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December 26, 2010

Collateral Murder: The aftermath in Baghdad

Two unembedded reporters for Big Noise Films were in Baghdad--coincidentally, the day after the notorious Collateral Murder shootings occurred (and were caught on camera by the helicopter gunships doing the firing.) They prove conclusively that everything the US government has said about the infamous video from the gunships is a bald-faced lie. It's quite clear in this video that the Iraqi journalist killed in the shooting is no "armed insurgent", but a Reuters reporter talking on a cellphone. It's also clear that the van full of wounded children was just that, and not a suicide bomber or other insurgent. It shows that the soldiers knew full well what they were firing on; there was no "fog of war". The gunship pilot has to request permission before opening fire each time, and describes in detail what is going on in the street; he GETS that permission, no problem, in spite of the fact. Meaning, both the pilot and his base commander knew they were committing a war crime. And they still went right ahead and did it. "Bushmaster" and "Crazyhorse" are war criminals. Any questions?

Even more stunning is what these two unembedded documentarists found the next day in that same neighborhood. Iraqis eager to talk, to show that what had happened was an atrocity. They led the reporters straight to the burnt-out van that had been about to carry wounded children to hospital. You can still see the bloodstains on the seats. A clearer confirmation would be impossible to get; the Iraqis' version and that of the gunship tally point for point. Right down to the assertion that the US tanks drove over a body; the Apache helo's video confirms that, too.

Now, the whole world knows that the US government lies constantly, pathologically, and shamelessly. It lies its people into war, and then it lies even more about what goes on during the wars. Only reporters who aren't required to be shameless "Support the Troops" boosters can tell the truth...only they, and military leakers. If not for Wikileaks and Bradley Manning, this crime would never have come to light, and the Big Noise crew's confirming video of the aftermath might have gotten lost in the shuffle.

And this crime, as yet, remains unpunished. Apparently, Hopey has yet to change the BushCo rules of engagement from "anything goes" to "not so fast, fellas". This is NOT change I can believe in, nor anyone who voted for Obama as a candidate for peace. It makes even more of a mockery out of that pre-emptive Nobel prize than it already was.

November 22, 2010

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.

October 22, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Obama's moment of Zen

If only His Barackness were always like this, he WOULD be a socialist. Let's savor him getting this one bang-on, and salute his efforts against bullying, homophobia and suicide. And keep the heat on his feet to drive a stake through the heart of DADT.

August 25, 2010

The Bush Crime Family's tentacles in Cuba

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Thought you'd seen the last of Dubya when His Barackness kicked him oh-so-politely out of the White House, and hustled him and his minions onto that chopper to take him back to Crawford where he belonged? Think again. As long as there's a Bush family, there will be an evil empire of crime and greed. That empire is unbelievably vast, and its tentacles reach all over the place, sucking wealth out of remote locations and leaving the locals impoverished unless they fight back. And one of those places, as strange coincidence would have it, is CUBA--where the locals fought back successfully, and against which, it seems, the BFEE still bears a grudge:

The obsession of the Bush family with Cuba, and its determination to make life difficult for Cubans, begs the question: Is there some secret or "black hole" in the relations of the Bushes with this Caribbean isle?

In reality, there's no cat to let out of the bag, because the hidden skeleton left the closet some time ago, when there was an investigation and a recounting of the links between the Bush family name and Cuba, conducted by Marcelo Pérez Suárez, doctor of political science, of the Foreign Ministry of Cuba.

From one of his works, we draw the following revealing data:

George Herbert Walker, maternal great-grandfather of George W. Bush, member of the wealthy family headed by Prescott Bush, was a director of seven companies operating in Cuba since 1920. These were dedicated to the production of sugar, distillation of rum, and railroad infrastructure. They were called The Cuba Company, The Cuban Railroad, Cuban Dominican Sugar, Barahona Sugar, Cuba Distilling, Sugar Estates of Oriente, and Atlantic Fruit and Sugar.

These were merged in 1942 into the West Indies Sugar Company, which was nationalized in 1960 by the Cuban revolutionary government [of Fidel Castro].

In 1953, George H. Walker died, but his namesake son, George H. Walker Jr., the uncle of George Bush, took up the reins of those seven companies. That same year, George Bush, father of George W. Bush, entered the oil business and founded the Zapata Oil company in Houston, Texas, creating Zapata Offshore as a subsidiary.

In 1958, Zapata Offshore signed a contract to exploit petroleum deposits 40 miles off the Cuban shore, north of Isabela de Sagua in the province of Las Villas. This venture was cut short by the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

However, even with the possibility of business and investments with Cuba ruled out, George Bush Sr. remained president of Zapata Offshore until 1966.

Zapata Offshore and its head, George Bush, are both linked to the CIA, as was shown by declassified documents from the US Secret Service. Also because the records of Zapata were destroyed. A good while after 1960, the Secret Service moved to protect George Bush when he began his political career and destroyed all the records between 1981 and 1983, when he began his term as vice-president. There were motives.

What is true is that regarding West Indies Sugar and Zapata, it is very likely that the Bush family, as well as being hurt in its business relations and investments in Cuba, may have maintained some "right" to reclamation after the nationalizations of the Revolution. Recall that many companies have continued to maintain these "rights" up to now, hoping to recuperate the properties or a higher compensation [than originally received], under the complicity of the government and laws of the United States.

Fletcher Prouty, an ex-CIA officer, confirmed in his 1973 book, The Secret Team, that two of the ships used for the Bay of Pigs invasion--the Barbara and the Houston--were renamed and repainted by Agent Bush in the naval base of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, before being sent to Cuba, and that his company, Zapata Offshore, was used as a front.

In summation, there is no "black hole" in the relationship between the Bush family and Cuba. Everything is clearer than water, and there is nothing hidden to investigate.

Translation mine. Linkage added.

Of course, if you've been following the BFEE in more recent years (as this site has), you'll already know that they've fallen on harder times since those glory days when they snapped up trouble-ridden Cuban corporations at fire-sale prices and proceeded to profiteer obscenely from the investment. Dubya's oil companies, Harken and Arbusto, were most notable for drilling dry holes, for losing money, and in Arbusto's case, for being sold, at a ridiculous profit, to none other than one of the Bin Ladens (another rich and powerful family, this one distinctly Saudi in character. Perhaps you've heard of them?) It's awfully tempting to put two and two together between that connection and 9-11, and a certain CIA daily briefing that Dubya--oddly, considering that he is the son of a former CIA director--brushed aside, not to mention how badly the US military, under Dubya's orders, flubbed the battle of Tora Bora (the one where a certain tall turban-man named Osama got away.) Don't you think so?

If you do, you won't have any problem seeing why Dubya strove so hard (and in vain) throughout his term to starve Cuba out. Actually, his old man came closer to it, which is why you may have seen that brief rash of Cuban boat-people during the so-called "Special Period" between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the mid-1990s, when the Cuban economy began to recover and the trickle of economic migrants ceased. That period of hardship eased, not due to foreign investment (for there was none), nor by any buyouts or reclamations of nationalized corporations (there were none of those, either), but by the Cuban people's pre-existing self-sufficiency drive, established in the wake of the Revolution. The Special Period deepened and intensified it, and Cuban ingenuity won that day.

The Cuban recovery happened during Bill Clinton's tenure--at a time when the BFEE, and indeed the entire US right-wing, was doing its damnedest to force that popular, and largely peace-minded, president out of office. Ken Starr and his panty-sniffing, pornographic impeachment drive failed. Even the Elián González kerfuffle could not spark the undoubtedly desired conflict that might have brought things to a head in Cuba. There was nothing for the BFEE to do there, and not later, either. Dubya missed his own window of opportunity when Venezuela struck up the ALBA treaty, with Cuba as its first co-signer. (He had struck out earlier, too, when his oily widdle coup against Venezuela failed in '02.)

Two rich Caribbean oil treasure troves, and he fucked up in his efforts to get them, as my mom would say in German, under his fingernails. That's gotta hurt. But it's quite par for the course; Dubya has the reverse of the Midas touch. Everything he sticks his hand into turns to shit.

Let's hope that no subsequent Bush gets into the Oval Office, or, in the event that one does, let's hope he fails as badly as all his predecessors at undermining the sovereignty of Latin America for nefarious BFEE corporate purposes.

April 22, 2010

Teabonics: The Video

An illustrated lexicon of hardcore stupidity. Enjoy!

March 29, 2010

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

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Yes, Ms. Manx is back...and all who have not been "saved" are going to have their souls eaten by the Cats! And by "saved", I simply mean "educated in the use of the common sense their mamas gave them". Assuming their mamas didn't, which is surprisingly common in the Babylon to the south of us. Cases in point, coming right down...

Remember those infamous "Michigan Militia" groups of the Clinton era? They're ba-ack, and one of them is now going by the inexplicable name of Hutaree.

Wikipedia says they're not officially affiliated with the original goon squads, which disbanded around the time Clinton's latter term was coming to a close, but then, who can tell? These groups are all clandestine and seemingly autonomous, so formal connections would be hard to prove. But they do talk amongst themselves; they meet at gun shows and other far-right-wing functions. And "inspiration" is easy to spot, as is influence. So I wouldn't say that they're not a metastatic form of the original Michigan mental-as-anythings.

