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June 30, 2010

Authoritarians: Canada haz 'em.

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Ah, yes. I suppose a lot of others will be asking the same thing. Unfortunately, I already know what the answer will be.

Happy Canada Day Eve! Are you looking forward to the fireworks tomorrow, boyz 'n' girlz? That's nice, but trust me, they will be NOTHING compared to what happens when the Toronto 900 get their day(s) in court. How do I know? Oh, a little birdie has been perching on my left shoulder, whispering all kinds of interesting things in my ear.

So what has the little birdie been telling me? Well, here are a few things I heard just today:

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association--that's right, our own equivalent to the ACLU--is going to court on behalf of all those wrongfully arrested (read: ALL arrestees) during the G-20 summit. The suit will target Toronto police and all the other police forces trucked in for the occasion. (Some came from as far away as Calgary and Edmonton. Western fascists--boo, hissssssssss.)

And speaking of police, my friends Pale and Willy would like to know if you have seen a certain burly dude posing as an anarchist. His black duds looked way too new and clean. His shoes look nothing like the grubby sneaks a real anarchist would wear, but a great deal like the sturdy clodhoppers issued to the riot cops. He obviously has regular access to a gym. And that buzzcut? Standard police issue. If you know him, call your local Crimestoppers. In Toronto, that number is (416) 222-TIPS.

Other police beat (and beatdown) stuff: Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun apparently has a number of unnamed sources in the Toronto police force, and they've told him some very interesting things. At times it makes you wonder who were the bigger victims of this blatant breach of democracy, the cops or the people they corralled. (Read all about the conditions in the jail and then tell me. I think it's no fucking contest.)

Meanwhile, Matttbastard is calling for a public inquiry. As are plenty of others. Five hours in a police corral in the pouring rain out at the intersection of Queen and Spadina does seem like pretty solid grounds. So does the fact that police chief Bill Blair makes up his own laws, lies about them, and then, after days of angry protest, finally admits his guilt. I would call that grounds for dismissal, and certainly for a public inquiry ASAP.

The inquiry should leave no one out. The Ontario government, like Bill Blair, has a lot of unethical (and unconstitutional) lawmaking to answer for (it's now denying its obvious role; what a load of mounted police horseshit). The feds are also far from innocent. I'm pretty sure that Harpo's hate-on for Ontario, and its capital city in particular, led to his sadistic decision to host the G-20 billion-dollar boondoggle there, just so he could see the famously progressive city punished for being the economic hub of the nation. Well, he got his secret wish; Torontonians are now appropriately traumatized. The Shock Doctrine has claimed another societal victim.

But all is not trauma and shock. Among the haul of so-called "weapons" seized by the coppers, there's a full set of medieval LARPing gear. Chainmail, crossbow, the works. Clicky here for a good laugh.

And while you're at it, you may also want to sign the CCLA's petition. Sure to be one of many circulating in the days and weeks to come.

Finally, read what this Saskatchewan blogger, who was there, saw that the major media aren't talking about. And then you'll understand why I feel that bloggers have a better handle on the situation than even the most experienced of the professional journalists who were there. Remember, bloggers don't have to self-censor and sanitize, nor do they have to stick to pre-scripted conventional media narratives. Bodes ill for the mainstream media; bodes rather well for us pixel-stained wretches.

And let's hope it bodes well for our home and native land, too. I'm not feeling that true patriot love this year.

Quotable: Courtney Stoker on feminism and science fiction

"While sci fi fans don't mind (and often excel at) criticizing their sci fi shows, they are generally only supportive of criticizing that focuses on "literary" details--plot holes, bad writing, continuity in the canon, inconsistent application of science. But as soon as you start talking about the bigger structures in a show's texts, like racist logic, sexism, classism, whatever, some douchey white dudes with serious entitlement issues are going to dismiss you."

--Courtney Stoker, interviewed by The Sexist

Heroes for Today: Johnny Cash, Black Bloc anarchist?

Johnny answers a sartorial question with a song:

Jesus Christ. Just listen to those lyrics. Aren't they a brick through the window of your smug bourgeois sensibilities?

June 29, 2010

Hey gun nuts, take note...

THIS is how you handle a crime in progress. No concealed carry (or any other "carry") necessary:

A would-be looter in Toronto this weekend got foiled by an alert, quick-thinking passer-by...who had no weapon other than a wicked tackle.

THIS is how people with real cojones do it. Not from the safe distance afforded to those with a pussy pistol or a taser, but hands-the-fuck-ON.

And yes, Mark Steyn, this is how CANADIANS do it, you effete ex-Brit twit. Try not to soak yourself again, 'kay?

(BTW, Toronto police, you too should be making a note of this. Where were YOU when this went down? Too busy leaving out decoy cars for your own to trash, I guess.)

Short 'n' Stubby: Ms. Manx takes on the G-20

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Yes, it's time for another of THOSE posts. Fear the Stumpy Cat! For she has been all over the Internets, and what she has found on the G-20 would frizz your hair...

Linda McQuaig notes that the real criminals all got off scot-free. Not surprisingly, the biggest ones were behind the fence. Downtown TO merchants have more to fear from them than from a few black-clad rock-throwers breaking their windows, and they know it.

Among the criminals who got off without so much as a slap on the wrist, count the Toronto Police. Dr. Dawg notes the use of rape threats (and actual sexual molestations), linking it to a strikingly similar tactic of war.

And the police don't even have the excuse of actual crime prevention/solution to excuse their fascistic behavior. Among the innocent people caught up in their nets, count a CITYTV reporter; a Globe & Mail reporter; a UK Guardian reporter; a CTV videographer; and a large number of indymedia people.

Of course, if those awful anarchistic journos had really been serious, they would have gotten access to the wonderful Fake Lake, along with Christopher Robin the Bourgeois Kvetcher.

For those who doubt if the police used provocs, you can lay your doubts to rest. Substantial photographic evidence exists, as do videos. And if that's not good enough, the police themselves have admitted to doing it in Québec. And they never did rule out that they would use it here. Refusing to confirm or deny should always be taken as a tacit admission of guilt from a public official, since those who have nothing to hide, will have no problem categorically denying the charges!

And that's not even counting the "five-metre rule", which Toronto police chief Bill Blair just made up as he was going along. Since when do cops get to make the laws in this country? Oh, since NEVER. Their job is strictly to enforce. When they take lawmaking into their own hands, that's a direct subversion of democracy.

As is the fact that they deliberately let the "rioting" happen. You may or may not agree that they planted provocs (and if you don't believe the evidence I posted above, fine), but it's quite clear that they stepped aside when the rocks flew and the windows smashed, and it was all to justify their draconian approach later that day (and in the days that followed.)

And what is this bullshit? No arrests? I guess that makes 900 nonpersons taken into custody. Erwin Schrödinger's cat has NOTHING on the Toronto cops for having it both ways.

Also, fuck you, Wikipedia. There were NO riots. Unless perhaps you're referring to what the police inflicted on the citizens: tear gas, pepper spray, tasers and nasty projectiles. I stress that the people didn't start that, nor did they fight back violently. All the protests against the police thuggery have been peaceful. The "rioting" was all on the part of the police. (Including the non-uniformed ones posing as "anarchists".)

But the last word of the day really must go to Naomi Klein, who speaks for all of us when she tells the lot of them to "stop playing politics and public relations" with the lives of the citizens. Watch the video here.

Quotable: Ignacio Ramonet on "democratic" propaganda

"Just when democracy and freedom are seemingly triumphing in a world that has rid itself of its worst dictatorial regimes, censorship and different kinds of manipulation have returned, in different guises, with a paradoxical vengeance. We are seductively offered the promise of a 'brave new world', which distracts citizens and aims to keep them out of civic and political activities. In these new times of alienation, the era of the internet, a single world culture or 'global culture', information technology--is playing a fundamental ideological role in gagging thought."

--Ignacio Ramonet, Wars of the 21st Century

Cops Behaving Badly: Do you recognize any of these "anarchists"?

Check 'em out!

Now, how could you be an anarchist--a real one--and NOT know who Che Guevara was, even when you're wearing his face all over your body?

Or for that matter--what's up with the pot-leaf bandanna? Dude looks much too straight to me, if you know what I mean.

But if by any chance you know who they are, please report them to the Toronto Police Service (or whatever police service they came from). I think it's time they turned in their badges. Worst undercover cops/agents provocateurs EVER.

June 28, 2010

A few random thoughts on the G-20, Black Bloc tactics and police brutality

I'm not sure what to make of this man. He seems belligerent. Yet he's wearing socialist and peace symbols on his shirt. WTF? Anyway, his situation (which could be street theatre, for all we know) pretty much encapsulates what went wrong in TO this past weekend. How ironic is it that consumerism got thwarted by the thugs of über-fucking-capitalism? Merchants, now you know: Capitalists are NOT your friends. But I'm getting ahead of myself here...and I love the goofy emo kid in there stealing the show, BTW.

Lately I've been hearing a lot of stupid petty bourgeois kvetching about the so-called Black Bloc, vandalism, broken windows, etc. As though a bunch of anarchists (or supposed anarchists) in black were the real culprits at the G-20 summit in Toronto, and all the violence was their fault. Here's a representative sampling of the drivel:

Our first foray today was to attend the Toronto Community Mobilization Network's press conference at 3 p.m., which was barely a press conference: it was in fact an extended chance for TCMN to whine at the press for being unsupportive. (At least when Bill Blair holds a press conference and bullshits to your face, he doesn't need a crowd cheering for him.) It was exactly what you'd expect: cops are bad, we're exercising our legal rights, the people who have been detained overnight are "political prisoners" (by the way, I've rung Aung San Suu Kyi on the phone just now, and she says "drama queen says what?") and on and on--a long-winded stream of the biggest heap of self-righteousness not seen since, well, since the last time I heard Stephen Harper criticize the left wing in this country.

And for all of that, protesters, you still could have come out the good guys today. It would have been so easy. You only had to do one thing, one single goddamn thing: "We don't approve of or condone the Black Bloc tactics and we don't approve of or condone violent protest." There you go. Say that, and you're heroes, plain and simple: people who chose not to let their grievances against the government be tainted by malice, even in the face of ridiculously overwrought police tactics. One lousy sentence; that's all we asked of you. Just show us a little good faith.

But of course it didn't happen--not from the top. We got weasel words worthy of Parliament. "We don't comment on the actions of individuals." "That's not the story here." And the reason for the weaseling out is really simple: organizers don't want to condemn Black Bloc tactics and bandana thugs. The radical protest movement in Canada (and let's call it that for lack of a better umbrella term, to distinguish it from the labour unions and NGOs that vamoosed on Saturday the moment they realized the goon squad had ruined everything) long ago decided that the Black Bloccers are part of the movement and welcome at their rallies, and that the next time they hold a protest the thugs will show up again and they'll break shit again, and the rest will just yell "solidarity" like a bunch of useless assholes.

Care for some cheese with that whine, journo boy? Little caviar on a cracker, perhaps?

Poor babies. How hard it must be to be you, or rather how easy: Just blame it all on a bunch of kids in black, get a few complaints and disavowals from activists in the same piece that directly prove you to be a pontificating jackass (as well as a liar), and just don't dig any deeper. And you wonder why they don't trust you media droids? If this is the best you can do, quit fucking wondering. Your shit is self-explanatory.

The kvetcher who wrote that was working for an LLC blog--that is, one of those corporate mouthpieces dressed up to look like hip, cool, internet-savvy cutting-edge independent whatever. Nothing independent about it, in actual point of fact; any "blog" with an LLC at the bottom is not a real blog. It's a corporate entity, not an independent media outlet, and reflects a corporatist worldview when all is said and done. This reporter is a perfect example of that. His final paragraphs also strike me as representative somehow:

The entire day was a pathetic waste. At the end of it, journalists and delegates partied inside the International Media Centre; the summit was done, they could now go home, and there was free booze to spare, so why not? It'd be a shame to come to the G20 summit and not get hammered by the fake lake.

Actually, in retrospect, the fake lake is honestly kind of nice. It only cost about fifty thousand bucks, not the one-point-two million everybody kept discussing, and it's really quite pleasant to sit in. But when a fake lake is the best part of your day, it's been a worthless day. That's the fault of pretty much every last one of us.

...not to mention disingenuous. That $1.2 million figure included the free booze, which our "alternative" bourgeois journo-boy did not disdain to drink. The "fifty thousand bucks" only refers to the centimetres-deep splash pool proper, but it's still a hefty sum of money for some plastic liner and a little bit of water. There are families in Toronto who manage to live on less than what that glorified splash-pad cost, for an entire year. (Trust me, dude, you don't want to see where they have to do it. There's no "kind of nice" about moldy, roach-and-rat-infested apartments in crime-ridden slums.)

Anyway, this is the kind of opinion you get when people's brains are eaten by corporatism--which, as Mussolini's speechwriter knew, was the essence of fascism. You get a whole lot of bitching about the wrong people, while the real culprits--definitely NOT "every last one of us", as Christopher Robin there says, but just a very very few--get off scot-free.

Oh what the hell...maybe some people just need pictures to help them understand what this was all about.

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There you guys go. Succinctly put, no?

Notice that the "We Fool You" element is second from the top. They have the clergy, but the press would also fit in that tier. The press is, after all, the ruling class's instrument. Like the clergy, it's their job to justify God's ways to man--"God" being the ruling classes, "man" being the rest of us.

And don't get the idea that the "alternative" LLC "blogs" are any different. Actually, they're just a semi-hip repackaging of the same old thing you'll find in any crotchety old conservative rag. The excerpts I cited above are a prime example. They're full of smug, whiny-assed dismissal of legitimate protest, in case you hadn't noticed. It's like Christopher Robin there was just looking for excuses to dismiss the entire anti-G20 movement.

Which, of course, he was.

Now, why do you suppose he was doing that?

As always, the best question to ask first is that old Latin standby, Cui bono? In other words: Who benefits?

Well, corporatists benefit. That's a given. He wouldn't be writing for an LLC "blog" if not. Look at the pyramid, and remember: This guy is employed by those at the level of "We Fool You".

And after them, there's the ruling class. They like to see attention deflected from the real culprits to a few convenient scapegoats. "We Rule You" needs "We Fool You" to get the ruled masses to accept the rulership of the few.

And above the ruling class, there's...what? Anybody? Bueller?

Now. Let's look again at the middle-to-lower levels of that pyramid. Below "We Fool You" is the face of the oppressor we saw yesterday: "We Shoot At You". And below them are the useful idiots, the parrots we can always trust to squawk along at whatever propaganda "We Fool You" put out, along with "We Shoot At You". Yes, the "We Eat For You" bunch is contemptible as all hell, though very fashionably dressed (and very appreciative of all the free booze being served around the lame, overpriced fake lake. Belly up to the bar, boys.)

I'd say that Christopher Robin, while he writes for "We Fool You", is actually a member of "We Eat For You". Little wonder, then, that he feels compelled to piss on the peons below. What else do the eaters do when full of booze and there's a fake lake lapping at their feet, putting thoughts of pee-pee in their little pea brains? What else--just take a flying whiz at the producers without whom the entire pyramid, including their preening, smug layer, would crumble down.

And it would crumble. If the peons knew who their real enemy was, that is. Which is why "We Fool You" has been so busy this past weekend, tamping down dissent, stroking the bourgeois sense of entitlement at "We Eat For You", and defending and justifying the actions of "We Shoot At You" and "We Rule You". Even if they disingenuously deny it, as Christopher Robin does.

Unfortunately for Christopher Robin and his blame-the-Black-Bloc ilk at We Fool You, LLC, there's video like this one, showing undercover police in action...

...in which, if you look closely at about the 45-second mark, you'll see a masked, black-clad "anarchist" (conveniently marked with an arrow) melt in behind the police line. Something he wouldn't be able to do if he were not, in fact, one of them!

So much for blaming the so-called "Black Bloc". The real blame, a healthy portion of it at least, must fall on "We Rule You" and "We Shoot At You", and not the small radical anarchist element among "We Work For All" and "We Feed All". (The lion's share of the blame goes, of course, to the nameless, faceless entity at the top of the pyramid.)

And now we know why so much money was spent on unregistered security corporations at the Billion Dollar Boondoggle. And also why the same got that quickie licence, while the police got sudden, overnight, secret expanded powers. I'll bet these fake anarchists, put there to stir trouble among the real ones, were in fact the unaccredited security contractors in question. Who needs a real cause for mass arrests and suspension of civil rights when you can just manufacture a bogus one--using the services of a corporation?

Ah yes, "We Rule You" and "We Fool You", "We Shoot At You" and "We Eat For You". We See What You Did There.

And We Are No Longer Fooled.

Why all conservative voters should be ashamed

This, apparently, is what THEY voted for:

Pure, unadulterated human rights abusage. Riot thugs charged a peaceful protest this afternoon at the corner of Queen and Spadina in Toronto (note Steve's Music Store in the backdrop.) There is no excuse for what they did. All the protesters did was sing "O Canada", with emphasis on the words "We stand on guard for thee".

Apparently, they are the only ones who did.

The G-20, as Jesse Rosenfeld astutely points out in the UK Guardian, is an expansion of the failed G-8 in the aftermath of the global capitalist economic collapse. It was all about changing nothing, except maybe for the worse. It's all about capitalist globalization over and above all human rights, dignity and national sovereignty. (Harpo said so himself.)

Rosenfeld, incidentally, was singled out by riot thugs and beaten and held incommunicado for over 24 hours for that. He was one of many journalists to suffer a "detention" for covering the summit--and its many detractors. (There were more detractors than boosters for the G-20 bullshit. Doesn't that tell anyone anything?) Another Jesse, The Real News's Freeston, was beaten up, and two photographers for the arch-conservative National Post were jailed!

