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November 29, 2010

Canada loves George Galloway!

Jason Kenney, of course, is still a no-show. But then, Jason Kenney isn't Canada.

And say, how did that disruption campaign to dress up pro-Israel shills as dirty fuckin' hippies turn out? Haven't heard a thing. Can I take it, then, that it was an Epic Fail? Bwahahahah.

Wikileaks: The fun begins

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Oh boy, that Wikileaks data-dump that came out today is yielding some nuggets. Here's some truly disgusting (and very in-character) dirt on the US State Dept. and its activities in Latin America...

The digital page of the Spanish newspaper El País revealed that US diplomats tried to get various countries in Latin America to isolate Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, according to secret documents released by Wikileaks.

El País tells of the "efforts" of US diplomats "to court Latin American countries to isolate Hugo Chávez of Venezuela," without publishing the pertinent document distributed by Wikileaks.

Wikileaks distributed secret information from the US State Department to the Spanish newspaper, as well as the British Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde of France, and Der Spiegel of Germany.

According to the documents, the US secretary of state requested information on the "state of mental health" of Argentina's president, Cristina Fernández. The pertinent document was not published by El País.

The paper indicated that on Monday it will offer details over this revelation and "the suspicions the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, awakened in Washington."

The Wikileaks information shows "unsuspected details" which the United States obtained "regarding the personalities of some distinguished leaders" of foreign countries and "the role they played in the most intimate human facets of political relations."

"This was particularly evident in Latin America, where they have made known the judgments of US diplomats and many of their spokespeople over the character, affiliations and sins of the most controversial figures," according to El País.

Translation mine.

I'm not a bit surprised that they tried to isolate Chavecito. Anyone who follows this blog or any other non-mainstream source will be yawning at that; it was hardly a secret, and the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Boy, was THAT an epic fail or what?

But the bit about Cristina Fernández shows just what low blows they're willing to resort to. Inquiring about the state of her mental health. I'm presuming this was in conjunction with the recent death of her husband, Néstor Kirchner, although they might have also probed into it sooner, like whenever Cristina said something anti-imperialistic that didn't sit well with Her Royal Clintoness or Auntie Condi. Either way, it sounds to me like the usual CIA shenanigan of looking for a weak spot to exploit. I don't think they found shit; Cristina Fernández strikes me as an extraordinarily strong woman. And from all that I've seen, her marriage to Néstor was solid. They'd have had no luck with her. Unless, maybe, they tried to pull what they did with poor Frank Olson.

Meanwhile, what Hugo Llorens did in Honduras proves him to be a putschist fucking dick. The NYT has the cables in which he admits that it was a coup, that Manuel Zelaya was illegally removed from power, and that the reasons given for doing so were spurious. Nothing that you or I could not have known sooner; the only thing new is that now we have documentation showing that Llorens was in it up to his eyeballs, covering for the putschists and essentially doing nothing while Hondurans died and continue to die, and while their real president remains in exile and his life remains in danger. Just in case the Old Grey Bandit gets all shy, though, here's Otto with the same data. Llorens is still dead wrong on key details--Zelaya was NOT looking to extend his term, and what he was doing with his "fourth ballot" referendum was perfectly legal. Meanwhile, Honduras continues to live with a fake, illegitimately "elected" president, and no new constitution, and consequently, no democracy.

And the fun has just begun.

November 28, 2010

Music for a Sunday: Are we scared yet?

In honor of the Big Wiki Leak Day, I decided to dig up some old, paranoid faves of mine...

Kennedy Gordy, a.k.a. Rockwell, was clearly ahead of his time. (And yes, that IS Michael Jackson singing on the chorus. Ghostly!)

So were the Kinks:

Reds under the bed, little yellow men in yer head? In light of what just happened this past week in Korea, it's déjà vu all over again.

November 27, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Dancing with the 'tards

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Crappy Thanksgiving, all my friends in the US! Hope you didn't get trampled yesterday, or land up in the emergency room after all that feasting. Why some of you put marshmallows on your yams, I'll never understand. Those things are sweet enough as it is. But it could be a lot worse, I'll grant you; perhaps you ate one of these?

Y'okay. If you're feeling reasonably well rested now and not overstuffed, here are this week's turkeys. Er, wieners. I mean winners. Let's have a little fun working off all those surplus calories you packed in. Put on your boogie shoes and dance along as we kick them one by one to the curb:

1. Sarah Fucking Palin. Pissing on the memory of JFK, eh? And this in the week of the anniversary of his death. There really is no depth of dumbth to which the Screech will not sink. But when someone elevates a fictional movie about a pregnant little idiot over the man who uttered this ringing defence of religious freedoms in a secular state, it's just as well that she will NEVER be president. PS: Teh Stoopid! It BURNS!!! PPS: Bwahahahaaha.

2. Bristol Fucking Palin. You knew this was coming, right? Well, as I tweeted back to Christine O'Fucking Donnell (whose sublime idiocy graces the bottom of the linky), Bristol is not a star, and she's not being attacked. She's a little idiot who neglected to use birth control, got pregnant, became an unwed mother, and now, unbelievably, preaches abstinence. What kind of stardom is that? Her dancing just plain sucks, and she should have been booted out long ago. And would have, if not for idiots like Christine and all the other Palinbots, who clearly don't really believe in that meritocracy that they keep touting, along with Bristol's recycled virginity, as if it were some kind of holy grail.

3. Kevin Fucking DuJan. Finally, we know whose legwork it really was that carried Wanker #2 unfairly this far. But wait, the you haven't heard the funniest part yet. This wanker thinks a Bristol victory will "expose Democratic hypocrisy on voter fraud and ask why the media is so obsessed with the voting on a reality show but doesn't care about Leftist tampering with actual elections." Um, asshole...it's the RIGHT that's obsessed with the voting on a stupid glorified game show; they're the ones who watch that shit. As for us out here on the left, we've only been screaming about voter fraud since 2000, when FUX Snooze and Florida colluded to throw the state's election to fucking Dubya. Remember that? Of course you don't...too busy freeping a stupid game show for the stupid daughter of your stupid masturbatory fantasy gal. Stupid.

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4. Robbie Fucking Wills. I don't suppose it occurred to him to take a closer look at any of the failed candidates he sent letters of congratulation to. Shit, it's only Arkansas, where overt racists are dime a dozen and stupid speakers of the state legislature likewise!

5. Tony Fucking Clement. We need more Canadian sex stories? Like we need a hole in the head. Which can be easily accomplished by hitting the mindbleach, because Tony Fucking Clement and sex should not be juxtaposed in ANY brain.

6. John Fucking Fiala. How better to get off on sexual abuse charges than by destroying the evidence? Well, now that the Vatican is no longer in the business of sweeping that shit under the rug, one can hardly blame a pervert for trying.

7. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Finally, someone in the media stands up and calls him on his bullshit. Too bad it's only MotorTrend. Still, you've gotta start somewhere--let's hope others smell Pigman blood in the water and start a proper feeding frenzy.

8. Pete Fucking Arnold. Yep, the not-so-libertarian flibber is back this week. Figures that his "Birth or Not" site was just a hoax, designed to "stimulate debate". About what? Whether he's a controlling douchebag? That much is already a foregone conclusion. When your anti-choice stupidity costs your pregnant wife her job, maybe the real point of debate should be whether or not it's too late for her to seek a divorce.

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9. Mario Fucking Valdivia. Remember that video I posted earlier this week, of a woman on the New York subway calling out a pervert who rubbed up against her with his cock out? Well, the Hollaback Girls of the Internets helped the cops to catch the creep. And this is the creep they caught. Book 'im, Danno.

10. Edward Fucking Pasteck. And while we're on the subject of creeps with their cocks out, how about creeps with their hands out...and all over whatever part of a woman's body they can reach? This fool apparently thinks that's legal and acceptable--and ACCEPTED--in France. Guess what: It isn't. It's not even legal. There is a phrase for sexual harassment in French, and it is le harcèlement sexuel. Would that phrase exist if there were no reason for it? French women can, and DO, feel molested by guys who don't bother with such niceties of street etiquette as, you know, KEEPING YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF. As one of Jezebel's commenters on Pasteck's ridiculous article says, "Try visiting Paris as a woman and then see what cute flirting stories you come back with."

11. Michael Fucking Ignatieff. So, Iggy the Boyar doesn't mind getting groped by airport security. Well, isn't that male privilege lovely? If he were a woman who'd been assaulted, he might have cause to see it very differently. But since he's a powerful male, meh--no biggie for Iggy.

12. Michael Fucking Coren. If you don't like equal rights for gays here in Canada, fuck back off to England. And take Mark Fucking Steyn with you.

13. Thomas Fucking Hackbarth. Why?

That's why. Creepy Gun Guy is creepy. With his GUN. In a Planned Parenthood parking lot, of all places, presumably waiting for a woman who blew him off. No, dickweed, she doesn't need your protection from anyone...but I think she might need protection from YOU. And so do the voters of your district. Can't believe anyone would be dumb enough to elect such a maroon.

14. Phil McFucking Coleman. Say what?

15. William Fucking Saletan. Women have been compromising on abortion for centuries. And paying for this bullshit "compromise" WITH THEIR LIVES. Either a woman gets to choose (and survive), or she does not. There is NO MIDDLE GROUND on this issue. And fuck'd be any man who even thinks to suggest it.

16. John Fucking Stossel. Socialism will starve you! Ha. Tell it to the people of Venezuela, who are using it to feed themselves and their neighbors and trading partners, Stache-man. Now they're no longer importing 80% of their food, as they were when capitalists reigned supreme. Arable land is once more in production, and unproductive large private lands, called latifundios, are being redistributed and made productive. And if the number of pudgies I'm seeing in news footage from there is any indication, the whole thing is working rather well. I don't see bony carcasses littering the barrio streets. But hey, John--don't let my nasty, inconvenient fact-finding spoil your self-righteous nonsense-fest. Chow down, turkey...and choke on it.

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17. Martin Joel Fucking Erzinger. The rich are different from the rest of us, and not just in how much pay they take home (or how little real work they do to get it, or how many of the rest of us they get to throw out of work to get it.) They also get away with mowing down cyclists who happen to be doctors...because it would look bad on their résumés. Call me crazy, but as someone who was also mown down (as a pedestrian) by a careless driver, I think it looks rather worse when someone is so rich and powerful that he's not charged, just let go. And I think it's worth bad-mouthing this guy and the idiot who thought he was too rich and valuable to charge. So, on that note, let me also introduce you to our next wanker...

18. Mark Fucking Hurlbert. Srsly, dude, what the fuck were you thinking???

19. Tom Fucking DeLay. The Bugman's in the jailhouse now, but he's still a wanker. Clicky the linky to see why.

20. Richard Fucking North. Being a climate-change denialist in this day and age is stupid enough. Being the liar who started the whole bogus scandal that was Climategate is beyond stupid. But in light of this jackass's latest (racist) jackassery, I propose that his new nickname be Jungle Bunny. And hey! With global warming going at the rate it is, it will probably fit him just fine before too long.

21. The Fucking Ontario Special Investigations Unit. The faults of the police during the G20 summit were many and scrupulously documented by independent media and private citizens alike; even the corporate media couldn't escape doing so. Protesters could be identified and arrested, so I'm sure, could bad cops. So, what's the SIU's excuse? I think they just don't want to do their job, or hold the cops accountable for the atrocities committed in the course of theirs. What do we pay these people for, again? A whole lotta nothin', obviously. PUBLIC INQUIRY NOW!

22. All the fucking dickweeds who commented here, including the fucking dickweed who wrote it--Noel Fucking JugEars Sheppard.

23. Robert Fucking Wickett. The law against polygamy is clear, and was passed in Canada the same year the mainstream Mormons renounced the sexual practice as a condition of statehood for Utah, where they remain the most highly concentrated. Polygamy is NOT a religious practice, and it is mumbo-jumbo to insist that it is, since it is not gods but men (often very old men) who do the fucking, and not goddesses but women and girls (often very young, underage girls) that get fucked. Plus there's the element of brainwashing, of forced marriages, and the alienation/abandonment of "excess" boys, that's needed to sustain this crazy, arcane business. But obviously, all of that is irrelevant to the fundie-Mormon FLDS, which is trying to use Canada's religious freedom guarantees to get a non-religious practice made legal here. Even worse, this shyster has the gall to say it's all a matter of "consent" when ex-FLDSers all say it is clearly NOT. The "right" to brainwash girls into believing they will never get into heaven unless they "consent" to "plural marriage" (i.e., organized sexual abuse) with a man not of their choosing does not exist in this country, either. And if these often-illegal immigrants can't abide by our laws, let them leave. We don't need that kind of "religious freedom" here.

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24. Joe Fucking Rehyansky. Why is a known sexual harasser being given a public forum in Fucker Carlson's crapaganda site? And why is he being allowed to say that lesbians in the military should be raped to make them straight? And above all, why is he too dumb to realize that "corrective" rape has just the opposite effect--it often turns women off men altogether? See, this is what happens when you think with the little head and not the big one, fellas.

25. Ron Fucking MacKinley. God's not in the smiting business anymore, dude. If She were, She'd whack you upside the head with a mackerel for being so Her-damned stupid. Accidents are NOT "mysterious ways". Also, the Sunday-shopping bill She was supposedly trying to prevent introduction of in the PEI legislature? It passed. Mysterious ways, indeed.

26. Randall Scott Fucking King. You're not doing much to dispel that whole TSA-worker-as-sexual-assailant meme there, dude.

27. Charles Fucking McVety. Transgendered women are not perverts, but this professional concern troll most certainly is one. A pervert, that is. Shouldn't he keep his nose out of women's washroom stalls, then, and mind his own damn business? Oh...I see. He likes to watch. Ugh.

28. Angeles Fucking Duran. You own the Sun now? Muy bien, off you go then. Enjoy. And don't bother sending a postcard.

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29. Justin Fucking Trudeau. It pains me to list a guy I usually like, dude, but that Movember 'stache is just trash. Even cute guys like you don't look good in 'em. Kidding! On a more substantive note, there's the little matter of what your party did, trying to woo our next wanker...

30. Julian Fucking Fantino. Chief No-Show apparently doesn't believe in debates. Probably not in democracy, either. Oh well, looks like he's gonna lose anyway, so no biggie.

