Sunday, January 18, 2009

They made a desert and called it peace

Israeli troops began their withdrawal from Gaza, today:
Israeli soldiers danced on top of a tank and gave "V" for victory signs as they pulled out of Gaza, but the war moved to a close on an ambiguous note.

[...] While both sides put their best spin on the conflict's seeming conclusion, noncombatants were the biggest losers. More than half of the 1,259 slain Palestinians were civilians, according to medics, human rights groups and the UN.

Aid groups sought to funnel more supplies to hospitals and food distribution sites from Egyptian and Israeli border crossings.

At least 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers, were killed, according to Israel. Hamas fired hundreds of rockets at southern Israel, intensifying the fear of hundreds of thousands of people who had lived under the threat for years.

"We did a good job. Now we're going home," an Israeli soldier told Israeli television. His name was not released in line with military restrictions on the release of information. Smiling infantry soldiers walked toward the border in the rain, and a rainbow emerged from the clouds behind them.
How is that for a made-for-TV ending? You know, after three weeks of looking at all those anguished parents and mangled bodies, it's about time someone MGMed this war up!

Not that you haven't tried, corporate media. No. Night after night you did your level best to tell us this was what 'self-defense' looks like. Of course, it is easier to say stuff like this when you don't have the smell of incinerated children burning your nostrils. In the words of Bill Moyers: no attention to those Washington pundits cheering the fighting in Gaza as they did the bloodletting in Iraq. Killing is cheap and war is a sport in a city where life and death become abstractions of policy.
But those so-called 'women and children?' They voted for terrorists who use innocent civilians as human shields! Well, that is interesting, because I seem to recall another militant group army doing the same thing, not too long ago...
B'Tselem's initial investigation indicates that, during an incursion by Israeli forces into Beit Hanun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on 17 July 2006, soldiers seized control of two buildings in the town and used residents as human shield.
...oh, well, isolated incident, right?
Article 28 of the Convention expressly prohibits the use of civilians as human shields by placing them alongside soldiers or military facilities, with the hope of attaining immunity from attack. The official commentary of the Convention refers to this practice, which was common in the Second World War as "cruel and barbaric." The Convention, in Articles 31 and 51, also prohibits the use of physical or moral coercion on civilians or forcing them to carry out military tasks.

Despite these prohibitions, for a long period of time following the outbreak of the second intifada, particularly during Operation Defensive Shield, in April 2002, the IDF systematically used Palestinian civilians as human shields, forcing them to carry out military actions which threatened their lives. It was not until a High Court petition was filed by Israeli human rights organizations opposing such action, in May 2002, that the IDF issued a general order prohibiting the use of Palestinians as "a means of 'human shield' against gunfire or attacks by the Palestinian side.'"
But they're still 'terrorists,' aren't they? Everybody says so! They're firing rockets indiscriminately. Ladies & Gentlemen, here's where I turn you over to Avi Shlaim, a professor of international relations at Oxford University who served in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s. He is the author of 'The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.' Here is Prof. Shlaim speaking with Amy Goodman last week, on Democracy Now:
Before the ceasefire came into effect in July of 2008, the monthly number of rockets fired—Kassam rockets, homemade Kassam rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip on Israeli settlements and towns in southern Israel was 179. In the first four months of the ceasefire, the number dropped dramatically to three rockets a month, almost zero. I would like to repeat these figures for the benefit of your listeners. Pre-ceasefire, 179 rockets were fired on Israel; post-ceasefire, three rockets a month. This is point number one, and it’s crucial.

And my figures are beyond dispute, because they come from the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. But after initiating this war, this particular table, neat table, which showed the success of the ceasefire, was withdrawn and replaced with another table of statistics, which is much more obscure and confusing. Israel—the Foreign Ministry withdrew these figures, because it didn’t suit the new story.
But they broke the ceasefire! Prof. Shlaim:
The new story said that Hamas broke the ceasefire. This is a lie. Hamas observed the ceasefire as best as it could and enforced it very effectively. The ceasefire was a stunning success for the first four months. It was broken not by Hamas, but by the IDF. It was broken by the IDF on the 4th of November, when it launched a raid into Gaza and killed six Hamas men.

