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September 30, 2010

Wow. Was today exciting or what?

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Even in a gasmask, yowza.

Holy fucking moly. Just when I thought nothing was going on in the world, a fascist coup decided to go down (and fuck up) in Ecuador. The federal police took the president prisoner in the military hospital where he'd recently had knee surgery, and tear-gassed rioting ensued. So far, the Red Cross reports two dead (both police) and 88 injured. (Sadly, we can expect these tolls to rise.)

President Correa finally made it out of the hospital, with the help of a hefty contingent of loyal soldiers and citizens who fought it out barrel-to-barrel with the police in an intense firefight; he was spirited out from an underground parking garage in a grey truck. His rescuers pulled him out in a wheelchair with a gasmask on his face to protect him against the tear gas which the cops were shooting with no regard for the other patients at the hospital (including at least 20 newborn babies, so's you know. Yeah, those fascists value human life so much!)

I ended up spending the night hunched over a hot (and often balky) tweeter, RTing and translating headlines from Spanish to English. And biting my nails for President Correa, and vowing to kill anyone who harmed one hair on that fine head of his. And cursing the crappy reporting from all the Anglo sources, including the usual shitty suspects (Chicken Noodle Network; the fucking Torygraph, with its creative use of quotation marks) and the otherwise excellent (Al-Jazeera, HOW COULD YOU?) They all wrongly reported that Correa had cut police salaries; in fact, he has doubled them. And there is ample evidence that the CIA was behind this one, too...where is it ever not?

Anyhow, other than my own frenetic tweetlings, there was Otto, keeping score here, here, here and here. He was awesome in his own right, and I was thankful he was still tweeting when my birdie temporarily lost its cheep.

And how about those UNASUR leaders? In spite of tremendous political differences, they were unanimous in condemning the coup. They are meeting in Buenos Aires as I write this. Chavecito was first and loudest in condemning the coup; Fidel predicted it would fall apart quickly, and it did. Evo even suggested, in a ballsy move, that they all fly to Quito to make clear to the police that Correa was to be freed at once, no fucking around. (Just when I thought I couldn't possibly love those guys any more than I already did. That'll teach me.)

Needless to say, tomorrow's FLFB entry is all sewn up, and I won't be left scrounging for material as I'd feared I might. If anything, I'll have a surplus. Can you guess what I'll be blogging, kiddies? (Hint: Diabetics, please have your insulin syringes handy. You're gonna need 'em.)

September 29, 2010

Time to blow this boat out of the water

Aw, poor James O'Keefe. Apparently he's so desperate to get laid, he has to resort to cheap stunts now...

Recently, I was the target of a failed punk. James O'Keefe, the so-called "pimp" in the ACORN expose videos, was participating in a detailed plan to "faux" seduce me on his boat. For months, I had been working on a documentary about the young conservative movement. James had called me about concerns he had regarding an upcoming shoot. He asked me to meet him to talk about the shoot. I agreed to fly to Maryland and then drive to his "office" for a face-to-face conversation with him.

When I showed up, there was no office, as promised. Instead, he wanted to get me on a boat, which we later learned, was staged as a "pleasure palace." One of his colleagues, Izzy Santa, who was in Maryland that day, told me about the plan and stopped the punk before it happened.

Izzy told me he had "strawberries and champagne" waiting for me on the boat, and that he planned to "hit on me" the entire time. She said it would all be captured on hidden cameras that had been set up on the boat and in the back yard. She said the sole purpose of the "punk" was to embarrass me, and to make CNN look bad.

And in the end, what it did was make HIM look bad. Check out his props list:

1. condom jar

2. dildos

3. Music

a. Alicia keys

b. 80s romance songs, things that are typically James

c. avoid Marvin Gaye as too cliche

4. lube

5. ceiling mirror

6. posters and paintings of naked women

7. playboys and pornographic magazines

8. candles

9. Viagra and stamina pills

10. fuzzy handcuffs

11. blindfold

WTF are "80s romance songs, things that are typically James"? I want to know, so I can avoid those (and any guy who tries to play them for me with obvious ulterior motives).

And about the only un-icky thing on the list seems to be the candles. But even those can get icky in the hands of a right-wing slimeball famous for playing the pimp, no? I mean, who knows what he planned to use them for besides illumination...

Okay. Whenever you're done scrubbing that awful imagery from your mind's eye, read on.

This is, as Media Matters informs us, someone that both the WaHoPo's ombud and the NY Whore Times wanted to see taken more seriously, as "balance" to the "liberal media" viewpoint.

Um, what?

Why does honest reporting, which CNN's Abbie Boudreau was trying to do before this asinine "punking", have to be "balanced" with lies and bullshit and cheap, ugly sleazeball stunts? If reality apparently has a "liberal bias", that's just too fucking bad. When did it become the major media's job to blow sugar up Wingnuttia's ass, instead of simply reporting the news?

Actually, liberals and leftists are biased only in favor of reality, and as the fakery-driven world of O'Keefe & Co. demonstrates, the right is certainly not. But when it gets so bad that even über-rightardly bullshit-monger Brent Bozell calls you out, you know it's gone through the Looking Glass.

There can be no illusion of "balance" here, and maybe that's just as well; it's good to finally get out into the open just what the right-wing media are about. They are not about "balancing" an excessively liberal media viewpoint, because that has never existed. They're about crafting a false utopian narrative and selling it ad nauseam; something poised between the gilded age of 1850s robber-baron capitalism and a future straight out of The Handmaid's Tale, dressed up in a Father Knows Best sweater-vest, with a hefty dollop of Ayn Rand caveman clubtocracy thrown in for good mismeasure. Something we're supposed to be fooled into aspiring to. Something to seduce and beguile us with its glitz and glamour.

Only, of course, it doesn't work out that way.

The reality is a creepy little shit-weasel, squatting on a boat (whose?), surrounded by his sleazy props, dreaming of putting the moves (learned, no doubt, from the ultra-sleazy pickup-artist "movement") to the bewildered reporter. Whom he fancies to be a "bubbleheaded bleach blonde", in the words of Don Henley.

But the self-admitted bottle blonde isn't that dumb; she picks up on the fact that his "assistant" is upset about the transparent date rape scenario (complete with handcuffs and drugs) that's being planned. And gets her to tell what's really going on. And then THAT becomes the story, which for obvious reasons will get left out of the larger documentary that Abbie Boudreau was preparing on the young conservative movement.

Actually, this shouldn't be left out; it should, in fact, BE the story. There are plenty of young conservative "citizen journalists" who've built their hot-shot reputations entirely on lies, sleaze and "gotcha" tactics of the lowest order (Lila Rose, anyone?) The conservative media noise machine, young and not-so, is all about this sort of thing. The glittering "utopian" vision they offer is out of reach and far removed from reality. It would never float; like O'Keefe's boat, it would never get away from the dock. They know it. So to bolster their lagging credibility, they resort to smearing the mainstream media, which is far from liberal, as their enemy.

And, stupidly, the mainstream media falls right into the trap of Taking Them Seriously, and rushes to give them all kinds of airtime and space they don't really deserve. Which is a great way to undermine their own credibility, and thus do the right-wing noise machine's job for it. Who can take the mainstream media seriously when they uncritically fold under the withering scorn from a bunch of astroturfers and blowhards? Where is the media's collective spine?

Abbie Boudreau isn't the only one who got "punked" by the young conservative movement. Everyone in the media who gives them credence is being played for a sucker. Surely I can't be the only person who wants to see the media expose these people, all of them, for the fraudsters they are. Instead of an "objective" report on what the "movement" only purports to be about, how about a real investigative hard-hitter that shreds their press releases and makes clear what a swindle they've perpetrated all over the globe? The global financial meltdown, among other things, is directly attributable to right-wing media pumping and shilling, as well as mainstream "reporting" that lacks critical discernment. If we don't want to see it get worse, it's time to bring back good old investigative reporting--and turn it on the liars with a vengeance.

It's time to torpedo the entire phony love boat, where crapitalism seduces media and media falls for it every time, right the hell out of the water. Otherwise, we are the ones who will end up being sunk.

PS: The fun has just begun. If you're on the tweeter, follow Don Juan O'Keefe!

PPS: And on a more serious note, The Root delves into how a black man would never get away with a "stunt" like this one.

PPPS, Thursday the 30th, ca. 10:30 am: Eric Boehlert at Media Matters echoes my sentiments (expressed above) with uncanny exactness. Meanwhile, at AlterNet, Julie Millican points out that the right-wing noise machine has a long-standing problem with women, while the Brad Blog takes on O'Keefe's by-now arm-long rap sheet.

Quotable: Kate Harding on rape culture

" 'Cause the thing is, you and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I'd-hit-that and you just can't reason with them and you can't live with 'em can't shoot 'em and she's obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can't stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can't play by the rules they don't belong here and if they can't take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they're only good for fucking and cleaning and they're not fit to be leaders and they're too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they'd just stop overreacting and telling themselves they're victims they'd realize they actually have... all the power in this society and white men aren't even allowed to do anything anymore and and and...

"I get that you don't really mean that shit. I get that you're just talking out your ass.

"But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women--to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn't know which one he was.

"And that guy? Thought you were on his side."

--Kate Harding

September 28, 2010

Short 'n' Stubby: Why Ms. Manx likes gun control

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Ms. Manx is a fan of gun control. And why not? You'd be surprised how many armed and stoopid people have it in for pretty calico kitties with stumpy tails. Or kitties of any color and kind, come to that. The world is full of nuts, and today, another one went on a rootin', tootin', shootin' rampage--once again, in Texas, at a university already infamous for that sort of thing. (Someone on the tweeter gave the sage advice that nutty shooters should cut out the middlemen and just turn the gun on themselves right away. Ms. Manx, after she had picked her giggling self up off the floor, heartily concurred and pressed ReTweet.)

But you wanna know what really made the kitty laugh? This. The same university where the shooting happened, by coincidence, is due to host a certain cross-dressing gun nutter tonight. Think he'll show? If he's at all smart, The Divine Ms. M hopes he'll slink away with his tail between his legs, and NOT reschedule. (But then again, remember the NRA and its ludicrous response to Columbine? That's why we call 'em gun NUTS, people. If they were sane, they'd know better than to tout guns as a one-size-fits-all solution to their guncrime problem.)

Oh, and Ms. Manx would also like to give a hearty thumbs-up to this letter writer. She's only sorry she wasn't born a polydactyl; then she'd have thumbs, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, to do it with. So she's just gonna hoist both front paws in a thumbs-up movement, and hope you understand the gesture.

UPDATE: John "Mary Rosh" Lott's planned speech did go ahead, but not on campus. What a fucking douche!

September 27, 2010

WTF is (still) wrong with Chile?

Your humble scribe is down right now with yet another of her myriad gut bugs, but know what makes her feel even more sick? Try something like this:

Yup, you saw what you think you saw--a bunch of cowpokes roping a teenage girl and dragging her to the ground.

According to BoingBoing, the girl was protesting against cruelty to animals. They linked this story in El Mercurio:

A woman who protested against the ill-treatment of animals in the ring at the National Stadium was roped last weekend by riders participating in a rodeo, and dragged out of the ring.

The pictures were taken by Paulina Alarcón, a member of the audience at the rodeo, which took place on September 19. They were broadcast today by Chilevisión.

The incident took place after a group of people interrupted the activity. They came down from the stands and entered the ring.

The 16-year-old, named Constanza, told the TV station that the experience was one of the most traumatic of her life, since she was "brutally attacked" due to a peaceful protest.

"I was really shaken up, my whole back hurt, because they hit me with leather whips. My feet hurt, I have a sprain, and the arm they roped was badly swollen," she said.

Alfonso Rivas, director of the entity organizing the event, the Chilean Rodeo Federation, expressed regret, but at the same time justified the actions of the cowboys.

"There was some reason for the reaction. It's lamentable, on both sides," said the director.

The Rodeo Federation has begun an investigation into the incident.

Translation mine.

It's worth noting that this nasty incident went down at the National Stadium in Santiago--the same infamous site where thousands of Chileans were held prisoner and tortured by Pinochet's putschists, and hundreds of them executed. Many of the victims were peaceful protesters against fascism--and cruelty in general.

Nice to see that the place hasn't really changed all that much since then, eh?

September 26, 2010

Wankers of the Week, Supplemental Edition: This is what impotence looks like

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Need a laugh at a bitter widdle troll's expense? Clicky the linky:

This is what I get from guys who never get any.

That IP is 74.55.11.66. Dallas, TX, ISP is ThePlanet.com. Notified of abuse, of course. And IP banned in the meantime.

You sure have a purty mouth, Dickless in Dallas. Kiss your mother with that?

Music for a Sunday: One for all the guerrillas, past and present

This patriotic hymn was first associated with Fidel and Che's victory in Cuba, but it's since become incredibly popular with freedom-fighters all over Latin America. And no wonder. It's a stirring one, isn't it?

Guerrillas have been in the news a lot this week--from the much-trumpeted death of the FARC's "Mono Jojoy" in Colombia, to the impending victory of Lula's comrade, the kick-ass Dilma Rousseff, who's about to become president of Brazil.

This song also figured on a recent campaign-trail edition of La Hojilla, as Venezuelans go to the polls today to keep the escuálidos from advancing. So I thought this would be only fitting to play for you today.

Guerrillero, guerrillero, adelante...

September 25, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Equinoxious edition

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Well. How'd everyone like the Equinox? Now the days will be short and the nights will be long up here in the Northern Hemisphere, while all you lucky ducks in the south will be celebrating spring. But whatever time of year it is wherever, these people will be wankers regardless:

1. Whoever the fuck left a homophobic death threat on the big, friendly gay blog of Joe. My. God. Intriguingly, the IP of the commenter appears to point to the office of Saxby Fucking Chambliss (R-Scuzzbucket). After a day's busy back-and-forthing, it was confirmed. Now all that remains is to identify the perp. Ain't the Internets a bitch, sometimes?

2. Anthony Fucking Scaramucci. Wall Street feels "like a piñata"? What a shame, I was hoping it would feel more like a soccer ball full of shit with all the shit kicked out of it. Or better still, Adolf Hitler in the last minute before he committed suicide. Or Benito Mussolini right before the partisans got him. Because, you know, real fascism is CORPORATISM, and Wall St. liked Adolf Hitler just fine, back in the day. And why not--he kept those pesky Marxist trade unionists under control, eh?

3. Jerome Fucking Corsi. Oh joy, I was wondering when this swift-boating liar would raise his crackbrained head again. This time, it's the ultimate birther conspiracy theory he's touting. And then there's that "renounce Lucifer" thing. When will Mr. Corsi renounce wife-beating? That's what I want to know.

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Recognize this? It's a spoof on the first Peanuts cartoon--"Good ol' Charlie Brown...How I hate him!"

4. Diane Fucking Finley. You can't very well kvetch about previous governments wasting money on gun control when your own is throwing it away like water on the military-industrial complex. Unless, of course, you're a SupposiTory, in which case such unmitigated chutzpah is par for the course.

5. Candice Fucking Hoeppner. Another cardinal sign of SupposiTory illogic? Female misogyny. If you wanna be popular with Stevie's Boys, you have to hate your own vagina. And be willing to let other women, particularly in rural areas, get their heads blown off by irate estranged partners for your own shallow ideology.

6. Ray Fucking Carsjens. Yep, ur an asshole all around. Ur also illiterate cuz u cant spell fer shit. Ur stats also stink, and so do ur armpitz. And oh yeah, nice touch with the death threats there, asshole.