31. and 32. Tony Fucking Blair and Christopher Fucking Hitchens. Can't believe they packed a concert hall, which could have been full of music lovers instead, for a "debate" between the Poodle (a war-mongering godbag) and the Bitch (a war-mongering infidel). The big non-event pitted two of Dubya's biggest schlong-suckers against each other over something other than Dubya's micropenis. Purportedly, anyway. I ignored it*, as anyone should who has better things to do on a Friday night than to listen to two plummy-voiced twits arguing about how many angels can or can't dance on the head of Dubya's dick.

33. Jason Fucking Kenney. Why?

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That's why. People who support Israeli apartheid have no business talking about "hatefests", much less referring to the UN as one.

34. Bill Fucking Whatcott. What cott, indeed. Is there anything this man actually loves, or at least, doesn't hate? If there is, I don't know what it could be. I'm just glad I'm not like him. A man who tries to mail his own feces to the Governor-General is one sick fuck.

35. Kathy Fucking Shaidle. Why?

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That's why. Justin's younger brother, Michel, died in an avalanche. His body has never been recovered. Justin has done good work trying to raise awareness of avalanche danger since then. And Ms. Five-Feet-o-Fugly knows that, and doesn't give a shit. She can't criticize him substantively on the issues, as I've done--she just automatically wishes him the worst. And that's why nobody likes her.

36. and 37. John Fucking Pierce and Shane Fucking McCrary Because under-endowed Texan males need the "right" to parade their penis compensators in public, anytime, anywhere! Otherwise, freedumb is in chains!

38. Alicia Fucking Machado. Why?

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That's why. The poor dim dear couldn't tell China and Korea apart. Dang those East Asians! They're all yellow, they all have those funny eyes...no wonder she couldn't do it. Hey, it's an easy mistake to make if you're a former Miss Universe. They don't call them brainy pageants, after all. But then the real crowning moment for the ex-queen came when she closed her Twitter account, claiming it to have been overrun by "psychopaths". Um, Alicia? Those "psychopaths" were just ordinary Venezuelans of all stripes, laughing their asses off at you. Wouldn't be the first time you've given them cause to do that, either.

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And finally, to the two FUX Snoozes, North and South. A stopped clock tells time better than either of you. All the same, I don't consult stopped clocks. That should tell you how likely I am to tune in to your "quality" programming. Elitist that I am, I'm keeping my 99th-percentile IQ the way it is, and there ain't a damn thing either of you can do about it. And the intelligent majorities of North America are with me, not you.

Good night, and get fucked!

*Full disclosure: I ignored it, beyond scrounging up the linky and firing off two or three pissy tweets. I'm allowed to do that, right?

November 26, 2010

Catfight, with incidental corvids

The "drama" music in this one fits the action perfectly.

Festive Left Friday Blogging: UNASUR meets in Guyana...

...and Cristina Fernández of Argentina paid tribute to her late husband (and former president), Néstor Kirchner:

Love how she makes special mention of Chavecito--as a friend as well as a fellow South American president. (Watch when the camera pans across the front row of seats; Chavecito and Evo are sitting side by side. Chavecito can't resist interjecting with friendly words, of course.) Solidarity is beautiful!

And speaking of beautiful, I couldn't leave this out:

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Rafael Correa, another of Cristina's amigos. Looking very indomitable, no? He had some nice words of his own, praising the South American union for helping to lower tensions between nations in the South. Their solidarity (there's that beautiful word again!) helped him and Ecuador overcome a coup attempt just two months ago. Democracy is flourishing in the region, and so is unity. That's a thing that can't be priced in dollars...or euros...or any other monetary unit you can name.

November 25, 2010

Ecuador: More evidence of a coup

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Who is this Gustavo Lemos Larrea? And what does he have to do with the "police uprising" that wasn't? Let Jean-Guy Allard tell you...

Gustavo Lemos, the Ecuadorian who burst into the consulate of Ecuador in Miami during the coup events of September 30, along with a handful of partisans of putschist Lucio Gutiérrez and Cuban-American extremists, has been denounced in his country as a torturer and suspected of having covered up the murders of two teenagers.

Lemos is known in Quito as the chief of the torturers during the reign of Social Christian president León Febres Cordero (1984-1988).

Now based in Miami, with the complicity of the State Department, Lemos was found to be participating, a week before the coup, on September 23, in conspiratory activities co-ordinated by Carlos Alberto Montaner in Miami. Montaner is a CIA agent and fugitive from Cuban justice.

Among the "stars" of that "forum", there was the former colonel, Lucio Gutiérrez, ex-president of Ecuador, deposed by the people. With his habitual cynicism, Gutiérrez disparaged his homeland, saying "all is totalitarianism and total corruption."

Gutérrez announced from Miami the end of the political model pursued by President Rafael Correa. Later, from Brasilia, he called for an assassination.

An immigrant with "cover" in Washington and Langley, Lemos frequently gave interviews to Radio Mambí, the mafia station in Miami, to defame President Correa. He presented himself as a spokesman for small opposition groups such as the "Francisco Morazán" Honduran Association and the Ecuadorian Society of the Exterior, both associated with fascists of the Cuban community in Miami who are known for their use of terrorism.

Lemos is also known for his ties to the ex-chief of military intelligence, Mario Pazmiño, who was expelled from the army due to his CIA ties.

In recent months, Lemos has been denounced publicly in Ecuador by the Commission for Truth, in conjunction with several cases of torture, illegal arrest, assassination or disappearances which occurred during the reign of León Febres Cordero.

The commission pressed for a court case against Gustavo Lemos Larrea, along with the government minister Luis Robles Plaza (now deceased), based on evidence that they used torture as a police investigation method.

One of the most repugnant instances of repression in which Lemos is involved is, without doubt, the case of the brothers Restrepo.

On January 8, 1988, the police illegally detained Carlos Santiago and Pedro Andrés Restrepo Arismendy, two brothers aged 17 and 14 years, respectively.

According to a key witness, ex-agent Hugo España, the boys were taken to the Criminal Investigations Service of Pichincha, and tortured for several days by investigators of the National Police. One of them died during a torture session. On January 11, the interrogators killed the second brother, a decision made by Lemos in the office of the minister, Robles Plaza, according to the father of the victims, Pedro Restrepo.

The bodies of the two young brothers were dismembered and thrown in Lake Yambo, in the province of Tunguragua.

Lemos is an ardent partisan of colonel Lucio Gutiérrez, the most visible head of the conspiracy and assassination attempt of September 30.

According the the TC Televisión (of Quito) program, In Search of the Truth, close collaborators and partners of the ousted president, Gutiérrez, and of Carlos Vera, ex-TV host and opposition activist, are involved as protagonists of the "police uprising" of September 30.

Among other key players in the failed coup attempt is acting colonel (in passive service) Galo Monteverde, who led the demonstrations called by Vera. Monteverde participated along with Gutiérrez in the coup d'état against then-president Jamil Mahuad, in January 2000.

Fidel Araujo, militant of the Patriotic Society (SP); Pablo Guerrero, ex-attorney for Lucio Gutiérrez; and Max Marin, of the SP, met in the police station. Meanwhile, the brother of the putschist colonel supported the operation in the Parliament, giving instructions to the Legislative Guard, with the complicity of politicians such as Lourdes Tibán, assembly member of the Pachakutik party; Luis Villacís, of the Popular Democratic Movement, and fascists of the movement "Madera de Guerrero".

Translation mine.

I've already blogged about Pachakutik and its allies in the indigenous group CONAIE, and their strange denial of what was quite obviously a coup. By now, it's also obvious that Sucio Lucio Gutiérrez is a key villain, and probably in control of CONAIE and Pachakutik both. Get a load of what else I found while looking for photos (which I have yet to find) of the shadowy Gustavo Lemos...

An old State Dept. report on Ecuador, in which CONAIE figures prominently among putschists trying to install Sucio as president in the wake of a coup against Jamil Mahuad:

On January 19, approximately 6,000 persons including members of the Confederation of Ecuador's Indian Nationalities (CONAIE), students, and leftwing political protesters marched in Quito. On January 21, thousands of protesters, including members of CONAIE, students, teachers, and union members, occupied and took control of the congressional building in Quito. The police and military guarding the building did not oppose the occupation with force, and over 100 soldiers joined the protesters. CONAIE leader Antonio Vargas announced on television from the floor of Congress that he would head the People's Parliament. He also said that retired army Colonel Lucio Gutierrez would join him in a new "ruling junta" as the executive, and that former Supreme Court President Carlos Solorzano would take over the role of Supreme Court President. The protesters called for President Mahuad to resign. (There also were protests in Guayaquil, where a group of students, unionists, and neighborhood associations seized the provincial government building.)

President of Congress Juan Jose Pons described the small military group that joined the protests as "seditious" and called for support for the democratically elected Government. Mahuad then spoke on television and refused to resign. On the afternoon of January 21, the armed forces service chiefs and joint staff chief General Carlos Mendoza called for the President to resign. Mahuad resisted the call to resign but later fled the palace. The junta (also called the "triumvirate") originally was composed of Vargas, Solorzano, and Colonel Gutierrez. Later during the night of January 21, at the palace, General Mendoza briefly joined the junta, replacing Colonel Gutierrez. On January 22, President Mahuad appeared again on television and accepted Vice President Gustavo Noboa as president; on the same day, Congress ruled that Mahuad had deserted his post. With Noboa's assumption of office, order was restored.

And what a coinkydink! CONAIE were front and centre in trying to deny the putschist coup--again, spearheaded by Sucio--this time against a much more popular president, namely Rafael Correa. Whose popularity has only increased since then.

Meanwhile, it looks like Gustavo Lemos is in legal trouble. According to the EFE news agency, Lemos is under investigation, by Correa's government, for those very crimes he committed during the 1980s, including the murders of the two brothers mentioned by Allard in the piece I translated. Looks like this one will be one to watch in the future, kiddies.

November 24, 2010

Finally, signs of intelligent life at the Christian Science Monitor

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Well, its Latin America desk, at any rate.

One in 10 South Americans - about 38 million people - escaped poverty during the past decade. That's remarkable progress by any measure.

Contrast that with the United States, where poverty has been growing due to a decade-long stagnation of income for the middle class and the Great Recession. In 2009, the US had more poor people than in any of the 51 years since poverty levels have been estimated.

Of course, America's poor are far better off than South America's poor. And the US still has a much lower poverty rate (14.2 percent versus around 70 percent). South America remains infamous for huge income gaps between a tiny elite and masses of people making, often, just $1 or $2 a day.

Still, 10 years of growing prosperity has shrunk that gap. The credit goes to democratic leftist governments that have vastly boosted social spending to help the poor, maintains Mark Weisbrot, a left-of-center economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington.

Half of that improvement comes from Brazil. Under outgoing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the nation pushed up the minimum wage a real 65 percent in eight years, helping to raise the wages of tens of millions of workers, including many receiving more than minimum wage. A program offered small cash grants to poor families if they sent their children to school.

The results? Real income per person is up some 24 percent since 2000. Illiteracy is down. Poverty has been halved since 2002; extreme poverty is down by 70 percent, says Mr. Weisbrot, pulling more than 19 million people into the middle class.

And the economy hasn't suffered. Unemployment under Mr. da Silva's presidency dropped from more than 11 percent to 6.7 percent. Income inequality has fallen considerably.

Okay, couple of quibblettes here: Brazil gets the lion's share of the positive mention. I'm guessing that's due to its enormous population, of which so many are poor (or extremely poor) that it was too glaringly obvious to ignore just how bad they had it before Lula and his rather modest reforms came along. Plus, under the neo-con code of US journalism on Latin America, cuddly little Ewok-y Lula counts as "good left" because he's not too radical or too critical of Washington, the World Bank, and the IMF. Not like, say, a certain big handsome Venezuelan whom Mark Weisbrot likes to mention quite a bit:

Other nations with "progressive" governments have made much social progress, notes Weisbrot. He lists Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Venezuela. Under President Hugo Chávez, attacked by the right in the US, oil-rich Venezuela has tripled social spending per person since 2003. Attendance at universities has doubled. Most of the poor now get health care under a government program.

Okay, here comes another quibblette: Why the unnecessary quotation marks around the word progressive? The governments of all those countries surely deserve better than that disparaging little trick of punctuation, since all have made impressive socio-economic recoveries under their progressive leaders. Much better, since they are all much improved.

Still, I shouldn't complain too loudly; after all, the piece doesn't then go on to undercut all that talk of progressives and their progresses with vague, unsubstantiated noises about "tyranny", the way so many other English-language whore media pieces (including previous ones in the selfsame Monitor) have done. Instead, we get...more relatively decent reporting:

The continent weathered the financial crisis relatively well. Social spending rose. So there was no big rise in poverty, says Norbert Schady, an economic adviser to the Inter-American Development Bank, speaking from Quito, Ecuador.

Moreover, prospects for continued economic progress are strong. The Institute of International Finance (IIF), set up by the world's biggest banks, forecasts 6 percent growth in gross domestic product in Latin America this year, which includes Mex­ico and Central America as well as South Am­er­ica. That growth should shrink poverty further.

By contrast, the IIF forecasts a 2.5 percent growth rate this year for the US. At that slow pace the US could see a further rise in poverty.

South America's new economic vigor is also causing a geopolitical shift. The US has long considered Latin America part of its political and economic sphere of influence. Officials running South America's left-of-center governments often charge the US with imperial ambitions.

But as US growth slows, South America's businesses have reached out to other markets. While 15 percent of South America's trade is still with the US, a greater share is tied to Europe. Also, trade within the continent is growing with a free-trade deal. So South American governments no longer feel so much under the thumb of the US.

All of this is unquestionably true, and it's refreshing to see it in the Monitor for a change. Normally I'd have to go to a progressive alternative or independent media site, like the Socialist Worker, or end up translating something from a LatAm indymedia site here. I have to say it's pleasantly surprising...

Oh wait, I just noticed something: The byline is David R. Francis. Perhaps the honest, even and objective tone of this piece owes to the fact that it wasn't written by the famously blinkered Sara Miller Llana? I bet it does.

Congratulations, Mr. Francis, on your journalistic breakthrough. And oh yeah: Watch your back. They don't like to see too many nice things being said about Chavecito, Evo, Cristina or El Ecuadorable in there.

Why is Jason Kenney afraid of this man?