And there is one other point that I would like to make about the ceasefire. Ever since the election of Hamas in January—I’m sorry, ever since Hamas captured power in Gaza in the summer of 2007, Israel had imposed a blockade of the Strip. Israel stopped food, fuel and medical supplies from reaching the Gaza Strip. One of the terms of the ceasefire was that Israel would lift the blockade of Gaza, yet Israel failed to lift the blockade, and that is one issue that is also overlooked or ignored by official Israeli spokesmen. So Israel was doubly guilty of sabotaging the ceasefire, A, by launching a military attack, and B, by maintaining its very cruel siege of the people of Gaza.
Ok, but how is Israel supposed to live in peace when Hamas is intent on "her" destruction? (always the defenseless damsel in distress, you know). Prof. Shlaim is no apologist for Hamas. He is not even anti-Zionist--far from it. Here is his take:
Its charter is extreme. Its charter denies the legitimacy of a Jewish state. The charter calls for an Islamic state over the whole of historic Palestine. The charter has not been revived, but since coming to power, the leadership of Hamas has been much more pragmatic and stated that it is willing to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the state of Israel for twenty, thirty, forty, maybe even fifty years.

Thirdly, Hamas joined with Fatah, the rival group, the mainstream group, on the West Bank in a national unity government in the summer of 2007. That national unity government lasted only three months. Israel, with American support, helped to sabotage and to bring down that national unity government. Israel refused to deal with a Palestinian government which included Hamas within it. And shamefully, both the United States and the European Union joined in Israel in this refusal to recognize a Hamas-dominated government, and Israel withdrew tax revenues, and European Union withdrew foreign aid, in a shameful attempt to bring down a democratically elected government.
Oh, but if only Israel had a partner in peace like, uhhh....Fatah?! Isn't that the strangest thing you ever did hear? Likudniks and their North American mouthpieces pining for the days of Arafat? Please. In the beginning, Israel actually supported Hamas as a force against Fatah. Divide 'n Conquer, etc. How is that working out? But Fatah was notoriously corrupt and Hamas capitalized and promised to deliver. And Gazans, like other life-forms on the planet who like to eat and drink and send their offspring to school...well, they liked the sound of that. Those greedy buggers, eh?

Ok, ok, so maybe the civilians living in Gaza don't deserve to be incinerated in a hailstorm of creepy experimental weaponry. But why don't the other Arab states take the Gazans? Can't the Egyptians have them?

Who? Mubarek? That's a riot, Alice. That guy is so afraid of the populist Hamas coming over his border that he helped Israel seal it right up, effectively trapping the Gazan people in a hunk of land no bigger than the GTA. Remember: Gazans have had some practise at this democracy stuff and they know a thing or two about throwing-out corrupt governments. Can't have that kind of tomfoolery in Egypt.

There is so much more to say on this subject, but I am not equal to the challenge tonight. I am so angry and so sad by these events, and can't believe what has happened to Canada's voice in these matters. When our government bothers to speak at all, it is only to out-Likud and out-AIPAC the USian bleating from the beltway. This saddens me terribly.

For now, I will leave you with a story that epitomizes this brutal turn the world has taken--and a picture that I saw last night and will probably see over and over again in my head.

Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, a Palestinian doctor who trained in Israel, has been a regular fixture on Israeli television during the 21-day-old war against Hamas militants, bringing witness accounts of the medical crisis facing Gazans to Israeli living rooms.

His report Friday was drenched in grief as he sobbed through a cell phone that three of his daughters and a niece were killed by an Israel Defense Forces shell.

Abu al-Aish said he hoped his three daughters would be the last victims of the fighting in Gaza, and that their deaths would help bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

[...]Gazan officials identified Al-Aish's deceased daughters as 22-year-old Bisan, 15-year-old Mayer and 14-year old Aya. His niece was identified as 14-year-old Nour Abu al-Aish.