7. Jim Fucking Hoft. Yes, I'd say he's a very good candidate for Dumbest Man on the Internet. When you can't tell the difference between a bent-armed hand gesture and a stiff-armed Hitler salute, much less parse the irony of accusing a major civil-rights leader of fascism, that puts you right up there in the rarefied stratosphere of Teh Stoopid. (And don't even get me started on how a stylized version of the Rutherford-Bohr atomic model, in a logo, somehow equals Islamism.)

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8. Eddie Fucking Long. Yeah, that "ex-gay" stuff works great. So great, it makes you have sex with teenage boys! Keep an eye on this one, folks, the tally is apparently a running one. PS: Looks like someone's gonna have to kill himself.

9. Jim Fucking Flaherty. His talking points are all ripped straight out of the tea-tard section of the Repug playbook: FEAR FEAR TERROR TERROR FEAR FEAR FEAR! This is what one does when one's party doesn't have a serious agenda--play to the emotions of the gullible. Let's make their fears real, people, and have a coalition in earnest this time--I wanna see him and Harpo and all the rest of the SupposiTories pee their pants in unison!

10. Sharron Fucking Angle. Once more, she makes the news for all the wrong reasons; this time, it's for mocking autism. This from a woman who believes in forcing women to stay pregnant, even in cases of rape, incest--or serious fetal deformities. Autism is one of those. She wants to force women to have babies, even sick and deformed ones--but she doesn't believe in paying to keep them alive or treating their ailments. Nice, eh? PS: Nice supporters she attracts, too.

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11. Lorne Fucking Gunter. "Elitist" THIS, you fucking loser. Your divide-and-conquer bullshit lost you a parliamentary vote. And you know what? This RURAL "elitist" is gloating. Unabashedly.

12. Rand Fucking Paul. When fascism comes to the US, it will come wrapped in a flag, carrying a cross, and projecting loudly all the way.

13. Roman Fucking Conaway. Nope, all that islamophobic rhetoric and Obama-bashing is leading to absolutely no terrorism or violence at all. None whatsoever!

14. Ted Fucking Haggard. Well, who better to defend Wanker #8 from his gay, gay, gaiety-gay GAY critics than a not-gay boy-renter and booty-bumping meth user?

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15. Rob Fucking Ford. Gee, for a city of so-called "elites", Toronto sure has a lot of dumbass rednecks who would vote for this redneck dumbass.

16. And while we're on the subject of Rob Ford and dumbassery, how about that Giorgio Fucking Mammoliti? Guess he's forgotten the whole "Gino boy" slur. Awfully big of him? Yeah. Awfully.

17. Niki Fucking Ashton. Yes, even among NDP women, there's at least one token wanker. And this week's gun-registry vote was her time to, er, shine. Congrats, Niki. With "progressives" like you falling hook, line and sinker for the "urban elitists" scam, who needs Conservatives?

18. Carlo Fucking Giovanardi. Yeah, gay adoption really leads to child sex trafficking. Never mind that kids adopted by gay couples actually tend to grow up happier and better adjusted than those raised by "natural" straight parents. Never mind that the overwhelming majority of trafficked child sex abuse victims are girls abused by men! Shit, what are facts when you've got to keep that Vatican closet door tightly jammed, eh?

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19. These other fucking religious nutcakes in Samoa also have a fact problem. And it also coincidentally concerns Teh Queerz.

20. Bambang Fucking Bayu Fucking Suseno. Why the double Fucking? Because NOBODY, let alone anyone with a first name like Bambang, has any business babbling bullshit about forcing girls to pass virginity tests in order to qualify for public schooling.

21. Joseph Fucking Farah. Man, have the wingnuts ever been tripping over their own shoes this week, trying to look for deaths to blame on Obama. Farah has found one that can't be disproven, because it can't be proven either--he claims Obama killed God, simply by not mentioning him! Who knew it was that easy? Jesus.

22. Glenn Fucking Beck. He's ugly, he's antisemitic, and he gives off a bad odor. Really, what more is there to say about this fucker this week?

23. Keith Fucking Mason. Did you know that "fertilized egg" is as offensive as the word NIGGER? I didn't. I wonder whom it offends--perhaps the poor, neglected sperm that did all the work of wriggling and squiggling and fertilizing, only to get eaten in the end by that big, bad female egg? I'm sure that's it right there. Must be the bitterness and jealousy of the dude talking. After all, they can't carry a pregnancy, so they think it their moral duty to interfere with those who can (but sometimes won't, if they decide not to). Remember how many of these anti-choice leaders are male...

BTW, asswipe, if you're gonna talk about offensive terms "not based in science", "pre-born baby" is a hell of a lot worse. Doctors and nurses don't use it. They say fetus. Or "embryo" if it's less than 8 weeks along, or "fertilized egg" if it's still on its way down the Fallopian tube. Ever wonder why?

24. Stephen Fucking Harper. The UN rejected Canada for a Security Council seat. Hmmm, I wonder why. Could it be that when you trample on human rights, and are lackadaisical about fighting for those of even your own citizens (Omar Khadr, anyone?), and don't want to recognize that water is a fundamental one, unless you're pissing all over your own indigenous peoples, well...it stands to reason, doesn't it? You get poopy everywhere. And you're even less popular than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to boot!

25. Erik Fucking Rush. If "prison rapist" is not a specific, blatant racist slur against a non-white president, tell me--what the fuck is? Oh yeah, and food safety is an international conspiracy--written, no doubt, by the Illuminati. What depraved clock did this cuckoo come out of? And won't someone please shove him back in there and nail shut the fucking door?

26. Ann Fucking Coulter. Gee, I bet the idiots who organized HomoCon are now kicking themselves for inviting this blatant homophobe to their little shindig tonight. I bet the Coultergeist is gonna spend the entire night calling them all faggots, carpet-munchers, pillow-biters, poop-pushers, etc., and then then, when they react as anyone who's been insulted should, she'll snork and rasp: "Whatsamatter, can't you take a joke?" Well, they took her, so I guess they fucking can.

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27. Steve Fucking Warfield. And anyone else in the FBI who thinks anti-war groups are "providing material support to terrorists". Considering that terrorists tend to be extremely right-wing and anti-war activists very much on the left, how fucking likely is that, really?

28. Mike Fucking Pence. Oh look, another horse with two asses! Why do right-wingers keep having cowboy photo-ops and setting themselves up for this one? Do they think we can't tell?

29. John Fucking Boehner. Yep, looks like John's Boner--all two rust-colored inches of it--has been fucking, all right. In perfect keeping with right-wing family values, as always.

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30. Bill O'Fucking Reilly. Because we haven't had him here in a while, and he's been feeling vewy, vewy left-out. Sob, sniffle.

31. Jeffrey Fucking Epstein. Remember what I said about Wanker #1 and how Wall St. should be feeling right now? Well, here's one of the many reasons for that. The place is inhabited by people whose amorality would make a snake blush.

32. Christine O'Fucking Donnell. Now we KNOW she's even worse than the Paliness. Who else would have the bizarre dumb chutzpah to try to stop an entire country not only from masturbating, but having sex? (And we haven't even begun to plumb the full depth of her dumbth. Her views on evolution are just as bass-ackwards.)

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33. Rand Fucking Paul. Pecunia non olet? Don't bank on it. White supremacists taint EVERYTHING they touch. Including their money, and by extension, anyone they hand it to. In fact, we already KNOW Rand is tainted. This just explains where the stench comes from. (Well, PART of it, anyway..)

34. Ezra Fucking Levant. Not only an inarticulate interviewee, but utterly fact-free AND flips out when challenged, trying to overtalk his opponent, whom he then insults when he can't rebut him. And he is NOT one to talk about progressive views, because he doesn't HAVE any. And oh yeah, Native people are being sacrificed in the name of his "ethical" dirty-oil pie-in-the-sky, and Ezra doesn't give a shit. Calling him a putz is an insult to putzy people.

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35. Sue-Ann Fucking Levy. Homophobia? Check. Disdain for Palestinians? Check. Can't win an election herself? Check. Smear accomplished.

36. John Fucking Fund. As much as I dislike Christine O'Fucking Donnell and her fake feminism, she is as much entitled to lay a gender-discrimination lawsuit as anyone else if she has been legitimately wronged. And by telling her she shouldn't, what does that say about conservatism? Oh yeah, of course: CONSERVATISM IS SEXIST AS HELL. Why any woman would WANT to be a conservative is beyond me; it's like sticking your own neck in an executioner's noose.

37. Antonin Fucking Scalia. And while we're on the subject of sexist-as-hell, how about Fat Tony Vaffanculo? Apparently, fairness, like impartiality, is not a requirement for SCOTUS judgeships anymore.

38. George Fucking Jonas. Talk about shooting off at the mouth. Pity the bullet went through his foot instead. Sore ideological loser, anyone? This "we need guns to defend ourselves" shit is so old and hoary...almost as old and hoary as George himself. If gun-toting really worked to foil crime, wouldn't we see more "Quick-thinking gun-toter foils robbery/rape/murder/mayhem" headlines? Well, just scan your daily headlines sometime and see how many of THOSE you find. (Oh yeah, and didja know? He's Barbara Amiel's ex-husband. So of course that explains some of the ideological wankery right there.)

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And finally, to this week's WAY-too-up-close-and-personal wanker, Christopher Fucking Olorago (or whatever his real fucking name is; I'm sure this one, like all the others before it from the same IP, is not it). He wore out the welcome mat from the get-go with his tiresome nonsense, but I let him make an ass of himself here and here before finally giving him the boot. One would think that that much of my time and patience should be enough to satisfy anyone, but Chrissy, like all flibbertigibbertarian perpetual adolescents, thinks he has to control and manipulate everyone who doesn't bow to his majestic whims. He is a fool and therefore can't take a polite hint that I do not suffer fools gladly. So I kicked his ass off. But he decided to come back anyway, under a very thin disguise, and vent his feeble rage anyway. Just look what he left in my e-mail box on Wednesday...

Yay! Let's resort to violence! Typical socialist - no respect for freedom of association or criticism.

I pity you.

Commenter name: Sabina is a cow
Commenter email address: Sabinaisacow@gmail.com
Commenter URL:
Commenter IP address: 85.211.231.20

Charming,no?

Oh, and how's this for a projecting liar? This turd was dropped here, although I decided I was not going to publish it.

The comments I usually come across on YouTube call for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews.

A bit like what I read here.

Commenter name: Sabina Bitchy Becker
Commenter email address: binathebitcho@gotmail?.com
Commenter URL:
Commenter IP address: 85.211.163.97

Mature troll is very mature. Need a diaper change, Chrissy-poo? Sorry, you'll just have to do it yourself. Surely you're big enough. Why aren't you housebroken yet?

I get the feeling that in his spare time, this yob is a barroom hooligan who gets stinky fast, then starts pushing random strangers around and then, when they tell him to fuck off, he takes a jab, they hit back harder in self-defence--and then, when the cops come, he cries that HIS rights have been violated, boo fucking hoo. Never mind that he struck the first blow, repeatedly. Typical flibber, in other words: "Rules? RULES? FASCIST! NAZI!" (No shit, I got called that by another of his many incarnations, this one ostensibly female, but really just a poor transvestite doused with cheap cologne. The IP number tells me all I need to know; they are all one person. That's why they are all so tiresomely alike, and why I kick him down every time he comes here trying to drag a post off topic or twist my words against me. Can you blame me for lacking patience? Maybe I should hire a bouncer.)

But you know what? It's not "violence", or "censorship", or anything near it, to throw a troll off one's blog. It's just me, upholding freedom of speech--mine--by setting my own agenda and keeping my own joint clean. As Margaret Atwood pointed out recently, a blog is the blogger's space, and also that of legitimate commenters, but emphatically not that of trolls:

IS IT "CENSORSHIP" TO BLOCK TROLLS ON TWITTER?

No, and it's not "censorship" to send back hate mail unopened and refuse material for your own blog, either.

Need I point out that I have never called for the death of ANYONE on this blog, nor do I condone trolls who try to do so themselves? For anyone still in doubt, there it is. You don't like my no-death-threat stance on free speech? Too fucking bad.

As I've often said before, I'm not an absolutist, because absolute shit stinks absolutely. No one is exempt from responsibility for what they say, wherever they say it. Once again, I refer you to the death-threat troll from Saxby Fucking Chambliss's office. Internet trolling is NOT free speech. And when it goes that far, it is not subject to protection, since REAL violence is involved there.

In other words, if anyone should be crying violence here, it would be us bloggers. But I don't cry when I get an infestation of blog-cooties; I just flick 'em off, dust my hands, and sign off with my usual pleasantry for all those "libertarian" hypocrites who secretly want to control other people's agenda:

Good night, and get fucked!

The persistent racist menace in the United States

A documentary in two parts by Russia Today, called "Race Supremacy: Revealing Hatred":

Did you know that Warren G. Harding, who was president of the US during the 1920s, was actually sworn into the Ku Klux Klan while in office--using the White House Bible? I knew the KKK was powerful during the 1920s (that was actually its peak of popularity and power), but even I had no idea it was that far advanced. (Ironically, there were and still are some who insist that Harding, not Obama, was the first "black" president of the US, alleging that he had a "drop" of the blood. There is no hard proof that this was indeed the case.)

I had never heard of the Greensboro Massacre until now, either. It seems pretty clear that the local police, and indeed the entire judiciary system, were in league with the Klan, even as late as the 1970s and '80s, such that the victims and survivors got no justice, and the perpetrators--who I'm sure were well known to the authorities--went free. And the racist corruption still runs very wide and deep, much more so than most of us realize:

Part II is more reassuring in some ways, and more chilling than others. Angela King, a former white-supremacist gang member who went to jail for her part in a robbery, says that prison was what opened her eyes to the common ground shared by all humanity. It became impossible for her to hate others who shared her plight of poverty and incarceration. When she left prison, she began to speak out against the white supremacists and separatists. She is still doing so today, and if there is any real hope of forestalling a fascist uprising, it lies in "formers" like her, who can band together with service organizations to reach young people before the fascists get a brainwashing hold of them. In these difficult economic times--eerily parallel to those of Weimar Germany--the job she does is extremely important, much more so than it initially seems.

But others remain obdurate. Tom Metzger, whose surname, appropriately enough, means "butcher" in German, became a hater while still in the army. When he got out, he tried unsuccessfully to "infiltrate" the Democratic party, who for obvious reasons wanted no part of him. So he started a number of racist hate groups. Chillingly, he does not see himself as a terrorist, even though he is to the white-power terror groups exactly what Osama bin Laden is to al-Qaida--a key leader and financier. Rather, he views himself as the chief of an army which will at some point rise up and make war (which he also uses as an acronym for his organization) against the "New World Order" or "One World Government", or whatever other woo-woo terms the racists like to use for anything, real or imaginary, that threatens the uniform whiteness of their insular universe. His idea is the opposite of Angela King's--it is to nab the bright young middle-class high school kids before they get to college university (where they will be exposed to too many non-insular ideas and far too much intellectual freedom), and indoctrinate them as covert members of his "army". From there, he hopes, they will infiltrate the armed forces, the police services, and any other place that affords power, authority, and easy access to weaponry.