Gee, it's as if the "authorities" didn't want the media reporting an uncontrolled, unscripted version of the story, eh?

Well, of course they didn't. That would have been giving too much freedom of speech to the dissenters. And as my friend Sol points out, dissent is now illegal. You can't even march up to the "security fence" to state your viewpoint without being hassled for a fucking ID, for fuck's sake. And this draconian law was passed in secret!

Meanwhile, the going meme in the compliant whore media is that "peaceful protests turned violent". Bull-fucking-SHIT they did! If the media were fully honest, they would come right out and say "Peaceful protests were attacked by fully-armed riot police in an effort to quash all dissent", because that's just what happened! Again, my friend Sol is your go-to guy for what's wrong with this meme.

And of course, this meme is part of a larger strategy: Make all dissenters out to be criminals. Marginalize them all. And if they don't make violence themselves, throw in a few provocateurs and let THEM provide all the necessary pretexts.

There's just one problem with this: Nimble citizen journalists are now blogging. And they can spot the discrepancies with ease. Case in point: These two posts by Dammit Janet. Interesting how provocs wear the same shoes as the cops, no? And even more interesting how the cars deliberately left out to be torched were NOT working Toronto cop cars. (Wrong numbers. Also, one was missing its plates. Hmmm.)

The major media are doing a very half-assed job. Not surprising; their job is to prop up the existing order, not undermine it with too many pesky, incriminating facts. A pity it's all crumbling around them, and the questions are too many, too pointed and too hard to be "answered" with facile lies anymore. The fascism is naked now, and so's the emperor.

The only remaining question is, what are WE going to do about it?

PS: Here is one place to start.

June 27, 2010

Music for a Sunday: Sweet Diana to the rescue

Today's playlist is going out to all those imprisoned for peaceful protest in Toronto. Let me hear the radio:

And just for good measure, another one from J. Geils that you'll want to learn all the lyrics to:

Sing it! "Bomp-ba-ba-bomp, bomp-ba-ba-bomp..."

And sing it LOUD, so the pigs behind the security fence can hear it. Spoil their fancy Sunday dinner.

June 26, 2010

Wankers of the Week: G8/G20 edition

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Yup, that about sums up what it's all about. A dirty, low-down fuckery full of pretended "gentlemen", throwing money around and expecting to buy whatever they want, no matter who suffers. Photo courtesy the Torontoist, where there's also an excellent liveblog of all the fun and frivolity. Here's Friday's edition, and here's today's.

"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege."

--Tommy Douglas

Well! How're we liking the arrival of fascism in Canada, boys 'n' girls? So far, it's all panning out true to the predictable pattern. All wrapped up in a flag, carrying a cross--just as Sinclair Lewis predicted for our neighbors to the south--and building fake lakes so people won't think too long about how the real waters of the world are being crapped up by corporations. That's what makes ours Canadian, eh. Otherwise it's virtually indistinguishable from the American Republic of Stupidstan.

And from the heart of my bottom, heartiest thanks to the following fools, fascists and fuckers, not all of whom are at the G-20 right now, for making this week as wankish as could be:

1. Stockwell Fucking Day. Damn right, Laughing Stock, there will be protests because of "a small bunch of thugs". You're so fucking dumb you don't even realize that you're referring to your own not-so-new-anymore SupposiTory minority government. The protests will be massive, and the protesters won't be thugs--only the police provocateurs who I'm sure you guys are paying extra to have trucked in, along with your fucking fake lake.

2. G. Gordon Fucking Liddy. What's the G stand for? God-awfully-STUPID, what else? Yeah, Gordie, whitey-white Christians aren't at all good at that slaughtering shit. Who dropped the fucking A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, again?

3. Karl Fucking Rove. Guess who's gonna be in town for Chuck Fucking McVety's little satanistic goat-slaughtering orgy! And guess who I'm praying for...to get a loose wrecking ball to the kisser, that is.

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4. Tony Fucking Hayward. Gee, I guess he "finally" got his life back--he went yachting. Needless to say, not in the same waters where his company took a shit.

5. Ann Fucking Coulter. Is someone miffed because she didn't get invited to the gringo-nose-powder party aboard Wanker #4's yacht? Sure smells that way. So, of course, who better to take it out on than His Barackness? (BTW, her daily dose of meth has eaten another hole in the Coultergeist's brain. Remember "Now watch this drive"? She doesn't. Oh, and she's also lying. But we knew that!)

6. Stanley Fucking McChrystal. Because military discipline and respect for the civilian commander-in-chief don't apply if you're a right-wing general. Or if the civilian commander-in-chief is black. PS: Tell your former aide to stop using "gay" as a put-down, ex-General. PPS: "Counter-insurgency" does not work. No wonder the former general was so pissy.

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7. Martin Fucking Feldman. Why block a presidential moratorium on deep-sea drilling? Holding stock in companies that do it is one reason. It's also a conflict of interest, but I'm sure His Dishonor doesn't see it that way. In fact, I'm pretty sure he sees it as a very neat conjunction of interests.

8. Fucking "Hunter". How is it possible for us crazy left-wing feminists to NOT get the pee-pee sensation when we see Harpo, AND simultaneously have it but not admit it? Spoiler alert: We don't get any feelings down there at all when we look at him. He's not sexy! I suppose it never occurs to starry-eyed conservatwits that normal women don't like stony-faced men who lacquer their hair. And if you're going to babble nonsense about smelly terrorists, "Hun", better look at the ones you voted for. They think dousing oneself in Drakkar Noir neutralizes the stench of batshit and brimstone. It doesn't, and neither does your cheap perfume, dear.

9. Jon Fucking Voight. No wonder Angelina Jolie wants nothing to do with her old man. Can you blame her? He's an ignorant, apartheid-loving, rapturistic, racist, Repug asswipe.

10. Conrad Fucking Black. He's still guilty as sin, but now it looks like he's going to waste more public money trying to prove he's not. Give it up, Lord Nobody! And stay in jail. It's the best place for you. Make yourself useful teaching your fellow inmates how to read and write, or something.

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11. Ezra Fucking Levant. Being sued for libel again? Surprise...and he still gets ZERO sympathy from me or anyone. That's what happens when you think "freedom of speech" means you get to whack other people on the nose and not have them hit you back. Another sue-happy screamer who believes in freedom of speech for himself alone, and can't bear it when the law gets turned against him by others. "Equal rights" is fightin' words to Ezzy Irrelevant.

12. Tom Fucking Brock. Another screaming closet case, outed. Funny how little you have to scratch a professional homophobe to find a homo...one who desperately needs to get laid. And who is probably going to have no luck finding true man-love as long as he keeps up the nasty rhetoric.

13. Marco Fucking Rubio. If offshore drilling is "being done safely all over the world", how do you explain Nigeria? Oh, that's right--you don't even bother thinking about it, because it doesn't bear thinking about. And besides, those people are black, so their environmental woes don't count.

14. David Fucking Jungerman. Producer or parasite? Considering how much he got in farm subsidies, I vote for the latter. And since I seriously doubt he has paid a million dollars in taxes (which he would have to have done, at a minimum, in order to consider it "my money coming back to me"), let's add "lying lowdown hypocrite" to the list of descriptors.

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15. James Fucking Moore. As a "radical extremist" radically opposed to wankers, I flip you the cyber-electronic bird, sir. And your draconian US puppetmasters, too.

16. Rocco Fucking Rossi. Oh charming! The would-be theocrat of Toronto City Hall thinks le mot juste is "hate speech". Le mot juste, of course, being "apartheid", uttered in the context of Israel, for which there is incidentally ample proof that it IS le mot juste.

17. Rob Fucking Ford. Not content to let Wanker #16 hog the whole Bucket-O-Stoopid, Rob manfully elbowed him aside and took his turn at the trough. Snort, snort, oink.

18. Giorgio Fucking Mammoliti. And lest we forget the third stooge in the trio, here's another homophobic free-speech hater who doesn't deserve to be the next mayor of Toronto. Stick a fork in all of 'em, they're DONE.

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19. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Obama is "henpecked"? Michelle never lets him have "real food"? That's funny, I just saw him and Dimitri Medvedev chowing down in a burger joint the other day. I guess that's fake food, although I'm sure once in a while it can't hurt. Michelle said nothing, but I'm told the Secret Service had a cow. Snork, snork. Of course, what Rusty says would be easier to take seriously if Obama weren't so trim and handsome (and still with his first wife, very happily by all appearances), and the Pigman weren't so...well, you know. Alas for Rush, there's some very bad news floating around out there about all that unreal food.

20. Louie Fucking Gohmert. Spare the Gomer Pyle jokes, folks, even if they ARE only too tempting. This poor paranoid racist Godwin-breaching asswipe is not gonna make it through his next election, so we must be gentle with him. Or...maybe not.

21. Thomas Fucking Sowell. Uncle Tom is also a fine one to go violating Godwin. He spent the last decade of his career propping up Mussolini Piccolomini Bush, after all. I guess what Gomer #20 was trying to say there was that Uncle Tom is awfully smart for a niggruh to be making such facile comparisons between two totally different men, or some such.

22. Glenn Fucking Beck. Professional racist and paranoid drunken loon promotes hemorrhoidal self as heir to civil rights movement, and McCarthy as a great defender of democracy. Along with ghostwritten, bulk-bought book. Oh yeah, and did I mention he's a MORmON? And that the Cold War is long over and the Red Menace gone? And that the civil-rights movement was led by progressive US BLACKS, not Moscow? Dude's shit is so fucking crazy, we couldn't make it up if we wanted to. Fortunately, his ratings are still circling the drain. All we want now is to see them go all the way DOWN, for fuck's sake.

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23. Christie Fucking Blatchford. Disingenuous right-wing columnist has no idea how the healthcare system actually works, and certainly doesn't really care about fixing it, but never misses an opportunity to bash it with half-truths, pure conjectures, and a slimy glossing-over of the facts, which leads her gullible readers to believe, as she does, that it should simply be scrapped altogether--to "let the market take care of it". (The "market taking care of it" was the reason Tommy Douglas built our system in the first place!) If she hates it so much in this country, why is she still here? It's not like she couldn't make a fucking fortune peddling her smack south of the border. They eat that shit up down there. Maybe it's just the glut in the oversaturated US bullshit market? Whatever it is, Christie, just because there are fewer people up here who think like you, doesn't mean there's a vast untapped market for right-wing hog-snot. Take a hint, and take it elsewhere. (The local landfill is a good place; the toilet is even better.)

24. Jim Fucking Prentice. Speaking of "let the market fuck you over", scroll down. Seems this wanker doesn't like the truth being told about his sneak-thievish deregulation drives. BTW, did you know he's letting Chevron drill in deeper waters than the Deepwater Horizon went down in? On the Atlantic Coast, where a spill could unleash catastrophe on two continents? It's true!

25, 26 and 27. Tucker Fucking Carlson, Matt Fucking Dornic and Betsy Fucking Rothstein. If you're going to blather nonsense about "journalistic ethics" or "journalistic standards", try exercising some of your own, you fucking hacks. What you did to Dave Weigel is inexcusable--especially since all Weigel did was tell the unflattering truth, and utter things we've all felt, about so many right-wing idiots out there. Who are all still spouting and spewing and making millions saying things that are about ten thousand times worse--minimum. Fuck you, fuck you all very much.

28. Sarah Fucking Palin. Why?

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That's why. And that's not all.

29. Geraldo Fucking Rivera. Ever since he broke into Al Capone's vault to find nothing but empty liquor bottles and dust-bunnies, I've suspected he was not really a journalist, but an untalented schmuck who played one on TV. So far, nothing he has said or done has laid that suspicion to rest.

30. Michael Fucking Den Tandt. Put down your outdated economics text book and pay attention to the real world, Mikey. Globalization destroyed all the jobs. CEOs are getting bonuses for job-cutting, outsourcing, and wage-slashing, if not union-busting. Why do you think all those people are protesting? BTW, most of them HAVE jobs, no thanks to crapitalist ideologues like you. If any of them throw bricks, I hope one goes through your window--and another through your own smug, vainglorious preconceptions. If you're really a journalist worth your salt, and not just another fucking conservatard hack, I dare you to go ask sweatshop workers on the other side of the planet how well "free" trade has worked at lifting THEM out of poverty...or for that matter, all the trafficked women and children it has wrenched from their homes and into brothels. Yeah, they're really better off now! Asshole.

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One of yours, Mikey? (Photo by Kady O'Malley.)

And finally, to all those who think the protesters are "radical extremists" or worse, "terrorists". No, they're not--they're the PEOPLE, and they're standing up for your freedoms, since the police aren't being paid to, and the army isn't allowed to (and is only being sent to guard the corporations' intended resource grabs, anyway.) I really can't express how I feel about you or your pusillanimous bed-wetting fascism any better than this anonymous man, who had the guts to tell it like it is to the cops:

Good night, and get fucked!

June 25, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: To hell with the G-20...

...give me the ALBA (which is also holding a summit right now!), if only so I can enjoy the view:

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Because honestly, what looks better than El Ecuadorable, Evo and Chavecito, all putting their handsome heads together and coming up with WAY more useful ideas than the clown-car pile-up that's taking over Toronto as we speak?

Gaza Roundup 21: Whose Pride?

Fabulous video on the reversal of PrideTO's decision to exclude QuAIA:

And if you think the QuAIA thing is anything new, or unique to Canada, here's some required reading. It's the story of a black South African named Simon Nkoli, who grew up, was imprisoned for anti-racist work, and came out as gay, during the age of apartheid. He died in 1998, but his activism proved an inspiration to all who knew him. Here's what he had to say about why he chose not to be a single-issue activist, but to fight against oppression in all its forms:

My co-defendants came to me and said they didn't realize gay people could be so concerned about apartheid. Of course they didn't! How would they know in South Africa if all of us are in the closet? There are lots of gay activists involved in political organizations, but because of the pressure put upon the gay and lesbian community, we are afraid to come out. "What will people think if they know I am a gay person? I'd better fight against apartheid in a hidden way." The danger of that is that when South Africa is liberated, we as gay people will seem never to have taken part in liberating our people. What will we say when people ask, "What did you do to bring about change in this country, where were you during the battle?" We'd have to come back to them and say, "We were with you but we didn't want you to know we were there." That would be a foolish answer.

We in the gay and lesbian community in South Africa are also to be blamed because those people who have come out of the closet then want to fight for lesbian and gay rights only. We must say that is not enough, because if we isolate the gay and lesbian struggle it will be the same as women isolating their struggle, or the youth, or workers, and then everybody will have lots of struggles within apartheid. So let's bring all these struggles together, as we are doing, and united we will go somewhere. When South Africa is liberated, there will be no question of anyone saying, "those people were not part of us."

And Simon Nkoli said that on a tour of Canada in 1989. Right around the time the big push was on to end South African apartheid for good through boycotts, divestment and sanctions. He lived long enough to see that goal formally realized.

Clearly Simon was well ahead of his time as a broad-spectrum activist; even today, a lot of gays are single-issue activists and voters. That's why QuAIA's efforts to gain justice for all became a target for a censorious element in the Pride Week organizational committee. Apparently gays are only supposed to celebrate their own victories and drink a lot of beer, march flamboyantly, and not fret themselves about the lack of human rights for non-queer others in faraway lands!

When DID Pride become so apolitically correct? I'm guessing the seed was planted around the same time as same-sex marriage became legal up here. That was the Big Issue. It was widely assumed that equality was now achieved, what with hate crimes legislation also being on the books. After that, gays were supposed to be content, and guzzle the Molson Canadian, and party hearty. The notion that there was still human-rights work to be done on other fronts was unfashionable. Unfabulous, you might say. Gays were only supposed to worry about their own. (Remind you of anyone?)

But the good folks at QuAIA, to their credit, refused to take that notion lying down. And when Pride tried to muzzle them, they raised hell. The result speaks for itself--freely, openly, and using unfabulously unfashionable words that just so happen to be true. Which is a fabulous thing.

And speaking of fabulous, the tables have now been turned on the pro-apartheid forces--in Detroit. The odious "Stand With Us", who were attempting to gaywash the Wall of Shame and the pincer action against Gaza, have been kicked out of a social forum. Seems that hasbara isn't as fashionable or as fabulous as its pushers want us to think it is. And at least one lame attempt to appeal to gay self-interest has fallen on its hastily-rainbow-flagged ass.

June 24, 2010

Gaza Roundup 20: QuAIA's vindication and the larger context

This is not Humberto da Silva. This is also not Rex Murphy:

This is, however, an excellent backgrounder that helps explain why the whole QuAIA kerfuffle, which blew over this week in QuAIA's favor, is important.

And why the gaywashing of Israeli apartheid is an epic fail. The homophobic element in the pro-Israeli apartheid movement is becoming blatantly obvious. B'nai Brith has well and truly beshat itself by joining forces with the odious Charles McVety, for starters.

And let's not forget that there is apartheid not only between Jews and Palestinians, but between Jews and Jews in Israel--and racism against refugees, too!

In short: It's been a banner week for human rights activism, in spite of the ridiculous fascism that's taken over Toronto in advance of the G-20 summit. Freedom of speech has made a big stride, and TO has its Pride back. They're going to need that morale boost in light of what Harpo's got cooking.

And in the meantime, nobody is toning down the anti-apartheid rhetoric. Not for one instant. Because that apartheid--and the larger apartheid between the ruling classes and the human masses--is still there, manifesting in ever more grotesque ways, and must be abolished.

June 23, 2010

Stupid Sex Tricks: Don't have a cow, man!

