Compare and Contrast: Peña Nieto vs. Maduro

pena-neto-vs-maduro

Left: “He stole the Mexican elections, privatized the state oil companies, and the people repudiate him. TV and the US call him the president who saved Mexico.”

Right: “The Venezuelan people elected him democratically and he didn’t privatize the oil. TV and the US call him a dictator.”

Dear PETA: Fuck you.

peta-billboard

Dear PETA:

Thanks for another thoughtful reminder of why I can’t fucking stand you. Once again, you’ve wanked a major one all over women’s bodies.

Never mind that body weight is not a marker of obesity. Or that fat vegans most certainly do exist, and that refusing to consume animal products is no guarantee of weight loss. No, you just had to go clouding the serious health issue of Plan B’s too-low hormone dosage with a fraudulent “go vegan and get skinny!” message. In doing so, you joined all the other despicable fat-shamers who never miss an opportunity to push their agendas in inescapably sexist ways.

Of course, I expected nothing better from you. You have a well-established pattern of exploiting women at every turn. You can’t bear to see a glass of milk being poured or an egg being cracked into a pan, but you have no compunctions about caging women, carving them up like slabs of beef, wrapping them in plastic like supermarket chickens, or throwing them onto grills. And that’s when you’re not busy sexually abusing them to showcase what veganism will allegedly do for their male partners.

So I suppose I should not have been surprised that you would pounce on what is actually a story about corporate irresponsibility, and twist it to your own sadistic ends. It’s pretty obvious what your game is: “saving” the animals by throwing humans, and specifically FEMALE humans, under the bus.

And that’s when you’re not busy killing kitties and dogs to save money to put toward your outrageous ad campaigns instead. What the fuck is “ethical” about THAT?

So I guess you’ll just have to pardon me if all you’ll ever get from me is the back of both my middle fingers. Trust me, you’ve EARNED it.

Fuck you very much, PETA.

Rob Ford’s crack pipe speaks

magritte-pipe

Note: The following is a message I received from an anonymous source. I have been asked to share it my readers as a public service, in the hopes that it will serve as a warning to anyone thinking of sampling the CIA’s pretext for keeping Latin America in misery, the DEA in Latin America, the black community in the ghetto, and Gary Webb in his grave. Or something like that.

Hello. You don’t know me, so please allow me to introduce myself. I am Rob Ford’s crack pipe.

I am that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. I’m the one who knows Rob Ford better than anyone, even his own wife. I’m the one who perks him up so that he can bumble, bluster, and bounce erratically all over the place, bewildering everyone with his undignified behavior and his unpredictable rages. I’m the one he strenuously denied having had relations with, from the moment Gawker first published a picture of him with a couple of young black guys who have since met some highly suspicious fates.

That picture was embarrassing, but the video that goes with it is even more so. Until recently, he denied that it existed. And with it, he denied me.

Well, no more. I have come forward to demand my rightful due. And that is that he come clean and admit that we have had a lengthy relationship, he and I. He didn’t today, as you’ve probably suspected. He claims I was just another drunken one-night stand. Something he did in a stupor.

He would say that, wouldn’t he? But he’s lying.

Nobody just smokes crack just because they’ve had too much to drink; if that were the case, the LCBO would have closed every liquor store in Toronto, so as not to let kids get their hands on that infamous gateway drug. No, he didn’t pick me up just because he’d staggered out of a bar and into a bad neighborhood. We go back way further than that. And if you’re going to talk about gateway drugs, you might want to look further into the entire Ford family’s past, as the Globe and Mail recently did.

The Brothers Ford are drug dealers, and their illicit business in Etobicoke is decades old. When they first started, it was marijuana and hashish. Pot and hash are no longer so fashionable (or so frowned on), but crack is. And it has the added benefit, from a drug dealer’s standpoint, of being highly addictive, as pot and hash are not. The come-down is harsh and desolating. Those who’ve tried crack can’t just take it or leave it; they are forever chasing their next rock. Nobody just does crack once in a while, on a lark, or in a drunken stupor. I don’t do hook-ups, honey. I’m a long-term relationship kind of gal.