And why does all this shit happen in Michigan? Probably for the same reason that Tim McVeigh was from Western New York, which sits just across Lake Ontario from where I am. There be rednecks in the northern states, yep. And they're just as full of self-righteous grudgifyin' as any bubba from down south. Hilariously, some of them like to think they are freedom and homeland defence. Riiiiiight. With those guts? A pregnant cow could outrun them, and a well-oiled government machine could just bulldoze them where they stand, if it ever came to an actual showdown with the "tyranny" they dread. They may as well arm themselves with water pistols. But hey, they've issued a statement claiming to be pleased with the peaceful arrests of these strange dudes, so I'll give them credit for a little common sense, anyway. (That was one second of the two a day when these stopped clocks tell correct time, folks. Enjoy it while it lasts.)

Of course the Freeper Nazis, apparently none of whom work as Michigan cops themselves, think this is all just proof of how things have gone commie all of a sudden now that some niggruh is president. And that the country's gone to hell in a handbasket now and only now. Where the fuck were they when Dubya took the country there, handbasket and all, and then left it for the next guy to clean up (which he's not doing nearly fast enough, thanks to freaks like these)? Oh yeah: They were cheerleading for Dubya. Who of course could do no wrong, even when he was wrecking fucking everything.

There sure does seem to be a wave of Teh Crazy breaking across the US as of last week, when healthcare reform--very limited, very wimpy reform--finally passed. Alan Grayson's five-year-old son picked up the phone only to hear a loony woman threaten his dad's life (be sure you read the comments on that story, they're full of loonies too. Some of whom appear to be paid operatives for the electoral campaign of Grayson's Republican opponent.) Meanwhile, another true-believing wacko has threatened Eric Cantor, a Republican. Heaven only knows why. Perhaps because he wasn't obstructionist enough?

So who are these Hutaree people, and what are they on about? Here's a short primer. The leader's ex-wife, who says he "has a temper", "can get radical" and "wants things done his way", is interviewed here. (Little Hitler and Mussolini Piccolomini leaders in "freedom-loving" toy armies--oh, the ironies of militia life!)

And when you're done with all that, go visit Ms. Pale for further entertainment by the Father, the Son and the Holy Smoke. Apparently these rapturists think His Barackness is the Antichrist, and that this is the Tribulation, or some such. Nuh-unh...no rivers, oceans and fountains of blood. And no suddenly disappeared railroad engineers, streetcar motormen, or satanic zits from the Burny Place. Sorry, this is not the End Times. This is just another Great Disappointment!

Go home NOW, people, and put your guns away. You'll shoot your eye out! And you have trouble enough seeing straight as it is, no thanks to the big insurance corporations who should be the real targets of your ire.

February 26, 2010

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Lula in Havana

Lula had lots of good things to say about Fidel...

...and oh yeah, Your Barackness, he wants you to lift the blockade on Cuba. (Watch this get ignored and swept under the rug by the lamestream media.)

February 10, 2010

A certain country song comes to mind...

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Originally seen here.

And the answer? Clicky da linky, kiddies.

January 26, 2010

Evo tells it like it is, again

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Jeez, what is it with this man? He has only a high-school education, but I'll be damned if he's not the smartest leader in the region after all. He certainly has an eye for bullshit, and he's not afraid to call it for what it is:

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, declared himself on Monday to be "content" over a response from the US government to his criticisms with respect to its growing military presence in Haiti. Morales says that this demonstrates that he was not wrong to question the landing of thousands of US marines in the poorest country in the Americas.

This in response to the recent words of the adjunct ambassador of Washington to the United Nations, Alejandro Wolff, who said that Morales' criticisms were "backward".

The Bolivian president maintains that even today, there are still those who regard Latin America "through that hegemonic principle of submission, as a backyard of the United States." He added, with some irony, that he was "content and happy" with Wolff's criticisms.

"I heard in various media that the United States were to send 12,000 troops, when it would be better to send doctors, nurses and more food to help the displaced," said Morales during a press conference at the government palace. He affirmed that Wolff's response to his comments regarding US military intervention in Haiti proved that he was not mistaken, and assured that his government would defend the sovereignty "not only of Bolivia, but of all Latin America."

Morales also called the US "a dump for delinquents", and considers that the president, Barack Obama, should throw out those who took refuge there, such as the ex-presidential candidate, Manfred Reyes Villa, who is wanted by Bolivian authorities for embezzlement and for his part in a massacre of indigenous campesinos.

"I greatly regret that the Obama government is a dump for the delinquents of Latin America. I don't know how Obama will dignify his country [when] delinquents are escaping to the United States. They should be expelled," Morales said.

Referring to US military intervention in Haiti following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, Morales called it "inhumane, savage and opportunistic". The January 12 quake destroyed more than 60 percent of the buildings in the affected region, and the UN reports that over 112,250 persons are dead, and another 194,000 injured.

Translation mine. Linkage added, so you can see that he's not shitting about Manfred.

And yeah, what IS it with those guns and soldiers, instead of more medics and nurses? They're already infamous for turning away Doctors Without Borders, so it's kind of hard to dispute Evo's analysis of the situation. And given the policy influence of the Heritage Institute and its odious opportunism, which has been noted here already, it's also hard not to see the Shock Doctrine in action. I don't know if he's read Naomi Klein's excellent book, but even if he hasn't, it's clear that he can see for himself what's really going on.

And even more clear that he's not afraid to stand up and point out the emperor's nudity.

December 28, 2009

Goodbye, Blue Monday...

Excuse me, the Internets have an announcement to make:

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Damn. I never even knew there WAS such a thing, and now it's been cancelled on me!

I think I need a drink.

Oh, and speaking of "need a drink", read this and weep in thy beer, O my friend and neighbor to the south of us:

Here are a few truths: First, we've been living in a one-dollar, one-vote corporatized democracy for a long time. If this is news to you, then you're probably also shocked to learn that the U.S. Constitution, by awarding two senators to each of what H.L. Mencken called "the cow states" -- no insult to the cows in my own barn -- was deliberately crafted to make fundamental change difficult. Who made "moderates" like Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Lieberman of Aetna mini-presidents? Alas, the founding fathers did.

Living in such a polity, anybody who thought entrenched interests like the insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital industries weren't going to find ways to make money off healthcare reform probably wasn't paying attention back at the beginning, when Obama said that despite the abstract appeal of a Canadian-style single-payer system, it was a political non-starter.

Really, Gene? Really, Barack? Our single-payer system up here, which is popular with nine out of ten of us, and which could bring down even a majority Conservative government if it ever foolishly tried to gut it, is just an "abstract" one? You "free", "independent" Yanks are that powerless against the corporations down there? Or are you just that cowardly? What do you have a government for, if not to put a leash on those snarling, dog-eating dogs, and muzzle them?

Oh, I get it. The dogs are the ones holding the leash in the United States of Amnesia, and with a wad of Benjamins, they muzzle YOU.

Spare us the old Soviet Union jokes, we've heard them all before.

Good thing Tommy Douglas is a-moldering in his grave, or he'd chew your asses up so badly, you'd never sit down again. He faced as much pressure from the forces of "free market medicine" as any US president ever could, but he didn't back down. Even when doctors went on strike in Saskatchewan, he just brought in doctors from elsewhere who were willing to take up the slack until those misguided MDs realized their mistake and came into the fold.

In Venezuela, it was so bad that Chavecito brought in Cuban doctors, as did Evo in Bolivia. Both of them had the gonads to go up against the oligarchs of their respective countries and do it, just as Tommy Douglas had the gonads to do here.

So, Barack, where are YOUR 'nads at?

And sorry, Gene, but imperfection is NOT a start...except to an even bigger débâcle down the road. Forcing fellow-citizens to buy insurance they couldn't afford in the first place is not going to provide them with the care they need. It will, however, help ensure that they can't afford a house, or a car, or maybe even food and clothing. All of which they're gonna need before they need a doctor or a hospital.

No, this gradualist approach is NOT going to lead to gradual improvements. It's going to lead to people avoiding care for as long as they can, until an emergency drives them to it.

And you can never underestimate the stupid stubbornness, or the stubborn stupidity, of a conservative, either. They WILL hold out until an emergency, or death, whichever comes first. They will spend the duration of their nasty, brutish and short lives muttering under their breath about how hard they work for their money, and about the dangers of relying on Big Government.

And for once they may be right, although not the way in which they think they are. In the US, government is beholden to Big Money. All US governments, Democratic or Republican, are conservative that way. Even FDR didn't make good on his early impulse to de-fang Wall Street! And a government beholden to moneyed interests is a government doomed to the distrust of its own citizens no matter their political affiliations. That distrust, of course, is richly deserved, because the citizens are the ones who will be left out in the cold. Unless, mirabile dictu, the government grows a spine and tells Big Money to go screw. And understands that it will have to fight--REALLY fight--for what's right.

Tommy Douglas saw that coming when he took the plunge in Saskatchewan, and did what the progressives of that province elected him to do. No gradualism for him; he knew what was right. He didn't go halfsies, and neither should anyone else whose intention it is to provide universal healthcare.

Now, I REALLY need a drink.

December 23, 2009

Copenhagen flops, Evo is tops

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Hey Barack, how's it feel to get pwned by the Little Injun That Could?

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced today that a world conference of social movements is to take place in Bolivia, as a response to the failure of the 15th Summit on Climate Change, recently held in Copenhagen.

"The problems of climate change are directly linked to the irrational development of industry," said the president at the celebrations for the 49th anniversary of the foundation of the Culpina municipality, in the region of Chuquisaca.

Morales said that he has requested technical and scientific arguments to support a large-scale international mobilization to defend the environment, especially water.

