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June 15, 2009

On vacation in an an undisclosed location

First...a little mood music, maestro...

Ah. That's nice.

So, here's the dish, kiddies...your aunt's two babies, PowerBook 12 and PowerBook 15, are gonna be taking a little trip this aft. Never mind where, only keep in mind that when they come back, they'll have been rejuvenated and will be lookin' fine. PowerBook 12's hard drive melted down in spectacular fashion last week during what was supposed to be a routine software update; PowerBook 15, which has also recently gotten a new hard drive, now needs a new keyboard (the S key on this sucker sticks!) and probably a new sound card as well.

Doctor 'Bina has been concerned about the babies' prognosis, but she's thankful for the Time Capsule, which has saved everything from PowerBook 12 and is now doing PowerBook 15 as well, with a little help from Nurse Leopard. She's also pleased that the Time Capsule has enabled her to rescue her music, pix and works-in-progress from PowerBook 12; it's kind of nice to have those on both machines, no?

But in order to have them on both machines, it's paramount to have both machines working. And PowerBook 12 can't work without a functional hard drive, alas. Since I'll be taking both at the same time for repairs, I'll be incommunicado (¿incomunicada?) until further notice. And among other things, that means I'll be temporarily closing this blog to comments (gotta keep the spammers and trolls at bay, y'know!) I'll also ask my regular e-mailers to keep it down to a dull roar--I can't read, respond or unclutter my mailbox until I get the babies back, after all.

Yeah, I know--whatta drag.

Don't worry about me; I'll be safe, happy and busy-busy-busy in my garden, and giving the place a long-overdue spring cleaning as well. If worse comes to worst, I'll annoy my cats.

In the meantime, have a few lulz on me:

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And I will see you on the other side.

June 14, 2009

Manuel Zelaya: almost assassinated?

Could be. Here he is, beside his lightly-damaged car, inspecting two mysterious marks on the windshield:

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And now, the story:

TEGUCIGALPA. Last Friday afternoon, two rocks or bullets hit the car in which the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was riding. No major damage was done, according to the president, who ruled out "political motivations".

"I don't know if it concerns an attempt on my life; I can't say. The Department of Investigation is here looking into it," said Zelaya.

"There are two impacts, no one knows if they are from rocks or gunshots, but this will be investigated. But it's not the work of professionals. A pro wouldn't leave you alive," said the Honduran president. He was driving a grey Toyota Lexus, along with three motorcycle outriders and a security car. Behind the vehicle, another car followed throughout the ring road of the capital city.

Suddenly, Zelaya noticed two impacts in the windshield, but neither one hit him.

Zelaya ruled out that the incident had "political motivations" from groups he has confronted. "I don't believe it's anything political...they would be fools to do it," said the leader, alluding to sectors who oppose his proposal to elect a Constituent Assembly as part of the general elections planned for November.

In the primary investigations, experts have so far found evidence of neither stones nor gunshots.

Zelaya, who has taken a left turn as a member of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA), spearheaded by Cuba and Venezuela, maintains a confrontation with conservative groups who in the past had the power to make or break presidents. This confrontation, which has been going on for several months, was aggravated in March when Zelaya called a referendum--for June 28 of this year--to determine whether the general elections in November will also see the election of a Constituent Assembly (to rewrite the Honduran constitution.)

Well, if this was a murder attempt, one possible motive is clear; the 28th is just two weeks away, and if Zelaya were done away with, there would be no referendum on that date after all. No referendum would mean no chance of a constituent assembly, meaning in turn that the traditional power-brokers in Honduras would maintain their power unchallenged.

Meanwhile, a preliminary report says that the mystery marks were not produced by a firearm.

The investigation continues.

Music for a Sunday: Siddown, shuddup and CRANKIT!!!

Great song, great video, great hair.

June 13, 2009

Wankers of the Week: Bizarro World edition

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1. Joel Fucking Brinkley. Supposedly an award-winning journalist, but can he get a single word right when it comes to Venezuela? Fuck NO. All he does is repeat what every other stupid hack who can't be bothered to research anything or interview anyone does: rely on oppo crapaganda and the usual suspect English-language sources, and never leave the privacy of his Stanford sinecure before filing his "reports". If you want facts, look out for his name--and AVOID it. My guess is that his awards and his cushy professorship were for CIA disinformation compliance, nada más.

2. Jim Fucking Flaherty. Bad enough that there are Canadians out of work due to the recession. Can you believe that our finance minister is now out there bashing them, too? Well, of course you can--he's a Conservative. It's what they do, bashing those less fortunate than their own well-padded selves. It absolves them from having to do the right thing about it. It also saves them from having to take the blame for their own shitty fiscal policies, which are responsible for us being in this pickle in the first place!

3. Sarah Fucking Palin, for the umpteenth time. Girl, have you ever had an original idea? Even one? Don't get back to us until you do. We're sick of you AND the other worn-out conservahacks you shamelessly plagiarize.

