mr. Hugo Achá should show his face." Gueder assured that he HRF director had met with the suspected terrorist group. Gueder was given house arrest in exchange for collaborating with the judicial authorities.

On May 1, the Bolivian president said that if the organization had not clarified its links with "the terrorists, it would be expelled from Bolivia, as had already occurred in Venezuela. The Comité Pro Santa Cruz, a leading light in the opposition which repeatedly tried to destabilize the Morales administration, called an assembly to decide what to do against the advances of the investigation into ties between its businessmen and the suspected terrorists killed in the Hotel Las Américas.

This is how the sectors of UnAmérica act--an organization in which the Argentine paramilitary Mones Ruiz preens himself as secretary, and which says it will present a denunciation before the Inter-American Human Rights Court, accusing the Morales government of being responsible for the massacre of Pando. The objective is to counteract the report approved by Unasur which landed in prison, among others, the prefect of Pando, for racial persecution and racist murders committed by the ultra-right.

Links added.

So, another piece of the puzzle is indeed falling into place, and it's a large one. This Argentine fascist, a self-styled defender and apologist of repressors from the junta, is not surprisingly a big wheel in the fascist plot against Evo. He has ample experience in fascism in Bolivia, too, as he was a liaison between the Argentine junta and its counterpart, the Bolivian military dictatorship of the era. (Recall that Bolivia was the victim of several military coups beginning in 1964, and did not regain democracy until 1982, one year before the Argentine junta fell.) It seems natural that Mones Ruiz would therefore have abiding sympathies for fascists in Bolivia, and possibly even ties stretching back to his time in country the first time around. It would not be at all hard for him--whom Página/12 also characterizes as being "nostalgic for other times" and "frankly putschist"--to cheerfully become part of an antidemocratic plot to pull Santa Cruz out of Bolivia and install an authoritarian para-government, however illegally. To him, it would be just like the "good old days" of impunity and repression both there and in Argentina!

The name of Luis Enrique Baraldini has also come up here before. According to this report, Baraldini is currently in Bolivia. (He's also wanted by Interpol for human rights violations in Argentina, so if you've seen him, you know who to call.) Baraldini is of the Santa Cruz horsey set; he's a judge in equestrian events, and also currently runs a "school of equine therapy", presumably catering to disabled children, which may well be a front for something less pleasant--or at the very least, a way of covering his multitudinous sins. He may be using his mother's surname, Pellegri, as an alias (how macho, hiding behind Mama's skirts). He also was decorated by the Bolivian military for his "services"--a major WTF? until you consider that he, too, was operative during the days of military dictatorship, and undoubtedly, like Mones Ruiz, was sent by the higher-ups in Buenos Aires to "help" the poor, beleaguered unpopular generals maintain their death grip on that impoverished but still fractious country! Alas, it was an epic fail. Bolivia is now democratic and ruled by an uppity Injun. How lucky for him, then, that there has been mostly impunity for Argentine repressors since the return of democracy to Bolivia in '82 and Argentina in '83, otherwise he'd be in a world of hurt. (Well, it's still not too late to call Interpol if you've seen him. Or the Bolivian federal authorities, who I'm sure are more than a little interested in him again, though in a markedly different light, by now.)

And of course, there's that weaselly little UnAmérica thing again, too. Too bad it's totally illegitimate, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is likely to throw out its charges with a loud belly-laugh. Unasur, not UnAmérica, holds the legal cards. The declarations of this right-wing astroturf group are therefore no more legitimate than the "autonomy" declarations of the Media Lunatics (which were so preposterous that no respectable international observer wanted to be caught dead at their illegal referendum, much less dignify it with the stamp of approval.) I don't imagine that the smarmy Twat From Caracas and his little astroturf-roll will fare any better either; no one's about to grant them immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony since they're clearly in this plot up to their collective, beady eyeballs.

I've lost count of how many points this makes for Evo's side, but I know for sure that the oppo count is still 0. Apologists for fascism, the ball's in your court now...but I doubt you can return THIS serve convincingly. You haven't done all that well with any of the previous ones.

Bolivia terror plot: The smoking gun(s) of forensic evidence

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So, there are still those who think the three dead mercenaries shot by the Bolivian police were innocent, and that they were executed in cold blood, rather than killed in a firefight? Well, now the ballistic evidence is in, and guess what it says...

Experts from the Institute of Forensic Investigations (IDIF) found gunpowder residues on the hands of the suspected terrorists killed on April 16 in a confrontation with an elite unit of the Bolivian federal police in the Hotel Las Américas, according to judicial sources.

"The IDIF report indicates that there were gunpowder residues on the hands of Eduardo Rózsa Flores, Arpad Magyarosi and Michael Martin Dwyer," said prosecutor Marcelo Soza, head of the investigation.

[...]

Soza said the IDIF findings constitute evidence that the deceased fired at the police during the confrontation in which they were killed.

Translation mine.

There WAS a firefight, and these guys were killed because they were shooting at the police. Any questions?

May 11, 2009

Chavecito vs. oppos: Whose words are the worst?

First, here's Chavecito:

He's saying that "being rich is bad", but not only that--he also acknowledges that there are some who will feel offended by his saying so. And then he goes on to say that Jesus said the same thing to a rich man! (Which he did, BTW.)

Now, here are some oppos, saying something about Chavecito:

Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, former governor of Zulia and former presidential candidate for the COPEI (Social Christian) party, doesn't seem to grasp the concept of democracy very well. He talks on Televen about how "repression is spreading" (a lie), and also about methods of removing Chavecito from power "beyond voting"! Gee, sounds to me like he's advocating a coup d'état, which is to say, murder.