Tim McVeigh was one of Metzger's success stories, if a movement based on a twisted, doomed ideology can be said to have success stories. The Oklahoma City bombing was not, as it's commonly painted, just one lone nut's "payback" for the deaths at Waco and Ruby Ridge (which were also prime examples of right-wing terrorists fighting against a government they took to be evil--and far too integrationist), it was, by Metzger's own reckoning, a racist war salvo. McVeigh was certainly clever and well prepared, with ample support from within the various right-wing "militia" movements, and even had military terrorist training under his belt (he was a veteran of Gulf War I.) But since McVeigh gave the illusion of being a "lone wolf", in spite of his extensive and well documented contacts with the various white racist movements throughout the country, it is still seen by far too many as "just an isolated incident". Never mind the fact that "lone" wolves are really pack animals, and that loners can and do return periodically to their pack for nurture and reinforcement. Therein lies the real danger--that the authorities will not see or recognize the "lone wolf"--and the pack behind him--until it is too late. How many more of these "isolated incidents" will there have to be before the real problem is tackled at its root?

Incidentally, there are ways and means to keep infiltrators like Metzger's protégés from doing damage while in the police, military, etc. Those much-maligned sensitivity-training courses can actually make a difference here, if properly tailored and made absolutely mandatory. So can good, old-fashioned racial integration and affirmative action. Cops and military servicepeople from a variety of ethnic backgrounds not only can prevent the culture of their organization from becoming too insular and white (and racist), they can also help ferret out potential moles in their midst. They can also help turn the brainwashed back around; it's awfully hard to race-bash your working partner or army buddy, when it gets right down to it. A constant, continuous humanizing program of training and accountability is needed if those in uniform are to be prevented from turning once more into the jackbooted thugs of nightmarish history.

September 24, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Stephen Colbert's moment of Zen

Hot off the airwaves this AM:

You thought he was a rightist? I have to wonder, after all this, if he's not just a lefty who plays a righty on TV. (Muchas gracias, Think Progress.)

September 23, 2010

This is Canada. We support the troops...

...including those that some in our government would not want us to support. Namely, the war resisters:

Did you know that some prominent and famous Canadians, such as Toronto radio host Andy Barrie--weren't born here? That they came here from south of our border as Vietnam war resisters, facing court-martial and incarceration at home? And that, because the Canada of four decades ago was a more welcoming place than it is today, they were able to make their homes here, establish good careers, start families, and contribute productively to this great land? No? Well, now you do. And you'll also find a lot of them reaching out to help younger war resisters--those facing deportation today because they refused to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq. They have a campaign going here, urging Canadians to write to their member of Parliament. I just did. Now, how about you?

"Sail like a ship bound for Gaza"

A song in the best of the blues/spiritual tradition of social justice laments. (The hateful comments from Zionists and islamophobes at YouTube are pretty solid proof of the adage that all the flotsam of the Internets seems to wash up on shore there.)

PS: The UNHRC has just pronounced the Israeli raid on the Freedom Flotilla unlawful. Guess what Israel's response was.

PPS: And no, I am NOT publishing any Zionist crapaganda or Israeli hasbara (same thing). This is an ANTI-fascist blog, and I do not publish fascist crapola for "balance". So stop fucking spamming me with it, you trolls, and PISS OFF.

September 22, 2010

Conservative Politician Tips (or, How to Turn Canada Into the 51st State, Guaranteed!)

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Oh, if only their platform were this simple. Unfortunately, there's a bit more to being a Tory politician in Canada than this. So, here's Aunt Bina's simplified guide to everything you need to know in order to make it as a right-wing politico today. Compiled from my tweets to #ConservativePoliticianTips, and with linkage added.

1. Always play to the xenophobe. Be particularly eager to paint immigrants as terrorists.

2. Scamming, shady sponsorship and bribery are all okay as long as you're not Liberal, Bloc or NDP. (CK paraphrases: "Always bring up Adscam." Good one!)

3. The liberal media is your enemy. Get your corporate buddies to set you up an all-con channel like FOX.

4. Canadians secretly crave US-style bully politics. Let no one tell you differently.

5. What's good for the NRA is good for Canada. Or at least for YOU.

6. To catch young voters, talk a lot about Justin Bieber. Who is at least two years too young to vote.

7. Always be devious. I mean divisive. Er, I mean DECISIVE.

8. Urban = elitist, rural = oppressed by urban elitist. Never-fail formula for suckering the masses!

9. Victims of guncrime = SUPER-elitists, evil oppressors, gun-grabbing little Hitlers, etc.

10. Sweater vests will make everyone think you're Mr. Rogers. Piano playing also an asset.

11. Four words--jet skis and wetsuits.

12. Think football--Fake libertarian, go authoritarian. That is, fake left, go right.

13. Play to petty regionalism. Screw the big picture.

14. Dangling the trinket of gun freedom will make everyone forget those fascistic G-20 arrests.

15. Always forget where you came from.

16. Whatever awful thing you do, always point the finger at the other guy and yell that he does it more. (Jymn paraphrases: "Know your weaknesses and attribute them to the other guy." Thanks, Jymn!)

17. Mantra: "Think for yourself and FOLLOW ME!"

18. Everything old is new and hip again. Especially the Red Scare. (CK again: "Always grossly overuse the word 'soshalism' & make sure it's interchangeable w/ Fascism!")

19. Never, ever admit when you're wrong. (Thanks again, Jymn!)

20. If female, sell out your sex; if gay, sell out LGBTs; if nonwhite, sell out your race.

21. To make it as a conservative politician, just do one thing--SELL OUT!

(And if you have anything else to add to the list, drop it in the comments slot below, please. Kthxbye.)

September 21, 2010

Short 'n' Stubby: Ms. Manx has Schadenfreude

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As my German mom would say, "Da lachen sogar die Katzen"--even the cats are laughing. And so am I, at these two flavors-of-last-week:

Remember Bill Fucking Keller, who made my wank-list a few weeks ago for maintaining an islamophobic church near Ground Zero? Well, he's in deep financial shit, and reduced to begging for donors to cover a flop:

SPECIFICALLY, I AM ASKING GOD TO SEND ME 4 SPECIAL PEOPLE TODAY. FIRST, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO IS ABLE TO WIRE TRANSFER OF FEDEX $15,000 TODAY. THIS COVERS $15,000 OF THAT $20,000 WE STILL OWE FROM 2009 AND NEEDED TO BE PAID LAST FRIDAY. SECOND, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO IS ABLE TO WIRE TRANSFER OR FED EX THE $7,000 FOR THE 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER OPERATIONS LAST WEEKEND. THIRD, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO CAN COVER THE LAST $5,000 OF THE $20,000 FROM 2009. FOURTH, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO CAN COVER THE $7,000 FOR THIS WEEKENDS 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER OPERATIONS. I HAVE BEEN ON MY KNEES PRAYING TONIGHT FOR THE LORD TO SPEAK TO 4 HEARTS, AND FOR THOSE 4 PEOPLE TO BE OBEDIENT. IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE FOUR, CONTACT ME AT: bkeller@liveprayer.com AND I WILL GET YOU THE BANK WIRE OR FEDEX INFO YOU NEED. THANK YOU!

Gee. Do you suppose he got those "4 SPECIAL PEOPLE"? Maybe he'd be more effective at it if he took off the CAPS LOCK first.

Meanwhile, check out what's going on with another islamophobic preacher:

The preacher from Gainesville who ignited a firestorm of criticism over his plan to torch 200 copies of the Quran says he wants to move his church to the Tampa Bay area by the end of the year, NBC affiliate WFLA reported.

He's also facing a $200,000 bill for policing costs during the firestorm his plan created, The Gainesville Sun newspaper said. However, officials say they're not sure they can force him to pay.

Teh Moolah: He no haz it. That's why they might not be able to get it out of him. That's also why he wanted to stage this Nazified book-burning; it was actually a fund-raiser.

Ms. Manx just put both front paws over her muzzle and let out a funny sound. I'm not sure, but I think it was a giggle.

September 20, 2010

When psychotics psychoanalize a sane man

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Speaking from receiving-end experience, I know an effective therapist from a poor one. And the only thing that irks me more than amateurs playing shrink, is shrinks acting amateurish. Both together, though, drives me downright nuts. So when I saw this piece of crap article, titled "Psychiatrists put Chávez on the couch", on a Spanish news site, I found myself irresistibly tempted to analyze an obviously piss-poor bunch of analysts. Crazy, huh? So, with no further ado, here's my translation, with periodic interjections and analysis:

Mythomaniac, megalomaniac, fabulator, compulsive, narcissist, charismatic, seducer, envious, lacking in scruples. These are some of the traits Venezuelan psychiatrists attribute to their president, Hugo Chávez, who has been in power nearly twelve years, not counting "the missing ones". And, despite the fact that no previous president has spent more than ten years in power, he is now on the road to running in the presidential elections of 2012.

In the meantime, he himself is directing the campaign for the legislative elections which will be held on September 26, much more than legal norms allow.

Right off the bat, you can see how the author of the piece cunningly lays her trap. The real issue is the Venezuelan parliamentary election coming up on the 26th, but she buries that in the second paragraph. Instead, she chooses to lead with misdirection: the (imaginary) personality faults of Hugo Chávez, duly constituted president of Venezuela.

Notice, too, that she wraps all Venezuelan shrinks in the same blanket. In this reporter's little world, ALL of them think he's crazy. And no one who thinks otherwise is allowed to get a word in, as you will see.

And of course, the lying starts from the get-go. Aside from the imaginary personality traits attributed to Chávez, there is the accusation that he's committing electoral fraud by openly supporting his candidates for assembly seats. This is a lie. As leader of the PSUV, he is within his rights to support his own party's candidates on the campaign trail; it would be crazy if he didn't. In any other country, such campaign support would be a given. Why is it out of line in Venezuela? (Rhetorical question; the answer will come in due course.)

And oh yeah, as an aside, notice the other neat little bit of misdirection here: No mention at all of what the opposition leaders and candidates are up to. That's because they're all discredited relics from the Puntofijista/Fourth Republic past, and therefore bound to lose. For that reason, most have not even bothered to mount the most desultory campaign; those that have, are still lagging by double digits in the polls. Little wonder, then, that the hoary old "Chávez is loco" canard is being dragged out of mothballs yet again--he's the only one showing signs of life!

But surely transgressing against established norms--such as heading the electoral campaign for his parliamentary candidates, abusing state resources, and turning legislative elections into a plebiscite--it's another of his personality traits which is emphasized by consulted specialists--the need to call attention to himself.

"Specialists"--"consulted" by whom? Surely not Chavecito himself. These "consulted specialists" are nothing more than cheap political soundbite providers.

Notice, too, as the article goes on, that the charges of "abusing state resources" and "turning legislative elections into a plebiscite" are not backed up by the least shred of evidence. That's because there isn't any. Instead, the focus is on crazy, sexy craziness, in a masterpiece of misdirection...

"He's a person who needs constant admiration; he shows preoccupation with his fantasies of power, seems not to understand the meaning of limitations, has no notion of proportion, thinks he is special or unique, there is no institution that deserves his respect, and requires excessive admiration, always in public," says psychologist and psychotherapist María Bustamante.

María, María, María...he's the president. He gets constant admiration because his policies are effective and therefore popular; no narcissistic "explanation" required. And he actually understands the meaning of limitations quite well; everything he's done has been within the norms of the Venezuelan constitution. He even puts himself to a popular vote and wins! How narcissistic!

For insight into his conduct, you have to recall those days in February 1999, when Gabriel García Márquez wrote his famous article "The Enigma of the Two Chávezes": "One, to whom unalterable fate offered the opportunity to save his country, and the other, an illusionist, who could pass into history as just another despot."

Um, since when is a famous Colombian novelist a "consulted specialist"? He is NOT a shrink! Gabriel García Márquez, you may recall, is famous for his work in the field of fiction known as Magical Realism. And his "Two Chávezes" is more a work of poetic fancy than a literal interpretation of the personality of this leader, whom García likes, admires and politically sympathizes with, himself. I don't think he would like to be read so literally as to be insinuating that Chávez is schizophrenic, or has a multiple-personality disorder.

Many would give him the Oscar for the best portrayal of a politician in Venezuela. He likes to invite Hollywood celebrities like Oliver Stone, Sean Penn and Danny Glover, who, like him, are members of the same profession: that of the politico-actor.

ZOMG histrionics! Actually, this is not such different conduct from that of his rivals and predecessors, all of whom cultivated celebrities--mostly local, occasionally foreign--with sympathetic views. What's notable here, though, is that Chavecito's support extends well beyond the usual vacuous beauty-queen contingent that trails the AD/COPEI crowd; the celebrities he attracts have reputations as the intellectuals of their field, and are extremely well respected worldwide, not just in Venezuela.

His vocation for the interpretative arts was born in the military academy, where he trod the boards in the theatre. Former director of budgets for the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Orlando Suárez, a former professor of Chávez's, told ABC that "Once he played the role of General José Antonio Páez in an academy play. He has natural theatrical gifts, exacerbated by his narcissistic tendency, but before, he was shy and retiring."

Colonel Suárez does not hold a very favorable opinion of Chávez, whom he trained in parachuting in 1983 and 1984. He recalls that Chávez "turned pale with fear when it came time to jump. He always looked for an excuse not to do it. He is a coward by nature." In the military academy he was always in one of the last places in his class. "He failed his leadership course exam. He had to repeat the entire course to graduate. And he only managed it thanks to his family's influence with ex-president Rafael Caldera." Colonel Suárez considers Chávez "more 'toasted' "(crazy, in Venezuelan slang) than ex-president Abdalá Bucaram of Ecuador, who was expelled from power due to his "eccentricities".

Hmmm. Why do I get the feeling that this former army officer is just bitter and envious of Chavecito, who retired from the military with the rank of a mere lieutenant-colonel himself and then went on to become president? Maybe he's pissed that he wasn't promoted to general, or chief of staff, or some such; his words reek of resentment. There are so many inconsistencies and outright lies in his statements that it's obvious he couldn't keep his story straight. How could Chavecito manage to play the role of General Páez--a major revolutionary hero, and one of his leadership role models--while being "shy and retiring"? (Actually, that last bit is definitely bullshit; the pre-academy Chavecito is widely remembered, according to Bart Jones's bio of him, as outgoing, full of fun, a hard worker, and fond of baseball and singing. And about as shy and retiring as a roaring waterfall.)

As for turning pale with fear when confronted with parachute jumping: Hell, who wouldn't be? I'm sure plenty of others were green around the gills, too. No one is NOT nervous the first time they jump out of an airplane; it's a great way to get yourself killed, and so much can go wrong even if you're well prepared. It's perfectly natural and rational, therefore, to be afraid. But apparently Chavecito mastered the art just fine, because he later got command of a paratroop regiment. You don't get there unless you can jump, and do so fearlessly. Plus, Chavecito later survived an attempt on his life with real courage, and not an iota of cowardice. So yeah, I call bullshit on this one too.

And at the bottom of his class? In LEADERSHIP, of all things? You guessed it, bullshit. One thing that strikes me, every time I view The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, is what a tremendous natural rapport Chavecito has with his soldiers, and how easily he inspires loyalty in them. That's not just charisma; that's competence. Their loyalty, in fact, was what saved his life when the coupmongers imprisoned him on the island of La Orchila. You don't get that by flunking in leadership skills training, much less getting your dad to exercise his pull with, of all people, Rafael Caldera, who was NOT president in 1983-4 (that was Jaime Lusinchi). And when Chavecito was in military academy, ten years earlier, Caldera WAS president, but Hugo Chávez Sr. was not exactly someone who had a lot of pull with him. In fact, he had none whatsoever, being a poor schoolteacher from the backwaters of Barinas. So yeah, once more with feeling, everyone: BULLSHIT!

Psychologist Bustamante emphasizes the "meritorious" and "caudillo" (petty tyrant) character of Chávez. He creates irrational expectations in order to be treated as someone special, to whom blind obedience is owed. "He turns everyone who thinks differently from himself into despicable enemies, and almost always talks from an elevated position and in a royal tone." The most obvious aspect of his conduct is exclusion. "He is envious--and feels that others envy him--and has arrogant, holier-than-thou, haughty attitudes."

