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July 31, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Hunter S. Thompson tribute edition

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Happy Saturday night! Welcome to a special tribute edition of Wankers of the Week. This week, we pay tribute to an intelligent whackjob who said a number of interesting and quotable things. If only all the world's whackjobs could be so worthwhile and entertaining. Alas, it's up to me to MAKE them so, so here we go, with a little help from my friends, and occasional interjections from our late lamented honoree...

1. Tony Fucking Clement. No, he's not REALLY a hero, as he did NOT pluck a woman out of a raging current. He stupidly jumped in fully clothed after her before she, wisely, decided to back-float until her real rescuers--Clement's wife and father-in-law--threw her a lifejacket and hauled her in with a rope. Tony's a wanker for trying to take the credit here.

2. James Fucking Jones. I've already listed Adrian Fucking Lamo, now see if you can spot the wank here in the last paragraph:

Meanwhile, military leaders far higher up the chain of command are contending with the fallout from Sunday's massive document dump. National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones released a statement reaffirming the White House's determination to stay the course in Afghanistan and Pakistan: "The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security. WikiLeaks made no effort to contact us about these documents -- the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people."

Seen it yet?

Actually, there are several wanks embedded here: "Could put the lives...at risk"--like going to war in a place they have no business being hasn't done so already? Please. How can they be any more at risk than they are already? "Could threaten our national security"--US generals have a nasty ingrained habit of saying that about everything. They said it, I'm sure, when the Bonus Army marched on Washington to claim their unpaid bonuses for fighting World War I. "Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents"--as though it were Julian Assange & Co.'s job to say "Mother, may I?" Why do you think they call themselves Wikileaks? (Strangely absent from this "national security" discourse: Any criticism of Assange and friends for "leaking" the supposed contents of Raúl Reyes' "magic laptop", which mysteriously survived a Colombian army bombing in the jungles of Ecuador. Colombia had help from Washington, remember.) And the crowning wank of all, which I'm sure must have made him jizz in his pants: "These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment..." ...to keep fighting a war that they had no business even starting. That was the whole point of the leak, as Bradley Manning himself has said--to compel an end to this stupid war. Only a pluperfect wanker would be committed to continuing what should never have been started in the first place.

And actually, as you may have guessed, the general's wank is wankier than you think.

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3. Ron Fucking Ramsey. Sez Islam is "a cult". What church doe HE attend, again? Guaranfuckingtee you it comes up "cult" on the Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame.

4. Zachary Fucking Chesser. Well, at least now we know whom to blame for that Draw Mohammed Day bullshit and other meaningless exercises in pretend free speech. Thanks a lot, asshole.

5. Vera Fucking Kobalia. A privileged oligarch getting unearned privileges (that is, MORE of them than she already enjoyed) from a tie-eating wanker (also of unearned privilege) from Tblisi--after meeting him at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver? Color me so shocked. And pissed off, too, that this spoiled foreign bimbo gets to spend her "college" years dancing on tables in nightclubs, with buckets of champagne at her feet, while so many of us common plebes, myself included, did NOT party our educations away in designer dresses but kept our noses to the grindstone, and all for nothing.This is the "democracy" the media told us to clap for? Rose Revolution, my ASS.

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6. Marcel Fucking Avraham. Brings big acts to Israel out of "a sense of Zionism". And an eye toward the shekels, perchance? Oh, perish the thought! No, srsly, he's a brown-noser! Really!

7. Kenneth Fucking Klassen, AGAIN. Yeah, those underage, prostituted girls were really "willing". When you're starving and there's a pimp twisting your arm and you're too small and young to fight back, that's willingness, innit?

8. Ian Fucking Mulgrew. Most. Ignorant. Fucking. Wingnut. Columnist. EVER. Yeah, corporations collecting and selling our personal data is a GREAT idea. Shoot, who needs an impartial agency like StatsCan collating anonymous data on the populace at large and making it available to researchers who actually serve the public good, when you can have people trying to sell you crap you neither want nor need, based solely on your "demographic"--and whatever hackers can glean off of FACEBOOK? I mean shit, what's a public good, anyway? Privatize the fuck out of everything--why should the Third World have all the fun?

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9. Christopher Fucking Stone. The fact that this obvious douchebag made it as far as USC law school is absurd enough, but he claims he did it on the basis of his obviously hinky (and I suspect, owing to their rapey content, highly illegal) porn sites. Doesn't say much for USC if it's true. And if he does manage to make it as far as the bar exam, let alone passing it, all those jokes about sharks not biting lawyers out of professional courtesy might find a whole new basis in fact.

10. Ann Fucking Coulter. Her smile is starting to look a little photoshopped; they had to get rid of that rabies-froth around her mouth somehow. Now, if only they would do the humane thing and take her to the vet to be put to sleep. Obviously the poor bitch is in misery, because nothing she says is making even a subatomic particle of sense anymore. Did no one at Subhuman Events Onwhine get the message that rabies is a disease of the central nervous system, and that it is incurable and fatal? Clearly none of those jackanapes have had THEIR shots, either. Put 'em all down, I say.

11. Baruch Fucking Marzel. Going too far? Yeah, I should say so. Telling others whom to marry (or not) is creepy enough (and what does it concern HIM, anyway?), but calling for the murder of Israeli peace leader Uri Avnery is just plain criminal. Why is this man not behind bars yet?

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12. Phylis Fucking Schlafly. Why has this dinosaur not gone extinct yet? Has she, like the Coultergeist, discovered the secret to surviving with a bad case of rabies-induced brain rot? Or she just an embalmed corpse with an embedded tape recorder, playing tinny recorded messages to the world? Either way, this one's past her expiry date too.

13. Mike Fucking Duffy. A conflict of interests? Say it ain't so. The question is, when will Puffy's family loyalty (never to mention good sense, because he frankly hasn't got any) finally overcome his creepy attachment to partisan ideology? Because in the case of the Incompetent RCMP Commissioner, something's gotta give in the end...

14. Glenn Fucking Beck. Yeah, he's going straight to hell. Love of money really IS the root of all evil. And if you wonder how he managed to rake so much of it in when his advertisers are dropping him all over the place, wonder no more. His biggest one is the one he's still relentlessly shilling for by talking up Goldline--and a lot of revisionist history. I just pity the fools who fell for this barely-legal scam.

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15. Robert Fucking Pickton. The only new trial he's going to get is for any additional victims the police may uncover. In any event, I doubt he will ever be found innocent. A guy who is best known for feeding chopped-up women to pigs is just not gonna stand a snowball's chance. Funny dat.

16. Terry Fucking Jones. Anyone who says "Islam is of the Devil" (and has written a book by that title!) is not credible when he claims to have "nothing against Muslims". Dude, you're advocating the burning of their holy books. If that's not something against them, what is? Can you not just smell the brimstone of your own hypocrisy? Well, maybe I should get together a group of my pagan friends and come burn down your church, then tell you it's nothing against you, we just think your religion is of the devil. Would you like that?

17. Leah Fucking Durant. What the hell is a black progressive woman doing in bed with white supremacists? Oh, I see--it's called "immigration reform". Immigration deformation is more like it. How can she have failed to do her homework on these co-opting weasels? Suddenly, I see where that saying about what the road to hell is paved with came from.

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18. Andrew Fucking Breitbart. Yeah, I'll just bet that was hard for you, asshole. Hard to take time out from drinking to make racist shit up and smear an innocent, hard-working government employee who saved a white man's farm whether he was initially polite to her or not. You want to speak to Shirley Sherrod in private? Fine. You can do so after apologizing in public. PROFUSELY. And quitting your hackwork and getting an HONEST job for a change. Can you do that?

19. Edward Fucking Davenport. With a moat full of cognac so big "you could row across it", you could get drunk as a lord, all right. Too bad the neighbors don't care for this professional "lord" brown-noser and the noise his star-studded parties generate.

20. Rob Fucking Anders. That's right, point the finger at China and ignore the real elephants in Canada's living room: Israel, and the US.

21. Brian Fucking Sandoval. Why does this word "apátrido" keep worming its way into my head, and whatever could it mean? And these other two words, too: "racist" and "hypocrite".

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22. John Fucking Solomon. Yeah, I can see why he writes for the Washington Moonie Times. With mad obscurantist skillz like those, I'm surprised he's not writing BP's press releases for them!

23. Mike Fucking Mullen. Oh yeah, the Taliban are all scouring Wikileaks for current information on people to kill. As if their own eyes and ears in the field weren't quite up to the job. Who believes this hokum, seriously? If you really care about soldiers dying in Afghanistan, the solution is simple and doesn't involve censorship; it involves ENDING THE DAMN WAR.

24. Richard Fucking Stengel. Talk about defending the indefensible: A grossly exploitive picture of an Afghan woman with only half her nose is being touted as "what happens when we leave Afghanistan". And TIME's managing editor seems to sincerely believe that is the case. Only problem is, it happened while "we" were IN Afghanistan. And it undoubtedly happened BECAUSE "we" were in Afghanistan. Remember, the Taliban are the mutant form of the mujahideen promoted by Reagan (and financed and trained by the CIA) in the 1980s to get the "godless communist" Russians out of Afghanistan. How do you like your Vietnam now, USA?

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25. Raymond Fucking Learsy. Actually, that oil cutoff Chavecito is "threatening" won't happen, IF the US stops interfering politically in Venezuela and starts doing business honestly with him for a change. Therefore, that's not "foolish" on his part, it's damn smart of him to serve his would-be overlords due notice. What's foolish is expecting him to go on tolerating the State Dept.'s nonsense indefinitely, or hoping that the opposition (a bunch of spoiled, corrupt, charmless assclowns with not one whole working brain divided among them) will somehow prove capable of winning against him democratically, or succeeding in a coup. So far they've done nothing of the sort. Nor will they ever, as long as he's around--and even if he's NOT around, they still won't succeed at anything other than toadying to foreign empires. Which is exactly what the grand majority of the Venezuelan people DO NOT WANT. Who's the fool? Learsy, and whoever's paying him to write crapaganda defaming an elected and justly popular leader. Hey Learsy, remember the winter of 2002-3? Obviously you don't, but Venezuelans do. That's when the oil industry was paralyzed by the corruptos toadying to the US within it. Venezuelans didn't exactly eat rocks then, but they did tighten their belts and bunker down. Who caved? The merchant class, not the common folk. Meanwhile, the crooks who locked the rank-and-file oil workers out of their jobs were dismissed for dereliction of duty, and retired managers stepped in to take their place and get the oil flowing again. The best weapon the US had against Venezuela--its stranglehold on the oil industry--FAILED! What makes you think it's gonna be any different if Chavecito decides to stop selling to you because you keep trying to kill him? He's got other economic heavyweight customers lined up and deals already signed--with India, China, Japan, etc. It's not as if he'll miss your greenbacks all THAT much. You think the US is the only game in town? The more fool you. So you can stop threatening him with economic ruin; Chavecito knows you ain't all that. (And so do the many commenters taking you to task below your stupid hit-piece, happily.)

26. Werner Fucking Patels. Wow, who knew that an empty barrel could make so much goddamned noise? (Check out the banner at the top of his page if you don't believe me. Self-important much?)

27. and 28. Lucy Fucking Viner-Mood and Lois Fucking Gibson. Shouldn't you be torturing the guy who had sex with your friend, not your friend for having sex with him? With friends like you, the women of the world sure don't need any more enemies.

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29. The Fucking ADL. They started out with a decent-enough purpose--protecting Jews from the bigotry of others. Now they're apparently nothing more than a crapaganda organ, churning out the same old hateful music as the Palinesque fundies of the Religious Reich, only minus the Christ. If they were truly against defamation, wouldn't they refrain from doing it themselves? It's worth noting that the Jewish Community Centre of New York, the United Jewish Federation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Jewish himself, obviously) and 250 9-11 victims' families all support the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" that the ADL is at such pains to call "painful to some".

30. Oh yeah, and lest we forget Sarah Fucking Palin--fascism has come not only carrying the cross and wrapped in the flag, but all blinged out in it. Literally.

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And finally, on a personal note, to "Jamie", who chose last week's wankapedia to out himself as what he is: Nice job, dude. Saved me the icky slimy work of having to winkle you out. Would that all wingnuts were so co-operative.

Good night, and get fucked!

Stupid Sex Tricks: No horseplay!

I'm sure this is the least of most women's sexual problems:

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In other words, don't be a neigh-sayer. (As if very many of us were. The logistics alone are kind of daunting.)

July 30, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: And the birthday boy is looking great

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Yep, it's Chavecito. And it's another of those "just because" pix--I posted it just because it's nice, and I like it.

July 29, 2010

Evo's inaugurator arrested for drug possession in El Alto

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Aymara spiritual leader Valentín Mejillones, doing what he normally does best.

Oh dear. Panorama reports a story that will have a lot of faces red in La Paz:

The Aymara priest who four years ago blessed and handed over an indigenous ceremonial staff of office to the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, thus winning international fame, was arrested for possession of 240 kilograms of cocaine, according to police on Thursday.

The detention of the "amauta", or Andean wise man, Valentín Mejillones, along with his son and a Colombian couple, took place on Tuesday, said the director of the Bolivian Special Force Against Narcotrafficking (FELCN), Colonel Félix Molina.

Vice-president Alvaro García said that there would be no official protection for Mejillones, who, according to him, had not been chosen by Morales himself for the indigenous inauguation ceremony, but by "the internal organizing structure of the Andean religious community".

The anti-drug director said that the cocaine confiscated from the amauta's house in El Alto was in liquid form, and is valued at over $240,000 US on the Bolivian market.

He also said that in Mejillones' home there was a cocaine-purification laboratory "with Colombian technology", but the amauta claimed he had been "tricked" by the Colombians.

"I had nothing to do with it, I did them a favor as a human being, they told me they would make herbal pills and creams," said the amauta, according to the local news agency Fides.

Translation mine.

The Achacachi Post, reporting in English, puts the total drug haul (and its street value in Bolivia) a bit higher, at 350 kg and over $300,000 US. It's hard to say precisely how much coke was in the house if it's still in liquid form; a chemist might be able to give an approximate figure, based on the concentration of the solution, but until the powder is precipitated out, the amount can vary.

Still, great job on the part of the Bolivian FELCN catching such a large haul; before Evo and his reforms, it's unlikely that the local police, working with the DEA, would have had nearly such a great success. The DEA is the worst drug-smuggler there is, after the CIA.

I suspect that the Colombian couple, unnamed in the Panorama piece I translated, will indeed prove to be ringleaders; I hope Mejillones is telling the truth when he claims he was deceived. It would be a dreadful thing for the Aymara, who are justly proud of Evo and his leadership, if things turned out otherwise.

Short 'n' Stubby: Dude, where are my criminal charges?

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Hidey-ho, folks, it's another G-20 roundup for ya. And here comes Ms. Manx with all the linkies you should clicky...

First up, the Toronto Star's Carol Goar draws up a score sheet for what's been done and what's still doing. Surprise: So far, not a single person arrested has actually had criminal charges laid that stuck. One month later, and it's Protesters 1, Cops 0. Goar's moment of untruth: "Peaceful advocacy groups tarnished their reputation by knowingly providing cover to protestors bent on violence." Carol, shame on you--the cops were not a peaceful advocacy group! I seem to recall at least one video where the peaceful advocacy groups were chastising the vandals. Is that what you call "knowingly providing cover"?

The Star and the Globe are both reporting that environmentalist Dave Vasey, one of the more prominent arrestees (he was singled out early on as a "leader"), has gone to court, only to find the charges against him not even on the docket. Maybe because the "five-metre rule" he was charged under was bogus? Or maybe just because the cops had nothing on him, and they knew it. Their purpose in making the arrest was not to lay charges, but strictly to intimidate Vasey and others (whom they presumed to be his "followers", no doubt), and thus curtail protest. As always, the operative question to be asked in cases like this is Cui bono?--for whose benefit?

That question is certainly topmost in my mind when it comes to this case, of a young Muslim woman being forcibly stripped of her headscarf and sweater. Violation of modesty is a specifically intimidating move when the victim is a Muslim. Was this violation of her person done to discourage her from protesting? It sure smells that way.

And you know things have come to a bad pass when a distinguished scientist and former holocaust survivor like Ursula Franklin looks at the G-20 fiasco and draws inescapable parallels to the fascist ordeal of her youth.

July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Chavecito...here's the oppos' present to you!

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"The tongue as temple of pleasure". I shit you not, that's what the headline says. Do you want to read the whole thing, in Spanish? Or shall I just spare you that unsafe-for-work stuff?

Yes, it's Chavecito's birthday today, and the laughs and hate from the oppo whore media just keep on rolling, no matter what day it is. From Venezuelan prog-blogger Okrim, who dug the above jewel out a few days ago, I bring you...convulsions:

The obsession many opponents have with President Chávez is endlessly amazing. If you comment on anything to do with international politics, they compare this event with Chávez, even a suicide attack in a country where the average escuálido has never heard anything from before (such as one in eastern Germany). If you talk about how bad the weather is, they think of Chávez, and how "bad" the entire country is. If you talk about your last vacation, they say they didn't enjoy theirs because of Chávez (even if they just got back from a Mediterranean cruise). But I confess I've never found such a twisted example of obsession than the one I'm about to share with you.

On the ground floor of my apartment building, I found several pages of El Nacional the other day, and idly picked one up to read it. The article was about sex, particularly cunnilingus, that is, oral sex performed on a woman. I read it unawares, thinking--oh, in vain--that I would find none of the classic dissociated editorial line of Miguel Henrique Otero. I was wrong. After a series of explanations of the sexual practice in question, in which the use of the tongue is indispensable, I found the following pearl of wisdom:

"True, there are those who use their tongues to insult, and talk a mile a minute in cadenas [televised presidential speeches, required by Venezuelan law to be broadcast on all channels] but the most privileged know that the tongue represents [...] an infallible instrument to offer and achieve pleasure."

WTF? What level of dissociated obsession must a person have when talking about sex in the context of televised speeches by President Chávez? You can be sure that the most Chavista woman in the world isn't thinking of Chávez when the topic of conversation is oral sex. So what strange psychological mechanism is at work in some opposition sexologist mentioning the president in an article on oral sex? Fixation? Obsession? Persecution mania? Common, garden-variety craziness? All of the above?

The strange thing is, this sort of conduct is common in many oppositionists in the most diverse circumstances. They live thinking of the President: on the way to work, at work, at lunch, on the way home, at home, alone, with family, on vacation, and probably--though it's difficult to prove--even in a coma.

I understand them at the bottom of it all, poor bastards. If I thought about the President in each and every instant of my life, at all occasions and moments, in the face of any comment or situation, the way they do, I would surely hate him too.

Translated, in its entirety, by Your Humble One.

Yow. I know Chavecito is a sexy stud (and so do lots of other women, believe you me), and that his mouth is undoubtedly his handsomest (and most active) feature, but this obsession of his enemies with his tongue is just killingly funny. Even in bed, they just can't get him out of their heads! What must their sex lives be like, I shudder to ask?

Okrim is right...I'm the most Chavista woman in my hometown, maybe in Canada, maybe even all of North America, and even I don't think about it that way, at least not by daylight.* Most of the time, when I think about Chavecito's mouth, I think what hilarious truths have come out of it. He has no qualms making fun of his enemies, or denouncing them either. And he does it with wit and comic flair, which is in itself very sexy. He's not afraid to get a little goofy; that's an appealing trait, and no doubt explains a lot of his common touch. He can get along with anyone, and he can make anyone laugh--except maybe those obsessive oppos, who all walk around looking like a chronic case of indigestion, and little wonder.

When I picture myself meeting him, I imagine we'd have a helluva good conversation, in which he ignores my stumbling Spanish and I politely correct his restaurant English (that's what I call it when someone speaks just enough of a language to be able to order a meal.) And of course, I imagine laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. Laughter is a great icebreaker. And it's also a great leveller. I certainly don't think of him as a tyrant; actually, I think of him as someone you could have a beer with, unlike Dubya (who is a dry drunk, and in any case, if you don't belong to his grandparents' country club, you will never have so much as a glass of Coke with him.)

Yeah, I guess you could say that's the secret of Chavecito's sexiness right there. Women actually LIKE him, as a person, because he likes them--and everyone else, too, unless they give him solid reasons not to. Like, say, Dubya and that failed coup eight years ago, for example.

Liking and likability are two things the oppos don't have much of, if they have them at all (I've never seen any evidence that they did); hence their constant exercising of the bile ducts. Even when the topic is tongue-sex technique, somehow they figure out a way to work their hateful obsession with a capable, likable leader in there! Clearly their mothers never taught them that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and gall. That's why I doubt that even a clear, detailed explanation of how to go down on your lady is going to help them much. Either you have it, or you don't, but you can't pick it up from reading a trashy newspaper article. Technique is just no substitute for a certain je ne sais quoi, y'know?

So, Chavecito, happy birthday...I can't give you anything more than my warmest greetings, but that's okay. You already have everything you need anyway. And those who have too much of all the wrong things and too little of the good stuff, well...they'll just go on eternally hating your guts for it.

Poor devils.