And just think, people, this man is the so-called CHRISTIAN! He lies and advocates murder. Would Jesus do that? Would he approve of it in someone who professes to be his follower?

Meanwhile, Chavecito correctly quotes Christ and places him (also correctly) in the context of socialism--everyone contributing, everyone benefiting, no one with too much, and therefore no one with too little.

So, who said the worst thing? You tell me, gentle readers.

Another big drug bust in Venezuela

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Néstor Reverol (in red) shows off a whackload of Colombia's most lucrative export--which won't be making it out through Venezuela this time.

So, Venezuela needs the DEA back, eh? Heh...

The director of the National Anti-Drug Office, Néstor Reverol, announced the confiscation of 1,981 kilograms of drugs, which were divided into 1,912 blocks, last Saturday in the early morning hours. The drugs were confiscated by the municipal police of Pedro Gual, the Bolivarian National Guard, and the CICPC.

The operation also resulted in the detention of three persons, one Colombian and two Venezuelan, at a ranch called "La Guardia", in the Panapo sector of Cúpira in the state of Miranda. The detainees are currently in the custody of the Public Ministry.

A boat by the name of Ave Fénix, registered in Pampatar, was also seized.

Reverol called the operation "another heavy blow" for the trafficking of drugs. "We hereby confirm the commitment of the Venezuelan state in its frontal assault on the trafficking of illicit drugs," Reverol said.

Reverol reported that in another operation, conducted on Sunday afternoon by the National Guard, 830 kilos of marijuana were seized in a truck with a false bottom. The operation took place in the Buena Vista sector of Monte Carmelo, Trujillo.

"It is important to emphasize that to date, we have confiscated 18,488 kilograms of illegal drugs, and arrested 2,050 persons who are now in the custody of the Public Ministry," Reverol said.

Translation mine.

Looks like Venezuela and Bolivia both are doing better at antidrug policing by themselves than they ever did with the DEA in the house. Now why do you suppose that is?

Meanwhile, on a related note, check out THIS bit of drug-related pwnage:

A rational expert shoots down a former drug czar.

Heh, heh...and just for emphasis and good measure, heh.

May 10, 2009

Music for a Sunday: Two by Shriekback

Two of my old faves.

I never knew this one was on a soundtrack. I only knew it from Oil and Gold, same as this one:

Gorgeous, underrated stuff. Still fresh after all this time.

Cops Behaving Badly: Provocs at the G-20, suspected

No...REALLY? Well, duh. Remember, kiddies...protests are always peaceful as long as it's only protesters protesting. It's never a riot until the cops show up!

Liberal Democrat Tom Brake says he saw what he believed to be two plain-clothes police officers go through a police cordon after presenting their ID cards.

Brake, who along with hundreds of others was corralled behind police lines near Bank tube station in the City of London on the day of the protests, says he was informed by people in the crowd that the men had been seen to throw bottles at the police and had encouraged others to do the same shortly before they passed through the cordon.

Brake, a member of the influential home affairs select committee, will raise the allegations when he gives evidence before parliament's joint committee on human rights on Tuesday.

"When I was in the middle of the crowd, two people came over to me and said, 'There are people over there who we believe are policemen and who have been encouraging the crowd to throw things at the police,'" Brake said. But when the crowd became suspicious of the men and accused them of being police officers, the pair approached the police line and passed through after showing some form of identification.

Brake has produced a draft report of his experiences for the human rights committee, having received written statements from people in the crowd. These include Tony Amos, a photographer who was standing with protesters in the Royal Exchange between 5pm and 6pm. "He [one of the alleged officers] was egging protesters on. It was very noticeable," Amos said. "Then suddenly a protester seemed to identify him as a policeman and turned on him. He ­legged it towards the police line, flashed some ID and they just let him through, no questions asked."

Amos added: "He was pretty much inciting the crowd. He could not be called an observer. I don't believe in conspiracy theories but this really struck me. Hopefully, a review of video evidence will clear this up."

Hmm, what are the London Indymedia folks saying? Great Googly Moogly, let's have a look-see...

Aha! Paydirt:

When the G20 Meltdown was announced, many of us knew that the police were going to launch a "dark ops" assualt on the protest. The media was foaming at the mouth about "anarchist violence", "killing bankers", "mayhem", and all the rest; they certainly didn't want to be proved wrong. Although many knew beforehand that kettling and police agitators would be used at the protest, we also knew that to miss the festival would mean that we had given up our right to assemble peacefully in the face of the Police State (which many citizens have already resigned themselves to). Thus we were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

But that's just a beginning. Here's another lead, mentioned by the Indymedia report, worth reading in its entirety. It's chock-a-block with links, some to photographic evidence. It looks as though the police and the media co-ordinated the "violent protests" so that there would be plausible reason to discredit the PEACEFUL protesters!

But surely they wouldn't do that? Surely the media are honest, and the cops are our friends...

Yeah. Right. Even here in Canada, that's often not true. Remember those three burly "anarchists" who looked suspiciously out of place at an anti-SPP demo in Quebec? The REAL anarchists, who weren't looking to riot, weren't fooled either. Most of them live on vegan food and can't afford steroids, much less regular access to a gym.

Don't forget, either, the London cop who broadcast his fascistic intentions on Facebook. He was planning for violence. Perhaps he knew who the provocs were, and had reason to look forward to knockin' some 'eads?

The watchers are being watched, and if they're scared, they SHOULD be. It is not the protesters, but the "authorities", the enforcers of capitalism, who are the real destructive forces out to bring society down. When the banker is exposed as a robber, and the cop and the "journalist" are his accomplices, you know that the "security" you've been living is a dirty, stinking lie.

Meanwhile, we await the video, which should serve only as a final confirmation of what anyone who's been paying attention will already know.