Bustamante says that as president, he "displays changing and very superficial expressions, uses his physical appearance or costumes to call attention to himself, and has an excessively expressionist discourse style."

Well, I'm sure María Bustamante would prefer someone colorless and bland, like Rafael Caldera--who, during his own second presidency, in the late 1990s, was obliged to appear in public and lay rest to rumors that he had died. (Yes, he was THAT boring. And sadly, that old.) But is she right about the blind obedience bit?

No. Chavecito actually likes to be challenged, and this is something that many who have worked with him have remarked on. He thrives on legitimate contradiction, even from his allies. He doesn't want yes-men; he's actively engaged with the needs of his people, and he likes to hear them out. That's just one of the many reasons why he's so effective and popular: He LISTENS.

As for appearances and costumes: He seems to have only two, both perfectly in character and not crazy in the least. One is the black pants and untucked red shirt he favors for everyday; red being the color of his party (and also the color that suits his own complexion best). The other is his military uniform and red beret, both of which he is still entitled to wear as commander-in-chief. This is "excessively expressionist"? I'd sure like some of whatever María is smoking, it might help me to fall asleep.

Eloy Silvio Pomenta, a professor of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy at the Central University of Venezuela, explained to us that, in an ordinary person, a character marked by narcissism has no power to cause much social disturbance. "But when it comes to a head of state in an important oil-producing country, who also possesses a great capacity for seducing and manipulating the masses, who has his own little intellectual court, and who attracts political and economic leaders who approach him with lucrative offers, the repercussions could be catastrophic."

Pomenta mentions other narcissistic personality traits that Chávez suffers: grandiosity, exhibitionism, a feeling of omnipotence, fragile self-esteem (with depressive crises), incapacity to love (because all his affective capacities are concentrated on his own ego, he is unavailable to others), disconnection from reality, rage, and destructive envy when he is not getting what he wants.

Amazing how he can diagnose all that without seeing Chavecito on his couch on a regular basis! The man must be some kind of psychic. I see a brilliant future ahead for him on a 900-number phone line. But as a shrink? Nyet.

One thing that IS significant here, though, is the mention of oil. Remember I mentioned it earlier? That's what this is really all about. They don't like a competent, dangerously sane leader being in charge of all that oil, which was incidentally being sneak-privatized just before he entered office. Venezuelan oil has gone up in price, and that's been all to the good of the Revolution, too. Previous presidents ran the national oil company into the ground, and were all for letting foreigners buy it--and them--out. Not so, Chavecito. He's no sellout. Not only is he a savvy businessman, he knows how to make that oil work for his country, rather than just sending his country to work for Big Foreign Oil like so many of his predecessors--some of whom were REAL dictators. (Google Juan Vicente Gómez and Marcos Pérez Jiménez, in particular, and you'll see just what I mean.) I've never yet seen a dictator who could take oil money and put it into hospitals, schools and loans to entrepreneurs, instead of just his own pockets and those of his cronies--have you? Yet this is what Chavecito does on a regular basis, and quite happily. It's called "sowing the oil", in Venezuela, and it's something the people just love him for doing--that is, if they're not displaced former incompetent PDVSA execs.

And now, for something truly comical:

According to psychiatrist Luis José Uzcátegui, author of "Chavez, the Wizard of Emotions", the leader "has become trapped in a totally outdated psychological structure. I'm referring to Fidel Castro, which is something catastrophical. No country can function with such backward schemes."

He adds that several of Chávez's traits "are contagious" to his acolytes and followers. "The important thing is that these psycho-political processes are unfolding according to a scheme we've already seen: high spending and inefficiency."

On January 15, Chávez officially declared himself a Marxist, though he said he had not read a book of Karl Marx in his life. If he had said so eleven years ago, few people would have voted for him, and he would not be in Miraflores Palace today. His "21st Century Socialism" project, which Fidel Castro called communist last month, was rejected in the referendum of 2007, but he keeps at it, come what may.

"Therein lies the danger. There is a type of socialism which is only for antisocials. They invent a socialism of their own to keep themselves in power. Chávez exercises a modern dictatorship, tailored to the times," Uzcátegui says.

Isn't that hysterical? Once more, the old guilt-by-association thing rears its bedraggled head. Only, as usual, it stinks and won't wash. Fidel Castro has been vocal in praise of Chavecito's democratic way of doing things, and while Cuba has benefited from mutual interchange with Venezuela under the ALBA treaty, it's not as if Venezuela has turned into another Cuba or is in danger of doing so. Everything about Bolivarian Venezuela so far has been very democratic, and very distinctly different from the Cuban revolutionary course.

Moreover, the author of this piece is lying about Chávez declaring himself a Marxist on January 15; I think I'd have made note of it here, if that were the case! It would be awfully hard to miss something like that. And without having read Marx? Shenanigans! He read Marx, actually, early on in his military career, after having found an abandoned, bullet-riddled car that had once belonged to some leftist guerrillas. The trunk of the car was full of musty old Marxist literature, which he removed, cleaned up and stashed in a personal library which he and his army buddies later used as they began to organize their Bolivarian military movement. But while Chavecito may draw some of his information and inspiration from Marx, he is emphatically not a Marxist.

And no, Fidel didn't call the Bolivarian revolution "communist", either; I think I'd have heard of that, if he did. Nor was the revolution rejected in 2007; that was just one vote for term-limit reform, which was later put to another vote and passed. Just more stupid shenanigans on the part of our shoddy journalist.

And now, finally, we arrive at the nut (pun intended) of the whole matter:

The social-democratic party, Acción Democrática (AD), tried in 2005 to accuse Chávez of insanity, which, according to the Constitution, could be a cause to remove him from the presidency, but neither the Supreme Court nor the Attorney General would hear the case. Not long before that, in 2002, the then president of the Venezuelan Psychiatric Society (SVP), Franzel Delgado Senior, alerted the country to the personality problems besetting Chávez.

In a statement to ABC, Franzel accused Chávez of leading a kind of cult, "a movement which exhibits an excessive devotion to a person, idea or thing, which uses unethical techniques of manipulation to persuade and control; designed to achieve the leader's goals." He concludes: "Psychopaths are very afraid of actions against him. They talk about assassinations. They don't like that he is called a dictator. But I don't see him as ultimately democratic. I see him as being like any other other dictator."

Isn't that hysterical? Five years ago, those corrupt, discredited old Adecos tried to get Chavecito removed from office on the grounds of insanity, and their efforts failed. Now, five years later, they're trying again. I guess they expect a different result this time. Well, if that's not the functional equivalent of insanity, I don't know what is. Good thing they're not in power and never will be again; they'd have to be removed, to a man, because they're all lunatics.

And if you don't believe me, watch AD party leader Henry Ramos Allup and listen to him talk:

As the Robertos point out, he's quite the one for rages and insults, histrionics, egotism and just about everything else the Adecos accuse Chavecito of. For that reason, I have to say that these psychiatrists--amateur or otherwise--who are trying to diagnose Chavecito as insane are...wait for it...PROJECTING.

And yes, projection is just one of many signs of real insanity.

September 19, 2010

Short 'n' Stubby: Oompa Loompa doompa de doo...

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Ms. Manx has recommendations for you...

First up, the sharp-eyed good folks at Palingates have unearthed some interesting dirt on the Paliness's alleged pregnancy with Trig. I say "alleged" for a couple of reasons--one, she didn't look pregnant when she was supposedly expecting him (and this, mind you, was a woman who'd been big as the side of a barn with all her previous children). She didn't act it, either, flying to conferences at a time when any normal pregnant lady's nesting instinct--and the advice of her physician against air travel at the final stage of a high-risk pregnancy--should have kicked in. But the most interesting--and telling--bit? She couldn't keep her own story straight! Go read, and see for yourselves.

Next, Tbogg has some fun stuff on Christine O'Donnell, the teabag who's gonna lose November's race for a senate seat in Delaware. How on Earth did such an idiot get voted Republican candidate for the seat, anyway? I'm guessing Delaware Repukes didn't get any prior information on the then pre-candidate. None. And that's including her "dabbling into witchcraft"--complete with a vaguely described midnight picnic on a bloody satanic altar, ooh-ahh. (This Witch calls shenanigans; we don't even HAVE a Satan, much less do blood sacrifices to him or anyone, let alone have a giggly widdle picnic on the altar afterwards.) But that's teabaggery for you; it's not about substance, it's about image, and cute, bible-thumping brunettes with no brains and a dubious school and work record are the It Girls right now--just ask Half-Governor Palin.

And finally, to explain how all this came about, go to Salon and read this. I think David Sirota just about nails it when he writes,

We instead tell ourselves that by joining the cartoonish pseudo-events, we will magically defuse pressing crises -- even as our participation in those pseudo-events allows those crises to fester.

Bingo. And part of that participation is voting for the cartoonish idiots--or going to their churches.

And that concludes the broadcast day, Mike Teavee.

Music for a Sunday: For Christine O'Donnell, who doesn't approve this sort of thing

Yes, there's a theme going on here. See if you can tell me what it is...

First up, Cyndi Lauper (she's SO unusual!):

Next, Tweet discovers something sweet:

Then, a very slinky Pink, covering The Divinyls:

And finally, one from Serge Gainsbourg, recommended by my francophone tweep Jipim:

So. Have YOU figured out the theme here yet?

September 18, 2010

Wankers of the Week: This amusement never ends

I wanna be your sledgehammer...or better still, just take it to a few of these wankers' kneecaps:

1. Silvio Fucking Berlusconi. There's a lot of wank packed into this one nasty, brutish and short package. Take your pick as to what offends you most: Hitler jokes, homophobia, or rotten life advice for young women, it's all bad. But just for the hell of it, I'm gonna go with the last, because it's still being done (with no greater success than ever) in this "enlightened" age. Yeah, marrying an old fart for his money is really great--remember your long-suffering soon-to-be-ex-wife, you old figlio di puttana? She didn't think your money was worth the shit it came wrapped in. There's the REAL life lesson for the girls: Whatever Da Berluscoglioni tells you to do, ladies, DO THE OPPOSITE.

2. Sarah Fucking Palin. Oh, what'll it be this week? The Statue of Liberty wank? The "mole" wank? The I-hear-voices wank? The caught-in-bed-with-Rand-Paul wank? The I'm-not-really-a-hunter-but-I-play-one-on-TV wank? The accusing-Obama-of-treason wank? Take yer pick. Even with Christine O'Fucking Donnell supplanting her in the wank department this week, the Paliness still managed to generate plenty of stoopid.

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3. Natalie Fucking Gonzales. Dollar Menu attracts too many hippies? No problem--make it a buck fifty and presto! Shaggy strangers disappear because this bait 'n' switch is suddenly too rich for their blood. Of course, it should go without saying that REAL hippies, who care about nutritional as well as dollar values, don't eat at McDonald's anyway.

4. Glenn Fucking Beck. He's pissed as hell that he has to donate what he raised at his 9-11 floppapalooza to the charity he promised to donate it to...but he's still got the gall to beg his brain-dead followers to buy him a fucking Mercedes. He also wants us (no doubt meaning women) to go home and bake pies. (Yes, really.) Oh yeah, and he also thinks fat people should be left to die. Well, I hope he gets his wish. And I hope Rush Fucking Limbaugh gets it, too.

5. Nicolas Fucking Sarkozy. If the media report embarrassing (but true) things about you, persecute the media! Gee, just imagine if this happened in Venezuela instead of France. Only, you know, that doesn't happen in Venezuela, where the media are reduced to making awful things up because Chavecito doesn't oblige them with anything really-truly terrible.

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6. and 7. Newt Fucking Gingrich and Dinesh Fucking D'Souza. Oh, if only His Barackness DID have a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview; it would make for much smoother international relations, and would remove all motives for future terrorism to boot. Instead, he's got these two fucking idiots to kowtow to get all "bipartisan" with, and the rest of the world is doing a collective facepalm watching the spectacle.

8. David Fucking Grisham. He tried to burn a Qur'an on 9-11, but was stopped by a skateboarding hero named Jacob Isom. Nothing could be cooler than to say to a wanker what this guy did: "Dude, you have no Qur'an." And nothing could be cooler than for him to hand the book in question to a local imam, who I'm sure was very happy to see the wanker go home empty-handed.

9. Christine O'Fucking Donnell. Oh joy, another dumb brunette. Well, why should blondes have all the fun? This one is even worse than La Palin. First this teabag displaces a long-standing Republican incumbent, well known for his genuine class; now she's all triumphalist. Only problem is, there's ample video evidence from waaaaaay back that she has a barely functioning mouse brain. (Also, she can't write lit crit for shit.) Moreover, she is destined to lose; her Democratic opponent is polling double digits above her. Two more months of this stupid, lying piece of shit, and then the US can scrape her off the bottom of its shoes and have done with it.

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10. Jeri Fucking Thompson. I stand corrected regarding #9. Way to reclaim that title for the blondes, Jeri!

11. Kory Fucking Teneycke. And while we're on the subject of stupid, lying right-wing shits who will soon be scraped off the soles of countries' shoes, how about this one? He tried to play dirty US-style Freeperville politics with Avaaz's petition to stop FUX Snooze North; he got caught. Now he's resigned from FUX Snooze North (which as yet does not exist), citing a conflict of interest. Ya think? The conflict is, his ass got caught forging signatures to try to discredit a legitimate petition--on behalf of the federal Conservatives, for whom he STILL works, however unofficially. The conflict is, he's an epic fail as a Tory crapagandist. The conflict is, this channel--already unwanted, rejected before birth--is going to be even more unpopular, thanks to his Nixonian shenanigans. That's Kory's conflict--it's a conflict with the most basic of Canadian values: peace, order, good government--and oh yeah, HONESTY.

12. Pope Ratzi the Fucking Nazi. There's a major flaw in his "atheists are like Nazis" theory. Well, two, actually, if you count his own Hitlerjugend membership. It's so bad, even the Hindus were offended on the atheists' behalf, Ganesh bless them.

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13. Michelle Fucking Malkin. Anyone who'd cite Ezra Fucking Levant (whose lies have been yanked, for legal reasons) as a "must read" is a must-have-shit-for-brains.

14. John Fucking Bolton. Yes, he's still harping on the nonexistent "Venezuela threat". The only REAL threat that country poses is to set an example North Americans will want to emulate. Much to the chagrin of nobodies like the English Sheepdog, no doubt.

15. David Fucking Barksdale. He's not the only reason Google is now officially evil, but yeah, he's just one more scruffy, skeezy piece of flotsam from the underbelly of the beast. And he's one more reason I'm glad I never had a Gmail address.

16. Karl Fucking Rove. He grovels to the Pigman AND the Mousewoman? Wow, who knew that Bush's Turdblossom Brain was such a fucking wuss underneath it all? (And, more to the point: why didn't the Dems attack him while the attacking was good, knowing that?)

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17. Ann Fucking Coulter. You can tell a lot about a person's character just from the kind of following they attract. Mine tends to be literate, educated, politically very-liberal-to-leftist, thoughtful and charming. The Coultergeist's? Uneducated, semiliterate, asinine, antisemitic--and that's just the nicer ones. I'm sure they gravitate to her for any number of reasons, none terribly savory. But what would I know? I'm just a humble prog-blogger who attracts a lot of nice, intelligent, thoughtful, well-educated people. (And the odd wanker who can't resist outing themselves here every week. I take that to be a cry for help.)

