A Children’s Treasury of Wingnuttia

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I don’t know what’s funnier…the fact that there’s a book for kids on the “virtues” of open carry, that it’s “frequently bought together” with other forgettable trashery like Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate, or these Amazon.com reviews for it:

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Yes indeed, this book is a classic in the making. I can smell it already. No, wait…that’s just burnt gunpowder and stale flop-sweat. My mistake!

Festive Left Friday Blogging: The Internationale kills fascists at U of T

Wow. Amazing what one little song can do…especially when it’s sung by socialist students in the face of a bunch of whiny cowards, eh?

Comrades from the Revolutionary Student Movement, the Proletarian Feminist Front, and the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee confronted reactionary Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) as they gathered to spread their message of misogyny this past Tuesday at the University of Toronto.

MRAs, organized under the dubiously-named “Canadian Association For Equality” were completely unprepared for the opposition they must inevitably face. After facing the organized resistance of the comrades, who disrupted the meeting by shouting slogans, heckling, and singing “The Internationale”, the MRAs disbanded their meeting and attempted to relocate and reconvene. The comrades pursued them, again forcing an end to their event.

After dispersing entirely, the MRAs scattered like cockroaches and found a hidden corner of the campus in which to collectively lick their wounds. Laughably, they have even attempted to use this fact as evidence that their event was not shut down!

So, there you go. The Internationale, like Woody Guthrie’s famous guitar, really does kill fascists.

As for the MRAs, perhaps they’d like to ask the Mexicans if they can borrow THIS song as THEIR anthem:

Only…oops! It’s a song celebrating the defeat of Victoriano Huerta. The pot-smoking “cockroach” is believed to be either the debauched corrupto Huerta himself, or his beetle-black presidential car, which was famous for belching clouds of smoke and not running very well.

Guess those guys are gonna have to keep looking for a stirring tune of their own, eh?

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 53

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“United to push Venezuela along the road to destruction…” That looks about right, eh?

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to VenOpIronía!

Yes, I realize it’s been quiet on this front here lately. Mainly because the oppos have failed in their latest bid for a coup d’état, and the embarrassed silence from them has been deafening…until now. Yup, Majunche’s back, sorta…or at least, he’s back to shooting off his mouth. And what just popped out is doubly humiliating, not just for him, but for Prettyboy Leo and MariCori, ha ha:

The governor of the state of Miranda, and twice-failed opposition presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, has declared that the project to put an end to the Bolivarian Republic, called “La Salida” (The Exit), proposed by María Corina Machado and Leopoldo López, is a failure.

“The opposition lost,” Capriles said, underscoring the contradictions and confirming the internal divisions in the MUD coalition.

The opposition ex-leader recognized that the so-called “Exit” was rejected by 89% of Venezuelans, according to surveys. This, according to Capriles, could only benefit the Maduro government.

“The only one benefiting was the ruling [PSUV] party…in places where the people are in need, they fear the opposition discourse, they believe it wants to set the country on fire,” Capriles said.

However, it is a public and published fact that the governor of Miranda took part in political rallies in favor of López’s radical proposal, accompanied by López’s wife, Lilian Tintori, and speaking alongside María Corina Machado of the need to emphatically warn the national executive, especially President Nicolás Maduro. His famous phrase was “I will make Miraflores [Palace] tremble”, spoken on Francisco de Miranda Avenue, at the Unicentro el Marqués shopping centre, before a public debate between opposition leaders and the political high command of the Revolution.

Translation mine.

Yup, nothing like the solidarity and unity of the aptly named MUD coalition. When all you’ve got to tie you together is an urge to divide and conquer, you shouldn’t be too surprised when the divided and conquered party turns out to be yours.

Ah well. Maybe another good ol’-fashioned racist lynching will serve to rally the opposition troops. When they get done shivving each other from behind, that is.

Sorry-not-sorry, MariCori!

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“Take this, so the Venezuelans end up eating shit!”

“Don’t worry, Doctor…I already have them accustomed to that!”

Remember that time MariCori went to Colombia, with a phony whiplash collar on to make it look like she was some kind of victim, and to stir up sympathy where it made no difference anyway? Looks like she won’t be able to get away with THAT again:

María Corina Machado will not be able to leave Venezuela, since the 16th Control Tribunal of Caracas has prohibited her from doing so.

Judge Adriana López heard the petition, made by the Public Ministry.