That’s why my relationship with him has been so intimate, and why it’s so embarrassing. Like the toilet in the Russell Edson poem, I belong to an unfortunate association, one that he’d rather not publicly embrace. And like a toilet, he fills me with shit — literal shit that’s been carried in somebody’s ass. Fills me up, smokes me, then pretends it didn’t happen, but always comes back for more. Yeah, he’s a sick fucker.

And that’s why it mystifies me to hear all these Ford Nation types going on like he’s a good man who’s just had an unfortunate accident, or something like that. No. No, he isn’t. He’s a mayor who’s been running the city like someone on crack, which of course he is. His character is corrupted. His whole behavioral pattern is typical of a crackhead in denial. Cancelling already allocated monies and green spaces for his own pet projects, even though everything’s already been voted, budgeted, and settled. Sexist, racist, homophobic slurs and snubs in a city renowned for its tolerance and multiculturalism. Petty, petulant rages and abuses of power. Does that sound like a “good man” to you?

If it does, I have to ask what you’ve been smoking.

Oh look, another ignorant white woman has an opinion!

know-your-veils

So I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning, when up pops this. Yet another ignorant white woman who is strangely offended by Muslim women just being themselves and minding their own damn business. Let’s take her argument point by point so we can see how ridiculous it is, shall we?

The niqab is a ridiculous garment, adopted by a small (but growing) number of women and rejected by many mainstream Muslims. When I see someone wearing it, I’m torn between laughing at the absurdity and irritation with the ideology it represents. In secular countries, the notion that women have to cover their faces whenever they leave the house is rightly seen as weird, and runs counter to the principle of gender equality. Many brave women in the Middle East and Asia have died for the much more important right not to cover their faces, and I have little patience with women in this country who make a mockery of that struggle by trying to pretend they’re the ones suffering oppression.

If it’s so ridiculous and so little worn, Joan, why do you care? And you obviously do, since you feel compelled to point and laugh and be “irritated with the ideology it represents”. WHAT ideology might that be, hmmm?

And what is “right” about seeing a veiled woman as weird? I see someone’s cultural biases doing the talking for her here. Now that’s an offensive ideology.

As for the “gender equality” canard: I should also note that in some North African Muslim countries, the men cover their faces and the women don’t; ever hear of the Tuareg, Joan? And anyway, most Muslim women who veil do not cover their faces; you said so yourself. So why single out the few who do?

And if you want to talk brave, I think you might want to meet Qahera, who doesn’t need your silly directives to unveil, and who rightly takes offence at ignorant westerners trying to “rescue” her from an imagined “ideology”.

Or just refer to my post about Riham Said from yesterday. She doesn’t need your ideology either.

I’m not in favour of the French approach, which is an outright ban on the niqab and the burqa; I’m not keen on banning things and it risks creating martyrs. It makes more sense to treat the face-veil as a political statement and insist on our right to make one in return.

And yet, you feel compelled to rag on how “weird” it is. And to make political statements against it. So, you’re calling for discrimination and razzing instead of an outright ban? Bravo, Joan, what a brave and rational stance to take! I’m sure that will convince everyone!

Covering the face doesn’t make anyone a better human being and the “modesty” argument doesn’t wash; if you wear outlandish clothes, whether it’s a face-veil or fancy dress, of course people will stare.

What is this, an argument for staring? Did your mother not teach you any manners? A veil isn’t a “fancy dress” costume. Not even in not-so-great Britain, anymore.

And how do you know it’s only about “modesty”? You don’t. It may in fact be a statement about nationality or tribal allegiances, not religious belief or a fear of sexual assault. Different women from different regions wear different headgear to say “this is where I come from”. More on this later.