May 9, 2009

Wankers of the Week: Dicks 'n' Taters edition

It's time to plant potatoes...and pray none come out looking quite like this:

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So, how do this week's candidates rate? As dicks, taters, or both? Read on, and judge for yourselves...

1. Orson Scott Fucking Card. Who is he to be blatting on about the gay-rights movement "dictating" public policy to the married when his own Mormon church is at it far more blatantly and repressively? And who is he to talk about what kind of marriage is "natural" when the Mormons were founded by a man who was not only a dictator, but a polygamist? A screaming closet case, most likely. If he wants the law to dictate what people can do in the privacy of their bedrooms, he should be aware that it can also dictate what's done in the less-private space of churches--and maybe the very profitable Mormon cult, which also backed Prop Hate, would like to start paying taxes on its tithings, hmmm?

2. The fuckhead or fuckheadess who signed him/herself "M. Maloney" at the end of this dumbest-ever letter to the editor. Perhaps you should change your name to "B. Baloney", sir or madam, because it's YOU who are "full of bull", as you so quaintly put it. I would put it less quaintly: You are full of shit. I don't believe for an instant you've been to Venezuela even once, much less "multiple times over the last eight years". Why else would you claim that Hugo Chávez "was elected by the people of Venezuela, but only once, in 1996. Every 'election' since then has been rigged." Funny, but not only the people themselves, but a whole raft of international observers think you're full of shit too--and not only because the elections show NO signs of rigging, but because he was elected for the first time in 1998, not 1996. Oh, and the constitution hasn't been "dissolved", either; it's been rewritten BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, which the US constitution certainly wasn't; it was also amended to allow multiple re-election for ALL candidates, BY POPULAR VOTE. Maybe it's B. Baloney who needs to do some homework--if only to lie more convincingly in his/her LTEs.

3. Gary Fucking Hensley. When did killing people in Afghanistan become somehow "saving" them? When this dick of a lieutenant-colonel decided it was as good as converting them to Christianity. No shit, he really said it: "The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus. We do, we hunt them down." And then some people wonder why fundamentalist Christianity is scaring people away? And that the Muslims of Afghanistan are not only resisting the evangelists' efforts, but many have also sworn to put them to death for it? Yeah, I wonder too.

4. and 5. Michael Fucking "Savage" Weiner and Fred Fucking Phelps. Congratulations, your incessant demagogic hatemongering got you two shits banned from Britain.

6. Alvaro Fucking Uribe. Using public money and public defenders to protect soldiers accused of taking public money to kill innocent members of the public? Man, that's...just...LOW.

7. and 8. Carrie Fucking Prejean's stupid fucking parents. How did Miss Implants California become such a flaming 'mo-hater and spokeswoman for the sacrosanct institution of Opposite Marriage? Lemme put it to you this way: She learned by imitation from two very Christian divorcees. Bonus wanker points to the 'rental units for letting her pose topless as a teenager in skimpy pink lace panties.

9. Pat Fucking Robertson. Same-sex marriage means that child molestation, bestiality and polygamy will be legal next? Well, no doubt in Patwa's wet dreams (and those of Mormon Orson, too). BTW, how's that assassination plan of yours working out, Marion?

10. Kiefer Fucking Sutherland. Dude, your show is fiction. FICTION. Got that? Now sober up and knock off the tough-guy shit.

11. and 12. The original Dick and Tater, of course:

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Nice faces! Just like those of true war criminals.

And finally, anyone who comes on here accusing me of not having my facts straight. Au contraire, mes petits frères, I have them all lined up like neat little duckies in a shooting gallery. 'Tis you, 'tis YOU who do not know squat, be it about Hungarian "Szekler" terrorists (yes, TERRORISTS--and oh boy, is THAT grist for a future entry) or those homegrown (though not indigenous) to Santa Cruz. Get your heads out of your own butts, stop being apologists for fascism, and perhaps you won't wind up pwned with potatoes down your pants in the future. Or, as in the case of my Szekler heckler, spam-canned and BANNED (with your nasty, abusive e-mails saved in case the Hungarian federal police come calling, heh heh).

Thank you, and good night.

Bolivia's loss is Peru's shame

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This cartoon...it just never gets old, does it?

If the government of Peru was looking for a way to cover itself with even more disgrace than it already has, well, guess what...IT FOUND IT. They're not only taking crooks from Venezuela, but Bolivia, too:

The government of Peru granted asylum to a minister of the former president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, who was facing trial by the Bolivian supreme court, according to Agence France-Presse.

Two other functionaries of the Sánchez de Lozada regime are also seeking asylum in Peru.

[...]

The concession on the part of Lima takes place at a time when legal proceedings have opened against Sánchez de Lozada, who is accused of the killing of 67 Bolivians in the repression of a popular insurrection in the cities of El Alto and La Paz, which preceded his removal from office in October 2003.

The charges, pressed by the victims' families, will be heard by the Supreme Court on May 18. Along with Sánchez de Lozada, currently a fugitive in the United States, they involve several of his ministers: Carlos Sánchez Berzaín (Defence), Jorge Torres Obleas (Haciendas), Yerko Kukoc (Interior), Mirtha Quevedo (Popular Participation), Jorge Berindoage (Hydrocarbons) and Guido Añez (Agriculture).

Sánchez Berzain is a fugitive in the United States, as are Añez and Berindoage.

Kukoc is seeking asylum in Peru, and according to sources, Quevedo is also trying for asylum.

The Bolivian Minister of Legal Defence, Héctor Arce, called upon the Peruvian government to reject the asylum bids of Quevedo, Torres and Kukoc, reports AFP.

[...]