George Galloway was in Calgary yesterday. He wanted to have a few polite words with Jason Kenney, who was responsible for debarring him from the country awhile back, on ridiculously specious grounds. As you can see, he's very polite, and he says nothing disagreeable here...unless, of course, you find the truth objectionable. As Jason Kenney undoubtedly does, or he would have let George Galloway in the first time. Galloway is far less obnoxious than the Coultergeist, who lies as easily as she breathes. And Jason Kenney had no problem with her, even though she is an open supporter of terrorism and likes to throw verbal bombs all the time.

So...why IS Jason Kenney afraid of George Galloway? Whom does peace threaten?

November 22, 2010

More on the RT arrest at the School of the Assassins

Reporter Kaelyn Forde, of Russia Today's US TV crew, is roughed up and shackled with garbage-bag ties in this raw video. The press pass is clearly visible on a cord around her neck. The cop (or rent-a-cop?) cuffing her claims she was told to move "five times".

Only in a police state are the media arrested for doing their jobs. Like I said earlier: Fascism and torture can't bear closer scrutiny.

"Where the fuck is the conductor?"

ADDENDUM: Didn't see this yesterday, but here's a telling thing...there are actual websites devoted to guys doing what you see below.

A woman on the New York subway system confronts a wanker (a literal one!) who harassed her. Apparently he kept rubbing up against her with his penis out.

Happily, the comments on this YouTube are mostly positive...and in favor of the woman who wouldn't be intimidated. A representative sampling:

LOVE HER. No woman should ever back down to this kind of behavior.

Because it's actually so much better that they just surround him! There is nothing he can do. He can't even reach down to put his dick back in his pants because everyone will see. He's fucked now. There's about 4 cameras on him and he's standing there with his dick hidden behind a bag, the police will be all over him.

She's so hot to me.  Best comment: 'Oh this shit is going on youtube yo.'

Ginger Power!! She is my hero for today!! :D

This woman is a BAMF.* Good for her.

LOL, I hope his life is ruined. This happened to me several years ago and I confronted the guy. Would have sprayed him with mace if there hadn't been dozens of people nearby. He ran like a little bitch out of the train station. That's right, you do this kind of thing and you lose your "man" card.

This woman gets my full respect, for calling out an obvious sexual predator. It takes a lot of guts to publicly shame a pervert like this, as perfectly and loudly as she did, and I think if more women stood up for their rights in this straight-forward way more often, if and/or when they are assaulted, we would be better for it. The fact that the other men on the train are also helping to keep the moron waiting for the conductor is heartening, as are some of their words of wisdom: Ridiculous man!

And then there are the inevitable jokers:

Sometimes it just needs to breathe a little is all.

KEEP IT DOWN LADY IM TRYING TO RUB MY DICK ON YOU

And then there's pure, dick-smacking ignorance:

I called her a cunt not because she spoke up but because of the way she did it. It's just apparent to me--and many others--that this woman is a bitch. Look at her facial expressions. Listen to her tone of voice. She has all the grace of a hall monitor. It was probably the first penis she's ever seen.

You guys have it all wrong. If you've never flashed some peen on a subway, you've never lived. This bro was just living. That's all. Why can't you let a man live? This is AMERICA!

Yeah, that's right; there's that legendary wingnut logic at work. She's a bitch who doesn't believe in letting guys "live". And "living" entails showing your shit to someone with no interest in seeing it. On a public subway. Where anyone else can witness her fear and humiliation (and in this case, several others did.)

But y'know what? Maybe, just maybe, these dick-smackers would think twice about "living" that way if they knew that their shit was gonna be shown--and insulted--on the Internets, eh?

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(h/t Hollaback!)

*BAMF = BadAssMotherFucker, in case you wondered.

Viva Evo, FU CIA!

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"If the press is a nest of thugs, let the walls speak!"

Need a laugh this dreary Monday morning? Have I got the giggles for you...

Bolivian President Evo Morales had a blunt message for the visiting U.S. Pentagon chief on Monday: Latin American nations will pick their own friends and business partners, including Iran, regardless of U.S. opinion.

The colorful leftist leader delivered an hourlong welcome to delegates at a regional defense conference that included U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Morales never mentioned Gates by name. But most of the speech, and all of the applause lines, were clearly directed at the Pentagon chief and former head of the CIA.

Bolivia is more democratic and representative than the United States, Morales said, and democracy would improve in the entire region if the United States stopped interfering.

He mentioned the spread of Iranian and Russian business and other ties in Latin America, and said it is not the U.S. place to complain.

"Bolivia under my government will have an agreement, an alliance, to anyone in the world," Morales said. "Nobody will forbid us," he said to applause.

Okay, you say...so where's the funny? Other than that snarky, crypto-racist use of "colorful" to describe an elected president who happens to be indigenous, maybe? Hang on, hang on, I'm getting to it...

Gates did not directly respond, and didn't seem fazed by the one-hour monologue. A day earlier he had warned that countries doing business with Iran should remember that Iran is under international sanctions over its nuclear program. He also questioned whether Iran has the technical capability to help another nations develop civilian nuclear power.

"As a sovereign sate Bolivia obviously can have relationships with any country in the world that it wishes to," Gates said Sunday. "I think Bolivia needs to be mindful of the number of United Nations Security Council resolutions that have been passed with respect to Iran's behavior."

That's the beginning of it. CIA honcho Robert Gates, completely tone-deaf, is trying to tell Bolivia (where even the poorest people know the score by heart) what tune the US wants it to sing. STILL.

But wait, there's more:

Morales ticked off a history of attempted coups, alleged election- and vote-tampering, military meddling and vague conspiracies involving the United States. Some of it is based in truth, although the U.S. denies that a former ambassador tried to engineer a coup against Morales in 2008, as he alleged Monday.

Morales kicked out the then-U.S. ambassador in 2008, and the two nations have not normalized diplomatic relations since. Morales also expelled the U.S. DEA on suspicion of espionage.

Here's where the AP reporters--three of them for one lousy story!--get funny with us, too. The US can deny all it likes, but anyone who's been following me, Otto, or El Duderino in recent years knows that Philip Goldberg has, indeed, pushed for a putsch. And on more than one occasion. Why else all those secret midnight meetings with prominent (and putschist) opposition "leaders"? And why else would Goldilocks the Failure fall up...and straight into a cushy intel desk job in Washington?

And while we're on the subject of espionage, the DEA isn't merely "suspected" of it. They are proven to be in it to their eyeballs. Ask former DEA agent Celerino Castillo if you don't believe me. The DEA is not only a nest of spies, it's also a drug smuggling cartel big enough to make all of Colombia blush with shame.

But wait...our three amigos still have a few punchlines left:

He denies that coca grown in Bolivia feeds the worldwide demand for cocaine, although the country produces vastly more of the crop that would be needed for its traditional and legal medicinal use in Bolivia.

Notice that they don't supply a single fact or statistic to back up that contention. How much exactly IS "vastly more...than would be needed", Messrs. AP reporter-dudes? And why no mention of the top cash crops of Colombia and Peru...neither of which is coffee?

Well, let's not waste time waiting for a cogent answer there, kids, there's more horseshit still waiting in the Augean Stable that is AP's LatAm bureau:

Morales also alleged U.S. involvement in coup attempts or political upheaval in Venezuela in 2002, Honduras in 2009 and Ecuador in 2010.

"The empire of the United States won," in Honduras, Morales said, a reference to the allegations of former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya that the U.S. was behind his ouster.

"The people of the Americas in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, we won," Morales continued. "We are three to one with the United States. Let's see what the future brings."

U.S. officials have repeatedly denied involvement in all of those cases and critics of the United States have produced no clear evidence.

And the AP, like the good presstitutes they are, lick it all up and don't even bother to report the fact that ample, clear evidence to the contrary has, in fact, been produced by the alternative media, the blogosphere, and the state-funded and community media all over Latin America. Hell, all I've had to do is translate a few of those articles to demonstrate that the US and the AP are both lying. Or if that's not enough, I can also refer you to Machetera, who's done an excellent job of unpacking what really happened in Honduras.

But here's the final jab from our trio of bumblers, and it too is a doozer:

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa called a Sept. 30 police revolt over benefit cuts a coup attempt in disguise, but he did not accuse the United States of being involved.

Actually, Correa did, although he also says he does not believe President Obama is involved. Hilariously, the AP themselves reported this, although it all seems to have gone down the memory hole now!

And there is plenty of history to bear him out that the US, and particularly the CIA, has long been behind Ecuador's apparent instability. Philip Agee, the late former CIA agent, has written extensively about it in his book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary. One of Agee's postings was to Ecuador. The CIA's modus operandi was to co-opt a country's police and military forces, and sponsor opposition parties, non-governmental "civil society" organizations, and the like. And where no suitable "civil society" orgs existed, it invariably ginned up some fake ones to make it look as though there was extensive opposition to a popular leader who wasn't toeing the proper line. By doing so, the CIA created--and still creates--pretexts for coups, which are then passed off as mere "revolts", like the failed September 30 putsch in Ecuador. This one, predictably, was passed off as a police revolt, aided and abetted by a USAID-corrupted indigenous group, CONAIE. I've written about them before; here's another blogger's viewpoint, which seems to buttress mine quite nicely.

And oh yeah, Evo is quite right about the Honduran coup, too. That one was backed by Washington, and there was no disguising where the sympathies lay.

But you'll never hear that from the AP. They can assign three reporters to one story and still not tell you what you really need to know. All they'll do is make up bad fiction for the benefit of the CIA. Woe betide you if you believe a word of it.

Viva Evo, FU CIA...and FOAD, AP.

November 21, 2010

Russian TV crew arrested at the School of the Assassins

Your take-away lesson here, kiddies: Fascism and torture cannot bear closer scrutiny. Why else shut out a camera crew covering a protest against a "democratic" school teaching those things?

Music for a Sunday: Highly strung like nervous guitars

I'm not afraid to call it love. This weirdest and most wondrous song of Martha and the Muffins has been with me since I was 14. And in spite of its jarring aspects--or maybe because of them--I could just swim in it still.

And speaking of weird 'n' wonderful stuff you could swim in, Calle 13 does it in Spanish. Clicky here and follow the linkies to listen.

November 20, 2010

Stupid Sex Tricks: I'll have what she's having

In Catalonia, they do democratic socialism...a little differently:

Yes, that's an actual PSA from the youth wing of the Socialist Party of Catalonia.

Stupid sex comment, at the site: "She's orgasming because the government is fucking her!!" Please thumb this idiot down.

Wankers of the Week: T 'n' A--er, TSA--edition

Just when you thought life couldn't suck harder, it started to blow. The above is only a slight exaggeration of the already insane number of hoops we have to jump through just to visit our friends south of the border. And here's who else is making the intolerable even worse for us this week:

1. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Hey Pigman, did you know Sasha is, in fact, a genderless name? Guess not. Guess you just never can pass up an opportunity to be a sexist shit, eh Rush?

2. Joseph Fucking Tarnopolsky. Bad enough that he wrecked a 14-year-old girl's reputation by having sex with her. And yeah, stupid move not picking someone of consenting age. But then he bitched about her in public (and yes, the tweeter counts as "in public", since all but direct messages are generally visible), which is what drove her to suicide. Yeah, dude, your reputation is shot to shit now, and deservedly so. I hope it stays that way for life.

3. Alison Fucking Reynolds. Posing as the daughter of a famous poet for purposes of tax evasion? Stupid. Posing as the twin daughters of T.S. Eliot? Doubly stupid, since he never had a child. Getting caught? Priceless.

4. Virginia Fucking Thomas. Yes, Drunk Dialin' Ginni is stepping down as head of her own teabag social club. One wonders if it had any actual members besides herself.

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5. Rona Fucking Ambrose. I guess she does do something besides sit around flat-ironing her hair, after all. Too bad that what she's doing is irreparable damage to the cause of missing aboriginal women...and to Canadian women's rights in general.

6. James O'Fucking Keefe. Oh look, Casanova the Douchebag is back. And this time, he's trying to screw schoolteachers. Including one who once risked her life to protect her young charges. Fuck off, you.

7. Andy Fucking Harris. I have it on the authority of the entire progressive US tweeterverse that this one is, and I quote, "the biggest assbag in the whole fucking world". Hey, who am I to argue with Teh Tweeter? And yes, Politico-morons, he WAS being hypocritical in "pointing out the inadequacies" of the reforms...because those inadequacies exist thanks to Repugs like him. Were he and his coreligionists not such a bunch of obstructing corporatist asshats, the entire US might actually have publicly-funded, single-payer healthcare, like we Canucks do. And he would have one less thing to bitch about.

8. Pat Fucking Sajak, again. Now we know why he no longer has a talk show. Why is he taking credit for "introducing" Keith Olbermann to the nation's airwaves, as though the latter couldn't do the job brilliantly himself? Pat, word of advice: Stick to Wheel of Fortune. At least there, you won't embarrass yourself too much. PS: Do we really need Wheel of Fortune? For that matter, do we really need another right-wing dingbat hosting any show, period?

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9. Loy Fucking Mauch. No, the Confederate flag is NOT "a symbol of Jesus Christ", any more than a KKK cross-burning is. It's a symbol of slavery, racism, intimidation and oppression. Also, the insanity of certain white southerners, self-explanatorily known as CRACKERS.

10. Mel Fucking Gibson. Never, in the history of humankind, has anyone EVER been "calmed down" by SLAPPING. Especially not if it breaks a woman's teeth. That said, someone please slap this crazy motherfucker and knock some of his fillings loose. He seems hysterical.

11. John Fucking McCain. That Snooki thing is just plain ooky.

12. Sarah Fucking Palin. Yes, "her" apolitical Alaska is SO political! Everything about it, right down to the non-government-dependent mama bears, is a "subtlety" that she's trying to cash in on for the sake of her own ambition, which is to go on living off the government without actually working. (Also, BOOBS. Surely not a "subtlety" for our Christian "feminist" Sarah either, eh?) PS: WTF is "lazzay fare"? Was she trying to speak French? If so, cheese-eating surrender monkey FAIL. PPS: Mama Grizzly fail, too. Who raised some entitled little whiners, again? As I recall, none of the other contestants on Dancing With the Stars have a retinue of 'bots, egged on by mom, rigging the voting in their favor.

mccain-facepalm.jpg

13. and 14. Willow and Bristol Fucking Palin. Snotty, bratty, conceited little homophobes, you say? Like mother, like daughters, say I. PS: Oh wait, it gets even better. One of the guys Willow got all snotty with is fat because he has Crohn's disease and takes steroids for it. Can you say LOW? PPS: Bristol, get the fuck off the air, NOW.