*I will confess to having had the odd naughty dream about him, though. And Rafael Correa and Evo, too, although not all in one go. I'm not that greedy!

Quotable: Howard Zinn on civil disobedience

‎"Civil disobedience, that's not our problem. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem."

--Howard Zinn

July 27, 2010

G-20 roundup: Slowly, the media are catching on...

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The Torygraph dutifully printed the above photo in 2009, but are the major media really getting the message? A few small items give me hope that a little of the truth IS finally starting to filter through:

The Toronto Star prints Dave Coles's analysis of what "went wrong" at the Toronto summit. The union leader comes to the same conclusions as I've drawn on a number of occasions:

There is strong circumstantial evidence that, faced with a public relations defeat over the cost of the two summits, high-ranking members of the government and police orchestrated a clandestine security operation. The operation was orchestrated to inflame the public imagination against all protesters. Strategically, it was designed to justify what is still truly unjustifiable -- $1 billion on security.

[...]

The dominant image emerging from the summit is of a black-clothed "protester" smashing windows, and an apocalyptic image of a burning police cruiser. Those images had their desired effect. Opinion polls now show most people support police actions, in light of the demonstrator violence.

What if the Saturday rampage was allowed to happen? These are serious questions, and need a public inquiry to answer them.

Look at the evidence. Police sources told the Toronto Sun that they were ordered to stand down, and let the rampage unfold on Saturday. Officers standing down throughout the streets of the downtown were vividly captured on video.

Video evidence shows a "demonstrator" trashing two Toronto police cars. He is wearing the same thick-soled boots as those of the police riot squads standing down, and watching, a block away. All the boots bear the same yellow logo. We unmasked three police agents provocateurs at Montebello by noticing that the trio were wearing the exact same military-issue boots as uniformed police. The old saw is: If something looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. This "demonstrator" looks like a cop, right up to his buzz cut. He has everything but an earpiece.

If that sounds a bit familiar, you've probably seen it here before. Dave Coles is one of the legitimate protesters (along with Maude Barlow and a number of actual anarchists) who unmasked the Montebello provocateurs in this prior entry of mine. And he's also facing an uphill battle in the inquiry into that incident, according to the Montreal Gazette:

Lawyers for Quebec's provincial police tried Monday to block a protester from participating at a police ethics commission investigation into the behaviour of three undercover officers at a 2007 demonstration.

Allowing third parties to intervene would add to the cost and make the process more complicated and inefficient, Andre Fiset told police ethics commissioner Richard Iuticone.

"Who knows how many days it would go on?"

Fiset and two other lawyers argued that Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, should not be given standing in the complaint against the three Surete du Quebec officers, who posed as protesters at the North American leaders' summit in Montebello, Que.

Such designation would allow him to cross-examine and subpoena witnesses and submit evidence at the hearing against sergeants Jean-Francois Boucher, Joey Laflamme and Patrick Tremblay.

Well, at least now we know the names of the three burly phonies (one of whom had a rock in his hand, indicating an attempt at violent provocation) who couldn't fool a real anarchist OR a real unionist.

Obviously, time is not the issue here, and neither is cost or complexity; the real issue is the use of police provocateurs, which is illegal in Canada, but apparently is not supposed to be an issue. That's why the cops' lawyers are not eager to have Dave Coles question their clients on the stand. They know the cops would lose.

As it stands, the "normal" process is sorely lacking in fairness and thoroughness both:

Coles later submitted a complaint to the police ethics committee, which was rejected, although the commissioner acknowledged that one or more of the sergeants verbally abused and shoved the man, repeatedly refused to identify themselves and refused to put down a rock when asked to do so. But the commissioner said that under the circumstances, the behaviour was justified.

Coles asked that the committee revise its decision, which it did, and ordered the same commissioner who rejected the original complaint to proceed against the three officers.

"This raises serious doubts about the commissioner's ability to seek out evidence and conduct cross-examination that may show that his previous conclusions about the facts of this matter were ill-founded and wrong," says the motion submitted by lawyer Mike Cohen, who is representing Coles.

"Any reasonable person would find this very bizarre," he added Monday in an interview.

He says it "makes no sense" that the same commissioner who refused to cite the officers is now required to proceed against them. "We argue that there are provisions in the law for the committee to allow a third party to intervene."

Obviously, the police can't police themselves. And their commissioner didn't want to; it took a protest from Dave Coles to get his decision reversed. And the law guarantees him standing--something the police ethics commission didn't want to grant him. No doubt because it has much to hide. One wonders why--they themselves admitted shortly after the 2007 incident that yes, they HAD used infiltrators!

And yes, those infiltrators are the three burly men in the video, who are now named as violators of law. When the police break the law rather than upholding it, then use an ethics commission (conveniently, convened by themselves) to try to cover their own tracks, well...draw your own conclusions, gentle reader. I would humbly submit that they've just totally undermined their own authority as enforcers of the law, and that their credibility is shot to hell.

Meanwhile, on the actual anarchist front, Macleans has an almost-good (surprisingly so) piece on what they're really like, and what they're really about:

That commitment of purpose and the long-standing relationships belie a common view of the G20 demonstrators as hobbyists or kids out to smash some windows. Yet a glance at Canada's increasingly militant left shows that, far from being driven by socially isolated ideologues or rampaging teens, it is composed of sturdy networks of committed, methodical people organized into "affinity groups"--small, intensely democratic collectives that reject words like "leader" and "organizer," and insist that executive positions are transient if they exist at all. Such groups can move quickly and fluidly, both during mobilizations on staging grounds like the G20, and more routinely in their communities.

The first page of that piece (which is infinitely better than the second, where the hunt for an imaginary pathology begins) also highlights the fact that "squatter" activists actually took care of the vacant building they occupied, which was not ruined until police broke a window and chucked a can of tear gas in. Once again, it begs the question: Who are the real villains here, the cops or the anarchists?

Finally, let's hope Alex Hundert is right when he says the people are waking up. The first thing needed, always always ALWAYS, is a change of consciousness.

July 26, 2010

Short 'n' Stubby: Ms. Manx has two new neighbors...

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...and she'd like you to pay them a visit, too, because she thinks you'll like them:

Margarita del Norte

and

Orwell's Bastard.

One's from our far north, the other from the deep and sweaty south (Toronto.) Progressive voices from far and wide!

July 25, 2010

Music for a Sunday: Who's that yonder dressed in red?

There are a lot of good versions of this song out there, but Eva Cassidy's is my personal fave. That swinging organ and horn make for a dizzyingly perfect combination.

A cracking good debate on burqa bans (and an article on Ground Zero mosques)

Am I giving too much away when I say that the woman in the headscarf is full of win? Just one of many interesting ironies in this half-hour of must-see TV.

Another thing that occurred to me while watching this: Why do we have to go to an English-language program from a RUSSIAN channel to see such interesting, reasoned debate? Why is it that when we turn on a "news" show here, we don't get to see nearly so much discussion, much less so intelligent? Yes, I'm glaring at FUX Snooze here, but I'm also glaring at the Chicken Noodle Network, and the all-news channels of CBC and CTV. They COULD have something like this going on, but they don't. One wonders why.

One also wonders why one has to go to the written word to get something that the talk shows have missed about the the so-called "mosque at Ground Zero" (which is not, in fact, actually located at Ground Zero, or even within eyesight of it). But for once, the NYTimes comes through:

Just to show you how naïve I am: When I first heard about the plan to build a mosque and community center two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks, I didn't envision any real opposition to it.

Sure, I can understand how some people traumatized by 9/11 -- firefighters who survived it, or people whose loved ones didn't -- might not like the idea. But I'd have thought that opinion leaders of all ideological stripes could reach consensus by applying a basic rule of thumb: Just ask, "What would Osama bin Laden want?" and then do the opposite.

Bin Laden would love to be able to say that in America you can build a church or synagogue anywhere you want, but not a mosque. That fits perfectly with his recruiting pitch -- that America has declared war on Islam. And bin Laden would thrill to the claim that a mosque near ground zero dishonors the victims of 9/11, because the unspoken premise is that the attacks really were, as he claims, a valid expression of Islam.

There then follows an astute attack on the Weekly Standard (or Weakly Substandard, as I prefer to call it--much more accurate) and two right-wing New York state candidates blatantly pandering to the scaredy-cat vote. It's a fine kick to the goolies. Go read the whole thing. And ask yourself, as I do: Have we heard from any actual 9-11 survivors or relatives of the fatal victims condemning this planned mosque? Because so far, all I've heard of this nature are the Paliness and her Palinettes, all parroting the stupid contention that this edifice will be a "stab to the heart". They do this, of course, from the safe distance of those who have never lived in New York, who were not there on that day, who are not struggling with lingering health problems as a result of inhaling the toxic dust and smoke of the World Trade Center, and who in any event don't consider New York to be part of "the real America" because it's not a vast stretch of sparsely inhabited land, like most of the so-called Red States. They forget that Muslims were among the victims that day, and no, not the ones hijacking the planes, either. (I have it on good authority that some of them, on their last days pre-martyrdom, spent time in sleazy bars, drinking and ogling the strippers. Not exactly the deeds of a devout, self-sacrificing Muslim.)

A great many groups lost someone to that terrorist act, and all of them have the right, in a real democracy, to places near the site where they can seek solace after their own fashion. To deny one group that right, just because 19 hijackers supposedly belonged to it, is not democracy, any more than is a veil ban. It is a cheap political stunt that actually sets back the efforts of those struggling to build bridges between ALL groups by way of unconditional equal rights, not forced conformity. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has the last word on the matter, and a good one it is:

"Government should never -- never -- be in the business of telling people how they should pray, or where they can pray," Bloomberg said last week. "We want to make sure that everybody from around the world feels comfortable coming here, living here and praying the way they want to pray."

Spoken like a true bridge builder, and one who is determined to let neither violent terrorists nor slimy scaremongers win.

Officer Bubbles is worse than you think

How is Adam Josephs, alias "Officer Bubbles", worse than you think? By virtue of the simple fact that he's not the only arrogant asshole on the Toronto police force. By virtue of the simple fact that protest has been criminalized, unannounced, in Canada. By virtue of the simple fact that Courtney Winkels would have been arrested even if she hadn't blown a single bubble. Because protest is illegal in Canada now, duh.

The question is, why did no one announce to the media that protest and community organization are now illegal? Maybe it's because to do so would be to declare that we aren't really a democracy; that martial law is essentially in effect where there is no just cause to implement it; in short, that we have crossed the line into fascism and dictatorship.

That's how Officer Bubbles is worse than you think. He's not just some random asshole in uniform, but a symptom of something deeply and chronically wrong within the system. Were he just a random asshole, he could be easily weeded out. But the fact is, police forces have a predilection for assholes, and not just in Canada. Think Dan Mitrione, the Indianapolis cop who trained CIA-backed torturers in Santo Domingo, Brazil and Uruguay before finally meeting justice at the hands of the Tupamaros in Montevideo. Mitrione got a hero's funeral, but he was no hero; he was a professional asshole in uniform.

Assholes-in-uniform have no compunction about arresting people for no good reason (a bandanna, a backpack full of street-medic supplies, a lawyer's phone number written with a Sharpie on a girl's arm, etc.--not good reasons.) Assholes-in-uniform have no problem doing assholish things as a matter of course. Assholery is their profession. They're trained to see the public as an adversary, an unruly dog to be kept at heel by any brutal means at hand; Josephs' own Facebook page refers to his job as "taking out human garbage" for the City of Toronto, after all.

And there is little question that the G-20 cops were taught to see the protesters as the Enemy, the forces of communism and anarchy, criminals for simply protesting. Human garbage, in other words. That's why no police broke the line; that's why not one of them said "this is not right" when peaceful protesters were corralled in a driving rain for five hours at Queen and Spadina. Not one of them failed to charge when the protesters had completed the last chorus of "O Canada". Not one of them laid down the baton and shield in protest of their comrades' blatantly unlawful behavior.

If even patriotic protest is illegal in this country, then we've come to a bad pass. All the right-wing whining about the "police state" of Cuba becomes ridiculous when viewed in the light of the G-20 in Toronto. In Cuba, when the so-called dissidents of communism demonstrate, they usually get ushered, unhurt, onto buses, and brought home. If jailed, they are still treated humanely; hunger strikers get medical care, even if they are hell-bent on suicide. In Toronto, when dissidents of capitalism demonstrate, they get bones broken, skulls cracked, sexually assaulted, threatened with gang-rape, and herded into Gitmo-like people-pens. Ah, the glorious freedoms of capitalism that we've all heard so much about!

The question no one dares to ask is, If capitalism makes us free, why do capitalists have the greatest number of prisoners per capita, political and otherwise?

Think about it.

Why did the glorious freedom of capitalism need a Dan Mitrione to teach its enforcers to torture not only criminals and so-called subversives, but even innocent people, in order to discourage disobedience? Why did it need him to teach police in three different countries how to electrocute people--not to make them talk, but just "to teach them a lesson" or even "to take out human garbage" by means of death? Mitrione's trainees in Brazil honed their craft on street beggars, after all. Why would anyone want them dead unless they had a human-trash mentality at the bottom of it--a learned mental defect that left them incapable of Christian empathy for those Jesus called "the least of these my brothers"? Mitrione was a devout Catholic with nine children. He couldn't possibly have missed that lesson in Sunday mass; priests teach it all the time as an example of the virtue of charity. Did he simply ignore it? Or did his later training as a professional asshole-in-uniform override it?

Given that Mitrione's mission in Latin America was to roll back all efforts of progressives to establish a more equitable and just state under socialism, and to keep those countries in subservience to the biggest capitalist nation of all, I'll go with the latter option. Right-wing Catholics like Dan Mitrione are taught to override Jesus's true teachings all the time. The disciples' simple, effective practice of holding all property in common, so that everybody is looked after and no one is stuffed while others starve, gets ignored routinely by such people. The message of mercy and loving kindness is obscured by the competing vision of the Old Testament God, the angry punisher, who decreed (via the elite priesthood) that disobedient men, women and even children should be stoned--that is, tortured--to death as an example to others.

Right-wing cops are no different. The basically positive message of community policing, "to serve and protect", is overridden by the human-garbage mentality of the asshole-in-uniform. The police are then no longer the citizenry's "friend and helper" (as the German police slogan would have it), but the friend and helper of the moneyed oligarchy--the sole interest they serve and protect.

The same polite, friendly, quintessentially Canadian cops who cleared the roads in my hometown so our little peace march could proceed in 2003, could nowadays be turned against us. Then, I proudly carried a Maple Leaf, as well as a Stars and Stripes with the stars rearranged in a peace symbol, to show solidarity for neighbors to the south who also opposed the war against Iraq. Nowadays, I'm not so sure I could get away with that. I'm being forced to reconsider whether I want to take part in any open demonstrations at all, even with my country's flag and the national anthem as rallying symbols. If the cops in Toronto could charge a peaceful demo where the protesters waved the flag and sang "O Canada", then no manifestation of free speech and peaceful assembly is immune. We are all subject to the modern equivalent of stoning, without mercy. We are all fodder for the Dan Mitriones.

And that's why Officer Bubbles is worse than you think--it's because he's more common than you think. He's not a random asshole or a bad apple in a basically good barrel; he's just one of a great many, specially selected and trained to think of all the rest of us as human garbage, to be taken out without compassion or compunction.

And that's what makes him so goddamn scary.

July 24, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Hotter than Hades edition

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Y'okay. July's got one week left. And when it goes, the stinkingly unpleasant humid scorchers should soon also abate here in Southern Ontario. Truth be told, this past week hasn't been nearly as bad as the two before it. But Teh Stoopid still burns hotter than napalm, and to prove it, here are some of those who haz it:

1. Sarah Fucking Palin. Finally, we know the secret reason behind her appeal to white-trash Amurrica. It's not her Miss Wasilla title; it's not her hair extensions; it's not her lipstick; it's not her boobs, or her gams, or anything else that's MILFy about her. It's the fact that she is even dumber than fucking Dubya, if that's possible.

There is no reason why peace-loving Muslims should object to a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero, since it wasn't peace-loving Muslims that brought the Twin Towers down. Need I remind you that it was violence-loving phonies with the backing of the CIA, the Pakistani ISI, and a paymaster who happened to be a Pakistani general named Mahmood Ahmed? None of them are peace-lovers, and any responsible imam would have trouble characterizing any of them as Muslims. Therefore, the idea that a peaceful house of worship should be a "stab" to the values of anyone is frankly ludicrous, and the location of said place (which is not even within sight of the disaster area) has no bearing on anything. If anything, the presence of a mosque nearby should offer evidence of tolerance, and be a comfort to those Muslims who lost family in the WTC on 9-11. It is not a stab to the heart, but a balm for heartache to those people, and should be regarded as such by non-Muslims as well.

BTW, this wasn't just a random slip of the tweeter. Here's some video, showing our poor misunderestimated Paliness mouthing the selfsame stupidities on Fux Snooze--the very channel that crowned King George the Dubya when in fact Al Gore had won Florida. The "reporter" who broke that "news" was Dubya's own cousin. Coincidence? I think not.

PS: This isn't helping, either.

PPS: Aw, fuck.

2. Rob Fucking Ford, again. What'd he do this week? Well, how about a bald-faced lie about the Mayor of Toronto, whose seat he's salivating to squat in come next municipal election:

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(Tweetage courtesy of Jonathan Goldsbie. Follow him if you want to know what's really going on in TO, and not just its City Hall, either.)

Is this a responsible use of taxpayers' money, Rob? Shit, even if you did it on your own dime, it's just plain reprehensible. (PS: Bwahahahaha.)

3. Bibi Fucking Netanyahu. He may tack the word "illegal" on there, but really he just means Africans. Yeah, tell me Israel is not an apartheid state. Someone please tell him about the Falashas again, he seems to have forgotten that historic chapter.

4. Ezra Fucking Levant. Why?

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That's why.

Ezra the Putz spends an awful lot of time screaming about antisemitism, while hating on those other Semites, the Arabs. I guess Mel's not being a Muslim gets him a free Ezra putz pass, somehow. And if Mel's next tirade happens to be against brown people who bow down to Allah five times a day, we'll know for sure.

5. Douglas Fucking Spink. Bestiality is NOT a sexual orientation, it is animal abuse, and it is CRUEL. There just aren't enough circles in Hades to accommodate the likes of THIS one.

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6. Jason Fucking Ready. There's a reason why I don't believe the so-called "Minutemen" who are trying to usurp the US Border Patrol's job when they claim they're not really racist/fascist/Nazis. Can anyone tell me what the fuck it is? Three guesses.

7. Maxime Fucking Bernier. As I understand it, the long-form census questionnaire is only given to some Canadian households (one in five, to be precise), and no one holds a gun to their head forcing them to fill the entire darn thing out (although most do, simply out of a well-developed sense of civic responsibility, or, if they're like me, because they like to be in some small way useful to science and/or StatsCan). But you'd never know it to hear Maxime "Biker Babe Bonker" Bernier tell it. To him, it's some kind of partisan Liberal thing that "obligates" people to answer "intrusive" check-a-box questions about their ethnicity, religion, etc. Someone please inform him that the long-form questionnaire was in place even when Liberals did NOT form our federal government, and that it's not Liberals' (or anyone else's) fault if the Tories find statistics inconvenient and contradictory to their hard-right aganda. And BTW, if there's anyone who can't be trusted with people's personal info, it's Maxime Bernier--a man well known for losing sensitive classified documents in all sorts of embarrassing ways.

8. Glenn Fucking Beck. He thinks he's gonna go blind? I think he's been there for quite some time. Certainly hasn't been using his eyes. Well, that's what happens when you can't stop pulling your pud. (And he's been a wanker for so long now that I'm sure his palms are permanently hairy, to boot.)

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9. Christie Fucking Blatchford. Yes, this deals with some wankage of hers that came out a couple of weeks ago. But what can we say? La Blatch is the wank that keeps on wanking. Plus, if you click on the link, you'll see her crotchety old ass get kicked with sheer impeccable logic that's just downright beautiful.

10. and 11. Byron Fucking Williams and Janice Fucking Williams. Isn't it awesome to see how fascist gun nuttery and general wankitude can be passed down from mother to son, like a disease gene or something? When yer mama packs guns and bitches about the left and talks "revolution" (meaning a very minor revolt, nada más), it's virtually inevitable that you will do the same...and then go commit a felony of unspecified nature (probably also gun-related, unless I miss my guess)...and become unemployable as a result...and then go ballistic, quite literally.

12. Rick the Fucking Speedo Freak from Hedonism II. I don't know his surname, and maybe it's just as well. I will never forget those rolls around his midsection. I can haz eyebleach?

13. Conrad Fucking Black. Yes, Lord Blah-Blah has been sprung. Guess he finally found a judge he could buy. Looks like the lousy prison chow at Club Fed hasn't made a dent in his waistline, either.

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14. Brian Fucking Brown. Martyr: not. Wimp: MUCH.

15. Alan Fucking Downing. Seems evangelical Christians aren't the only ones who have not-so-ex-gay counsellors. Or problems with that banging closet door.