4. Lisa Fucking Raitt. Not only is she trying to sell off the aging medical-isotope reactor at Chalk River (undoubtedly for her own profit), she's also trying to keep the public in the dark about her shitty activities. AND she's crying crocodile tears over having called the cancer/isotope media issue "sexy". Is she genuinely sorry? Hell, no--if she were, she wouldn't have waited so long to apologize for her stupid, opportunistic remarks. It looks to me like she's been deliberately mismanaging the Chalk River reactor, the better to have an excuse to privatize it. Next up: Obstruction of justice? Don't put it past her--she's a Tory. They're not exactly loath to skirt the law for private-sector money, as Brian Fucking Mulroney has made clear. In fact, she's not even loath to cut the throats of her own co-partisans--she's projected her own incompetence onto the federal health minister, Leona Aglukkaq (who probably complained about the lack of medical isotopes, is my educated guess.) Raitt needs to resign, NOW. And then go on trial--SOON.

5. Charles Fucking Krauthammer. This freak not only lives in Bizarro World, he loves it there...and preaches bullshit on its behalf. I'm with Jon Stewart: FUX Snooze is the channel of bullshit, so of course Charles fits right in there. Pretty much the key to understanding Charles is just to take everything he says, flip it 180 degrees...and maybe turn it upside down and inside out as well. Oh yeah: And dump a truckload of salt on it. Can't forget the salt!

6. James W. Von Fucking Brunn: Right up there with Scott Fucking Roeder, in my eyes. BTW, by "there", I mean on a pile of maggot-ridden bovine feces. The "Aryan gene-pool" he's so enamored of is about as deep as a puddle of dog piss at the foot of a fire hydrant. Oh, and he thinks Hitler "didn't gas the Jews". Someone please take this crazy motherfucker on a trip to Auschwitz, assuming he recovers...which I rather hope he does not. (Ditto his dirty hate site, which should be taken down on the grounds that it is a public health hazard.)

7. Wiley Fucking Drake. So, Dr. Tiller's death was "the answer to a prayer", and now he prays "imprecations" against Barack Obama? Trust me, Wiley, you do NOT want to know what I'm praying with regard to YOU.

8. Fucking GE. For refusing to help fight global warming, preferring to suck on the public teat and then keep the results for its own profit. A worse instance of ignoble selfishness is hard to imagine. Unfuckingbelievable!

9. and 10. Fucking Dick and Tater. Nice job, leaving a huge fucking mess for the better man who replaced you to clean up. And if he can't do it, I can just imagine who'll be waiting in the wings to claim to have a miraculous answer to it all--THE SAME PERSONS RESPONSIBLE FOR LETTING IT HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!

11. Michael Fucking Steele. Uncle Tom makes some interesting, revealing points: When Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano released a report warning that the right-wing climate of hate speech and anti-Obama rhetoric would boil over into terrorist incidents (as indeed it has), Uncle Tom claimed she was singling out Repugs. Well, DUH! Who did YOU think the racists, anti-Semites and doctor-killers were, Uncle Tom? They're the same people who would never elect YOU president because they secretly feel that your proper place is as a lawn jockey. And you, of course, are only too happy to fill precisely that place for them. That's why I call you an Uncle Tom. The Uncle Tom of Harriet Beecher Stowe's book, you see, was so well-behaved that he would not fight for what was right even when the lynchers were stringing him up for simply being black. Instead, he defended the prevailing order of social injustice to the death--HIS death.

* * *

And finally, to last week's Wanker #5, Stuart Fucking Bensch: Congratulations, you wangled yourself a ban in just two posts by violating the no-wank warning. (Note: How cute, you just now tried for a third. Too bad you're already spam-canned and all your e-mails are just going to get saved to my "Abusive" folder--for forwarding to the authorities, natch. Cyberstalkers aren't tolerated here, either.)

If you're going to go accusing people of laziness, look in the mirror first--YOU failed to update your own Internic info. What does that make you? Do the math, dumbfuck, since you think you know something about the subject. If I were your teacher, I'd give you a failing grade.

And speaking of laziness, isn't it time you retired your hate site AND your anti-doctor e-mail address? Your victim is dead. Your murderous mission is accomplished. It may be too much to expect of you to have decency, but you might at least have some shame. But noooo, even though he's now in his grave, you just GOTTA flog that dead doctor. Criminal insanity doesn't get much uglier than you, Stew.

Now begone, before I wash your baby-eating, cyber-stalking, feto-fascist, TERRORIST mouth out with this soap:

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Quotable: Fern Hill on the false "middle ground" option

"I'm getting damned sick of all the triangulation and Third-Way hand-wringing bullshit over reducing abortion.

"Or, looked at another way, we pro-choicers already occupy that middle ground. Most of us support all the measures that have been bruited about to reduce abortion.

