Videos of the day: An historic moment, and an hilarious one.

First, the one for the history books:

Yes, that’s right: After more than half a century of US stupidity and embargos in a futile effort to break the Revolution, there is finally a Cuban embassy open in the US again. And no, Cuba did not have to change governments to get one, either.

By now it’s quite clear that the Brothers Castro are NOT the blood-slurping boogymen they’ve so frequently been made out to be. And it’s now obvious that the island’s socialist medical system and universal literacy and education programs are to be envied and copied, not disparaged. The heroes of the recent Ebola virus crisis in Africa were the Cuban medical teams to went in to help the locals get the outbreak under control. And Cuba’s recently developed anti-cancer vaccines have the most noted researchers in the US sitting up and taking notice, too. And thanks to the normalization of relations, they’re getting a chance to learn more about them. With any luck, the US will finally get a true picture of Cuba now that they’re on speaking terms again.

Now, from the sublime, to the ridiculous…the sublimely ridiculous:

The other day, the KKK, local neo-Nazis, and other assorted losers of the War Between the States converged on the statehouse in South Carolina. Their widdle rally wouldn’t have been complete without musical accompaniment: in this case, an inspired young sousaphonist who kept pace with their dumpy march, then broke into a farty “Ride of the Valkyries”, from Wagner’s Nibelungenring cycle.

Guys, I really think it’s time you relinquished all this Stars ‘n’ Bars stupidity. That war was over a century and a half ago. Face facts: YOU LOST. The South ain’t gonna rise again. Time to pick your corn-fed butts up and move on.

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Posted in Cuba, Libre (de los Yanquis), Isn't It Ironic?, Schadenfreude, Socialism is Good for Capitalism!, The Hardcore Stupid, The United States of Amnesia. Comments Off on Videos of the day: An historic moment, and an hilarious one. »

A few random thoughts on the Duggar scandal

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Would you trust these people to teach YOU morality? If the answer is yes, you just might be a Pharisee.

So, this happened. Finally, after years of parading their nauseating Quiverfull sanctimony on the Internets and TV to the tune of big, BIG bucks, the Duggars are off the air. How come?

Well, it seems that their eldest son, Josh, was a very naughty boy. And a very hypocritical man, too, for years after the fact. And they themselves aided and abetted him by sweeping his abuse — much of it downright incestuous — under the rug. And by throwing his victims — their own daughters — under the bus.

So it’s kind of sweet to see them finally reaping a little bit of what they sowed. And no small relief to know that they’ve been denied at least one major media mouthpiece for their despicable views. I’m guessing that ol’ Jim Bob and Michelle might want to put off trying for Sprog #20 indefinitely now, seeing as their gravy train — or clown car, rather — has screeched to a sudden halt.

But hold your hosannas, folks, because there’s not much to cheer about here.

For starters: Josh Duggar never did any time for his crimes. The abuses in question all took place over a decade ago. For a dozen years or more, several girls have been carrying this heavy secret around, effectively covering for their abuser. They don’t dare speak out themselves, because that would call the entire Quiverfull movement (a cult, really) into question. Because its teachings are heavily to blame for both their molestation and its cover-up.

And then there’s the big question of how they were treated following the assaults. Did they get proper counselling and treatment for the traumas they endured? I don’t know, but somehow I doubt it. Did they get slut-shamed by the all-male cult “headship” for “tempting” him with their budding young bodies? I don’t know either, but I certainly wouldn’t doubt it. For a fertility cult, the Quiverfulls sure do rely a lot on female chastity. And they make sure it’s enforced through a strict, home-schooled “purity culture”, heavy on patriarchal dogma and light on useful knowledge. Their overall education is far from comprehensive (or accurate), so I’m guessing that their sexual education is at best sketchy. Knowledge is power, and the fact that the junior Duggars have been brought up on an unholy broth of ignorance and lies doesn’t bode well for their future autonomy. Unless, of course, they do what a growing number of the Phelps clan have done, and exit the family cult. (Run, Jinger, RUN!)