The order has already been received by the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Foreign Travel (SAIME), according to sources from the organism.

The decision was sustained in the possibility that Machado could flee the land.

Last Monday, Machado spent eight hours in a hearing with the Public Ministry due to an investigation of an assassination plan in Venezuela.

Translation mine.

Recall that MariCori has long been involved in right-wing putschist activities in Venezuela. She signed the infamous Carmona declaration of 2002, the same that abolished ALL of Venezuela’s democratic institutions and guarantees. Later, she stupidly claimed she thought it was just a sign-in sheet. Which begs the question: Are all rich twits in Venezuela functionally illiterate? Or is it just the fascist opposition leaders who are that dumb…when they’re not busy thinking that everyone else is, too?

Oh well, whatever. At least now, she can’t escape justice. Pity they couldn’t have stopped her before she made an ass of herself in Panama’s seat at the OAS, or on Parliament Hill up here.

A few random thoughts on yesterday’s Ontario election

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So, the Ontario Liberals have formed our new government. And it’s a majority. We now have our first elected woman premier (who is also our first elected out gay premier). Tim Hudak was handed his Not-So-Progressive Conservative ass, and has resigned in the wake of his resounding defeat. Meanwhile, Andrea Horwath, who led the provincial NDP — supposedly the most progressive of the three mainstream parties — got handed an object lesson in how NOT to win new friends and influence people. People who neglected to vote got just what they deserved, too: NOTHING.

And I, who swore over a decade ago never again to hold my nose and vote for a Liberal when the party lost to Ernie Eves and his nasty band of Harrisite leftovers (of which Hudak was one), have voted for a Liberal. I did not hold my nose this time.

And I’m not even sorry.

I didn’t leave the NDP; they left me. And they did it right around the time that Andrea Horwath decided it was clever to court the business vote and maybe pick off a few disgruntled SupposiTories, and throw the real, long-time NDPers under the big orange bus. And to cap off the ignominy, the provincial New Democrats ignored my demands to be taken off their call list, and instead deluged me with donation requests by phone and e-mail, as well as robocalls trying to rope me into an “unscripted” town-hall that I had no desire to take part in. I was pissed as hell over that. And yesterday, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I finally took my frustrations out in the only way I knew. I voted for the local Liberal in my riding. And he won.

And that’s why I’m not sorry. My riding is a swing riding; it could go either way in any given election, and vacillates between Lib and Con. An NDP vote would be wasted here, and doubly so under the circumstances. The Liberal I voted for unseated the Conservative doofus who’d been squatting uselessly in Queen’s Park on our supposed behalf, making idiotic proposals to attract more tourists to our area by building covered bridges. Yeah, that’s right: he was shooting for The Bridges of Madison County. Only this is NOT Madison County, and it doesn’t have a lengthy tradition of covered bridges to preserve, let alone add to. But hey — wouldn’t it have looked cute? Guess that would have created maybe a couple dozen of those million new jobs Timmy promised us. No wait, that would be public-sector jobs. And Timmy was for chopping 100,000 of those. He seemed to think that with fewer taxes to pay and less accountability than ever, the private sector would pick up the slack. Since when has it ever done that? Since, oh, about NEVER. The only thing that trickles down from Uncle Miltie Friedman’s economics is raw sewage — and, if you have the misfortune to live and work in Alberta, tar-sands waste.

And Ontario voters, those who showed up yesterday at any rate, aren’t stupid. You can’t piss on our heads out here and tell us it’s raining. Which is what Tim Hudak was trying to do. And Andrea Horwath, too. The one was handed a harsh lesson in how not to do economics, and the other, in how not to do progressive politics. On both counts, they are bullets that I chose to dodge. As for the Greens, they’ve long been off the progressive radar here, because their environmental solution boils down to too much capitalism and not enough socialism. And again, Ontario voters not being stupid, we know that that’s not enough to keep our province clean and healthy. Trying to appeal to the goodness of a businessman’s heart is a losing proposition, because they don’t have one. Big Business will almost always pay only the merest of lip service to progressive causes, and very rarely do things differently out of a knowledge that the common good is also good for business. If you don’t believe me, watch The Corporation. If corporations are legally persons, then the kind of persons they are is diagnosably psychopathic. (And just think: That’s who Andrea Horwath was trying to court, too. Oy.)

So, all bullet-dodging and ass-handing aside, what was this election about?