The meeting will take place on April 22, which is the International Day of Mother Earth.

"It will be a great meeting where we'll be able to come up with solutions for the problem of climate change," the leader said.

He regretted that the summit held in Copenhagen had concluded without reaching any important agreement. However, he noted that the event was an opportunity to break the hegemony of industrialized countries attending the gathering.

"If we don't make important decisions now, our children and the generations to come will be faced with serious problems," warned the president.

He pointed out that the Bolivian world conference of social movements will be aimed at finding options for guaranteeing food for the peoples, in view of the famine that is affecting different parts of the world.

Notice that this is not a summit of heads-of-state, who, as we've seen all too clearly from Copenhagen, are prostrate to moneyed interests and are thus in no position to take leadership on this key issue. Instead, Evo is calling for social movements and scientists from around the world to come together and come up with actual working solutions, not just more non-binding wimpy "agreements" that don't even look good on paper.

And if you wonder why this was called by Evo and not, say, his bigger, louder pal Chavecito, consider one of the things he himself mentioned: water. It's been a hot-button issue in Bolivia for many years now, and no wonder: first the moneyed interests (the same that are sitting on Washington's neck right now) privatized Bolivia's water, right down to the rain; then, a coalition of social movements, including the coca farmers led by Evo back when he was just a shit-disturbing union leader, booted Bechtel out of Bolivia (and their pal Goni the Gringo, too); and now, with global warming destroying the glaciers the indigenous people rely on for water, once more they can't afford to take this life-sustaining resource for granted. (Remember, we're talking about a landlocked country, and half of it is in the relatively arid Andes.)

Evo, who comes from the Altiplano himself, knows as well as anyone how precious water is in Bolivia; they can't just pump it out of the sea, and they can't rely on reservoirs because it doesn't rain heavily enough to sustain them in all parts of the country. In the Altiplano, their lakes are fed by Andean glacial meltwater, and that source is rapidly draining away! So, now we understand Evo's urgency on this matter, don't we?

Looks like Evo is taking a leadership role yet again. Some people could learn a lot from this guy...and not just on how to dress, either.

December 19, 2009

Headline Howler: No, they do NOT all look alike...

...even if the AP thinks so:

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But hey! They're both black, and they're both in showbiz one way or the other, so Will Smith and Barack Obama are interchangeable, right???

December 16, 2009

How Venezuela sees Obama, part II

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No word from Aporrea on where this mural was painted, but apparently it's also from downtown Caracas. Like I said earlier, gotta work on that image...

And if you can't spot the reason the Venezuelans are so unimpressed, let Aunt Bina help you. Holiday jeers to the Wall St. Urinal for that blatantly racist bullcrap about the "Venezuelan military-industrial complex". What's one crappy Kalashnikov factory when you're sitting in the country whose own arsenal is bigger than that of the next dozen countries combined? And who you tryin' to kid with this "dangerous for Asia" shit? Your country is not just the biggest global menace there is, it's the ONLY one. And it's doing nothing to improve that image. Especially in Afghanistan--which, last time I looked, was a pretty sizable chunk of Asia.

Funny how the man just picked up that Nobel and still doesn't know what the hell to do now that he's got it...

November 20, 2009

Crazy warmonger Chávez proved wrong again...

...by a Catholic priest from Nicaragua, no less...

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Story by Aporrea:

"President Chávez is right with his idea that we have to prepare ourselves for war," affirmed the ex-president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, at the inauguration of the Leftist Parties Encounter in Caracas, Venezuela.

During the event, organized by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), D'Escoto assured that the installation of seven US military bases in Colombia constitutes "a hand-over of an entire country's sovereignty to imperialism."

"It is cynical of Colombia to say that Chávez has a bellicose attitude. It is time to put our feet on the ground and realize what are the true intentions of the United States and their interference in the peoples of Latin America," D'Escoto said.

There is a dictatorship in the United States, and a demonstration of it is the politics of the Obama government, which promised change during the presidential campaign, which it has not brought about, according to D'Escoto, a Catholic priest and former Sandinista foreign minister from Nicaragua.

"President Obama is well aware of what will happen to him if he follows the route of 'change' he promised," D'Escoto said.

Translation mine. Link added.

Notice that D'Escoto did not say that Obama was the dictator, but if anything, the dictated-to. This is quite clear to anyone who's been following his actions--or lack of them, rather--regarding Latin America. Virtually everyone working in that sector of the State Dept. is a BushCo legacy. Their line is corporatist: Any Latin American government not willing to sell out to big business from abroad, and more specifically from the US, is to be deemed "hostile" and "bellicose".

You will not hear those words from His Barackness, of course, or even from Hillary Clinton herself, but from the lower-level flunkies--sorry, "specialists" and "spokespersons". (I almost wrote "spookspersons", and I'm sure that slip was not just of my fast typing fingers, but of a Freudian nature. Heh, heh.)

It's very tempting to think that a guy who promises hope 'n' change will actually follow through when it comes to LatAm, but I would never bet on it. Every successive US administration for over a century has done nothing there but deepen and further the capitalist exploitation. They will never get the message that it's time to start treating the locals with respect and dignity; that it's time to start talking to them as equals; that it's time to negotiate in good faith, not with the old ever-failing "carrot and stick" approach.

It's certainly not for lack of trying on the part of sovereign governments; every reasonable approach they've taken to initiating dialogue has been studiously ignored and even flat-out rebuffed, with insult added to injury. For example, Chavecito's been in office for ten years; when he began his reign, Bill Clinton was still president of the US. What did the latter do? Tried to dictate (through a State Dept. flunkie named Peter Romero, of course) that Chavecito could have nothing to do with Fidel Castro if he wanted to meet with Clinton at the White House. The 'Cito's response? A very polite, diplomatic, but unequivocal fuck-you. He called the flunkie, Romero, back and told him that he was speaking to the president of a sovereign nation called Venezuela, and that as president of Venezuela, it was his prerogative to associate with whomever he damn well pleased, and that if Bill Clinton didn't like it, too effin' bad--he was going to Havana, with or without Washington's blessing. Romero backed down, and Chavecito got to meet with both Fidel AND Bill Clinton--the latter, not through a full state visit (oh no, never that, not after meeting with Fidel) but rather, through the back door. The meeting was "informal". How informal? Clinton didn't even bother to put on a suit. Shoot, who needs that when you're "only" meeting the elected president of Venezuela--a serious and seriously popular man--for a grand total of fifteen minutes?

And if you think that's bad, remember--Dubya had no time for the 'Cito whatsoever. He did, however, have time for this chirpy chupacabra of the opposition, named María Corina Machado:

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...who got herself a full-dress state visit even though she is not and never will be a head of state anywhere in Latin America, much less in her native Venezuela. She is insanely rich, but all her dinero will never buy her an ounce of credibility. She is, at best, a media-friendly figurehead for the oligarchy. And yet Dubya saw fit to see her, but not the actual, elected president of Venezuela.

See what I mean by insult?

So now we're hearing all this blah-blah from Washington about how those seven bases really belong to Colombia, how Colombia is really in charge of them, and the US troops are "only there to help". Um, "help" with what, exactly? The War on Drugs is as abject a failure as ever, and is only growing more farcical by the year (especially when you consider how much more effective anti-drug police agents in Venezuela and Bolivia have been since Chavecito and Evo kicked the DEA the hell out.) Does anyone seriously believe that drug production and smuggling will be lessened by the presence of gringos? It's not exactly a secret that the CIA was the US's numero uno drug-running agency right around the same time that cheap, plentiful crack cocaine started devastating inner-city black communities all over the US, just twenty or so years ago. Remember that? Gary Webb wrote about it, and the only criticism I have is that he was entirely too modest in his scope. This problem was way bigger than he reported it. (I recommend this book for a fuller view of the big, ugly picture.)

Anyhow. Anyone with an eye can see that it's not about drugs at all. Colombia is, as Chavecito says, not sovereign. How can it be, when its own president is deeply enmeshed with the right-wing paramilitaries and known even to the State Dept. as an old friend of the late drug lord Pablo Escobar? Does anyone seriously believe that this cat has changed his stripes?

And another thing: Who seriously believes that the gringos are going to take orders from Colombia? US militaries take orders only from their higher-ups in Washington. They're not under the command of Bogotá. These guys are there as intermediaries between the Pentagon and the Colombian army. It will be Colombia co-operating with Washington, not the other way around.

And suddenly, it makes all the sense in the world that Chavecito's bombing bridges being used by Colombian smugglers and paramilitaries to sneak into Venezuela. It also makes sense that he's calling on soldiers and civilians alike to be vigilant against Colombian incursions on Venezuelan soil. It makes sense that he would reject "mediation" by the US in the alleged dispute with Colombia (this dispute is not with Colombia, it's with the US!) And it makes sense that he's mulling a law to make it possible for the Venezuelan military to shoot down any aircraft known to belong to Colombian drug smugglers. This isn't bellicosity; it's prudence. It's also an exercise in national self-defence and sovereignty. And it's something that no foreigner has any right to criticize, much less mischaracterize as Washington has been doing--just as much by crapaganda hacks of the Obama administration as by those of its predecessors.

The pattern is already clear in how they're treating the Honduras coup--Obama is no better than Bush where LatAm is concerned.

In other words: Damn that crazy Chavecito, he's right again!

November 9, 2009

How Venezuela sees Obama

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This mural, on Bolívar Avenue in downtown Caracas, says it all: Obama is a toy of the imperialists, "totally manipulable".