"Wide access to affordable, safe birth control, check.

"Age-appropriate, fact-based, comprehensive sex ed, check.

"Financial and other support for pregnant women, check.

"Financial and other support for individuals and families with children, check.

"Quality, affordable daycare for parents who want to or have to work or go to school, check.

"Making adoption easier, sure, why not?

"If the militant anti-abortion religious right won't budge on so-called artificial contraception and fact-based sex ed -- and I highly doubt they will -- there is NO middle ground."

--Fern Hill, at DAMMIT JANET!

Well, it worked for Fidel...

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"I pray to the Blessed St. Progress and the Sacred Free-Trade Agreement that the US and the official press will intercede for my horrible sins..."

"Don't worry, my chosen son, official history will absolve you!"

Fetus Fetish round-up

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Via Unrepentant Old Hippie, I found this tale of an anti-choice blog gone wild. Does anyone else find this passage fishy?

Beushausen said she really did lose a son shortly after birth in 2005. She started her blog in March to help deal with that loss and to express her strong anti-abortion views, she said.

She had expected only a handful of friends to read it, but when her first post got 50 comments, she was hooked.

"I've always liked writing. It was addictive to find out I had a voice that people wanted to hear," Beushausen said.

"Soon I was getting 100,000 hits a week, and it just got out of hand," she said. "I didn't know how to stop. ... One lie led to another."

She waited FOUR YEARS before starting a fake blog to deal with her grief? Talk about having unresolved issues. Most people have healed and moved on after between one year and three. I don't think grief alone was a motivator here.

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Let's hope things don't come to this, but don't underestimate the anti-choice fascists. They won't stop until they've rolled back the clock to 1952, minimum. Required reading on what that would look like, here.

Meanwhile, even though Dr. Tiller's clinic is closed, elsewhere on the frontlines the Lord's work goes on. (Read John Irving's The Cider House Rules to get the reference.)

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Let the lies, backpedaling and strange scapegoating begin. Stormfront and Operation Rescue are having kittens! Both kinds of fascists are saying the same thing now that their rhetoric has borne its inevitable fruit. Coincidence? Of course not.

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And lest we forget what's REALLY at the bottom of all this violence and madness, here's a timely reminder. It's the HATE, stupid!

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Garbage in, garbage out. Isn't it time to take out the trash?

June 12, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging Too: Evo in Paraguay

I don't know what was said here, but it sure brought out Evo's dimples:

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And look! Lugo's all duded out in his cool shades!

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Chavecito at Petrocaribe

The Big Guy arrives and, as usual, is mobbed by reporters. I'm too busy admiring his loud (but FABULOUS!) outfit to hear what he's saying. (Which is undoubtedly loud but fabulous, too. Isn't he always?)

June 9, 2009

Wowzers!

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I'm just blown away by all the good words from great people who linked my Wankers of the Week post from last Saturday night. I was worried about posting it at all, fearing I'd get death threats and anonymous mouth-breathers on the phone, or at the very least, a slew of woman-hating trolls wanking their toxic splooge all over this place.

Didn't happen. Instead, I got love from:

JJ at Unrepentant Old Hippie;

JABbering Stooge;

Dr. Prole at A Creative Revolution;

and I'm not sure who all else.

If anyone else linked me and I haven't heard about it yet, it's because I'm not a rancid ego-googler. I'm of the firm belief that those who go looking for what other people are saying about them, end up reading something that'll set their hair on fire, and I'd rather keep mine unsinged. But if you've recommended my post, feel free to add your link in the comments below. I can always use more fine folks on my blogroll.

And y'know, I really must dust off my pro-choice brass knucks more often. I'd forgotten how good it feels to hit misogyny below the belt. It's been 20 years since I helped a couple of million other Canadian women (and men!) get a bad law struck off the books, y'see...

EDIT: Also been added by Macu Naima at Milfuegos. Good to hear from you again, Macu!

June 8, 2009

World's smallest fiddle strikes up...

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...and plays the "Pathétique" for the Tiller Killer:

Scott Roeder called The Associated Press Sunday from the Sedgwick County jail, where he's being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting death of George Tiller last week at the doctor's church in Wichita.

[...]

In two separate calls to AP Sunday, Roeder also complained about the "deplorable conditions in solitary" in Sedgwick County jail.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Robert Hinshaw said that Roeder was receiving appropriate medical treatment.

"It is after all a jail, but a modern state-of-the-art facility with professional staff," Hinshaw said. "While Mr. Roeder may not care for being in the Sedgwick County jail, all of our conditions and policies are designed to provide safety and security for all inmates, staff and public at large."

Roeder said it was freezing in his cell. "I started having a bad cough. I thought I was going to have pneumonia."

He said he called AP because he wanted to publicize the conditions in the jail so that in the future suspects would not have to endure the same conditions. Roeder also said he wanted the public to know he has been denied phone privileges for the past two days, and needed his sleep apnea machine.