[...] "Everyone knew we were home. Suddenly we were bombed. How can we talk to Olmert and (Foreign Minister) Tzipi Livni after this?" Abu al-Aish told television reporters at the border crossing. "Suddenly, today when there was hope for a cease-fire, on the last day...I was speaking with my children, suddenly they bombed us. The doctor who treats Israeli patients."

(edited to add link to Moyers' show)

Read on, MacDuff!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh! The places you'll go! ...or not. Whatever.

Hey there, everyone! Long time no-see, eh? Yeah...about that...*shuffles feet*

I've spent the last nine months working myself stupid. I will spare you the details, but let's just say that the new job has nearly been the death of this here kitteh. But you remember: p/t blogger, f/t DRAAAAAMA queen ;)

So...tonight I return from Xmas part III (the Don Mills edition), only to find I've been tagged by skdadl. Tagged, I tellsya! Of all the cheek! And to make matters worse, here I am on my first Xmas-free night of holidayz and I've been asked to recount the whole of my working existence. Srsly! If ever there was a night to forget about work.

But. On the bright side, this meme thing does give me the sharp elbow to the ribs I need to load up the ol' blog again. And what a mess she is! Jesus phuque is this place a sty! Broken links, mangled Site Meter, and Gord knows what else is hiding under the side-bar. I'm afraid to look! So...while I get on hands and knees and give this place a what-for, you gang can learn a bit about the non-stop thrillride that is my life (*snort*). And if you do fall asleep, try not to drool all over the footer--I'm trying to keep the Board of Health from closing this place down!

OK...where to begin?
  1. babysitter, Mississauga, aka "Land of Factory Carpet Outlet" (sure, you can entrust the most precious things in your life to an anonymous stranger for $1/hr. And they will totally not eat your food after the kids go to sleep.)
  2. McDonald's "crew" and frygirl. The job lasted only three months, but the greaseburns are forever.
  3. Shitty neighbourhood video store. You haven't lived till you've been held up for 70s Betamax porn.
  4. Receptionist and DIY librarian for LEAF's national office (no joke--best job I ever had in my life)
  5. Hostess, book-keeper, and pastry-chef wrangler at a seafood restaurant in Queen's Quay. Emphasis on Queen's; this was Kitty's initiation into fag-hagdom. Kitty also learned to cuss and smoke here, much to the delight of Mama & Papa Kitty.
  6. BSc student & p/t bank-teller (sorry: 'Customer Service Officer, level 1' *snerk*)
  7. Calculus (and sometimes Chemistry) tutor.
  8. Computer help-desk 'consultant,' U of Moo. "How can I help you if you won't let go of my throat?"
  9. MSc student and p/t computer/network support (Fear and Loathing in the Forest City)
  10. Research assistant (Forest City)
  11. PhD student (Forest City)
  12. Unemployed (Forest City)
  13. P/t grant proof-reader ("if I see 'transdisciplinary' or 'leading edge' one more time, I'm going to stab myself in the eye with a dull pencil")
  14. Birth of GDKitty (awww! They grow up so fast!)
  15. Asst. on a software project for a kinky dentist ("don't ask why the receptionist is covered in glitter; Kitty's gotta eat.")
  16. Post-doc #1 of ? (fun times in Hammertown)
  17. Unemployed post-doc (desperate in that shithole we call Hammertown)
  18. Post-doc #2 of ? (still living in Hammertown but working in the Windy Apple)
  19. Death of GDKitty? (errmmm...maybe not; let's see if I can nurse this place back to health and still keep my GD job!)

Read on, MacDuff!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Counting the flowers & candy

Five years after the made-for-teevee 'Shock 'n Awe' invasion of Iraq, journalists are seizing this war-i-versary to count the flowers and candy.

Overflowing cemetaries. Unclaimed bodies.

Refugees in Syria, refugees in Jordan, Refugees in their own cities.

Oh but the "surge" is working. Divide, subdivide, and sub-subdivide. Arm the militias, arm the death-squads, and arm the sheikhs in the "awakening" councils. Pay no mind when these same sheikhs are bought off, assassinated, or accidentally killed by US forces. Go back to sleep.