Srsly. Don't:

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Aside: A mental health check for the "groom" might also be in order.

Teh Heterostoopid: This diamond ring doesn't shine for him anymore

And neither does she for whom the gaudy bit of bling was intended:

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Oooooo, that's HARSH.

June 22, 2010

Quotable: Phil Rockstroh on conservatism

"What has an era of conservatism wrought? Answer: a culture that has all the value, integrity, sustainability and safety as a toy manufactured in China. Apropos, contemporary life, as conceived and manufactured by conservative "values", is shoddily made, toxic and not a lot of fun."

--Phil Rockstroh, A Conservative's Garden of False Narratives: Who Are You Calling a Moonbat, Anyway?

Gaza Roundup 19: Teh Awesome

Who haz it?

Protesters in Oakland, California! They held up the unloading of a Zim cargo ship from Israel to raise awareness of the Freedom Flotilla and the apartheid Palestinians must face every day as they are being driven from their lands and homes to make room for more Israeli occupiers. (Here's Mondoweiss's take on the story, and here's that of the local paper, the Oakland Tribune.)

Let's quit using the word "settlers", while we're at it, unless we understand it to be a genocidal settling, the same as the slaughter of Native Americans was when the "pioneers" came to whiten up the Americas. Let an awesome Jewish Native American, Phil Rockstroh, tell you all about it from his unique perspective, as he looks out over the two strikingly similar worlds that combined to make him.

Roseanne Barr also has Teh Awesome; as an observant Jew (surprise!) and a Kabalist, she finds plenty of ethical reasons to object to what Israel is doing to the Palestinians and their supporters. Awesome Roseanne quotes:

Every Shabbat, Jews pray for the peace of the Shekkinah, to descend on Jerusalem/the world. Our traditions tell us that the highest level of G-d is female, that She is the Sabbath bride, and She brings peace, beauty, and judgment tempered by mercy into our circle every seventh day. Right now, She is pretty upset with the way we have poisoned her foundation, Malchut, which is the Earth. She is belching and getting over-heated, and we had better look out. This is our last warning, I think.

[...]

I hold to nothing but envisioning international peace and utopia. We all have many more things in common than not. I've tried to get to the very bottom of the whole subject, and I say it's the entire world's fault, not just Israel's and not just the Jews', for allowing the terrible crimes against humanity, the ethnic cleansing that is happening in Gaza right now. No government in the Middle East is innocent. Wars make the stock market go up, so no one in America is innocent either, nor anyone anywhere where capitalism reigns.

Occupation is wrong, collective punishment is wrong, and the use of white phosphorous on a captive population is wrong. Zionists are wrong, Hamas is wrong, Bibi is wrong, Obama is wrong, Saudi Arabia is wrong, Egypt is wrong, Jordan is wrong, Russia is wrong, Turkey is wrong, as are the Pope and the evangelicals, and all who do nothing about this terrible failure of humanity. To me, the only hope at all is the power of grandmothers crossing cultural and religious lines to make peace together.

So, you thought Roseanne was just a funny woman on TV? Ha. I defy anyone to find fault with what she said there.

And while we're on the topic of awesome women speaking truth to power, how's this for an awakening? A formerly conservative New York resident is now a pro-Palestinian progressive activist. Hats off to Debbie Mardon.

Further afield in the world of awesometude, you know Israel has an apartheid problem when even South African labor leaders are protesting and boycotting, along with the Oakland longshoremen. And you know Israel also has a fascism problem when the always awesome Norman Finkelstein does an interesting side-by-side.

June 20, 2010

This is the kind of response I live for

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Whenever I see a new e-mail address among the comments on my blog, my heart speeds up a little. Sometimes it's in dread of a rude, nasty scolding (which a lot of my writings get, funnily enough; it's what happens when you commit yourself to honesty and truth).

Other times, less frequently, it speeds up because I get to see things like this:

Sabina, I have to say that this was one of the most effective and beautiful blog posts I've read in a long time.

Because I'm 17, ubergeeky, overweight, antireligious, bisexual, and just plain weird to the kids I go to school with. Kentucky isn't the state for me, and my town is one of the worst.

A guy got paid to dance with me at this year's prom. I have been asked out at least three times as a joke.

Yeah, real funny guys. I'll remember that when I'm your fucking boss.

Thank you for showing me that kids like me can grow up and gain elegance. Thank you.

In case you're wondering where that appeared, it was here.

Thanks, Greylyn, for that inspiring feedback. It made my day.

Music for a Sunday: When angry, reach for snarling guitars

All the burning of sea turtles by BP has me in an EXTREMELY rude mood, so I'm digging out the still-topical-after-all-these-years stuff.

First up, from Kingston, Ontario, the Hip, drinking something muddy from a fruit jar:

And then, the most appropriate thing ever to come from Down Under:

Crank your dials to 11, kiddies...and listen to the lyrics, too.

June 19, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Vuvuzela edition

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In case you haven't heard of it (or just plain heard it) yet, the above is a vuvuzela--South Africa's official noisemaker of the World Cup. It looks like a traffic pylon, comes in plain or fancy colorations, and emits a loud, buzzy hoot when you blow razzberries into it. I had the unfortunate experience of hearing it before I saw it, since I tend to ignore TVs unless the news is on, and the World Cup is just one big racket to me (in both the auditory and the mafiosic sense). My ears are still in recovery.

First time I saw the name was on the tweeter, linked to sites dedicated to the fine art of kvetching about it, building anti-vuvuzela filters for your TV, toning it down if you have a Samsung TV, and calling for bans on it. At first I wondered what they all had against Venezuela. I mean sure, Hugo Chávez isn't everyone's cup of cafecito, but really--hating on a country? Then I took a closer look and caught on.

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Get together a big soccer stadium full of people with these, and it sounds like a swarm of drunken killer bees, getting their warpath on. Not pleasant, and I can see how people would kvetch about it or want it banned, if their real interest is in watching a soccer match. (Mine's not soccer. Mine's the leggy guys in shorts. But I digress.)

Know what's more annoying than a vuvuzela? A wanker. And this week was full of them. Here they are, blowhards all, in no particular order:

1. Thilo Fucking Sarrazin. Yes, immigrants often do have lower levels of education than the natives of their new country. So what? Most people recognize that this condition is temporary, NOT "about 80 percent hereditary", and is best helped by the public education system of the new country, as well as tolerant and open-minded citizens doing their bit to help the newcomers acclimatize.

Those are the intelligent ones, mind you. The other kind somehow make it all the way onto the board of directors of the German Bundesbank, where they kvetch and moan about how dirty and dumb all those new immigrants are--especially if they're brown and have a tendency to walk around in baggy clothing and headscarves. Thus embarrassing the rest of the Bundesbank board mightily, and making Germany look pretty damn stupid in the process.

2. Mahmoud Fucking Abbas. Never mind Hamas and those silly toy rockets. And for a moment, let's set aside all those Likudnik and Kahanist asswipes in Tel Aviv. What about the "respectable" leader of the Palestinian Authority, effectively aiding and abetting Israel in its illegal efforts to annex Gaza (and starve out its Palestinian denizens)? I guess he doesn't like Hamas either, it being a rival faction and all, but why take it out on the hides of Gazans?

3. Dov Fucking Charney. Guess where I won't be shopping anytime in the foreseeable future. Yes, American Apparel, I'm glaring at YOU. Retail jobs suck as it is; does a lookist hiring policy make them any better? Hell, NO. And neither does the nasty, rampant sexism of Dov Charney himself. Just because the company is "sweatshop free", doesn't mean its OTHER bad labor practices should get off scot-free. Here's one small instance where I'll advocate letting the market take care of the problem: Let's put market forces to work AGAINST this sort of thing. Don't apply, and don't buy. Boycott, baby, boycott!

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4. Rand Fucking Paul. Not board-certified to practise? You don't say. I guess regulation of doctors, even if only by peers, is another bugaboo for this right-wing flibbertigibbertarian. Do you suppose it could be because he wouldn't pass muster?

5. Sarah Fucking Palin. Why does it just so figure that she wants to meet Maggie Fucking Thatcher? On the bright side, Maggie is in an advanced state of senile dementia, so she and Sawah should get along just fine, if this meeting ever comes off.

6. Joe Fucking Weisenthal. Yeah, our Canadian army is getting massacred in Afghanistan so that you bizmedia blogtards can get all cute and flippant about why they're over there. Jesus H. Christ!

7. Bill Fucking Kristol. Wow, who knew that machismo was a required presidential trait? And why is it that the most effete fucking wimps in the world, the same ones who would NEVER strap on a rifle and body armor to fight the wars they advocate, are the very ones pushing that ludicrous notion?

8. Chris Fucking Bryant. French is a "useless" language? Quoi? Quel imbécile! Considering how half the world still insists on speaking it, I'd say it's Bryant who's useless for failing to comprehend. Or to put it another way: Casse-toi, con de merde. Vas à baiser ma fesse!

9. Charles Fucking McVety. It's not enough for the biggest Satanist in Ontario to get comprehensive sex-ed quashed here; no, now he wants to take over the world! Which is, of course, why he's so bitter not to have been invited to the G-20 summit to lead the evil One World Government, no doubt in his capacity as Grand Imperial Poohbah of the Kuckoo Klox Klan.

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10. Erik Fucking Prince. Realizing that being a high-profile mercenary mafia boss is not as safe a gig as he'd thought, now he wants to sell Blackwater--oh sorry, Xe, or whatever its next lame name will be--and move to Dubai. Don't anyone tell him that Dubai is crumbling, and all the mercenary moolah in the world won't save it--in fact, the Burj Whatever is just begging to be the next big terrorist target, and I wouldn't be surprised if they hit it. Here's hoping the Prince of Darkness will be inside at just the right moment.

11. Eleanor Fucking Clitheroe. She's now an Anglican minister, but hardly a poor church mouse--she's drawing a $300,000+ yearly pension, based on her "work" (coughwheeze) as chief greedhead at Hydro One, and she STILL thinks that's not enough to live on. Meanwhile, Ontarians who used to get by on much less are wondering why their own incomes aren't enough to cover the costs of THEIR utilities anymore.

12. Candice Fucking Hoeppner. Oh joy, our summer is going to be a real silly season now--Candy is going on tour (on the public dime?) to promote legalized gun nuttery. Now, some people think the long-gun registry is a colossal waste of money, or a Liberal political pander, or some such rot. My response to them is this: Imagine someone going on tour to promote the notion that motor vehicle registration should be scrapped because it costs money to maintain a registry. I'm sure a lot of pickup truck owners would be pleased, but is this really fair to victims of aggressive drivers? Or the police, whose job it is to keep the roads safe, and who rely on motor-vehicle registries to help them do so?

13. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Bristol Palin is a precious little lamb who is off limits for criticism, but Malia Obama is a nasty ghetto bitch eager to "shake down" that poor, beleaguered BP man who was just walking innocently down the street in Harlem when his oil well blew. No, of course you're not racist, Rush...you're just a "serious, serious"-ly fugly old white slug who hates everything and everybody. And that bulging artery inside your brain can't blow out soon enough.

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14. Carl-Henric Fucking Svanberg. Too late to apologize. You let slip no more than what you really think of the overwhelming majority of people. Those "small people" won't seem so small when they're coming for you and the rest of the incompetent moronic greedheads at BP with pitchforks, torches, tar (from the Gulf of Mexico!) and feathers, rest assured.

15. Lindsay Fucking Blackett. If Canadian culture is shit, why are you a culture minister? Oh wait--you're from Alberta. That explains a lot. What does YOUR culture consist of, again? Whining about the rest of Canada and how inferior to the US it is. Yeah, that's pretty shitty, all right.

16. Fucking Monsanto. Not content to monopolize North America with its Frankencrops, now it's gunning for Europe, where GMO shit is largely banned. First stop, Germany. ¡No pasaran! Korporationsnazis raus!

17. The Fucking San Francisco Chronicle. Firing Robert Scheer--a Jew--for saying Palestinians should be treated like Jews by the Israelis? I suppose they're going to claim he meant gas them and shove them into crematory ovens at Auschwitz. He didn't. Whatever excuse they make is gonna stink to high heaven. Just like the crematoria at Auschwitz. Or the white phosphorus Israel dumped on Gaza.

18. Rick Fucking Barber. What's funnier: this dumb goober running for the US Congress, or this dumb goober claiming that the IRS "forces business owners to spy on themselves" and that the people "have no representation"? Um, dude--if the people have no representation, why are you running for the House of Representatives?

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19. and 20. Terry Fucking Tremaine and Paul Fucking Fromm. The one can't stop wanking out his racism and antisemitism over the Internets; the other isn't clear on the concept of what the Internets are for. Sheer comedy gold from the Goofus and Gallant of the Canadian far-right.

21. Faytene Fucking Kryskow, AGAIN. Speaking of the Canadian far-right, did you know this crazy Christer is a closet racist? It's true! Just ask the aboriginal dignitaries who were unfortunate enough to take her up on her invites to the lamb-slaughters which her group of fundie wackos likes to throw now and again. Something tells me they won't make that mistake twice.

22. Sharron Fucking Angle. If you thought #21 was an obscene theocrat, you ain't seen nothin' yet. This one, from south of our border, wants to take away everything except Jeebus and guns. (The real Jesus would kick her to the curb on sight. As he would anyone who's a follower of R.J. Fucking Rushdoony.)

23. Zach Fucking Wamp. No doubt he's descended from the original Mug Wump, and, like a true mugwump, changed the name only to avoid recognition. Didn't work; we're onto him.

24. Adrian Fucking Lamo, again. Last week's suspicion is now confirmed. This wanker turned in a heroic leaker just for the egoboo. Well, his ego deserves a boo, all right...and a hiss, and a loud razzberry, blown through the world's biggest fucking vuvuzela.

25. The Fucking Canada-Israel Committee. Why?

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That's why. Not even bothering to attempt a gaywash, they go straight for apartheid AND homophobia in the same breathless tweet. That's a lot of wankage in just 140 keystrokes (or less)!

26. Gary Fucking Bass. Essentially, not apologizing on behalf of the RCFuckingMP for tasering a poor confused Polish immigrant to death. If that's not the height of wankitude, I don't know what is.

27. Michelle Fucking Bachmann. Just when you figured she'd hit the limit for batshit craziness, she totally redraws that line in the oil-soaked sand. Way to go, bitch. You make BP turtleburners happy.

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28. Haley Fucking Barbour. See above, and add profits before people, ecology or endangered species. Way to go, BP turtleburner SOB.

29. Victoria Fucking Jackson. Unfunny Miami teabagger is too dumb to do anything but count calories, and I wouldn't trust her even to get THAT right. BTW, here's another thing she got wrong: Bill Clinton's second term was already up when she "voted him out". Oh wait--she confesses she didn't vote for anyone, EVER, she was too dumb "Christian" to register. Never mind vote for anyone with an R beside their name "because it's closest to the Bible". How does this insanely stupid woman manage to go on breathing?

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And finally, to whoever the hell came up with the vuvufuckingzela. What a wanker you are, unknown sir. I bet you masturbate in yours every night while counting your profits. May your schlong get stuck in it, and may the hospital not have enough K-Y jelly to extricate you.

Good night, and get fucked.

Reflections on the (still ongoing) War on Terra

With apologies to Franklin Pierce Adams.

Gulf War II is an awful farce.
We like it.
Dick Cheney pulled it out his arse.
We like it.
There's so much there to knock and slam;
The bloody thing is one big sham.
It can't fight terror worth a damn.
Nevertheless, we fight it.

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June 18, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Che Guevara remembered

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"Aprendimos a quererte desde la historica altura..."
--Carlos Puebla, "Hasta Siempre Comandante"

The statue to Che at Santa Clara, Cuba--the scene of a decisive battle in the Cuban Revolution, which was won by Che's column.

This week marks the 82nd anniversary of Che Guevara's official birthday. I say "official" because the date is given on his birth certificate as June 14, 1928, but was actually one month earlier. According to Jon Lee Anderson's bio, Che's parents changed the date because he was conceived three months before their marriage, and they had to pretend he was premature. A not uncommon trick, used wherever there is a stigma on children conceived out of wedlock to make sure they don't bring down malicious gossip on their families.

But regardless of his actual birthday, Che got his due honors on VTV this week, as several documentaries on his life and his far-reaching influence were aired. Here are the links to them (all videos in Spanish):

"When I think of Che"--Fidel Castro's reminiscences on his friend and revolutionary comrade.

"Che, the man without a death"

"Che everywhere, forty years after his death"

As you can grasp by the tone of the documentaries, Che is more alive now than ever. Surely the last thing his enemies wanted when they killed him at La Higuera and posed for photos with his corpse in the laundry-house at the Vallegrande hospital, before scratching him an unmarked grave and building an airstrip over top of it. The ruse, as we all now know, was an epic fail. And his killers, who thought they would go down in history as heroes--where are they today? And why are none of their faces on t-shirts?

Rhetorical question. We all know the answer.

Happy 82nd, Che...the immortal who is everywhere.

"Aquí se queda la clara
La entrañable transparencia
De tú querida presencia,
Comandante Che Guevara..."

June 17, 2010

Gaza Roundup 18: In which Ms. Manx gets snippy with Israel

Yes, folks, this one's a Short 'n' Stubby! You know what that means, don't you?

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Yep, Queen 'Bina trots out the stump-tailed kitty.

So. Here we go, in no particular order:

First up, Ms. Manx (and National Geographic) would like you to know that Israel did not start out as a Jewish state, but a pagan one. Horrifying to the ultra-Orthodox types, no doubt, but something we Witches take totally for granted, along with evolution.