Kukoc, who fled to Buenos Aires on the night of October 17, 2003, and returned to Bolivia a month later, when Sánchez de Lozada's successor, vice-president Carlos Mesa, was in power, was tried for the illegal possession of nearly two million bolivianos withdrawn irregularly from the Central Bank a few days before the fall of the deposed leader.

Unable to convert it to dollars, Kukoc gave the money to a friend in Santa Cruz, at the Santa Cruz airport where Sánchez de Lozada embarked, along with his family and Sánchez Berzaín, on a flight bound for the United States.

[...]

Christian Zanabria, an activist of the Human Rights Assembly of Chuquisaca, denounced several magistrates of the Supreme Court on Friday for trying to halt the trial of Sánchez de Losada, who was also cited for inflicting economic damage on the state during his first administration, between 1993 and 1997, when he privatized most of the Bolivian state industries, including the strategic ones.

Zanabria also denounced Quevedo's defence attorney for trying to halt her trial.

"We have been informed of two incidents on the part of Quevedo, who asked for annulment of responsibilities, with the justification that there were procedural flaws and that there was no meeting between the parties," reported the activist.

Zanabria warned that, with such a pretext the Supreme Court could "give the green light" to halting the trial of Sánchez de Lozada.

Translation mine.

Yep, Peru now has Goni-rhea in addition to a bad case of Burusas.

And of course, the biggest crook-harborer of all is still...drumroll please...THE UNITED STATES. How many national disgraces from Latin America are hiding out there now, some of them with close ties to Washington? I've lost count. For a country that supposedly values democracy and swears it will prosecute terrorists, it's sure not doing much to keep its own house in order.

UPDATE: Mirtha Quevedo has just piped up to confirm that she is in Peru, and wants a "fair trial". Why is she acting like she won't get one? Answer: Because she will, and that's just what she doesn't want.

UPDATE #2: Bolivia's ambassador to Peru denies that there are any political persecutions going on in Bolivia. Unfortunately, the same is true not only there but in Venezuela--and the truth hasn't stopped El Gordo from providing asylum to the scum de la scum from there, has it now?

UPDATE #3: Evo has finally weighed in, basically asking the Fat One to stop harboring crooks. Evo, stop being so damn polite and just kick his ass all over the soccer pitch, already!

May 8, 2009

Bolivia terror plot: An attorney's intriguing revelations, and some more intriguing revelations about the attorney

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No translation required, I trust...

My, oh my, oh my. Something mighty interesting is going down in Bolivia, no? Here comes your latest installment, kiddies:

Denver Pedraza, the defence attorney for the Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC) members Carlos Gueder Bruno and Alcides Mendoza Masavi, implicated in the activities of a presumed terrorist cell dismantled in Santa Cruz, linked Senator Walter Guiteras to the suspected trafficking of weapons in 2006, which were to be used against the government.

"Senator Guiteras, of the Podemos opposition party, was one of the persons allegedly trafficking weapons through the zone, via one of his properties," Pedraza revealed in an interview with a local TV station.

Pedraza named a family, the Farfáns, as suspected ringleaders of an organization which trafficked weapons in the department of Beni, although he did not specify a precise location of the property in question.

"This terrorist event has a name and surname. As of 2006-7, a great many weapons entered Bolivia, especially in the departments of Santa Cruz and Beni," Pedraza said.

[...]

Pedraza also revealed that as of 2006, when the weapons began coming into the country, and in 2007-8, "the 'lodges' Toborochi, Caballeros del Oriente, and a group of members who ran the companies CRE (electricity), COTAS (telecommunications) and SAGUAPAC (water) began to react [against the Morales government]."

[...]

Pedraza said that these "lodges" immediately organized, and that there was a hunger strike in Santa Cruz, "and then the idea arose among some people there to kill Dr. Hugo Salvatierra, who was Minister of Agriculture, and Dr. Chato Peredo."

These declarations come as the Public Ministry investigates events relating to a terrorist cell which operated in Santa Cruz, which intended to divide Bolivia and made attempts on the life of President Evo Morales. In previous declarations made last week, Pedraza had already made known that he possessed much important information relating to the terrorism case, and asked to meet with President Morales.

Translation mine.

You'll want to read what Otto has found about the Toborochi and Caballeros Del Oriente "lodges" mentioned above, which are shunned like lepers by mainstream, respectable Bolivian freemasons for reasons all too compelling. There is some extensive and damning documentation (at the moment, in Spanish only) on these two very shady secret societies. If more on them comes to light later on, I'm going to translate key bits and post them here, as I agree with Otto that they are significant--they appear to have provided cover for some serious terrorist plotting and other criminal activities as well.

Meanwhile, I'm doing the old Googly-moogly on Denver Pedraza, the attorney for these two accused, who are suspected bagmen and/or weapons suppliers to the cell. Here are a few things I've found so far:

According to a May 1 news item on a Canadian Bolivia solidarity site, Pedraza is himself under corruption charges. The charges stem back to when Pedraza was district chief of DIRCABI Santa Cruz, the district directorate of the national registry, controller and administrator of confiscated property. For this reason, according to the juridical director of the Ministry of Government, Rubén Gamarra, Pedraza "has no moral authority to summon any governmental authorities"--this in reference to his wanting to meet with Evo. Instead, he's been asked to hand over the information to the Public Ministry to be processed according to established legal procedure.