16. Brent Fucking Bozell. Yeah, the media DO need to cover the Shirley Sherrod story...in order to set straight what you and Andrew Fucking Breitbart deliberately fucked up, you worthless, RACIST sons of whores.

17. Erick Fucking Erickson. Why?

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Yeah, that's EXACTLY what it looks like, because that's exactly what it IS. But hey, the fucking racist wanker at least got his wish--there is MUCH more to the Shirley Sherrod story!

18. Andrew Fucking Breitbart. Whenever I think this skanky shit-weasel can't sink any lower, he goddamn fucking DOES. Just look at all the non-stories replete with racist dog-whistles that he's touted as "exclusives" and "scoops" and "ignored by the media" lately. Then ask yourself what it all means, if you haven't fucking guessed already. I hope his pickled liver gives out on him, and soon...and that there's no donor available, black or white, to save his sagging ass. Yes, he is just THAT vile. PS: What'd I tell you, he really did NOT have $100,000 to give out as a "reward" for the correspondence of Dave Weigel, either. Of course, rescinding an offer you never meant to make good on is very convenient, isn't it, Spitefart?

19. Paul Fucking Babeu. Never mind who feels "offended" that you were on an overtly racist white-supremacist trash talk show. You're a public official. You have NO BUSINESS being on such shows in the first place, and if you can't properly sniff them out in advance, you have no business calling yourself a cop, either. The profession demands better investigative skills than that. Don't just apologize "to those I might have offended", which isn't a real apology anyway--just fucking RESIGN!

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20. Tom Fucking Vilsack. Another worse than useless dick who needs to resign. Caving to the right is for cowards and corporatists. Vilsack is both.

21. John Fucking Hinderaker. The bullshit at the link really makes me wonder why TIME magazine picked Powerwhine for its top blog of 2004. I am forced to conclude that they are all racists, fascists, dumbasses and dickweeds. Seem fair to you?

22. Ben Fucking Stein. Okay, folks, try not to laugh at the pot calling the kettle "unpleasant". I mean, this guy was once Tricky Dick's speechwriter. Can Ben help it if his personality is lacking in lustre, and if he thinks jobs grow on trees? He's never had an honest one either.

23. Edwin A. Fucking Graning. Word to the not-so-wise: You weren't fired for your religious beliefs, you were fired for FAILING TO DO YOUR JOB. And your job was driving people on a bus to wherever they want to go...even if that is an abortion clinic. If you can't do that, you have no business driving a bus. And if you want to preach, get a fucking pulpit already.

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24. Michael Fucking Reagan. See Wanker #1, and do not copy. And wipe that fucking smirk off your face, fergawdsakes!

25. Kenneth Robert Fucking Klassen. What's more reprehensible: child-sex tourism or picking on the most emaciated ones, on purpose, because they are the most defenceless girls? No, wait, I got it...making excuses for this, claiming you couldn't find a Canadian woman to fit your icky desires, and that you weren't hurting anyone by possessing child porn featuring yourself with these emaciated, underage girls. In a word: BULLFUCKINGSHIT!

26. Steve Fucking Gibson. Yeah, I'd say "trolling" describes this bottom-feeder's profession just perfectly. Of his pose in the photo (clicky da linky, kiddies, you know you wanna!) my best friend says: "It's interesting where the troll has his hands in the promo photo that is running with the article. One hand is over his crotch, and the other looks like it's clutching either his wallet or his keys in his pocket. Protecting the two things he treasures most?" That, or he's secretly indicating his two biggest sources of insecurity. Same thing, no doubt.

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27. Jason Fucking Kenney. Well, well, well. What have we here? A lawbreaker? Funny how SupposiTories always campaign on lawn-order issues, only to have it come back to bite them in the end.

28. And speaking of lawn-order SupposiTories getting bitten, get a load of Tony Fucking Clement. Nuttier than a tree full of squirrels, and his rationales just don't hold water. But then, we already knew that. Harpo likes 'em that way, because he IS that way. So, Tony, what do you and Stevie get up to on your Nixonian Friday nights, besides things that won't make the news because the journos are already off in a pub somewhere having beer and kvetching about what asswipes you all are?

29. Stockwell Fucking Day. Has anyone ever gone to jail and suffered grievous, fascistic human rights abuses in this country for NOT filling out a census form? For that matter, has anyone seen fit to be bothered about it? And what the fuck do the Geneva Conventions have to do with this internal matter? NOTHING. But LaughingStock being so stupid (like Sgt. Schultz), of course he'd try to trot out an irrelevant example, straight off of "Hogan's Heroes". SupposiTories have zero shame, and zero concept of how idiotic they look (and indeed ARE).

30. Jim Fucking Webb. His opponent lost a senate seat to him because he called a brown guy "macaca". What's Jim's excuse--being too polite to call someone a racist name? Of course, being a privileged white man has a way of blinding one to white man's privilege. But just because YOU can't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. (You might get a clearer view, though, if you pulled your head out of your ass first.)

31. Fucking Queerty. So much for not having an agenda. It seems that some queers do have 'em, and this one's against immigrants and solidarity. Shameful!

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32. Sylvester Fucking Stallone. Apparently, all of Brazil takes exception to you. Brazilians are normally sweet-natured as all shucky-darn, so if you manage to piss them off to the point where they all tell you to cala boca (that's STFU, to you), that's quite the achievement there, muddafukka.

33. James Fucking Watt. How art thou a twat? Let us count the ways: Charging obscene prices for beer; making that beer stronger than most whiskies (which is just WRONG); serving it up in animal carcasses (roadkill, no less); and naming the entire disastrous concoction after Francis Fucking Fukuyama's imbecilic meditation on the glories of crapitalism. That's at least four bits of twattage right there. Five if anyone is stupid enough to buy it, and six if they're dumb enough to take a drink.

34. Patrick Fucking O'Brien. Worst fucking jury foreman EVER. Jump to inane conclusions much? Because being at a bar dancing does NOT imply consent for some jackass to pull your top down and expose your boobs to a camera for a Girls Gone Wild video. NOTHING does. If what Jane Doe was doing implies anything, it's that the girl just wanted to dance with her friends--preferably unmolested by horny toads and smut peddlers.

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And finally, to all the global-warming deniers out there. Hot enough for you to believe in it now? Don't worry, it's gonna get a lot hotter. And within your lifetime, too. That's what you get for insisting you can keep on as you've been keeping on. And no, air conditioning won't save you. It's gonna make matters worse.

Good night, and get fucked!

July 23, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Where the hell are Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

You'll probably need a map to find these two republics of the Russian Federation; I seem to recall them being in dispute when that Washington-backed freak from Georgia ate his tie...

Watch for the cravat-munch one minute in.

Whatever. Anyway, all you need to know is that Chavecito played host to their leaders this week at Miraflores...

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...in which trade agreements were inked, hands were shaken, and yadda yadda yadda.

Oh yeah, and how about the military honors?

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Jeez, between the all-red uniforms and the big hats, those Russkies must have felt right at home.

July 22, 2010

Dear Iggy: This is why I will NEVER vote for you.

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This landed in my inbox yesterday. See if you can tell me what's wrong with it:

Dear Sir/Madam:

Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns about the human rights implications of Bill C-2, the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act.

Human rights are at the core of Liberal values. This is why we have taken the unprecedented step of negotiating an amendment compelling each country to monitor and publicly report on how this Free Trade Agreement (FTA) impacts human rights in both Canada and Colombia.

This is the first such human rights reporting requirement for any FTA in history. It imposes a new requirement on Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) to focus on, collect and analyze information on the impact of the Canada-Colombia FTA on human rights in both Canada and Colombia. This information must be provided to the Parliament of Canada in an annual report which can then be used to guide Canada's foreign policy with respect to Colombia. In addition, the public tabling of the annual reports in Parliament will allow for greater scrutiny by opposition parties and provide a transparent way for civil society organizations from around the world to access this data as they conduct their own human rights impact assessments.

The Liberal amendment for a human rights reporting requirement was motivated by a desire for greater public oversight in the area of human rights and a belief that human rights are deeply intertwined with economic opportunity. We recognize that human rights abuses in Colombia have largely resulted from violence fuelled by Colombia's illegal narco-economy, which, in turn, has been perpetuated by Colombia's endemic poverty, persistently high unemployment and insufficient social infrastructure. We believe that increased political and economic engagement can help address the root causes of violence and improve the human rights situation in Colombia.

In recent years Colombia has made significant progress in combating human rights abuses.

On June 29, 2009, U.S. President Obama commented on these advancements: "I commended President Uribe on the progress that has been made in human rights in Colombia and dealing with the killings of labor leaders there, and obviously we've seen a downward trajectory in the deaths of labor unions and we've seen improvements when it comes to prosecution of those who are carrying out these blatant human rights offenses. President Uribe acknowledges that there remains more work to be done, and we look forward to cooperating with him to continue to improve both the rights of organized labor in Colombia and to protect both labor and civil rights leaders there."

More recently, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay recognized "the significant progress made in terms of a drastic reduction in the number of complaints of extrajudicial executions and the continuous prosecution of members of Congress and public officials for alleged links with paramilitary organizations" in her March 2010 report on the human rights situation in Colombia.

The Liberal Party believes that Canada has a moral obligation to help Colombia continue to improve its human rights record. We must work with Colombia to strengthen its public institutions and create legitimate economic opportunities for all Colombians. This free trade agreement, with the Liberal amendment establishing a human rights reporting requirement, will significantly strengthen Canada's ability to achieve these goals and engage Colombia on the issue of human rights. Furthermore, the Liberal amendment will provide Canadians and Colombians with an ongoing assessment of progress in this area.

Former Deputy Minister of DFAIT, Peter Harder, has called the Liberal amendment a "significant innovation in free trade agreements in that it provides both the Colombian and Canadian legislatures the opportunity to annually review and assess the human rights implications of the agreement. I expect that future parliaments will build on this precedent when they consider proposed free trade agreements."

Prominent civil society organizations and unions in Colombia have also publically supported the proposed amendment.

Dr. Leon Valencia, Executive Director of Arco Iris, stated that "I think it is interesting and useful that the Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and Canada includes an amendment which requires both governments to present an annual report to the respective Parliaments on the repercussions of the agreement on human rights in each country... This will provide an important yearly forum to discuss the situation in Colombia, and will give Canadian citizens the opportunity to monitor human rights violations in our country." He went on to describe the Liberal amendment as "innovative and converts the Treaty into something which is dynamic and provides new platforms for analysis and discussion. Perhaps this could be included in other free trade agreements."

M. Gerardo Sanchez Zapata, President of the Apparel and Textile Industry of Colombia Trade Union Sintracontexa, lent his support to the agreement on behalf of 12 other Colombian unions: "This procedure is welcomed by Colombian workers and we are thankful to the Parliament of Canada for its position, because it helps strengthen a mechanism already in place that monitors and evaluates the progress in matter of human rights."

Colombia is at a critical juncture in its history, emerging from decades of violence and civil war. The Liberal Party of Canada believes that countries like Canada can support Colombia on its path to peace, justice and reconciliation by helping to build and strengthen Colombia's public institutions and provide greater public oversight on the human rights situation in Colombia. Canada must not turn its back on Colombia and isolate its people at this time. Rather we must seize this opportunity to engage the people of Colombia and work with them to break the cycle of violence and human rights abuses that prevents the country from reaching its vast potential.

Thank you, once again, for taking the time to write to me on this very important issue.

Respectfully,

The Office of Michael Ignatieff, M.P.
Leader of the Official Opposition


I'll spare you the tortured use of italics from the original.

Here's my open letter in response:


Dear Office of Iggy the Boyar:

You're right about only one thing here: This IS an unprecedented step you have taken. And an unfortunate choice of direction.

No previous Liberal administration would have contemplated doing what you have done. They all resisted the US's urging to legitimize Colombia's right-wing government and toxic business atmosphere. So yes, what you have done is indeed unprecedented--for Liberals, and for Canadians.

But that isn't what I petitioned you to do.

I didn't petition you to add a worthless human-rights amendment, which will never be respected and which the Tories will only gut, as is their wont. I petitioned you to OPPOSE the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. You didn't do that; you PASSED it.

And you call yourselves an opposition? I call you a bunch of butt-boys.

But don't worry, a few people in Colombia will thank you for your kindly concern. Those few are Uribe himself, and his cronies--the ones who already own too much of the country; who have taken it from a violent banana republic to a narco-paramilitary failed state; who go around murdering bothersome peasants, stealing their land, and then dressing them in fake FARC uniforms before burying them in mass graves. Cocaine traffickers, in particular, will appreciate the good work you have done; you have just made it that much easier for them to export their noxious product, which will undoubtedly land on our streets, burdening OUR legal system to the breaking point. And of course, we mustn't forget the military-industrial complex, particularly that of Israel, which cheerfully sells weapons to right-wing paramilitaries and the Colombian army alike.

And your measly little human-rights amendment proposes to change this situation HOW, again?

Please spare me the elaborate justifications. There is no justification for what you have done to the people of Colombia. Some 4 million of them have already fled to neighboring Venezuela in order to escape from the narco-paramilitaries and the army (which may as well be regarded as a single entity, so indistinguishable are they from one another). One of the Bolivarian missions advanced by President Chávez was to grant them Venezuelan citizenship and identity cards, so that they would have a decent shot at jobs, free healthcare, and a good education--things the oh-so-humanitarian government of Alvaro Uribe would not grant them in their native Colombia. It is fair to say that Hugo Chávez has already done more for Colombians than you have, and it's safe to say that it's more than you will ever do.

But then again, Venezuela is Colombia's nearest neighbor and largest trading partner. The violence of Colombia's five-decades-old civil war spills over Venezuela's border (and those of Colombia's other neighbors, Ecuador and Brazil) with nauseous regularity. And so do the drugs. And Hugo Chávez used to be stationed near the Colombian border in his army officer days, ostensibly to patrol for guerrillas, but really to violate the human rights of peasants. He found this role objectionable, as did his fellow soldiers. It was a major turning point in his political consciousness. Now, as president, he takes the position that Colombia has to police its own borders, stop repressing its own people, and not expect Venezuela to pick up the slack in its guerrilla and drug wars. Colombia has failed repeatedly to do so.

Worse, Alvaro Uribe has refused to take responsibility for his own crimes and failures, preferring to project them onto his neighbors. That's why today, President Chávez has broken off relations between Caracas and Bogotá. His patience has been tested long enough. His Ecuadorian friend and counterpart, Rafael Correa, ran out of it two years ago, when Uribe's army bombed his country and then blamed him for "harboring" the FARC when he had done no such thing.

As for me, I have no patience for your nonsensical position that more trade with Colombia is the answer. For whom? Working-class Canadians have never benefited significantly from free trade; just the opposite. The only people ever to benefit from such agreements are those who really don't need the extra cash. Nothing will trickle down to Colombian campesinos, and nothing to the average Canadian, either. The last thing we need is more cheap goods flooding our market; we are already glutted.

And there are only so many bananas we can eat, and there is only so much coffee we can drink. Personally, I prefer to get my bananas from Ecuador and my coffee from Brazil. Those countries have decent presidents and are not known for their narcos or their paramilitaries.

In short, dear Iggy, this is why I won't be voting for you. It's not the only reason, but it's a big one.

Adios, cabrón.

Luv,

'Bina.

Aluminum siding, God's answer to socialism...

Or at least, this knob would like you to think so:

On the off chance that I ever buy a house in Oklahoma (ha! as if!), I know one salesman who won't be getting a penny of my pagan socialist dinero.

July 21, 2010

In which your lazy scribbler finally gets her ass-kicking boots on again

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Watch out for this man; he was recently arrested, and a good thing, too.

Okay. I've been sitting on this one long enough. Time for me to translate what the lamestream media will never tell you, yes?

The Venezuelan far-right-winger, Alejandro Peña Esclusa, former member of the Tradition, Family and Property sect (TFP), has been linked to several coup attempts in Venezuela and, along with two ex-military men from Argentina, is now suspected of human-rights violations in conjunction with assassination plans, along with a band of foreign terrorists recently captured in Bolivia.

"The Venezuelan engineer Alejandro Peña Esclusa, bitter opponent of the government of Hugo Chávez, is at the head of UnoAmérica, the crusade against 'leftist' governments in Latin America. Bolivia and Venezuela head the list of 'concerns' of the organization, which recruits 'faithfuls' and finances the right-wing in Colombia," reads an article in the Argentine daily, Página/12.

The Argentine paper explained that the vice-president of Bolivia, Alvaro García Linera, had asked the Argentine ambassador in La Paz, Horacio Macedo, for his assistance in controlling the border regions "because of the presence of Argentine activists in various parts of Bolivia."

Days later, the Bolivian police crushed a band of suspected terrorists in a raid at the Hotel Las Américas in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Three men were killed and two more arrested.

According to Página/12, one of the Argentine ex-militaries was the "carapintada", Jorge Mones Ruiz, who during the 1980s participated in an attempted coup against the Argentine government of Raúl Alfonsín. Those who took part in the uprising had been the beneficiaries of an amnesty which granted immunity to uniformed repressors operating during the military dictatorship of 1976-83.

Página/12 reports that Mones Ruiz found new allies as "the Argentine delegate of UnoAmérica--an ultra-right-wing organization attempting to be the counterpoint to UNASUR. He travelled to Bolivia and had contacted Eduardo Rózsa Flores".

After the Pando massacre, which took place on September 11, 2008 and resulted in the deaths of 11 Bolivian peasants at the hands of separatist bands, the citizens of Bolivia became alert to the sudden appearance of unknown organizations, which attributed to themselves the task of investigating the events of that day. These groups came with the objective of obfuscating the reality of the massacre and deceiving the people, but were unable to do so thanks to the decisive participation of UNASUR and the UN itself.

Later, the Bolivian right began a campaign urging the government of Evo Morales to free those they called "political prisoners", under the slogan "Free the Truth"; the activists wore black T-shirts with that saying, and white rosaries around their necks. A Sunday mass at the cathedral of Santa Cruz de la Sierra marked the launching of the operation, which was widely covered, in typical fashion, by the main television channels of the region, and in which the criminals were presented as "prisoners of conscience".

Due to the failure of those plans, UnoAmérica intervened, intending to take on the role of the impartial investigator of the Pando massacre. One of the organization's spokespersons called a press conference (again, in Santa Cruz) in which he affirmed, with an absolutely straight face, that the government was the guilty party, in a typical move to criminalize the victims.

UnoAmérica is a very recent organization; it was founded in December, 2008, in Colombia. Member organizations swear that their mission is to counteract the parties that participated in the São Paulo Forum, and which today form the governments of various countries in South America. They claim that these same governments have traded the firing squad for constitutional reforms, which will become the "greatest dangers" to freedom and democracy.

The director of the organization, Alejandro Peña Esclusa, was denounced a few weeks ago for his blatant interference in the Salvadoran elections, on behalf of the right-wing ARENA party, which is founded and financed by paramilitary death squads.

The UnoAmérica website presents Peña Esclusa as a former candidate for the presidency of Venezuela, and this is true: the last time he ran for election, he obtained 0.04% of the vote, or precisely 2,424 votes.

He is a personage intimately associated with the worst causes: promoter and spokesman in Venezuela for the TFP sect, a Catholic cult which is ultra-fundamentalist and antisemitic; he has also worked for years alongside Lyndon LaRouche, Ronald Reagan's advisor and conspicuous representative of the far-right in the United States.

As well, one of the principal members of UnoAmérica in Argentina is Patricio Videla Balaguer, son of a famed military putschist of the 1950s, and a putschist himself during the "carapintada" uprisings of the 1980s. He is a prominent member of organizations such as TFP and "Parallel History", which defends the genocide perpetrated by the Argentine junta and criminalizes its victims. For this reason, it is no coincidence that Videla Balaguer is also a member of that organization, and demands in his writings the convening of "a permanent commission to defend human rights", promoted and co-ordinated by UnoAmérica.

Translation mine; linkage added.

Touching, isn't it, how the fascist far right in Latin America sticks together? Argentine putschists and Venezuelan unelectables helping a death-squad party in El Salvador and a band of Hungarian-Romanian-Croatian-Irish mercenaries in Bolivia? Almost brings tears to my eyes. These poor souls will never get power the proper way, so they have to stage all kinds of lame stunts (and murderous coup attempts) to gain a toehold.

Only, alas for them, that's not working either. Evo's federales put the boots to the mercenaries, and the government of El Salvador is formed by the leftist FMLN party, not ARENA. Chavecito keeps getting himself re-elected (go figure, the man is popular!), and so does Evo. Moreover, both have succeeded in getting new constitutions written and passed by popular vote in Venezuela and Bolivia. The will of the people prevails.

And THIS is what UnoAmérica calls a "threat to freedom and democracy". Makes you think, no? And also makes you want to keep an eye on these false fronts, I hope.

July 19, 2010

Who is this "silent majority", and why do they want to shut us up?

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I have always found the phrase "silent majority" irksome. Not just because Tricky Dick used it (and was, of course, lying his ass off when he did so), but because makes no sense. How do you know people who share your smugly conservative views are, in fact, a majority, when they're silent?

You don't, and that's just what makes this phrase so stupid. It takes a lot for granted.