And didja know that until just very recently (like, oh, around the attack on the Mavi Marmara on the 31st of last month), Israel loved Turkey so much it suppressed all discussion of the Armenian genocide? And that, since the attack, it's been doing the opposite, calling the Turks islamofascist and all? It's true!

And here's something else that's ugly but true:

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Which makes this shrieeeeeky press release unexpectedly funny. "We Con the World" (which you can see here) is made by a group which is not only projecting its own intentions big-time, but might as well call itself "USA for Israel".

And finally, if you want to blame someone for all those goddamned vuvuzelas, look no further.

June 16, 2010

Dear islamophobic shrieeeeeekers...

You know how you're always shrieeeeeking at us feminists because we're not shrieeeeeeeking along with you about the evils and horrors of Mooooooozlim (or Mawwwwwwwzlem) "honor" killings coming to these shores, along with those brown immigrants?

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Well, you can stop shrieeeeeeeking now. Because two of those people you're so frightened of, and always shrieeeeeeeeking about, have finally admitted their guilt and are going to prison for the rest of their lives.

Yes, the murder of 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez was horrifying. How could a father and brother, who ought to have been nurturing and protecting her, put their hands around their daughter/sister's throat and strangle her instead? The rationale for their crime is culture-based, and yes, horrible, but let's be honest, it is neither foreign nor far removed from that of other domestic femicides in North America:

Media in Toronto and around the world immediately reported and continues to report that Aqsa was killed because she refused to wear the hijab. But it was much more complicated than that.

Parvez felt like he was losing control of a daughter who was failing most of her Grade 11 subjects at Applewood Heights Secondary School. He believed she would be better off attending an Islamic high school.

But at a meeting with her father and school officials on Sept. 17, 2007, she told them she wanted to stay where she was.

A day after the school meeting, Aqsa ran away from home for the first time. Her clandestine exit from her school was orchestrated by school officials and a social worker from Indian Rainbow, a non-profit agency for immigrants. They arranged for her to stay in a shelter.

The familial problems had been obvious a year earlier, when the local Children's Aid Society (CAS) had been brought into speak with her father, once school officials became aware of growing cultural clash between Aqsa and her father, a taxi driver. Life after they had moved to Canada in 2001 was much different than the small village of Pur Miana in the Punjab area of Pakistan.

She told officials she feared she would be beaten, perhaps even killed, if she told her father she didn't want to wear traditional clothing anymore to school, especially her hijab.

Now, after spending several days in a Mississauga shelter, she returned home after receiving a letter from Irim, telling her that her father would give her whatever she wanted so long as she returned home.

For a few weeks, things worked out. But the trouble started again.

During a second round of family mediation in November 2007, Parvez said it would be better for her to quit school and stay home.

She contemplated leaving home again but told a couple of her close friends in November that if "she ever messed up again," her father would "kill me."

She began to cry. "No, he swore on the Qur'an," Aqsa said. "He said he'd kill me if I ever ran away again."

Aqsa left home for the final time on Nov. 29, 2007, and settled in with a Pakistani family, who had a daughter Amal Tahir, friends with her sister Irim. The Tahir household was far less strict than her own home, and she felt safe there.

To her siblings, Aqsa's actions were shocking. Running away from home was unheard of in a Pakistani household, they testified.

In a chilling police interview on the day Aqsa was killed, her mother crying and talking out loud to herself, was recorded as saying she thought her husband was only going to "break legs and arms," but instead "killed her straight away."

"Oh God, Oh God. . . Oh my Aqsa, you should have listened," Anwar Jan said in a police interview room. "Everyone tried to make you understand. Everyone begged you, but you did not listen. . ."

When she asked her husband why he killed her, he told her: "This is my insult. My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked."

"...you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked."

That's all this boils down to. Aqsa's father was embarrassed because his youngest child, of all people, had decided, just two years shy of legal majority, that she did not want to be so strictly controlled. For a while and in some ways he loosened that grip, but when he saw her making a bid for more freedom, he tightened it again...the final time, right around her neck.

And Mother blames the victim: "Oh my Aqsa, you should have listened..." As though she had not. As though it were only her fault, and not that of her killers--her father, her brother.

It seems to me that Aqsa was the one trying to be heard, and the others were not listening to her. Even her sisters, who obediently said they had "heard nothing" when their baby sister was struggling against the death grip of father and brother!

We can try to blame these things on the Parvez family's foreign origins, but that ultimately won't wash. Patriarchy is pervasive all over the globe. Yes, even here. When a woman gets sexually assaulted, we often hear the question: What was she wearing? Funny how that is never said about men. Does a man with a bulging wallet, one whose outline can be seen through the back of his pants pocket, ever get blamed for being mugged? Should he be? No? Then why women?

I'll tell you why. It's because our society, like that from which the Parvez family came, is still very patriarchal. Women are seen as property, to be traded and controlled. When a young woman marries, does she walk down the church aisle alone? No. Her father escorts her. He "gives her away" to her husband-to-be. The handing over of control, along with the change of surnames, is so blatantly obvious. In our society, women are still, symbolically and in fact, chattel. No muezzins or minarets required.

And yet, the shrieeeeekers who want us feminists to castigate Muslim immigrants for honor killings, take all this patriarchy of their own as perfectly natural. They take it for granted. They do not even see it as patriarchy; or if they do, they say it can't be as bad as what Those People do. Those People force their daughters to wear hijabs, oh noes!

It's always Those People. It's never OUR people.

And when something bad happens among Our People--when an abused white Christian wife asks for a divorce, say, and her husband takes out the shotgun and gives her both barrels in front of the kids, before perhaps taking their lives and/or his own--those same shrieeeeekers are out there, blaming her, claiming she "asked for it", maybe huffing that if she didn't get out sooner it must have been her fault. Those same no doubt are also grumbling about the liberalization of our divorce laws and the existence of a long-gun registry, and what uncontrollable, mouthy jezebels all these teenage girls are nowadays, thanks to comprehensive sex education, condoms and Gardasil shots, and blah blah blabbity blah blah.

And we are supposed to view the Parvez family as some kind of cultural anomaly, some foreign threat, to be kept out by special exclusion laws, no doubt?

No, shrieeeeeekers, it doesn't work that way. Because honor killings are not a Muslim thing. They're a tribal thing, and our own tribe has them too. Only we don't label them as such, because our patriarchy is something we are too deep in denial about to openly admit, discuss and demolish. We call it "stability", "law-abiding", "morality" and many other false, inaccurate things. We even call it "natural order", although we go to unnatural lengths to codify it, institutionalize it and enforce it.

How far do we go? Far enough to blame the victim of domestic violence, just as Aqsa's mother blamed her.

And sometimes, far enough to kill the victim. Or send her back to her abuser, who eventually kills her, and call that "preserving family integrity". It is the same thing; either way we look at it, it results in her death.

And either way we look at it, that's a murder to be prosecuted under the existing laws of the land. No special immigration laws--really, exclusion laws--required.

The death of Aqsa Parvez made it to the news precisely because it is so anomalous. The entire Pakistani-Canadian community is not rife with unremarked honor killings of women and girls. Murders are comparatively rare in Canada. This is not a place where the authorities turn a blind eye when someone is killed. Our grasp of patriarchy may be shaky, but the law is clear at least on what constitutes a murder.

And "honor", that fuzzy concept that varies from person to person and place to place, is not considered an exculpatory factor. Fathers and brothers don't get off here for claiming they could not control a wayward sister-daughter. The law applies to them.

And most imams here exhort their congregations to obey the laws of the land. Which most Muslims do. They even voted against sharia as a potential legal basis for divorce arbitration, which should tell us something: Muslim Canadians want to be part of mainstream society, not outsiders. They want to live by the same laws as we do. They don't want to take us over, outbreed us, or force their laws and religion upon us. They overwhelmingly accept our way of life, our laws, as part of the conditions for living here in Canada. The case of Aqsa Parvez is the exception that very clearly proves the rule.

And that is nothing to shrieeeeek about.

Gaza Roundup 17: The hijacking of the MV Rachel Corrie

Another video that deserves to go viral. Note the hypocrisy and flagrant lawbreaking of the Israelis, and the at times amusing nonviolent resistance from the Irish vessel.

Chavecito bests a Beeber

Stephen Sackur of the BBC asks some stupid questions, gets some unexpected answers...and his pompous ass handed very nicely back to him on a silver platter by the president of Venezuela.

Note Sackur's trotting out of every single stupid anglo media meme, as promoted by the international right-wing. Chavecito gets back at him subtly, by calling him tu, like a kid, instead of the more formal, respectful usted. And Sackur has it coming; his questions really are idiotic. He actually dares to ask if socialism can really be democratic. Has he ever asked if capitalists are or can be democratic? Has he gone looking for traces of democracy in any major corporation, or even minor ones? If so, he'd be appalled at the realization that they are none of them, by definition, democracies--all are petty fiefdoms and/or oligarchies, if not outright dictatorships. (Holding stock in any corporation is not a "one man, one vote" thing--it's a "man with most stock, gets most votes" thing.) Nope, it's safe to say he hasn't peeped at the underbelly of "democratic" capitalism. He is, after all, a corporate yes-man himself. Only Chavecito is too polite to turn the question around and tell him so.

Especially funny is the question about the corrupt Raúl Baduel, who is in jail right now for a multimillion-dollar fraud. If you visited here often, you would know all about him already, and also his sudden wealth and his insta-ranch, and how he only jumped the fence to the opposition right before his scam hit the fan. Suffice to say that Baduel only became an oppo when he started making his ill-gotten boodle like an oppo, instead of being content with his healthy salary as a general and Venezuela's defence minister. Baduel felt it better to betray his old friend than give up a quick and easy cash infusion from the nation's enemy. Sackur, obviously, doesn't get out enough. (Chavecito should have asked him if he'd heard about Pa'Julio Rivas, and the "democratic" youth group JAVU, with its obvious anti-government violence and terrorism. That would have been a hoot.)

Sackur sounds plummy and literate, though he's no more so than your average anglo media whore when it comes to Venezuela; hence the trotting-out of the tired old same-old-same-old. He's got nothing better, and certainly nothing new. But he had the hilarious temerity to make out that HE had the upper hand here. Even when Chavecito laughs at him, he thinks he's the smart one. All he can do is change tack. And even that doesn't help him; Chavecito comes back with concrete proof that he's wrong on every front. And in the end, it's Chavecito's sincerity and genuineness that come across, in spite of all the mud-flinging from the corporate news flunky, who was obviously sent to put him on the spot, and ended up in a muddle himself. Very, very sad Sackur.

Economics for Dummies: Rodríguez Zapatero's new socialism

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"We're socializing the crisis so the IMF can capitalize its gains!"

This, no doubt, to stave off in Spain what happened to Greece yesterday. Defy the IMF, get downgraded to junk-bond status. National pride? Sovereignty? Shit, what are those next to the almighty fickle finger of Moody's? Never cross the IMF mafia, little countries, lest you too find a horse's head on YOUR pillow.

June 15, 2010

Yes, it IS a sign from God. And not a reassuring one, either.

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The glorious, Wicker Man-esque demise of Touchdown Jesus.

The arsonist? God herself.

The murder weapon? A lightning bolt.

Yes, kiddies, you read that right: A lightning bolt. The same the fundies keep telling us is going to hit us if we have sex before we're married/have an abortion/have a same-sex romance/etc., etc., ad nauseam.

Or if we don't go to church where they go to church, and peel off lots of the dollar bills to throw in the basket for Jesus.

No doubt that a lot of such money went into the construction of this fibreglass-and-plastic-foam monstrosity, which God finally saw fit to torch last night:

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Fundies, if I were you, I'd take this as a sign that megachurches are not where God wants you to be.

PS: Looks like this is not the first of the Giant Jeezi to meet with an undignified end.

Short 'n' Stubby: Ms. Manx revisits the War on Terra

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No, the War on Terra has not wound down since Hopey got into the Reconstructed White House. Nothing has really changed except the color of the face behind the desk in the Oval Office. What, you were expecting change you could believe in? Believe in THIS, kiddies:

Osama bin Laden is still uncaptured. But in a strange twist of fate--or is it kismet?--some goon from the US, who set out to capture him, is now dying of the same ailment that's probably killed ol' Bin-Bin already (assuming he wasn't assassinated, as Beni Bhutto averred before she herself was slain.) Sez the sister of the vigilante wannabe: "My brother is extremely religious since his troubled youth...He's not crazy." Ms. Manx bets Osama's brothers say the same things about HIM. Meanwhile, the Pakistani authorities say Mr. Macho had a small quantity of hashish on his person when captured, and swore he'd lop off Osama's head with a sword, and that God was with him and therefore, he WOULD get Osama. Call Ms. Manx crazy, but that sounds pretty woo-woo to her. Especially since Osama's head is still firmly attached to the rest of him, wherever that may be.

(PS: For a hilarious other look at this nutter, plus a link to a photo of said loon, click here.)

NYT reporter James Risen is on the defensive about his piece asserting that Afghanistan has as much as $1 trillion (that's twelve zeros, kiddies!) worth of minerals lying around under its soil. What? You thought this war was really about terror? Or just oil? Bwahahahaha. Sadly, no. For once, the Old Grey Whore has reported something real and of interest concerning the true nature of that farce, instead of what the wingnuts want to hear. Ms. Manx is not surprised to hear Mr. Risen mention pajamas, either.

General Petraeus has collapsed! Whatever could it mean???

Meanwhile, an innocent Canadian who was tortured in Syria because the US authorities mistook him for a terrorist can't sue...you guessed it...the US authorities! Some would say that the $11 million Maher Arar got out of our government should suffice him, but they haven't been abducted, haven't been wrongly arrested, haven't been tortured, and haven't had their good name permanently tarnished, or their careers yanked right out from under them as he has, so what would THEY know? Anyway, this isn't about money; it's about justice, and the US has plainly decided that its own are above the law. Ms. Manx can't honestly say she's surprised at this, seeing what a rightardly (and largely retarded) bunch the SCOTUS are. But she can, and will, say she is utterly disgusted.

Goaliefail: Cherchez la femme!

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Could a tall Torontonian blonde be the reason for the sudden choking of the goalie above? Some people think so...

Two British tabloid newspapers, the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, blamed [Toronto-based model Elizabeth] Minett on Monday for goalie Robert Green's stunning miss on a routine shot that allowed the U.S. to tie in its World Cup match against England on Saturday.

She and Green, 30, met two years ago in Toronto when his West Ham team was touring Canada, the Daily Mail said. They'd lived together in a luxe flat overlooking the Thames on the Isle of Dogs in London until about a month ago, when the relationship ended.

Green's agent Andy Evans was quoted by the Daily Mirror Sunday night as insisting the split has not affected the goalie's focus in South Africa.

He said: "Their relationship was over many months ago. This really is not an issue and Rob has gone into the World Cup prepared mentally and as focused as possible."

Okay, so it's a non-story, right? Right?

Minett herself issued a terse "no comment" Monday through two of the modelling agencies she works for: Next Models of Toronto and Elite Models, which has offices in Toronto and Miami. Minett is on the roster for the Miami TV division of Elite.

But three months ago, she was happily telling a British tab that she was going to South Africa to cheer Green on and would resort to "French or French-Canadian" to thwart the spies who tried to eavesdrop on the couple.

"They will not be able to understand a thing," she was quoted as saying by the tabloid Daily Star. "Even the French media will not be able to understand.

"I will put the Canadian accent on so strong. That's my plan anyway. I started learning French when I was 3 and am pretty much fluent. I even have a cousin living in Paris who is married to a Frenchman."

Zut alors! Cherchez la femme!!! Maybe she was there after all, flashing her tittaes at him from the stands at the crucial moment!!! Quick, scan the crowd footage frame by frame!!! She must be in there SOMEWHERE!!! When all else fails, blame a blonde!!!!!1111athousandeleventyone!!!

Or you can just do what I do, and blame it all on the racket from those fucking vuvuzelas. Who can hear himself think when surrounded on three sides by a swarm of killer bees? Jeez.

June 14, 2010

Stupid Sex Tricks: Just beastly

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Uh oh. Run, Foxy, RUN!!!

And speaking of beastly:

Not only is the chimp assaulting a frog, there are children looking on and laughing. Yep, just another lovely family day at the zoo!

Teh Heterostoopid: Texting is so important!

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Much more so than the kid in the harness on dad's back. (Kid? Meh...what kid?)

Gaza Roundup 16: And the word of the day is...

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...GAYWASHING. Can you say GAYWASHING, boys 'n' girls?

Very good!

So what's gaywashing? Well, it's the queer, LGBTetc. version of whitewashing--or greenwashing, for you enviro-types. It's basically using Teh Ghey, or seemingly pro-gay-rights-rhetoric, to cover up flagrantly abusive practices, in this case on the human rights front.

And specifically, in and by Israel.

So, with no further ado, here's how to use gaywashing in complete sentences and articles:

Ali Abunimah uses it to castigate the UK Guardian and the Israeli government for their cynicism. Key quote:

The use of gaywashing to try to make Israel appeal to Western liberal audiences and cover up war crimes in Gaza, including the war crime of collective punishment, and elsewhere has become part of the official campaign to rebrand Israel. It involves a specifically civilizational discourse contrasting a supposedly open, tolerant Israel with what is portrayed as a barbaric Palestinian, Muslim society that essentially deserves whatever it gets.

Mondoweiss gets a little more direct: "Stop gaywashing the occupation!" Also a good example of how to use the word in context. (The comments section on that one is loaded with good examples of just how thin the Israeli gaywash really is. Did you know, for example, that some hardline Israeli MKs are virtually indistinguishable from certain nutty Iranian mullahs when it comes to what causes earthquakes? It's true!)