Hinshaw disputed that phone privileges had been denied.

So, he's a publicity whore--so what's new? He's also a big fucking crybaby. Typical, of course--these fascist types all have a huge chip on their shoulder, and an even bigger sense of entitlement. What was he expecting, a rose parade for a conquering hero? Let's get real. He's entitled to nothing better than any other common criminal. Can't do the time? Don't do the crime, asshole.

Speaking of criminals (and assholes), get a load of this one trying to deflect attention from himself and the role his organization played in the crime:

Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, sent an e-mail to the AP Sunday saying of Tiller's shooter: "This guy is a fruit and a lunatic."

Well, if he's one, what are you, Mr. Newman? Pot, say hi to kettle over there in the mirror.

And if the FBI needs a place to start looking for accomplices, Operation Rescue is probably the best one. Seize their computers and don't forget their online caches. You'll find a wealth of terrorist conspiracy in there, guaranteed.

Worth a thousand

Someone once wrote that fascism is capitalism plus murder; I don't agree. I say it's capitalism minus gloves. (The murder is always there; you just see it more clearly when...)

This picture is what capitalism looks like when the gloves come off:

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It pretty much sums up the situation in Bagua, Peru right now. It was taken by some Belgian volunteers who happened to be in the neighborhood as Alan García's neoliberal Peru stripped off all pretence of liberalism (neo and otherwise), and just went full-on fascist. For good English summaries of all that's going on as it happens, see Otto and El Duderino.

And don't believe the hype you see in the mainstream media (assuming you see anything in there at all); this is a very unequal fight, which the little brown people did not start. The bulk of the dead and injured are indigenous activists, whom the Fat Bastard has already characterized as "not first-class citizens". If you don't consider him fascist for thinking that they are second-class, and that therefore it's okay to steal their land and its riches out from under them (and kill them when they dare to get in the way), you're probably a fascist too.

June 6, 2009

Wankers of the Week: The "pro-life" killers of Dr. Tiller

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No shit, kiddies, this is how they really "think". And this is how they see women. Nice, innit?

Christ, what is it about abortion that brings out the wankers, baying for blood from women and doctors? Whatever it is, they were sure out in force this week, and their ugly side wasn't far below the surface. In many cases, it was right out front and proud. Just like a wanker's you-know-what. Here's who gets bitch-slapped for public obscenity by your Auntie Bina this week, kiddies...

1. Bill Fucking O'Reilly. For demonizing Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider from Kansas who was recently murdered. IN CHURCH, no less. Of course, he's pretending he had nothing to do with it. What does one expect from a cowardly wanker like Mr. Oh-Really, or any other of his bed-wetting, loofah-abusing, woman-harassing, shit-stained ilk? They'll never man up and admit their share of responsibility, as Frank Schaeffer has done, for the general psychopathy of the right-wing fringe.

1 1/2. Juan Fucking Williams. Uncle Tom covers Billo's blotchy bully ass. Talk about compounding one's moral cowardice.

2. Randall Fucking Terry. See above, and add shameless mooching. Cthulhu will surely eat HIM hot and crispy one day...soon, I hope and pray. (Hey, it's commensurate to the crime. Just as he says.)

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3. Scott Fucking Roeder. Yeah, I know--why is the stinking assassin third on the list? Because he didn't come by his murderous attitude just out of thin air. See the two (and a half) entries above. And add extra wanker points for his fascist militia membership. His ex-wife even confirms that his extremism was part of the reason she ended up divorcing him, and that it's also why his son, now 22, has as little as possible to do with his dad. Nice guy all around, eh?

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4. All the fucking Twitter-shitters, freepers, etc., etc. ad nauseam who are applauding this crime. Are they nuts? YES. And they're also quite typical of the anti-abortion movement, no matter what anyone says. They deeply believe that all women who have sex are jezebels who must be punished for it--with pregnancy, among other things. And if a woman chooses not to stay pregnant (i.e. punished for sex), they scream for blood. Hers? Her doctor's? It hardly matters to these thugs, as long as someone is killed to atone for the act. "Pro-life" is a misnomer for these people; they clearly have no problem with the murder of medical professionals. Especially if those medical professionals also happen to deliver babies, not just abortions. And, more significantly, if they also practice adoption, as Dr. Tiller did. They also can't admit that Dr. Tiller did what he did out of a deep compassion for women in a serious bind. Are you people ashamed of yourselves yet? You should be. You're not pro-life, but the man you love to hate was. And now he's dead--thanks in no small part to all of you fascist WANKERS.

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5. Whoever the fuck is responsible for this defamatory website. You've got wanker written all over you. Why don't you put your OWN name to it, you cowardly asshole? (EDIT: According to an anonymous benefactor commenting below, Wanker #5 is Stuart Bensch, of 1007 W Padon Avenue, Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631. Please direct all correspondence accordingly.)