It takes for granted, as Tricky Dick did, that just because a majority of people aren't out there at any given time demonstrating against some huge injustice, that they must therefore be FOR it, rather than against it and unable to do anything about it (like take time off work or travel many miles to go to a demo, say). It takes for granted that people are constantly free to speak their minds publicly, and if they don't, it's because their mind is already made up in favor of the prevailing order, or the ruling class, or whatever trash the TV is trying to sell them.

Of course, that's ridiculous. Not everyone who opposes the G-20 fuckery is going to be able to turn out to demonstrate against it; I'd say that maybe just one opponent in ten made it to Toronto for the big demo, and that's an optimistic number. Fewer still made it to the subsequent protests against police brutality and the violation of civil rights, but that hardly means, as Dalton McGuinty claimed when he appropriated Tricky Dick's phraseology, that those who showed up to speak out were a vocal minority. They were just the few who could afford to spare the time and energy to be there.

More insulting is the notion that the so-called "silent majority" assumed to be in favor of the fuckery has more wisdom and sense on the issues. In fact, those in favor are the ignorant ones. And to anyone who had the nerve to snark on the protesters, claiming they didn't know what they were against, here you go. Chow down on this open letter from someone who WAS there, and who knew full well what it was about:

First, why did we even protest the G20?

The G20 is the meeting of 20 leaders from the 20 richest countries in the world. They meet to discuss and implement economic policies. There is no administrative body, and the G20 is accountable to no one. The one thing that came out of this G20 meeting in Toronto was an agreement on 'austerity measures'.

In a nutshell, austerity measures is another way of saying cuts to public spending in order to bail out banks and corporations, which are the reasons for economic crisis in the first place.

A lot of people have been talking about neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is a cluster of policies or an ideology based on belief in the free market: that the market can best regulate itself, and should not be subject to interference. This includes taking for granted the assumption that capitalism is a good thing and that it's necessary. Capitalist enterprises such as corporations involve increasing profit by whatever means necessary: the responsibility of corporations is to their stockholders, not to those who are affected by corporate policies.

[...]

Neoliberal policies and practices have resulted in the economic crisis that we're currently in the midst of--where folks are laid off work, factories close, or companies move overseas where they can capitalize on more cheap labour to increase their profits.

Rather than questioning the roots and assumptions behind neoliberal policies, the G20 leaders have decided that the solution for neoliberalism, is, in effect, more neoliberalism. Rather than taxing banks or corporations, they are taking public money to bail out these institutions, which are by their nature unsustainable. Put simply, this is taking money from the poor, to bail out corporations and banks, which result in more money for those who own the companies or the people who own a lot of stocks.

This is a big part of why we protest the G20. Because we disagree with a small population imposing policies that make a few richer, while increasing the divide between the rich and the poor, and continuing to harm the majority of the world's population and the environment.

Those who protest are vocal, yes, but they are NOT a minority. Nor do they protest on behalf of a minority. They protest on behalf of the overwhelming, and TRULY silent, majority of the world that is NOT represented by the G-20 and its unethical, unaccountable so-called leaders.

The people Dalton McGuinty and Tricky Dick claimed for their own, as a "silent majority", are in fact the minority. They are every bit as vocal when they say that the "anarchist thugs" who were there "got what they deserved". I certainly don't see THEIR opinion being under-represented in the news, nor in online polls, nor in "official" polls by Angus Reid et al.

In fact, this manufactured opinion has been made to carry the day, because the discourse has been hijacked since before the G-20 summit began. The cops who arbitrarily decided to not let protesters within five metres of the fence were the terrorist musclemen, and the three levels of government who gave the keep-'em-out orders were the same who determined in advance what the tone of the discourse was to be: Everything going on inside the fence good, everyone protesting outside it bad. Everything inside the fence order and propriety, everyone protesting outside it anarchist thug.

Thus was a billion dollar security boondoggle sold to a thumb-sucking public who would, of course, be the ones footing the bill. And thus was said public manipulated into thinking, against all evidence to the contrary, that the cops had done the right thing when they arrested more than a thousand people on no actual charges.

A billion dollars and a thousand arrests for nothing. Nothing, that is, but a vastly unpopular fuck-over of the vast majority of the world's people--with cutbacks and shitty macroeconomic policies already proven by all of Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia not to work. Seems pretty steep, but it's nothing compared to the price the world's exploited people--and yes, Canada has 'em too--are going to pay.

Must keep that majority silent, since they weren't in on the consultation, right? Must ridicule, suppress and just plain shut them up. At all costs.

I propose that the so-called "silent majority" referred to by the Dalton McGuintys and Tricky Dicks of the world be referred to, instead, as the Silencing Minority. Because that is, in fact, what it is.

"It is so much easier sometimes to sit down and be resigned than to rise up and be indignant." --Nellie McClung

July 18, 2010

Music for a Sunday: On the hill where he went when he ran from a raging storm

When this Payola$ song first came out in '83, it was considered unusual and a bit shocking for telling what life is like for children of abusive, alcoholic parents. It was inspired by an actual story, told to one of the band members by a kid with a badly blacked eye, who was painfully frank about his alcoholic dad. After that, the song practically wrote itself; I can remember reading about how it came about, and how satisfied the entire band was with this very strong piece.

I was a little shocked at first, but I also liked it. It was courageous, and I badly needed courage. I was bullied at school a lot that year, so I could somewhat relate. A few years later, the full significance of it finally sank in. This tune saw me through a bad time, five years when I was intermittently seeing a boyfriend who drank (and whose father had also been an abusive drunk.) It gave me the strength to survive, and eventually dump the drunk.

I still consider it their strongest song, all these years later. And I absolutely love it.

July 17, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Hot in the shitty edition

Okay, I apologize for that. Billy Idol will always be hot and NEVER shitty. These people? Just the other way 'round:

1. Michelle Fucking Malkin. I did not even know there WAS a "New Black Panther Party". But don't worry, folks, the Asian White Supremacist is right on them, valiantly defending us poor endangered white folks from being viciously aborted and cannibalized by evil, evil Africans! Isn't that sweet of her? (And isn't it telling how she compares this largely imaginary racist threat with the very real one that is the Teabagger Party?)

2. Glenn Fucking Beck. Take your pick as to what made him wank this week, kiddies. Was it Michelle Obama's dress sense? Was it blatant anti-semitism? Or was it all the fucking race-baiting? Any way you slice it, he's a winner (pronounced "wiener")!

3. Mike Fucking Adams. Eat shit, Mikey, THIS "godless heathen dissident" isn't giving you ANY power. And neither, I think, will all the other godless heathen dissidents you're trying to overpower with your militant McCarthyite stupidity.

4. Rona Fucking Ambrose. Let's face it, if she really cared about saving women from honor killings--or cared as much about women as she apparently does about dyeing and ironing her hair--she'd be announcing additional funding for the long-gun registry, women's shelters, and community education and awareness campaigns against domestic violence. She's done NONE of that. Instead, she's babbling nonsense about "looking at" amending the criminal code to cover crimes it already covers...assault, battery, kidnapping and murder. Only, you know, THOSE people, the brown ones with the veiled women, they need SPECIAL laws to keep their little brown butts in line with our whitey-white Canadian values. Dumb, dumb, dumb...and RACIST, too.

5. Mel Fucking Gibson, AGAIN. I'm sorry...WHO has no soul? Dude, you're the one who just had to stick his dick into her, wrecking your own long-standing marriage in the process. And I'm sure her soul was the least of your concerns at the time. (We'll not even mention her tight clothes and big fake boobs.)

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6. Steve Fucking Krakauer. The "New Black Panther Party" is a NON-story. Why should anyone other than FUX Snooze cover it? Do the media really want to go down that rabbit-hole-o-stoopid every single fucking time FUX does? That's how Dubya got proclaimed (not elected) president!

7. All the Fucking Harpocrats in Parliament. But especially Dean Fucking Del Mastro. "Lining up with the anarchists"--talk about deserving to be toppled. Yeah, just a "cheap political stunt", as opposed to the EXPENSIVE one that was the G-20 fuckery. ¡Que se vayan TODOS!

8. Richard Fucking Cohen. So nice to know that Roman Fucking Polanski is not a child-sex abuser after all. Because aren't ALL 13-year-olds just little drunken jezebels who are merely "seduced", not SODOMIZED? (I take it that he doesn't have a daughter, and that he's never actually talked to a traumatized teenager who's been raped.)

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9. Whoopi Fucking Goldberg. Much as it pains me to include her on the list this week, anyone who'd defend Mel Fucking Gibson has got it coming. I don't care what Oksana Grigorieva's "motives" for recording that ugly racist tirade were--he said it, he wasn't prompted, it was awful, he threatened her life--isn't that enough for anyone to see that the man is an indefensible fucking troll? Jayzus. I guess his having money really DOES excuse everything, for SOME people.

10. Simon Maxwell Fucking Apter. Maradona won the World Cup AFTER Argentina had reverted to democracy. Shitty historical analysis, anyone? And no, fascism does NOT make for better soccer, either...Uruguay has had its best World Cup showing since its great victory in 1950. When it was a welfare-state democracy. And it is one again now. And since when was Britain fascist? Check this page and get back to me.

11. Matt Fucking Drudge. Yeah, there's nothing like bogus accusations of a First Lady hell-bent on racial warfare to get the "base" wanking like mad. Too bad the warfare is against childhood obesity, not Whitey. Maybe if she'd mentioned that white kids get fat, too--but no, that would probably offend him even more, because everyone knows that white people are so much better than all the rest.

12. Bob Fucking Johnson (and all those other Fucking Teabaggers in Iowa.) Damn, ain't Godwin's Law a bitch when the shoe's on the wrong foot (and there's a bullet hole in both, to boot)? Look who's gonna lose an election based on that:

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Yay, Iowa Teabags! Cliff's thataway! ---> Don't stop running--go go GO!!!

13. Robin Fucking Potwora. Stoopid, meet Scary--oh. I see you've already had a child together. Never mind!

14. Sharron Fucking Angle. So she says God wants her to win? Yeah, she really says that. It's all just a part of God's great plan, along with rape and incest. What will she say when she loses? I know what I'll be saying.

15. Rob Fucking Ford. Aggressive? Manhandles people in anger? You don't say. I would never have guessed it of him!

16. Dick Fucking Morris. Still got that ho's toes in your mouth, Dick? Oh, my mistake--that's your own foot in there. Aside from the bullshit about liberals, do I detect a whiff of racism in that dig at minorities? Dick, you really need to wash your feet better before you go shoving them in that big ol' mouth of yours.

17. Adam Fucking Josephs. Remember the asshole cop who threatened to bust a G-20 protester for blowing bubbles? Guess what, his Facebook page is just as entertaining as the video. He works for the City of Toronto--"collecting human garbage". Nice, eh?

Oh, and he's now a 'toon!

How about that...you make an asshole of yourself, and the next thing you know, you're animated. Some dicks have all the luck!

18. Tom Fucking Emmer. When you try to nickel-and-dime the wait-staff out of a chance at a decent living, sometimes a penny drops...right on your head. And not from heaven, either. PS: You can also contact this wage-killing wanker here.

19. Mark Fucking Williams. Hello, WHO is a "professional race-baiter", again? And what organization did you say YOU were with? Oh yeah: "Tea Party Express Inc."--gee, sounds professional to me. And of course, we all know THEY never race-bait:

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PS: For those who think anything can be done about this profoundly not-racist movement, sign Color of Change's petition here.

PPS: No, Mark, you're not a BIT racist. Not. A. Bit!

20. Jay Fucking Bybee. Here's a thought for you, judge: If you're really concerned about your own reputation and your family's well-being, how about NOT FUCKING SANCTIONING TORTURE??? Innocent people have gone through hell because of you, their lives and reputations are more than ruined, THEIR families are in grave danger, some have died as a direct result of what you did, and you think you did a good job and now have the nerve to whine about your own well-deserved disrepute and the "attention" it's brought your family? Fuck you, judge--fuck you on a waterboard.

21. Tony Fucking Clement. We Ontarians know he's a liar--knew it from way back, when he was one of the Pathologically Lying Harrisite Parasites that made the 1990s so hellish in our fair province. Now, alas, the rest of Canada gets to find out for themselves just how badly he sucks. Sorry, folks.

22. Fucking "Springer". Since when have the Yanks bailed "our sorry Canadian asses" out of ANYTHING? Since, oh, like NEVER. Dumbass forgets that we were in both world wars when the Yanks were still sitting on their twiddling thumbs. Dumbass also forgets who torched the White House in the War of 1812--and no, it wasn't the Taliban or al-Qaida. Dumbass forgets, most of all, who's been doing the Yanks' scut-work over there in Afghanistan, God only knows why. A fucking pipeline isn't worth it, and it's certainly NOT a matter of OUR national security.

23. The Fucking Vatican. El Residente is so right...it IS a mafia. But hey. If they think female ordination is a "sin" on the same order as pedophilia, that means they should actually have no problem with it, as long as it's swept under the rug. Just like all the other sins devout Catholic clerics commit.

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And finally, to "JoAnn", who pooped here. Funny how she defends one half of a criminal couple while leaving the other half alone. Why so selective, sweetie? Do you believe, like those who defend Roman Fucking Polanski and Mel Fucking Gibson, that money and fame should be insulators against any and all criminal charges? If so, congrats--you're a typical member of what H. L. Mencken called the booboisie. If Patricia Poleo were a typical Venezuelan--that is, non-white and non-wealthy--she'd be rotting in jail by now. But since she got away on a luxury yacht and squats in Miami, where you also squat, she must be innocent! Um, no. She is so NOT--if she were, she'd have stuck around, stood trial, and been FOUND innocent. I don't suppose it's occurred to you that her timing in fucking off to Miami was awfully convenient; she did it just before the law came for her. Innocent people don't have that kind of timing. But thanks for inadvertently revealing just what rotten logic the Venezuelan oligarchy and their valiant Miamero defenders subscribe to. It is definitely the media trend of the year, if the Polanski/Gibson thing is any indication.

Good night, and get fucked!

Roll out the RED carpet...

...because Orwell's Bastard is here. And man, is he PISSED.

Teh Heterostoopid: Commitmentphobe gets committed, perforce

I'd say 10 years is easily long enough to wait, no? (Love the guy in the Che shirt who muscles the groom into line.)

July 16, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: A fresh can of whup-ass from Calle 13

Grab a can opener! Here comes some cool tunage from some VERY cool Puerto Ricans:

And here are the lyrics, translated (very roughly by me):

I was born looking up on the 23rd of February
After I finished school, I became a rapper
My family is big, there are eight of us at home
And the lower-middle class doesn't get Plan 8
It's normal that my behavior doesn't suit them
The governor put my mother out of work
I disconnect myself when I write my frank lyrics
So I don't end up going off in the White House
My rhymes make you tense and they give you cramps
I'm the one who brings the bacon so they don't starve
I mix what I see with what's melodic
I'm here to tell you what the newspapers won't
This is the moment for independent music
My record label isn't Sony, it's the people
Those who follow me listen to the message
That's why they defend me, with their fists that haven't sold out

CHORUS:
Chill out people, 'cause here I am
What they won't say, I will
What you feel, I feel too
Because you're like me, and I'm like you

(repeat chorus)

What I write offends you
Your playback offends me
When you lip-synch in concert
I'm offended when you bribe the radio stations
So they play you every day
Even the Beatles didn't have four songs
Playing at the same time on the radio
This looks almost like a "bizco"
You sell out because you buy your own records
Don't tell me you don't, because they offered to do that for me
Half of all artists should be in jail
I don't care if they call me crazy for talking so much
You don't say much because you don't know much!

CHORUS

I use the enemy, nobody controls me
I hit the gringos hard and Coca-Cola sponsors me
In the whole barrel, I'm the only bad apple
Adidas doesn't use me, I use Adidas
My strategy is different, I come in through the "Out" door
I infiltrate the system and exploit it from within
Everything I tell you, it's just like Aikido
I use the enemy's force in my own favor
So take off your suit now, your skirt and your t-shirt
Take off all your clothes, your brand names, your labels
To change the world, you have to bare your courage
Honesty has neither clothes nor makeup
Don't talk to me about cartels or The Sopranos
The biggest mafia lives in the Vatican
With the trick of faith they screw all the people
They screw anyone who thinks differently
They won't screw me, I believe in those who love
I believe in the people, I believe in my flag
I believe that those who point the finger at me
Are scared of me because I'm not scared

CHORUS (repeats several times)

July 15, 2010

Economics for Dummies: Crisis Capitalism in a nutshell

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The punchline? This is not a joke. This really IS how it works. The more these methods fail, the more their backers tout them as the antidote to the crisis they themselves DELIBERATELY made.

They really don't care if the whole economy breaks, as long as THEIR part of it keeps rollin' on in. And of course, they forget that if the WHOLE economy breaks, their part isn't going to amount to a hill of beans, either.

July 13, 2010

Conservative "libertarians"--whose allies?

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I was chided by a liberal today for very rudely telling off a gun guy who presumes that his side is the "right" one to be on in the battle for civil liberties here in Canada. I always love it when people supposedly on my side take up for the other; way to prove that "liberals are milquetoast" belief the right holds of you, pal. But you know what? I don't feel bad for telling the the con-job to fuck the hell off. Mr. Gunner had it coming; he was snotty and patronizing, and dared to use that "when I was young and foolish, I thought like you, too" canard on me.

BIG mistake.

You see, I'm not that young anymore. Youthful, yes, and I look young for my years, but I'm not exactly one of those green-haired kids you see at demos and some people think are the only ones that show up. I've already lived three years longer than Che Guevara, who died before he was 40. I don't think of myself as middle-aged, but clearly I'm not a kid, and haven't been one for quite some time. I have been in the struggle for all kinds of human and civil rights in Canada for more than two decades now, starting when I was 20 or so. I may not be a major figure, and I wouldn't go putting on airs of being a veteran, but neither am I just some snot-nosed punk with naïve notions about making the world a better place. I'm old enough to have much clearer ideas than that, and more concrete patience as to how they are to be implemented.

I am in the struggle, and I am committed to it for life. I committed myself to it little by little over more than half of my life to date. Each failure (and there have been many) has taught me something. I know the struggle is not going to be won by grand gestures or any other overnight victories. Time and experience and liberal lashings of extracurricular study have granted me that wisdom. That's why I am vocal about just how much I don't appreciate being patted on my pretty little curly red head by some good ol' Johnny-come-lately with a gun who thinks he's some kind of anti-authoritarian authority, just because he has a penis extension with an ammo clip.

(Or because he wants one and can't have it, thanks to the evil wicked federal government not granting him the privilege of having the supposed means to overthrow it. Same thing, really. Gun guys are all perpetual wannabes. Let them have a deer rifle, and they'll all cry because you won't let them have a machine-gun; let them have a machine-gun, and they'll cry because you didn't let them have a fucking bazooka. Big, fat, perpetually dissatisfied babies they are, at whatever age.)

Anyhow, this all has me thinking: Just because the right-wing flibbertigibbertarians are now joining in our clamor for civil liberties in the wake of the G-20 fiasco, should we on the left seriously consider them as allies?

My gut instinct tells me NO, WE SHOULD NOT. And my gut is not alone in this. My eyes and ears tell me so, too.

Even a cursory look around should be enough to prove my gut check correct. Where were these guys at the G-20 protests? Were they marching? Were they supporting from the sidelines? Were they reporting with cellphones and home movie cameras? Were they blogging and tweeting in support of the jailed?

None of the above.

The right-wing gun-guy flibbertigibbertarians were all conveniently elsewhere. They were not even raising their pipsqueak voices in solidarity from afar, as I was. They would never cheer for a leftist standing up to authority. In fact, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that before the G-20, they were all rah-rah for the Harpocrats, because those guys promised to get rid of the long-gun registry and because they hated the Dirty Fucking Hippies, and considered anyone who would protest global capitalist hegemony to be an anarchist deserving to get his or her head bashed in, like that poor soul in London the last time (who was, incidentally, just a passer-by). These guys all had absolutely NO problem with that, other than maybe what it cost and how bad it made capitalism look for just a split second there. But it didn't concern these concern trolls. It was someone else's head being bashed in, not theirs. And it was all happening at a safe distance.

Now that it's all suddenly right here in Middle Canada among us, and the evidence is all out there on YouTube that the cops were heavy-handed on orders from above, NOW all of a sudden they pipe up. Not that I'm unhappy to hear it, exactly--but jeez, gun guys, why so late to the party? Were you expecting to make a grand entrance with your guns, your ammo and your god-awful camo, and proclaim yourselves the saviors of us all?

If so, you're full of shit.

You didn't show up with your guns to the G-20 to clear the line of armored cops away from the people they were beating on. You didn't show up at the jails, either, to blast the thousand-some arrestees free. No Molotov cocktails for you, oh no. That's Black Bloc tactics, pure DFH stuff. You didn't fire a single round in defence of the leftists, not even from a kiddie slingshot. Explain to me exactly how you and your weaponry are supposed to be the God-sent answer to tyranny, again?