And of course, the banning of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, or QuAIA, from the Toronto Pride parade is the biggest gaywash in Canada right now. Vociferously opposed by a growing number of prominent folks, and put to shame by Edmonton, of all places, where the local chapter of QuAIA marched without incident in that city's parade on Saturday. Puts the lie to all the anti-QuAIA talk about "not feeling safe", eh? ("Not feeling safe" is another kind of gaywash, kiddies.)

So, there ya go, kiddies...now you know what gaywashing is. And now you know that gay pride isn't just about being gay, it's about securing human rights for everyone. All the more reason, then, to take a stand against gaywashing.

Gaza Roundup 15: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to Palestinians

And while you're at it, remember these other three letters: BDS. They're short for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Three things the Israeli Knesset is now trying to make illegal, worldwide. Why? Let Palestinian activist Hind Awwad explain:

It took the South African BDS campaign 25 years to achieve what we achieved in five years. That is what South Africans and anti-apartheid activists tell us. And we see [new tactics] of BDS activities by the young generation with flash mobs, actions in supermarkets, dances and songs. It takes the BDS campaign to new levels. A growing number of Palestinian trade unions signed the BDS call [and] trade unions in France, Scotland and Ireland are considering ending their relationship with the Israeli Histradut trade union.

Students are active on campuses in the UK and the US. The students of the University of California at Berkeley made us very proud with their amazing fight for divestment of university funds from General Electric and United Technologies. Palestinian youth in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and in 1948 [historic Palestine] closely followed the events at Berkeley. Another important development is possibly my favorite. Recently, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced [the cessation of] speaking tours of Israeli officials to the UK and the US, because of the protests they expect.

[...]

I think the BDS campaign has done a lot ... it has ended the Israeli left's domination of the discourse which was limited to the occupation, dismissing the rights of Palestinians in Israel and the rights of the refugees. BDS has allowed us to set the terms of the discourse and define our rights. We work towards a complete rights-based solution. It keeps us going. It shows there is hope in the midst of home demolitions, land confiscations, violations of rights and discrimination in Israel. Every victory of the BDS movement feels like we are a step closer. We are not alone in ending the oppression. It has a huge impact.

And that's why. BDS spells serious. Like all exporter nations, Israel has a lot of money riding on the global goodwill of others. If that goodwill were to evaporate...say, over an unprovoked attack on an international flotilla of peace activists...well, a lot of Israeli producers would find themselves suddenly hurting. Maybe not manufacturers of weapons, which find plenty of tyrannical takers around the globe, but those who turn out other, more mainstream consumer products, such as Jaffa oranges and AHAVA cosmetics, definitely.

And that goodwill is certainly not guaranteed. The world is watching what the Israelis are doing in the wake of the Mavi Marmara murders, and so far, all indications are that they are only serious about one thing, and that's CYA--short for Cover Yer Ass. Did you know that the Israeli judge who is to chair the panel on the flotilla attack isn't serious about his own appointed duty? It's true! All the more reason the international community should be in charge of this one (hello, UN!)--Israel can't be trusted to do anything even remotely resembling due diligence. They won't even talk honestly about what weapons they used against the virtually defenceless flotilla. (Yeah, surprise, even "harmless" paintball guns can shoot a person's eye out at close range, and if a modest-sized passenger ferry like the Mavi Marmara isn't what you'd call close range, you must be blind.)

In the meantime, the B, D and S all are fully justified. Because where Israel is concerned, for Palestine, there is no R-E-S-P-E-C-T forthcoming.

June 13, 2010

Music for a Sunday: Consumed in a single desire

I could think of no better tribute for the martyrs and survivors of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla than this song, a longtime fave of mine. The lyrics fit on so many levels. And note how these three guys kick ass and radiate energy without ANY scantily-clad dancers, outrageous outfits, or backup band. Can YOUR pop tart do that?

Quotable: Elizabeth Wagele on the Shadow

"In the process of becoming whole, we recognize and take responsibility for our shadow. Each shadow issue we reclaim is one less to project out onto another person, nationality, or race."

--Elizabeth Wagele, from The Happy Introvert

June 12, 2010

Gaza Roundup 14: A video that deserves to go viral

Iara Lee's raw footage of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, in its entirety. There is no narration, nor are there subtitles, but the pictures (clear and of excellent quality) speak for themselves. This is the video that was somehow smuggled to safety so the Israelis could neither abuse it nor destroy it, nor deny the truth of what happened on the Marmara.

What really grabbed me here was the way the Muslims on the ship try to remain peaceful inwardly as they say their pre-dawn prayers, right before the Israelis come on with the speedboats and helicopters. Many of them keep on praying even as others are rushing to the rail, looking for ways to fend off the attack they know is coming. A few of the younger men use slingshots against the helicopter that hovers menacingly over them with its searchlight on--a modern-day David-and-Goliath image that will be hard to deny (and awfully ironic for Israel, claiming David's legacy as they do.) An Israeli speedboat then pulls alongside, and popping sounds of gunfire can be heard, along with a couple of deeper booms (which could be from a cannon firing the grappling hooks). At first it isn't clear what's being fired. Then some streaks of red appear alongside a ladderway. A reporter with a Scandinavian accent says they are paint, not blood--apparently this is the "paintball" phase of the assault. At some unspecified moment the paintballs are replaced by live ammo, and casualties begin to pile up. There is at least one man who appears to be dead, carried on a stretcher. An activist holds up a book with plastic-coated pages and blue Hebrew lettering on the cover--clearly an Israeli hit-list, indicating which passengers on the various boats to aim for. Meanwhile, medics and volunteers tend to the injured (which include some Israeli soldiers from the helicopter.) At the end come the now familiar calls over the ship's loudspeakers, also heard on the video which was broadcast last week by al-Jazeera, urging "all the brothers" to take their seats and remain calm.

Well, hasbara trolls, looks like your version is now, by definition, a complete and utter hash. All your amateurish attempts to justify this attack are bullshit. The Israeli standard squawk about "self-defence" is shot to hell by the IDF's own live ammo. The activists on the ship, as the video clearly shows, have no guns, no bullets, no grenades--only a few slingshots and improvised bludgeons to head off the Israeli assault. And the Israelis came with a hit-list of those they wanted dead--this much is now confirmed. All that remains is to determine whether they got everyone they came fully intending to kill, or whether some of their intended prey managed to make monkeys of them. There are still missing persons unaccounted for, and word is that the Israelis threw their bodies overboard.

Wankers of the Week: Fake Lake edition

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An artist's conception of Lake Pissadawampumaway. Let us pray that this fiscally irresponsible monstrosity never makes it off the drawing board. This, BTW, from the same fucking government that thinks the gun registry is a boondoggle--or so it tells all its yahoo constituents from the sticks, in an effort to keep their dumbass goober votes. (Yeah, we can tell you guys hate Toronto because it's not Alberta. Big fuckin' whoop!)

Well. Happy June! How's mid-month treating you? Are you getting lots of gardening done? I am. But I never spend so much time out in Real Nature that I'm not able to make note of all the other phonies hanging out by the side of the Fake Lake. Here we go, in no particular order:

1. Bill Fucking McCollum. Well, now we know where boy-renter George Fucking Rekers got the money for that rentboy...he was paid double his usual (hefty!) professional witness fee so that Florida could get an anti-gay-adoption law (which is, in all likelihood, unconstitutional...as well as discriminatory as hell.) BTW, how many children does Rekers have, again?

2. Adrian Fucking Lamo. Sorry, I'm not buying the "national security" excuse for betraying a confidence. The war on Iraq is illegal, and the guy who leaked the Collateral Murder video is a hero for showing just how brutal and callous it is. Shame on Lamo for doing his "duty" to extend the killing for God only knows how much longer. At least now, the whole world knows not to trust him with another confidence again.

3. Jonathan Fucking Mark. Yeah, "sink the next flotilla", GREAT idea! What could be better for totally stripping Israel of its last shred of credibility than blowing up a boatload of pro-Palestine Jews? I mean, it's not like the last two weeks have been utterly devoid of disgraces. Shit, what's one more, especially if some of the credit accrues to you, eh Jono?

4. Michael Fucking Oren. Oh wait, that's the answer to my first question of Wanker #3.

5. Jan Fucking Brewer. Yes, she makes this week's list again. This time for her charming, Palinesque tactic of blaming the media...for what she herself said.

6. Debbie Fucking Schlussel. Why?

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That's why. Even if she lives to be a hundred and fifty, Little Debbie ToxicSnackCakes will NEVER be fit to wipe Helen Thomas's shoes. Or Whoopi Goldberg's, either.

7. Elton Fucking John. Which is worse: performing in Apartheid Israel, or at Rush Fucking Limbaugh's fourth phony wedding? Either way, it's a fucking wank. Guess whose records I'm proud not to own, and am never going to? (Muchas gracias, Paul Escobar, for the second link.)

8. Tzipi Fucking Livni. I don't know how many Israelis were on those pro-IDF "flotillas" sailing to Gaza to rub the Palestinians' noses in it, but I know one blonde whose nose I would dearly love to rub in it myself for being there to see them off. Crapaganda coup of the century? NOT.

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9. Ari Fucking Fleischer. Another person who couldn't resist the old nose-rub: Ari the Liar, who finally got his revenge on good old Helen Thomas this week. Guess that makes you feel better after not being able to answer all those clear, hard questions she put to you during your much shorter time in the White House pressroom, eh Ari? Asshole.

10. Also, Lanny Fucking Davis (at the same link). That goes double for you, you phony-liberal fucking hypocrite. You have some nerve talking about antisemitism when you're the asshole who did PR for the overtly fascist coup in Honduras! Bet you thought we forgot about that, eh? Well, some of us didn't. Fuck you, Lanny. May you get back from Honduras what Honduras got from you.

11. For that matter, all the fucking lapdogs of the White House press corps are worse than useless. Did any of them stand up for Helen--who was the only one among them who never shirked her job? Nope...they were all too busy playing water-pistol games with Joe Fucking Biden and Rahm Fucking Emanuel. But I'm sure they'll "explain" all this by saying that it's hard work, or some such.

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12. Bernie Fucking Madoff. Fuck your victims? No, fuck YOU, you entitled old assbastard (with the very teeny wienie)! You're not hot shit, you're not THE shit, you're just a piece of shit who thought he had the right to live off other people's money. You are Ponzi-scheming pond scum. They carried YOU, not you them, you miserable old wet fart.

13. Tamara Fucking Broomfield. Who the hell gives their own child cocaine, much less an overdose? A complete and utter wanker, that's who.

14. Richard Fucking Pombo. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. He's gone from pissing on Chavecito and the environment, to being the burning house no one wants to piss on. Sucks to be you, Dick. Do you still have that ugly shirt, BTW?

15. Glenn Fucking Beck. Still a wanker. Ratings still falling. Still a wonder that he's still on the air. Chicken Noodle Network still not cutting the bum loose. Chicken Noodle Network therefore also still wankers.

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16. Daniel Fucking Menard. And the Fucking is to be understood literally. Because isn't that what the big brass all do with the lower ranks, particularly when they're in Afghanistan and the Little Wife is at home? (Thanks to Jim for the suggestion.)

17. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Does anyone seriously believe his latest foray into Family Values (his fourth, for those keeping score--meaning three marital failures and another in the making) is for realz? I mean, he had Elton Fucking John singing at the "wedding". Think for a moment about the ironies of an overpaid professional homophobe hiring HIM, of all people.

18. Rand Fucking Paul, again. My late grandfather, who died of emphysema after 65 wasted years of tobacco addiction, just told me to give you the finger, Rand. He never believed in smoking bans either, until he was 75, when his doctor told him to quit or die. THEN he believed. Jayzus! First racism, now this? I used to not wish such things on my worst enemies, but now, Rand, I hope you contract some ghastly secondhand smoke-related illness, I hope it bankrupts you, and I hope no one's willing to pay for your treatments. Not even the big insurance corporations you think are so much more fucking trustworthy than the government. And certainly not the tobacco companies, whom you should have no right to sue after the blowjob you just gave them. Maybe then you'll learn...nah, of course you won't. You probably believe in the hypocrisy--oh sorry, "idealism"--of dry counties, and mandatory jail sentencing for non-rich, non-famous, non-white drug addicts, don't you, Rand?

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19. Carly Fucking Fiorina. Barbara Boxer not only has the better politics, she also has the better hair. Thus making this wank a nugget of sheerest comedy gold.

20. Kory Fucking Teneycke. This little wanker, whose tenure on the CBC as a conservative pundit was so short that you could literally blink and miss it, has fallen upward and convinced Quebecor to throw major money away on a Canadian "equivalent" to FUX Snooze. He thinks there's a "largely untapped market" for his proposed channel, in a medium which is already dominated by conservatards--in a country of barely 32 milion people, most of whom are, despite the right-wing media's best efforts, NOT conservatards? And this, despite the epic failure of the National Pest, which ought to be considered a very grim harbinger of where Conservatardia is really headed? One almost hopes that they do give this harebrained scheme a go, if only to enjoy the Hindenburg-like spectacle of it all going dowwwwwwn.

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Wonky-charty thingy compiled by Mike Watkins. Bhad Nhews for Kory & Ko.--that dark blue line, representing all Canadian conservative parties past and present, is his "largely untapped market". Someone needs to go back and do his homework, methinks.

21. Nancy Fucking Allan. Yes, heaven forfend that high-schoolers should learn the true nature of the Israeli apartheid régime. Or that Palestinians are human and deserve equal rights. What would the world come to if that were to happen? No, better to give in to one kid's irrational panic, let B'nai Brith come in and go over the students' exam papers with a fine-tooth comb, and then push the hasbara on them before they're old enough to really start questioning.

22. David Fucking Nesenoff. Thanks to this wanker getting his own son in her face with a camera and some annoying questions, the venerable Helen Thomas is no longer a working reporter. He, on the other hand, presumably remains a working rabbi, despite the offensive ethnic stereotypes--oh sorry, "jokes" he likes to spout. Double standard much?

23. Valentine Fucking Tsamma Seane. Nobody just up and decides to be gay, just as nobody just up and decides to NOT be gay. The choice is in God's hands...that is, if you believe in God. And I have my doubts about you, Bishop.

24. Ezra Fucking Levant. So you put on a big tra-ra about how you're so persecuted, only to be exonerated, and the fake persecution ends up costing you $100,000? You complain of a "90-minute interrogation" in which the waterboard wasn't broken out, not even once? Where all you had to do was answer some questions and look like a pompous ass doing so? Sorry, Ezra, but my crocodile tear supply is long since dried up. You went out of your way to bring this on yourself, thinking you would put the System on trial. Guess what: It doesn't work that way, in this or any country. The System put YOU on trial, and it worked out fine for you. Except, of course, for all that money you wasted trying to show how "smart" you were. Meanwhile, the System remains, and you are out $100,000. I suppose you'll be launching another suit to try to get it back, eh? Yeah, when in the hole, keep digging. It's the Tory thing to do.

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(And just think, Kory Fucking Teneycke has been making noises about giving this dumb putz his own TV show. He's got a face for radio, but I wouldn't want him anywhere on THAT dial, either.)

25. Joran Fucking van der Sloot--international asshole of mystery, or so he would have liked to be. Too bad for him that the mystery is now solved!

26. Michael Fucking Pakaluk. I'm not sure why any gay parents out there (adoptive or natural) would want to enroll their children in Catholic parochial schools, knowing what hotbeds of homophobia, hate and hypocrisy they can be. But apparently this homophobic wanker (a closet case, perchance?) thinks that there's a horde of gay-parent barbarians out there, beating at the gates, clamoring to be thought of as human and, gasp, NORMAL. Oh noes!!! Who will there be left to despise when THEY finally shed their outsider status? (Best comment award--and it was a tough call, folks--goes to #59.)

27. Eva Fucking Rodriguez. If you want to know how far the WaHoPo has sunk in terms of journalism, or reading comprehension on the part of its writers, look no further. If you want to know what ridiculously twisty arguments to "prove" that someone said what they didn't say look like...look no further. In short, if you want to see a really drecky hack writer in action...look no further. And stay away from the WaHoPo if you really want to know what's going on, 'kay?

28. Mac Fucking Margolis. Same deal as #27, only he "writes" for Newsweak. How on Earth Chavecito's encouraging free speech by recommending his supporters use the tweeter translates to "Chávez's Twitter Repression" is beyond me, but I'm sure Macky-Wacky has a perfectly convoluted explanation.

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29. Jim Fucking Naureckas. Much as it pains me to list this normally bang-on FAIR writer, I have to, because he wanked! Helen Thomas did not say what Jim thinks (and wants us to think) she said, and her purported failure to stand behind her own words is not evidence that what she said was actually indefensible. She may not have worded it very lucidly, but she was right--Israel IS occupying Palestine, and Israel needs to get the hell out; they do NOT need more settlers or settlements, and both are still coming, in flagrant violation of international law. BTW, Jim, Dan Rather was right, too, when he said that Dubya was a deserter from the Texas Air National Guard, but HE didn't stand behind his own reporting there, either--he caved in, rather than fighting the freepers. You remember that, don't you? Doesn't that tell you a thing or two about mob rule in US journalism, Jim? It's not like you haven't seen the likes of this before: Veteran reporter, highly respected, gets ganged up on by a right-wing media establishment, which ultimately holds the purse strings. Lone reporters NEVER fare well in such an environment, which is also highly competitive (and encircled by right-wing blogtards to boot). Helen is nearly 90 and probably doesn't have the energy (or the desire) to stand up, all alone, against a mafia howling for her blood. But we can do it for her, and we are not wrong to do so, because we know she did not say what you say she said. And we've got your own cited link to prove it.

