A Finn-tastic tribute to India on Republic Day

The cabin crew of a Finnair flight from Helsinki to New Delhi went a little Bollywood today. Om Shanti Om!

(And on that note, I’m adding two more new categories that were lacking up to now: A Passage to India, and Cool Beans.)

The History of Iran (that the US and Britain prefer you not to know)

Royally disgusting

Ahem. A little mood music, maestro:

Ah, that was lovely. And a timely reminder of the class of person we’re dealing with here: an unelected monarch who dares to try to shut up a democratically elected leader confronting him over Spanish support of a coup against democracy in Venezuela. Yes, that was Chavecito, and yes, that was the so-called king of Spain telling him to shut up. Quite the nerve on ol’ Juan Carlos, seeing as he was installed by Franco the fascist and all. His legitimacy as a ruler has always been in question. Little wonder he was so snippy. I don’t suppose his rotten royal temper will be improved at all by these revelations, either:

The King of Spain is a serial womaniser who once made a pass at Princess Diana while she was on holiday with Prince Charles, a book has claimed.

It also alleges that Juan Carlos is a ‘professional seducer’ who has had numerous affairs and has not shared a bed with his wife for the past 35 years.

[...]

The Solitude of the Queen by Pilar Eyre, which is likely to prove controversial in the Catholic country, claims the king made a ‘tactile’ advance to Diana while she and Charles were on holiday in Majorca in the 1980s.

It follows much-derided allegations made in 2004 by Lady Colin Campbell that the princess had a fling with Juan Carlos while on a cruise in August 1986 and then again the following April.

During a 1987 visit, in which Charles and Diana went to Madrid, the king was pictured smiling as he kissed the princess on the hand – a gesture which left Diana looking embarrassed.

Miss Eyre’s book also alleges that Queen Sofia has not slept in the marital bed since 1976 and only remains in the marriage out of ‘a sense of duty’.

She even claims the queen stumbled upon her husband with one of his alleged lovers, the Spanish film star Sara Montiel, at a friend’s country house in Toledo in 1976.

Sofia, now 73, was forced to attend a football match the day afterwards ‘as protocol demanded’, before storming out of the Zarzuela Palace, their official residence, with her children.

Advised to stay with her husband, she was told a break-up would mean she would ‘end up being paid to liven up the parties of the newly rich’.

Miss Eyre adds: ‘The role of the queen is sad, she is the loneliest woman in Spain.’

Nasty allegations, no doubt. But I can’t say I’m surprised, and they sure don’t sound out of character for this arrogant old fossil. I guess he’s used to getting whatever he wants, and can’t bear to be contradicted on anything. Little wonder, then, that he told Chavecito to shut up when the latter dared to demand an honest answer out of him. Real sovereignty and nobility are not his stock in trade, so he obviously has trouble seeing them exercised by an elected leader!

No means NO, no matter what

Marital rape: It’s not just “rough sex” or “role-playing”.

A young academic has been sentenced to four months in jail for sexually assaulting his wife during rough sex despite his claim that, in their dominant-submissive sexual role playing, “no” frequently meant “yes.”

The 33-year-old man, who cannot be identified to protect the anonymity of his now ex-wife, made the fatal error in being “willfully blind or not seeking clarification” as to whether she was playing a role or she truly did not want intercourse, Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Quigley said Monday.

“The onus was on him to ascertain whether ‘no’ did, in fact, mean ‘no,’” Quigley said.

A York University student at the time of the sexual assault four years ago, the man admitted during his trial in March that his wife said “no” when he grabbed her and forced himself upon her in their bedroom. He grabbed her hair, put his arm over her throat, and pinned her down, saying “You want it, don’t you? You know you do.”

The man insisted he believed her ‘no’ actually meant ‘yes,’ since she spoke in her modulated role-playing submissive voice and her body language had been encouraging.

But the judge ruled last May this was a “convenient fabrication” and found the man guilty of sexual assault.