6. Fucking Google. When I did a search for the phrase "George Tiller delivered babies", just to see if in fact he did (as many abortion providers do, surprise), the search left the crucial word, "delivered", out. WTF does Google have against people seeking complete, accurate information on an ob-gyn? Try it yourself and see--it WILL leave the "delivered" out unless you re-run the search asking it to leave it in! And even then, good luck finding non-Christofascist stuff. A right-wing-biased search engine? Don't look so shocked, kids. The world is full of right-wing bias, and it is the root of all evil. I already suspected something seriously amiss from what pops up in my "Hugo Chavez" Google Alerts. "Don't be evil" is apparently just an empty slogan to these wanks.

7. Anyone who refers to late-term abortion by the inaccurate term "partial birth". There is no such procedure, except in the fevered brains of the Amurrican Taliban. The overwhelming majority of "late-term" abortions are second-trimester, and are done only in the case of a fetus that isn't viable anyway. There is NO "partial birth" about it, and NO sense pretending that there is. Read this and get the facts!

8. Anyone who thinks that it will "save babies" to kill a doctor for Jeebus. No, it won't. Women who are going to abort, are going to go to any length they have to, even if it kills them. And if you don't believe me, maybe you should read what Dr. Garson Romalis has to say about his own near-death experience at the hands of one such walking freak-scene. It left him unable to deliver babies, which he did on a regular basis, as well as providing abortions, BEFORE he was shot! (Thanks a lot, James Charles Fucking Kopp. Why do you hate babies, James Charles?)

9. Anyone who thinks that abortion is a "holocaust" and that it's the sort of thing a Nazi would do. WRONG. The Nazis were against abortion. They were also most explicit in their "KKK" rule for women. This coincides remarkably with the Religious Reich's own role-modeling for females. They not only rewarded "good" German mothers-of-many with crosses, they actually forbade women to refuse to have children! And let me repeat, this rat-eaten assassin-of-doctors, like many others, was a fundie who moved in some pretty Nazified circles. So, if you're "pro-life" for religious reasons--congratulations! You have something major in common with fascists:

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The Nazi Mother's Cross--the ultimate symbol of "pro-life" Christianity!

10. Bruce Fucking Murch. Figures that a Quiverfull cultist would celebrate something as heinous as this. They care precious little about the women, and much more about keeping 'em barefoot and you-know-what, in the name of raising an army for Jesus, and for fighting the so-called culture war. For some reason, this whole whacked-up theology has a funny way of backfiring on itself and breeding radical feminists instead. Gee, I wonder why!

And finally, anyone who thinks this CRIME will put an end to abortions anywhere. No, it won't. It won't even shutter one clinic! After a period of mourning, Dr. Tiller's clinic will be open next Monday...and practicing good medicine, providing a needed service to women in a bind. Meanwhile, your "hero" Roeder will be rotting in jail, and this time, he won't be getting out on any technicality. The law is clear--this is NOT justifiable homicide. This is first-degree MURDER, by definition--because there was malice aforethought. This is a legal definition which applies to all doctor-killings, but NOT to abortions. (When's the last time YOU saw a woman have an abortion simply to torture her own fetus? Oh, only about NEVER. Abortion is, therefore, not murder--QED.)

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And no, I don't need you wanking in my comments section here. None of your comments will be published, and anyone who tries it will be insta-banned (and your e-mail will be saved to be forwarded to the appropriate authorities if you threaten me in any way).

Your hate speech stops here, bastards. Now go and get a life.

June 5, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: THE COLD WAR IS OVER!!!

It's official, folks:

By acclamation, the OAS has finally reversed the 1962 resolution to bar Cuba from membership just for being a socialist country. Video in Spanish, but the smiles and applause say it all. (The photo is Fidel, making a public show of ripping up the resolution during one of his big crowd-pleasers.)

This is a truly historic moment. The wait has been long, and the fight very hard, but sanity has finally prevailed. Let's savor it for all it's worth.

Praise the Lord 'n' Lady, and pass the mojitos!

PS: Cuba sez thanks, but no thanks--the imperialistas don't get to set the conditions for our "return" when those are the exact same as the ones that got us expelled in the first place. So nice to know that nothing has really changed in the last, what, 50 years? (Someone please remind them that Cuba DOES have democracy, but it just isn't a revolving door greased by industry lobbyists. If they're going to make the stipulation that it be THAT brand of democracy, the Cuban people are well justified in telling them to shove a banana--or their own banana republicanism--up their butts.)

PPS: According to BoRev, The Onion's imaginary commentators have more insight on all this than the NYT, WaHoPo and Miami Herald's slack-jawed dweebs combined. I agree!

PPPS: Oh frack, it's already begun. The Politic-Ho reports that a State Dept. official and his wife have been charged with spying for Cuba, and that some are now saying all bets should be off. I guess the word détente isn't in their vocabulary, either.