30. Pamela Fucking Geller. Yes, Ms. "Atlas" is still shitting...but PayPal no longer wants its good name associated with her hate site. And yes, it IS a hate site. Militant islamophobia is one thing, but to grub money off it? Beyond chutzpah, as Norm Finkelstein would say. Let's hope no other Internet payment handlers will do business with her, either.

31. Sarah Fucking Palin. Still vacuous. Still stupid. Still not a feminist, though she claims she is. Still not a victim of sexism, though she also claims she is. So what is she? Still a do-nothing who can't stop telling others what to do.

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And finally, to the Fucking SupposiTories. All of you. Money-wasters, panderers, liars, hypocrites, fascists, repressors, suckups, fuckups, do-nothing bullshitters all. You cordoned off the downtown core of TO more than two weeks in advance of your fake-lake "summits" at which NOTHING will get done, other than that four goddamn fucking noise cannons will be deployed to scare dissenters away (and they will not work. Cheap earplugs trump overpriced hi-tech every time). Fuck you, fuck you very much for doing it on our dime. Here's a little ditty by some guys you're not cool enough to like. Enjoy:

If I had a billion dollars, I'd buy you, you skanky fucking whores. And then I'd dismantle your fake party and throw it in your fake lake, and hold its head underwater until it stops thrashing, just to make sure the job gets done for real.

Good night, and get fucked!

Gaza Roundup 13: Beat the (Propaganda) Press

Little by little, the truth about the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla is leaking out. Press the play button on the video above to see some of it--including raw footage by Iara Lee, who was on the Mavi Marmara when the Israelis shot the place up.

And here are some more things the Israelis and their media lackeys aren't bound to like:

Kevin Neish's photos from the Marmara, plus transcript of his full interview at Rabble.ca.

Hamas has quit suicide bombings...quit them quite some time ago, actually, since they had a way of backfiring. That hasn't stopped Israel from crying victim, mind you. Or from obscuring the fact that Hamas was nonviolent before Israel started financing it as an "alternative" to Fatah.

Gary Leupp uncovers some interesting dirt on the smarmy "rabbi" who sent his equally smarmy son to play gotcha with Helen Thomas.

Harry Siegman re-dissects the Holocaust meme, but not the way hardline Zionists would like to see that done.

John Pilger finds parallels with the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Stuart Littlewood has a useful primer on hasbara and how to see through it.

Rick Telfer has a lotta linkage on AIPAC and other pro-Israel lobby groups with inordinate power here in Canada.

FAIR has four pieces worth your clickage: Pundits in Denial on Gaza Plight, Turkey Is Media's Latest Target for Alleged 'Terror' Ties, Misleading Media on Israel and Gaza Rockets, and Thousands of Rockets, Millions of Bullets?

And across the pond, Media Lens has also been doing spectacular work of unravelling the lies, with this two-part report.

And finally, here are some survivor testimonies from the Gaza flotilla.

June 11, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Hillary hearts a hottie

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Because hey, even raging imperialists can't resist the charms of Rafael Correa, leftist, president of Ecuador, imperial-ass-kicker, and groovy-embroidered-shirt rocker.

Unfortunately, the stated purpose of Hill's little visit...

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held warm talks with Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa, paving the way to drive a wedge between him and Venezuela's anti-American firebrand Hugo Chavez.

...won't come to fruition. For one thing, Ecuador is still not happy with Colombia and that bombing raid two years ago. And those seven gringo bases are STILL not welcome to any of Colombia's neighbors. Nothing Hillary Clinton says or does can change that.

For another, the ALBA treaty is formal and yes, signatures now mean something in Latin America...something they didn't mean when gringo imperialists ran the show.

For a third, there are no "anti-American" countries in Latin America. Duh, it's ALL America. And it's the stupid, blinkered ruling class in the US that these leaders have an issue with, not the people of the US. Chavecito has been known to say similar things to what El Ecuadorable says here:

Correa also acknowledged disagreements with the United States, but said his meeting with the top US diplomat had been "very productive" and expressed admiration for both Clinton and her husband Bill, the former president.

He noted that both countries agree on the need to fight drug trafficking and deal with migration concerns between Latin America and the United States.

Correa vowed that leftist countries like Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela will stand up for their sovereign rights and "will not bow down" to American power.

So no, Ecuador will NOT be distancing itself from Venezuela, Bolivia and all those other regional baddies.

Just something to consider when huggin' on the heartthrobs there, Hill.

And that goes double for the anglo media whores, who keep taking the wrong messages away for their dumbass headlines.

June 9, 2010

Only in Canada, eh?

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Sometimes, even in the midst of horrible Harpocracy, I still find reasons to be proud I'm Canadian. Like this little news item, retweeted by Antonia Zerbisias:

If the G20 leaders are hankering to read something by Noam Chomsky or a biography of Che Guevara by Fidel Castro during their summit, Chapters has it all laid out for them.

The book chain has created a reading list and series of G20 tables in its stores across Canada to "promote dialogue," said Bahram Olfati, Chapters' vice president for adult trade.

"You see people such as Bono talking about giving aid to Africa. We have included the book Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo, which says this aid isn't really helping," said Olfati. "It is one of my favourite books on the tables."

With subheads such as "Outlaw Literature," the tables are the product of a series of roundtable discussions among Chapters executives and staff to cover G20 issues from the left, right and centre, said Olfati.

But each store has the leeway to add to the table. And the one Chapters store inside the yellow security perimeter in downtown Toronto for the summit of 20 world leaders this month has decided to include titles by Chomsky, a long-time outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, and a few on Guevara, including Che: A Memoir by Fidel Castro.

"They should have made the full list," allowed Olfati, who prefers to call the 35 core titles "provocative" rather than "subversive."

It's not often that I see Corporate Canada giving the corporatist parties a poke in the eye, so whenever that happens--even if once in a blue moon--I run my flag up the pole. A little early for Canada Day, but what the hell. It's a reminder that we are NOT a "centre-right" country after all, nor a melting-pot clone of the US, but a diverse, multicultural one with a sizable--and still thriving--left.

Take that to your fake lake and smoke it, Harpo!

PS: Che: A Memoir is actually not a bio of Che, or even a memoir, but a collection of Fidel's speeches (and one book introduction, written for the Bolivian Diary) about his friend. Just so's you know. I own it and recently finally got around to reading it myself. Like everything else Fidel writes, it sets things straight and excoriates the lying liars who twisted them.

Economics for Dummies: The difference between governments and banks

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Also, how "stimulus" packages really work. Any questions?

Quotable: Corey Robin on Ayn Rand

"St. Petersburg in revolt gave us Vladimir Nabokov, Isaiah Berlin and Ayn Rand. The first was a novelist, the second a philosopher. The third was neither but thought she was both."

--Corey Robin, in The Nation

All you really need to know about BP

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And for shits 'n' giggles, BP's public-relations guide (Reader's Digest Condensed Version here) makes nice light reading.

June 8, 2010

Gaza Roundup 12: The true, ugly face of "Stand With Us"

A couple of weeks ago, a very persistent troll from the UK (on a DSL line with a dynamic IP pool, no doubt very handy for anonymous trolling) came on here uninvited, and spammed me (under at least four different identities, all with throwaway e-mail addies) with not only hate and insults (and death wishes), but links to a right-wing pro-Israel group called "Stand With Us", which I refused to publish. (You can google them yourself, if you want. But you may want to take a decontaminating shower afterwards.)

Well, that selfsame group recently showed its true face in a bigger place--San Francisco, when the Bay Area Women in Black and Jewish Voice for Peace held a silent march in protest of the attacks on Gaza and the Freedom Flotilla. And here is what the peace group's camera caught:

Nice, humane face, eh?

Not only some real Orwellian doublespeak in there ("Israel wants peace, Gaza wants war"--yeah, RIGHT), but also ugly, antisemitic insults (one woman in the peace contingent gets called "Kapo, Kapo, Kapo" repeatedly--a reference to Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz who acted as overseers at the command of SS guards in exchange for better food, clothing and other favors).

Then there are threats that "we will find out where you live, we will disrupt your life"--even the lives of the protesters' children. Is this how pro-Israeli Jews treat other Jews? Nice to know that even the lives of Jewish children aren't sacred to them. (That goes directly against the teachings of the Torah, BTW. And puts "Stand With Us" fully in a league with the KZ Kapos themselves.)

And two obviously retirement-age peace marchers are told to "get a job"--a phrase that could just easily apply to the sidewalk harassment brigade of "Stand With Us", who apparently have nothing better to do than stand out there, occupying the sidewalk like settlers in the West Bank, yelling insults and threats at those who are doing no harm to anyone. Unless, of course, you count peaceful demonstrations and protecting Palestinians as "doing harm"!

What kind of people are threatened by silent peace marchers, doing nothing but letting their opinions be known? The same who are threatened by obscure little bloggers like me. People who are profoundly threatened by any manifestation of real democracy. The same who claim that what they stand by is "the only democracy in the Middle East", as though none of those other countries had elections. (Shockingly, a great many of them do. Or did, before the US stepped in to mess things up, as in Iran, Iraq, etc., etc.) They cannot bear the slightest opposition, even if it's silent. They themselves are very loud, and by the sounds of things, very eliminationist and pro-extermination.

And these are the people who want me to "Stand With Us"? The same who tell me I should have been killed by that car that hit me when I was 14? The same who come on here uninvited, spamming me with lies and insults, and then, when I refute their nonsense, they come on here calling ME a bitch? That sort of person expects me to stand with them?

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

No, I'm not going to stand with you, Zionist troll from England, whatever your real name is. You can go straight to hell. These people--and you--are no fit company for any decent human being. Don't bother commenting again (you won't get any satisfaction)--just stay away from my blog. I don't need your paltry hits on my counter. Where I come from, we are known by the company we keep.

And I do not stand with anyone who stalks, harasses or wishes death upon others.

June 7, 2010

Gaza Roundup 11: Humberto says shalom

As usual, Humberto "Not Rex Murphy" da Silva is all kinds of right-on.

So are Ali Abunimah and A Creative Revolution. And Queen Rania (the world's only Palestinian monarch) and El Duderino.

June 6, 2010

Music for a Sunday: More prescient than the Gorillaz knew

Don't let the dreamy hip-hop groove suck you under. Listen to Snoop Dogg's rap: doesn't it sound like he foresaw something? My best friend, who sent me the link to the YouTube, thinks so:

The song I linked is on an album that came out earlier this year (at least as far back as March) and has lyrics which struck me as being rather prescient for things that are happening right now. [...]

It's probably just coincidence but as I listened to the song for the first time all I could think of was:

- the BP disaster (plastic beach, kids feeling despair, pollution)

- the Gaza flotilla ("the revolution will be televised", click-clacking, mo' stacking, full packing, acting a fool when I teach)

I thought of that, too, of course, hearing this. More likely the song's about how modern life has become so fake and artificial that it leaves us all feeling alienated, but it still works, even on that level. Wasn't it that artificiality, that alienation, that led to the BP disaster? And isn't the need for connection ("Kids, gather around / Yeah, I need your focus / I know it seems like the world is so hopeless...") what's driving activists (most of them definitely not kids) to take matters into their own hands and force governments to do what they're dragging their heels on?

Listen again and again, and enjoy. But don't let the undertow pull you down.

PS: Word up--the Gorillaz are among the groups NOT playing in Israel as a result of the assault on the Freedom Flotilla. Rod Stewart and "Sir" Elton John, however, are still playing, the moneygrubbing cynics...

Gaza Roundup 10: A rabbi denounces the Zionist myth

Orthodox Jews aren't all created alike. There are some who are strongly anti-Zionist, and who recognize that modern-day Israel's origins (in the terrorist violence of the Stern Gang and Irgun), and its exceptionalist myth of being a lone and persecuted bastion democracy in the Middle East, just aren't kosher. This gentleman (whose name is, unfortunately, not mentioned) is one of them. He may seem like an odd duck to some, but his points are well taken, and their theological basis is sound: If you are true to the Torah, you stand up for human rights for everyone. You cannot, in good conscience, approve the displacement of Palestinian families from their homes, much less the barricading and starving-out of those in Gaza and the West Bank. It is your duty to stand up against such things. This is not a "rights for me, but none for thee" situation. To save a life, no matter whose, is to save a world.

June 5, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Bustin' out all over

Ahem. A little mood music, maestro:

Ah. That was lovely.

And speaking of bustin' out all over, how about all these scandalous wankers, caught with their pants down? Jeezus, haven't they got anything better to do in this lovely springy weather?

1. Liz Fucking Cheney. Investigate Sestak? Pfffft--there's nothing there to investigate. Just keep a civil tongue in your head, missy, and be thankful no one's making noises about investigating your old man. Because if anyone did, by damn, they'd FIND something. Also, FUCK YOU, YOU WARMONGERING SLUT. And the filth that sired you, and the toxic womb that spewed you into this world. Fuck you all very, very much.

2. and 3. Nikki Fucking Haley and Will Fucking Folks. Christ, you two, get a room already. Oh wait, you did, and one of you doesn't want to admit it. Well, isn't that special? And isn't that just like the conservatards: Do as we say (abstain), not as we do (hump like bunnies.)

4. Rob Fucking Anders. Because who but a wanker from Calgary West would support our troops with a lovely inspirational message like...this?

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So easy to say when it's not your nose sniffing cordite from the business end of the gunbarrel, eh?

5. The Fucking IDF. Take your pick of the official versions the Israeli military and government are touting; everything they say about their piratical attack on the Freedom Flotilla is indubitably bullshit. But my personal favorite, for now, is this very interesting photo.

6. and 7. Ehud Fucking Barak and Benjamin Fucking Netanyahu. Whenever either of you schmucks is willing to be fully truthful and fully accountable for the actions you took (and ordered the IDF commandos to take), please let us know. Until then, STFU. I've had it to the gills with all this fucking hasbara.

8. Fucking BP. Not only did the "top kill" fail, so no doubt will the "top hat" and everything else they try, including silencing the fisherfolks they're hiring to clean up the mess they made, of which there is no end in sight. Would it kill them to supply those poor souls with proper safety gear? Oh yeah, I forgot...they also had that attitude about blowout protection for the well that started all this. Motherfuckers!

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9. Lope Fucking Mendoza. Should be spelled Lope Mentiroso, since he's lying out his ass. Fedecamaras is STILL trying to foment a coup in Venezuela, and yes, they ARE doing it by urging hoarding of foodstuffs. This is not an allegation, it's known. They do this every time there's an election which the PSUV and other pro-Chávez parties are going to win. They always create artificial "crises" which get huge fanfare but invariably fail to bring about the desired result. But trust ABC to not report THAT; they just get all their "information" from the Fucking Dissociated Press.

10. John Fucking Baird. So much for the notion of Conservatives as fiscally responsible. Apparently they like to cut spending on everything but right-wing special interest groups (bible translators, anyone? They have CIA connections, too!) and repression. On both of those, they spend to put drunken sailors to shame. And then claim they have no control over it. Well, duh. Do addicts ever? They are a menace to public safety. Recommended: Rehab and/or forced institutionalization. That is, if there are still any max-security psych wards left in the country after these bastards cut all the funding...

11. Chuck Fucking Phelps. If you ever wonder why I'm not a Baptist, or any other species of fundie, or even a Christian for that matter, look no further than this fucked-up "pastor", who apparently thinks that rape victims are jezebels in need of a good public shaming. As if being repeatedly assaulted and made pregnant, and then whisked out of the community and out of sight (while the perpetrator was protected!), were not humiliating enough. Churches like that are no place for a woman or girl.

12. James Fucking O'Keefe. Cute kid--he just can't resist the urge to play dress-up. Now, if only he could start being a grown-up for realz, and accept the fact that his side is losing for a reason...

Also, enjoy the Rude Pundit's take on him. Bet it'll make Little Jimmy cry!

13. Tony Fucking Hayward. Sorry, you can't HAVE your life back. And neither can the Gulf of Mexico. Stop whining, stop lying, stop cheaping out, and start fucking apologizing in earnest.

14. Sarah Fucking Palin. Why? Well...

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That's why. She's not only full of doubletalk, she herself doesn't get it: The US's reserves are not sufficient to sustain demand, and will not be no matter how much drilling goes on anywhere. She doesn't get conservation or social responsibility. She doesn't get the fact that environmentalists are the only REAL pro-lifers there are. She doesn't get that it's not having lotsa babies that counts, it's leaving them a world that they can thrive in. She just won't be content until there are no more pristine environments left to rape, and everything is covered in five feet of whipped crude and saltwater. Let's just be glad she's no longer squatting in a governor's mansion; she's about as useful as teats on a bull when it comes to cleaning up messes. (Speaking of messes and cleaning up, Sarah, haven't you got kids to raise? Or is that Bristol's job--when she's not raking it in talking duplicitous nonsense of her own to teens and the media?)

15. Aria Fucking Shaliker. Israeli troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla with paintball guns? REALLY? Wow, that really goes a long way toward explaining all those shots fired BEFORE boarding. And all those corpses that piled up soon after. Oh wait, were those dummies, covered in paint pellets? How fiendishly clever.

16. Peter Fucking Mansbridge. He had every chance to rip into Bibi Fucking Netanyahu, and what did he do? Squandered it all on softballs--and this just hours before his slimy guest fucked off out of Canada, sensing that the shit had hit the fan over Gaza. This is journalism? Smells like chickenshit to me.

17. Jan Fucking Brewer. Defending your fascist state laws by invoking the spectre of your late dad, who died not fighting fascism, but ten whole years later, of work-related lung disease? That's got to be a whole new category of wankdom...or necrophilia. Either way--ugh.

