I wonder if he uses it for Cuban cigars

Ha ha, Boris Johnson cracks me up. First that undead haystack cancels the London public transit system’s cheap-fuel deal with Venezuela, out of some idiotic desire to punish the poor with fare hikes. Now, get a load of what he keeps on his desk–or used to:


Police have forced London Mayor Boris Johnson to hand over a cigar case belonging to Iraq’s former deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz.

The ex-MP, who obtained the red leather case from Mr Aziz’s bombed-out home while visiting Iraq as a journalist in 2003, said the situation was “stupid”.

He said: “The police have no choice but to investigate this ludicrous affair.”

Under the Iraq (UN Sanctions) Order 2003, anyone possessing Iraqi cultural property must give it to the police.

Granted, it’s not much of a “cultural property”, seeing as it’s not exactly a first edition cuneiform scroll of the Code of Hammurabi or anything like that. But it’s not rightfully his, either, and keeping such a grotesque trophy on his desk speaks of extremely poor judgment on his part.

Not, I hasten to add, that his sentiments regarding the president of Venezuela say anything better.

My head just exploded.

Remember how I said the newly elected leftist president of Paraguay was by no stretch of the imagination a moderate, and even posted proof?

Well, guess what the Dissociated Press’s own hilariously named Christopher Toothaker wrote. And if you guessed “complete bullshit”, pat yourself on the back–you are absolutely correct!

Paraguayan President-elect Fernando Lugo was all smiles as he and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez embraced, talked of a revolution for the poor and pledged to build a united Latin America.

But as the former Roman Catholic priest ended a three-nation tour Thursday that also included visits to Venezuela’s leftist allies in Bolivia and Ecuador, political analysts predicted he will take a less radical approach to governing.

(more…)

Why the EU wants to punish economic migrants

From Deutsche Welle, the German satellite TV channel, an interesting passage buried well down in the piece:

The Return Directive raises hackles not only because of possible human rights infringements, but because the remittances sent home by illegal workers to their poor countries of origin — for example Ecuador and Bolivia — are an important source of income there.

Last year, immigrants in Europe, the US and Japan sent money back to their families in Latin America and the Caribbean amounting to just under 43 billion euros ($66 billion), the EU Observer online newspaper said.

It is more than the region receives from foreign direct investment or development assistance combined.

“…more than the region receives from foreign direct investment or development assistance combined.”

Sit back and let that sink in for a bit.

Okay?

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What did I say?

About it not only being Evo and Chavecito? Get a load of El Ecuadorable and what he’d do if Europe keeps on shitting on Latin American economic migrants:


Ecuador threatened to halt Andean trade talks with the European Union on Saturday after its leaders endorsed tougher detention rules for illegal immigrants.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said the rule allowing EU countries to detain illegal immigrants for 18 months violates the human rights of migrant workers.

“We could even suspend those negotiations. What do we have to talk about with a union of countries that criminalizes immigrants?” Correa said during his weekly radio address. “It will be very hard to talk business and ignore human rights.”

Oh, and here he is on video, saying that in Spanish:

Strictly superfluous, of course, unless, like me, you just like watching and hearing him say things rife with cojones. In which case, small blame to you.

John McCain is…

Quotable: Chris Hedges on crapaganda whoredom

“The past week was a good one if you were a courtier. We were instructed by the high priests on television over the past few days to mourn a Sunday morning talk show host, who made $5 million a year and who gave a platform to the powerful and the famous so they could spin, equivocate and lie to the nation. We were repeatedly told by these television courtiers, people like Tom Brokaw and Wolf Blitzer, that this talk show host was one of our nation’s greatest journalists, as if sitting in a studio, putting on makeup and chatting with Dick Cheney or George W. Bush have much to do with journalism.

“No journalist makes $5 million a year. No journalist has a comfortable, cozy relationship with the powerful. No journalist believes that acting as a conduit, or a stenographer, for the powerful is a primary part of his or her calling. Those in power fear and dislike real journalists. Ask Seymour Hersh and Amy Goodman how often Bush or Cheney has invited them to dinner at the White House or offered them an interview.

“All governments lie, as I.F. Stone pointed out, and it is the job of the journalist to do the hard, tedious reporting to shine a light on these lies. It is the job of courtiers, those on television playing the role of journalists, to feed off the scraps tossed to them by the powerful and never question the system. In the slang of the profession, these television courtiers are ‘throats.’ These courtiers, including the late Tim Russert, never gave a voice to credible critics in the buildup to the war against Iraq. They were too busy playing their roles as red-blooded American patriots. They never fought back in their public forums against the steady erosion of our civil liberties and the trashing of our Constitution. These courtiers blindly accept the administration’s current propaganda to justify an attack on Iran. They parrot this propaganda. They dare not defy the corporate state. The corporations that employ them make them famous and rich. It is their Faustian pact. No class of courtiers, from the eunuchs behind Manchus in the 19th century to the Baghdad caliphs of the Abbasid caliphate, has ever transformed itself into a responsible elite.”

–Chris Hedges, “The Hedonists of Power”

Posted in Crapaganda Whores, Obits and 'bobs, Quotable Notables. Comments Off »

Ever wonder why I call them media whores?

Here, let Editor and Publisher clue you in:

In her Sunday column this week, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell responds to charges of improper money-making from special-interest groups against two of the newspaper’s stars, David Broder and Bob Woodward. The allegations were carried in the current issue of Harper’s by Ken Silverstein, the magazine’s Washington editor.

Both Broder and Woodward recently took buyouts from the paper but remain as contract workers.

The Post Stylebook’s ethics and standards section says only: “We freelance for no one and accept no speaking engagements without permission from department heads.” Howell observes: “Broder and Woodward did not check with editors on the appearances Silverstein mentioned.”

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It’s not just Evo or Chavecito…

…it’s all of Mercosur rejecting that draconian, disgusting European “Return Statute”–you know, the one that deprives undocumented immigrants of all legal rights, including recourse to an attorney before the country they’re in decides to boot them out–after a prison stay of up to a year and a half?

On Friday, the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) and its associated countries expressed their “firm repudiation” of the discrimination supported by the European Union’s directive of return for irregular immigrants, approved this past week by the Europarliament. The law decrees incarceration of 18 months for the undocumented.

“The governments of the participant and associate states of Mercosur deplore the approval on the part of the European Parlilament of the “return directive”, announced a communication from the Argentine Chancery, which heads the South American union at this time.

Argentine diplomatic sources say that the EU’s measure will be debated at the Summit of Heads of State of Mercosur, which will take place on July 1 in the Argentine city of Tucumán.

(more…)

Festive Left Friday Blogging Too: Bolivar’s Sword

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Festive Left Friday Blogging: Lugo comes to Venezuela

And gets a hug-ito from Chavecito at a religious ceremony at Caricuao in his honor:

And if the speech he gave in Ecuador here is any indication, he will work well with the rest for integration:

BTW, El Ecuadorable and Evo are in there too. Watch for them.