The ex-husband testified that if she had wanted him to stop she should have used their safe word – “cabbage” – signaling that aggressive role playing should immediately end.

But in her testimony, the former wife denied the existence of the safe word.

She testified that although there was some harmless, dominant-submissive role playing in their eight-year marriage – initiated by him – she adamantly denied she ever agreed to violent or aggressive sex.

She said the intercourse they had on Feb. 8, 2008, was a brutal and non-consensual rape, during which he ignored her sobbing and cries of “no.”

The ex-husband claimed she delayed reporting her rape allegations until eight months later in the context of a family law dispute involving their two children.

What people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is their own look-out. But even with a safeword, the word NO should still be non-negotiable. It should mean the same thing no matter what the context.

And if you’re wondering whether this horrific encounter was emblematic of something else, the evidence strongly suggests it was:

The woman testified he had a very bad temper and during their marriage increasingly tried to control her movements, forcing her to effectively become invisible.

He demanded constant quiet when he was studying, notwithstanding the presence of their young children, she said. The couple would often communicate by text message at home, even when sitting near each other.

Controlling, emotionally distant, a poor communicator, effectively abusive, and potentially dangerous to their two young children, thanks to his temper trouble? That also kind of puts a crimp in the whole idea that the “rough sex” in which “no still means yes” was consensual.

Let’s hope this case becomes a precedent-setter; it could have been dangerous if the ruling had gone the other way.

Music for a Sunday: Die a little death again

Posted in Music for a Sunday. Comments Off »

Wankers of the Week: Out of the ship and into the SOPA

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Crappy weekend, everyone! And there goes another one into the drink, just like those poor souls on that ship with the dipshit captain. If you feel like your world is being piloted by fucking incompetents and self-centred bastards on just such a level, pat yourself on the back…it is. And here come this week’s winners (pronounced wieners), in no particular order…

1. Mitt Fucking Romney. Yep, Mittens was in fine form this week…if by “fine form” you mean insensitive, ignorant, asinine and arrogant. And those were just his good bits. And his past came back to bite him, too, as an old video clip resurfaced. How can anyone be so cold and cruel to a guy with muscular dystrophy who can’t get around anymore without his wheelchair? Well, I guess it helps if you’ve been fortified by a major hate-on for marijuana. Or if, like Mittens, you’re just so damned absorbed in getting yours that you don’t give a damn about anyone else’s. PS: Ha, ha, haBULLSHIT.

2. Bob Fucking Marshall. Well, isn’t it refreshing to hear a “pro-lifer” come out with what he really “thinks” of children — namely, that they’re God’s punishment to women for being slutty jezebels, and all that cal? And isn’t it refreshing, too, to hear just how stupid these old men are about disabilities, and how kids born with defects are just God’s way of saying fuck-you to slutty jezebels who’ve had abortions? FYI, Bob, an aunt of mine in Germany had an abortion in the second trimester of her second pregnancy, to PREVENT giving birth to a child with severe disabilities. She had developed rubella in her first trimester, back in the Good Old Days when there was no vaccine against it. And did she EVER have to jump through hoops to get that operation! She had never had an abortion previously, so how her chance case of “German measles” could have been a judgment from God for an abortion is beyond me. But hey, I bet Bob could explain it really fucking well, eh?

3. Don Fucking Ainsworthy. Wasn’t it thoughtful of him to throw those Occupy protesters off his bus, simply because he hates what they stand for? Maybe he’ll learn to understand their points better when his job goes bye-bye.

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4. Karen Fucking Santorum. Yes, for once, it’s Icky Ricky Ass-Sploodge’s missus getting listed. When you go homophobic (and slanderous!), this is what you get here, lady. And no, you can’t oppose same-sex marriage without homophobia, so quit pretending “he really loves them”.