IPS, Oct 19, 2007:
Abu Risha, who had been arrested by Saddam Hussein, became the centrepiece of Bush administration efforts to show that its troops surge in Iraq had been a success.
Many Iraqis, even one of Abu Risha's distant cousins, think differently.
"Sattar was a common thief, and we all knew him to be chief of a highway robbers gang," Salim Abu Risha told IPS in Baghdad. "He and his gang brought shame to our tribe and the whole province, but the Americans tried to make a hero of him."
It is no secret in Anbar province that Abu Risha's activities were not legal either before or after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. When the U.S. government began to support the 'Awakening of Anbar' led by Sattar Abu Risha, which operated under the flag of fighting al- Qaeda, some people did begin to think differently.
"Americans always choose the worst of their collaborators to be leaders of their campaigns," Sheikh Ahmed Ali of the Muslim Scholars Association told IPS in Baghdad. "Look at the governments and councils they chose to lead Iraq. This Sattar Abu Risha only provoked a division among the people of Anbar, and that was exactly what the Americans wanted."
[...]"Americans applied a strategy that has affected some weak brains and hearts," former Iraqi Army colonel Jabbar Saed from Fallujah told IPS. "They starved people, arrested those who opposed their occupation, killed a million Iraqis, supported sectarian militias and death squads, destroyed infrastructure to increase the rate of unemployment, and divided Iraqis into sects and now into tribes, just to make us feel that life would not be possible unless we work for them."
Well, at least that nasty Moqtada al Sadr has extended the cease-fire. The 30-something cleric is currently preoccupied with a crash course, of sorts: he's studying to become an ayatollah. I'm sure his militia will remain loyal and respect his call for continued peace. I mean, it's not like anyone's antagonizing his followers or anything...
Many Mehdi Army members and Sadrist political leaders want the truce scrapped, accusing Iraqi security forces of exploiting it to detain Sadrists, especially in Shi'ite southern Iraq, where rival Shi'ite factions are locked in a struggle for power.
[...] Analysts say he sought to impose order on the unrulier elements of his militia, some of whom have degenerated into gangsterism and organized crime. It is a powerful force in Baghdad and the southern oil hub of Basra.
One can only hold a thumb on the spigot for so long.
Some fear that the rampant violence of one year ago may be coming back, especially as the 30,000 soldiers sent to Baghdad last summer to help end a sectarian war begin returning home.
But Iraqi politicians are still gridlocked over sharing power, and citizens appear to have little hope that Iraqi forces could control al-Qaida in Iraq and renegade Shiite militias on their own.
[...]According to an Associated Press count, at the height of unrest from November 2006 to August 2007, on average approximately 65 Iraqis died each day as a result of violence. As conditions improved, the daily death toll steadily declined. It reached its lowest point in more than two years on January 2008, when on average 20 Iraqis died each day.
Those numbers have since jumped. In February, approximately 26 Iraqis died each day as a result of violence, and so far in March, that number is up to 39 daily. These figures reflect the months in which people were found, and not necessarily — in the case of mass graves — the months in which they were killed.
[...] On Wednesday, a group of Iraqi tribal leaders, former politicians and intellectuals appealed to the United Nations to take control of Iraq, a move they say would help U.S. troops leave the country while maintaining calm.
In the letter, delivered to the U.N. office in Cairo, the group wrote that "the only opportunity left for Iraq to be saved from a dark, but not inevitable future, is to engage the international community. ... Such a step will allow the American troops to leave and the occupation to be brought to its end."
Regardless of how many American troops remain in Iraq or if a broader international coalition takes responsibility, Yassin said until the root of the nation's woes are addressed, blood will continue to flow.
"The Americans and the Iraqi government must get to the bottom of the problem and determine the reasons behind all this violence," he said. "There is unemployment among young people, there is revenge by those who lost their loved ones ... There is organized crime and a lot of other reasons.
"So the presence of the Americans or the Iraqi tanks and soldiers in the street is not enough to decrease the violence and get the country and its people back to the better days of the past."
Neighbours are still killed for having the 'wrong' name. Parks become graveyards. Nobody knows how many have died.