And then there’s the fact that Josh Duggar has actually done quite well for himself and his own Quiverfull brood in the interim, working for an infamous right-wing stink tank, the Family Research Council. He had to resign when this scandal finally grew beyond all hope of damage control, but the real damage he did while in their employ is still being felt by women and queerfolk. After all, those wingnuts he worked for helped keep Arkansas in the transphobic Dark Ages. And they did it by enlisting Josh’s mom, Michelle Duggar, to record a disgusting robocall about evil, wicked trans people out to rape everyone’s sweet, virginal daughters. It worked, too: Arkansas’s proposed anti-discrimination law didn’t pass.

Never mind that the biggest threat to women and girls is not the imaginary man-in-drag claiming to be a woman so he can break into bathrooms to sexually assault little girls, that “queer” variation on the hoary old theme of Stranger Danger. Never mind that actual cases of women or girls being assaulted by such individuals simply don’t exist. No, let’s all go on ignoring the real threat, that smirking dough-ball in a suit, who pushed crapaganda about phantom menaces while keeping his own very real sex crimes hidden in the old family closet.

Even some otherwise intelligent radical feminists have fallen for that lie, which is a testimony to the insidious power of the Duggars and their ilk. It’s also a testimony to the power of dogma and antiquated ideology. Here’s a pro tip, my rad-fem comrades: If you find your views on gender dovetailing inextricably with those of the Religious Reich, you’re not pushing for women’s liberation anymore. You’re pushing against it, and you don’t even know it.

And here’s another, just for good measure: Trans women are not “really men”, they are really WOMEN. And they’re being abused by the same people who are selling you those dirty lies about their gender. When a trans woman is forced to use the men’s room because she doesn’t “pass”, and she gets assaulted for it, that’s abuse. That’s on all of those who pushed to keep trans people’s rights unprotected. And if you joined in that push, congratulations: You’ve made common cause with the enemies of all women.

You want to liberate women from patriarchy? Great! Then recognize your trans sisters as women. Stop fretting over what’s between their legs. Learn their concerns; you’ll find that they mesh nicely with yours. Bigotries tend to cluster, so a unified front — that’s the real meaning of intersectionality — is needed to combat them. Don’t do the bigots’ work for them! Fight the patriarchy and its dogmas, not the trans women who are their victims.

And if you meet a trans woman in the public toilets, don’t panic. Remember, she’s there for the same reasons you are. You didn’t come to perpetrate a sexual assault? Good, because neither did she. Isn’t it a relief to know that she’s only there to relieve herself, same as you?

And if any man is lurking in the vicinity, waiting for victims, I doubt very much that he’d bother to dress in drag first. Unless, of course, his costume is that of the fine, upstanding family man who can do no wrong. That one fools the whole world, every single time.

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Mike-jacking moron gets a mike check…and a pink slip

Warning: This video is infuriating.

Yeah, that’s right…even under the watchful eyes of the security guy, these bozos tried to spring a “Fuck her right in the pussy!” on CityTV’s Shauna Hunt as she tried to report from outside a Toronto FC soccer game Sunday night.

Contrary to what the one wank-stain says, though, this is neither “substantial” (nice choice of words, dudebro) nor “fuckin’ hilarious”. It’s old, it’s tired, it’s based on a bullshit hoax, and nobody over the age of 12 with more than two brain cells to rub together finds it funny. Least of all a reporter who has to hear it about a dozen times daily, as Shauna Hunt says she does.

And of course, it invariably gets sprung on female reporters. Because “weaker sex”, and blahblah.

Well, looks like the laugh’s on the wankers, because Shauna not only talked back, she made sure this story went viral:

shauna-hunt-tweet

And everyone from the Kingston Police to the Premier of Ontario got to boosting that signal.

And now, one of the unfunny jokesters has reaped some substantial consequences:

Ontario’s largest electricity provider, Hydro One, issued a statement today saying it has fired one of its employees in connection with the lewd disruption.

A Hydro One official identified the employee as Shawn Simoes, but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to name him for privacy reasons.

Simoes is shown in the video using an expletive and calling his friend’s remark hilarious before telling the reporter she is lucky they didn’t have a vibrator.

[…]

The men also face a one year-ban from all games of the soccer club and other teams owned by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which include the NHL Maple Leafs and NBA Toronto Raptors.