Pedraza was made district chief of DIRCABI Santa Cruz on July 21, 2006, and fired just nine months later, after Alfredo Rada, the Minister of Government, found irregularities in his management of the office. Pedraza is accused of having taken a confiscated car and then crashed it in a state of intoxication. Several bottles of wine were found inside at the scene. It wasn't the only confiscated car he took, either--he is accused of having given two armored vehicles, a Fiat and a Citroën, worth $50,000 US apiece, to the mother of a man charged in a drug-trafficking case. He only returned one--"totally dismantled". The other is still unaccounted for. Yet another confiscated vehicle, a Suzuki, was also "irregularly used" and involved in a traffic accident; Pedraza was found to have ordered the transfer of some persons in it, and to date has not paid for the repairs incurred as a result of the incident. He also rented out a confiscated building, on the corner of San Aurelio Avenue and Segundo Anillo in the city of Santa Cruz as a billboard for large advertisements. The renters were charged $700 US for a year's use of the space. This money did not go to DIRCABI, but to Pedraza's own pocket, even though he had been fired. Several pieces of confiscated jewelry were also found to be missing from the safe at DIRCABI headquarters, and Pedraza later admitted that they were in "a secure location", and returned them after they were found in his home!

Gee, he sounds like quite the character, doesn't he? But nonetheless, he's entirely par for the course if you're talking about crooked bigwigs in the city of Santa Cruz, which has no shortage of those. (Why do you think so many of them are banding together in clandestine "lodges" to kill Evo? Among other things, he's cracking down on corruption. Duh!)

According to this piece in the very right-wing (and smelly) Bolivian news site El Deber, Pedraza claims there are persons in the federal government and the National Police linked to weapons trafficking. Could this be what he wanted to meet with Evo about? Or is he accusing Evo, and trying to drag him into court? This might explain why his "requests" for a "meeting" were rejected on the grounds of his lack of moral standing. Oh, and get this: Pedraza claims to be a MAS supporter (that is, of Evo's party, the Movement Toward Socialism)! He also points the finger at Alfredo Rada (mentioned above), and Major Johnny Tapia, former federal police officer (and head of Delta Squadron) and currently chief of police in Plan 3000, a mostly-indigenous suburb of the city of Santa Cruz. Tapia of course denies it, and I have yet to see anything worth crediting pertaining to charges against Rada, either. The same piece also uncritically characterizes the far-right astroturf group, the "Human Rights Foundation", as "apolitical", which is the dirtiest joke I've heard all week. (I did say El Deber was smelly, did I not?)

BTW, I'm looking for the video in which Pedraza gives the interview mentioned in the ABI article at the top of this piece. If anyone knows where I can find it, drop me a note in the comments section and I'll post it here so you can see him for yourself and judge how trustworthy/noteworthy/whatever you find him.

Festive Left Friday Blogging: A political declaration from your friendly Minister of Propaganda

Comrades!

Since Evo declared himself a couple of weeks ago, I figured it was high time for me to do the same. Therefore, permit me to make this brief announcement:

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I, too, am a Marxist-Lennonist. Now, let them kick ME out of the OAS.

May 7, 2009

Why does this not surprise me?

Bernie Madoff's secretary spills some rather predictable beans on her crooked boss:

Squillari said her married former boss was flirtatious and made sexually suggestive remarks. She said she once saw him perusing the escort ads in the back of a magazine and said he frequented massage parlors.

"Once, I looked in his address book and found, under M, about a dozen phone numbers for his masseuses," she wrote. "If you ever lose your address book and somebody finds it, they're going to think you're a pervert, I said."

Squillari said Madoff often made sexually suggestive remarks.

"'Oh, you know you're crazy about me,' he would say to me. Sometimes when he came out of his bathroom, which was diagonal to my desk, he would still be zipping up his pants. If he saw me shaking my head disapprovingly, he would say 'Oh, you know it excites you,'" she wrote.

Not only a greedy fuck, but he thought he was God's gift to the feminine half of all humanity, too. Maybe he embezzled so much in order to pay for it all?

How the Venezuelan opposition does "journalism"

Yes, kiddies, more fun stuff from Mario and his band of merry men at La Hojilla:

Globovisión no doubt thought it had scored a journalistic coup when one of its reporters, Beatriz Adrián, came by the confidential information of several members of the National Assembly, including their salaries and discretionary spending budgets.

Well, it was a coup all right, but less of the journalistic kind, and more like "d'état".

You see, the security cameras were on in the corridors of power, and they caught Beatriz, her colleague Violeta Rosa, and at least two other Globovisionistas in the act of suborning an employee of the National Assembly, who has since been fired. The cameras caught everything: some suspicious conversations, some lurking, some pacing back and forth, and finally, the hand-over of the confidential papers, along with the gleeful exit of Beatriz and Violeta, who can be seen grinning ear to ear at their own "cleverness" in having bribed a poor hapless woman into handing over materials that they had no right to.

Well, I bet they won't be grinning so much from now on. At least, not in the hallowed halls of the Hemiciclo.

And neither will their boss, Alberto Federico Ravell, who financed this little exercise in cheque-book hackery. I'd sure like to see a camera catch the look on his face when he learned that his girls had been caught in the act of bribery. I bet it would be uncannily like that of a man who has just split his pants and is suddenly feeling a gentle breeze blowing where it shouldn't.

How the Venezuelan opposition "celebrated" May Day

Or, Yon-Yon's mustard gaffe:

A couple of clips from La Hojilla (The Razorblade), showing what none of the opposition media want you to see about the kind of people THEY represent. Namely, that they are delusional, violent and even downright stupid at times. Namely, that they don't have fuck-all to do with Venezuela's real workers and unionists, who marched on May Day in peaceful, happy--i.e., typically Chavista--fashion. No, these guys marched to complain, as ever, about how repressed they are.

Yeah, right.

So repressed are these poor deluded dears that no one stopped them from marching. They were even granted a permit to follow a given route (how repressive!). But when they tried to diverge from that route and break into the National Assembly building under the pretext of "delivering a document", then they came up against the Caracas police, who had set up protective barriers (which some punks in front promptly proceeded to break).