Oh yeah, I forgot. The feds, the same ones you voted for because they were right-wing lawn-order types, wouldn't let you buy your widdle bang-bang guns and bring them in. And if you had, you'd have been mown down by the riot squad, not with rubber bullets either, and you knew it. You pissed your pants in fear of it.

Poor babies.

No, I don't trust a conservatard with a gun to fight for the rights I have yet to obtain, because I've already seen how worse than useless they are at merely defending the existing ones. And it's not because these guys have their hands shackled by us mean little lefties, or Big Bad Government, no matter how much they whine to that effect. It's the fault of no one but the cons themselves. These guys are no Che Guevara; to them, he's another Dirty Fucking Hippie. And a commie, oh noes. Those are the worst "authoritarians" of all, to hear the rightards tell it. They think every leftist is Joe Stalin underneath it all, even though there's ample evidence throughout Latin American history that the much-feared leftist guerrillas were in fact the biggest real libertarians of all, while the official Communist parties of the various countries were at pains to distance themselves from Moscow and the guerrillas both, and the guerrillas, in turn, disdained Moscow as too authoritarian and the official Communists as too stodgy, too reluctant to fight for the people, and too busy trying to build their own electoral legitimacy in a fake-democratic system which was blatantly stacked against the Left on all fronts.

But let's not trouble their australopithecine brains with those facts, shall we? The point is, these right-wingers, even when they manage to organize themselves, are no freedom fighters. They couldn't get up even the most half-assed of guerrilla armies. In Canada they have never done so yet, and in the US, they have only succeeded in making asses of themselves. They have much in common with the fascist cops they claim to despise--they eat too many doughnuts, and they LOOK like doughnuts, too. One would think they were cops manqués, and one wouldn't be wrong; they are. And if they ever passed the entrance exams to police academy (which, heaven knows, takes no geniuses), they would turn into the worst kind of cop: the Bullyboy With A Badge, the kind that's hot to crack hippie heads at a G-20 demo. They will never fight for others; they don't really care about the oppressed. Here or abroad, they will only jeer at the poor to "get a fuckin' job", ignoring the fact that most of those wretches already have two or three apiece and still can't make enough to buy a decent house. The only people they will fight for is themselves, although they might pat the likes of me smirkingly on our heads and nobly claim they're doing it for us, because we're too silly and wussy to scream for more and bigger guns. (They think we only scream for ice cream.) Some might even eloquently fool themselves (and a few of us) into believing that there really is some higher purpose to what they're doing.

But at bottom, no, they're not doing it for anybody but THEM. That's why they voted for the Tories in the first place--or local fringe parties who think the Tories aren't right-wing and authoritarian and pro-capitalist enough. It behooves us on the left to remember that. Don't watch their mouths when they talk; watch their feet when it comes time to vote. These guys will never vote for the common good. Pure, unenlightened self-interest is their modus operandi, now and forever.

Don't believe me? Fine, take a good hard look at anyone who ever accomplished anything for civil rights and liberties anywhere. Tell me who they were, what their politics were. Was Rosa Parks a right-wing white guy with a gun, agitating for the right to unlimited guns? No, she was a middle-aged black lady who'd been a staunch, quiet civil-rights campaigner for many years before she simply sat down and stayed put on that bus in Montgomery, and wouldn't budge when Whitey ordered her to. How about Gandhi? Damn, the dude kicked out the British Raj from India without firing a single shot--or even a literal kick! He walked around in white loincloths, not camo fatigues. He organized protests, not armies. And both of these heroes had such a mass following that it was impossible to ignore them. They won in the end, not with bullets but with ballots.

Closer to home, Tommy Douglas--CCF socialist and Baptist preacher--gave every individual in Saskatchewan the right to free healthcare, education, highways and more. His socialist initiatives were so successful that every other province in Canada eventually copied them, even those with conservative premiers. Under Lester B. Pearson, a Liberal, the changes wrought by the leftist Tommy Douglas and his provincial government became enshrined in federal law. Pearson also let the Vietnam-era draft dodgers, conscientious objectors, and peace activists in, and more than 25,000 of them came to call Canada home. All have praised its peacefulness and freedoms; none have tried to import US-style gun-mad politics here. And Pierre Elliot Trudeau--another Liberal--patriated our Constitution from Britain, and appended our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Thanks to those two documents, we are (or were, before Harpo) better off than our cousins to the south, rights-wise. I'll bet you good money that the rightards aren't even remotely familiar with the text of either one. I can tell you this much: Neither the Constitution nor the Charter guarantee ANYONE the right to guns.

And need I remind you that the Underground Railroad ended in Canada, where slavery was abolished long before it was even thought seriously about in the US? I'll give you a broad hint as to why that is: it certainly wasn't Tories, or any other conservatives, who agitated for that abolition. And it's a pretty safe bet that conservatives weren't sheltering any runaway slaves, either.

The entire history of the Americas is rife with conservative oppressors and liberal-to-leftist freedom fighters. There is not one conservative who ever fought for human rights, and not one socialist or true, un-milquetoasty liberal who didn't.

And no, the leftists didn't all have guns. They didn't all need them: Tommy Douglas needed only his pen, some paper and a microphone to become our Greatest Canadian. Even Dr. Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who famously left behind his medical kit and kept his rifle when fighting in the Cuban revolutionary war (which his column won at Santa Clara), would say that it the people's revolutionary consciousness, not his gun, that was his best and most effective weapon in the struggle for human rights. The gun was merely his back-up, a tool for holding off the enemy. It was not the instrument of change; the mind was. It was only when he could make no progress with the people that his revolutionary guerrilla armies failed.

Where no mind for change exists, there can be no revolution; there cannot even be a victorious struggle for one person's rights, let alone the "individual" rights of all. No individual's gun, nor indeed the collective ownership of lots of guns, can change that. The US is lousy with guns; have they overcome the tyranny of Wall Street and the Pentagon yet?

No, because the mind for positive social change is one thing conservatives have never had, and never will. Not even the so-called "libertarians" of the right. Those guys will fall right in behind authoritarians like dominoes, when all's said; the topdog/underdog mindset is all they know. And they want to be topdog; they don't resent authority unless they don't have it to themselves. They don't want to build a world where there are no topdogs or underdogs. They are conservatives, and the only thing they conserve is the old order, in which women and minorities stay in "their" underdog place, and white male topdogs with guns run the show.

No, they are not our allies. They never were, and never truly will be. And woe betide anyone who is lulled by a few nice words from them into thinking otherwise.

"If you tremble indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine." --Ernesto "Che" Guevara, one TRUE libertarian.

Some people just deserve one another

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Hey, kiddies, have I got a story for YOU. Make sure you're sitting down for this one. And have a paper bag handy to breathe (or vomit, as the case may be) into...you're gonna need it!

On Monday, it transpired that journalist Patricia Poleo and student leader Nixon Moreno had decided to marry, after just nine months together. Something that could be called "love in exile" is the relationship between these two Venezuelans.

The event has taken the Venezuelan media community by surprise. It seems to be a fait accompli, and Poleo has moved to Peru, where the student leader is taking asylum, to speed up the wedding because "she wants to be married as soon as possible".

The plans of Poleo and Moreno were confirmed to Marianella Salazar on her radio show [audio in Spanish available at the link]. According to press reports, the couple will make their home in Miami.

Translation mine.

My, this is so SUDDEN! But isn't it sweet that these two exiled lovebirds found one another? Everybody, repeat after me: Awwwwwwwwwwwww!

Only, as you may have guessed, there's a rub to all this. Nixon Moreno isn't really a student leader. Patricia Poleo isn't really a journalist. And neither of them is really in exile. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself, so let's back up this truck a bit.

Nixon Moreno is a wanted man. In 2006, at a violent "demonstration" by oppos in the university town of Mérida, he assaulted a policewoman named Sofia Aguilar. He beat her up, ripped her clothes off, and held a gun on her. He no doubt meant to go further with this sexual assault, but was stopped in time. Rather than submitting to arrest, he fled, then hid out in the Apostolic Nunciature in Caracas. (Yes, that's right, the house of the Vatican's ambassador to Venezuela. They shield perverts under their frocks as a matter of almost routine.) While there, he finally received his political science degree; shucks, it only took him an extra decade of squatting, taking up spaces that could have been occupied by three or four more deserving students! Then, diploma in his fat little hands, he fucked off to Lima, Peru--which, after Miami and Bogotá, is the most fashionable hangout for the scum de la scum of Latin America. He is still a wanted man:

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"WANTED: for murder, sadism, and rape."

And no, he's not a "student leader", he's a GANG leader. Nixon Moreno is a plain old garden-variety thug.

Patricia Poleo is something else. Something even worse. The daughter of oppo newspaper owner Rafael Poleo, she is also wanted by the Venezuelan federales. For what? For a car bombing that killed Danilo Anderson, the hot-shot young prosecutor who just happened to be investigating the coup d'état of April 2002. Anderson was getting perilously close to finding out who ordered all those deaths, both Chavista and oppo, on April 11, when two groups of demonstrators came under fire from rooftop snipers, undercover sharpshooters, and opposition-controlled Metro Caracas police. And it most certainly wasn't the big guy in the red shirt, whom the oppos keep scapegoating for literally every bad thing that happens in Venezuela! So Danilo Anderson had to be stopped somehow, and in November of 2004, he was--with an earth-shaking kaboom that broke windows for blocks around. The investigation has been hobbled ever since. "La Papo", as she is also known, is believed to be one of the intellectual authors of that assassination. (Another media mogul of the opposition, Nelson Mezerhane of Globovisión, who was also a banker, is believed to be her accomplice. He, too, is a fugitive from justice--and recently got a little karmic justice when his bank, the Banco Federal, went under and was taken over by the government. The feds bailed out the depositors--this is how it's done, Your Barackness, take note--but you can bet "El Turquito" Mezerhane won't be so lucky when they finally get their mitts on HIM.)

La Papo has an interesting tendency to leave dead bodies behind wherever she goes. Just in April of this year, her ex-husband, Gastón Alfredo Rodríguez Delgado, was found dead in Apostaderos de Pampatar, on the resort island of Margarita. The 54-year-old, who was the son of two well-known Venezuelan actors, was bound, gagged, and stabbed to death in an apparent home invasion. Just a random robbery gone wrong? Or a targeted killing? Given his past criminal career (he'd done time for various drug-trafficking-related offences in 1989), I'd say the latter.

So, it seems, La Papo, a criminal herself, has a taste for criminal hubbies. Which means that she and Nixon definitely deserve one another. Just like chocolate and peanut butter...if that is not too sweet an allusion for you. And if you should happen to chance upon them in Lima, whatever you do, do NOT approach them; they should be considered armed and dangerous, and turned in to the Venezuelan authorities, pronto.

July 12, 2010

Cops Behaving Badly: G-20 Dickweed of the Day

He threatens to arrest a girl for blowing bubbles. BUBBLES, people. You know, those harmless, rainbow-swirly little things made of soap, water and air? The kind little kids blow all the time, and laugh hysterically over when one pops on them? To this dickweed, though, that's "detergent", and constitutes an "assault".

Are you writing this down, people? Because it's useful information. Next time they come at you with rubber or plastic bullets, tasers, pepper spray and tear gas, you can have THEM charged with assault in turn--all of those things are a LOT more dangerous to the public order than soap, water and air. And I've never seen them used legitimately--or harmlessly--on anyone yet.

Meanwhile, what's the harm in a few soap bubbles? This big wuss sure seems to feel threatened by 'em. Maybe it's because they would pop on him and stain his nice, black polyester uniform. Or leave a spot on his sunglasses, oh dear. How can you intimidate people when you've got soap splotches on your shades? How can you even take yourself seriously?

Yeesh.

Dude really needs to lighten up, or man up, or both. Like the guy off-camera says, a billion of our tax dollars could have bought someone with a better attitude.

BTW, Dr. Dawg was taking names. Apparently, Dick Weed's real moniker is A. Josephs.

A. Hole is more like it.

July 11, 2010

Music for a Sunday: As revealed by orange lights in a smoky atmosphere

I looked for Genesis's original of this song, which has been a favorite of mine for about twenty years now. It wasn't on YouTube, but this very nice cover is surely the next best thing. It's a lovely rendition in its own right, and stands up well even without the lush early-80s synths. In fact, I find that this way of performing it really underscores the theme of loneliness and solitude, in a way the studio production could not. Kudos to the piano man.

July 10, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Too hot to hoot edition

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Dayum, what a stinkingly hot week it's been here in Southern Ontario. The other night I boiled a pot of eggs for my salad just by sticking it out the window for a few seconds. Okay, I jest. But, no joke, this heat has addled a lot of brains, and some of the following were already there long before now...

1. Tim Fucking Hudak. Don't blame the cops for G-20 mayhem, says the Harrisite Parasite. Oh right. Because right-wing policy makers and police who blindly obey are NEVER the problem, only the dissidents who refuse to fall in line and cower behind their closed window blinds like good little sheeple "citizens". Tim, have you ever heard of provocateurs? Because guess what, asshole, you are one. And that "group of lawless hooligans"? That was YOUR SIDE, Tim!

BTW, you know you're doing a piss-poor job of maintaining democratic order when THIS place is outdoing you:

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Suck on THEM eggs, Timbo.

2. Kevin Fucking Gray. Whatever happened to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience? Just pro forma, I guess. Meanwhile, won't someone think of the poor rentboys and their sad deficiency of Armani?

3. Sharron Fucking Angle. Here's some free advice for her (not that she's likely to take it): If you don't want to look like an asshole, DON'T BE ONE! You can't image-manage your character flaws away.

4. Terry Fucking Savage. Since when is giving things away a character flaw? Since someone claiming to possess "The Savage Truth!" [sic] declared it to be, and decided to slam a children's lemonade stand as emblematic of "what is wrong with America today". Christ, what a puny-minded corpofascist wanker. You know what's REALLY wrong with your country, dude? People like YOU. Lay the fuck off those innocent kids. And if you don't want the damn lemonade, don't drink it! Nobody said you had to. I hope you dry up and blow away.

5. Ezra Fucking Levant. Why? Because, because, because, because, BECAUUUUUSE...because of the stoopid things he does! We're off to see the Blizzard, the Blunderful Blizzard of Blahs!

6. The Fucking Toronto City Council. Why?

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and:

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That's why.

7. Andrew Fucking Potter. Yeah, blame the protesters for their "meta" (what does that word mean, anyway?) fixation on human rights, instead of doing your job and learning how to report facts. You just don't fucking get it; it seems to me you just don't fucking get anything. You and others like you are the reason I quit reading Maclean's. You and others like you are the reason the magazine sucks, the reason journalism is in trouble, and indeed, the reason human rights are in trouble. And when the stormtroops are bashing MY head in, I'm gonna blame you and people like YOU, you craptacular crapaganda wank, for not doing your due diligence and reporting on the growing authoritarian menace in Canada back when it was still possible to do so.

8. Michael Fucking Taube. "What sensible person would have wanted to be downtown during the G20, knowing the problems that could potentially occur?" Funny thing to say, considering that you're a former speechwriter for one of the least sensible people in the country. (And you are also still one of the least sensible people in the country yourself, praising police brutality and the anti-leftist crackdown as you do, asshole.)

9. Michelle Fucking Bachmann. Or rather, all the fucking idiots who send her money. Who knew that it was so profitable to be only marginally less batshit and stupid than all your batshit and stupid supporters?

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10. Dalton Fucking McGuinty. A Harpocrat stooge all along? Color me so shocked. Dumb analogies, too. PS: Someone on the tweeter suggested calling him Dalton McGuilty. Works for me!

11. Krista Fucking Branch. Now we know why American Idol rejected her, and now we know why the US rejects the teabaggers. Accusing others of greed and hypocrisy while glossing over your own will do that to you. This much loserdom is painful to watch, and even more so to listen to.

12. Lindsay Fucking Lohan. Yeah, with a manicure like that, I'm sure the judge was mighty impressed with you. Get thee to a psych ward, and don't come out till you're cured...of everything, up to and including the urge to paint your idiocy all over your nails.

13. Mel Fucking Gibson. Who deserves a beating, again? This is enough to make me want to turn back time to where he's walking down the corridor naked in Lethal Weapon II, and kick that cute little bare ass of his. That is, if Danny Glover doesn't beat me to it.

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14. George Fucking Will. For God's sake, man, loosen that silly tie. It's cutting off the circulation to your brain. Better still, lose it and put on some jeans. And lighten up already.

15. Tom Fucking Vilsack. How much was Monsanto paying him to spout their party line? To a roomful of experts who KNOW the damage genetically modified crops do to the environment, animals, insects and people, no less? Whatever they paid him, they might want to ask for a refund now. (They could probably use the cash, in any event.)

16. Glenn Fucking Beck. If you want to run an institute of edjumacation, perfesser, shouldn't you learn to spell--and THINK--first?

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PS: Oh lordy, he's turning into Lindsay Fucking Lohan before our very eyes. Stop him before he drinks again!

17. Ann Fucking Coulter. Well, it WAS about time the Coultergeist shot off her stupid mouth again. It looks like her latest root touchup was a bit much for her few remaining brain cells to take:

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele was absolutely right. Afghanistan is Obama's war and, judging by other recent Democratic ventures in military affairs, isn't likely to turn out well.

Ah yes. Obama was in charge nine years ago, wasn't he. That was about the time when the Coultergeist was babbling and frothing to the effect that "we" should "invade all their countries, kill all their leaders and convert them to Christianity". So of course, His Barackness had no choice but to heed the "advice" and drag the US troops off to Afghanistan, even though he wasn't even a senator then, eh? But wait, the World's Dumbest Peroxide Blonde hasn't finished yet:

It has been idiotically claimed that Steele's statement about Afghanistan being Obama's war is "inaccurate" -- as if Steele is unaware Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after 9/11. (No one can forget that -- even liberals pretended to support that war for three whole weeks.)

Actually, Peroxide Annie, most of us didn't even bother to pretend, we were just silenced and steamrolled by your so-called "liberal" media, who thought it their duty, as you did, to cheerlead Dubya in every fucking idiotic thing he ever did. But how nice of you to acknowledge, however backhandedly and incoherently, that you and Uncle Tom Steele are both full of shit. Now go sink back into obscurity where you belong. And take your little ass-barnacles with you.

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18. Tom Fucking Tancredo. Even more inflammatory and asinine than Peroxide Annie? Wow, that takes some doing. Where are the men in the white coats?

19. Sharron Fucking Angle. Rape and incest are lemons, and forced, unwanted pregnancy is lemonade. Teabag "logic" in a very wormy nutshell. My guess is she holds these strange views about "lemons" because she's never been forced to actually suck one. (Yes, I realize this makes twice she's on this week's list. She's not a boob, she's a bosom.)

20. Silvio Fucking Berlusconi. Now we know how big his coglioni aren't. Seems that Italian reporters do have it in them to defy him, after all. Stands to reason: Who hasn't seen his unimpressive equipment?

21. Linda Fucking Lingle. If you're going to use the slippery-slope fallacy to advance an argument against gay rights, shouldn't you make sure your state isn't already sitting at the bottom of said slope? How embarrassing to find out that Hawaii already allows first cousin marriages, no same-sex ones required. (Not quite as funny as India allowing marriages between men and dogs or Indonesia okaying it between men and cows, but still.)

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22. Paiboon Fucking Sunthonchart. If you think that name is a mouthful, wait till you see what he thinks terrorist sorcerers are going to do to your car (or to your ass while you're on the toilet). And just think, he wants to run for the Florida state senate! Not that lunatics were ever kept out of office there, but this one's off the scale even for that place.

23. Bernard Fucking Ouellette. Yep, yet another black eye for Canada's military, caused by yet another philandering commanding officer. WTF is it with the chain of command???

24. Mac Fucking Margolis. Look out, ol' Mac is back...same shit, same asshole. Same hate-on for Chavecito, now transferred to his lusophone amigo, Lula. Nice to see that the stockmarket is so much more important than the will of the people. There's a reason they love their leader down there in Brazil, but don't expect anyone who fronts for moneyed interests (or the narcoparamilitary government of Colombia) to fully grasp it.

25. Jan Fucking Brewer. Once more, since the facts aren't on her side, Arizona's racist governor is reduced to just making shit up. Only this time, it's even more transparently ridiculous than the reality-stretching tale of her "fighting" dad--it's divorced from this world altogether, like a headless ghost.

26. Joe Fucking Arpaio. Surprise, surprise--Jan Fucking Brewer's driving force into headless, hateful insanity...is UNDER INVESTIGATION. For ABUSE OF POWER. At LAST.

27. LeBron Fucking James. Does anyone (outside of Miami, of course) NOT think he's a total fucking wanker? And does anyone besides your scribbler think his TV appearance was the most massive waste of time and money since that kid who wasn't in the tinfoil balloon his wanker parents built?

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And finally, to all the global-warming deniers out there. Guess what, you're full of shit. The real Climategate scandal is that there are idiots like you still kicking around out there. Pity the heat and humidity aren't killing just you instead of all of us.

Good night, and get fucked!