15. Vic Fucking Toews. No, the US does NOT have a right to any of our info. If we're flying over them without stopping, it hardly concerns them as long as the plane keeps going and doesn't blow up or smack into anything. And even if we do stop in--what business is it of theirs? All this stupid right-wing talk of small government is just sheer bullshit hypocrisy when the right-wingers are the most intrusive snoopers in our private lives when they get into government.

16. David Fucking Barton. Your blatant homophobia makes me want to kick you. Right between the legs.

17. Joanne Fucking Hill. Yeah, I'm sure George Galloway will be totally fooled by pro-Israeli fascists dressing up in, and I quote: "...a keffiyeh or hijab or hippy-type clothing (blue jeans, Birkenstock sandals with socks, hand-woven Guatemalan man-purses, long scarves on men, etc.)" Get with the times, JoJo...blue jeans are not just for hippies anymore, and your stereotyped descriptions are actually going to make your minions stick out like the sore thumbs they are. Nowadays, leftists and Muslims can wear whatever they like...and some of us socialists don't lug our shit in hand-woven Guatemalan purses, but in top-grain leather. PS: Pro-Palestinian lefties aren't the confused ones, either, JoJo.

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18. Michael Fucking Ben Ari. From the heart of my "bloody" German bottom to you, sir bigot--KISS MY ASS.

19. All the fucking Palinbots gaming the system on Dancing With the Stars. We see what you did there. Your talentless homophobic hack won't win, don't worry. You can quit forging e-mail accounts now.

20. Robin Fucking Dubner. You know you're losing the public debate on Palestine when you have to pepper-spray some nice Jewish peaceniks.

21. Peter Fucking Skaarup. Trust me, bare boobs will NOT scare Muslims (or any other unwanted immigrants) away from Denmark. Try inviting Yoani Fucking Sánchez, her face (and more importantly, her hideous crapaganda) could stop anything.

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22. Peter LaBarbera. Yeah, I'm sure there are tons of gay TSA screeners who just can't wait to get their hot little hands on your poor, unloved cock. Actually, I'm even more sure that this is your deep, dark, inadmissible sexual fantasy talking, and nothing more. PS: I'm sure Barney Frank appreciates knowing that you masturbate over his picture, too.

23. Michele Fucking Bachmann. Who voted for this crazy bitch? Whoever did, the blood of democracy is on your hands, you fucking idiots.

24. Keith Fucking Ablow. I really don't care to learn about "Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life" from anyone who's hot for the cheesy, hemorrhoidal bod of Glenn Fucking Beck.

25. Fucking PETA. Why?

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That's why. Let us count what is wrong with this picture: Bullshit (there ARE fat vegans, which kind of puts a crimp in PETA's spin); misogyny (nothing new for PETA); bullshit (the scanner doesn't show you flatteringly posed in your prettiest undies, but awkwardly naked) and oh yeah, did I mention bullshit? This is not an environmentally or humanly friendly device. The scanner carries an elevated risk of skin cancer. Are these strident morons telling us to be proud of that, too? Thanks, PETA idiots, for yet another epic fail.

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26. Stephen Fucking Harper. Now we know why he packed the Senate with unelected SupposiTories. It was so Canada would never do anything about climate change--which, ironically, affects our far north disproportionately, and makes him look like an ass on Arctic sovereignty everytime the pack ice melts. Which it's doing faster and faster nowadays.

27. Bryan Fucking Fischer. You and your bloodthirsty sky-pixie can both go to hell. None of the wars currently raging are anything remotely resembling "just" wars.

28. The Fucking Grauniad, again. When you publish the insane burblings of Pamela Fucking Geller, you're not a news site anymore. Even under Comment is Free, that's just beyond ridiculous. She has her own shitty blog, let her flap and squawk there; she doesn't need another forum, much less from a once respected British centre-left newspaper. Which you no longer are. You are through the Looking Glass, right in the heart of Fascist Crapagandalandia.

29. Gretchen Fucking Carlson. Self-defecate much? Hahahahahahaha. Awesomest Freudian slip EVER.

30. Pete Fucking Arnold. Behold the hypocrisy of the "libertarians" when it comes to a woman's body. Here's the Man of the House, using his (presumably pregnant) wife to "prove" some kind of patriarchal point about abortion. He wants other people to vote on whether she gets one or not--banking on it that the majority will say no, proving some anti-choice shit or other? There's only one vote that counts--HERS. Nice of Sexist Troll Boy to forget that. Sorry, Petey-pants, but I'm not biting...being truly pro-choice, I'm not going to make up someone else's mind for her. But I will say this: Hey, Alisha--ever consider divorcing this loser?

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31. Robert Fucking Poole. What's his answer to the TSA's invasive porno-scanners and gropings? Letting the private sector do the exact same things, for profit, with even less-adequately-trained screeners. Passengers would pay through the nose for this privilege of having their privacy violated by an underpaid stranger. The private sector is, incidentally, the one responsible for giving us those porno-scanners in the first place.

32. Cindy Fucking Jacobs. She wonders why heads of state don't consult the likes of her? Superstition and stupidity on her part might have something to do with that. But of course, she calls those traits "prophecy, discernment, and wisdom". That's the demon Delusion talking, kiddies.

33. Chris Fucking Bentley. Talk about someone who just doesn't get it. Right as transgendered people hold their annual Day of Remembrance for fellow transfolk who died at the hands of haters, the so-called attorney general of Ontario won't move to amend our provincial human rights code to include gender identity as a basis of hate crime. Not only are transfolk being made to risk their lives selling sex to pay for their gender realignment, the province isn't doing the least little thing to protect them from the violent trolls lurking out there, waiting for an opportunity to "cleanse" society of them. This is actually worse than a wank; it's tantamount to murder. PS: Special boos to LifeShite for abetting this blunder with a lot of crazy theory of their own.

34. The Fucking Vatican. Oh, oh, oh. Condoms are now okay, but only for male hookers. That still leaves the vast majority of HIV-positive people defenceless, for those keeping track. Pity those who take Rome's directives seriously. And then go out and get thee a pack of Ramses.

35. Cedric Fucking Miller. Facebook is a "portal to infidelity". So says a man who clearly didn't need it to help him mess around. Feel free to share that linky on all your fave social media networks, kiddies.

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And finally, to the mouse that croaked in my study this week, somewhere out of reach behind a wall. You miserable, stinking little motherfucker! Being in the same room with you is like breathing secondhand smoke mixed with rotting cabbage and shitty diapers, only worse. I can't wait till you desiccate. If only there were a hell, I'd wish you would rot there, and save me the grief of smelling you.

Good night, and get fucked!

Stupid Sex Tricks: Oh, boys...

A woman whose name ends in A
is said to be quite a good lay
by those who would know.
Does their name end in O?
I'm sorry, I can't rightly say.

November 19, 2010

Quotable: Keith Olbermann--oops, BILL MAHER--on left vs. right

"One side sticks to the facts, and the other side is close to playing with its poop."

--Keitho, Bill Maher to Jon Stewart, the other night

(Thanks for the correction, Palingater. Hold yer fire, everyone else!)

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Couldn't have happened to a nicer Ewok

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Oh my...looks like somebody won something:

The Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for 2010 was awarded today to the president of Brazil, Luiz Lula da Silva, by way of a decision by an international jury led by the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh.

The prime minister, who leaves office on December 31, says the jury chose Lula because he worked "for the reinforcement of relations between developing nations, and particularly for his important support for co-operation" between India and Brazil.

Created in 1986, the Indira Gandhi prize for peace, disarmament and development has been previously awarded to Mikhail Gorbachev (1987), Vaclav Havel (1993), Jimmy Carter (1997) and Mohamed El-Baradei (2008).

Brazil and India are members of the "BRIC" group of nations, along with Russia and China.

Translation mine.

Congratulations to my favorite Ewok.

See what happens when you sleep through Media Law 101?

You get pantload everywhere:

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Why do I get the feeling that the above is actually Ezra Levant's grade-school days coming back to haunt?

(Image shamelessly stolen from Law is Cool.)

November 17, 2010

Stupid Sex Tricks: Speak English, please

Here's how NOT to do a PSA on safe sex (or abstinence):

Anyone have any idea what Bristol Palin and Mike Sorrentino are babbling about here? I'm lost.

November 16, 2010

Gorgeous George is ba-ack!

And he looks to be in fine fighting form, too:

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Got his gloves on and everything. He's gonna need them...the far right is planning to send in the clowns:

But as Canadians flock to hear a British politician who was kicked out of the Labour Party in 2003, and voted out of office last May, some home truths are emerging about Canadian Middle Eastern politics, a bizarro world in which Zionists pose as Palestinians to shout down a bearded Scot.

An email circulating among Zionist and pro-Israel opponents of Mr. Galloway offers a novel and surprising glimpse into audience strategy in the YouTube era, in which the audience doubles as the media. It suggests Mr. Galloway can expect novel forms of resistance, to say nothing of aggressive questions, from a shadow army of pony-tailed Zionists disguised by keffiyehs and "hand-woven Guatemalan man-purses."

Um, yeah. I bet he's really shaking in his boots at that prospect.

Meanwhile, I can hardly wait for these goofballs to post the videos of their own epic fails to the Internets. I probably don't need to say this, but I will anyway: Give 'em hell for me, George!

UPDATE: So, how intimidating was it, George?

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Not very, by the looks of things.

Heroes for Today: Sully, again

Hero pilot and airline safety expert Capt. Chesley Sullenberger weighs in on the US-TSA's infamous "porno-scanners". He doesn't like them, feeling that they're merely "expedient" and don't help air crews do their job--protecting passengers--at all.

There are other reasons to question their use, too: Scientists say they're not safe, as they bombard the human skin with enough radiation to cause cancer. I don't know about you, but as a natural redhead, one who NEVER lies around on beaches or tanning beds (it would be, among other things, a waste of my time anyway), I think that's something to be more than a little concerned about. Enough that I'd want to slather myself head to toe in lead paint if I ever had to pass through one of those privacy-invading horrors.

Isn't it ironic that those things actually make flying LESS safe, all things considered?

November 15, 2010

"The grandfather of Cuban blogs" supports terrorism. So does El Nuevo Herald

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This might come as a surprise to some, but surely not to me.

The newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, of Miami, has published an article in which one of its columnists thanks the creators of the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops for allowing him to "live the dream of all Cubans who love liberty."

The author of the article signed it Val Prieto, "director and founder" of a publication called Babalublog.com. The vocation of Mr. Prieto is not a joke; in a highlighted area on Babalublog.com there is a section called "Loving Brothers", and, alongside photos of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and Luis Posada Carriles, it invites readers to a dinner with the selfsame Posada Carriles, the confessed author of the terrorist bombing of a Cuban airplane in which 73 people died.

In the upper left-hand corner, there are words of praise for the blog from the much-awarded Cuban blogger, Yoani Sánchez. This person has referred to Posada Carriles thusly: "A political subject that does not interest people. It's a smokescreen". Now we know why.

Translation mine. Links as in original.

I've long disregarded any "information" published on the Babalu Blog as crapaganda, and I know better than to take seriously anyone citing them as a source (unless, of course, they're actually critical of the Babalu babblers, and take the time to debunk the blog's rank nonsense). The Babalu Blog is not only anti-Castro, but by extension anti-Chavecito, racistly anti-Evo, and, generally, just anti-anything-good-going-on-in-Latin-America. They'd rather see impoverished Latin Americans die than get free healthcare from Cuban doctors, and would rather see them go illiterate and jobless than learning to read and improve their lives using the highly successful "Yo Sí Puedo" Cuban method. They're a bunch of vicious, cowardly cyber-thugs with a hatred of real liberty, in short. It doesn't surprise me that they would be cheerleading for gore-porn video games which are now being used to promote terrorism--oh, sorry, "regime change"--against not only Venezuela, but Cuba as well. It's worth noting that such games have been banned in Venezuela for blatantly promoting violent crime. (And not only there, either.)

I also used to look down my nose at Yoani Sánchez and take nothing she says as anything but a joke, or perhaps the product of her own Münchausen syndrome. Now I can revise my stance to say that she is not only a self-centred narcissist who goes to ridiculous lengths to pwn herself, but a terrorism supporter, as well. And her blithe dismissal of 73 innocent people's deaths as a "smokescreen" shows just what a sick little wretch she really is.

What I'd really like to know, though, is why does the Miami Herald's Spanish-speaking sister support terrorism? Isn't there supposed to be a war against it going on in the US?

Oh. I see.

Cuba, as usual, doesn't count as a victim of terrorism. That's a "smokescreen", too, I take it. Or maybe, seeing as it was the CIA paying and training the odious Luis Posada Carriles to place bombs and blow up planes, it's just another black op--"Call of Duty" style. Of course they're going to protect him until the day he dies!

I won't be holding my breath for the day any of them steps up to condemn terrorism. They are all clearly unapologetic mouthpieces for it. They all belong in jail, but I won't be holding my breath for that, either.

PS: Before any other video gamers out there start chiding me on how I'm being unfair to the makers of the game referenced above, hold your electrons. If you think the military and the spook agencies aren't using video games to recruit you as a professional killer, you had better read this. The Pentagon and the CIA are doing EXACTLY that. And they have been for quite a few years now. And yes, there is some concern that the "game" mentality is infiltrating warfare, too, specifically with the use of Predator drones. A generation of soldier-kids raised on video games could have a lot of tragic, yet quite foreseen consequences.

November 14, 2010

Heroes for Today: Graeme Taylor and Larry Skopnik

One's a gay teen, the other's a paraplegic. But both have something remarkable in common: the way they stand up for others in the face of yahoos trying to take things away from them. Considering how vulnerable both are, their courage deserves a hearty round of applause.

Racist teabags: Finland has them, too

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And they have all the same memes going as their southern US counterparts, too. Notice what color the woman is, and what color are her assailants?

Why everyone should have a cat

Why? Because they're better protectors than dogs:

Even mean, hungry alligators are no match for a nice, cuddly kitty.

And don't even get me started on bears.

Music for a Sunday: Undercover on the edge, I move alone

Out of reach, out of love, stepping out of bounds...

November 13, 2010

Wankers of the Week: Dial N for Nincompoop

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Ring-ding-a-ling...Teh Stoopid is calling. You don't have to answer if you don't want to. Fortunately, you've got me to pick up...and this is who rang my chimes this week:

1. Gregory Fucking Hartnell. Screaming homophobic Red Menace resurrectors, anyone? I strongly doubt that there are enough anti-choice assholes in Victoria, BC, to take this one seriously, but I thought I'd list him anyway, just so y'all could have a good laugh at his expense.