‘We’re appalled that this trend of disrespectful behavior would make its way to our city, let alone anywhere near our stadium,’ MLSE said in a statement.

‘We are working to identify the individuals, and when we do they will be banned from all of our facilities.’

Guess you shouldn’t have had so much to drink before the game, eh fellas?

And yeah…if you’re gonna yell stupid shit into a live TV mike, you should be aware that your boss could be watching. And that the security guy standing right next to the reporter will be remembering your faces and your names, too.

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Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Isn't It Ironic?, Men Who Just Don't Get It, Schadenfreude, Uppity Wimmin. Comments Off on Mike-jacking moron gets a mike check…and a pink slip »

Good morning, Alberta!

Like my man Robin says, this is not a test. Last night, out West, THIS happened:

orange-new-blue

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, and you don’t need to adjust your monitor. Mordor has a new premier, and she’s a progressive. Rachel Notley is in the house!

Is that a bleat of fear in Harpo’s voice? Maybe the tiniest little oily black track of a bituminous tear down his cheek when he woke up seeing his “base” turned such an un-Albertan color? Maybe. But don’t forget, kiddies, his actual origins are in the very same Toronto elites he pretends he’s not from. He’s no more a real Albertan than Dubya was ever a real Texan. Any tears he sheds over this will be strictly the crocodile variety. But he should be afraid, VERY afraid, because if Alberta could throw his cronies out in such a big way, guess who might just get the bum’s rush next, come federal election day? (And on that note, don’t forget to send him a message on C-51 today. If THAT gets rammed through, he’s gonna damn well deserve all the bum-rushing he gets.)

Meanwhile, Jim Prentice, the former premier of Oilpatch Inc., has taken his ball and gone home in a snit. He won’t even be occupying his local seat in the legislature. Bitter, Party of One? Right this way to your table behind the door, sir. One silver platter of sour grapes, coming right up.

As for the rest of the arrogant, smug, old-line politicians, let this be a lesson to you. If you can’t coast on your establishment status even in Alberta, you can’t coast anywhere. Better start listening to the people and learn to lead by following the popular will. Otherwise, it’s the bum’s rush for YOU, too.

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Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Schadenfreude, Uppity Wimmin. Comments Off on Good morning, Alberta! »

Cristina’s pet gloat

imf-prescription

Hey! Remember how Argentina defaulted on its debt in 2001? And how it kicked out the IMF a short time later? Well, looks like that was a smart decision. And the significance of yet another IMFer being in deep shit was not lost on the president of that South American land:

Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner spoke out on Thursday over the detention of Rodrigo Rato, formerly of the International Monetary Fund, who in 2005 proposed to Argentina reform plans and protection of public accounts, and those of the bank, even at the cost of job losses.

“Today I learned that the former IMF official, Rodrigo Rato, ex-minister to José María Aznar, is in jail for money laundering. Those who came to us to tell us how to conduct our politics…in jail for money laundering. Moreover, those who came accusing us of corruption,” said the Argentine president during a public speech in Buenos Aires.

The economic vice-president of Spain during the terms of José María Aznar, ex-president of Bankia and former director of the IMF, Rato was detained on Thursday by Spanish police. The detention followed a search of his home in Madrid by the Revenue Agency of the Madrid Public Prosecutor’s Office. Rato is accused of fraud, money laundering and concealment of assets.

Rato’s office was searched again on Friday while the former vice-president was at home, according to investigative sources.

Translation mine.

Oh Cristina, you sly minx. Well might you gloat, since it was your own husband who basically kicked the IMF out, with a little help from Chavecito and Venezuela. I can’t really blame you for being just a wee bit smug at seeing this odious fucker — a former government minister for the fascist ex-PM of Spain, no less! — getting his comeuppance at last. Granted, his scandal isn’t as salacious as Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s chambermaid-rape and sex-trafficking ring, but coming at a time when most Spaniards are chafing under imposed austerity measures as a result of odious debts racked up by the fascist turdling & company themselves, I’m sure there will be all kinds of hell to pay.

Meanwhile, this song bears replaying, does it not?