When asked repeatedly by journalist Jorge Amorín what the document said, the oppos got belligerent. They accused Amorín of being a spy, or shouted what appeared to be stupid slogans that had nothing to do with the subject at hand. One oppo leader, Ismael García, can be seen giving Amorín and his cameraman the finger--just for asking a few questions that he doesn't want to answer truthfully. So civilized, these oppos!

If there was a document--which I doubt, as none was in evidence anywhere--what was so secret about its contents? After all, it was supposed to be "delivered" to a public institution--the National Assembly, that is, the chamber of Venezuela's elected federal representatives.

Hey! I get it. There was no document. That's right: THERE WAS NO DOCUMENT. This was a ruse! (smacking forehead) How could I have been so dense?

This was just another effort on the part of the oppos to recoup what they lost on April 13, 2002. Remember that? On April 11, they marched on Miraflores to depose a legitimate president; they had to commit murder and mayhem to get their way, but it only lasted 48 hours. At the end, the will of the people prevailed, the fascists fled, and Chavecito returned to his desk. They've been trying, ever since then, to try to get it right, and they haven't succeeded yet. Always they keep coming up against the same thing: The people love Chavecito, and they want to keep him around.

But hey! Give these guys full marks for dogged persistence, anyway. They just keep trying and trying to impose themselves against democracy. So touching. And just think, if Venezuela were really a totalitarian state, as they claim, would these fascists have the freedom to keep trying for a coup d'état, with commercial media as their faithful accomplice?

Or for that matter, if there were no freedom of speech in Venezuela, would Yon "Playboy" Goicoechea be able to lie on TV about how the police used mustard gas against a march that he took no part in himself? (Item #1: Mustard gas has been prohibited by international law since 1925. Item #2: Venezuela respects and abides by all international laws.) There's been plenty of joking (most notably by the Robertos, on their show "As You Can See") about Yon-Yon's mustard gaffe, and how what was really sprayed at the crowd was not mustard but mayonnaise.

All kidding aside, however, the police did have to use pepper spray, as the mob was breaking the barriers, attempting to riot, and showing no respect for public order. Pepper spray is legal; it's nasty, but not deadly unless maybe you have an allergy to cayenne pepper. And in this case, it was dyed red, so anyone could see it coming and get away in time. It's unfortunate that the cops had to use it, but if you watch both videos, you'll see that they had good reasons for doing so.

Also, pay close attention to how the Globovisíon announcer claims there was no violence. Really? Then who knocked over those potted trees? Who set the garbage bin on fire? Who destroyed the PDVAL market? I'll give you a broad hint: They weren't wearing PSUV shirts or carrying a banner with Chavecito's face on it. The Chavista march didn't go that way.

Oh, those poor oppressed oppos. Can't get their way, so they riot--and then they lose what little respect anyone else was ever willing to give them.

Including your humble scribe.

May 6, 2009

Circling the wagons in Santa Cruz

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Wave that separatist flag while you can, Rubén...because someone is closing in on you and your bed-buddies:

The big-business lobby group, Comité Pro Santa Cruz (CPSCZ) called on Tuesday night for a "Cruceñidad Assembly" to close ranks around the prefect of Santa Cruz, Rubén Costas, the Croatian-born businessman Branko Marinkovic, and the cattle rancher Guido Náyar, who have been summoned to appear before public prosecutor Marcelo Soza, who is investigating the financial ties of a group of European and local mercenaries who planned assassinations and the geographic fragmentation of Bolivia.

[...]

The CPSCZ, which serves as an umbrella to various businesses and "civil" organizations in Santa Cruz, whose vice-president is Náyar, a former minister of the ex-dictator and ex-president Hugo Banzer (1971-78 and 1997-2001, respectively), also called upon its members to "reject the conspiracy being hatched [by the government in La Paz] against the leadership in Santa Cruz," according to current CPSCZ president Luís Nuñez.

Nuñez, who is the successor to Branko Marinkovic and also Rubén Costas in that position, also decried a campaign "against the civic movement and against the autonomists on the part of the central government," alluding to Soza's investigations.

Translation mine.

Note the close and cozy ties between the Comité and the current prefect of Santa Cruz. Note, also, the very close and inordinately cozy ties between them and Branko, not to mention large cattle ranchers (the same ones who, you might recall, are suspected or have been found guilty of enslaving the indigenous people whose land they stole for their own private property. Yes, Ron Larson, I'm looking at you. And your pretty-boy son, too.)

Anyone who doesn't see blatant racism and conspiracy at work here had better get new glasses. They're trying to cover their butts now, which is as good as an admission of guilt. But it won't wash. This bunch aren't even subtle about where they come from, remember?

May 4, 2009

Still think the Dalai Lama walks on water?

If you do, I have the cure for your delusion right here:

Audience member: "Can you give us an example of a leader we should look up to as a positive influence?"

Dalai Lama (after thinking for a few seconds): "President Bush. I met him personally and liked him very much. He was honest and straightforward, and that is very important. I may not have agreed with all his policies, but I thought he was very honest and a very good leader."

No shit. He actually said that.

Bonus: He also handed over Tibet to Chairman Mao.

Suddenly, his idea of who's a "good leader" makes a lot more sense, eh? Sick sense, maybe...but sense nonetheless.

A blast from Bolivia's past

This video was made exactly one year ago today. It shows the true nature of the "Nación Camba", the fascist organization that seeks "autonomy" for the so-called "Media Luna", the "half moon" of Bolivian provinces ruled by the opposition.

Notice something in there? Something Hitleresque about the salutes? Something Nazified about the "patriotic" songs? Perhaps the fact that the victims of their violence are all indigenous? And how about the bellowing halfwit on the Camba podium, saying that their fascist gendarmerie (an illegal militia, whom you can tell by their green-and-white shields) are the "only moral force" in the country?