June 4, 2009

Rafael Correa unbreaks my heart!

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Hey Raf, are you taking requests? I'd like you to sing Toni Braxton for me...

Remember how, many moons ago, the Ecuadorable One broke my heart by not joining the ALBA? Well, have I got news for YOU!

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez today informed that Ecuador's official incorporation into the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is to take place at a meeting that should be attended by all the member nation presidents.

In a statement on the Venezolana de Televisión's "Dando y Dando" program, Chávez affirmed that President Rafael Correa had ratified his country's entry into the regional mechanism.

He announced that the meeting to officially inaugurate Ecuador as part of ALBA is scheduled for June 24 in the rural area of Carabobo, and affirmed that ALBA is an integration mechanism different from any process preceding it on the continent, and which makes emphasis on fighting poverty and social exclusion. The current member states are Venezuela, Nicaragua, Dominica, Bolivia, Cuba, Honduras, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Chalk up one more educated type who knows what's economically good for his country. That ROCKS.

We can haz REAL Venezuelan oppo intellectuals, pls?

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"Foolish Venezuelans! It's Chávez's fault that you've lost the freedom to suffer from the global crisis of capitalism!"

I don't think I need to translate the rest of this banner (drawn by El Tano) from Aporrea.org, do you?

So, I guess you heard all about the debate-that-didn't-happen recently in Venezuela, eh? You probably heard that brave Mario Vargas Llosa, ex-Peruvian writer self-exiled to Spain after a spectacularly failed presidential bid of his own, challenged Chavecito to a duel of wits, and the latter took one look at the dropped gauntlet, screamed like a little girl, and ran.

Well, that's the mainstream media version. Which, of course, is bullshit. The real version goes more like this...

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, while celebrating 10 years of his weekly TV show, 'Hello President', invited participants from a right wing conference taking place in Caracas, four times, to a live debate on the show. After initially accepting, the right wing intellectuals then proposed different conditions for the debate and finally refused to participate.

Chavez made the proposal on Thursday, the first day of what was to be a four day marathon of his national issues discussion show following its 10 year anniversary.

He proposed a debate about the crisis of capitalism and "any other issues" between pro-capitalist intellectuals and pro-socialist intellectuals, specifically between those invited by the Ministry of Culture to attend a conference on the crisis of capitalism, and those attending the "International Conference for Freedom and Democracy: The Latin American Challenge" organised by the Centre for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge for Freedom (CEDICE).

Chavez had proposed the debate for Saturday, but it did not happen, and on Sunday 'Hello President' was cancelled. The Ministry of Communications and Information press release said it had been cancelled "for technical reasons".

So, turns out it was the right-wingers who all screamed like someone had poured hot sauce down their pants, and refused to debate some very capable, genuine, for-realz left-wing intellectuals, with Chavecito generously offering to sit in as moderator. Big surprise there! Now, what were those "technical reasons"?

Well, for one, Chavecito found out from a reliable source (his own justice minister, that is) that there was an assassination plot afoot in El Salvador, where right-wing terrorists were waiting to shoot down the Cuban plane he and Evo were due to arrive on together for the inauguration of their compañero, the newly elected Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes.

The other "technical reasons" were as follows:

On Friday morning, following Chavez's proposal, three of the right wing intellectuals from the CEDICE conference, Mexican writer Enrique Krauze, Mario Vargas and Mexican intellectual Jorge Castaneda publicly announced that they were available to attend the debate. However they asked to debate the president.

That day at 5pm Chavez formally called for the debate for 11pm on Saturday in the presidential palace, to be broadcast live on Hello President. He said, "Even though I said I'd step aside and let [the intellectuals] debate, I accept, with those who want to accompany me...Without avoiding any topic, any topic is valid."

At 6.40 pm the president of CEDICE, Rafael Alfonzo responded in a press conference saying they accepted the debate but they proposed, "that for greater efficiency and clarity that it be carried out between two people, the president Hugo Chavez Frias and the writer Mario Vargas Llosa."

And 7.40 pm, Chavez commented on his show that it was "regrettable...they don't want to discuss, what they want is a show," said they were still invited. He confirmed he could help moderate but that the conditions stayed the same.

"What they want is to personalise it and they ask for fairness, if it's as an intellectual, I'm a soldier. [Vargas] is a laureate intellectual," he said.

Vargas responded on CNN accusing Chavez of being dishonest, confused, and uncertain of his ideas, and said "[Chavez's] proposal to debate wasn't serious, it was just a gesture or an ambush."

Here, we can see that the vice-regal Vargas is projecting his pompous ass off. In fact, it was the oppos whose proposal wasn't serious. If it had been, they would have attended the debate, regardless of conditions. That didn't happen. They wanted a made-for-TV faux-forum in which to "challenge" an "uneducated" man* they're openly calling a "dictator"--the better to win brownie points from all their fellow "intellectuals" (notice the quotation marks; there for a reason, kiddies.) It was they who were being dishonest, confused, and uncertain of their ideas.