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Let them eat cheese ‘n’ crackers

nancy-ruth-cheese-n-crackers

Marie Antoinette, eat your heart out. Our unelected Conservative senator is miffed because she can’t even eat cheese and crackers without some pesky federal auditor poking his nose in and asking if she really needed to spend so much taxpayer money on fancy meals. Of course she does, you silly peon! Otherwise she’ll just have to make do with — shudder — cold Camembert and broken crackers while she flies first class on unspecified “feminist” missions. (This, mind you, in an economy where free airline snacks are harder and harder for us coach-class peasants to come by.)

I would offer her cake, but I’m all out. Perhaps some freshly laid cat poo will do?

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Posted in Canadian Counterpunch, Economics for Dummies, Filthy Stinking Rich, Schadenfreude. Comments Off on Let them eat cheese ‘n’ crackers »

Never screw with a kangaroo!

Camera drones may be great for amateur aerial wildlife photography…but not if the wildlife is big, mean, renowned for its boxing skills…and in this case, awfully jumpy. Here’s the story to go with the video:

Drones are quickly flying to the top of Christmas wishlists for 2014 despite growing privacy and safety concerns. But what do the kangaroos in Hunter Valley, Australia make of all this? A video has emerged from the moment a drone flew near to a group of kangaroos. Just as the flying camera gets up close, one kangaroo decided enough was enough, leapt up, and dealt a knock out blow to the drone. The footage was rescued but the drone is now beyond repair.

Let that be a lesson to you…never screw with a kangaroo!

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Posted in Good to Know, Oceania, Schadenfreude, The "Well, DUH!" Files. Comments Off on Never screw with a kangaroo! »

Cops Behaving Badly: A cartoon that says it all

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Venezuelan cartoonist Vicman captioned this one “Meanwhile, in the land of liberty…”

You know you have a racist cop problem when Latin Americans, who have had their own problems along precisely those lines, can tell who’s the Kluker among your police ranks. And when they, who have historically been the racially policed (all the way from Washington, DC!), are now laughing and pointing at you.

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Posted in Cops Behaving Badly, Fascism Without Swastikas, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?, Isn't That Racist?, Schadenfreude, The United States of Amnesia. Comments Off on Cops Behaving Badly: A cartoon that says it all »

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 55

caracas-music-festival.jpg

“All set for the Caracas Music Festival!” (Note the old seven-star flag, being held upside down. The current Venezuelan flag has eight stars. What decade is this, again? With the oppos, it’s always yesterday once more. Shooby-doo-lang-lang.)

Good evening, world, and welcome to yet another fine edition of VenOpIronía. Today’s installment: How to commit auto-suicide. Sounds a bit redundant, yes? Yes, it is — but it’s the only word that fits when this happens:

Hooded protesters gathered on Sunday afternoon at Plaza Francia, Caracas, causing security forces to appear on site and suspend the 6th annual Reading Festival.

The protest was organized by United Active Youth of Venezuela (JAVU), who informed of their activity on Twitter.

The municipal police tried to prevent the demonstrators from blocking Francisco de Miranda Avenue and decided to temporarily suspend the Reading Festival in order to prevent that.

The demonstration was criticized by [opposition] personages such as Leonardo Padrón, Sumito Estevez and Ibéyise Pacheco, generating controversy on the social network.

Leonardo Padrón tweeted: “The protest at Plaza Altamira ruined the close of the Reading Festival, it’s an exercise in sovereign stupidity.”

Sumito “El Cheff” Estevez wrote: “Don’t try to paint the stupidity of these little kids forcing the closure of the fair a few minutes ago as heroic.

“Don’t go to the book fair at Altamira. They just advised me that the guarimberos closed it. Obviously, my two events are suspended.”

Ibéyise Pacheco wrote: “This protest today looks just like an ‘auto-suicide’.”

Clearly, these personages protested because their interests are under attack. They should have screamed to high heaven when 43 Venezuelans fell dead at the hands of these same guarimberos.

Translation mine.

I can’t imagine why a book fair located in an upscale, mostly opposition sector of Caracas could have brought these right-wing hoodlums out to “protest”. Maybe they were hoping to kill their own cultural stars and fob the blame off on Chavistas, as usual?

Oh, probably. Only problem is, they wound up alienating their own.