5. Colin Fucking Heaton. Need further proof that the teabags are all fucking insane, and racist against Mexicans? Look no further than this one, who thinks they should all be enslaved to build a border fence with built-in gas chambers. Yeah, I can’t envisage THAT going anything but well…

6. Bryan Fucking Fischer. Isn’t it obvious why he’s obsessed with Teh Ghey Sex? He’s not getting ANY, so of course he’s eating his heart out. And that’s why he’s so willing to glom onto stupidities about lesbians, too. (Well, that, and he’s not getting to watch. Makes him grumpy, y’know.)

7. Frank Fucking Henley. Unbelievably, this Mountie seems to have been in some kind of cahoots with the infamous Robert Fucking Pickton. There’s a reason women in Canada have come to mistrust the RCMP, and it lives in Vancouver. If you can’t trust the cops to make sure even the saddest crack-addicted hooker on the Downtown Eastside doesn’t get picked off by a serial killer who’ll feed her to his pigs, you can’t trust them for anything.

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8. Jamie Fucking Johnson. File this one under Shit Santorum’s People Say. And also Shit Bible-Thumping Sexist Fuckheads Say. People, there is a reason Michele Fucking Bachmann doesn’t deserve to be elected president, and it’s not what she’s got under her skirt. It’s all that crazy biblical shit in her head, same as it is in yours! Crazy biblical shit makes people incompetent to lead, and gender’s got nothing to do with that.

9. Tim Fucking Scott. And speaking of crazy biblical shit making people incompetent to lead: Christians a “minority under assault”? In the US? WHERE??? Everyplace I look, it’s them doing the assaulting!

10. Patrick Fucking Wooden. And even more crazy biblical shit! I sense a theme developing here. In this case, the shit being that gay men all wear diapers because their penchant for anal sex has left them incontinent. I have yet to meet a single one, even a prostituted one, for whom that is the case. And how about all those straight people also doing anal on a regular basis? Do THEY all waddle around in adult diapers, too? Or is that just a David Fucking Vitter thing? (Oops, wait…he has a baby-man fetish. Never mind!)

11. Ron Fucking Paul. Not only are his racist newsletters of the past not an anomaly, they’re not even a thing of the past. And now we know what libertarianism is really all about: “Individual rights”…for whites only. And a dirty, separate fountain for everyone else, as usual.

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12. Joe Fucking Nocera. I wonder how much BP is paying him to lie his ass off for them in the NY Whore Times. Those “sparkling” beaches are still covered with the sheen of spilled oil, mark you my words.

13. Peter Fucking MacKay. Dude’s brain is still obviously in honeymoon mode. A spy scandal won’t hurt Canada’s reputation? Well, of course not…Canada has a reputation as a “playground for spies”, as one expert puts it, so of course there’s nothing to hurt there.

14. Stephen Fucking Harper. Meanwhile, Petey’s boss is scared of Iran and its phantom menace. It’s doing nuclear research! Oh noesies! Never mind that the nuclear program is actually just for electrical power generation, and maybe medical isotopes, and that Iran is co-operating with the UN. Or that one of its leading scientists was recently murdered by the Mossad. No, we’re supposed to shit our pants in unison, on the orders of our so-called government, over the fear of nonexistent nukes! For such a big-talkin’ tough guy, Harpo sure is a fucking wimp.

15. Chris Fucking Dodd. Ever since this once-progressive former senator went over to the Dark Side (otherwise known as the Private Sector), he’s been a total d-bag. Since when is a temporary blackout of Internet sites a “dangerous gimmick”? Oh, only since it put the Dark Side at the risk of having its shitty legislative attempts to own the world…DENIED.

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16. Francesco Fucking Schettino. Whatever possessed him to run his cruise ship aground off the coast of Italy? I’m still scratching my head over that one. But as to his cowardly claim (among other lame excuses) that he “just fell” into a lifeboat, coincidentally ahead of just about everyone else on the vessel? That’s a no-brainer; it’s a load of pure merda. Incidentally, he’s got a new nickname: Captain Crunch.