Now, why do you suppose that is?

Well, as usual, Your Humble One has her thoughts. Vargas Llosa & Co. were all obviously there to try to prop up an economic theory that is crumbling all over the globe right now. They're still defending neoliberal capitalism, even though it failed more than twenty years ago in Latin America, has failed steadily in Africa during the same time span, and is now playing catch-up in the Northern Hemisphere as well.

It's very touching to see how tenaciously they cling to this outmoded idea, which Venezuelans decided to dump most unceremoniously during the Caracazo of February and early March, 1989. But it's also sad, because it tells you something about all these right-wing "intellectuals"--namely, that they have not had ONE new idea in more than twenty years.

Maybe that's why they're so reluctant to debate actual leftist intellectuals, and why they'd rather just stage a show in which they bombard their favorite non-white whipping boy with bullshit and see how much of it sticks.

Of course, even if Chavecito had agreed to be on that show, which he was wise enough not to do, he would still have pwned them all--including that foul-tempered, hair-triggered, overrated Mario Vargas Sore-Loser. And he would have done it armed with nothing but the plain old facts. One of which, inconveniently for the oppos, is that Venezuela has been doing exceedingly well for almost as long as he's been in office, and that the global economic crisis probably won't hurt it as badly as it will all the other countries who have not been as quick to decouple from that miserable, fraudulent "market" economy that Vargas Llosa is still so devoted to defending.

Not bad for a guy with, supposedly, no education.*

*Chavecito is, in fact, PLENTY educated. Besides his military-academy officer training, which is equal to that of any patrician white guy from the "democratic" high military command of the ancien régime, he has university degrees in engineering and political science. He is also a voracious reader and an autodidact to beat them all. Which no oppo "journalist" or "intellectual" will dare to accurately note; to hear them tell it, he was only ever a barefoot, illiterate grunt, who learned nothing in the army except how to shoot. (Wow, the oppos lied to you again, people of the white Anglo world. Who knew they were capable of such a thing?)

"UP" meme takes off

detainee-balloons.jpg

I'm not so sure setting them loose on a tepui in Venezuela is such a good idea.

June 3, 2009

Stoopid Hugo Chávez comparisons: Spot the difference

douchebag.jpg david-roberts.jpg

Why this photographic side-by-side? You'll see in a moment, kiddies. After I post the latest dumbass meme to crop up in the "compare Hugo Chávez to the tyrant of your choice" game, that is...

So while Chávez may not be in the same league as Kim Jong-il when it comes to destroying one's own country, the Venezuelan leader is still in serious danger of taking his nation's economy down the road of ruin. And although as oil prices have come down, he appears to have reined in some of his more crackpot ideas that involved lashing out millions of petrodollars, the signs are not good, as epitomized by the latest wave of nationalizations in the country. These included the Techint-related briquette producers, tube manufacturer Tavsa, oil service companies and Santander's banking unit. Chávez may be paying compensation for taking over all these companies (including in the recent past steelmaker Sidor, AES's electric power company and telecom Cantv, among others) but that's not going to help the Venezuelan people. The state, particularly the crony-ridden Venezuelan state, cannot manage these companies efficiently and no matter how much compensation Chávez pays to the former owners, ultimately the people working in those companies and the people who use their goods and services will be the ones that suffer most.

Yokay. So. The picture on the top left is of an actual, working douchebag. The picture at top right is of the author of the above drivel, one David Roberts, who presumably works for the douchey biznews site, BNAmericas.com. A good visual joke? I hope so.

The punchline is that the paragraph I snipped comes AFTER a whole slew of stuff totally refuting the notion that Venezuela is anywhere NEAR the road to becoming North Korea. Meaning that this forced comparison is a tortured bit of chop-logic at best. Personally, I prefer to just call it by its right name, i.e. BULLSHIT. But someone still saw fit to pay the author and publish it! Just as they used to pay people to publish bogus comparisons of Chavecito to Robert Mugabe, before that, too, got old.

A pity that Otto has already awarded his most coveted prize for this week, or I'd nominate this guy. Maybe he can be runner-up?

In the meantime, here is another comparison to ponder:

Q. What's the difference between a bizmedia anti-Chavista and a douchebag?

A. One of them is empty, obsolete and routinely sticks his head where the sun doesn't shine; the other is a douchebag.

Quotable: Manuel Zelaya on Fidel Castro

"The Cold War ended today. Fidel Castro said more than 40 years ago that history would absolve him, and history absolved him."