2. Jeff Fucking McGuire. Not all cops are assholes with badges, but this one is. If you can't apologize to the innocent people whose lives you wrecked during the Toronto G-20, you might as well turn in your uniform. You're not serving and protecting anyone; you're a menace to the public.

3. The Fucking Grauniad. Yes, that's right, the UK Guardian, that once reliable paper of the centre-left, is listed this week. Why? For confusing Avaaz, an international NGO, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In other words, they passed off a popular international groundswell against right-wing media...as the heavy hand of the state at work. (Item: The channel in question would be overwhelmingly supportive of the current SupposiTory government.) That's not witty, that's shitty reporting. Get some original thinking in there, you twits, and quit trying to be cute.

4. Barbara Fucking Bush. Way to make a fetus fetishist of your son, Babs--inflicting the remains of a miscarriage on him. That is the most grotesque fucking thing I've read all week; it's right up there with Rick Fucking Santorum making his family fondle a fetal corpse instead of releasing it to the morgue to be buried. You just don't do things like that to a kid--it fucks them up.

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5. George W. Fucking Bush. I did say it fucks them up, did I not? Dubya is so fucking "pro-life" as a result of his mom's grotty fetus-in-the-pickle-jar stunt that he has no problem ordering people to be slowly drowned. Or bragging about it. This is what psychopathic war criminals are like, folks. All concern-trollish about the contents of wombs, and all callous indifference once the kid is out of utero, especially if it's non-white and comes from some other country. And they don't see one iota of their own massive cognitive dissonance, either. I bet he thinks "Thou Shalt Not Kill" applies ONLY to fetuses, and that every single person born (outside of his own small circle, of course) is fair game. PS: STFU about Venezuela, and just FOAD. Srsly, Shrub, no one fucking cares what you "think" anymore. Least of all down there. Go drink yourself insensible and quit running your idiot mouth. You've embarrassed and horrified your country enough with the pickled-fetus thing and your two unnecessary wars already.

6. Jill Fucking Montgomery. Why?

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That's why. Millions of cancer-stricken and birth-deformed Vietnamese no doubt know the score MUCH better than head-in-a-sandhill Jill.

7. Tucker Fucking Carlson. Impersonating Keith Olbermann? Well, we all knew Bowtie Boy was no real journalist; it's why he dresses up as one but never delivers the goods. Still, isn't this going a bit far?

8. Ann Fucking Coulter. Just for being on Dubya's reading list (as befits his chief, glib, Ivy League pseudo-intellectual fluffer), the Coultergeist deserves a permanent place on everybody's wank-list.

9. Elie Fucking Wiesel. Same link as #8. Approving of Dubya's plans for Gulf War II is NOT the act of a decent humanitarian, or worthy of a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Get thee up there with Henry Fucking Kissinger.

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10. Greg Fucking Thompson. If you're gonna hand-pick your successor from the so-called Canadian Taxpayers' Federation (which, incidentally, does NOT represent the average Canadian taxpayer, but Big Fucking Bidness), you might not want to promote him using taxpayer money or taxpayer-funded Commons resources. Eh?

11. Lou Fucking Dobbs. The #1 racist hypocrite in US media finally lands his FUX Snooze gig. Only took the old bastard a year to do it, too. Fuck you, Lou.

12. Ted Fucking Nugent. I'm still waiting for the Wango Tango Wacko to start sucking on his loaded gun. Right now, as he has done throughout his career, he's just plain sucking, period. But hey, as long as he does his shitting in the Washington Moonie Times, and not his pants, who cares?

13. John Fucking Gilliand. This one's bat-shit nutso, but he's still a damn sight saner than #12. Or #14, come to that...

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14. Glenn Fucking Beck. Hate the Jews much? Next thing we know, the Human Hemorrhoid will be telling us that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a real, honest-to-gawd Jewish conspiracy. He's already dredged up every other crappy antisemitic book in the library, so why stop at that one? PS: Saying you aren't, when no one accused you of it, is basically saying you are.

15. Fucking Amazon.com. Guess who won't be buying anything of theirs until they get rid of that odious self-published guide to "pedosexual" activity? And no, this is NOT a free-speech issue. Because there is NO "safe", let alone legal, way for an adult to rape a child, and there should be no "guide" purporting to reveal it, either.

16. Philip Fucking Greaves. See above. 'nuff said.

17. Bryan Fucking Fischer, again. Somehow, I don't think he's talking about Sarah Fucking Palin and her "mama grizzlies" when he says grizzly bears are a "curse" that should be wiped out. I say he and his ilk are the real curse. And if they're gonna go killing anything, let it be themselves.

18. Chris Fucking Wallace. His dad must be rolling in his grave. Not only is Mike Wallace's son a lousy journalist (working for FUX, where else?), he's a skeezy, scuzzy, skeevy, scummy excuse for a man. I never thought I'd see the day I felt sorry for Mike Fucking Gallagher, who hawkishly jeered Cindy Sheehan on the loss of her son to Gulf War II, but Chris Fucking Wallace made me do it. Fuck you, Chris, fuck you very much.

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19. Joe Fucking Warmington. Excuse me, Joe, but when did Remembrance Day become synonymous with chickenhawks cheerleading war by kissing veterans' asses? Oh, only NEVER, that's when. It was ALWAYS about peace...otherwise, what's the point of remembering a war? The idea of remembering all that horror is not to repeat that motherfucking bullshit, dumbass. David Miller was right when he said that war was depravity. So's your shitty column.

20. Kristina Fucking Schröder. Like I so often say, conservative women are conservatives first, women dead last. That's why, if it's a contest between a progressive man and a conservative woman, I'll vote for the dude; he'll at least strive to make things better for everyone, including me. A conservative woman? Pfui Teufel. All they care about is the moneyed interests, same as their chauvinistic male counterparts. And they'll misrepresent feminism, too, while they're at it. It's the same in Germany as anywhere else: Make a conservative woman a government minister, and she'll only throw her entire sex under the bus. Was für 'ne Unverschämtheit!

21. Christie Fucking Blatchford. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the fucking kitchen and don't light the fucking stove. And if you can't face student protest, don't go on campus with your inflammatory bullcrap. But don't spout off about "censorship", because nobody censored you. You wimp out, you own your wimphood. Just like the Coultergeist, Christie Blatchford is a big, fat, bullying wimp who can't face the Anti-Racist Action activists who came, not to censor, but to call her on her shit. And yes, she is RACIST.

22. Louie Fucking Gohmert. Yes, he's ba-ack. And this time, for sheer absurdity. I can tell you as a woman that there is NO cause so compelling that I'd ever consider inserting a tampon bomb to wage suicide terrorism for it. That's just too repugnant to even contemplate. But apparently not for Gomer...because he's a Repugnican, and they've cornered the market on crazy.

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23. Gretchen Fucking Carlson, same link as above. "Over sexed youth" use tampons because of the feeling? What kind of mental virgin comes up with shit like that? A properly placed tampon can't (and shouldn't) be felt! Has it ever occurred to her that we use those things because they're invisible and less cumbersome than maxipads? No, no...too obvious and not prurient enough.

24. Erika Fucking Winchester. No, it's not a bit racist to refer to your black mailman as a nigger. Not a bit. Just like it's not a bit crazy to repeatedly rant and assault people. Which this woman has also done.

25. Carolee Fucking Bildsten. Whacking a cop with a dildo is outré enough. But a dildo still attached to a harness? That's not kinky, that's perverted. (Also hilarious.)

26. Sarah Fucking Palin. Remember how she bragged about taking advantage of Canada's single-payer healthcare? Well, this makes her look an even bigger fucking hypocrite than that did. Not to mention a bigger fucking idiot. If you really want to prevent abortion, the thing to do is not destroy Obama's very modest healthcare reforms, but to USE BIRTH CONTROL, YOU IDIOT.

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27. Cindy Fucking McCain. Shameful doubletalk. Or should I say doubletweet?

28. John Fucking Shimkus. Never mind God; it's MAN who is destroying the Earth, and we already know what the word of a man is worth. Never mind what some book says; that's the word of man, too. And man has no business passing himself off as a god. When my own neighbors are living on top of radioactive waste, more than a million cubic metres of it, and global warming is a reality, and the polar bears are starving because the Arctic pack ice is no longer forming properly, then all the "Word of God" won't save you. Stupidity, basic human stupidity, is the real devil here.

29. Tony Fucking Blair. Stay out of my country and its affairs, you fucking poodle. And don't go supporting the SupposiTories, either.

30. Miguel Fucking Hernández Souquett. You shit on the Bolivarian Revolution, the Bolivarian Revolution shits right back on you. How's that for reciprocity! And for those anglo media whores wringing their hands over this dumbass shitter and the so-called infringement on his freedom of speech, may I remind you that I'd probably be arrested for wearing a shirt reading "Fuck Stephen Harper", and my US friends likewise for one reading "Fuck Bush". Hell, people were arrested for much less offensive wear than that during the last G-20 summit here, no slogans necessary. And BRUTALIZED, too.

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And finally, to Mikey the Twitter Troll. Yes, Mikey, I hate you...for standing me up. If you really have my phone number, why don't you call it and see what happens? If you really have my e-mail address, why don't you use it and see what response you get? And if you really have my home address, why not show up in person? I guarantee you that a good time will be had...well, by me, anyway. Your mileage will almost certainly vary. (See above image for illustration.)

Good night, and get fucked!

November 12, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Evo gets a visit

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No, these two priests weren't there to give Evo the last rites. He was just in for exploratory knee surgery, and they showed up to wish him well. Get back on your feet soon, Evo!

November 11, 2010

A Remembrance Day roundup

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I've already pretty much given my own take as to what this day means to me, so I'm gonna shut up about me and just point you to some others' thoughts instead...

TorontoEmerg has a nurse's take on another nurse's letter home at war's end in 1918. November 11 of that year gave us the date not only of the war's end, but of a day for the remembrance of war's costs. This letter is particularly sobering as its author has no time to rejoice about peace; she is already nursing the casualties of the "Spanish" influenza epidemic that followed on the heels of the war. A reminder that wars bring famine and pestilence in their wake. And that's as good a reason as any to work for peace. Be sure to read the last paragraph and take it to heart.

Uruknet, meanwhile, has a stark reminder that war is NOT over, and some don't want it to be. Of course, they're not the ones being killed. The extremely asymmetric casualty counts in the Israeli assault on Gaza should give us all a lot of pause. It's easy for the Israeli soldiers in the video to laugh; they're not the ones facing the terror of daily bombing. They're the ones doing it. And they seem to think it's some fantastically large fucking video game.

A Creative Revolution points out something else interesting: those who want wars most, aren't the ones fighting them. And their motives have fuck-all to do with freedom. (I'll just squeak up to add that we thank those who fought for our freedoms the best not by mouthing platitudes once a year, but by exercising those freedoms, daily, and putting the boots to apathy. In this way, we ALL become veteran freedom-fighters.)

Your Heart's on the Left has some forgotten history that deserves to be remembered: the connection between those who refused to fight imperialist wars, and the democratic revolutions of the immediate post-WWI era. There was a League Against War and Fascism operating during the 1930s, which made an active connection between the causes of freedom and democracy.

Also worth noting: the mealy-mouthed lip service of so-called antifascism during World War II. Those same mushmouths could have saved themselves a much bigger war if they'd supported the democratic, leftist-anarchist-Republican side in Spain, back when it counted. Had they done so, they could have thwarted Hitler and Mussolini before they started gobbling up turf. Instead, they actively criminalized the effort to aid the Spanish democrats, and let the fascists aid Franco unopposed. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and its Canadian sibling, the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion, had to do their recruiting underground. A shameful, much-glossed-over chapter of our North American history.

Kirbycairo has a short, to-the-point bit on why we should all read Frantz Fanon, the great psychiatrist who diagnosed the pathology of the neocolonial mind. The last war fought on Canadian soil was that of 1812; every war we've been in since then has been either imperial or neocolonial. It's time to stop that insanity!

Ms. Magazine has a short but comprehensive piece on the other casualties of war: the homefolks, particularly wives and children of soldiers. Is it any wonder women are at the forefront of the struggle for peace? They have the most to lose, on every front.

And finally, the Wikipedia entry for the white peace poppy offers up some interesting nuggets: "The Royal British Legion has no official opinion on the wearing of white poppies, stating that it 'is a matter of choice, the Legion doesn't have a problem whether you wear a red one or a white one, both or none at all'." Quite the contrast to the Royal Canadian Legion's harsh anti-peace-poppy stance. But the last line alone is the best: "In 1986 British prime minister Margaret Thatcher expressed her 'deep distaste' for the symbol." Considering that the Milk Snatcher preferred war over negotiations when it came to the Malvinas, that's no surprise. Talking sensibly would have done nothing for her "Iron Lady" image. She just had to out-macho (and out-fascist) those hateful generals of the Argentine Junta, by gawd, and she did. More meaningless death ensued. And since to be damned by the devil is to be truly blessed, I think that's all the more reason for me to crave a white peace poppy to wear on this date next year.

November 10, 2010

I did not want to write this tonight...

...but something forced my hand.

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There is simply no defence for selling something like this, and yet Amazon.com is doing just that.

There is simply no way that this book could be construed as "mere literature". This is not Lolita. It is not a novel about a child-molester gone 'round the bend, rotting in jail while struggling to justify his "love" for a "nymphet". It is a guide to breaking the law; it is a how-to book on violating the trust and bodily integrity of children. It is not only morally wrong, it's illegal. So the "freedom of speech" excuse doesn't wash.

And if anyone thinks "free speech" = "anything goes", remember who else found out the hard way, this week, that that is NOT the case. I'll remind you that Flip Benham's "Wanted" posters still had a bit of legal wiggle room left in that they did not openly say "kill this abortion doctor". But they really pushed the envelope, and in the opinion of the court that tried and found Benham guilty, they pushed it too far.

This book is not even on the same level as Flip Benham's odious, insinuating posters. It leaves no room for doubt. It even says it is a "guide" to the crime. It may as well be titled How to Rape a Kid.

So, what's Amazon's problem? Just gotta make money at any cost? Sexually abused kids are apparently fair game. Just the cost of doing business with a shitty, drecky smut-peddler. Well, hell...as long as no child of Amazon.com's is made to pay, where's the harm, eh?