18. Ezra Fucking Levant. Lying about anyone, in any way, is pretty damn stupid. Lying in print, about someone with mile-deep pockets, like, oh, say, George Soros? Suicidally idiotic. But guess who did it? Yep, Canada's prize idiot himself. What a great satisfaction to see him backpedal for a change; would be better not to see him fuck up like this in the first place. PS: Hey, Ethical Oil Boy, would you like some fries with this?

19. Anthony Fucking Cramer. Do you think he's got "mom" issues? I certainly do...

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20. John Fucking Baird. Slagging the "Toronto elites" for their anti-gun stance is pretty damn rich coming from someone who was born and educated there (in an elite private school, no less!), as was his equally anti-"elitist" boss. Well, one good thing is bound to come out of this: no one in Toronto, which has not sent a Conservative to Parliament since 1993, is ever gonna vote SupposiTory again! Neither is anyone in Montréal, for obvious reasons. And given that the majority of Canadians are city or town folk, and even in rural areas a majority are, with good reason, in favor of sensible gun controls (as opposed to the senselessness of no controls at all), well...let's just say that it's looking better and better for a progressive coalition, if only the opposition parties could get their goddamned act together and get the right message out.

21. Phyllis Fucking Schlafly. Support my unmarried ass with your withered lips, you hateful hag. Oh, and about that "national defense" thing? Tell it to the Military-Industrial Complex, they're laughing all the way to the fucking bank. Maybe if you washed that ancient lacquer out of your hair, your brain might get some oxygen for a change.

22. Stephen Fucking Harper. A liar? Slap my mouth! Damned if he isn't a big fat one after all. (This, of course, surprises no one, not even the First Cat.)

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23. James Fucking Powers. And the entire Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, come to that. Justifying their senseless boondoggle's existence by selling out environmentalists to natural-gas drillers? That is one low fucking blow. Also just one more proof, in case you needed it, that corporatism and fascism are one and the same, just as Mussolini said.

24. Bryan Fucking Fischer. If he's gonna go saying the things he goes around saying, I think he needs to do the following: Prove that he's been in the military; prove that he's not inbred; demonstrate exactly how being gay is "domestic terrorism"; and stop stoning the fucking whales!

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25. Geir Fucking Haarde. See what happens when you refuse to regulate, and just let banks have their way? You get financial collapse, a fallen government, and lawsuits everywhere!

26. and 27. Larry Fucking Black and Joel Fucking Fox. When you work for Joe Fucking Arpaio, the World's Worst Sheriff, misconduct goes with the territory. So does getting suspended when the public has finally had enough of your collective shit.

And that's it for this week. Any of you wankers out there across the pond feel like outing yourselves here tonight? Or are you done with trolling? Either way, my signoff to you remains the same as it ever was:

Good night, and get fucked!

Quotable: Helen Keller on activism

‎"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."

--Helen Keller

September 17, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging Too: Chavecito on Venezuela's Jews

This should lay to rest any residual bullshit about Chavecito's so-called antisemitism. Here he is, on Yom Kippur, talking about Venezuela's Jews and how they fit in to the multi-cultural, multi-religious mix of Venezuela:

The last part is especially lovely. He tells how he was approached by an elderly Jewish man who'd survived Auschwitz and lost his entire family. He came to Venezuela, not Israel, looking for a new homeland. He found it, and feels very much at home.

Shabbat Shalom, Salaam Aleikum, Pax Vobis--as VTV's Walter Martínez likes to say every Friday night on his news show, Dossier. Everyone belongs in Bolivarian Venezuela. And no one is persecuted.

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Just for laughs

Look! Chavecito made a funny:

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Urgh, that was a groaner. But not without a grain of truth...

September 16, 2010

"Nothing to Celebrate"--a bicentennial rap for Chile

Ricardo Cien has a scathing musical indictment for a country turning 200. Here are the lyrics:

Today Chile turns 200 years old

200 years old

Where many have given their lives

to make this place worthy

of equality, fraternity and social justice

But others only left behind hatred,

misery, hunger, shame

giving away natural resources

to foreign businesses

the same that exploited us for 200 years

the same that conquered us 500 years ago

We the exploited are fed up

And we have nothing to celebrate

CHORUS:
You who are fed up with the same
fairy tales, heroic deeds, oddities
Your blood is boiling, you're enraged
You're almost at your limit
seeing the riffraff still on their thrones
because they inherited the reins of power
You're sickened by the lies
from the sons and grandsons of those same people from
200 years ago
You're aware of the past and the present
Celebrate, celebrate
while your president lies

200 years have passed
Things haven't changed much
The same foreign surnames
are still running the game
This song is a call
to all the people, women, children, youths,
students, indigenous people, workers.
To those they lie to on television
about the celebration
let's celebrate
abuse, deception, corruption
or not having the right to an education
university is a far-away dream
for the children of construction workers.
You who are tired of fighting against the current
This is for you, to whom El Mercurio lies every day.
You who voted for the businessman and are sorry.
You whose blood is burning
seeing how they lie to the ignorant because they're poor and don't have education
to the most unconscious for not having a better sight of reality
to the most individual for thinking only of themselves and not the others
to the idiot who thinks everything is just right,
who doesn't criticize, never proposes changes, and unfortunately thinks that's normal

(CHORUS)

You who are a woman and whose rights have always been violated
in a country controlled by sexist macho men
You who are a boy and live in La Pintana
whose sister is 13 and probably already pregnant
Your dad's in jail, your mom does other people's laundry
in a little village called Las Condes
where there are kids like you but who get milk to drink each morning
You who are discriminated against for having AIDS, being gay or a hooker
You who are sick from food that others don't even get to taste
You who are indigenous and have always been treated like trash,
your culture spat upon, with so much censorship
while the state protects the guy with the surname "German"
and let's hope they don't charge you as a terrorist who helps baddies
666, pact with Satan, 666
To you who have no bread, to you whose history professor
lied to you with books by Gonzalo Vial
To you whose house was raided, who were threatened, they robbed you and fled,
to you whom they killed in life
You who have a child who's fucked up on cocaine paste
You who don't get justice
because that's for those with money,
let's hope you have enough money
to get to the end of the month.
You who are old, your pension's a misery
let's hope you don't get sick again
because you don't have money for the clinic, after all

(CHORUS)

To you who they treat like a nut for thinking differently
You who live in the street.
You who dream of winning the lotto
to get out of DICOM one day
while your senator makes $10 million
and you have 10 million problems
You who were forgotten after the earthquake
You who live in the country with the worst wealth distribution
You who are a miner and a fisherman and who work for a misery
You have nothing to celebrate
the way your fucking president celebrates!

Translation mine.

September 15, 2010

Stupid Sex Tricks: One two three four, let's have a cum war!

"Make love, not war" obviously means nothing to aquatic flatworms. Their mating ritual consists of a cockfight; winner gets fatherhood, loser gets...well, you know.

Short 'n' Stubby: Isn't that (law) illegal?

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Ms. Manx is concerned about our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and about existing (old) laws on the books that predate and violate it and really, for that reason, should be stricken. Otherwise, ridiculous things like these can happen:

A man can (and DID) get arrested for practising witchcraft. No shit, there IS one old anti-witchcraft law on the books still here, although it's actually supposed to be an anti-fraud law. That is, you can't do witchcraft for financial gain. Okay, fine...why not strike that law and replace it with one saying you can't do any kind of religious ritual for financial gain? Make it applicable to "faith healers" of all stripes, so that it's truly fair and doesn't single us Wiccans out. Or is that going to cut unduly into the lucrative business of all those televangelists, megachurch pastors, and other charlatans calling themselves Christians?

And what the hell is up with that old World War II law to keep the Germans out? By now it's obvious that Germans are no threat to "public works" (if they were, neither of my parents would be in this country; my dad arrived here in the 1950s, and my mom in the '60s.) So who's the real threat? Protesters? REALLY? Oh come on. Since when has there been a war on protest here? Or...wait. I get it. It's a war on free speech! Suddenly it all makes sense--anything that opposes the G-20 and its brilliant plans to suck the life out of the world is illegal!

Ms. Manx says it's time to strike those ridiculous laws and replace them, if you must, with something that makes sense. And that does NOT violate our Charter, or wink at one group while smashing another.

Time to end the war in Afghanistan, for the entire region's sake

Maybe it's just me, my bookish predilections, and the fact that I'm reading a lot of Greg Mortenson's work right about now (I just finished re-reading Three Cups of Tea, and have now begun Stones Into Schools). Maybe it's the fact that people in need are the same everywhere. But if you needed more evidence that war really IS stupid, read this:

While millions of Pakistanis in internal refugee camps struggle with shattered lives in the aftermath of last month's floods that destroyed farms, crops and livelihoods, Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team appears to be stuck on the launch pad.

The reasons could have to do with the realities of Canada's war in Afghanistan -- and the fact that, to put it mildly, our military may not be a popular item in many parts of Pakistan.

Certainly, there's widespread sentiment here that DART's 200 soldiers should already be on the ground in the flooded areas doing useful things like ramping up water purification systems and rebuilding damaged infrastructure like bridges, roads and electrical systems.

In disaster relief, says Walter Dorn, a professor at Canadian Forces College, "the big advantage of the military is rapid deployment. We haven't seen much of that [by Canada], and it is disappointing."

It's not clear what the holdup is, since Foreign Affairs is keeping its cards close to its chest on the matter, but some observers believe the sticky issue is Pakistan's demand that Canuck troops go unarmed.

Despite a late August press report that Pakistan is about to issue a formal request for DART, Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dana Cryderman denies that is the case, saying that only "informal discussions" with Islamabad on the subject are happening at the moment.

"In general, should a decision be made to deploy Canadian civilian or military personnel, a thorough analysis of the security situation would be conducted to determine requirements for the safety and security of government of Canada personnel," she tells this reporter.

Given the level of fighting in Afghanistan and the near civil war in Pakistan, you can see the problem.

Dorn points out that Canadians are dying in Afghanistan while fighting a Pashtun-based insurgency that has roots in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the same time, terrorist attacks have occurred in all regions of Pakistan, not just in the Pashtun northwest border areas.

Some locals will see Canadian DART soldiers "as enemies in their homeland," he says. "There may be people living in Pakistan who are making plans to kill Canadians in Afghanistan. I think Canadians in Pakistan offer themselves as a target. There is a segment of the population that is virulently anti-American," and by extension, he says, anti-NATO.

Nine years ago, right about this time, the US declared war against Afghanistan, and dragged the rest of NATO into it. I knew right away that it would be disastrous, and it gives me no satisfaction to see how right I was. NATO is a Cold War relic that should have been demolished at the same time the Berlin Wall fell, and instead, here it is, being made the handmaiden of "western"--really, just US--imperialism yet again. And it's all because no one in any western government had the guts and the vision to say something like "Enough of this crap, it's time to work for peace! Let's abolish this organization and act in good faith for a change."

Meanwhile, innocent people in Pakistan and Afghanistan are paying for our collective folly with their lives. War, war is stupid...yes, yes indeedy.

September 14, 2010

Hope is born in Chile...

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...in the guise of a tiny baby girl:

Ariel Ticona, a miner, has a new reason to survive for a few months at 700 metres below the earth's surface, where he has been trapped for 40 days along with 32 comrades. Today, his daughter Esperanza (Hope) was born via Caesarian section, according to a nurse who attended the delivery.

Esperanza arrived at 12:20, weighing 3.050 kilograms and measuring 48 centimetres long.

Her mother, Elizabeth Segovia, admitted to being "very nervous" before entering the operating room in the Copiapó clinic, 800 kilometres north of the capital city of Santiago.

Rarely in Chile does the birth of a baby attract so much media attention, especially from abroad.

Ticona had promised to be by his wife's side when she gave birth, but the collapse in the San José mine on August 5 made it impossible for him to keep that promise. For that reason he asked his wife to allow the birth to be videotaped so that he could watch from 700 metres below ground.

The tape will be delivered to the mine, 50 kilometres north of Copiapó, and will be seen this very day by the proud father and his comrades.

The 33 miners communicate with family and friends in the little city that grew up around the disaster site--called "Camp Esperanza"--by way of videos and letters.

The recent installation of a fibre-optic cable in one of the narrow ducts from the surface to the disaster site allows the families to communicate directly with the miners.

In one of the first videos sent by the miners to the surface, Ariel Ticona appears, talking about his wife.

"She's at home, because she's pregnant, and now it won't be long before our daughter is born and it won't be quiet anymore. Tell her to change the name of our daughter...a kiss from a distance," can be heard on the tape, broadcast on television by Channel 13. From down below, many miners can be heard shouting, "We will give you Esperanza (Hope)".

In an interview with the same channel, the miner's wife said that the baby girl was to have been called Carolina Elizabeth. She added that both had thought separately of changing the name, "but we no longer had to come to an agreement...he was thinking it there, and I was thinking it here, at home. We were going to call her Carolina Elizabeth, but now it will be changed to Esperanza Elizabeth."

Translation mine.

Meanwhile, in news that should disgust us all, the mining company has decided not to pay the miners for the duration of their entrapment. The future of little Esperanza is by no means secure; the same greed and callous stupidity responsible for her father's absence is depriving her of other vital life necessities. She and her mother have a major struggle ahead, and so do the families of all the others. It's not just a disaster, it's a scandal.

Arrested for telling it like it is

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Anti-Uribe demonstrators at work.

Land of the free, home of the brave...unless, of course, you're trying to use your freedom and show your bravery by confronting a human-rights abuser at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC:

A member of a non-governmental organization was arrested for shouting at Alvaro Uribe at Georgetown University.

The arrestee started to yell at the ex-president while he was delivering a talk in Washington.

The incident took place during professor Eric Langenbacher's class on comparative political systems, which was being held in the ICC Auditorium of the university.

A large number of students were in attendance, as were members of the "Adios Uribe" coalition, which was formed to oppose the presence of the former Colombian president.

At one point during the exchange of questions and answers, Uribe declared that his government had not violated any human rights.

At that moment, Nico Udu-Gama, a member of "Adios Uribe" and SOA Watch, began to shout insults at the former president. Police then arrived and arrested him for disturbing the peace.

"Adios Uribe" has called for marches in all university buildings where Uribe will be speaking, no matter how small the attendance. On average, there are no more than 20 attendees per appearance.

After the incident, Uribe gave another class, but on that occasion, the police were already present and prevented demonstrators from entering the lecture hall.

Translation mine.

I just noticed something that made me grin: "Adios Uribe Coalition" has the same initials as the paramilitary terror group El Narco has ties to in Colombia. I'm sure that's no coincidence. Just a shame that the police are arresting demonstrators, and not HIM--he deserves it much more.

September 12, 2010

Best bad book review EVER.

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Something (and that something being Thwap) tells me that a certain putz from out west is about to be fast-tracked to the remainder bin. His latest parvum opus is obviously financed by tar-sands profiteers, since it paints their dirty oil as "ethical". Here's all you really need to know about it:

It is so surprisingly bad that one would think that Levant spent two-thirds of the time he was supposed to be writing the book reaching under his belly to jerk himself off to his fantasies about Stockwell Day.

And if that called up an awful picture in your mind, you're far from alone. I have it on good authority that Ezzy's schlong is only two centimetres in length when fully erect. I also know what LaughingStock looks like in his wetsuit; it's an uninspiring vision, to say the least.

EDIT: Great minds, etc.

Music for a Sunday: "When the eagles crawl on the ground"

This wonderful Alí Primera song goes out to the people of Venezuela today, as they mourn the sudden loss (on Friday) of William Lara, their former president of the National Assembly (and at the time of his fatal car accident, governor of the state of Guárico).