In the end, the “surprising” Liberal majority tells me that there was something more at work here than just avoiding the worst and punishing their fellow-travellers for jumping on the dumb populist bandwagon. Hazel McCallion, the mayor of Mississauga (and the longest-serving mayor in the country), nailed it when she picked Kathleen Wynne for her endorsement. Hurricane Hazel is no lightweight; she shepherded her city through the great train derailment of 1979, when she was newly elected, and Mississauga was newly amalgamated. It could have been the kiss of death for her, but it proved to be her finest hour, because that was when she proved not only her political mettle, but her unswerving dedication to her constituents. Hazel McCallion has never lied or played her people false. She always stood up for them, and that’s why they kept voting for her, term after term after term. So her recommendation bore some weight with me. And lots of other Ontarians too, it seems.

And then there was the Globe & Mail’s editorial board. They all endorsed Wynne too, in a consensus that took time and thought to reach, only to have orders come down from on high to throw their weight behind Hudak instead. Now, those board members were not idiots, either. Whoever told them they were going with Hudak was. But then, the Grope & Flail has always endorsed the Tories, so I guess that was to be expected. Even though the party leader was a complete twit, it didn’t matter; tradition is tradition. And the editorial high command ended up mopping egg yolks out of their beards for that.

But then, is that really so shocking? Ontarians can’t afford to vote based on tradition anymore. And neither can politicians rely on conventional, traditional strategies for roping them in. The conservative base is aging and dying. They can’t be counted on in the numbers they once had. And that’s a good thing for progressives, even in this ludicrous first-past-the-post system we have. Because we younger voters of Generations X and Y are informed by grassroots movements like Occupy, Uncut, and the 99%. We are restless, and we don’t give a hang for party loyalty when the parties betray us. We are the untapped progressive vein that the traditional party strategists are missing. They think we’ll fall for some right-wing yutz when, in fact, we are much further to the left than any of the big parties. And we are the ones with an increasing power to force the most progressive candidates to the top. In this case, it was Kathleen Wynne…who ran as a Liberal, but sounded a lot more like a New Democrat than the NDP did. For me, she was a no-brainer choice.

My polling station was surprisingly busy, given that I live in a fairly small town. Line-ups are uncommon on voting day at any station here. Usually you’re in and out in less than five minutes. But yesterday, I found myself waiting behind another woman, who was waiting for yet another woman to vote. I wonder if we all voted for the same candidate. I wouldn’t be surprised if we did! I smelled motivation in the air…and desperation in the Conservative camp, which indeed there was. Maybe my single vote wasn’t much on its own, but then again, lots of others were probably thinking the same thing. And, quite possibly, that was what put our local Liberal very soundly over the top, with several thousand votes over the incumbent Conservative doofus. If you vote, you can still make a difference; if not, you might just end up getting not the government you want, but the one you deserve.

And now that that’s all over, it’s time for the next step: holding all the new electees’ feet to the fire, as well as those of the losers, and making sure they don’t get away with more of the same old. Which is to say, politics by, of and for the money, rather than by, of and for the people. We have to make sure they don’t go throwing a “surprise” austerity budget at us. Let’s hope they’re learning a thing or two from the Eurocrisis, and specifically, the French, who are throwing debt out the window in favor of the public interest. Ontarians should get a referendum on whether a “balanced budget” is really a worthwhile priority, instead of an inflexible law. It’s time to scrap the legacy of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves once and for all. No more tax cuts for big business, and no more austerity budgets to appease the suits. For that, we’ll need concerted action.

And a lot more of it than just dutifully turning out on election day.

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 51

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There’s a certain saying in Venezuela: “Ah, muchacho pa’ bobo” — oh, silly guy! And as we can see, it applies very nicely to the mayor of a certain rich municipality in eastern Caracas, who has had to do a lot of strange contortions lately to keep on top of a political situation that has spiralled out of his control:

The mayor of Chacao, Ramón Muchacho, said surprising things in his interview with Vladimir Villegas.

For example:

“The decision to dismantle the protest camps in eastern Caracas was on the part of the government, the government…”

“The real problem at base is that the government model failed and that’s why there are protests.” (And no elections or recall referendum, Muchacho?)

“I don’t believe the guarimbas will work…They didn’t get us anywhere.” (And the money is running out.)

“No one can remove me from the mayor’s office…I’m the mayor with the most votes in Venezuela, with 84%, neither the government nor anyone else can remove me from here ike they did in San Cristóbal and San Diego…” (Nobody? No recall for him?)