Better work on that image, Barack...and no, a PR campaign won't cut it. These people aren't stupid!

October 23, 2009

The final nail in the birthers' coffin

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Definitive proof that he was born in Hawaii.

Hang loose, moondoggie!

October 18, 2009

Music for a Sunday: Memories of a Cold War gone by

This one's a bit dated now (and kind of overly sanitized if you've ever seen The Day After, which came out around the same time and scared the bejesus out of me), but it's still effective, for all that; the "meltdown" of the home movie at the end always chokes me up. One commenter at the YouTube site writes, "Looking at Chernobyl it's almost a premonition." It is...and it's more than just that. It's an admonition, a warning never to let this happen for real.

Yes, President Obama, this song's for you.

October 17, 2009

Wankers of the Week: Nobel Peace Prize Idiots edition

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Some people, like these two, get it--and got out to give their president a gentle reminder of the job to be done. Others...well...

Last week's out-of-the-blue announcement that the world's first pre-emptive Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to Barack Obama has unleashed a firestorm of stupidities, most of them from people who probably still believe in pre-emptive war even after nearly a decade of living (and dying) proof of its utter futility. Some of their shit actually landed in my mailbox (which will now have to be fumigated for typhus, dengue and a host of other fever-swamp diseases of the wingnut brain.) Here we go with the wanks, in no particular order:

1. Tilman Fucking Walker. Obscure right-wing blogger thinks Chavecito was just being jealous when he stated the plain truth--that Obama had not yet done enough to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. And of course, trots out the old "dictator" canard, too. So tired. Especially when you consider that the "dictator" enjoys the support of a full two-thirds of Venezuelans...still. Funniest of all is that all two of the blogger's little ass-barnacle commentators...agree with Chavecito (although one suspects it's strictly partisan, knee-jerk hatred of Democrats and/or blacks on their part.)

2. Vaclav Fucking Havel. Irrelevant former Czech president (and still, inexplicably, neoliberal in spite of the economic disaster it unleashed on his country) criticizes Obama for--not meeting with the Dalai Lama? Iraq is still burning, Afghanistan is unable to dig out from under its own rubble, the US nuclear arsenal is still very much in place (as is Israel's not-so-secret one)--and this is Havel's idea of a peace chore to be accomplished? Someone has a bizarre sense of priorities in Prague.

3. Benjamin Fucking Netanyahu. Israeli warmonger fawns over peace prize winner with empty rhetoric, probably secretly hoping he'll bomb Iran. Dude, STFU and clean your own house. Pay special attention to Dimona. Otherwise, you'll never win one.

4. The Fucking RNC. Why? Well,

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THAT's why.

5. through 13. Rush Fucking Limbaugh, Glenn Fucking Beck, John Fucking Bolton, James Fucking Inhofe, Andy Fucking McCarthy, Erick Fucking Erickson, Ron Fucking Radosh, Paul Fucking Mirengoff, and Orly Fucking Taitz. See above, and add lockstep predictability on every front. Not a thought in any of their puny skulls other than "Waaaaaaaa! We want WAR WAR WAR!!!", "Gimme money for my fascist 9/12 tea party!", "Buh-buh-bub-but what about Bill Ayers?" and of course, the obligatory, but never speakable, subtext: "Nigger nigger nigger..."

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14. Susan Fucking Davis. For failing to note that the "turn-it-down trend" is only a trend on the right. On the left, people are saying more or less the same thing: "Great, congrats, accept it, take it as an advance on promises to be delivered, and GET 'ER DONE!"

15., 16. and 17. Matt Fucking Drudge, Joe Fucking Scarborough and Mark Fucking Halperin. The one gets his bons mots du jour from an Islamist jihadist, the other mocks and insults Obama, and the third mocks and insults Marisa Tomei. Stay classy, turds.

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18. Robert Fucking Spencer. Obama's Nobel is bad because he talked to Hamas! Oh NOES!!!

19. Mike Fucking Huckabee. Not only for fixating, with typical partisan myopia, on how "right-wing whining" tarnishes the GOP's image (as if it could be any further tarnished than it already is!), but for saying "...allow those on the left to explain what he did in his first two weeks as President that merited such recognition." Um yeah, he earned it in just two weeks. What more do we need from a failed (and probably very bitter) Repug presidential wannabe?

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20. Michelle Fucking Malkin. Has this hypocritical, war-mongering, anchor-baby bitch ever considered that one day, her penchant for turning her ankle-biting minions on people is gonna backfire when she is sued for invasion of privacy--and so is every one of the ankle-biters? These people have no shame--they harassed an innocent woman for no reason other than that she went to law school with the current president. I'd nominate anyone who brings the hammer down on them for a Nobel peace prize, myself--it would sure clean up the violent, racist filth that clogs the Internets!

21. AllahFuckingPundit. Yeah, as a matter of fact, he DID get it for not being Dubya. He got it for trying to be the anti-Dubya. And this is a problem WHY? Putz.

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22. Michael Fucking Steele. You know, there is such a thing as being TOO much of an Uncle Tom...to the point where even Ol' Massa doesn't know what to make of you anymore (except, maybe, a mess of chitlins). It really doesn't pay to toady to those who secretly see your skin as the mark of their enemy. They could turn around and lynch YOU when the Secret Service does too good a job of protecting their intended target from them.

23. Sarah Fucking Palin, AGAIN. For winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. WTF? WTFF?? WTFFF???

Oh. Wait. It's a spoof. Ha ha ha snurk!

But wait, maybe it's not so spoofy after all...

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...ya think?

24. These crazy drug-ass motherfuckers right here. Honestly, words fail.

25. Tammy Fucking Bruce. Why be subtle about your own racism? Let's dog-whistle using photos of raccoons hunting through boxes of Cracker Jack for the prize. Get it? COON HUNTS FOR PRIZE! So clever. Fuck yeah!

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26. Thomas Fucking Friedman. Blah blah blah yadda yadda meaningless faux-clever glurge from a warmongering dumbfuck who, as usual, has no idea what he's babbling on about.

27. Claudia Fucking Rosett. First time I've ever heard of her; hope it's the last. Won't ever win any prizes except the booby kind, thank Goddess.

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28. Jonah Fucking Goldberg. Have I mentioned him in here yet? I forget. Just in case I haven't, he's a wanker too. So what's new?

And just to close out this week's wankapedia, check out who was NOT a wanker about it. Yes, the Recipient himself--schooling friends and foes alike on how one handles such an unexpected honor:

Great speech, Barack No-Drama. "A call to action" it certainly is. Now go and do what you were called to do.

October 14, 2009

What a truly unworthy Nobel peace prize winner looks like

This is an old film clip from 1977, included in a documentary called Nuestros Desaparecidos (Our Disappeared). An Argentine reporter asks Henry Kissinger (Nobel peace prize, 1973) what he thinks of the general leading the Argentine junta:

Kissinger's reply is par for the course--for Kissinger. He never met a butcher he couldn't like, and General Videla is no exception. In fact, Kissinger was helping the Argentine junta behind the scenes through the Dirty War, as well as praising them openly before the cameras, and he knew full well what was going on.

Now, I don't agree with Barack Obama getting the Nobel without having done more to earn it. But at least he still has ample potential and opportunity to become a true peacemaker and undo the bad moves of his predecessor. I hope he takes it in the spirit it was intended--as an incentive to do better. Kissinger, a cynical butcher all the way, lost no opportunity to urinate all over his prize.

Incidentally, Kissinger's co-recipient of the 1973 Nobel, Le Duc Tho, turned it down, on the grounds that his country (Vietnam) was not yet at peace. Maybe it was also because he didn't want his good name tainted by sharing a prize with Henry Kissinger. If so, one could hardly blame him!

(Thanks to El Gaviero for linking to the documentary site and bringing this to my attention.)

October 10, 2009

Classy people congratulate Obama...

...and urge him to earn that Nobel.

First up, from Colombia, we have this lovely lady (who, in my very humble opinion, was more than deserving):

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Colombian senator Piedad Córdoba confirmed on Friday that in less than a month, Pablo Emilio Moncayo and Josué Daniel Calvo and the body of Major Julián Ernesto Guevara will be released unilaterally by the FARC, even though the government is issuing no guarantees.

[...]

Regarding her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, Córdoba thanked her nominators and said she feels honored for the recognition.

"This is an important message to the international community, to tell the world and Colombia that the only way out of the conflict is to negotiate," said the senator.

The choice of US president Barack Obama signifies "the Obama of hope, the Obama of peace, and not military bases."

She assured that she will ask the president that Colombia be included in a peace agenda to put an end to the war.

"Obama is under threat, and could be assassinated. He has to rise above the pressures of war, and go on working for peace," the senator said.

Translation mine.

I included that first paragraph in my excerpt to remind all who may have forgotten why Piedad Cordoba would have been such a worthy recipient. This lady has worked tirelessly to free the hostages taken by the FARC in order to force negotiations with the Colombian government, which has remained intransigent (and violent) in its refusal to grant the left a real political voice. (Remember, this is a country where the FARC's political arm--the Sinn Fein to the local IRA, if you will--was slaughtered in La Violencia.) She's even gotten together with Chavecito to talk to the FARC and persuade them to let people go regardless of whether there are formal talks or not. That's a tremendous achievement, especially when you consider that she's received death threats (from persons close to the Uribe government!) for doing so.