July 9, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Meet the new mayor of Montevideo

Hey everybody, sorry this is coming at you so late in the day, but I thought you might want to get to know this lady:

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Her name is Ana Olivera. She's the newly inaugurated mayor of Montevideo, the federal district of Uruguay. Her priorities are public transport and making sure the garbage is cleaned up around town. She also vows to work with muncipal mayors on key issues. Her inauguration ceremony was attended by Uruguayan president Pepe Mujica, and her counterpart from across the Río de la Plata, the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri. In her speech, she said, "This is an historic day, not only for my gender, but because we have fulfilled a dream 200 years old. Today, we have elected local governments." (They used to be appointed by state governors.)

So far, so boring, you say? Wait. I have yet to get to the good part. She's with the Frente Amplio, the broad-based party of the Uruguayan left, which was suppressed during the Dirty War Era. And just like her presidential comrade, who's a former Tupamaro guerrilla, she is one of those whom the US State Dept. tried very hard in those days to eradicate, and failed. She's a...

...wait for it...

...drumroll, please...

...a Communist.

EEK EEK SHRIEK SHRIEK ZOMG THE SKY IS FALLING!!!1111ATHOUSANDELVENTYONE!!!

Srsly, though--see what happens when you let people vote for whomever they want? A commie gets elected, and democracy still mysteriously manages to survive. And in Uruguay, it's now working just fine at the local level, too, for the first time in the 200 years since that beautiful little country's independence from Spain.

Congratulations, Montevideo--and good luck, Ana.

Oh HarpDaddy, how could you???

Miss Ruby Jones, Stevielicious's Number One Fan, does the G-20...

...and suffers the consequences.

OH NOES, SHE FORGOT "O CANADA"!!!

Evo targeted again, this time by a German?

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Uh oh. I'm not liking the look of these. Those are some seriously narrrrrsty weapons, and they come from the home of a seriously sinister man:

Bolivian police detained a German citizen on Thursday after finding large-calibre weapons and military ammunition in his home in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, according to authorities.

At a press conference, Government minister Sacha Llorenti revealed that the detainee has been identified as Dirk Smith, wanted on fraud charges in Germany, which had been seeking his extradition from Bolivia for years.

"We have contacted the German embassy for more information and to confirm whether the extradition request is still in effect. He also has an expired residency permit", said Llorenti.

Police colonel Miguel Gonzales, director of the Special Force Against Narcotrafficking (FELCC) in Santa Cruz, stated that a team entered Smith's home and found the weapons and ammunition.

[...]

Local media report that the police found seven military weapons, two pistols, and more than 300 rounds of ammunition.

Minister Llorenti stated that the accused is linked to a criminal gang headed by an ex-policeman, which assaulted an armored truck in 2001, killing two police officers.

Translation mine.

Smith, BTW, is definitely not a German name. Could be a pseudonym for "Schmidt", though--and I'm gathering that this dude would probably be travelling under a number of fake IDs, seeing as he's a fugitive and all.

I wonder if he's just a common crook, or if he had ambitions to be the next Eduardo Rózsa Flores. With weapons like those, he could go either way, couldn't he?

July 8, 2010

"This ain't Canada": the trauma of the G-20

A young woman who was arrested at the G-20 protests talks about her dehumanizing experience at the hands of the cops. She was far from alone in being grotesquely maltreated. Stories like hers are pouring out, and it's getting awfully hard to deny the ugly picture they add up to. Even rah-rah cop-huggers like the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington are now waking up to the brutal side of those whose job it is to be enforcing the law, not making it up as they go along, or taking it in their own hands. What the fuck, for example, to make of this?

An incident during the protests on University Ave. -- captured on video -- would be a good one to study.

In it an officer says "this ain't Canada right now" while another one says "this is G20 land." And when a man, who was put in a physical hold by police for no reason clear on the video, said "I don't like to have my civil rights violated" an officer can be heard saying "there's no civil rights here in this area."

Where did these officers get this idea? On their own or from above?

Pertinent questions, and let's hope there are answers. For that, we will need a full public inquiry. Have you joined this Facebook group yet?

In the meantime, DAMMIT JANET! has some very pertinent information for those who were told this wasn't Canada and that their legal rights were thus null and void. Perhaps someone out there can use it--at the very least, to embarrass those who fucked up big-time by uttering those very revealing words. Because the last time *I* looked, Toronto's geography didn't magically change overnight just so the G(oddamn)-20 could grace our home and native land with its presence.

July 7, 2010

Economics for Dummies: Firewalk with YOU? No, thanks!

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On the surface of things, this is just another story of a motivational management gimmick gone wrong:

Alessandro Di Priamo, a former athlete now turned motivational trainer for companies, said the nine salespeople from the Tecnocasa agency had suffered light burns and none were seriously hurt.

"Firewalking helps people overcome their fears, seek new challenges and understand that most of what they see as their limits are self-inflicted," Di Priamo told Reuters.

He said the hotel near Rome where the exercise was held used the wrong kind of wood and some artificial coal without him knowing.

"I have done this job for 12 years with thousands of people and never had a problem. I myself walked first on that bed of burning coals and didn't feel anything -- in fact that same evening I went for a 16 km run," he said.

But actually, this is much bigger than just the hotel using the "wrong" fire materials. Where was the guru who was supposed to be overseeing this bullshit, anyway? Wasn't it HIS job to make sure the coals were properly prepared? Why did he leave it to "the hotel" instead? How could they use the "wrong" materials without him knowing when he himself walked on those coals first and claimed to be unhurt?

There's so much that's stinky about this tale, but one of the commenters on the site pretty much nails it:

These exercises are just another way to avoid real motivators e.g., increased pay, getting rid of crappy managers, improving safety issues, or expanding benefits.

Bingo. Why deal with the blindingly obvious real problems of the work environment when you can dress up your crapitalism in all kinds of "motivational" gimmicks, thus creating more business for charlatans whose job it is to make employees think they're in control when in fact Big Boss Man is still (very badly) calling the shots? I mean, who needs to make enough to live decently on, be free of bad managers, have more workplace safety, job security, environmental awareness, personal autonomy, etc.? No, it's much cheaper for the boss more fun to believe you can walk on hot coals without burning yourself.

Even when it's manifestly obvious that you can't.

G-20: the New Normal



"Suddenly it's repression, moratorium on rights--

What did they think the politics of panic would invite?

Person on the street shrugs--'Security comes first!'

But the trouble with normal is IT ALWAYS GETS WORSE!"


--Bruce Cockburn, "The Trouble With Normal"


Greetings, citizens, and welcome to the New Normal here in Canada! Just when you thought the bad news from the G-20 fiasco had reached its nadir, guess what? "Normal" got worse:

The 57-year-old Thorold, Ontario resident - an employee with Revenue Canada and a part-time farmer who lost a leg above his knee following a farming accident 17 years ago - was sitting on the grass at Queen's Park with his daughter Sarah and two other young people this June 26, during the G20 summit, where he assumed it would be safe.

As it turned out, it was a bad assumption because in came a line of armoured police, into an area the city had promised would be safe for peaceful demonstrations during the summit. They closed right in on John and his daughter and the two others and ordered them to move. Pruyn tried getting up and he fell, and it was all too slow for the police.

As Sarah began pleading with them to give her father a little time and space to get up because he is an amputee, they began kicking and hitting him. One of the police officers used his knee to press Pruyn's head down so hard on the ground, said Pruyn in an interview this July 4 with Niagara At Large, that his head was still hurting a week later.

Accusing him of resisting arrest, they pulled his walking sticks away from him, tied his hands behind his back and ripped off his prosthetic leg. Then they told him to get up and hop, and when he said he couldn't, they dragged him across the pavement, tearing skin off his elbows , with his hands still tied behind his back. His glasses were knocked off as they continued to accuse him of resisting arrest and of being a "spitter," something he said he did not do. They took him to a warehouse and locked him in a steel-mesh cage where his nightmare continued for another 27 hours.

"John's story is one of the most shocking of the whole (G20 summit) weekend," said the Ontario New Democratic Party's justice critic and Niagara area representative Peter Kormos, who has called for a public inquiry into the conduct of security forces during the summit. "He is not a young man and he is an amputee. .... John is not a troublemaker. He is a peacemaker and like most of the people who were arrested, he was never charged with anything , which raises questions about why they were arrested in the first place."

Read the whole thing. It's truly horrendous.

This is just one of the more egregious cases to emerge from the G-20 débâcle. While not everyone there was treated quite this badly, enough of the activists experienced serious psychological effects that they realized they had to do something. That's why they've formed a support group for those traumatized by the violence. (Other support resources can be found here.)

What's worth looking into is why this is happening at all. When did it become "acceptable" for cops to rip off an amputee's prosthesis while falsely accusing him of a slew of illegal acts?

Stageleft tackles this question by examining the National Post's coverage of the story, and the readership's responses to it.

I entered into a discussion about the suspension of generally taken for granted civil rights/liberties at the G8/G20 meetings on a Conservative site and stated as part of the discussion with someone who made no bones about his support for whatever the police did:

As long as there are people like you who defend this sort of police action and attitude the greater the likelihood that you will ultimately become the recipient of it.

The reply came back:

Until it becomes a problem for the average citizen, expect no action on this front.

The thing is, this was a problem for the "average citizen". Hundreds upon hundreds of average citizens were detained in cages in Toronto, not because they broke any law, but because they were caught up in large number sweeps, because the authorities didn't like the look of them, because they weren't deemed cooperative enough by the authorities, or simply because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Judging from the general response from the blue corner to these sorts of instances the reply I received to my comment should more properly have been, "until it becomes a problem for me, expect no action on this front".

This is precisely the sort of thinking that worries ME. Does it take a Bad German like your humble keyboard-rat to see how similar this is to the way "Good" Germans thought in Nazi times? This "fuck them, as long as I'm all right" attitude is precisely what prevailed then.

It's a good thing I don't own a scanner, or I'd haul out the picture of my grandfather in his SS uniform and post it here. His expression in that photo is the same one I feel stealing over my own face when I'm scared shitless and can't do anything about it. Opa was not a political animal in the least. He was certainly not a Nazi. He had no antisemitic views and no special ambitions. He was just a shoemaker. But because he was six feet tall, had done obligatory service with the Yugoslavian army, spoke three languages (German, Hungarian and Serbo-Croat), and was an "Auslandsdeutscher"--an ethnic German from outside of Germany--he was "offered" the "choice" of joining that "elite" force.

It was, need I say, hardly a choice, unless you really wanted to choose between joining, and watching your family be shot before it was your turn. Opa was married and had three small daughters; the youngest was less than a year old. Who would shoot a baby? The forces of the "New Normal" in the Third Reich, that's who. And it didn't matter if the child was German or not. They were more likely to kill a Jewish baby than a German one--but if the German one had a father who wasn't willing to knuckle down and accept the New Normal, that baby was toast.

And this is what Canadian soldiers were ostensibly sent overseas to fight against in not one but two world wars. This is ostensibly why the Canadians took Vimy Ridge in 1917, when the British and the French--supposedly their "superiors", coming as they did from the two "mother countries"--could not do. This is ostensibly why the Canadians were in those two wars long before the laggards in the United States finally caught the war bug. Canada, we good Canadian schoolkids were taught to believe, cared so much about freedom that its young men were willing to sacrifice their lives--not for their own country, but for others! The world had to be saved from Hunnish imperialism, and saved it was. (Never mind that the real Huns were not, in fact, Germans. The world was saved from those Mongol hordes, and that's all you need to know, eh?)

Only, of course, it wasn't really that. Canada, as a "child of Empire" (yes, that was the actual phrase!), was told it was her duty to go to war for Mother England. It was, in both wars, a battle of imperialisms, not a battle for human rights as the soldiers were led to believe.

Of course, if you said so at the time, you got brutalized in all kinds of ways. During the Great War, pacifists (or suspected "slackers") got the demeaning "gift" of a white feather, often from some anonymous sender, implying cowardice and all kinds of other nasty aspersions on the recipient's manhood. If you weren't hot for war, and ready to jump without even asking how high, you were a nancy-boy. And in World War II, "conscies" (conscientious objectors) were also looked down on as slackers and probable homosexuals, and all sorts of other unmanly things. They were also sent off to labor camps. The fact that Canada, that human-rights beacon (along with its neighbor to the south, and Mother England for that matter) wasn't taking in Jewish refugees (unless they could demonstrate their strategic value, as did the physicists who went to work for the Manhattan Project) was conveniently glossed over. Even today, nobody wants to talk about it much, unless they're Bad Germans--or Bad Canadians--like me.

I bring this history up for a reason. People really badly WANT to think that what happened at the G-20 is some kind of aberration, and that on the whole, Canadian history hasn't been THAT bad. And for them, I guess it hasn't. Were their ancestors among those who got their heads bashed in by Mounties during the general strike in Winnipeg in 1919? Did they, like Tommy Douglas, risk losing a leg for lack of money to pay a surgeon? Were they hired as virtual slave labor by the railroads, like the Chinese, but later made to pay a head tax--no women allowed, lest that Yellow Peril start reproducing here as it did in China? Were they interned during World War II for no good reason at all, like the Japanese-Canadians in Obasan?

I guess not. Unless it touches THEM personally, they just shrug it off. "Security comes first!"

But there's no small amount of self-deception inherent in that position. As Stageleft writes,

They say that, on the whole, we are a more empathetic species than we used to be. That once upon a time we cared about what happened to our immediate families, and then, as we became more urban and technology allowed for better communications we became more caring more about our extended families, and our communities... and then that was extended to people who shared a geographical location like "our country", and ultimately, to those far from us, as we saw (for example) after the tsunami in Indonesia, or the earthquake in Haiti.

Unfortunately that empathy doesn't seem to extend to people who we don't agree with politically, or who experience things that make us uncomfortable.

There are a lot of people who have consciously suspended any empathy towards their fellow citizens because they do not agree with them politically, or because something happened to them that, if acknowledged, means that abuse happened - and this is Canada, a shining example of peace and democracy, possibly the greatest country on earth, and the authorities would never, ever, abuse their authority, because if they did that would mean.......

..... no.... no its better not to think thoughts like that.... if those people hadn't been where they were, even if they had a perfect right to do so, nothing would have happened to them - so whatever befell them is really their fault isn't it?

It's either that. or they're just plain lying.

I've heard it said that a Liberal is a Conservative who just hasn't been mugged yet, if that's the case a "we unconditionally support the authorities Conservative" is a non-authoritarian/anarchist who hasn't yet had their run-in with the police.

-- and as I said, the longer people support what we saw happen in Toronto, the greater the likelihood that it will happen to them as the authorities discover that there are few, if any, consequences for their behaviour.

It's disturbing, isn't it, to think that we have something in common with Nazi Germany, here in Canada, today. But it's true. What happened to the Germans did not come overnight; it didn't swoop down on them all of a sudden. It was a gradual, incremental frog-cooking. What would have been unacceptable if imposed all at once is quite acceptable as long as it only happens to others and not YOU.

Better still if those others are somehow visually identifiable; it makes the shunning, the singling-out, the persecution, so much easier; it also makes it easier to say "won't happen to us". You wore black in Toronto that day? You must be an anarchist, just asking for it. You wore a vinegar-soaked cloth over your face to protect against the gas? That's a bandit disguise! You have an artificial leg? Tough, we're not giving it back. What's the matter with you, can't you hop?

And so on.

The trouble with this "normal" is that it really does get worse. Just ask the Argentines how it went for them when they leaped from the frying pan (the quasi-fascist rule of the inept Isabel Perón) to the fire of the junta:

Of course, the eliminationist rhetoric coming from a lot of conservatives in this country would have us believe that "elimination of all leftist opposition, forever" is a worthy goal. No more of those rock-throwing hooligans in black disrupting our nice complacent corporate-capitalist order, yippee!

Only, of course, there's something a lot worse, something that won't be eliminated when all the so-called hooligans are gone. The real hooligans, the real thugs, are not those seeking to overthrow power, but those looking to seize and maintain it:

...and they will do anything, even stuff a rat up a young woman's vagina in order to kill her and thus maintain their "order". Utter barbarity like this is not beneath them, it is but one of many weapons in their arsenal.

I really do recommend that you watch this movie in its entirety and learn from the Argentine junta. One of the things that should really grab you is the incremental nature of their eliminationist policies. They didn't just make 30,000 victims go poof overnight. They did it little by little. Frog-cooking, as it were. A disappearance here, a random arrest there. Little horrors from time to time would come to light; a refrigerated truck might be found by a roadside, filled with human corpses hanging like sides of beef. Or the infamous green Ford Falcons favored by the Argentine secret police would race through the streets, blaring their sirens; all traffic would hastily move aside to let them by so they could "arrest" another "criminal" or dozen or so. It might seem random, but there was a method to the madness:

"First we kill the subversives; then we kill their collaborators; then...their sympathizers; then those who remain indifferent; and finally, we kill the timid."

--General Ibérico St. Jean, member of the Argentine junta

Gee, what does that remind me of? Oh yeah: this. Only inverted.

But you can see that the order is roughly the same. They don't come for everyone at once. First, they come for the "communists"...

You think this barbarism is just some kind of Argentine thing? Wake up. They got their training in torture partly from the CIA, and partly from old Nazis who emigrated from Germany shortly after the war, when things started to get hot and the big show trials and executions at Nürnberg were starting up. The fact that the US literally helped subsidize this atrocity should stand as proof positive that the so-called "champions of freedom" in this world, whom the right-wing jingoists always hail as heroes, are the worst villains of all.

And yes, it IS fascism when "we" do it. It is no less fascism when "we" do it than when the Nazis terrorized their fellow Germans under Hitler, or the junta its fellow Argentines. I don't care whether your excuse is "order" or "racial purity" or what. IT IS FASCISM NO MATTER WHO DOES IT OR WHY.

Fascism is not an ideology but a methodology. It is the art of frog-cooking. It is a matter of getting the people to accept, by degrees, an ever tighter controlling hand from above.

And that hand is not just the state, but an amalgam of the state and the corporate sector. So all you conservatives and right-wing libertarians can shut the fuck up about the "evils of statism". And fuck you, too, for trying to snatch the banner of freedom from the hands of those who were carrying it back when you were still sitting around with your thumb up your ass, babbling bullshit about "anarchists". If you want to talk intelligently about fascism, you have to accept Giovanni Gentile's definition of the word. Mussolini's speechwriter/ideologue made it abundantly clear that fascism isn't merely the iron heel of the state, and it most certainly isn't socialism, it is corporatism--the running of the state in the same top-down manner as any big business. The state is not the ruler, under corporatism; a dictator, with bundled masses of thugs at his command to enforce "order", is. And corporatism has a lot of self-declared "enemies":

After socialism, Fascism trains its guns on the whole block of democratic ideologies, and rejects both their premises and their practical applications and implements. Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can be the determining factor in human society; it denies the right of numbers to govern by means of periodical consultations; it asserts the irremediable and fertile and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage. Democratic regimes may be described as those under which the people are, from time to time, deluded into the belief that they exercise sovereignty, while all the time real sovereignty resides in and is exercised by other and sometimes irresponsible and secret forces. Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, even if he be a tyrant.

Ah yes. The tyranny of democracy. Why would anyone classify democracy as a tyranny, unless it stood in the way of his own ambitions and held him accountable? People who know how to recognize an autocrat from his earliest baby-steps instinctively reject his rule, voting him out of power or, if he somehow makes it to the parliament, they get their representatives to nullify his influence or otherwise make sure that he goes no further. People who are fully informed would not vote for a dictator, knowing what he holds in store for them. They would, however, be out to overthrow him if he did manage to get the reins in hand. Little wonder Mussolini didn't care for democracy (and neither did his close successor, Hitler, and neither does his more distant one, Harper.) If we accept the Mussolini/Gentile contention that "real sovereignty resides in and is exercised by other and sometimes irresponsible and secret forces", who better to take control than a dictator, commanding the police forces of a nation? That way, the pesky "delusion" of democracy can be abolished once and for all.

Or so the would-be dictators think. The fact that democracy keeps sprouting again from their rubble, like a weed from a salt-strewn roadside, must be terribly galling to them. Why else denounce the democrats as "thugs", even when it's manifestly clear that, as in the case of John Pruyn, there is not the most remote whiff of thuggery about them, and that it's the cops who beat the innocent amputee who are the thugs?

That's another thing about fascism--it has the most marvellous power to reverse things. Black is white, day is night, wrong is right. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. And woe betide you if you don't love Big Brother and hate whomever he (who is not a literal he) wants you to hate. Fascism is not definable for what it is, but rather for what it sets itself against.

And its first casualty, as in war, is still truth. That's why an Angus Reid poll found support for the police thuggery appallingly high among ordinary Canadians (who are by no means fascist, and in fact a solid majority aren't even conservative). That's why Dalton Fucking McGuinty has no problem making political hay off the trauma of the people who had to watch all that, but doesn't oppose police brutality or the G-20 tyranny which occasioned it. The truth is that the G-20, and all other elite undemocratic governing bodies, must go. But that's not getting out there. The going narrative is still "THEY are not like US; THEY are lawless, WE are good".

As long as that narrative pertains, "we" do not see "them" in us. We may be momentarily lulled by that warm feeling, but the water all around us is getting hotter. And that puts all us all in great danger. Nazi Germany and fascist Argentina are not so far away after all.