Nor does the niqab discourage violence; evidence from Egypt suggests that veiled women are slightly more likely to suffer sexual harassment, probably because men regard them as easier targets than women in Western clothes. Does anyone seriously believe that women are safer in Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran, where most women wear the veil (many of them against their will) in one form or another? Wearing the niqab or the burqa is self-defeating, exposing women and girls to more oppression rather than less.

Well, isn’t this a hot mess? I’ll gladly concede that there is no article of clothing that will ever really discourage sexual harassment, assault or violence. But the other side of this coin is that removing a veil just because it offends your delicate British sensibilities won’t make those women any safer, either. The only thing that will work is educating the men. And by that, I mean ALL men.

Plus, women in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran don’t wear niqabs. Iraq is largely secular, and the women there usually wear either a hijab (which shows the face) or no veil at all. Afghanistan? Well, the burqa (which is even more concealing than a niqab, seeing as it has a mesh panel to cover the eyes) has been in fashion ever since we in the “enlightened” west (or at least, Ronald Fucking Reagan) saw fit to help them defeat godless communism by sending in the “Arab-Afghan mujahideen”, otherwise known as al-Qaida. Before that, Afghan women tended to dress a lot more like us:

afghan-women-1970s

As for Iran, they wear the chador there; again, a veil that leaves the face uncovered. And it’s not strictly required of all women, only those who are Shia Muslim.

Oh here, have this handy guide to all the different veils worn by women you know nothing about. Maybe it will help you to stop embarrassing yourself with this ignorant blather.

Where I think the state is entitled to intervene is when a woman’s decision to cover has negative consequences on others, including her daughters; face-covering should never be a component of school uniform, let alone compulsory. Then there’s the example of a courtroom: when someone is giving evidence, she should be subject to exactly the same rules as the rest of us. Vulnerable witnesses need to have their identities protected but as a general rule the judge, jury, defence and prosecution should be able to see witnesses’ faces. I wouldn’t expect to be allowed to appear in court in a balaclava, and the public good of open justice takes precedence over demands for special treatment on religious grounds.

I fail to see what “harm” it does to cover one’s face in public, or in a court of law. Where in the rules of evidence does it say that one must be bare-faced? This “pro-equality” argument is bullshit on the face of it (pun intended).

As for the NHS, I’m aghast at the prospect of being treated by a health professional in a niqab. Patients often have to discuss intimate matters with GPs and nurse-practitioners, from sexual health to domestic violence. If someone doesn’t trust me enough to let me see her face, I’m hardly going to feel comfortable about her carrying out an intimate procedure such as a cervical smear. Nor is it easy to imagine a man discussing the symptoms of prostate cancer with a health professional whose idea of “modesty” doesn’t allow her to expose her nose.

Well, Joan, if you’re so offended by veiled doctors or nurses, don’t use the NHS, then! Take your prejudices private, if they’re so important to you. You’re making an awful lot of assumptions about the hypothetical practitioner’s motive for wearing the veil. Have you ever actually been treated by somebody wearing one? And if so, has it impaired her ability to help you in any way? If not, you have no business complaining.

At one level, it’s hard to believe we’re having this debate.

I quite agree. But since you insisted on yattering ignorantly on about it, there you go. You got yourself a debate, lady! And you’re losing to cold hard fact. Sucks to be you.

Human rights law is clear about the right to manifest religion but it isn’t an absolute right, and can be limited when it conflicts with the rights of others.

Such as…your “right” not to have someone else’s Muslim-ness visible to your virgin eyes? That’s not a right, that’s a privilege. And your column reeks of it. Get over yourself, Joan.

The demand by a small number of Muslim women to cover their faces in all circumstances clearly impacts on the rights of others, and requires a robust response.

No, it doesn’t. And no, it doesn’t.