(Come to think of it, Chavecito would also have been a worthy nominee, since he was willing to work with the rescue effort, hands-on and cross-border, and even pledged Venezuelan military helicopters, bearing the Red Cross logo, to come and pick up the released persons. But can you imagine the hue and cry if his name were even breathed to the Nobel committee?)

Next up, from Bolivia, we have this true gentleman:

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...whose modest boss was too busy getting good things done to say very much, so Alvaro stepped in to do it for him:

The vice-president of Bolivia, Alvaro García Linera, congratulated US president Barack Obama for his Nobel prize on Friday, and considers it well deserved because the first black president in the White House "has done much" for the people of the United States in the months he has been in power.

"We salute and celebrate this winner of the peace Nobel, without doubt for a president who has done much for the rights of the people of the United States who have difficulties," said García during a press conference in the Palacio Quemado.

[...]

The merit of the designation is rooted, says García Linera, in the fact that Obama is navigating the rough seas of a politic dominated by powerful interests in the United States, contrary to his own ideology and politics.

"We see him as the prisoner of an imperial network which is automatically trying to override him, but beyond being president Barack Obama, prisoner of the imperial machinery, we extend our respectful salute, our congratulations, to president Obama for his win," said the vice-president.

Translation mine.

And now, from Honduras:

The National Resistance Front congratulates the president of the United States on his winning the Nobel Peace Prize and asked him to contribute to a solution in Honduras.

"We are sending Mr. Obama our congratulations today for winning such a high distinction," said Rafael Alegría, one of the co-ordinators of the popular movement to restore Honduran president Manuel Zelaya to his office.

He added that "now, Obama needs to intensify his efforts so that there will be peace in the world.

"We congratulate him, but at the same time, we call on him to contribute to a peaceful solution to the conflict in Honduras, because here, the situation is very delicate since the coup d'état."

Again, translation mine.

The Honduran National Resistance Front would have been another worthy recipient (and lord knows they can use the cash, that country's in dire economic shape.) The protests against the Gorilletti dictatorship (which, notably, has NOT issued a word of congratulation!) have been peaceful, even when the crackdown got violent. Why were they not even nominated?

Oh well. At least they did the classy thing. Now, let's hope His Barackness does the right thing.

October 9, 2009

A giant joke on the whole notion of world peace

"The Right to Live in Peace", by Víctor Jara. He wrote this song in honor of Vietnam when the war there was still raging. For speaking out for the Vietnamese, and for his own Chilean and Latin American brethren, Jara was "rewarded" by being one of the first to be rounded up and murdered by the Pinochet dictatorship in the infamous National Stadium in Santiago. The triggerman may well be brought to justice, but the real murderer--or, more accurately, murderers--got away with it.

Good morning! I guess you've all heard by now that His Barackness has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which he'll be going to Oslo to claim on December 10. And I'll bet that you, like this lovely Venezuelan lady, are scratching your head over it and going "WTF???"

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The people's ombud of Venezuela, Gabriela Ramírez, said today that she considers it a joke on human rights to present the Nobel Peace Prize to the US president, Barack Obama, because he is the head of the most warlike government on the planet.

"We can only understand this if we accept the thesis that there are two Obamas--one the president of the United States, and the other, the idyllic one, who in his speeches promotes peace," Ramírez said.

For Ramírez, the award is incomprehensible, since it concerns the most polluting and militaristic country on the planet.

"The Nobel Peace prize is for those who work for the planet, not those who expand their war powers with seven military bases in Colombia, promote excessive consumption, and pollute the environment. How can they give a prize for all that?" she asked, on a VTV program.

According to Ramírez, the lack of concrete achievements during his reign is another reason to reject the decision announced from Norway.

Obama heads a fairly young government, whose results have yet to be seen in practice, she said.

Ramírez, a social worker by training, said that if the prize were given for speeches, Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, would deserve one.

Evo proposed a climate tribunal and advocates for defense of the planet, Ramírez said.

Ramírez says that instead of accepting the prize, Obama should close the US military bases [in Latin America], order the 4th Fleet, which patrols Latin American waters, back to port, and seek pardon for genocides committed or permitted by his country in all the world.

Translation mine. Link to Evo's speech added.

I should also add that Evo kept Bolivia from crumbling in the hands of separatist terrorists planning his assassination, and a bloody civil war, from the city of Santa Cruz, with the help of wealthy local financiers. The bastards didn't get him, nor did they blow up his floating parliament on Lake Titicaca as they'd planned, but they did manage to kill his little elderly aunt, Rufina.

Meanwhile, to give you a feel for just how big and dirty a joke on world peace this cynical prize-giving really is, may I direct your attention to this fine piece, by NACLA's Roque Planas, in Venezuelanalysis?

The announcement in mid-July of the near completion of an agreement to allow the U.S. military to lease space at seven Colombian bases prompted nearly unanimous rejection from South American governments. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) has called three summit meetings to discuss the U.S.-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement, but Colombia's president, Álvaro Uribe, has refused to back down. In the meantime, other South American nations have begun to arm themselves, fueling fears of an arms race in a region that has not suffered a major inter-state conflict since the end of the Chaco War in 1935.

The source of greatest tension lies on the Venezuela-Colombian border. The Uribe administration argues that it needs increased U.S. military support to suppress drug traffickers and the leftist insurgency of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Although the Colombian government has yet to bring formal allegations, the Uribe administration has insinuated that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez supports the FARC and has diverted Swedish-made rocket launchers to the group-a claim that Chávez denies.

Chávez, on the other hand, maintains that the U.S. government was involved in a 2002 coup to overthrow him and claims that the increased U.S. military presence constitutes a national security threat to Venezuela. Chávez recently announced that the Venezuelan government had been awarded over $2 billion in financing from the Russian government to purchase tanks and an anti-aircraft missile system.

Venezuela is not the only country investing in its military. The Brazilian government is currently negotiating the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets in a deal with French company Dassault that could be worth up to $7 billion. Three other companies, including Boeing, made unsuccessful offers.

The Bolivian government has also negotiated a much smaller deal with Russia for $100 million to finance unspecified purchases of military equipment, as well as a $30 million presidential plane. The Bolivian government purchased the current presidential plane back in the 1970s.

As if determined to rekindle memories of the Cold War, the Russian military is even going to "help Havana modernize and train its military," according to a recent report from the Miami Herald.

Linkage as in original.

It bears saying that all this "alarming" arming comes not as part of some nefarious terror plot against the people of Latin America, nor is it a declaration of war against those in the United States. It comes as a direct response to the military forces the US has placed in Colombia--seven of them to make up for the closure of the US base at Manta, Ecuador. (President Rafael Correa, alias El Ecuadorable, refused to renew the concession, which ran out this year.)

It also comes in response to other alarming developments, such as this:

The United States will reactivate a radar base and finance the construction of a naval base in Costa Rica, as part of a plan rejected today [October 8,2009] in the region as a menace to sovereignty and security.

The subcommander of US-Southcom, Paul Trivelli, announced the decision to return to operation a modern radar base in the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste, with the supposed objective of combatting drug trafficking.

According to Trivelli, the base functioned there until 1995, when it was closed after several years of operation.

The powerful radar sat on top of Cerro Azul de Nandayure, a site difficult to access, protected 24 hours a day by the police.

In an interview with the newspaper La Nación, Trivelli also announced the investment of $15 million in a naval base already being constructed in the Caldera region, Puntarenas province. There, as well, a school for coast-guard officers is in operation.

Although the Southcom representative claims that these actions are part of the War on Drugs, the announcement caused concern over the renewed interest of Washington in placing more military bases in the region.

Translation mine.

This is a particular concern for Costa Rica, since that country abolished its own armed forces six decades ago, in stark contrast to others in the region, in order to prevent war and military dictatorship from ever taking hold in what was, for the longest time, Central America's most stable and peaceable democracy.

Now, it seems, Costa Rica is defenceless, and since it needs the money (why else has it become such a hotspot for sex tourism?), it's not in any position to "Just Say No" to the War on Latin America Drugs. Instead, it's playing host to something that can only be injurious to its security and sovereignty in the long run (as well as providing heaven only knows how many potential new gringo customers for the local underage prostitution rings.)

The war in Iraq is far from over, and the war in Afghanistan is being ramped up, not wound down. And for this, among many other things, a Nobel Peace Prize has been announced today.

No, I don't understand it either.

PS: El Duderino shares my sentiments, I see.

PPS: So does El Gaviero.

PPPS: Michael Moore has weighed in. Go read! An excellent, timely reminder of what has to be done to earn the prize for realz.

PPPPS: Avaaz has a petition going. Just sign here.

October 5, 2009

Colombian 6-year-old predicts attempt on Obama's life

The prediction was made in late May, and Oliver says that in five months the attempt will come. That means end of this month--October. Given the fever-pitch of fascist hate being drummed up against The Hawaiian, I'd say the timing sounds about right. We've already seen one fundie nut bring his gun to a meeting where Obama spoke.

Let's hope this attempt fails. Better still, let's hope that this is the one time in every thirty predictions that little Oliver is wrong!

September 30, 2009

Venezuelan opposition comes home to roost in the US

Go. Read. Then tell me if what you see doesn't look awfully familiar.

Of course, Venezuela had its own "civilized", media-driven military coup seven years ago. The top brass of the military, together with an assortment of bidnessy types, decided it was worth going over the heads of the voters to remove a brown-skinned, Afro-American "terrorist menace" from the presidential palace. Here's how THAT panned out, for those who need a refresher:

Like I said...awfully familiar, no?