“We have to go vote in San Cristóbal and deal the government a blow. Patricia de Ceballos [the wife of the former mayor, currently under arrest for putschist activities] will be the winner.”

“The students held a march yesterday, in Plaza Brión. It was headed toward the Attorney General’s office, but the state security forces impeded it and the students had no choice but to march to another site, and they went to Palos Grandes…”

“I believe we have to call on the government to reflect about spaces to demonstrate and march, since the opposition or the student movement can’t march in Libertador muncipality. Something is very bad in this country because there are restricted zones.”

Ah Muchacho pa’…

Translation mine. Linkage added.

Silly Muchacho, indeed. Who is this “we” he keeps talking about? Is he suggesting that people from Chacao will vote in San Cristóbal, several hundred miles to the west? They’re not entitled to vote there, any more than the people of San Cristóbal get to vote in Chacao. And the mayor of Chacao, whose job it presumably is to enforce laws and confine himself to municipal concerns, has instead decided to meddle in municipal politics outside his own municipality.

Worse, he’s doing it in favor of an ousted mayor who was removed because he had gotten involved with criminal gangs. Remember Daniel Ceballos? He was arrested for a reason. That reason is that San Cristóbal was becoming unlivable under his thumb. And if anyone thinks his wife will be any better as his replacement, they deserve the misery they’ll get. But the people of San Cristóbal who didn’t vote for that, don’t deserve that…and neither do they deserve any ballot-stuffing meddling from outside their city.

But then again, can we honestly say we’re surprised? This is the same Muchacho who first called for guarimbas, disrupting the peace and normal flow of traffic in his own municipality. Then, when people started getting fed up with that nonsense (noise, fires, trashed streets, vandalism, murders), he had to backpedal furiously. And he’s been at it ever since, flipping and flopping with every gust of wind, trying desperately to stay relevant. It doesn’t matter that he had 84% of the vote in better days; now it’s become clear that his popularity is dropping faster than a barometer in a hurricane.

¿Pa’ bobo? Por supuesto.

Something to brighten this rainy night

Sorry I’m not posting any scintillating translations right now; I’m kind of tired and under the weather. Please enjoy this video of a half-dozen Klukers getting run out of town on a rail, with my compliments:

I especially like the black guy asking if he can join up.

Here’s the second part:

Yup, that Master Race is looking oh-so-masterly right about now. Ha, ha.

(Thanks, Revolution News!)

A metaphor for the entire Venezuelan opposition

Watch what happens when a bunch of peaceful student demonstrators try to launch the Illudium Q-36 Space Modulatorrrrr by human slingshot:

“Where’s the kaboom? There’s supposed to be an Earth-shattering KABOOM!”

And so there is…but it isn’t where they intended it to be. Ha, ha.

Maricori — denied!

The other day I promised to post photos of María Corina Machado being barred from the National Assembly, where she was stripped of her parliamentary seat after suddenly turning up as an ambassador for Panama to the OAS, in contravention of at least two articles of the Venezuelan constitution. Well, here they are, and here she is:

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It didn’t matter what flag she wrapped herself in, security was not about to let Maricori through that door. They had already been alerted in advance to her little plan for a parliamentary putsch. This was as far as she got. There was no choice for Maricori but to leave…

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…on the back of a mototaxi. (Note the antifascist, pro-revolutionary slogan painted on the divider; irony at its finest!) She didn’t seem at all comfortable about hanging on to the driver, even though safety would indicate that it’s a good idea to do so. Maybe because he was kind of brown and working-class, and thus, not her kind of people? Maybe. In any case, Maricori’s little show of being a Woman of the People is another epic fail in a long, long series of pitiful oligarchic media shows.

One wonders why any of them still bother.

María Corina Machado, the patriotic…Panamanian?

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The other day, I saw that a certain right-wing Venezuelan parliamentarian, legendary for whining to anyone who will listen (including the Shrub, above) about how her country’s been ruined, had spoken to the OAS using Panama’s seat. At the time I wondered how that could be — and why was that even allowed? She wasn’t allowed to kvetch about Venezuela, so that much was good. But what the hell was she doing there when she had a parliamentary seat back home to occupy? Why was she neglecting her own duties?

Well, mystery solved:

The president of the Venezuelan national assembly, Diosdado Cabello, informed on Monday that María Corina Machado had quit being a deputy of the Republic upon accepting and exercising her duty as alternative representative of the government of Panama before the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington.