Secularism is not about forced suppression of religion, or at least it wasn’t the last time I looked. But hey. If a piece of fabric is really so offensive, Joan, maybe you should move to Québec. They just instituted a “Charter of Values” there that has a strangely subjective definition of secularism that, I suspect, would fall right in line with yours.

Submissive? HA!

In case you ever get to thinking that all Middle Eastern Muslim women are hopelessly under the thumb of men just because they wear veils, this video from an Egyptian TV program should prove instructive:

The interviewer, Riham Said, “agrees” to wear a scarf while she interviews this cleric, who appears to have no trouble with her uncovered hair beforehand, when he doesn’t realize the cameras are already rolling. But when the interview gets going in earnest, soon Ms. Said removes her scarf, saying it feels hypocritical (and it is). And when the cleric starts to object, she brings up the salient fact that the channel paid him to appear in what is supposed to be a discussion on sexual harassment. He denies it, but he isn’t very convincing. Probably because the sight of a woman’s uncovered head is just so distracting, eh?

But for me, the best part of all is HER explanation: She says she’ll wear a scarf for God, not men. Not even “holy” men. A point that even a wily old cleric can’t counter very effectively, because it reminds him of whom he is supposed to be serving!

Never forget.

I will walk the streets again
in what was bloodied Santiago,
and in a beautiful liberated square
I will stop to weep for the absent.

I will come back from the burning desert
and come out of the woods and the lakes
and I will evoke, on a mountain in Santiago,
my brothers and sisters who died before.

I, united to those who do much and little,
to those who want a free country,
will fire the first bullets
sooner rather than later, without rest.

The books will come back, the songs
which murderers’ hands burned.
My people will be reborn from their ruin
and pay back their faults to the traitors.

A boy will play on a tree-lined street
and sing to his new friends,
and this song will be the song of the soil
to a life cut short in La Moneda.

I will walk the streets again
in what was bloodied Santiago,
and in a beautiful liberated square
I will stop to weep for the absent.

40 years ago today, 9-11 came to Chile with gunshots and a roar of jets over the presidential palace, La Moneda. The coup was launched from Viña del Mar, on the coast, with CIA and US military “assistance” to the fascist troops of Pinochet. But really, it was Pinochet and Co. helping the US in the end, using Chile as a laboratory for libertarian cuckoo economics enforced by fascism.

The idea that libertarianism is actually a form of fascism may be anathema to those who still naïvely and quaintly assume that it’s all about personal and economic freedom, but the facts are that Chile was on a true course toward freedom under the democratic socialist, Salvador Allende (the “life cut short in La Moneda”), and certain powers-that-be (and still are) in the United States of Amnesia couldn’t have that. There was dire talk of “ruin”, and of course, Milton Freedman’s “Chicago Boys” were only too happy to ruin the Chilean economy ahead of the coup — and destroy it utterly thereafter. THEY reduced it to the irreparable state it is still in today. Chileans cannot forget 9-11, because that is the day their democracy died, and they have yet to get it — and their sovereignty — all the way back.

If you wonder why the OTHER 9-11, the one the US is commemorating today, happened…this might just be a clue. It’s the imperialism, stupid. Other countries want to be free to make their own decisions, and other people deeply resent it when US-trained “experts” parachute in to fuck it all up on them. The OTHER 9-11, the one that happened in 2001, is the blowback from US interference in Afghanistan and the Middle East. What’s truly insane is that it’s still being used to justify wars in countries that have nothing to do with that day at all; the latest to get blamed is Syria, which is still on the warmongers’ radar. After all, there is still that arch-capitalist military-industrial complex to feed. And fascism is nothing but capitalism minus gloves…

It’s just like some people have never learned the lessons of history, isn’t it?

Protesters seek Venezuelan leader

…and no, it’s NOT Chavecito. It’s his former electoral rival:

where-is-capriles

“Where is Capriles? There’s a power vacuum in Miranda!”