September 19, 2009

Mike Malloy shreds the teabags

Essential listening!

September 13, 2009

What it really all comes down to...

Yep, it's one tough call, all right.

September 11, 2009

Just had a thought

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The first post-Dubya 9-11 has just come and gone without a major terrorist event (costing thousands of lives at one fell swoop, that is).

Also, the 2008 US presidential election did NOT become a lengthy débâcle of vote theft, hanging chads, recounts, and recounts denied, much less a delayed coronation by SCOTUS intervention, as the 2000 one was.

Do you know what that means?

IT MEANS THAT OBAMA IS A BETTER ANTI-TERRORIST PRESIDENT THAN WEAK 'N' STUPID EVER WAS.

No shit--he's been at the helm longer now than Dubya was when those jets crashed, smashed, and blew fireballs out the other side of three buildings and a field in Pennsylvania.

And, perhaps owing to all the threats against his life, I'll bet The Hawaiian's taken a much more active stance with the intelligence and security organisms, too.

Think about that the next time you hear a wingnut screaming that the US isn't safe under a black president.

September 8, 2009

Quotable: Marc Perkel on Obama's "socialized" medicine

"President Obama says, 'If you like your health care plan you can keep it.' This statement is not true.

"When health care reform passes you will no longer be able to buy the kind of health insurance you have now. For example, if the plan you have now excludes coverage for preexisting conditions, that will go away. If they have a cap on what they will pay out if you are really sick, that will go away. If they want to drop you when you are sick or raise your rates so you can't afford it, that will go away as well. You will no longer be denied life saving procedures by insurance company death panels like you have now.

"So when Obama says that you can keep your health plan, don't believe him. He's lying to you. He's going to force you to get a better plan for less money whether you like it or not."

--Marc Perkel, at Bartcop.com

A sleeping giant too angry to scrapbook

Yes, it's a parody. But only just. The real 'wingers really ARE this stupid. Here's the original:

Next up: Chris Crocker cries and tells us to leave Shanneen alone!

August 30, 2009

Roy Romanow's message to Barack Obama

A former (NDP!) premier of Saskatchewan, Canada's first province with single-payer healthcare, speaks out, along with others in the medical and nursing fields:

US visitors, please spread this message. Grab the YouTube and put it on your blogs, or link to it in forums. The advice in it is very important, especially the part about "trying to cross a chasm in two steps". Right now, that's exactly what Obama is trying to do--and it's exactly why his plan is in so much jeopardy. Learn from Tommy Douglas--do it all in one, and play hardball if you have to. The end result is worth it!

August 28, 2009

Another nail for the imperial coffin

Or should that be a screw? You know, the kind they put to people when torturing them?

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Moral high ground: guess who no haz it.

According to the report, written by the CIA's former inspector general, John Helgerson, one CIA interrogator told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks that "We're going to kill your children" if there was another terror strike on US soil. Another interrogator allegedly tried to convince Abd al-Nashiri, who allegedly devised the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, that his mother would be sexually assaulted in front of him, a claim that the operative has denied.

[...]

US laws on torture forbid threatening a detainee with death. The report said that at least Mr al-Nashiri was hooded, handcuffed and threatened with a gun and a power drill. Another detainee was forced to listen to a gunshot in a nearby room, with the aim of making him think that a fellow detainee had just been executed.

Emphasis added.

The nice part is, this is all happening because citizens who believe in human rights for everyone did a little screw-putting of their own:

Mr Holder's decision was bolstered by a recommendation from his Justice Department's ethics office to reopen nearly a dozen alleged abuse cases. "I fully realise my decision ... will be controversial," Mr Holder said last night.

As Mr Holder reopens investigations into the actions of CIA interrogators, human rights groups and many Democrats are urging him also to focus on the Bush-era officials who, they claim, authorised the abusive methods. They are particularly focused on the Bush-era Justice Department lawyers who wrote legal guidelines for the CIA in 2002, redefining torture to allow techniques such as waterboarding, which simulates drowning, and severe physical abuse.

"The important thing now is that any action doesn't focus solely on the people who carried out the torture, but on the people who gave the orders and who wrote the legal memos which facilitated torture," said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU.

Of course, they did it without torture.

There's a valuable lesson or two in here. Let's see if those who need it will learn it.

August 12, 2009

Word to Toby Harnden: It's the RACISM, stupid!

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Portrait of the crap artist as a not-so-young man. Shamelessly stolen from Sadly, No!

Sigh. Poor Toby Harnden. You would think that, given his being stationed in Washington on behalf of the UK Telegraph, and his access as an accredited reporter, that he would be able to do better than this when it comes to reporting the staggering number of terrorist threats against Barack Obama:

Since Mr Obama took office, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 per cent from the 3,000 a year or so under President George W. Bush, according to Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service.

Some threats to Mr Obama, whose Secret Service codename is Renegade, have been publicised, including an alleged plot by white supremacists in Tennessee late last year to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history.

[...]

According to the book, intelligence officials received information that people associated with the Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabaab might try to disrupt Mr Obama's inauguration in January, when the Secret Service co-ordinated at least 40,000 agents and officers from some 94 police, military and security agencies.

So, basically, Toby's "journalism" on this appalling matter boils down to a glorified book review...which places emphasis not on the white supremacists (a much clearer and more present danger to His Barackness) but on one very little-known Islamist group from Somalia. The overwhelming majority of the teabaggers and town-hall gun nuts currently threatening Obama may not talk the Hitler-talk, but they certainly walk the brownshirt walk. Even a cursory glance around him should have revealed as much to Toby, but it didn't.

Notice, too, that the very splashy, well-known white-supremacist plot was merely "alleged" here, but the more obscure al-Shahaab one is presented, ever so subtly, as the more credible threat. (The rather crucial word "alleged" is nowhere in evidence, as you can see.)

I've done some googling on al-Shahaab, as their name has never crossed my radar till now. Apparently they are becoming an increasing presence (and problem) in Somalia. Coincidentally, the US is about to ratchet up its troop presence there, which should provide no small inflammation for tensions already prevalent in the region. Not a wise move, and sure to provoke more embassy bombings. Toby doesn't mention that, either. Odd, considering that the white-supremacist threat is far more unprovoked than any retaliatory attacks from al-Shahaab would be. (Unless, of course, one considers the mere complexion of Barack Obama to be a provocation in and of itself.)

Have you noticed, too, that Toby seems to have forgotten all about his own earlier reporting on those icky-ass white supremacists? Of course, it puts the p-word in quotation marks--as though white supremacists couldn't possibly be bad enough to hatch something as sinister as a PLOT. Islamists, however, don't get so much benefit of the doubt from Toby of the Telly.

Now, you may want to ask yourself just why that is. Especially in light of how many very white, very racist Obama-haters out there are referring to him by his middle name, Hussein, as if it meant something.

And then, ask yourself just why the UK Telegraph got someone as blinkered, amnesiac and crappy as Toby Harnden to "report" this whole story in the first place.

August 3, 2009

Wankers of the Week, preemie-um edition: We don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no 'bamas!

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If that 'toon doesn't say it all, I got several more that do, and I'm gonna try really hard to work them all into this week's post. Yes, this is an early edition, on account of it's my birthday today, and His Barackness's tomorrow (and my blog-buddy Anthony really REALLY wanted me to sock it to our first one last Saturday). So, on with it...

1. Orly Fucking Taitz. I don't know who's the stupidest here: the assclowns she "represents", the harpy herself, the law school that "graduated" her (and what is this "Dr., Esquire" shit? She's a former dentist, not a doctor of laws. Shades of "Dr." Laura!), or the parents who named her after a Paris airport--and a seriously toxic-smelling brand of nail polish, whose fumes I'm sure she huffs everytime she has to get out there and squawk about Barack. Oh, but wait, I haven't gotten to the best part of all: She's not a natural born US citizen herself! Hmmm, what do you suppose this is a case of?

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Yep, you guessed it. Only I suspect that for "Dr." O RLY? et al., the problem is precisely that the "kettle" is, in fact, a schwartzer. Albeit, alas for their whole cause, a natural-born US citizen and legitimately elected president.

Sorry, O RLY, you shoulda stuck to dentistry. You don't have the legal or the moral standing to do what you're doing. After this, though, I doubt you'll find any sane people wanting your fingers in their mouths.

2. and 3. Ryan Fucking White and C.M. Fucking Route. A background check? What, you guys think the FBI hasn't done it and cleared him already--like, right about the time when he first ran for local office in Chicagoland? Figures that you Keystone Kops are from Georgia, where the odds are much higher that you'll find birthers (among other assorted racists and dumbasses). No doughnuts for you!

4. Lou Fucking Dobbs. When even a FUX Snooze whore like Chris Fucking Wallace--and a flat-out racist like Don Fucking Imus--thinks you're whack, you're fucking WHACK, dude.

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5. and 6. Bernie Fucking Goldberg and Bill O'Fucking Reilly. Yeah, right, this whole "birther" thing is some kind of left-wing conspiracy to make all you 'wingers out there look bat-shit crazy. Like you needed any help!

7. Jason Fucking Hommel. Keep your ill-gotten money, Mr. "Silver Stock Report". What I want to know is, what makes you think anyone who uses biblical "prophesy" (that's a verb, dumbass!) as a basis for his daily decision-making is anyone to go to for a reward for a real birth certificate that the Obama campaign already released long ago? Admit it: your "offer" is null and void. (That's legalese for "ain't gonna happen!")