There's a reason I'm posting this. This "nation" didn't even exist until after an indigenous man became president of Bolivia...and decided it was time the indigenous peoples got autonomy from the racist rule of these guys, as well as more seats in parliament and more say in the running of their lives. That's when the wealthy whites tried to hit him back with an "autonomy" bid of their own, and ended up climbing on board the failboat. They've been sinking steadily in their own toxic effluvium ever since, and their not-so-secret sponsorship of the terrorist cell that was recently broken up by the federales may just be the thing that brings them down for good.

But even if it doesn't, there is one indigenous group that has a history of being feisty, fractious, and unwilling to put up with that shit, as this Al-Jazeera report shows:

The Red Ponchos are a mostly peaceful bunch, but if Branko & Co. have any brains in their cracked skulls, they will NOT fuck with them. These guys may forgive--if you're lucky--but they do not forget.

UPDATE: Red Bolivia reports that the UN has "expressed concern" at the attempt of the mercenary/terrorist cell to overthrow the elected government of a member state. Key paragraphs:

The UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries stressed in a press release that it is not expressing its opinions at this stage on the facts of the case, but noted that using mercenaries to overthrow UN Member States' governments is an offence of grave concern.

It also underscored the principle of self-determination, under which all people have the right to freely determine their political status, as well as the right of the people of a certain nation to decide how they want to be governed without other entities' influences.

Translation: The Cruceñistas have no friends at the UN, either. This is not about the so-called "Nación Camba" and its alleged right to self-determination, but rather about Bolivia's right not to be bullied by wealthy oil, gas and agricultural interests of the Media Luna. The fact that the Cruceñistas resorted to the use of mercs when all lawful democratic means failed them clearly indicates the illegitimacy of their cause. It also shows they're getting mighty desperate!

So...Venezuela's president is "autocratic", eh?

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Funny, but a team of international observers found differently:

The U.S. delegation found that the voting in Venezuela's 2009 referendum was, overall, fair, transparent, and clean. While there were a few instances of technical problems, we were impressed by the efficiency and simplicity with which Venezuelan voters were able to express their preferences. We often found ourselves wishing that elections in the United States were conducted with such uniform professionalism and care, and that the election results could be tallied as quickly. Our observations of Venezuelan popular democracy in action stand in marked contrast with media depictions of Venezuela's government as autocratic.

And just think, that was only the US delegation. The US, people. You know, the country whose citizens are constantly being bombarded with the media mantra that goes "Chávez autocratic, Chávez dictator, Chávez trying to be president for life, Chávez extremely dangerous to democracy, blah blah blah"?

One wonders if that party line is going to change now, or if it's going to go on as usual. Auntie 'Bina ain't holding her breath, kids.

May 3, 2009

Music for a Sunday: Infinitely crankable

For what you are about to receive...well, I really can't put it better than one of the commenters at YouTube did:

Let me explain to anyone under the age of 40 that stops by here: this is rock from the far side, the wild side, this is eyes-out-on-stalks, ears-in-a-flotation-tank heavy metal. These guys were outré, avant garde. I bitch slap any weedy modern-day pretenders. The Webster were insanity with a Marshall stack. Try and wrestle this song and the album if you've the brass balls to do so. I don't think you can. So run along, kids, and leave this to the real men! Bust the busters!

Ahem. Well put!

And with that said, here's Max Webster, featuring Kim Mitchell and a secret guest vocalist whose screeching alto you might recognize:

There's an incredible amount of Max Webster stuff on YouTube, BTW...and Kim Mitchell solo ain't bad either:

Rah, rah, olé!

Here's another of his Max Webster greats, which proves that he's good for much more than just the loud noodly stuff:

May 2, 2009

All kinds of Evo!

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Evo invites his friend, former US president Jimmy Carter, to come on out to his farm in the Chapare sometime to pick coca leaves. Carter, a former farmer himself, accepted. I'm not making this up, folks!

Jeez, this Evo-dude is so busy, it's hard to keep up with all the things he's been up to today. There's too much good stuff out there to translate, so I'll just give you the highlights from various Spanish-language links:

Aporrea reports that the UN high commissioner for human rights in Bolivia, Denis Racicot, has declared the recent attempt on Evo's life to be racist. "Killing the first indigenous head of state in this country could be described as such," were his words.

ABI reports that Evo denies having expelled the Peace Corps from Bolivia. This is certainly true; it was not his doing but that of the State Dept., which issued a bogus travel warning that told US citizens in Bolivia to leave the country immediately. And this happened AFTER several Peace Corps volunteers reported having been solicited by a functionary of the US embassy to spy on Venezuelan and Cuban citizens working in Bolivia. Ditto for a Fulbright scholar, who also mentioned having been asked to spy, which was definitely NOT part of his job description. But according to Evo himself, the Peace Corps and all other humanitarian organizations are welcome, as long as they don't come toting any "hidden agendas". Hmmm, whatever could he mean by that?

Also on ABI, Veep Silverfox García Linera assures us that Evo's life was in danger from that terror cell recently busted. Don't believe the hype that it wasn't about Evo--it was! Silverfox also sez that the danger's not over as long as those who paid the mercs remain free--to plot, conspire, and hire more thugs from at home and abroad. He called on the social movements of Bolivia to help protect their president from those thugs. Given that these movements are cram-jammed with people well accustomed to putting their lives on the line for democracy and social justice, what response do you think he'll get?