If you've seen The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, you've seen William Lara. He's the man who got on the phone to reporters in several countries, informing them that the putschists were lying, that Hugo Chávez did not step down as president, that he was kidnapped and held prisoner. Had Chávez and his vice-president been killed, as the putschists had no doubt intended, Lara would have been next in line, constitutionally, to serve as president of Venezuela; his life, like that of all Chávez's parliamentary cohort, was at grave risk during those 48 awful hours. Lara was also the one who swore in Diosdado Cabello, then vice-president, as temporary president, so he could officially order the military out to bring Chávez back. And, having worked as a journalist himself, William Lara knew the importance of getting the truth out through the media. The role he played in the rescue of his president was a crucial one.

Here are the lyrics to the song, which at the time of Alí Primera's own death (also in a car accident) was still just a poignant precursor of the Bolivarian revolution to come:

When the soldier doesn't serve the Homeland in a general's garden, When the eagles crawl on the ground, When no one talks empty talk, When there are no more oppressed people, Then, I'll sing an ode to peace.

You can hear from a distance the drums of San Juan,
How they say to the blacks who used to be slaves, that they used to be slaves;
But what I know is that there's no song
That says to Venezuela that she's free, because she's not.
When the eagles crawl on the ground,
When no one talks empty talk,
When there are no more oppressed people, then
I'll sing an ode to peace.

Let's go, just once
Let's go, just once
We have to make revolution soon
Because the longer we wait,
The harder it gets.

When the eagles crawl on the ground,
When no one talks empty talk,
When there are no more oppressed people, then...
I'll sing an ode to peace.

Honor and glory to William Lara--journalist, revolutionary, parliamentarian, governor, hero. Peace be to his name.

September 11, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Crappy 9-11!

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Yeah, like I need to wish any of you a lousy return of this day, eh? Hell, this day was lousy long before it even came to be called 9-11; just ask the Chileans. They lost Salvador Allende, and their country's best hope to become sovereign, on this day in 1973. But since we in the northern hemisphere have had all our perceptions colored and every aspect of our lives fucked up by this day in 2001, calling it "Crappy 9-11" is just a sad statement of fact. Life has been crappy for all of us since, and for some, it's getting worse. It's all because of this day, and this week's wankers are the ones who just make it all the crappier:

1. Glenn Fucking Beck. Surprise! He lied. This is news? There is NO FUCKING WAY the National Archives would let him hold George Washington's original, hand-written inaugural address in his filthy, greasy, shit-stained paws. All right? And that's not the only time. He is a chronic, compulsive, pathological liar. So all you freaks who believe him, do the world a favor and crawl back under your rocks, and don't come out again. EVER.

2. Terry Fucking Jones. Well, didn't HE just lead us all on a merry dance this past week? First he WAS going to burn the Qur'an today, then he wasn't, then he was, then he didn't, and now he says he was and is never going to. I guess I should be surprised, but I'm not. Behind all the exasperation, I'm utterly bored with this fucking wanker, and I don't care if I never hear another word about him until he commits a flaming suicide. His real objective wasn't even to blackmail the Park 51 imam, Faisal Abdul Rauf, to change locations, as was often reported; the imam denies setting an appointment to meet him. So what was it, really? Oh, what else. To attract publicity, and to make a quick buck to pay for all the properties his cult (which should not be dignified with the title of ministry or church) had suddenly acquired. And maybe, also, to air his insanity for the world to see. Like we all really needed to see it this week, out of all 52 a year.

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3. Walid Fucking Shoebat. Honestly, with a last name like that, the jokes just write themselves. But seriously, he is BATSHIT.

4. David Fucking Frum. I'm sure Margaret Atwood is disappointed to see YOU on the tweeter, too. (I know I am.)

5. Ezra Fucking Levant. There are about a myriad other good reasons for this inclusion, but let's just say this one topped it for me:

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Face it, Ezzy, she's just not that into you.

6. Tony Fucking Blair. Oh, he doesn't want the public to be "inconvenienced by protesters". You fucking wanker, Tony--the protesters ARE the public, and they are angry at you because you are a war criminal who LIED to them!

7. Joel Fucking Hanson. There are just three words to describe him and his politics: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!! Cuckoo!!!

8. Nicolas Fucking Sarkozy. Can't govern worth merde? Zut alors, just pick on the Gypsies, n'importe pourquoi. Doesn't everyone?

9. Stephen Fucking Harper. Sudden show of humanity, this late in the game? Fail. Besides, everyone knows Harpo's a bot. PS: That sign thing? That's a super-wank. That money should ALL be going toward public services and job creation, not self-glorifying pud-pulling.

10. The Fucking Teabags of Montana. That "joke" about Matthew Shepard was so funny I forgot to laugh. So I'm gonna try again--here goes: Ha. Ha. Ha. (Nope. Still can't do it.)

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11. All these fucking sanctimonious homophobes here. They disgust me with their displays of piety and bigotry. Why do they have to do that in public? Can't they do it in their closets, like Jesus said to do?

12. Piero Fucking Gheddo. With a surname like that, the ghetto jokes just about write themselves, don't they? But wait till you see the ideology. Yes, the bigoted side of pronatalism is never far below the surface. I think it's the celibacy that brings it out; makes 'em spiteful.

13. Laura Fucking Schlessinger. Yeah, the Nazis really came to power by banning the word nigger. Either she really is this fucking stupid, or she's hoping YOU are--to believe her as she outdoes herself by sodomizing Godwin. Did I mention yet that they got a large part of their ideological inspiration from the bowels of the KKK?

14. The Fucking Savage Wiener. Bitch, quit projecting. It's not Jon Stewart that's the problem, it's YOU.

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15. Bryan Fucking Fischer. The only thing Muslims need from Christians (besides a healthy dose of understanding) is to be left in peace. And the only reason they are killing each other in Afghanistan and Iraq is because "Christians" came in, meddled in their politics, and started killing THEM. PS: This doesn't exactly help with the wankish image, either.

16. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Yes, the US is in a fight for its life--against the likes of YOU, you fucking Pigman! And you know something else? I'm not at all surprised that he and Wanker #2 are graduates of the same high school, same class even. Both do the same two things, basically: stir up bigoted hate and make money off it.

17. The Fucking Koch Brothers. Yes, there are two of them. But since their net wealth is the same, and they do the same unforgivable fucking shit with it, they are tied for their position on this list.

18. Jonathan Fucking Kay. Ever get the feeling he writes all his screeds one-handed? I certainly do. Maybe that's because whenever he jerks out something about honor killings, there are spots of sticky whitish ooze all over it. And all kinds of factual errors within.

19. This big fucking coward right here.

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20. Hans Fucking Zeiger. Who but a complete and pluperfect wanker could hate on those cute little cookie-selling Girl Scouts? Oh, only a long-standing and very proud woman-hater. Who else?

21. Joe Fucking Arpaio. Worst Sheriff in the World wants to become Second Worst US President Ever (Dubya, of course, being the first)? Fortunately, this one's gonna lose long before he gets anywhere near the starting line.

22. Shirley Fucking Phelps Fucking Roper. Why the double Fucking? Because there's just no hate that this brainwashed evil wench won't monger.

23. These twelve sick fucking bastards right here. Actually, they are worse than wankers--they are utterly vile. Just one more reason to end all wars--you'd be denying the psychopaths a free ride. And if serial murder for fun and the taking of trophies isn't psychopathy, then I don't know what is. They all belong behind bars for the rest of their lives.

24. Sarah Fucking Palin. Yeah, building a peaceful community centre is, like, totally the equivalent of burning a holy book! Totally! Nice of her to keep picking on a place that she will probably never even see. And what the fuck is the meaning of this?

Book burning is bad. But the Muslim cleric who is running for parliament in Afghanistan is calling for the murder of American children in response to scorched Korans, which is worse. Where is the media's focus?"

Um, maybe it's because THERE WAS NO SUCH CLERIC. The media can't report a story that doesn't actually exist, Sarah, you stupid wench. And WTF is this?

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"Stand down" is what you say to soldiers in a war, and it's a command given by an officer. Who put this idiot in charge of the troops? And what are they at war against, as if we couldn't guess? If it's a war against Muslims you want, Sarah, get thee into uniform and get thee over to Afghanistan. I don't think you'd last long, though, seeing as you're not really used to handling guns.

24. Ron Fucking Johnson. Just like the Pigman (see points #5 and 6 here), he never bothered to register or vote until something was in it for him. Niiiiiiice. Remember this? Add also this. And this. And then, ask yourself if this person is really worthy to run for dogcatcher.

25. Jeff Fucking Marsh, alias Joe Fucking Cardiff. Who he? Basically, he's the UK equivalent to Pamela Fucking Geller. Or wants to be. Well, in one way he WILL be just like her: He's gonna get his sorry ass handed to him on a plate. And none too soon.

26. Fucking Dubya. No, we STILL don't believe you can read a book, and we're certain the one you "wrote" was ghosted. You can't even read a dinky little CIA briefing, and your old man was head of that agency. You couldn't listen to your Auntie Condi, either. Why else did 9-11 happen? It's YOUR FUCKING FAULT, DUBYA. That's why.

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27. Phil Fucking Davison. Angry much? You're yelling, and nobody knows why.

28. Bob Fucking Old. Did this copycat asshole burn any books today? Yes, he did. And karma is going to fuck him for it.

29. and 30. FUX Snooze and The Fucking New York Post. Ghoulish, or what? Oh yeah, and thanks for the fact-free junk food for the brain. I'm sure everyone who lost someone that day really appreciates this kind of "coverage".

31. Matt Fucking Drudge. I thought nothing he did could be more disgusting than his sexual fetish for eggs. I was wrong, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

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32. Newt Fucking Gingrich. He's irrelevant, and he hasn't a snowball's chance, but damned if he's not still determined to hijack all the discourse, all the same. This is true to pattern; he did it in the '90s, too. But back then, he was in power; he's just a loudly whining mosquito nowadays. If Obama were to come out against Park 51, he'd be demonstrating not "evenhandedness", but the same blind wingnut bigotry that's poisoned everything since that god-awful day. Newt, don't mess with New York City's planning decisions--just fuck off and go home.

33. Pamela Fucking Geller. Yeah, I'd say "charlatan" about covers it. Personally I'd have gone for "fascist fuckhead", but that's just me. She claims way more people attended her flying-monkey poop-fest than actually came.

34. Donald Fucking Trump. Naturally, he too had to stick his hideous combover in where it wasn't wanted and didn't belong. Never mind that the piece of real estate in question has actually been used as an informal prayer site for several years now, with NO outrage or interference. Does that not tell anybody anything?

35. Rosie Fucking DiManno. Who died and made HER the arbiter of what's "reasonable"? Another fucking opportunistic hijacker of discourse. (Yeah, surprise, they're not all in the US; Canada has 'em too, unfortunately.)

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Finally, this one's for all those who still oppose Park 51. Did you know that the World Trade Centre itself played host to an informal mosque? And that more innocent Muslims died as a result of the terrorism that day nine years ago than perpetrated the crime? And that some of them were probably in that prayer room on the 17th floor when the building came down? Yes, that's right: GROUND ZERO WAS A MOSQUE LONG BEFORE IT WAS GROUND ZERO. Read all about it, and stop your goddamned infernal bigoted screeching. The world has had enough of your shit.

Good night, and get fucked!

September 10, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Gotta hand it to Venezuela...

And Chavecito certainly does. He was in the Caracas barrio of Petare today, handing out land titles to community organizations so that poor folks have more autonomy over their own homes:

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And of course, he was proudly wearing the flag as he did so. He's got plenty to be proud of. Today also marks the fifth anniversary of Venezuela being declared free of illiteracy by the UN. It's still going strong, with no regressions. They did it with the help of Cuba. Can your capitalism do that?

September 9, 2010

Jaime Bayly: Gay or not gay?

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Sounds like someone is flirting with confusion:

Peruvian journalist and writer Jaime Bayly, who wanted to be a presidential candidate in 2011, said that his gay side was eclipsed when he revealed he would be a father for the third time during his TV program, broadcast from Lima.

"God wants me to be a father, not a president," joked Bayly, 45, who said that his girlfriend Silvia, 21, was expecting a baby in April 2011, coincidentally the same month as the Peruvian presidential election.

"I'm not gay, I can't be gay, I still like women. I met Silvia and fell in love with her. Two things happened: She cured my impotence; and, in falling in love with her, my gay side was eclipsed," said Bayly, who is as famous for his jokes as he is for his novels.

His future fatherhood would also have a direct effect upon his desire to be a candidate, Bayly said, declaring that "the presidential salary won't be enough for me to support three children."

Bayly, who directs the program "The Sniper", in which he plays with an image of bisexuality cultivated in his novels, is the father of two girls by his first marriage. A self-declared "provocateur", "left liberal", and defender of abortion and gay marriage, Bayly polled a voting intention that fluctuated between 5% and 8%.

Translation mine.

Readers may recall that I translated a piece by Jaime Bayly a while back, in which he revealed that Guido Antonini Wilson, the perpetrator of the briefcase-bribery scandal in Argentina, was actually opposed to Chavecito, and was actively trying to bring him down through the "Valijagate" incident. Bayly met Antonini, who tried to befriend him, and found him a tad hinky; in the end, no real friendship ensued.

I don't doubt that Bayly is still bisexual; falling in love with women doesn't preclude the gay side of him from rearing its head (which it may well do again at some time in the future, Silvia notwithstanding). He's a pretty mixed-up character, from what I hear; he was recently in rehab for cocaine addiction; no word on if he's actually recovered. Time and reflection will help him a lot more with all his issues than facetious denials, but that's something only he will be able to find out for himself. And I do hope he will.

Uribe gets booed at Georgetown U.

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"I swear to you, the terrorists are the FARC and the ELN!"

Heh. Looks like someone's not going to be allowed to forget his narcoparamilitary violent past so easily, after all...

The former president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, was booed on Thursday by a group of students at Georgetown University, in Washington DC, where he had come to teach his first class as professor of International Leadership Practices.

A group of students, calling itself the "Adios Uribe Coalition", invited the ex-president to leave with placards reading "Ciao". They had met by way of e-mail, according to Caracol Radio. "We are putting out a call for six or more students who are prepared to be arrested for sabotaging the class from within," read one of the e-mails.

Already within the lecture hall, a student from Ecuador accused the ex-president of being "a perfect assassin" before Uribe could resolve any doubt that the young woman might have had. Then the girl asked him about the "hundreds of extrajudicial executions committed by your government", whereupon the former president replied with "an historical argument which dates back to the 1920s," according to the student.

The US press been an echo to the polemics surrounding Uribe's contract as professor of the university, even though, according to the LA Times, "not everyone on campus was happy with the presence of the ex-president of Colombia". Various messages from students, addressed to Dean Anthony Clark, reflected that, according to the paper.

"Uribe created the 'Convivir' paramilitaries during his time as governor of Antioquia, a group which later became the AUC (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia)," recalled a student, who criticized the fact that "Georgetown is legitimizing Uribe and his legacy by giving him an opportunity to present himself before the students", considering that "it's an offence to the thousands of victims of his administration and for the human-rights communities in the United States and Colombia."

Translation mine.

This hasn't made the lamestream media yet; I googled. The closest thing to it I could find was this Peruanista entry from three years ago. So, obviously, this has happened before. (Gee, I wonder why.)

Sure must suck to be you, Alvarito. And it sucks to see the media being such fucking toadies, too. But it's nice to see students holding you accountable, even if they don't succeed in getting your war-criminal ass kicked out of the country or into a nice, cushy cell at Club Fed where it belongs.