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8. Wiley Fucking Drake. First this unholy roller prays for Obama's death, now he's trying to invalidate his birth. O, sweet Jesus--what the hell is wrong with your so-called followers who claim to be "pro-life", and then turn around and do shit like this? Figures that he's a Southern Baptist--they broke with the mainstream Baptists onaccounta they started lettin' the niggruhs in! PS: Imprecation isn't "praying", nor is it "agreeing with God", it's cursing. Don't take God's name in vain, y'all!

9. Mark Fucking Joseph. This Neville Chamberlain of the Internets has a sooooooper-genius answer to the whole Birther problem (and the bigger problem of the anti-Birthers, who have the temerity to yell bullshit when they've had a bellyful). Namely, that the anti-Birthers should join forces with the Birthers to demand that Obama produce what he has already produced! I would have devoted more rantspace to the silly fuckwit than this, but alas, Tom at Thump and Whip has already, well, thumped and whipped him over it.

10. Tommy Fucking Seno. See above, and add "blaming Obama" to the list of soooooper-genius fuckwitteries.

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And that's it for today. It's now official: Obama was born in Hawaii, I was born in northern Ontario, and all those Birthers were born in a barn. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some serious grogginess to attend to. Cake, ice cream and homemade pasta, anyone?

July 13, 2009

Vampire Bat Report

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The vampire bat, of the family Desmodontidae, is native to Central and South America. Its human cousin, however, is much more bloodthirsty, as the following stories should show...

First, Honduras. The de-fuckto dictatorship has begun massacring its most outspoken opponents. So far, two leftist leaders are dead. Here's their story, via Aporrea:

The popular leftist militant director, Roger Iván Bados, has been murdered in Honduras by persons unknown in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, according to anti-coup sources on Sunday.

Bados was shot three times around 8:00 pm on Saturday. He was leader of the Popular Bloc and National Resistance Front Against the Coup D'état in San Pedro Sula.

The national co-ordinator of the Bloc and Front, Juan Barahona, made the denunciation to Venezuela's Bolivarian News Agency (ABN), saying he considered the act to be a political assassination.

According to Barahona, a man on a bicycle stopped near Bados's home and fired three shots at Bados, killing him.

"All this is part of the repressive atmosphere and actions of the coup government which will not stop oppressing the people, because that's the only way to maintain themselves in power--terrorizing and killing the people," Barahona says.

Barahona also indicated that the de facto government has no popular support, "so no better option remains for them other than killing popular movement leaders, there is no other way for this government to sustain itself."

Bados was a member of the leftist Democratic Unity party and of the Popular Bloc of San Pedro Sula, 250 km north of the capital city of Tegucigalpa, and formerly president of a union of cement-factory workers.

The second victim is Ramón García, 40, who was forced to step down from a bus in which he was riding in Callejones, in the western Honduran department of Santa Bárbara.

The information was confirmed by a UD party leader, Renán Valdés, who said that García "was removed from a bus by persons unknown."

He added that the incident also resulted in wounds for the victim's sister and the wife of his nephew.

Translation mine.

Meanwhile, in Bolivia, the vampires have gruesomely claimed a relative of a leader we know and love:

Marco Guía, attorney for the family of Rufina Morales, aunt of the President of Bolivia, who was found dismembered in June in Cochabamba, denounced on Wednesday that this crime was part of a plan to kill president Evo Morales, hatched by the Croatian-Bolivian mercenary Eduardo Rózsa Flores, who headed an irregular group dismantled by police in April.

"Upon reviewing the antecedents of this crime, I have found evidence of a flagrant attempt to assassinate President Evo Morales, a political vengeance on the part of separatists promoting terrorism," Guía said.

Guía appeared before the public prosecutor's office of the District of La Paz to denounce that "the next victim of these persons' criminal plans will be the President."

He said that the persons who murdered and dismembered Rufina Morales did it as part of a vendetta, as vengeance for the killing of Rózsa Flores and two other militants in a clash with police, and also to send a message.

Among those responsible for the death of Rufina Morales, Guía named a Brazilian by the surname of Rodríguez, recruited in the El Abra jail in Cochabamba, and two Bolivian fugitives hailing from Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

The victim, in her seventies, was dismembered after her death, according to scientific police investigations.

According to the attorney, "Rodríguez confessed that he dismembered the body of the President's aunt and that it was part of a political vengeance." He connected the killer with the terrorist cell linked to Rózsa.

Translation also mine.

So, it looks like this Transylvanian yucko, Rózsa Flores, is not as dead as we'd devoutly hoped. Someone please issue the Bolivian federales some silver bullets!

Lest all this murder and mayhem get you down, though, fear not--Bina the Vampire Slayer has just the garlic for you, dahlings. I'm told that laughter drives a stake through the fat black hearts of the wicked, so here's a funny item for you concerning a couple of Venezuelan monsters:

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Leopoldo Castillo (alias El Matacuras, "the priest-killer") and Alberto Federico Ravell, evil media mogul, try on a winning strategy to woo Barack Obama--Maria Corina Machado's too-short skirts and hard-to-walk-in heels. Hey, it worked for Maria Corina--she got a date with Dubya! Who knew the undead had such nice gams?

PS: To the Hungarian spamtard below, and anyone else thinking of denying what really happened in Bolivia: Fuhgeddaboudit. You're gonna get banned, you're gonna get hung out to dry as a Wanker of the Week (with your e-mail and IP number on display to the world), and no, you're not gonna go unchallenged. You may wanna think twice before you spam this blog with any more of your fascist shit. This entry is now closed to further comments. Thanks, and get fucked!

April 24, 2009

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Who was da man at da summit?

I'll give you a hint:

ecuadorable-blingee.jpg

Awww, look at that! Even No-Drama Obama adores El Ecuadorable. And, considering that Rafael Correa's slated to win re-election in a landslide in a coupla days, it's always helpful to start off on a good footing with a reigning champ.

So why is he so sexy? Well, El Ec's cojones are everywhere in evidence: he's ruled out a free-trade agreement with the US, and this just days before the election. He's also looking to get a massive discount on a debt buyback, and seems likely to get it because as a former professor of economics, he knows what sticks to hit 'em with; he's also presided over a period of economic growth that must have everyone in Bretton Woods gnashing their teeth; plus, he refuses to make nice with Colombia as long as El Narcoparaco refuses to meet with Ecuador's five conditions for re-establishing diplomacy. That's the confidence of a popular candidate talking, people; learn from it. He's popular for a reason--unlike his predecessor, Lucio Gutiérrez, alias Sucio Lucio (Dirty Lucio), he doesn't promise one thing and then deliver its opposite. When he promised to give 'em the belt, he sure 'nuff whipped it out and let fly. As it stands, he's already bucked the old dismal trend of short-lived Ecuadorian leaders...

Little wonder, then, that El Ec's polling at nearly 50% (meaning he could score an outright win in the first round) compared to Sucio's mere 15. And Sucio, believe it or not, is currently his closest opponent! I'm surprised he's even in the running, considering just what he's up against:

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Love the shirt, too. Now, if we could only get him to ditch the conventional suitcoats in favor of something like what Evo wears: no collar, no lapels, but a few spiffy bits of aguayo contrast trim. Maybe it's just as well that he hasn't gone that route yet, or I would be hopelessly confused and torn as to who's the cuter of the two.

April 19, 2009

Hill-arious pix from the Americas Summit

Well, guess what...His Barackness and Her Royal Clintoness of the State Dept. finally got to meet the man everyone keeps calling their nemesis, in spite of all evidence to the contrary (or a lack of evidence to confirm, same diff.) And, in spite of all the media blahblahblah (and the offshoot dorky misinterpretations by inadvertently funny "moderate" bloggers), things went rather well. By "rather well", I mean they went both ways, for once. Diplomatic relations are about to be restored, as Obama vows to show some respect to LatAm for a change. The capable Roy Chaderton looks all set to be Venezuela's next ambassador to the US, after his OAS stint; relations with Bolivia could also soon return to normal if Obama makes good on his pledge to co-operate rather than dictate (and fergawdsakes, Barack, the best way start showing you mean business is to get rid of your Bolivia advisors, who all have Goni-rhea, and replace them with people who don't ooze neoliberal pus).

Okay. So much for all that serious shit. Now, let's lighten up. What do you suppose was being said here? My educated guesses below...

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"Listen, man, I want to apologize for what you went through under my predecessor. He's the idiot son of an asshole, and I just want you to know I'm nothing like him."

Chavecito's face says it all: Oh man, that is SO good to hear.

Meanwhile, State Dept. sez:

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"What? You mean you're NOT an evildoing sponsor of Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida, and all those others? You really ARE just the president of Venezuela? OhmyGAWD!!!"

So, gentle readers...what do YOU think was being said?

April 18, 2009

Summit coverage gets Teh Stoopid

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Oh, let's face it...there ain't NO army of darkness cuter than the Itteh Bitteh Black Kitteh Committeh.

D'you suppose Basement Cat let loose her evil minions at the recent OAS summit? The media probably think so. Or at the very least, they think it's gonna be all Chavecito, all the time (TIME certainly seems to, when not busy STILL promoting the tired old "good left/bad left" dichotomy of BushCo), or all Cuba all the time (various snooze media).