17. Rich Fucking Lowry. If you thought Captain Crunch was a wanker, wait’ll you get what this silly turdnugget has to say about the cruise ship crash. Let’s just say that he doesn’t know fuck-all about the Titanic, which was definitely a classist catastrophe, in that not only upper-class women and children, but rich men also got dibs on what few lifeboats there were (and which were often launched only half-full, at that). Those in “steerage” went down with the ship, for the most part, but the captain did not, and was pilloried for it in the press. If you’re gonna wax on about how chivalry is dead, shouldn’t you admit that it actually died long before the Titanic was launched, if it ever lived at all, and quit fucking blaming feminism? (PS: Lowry is also full of shit on other details. The last song the band played before the Titanic went down wasn’t “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. It was an Anglican hymn called “Autumn”. Anyone know how to hum a few bars?) PS: Rich has brain-dead company in the Great North too, alas.

18. Ward Fucking Connerly. Well, well, well, well, WELL. Can anyone who’s followed his career trajectory honestly say they’re surprised to learn that this leading campaigner against affirmative action has, in fact, been FOR it all along…at least where lining his own pockets is concerned? And is there anything more reprehensible than a man who hijacks the civil-rights discourse to the benefit of racists, denying his own people their fair shot at everything, while grabbing up all the goodies for himself? Somewhere, Dr. King is shaking his head.

19. Lamar Fucking Smith. Booby prize of the week goes to this hypocritical Tex-ass, who’s so busy promoting his own so-called anti-piracy stance that he couldn’t be bothered to notice or care that his own personal website is in violation of the very law he’s trying so hard to ram through.

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PS: Ha, ha!

20. Peter Fucking Palumbo. It’s shameful when an elected official needs a civics lesson as badly as this one does. And the lesson for today, kiddies, is that prayer has no place in public schools. Do it in church, do it at home, do it in a closet if you must, but don’t expect to ram it down the throats of those who don’t share your beliefs…unless you’re ready for a fight that will make you look like a sanctimonious fucking jackass.

21. Rush Fucking Limbaugh. Cheating on your wife for six whole fucking years, and then asking for an “open marriage” before you divorce her outright for the woman you’ve been schtupping behind her back, is a sign of GOOD character? Only if you’re a fucking Pigman with even more skeletons in his closet than Newt Fucking Gingrich. Because things like that are bound to mess with your perceptions of right and wrong, y’know.

22. Newt Fucking Gingrich, people. Newt Fucking Gingrich.

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PS: They sure loves them some hypocrites in South Fucking Carolina. Newty Lying McCheatypants just won the primaries there.

23. Dana Fucking Milbank. Fighting against a hardcore right-wing assault on choice is NOT “hysteria”. But thanks for framing it as such, you lazy sexist wanker. And if you really think the anti-choice crowd has “legitimate concerns” about abortion, either name them or shut the fuck up. (I’m guessing the reason he didn’t name any is because there really aren’t any…that aren’t thoroughly grounded in Religious Reich horsepucky.)

24. Vic Fucking Toews. Get the fire extinguisher, somebody’s pants are smoking…again.

25. Alykhan Fucking Velshi. He’s gone from shilling for the ultra-polluting “Ethical Oil” astroturf group…to an environmental working group in Toronto that boasts Jack Layton as a founding member? I smell a mole in here.

26. Andrew Fucking Adler. I fail to see how assassinating the president of the United States could halt Iran’s nuclear program. But I’m sure he’s thought this through ever so well. And the shutdown of his own right-wing rag likewise, I’m sure.

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27. The Fucking Harper Government™. It is clearly a government by, of and for the Hardcore Stupid. How else to explain their habit of trotting out Tony Fucking Clement to play a shell game for the public? And how easily fooled do those bastards think we are, anyway? Forget the pricking of the thumbs. All we have to do is look at that shit-eating smirk on Phony Tony’s face to know that something imbecilic this way comes.