Short 'n' Stubby: Here come da commies!!!

I'm gonna retire the Stumpy Cat for a moment here, and let Our Man in Black take over:

BTW, Mike has a show blog now, too, which I'm gonna 'roll shortly.

And while we're on the topic of blogs that should be on your 'roll, and commie-pinko socialists, please welcome the kick-ass Dr. Sherry Wolf to the blogosphere. At long last, socialism for the United States--REALLY.

September 8, 2010

Stupid Sex Tricks: This'll put Weight Watchers out of business...

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...at least with the menfolks. (I always knew that pic would come in handy, somehow, somewhere...)

Fat is fun! At least, that's the word from Turkey this week. Researchers at Erciyes University in Kayseri have just completed a yearlong study correlating body mass index (BMI) and male sexual performance. Their findings: Men with excess body fat last longer in bed. In fact, heavier men were able to make love for an average of 7.3 minutes, while slender men could count themselves lucky if they held on for a mere 108 seconds.

The reason? Female hormones. Men with excess fat showed higher levels of the female estradiol sex hormone. This substance apparently disrupted their bodies' natural "male" neurotransmitter chemicals and slowed their progression towards orgasm. Ironically, the less masculine their bodies appeared, the better lovers they proved to be.

The scientists compared the BMI and sexual performance of over 100 men who were being treated for sexual dysfunction with 100 other males who lasted longer during sex. They found that men suffering from premature ejaculation were on the whole thinner and fitter than their "better endowed" brethren.

Sure this isn't just a ruse to get the fat dudes more lovin'? I mean, 7.3 minutes isn't exactly enough to make most women's earth move, if you know what I mean. And since we ARE visual creatures too (surprise!), well...

Reality check, fellas: your best bet is still to watch what you eat and get enough exercise. Diabetes will rob you of your performance, as can heart disease. And obesity increases the likelihood of both problems. In fact, a sexual slowdown is often the first sign of either disease, so if you're a lot fatter than you used to be, and find yourself lasting much longer than you used to, you will want to see your doctor and get tested.

And oh yeah: eat sensibly, don't smoke, and do, do, DO get some exercise every day. You're more likely to get laid if you look and feel your best, and it's as true for men as it is for women. That's something no study will ever contradict.

September 7, 2010

Good luck with that tour, Alejandro...

...because something tells me you're gonna need it, if this is any indication of the reception you're bound to get in Venezuela:

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Basically, the mediocre Spanish singer is asking Chavecito for permission to enter Venezuela. (You may recall that he got a shirt from a fan reading "Chávez Sucks", not so long ago. And he was not at all shy of waving it around like a flag.)

Well, Luigino Bracci, who blogs here, took exception to that and cordially invited Sanz to stuff a hot potato down his pants. (Or words to that effect. How many people north of the Río Grande eat yucca, anyway?)

And he's far from alone in that sentiment; other Venezuelan tweeters were equally vocal, and they got retweeted over and over and over again. Given that the Venezuelan twittersphere has gone rojo rojito since Chavecito got on the tweeter, that's a lot of pissed-off little birdies who think Sanz sucks.

Alejandro Sanz might want to purchase a pair of kneepads, if he doesn't already own any. He's got a LOT of grovelling ahead of him. And I do hope he likes the taste of mierda, because he's gonna be eating it three squares a day.

EDIT, Wednesday the 8th @ 5:47 PM: Ha, ha...look who I scooped. I had this post up two days ago.

September 6, 2010

Honduras coup redux: Bananas in pajamas, part 2

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So who says history never repeats? First the robber barons of corporate media oust a legitimately elected president of Honduras, and now they threaten to do the same with a more dubious one who still follows in his predecessor's footsteps a bit too closely for their liking...

The president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, reiterated on Monday that he had received threats, along with offers of "pajamas", alluding to the coup d'état that toppled the former president, Manuel Zelaya, in June 2009. Zelaya was taken prisoner by the military and expelled from the country in his pajamas.

"Some people think they can scare me. They threaten me and even offer pajamas," said Lobo, who is embroiled in a controversy due to the assignment of a television frequency to the government. The frequency is being claimed by a businessman in a court case.

Lobo had previously denounced telephone calls telling him to "buy a good pair of pajamas".

The controversy over the frequency of Channel 8 dates back to 2007, when the National Telecommunications Commission of Honduras initially conceded the frequency to businessman Elías Asfura, but later handed it to the government.

Various media, the Communications Media Association of Honduras, and the Honduran College of Journalists, have expressed support for Asfura, but the government has defended the congressional decision to assign the frequency to the state.

Translation mine.

If you think you've read this story before, you probably have. (More than once, I might add, since the same was tried, with less success, in Venezuela, before and after the termination of RCTV's over-the-air licence.) Communications media were not just instrumental to the Honduran coup of last year, they were behind it right up to their eyeballs. Go to Machetera now, and keep clicking and reading.

September 5, 2010

Guess who's gonna lose on September 26?

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I'll give you a broad hint: It's the ones who have no platform, and nothing but stupid gimmicks.

An opposition candidate in next month's Venezuelan legislative elections is holding a breast implant raffle to fund his campaign, he said in a newspaper interview published Friday.

"The raffle is a legal method. We decided on breast implants because we wanted to target a specific public sector," Gustavo Rojas told El Universal.

"Raffle tickets on sale now: win a breast implant operation for yourself or your partner," Rojas announces on his website.

The interview does not mention either the cost of a breast implant operation or how much money Rojas expects to get with the raffle.

This guy is with the right-wing Primero Justicia party. "Justice First" is actually not very justice-oriented, if they have to resort to this kind of sexist pandering. They've resorted to other pandering in the past, promising to clean up the garbage and fight crime. And what did they do when elected?

NOTHING.

The Caracas barrio, Petare, has a Primero Justicia mayor, Carlos Ocariz. His cops are more interested in repressing Chavistas, and the bright yellow garbage bins--the PJ party color--are overflowing, with no sign of a pickup truck in sight.

Guess who's gonna lose the municipal elections of the 26th? The party with the biggest boobs, that's who.

Music for a Sunday: One for my Spanish-speaking friends

This is a rare find, and I was so happy to see that someone put it on YouTube:

A pretty damn decent translation of "Nights in White Satin", performed by the selfsame Moody Blues. I hope nobody snickers at their mispronounced Spanish. I'm just amazed and delighted that this song even exists in Spanish at all!

September 4, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Eleanor Rigby memorial edition

Music, maestro...this is going to be a musical wankapedia!

All the crazy people...where do they all come from? I don't know the answer, but this list is where they belong. Ah, look at all the crazy people!

1. Pamela Fucking Geller. Making the world safe for crazy Islamophobes and irony-impaired Nazi-symps everywhere. Isn't she wonderful? Isn't she brilliant? Isn't she just such a humanitarian? Isn't it time she were locked up in a nice rubber room by big men in white coats? Honestly, this woman reminds me of the three lonely old hate-mongering cuckoos from Mother Night, who made common cause over a hatred of a common enemy. And those unreformed Nazis who made her their pet Jew do, too.

2. Billy Fucking Roper. Alan Berg died in a hail of terrorist bullets so that white-power terrorists (and bank robbers) like Bruce Fucking Pierce could have a "viking funeral". Oh, the humanity. And since when do "martyrs" die of natural causes? Even if it's in a "ZOG" prison, that's not martyrdom. If you really want to give the bastard a Viking funeral, tie together some logs, put the corpse on it, set the thing on fire, shove it into the middle of a bog, and wait till it sinks. It's cheap, and it's plenty authentic. I doubt very much that he merits any of the accoutrements of the original ship burials, such as slaves buried alongside.

3. Godfried Fucking Danneels. Silence is golden, especially when it's the fortunes of the Vatican that are at stake. After all, someone's got to pay damages to all those clerical sexual abuse victims. And in this case, the abuse was INCEST as well. What could make the church look worse? Silence is golden, golden, but still my eyes can see...

4. Bill Fucking Keller. A Muslim community centre at Park 51: unacceptable. But a church for hate-mongering bigots? Apparently fine. Where is the outrage?

5. The Fucking Fraser Institute. Canada's one-note wonder stink-tank is churning out free-market crapaganda like there's no tomorrow...and if we take their glurge to heart, there WILL be no tomorrow. Running schools like businesses turns children into commodities. And worse yet, what happens when a private school--business--fails? Worst of all, look at the product they turn out. Conrad Fucking Black was privately educated, and he's our biggest corporate felon. He got his start in kleptocracy by cheating at school and selling cheat sheets to his classmates. This is what's "competitive" to Fraser & Co.? DO NOT WANT.

6, 7, and 8. Greg Fucking Gutfield, Erick Fucking Erickson, and Matt Fucking Drudge. You know things have gone through the Looking Glass when the far-right is collectively yearning for a Dear Leader who appears to have sprung straight from old Joe Stalin's loins. Funny how none of them ever screamed about Dubya's effeminacy when he choked on a pretzel and fell off his mountain bike. At least His Barackness isn't embarrassing them by doing anything as stupid as THAT. Last time I looked, guys, real men wore bike helmets. (The brain is a sex organ too, and it's bigger than the gonads.)

9. Rand Fucking Paul. Well, at least he finally confirmed my suspicion that when you scratch a flibbertigibbertarian, you find a fascist. Or in this case, a whole heap of tainted fascist MONEY. No wonder he was so keen on letting business owners get racist all over their clientele.

10. Thilo Fucking Sarrazin. The swastika may be illegal in Germany (and rightly so), but fascistic pseudoscience is apparently still allowed. And worse, assholes who subscribe to it manage to rise to high places in the banking sector. Who's a bigger wanker than Thilo? The other bankers, for not condemning him.

11. Jason Fucking Kenney. What's with the red-baiting? What fucking decade is this? Hello, Jason, are you aware that the Cold War is long over? And should a man who's still in the closet go around accusing political opponents of being "on the extreme edge of the left and not in touch with reality", when his own party is now on the extreme edge of the right and, judging by its hatred of all things factual, scientific and statistical, DEFINITELY not in touch with reality?

12. Andy Fucking Coulson. Wow, who knew that Tories on the other side of the pond were just as sleazy and unethical as their namesake counterparts over here? Those who voted for these punks obviously didn't. And now look how their surveillance society is mutating. Shocking, innit? This could be in store for us, too, if the Harpocraps get another term in office. Or if the Liberals and the NDP keep kowtowing to them.

13. Brian Fucking Ross. So, I take it that false-alarm terror tale was just a dry run for some real news, then?

14. Michael Fucking Reagan. The only thing worse than Glenn Fucking Beck's lunacy is watching someone else suck his schlong for it. And unfortunately for Glenn, Michael, and the Ghost of Michael's Dad, the Founders were very explicit (in the Treaty of Tripoli) that the US is not a Christian theocracy. Meaning, "under God", that phrase appended to the Pledge of Allegiance during the McCarthy era, is null and void, and that all this talk of losing one's way is nothing but a cloud of ill-smelling breath.

15. Sarah Fucking Palin. Yes, she's every bit as shallow, harpyish, rude, vindictive, and just plain nasty as we've long suspected she was. And then some. It doesn't surprise me a bit that those who have worked for her are "broken, used, stepped on, down in the dust." Unfortunately, the same is also true of her much-trumpeted kids. The least she could do is pay them for the trouble they go through on her behalf.

16. Concerned Fucking Women of America. You know you're scraping the bottom of the barrel when you're scouring the silly, trashy gossip mags for evidence that older women + younger men = EVIL. I am so tempted to make jokes here about how badly these "women" (who at one point were headed by a man--are they still?) need to stop being so damn "concerned" and just get laid. Preferably by a cute young guy. But everyone knows that that would not only be cruel, it would be absurd.

17. This crazy fucking bitch right here.

18. Garry Fucking Breitkreuz. Oh sure, the long gun registry is about "public control". Just like motor-vehicle licensing. I guess Garry has never heard those four little magic words that turn a "law-abiding gun owner" into a raving, murderous gun nut: I want a divorce!

19. Csanad Fucking Szegedi. Nazis: Hungary still has them. Also amnesia: Remember the last time a European government rounded up Gypsies and put them in concentration camps? The Jobbik yobbos don't.

20. Tim Fucking Pawlenty. My best friend and his partner are glad to be back in Canada, and no wonder. If they were still living in Minnesota, they'd have to raise their two teen sons under a governor who subscribes to wingnut birth control--that is, abstinence-only sex ed, a program that everyone knows does not work.

21. Jan Fucking Brewer. Somebody call the embalmers! A corpse has lost its head! No, wait, false alarm--it's just the fascist zombie governor of Arizona, shooting her desiccated mouth off again. I guess they're not sewing shut the lips of the dead anymore. Pity. They pop open in those desert winds!

22. David Fucking Limbaugh. Did you know that the Pigman has a brother? And that the guy's a conspiracy nut? It's totally true!

23. Sharron Fucking Angle. A lunatic? A hypocrite? Oh shit, there's no reason why she can't be both. After all, she's a teabag!

24. Tony Fucking Blair. How was he NOT a wanker this week? At least he got some eggs and shoes out of the bargain. Meanwhile, countless Iraqis lost their lives.

And finally, to all the up-close and personal wankers who pooped, peed and ejaculated here this past week. I'm not going to bother going over what they left behind; if their mothers didn't teach them to clean up after themselves, that's not my fucking responsibility, any more than it's my job to blow sugar up their asses. You've probably seen them; if not, just look for entries where there are comments, and enjoy. As for the trolls, I have just this to say:

Good night, and get fucked!

Heroes for Today: All hail Ruza Pavlovic!

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If you were as sickened as I was to hear that some brain-damaged bastard had made a video of an unnamed girl throwing a bucketful of puppies into a river, you can now take a deep breath and relax. The dogs are safe, thanks to the quick thinking of a 75-year-old pensioner in Bosnia, who was on her way to work in a potato field when she "heard them fighting for their lives", according to the Swedish paper, Aftonbladet. Ruza Pavlovic is a hero, and I'm hoping there's good reward money in it for her; she could certainly use it until she can find new homes for those pups.

Meanwhile, the villains have apparently been found, although they are still unnamed:

The name of the girl, who is a juvenile, has not been released. But she was found after tips were received from animal protection groups in the country, London's Telegraph reported on Friday.

Police said the girl's parents will now be questioned.

The underage girl is from Bugojno, a central Bosnian town with a population of approximately 50,000.

A girl who claimed to be the one from the video posted a separate apology video on YouTube, CNET reported. She identified herself as Katja Puschnik.

Under one video frame, the apology said, "I would like to appologize for my behavior. The puppies belonged to my grandma and she told me to get rid of them because they were only 3 days and were ill. They had parasites from their mother. I didn't knew exactly what to do so I thrown them in the river because it was a short death. I did not want to make them suffer. I am really sorry for this :-( "

The video apology has since been removed, and the girl's identity could not be verified.

Velimir Ivanisevic, head of Sarajevo animal group SOS, said he was told the original video was filmed by the girl's brother.

"It is a mirror of society and the fact that young people are doing such things shows how they have been raised," Ivanisevic said.

The 44-second clip shows the young woman smiling as she picks several puppies out of a white bucket and viciously tosses them into rapidly moving river. At one point the girl exclaims "whee."

"Whee"? What a thing to say when animals are suffering.

Katja (or whatever your real name is), I hope you don't have any kids when you grow up. I'd hate to see what you'd do to THEM.

And if you're smart, you'll kick in all your allowance to Ruza Pavlovic, who is struggling to look after the dogs you tried so callously to kill.