I'd be lying if I said this was a complete shock to me. Other legitimate businesses have also taken pedobear cash. When I was at university, many moons ago, NAMBLA had ads in RFD, a magazine for gay rural Wiccans.* It was a shocking and troubling sight. While I knew my gay friends well enough to know they would never answer such ads (my best friend even said, quite emphatically, "If I'm gonna be gay, I'll do it with someone my own age"), it was sickening to know that this organization not only existed, it was disseminating Goddess only knew what information to "boy-lovers".

Even worse, such information as NAMBLA and this sick fuck disseminate is doing direct harm to a lot of innocent people. And no, not all of them are kids. Yes, I'm talking about the LGBT community.

Every progressive straight ally knows, or should know by now, what a nightmarish struggle LGBTs have gone through (and in many places, are still going through) in order to be able to adopt children. A study just released today found that lesbian couples were the least likely, of all family heads, to abuse their children. And several studies have come out showing that children of same-sex parents, whether adopted or biologically related, do not have more psychological problems than those of heterosexual parents. In fact, many are better adjusted!

But the laws of the land often don't consistently reflect that reality. Far more often, they reflect the fear and hatred of the "gay pedophile", a creature that doesn't exist outside the fever-swamp of right-wing indignation. If you're gay, you're a person who prefers consenting adults (or in the case of gay teens, a similar-aged partner) of your own sex--period. You do not go forcing yourself sexually upon children, who by legal definition cannot be considered equivalent, and consenting, to an adult.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are male adults who self-identify as heterosexual. Even men who molest boys often fit this description. It's not a "gay" thing at all.

But trust a pedophile to muddy those waters, the same that my queer friends have worked so hard to clarify.

And trust Amazon not to give a shit, as long as they make a few quick bucks off a self-published e-book. After all, it's not their lives that will be irrevocably harmed by some sick bastard. And it's fair to say, judging by their blithe brushoff, that they don't even feel their bottom line will be significantly affected by all this.

Let's prove them wrong. Let's boycott them (or do what Otto suggests, if you own their stock) until they do the right thing. We owe it to our gay friends, and to their kids, too.

Especially their kids.

*Ironically, RFD's Wikipedia entry notes: "The magazine was founded after a group of gay men in Iowa attempted to purchase an advertisement in the countercultural Whole Earth Catalog about the organizing of a gay-centered commune, Running Water. The editors of Whole Earth rejected the request on the basis that they did not run gay advertisements." Gay ads sure seem tame now, all things considered.

November 9, 2010

What delegitimizes Israel?

Well, for starters, Bibi Netanyahu is doing a terrific job of it. As are his Likudnik supporters:

Democratic tolerance for dissent: Ur doin it rong.

UPDATE: Mondoweiss has more on the chokehold part of that incident.

This is what cowardice looks like

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Hey, Mike: I see what you did there. Perhaps you'd like the Indiana Attorney General's office to see it, too? That could certainly be arranged. What you did qualifies as cyberstalking under US law, just so you know:

The United States Communications Decency Act was a piece of legislation that imposed heavy punishments upon anyone who:

(i) in interstate or foreign communications -

(A) by means of telecommunications device knowingly -

(ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment request, suggestion, proposal, or other telecommunications which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent, with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person.

(E) make repeated telephone calls or repeatedly initiates communication with a telecommunication device, during which conversation or communication ensues, solely to harass any person at the called number or who receives the communication.

Emphasis added.

I see at least four points in there that apply to your pissy little tweet: Annoy, abuse, threaten or harass. That IS what you were trying to do, and don't you deny it.

Well, annoyed and harassed I may well be. I'm always disgusted when some titty-baby coward who doesn't even have the guts to debate me like a man goes around calling me a bitch behind my back. But threatened? By someone who can't even properly post the URL to my blog? Ha, ha, FAIL. My personal info is not publicly available, and even if it were, I doubt you'd have the skills to ferret it out.

And who are you planning to distribute it to? Your eight measly followers? Double-ha-ha-FAIL. I can pick up as many on any given day, and real ones, too. DECENT ones. In other words: Not like you. Maybe that's what's got your undescended testicles in a knot? Here's a sure-fire popularity-increasing tip: Try not being such a fucking asshole. You want women to like you? Don't go around calling them bitches. Man up and talk to them, to their faces, CIVILLY, even if you don't agree with what they're saying. If you can do that, there might be hope for you. But threatening to distribute their personal info, which you can't get, to stalkers? Just because you have a small penis? Dude, that's just childish. And pathetic. And oh yeah, ILLEGAL.

Go ahead, Mike, make my day. I dare ya. Got the cojones to comment now, or are you still gonna go the whiny passive-agressive, Angry Inch route?

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November 8, 2010

Quotable: John Steinbeck on toxic culture

"It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success."

--John Steinbeck

Another Argentine dictator bites the dust

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A vile murderer has died...unpunished, but unforgiven:

An ex-dictator of Argentina, Emilio Eduardo Massera, died today, aged 85, of a cardio-respiratory failure in the Naval Hospital of Buenos Aires, according to local media.

Massera died at 4 pm local time (7 pm GMT), according to an unidentified employee of the medical centre, who did not wish to identify himself because he was not authorized to give out information.

Known as "Admiral Zero", Massera designed the plan that the military junta used to exterminate at least 30,000 leftist and opposition militants after the coup of March 24, 1976.

The ex-head of the Navy was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 and pardoned in 1990 by then-president Carlos Menem. The pardon was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2005.

That same year, however, a judge declared Massera "demented" and suspended all further trials against him.

Translation mine.

To understand just what a travesty the case of Emilio Massera is, you have to know that he is THE architect of the secret death camps of the Argentine junta. Kidnappings, tortures, and death flights where still-living victims were drugged and pushed out of planes over the great estuary of the Río de la Plata, all took place under Massera's direction. Even the navy's own mechanics' school became a secret torture facility where hundreds died in unimaginable pain, many of them pregnant women whose children were later given away to fascist families in a travesty of adoption. Patricia Derian, who was sent by Jimmy Carter to investigate the offences of the junta, tells just what a cold-blooded, vicious man Massera was:

A rat in a dead woman's vagina. A boot stomping on a human face, forever. Massera "washing" his hands of the evils like Pontius Pilate. It doesn't get more Orwellian than this.

I can only say what survivors and the loved ones of victims have said for the past thirty-odd years:

Rot in hell, Massera. Rot in fucking hell, and know the tortures of the damned.

November 7, 2010

Music for a Sunday: No birds, no bees, no butterflies, no bugs...

November!

November 6, 2010

Wankers of the Week: The murky month of No

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November has got to be my least favorite month. Maybe because it starts with No. As in: No leaves on the trees, no green on the grass, no real daylight hours left. And no warmth in your bones. It's a month that feels like death. And people like these--no love in the heart, no brains in the head, no guts in the belly--aren't making it any better for me, either:

1. Rob Fucking Ford. A campaign deficit, you say? And it's how much? And you're planning to pay it off HOW? See, I did predict that this nasty fuck's honeymoon would be over before it began, and oh, how right I was! Things like this make me perversely glad to be living in the 905 region all of a sudden. PS: Look what else Robbo lied about. Maybe this is how he plans to pay off HIS deficit. Won't help him with the one he's gonna run up by the time he gets through wrecking TO, though.

2. John Fucking Boehner. You know you're an asshat when Roseanne Cash--yes, the venerable Johnny's daughter--takes to the tweeter to spank you.

3. Danny Fucking Williams. Way to justify the dick joke, you dick.

4. Rick Fucking Perry. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, but Wall St. isn't? Um, yeah. Just wait till this one starts drawing his old age pension. Or the fat one he gets, whether he wants it or not, as a former elected official.

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5. James Fucking Pasternak. Memo to the new Toronto city council member: Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) is NOT an antisemitic hate group. It is exactly what its name says. And PrideTO, which has always been a political event (or at least was one before it became commercialized out of all recognition!) doesn't need censorship or sanitizing. "Scrutinize" all you want, but at the end of the day, if you've got a brain, you'll be eating your words and leaving Pride AND QuAIA alone.

6. Silvio Fucking Berlusconi. Yup, the old figilio di puttana has stuck his foot in it again. This time, he managed to insult both women AND the gay men who like them. Memo to Da Berluscoglioni: Having sex with a lot of women (especially if you have to pay for it) doesn't mean you don't hold them in contempt. And NOT having sex with them doesn't mean you don't still love them. I don't expect a facelifted old fart with a gigantic ego and a pea brain (and an eeny teeny peenie) to know that much, so that's why I'm putting it out there. PS: Oh, FUCK.

7. Fucking Dubya. As long as he lives, the massive fucking wank that was his reign will simply not die. Case in point: his memoirs. He had a "sickening feeling" about not finding WMDs in Iraq? Shit, that's nothing compared to what the Iraqis felt at being bombed for fuck-all. And no, getting rid of Saddam doesn't make up for all that. Remember Rummy shaking hands with that bastard back in the '80s? Of course Dubya doesn't, he was probably still vacuuming up the coke like it was going out of style. Anything to avoid laying the blame on your old man where it really belongs, eh George? PS: A "dissenting voice"? This real dissenter calls BUSHIT. Remember who said he was The Decider? That's right, Dubya did. And no, he didn't exhaust all diplomatic options. Anyone who even timidly suggested that he do so was swatted aside. And Dubya doesn't remember that? Guess he, like Ronnie Raygun, reigned with dementia. Isn't there a law against mentally incompetent people holding federal office? Why is this man not locked away? Oh, that's right...state mental hospitals defunded for the umpteenth time. Repugnicans at work, folks.

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8. Linda Fucking Harvey. Somehow, I don't recall Michelle Obama mongering hate against obese kids the way this wankeress does against gays. Holier-than-thou FAIL!

9. Mike Fucking Sorrentino. Nice bod, shame about his entire fucking head. His face is dough, and his brain is cabbage. Yeah, I guess saying I wouldn't do him even if he stuck a bag over it makes me a "grenade". So fucking what? Who cares what this tacky assclown "thinks"? Between him and his equally douched-out brother, Palookaville is getting awfully crowded. And the young adults of the US prefer watching this shithead to being politically informed and voting? FAIL.

10. Christine O'Fucking Donnell. With any luck, this will be the last time I list her. Or maybe not. Her non-concession concession speech doesn't hold out much hope for me, know what I'm sayin'?

11. Evan Fucking Bayh. A quitter who lost enthusiasm and votes by catering only to the Blue Dog minority and abandoning the progressive base is the last person who should be telling his party what to do. Right-wing nutjobs and wimpy-ass centrists are never gonna vote Dem, so fuck 'em. If the Dems want to win, the formula is simple: Work on a true progressive agenda and don't bother trying to woo those who will never be won. You can't fix stupid, and you can't win with stupid on board. In short, Evan the Loser: Shut the fuck up and go the hell away. You've done enough damage already.

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12. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Nancy Pelosi was never a favorite of mine, especially not when she defended "MY president", the unelected Dubya, from the well-founded criticisms of a man he repeatedly tried to kill, namely Chavecito. Still, the Pigman is about 10,000 times worse than she is, and you can rest assured I'm already working on a playlist of songs with which I'll commemorate his departure from this world when the time comes.

13. Jim Fucking Prentice. For once in his miserable political career, he actually did something right for the environment. Then, less than a week later, he up and quits. To spend more time with his family. Oh yeah, and did we mention that for him, "family" means the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce--an environmental and social villain if ever there was one?

14. Arianna Fucking Huffington. Yes, she's listed, as much as it pains me. I know she's a recovering Repug, and that's cool, but is publishing gross sexism really the best way to fight the most grossly sexist party in the world? Didn't she see enough of that shit when she was still one? Didn't her mother ever teach her not to sink to their level?

15. Sarah Fucking Palin. Yes, she's still making news. No, she still won't talk to the media (excluding FUX Snooze, of course). But even when confined to the tweeter, she's still as stooperfluous as ever. (And racist. Surprise, surprise.) Oh yeah, and reality-impaired, too.

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16. Randall Fucking Terry. Who knew that Truth and Justice could become dirty words? They have...in the mouth of a murderous bastard who wants Republican candidates to show anti-choice gore-porn on TV.

17. Sharron Fucking Angle. Yup, another non-concession concession speech. Do any of these teabags have even a remote connection to reality? Even one?

18. Glenn Fucking Beck. I guess this must mean Obama isn't a Muslim anymore. Make up your mind, asshat, as to which he is. Oh wait...you think he WAS one, but converted? Fail. He was a Christian all along. BTW, if you want to know what kind of violent death I fantasize for you, it goes like this: I hope you hemorrhage to death when your exploding hemorrhoids finally blow your head out of your ass. PS: You know you're a fucking asshat when Nouriel Rubini slams you on your lack of basic fiscal comprehension.

19. Mayara Fucking Petruso. So much for the assertion that Brazil is a racial democracy. Seems that racism is still alive and well there, although happily, it's NOT "protected" speech, on the Internet or anywhere else. Her online tirades against nonwhites from Brazil's northeast (she calls them bums) got her into trouble at work. Fired, actually. And it serves her bloody well right.

20. Karl Fucking Rove. He just got beaten up by another girl--namely, Sarah Fucking Palin. The only thing that would make me happier would be to hear that another leftie chick clobbered him.

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Failing that, this would also work for me.

21. Mark Fucking Steyn. Education is turning us into wimps--and dooming us all to become slaves of MUSLIMS! So says yet another right-wing nutjob bogus intellectual who never made it past high school. Oh, and get this: Mr. Macho got his start in "journalism" as a musical theatre critic. Mark, is that a little pink skeleton I hear, doing the Watusi in your closet?

22. Rand Fucking Paul. "There are no rich. There is no middle class. There are no poor", claims the man who clearly parachuted in from some other planet where that may be the case. (It is not at all the case here!) But there are definitely stupid people on this planet, and if he's not one of them, the gullible gomers who elected him a senator for Kentucky certainly are.