28. Mark Fucking Wahlberg. I have no doubt that the former Marky Mark was scheduled to fly on one of the planes that later smacked into the Twin Towers. But I do have my doubts (and very grave ones) that he would have clobbered the boxcutter-wielders and landed the plane safely. Unless, of course, he was armed with his magic Dirk Diggler Dong of Death.

29. Penny Fucking Starr. Why do I get the feeling that she, along with everyone else in the Religious Reich who wastes a lot of time and energy bashing gays, is actually a secret fan of guy-on-guy porn? Not that there’s anything wrong with that — but really, shouldn’t she come clean about it?

30. Rick Fucking Santorum. If his daughter got raped, he’d “discourage” her from getting an abortion because it would ruin her life? The abortion, not the rape? Talk about your unfit fathers. And your fucked-up priorities.

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And finally, to all those who actually supported (and/or still support) that abomination that was SOPA/PIPA. Jesus H. Christ, you people do NOT know the Internets. I hope it hurt when they all leapt up to bite you.

Good night, and get fucked!

Cops Behaving Badly: Doubleplusungood

Today’s entry in the annals of rotten cop behavior is a two-fer. First, from Florida, a disturbing case of racist elder abuse, caught on dashcam (despite the cop’s efforts to switch the camera off):

Details from Raw Story:

Technicians in Florida have recovered dashcam video of a Melbourne police officer beating a 66-year-old man who suffers from dementia even though the officer deliberately tried to disable the recording.

An attorney for beating victim Albert Flowers told Florida Today that his client was prepared to sue the city of Melbourne.

“He should be fired,” attorney Paul Bross said of Officer Derek Middendorf. “Anyone who’s being pulled over by this officer should be terrified.”

“It’s clear (Officer Middendorf) tried to destroy all the video in this case. He thought he had turned off the camera, and that’s why he acted the way he did.”

The video clearly shows Flowers calmly walking towards the police cruiser before Middendorf suddenly delivers a kick to his midsection. Before Flowers is able to get up, the white cop drops to his knees and pounds his fists into the African-American man’s face.

Flowers spent a month in the hospital after the encounter.

There is a good chance that the city of Melbourne will be paying for Mr. Flowers’ medical care, and I’d say they owe him. They’d also be fools not to fire that abusive cop.

Next, from Merry Old England, a far-from-merry tale of just how far cops will go to spy on, infiltrate and try to break up environmentalist groups. How about fathering out-of-wedlock children and then fucking off out of their lives, leaving not one but two or more bewildered victims in their wake?

Last month eight women who say they were duped into forming long-term intimate relationships of up to nine years with five undercover policemen started unprecedented legal action. They say they have suffered immense emotional trauma and pain over the relationships, which spanned the period from 1987 to 2010.

Until now it was not known that police had secretly fathered children while living undercover. One of them is [Bob] Lambert, who adopted a fake persona to infiltrate animal rights and environmental groups in the 1980s.

After he was unmasked in October, he admitted that as “Bob Robinson” he had conned an innocent woman into having an 18-month relationship with him, apparently so that he could convince activists he was a real person. She is one of the women taking the legal action against police chiefs.

Now the Guardian can reveal that in the mid-1980s, just a year into his deployment, Lambert fathered a boy with another woman, who was one of the activists he had been sent to spy on.

The son lived with his mother during the early years of his life as his parents’ relationship did not last long. During that time, Lambert was in regular contact with the infant, fitting visits to him around his clandestine duties.

After two years, the mother married another man and both of them took responsibility for raising the child. Lambert says the woman was keen that he give up his legal right to maintaining contact with his son and cut him out of her new life. He says the agreement was reached amicably and he has not seen or heard of the mother or their son since then.

Lambert did not tell her or the child that he was a police spy as he needed to conceal his real identity from the political activists he was spying on. The Guardian is not naming the woman or the child to protect their privacy.