Manuel Zelaya, president of Honduras, at the OAS today

The gayest man on Earth would call this over the top

Bonnie Tyler gets a little TOO literal with her creepy private-school-forbidden-lust video:

Once upon a time it was a serious song,
But now it's only such a big joke.
I'm holding my sides,
I laughed so hard I could choke!

Bad omen for the Dalai Lama

Well, what would you call this?

"They took me away from my family and stuck me in a medieval situation in which I suffered a great deal," said Torres, 24, describing how he was whisked from obscurity in Granada to a monastery in southern India. "It was like living a lie," he told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. Despite his rebelliousness, he is still known as Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche and revered by the Buddhist community. A prayer for his "long life" still adorns the website of the Foundation to Preserve the Mahayana Tradition, which has 130 centres around the world. The website features a biography of the renegade guru that gushes about his peaceful, meditative countenance as a baby. In Tibetan Buddhism, a lama is one of a lineage of reincarnated spiritual leaders, the most famous of which is the Dalai Lama.

According to the foundation biography, another leader suspected Torres was the reincarnation of the recently deceased Lama Yeshe when he was only five months old. In 1986, at 14 months, his parents took him to see the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. The toddler was chosen out of nine other candidates and eventually "enthroned".

You already know my thoughts on the Dalai Lama and his autocratic manner of ruling Tibet, so this should come as no more surprise to you than it does to me.

Tree falls in forest. No one hears it. Therefore...

Oh fucking hell. Look what just happened in Peru!

Alan García, alias President Twobreakfasts, has just sent in the riot cops to seize a TV station for nonpayment of debts. The station is off the air in the meantime.

Funny how HE can do that and no one calls him a tyrant...but if a certain guy in Venezuela refuses to renew a TV station's on-air licence because it has a history of broadcast-standards violations (including porn, and incitement to a fascist coup, among other things), suddenly that elected Venezuelan leader is a dictator.

No, I don't understand it, either.

UPDATE, 10:40 am: Otto has more.

June 2, 2009

Congratulations, Mauricio Funes!

Another left-wing dimple-dude gets sworn in. Sadly, both Chavecito and Evo had to beg off and miss this historic inauguration. No worries--they'll meet with their new compañero ASAP. (Chavecito already has.)

Noteworthy details here: the archaic Spanish expressions, and the fact that the oath of office was delivered as a "protest". Also, note the loud cheers from the crowd. This dude is P-O-P-U-L-A-R!

UPDATE, 4:00 pm: According to the Venezuelan TV program Contragolpe (Counterpunch), hosted by Vanessa Davies, the real reason Chavecito couldn't make it has just been revealed--there's been yet another foiled attempt on his life. This is not entirely surprising--what else was that recent failed Vargas Llosa visit about, if not to justify the removal of the non-dictator, by non-democratic (as usual!) means? Actually, I'm almost at the point of yawning at shit like this. The fascists have nothing to recommend them, so of course they reach for murder. No word yet on why Evo couldn't make it, but my educated guess is he has his hands full of something similar.

UPDATE #2, ca. 9:15 pm: Oh look, all the stupid-ass English-language "news" sites out there have the same problem. The LAHT's resident clown-in-Caracas, Jeremy Morgan, posits Chavecito's no-show in El Salvador as a "mystery", before kneeling down in front of Antonio Ledezma's open zipper for the umpteenth time and making up a lot of shit in lieu of actually reporting a rather important story. Ditto the American Stinker's Adolfo G. Fabregat, who mentions the whole incident only to call it (snottily) "a continuing soap opera". What's the matter, people, can't you tune in to VTV? Or are you afraid you might get some facts into your lite stories by accident? Damn, I'm scooping you all in my sleep, you lazy imbecilic presstitutes. And I don't even have to leave my study here on the north shore of Lake Ontario to do it, either...

UPDATE #3, ca. 9:30 pm: Here's some relevant video on the matter, in Spanish:

Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, confirms that both Chavecito and Evo were no-shows due to security reasons. Implicated in the foiled assassination plan are certain, as yet unnamed, officers of the Salvadoran army (who have right-wing ties to the old ARENA hegemony of the past couple of decades), the CIA, and the Venezuelan fascist, Alejandro Peña Esclusa. Venezuelan chancellor Nicolás Maduro says the Salvadoran authorities are currently investigating the plot, so further details are still unknown. Maduro also says that the would-be putschists have international ties, most notably to the terrorist of the Venezuelan ancien régime, Luis Posada Carriles, still a fugitive from justice (and likely to remain so) in Miami. He confirms that the international right-wing are banding together in their efforts to kill democratically elected leftist leaders. Shades of Operation Condor? You damn betcha.

Still waiting for the English media to twig to this story...ho, hum, twiddly-thumb...

UPDATE #4, June 4, ca. 11:00 am: Found this on the Daily Sketch, with more details PLUS an anti-Chavecito website advertising on Craig's List (shame on them for taking this ad!)

Other English media still deader than the dodo on this story. Why am I not surprised?