Well might you ask, muchachas. The so-called governor of Miranda isn’t governing; he’s too busy trying to hound a certain high-profile cancer patient, and getting his brain-dead followers to do the same (with the usual backing from you-know-where). Meanwhile, his state can best be described as “all gone to shit”:

Mirandans protested peacefully on Sunday outside the Miranda state government building in Los Teques, demanding that governor Henrique Capriles Radonski step down due to repeated absence from his job.

With slogans like “Capriles, govern or resign”, the demonstrators camped out in front of the state government office to denounce the apathy and the state of abandonment in which the governmental entity finds itself ever since Capriles took office as governor. Capriles visited Colombia a few weeks ago, and more recently the United States, abandoning his functions.

María Castro, one of the demonstrators, explained that the government is in disarray due to the nonexistence of policies on health, security and education. She also described Capriles’ leadership as “the worst”, since every day the level of insecurity in Miranda increases, along with the preoccupation of the state’s population.

“Miranda is the most insecure state in the country. It’s in decadency. Capriles doesn’t govern, nor does he concern himself for the region. He always asks: Where is Chávez? But we Mirandans ask: Where is Governor Capriles, who doesn’t govern? Lamentably, neither Capriles nor his committee is governing,” Castro said.

Dalia Araujo, who lives along the old Los Teques highway, pointed out that the state doesn’t have a governor who responds to the needs and demands of the people and added that “if Capriles can’t rule as governor, he should resign, because we don’t want him.”

“Here in Miranda, we don’t have a governor, Capriles should resign because insecurity is killing us, and he doesn’t show his face. What’s Capriles doing in the United States when he should be in Miranda?”

During the demonstration, a group of Capriles sympathizers approached with the intention of disrupting the peaceful protest.

One of the Capriles sympathizers pushed and assaulted members of the reporter team from the Mayor’s Office of Guaicaipuro, who were there to cover the protest. Meanwhile, functionaries from the Miranda Police (Polimiranda), who were present outside the government building, did not act in defence of the citizens.

Yelitza González, one of the witnesses, denounced the “fascist and violent” attitude of the right-wing sectors who support Capriles, adding that they would not permit violence or destabilization from the opposition, since “we want peace and we are demonstrating peacefully, we all believe in our president (Hugo Chávez), we want respect. Capriles should present a security plan.

“We’re here peacefully, and we see how this citizen, under the effects of alcohol, pushed a young reporter. Never mind that she’s a woman; he threatened her with death. The Miranda State Police, who are here as witnesses, just stood by inertly in the face of sexist violence; they should have acted, and they did not. The Guaicaipuro Police took him into custody because he was violating the rights of the woman,” said González.

Translation mine.

Here’s some video relating to the events in question:

The demonstrators gave a press conference denouncing Capriles’ irresponsibility and lack of plans, and his participation in a Washington-backed plan of destabilization while the president undergoes chemotherapy. It appears alongside footage of the demonstrations described above. They call on the people of Miranda to demand that Capriles show his face and govern, already. And in the face of the dismal crime statistics of the state, Capriles is in no legitimate position to blame Chávez for the insecurity problem, much less launch a new (and illegitimate) campaign (in MIAMI!) for his own presidency after losing the REAL vote, which took place last October. He’s discredited even among his own. He should take his lumps, admit he lost fair and square, and get down to his job, which is governing the state of Miranda, not all of Venezuela as a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington.

PS on Tuesday, 5:40 pm: Out of respect for today’s bad news from Venezuela, commenting on this entry is now closed. I’ve gotten two pathetic, lonely boys looking for love in all the wrong places so far. Fair warning: All trollish attempts will be subjected to a trashing (complete with IP and e-mail doxxing) on Saturday’s wankapedia. I know you fascists out there have no shame, so I feel none dishing it back to you. If you shit-eaters have no respect for someone’s death or their family, or my blog (which is NOT your toilet!), you deserve none either. And you WILL get gay porn spam…count on it. Meanwhile, Chavecito vive…la lucha sigue. He’s more alive than ever now, you fucking bastards. Just like Che and Camilo before him. ¡VIVA CHAVEZ, CARAJO!