Meanwhile, Aporrea publishes the name and face of one of those who financed the plot. Surprise, surprise--he's with Thor Halvorssen's bogus "Human Rights Foundation", the same chunk of astroturf that's so human-rightsy, it even lets in that psychopathic, self-exiled Pinochetist of the Venezuelan far-right, Alek Boyd. The latter is famous for his violence fantasies, including (and I'm not making this up) pouring molten silver into the eyes of his perceived enemies. (Note: The "enemies" he's talking about are all popular, democratic and freely elected.) Isn't it nice to know Evo's enemies keep such illustrious company?

And finally, for some inspiring videos of Evo giving good speechy, clicky here.

Wankers of the Week: Bitches and Bimbos edition

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Yep, I decided to do Ladies' Night this week. Only I'm not so sure about the ladyhood of these candidates. Some are bitches, some are bimbos, some are both...but all are undeniably WANKERS!

1. Virginia Fucking Foxx. This so-called congresswoman thinks that characterizing Matthew Shepard's murder as a hate crime was a "hoax". She also thinks that he was killed in the commission of a robbery, not a gay bashing. Um, yeah. When's the last time you saw a robber crucify his victim on a fence, pistol-whip him, and then leave him to die of exposure during a cold prairie night? Shit, "lady", even the killers' girlfriends testified that it was all because Matthew was gay. But who are we gonna believe--them, or the Traditional Values Coalition, which supplied the so-called congresswoman with her so-called talking points?

2. Carrie Fucking Prejean. I knew these so-called beauty queens were dumb, but you know what's dumber? Using the occasion of a pageant Q 'n' A session as a platform for preaching "opposite marriage" (dorkiest term ever!) and insisting, in spite of the overwhelming heap of evidence to the contrary, that US citizens have any choice in the matter of whether they can marry a partner of same or opposite sex (in all but a handful of states, it's opposite only). Granted, Perez Hilton is a douche who probably couldn't find Venezuela on a map, much less understand that gay rights are enshrined along with the rights of all other people in its Bolivarian constitution. But still, even a stopped clock has its moment, twice a day for one second apiece, and that was his two seconds right there. And he didn't deserve the treatment he got from her. Stupidest of all, though, is whoever's responsible for Carrie's boob job:

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...because if you're gonna go preaching "opposite marriage", your falsies shouldn't look like they're trying to divorce each other. There's a canyon between them wide enough to drive a mining truck through, for God's sake!

3. Rachel Fucking Marsden. I can't imagine why this chronic stalker has romantic woes; can't all those jerks out there see that the poor little victim is just a man-eating drama addict? And now she's hoping to exercise her leech-like tendencies on returning Gulf War II vets, reasoning that they'd be the only men brave enough to sit through a dinner in which she shishkebobs them with her huge, crazy eyes. Heh, good luck with that, Rae. If you can find one who hasn't got PTSD out the wazoo and isn't sickened by hearing you drone on about shit you don't know the first thing about, let us know, 'k? That is, if you don't OD on your own antipsychotic meds first.

4. Evelyn Fucking Trejo de Rosales. Her husband fucked off to Peru rather than face corruption charges in Venezuela. She defends him with all the hysteria she can muster, claiming not to be afraid. (Of WHAT?) No one believes her, but plenty are snickering. The question is, why won't he defend himself--in a court of law, as it's generally done in democracies when someone is up on corruption charges? And why is he hiding behind HER skirts?

5. The anonymous fucking bitch who said this in Salt Lake City: "I can't believe this country elected Obama as president; it must be a sign of the end times when the Constitution will hang by a thread." Oh noes, they elected a NIGGRUH! The sky is about to fall!

6. Gail Fucking Johnson. Stop whining about your taxes, bitch--you make more in a year than the average working woman makes in ten. You can well afford to pay a few thousand more, and even if you do, you'll STILL be out ahead of Ms. Average American Worker. Pay up, and shut up!

7. Her Royal Fucking Clintoness. She's not named as an author of a shameful report falsely linking Chavecito to the FARC, but tell me--who is the current head of the State Dept.? That makes her responsible for this bullshit leaking out and contaminating the waters. She is just as responsible as Auntie Condi was before her for this. Shouldn't she be held accountable?

8. Melanie Fucking Kirkpatrick. Christ, how old IS that "Chávez is antisemitic" bullshit, anyway? Can't you bitches in the Wall St. Urinal at least come up with some new libel?

And finally, anyone who thinks I'm being unladylike to call these women bitches. I believe in truthful labelling, and so should you. And if you don't...guess what you are!

May 1, 2009

Yep, just another innocent victim of foreign persecution...

NOT.

This is Mike Dwyer, back when he worked for the security company that guards Shell Oil's installations in Ireland:

He's suppressing an environmentalist protester. You can hear someone saying "Mick, Mick, let him get up". Which he rather reluctantly does.

Gee, I can't imagine how he found himself in Bolivia with a bunch of fascists who are trying to get control of Bolivia's vast gas and oil reserves, can you?

Festive Left Friday Blogging: May Day! May Day!

It's International Workers' Day. Do you know where YOUR socialist leaders are?

WHAT? You don't have any? Well, better do something about that next election day.

In the meantime, enjoy these shots of Evo, who made TIME's top-ten most influential people of the year, signing six decrees that will make Bolivian workers' lives considerably better:

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It was clearly a gorgeous day in La Paz. Perfect for giving speeches to a standing-room-only crowd:

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...full of colorful personages, including a guy in a condor suit:

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Oh yeah, and don't forget Chavecito. He gave another of his long, inexhaustible speeches today:

As per usual, he kicked ass.

BTW, this is Beltane for us Witches up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and for our austral brethren and sustren, it's Samhain. Blessed be, everyone!

Simply disgraceful

According to YVKE Mundial, this t-shirt is now selling in the US:

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Sick, tasteless and disgusting. Bet it sells well at Stormfront, though!