Lambert was married during his secret mission, which continued until 1988.

Nice, eh? No word on what his wife thought of the whole affair, though. Probably something unprintable, if anyone has even thought to ask her at all…

And he’s not the only one who messed around on the job, ON ORDERS.

The second case involves an undercover policeman who was sent to spy on activists some years ago. He had a short-lived relationship with a political activist which produced a child.

He concealed his real identity from the activist and child as he was under strict orders to keep secret his undercover work from her and the other activists in the group he infiltrated. He then disappeared, apparently after his superiors ended his deployment. Afterwards, she remained under surveillance as she continued to be politically active, while he carried on with his police career.

The Guardian understands that as he had access to the official monitoring reports, he regularly read details of her life with a close interest. He watched as she grew older and brought up their child as a single parent, according to an individual who is aware of the details of the case.

The policeman has been “haunted” by the experience of having no contact with the child, whom he thought about regularly, according to the individual.

Sounds like this unnamed officer was himself a victim of the trap he was ordered to set. Just another occupational hazard, I suppose.

And let’s not forget the infamous Mark Kennedy case, either, in which activist women were basically defamed as sluts, and their entire organizations slammed, baselessly, for “promiscuity”. The fact that the police ordered their own officers to be promiscuous (supposedly, in order to blend in with those slutty, slutty hippies) is an irony that will, of course, go utterly unremarked. Right along with the less sexy, but more disturbing, irony that the police also ordered these same undercover officers to give false testimonies in court to further “protect” their fake identities. And, most disturbingly of all, if we look at Mark Kennedy in particular, is how emotionally ruinous it all turned out to be. At which point we have to ask: Is anything these people do real? And is all this fuckery actually worth it? Has it led to anything at all productive, like, you know, the arrest of an actual terrorist?

I have a pretty good guess as to what the answers will be. How about you?

Photoshop du jour: A dream jam session

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Flamengo comes to Bolivia

…and Evo had a great time meeting one of the great Brazilian soccer team’s heroes (and his own too, no doubt), Ronaldinho:

Evo also presented Ronaldinho with a special medal for his outstanding contribution to South American sportsmanship:

And there was a friendly match between Flamengo and a local team, Universitario de Sucre, at which Ronaldinho undoubtedly shone:

Bonus: Here’s a little song by Jorge Ben, which pretty much sums up Brazilian pride in teams like Flamengo (and other fun things about life in a tropical country):

“I live in a tropical country/Blessed by God and beautiful by nature/In February there’s Carnival/I have a Fusca and a guitar/I root for Flamengo and my girlfriend’s name is Tereza…”

Short ‘n’ Stubby: Ms. Manx swats SOPA

What’s that meowing I hear? A cyber-kitty with a massive pet peeve…named SOPA. Whatcha got for us, Ms. Manx?

First up, the Stumpy Cat would like to direct our attention to all the hypocrites endorsing this bad legislation. She thinks this begs a lot of questions, not least of which is: Do they not see the IRONY?

Next, the Manx would like you to consider the implications of SOPA and its bastard twin, PIPA, for Canada. The worst of them all is that unelected US corporations have basically stolen for themselves the right to write OUR laws for us. Say, isn’t that a kind of piracy right there? asks the Manx…

And then there’s The Pirate Bay’s take, which is as witty, funny, and subversive as you’d expect it to be.

It comes as no surprise to Ms. Manx that Mark Zuckerberg opposes SOPA/PIPA, too. But not for the same reasons. Remember, he’s the guy who steals your personal data to sell it to advertisers. So, really, this only stands to reason.

Meanwhile, Anonymous have been doing yeoman’s work again for the 99%, who need Internet freedom like they need air. Ms. Manx gives them two big paws up.

And finally, if you’re in the mood for a chuckle (or just in the mood, period), Ms. Manx suggests you check out what Elephant Journal has to say about the SOPA struggle, which has only just begun.