The muddled feminist and the abusive cowboy (and the irresponsible publisher)

alisa-valdes

By now you’ve probably heard about Alisa Valdes, the romance novelist who penned a memoir about how she let a right-wing cowboy named Steve rope and tame her like a mustang mare. You’ve probably also heard how all the right-wing anti-feminists seized on that tale and crowed about it, claiming it validated their half-baked theories about women “needing” a dominant male to “take a firm hand”; that it was “just human nature”, and so on. And you may also have heard that she later tried to come clean on her personal blog about what horseshit that memoir actually is, revealing that Cowboy Steve didn’t merely tame her, he broke her. He lied to her, cheated on her, and insulted her (and her son), and that was just the beginning; he also raped her. In every sense, he abused her. And you might even know that her publicist freaked, and warned her to take that harrowing blog entry down. Alisa Valdes complied. But Google still has it cached, and it reveals not only the details and extent of the indignities she suffered at the hands of Cowboy Steve — but also, of all people, her own publisher:

I’ve had more than a dozen books published, but never have I had a publication day come and go without so much as an email from my editor, wishing me well — until now. With the recent publication of my first memoir, The Feminist & The Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story, I have had the odd experience of having been essentially shunned by my publisher, one assumes because the reality of my life more than a year after having turned in the final manuscript is different from the ending one might have liked to have seen if my life were the made-for-TV movie or fairy tale my publisher seemed to have hoped they might market my book as. I have been advised not to discuss any of this publicly, to just accept this cold shoulder and lack of support as my penance for the crime of being openly broken up with the cowboy when I should have just pretended we were still together long enough to sell books.

Nice, eh? Big Publisher is more intent on racking up sales than on making sure the whole story is told in an honest, above-board manner. Big Publisher wants the writer to pretend that everything is exactly as it is not. Big Publisher, in short, is playing the censor. And who suffers the most? A woman who, one would think, has already suffered more than enough:

There is a LOT you don’t know about the cowboy and how he treated me. I kept a lot of it under wraps, because I had turned a book in and I was trying to be a good contract employee and not completely sabotage the book by telling the whole story on my blog. But with my publisher’s complete lack of support now, and with the reviews so clearly describing for me the fact that healthy women, whole women, are able to recognize in the cowboy a dangerous man that I was, in my blindness and lack of experience with abusive men, unable to see, I feel that the only possible way for any of this to make sense to anyone is for the entire story to be known. To be honest about it puts me in danger — real physical danger — so I am reluctant.

Again, note that lack of concern on the publisher’s part for her well-being. “Trying to be a good contract employee” is like trying to be a “good” abused woman; it’s bound to cost you your integrity, and it may end up costing you a lot more than that. The Cowboy refuses to compromise and let Alisa be herself; he must have her perfectly submissive or he will not “put up with” her at all (his words). The publisher shows zero willingness to hold off publication and give the author a chance to revise the manuscript into the cautionary tale it actually is. One can’t excuse them for jumping the gun, since the publication process is at least a year long between receiving the manuscript and putting the book out in print. That is plenty of time for revision, and they would not consider that. Nope, they had what they thought was a sure-fire bestseller on their hands, something that would generate tons of buzz, so they wanted to go with that.

I am inevitably reminded of the prude-shaming backlash against feminists who criticized the movie Deep Throat. And how the star, Linda Lovelace, later wrote Out of Bondage, telling all about her abusive ex-husband, Chuck Traynor. Ol’ Chuck brutally strong-armed her into not only making the porno, but smiling through all the incredibly phony promotional appearances she had to put in afterwards. But there’s a difference: Linda Lovelace had her publisher’s support for that memoir. Alisa Valdes doesn’t. The terrible truth — and the uppity woman who dared try to tell it — could just go hang.