23. Judith Fucking Griggs. No, the entire Internet is NOT "the public domain". There's a word for what you did to Monica Gaudio (among others), and it is THEFT. The fact that you claim to have been doing it for three decades is especially rich; that's more than long enough to learn that it is WRONG. Anything written by others which you publish, for profit, is work you should at least offer to pay those others for, however modestly. Saying "it happens all the time" is no excuse; frequency of occurrence is not a measure of legality or acceptability. Plagiarism is still plagiarism, no matter where it happens or how often. There is such a thing as fair use, and what you did does not qualify. Fair use means citing a portion of text, as long as is needed to make a point (and as brief as possible), and giving the author due credit. It is NOT lifting a whole article, editing it as you please, and then republishing it, under any name, without so much as a by-your-leave--if republishing an article, especially in edited form, you should ALWAYS ASK THE AUTHOR FIRST! It is also considered a courtesy to explain how you plan to edit the piece, so that the author understands and agrees to the changes. And there is also a word for the whole effrontery of telling someone else she should compensate you for stealing and mangling her work, too. The word is CHUTZPAH. PS: You're a lousy writer yourself, Judith--a poor speller, and as stingy with punctuation as you are with your authors. Your magazine title needs an apostrophe, and your snotty e-mail to Monica is missing several commas. You also misspelled the Cortland apple, and it should be "Late peaches until they're gone"! No wonder you have to steal other people's work; you're not good enough to produce your own. After "doing this for 3 decades", that, too, is inexcusable. You should be paying ME for pointing THAT out--and grateful that none of your advertisers were smart enough to catch on to your 30-year grift.

24. Stephen Fucking Fry. Nice non-apology apology, dude! Here's one from an offended feminist, which will no doubt offend you: I'm sorry your ego is so easily bruised. I'm also sorry you were such a fucking idiot, and so completely fucking ignorant about women in particular and society in general. Next time you feel like getting all ahead of yourself, follow this infallible formula: Open eyes, open ears, open mind, and keep big mouth shut.

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25. Fucking Harpo. How little do women matter to him and his so-called government? O, let us count the ways; we could be here all day. Or just read the link for one of them. PS: Call this fiscal conservatism? Wastrel. Oh well, I guess you can find ways to make up for that, eh?

26. Fucking MSNBC. Fucking hell, Keith Olbermann was the only thing on that channel worth watching, and they cut him? For a political donation? It would be only fair if they did the same to Joe Fucking Scarborough, but of course they won't. The fact that there's an R after his name makes him different, somehow...I guess.

27. Jackson Fucking Diehl. Somebody remind this ideological assclown that neither Fidel nor Chavecito was running for election this fall. Or re-election, in the case of the latter. And that neither Fidel nor Chavecito gives a damn if Repugs DO own the House of Representatives right now. Surprisingly, both these men are well aware (as Diehl is apparently not) that a lot of Dems are equally bad at foreign relations and that whole diplomatic, not-trampling-Latin-America-like-a-stupid-gringo thing. Remember Nancy Fucking Pelosi?

28. Mark Fucking Penn. And speaking of ideological assclowns and Dems, how about this former "advisor" to Her Royal Clintoness? He's not working for her anymore--there's a shocker--but she's still ill-advised when it comes to LatAm, because her basic tune doesn't differ all that much from Auntie Condi's. Yer honor, my case rests.

29. and 30. Terry Fucking Nunn and Blair Fucking Crowley. Yes, the wankers of the Campbellford Legion's Halloween costume contest have been identified. And guess what? The one in the blackface is a retired Toronto police officer and his best friend is black. Of all the people who should know better...aw, who are we kidding? The only way this could have been more offensive is if he'd been the one to don the Kluker sheet and his black buddy had worn the noose.

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And finally to "pub", whose e-mail address (probably bogus, but what the hell) I've decided to link in case any of you lovebugs feel like writing him a little heart-warmer; the poor basement-bound bastard can probably use it. I banned him for leaving the following sploodge on this entry here...

You are such an ignorant, intolerant piece of Canadian shit. Mind your own fucking business, freak.

That pithy little piece of projecthun--sorry, projection--comes to us from IP #68.229.194.106. That's in Oklahoma City. Where they know all about how ignorant and intolerant we peaceniks are. Why, our ignorance and intolerance could have prevented a warmongering terrorist from blowing up their Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, and calling the kids in its daycare centre "collateral damage". If we freaks only hadn't minded our own fucking business! But of course, we did, and 168 people died that day. Ah, the glory of the Supreme Sacrifice...

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And just think. Letting things like this happen is what passes for intelligence and tolerance with certain denizens of OKfuckingC. I'd hate to imagine what's in the local water. Maybe it's leftover toxic residue from Tim McVeigh's truck bomb, still eating people's brains after all this time. Beating your dick raw on a stranger's desktop won't help you there, pal. Here's what will: Get out of Redneck City a bit, see the world, and learn something about cultures that aren't based on superstition, racism, greed, and yee-haw. That way, you won't be as tempted to make war...or whack off on my blog.

Good night, and get fucked!

November 5, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Who's on top again?

As you're probably aware, the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela decided to kiss and make up after several months of tension and suspension of relations. Who do you suppose got the upper hand in the deal they signed on Wednesday?

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Check the faces, check the body language. And then get back to me, eh?

November 4, 2010

Rednecks: We haz them.

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Is this a scene from the US South, fifty years ago? Nope. Try Southern Ontario, less than a week ago:

Two men, one dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe, hood and Confederate flag, and the other, face painted black and being led around by his captor by a noose tied around his neck, attended a Halloween party hosted at the Legion, and won the night's best costume prize.

The Campbellford Legion has temporarily closed their doors and will remain closed until further notice. According to Mayor Hector Macmillan, who spoke with the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Provincial Command President Ed Pigeau, a Legion board of members is being dispatched to Campbellford to deal with the matter.

"They (provincial command) are sending a board of members to assess the situation," said Mr. Macmillan.

When Mark Andrade, a black man of Jamaican decent and owner of Rubbs Barbecue Bistro in Campbellford, stopped by the Legion that night for a beer with some friends he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

"I was immediately disgusted and pissed off that this was being encouraged, especially by the Legion," said Mr. Andrade. "The Legion is a place of respect, I mean you can't even wear a hat in there and here they are endorsing this kind of behaviour. Everyone else watched and didn't say a word. It was very revolting."

Mr. Andrade did not say anything to the two men, nor confront them - he just left. He added he had no idea who the two men were.

Poor taste and judgment: They have it. And as yet, we have no idea who "they" are. Can't wait to see if anyone comes forward to own up for this blunder. Not holding my breath, though.

BTW, if you want to be have fun with a KKK costume for Halloween, I suggest the following:

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Now THAT should win a prize, because everybody knows that the queerz have impeccable taste and a healthy sense of irony.

November 3, 2010

How to screw the pooch, authentically

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Oh yes, little Chihuahua perrito. Once more, you are so fucked! And this time, by a news source I used to trust, at least as far as Mexico went. But no longer. As usual, my amigo Slave Revolt has called it correctly, saying NarcoNews was corrupted. I took my time coming around to his POV, but now I understand and agree. Alas, even the purveyors of "authentic journalism" can screw the pooch. And here's how they do it, in a step-by-step breakdown...so you can recognize further dog-fuckery in the future:

1. Publish, unedited and uncriticized, one press release from CONAIE, one of several indigenous people's NGOs in Ecuador.

2. Comment on it in hysterical, smear-mongering hyperbole, questioning none of its premises:

Note by Al Giordano: During Thursday's coverage of events in Ecuador, we accepted on face value that it was an attempted coup d'etat and saw the same international forces behind the 2009 Honduras coup involved in these events. Now that the immediate dangers have subsided is the moment to reflect more deeply as to what occurred and why.

We also defended Ecuador's most important coalition of social movements, the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE, in its Spanish initials) from a vicious smear and innuendo campaign against it by North Americans like Eva Golinger, Jean-Guy Allard, and on her Twitter feed, Naomi Klein (see correction down below) who recklessly accused the indigenous women and men of the CONAIE of being agents of imperialism and recipients of funds from US AID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

In subsequent days, waving extremely flimsy and half-stated "evidence," Golinger and Allard have pressed their crusade to discredit the CONAIE further in a series of articles high on rhetoric and rumor and low on factual content or proof. If this is to become a duel of credibility and honesty between these gringo and Canadian voices and the dignified ones of the CONAIE, we give far more benefit of the doubt to those Ecuadorean voices who have proved for two decades that they hold the interests of their own country and their own peoples high and proud and who have effectively organized and struggled and continue to win real results.

We furthermore consider the efforts by Golinger et al against the good people of the CONAIE to themselves be a form of North American imperialism and view it necessary to call it what it is: dishonesty based on the imperatives of political expediency and worship at the altar of State power. McCarthyism and Stalinism were always two faces on the same coin, after all. Each make their lists, invent false charges, distort the whole truth, as they seek to purge, destroy and silence debate and dissent.

3. ...while disregarding the fact that CONAIE is, in fact, very much a recipient of USAID funding, and has been for several years, just like the worst racist and fascist opponents of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. Which kind of puts a crimp in the whole "CONAIE good people" spin.

It's not as though indigenous people can't be misled by gringos with mucho dinero, either. Happens more often than you think in Ecuador; Philip Agee could have told you as much, back when he was still alive. He was with the CIA when they fomented political coups during the 1960s, after all, and one of them (his first assignment, in fact) was in Ecuador. And how did the CIA do it? By cultivating conservative, strongly Catholic indigenous groups, among others. And yes, plenty of US money changed hands then, too. CONAIE did not yet exist, but the pattern of CIA subversion of non-governmental organizations in Ecuador was established during Agee's time there. It was later carried out under USAID and the NED--to give the whole putschist enterprise the appropriate "democratic" gloss. Scratch the veneer a bit, though, and you'll see the CIA still very much at work underneath it all.

4. But I guess it's easier to smear Eva Golinger, absurdly, as a "Stalinist" (never mind that Joe Stalin is long dead) than it is to take a good hard look at CONAIE's strange assertions:

We energetically announce that there never was any attempted coup d'etat, much less a kidnapping, but an event that responded to the uncertain political management of the government that causes popular discontent through permanent aggression, discrimination and violations of human rights consecrated in the Constitution.

We do not recognize this dictatorial "democracy" because of its lack of freedom of speech, the kidnapping of all the powers of the state by the executive branch in its political system of one government, that does not generate spaces to debate the projects, and laws elaborated from the indigenous movement and other social sectors.

We categorically refute claims that the CONAIE, the Pachakutik Political Movement, the peoples and nationalities have any relationship at all with the organism known as USAID, previously NED, not today nor ever. To the contrary, we know that this organization finances the "social programs" of this government like the forest partnership and that, yes, is condemnable.

We demand the constitutional suspension of the National Congress for its failure to comply with the constitutional mandate that it legislate much less audit as it is well known that all laws are approved by the president's legal minister.

We condemn the usurpation of press freedom when on September 30 all media not allied with the government was forced to broadcast government news in "cadena nacional," a means by which all access to information is controlled and manipulated with a version of the facts that does not inform about the real dimensions of the situation on that day in the country.

Really, Al are you going to let THAT pass unchallenged? You call THAT "authentic"?

I call bullshit. On several points. Let's take them down one by one:

(a) "We energetically announce that there never was any attempted coup d'etat, much less a kidnapping, but an event that responded to the uncertain political management of the government that causes popular discontent through permanent aggression, discrimination and violations of human rights consecrated in the Constitution."

This is the first bald-faced CONAIE lie. What happened in Ecuador on September 20 WAS, unequivocally, a coup. Eyewitnesses who were at the hospital where Rafael Correa was held prisoner that day say that yes, he WAS kidnapped and held there against his will. One of them, Dr. Paula Vernimmen, actually tweeted the events as they went down. I followed her on Twitter that day, almost literally biting my nails in fear for Correa's life. My fear was well justified; Dr. Vernimmen later tweeted some pictures that prove that yes, there was a coup. Mere protesters against alleged human-rights violations don't fire big live ammo at an armored van containing a president, after all.

As for the "violations of human rights consecrated in the Constitution", I seem to recall Rafael Correa convening a constituent assembly to rewrite Ecuador's old, fusty gringo-imperialist era one. Why would he violate his own rules? Makes no sense, and doesn't explain his high popularity in the days and weeks immediately following the coup attempt, either. Consistently over 70% in the polls since the coup, people. And this popularity comes even as Quito remains under an indefinite state of emergency!

It also doesn't explain the fact that the general public strongly supports the army, which was instrumental in rescuing Correa, and condemns the police for revolting.

So yes, as you may have guessed, this too is CONAIE talking out its collective buttocks. One might think that if they really valued democracy, they would at least have the decency to condemn putschist tactics, but oh nooooo. To the contrary, they endorse them. Read on...

(b) "We do not recognize this dictatorial 'democracy' because of its lack of freedom of speech, the kidnapping of all the powers of the state by the executive branch in its political system of one government, that does not generate spaces to debate the projects, and laws elaborated from the indigenous movement and other social sectors."

"Dictatorial democracy"? Now there's an oxymoron if ever I heard one. Correa is popularly elected (and re-elected). With a margin of victory that leaves no doubt. He even won his second term on the first round, in a region all too known for its two-round elections of less-popular, more conservative candidates. What could be more "dictatorial"? Well, maybe if Correa had abolished the entire Ecuadorian parliament, CONAIE's absurd claim of "kidnapping all of the powers of the state" might hold water. But last I looked, the country still had one, and it was still running, albeit not always in CONAIE's favor. So it's not as though there are no "spaces to debate the projects, and laws elaborated from the indigenous movement and other social sectors." Actually, it looks more as if the democratic debate works just fine, and if CONAIE comes out the loser, well, too bad. Nobody elected THEM to a majority in the assembly, or to the presidency. (Maybe they'd be more popular if they cut the USAID purse strings!)

(c) "We categorically refute claims that the CONAIE, the Pachakutik Political Movement, the peoples and nationalities have any relationship at all with the organism known as USAID, previously NED, not today nor ever. To the contrary, we know that this organization finances the 'social programs' of this government like the forest partnership and that, yes, is condemnable."

Whoa, whoa, whoa...USAID finances Correa? Now that's just plain crazy talk. Why would they finance a man who's on the same side as another president they've been trying to topple since he came to office more than a decade ago? I'm talking here about Chavecito, to whom Correa is often (and not wrongly) compared. USAID, like the CIA, wants Correa dead; their lackeys in the Ecuadorian federal police made that abundantly clear.

Plus, that "categorically refute" thing has already been shot down by Eva Golinger's documented proof of the exact opposite. They may deny, but they CAN'T refute what she has found--hard documentation proving that yes, there is a long-standing relationship between CONAIE and USAID and the NED.

(d) "We demand the constitutional suspension of the National Congress for its failure to comply with the constitutional mandate that it legislate much less audit as it is well known that all laws are approved by the president's legal minister."