July 6, 2010

And now, your moment of Zen...

...or your biggest-ever peyote trip, I'm not sure which:

I think he came in his pants a little there at the end. (As for me, I nearly peed mine.)

July 5, 2010

G-20 summit: Human rights catastrophe and legal nightmare

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Well, actually, now that I think of it...

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Yes, sometimes it really IS that obvious.

Good evening! Here's tonight's G-20 roundup, brought to you by nobody but little old anticorporatist me.

First up, let's go to Tabatha Southey at the Globe & Mail, to see what fascism looks like up close and personal:

An officer threatened to arrest me for standing on the street (I was with a journalist and a photographer who lives in the building that we were in front of), but after two days of the G20 in Toronto, I was almost as inured to that threat as I was to the random searches I saw going on, everywhere, blocks away from the designated high-security zone.

Earlier that day, well before the much-publicized destruction on Yonge Street, I'd been threatened with arrest for "obstructing" a search by trying to take a picture (at a respectful distance) of two young men being searched.

An officer there had tried to grab my cellphone. Other officers had crowded around. They boisterously mocked the psychiatric patients coming out of the mental-health hospital behind me.

When I eventually, after a heated exchange, asked the officer for a badge number, he walked toward me repeatedly, sticking his chest out so that, if I didn't step back quickly, I'd be hit. As he did this, he yelled, "You want my badge number? You want my badge number? You want my badge number?"

I was scared. I didn't get the badge number. It's a tiny story beside many much more alarming ones, but these stories have filled this town up.

Yes, indeed it is. And that's why I can only sporadically include them here. Southey's account is pretty emblematic, though, of what the cops were up to: harassment, threats of violence, and other un-officerly conduct. Were this to happen at any time other than a fucking useless G-20 summit, the cop who did it would be suspended with pay, pending an investigation. So far, none is forthcoming. That's just one of many things that are different here.

The question is, why are they different? Well, here's one possible answer: There will be no investigation of this poor police conduct because the police were, in fact, doing their job:

Canadian state history, despite popular perceptions and mythologies, is replete with examples of the police--municipal, provincial and federal--"doing their jobs" in mass arrests, detentions, beatings, even killings of non-elites from various backgrounds (but particularly against indigenous communities and worker's strikes). Only a short sample would include: the Red River Rebellion, the Northwest Rebellion, the Winnipeg General Strike, the On to Ottawa Trek, the FLQ "crisis," the Quebec General Strike, Solidarity BC, Oka, Gustafsen Lake, Ipperwash, the OPSEU strike of 1995, June 15, Sun Peaks, Six Nations. And on and on so it has gone up to the present. Did the police not do their jobs in these cases?

In all of these instances, people were being restored to their station as the ruling classes saw it. Techniques, dress, language, and certainly public relations have changed. But, at root, the job of the police remains. And that is a job that we should be looking to abolish rather than restore.

...and their job was to brutalize and intimidate people into NOT protesting. And into remaining "down"--cowed, heads ducked, willing to take whatever abuse the ruling classes decided to heap on them, as long as there's still food, water, clothing and shelter in it somehow.

But is that legal, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Dr. Dawg has an excellent video up from The Real News, featuring constitutional lawyer Paul Cavalluzzo. He has some additional questions for the man who led the commissions investigating the Walkerton water scandal and the Maher Arar abduction/torture case:

If I live within an arbitrarily designated "public works area", can Blackwater or a mall rent-a-cop or any other appointed "guard" legally enter my home and arrest me for attempting to deny them entry? Will they be armed?

If I don't consent to being ID'd and searched on my way to work, can I legally be prevented from going to work? I cannot prove this, as it is only anecdotal, but during the Vancouver Olympics, a contractor told me he lost an employee due to said employee being denied passage through Vancouver by the police for the duration of the Olympics for having written an anti-Olympics letter to the local paper that was never published.

If any of the protesters/shoppers/citizens arrested and detained in handcuffs for 24 hours and jammed in a 10 by 12 by 20 foot cage along with 40 other men are not formally charged and given their day in court, will there be no other opportunity to challenge these arbitrary Charter-free zones until the next time they are dusted off for a globalization bunfest?

And finally, why is Chief Bill Blair on the hot seat for having been given these extraordinary powers he didn't ask for when it was presumably the PMO that told the Ontario cabinet to ask for them?

All of this points to the strong likelihood that this wasn't bad policing at all; it was police doing what they were told, which was to maintain "order" (read: oppression).

And this truth is so bad for some to take that even the children and spouses of police officers are now angry and disillusioned:

To think I would see the "trampling" of our collective rights and the right to "free speech" being discarded is devastating to me as a once proud Canadian. The actions of police in arresting and charging those who were peacefully exercising their rights is something I would expect to witness anywhere else but Canada.

The words "the true north strong and free" of our national anthem are now a mockery.

My youngest daughter was a victim of this suspension of our rights. She was arrested and charged with unlawful assembly and obstruct police. This young woman headed the largest ever contingent of university students to post-Katrina New Orleans, on a Habitat build, this young woman slept in -30C temps outdoors to highlight the plight of the homeless, this young woman volunteers with a soup kitchen. This young woman is a dedicated pacifist who would not even kill a bug.

And this young woman is the daughter of a policeman who was on G20 duty. The police officer who beat her with his/her baton would not have known that. Not everyone was an "anarchist" and armed. Some like my daughter were just there to suport their causes in a peaceful, lawful manner.

But here's the rub: Those "special powers" granted to the police? Were not.

Hours after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair sat in front of a bank of cameras and microphones last Friday morning, defending the powers the province gave police to search, detain or arrest anyone coming within five metres of the G20 summit's security fence, Toronto police received new information: The regulation specified nothing of the sort.

But police, having papered the area with pamphlets outlining G20-related security rules, felt no need to send out a press release clarifying how the regulation in question worked.

In total, police arrested more than 1,000 people over the course of the G20 summit.

A thousand people arrested, essentially, on no legal grounds. For what reason, other than to intimidate and coerce people into having no dissenting opinions to offer? Yeah, tell me it's not fascism.

And yet, some would still have us blame the "anarchists":

And yet we understand today what the bourgeois left, with its stern and pompous little warnings against what it calls violence, will only understand when future generations look back at them in anger. This is why we do not chide any person who, hounded from pillar to post for the crime of wishing to walk in her neighborhood, smashes the icons of our capitalist basilica, our holy of holies, our glass, our possessions, our things.

Is there anything more smug than bourgeois people offering to be scandalized by broken glass? The slightest disintegration of their spectacle unnerves them. "Violence!" they cry.

By violence, they do not wish to indicate the forty thousand children who die each day from hunger and other capitalist depredations. They do not mean the millions of children forced each day into servitude around the world to keep them in cargo. By violence they mean the destruction of objects.

"I agree with peaceful protesting," they say, like they're offering some special indulgence, "but I think it's terrible when there's violence." Oh, thank-you, Pope of Peoria.

It's pathetic. Perhaps an undercover cop at $80/hour breaks the glass of the American franchises or perhaps it's some kid who has understood justice and decided to act. That's not the important question. The real question is: Why is the franchise there destroying the neighborhood and leaving its backtrail of environmental filth in the first place?

To the tongue cluckers we say: Do you think future generations will be as indulgent with you as you are with yourselves, you pompous whitewashed sepulchers? Stop destroying the world, and we'll worry about some plate glass later.

I have seen my ten-year-old attacked in broad daylight on a peaceful afternoon by your police, I have seen the people falling under the horses, I have seen peaceful people dragged down, beaten, and hauled off to face what you call "justice." Shame on you, giving your little sermons against the iconoclasts.

Our group never broke anything, never offered the least resistance except for shank's mare and a few eggs and the art of the skedaddle. I would have stopped anyone from molesting the shop of some small business person. None of us were interested.

I remain absolutely committed to nonviolence (even this little formula will not, I assure you, stand the test of time) and, for strategic reasons, to not spending a lot of time smashing the machine. But I do not think future generations will be grateful for our nonviolence. Your platitudes about violence are your way of avoiding looking at the real violence your system is causing every day. You know you are doing wrong with your commerce, yet you carry on destroying the world. Stop it. Wake up.

And on that note, I'd like to close with a special fuck-you to Hillary Clinton, who calls the government of Venezuela "intolerant" even when evidence is literally under her nose that she and her so-called "allies" are the real bad guys.

Cry me a river, Pepe Lobo!

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"Te-goosey-goosey-galpa--

Knock 'er down and scalp 'er!

Up hers! H' and your ass!

Nobody will halp 'er!"

--from The Sheep Look Up, by John Brunner. Sung to the tune of "Goosey Goosey Gander".

Well, well, well. What have we here? Democracy NOT "restored" in Honduras after all?

A year after the coup that ousted Manuel Zelaya, the new Honduran president warns some want him to be next.

Porfirio Lobo says he is the target of a new plot by some of the same wealthy businessmen who supported Zelaya's removal.

Himself a wealthy rancher who supported the coup, Lobo surprised his own political party when he denounced the conspiracy, warning: "I know who you all are."

The claim -- made less than a month before Monday's first anniversary of the coup -- laid bare the lingering instability of a desperately poor country where a few prosperous families call the shots.

[...]

The violence -- and Lobo's allegations of a coup conspiracy -- threaten to undermine the message the president has spent months selling to the world: that Honduras is a thriving democracy and should be welcomed back into the Organization of American States, which suspended the Central American country after the June 28, 2009 coup.

Oh, cry me a river, Pepe. You and your Yankee bosses know full well that democracy was not restored when you were "elected". You knew it at the time of your farcical "election". Which you would not have won if REAL democracy had existed in Honduras. Well, you had democracy once, but you eated it. You might have had it, if you'd let Mel Zelaya finish out his mandate and hold the Fourth Ballot, the one that would have convoked a constituent assembly to rewrite the Honduran Constitution--this time on DEMOCRATIC lines. But noooo, you had to have your little banana putsch. You had to have the military bundle Mel onto a plane in the dead of night, in his pajamas. And since you're stuck with the OLD constitution, the one written by the generals during the dictatorial 1980s, you're fucked. Suck it up, cupcake--you're not popular, and you're not even really president.

I wonder if that Facebook troll (undoubtedly from Washington, DC) who lamely tried to tell me What Hondurans Really Want is reading this. If you are, "Liberty Heights", take a good goosey gander at this. There's your "democracy". Go live in it, and may a drug gang or some other assassin give your brainless antidemocratic existence the ending it deserves.

July 4, 2010

South of Teh Stoopid: or, who reviews the reviewers?

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Okay. I have a confession to make: I haven't seen Oliver Stone's latest film yet. Or at least, not the whole thing. I've only seen a few clips, presumably representative of the tone of the whole. What I have seen has me feeling very ambivalent: On the one hand, it's clear that he's one of the few US filmmakers willing to give Latin America a fair shake, and its progressive leaders some positive coverage. Which is good; we need more of that. And he seems genuinely concerned with getting to the truth. Which is also good--we REALLY need that. On the other, his rough-hewn style and his embarrassing inability to pronounce Chávez, even after he's spent so much time among people who can, just grate on my nerves. It's obvious that he's got a learning curve ahead of him there, still. Maybe it's too much to ask for smoothness from a filmmaker whose name is synonymous with sensation (remember JFK? Good movie; factually accurate and highly persuasive, but still...yow.)

But I think we can ask for much higher standards from the would-be critics, no? So, with that in mind, I've got about a dozen Google Alerts sitting untouched in my inbox. I've merely skimmed the contents, but dayum, they sure seem to be overflowing with bile and pus where Ollie Stone is concerned. How shall I handle them?

Shall I wax on about how some smirky, suit-clad amateur at The Examiner has decided, ahead of time, that SotB has "bombed in Venezuela"? It's only just come out, and already it's a flop. Wow, how quick was that? It should be noted that the suited smirker, one James Hirsen, doesn't offer the slightest proof that "Many of the theaters are reportedly empty. During the first twelve days of the movie's release, 'South of the Border' brought in only $18,601 on 20 screens, according to Global Rentrak. That's what Venezuelans refer to as La Bomba." Oh, cute. Next time, at least include a link, loser.

BTW, that meme seems to be a going theme in all the usual right-wing places. Hmmm, I wonder why.

But you know what makes me laugh? Hirsen, obviously a FUX Snoozer wannabe, gets in a swipe at MSNBC in the end. So, what does NBC have to say about SotB? Well, they don't let ideology get in the way of their reporting, I'll give them that. They note that Chavecito is an Ollie fan (only now? I bet he saw JFK long ago!) and that never once did Stone not feel safe in any of the progressive LatAm countries he visited, nor anything less than welcome, even if he IS a gringo who speaks Spanish poorly and says "Shah-VEZZ". This, I'm sure, must really have the "Venezuela is unsafe" crowd in a tizzy.

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly is rather predictably patronizing with this short review, which gives the movie a B+ grade. Guess that deduction was for the "rose-colored agitprop", which I can assure you (having watched more than my share of Venezuelan news programming) is actually truth, not "agitprop". It does make some attempt at fairness, though, in noting that Stone is "onto something larger than the cult of personality." I should say he is--Chavecito's election in '98 paved the way for leftists (and other progressive types) in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Honduras. The Right is on the run. That's not something that mere personality alone can accomplish, as all these leaders have their own individual styles. And if Ollie Stone has caught "a current of history", then he has done his job well.

The "agitprop" meme can also be seen at hyper-capitalistic Forbes, where Tim Ferguson thinks this is all some kind of lefty plot to "humanize" Chavecito. As though the man were somehow a demon. Ferguson, too, waxes patronizing, preferring to look at the movie through his own accustomed distortive lenses. The man is an idiot, but he's no doubt useful to the corporatist bosses. That's why he dutifully describes the 'Cito as "hostile" and "a dictator", while praising the weak left in Chile as "democratic" (because it didn't say boo to the IMF, no doubt) and pooh-poohs the thirteen electoral tests that Chavecito and his supporters in the PSUV and other Venezuelan left parties have successfully stood since 1998. It's not a film review; it's capitalist agitprop. I guess asking a Forbes "journalist" to leave his ideology at the door is like asking a sewage lagoon to stop stinking. You can do so till you're blue in the face, but it just ain't gonna happen.

And speaking of stinking that ain't gonna stop, how about Stephen Whitty of the New Jersey Star-Ledger? I'm sure it hasn't escaped your notice that his surname is just one slip of the keyboard from "Shitty". His entire review, however, requires no slippage. It's all the way into the ol' cesspit, baby.

By now, I bet you're wondering what the Wall Street Urinal--sorry, JOURNAL--has to say. I do too, but judging from the headers on the excerpt, I'd say it's not worth subscribing or paying for. As it stands, you can find this same feces-fingerpainting objet d'art, obligingly copied out for you at no extra charge, by those "media" wannabes who just can't get the fuck out of their goddamn jimmyjams. Somehow, that just seems so appropriate. Turns out that this sucky old would-be Ebert, Ron Radosh, has decided to position himself as a critic of the critics, and he criticizes them all for not being critical enough (of Stone? or Chavecito? take yer pick). Well, doesn't that just make ME feel so...so...so meta?

Meanwhile, there's another shitty little right-wing blog posing as a news site that quotes, of all things, the Socialist International to make its fallacious point that Chavecito is a dictator, and Ollie a useful idiot. This is a laugh, as there IS no Socialist International at the moment to speak of. The Fourth fell apart like rotten Roquefort some time ago, and Chavecito only recently raised the possibility of convening a Fifth. That thing calling itself the SI is, in fact, nothing but a bunch of neoliberal corruptos. (And for those who know Spanish, I highly recommend this video. Alberto Nolia nails their crooked little Adeco nuts to the wall.) How lame--and how funny is it that a right-wing site is using a bunch of capitalists calling themselves the Socialist International...to try to discredit socialism?

Meanwhile, PopMatters.com tries very hard not to whine, and doesn't quite succeed. Care for some cheese with that? Oh wait, you included it, too: "It's surely helpful to see Chávez and his peers outside of their usual derisive media frames. But this is, after all, another frame, another stage, and another show." And this corporate website posing as a blog isn't? Feh.

And speaking of cheese to go with that whine, take your pick as to which is which between the so-called NewsBusters (which busts nothing) and the very ironically named Big Hollywood (which is not big, and is dedicated exclusively to kvetching about the imaginarily liberal Hollywood). Both come off as alternately whiny and cheesy, so there's no doubt something there for every right-wing ideological carper to nurse his antisocial grudges till they're nice and fat. Like, oh, say, Brent Bozell's ass. Or Andrew Breitbart's.

And oh look! Ollie's supposedly "feuding" with "film critic" Larry Rohter. When did Larry Rohter become a film critic? I thought he was one of the Old Grey Whore's two resident LatAm bovine-feces generators (the other one being Simon Romero, whose bons mots on the oeuvre of Ollie Stone I have yet to see.)

And speaking of dreck-writers named Romero, who is this Dennis chap? Sure sounds like a relative of Simon. Smells like it, too.

Well. After all that sulfur, how about a little palate-cleansing sorbet? A former screenwriter for Ollie Stone, who could well be credited with opening the auteur's eyes to the situation in Latin America, has actually provided a reasonably nuanced, unbiased review. And just for good measure, here's another, from someone who actually DOES movie journalism for a living. Hallelujah!

On to the next course. But does anyone really care what Maria Conchita Alonso "thinks"? Last time I saw her, she had a bad facelift (and an ugly boob job), and was trying to revive her career by showing off her denuded nether regions. Clearly none of that worked, so now she's back to spitting venom. Maybe Ollie will take pity on her, and make his next documentary a nature film...on poisonous snakes from Cuba Venezuela. Then Coochita will finally get that elusive starring role she dreams of. Yippee!

WTF is the matter with Alternet? Nik Kozloff is NOT an unbiased reporter either--he strives for "balance" by "balancing" facts with spurious shit that smells suspiciously like hit-piece. I've had my issues with his crap in the past, and I continue to have them--he seems keener on appeasing the powers-that-be than challenging them, and that's NOT balanced.

And finally, I was going to do this stoopid Turan SOB, but you know what? Otto beat me to it. And I'm glad that he has. Read him and laugh. And then, for more laughs, read the good guys at Structurally Maladjusted, too.

And when you're ready to get serious, there's this piece, vital to understanding what all the fake film-crit is really all about.

Economics for Dummies: Crises of Capitalism, made easy

A lecture by British sociologist David Harvey, accompanied by whiteboard cartoons. Suddenly, we can see why the US right-wing have been so busy trying to silence and/or expunge the voices of the left from their universities (hello, David Horowitz, we see what you did there.) We also see why the right has set up its ultra-capitalist, fundie-infused bogus "universities", such as Liberty and Bob Jones, where NO voices from the left enter at all. It's because leftists have ALWAYS known that capitalism never solves its crises, it just shifts them around. And of course, like Otto von Bismarck, Big Capital's fat cats don't want the masses knowing that (or even becoming very educated at all--hence the high rates of illiteracy in the US, and the complete lack of it in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, all of whom have socialist leaders.)

Fortunately, there are ways around everything, and this is one of the ways around that. You'll come out of this with a very clear view of what's wrong with the picture the capitalist media have drawn.

The only question remaining is, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

Music for a Sunday: "Mother, let me fight..."

Rock 'n' roll is supposed to be the music of rebellion--right? Well, here's a great example of that:

Now, not to take anything away from Jerry Doucette, who is one of Canada's greatest and most-covered guitar heroes, but let's just contrast that song with another rebel tune, from another great guitar man--Alí Primera, Venezuela's numero uno folk hero:

Here are the lyrics, in my own translation:

Mother, let me fight

Mother, let me fight

Mother, how I adore you

because I love my people

and you taught me

to fight for them

You taught me
to share my bread
to share my love
to share my dreams

Now I want
to share my arms
that embrace you--
with the same
I want to embrace my people

Mother, let me fight
Mother, let me fight

You taught me
not to kill the butterflies
or cut the roses
that you grew in your garden

I learned little by little
to love the others
For the humble ones
Mother, let me fight
Mother, let me fight
Mother, let me fight

And do you remember, Mother,
how one day, there came a knock at our door--
a boy begging for bread
and you made me give him the old shirt
in which I used to play
and you were a good Christian.
I hope you understand
that the struggle for the people
cannot be won by charity!

Mother, let me fight
Mama, let me fight
You taught me not to kill the butterflies
or cut the roses
that you grew in your garden

I learned little by little
to love the others

For the humble ones,
Mother, let me fight
Mother, let me fight
Mama, let me fight

Quite the contrast, no?

Who is the bigger rebel--the little boy who needs Jerry Doucette to tell his mama to lighten up, or the young man who directly asks his mother for her blessing before going off to the guerrilla struggle for her freedom and for that of his country?

Three days ago, it was Canada Day. Today is the US's independence day. Tomorrow is Venezuela's independence day. And the rebellion is still going on. We all have a much bigger fight ahead of us than just getting Mama to let us play some rock 'n' roll.