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18. Conrad Fucking Black. Yes, it's been a while since I've mentioned the Lord of Crossharbour Subway Station. No, I haven't forgotten him; it's just that he's been so well looked after (and kept out of further trouble) in Club Fed USA. Only not in his own opinion--which, as usual, is highly embroidered and inflated. He's so hard-done-by, is Lord Blahblah. I wonder--is his wife, Lady Babs of Botox-upon-Siliconia, still so enamored of her Dickensian debtors' prisons, the same that she espoused in an early column? Because if she is, her lordly hubby could stay in the clinker a lot longer. There is some question as to how solvent he will be when he gets out.

19. Mark Fucking Kirk. Twice he lied about his military service record; that makes him a double dickweed. Seems that the latest crop of right-wing Repugs has taken to lying not about their service during Vietnam, but Gulf War II; brace yourselves kiddies, there are plenty more where this wanker came from. (There is also the question of whether he has a wide stance, which would be interesting in light of his party's stand on gays in the military.) Special thanks to my friend Polaris for suggesting this one.

20. Haley Fucking Barbour, again. This week, he earns a spot on the list for being an absolute asshat about the BP oil disaster. Maybe he should learn what it's really like to be covered in oil himself. Who wants to help throw him in the chocolate soup?

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21. Don Fucking Young. Let's throw him in the oil soup of the Gulf, along with Haley Fucking Barbour. Then we'll see if it's "not an environmental disaster", eh?

22. John Fucking Hinderaker. Of course, the pipsqueaky pusillanimous fucking cowards of Powerwhine would NEVER do something as brave as risk their meaningless lives and their pimply necks on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Human rights are only for WASPS, not Palestinians--or Turks (including one 19-year-old with dual US/Turkish nationality). Either that, or they're just a Trojan horse for neo-con war schemes that will invariably result in the widespread violation of human rights...much to the Powerwhiners' approval, of course.

23. Eli Fucking Yishai. You can tell he was just itching to get rid of as many Arab-Israelis as possible, and now he's seized on the Freedom Flotilla as an excuse to get rid of one who happens to be a member of the Israeli Knesset. The same who appears here, as luck would have it...demonstrating just how thin the veneer of democracy actually is in Israel.

24. Fucking Dubya. "Yeah, I had him waterboarded, heh heh heh..." The Giggling Killer seriously believes he can get away with murder. Your Barackness, you had damn well better prove him wrong. Prosecute him for war crimes--go on now, you have all the admission you need. Anything else, you know how you can get it out of him, right?

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25. Glenn Fucking Beck. OMG, this is his idea of essential reading? Elizabeth Fucking Dilling, a fucking Nazi-symp who wanted Einstein deported? Get this treasonous asshole off the airwaves NOW!

26. And speaking of anti-semites, meet Fred Fucking Malek. Why aren't all the right-wing Zionists whining about him? Maybe because he's right-wing, too...and working for Sarah Fucking Palin, who can do no wrong?

27. Andrew Fucking Irvine. Yes, he was on the list last week. But I thought I'd include him again, just so you could see Gary Mason clean that sexist idiot's clock with good, hard facts. I bet you'll enjoy that as much as I did.

28. Brad Fucking Sherman. Arrest and prosecute any US citizens involved with the Freedom Flotilla? Wow. What a freedom-loving patriotic democrat. Maybe he should be dropped in Gaza to live as Gazans do, and then tell us nothing's lacking there, and that there is no need for aid.

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29. Jake Fucking Knotts. Hey racist asshole--if Obama is a "raghead", where's the fucking RAG? (And no, I don't believe you were kidding. You're from Kenfuckingtucky. Plenty of fat ol' racists in them thar hills.)

30. Bill O'Fucking Reilly. May I remind you, madam, that those who hate on gays the hardest are actually the ones most likely to have a whole lotta little pink skeletons dancing the watusi in their rather capacious closets?

31. George Fucking Stephanopoulos. I always suspected that Bill Clinton's Judas only got a TV show because he was, well, a disloyal little sensation-monger. So nice to see him going so far out of his way to prove me wrong (she said, dripping snark all down her blouse).

32. Charles Fucking Krauthammer. Yes, of COURSE it's always the antisemitism. No, of COURSE Israel never does anything wrong. Only it's funny, innit, how it's always getting "attacked" by unarmed people, and somehow the "attackers" always end up as bullet-riddled corpses?

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33. Arnie Fucking Lemaire. Oh, spare us your self-righteous hufflepuff about the Holocaust, Mr. Kerosene Cat-Molester. We all know that if there were no Muslims on these shores, you and your fugly little bad-tempered wife would be out there "organizing" a particularly lame comic-operatic local version of the Bund. And getting your sorry asses kicked by some real Germans, Jewish and otherwise. (PS: You and your little ass-barnacles are surely aware that the monkey-god to whom you refer is a Hindu deity? One who could also kick your sorry ass--clear across the ocean to some stone-sucking backwater in the Faroe Islands, where it belongs?)

34. Jack Fucking Layton. Much as it pains me to list him (much more so below the goober listed above), it must be done, because Jack failed to do what had to be done, which was to whip the NDP vote. The long-gun registry matters more than the votes of a few bozos from the sticks who probably think they shouldn't have to register their pickup trucks, either. Pandering is disgusting no matter who does it, Jack. And if they would rush to the arms of the SupposiTories (or the SaskaTories, Bog help us all) over something like this, they were not worth keeping anyway. (And if you're so afraid of their doing that, well...'nuff said.)

And finally, to all the antisemites out there, the real ones: Yeah, Israel just beshat itself majorly this week. Yeah, it's in the habit of doing that, although usually it's less blatant about it. But it's got nothing to do with being Jewish; other countries have done the same thing. Germany, 70-some years ago, being a prime example. And if I get any more comments like this one, I'm going to delete them and ban whoever leaves them, because I'm seriously sick of Nazi shit--old, new, or in disguise under a Star of David.

Good night, and get fucked!

Gaza Roundup 9: A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down the IDF's pants

First the song, by an Israeli TV channel. (Warning: VERY lame!)

Ah. That was "lovely". And also an interesting projection of Israel's own no-longer-hidden motives, no? They conned the world, and the crapaganda is still a-flowing, just like BP's uncapped blowout in the Gulf is still going bloob, bloob, bloob. Only, to be honest, I'd rather listen to the gurglings of that well...

Here comes the dance--starting with another video, this one less melodious, but equally malodorous:

This was faithfully aired by the Jerusalem Post, a little schlong-sucker to the Likudniks formerly owned by Conrad Black (no doubt as a nod to his wingnut wife, Barbara Amiel, who is only Jewish when she needs a victim card to play). This was a big sensation for them. Unfortunately, this video has been doctored more times than Babs's bosom. The nasty-wasty "Auschwitz" comment (which is surprisingly clear for a radio transmission, no?) was uttered in a very un-Arabic accent (sounds Yiddish, actually), and the "going against the US" one sounds like it came from some southern US yokel--the last sort of person one would expect to find on the Freedom Flotilla (those guys are more like "Yee-haw, let's kill us some raghaids for Jeebus! [chawin' tobaccy spit]"). Furthermore, it's very unlikely that an image-conscious flotilla radioman would let something like that slip over the airwaves. With the whole world watching, that kind of talk would be a major no-no, even if the Israelis had done more to provoke it.

But wait! That was just Step 1; the dance gets more complicated. Here's Step 2, courtesy of the IDF's paid crapaganda troll "Spokesperson":

Unfortunately, that doesn't lay anyone's doubts to rest; the fake insults (which sound no more believable in "context" than they did in the abbreviated form) are still inserted. Not only that, but the IDF man's voice is apparently on a loop--we hear him say the exact same phrases in the exact same intonation, more than once, claiming that the flotilla is breaking the law and will suffer consequences. The pictures have all been stripped, since it would have been clear that the footage is tampered whether they used stills or live action. It is still a doctored audio.

Not only are the fake comments in there, but some other interesting stuff, as noted by Jared Malsin at the Palestine Note:

However, the release of the new "unedited audio" raises further questions. In the "unedited tape," the Israeli officer is heard radioing the "Defne Y", another of the Turkish-owned ships, not the Mavi Marmara.

In the new audio released on Saturday, a man's voice comes over the radio at 1:56 saying "Yeah go ahead, navy." Oddly, the same voice reappears at 2:24 saying the same thing. The intonation of his voice is the same in both places.

The Israeli military also did not explain the discrepancy between the video released on June 4th, and the one it released on May 31st, which depicts the same Israeli soldier apparently contacting the Mavi Marmara over the radio, in which the "Auschwitz" and 9/11 comments do not appear.

Malsin helpfully appends this video, which is (presumably) the real unedited one originally put out by the IDF:

Note that there are no hostile voices coming over the radio, only the following from the Mavi Marmara: "Negative, negative. Our destination is Gaza. Our destination is Gaza."

Ooooo, scary. So threatening!

And that was the dance. Now, the seltzer, courtesy of none other than the prime minister of Turkey:

Foooooosh! Looks like Israel's all wet now.

I knew nothing about this man before, but he's my newest hero.

I also want to include a bit on Henning Mankell, the Swedish writer, who was on board. Not only is he accusing Israel of high-seas crime, he also has a firsthand account of his own experiences up at the Daily Beast. Go read.

June 4, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Just plane fun

So...what were Evo and Alvaro up to today?

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Oh, not much...just a passel of state business and this--the 58th anniversary of the Military Aviation School in Santa Cruz. Dimples all around!

Here's a new word for you...

It's called bioremediation, and it's the solution that BP refuses to use to clean up its mess. Even though it's the greatest hope for a full environmental recovery that the Gulf of Mexico has....

Remember that word, kiddies. And be sure to google it and read up as much as you can. And don't forget to push the US government to USE it.

Gaza Roundup 8: Bringing out the dead, the living, more facts, and more questions

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Caskets of some of the Mavi Marmara's dead at a public ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey. Autopsies on these victims reveal some interesting things, according to this CNN report:

Autopsy results by forensics experts in Istanbul revealed that all nine of the men killed by Israeli commandoes aboard the humanitarian convoy that had planned to dock in Gaza died of gunshot wounds.

The autopsy results give clues about how the violence unfolded after Israeli commandoes stormed the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara in the pre-dawn hours on Monday.

Five of the men died with bullet wounds to the head, said Dr. Haluk Ince, the director of Istanbul's Medical Examination Institute, said Friday.

One casualty, a 19-year-old dual national Turkish-American citizen named Furkan Dogan, was found to have bullet wounds in his head and multiple bullets in his body, Ince said.

According to the U.S. State department, Dogan was born in Troy, New York and had been living in Turkey. American diplomats have been extending consular services to the deceased's family.

In one case, Ince said, a gunshot victim had been shot at at extremely close range.

"From the analysis of the bullet distance on one of the bodies," Dr. Ince said, "the gun was fired between 2 and 14 centimeters' distance from the victim's head."

Shot point-blank? Execution-style? Color me not surprised. There are already suspicions that this raid was in fact a targeted strike, not self-defence. And the head of the Turkish charity that organized the flotilla gives voice to some of the reasons for that:

Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), denied Israeli accounts of events on board the Mavi Maramara after Israeli commandos stormed the ship on Monday in an operation that resulted in at least nine people being killed.

"We were handed 9 dead bodies, but we have a longer list of missing people," Yildirim said at Istanbul airport after returning from Israel, where he said he had been kept in custody and questioned for three days.

Meaning, the nine mentioned by CNN are probably not the only dead; they're just the only ones whose bodies have been released thus far.

Yildirim has other interesting things to say, too:

Yildirim, who was on board the vessel, said some of the activists had grabbed guns off 10 soldiers in self-defence.

"Yes, we took their guns. It would be self defence even if we fired their guns," Yildirim said, adding that people shouted to them not to use the weapons.

"We told our friends on board: "We will die, become martyrs, but never let us be shown... as the ones who used guns," Yildirim said on Thursday.

"By this decision, our friends accepted death, and we threw all the guns we took from them into the sea."

They threw away the weapons, rather than firing on the Israeli pirates? Things that make you go hmmm.

And that's not the only interesting thing he said:

Yildirim said the Israeli commandos fired rubber bullets from close range before switching to live ammunition, after some activists on board had attacked them with chairs and bats.

"The Israelis published videos of the bats used on the ship, but they damaged their "strong Israeli army" image, as the world saw that a bunch of volunteers can neutralize them," Yildirim said.

Describing the dead as martyrs, Yilirim said his charity would continue to organise aid convoys until Israel was forced to end the blockade of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Yildirim said an Indonesian doctor was shot in the stomach as he helped a wounded Israeli soldier.

"As the clash was going on upstairs on the deck, we were taking care of Israelis downstairs, as we gave them water, we were informed that our friends died there," Yildirim said.

"We told the Indonesian doctor to take the soldier back. He took his patient back, and as he was going back, they shot him 5 times in the stomach," he said.

He also described how a photographer was shot in the forehead from a distance of a metre, though it was unclear whether he witnessed it personally.

Another activist was shot as he was surrendering, he said.

"I took off my shirt and waved it, as a white flag. We thought they would stop after seeing the white flag, but they continued killing people," Yildirim said.

"A friend of ours saw two dead bodies in a toilet," he added.

So, the volunteers on the ship basically fought back rag-tag? They defended themselves with what little was to hand? At least one doctor on the ship tried to help an injured Israeli before being shot? One victim was shot while surrendering?

And the Israeli army, which fired live ammo, paints THEM as the thugs?

Yildirim's Israeli interrogators told him that the soldiers were given permission to use live ammunition only 35 minutes into the operation. The charity chief said some activists had already been wounded by casing from the shock blast and gas bombs used in the initial assault.

Of course, we know Yildirim's interrogators lied. Live fire was flying from the Israeli ships hours before the white flags were raised and the boarding began. Once more, with feeling, here's that raw video taken by Al-Jazeera before the Israelis jammed the network's signal:

So we can see Yildirim wasn't lying when he said that there were already wounded (and two dead) before the Israelis stormed the ship.

And if anyone thinks the IDF must have gotten their orders wrong, Max Blumenthal has bad news for you:

Statements by senior Israeli military commanders made in the Hebrew media days before the massacre revealed that the raid was planned over a week in advance by the Israeli military and was personally approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak. The elite Israeli commando unit known as Unit 13 was tasked with carrying out the mission and its role was known by the Israeli public well before the raid took place. Details of the plan show that the use of deadly force was authorized and calculated. The massacre of activists should not have been unexpected.

On May 28, three days before the raid, top Israeli military officials revealed details of their strategy to Maariv, Israel's most widely circulated paper. The caption of the Maariv article reflected the military command's plan to use force: "On the way to violence; one of the boats is on its way."

Read the entire article at the link. Blumenthal's analysis is spot on; it will raise your hackles.

Other hackle-raising stuff, well worth your time:

British activist Ismael Patel reports that the Israelis were shooting his comrades at the rate of "one a minute". He adds that shots were fired from the helicopter that brought the commandos (who rappelled down onto the ship), and that the commandos had a shoot-to-kill policy already in place. Patel's account also confirms that the Marmara was being fired upon long before the commandos came aboard, as well as that the activists had surrendered, but the shooting still went on.

Canadian activist Kevin Neish, who was also on board the Marmara, is back on home soil and telling his story. CBC showed snippets of their interview with him last night, but a longer and more penetrating one is that of Rabble.ca, who got there first. Part one is here, part two here.

At Hybrid States, Yaniv Reich notes that the Israeli authorities keep changing their story. Be sure to pop your Dramamine before reading or viewing anything they put out, as all the spinning and flippity-flopping will make you dizzy. Nausea and vomiting may result.

Arab-Israeli parliamentarian Yanin Zoabi (also spelled Yaneen Zoubi) has a harrowing account of the Mavi Marmara ordeal up at Rabble. She was assaulted after her safe return in the Knesset by rabid right-wing members (see video, which I've posted here, along with an English translation of what happened.)

Meanwhile, Margaret Atwood has had some sober second thoughts on Israeli apartheid, which she earlier dismissed as extremist browbeating or some such. Took her long enough. Well, welcome back to the land of the living, Peggy. Glad to see you again.

Gaza Roundup 7: Nauseating fundies are nauseatingly alike

Marci McDonald, author of The Armageddon Factor, addresses the irony of the Pride Toronto censorship of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. Her viewpoint matters, because she literally wrote the book on the rise of the Religious Reich here in Canada and its influence on the Harper government.

And yes, that influence seems to have been brought to bear on the gay-pride celebrations; Toronto Pride received no federal funding this year, as a result of the usual shriekings of the homophobes of the "Christian" far-right in this country.

These same wingnuts are now sucking up to the Israelis, no doubt with the intent of pushing their nihilistic "End Times" agenda on the Jews and "perfecting" them, à la Coultergeist.

It's strange and sad that Pride should be muzzling free speech on their account, but stranger things have happened; viz. to wit:

The Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement Thursday in which it said that the results of the incident in which Israel intercepted a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza seem like the Biblical description of "the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption."

The statement explained that while secular Zionism always wants Israel to be beloved by other nations, "the legitimacy of our people is not derived from the nations of the world and their poisonous traditions, rather from the Torah of Israel which teaches us that [Israel] 'is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations'" (Numbers 23:9). They emphasized that there is no reason to be alarmed by the world's condemnation as it is a predicted result of fear of Israel's success.

The Council blessed the soldiers of the IDF and called for the formation of an emergency unity government that will lead the nation from a position of strength.

[...]