They demand WHAT? Suspension of an elected parliament? That sounds awfully putschist and dictatorial. Who are these people to condemn democracy as "dictatorial" when what they are doing is worse?

And as you may have guessed, they're also not telling the truth about the assembly's failure to "legislate much less audit". What's very strange is that their legislative arm, Pachakutic, originally voted to support Correa's constitution. When did they turn against him, and what turned them? Questions, questions--don't expect honest answers from them or Al Giordano, though.

(e) "We condemn the usurpation of press freedom when on September 30 all media not allied with the government was forced to broadcast government news in 'cadena nacional,' a means by which all access to information is controlled and manipulated with a version of the facts that does not inform about the real dimensions of the situation on that day in the country."

This is the same bullshit the Venezuelan opposition spouts all the time, freely and in their own private media, whenever Chavecito uses his legal right to broadcast an important announcement on all channels. It is also a legally enshrined right in Ecuador. And public service announcements by the federal government are also a fact of life here in North America, although we don't have cadenas per se. So this is another silly complaint that doesn't hold water. It does, however, smell very much of USAID's media-manipulating hand.

As to the claim that "all access to information is controlled and manipulated with a version of the facts that does not inform about the real dimensions of the situation on that day in the country", that's an absurd projection. Not to mention false. CNN's Spanish channel was unaffected, and transmitted nonstop lies, pro-US crapaganda and just plain bullshit throughout the cadena. It was so bad, and so utterly wrong, that the local CNN correspondent, Rodolfo Muñoz, resigned--in a move eerily reminiscent of what Andrés Izarra, formerly news director of Venezuela's oldest private channel, RCTV, did when his bosses told him to allow "nothing pro-Chávez on screen".

And that's not even touching the fact that Ecuador's private TV channels are all very right-wing--and bitterly opposed to Rafael Correa, who has often complained of their biased coverage. The idea that they were "manipulated" by the president into misinforming the people is laughable on the face of it. They were, if anything, for once made to report the truth. And you can bet that they are bitter...

Yes, CONAIE is lying. It and Pachakutic are lying in support of a fascist coup, one that would only hurt the indigenous peoples of Ecuador if it had succeeded. It would have put the treacherous Lucio "Sucio" Gutiérrez back in power, reinstated all the old corruption, led to murderous riots and repressions, and prevented the rainforest cleanup (by Chevron, among others) that Correa was pushing for--a move that would have directly benefited the indigenous! If anyone is manipulated here, it is clearly CONAIE and Pachakutic, who are touting, by strange coincidence, the exact same line as the US State Dept. would have them do. That line is the lie.

And Al Giordano accepts the lie at face value, with no further investigation, simply because his loopy anti-statist views dictate that he must denounce anyone favorable to a LatAm head of state, even someone as diligent as Eva Golinger, as "Stalinist". And that this is somehow "authentic journalism", to present a crazy, downright libelous press release, merely translated and not analyzed, as "the truth". Maybe because serious analysis would reveal him, embarrassingly, to be a hack, fronting for the same awful policies as CONAIE--policies that would only hurt their own people in the long run, and actively hinder plurinational participation in Ecuador's future.

Shame on him.

November 2, 2010

Peace or poppies? The ethical dilemma that shouldn't be

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"Soldiers and sailors and airmen, too
Fought for us across the sea;
Brave and unselfish, strong and true,
Keeping Canada free!
I'll wear a poppy on Remembrance Day
To show I'm proud of what they did for me..."

We sang that song in sixth grade, before I had any real idea how ironic it was. You see, both branches of my family were on the "wrong" side of the two World Wars, being Germans (the one in northern Germany, the other in the Serbian part of Yugoslavia). My family was NOT Canadian at the time, and freedom? Under Hitler? Pah. At best, non-Jewish Germans only thought they were free, or that they were fighting for their freedom (or whatever other bogus "noble" cause was in vogue). If there was one thing most Germans knew full well, it was that the war was NOT about anybody's freedom. It was a farce, a dirty joke, for anyone to claim that it had to do with that. I didn't know that at the time; I just sang along in the school assembly, blithe and unquestioning, when directed to do so.

And of course, I knew nothing about how the town of Kitchener, Ontario--home to one of Canada's largest ethnic-German populations--used to be called Berlin. Or about how Japanese Canadians were interned, for no reason other than being Japanese...and Canadian. If I had known those things, the whole "freedom" meme would have been easier for me to question. But of course they don't teach you things like that in Grade 6!

Seven years later, and several decades wiser, I went on to win second place in the provincial division of the Royal Canadian Legion essay contest, this time acknowledging my ironies, lamenting the futility of war, and adding that the purpose of war memorials should not be to glorify war, but to remind us not to make more of them. I'm still proud of that essay, which was what helped me to sort my mind out about war, and come down on the side of peace. My basic conclusion still stands.

And that was how I made my peace with the poppy.

Now I'm of two minds about wearing it again. This letter to the editors makes a cogent case for not wearing it:

World War I, of course, is not the only war in which Canadians fought and died, but the "they died to make us free" model seems equally inappropriate to Canadian participation in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the (so-called) Gulf War. World War II is a different matter - Hitler and Nazism were obvious evils which had to be eradicated. Even granting this, there are moral ambiguities associated with that war which we still have difficulty acknowledging.

In 1992, for instance, Brian and Terence McKenna made a documentary (The Valour and the Horror) which looked carefully at the bombing of German cities by Canadian aircrews. Although careful to praise the personal valour of individual airmen, the McKenna brothers pointed out that these bombs rarely hit military targets but did kill thousands of civilians.

Furthermore, they noted, the Allied command knew perfectly well that these bombs were missing military targets and killing civilians but continued the raids nevertheless, as a way of demoralizing hostile populations. Finally, the documentary suggested these mass killings contributed little if anything to winning the war. There was nothing new in any of this. Academic historians had been saying similar things for years - but nobody listens to academics. A documentary on the CBC was another matter.

The response to the McKenna brothers was electric. Although many veterans were glad someone had finally had the courage to challenge the official version of history, other veterans and many veterans groups throughout Canada uttered squeals of rage. They used their influence to spark a Senate investigation and the CBC was pressured (with some success) to define the documentary a "docudrama." In other words, it was fiction not history - in contrast of course to the sanitized version of history promoted by veterans organizations. It was a disgraceful episode in recent Canadian history.

If we want the future to be a better place, we must confront the horrors of the past, even if that includes horrors for which Canada (or the United States or Great Britain or any of the other official good guys) were responsible - and that means challenging all sanitized versions of history, even those that come masked beneath the emotionally charged image of a blood-red poppy.

Meanwhile, a British campaign resurrects an old idea, one that might just finally gain some traction in the age of the Internets, when buried history gets dug up again and dusted off:

The idea of decoupling Armistice Day , the red poppy and later Remembrance Day from their military culture dates back to 1926, just a few years after the British Legion was persuaded to try using the red poppy as a fundraising tool in Britain.

A member of the No More War Movement suggested that the British Legion should be asked to imprint 'No More War' in the centre of the red poppies instead of 'Haig Fund' and failing this pacifists should make their own flowers.

The details of any discussion with the British Legion are unknown but as the centre of the red poppy displayed the 'Haig Fund' imprint until 1994 it was clearly not successful. A few years later the idea was again discussed by the Co-operative Women's Guild who in 1933 produced the first white poppies to be worn on Armistice Day (later called Remembrance Day). The Guild stressed that the white poppy was not intended as an insult to those who died in the First World War - a war in which many of the women lost husbands, brothers, sons and lovers. The following year the newly founded Peace Pledge Union joined the CWG in the distribution of the poppies and later took over their annual promotion

And here's an irony: The same Royal Canadian Legion who saw merit in my ambivalent essay, and who also claim with a straight face that the poppy represents those who died for our freedom...have tried to ban the free-speech gesture that is the white poppy!

Remind me of what all that warring and dying was for, again?

I would love to wear a white poppy. I think it's the perfect gesture: Honor the dead, by speaking for life and peace. But I live in a fairly conservative town, where the white poppy campaign has yet to reach. I can't see our Royal Canadian Legion branch selling them anytime soon; their official position is apparently still stuck somewhere around the same level as that sixth-grade jingle.

And I'm not the kind of person who stands on street corners selling things, braving ignorant people's abuses alone.

So here I am again, stuck on the horns of the same old dilemma: Peace or poppies?

How about peace AND poppies?

Sigh.

Guess I'll throw some coins in the box and fish out the old red poppy yet again...and pin a peace button right next to it, just so people know why I'm really wearing that thing. And if anyone wants to argue that it's an insult, I'll point to both and remind them that we peaceniks fight this fight so their loved ones don't have to go die for someone else's arrogance all over again.

November 1, 2010

Dilma is full of win

Now that Brazil has made history, electing its first female (and first female leftist ex-guerrilla) president, here's Carlos Latuff, Brazilian cartoonist, with the "official portrait":

dilma-cartoon-latuff.jpg

And now that one ass-kicking is done, let the next commence. Here's a round-up of all things Dilma on the day after "DilmaDay":

The WSJ mutes the historic significance of Dilma, and instead strikes the usual unnecessary note of neoliberal caution about how social spending went up under Lula (hinting, stupidly, that it has to be reined in and cut back now). Duh: that increased spending the reason Brazil weathered the recession so much better than the "civilized" countries of the north. If you don't expect poor people to live on air, they actually help fuel the economic engine, dumbasses. Or did you think poor brown folks are just all useless eaters?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek seems to have been bitten by the same bug, only they're saying it's the Brazilian currency unit, the real, that needs to be "curbed" (stomped?) under Dilma. Translation: Make yourselves cheaper for us northern imperialists, can'tcha?

But here's the funny thing: The same Bloomie article draws that spin based on the words of a local CEPAL analyst. Whose real emphasis, it should be noted, was not on the "inflated" real, but on wealth redistribution, otherwise known as taxing the rich and social spending for the rest--a broadly beneficial concept surely foreign to the money marketeers except, of course, as an example of the socialism they want us all to abandon. Buried close to the bottom: a prediction that Brazil's economy will grow 8%, surpassing CEPAL's earlier estimate. I'm sorry, Dilma needs to "curb" WHAT, again?

And here's something interesting: the stodgy Torygraph rather blandly mentions Dilma's guerrilla past, and also that she was jailed for it and subjected to electroshock torture. If you've seen State of Siege, you'll probably be gasping with recognition here; the electroshock torture method was imported to Brazil, and taught to its police, by none other than Dan Mitrione (who is thinly fictionalized in the Costa-Gavras film as "Philip Michael Santore"). Mitrione later went on to inflict the same upon Brazil's little southerly neighbor, Uruguay. So now, not only does Uruguay have a president who was once jailed and tortured for his leftist guerrilla work by Mitrione's pupils, but so does Brazil! This should be interesting when she and Pepe Mujica get to talking. Can't wait to hear about THAT conversation! But of course, I won't expect to hear much from the Torygraph, which prefers to compare her to their senile homegrown villainess, Maggie Thatcher. Oh yeah, real basis for comparison there--Dilma was and probably still is opposed to everything Maggie the Milk Snatcher was about, and vice versa. Torygraph FAIL! Pepe Mujica is a much more natural one to compare Dilma to, and for that, I'll be reading the Spanish-language alternative news from down thereabouts.

As usual, the anglo crapaganda whores are missing the real story and focusing mainly on the bullshit. But you and I knew that already, eh?

Cuba overrun with cancer patients

vidatox-scorpion.jpg

I've blogged on this one before, but it looks like now, some interesting Cuban research into scorpion venom as a cancer treatment is starting to pay off big-time:

A Cuban pharmaceutical laboratory has been overrun by hundreds of foreign patients, Italians above all, who have flown to Havana to be treated with a natural medicine against cancer made from scorpion venom.

The director-general of Labiofam, Pavel Pizart, explained that the avalanche began in the beginning of October, after an Italian journalist filed a report, complete with hidden camera and interviews of several patients who had been treated with the antitumor product, named Vidatox.

"On the 4th 350 Italians arrived, on the 5th more than 250, and the number has remained above 200 a day from Monday to Friday," said Pizart in a press conference, adding that the company has had to build facilities to tend to the visitors, since it did not have the proper installations.

"You can imagine what it's like in a company which was not designed for that, which doesn't have infrastructure, with 350 people waiting outside. It was a problem, we didn't have anyplace to put them. 12 specialists for 350 people was complicated, but to this minute, no one has left the place without the product in hand," Pizart said.

According to Pizart, the Cuban embassy in Italy has also been overwhelmed by visa applications, and charter flights have been booked since commercial airlines did not have enough seats.

The diplomatic installation in Rome placed a notice on its website that said "For now, unfortunately, it will not be possible to respond positively to the thousands of requests pouring in to Labiofam, since its production is still very limited."

The company's director of research and development, Isbel González, said that Vidatox is a homeopathic preparation made from five protein peptides of low molecular weight extracted from the venom of the scorpion, and which has demonstrated an "analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effect in more than 15 different cancer cell lines."

According to González, Vidatox has been tested on more than 10,000 cancer patients, some 3,500 of them foreigners, and has shown "positive results", ranging from "improved quality of life" to "slowed tumor growth".

The medication is the result of 15 years of research, and Labiofam says that its homeopathic version should be registered in the coming days and could be commercially produced immediately. González added that the company would continue research to produce synthetic or biotechnological versions of the compound.

The medication was produced from over 5,000 scorpions of the Rhopalurus junceus variety, native to eastern Cuba. According to the company, it has no contraindications and is compatible with any other oncological treatment.

Pavel Pizart says that for the time being, since it has not been registered yet, Vidatox is being given out for free to persons from all over the world who have been coming to the laboratory in search of the product, but once registered, they will charge a fee for it. The intent is to produce more than a million units before the end of the year.

"If we find an Italian company that wants to sell the product in Italy, we'll sell it to them. And if that's not possible, in a few days we'll be selling it here in Cuba to anyone who comes," said Pizart, adding that Vidatox could be exported to any countries asking for it under normal trade treaties.

Labiofam has a history of half a century, and employs more than 3,500 workers in Cuba. The company presented the results of its Vidatox research in its first international congress in late September in Havana before some 500 delegates from all parts of the world.

Translation mine.

Michael Moore may want to consider a second Sicko movie, at this rate. Maybe a group of cancer-stricken first responders from 9-11 will want to try this treatment, too.