Yep, they've all got Teh Stoopid, and they're giving us the complete idiot's version, banking that we won't know the difference between that and actual, insightful coverage. So what's new? This is why the mainstream media are dying, kiddies--they can't cover anything half decently. They cut out in-depth feature reporting a long time ago, and stuck all the money into fancy real estate instead. To make up for the lack of reporting, they've substituted a toxic blend of gossip and crapaganda, and reaped a harvest of dummies. (I hope Obama's next big move will be to get the CIA out of the news business. They've been in there for way too long already.)

Someone please wake me up when one of them has anything to say that shows they've finally quit spinning, and seriously get what's going on. Like, say, Ben Dangl does.

And in the meantime, enjoy some pics that are sure to make a lot of right-wing media heads explode from the sheer effort of trying to figure out what was really going on.

April 16, 2009

Larry Klayman is about to get laughed out of court again

This is hilarious!

Freedom Watch Founder Larry Klayman has sued Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a U.S. federal court in Miami, FL.

The class action lawsuit alleges Chavez has committed crimes against humanity.

A press release from Klayman Thursday put the suit on par with a boxing match "shaping up to be the legal battle of the century," and referring to it as an "inevitable" battle in the "ring of justice" between "two no-holds-barred fighters" one championing freedom and the other communism.

Klayman's class-action lawsuit names lead plaintiff Ricardo Guanipa, a Venezuelan citizen now living in Miami, as one of the members of the class seeking damages from Chavez and his associates "for assault, supporting terrorism, crimes against humanity, violations of civil and human rights and torture of members of the class Klayman is representing."

"The lawsuit charges Chavez and co-defendants including Ramon Alonso Carrizales Rengifo, Vice President of Venezuela, with conspiring with Colombian paramilitary Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Al Qaeda, and the Taliban in committing atrocities and causing defendants to flee their native country in fear for their lives," according to the press release.

"Members of the class Klayman is representing"? Uh, that would be the Venezuelan oligarchy. Not a very large class, and not one whose rights are in serious jeopardy from anyone but their fascist, gun-happy own (as demonstrated on April 11, 2002). They "fled" to Florida mainly for the shopping. And the only thing they stand to lose in Venezuela is money...to the taxman. (Or to Allen Stanford, who stole a lot more from them than SENIAT stood to receive.)

Oh, and look who else is on the radar. Yup, His Barackness...for "excessive partying". Lemme know how that one goes, assuming it goes anywhere. Like the anti-Chavecito suit, this one's a guaranteed Epic Fail.

But hey, that won't stop Laughable Larry, the man who even sued his own mom.

Meanwhile, let's all enjoy this pic of Larry Klayman, partying (with Cindy Iglesias)!

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April 15, 2009

Ye Gods!

Quick, somebody, pinch me. Pinch me hard. I'm still rubbing my eyes and trying to determine if what I'm seeing is really true:

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"The Castro government has kept the broad support of its people by responding to economic shocks and providing universal access to health care and education. There will be no counter-revolution anytime soon."

Holy. Fucking. SHIT!!!

Cuba is about to be let in from the cold. In our lifetime, kiddies.

That does it, I'm going and getting drunk. See you on the other side of Hangover City. (hic)

March 18, 2009

Well. That didn't take long!

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This comes as no surprise to me, but I can just smell the soiled pants from Washington and Miami already:

The newly-elected government of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador is interested in strengthening ties with ALBA countries, FMLN Representative in Cuba Alfredo Elias said.

According to Elias, El Salvador has already been benefitting from the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) by getting oil, fertilizers and medical aid Venezuela and Cuba, ALBA's two main pillars.

"We should establish relations with all nations," Elias said on Cuba's national television.

He also said reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba should be a priority for the future government.

"For us, Cubans are blood brothers," said the FMLN representative, who recalled Cuba's solidarity to El Salvador.

"In the past, Cuban hospitals were open to our war victims, while right now, many Salvadorans are having free eye surgery here, or are studying at Cuban universities," Elias said.

This is great news for El Salvador and ALBA. For the Washington Consensus, though, it's a fatal setback. Considering how screwed El Salvador has been since the 1980s, though, it's not as if this is bad news. Far from it.

PS: File this under "heh"--Obama has called Mauricio Funes to congratulate him and offer unequivocal support for his government and the Salvadoran people. Hope 'n' change, baby.

March 3, 2009

Trash this spam if you get it

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This kind of Spam is popular in Hawaii, where a certain recently inaugurated president was born...

On the other hand, this spam, sent to me by a friend who watches these things, is one you'd best throw out, lest it poison you:

HOW TO BEGIN EACH DAY WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
  1. Open a new file in your computer.
  2. Name it 'Barack Obama'.
  3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.
  4. Empty the Recycle Bin.
  5. Your PC will ask you: 'Do you really want to get rid of 'Barack Obama?'
  6. Firmly Click 'Yes'
  7. Feel better?
GOOD! - Tomorrow we'll do Nancy Pelosi !

Bonus question: How do you know this spammer is an idiot? Answer: He's on a PC.

February 8, 2009

Kitty is a Hopey skeptic

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There's just no pleasing SOME people...

OTOH, it IS worth wondering how he'll get along with the 'Cito. The next Summit of the Americas should give some idea; both are due to attend then. I hope Kitty can hold out till April.

January 28, 2009

Dubya vs. Hopey, Iconic Photographs Division

Compare and contrast: The cat...

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...who ate the canary:

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January 22, 2009

Obamarama is off to a roaring start

The closing of Gitmo within a year is a great move on the part of Hopey; so's this:

It's only his first day in office, but President Obama has already signaled a serious commitment to transparency and accountability in government. The President ordered federal agencies in a memorandum released today to approach the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) "with a clear presumption: in the face of doubt, openness prevails."

[...]

This statement is almost certainly meant to address a controversial memo issued by John Ashcroft in the wake of 9/11, which ordered agencies to disclose information only after considering all possible reasons to withhold it, and assured them that government lawyers would defend their decisions in court unless they had no "sound legal basis." Many open government advocates believe Ashcroft's policy effectively gutted the FOIA over the past several years. Today's memo doesn't explicitly reverse that policy, but directs the incoming attorney general to issue new FOIA guidelines to agencies "reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency."

Emphasis added.

Excellent news indeed, especially in light of the struggles of Eva Golinger and Jeremy Bigwood to break the news of interference in Latin America by the so-called National Endowment for Democracy (which Hopey might want to think of closing for good, if he's a committed small-d democrat). Secrecy plays majorly into the NED's activities, and no wonder: it covers a multitude of antidemocratic sins. Would the US public like to know that their tax dollars were being put not toward hospitals, schools and highways, but into the subversion of democracies abroad, specifically the healthiest democracies in South America?

Which brings me to another point: Hopey really, REALLY needs to get to know Chavecito and Evo better. A LOT better.

January 20, 2009

The beginning of the end of an error

In the midst of today's Obamarama, I feel a strange need to look back, reflect...and remind you of just why so many people are jubilant over the swearing-in of the new president of the United States. Part of it, I'm sure, has something to do with this:

Compare and contrast what you saw here with what you saw on the news. That is all.

December 25, 2008

The latest poop for the manger scene

For those whose god was born in a barn--or anyone with a scatological sense of whimsy--I proudly present the latest Catalan caganers (found here):

Caganer Angela Merkel...

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Caganer Cristina Kirchner...

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Caganer Barack Obama...

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Caganer Evo...

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And last, but certainly not least, Caganer Chavecito!

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"The caganer is a very loved and respected figure on the typical Catalan nativity scene. It is not a joke, but totally the opposite, it is a tribute to the person, trade, or activity it represents."

Who knew that poopy-doo could be so darn cute?

November 6, 2008

Quotable: Mark Morford on the whole Obama thingy

"Hell yes, this is a time for screaming. For dancing, crying, celebrating with a rare feeling of renewal. It is a time for feeling it fully. A great thing has been done. A great shift has just transpired. Best news of all: There is no going back.

"Forget what I said before. Gloating is allowed, a great joyous I-told-you-so straight in the scowling faces of the racists and the warmongers and those so horribly terrified of the new and the different and the possible. Please feel free to let those rivers of gratitude course through you like molten joy coupled to the train of possibility pulled by the giant hand of hell yes.

"Above all, it is a time to exhale, to relax a little, to get the hell on with it. I know I speak for roughly five thousand fellow media lackeys when I say, sweet Lord, I am just so glad this damnable beast of an election is finally over. It's like a combination of the day after Christmas and post-coital orgasm and giving birth. You can only sit in the wobbly afterglow, warm and buzzing and dizzy, insanely grateful you didn't get a stocking full of Satan and Alaskan moosemeat and dirt, or a baby with three tiny heads and a nail gun where his arm should be.

"This, I think, is perhaps the most important sentiment of all. Not merely relief, not liberation, not even unadulterated joy.

"It's gratitude. Deep and satisfying and good. A sense of profound thanks that, well, we made it through. The hopefulness prevailed. That Obama not only survived and flourished, but appears more determined and assured than ever. What's more, our massive, ungainly democratic system? That hugely flawed beast of burden, gutted by eight solid years of the worst kind of abuse and misprision? It still seems to work. Well, mostly. How astonishing is that?

"And now, here we are. What a time it has been. What a time it shall be. There is no turning back. And for that, we can only say, thank you. Thank you, thank you, oh sweet God, thank you.

"Now pass me that damn champagne. "

--Mark Morford, "Yes We Did"

November 4, 2008

It's an Obamarama!!!

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324 electoral votes and STILL counting. Can you say LANDSLIDE, baby?

BushCo Death Watch is now officially over. And so are eight years of unmitigated HELL.

HALLELUJAH!