Cabello pointed out that the right-wing spokeswoman violated Article 191 of the Venezuelan constitution, which states: “Deputies of the National Assembly may not accept or exercise public charges without losing their investiture, except in cases of docent, academic, accidental or assistant activities, always without exclusive dedication.”

“Being there (in the OAS), Ms. María Machado made declarations, actions, petitions, as a funcionary of the Panamanian government. That is public, notorious and communicational, when she acted she was accepting any duty the Panamanian government gave her,” said the president of the Venezuelan parliament, who also read out Panama’s communiqué to the OAS, in which Machado’s accreditation was solicited “as an alternate representative of the delegation of the Republic of Panama before the OAS, as of this date (March 20, 2014).”

Cabello said that this was not an accidental nomination, not for one day but “as of this date”, and Machado currently occupies a seat as alternate representative of Panama before the OAS.

Machado also violated Article 149 of the Venezuelan constitution, which states: “Public functionaries may not accept charges, honors or recompense from foreign governments without the authorization of the National Assembly.”

“That would be a violation of Article 149, because being a public functionary, she accepted a charge from a foreign government without the authorization of the National Assembly,” Cabello pointed out, referring to Machado’s nomination to the OAS, where she expressed her support for violent actions perpetrated inn certain sectors of the country from February 12 onward, on the part of shock-groups of the Venezuelan right, which have caused the deaths of more than 30 persons, as well as much damage and destruction, with the objective of unseating the government of President Nicolás Maduro, elected by the majority of the people.

The right-wing spokeswoman, the National Assembly president pointed out, represents “a government hostile to the government and people of Venezuela”.

On March 5, the Venezuelan government decided to suspend political, diplomatic and economic relations with Panama, following the interference of the government of Ricardo Martinelli in Venezuela’s internal affairs, and having promoted sanctions against Venezuela at the OAS.

Cabello recounted that last week, the Attorney General of Venezuela had received proofs in order to initiate an investigation and trial against Machado, on presumption of involvement in crimes against the independence and security of the nation, calls to violence, instigation to crimes, terrorism, violations of the Constitution, and treason, with the objective of promoting a coup d’état and foreign intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

With the objective of rescinding her parliamentary immunity, the president of the National Assembly, along with the socialist bloc, presented the Attorney General with documents which give evidence of the alleged ties of Machado to the events in question.

On Monday, the deputy stated that now there was no need to strip Machado of parliamentary immunity, “because according to Article 191, according to this nomination (on the part of Panama), and according to her own actions and behavior, Ms. Machado has ceased to be a [Venezuelan] deputy.”

Cabello said that the opposition spokeswoman had the right to express herself and associate as she liked, but not to violate the national consitution.

He added that the now ex-deputy, who had signed the Carmona Decree which derogated all the powers of the Republic on April 12, 2002, will no longer have access to the Parliament, and her seat will be occupied by a replacement deputy, with all attributions according to law.

“What does it mean that she is not a deputy? That she doesn’t have parliamentary immunity, she doesn’t have access to the National Assembly (as would any deputy), she can be directly investigated for all the things that have been taking place, and to that can be added, with more force — high treason,” stated Cabello.

Last Friday, at OAS headquarters, María Corina Machado received the rejection of the hemispheric organization, which decided not to make public her speech in the Ordinary Session of the Permanent Council.

In a customary debate over OAS meetings, Nicaragua proposed to hold a closed-door meeting, a proposal which received the support of 22 ambassadors of the member states, while 11 voted against and one abstained.

Following the vote, the Brazilian representative, Breno Dias da Costa, who voted in favor of the closed-door session, stated that this decision was not to “impede a dialogue, but to prevent a ‘show’ for an outside audience.”

Translation mine.

So, there you have it. MariCori wasn’t fired; she quit. She thought she was going to get a greater international platform for her crapaganda. But this move is gonna backfire on her, because the name of Martinelli and his government, just like that of her “democratic unity table” back home, is MUD.

Actually, it’s backfired already, as the rejection of the OAS ambassadors has clearly shown. Rather than let MariCori have an open bully pulpit, they moved to a closed-door session. And while she wasn’t shut out, she was forced to shut up about Venezuela, at least…a country in whose parliament, as of her appearance at the OAS in Panama’s seat, she is now persona non grata. Ha, ha.