Torontonamo Bay: One young man's personal account

Meet Dan Hamilton. He's 18, gay, and a new resident of Toronto. And on his first day in that city, something happened to him:

Dan was corralled and carted off to the Toronto East Detention Centre--or Torontonamo Bay, as it's rapidly becoming known, for its Gitmo-like people-cages and dehumanizing conditions. There he was kenneled in segregation, on account of his being gay (his boyfriend was with him, and a few other gays as well).

What the cops did was the height of absurdity; progressive demonstrators against the G-20 are probably the least homophobic crowd you could hope to fall in with. And indeed, Dan himself has nothing but good to say of them.

I suspect he and his comrades were caged separately not for "their own safety", as the cops lamely suggested, but to impede the solidarity that people forced to survive in concentration-camp conditions rapidly develop. In Torontonamo Bay, prisoners looked out for one another. When the only toilet in the people-cage was a plastic portapotty deliberately stripped of its door (not by previous prisoners, but by the guards), people barricaded the view with their bodies so their comrades could relieve themselves with some modicum of privacy. Little acts of solidarity can make a big difference to prisoner morale--and, conversely, strike a blow to that of their captors. So anything which disrupts that solidarity--such as the homophobic singling-out of gays, lesbians and other queerfolk--should be read as a deliberate swipe at the mental well-being of the prisoners.

And of course, the "don't make me abuse you" type of remarks from the riot cops as they were rounding people up are interesting, too. Don't wife-beaters and rapists say those sorts of things all the time? Like it's the victim's fault? Like she has the power to make it stop (which of course she doesn't)? That's also psychological abuse and torture--the threat of physical violence is often more traumatizing than the actual thing. Women in the human kennel at Eastern Avenue were so shaken by the threat of rape that being strip-searched soon after was a nightmare for them.

All of this was done very deliberately to send the message: Don't protest. Don't dissent. Terrible things will be done to you if you disobey us. You, the victim, will be blamed, because you "provoked" this.

Unfortunately for the cops, they still haven't figured out how the Internets work, or the fact that this dissent was all tweeted, live-blogged, and YouTubed while they were still smirking and sniggering over the way they'd temporarily reduced human beings to the level of caged dogs. Meaning, the Shock Doctrine may have finally met its match. People are coming together again, in solidarity, to protest what was done to the protesters. And that is a sign that all efforts at repressing dissent...are a billion-dollar EPIC FAIL.

July 3, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Crappy Canada Day!

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Yup, that's our fair flag, hanging upside down among the nations. A fitting close to the Canada Day Weekend festivities, no? There was certainly enough reason up here for us to fly it in the "in distress" position--our democracy is officially in a shambles. But maybe in a topsy-turvy world, that flag is really flying right-side-up. Certainly it is if you look at it through the eyes of the following backwardniks:

1. Ratzi the Fucking Nazi. It's time somebody said it, isn't it? This time, His UnHoliness earned his title by bitching about cops gathering evidence against the church in Belgium. Seems it's embroiled in a little child-sex ring there. Oh sweet Jesus, where is it NOT? Just more proof that the church can't and won't police itself, and it's pissy when outside authorities--LEGAL authorities--try to do their job. They're all going straight to hell for that.

2. Bill O'Fucking Reilly. Watch out, New Orleans strippers...Big-Hearted Billo is coming, in person, to stuff falafel in your garters!

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3. Kory Fucking Teneycke, again. All-news TV is "flat"? (Like your world, Kory?) Oh, that must be why those who watch it can't unglue their eyes from it. I would like to take the time to remind my readers, in case you've forgotten, that the same argument was advanced by Conrad Black against Canada's other two national newspapers (and yes, the Toronto Star is national--it out-circulates the Globe and Mail and National Pest combined) when he launched the National Post. Which has been hemorrhaging money and readership steadily since then. Probably because, rather than being flat, it comes off fluffy--as well as fucked in the head. Just like its intended readership--the brain-dead right-wing sheeple who prize sensationalism over factuality. Sheeple, in other words, just like Kory the SupposiTory.

4. Lara Fucking Logan. Used to be she did decent, critical reporting on the War on Terra. Now she's suddenly an apologist for a big-britches general who was rightly dismissed? Lara, please remember who it was that seized on Pat Tillman's erroneous killing to create crapaganda and got away with it. And don't do anything like that yourself. Y'hear?

5. Joel Fucking Stein. Oh, won't someone please save the town of Edison, New Jersey, from all these brown-skinned, Hindi-speaking curry-eaters? Won't someone please think of all the delicate sensibilities being offended by the presence of these non-white immigrants and their Bollywood movies??? PS: Oh, typical. So it was all a big joke? Funny how India isn't laughing. But the wanker is whining about THAT, too. Which just makes him a BIGGER wanker.

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Yes, this was the actual illustration that went with the lame, whiny-ass, racist story. TIME magazine's editors are also wankers...for running them both.

6. Dan Fucking Gainor. Poor conservatives, the media just isn't enough on side with them. I mean, what good is it if it doesn't just kiss their asses, but slip it the tongue, too?

7. Sharron Fucking Angle. By now, we know what kind of Angle she is...incredibly fucking obtuse. How else to explain that she thinks rape and incest are somehow part of "God's plan", and that victims just need to "have a little faith"? If that were the case, why be in favor of birth control...isn't that going against God's Plan? (Consistency, like sharpness, isn't part of her divine "plan", as you can see.)

8. Andrew Fucking Breitbart. His crappy little website is offering a $100,000 "reward" to anyone willing to sell out and invade Dave Weigel's privacy. Aside from the obvious illegality (and piss-poor journalistic ethics!) of that, where did this snivelly little shit get that kind of money? And what makes him think a cheap stunt like this is going to "save the country"? And from what? Everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together knows raging conservatives are the worst friggin' enemies the US could possibly have. Every scheme they've ever come up with for "saving" the country, ended up wrecking it when implemented.

9. Bill Fucking Blair. Is there anything about Toronto's chief of police that didn't shout WANKER! this entire fucking week? Arrogant, homophobic, autocratic...and totally insensitive to the suffering of the innocent people his thugs roughed up. He has got to resign. Or be impeached. At this point, I don't care which, as long as he fucking GOES.

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Photoshop courtesy Fillibluster.

10. Marc Fucking Ouellet. What to do with a rabid old anti-choicer who sweeps child sex abuse scandals under the rug and denies victims an apology? Well, if you are well connected at the Vatican, you promote the fucker. Next up for this epic failure of humanity: the papacy, no doubt.

11. Don Fucking Feder. Chicken Little claims the Western sky is falling because not enough white people are reproducing. Yet, strangely, we palefaces still manage to fuck up the environment, and other countries, just fine, even with so few baybeez. That's efficiency, Don!

12. Steve Fucking Blow. Yo, asshole, there's nothing "refreshing" about sexual abuse, be it hetero or homo. Ask victims how they feel--they feel DIRTY. Letting priests get married is not the real solution to the problem; the solution is to kill the notion of men being entitled to whatever they want, whenever they want it, regardless of whom it hurts. Rape is NOT about sex, it's about POWER--just ask any survivor, who I'm sure finds being powerless incredibly sexy (ha).

13. The Fucking Texas Republican Party. They want to outlaw WHAT? I do hope they realize that everything they're trying to make illegal is actually an escape valve from the pressure cooker of right-wing politics and religion. Grand Old Implosion in 5...4...3...2...

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14. Eyal Fucking Nahum. Where the hell does one find the energy to groom four thousand underage girls online for sex? I guess it helps if you're a geek, and work with computers for a living. It also helps to be in the Israeli army, the sweetest smelling military in the world. (*cheapcolognecoughcoughwheeze*)

15. Christie Fucking Blatchford. That Bill Fucking Blair lies is a given. That Christie Fucking Blatchford aids and abets him in it is also a given. That both are major, MAJOR wankers...well, fill in the blank, kiddies.

16. Mel Fucking Gibson. That he's an anti-semite is known. But that he's also a racist? Er, color me SO not surprised. At this point, the only thing about him that surprises ME is that he's still running around loose, and not being ushered into a nice rubber room by some big guys in white coats.

17. Jim Fucking Hoft. Hey Jimbo, here's what a real flip-off looks like, courtesy of Our Man in Black:

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And rest assured, just for calling yourself a "pundit", you deserve it--dumbass.

18. Dalton Fucking McGuinty. I'm sorry, the Premier of Ontario doesn't want a what? Oh right. That accountability stuff doesn't apply to anyone in office. I seem to recall that some of us voted for him because he wasn't Mike Fucking Harris. Bad mistake! He went from promising to fix what Mikey broke--to duplicating all of Mikey's greatest shits. I'm beginning to see where that "power corrupts" adage was coming from.

19. Michael Fucking Steele. Ever wonder why I call him an Uncle Tom? Read Harriet Beecher Stowe sometime. This one is still bowing and scraping to Ol' Massa Bush, while laying all his crimes on Barack Obama. Who started the war in Afghanistan, again? It's been going on WAY longer than World War II by now. You KNOW someone is a wanker when even an old dyed-in-the-wool wank like The Bloody Kristol isn't defending him anymore.

20. John Fucking Eldredge. Behold:

""Capes and swords, camouflage, bandannas and six shooters-these are the uniforms of boyhood. Little boys yearn to know that they are powerful, they are dangerous, they are something to be reckoned with. How many parents have tried to prevent little Timmy from playing with guns? Give it up. If you do not supply a boy with weapons, he will make them from whatever materials are at hand. My boys chew their graham crackers into the shape of handguns at the breakfast table."" --John Eldredge, from Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." --St. Paul, First Epistle to the Corinthians, verse 33 (King James edition)

"Stop giving your kids graham crackers for breakfast, and for God's sake, stop fucking glorifying warfare. You're warping their underdeveloped minds, you goddamned dumbass." --me

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21. Bill Fucking Gladstone. Jesus Christ, what a fucking hasbaratnik putz. You'd think the entire G-20 protest was nothing but Black Block, and the marches were the next fucking Kristallnacht. Bill, why don't you put blame where it really belongs--ON THE FUCKING COPS??? (PS: Those ugly digs at QuAIA and us Germans? Not kosher either, you schmuck.)

22. Ryan Fucking Doyle. I don't get Montreal radio stations on my dial (Southern Ontario is out of range), but my soul-sister CK does. Clicky da linky to see her tear a few strips off one wannabe Limbaugh of the North.

23. Bill Fucking Keller. When is torture NOT torture? When it's an "enhanced interrogation technique". And the rightards accuse us lefties of PC word policing? Sheesh. I guess it's okay when they do it (and the Old Grey Whore aids and comforts them with an obliging crapaganda foray.)

24. Sarah Fucking Palin. Whatever the hell she said this week, it was a lie, a cowflop, a wank. See how easy that is?

25. The Fucking IDF. Yes, kiddies, the Israeli army lies. Not just occasionally--CONSTANTLY. You probably knew that already, but just in case you didn't, well...now you do. Just like the stormtroopers at the G-20, they need any excuse or pretext they can get to crack dissenting heads.

israeli-owwie.jpg

And finally, to Stephen Fucking Harper. Thanks a lot, shit-ass, for fucking our democracy. I guess now we know what you meant by being unable to recognize Canada when you got through with it. Or was it your overlords in Washington? Whatever, motherfucker--I recognized you the moment I heard how many Harrisite Parasites you had on your team of "advisors". I wish you a speedy impeachment and a painful political death, preferably involving a huge sex scandal.

Good night, and get fucked!

July 2, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: A little late, but...

...better now than never.

I thought I'd mention that Evo is once again Doctor Evo:

evo-mortarboard.jpg

I've lost count of how many times this makes. I'm sure he has, too.

Cops Behaving Badly: The "Miami Model" at work

No, the Miami Model is not a tall, shapely, ex-Latin American beauty queen. This is the Miami Model, in two minutes or less:

Yeah hi, it's me, banging on about the so-called Black Bloc again. These guys have so much in common with the riot cops, don't they? Both groups are violent, destructive, and hellbent on throwing society into chaos and rendering it unrecognizable. They even seem to dress alike--all in black, sturdy footwear, faces obscured one way or another. One might almost say they were one and the same.

Actually, there are some differences. Anarchists didn't do this--the cops did. Funnily, though, there were some convenient ruffians in the paddywagon to make sure a peaceful demonstrator named Lacy was properly terrorized:

At that point at least two officers yanked me up, including a thug, who may have been a plain-clothes officer, and was a black male wearing a black T-shirt with curvy print on it, about 6'3, perhaps 250 lbs. Photos of this man show a muscular, powerful frame. For the sake of this write-up, I will call this person "Thug A." I later learned that this thug or one of the other thugs may have been named Officer Antonie. Several other thugs, who may have been plain-clothes police, were present. One of them was a tall black man wearing plaid shorts and a white T-shirt, who also may have been a plain-clothes officer. For the sake of this write-up, I will call this person "Thug B."

Please note that none of my attackers ever identified himself as a police officer. They were wearing plain clothes and were driving an unmarked vehicle that looked like a standard soccer-mom minivan. I have no qualms calling my attackers thugs. They never gave me any indication that they were anything but thugs.

I was yanked in an aggressive fashion toward a blue unmarked van. The door was open and the middle seat of the van was folded down. Thug B climbed into the back of the vehicle just before I was flung toward the open door. As I was tossed toward the open door of the vehicle, my right knee hit something which I believe was the edge of the van (the metal lip of the door step). I was pulled into the vehicle, with Thug A roughly pulling my legs into the vehicle.

As I was pulled into the van, another thug, who may have been a plain-clothes officer, was sitting in the driver's seat of the van. For the sake of this write-up, I will call the person sitting in the driver's seat "Thug C." While I was being pulled into the vehicle, Thug C reached back with his right hand and took hold of my neck. Thug C was white with brown hair and a beard and was wearing a black T-shirt and black baseball cap.

As the van began moving and the door to the van closed, the two thugs in the back seat pulled me around so that I was laying face up with my head almost in between the passenger and driver seat. As they were doing so, Thug A was punching me in the stomach, just hard enough to shock someone who is delicate but not hard enough to harm me. As they punched me and turned me over, they said statements such as "stop struggling," and "stop punching." (Again, my hands were cuffed.) I immediately realized that they may be making such completely erroneous statements because we were being recorded, and I loudly stated "I'm not struggling. I am not resisting arrest."

Thug A sat on top of me over my pelvic area. My handcuffs were digging into my wrists. My only goal was to live through the experience without losing my humanity, my spirit, or my presence of mind, to find out where I was being taken, and to find out as much as I could about these thugs, whether they were officers or some sort of private contractors, i.e. paramilitary groups.

Thug B then squeezed my throat with his right hand, digging his thumb deeply into my carotid artery area, on the right side of my throat. He held this for perhaps ten seconds, as Thug A stepped on me, re-adjusting himself overtop of me. I almost passed out at that point as the carotid artery is the chief artery that supplies blood to the brain. At some point during or before this strangulation, I wet myself. Urine seeped into and through my clothing. Darkness almost overtook me, but I held on and I did not lose consciousness.

During this whole time the thugs were calling me names such as: "cunt," "bitch," "whore," and "street trash." A constant barrage of their statements were phrases such as "Look at this street whore." In addition, Thug A was making statements such as, "So you think you can smash up Toronto? Think again, you dirty bitch."

When I did not lose consciousness from choking, Thug B punched the right side of my head with his left fist. This was done at least once, and may have been repeated. I did not lose consciousness, but I began telling them, "I am a good person. I don't know why you are doing this to me. I did not harm anything or anyone."

As I was saying this, Thug A, who had been sitting on top of me, began patting around my skirt. "Why is she wet?" he yelled. Thug B replied that I had "pissed" on myself. Thug A then expressed disgust and began calling me horrible names, and deriding me for "pissing on him." He stopped sitting on my pelvic area and moved further down my legs.

During a large part of this assault, Thug C was reaching back from the driver's seat and pulling my hair very hard, harder than it has ever been pulled. A man in a turquoise-colored shirt was sitting in the passenger seat of the van. For the sake of this write-up, I will call this person "Thug D."

[...]

They roughly turned me over face down. We were quite obviously taking the short ride around the block to the entrance to the jail cell. At some point before we reached the building, the thugs stopped the car in an area that appeared to be a parking lot. Both thugs in the back seat got out. I tried to turn my head to the right to see what Thug A was doing, but Thug A took his fist and brandished it about an inch from my face, saying, "If you move, this goes into your nose." I kept my face down toward the gray van carpet.

Thug A got back into the vehicle, but Thugs B and D must have left. Thug B was still driving. I remained where I was and asked where they were taking me. Thug A said, "We haven't driven very far. Where do you think, you dumb bitch?" Thug A continued verbally insulting me as the van pulled into the PCC.

As I the doors opened to the vehicle, many other uniformed officers were visible in the giant prisoner intake room. I began loudly orating that I had just been assaulted. The uniformed officer who had initially grabbed me, whose face was with mine on all the front pages of the Toronto Star on Monday, June 28, came and sat in the front seat. He asked Thug A who the arresting officers were, asking "me and you?" I gave them a moment to agree on who the arresting officers were, and demanded to know their names and badge numbers. Thug A said, "My badge number will be on the paperwork." I demanded perhaps five more times of both of them, but neither one would tell me.

There were several senior-looking uniformed police officers standing nearby, and I proceeded to orate about how these officers had assaulted me, and that there were some bad, bad police officers working in this department, and that this officer here was one of them. Thug A only complained to the officers that I had "pissed" on him. He asked whether I had "any diseases that he had to worry about." Regardless of the arrogant tone of his question, I thought it was a fair question, and I answered him that I didn't have any diseases I was aware of. I asked him whether he had children, and whether he would like it if they were mistreated for simply taking a photo at a demonstration. I told him that he was a very bad person, and repeated that I am a good person, I've done nothing wrong, and I have harmed nothing and nobody.

What's the difference between a plainclothes officer, a "Black Bloc anarchist" (note quotes; there are, in fact, REAL anarchists who look and act nothing like this bunch), and a plain old thug? Apparently, not a helluva lot.

If you ask the old question, Cui bono? and they all answer to the same effect, you can safely assume they're on the same side.

I also come to grips with the fact that the black-clad mob [protestors] in Toronto has left a lot of people not only in the general public but in the wider nonviolent social/global justice movements in Canada feeling disgusted, demoralized and dispirited. Just the result you want if your goal is to marginalize and stifle dissent. I would suggest that what the 'blocistes' accomplished was what many feminists have termed 'silencing'. While the more numerous non-violent voices were indeed heard on the streets and at Queen's Park (25 000 in the main march!), they weren't 'heard' in the more meaningful, mass sense as loudly as the same reels of destruction overplayed in the media, and the same accounts of destruction and violence witnessed to on the ground by journalists, activists and citizens. The blocistes, in other words, are the most effective tool on the ground for silencing the valid concerns of the broad social movements questioning neoliberalism, corporations, imperialism and war - because like a ball dropped in a glass of water, they take the discursive space away from the broader movements, inviting and indeed compelling the public (through the media, of course) to only focus on the violence of smashing, burning, destroying, throwing, hitting... which are all pointless, repulsive, destructive, and frightening.

Bingo. That's the whole idea, isn't it? To scare people the hell away from even thinking of demonstrating against something they know to be repugnant, repulsive and utterly evil?

Only, of course, it's backfiring. People turned out in force to demonstrate against the arrests and detentions of innocent demonstrators like Lacy. They are bent on showing themselves to be unintimidated by the crude tactics of the Miami Model. They also seem to be overwhelmingly distancing themselves from the Black Bloc. Many are doing so not only out of disgust at the futility of window-smashing, spray-painting and car-trashing, but also out of a suspicion--probably well founded--that every anarchist group resorting to Black Bloc tactics has been infiltrated by police provocateurs.

Even some anarchists themselves are distancing themselves from the rock-throwing vandals. Once more, I refer you to what I blogged in 2007, after three fake anarchists were unmasked as cops in Montebello, Québec. Anarchists--REAL ones--and unionists banded together against the phonies. THAT's what I call solidarity!

Alas, solidarity seems to have taken a real beating lately, along with all the innocent activists. It seems strange to note this, but seven years ago, I was in a peace demo here in my very sleepy, very stodgy, very conservative Southern Ontario town, and not only did the cops NOT beat us up, they gave us an escort, using their cruisers to keep the road clear of traffic so we could march without having to cram ourselves onto a narrow sidewalk!

Ah, the Good Old Days, when the cops were still Good Guys. Now, we can't tell the cops from the robbers, literally, unless we're willing to parse the finer details of their appearance, as well as asking that Latin Question. Something that some of us are apparently unwilling to do...to our detriment, I sadly fear. Give the cops too much benefit of the doubt, and you end up kissing goodbye to your civil rights, one after another, in short succession. Sometimes, as in Montebello, you have to jump to an un-PC conclusion based on "insufficient" evidence, and point out the naked emperor in your midst, or risk losing your own credibility. (That last is being steadily undermined by the major media already--also in cahoots with the cops.)

And on a final note, I offer you a tiny bit of surrealism. An anti-BB site using their name. There appears to be a corporation behind this recent addition to the Internets. Just one more of those wacky little things that make you go hmmm...