'Gog and Magog' is a reference is to chapters 38 and 39 in the book of Ezekiel, a part of which is read on the intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot (Tabernacles). These chapters describe a vision of a war where the world is united against Israel that will precede the final redemption of Israel and the world. The prophecy's symbolism involves a prince called Gog of Magog, leader of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, who leads a coalition that includes Persia (Iran), Cush, Phut, Gomer, and Beit Togarmah against Israel. There are various opinions regarding the modern identity of these nations.

This is all rather reminiscent of the Book of Revelation (or Hallucination, as I prefer to think of it)--opaque enough to mean anything to any damn fool looking for something sensational to justify his unjust acts:

And thou, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say: Thus saith the Lord G-d: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn thee about and lead thee on, and will cause thee to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel; and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the peoples that are with thee; I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort and to the beasts of the field, to be devoured.

(...)

Therefore thus saith the Lord G-d: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have compassion upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name. And they shall bear their shame, and all their breach of faith which they have committed against Me, when they shall dwell safely in their land, and none shall make them afraid; when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations.

And they shall know that I am the Lord their G-d, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them unto their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there; neither will I hide My face any more from them; for I have poured out My spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord G-d.'

And this is what they're using to justify a massacre of humanitarians.

Theocratic fundie whackjobs: Israel has them too. Only difference between these "Jewish" fundies and their "Christian" counterparts is which testament they draw their loony justifications from. The guys in the felt hats and long sidelocks use the Old Testament; their rapturist pals in the big hair and polyester use the New.

Or, to put it another way: Nauseating fundies are nauseating no matter their persuasion. And despite superficial differences, they are really nauseatingly alike.

PS: Speaking of nauseating, Daniel Pipes just made the connection between fundies painfully explicit--on Patwa's show, no less. Clicky here.

June 3, 2010

Gaza Roundup 6: A photo that deserves to become iconic

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Art student and pro-Palestinian activist Emily Henochowicz, of Maryland, injured in the face by a tear-gas canister. A Palestinian friend is at her side, crying for help. The 21-year-old later underwent surgery to remove the irreparably damaged eye. The incident took place at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah (West Bank) and Jerusalem, on the same day as the raid on the Freedom Flotilla. Emily was protesting against the assault. She personifies the courage of those who, like Rachel Corrie, put their bodies between Palestinians and their would-be oppressors. It's clear from the news report (see the link) that Emily's assailants meant to make an intimidating example of her, as they did with Rachel.

Gaza Roundup 5: Bringing out the dead, the facts, and some provocative questions

Former US ambassador Edward Peck on Democracy Now, saying what we all know--that Israel is lying about the killings on board the Freedom Flotilla. The numbers given are low; they claim only nine were killed, and four of them were Turks. In fact, nine Turks were killed out of a probable 19 fatal victims. Lawrence of Cyberia has the names and faces of those nine.

The first fatal victim on Lawrence's list is 61-year-old Ibrahim Bilgen, an electrical engineer, who is himself at the centre of an intriguing, as yet unanswered question. According to Ali Abunimah, Bilgen bears a passing resemblance to a prominent Arab-Israeli religious leader who was on the same vessel. That man is Sheikh Raed Salah, an outspoken pro-Palestinian activist whom the Israeli armed forces are said to have been trying to kill. Might the Sheikh have been the real reason (or one of the real reasons) behind the raid? Obviously they couldn't kill him on Israeli soil, or it would have raised all kinds of incriminating flags. Salah himself believes that Bilgen was shot by mistake for himself, and that the only reason he's still alive is because some IDF soldier could not tell two Muslims apart. Ali Abunimah notes that it is not far-fetched to suppose that this may have been an assassination attempt gone wrong; the Mossad-committed murder of another Palestinian leader in Dubai earlier this year being a prime example of how Israel prefers to deal with inconvenient Palestinians.

So far these are still just questions, but they are provocative ones. The answer may be awhile in coming, as we still don't even know who all the dead are, or just how much truth (if any) is in the Israeli version of the story.

Gaza Roundup 4: A Holocaust survivor speaks out

Dr. Hajo Meyer articulates about as perfectly as anyone could why the Israeli holocaust of Palestinians is as morally abhorrent as what the Nazis once did to him. And why such behavior is profoundly un-Jewish. I dare you to watch this without tearing up.

June 2, 2010

Gaza Roundup 3: Shitstorm in the Knesset

Via Twitter, this came to my attention--an ugly shouting match in the Israeli parliament against an Arab-Israeli member, Hanin Zoabi, who was on the Freedom Flotilla:

I don't understand Arabic or Hebrew, so I'm going to attach a portion of the English text that was helpfully included with the YouTube:

Knesset members on Wednesday slammed MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), who took part in the flotilla to Gaza raided by the IDF on Monday. Fears of violence against her by other MKs have led the Knesset to grant her personal security guards.

Arab Knesset member who participated in Gaza aid flotilla holds press conference says, 'It was clear from size of force that boarded ship that purpose was not to stop sail, but to cause largest number of fatalities to prevent future initiatives'

MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) chased Zoabi in an attempt to keep her from speaking, and a fight broke out at the podium. Other MKs tried to separate between the two women, and eventually Michaeli was removed from the hall.

Each MK was allotted one minute to speak, but Zoabi took longer because of the many disruptions by other MKs present. When Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin asked her to descend from the podium she refused, and also had to be physically removed.

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) was also one of the MKs forced out of the debate. Zahalka said that the entire world condemns the IDF raid on the flotilla to Gaza.

"I want to call for the release of leaders of the Arab public," he told the plenum before his removal, referring to Sheikh Raed Salah and others who were arrested for taking part in the sail. "MK Zoabi deserves an award. She fulfilled her duty."

MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) intervened and said, "She deserves an award from Hamas!" He was also removed from the debate.

A heated debate took place before the speeches as well. "Zoabi is party to a double crime -- joining terrorists and a moral crime against the State of Israel," she said during a heated Knesset session Wednesday. "She must be punished. We don't need Trojan horses in the Knesset." MK Miri Regev (Likud) even shouted at Zoabi in Arabic, "Go to Gaza, traitor."

"She (Zoabi) stood here over a year ago and pledged her allegiance to the State of Israel and its laws. My intention is not to harm freedom of speech -- but in MK Zoabi's case -- this isn't freedom of speech. The sail to Gaza was a sail of terror. Zoabi must be punished. We don't need Trojan horses in the Knesset," Regev said.

MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) also told Zoabi to visit the Strip. "I just wish you would go to Gaza for at lease a week and then we'll see how you talk about women's rights and civil rights. Just one week, and we'll see what happens. One week in Gaza as a 38-year old single woman and we'll see how they treat you! You are the last person capable of preaching morals to us," he cried out.

Rightist lawmaker Moshe Mutz Matalon (Yisrael Beitenu) told Zoabi, "Nice work. In one day you've managed to accomplish what the treacherous people around you have been trying to do for years. Unfortunately, the (commando) fighters (who raided the aid flotilla) acted with too much restraint. They left only nine floating voters."

MK Nachman Shai's (Kadima) attack on Zoabi was a bit more refrained. "I respect democracy, but an MK cannot participate in such a journey, which is against the law and deifies the country that is mine just as much as it is yours.

"I respect your opinions, but it was wrong of you to stand on that ship's deck. It's unacceptable," he added.

So, there you go...the vileness of the Israeli right-wing, stark naked to the light of day, along with their thinly disguised intolerance for Arab-Israelis and Palestinians. The Likudniks and Kadima now have an image problem of their own, right along with the IDF. Apparently they forgot that when you shit in your own hand and throw it at someone else, the stench still clings to you.

Meanwhile, watching Zoabi (in a dark suit, at the lectern) standing there very calmly while the wingnuts hurl abuse at her (and the security personnel then lead them away), is also telling--it tells something about the spirit of the people on board the flotilla.

Gaza Roundup 2: State-sponsored villains and emerging heroes

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By now, it's widely acknowledged that state-sponsored piracy did not die when Captain Kidd was hanged (thanks, Jim, for that illuminating comment). It's alive and well, and not just off the coast of Somalia or the Straits of Malacca. The Mediterranean is a thriving hub for high-seas crime, and as in the case of merry old England, there are state-sponsored buccaneers out there plying the waters, terrorizing the ships, and sending innocent souls to Davy Jones' locker. But the pirates aren't who you think they are. They don't wear billowy shirts or big feathered hats, nor do they strut around with parrots on their shoulders. They don't have wooden legs or eyepatches. They wear modern military uniforms. And they do their vile deeds (which can well be classified as terrorism) under the flag of a nation:

According to a report in The Guardian, an Algerian activist, who gave her name as Sabrina, revealed that Israeli troops pointed their gun at a one-year-old Turkish child in front of his parents to force the captain of the Mavi Marmara to stop sailing.

Many reports have emerged from among the 124 activists who crossed over into Amman, Jordan, yesterday.

In an interview with Sky News, IT professional Hasan Nowarah, from Glasgow, described the moments as the Israeli troops descended on the ship.

"All you could see was screaming and bullets. Out of the blue as I looked around our ship, all I could see were hundreds of Zodiacs. Hundreds of Zodiacs full of soldiers, and big ships, lots of ships, and I believe as well submarines in the sea."

Kuwaiti MP Walid Al Tabtabai said the Israelis were "brutal and arrogant".

"Israelis roughed up and humiliated all of us, women, men and children," he said.

Algerian Izzeddine Zahrour said Israeli authorities "deprived us of food, water and sleep and we weren't allowed to use the toilet".

"It was an ugly kidnapping and subsequently bad treatment in Israeli jail," he said.

"They handcuffed us, pushed us around and humiliated us," Egyptian MP Hazem Farouq, who was also on the boat, said and added what he witnessed on the ship "defied his imagination".

"It was hell on the sea. I saw Israeli soldiers killing activists in cold blood and then walking on their bodies," Farouq, who was one of more than 700 activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla attacked by Israeli commandos, said on Tuesday in Cairo.

"The Israeli soldiers sprayed bullets as if they were a mafia in an American film."

But the piracy is not going unremarked. Many heroes are speaking out against it:

Monia Mazigh, wife of Canadian abduction/torture victim Maher Arar. She worked tirelessly to secure his release and get the facts out into the public eye. His eventual return was not the end of her activism, but a beginning. Now she's engaged on behalf of the Palestinians, and was out yesterday demonstrating against the siege of Gaza and the piracy of the IDF.

Robert Scheer. He calls it an act of terrorism, and demands that Palestinians be treated the same as Jews. He also notes how hard it is to get major media, and even some "progressive" media, to be honest about Israel's crimes.

Ann Wright, former US army colonel and now peace activist and human-rights advocate. She was apparently seen being led off the ship by the pirates-in-uniform. Her cellphone is on, but so far, no one's answered. What do you bet it was one of the ones confiscated by the IDF to keep the facts from leaking out until the hasbara came out and was making the rounds?

Greta Berlin, a US-based co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement. And one of the first to dispel the hasbara lies.

Swedish author/activist Henning Mankell, who singlehandedly showed just what a joke the IDF's claims of a weapons cache on board the ships really is.

Rather surprisingly, Reporters Without Borders. The org has taken some time out from its usual Venezuela-bashing, and accurately reported the Israeli military's efforts to stifle independent reporting. A brief aberration from their usual pattern, I'm sure. They will probably soon enough issue an IDF-dictated "correction" and express "regret" for the "error". (Remember, you saw it here first.)

And if you're really in the mood for a good laugh, guess what this astute netizen found! "Weapons cache" photos dating back to 2003, 2006 and who knows when else. Gosh, who knew the Mavi Marmara could travel through TIME, as well as the Mediterranean? (Note: The IDF has since "corrected" the dates on the "incriminating" photos. Too late, the truth is already out!)

June 1, 2010

Gaza Roundup 1: Naomi Klein and the OTHER Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein, Canadian journalist and author of The Shock Doctrine, addresses yesterday's big rally to protest the Israeli assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.

And in other shocking (literally) news, we have this item from the Edmonton Sun:

Activists returning to Europe after Israeli forces raided their aid flotilla said Tuesday that the commandos had beaten passengers and used electric shocks during the assault.

Six Greeks and several others, including a Turkish woman and her 1-year-old baby, were released Tuesday, but Israel has barred access to hundreds of others seized during the raid that killed at least nine people and wounded dozens early Monday.

[...]

Turkish activist Nilufer Cetin, who had hidden with her baby in her cabin's bathroom aboard the Mavi Marmara, told reporters she believed there were 11 dead.

"The ship turned into a lake of blood," Cetin told reporters in Istanbul, having returned after Israeli officials warned that jail would be too harsh for her child.

"We were aware of the possible danger" in joining the trip, she said. "But there are thousands of babies in Gaza. If we had reached Gaza we would have played with them and taken them food."

She said Israeli vessels "harassed" the flotilla for two hours starting around 10 p.m. Sunday, and returned at around 4 a.m. Monday, fired warning shots and told the ships to turn back.

"When the Mavi Marmara continued on its course the harassment turned into an attack. They used smoke bombs followed by gas canisters. They started to descend onto the ship with helicopters," she said, calling the clashes that then erupted "extremely bad and brutal."

"I was one of the first victims to be released because I had a child," she told reporters, but "they confiscated everything, our telephones, laptops are all gone." Her husband -- the ship's engineer -- was still being held by Israeli authorities.

[...]

"Suddenly from everywhere we saw inflatables coming at us, and within seconds fully equipped commandos came up on the boat," said Greek activist Dimitris Gielalis, who had been aboard the Sfendoni. He was among six Greeks returned home Tuesday.

"They came up and used plastic bullets, we had beatings, we had electric shocks, any method we can think of, they used," he said.

He said the boat's captain was beaten for refusing to leave the wheel, and had sustained non-life-threatening injuries, while a cameraman filming the raid was hit with a rifle butt in the eye," he said. "Of course we weren't prepared for a situation of war."

[...]

"During their interrogation, many of them were badly beaten in front of us," said Aris Papadokostopoulos, who was aboard the Free Mediterranean travelling behind the Turkish ship and carrying mainly Greek and Swedish activists.

Papadokostopoulos said the flotilla was about 80 miles (130 kilometres) off Gaza when the raid occurred around 4 a.m. Monday.

"The Turkish ship was in front of us ... on which there was a terrible raid from the air and from the sea and from everywhere, with shooting," he said.

Aboard the other boats, he said, commandos beat activists, but nobody was gravely injured. He said no one put up resistance on the Free Mediterranean, which was carrying a cargo of wheelchairs, building material and medical and pharmaceutical aid.

"Some people were hit by clubs and electric shocks," he said.

Crew member Mihalis Grigoropoulos said he was on the bridge of the Free Mediterranean and heard shooting coming from the Turkish ship.

Several people who tried to stop the Israeli forces from getting to the bridge were hit by electric shocks and plastic bullets, he said. "We didn't' resist at all. Even if we had wanted to, what could we do?"

This account, of course, contradicts completely the various things the Israelis are saying--that the ship's passengers "ambushed" them. Some say they used kitchen knives and deck chairs in a "lynching" attempt, others insist they had live ammo. But of course, the passengers can't give their accounts until they are deported from Israel, by which time the Israelis will--or so they hope--have seized control of the story and made their version the one the rest of the world will believe.

Too bad for Israel, then, that this happened in international waters, meaning that the Israelis were out of their rightful jurisdiction, and that there is also raw video out there that puts the definitive lie to the Israeli version, and confirms what the three activists I've quoted say--that the Israelis were harassing the flotilla for hours beforehand, that they fired on the boats before boarding them, and that the passengers and crew were in no position to resist, being unarmed (and it being the dead of night). Watch this and see:

Various reporters from Press TV (Iran) and al-Jazeera (Qatar) address the camera in English and Arabic here, on board the Mavi Marmara. (If anyone can tell me what was said in Arabic, I'd be glad to know.) The last minute and a half or so (starting at 8:15) are the most telling--in the background you can hear a voice over the loudspeaker saying (in English) that "all the brothers" should "take your seats", as the ship is not prepared to fend off an attack. There is no sign of resistance from any passengers on any cameras aboard the ship, but there is some footage near the end of two masked, uniformed Israeli soldiers, firing at something or someone out of sight. Some "lynching"!

I'll be blogging more about this shortly. In the meantime, I've opened a new category here, called "Gazing on Gaza". Yes, it's a play on the title, Eyeless in Gaza; but this time, it's in reverse. Gaza is now very much under the eyes of the world. We are all watching. And we will not be silent about what we see.

Paging Dr. Darwin...paging Dr. Charles Darwin...

gun-pants-tat.jpg

This is the safest way to carry a gun in your pants, guys. It's only a tattoo.

We have an admission for Sudden Gene Pool Exit, incoming...

A man accidentally shot himself in the testicles at Lowe's Home Improvement store in Lynnwood Sunday afternoon, police said.

The man's handgun, which was in the waistband of his pants, went off at about 12:30 p.m. -- an apparent "accidental discharge," according to Shannon Sessions, a Lynnwood police spokeswoman.

"It made a loud noise and scared a lot of people in the store," Sessions said. "I believe he shot himself in the testicles and he also had some injuries to his leg and foot. He was obviously in shock."

Nobody else was hurt and no one appeared to be with the man, she said.

Police and fire responded, and the man was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle before police had a chance to interview him extensively. Sessions had no further details about the man.

And this, gunboys, is why you don't get so blatant about your penis-compensation issues. You end up not only curing your own testosterone poisoning the hard way, you also blow any chances of producing more stupid gits like yourself. Also, you make yourself look like a real fucking idiot in that other bastion of masculinity--the hardware store.

Any questions?