River crossing, Pakistani style

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Srsly, even without monsoon floodwaters raging beneath you, this is crazy dangerous. Do NOT try this anywhere, kiddies.

September 3, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Chavecito waxes poetic

Did you know that Chavecito's not just a president, he's also a slam poet?

Okay, that's not his own poem he's reciting there (with guitar accompaniment by the great Cuban folk singer, Silvio Rodríguez). It's a poem by Alberto Arvelo Torrealba about Simón Bolívar, called "Por Aquí Pasó" (Through Here He Passed). Here's my (admittedly rough) translation:

Through here he passed, comrade, toward those distant mountains.

Look at that trail through the grasses,
look at it, comrade,
it's like the clear rains
in the dust-dry landscape,
like a well among tablelands,
like a star in a tunnel,
like the heron in the rushes,
like flights in the evening sky,
like the snow on the mountaintop,
like a fire in the night,
like a firefly in the air,
like the moon among sand dunes,
like the white horse on the coat-of-arms
and the tricolor in the sky.

Through here he passed, comrade,
toward those distant mountains.
There goes his only image,
grave, but aquiline,
saddle of burnished leather,
dapple-grey horse, brave of heart.
His cape like a flag,
his horse in the lead,
artist engraving villages,
man restoring nations,
tasting glories, great herdsman!

Through here he passed, comrade,
toward those distant mountains.
Listen!
Listen to that suspended voice
over the sun-gleam of those sand-dunes.

The voice that shouts the loudest,
listen to it, comrades!
It's like the sound of the conch-shells
when the mule-drivers pass,
like the breeze in the palms,
like the eagle in the ceibo,
like the thunder in the distance,
like the four-stringed guitar in the air,
like the anguish in my song,
like the rooster in the silence,
like the gunshot in the attack,
like the bull in the rodeo,
like the horse's whinny in the air,
like the helmet in the silence,
like the cry of the centaur in the Queseras del Medio,
like the Homeland in the anthem,
like the bugle on the wind.

Through here passed Bolívar, comrade,
toward those distant mountains!
In the evening sun today his profile
will rise, to return
over this immense desert.

Canada, Incorporated?

Some prog-blogging friends got up to no good recently, and this is what they brewed:

Suddenly it all makes sense. THAT's why the cops charged the G-20 demonstrators for singing what we thought was our national anthem--IT'S NOT OUR CORPORATE JINGLE!!!

(And, worse--they sang lyrics that Stevie the Spiteful didn't personally approve, as CEO of Canada, Inc.)

September 2, 2010

Why so afraid of a "Ground Zero mosque" that isn't?

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Israeli cartoonist Shlomo Cohen neatly illustrates the phantom nature of the "victory mosque at Ground Zero". It's not a "victory" mosque, it's not even an actual mosque, and it's not actually at Ground Zero. I'm pretty sure, though, given his background and country of residence, that satirizing irrational fear and hate was NOT his intention here.

Maybe I shouldn't post this so soon after the longest fucking quarrel I've had with a troll to date, but I'm damned if I let outsiders set my agenda here, any more than I let idiots make up my mind for me. So, here goes: I'm all in favor of Park 51, the non-mosque that is not gonna be built on the ashes of the former World Trade Centre.

That's right, you read that correctly. I'm totally cool with Park 51.

And yes, this post is gonna be my little contribution toward the education of those who let fear, hatred, bitterness, bigotry and generalized stupidity rule their lives. If it changes their minds about Park 51, great; if it at least forces them to think and rethink, it will have done what I meant it to do. (I can't do your thinking for you either, people, but I can give you plenty of crunchy food for thought, and I can ask you to take it quietly home and chew it over on your own, can't I?)

So. Here goes.

For starters, let's consider the political climate that surrounds the Park 51 debate. You would have to be totally dissociated to think that this debate is occurring in a vacuum. There is an awful lot of racially-charged hate being whipped up very deliberately right now, some of it in the guise of a certain recent "non-political" rally to "restore honor". The rally in question was, of course, VERY political. And honor, that vague, shifty concept that people are known to kill each other for across all cultural boundaries, had fuck-all to do with it. Unless you consider ugly people with ugly attitudes scrawled all over their ugly shirts and getting ugly with perceived outsiders to be "honorable", of course. In which case, yeah, something was restored, all right.

Now, with that kind of climate, is it so surprising that a drunken idiot would try to start a brawl in a bar with a Middle Eastern theme? Or that a Muslim cab driver gets his throat slashed, specifically, for being Muslim? Or that a bunch of armed teenagers would go around trying to terrorize worshippers at a mosque in western New York, which is nowhere near Ground Zero? Or that an arsonist would try to torch construction equipment at the site of a mosque-in-the making more than 800 miles from Ground Zero?

Which is why I wonder if the trolls who pooped here, claiming that two blocks' walk from Ground Zero was too close for a Muslim community centre, have any real idea of how ridiculous their pleas for "sensitivity" towards the insensitive demands of non-Muslims really are. Or how fucking ironic. If Murfreesboro, Tennessee, isn't far enough away from Ground Zero to build a mosque--a REAL one--then clearly no place in North America is.

And that means that Muslims are not really welcome here.

What's sad and ironic is that Muslims in North America have made real, serious contributions to these lands since the first one to settle in New York landed in what's now Manhattan, nearly 400 years ago. And one of their finest gifts, their contribution to the fight against Islamist terrorism, isn't being given due credit. Instead, we get to see them treated to utterly demeaning shit like this:

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...which is hardly a ringing endorsement of inter-faith peace. It's a ridiculous demand, coming from someone who lives just about as far in the US as it's possible to be from Ground Zero (unless you count Hawaii), someone who will never have to look directly upon that heart-stabbing community centre herself. Why the hell should Sarah Palin care, as long as she can score cheap political points on the tweeter?

But if the political points are cheap and easy for a Sarah Palin, they come at a much greater cost to those at whom these barbs were directed. Why do peaceful Muslims constantly have to repudiate and refute (not refudiate, which is not a real word) those who use Islam as their bludgeon? And can you imagine what would happen if they, in turn, demanded that Christians "refudiate" their own extremist brethren? It's not as if there's any shortage of them. Especially in the anti-mosque camp. Will they repudiate the violent amongst themselves? Will they come forward to denounce those who advocate burning mosques?

If my own skirmishes with the anti-mosque crowd are anything to go by, they're falling on their asses in this department. I have not seen ONE opponent of Park 51 say his confederates: No, don't burn, don't vandalize, don't terrorize. Not even when I asked them to, would they repudiate. Instead, they turned on me, telling me to be more tolerant. Of what? Arson threats? Intolerance? Oh, please. If I can't ask you to tolerate a peaceful Muslim community centre, you have no right to tell me I should tolerate your intolerance of it. That's just fucked up.

And even when peaceful Muslims come forward, time and again, to repudiate and denounce those who tarnish the name of their religion, their voices go unheard. Instead, they get drowned out by shriekers like this one at Alan Colmes's website:

These people are everything that is wrong with America. Why are so many blacks, like those pictured above, for the victory monument at Ground Zero? Because in their hearts, they know the attacks are not aimed at them, so they don't give a damn.

That's fucked up, too. (And racist, clearly--which is another hallmark of the current toxic political climate. Why else would the commenter mention the color of their skins?)

In case anyone forgets, blacks and Muslims died in the collapse of the WTC, too. They worked in that building. How could the attacks that killed them NOT be aimed at them? Is Park 51, which will incorporate a memorial to the victims (but not the hijackers), a slap in THEIR faces, too?

If you're going to talk about "everything that's wrong with America", and somehow loop Muslims into it, you may want to consider the singular irony of Saudi oil money going to finance the leading anti-Islamic crapaganda channel in the United States. (What--did you really think Rupee Murdoch was brainwashing you just out of the goodness of his own grinchy little heart? Wake up, Amurrica.)

And--irony upon irony--the Park 51 project is headed by an imam whose brand of Islam is anathema to the Wahhabi princes of Saudi Arabia. FactCheck has a marvelous list of facts about Park 51 that would make your head spin. Among them is this:

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has a long history of cooperation with the U.S. government, beginning during the Bush administration. In February and March 2003, he led cultural awareness training for FBI employees in the bureau's New York field office, New York division officials told us. In 2007 and twice in 2010, he traveled to the Middle East to talk about religious tolerance and Islam in America as part of a speaker program organized by the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs.

Philip Crowley, assistant secretary of state for public affairs, said of the imam: "His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it's like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States." Rauf's most recent trip, which is in progress as we publish, garnered objections from people who feared he would try to raise money for the Park51 project during his trip, but the State Department said those concerns were unfounded.

Rauf is an adherent of Sufism, a mystical form of Islam that has itself been targeted by extremists. A 2007 report by the nonpartisan RAND Corporation suggested that Sufis could be potential partners against radical Islamism. "Because of their victimization by [extremist sects] Salafis and Wahhabis, traditionalists and Sufis are natural allies of the West to the extent that common ground can be found with them," the RAND study concluded. Indeed, Rauf has often spoken out against extremism, including recently as part of a Washington Post discussion about the Park51 project, then called the Cordoba Institute:

Rauf, July 21: We are not the extremists. We are that vast majority of Muslims who stand up against extremism and provide a voice in response to the radical rhetoric. Our mission is to interweave America's Muslim population into mainstream society. We are a Muslim-American force for promoting the universal values of justice and peaceful coexistence in which all good people believe.

Wait, what? He's a Sufi? He co-operates with the US government? He speaks up for peace? He wants Muslims to live in the mainstream, not the margins? What a stab to the heart. What a slap to the face! Everything that's wrong with America, yup yup yup, that's him all right. Why, he might even ask us to join him in singing Kumbaya! The horror!

And yet, if my trolls are to be believed, I'm some kind of extremist for supporting this moderate man of Islam.

As my friend Orwell's Bastard notes, these guys are terribly busy trying to make words mean what they don't mean, to the point where they become utterly meaningless; when that happens, they go and make up their own, which could mean anything and actually mean nothing. Could that be what "refudiate" really means? I mean, how else is it possible for me to be an "extremist" for liking this moderate, Imam Rauf?

Oh, but of course. If you're tolerant of Muslims, especially moderate ones, you're intolerant, because that means you've shut the wingnuts, those "moderates" who keep moving the goalposts ever further to the right, out of consideration. You're ignoring their crapaganda whenever you look at the facts and refuse to be swayed by emotional blackmail. And if you refuse to let your blog be hijacked and your discourse derailed by those who try to sneak a false label onto you by claiming you're falsely labelling THEM, why, you intolerant extremist you!

I would argue that I've been more than tolerant enough by letting the trolls babble at me about my imagined insensitivity for their poor hurt widdle feelings for as long as they did. I even argued back in good faith, and got shat on all the more for it, in unmistakably misogynous terms. I got accused of having no sense of humor (which, as anyone who reads this blog regularly can tell you, is the most ridiculous charge of all.) Normally, they get three strikes. If they can't say anything decent within three posts, they get the royal flush. Sometimes, if I'm really not in the mood, they get it even sooner. My blog, my rules. If they don't like 'em, they can get their own; I promise I won't visit.

And if you really want to talk about intolerance and insensitivity, how about this?

This is the same fucking asshole who convened that flop-sweat rally to "restore honor". Nice, eh? And of course, he's a leading voice in the anti-mosque (really, anti-Muslim) "movement". The timing of his bullshit is no coincidence; he also heads up some travesty called the 9/12 Project. It claims to be "non-political" (there's that non-meaningful phrase again!), but it's just another fucking wingnut hijack. Glenn Beck, who is not a 9-11 survivor himself, has no shame about using the ugliest date of the past decade to his own selfish, hateful ends.

And he uses it to whip up the same selfishness and hate in others. The kind that raged on the day after September 11, 2001. The kind that led to the torching of the Hindu Samaj Temple in Hamilton, Ontario; the kind that led to numerous attacks on Sikhs; the kind that is now leading to attacks on existing mosques, mosques under construction, and a Muslim community centre that's still only on the drawing board.

I'm supposed to tolerate this hate-mongering crap in the name of "moderation", but you know what? I've had more than enough. I owe you "moderate", "non-political", "anti-agenda" rightards nothing. No tolerance for your intolerance, no acceptance for your meaningless redefinitions of words, and no platform for your absurd phantom visions of a "victory mosque". From now on, all you get out of me is a well-deserved Doc Marten bootprint on your sorry asses.

September 1, 2010

Short 'n' Stubby: Ms. Manx takes aim for gun control

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Ms. Manx is, of course, all in favor of gun control; she remembers the Montréal Massacre only too well. She wants to see the long-gun registry stay; it may have something to do with the fact that long guns are the overwhelming heavyweights when it comes to gunshot deaths in Canada. So it heartens her up to read a few things that seem to indicate a balance tipping in Law-Law Land, and which may just be the magic bullets that kill the SupposiTory attempt to scrap the long-gun registry:

The Toronto Star's Thomas Walkom, a long-time "skeptic" of gun control, has read the RCMP report and changed his mind. Seems that pro-gun talking points are simply no match for facts and figures, especially ones endorsed by police chiefs nationwide. Blam!

Another Star columnist, Heather Mallick, has let her frustration with the pro-gun, anti-registry rural New Democrat MPs boil over. She points out that the NDP, once the party of feminist progress, has become mired in cushiness and nicey-nicey bullshit. Why is it suddenly so important for MPs to curry favor with Con-deluded rural voters? Why can't they educated them as to why the gun registry is actually good for gun owners? Among other things, it can help get a stolen gun back to its rightful owner, just as motor-vehicle registration can do with cars. Ah, but such talking points would mean stepping out of their comfort zone and actually risking a debate with those voters, instead of just going the easy route of kissing ass. Mallick concludes, on a pessimistic note: "The corpses of the Montreal Massacre are silent and the yapping gun-freedom brigade is so very loud."

But if the corpses of the Massacre are silent, their living relatives are not. At the top of the Globe's letters-to-the-editor section today, there's a beautiful message from Suzanne Edward, who lost her daughter that day, urging NDP leader Jack Layton to stand by the promises he made when he founded the White Ribbon Campaign against violence. There's also a letter from Ward M. Eagen, of Toronto, who points out that Tommy Douglas, the founder of the NDP, was an early gun-control advocate, disappointed in half measures and compromises, who said, "Some day, we will have the techniques to register all firearms." Those techniques are in effect now. Eagen also points out that the NDP was a rural party from its inception. If being strongly pro-control didn't hurt Tommy Douglas's popularity with his rural Saskatchewan base, shouldn't that tell Jack Layton and his fellow NDP MPs something?

Well, some of those rural MPs are listening--if not to pro-control voices from the base, then certainly to those of their enemies. And one of them, Charlie Angus, is now so incensed with the Tories that he's changing his stance--he's now likely to vote in favor of keeping the long-gun registry. Angus is an influential voice among rural and northern Ontario New Democrats, so his backlash against the Tories is very heartening to this little red-haired wild-rose girl from up North.

Montreal Simon seems to share Ms. Manx's hopeful view of Charlie's change of heart, and he serves it up with plenty of amusement on the side.

And if you're wondering what might have changed Charlie's mind, here's a video full of clues. It features a horse with two asses, one of which is facing the camera:

That's James Bezan, a Tory, getting nasty toward the NDP--the party that holds the hammer when it comes to whether the long-gun registry stays or goes. The horse's name is Woody. Doesn't Woody look like he can't wait to buck that buffoon and drop a load on him?

And finally, for those who want to help the NDP get its act together on this one, here's a Facebook group you'll want to join, and some e-mail addresses you'll want to use.