So what to do next? Well, how about this:

I have been working on a sequel about the cowboy and me, and though I am quite sure my publisher won’t want it I will likely self-publish it soon. In it, I plan to detail the ways I was fooled and manipulated, the mistakes I made in choosing to ignore red flags, the many unfortunate ways that I started to subsume and lose myself in order to please an unpleasable and controlling man. I hope that in doing so I will help to make sense of the first book, both for you guys and for myself. What I want to emphasize here is that the first book was NOT an attempt to sell a lie; it was a sincere, heartfelt memoir that came during the honeymoon period of an abusive relationship, before I understood just how much danger I was putting myself in, with me justifying the hints of violence through my own romanticized version of the American cowboy icon and, unfortunately, with me blinded by this man’s almost unfathomable physical beauty, which was almost impossible to reconcile with the brutality that this most handsome shell encased.

[...]

I’m sure I’ll get shit for posting this. I’m betraying my publisher, who would have liked for me to be the next Ree Drummond. Hell, I would have liked for me to be the next Ree Drummond. But I wasn’t. I was the only Alisa Valdes, learning as I went along, living honestly and hopefully, trying to love. The only way the memoir works is if it is allowed to be what it IS rather than what others might like for it to have been. What is it? It is a guidebook for women on what falling in love with a controlling abuser looks like. It is a handbook on what NOT to do, what to run away from. I did not know it then. Then, I felt safe and thrilled, impressed with myself for having secured such a hot, strong, strapping, manly man. It was an illusion. Underneath it all was a scared, insecure boy, who talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk, a man who only felt good enough when he was making others feel badly. The memoir is important, and it is valuable, but not without this afterward. The message of the book, as I see it? Even smart, educated, self-sufficient, thoughtful women can get sucked into abusive relationships, and it will happen slowly, a little at a time, like a frog in a pot of cold water that is placed over a low flame, that even someone like me can, sometimes, be slowly boiled to death.

Well, she DID get shit for posting this, but I’m still glad she came forward. Even leaving out the gory details of the Cowboy’s abuse (which other bloggers and journalists have already covered ad nauseam), this is a nightmarish experience nobody should have to live through. Alisa Valdes has a long and muddled history to process here, and I don’t envy her the task. I hope she’s on a better road now.

I also hope this cautionary book she talks about does come to light; I’d buy it in a heartbeat. It could teach a lot of women not only about the perils of loving an abusive man, but the more insidious dangers of sticking with an irresponsible publisher.

And I’d leave that sugar-coated cowboy romance on the fiction shelf, where it belongs.

The truth about Attawapiskat

The People of the Kattawapiskak River by Alanis Obomsawin, National Film Board of Canada

A Cree filmmaker takes us inside the lives of her brothers and sisters in Attawapiskat, Ontario. If what you see here doesn’t leave you outraged at the lies in the right-wing media and the numbskulls in Ottawa who dare to put the town under “third party management” (euphemism for a bean-counting hack who tells the SupposiTories just what they want to hear), then you probably don’t have a pulse, and you’ve probably got shit where your brains ought to be.

Sorry to Grinch you, but…

…this seasonal message just had to be said:

bethlehem-ghetto

And while we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, how about the death of irony?

Gaza militants violated laws of war by launching hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians during last month’s fighting, Human Rights Watch said in a release Monday.

The Israeli military said 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel during the eight-day offensive against Gaza militants, including the first rockets from the Gaza Strip to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas.

The rocket attacks killed three Israeli civilians and wounded dozens. Israeli assaults killed 169 Palestinians.

“Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at the New York-based rights group. “There is simply no legal justification for launching rockets at populated areas.”

Yeah? Tell that to Israel, Sarah…they started it. And what exactly did they launch at Gaza? Not only rockets, but ol’ Willie Peter. Which is also illegal, but hey.

Now, the real question is: Who would Baby Jesus bomb?