Suddenly, all the right-wing media figures are scrambling to distance themselves from JAVU. The same who were silent about JAVU’s violence in recent months, when 43 Venezuelans died, are now squealing like piggies because they got their little literary shindig shut down…by JAVU. It’s especially rich that Ibéyise Pacheco, who made something of a name for herself in 2002, calling for a future “without Chávez, of course” every night on the TV news right before the April coup went down, finally got a taste of her own putschist medicine.

And I…cannot stop laughing at the stupidity and ineptitude of them all.

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Icelandic funnyman wants to mack on Julien Blanc. Dafuq?

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Squeal like a pig!

While Ireland is working hard to make sure Julien Blanc doesn’t get so much as a look-in on their green and rugged turf, a very different situation seems to be brewing in a country just one letter different. In Iceland, comedian Hugleikur Dagsson, of Reykjavík, has other ideas. Instead of keeping him out, argues “Hulli”, why not chase him out…the same way he chases women?

I do not think we should prevent him from coming here. Barring people from coming here is stupid. Why make a martyr out of him? Scumbags like him are always the first ones to celebrate censorship and deportation. Because fuckwits like him like to pretend they are the true champions of freedom of speech, and use that rhetoric ad nauseam to justify the diarrhoea that flows from their throats so freely. If we deny him entry, he’ll brag about it on Twitter and probably get loads of retweets from a sad army of braindead, semen-reeking, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing humanoids. He’ll be a hero among skunks and shitheels, and this is what he wants. Let’s not do him that favour.

[…]

I’m now speaking to the men of Iceland: It’s time we use our privilege for good. Chauvinists like this creature are almost without exception homophobic. They fear nothing more than someone treating them like they treat women.

I say we hit on Julien Blanc. Every single one of us.

If we see him in the street, we’ll give him a wink. Whistle at him. If we meet him at a bar, let’s pinch his ass. Blow him a kiss. I urge every male reporter to stroke his thighs while interviewing him. I urge every large man to tell him what a purdy mouth he has. I urge every male bartender to whisper in his ear how much they want to be inside of him.

I think this will be the funniest thing ever. Let’s not help him feel like a hero. Let’s make him feel like the one thing he most despises. Let’s make him feel like a chick.

I have to admit, I kinda-sorta hope somebody does that and catches it on video, and posts it to YouTube for the world to see. It’s not like he doesn’t have it coming. Julien Blanc’s biggest humiliation would be good for a laugh and a half. And it would be nice to think that he might learn a bit of empathy by seeing what it feels like to have his own throat grabbed on the streets of cute little Reykjavík without warning, or his own puny head forced into some strapping, red-bearded Viking descendant’s big, sweaty ol’ crotch.

But at the same time, assault is still assault, and even if it’s funny to the rest of us just to imagine it, the eyes of the law might see it very differently. I don’t know what the legal situation is in Iceland regarding assault, but an international incident is really not the best way to squelch him.

Worse, it probably won’t teach Julien Fucking Blanc a thing. He’s beyond help. He will NEVER learn to respect women, not even if he’s placed in the same position as one by a dude brawny enough to fold him up and tuck him in the ticket pocket of his lumberjack jeans. He will always hate them, and that will guarantee his endless, epic failure with them, no matter what he does, and no matter how much he charges to tell men differently. World without end, amen.

Happily, nobody but RSD’s little ass-barnacles (and the occasional contrarian media idiot) is seeing him as a “martyr”. Most people, once they know what bag Julien Blanc comes out of, have no problem with barring their nation’s doors to him. Because who wants a violent criminal, who also promotes violent crime for big bucks, on their soil?

And besides, he’s a colossal wimp. Canada didn’t even have to formally bar him; the mere existence of a couple of popular petitions against him, plus a smattering of unfavorable news reports, was enough to make all RSD’s odious stable of pickup coaches cancel their dates here. Not to mention that his tweeter’s still on lockdown, and likely to remain so for the duration. I’d say that the simple, nonviolent use of our own free speech to expose this nest of cockroaches* to light was sufficient to send them scuttling.

And we didn’t even have to ask any big, strong machos to sacrifice their heterosexuality for it, either.

*Apologies to actual cockroaches for the odious comparison. And thanks to Hulli for the mental imagery!

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