Five years on and the water isn't potable. Doctors and nurses kidnapped...murdered. And yet a 744 million dollar, Vatican-sized embassy is erected in the heart of Baghdad. It is built with the blood and sweat of frightened Filipino workers who had no idea they were going to Iraq:
RORY MAYBERRY: I believe I am one of only a few Americans that have recently worked on the site of the new embassy in Baghdad. My impressions about how the construction was being managed left me incredibly disturbed.
BILL MOYERS: Mayberry described how he boarded a plane in Kuwait City along with 51 Filipino laborers - who thought they were heading for hotel jobs in Dubai.
RORY MAYBERRY: Mr. Chairman, when the airplane took off and the captain announced that we were heading to Baghdad, all you-know-what broke out on the airplane. The men started shouting, it wasn't until the security guy working for First Kuwaiti waved an MP5 in the air that the men settled down. They realized that they had no other choice but to go to Baghdad. Let me spell it out clearly: I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work at the US Embassy. They had no IDs, no passports, and were being smuggled past U.S. security forces. I had a trailer all to myself on the Green Zone. But they were packed 25 to 30 a trailer, and every day they went out to work on the construction of the embassy without proper safety equipment. I saw guys without shoes, without gloves, no safety harnesses, and on scaffolding 30 feet off the ground, their toes wrapped around the rebar like a bunch of birds.
While we've all heard about the overpaid mercenary contractors like Blackwater and Triple Canopy, it's been estimated that 30% of the 155 000 private personnel in Iraq are so-called "third country nationals," many of them from impoverished countries:
"We’ve seen a lot of third country nationals where their passports are taken, or where they were delivered to a place to work which was different to what they were promised," said Erica Razook, legal fellow at Amnesty International USA’s Business and Human Rights Unit.
Rights groups told IRIN that some TCNs effectively work in conditions of "indentured servitude," in which they sign employment contracts that last for three to five years, "but spend their first year just paying off travel expenses," Razook said.
Last November, SOC-SMG came under fire for exploiting and sexually abusing Ugandan guards at Al Asad Airbase, in Iraq:
SOC-SMG has hired more than 2,000 Ugandan guards to secure the base and now those guards are accusing SOC-SMG of serious crimes.
When some guards tried to speak up about low pay and working conditions at Al Asad Airbase, they were allegedly sexually abused and women were passed around as, quote, "sex objects."
Ugandans hired by SOC-SMG were deported for participating in a drug ring.
[...] Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) said, "Well, at a time of war, we'd love to have more oversight before a check is given, but you're at a time of war and decisions have to be made."
Republican Senator Ensign has no problems with private military contractors in Iraq. He says the people on the ground know best. Ensign doesn't question SOC-SMG's practice of hiring Ugandan guards. "As long as they are protecting the United States, protecting the United States assets, we should welcome them," Ensign continued.
Across the aisle, Senator Harry Reid has not been able to create serious reform. He avoids criticism, blaming it all on partisan politics. "I'm saying this war is not good for the American people and I personally have done everything I can to change direction of that war," Reid said.
But nothing changes, even five years after the lies that lead to war. 935 lies. As many (or more than?) a million Iraqis have died since the first bombs fell, five years ago. The invasion and occupation of Iraq may well wind up costing $3 trillion. Almost 4000 Americans have died, too, but only 28% of their countrymen are aware of that. But no matter: as dday pointed out, the American newsmedia have clearly done their level-best to give people what they really need to be informed citizens. That same survey found that "84 percent identified Oprah Winfrey as the talk-show host supporting Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) for the Democratic presidential nomination."

Yes, who can concentrate on all that death and lying and missing money when there's the year-long game-show-of-game-shows to be covered? And while a presidential election should be the BEST time to challenge the candidates on their plans to continue the occupation, it's mighty impolite to bother them with questions about dead people and disfigured Lieutenants when there's perfectly good ribs on the grill.

...Or when you'd rather give someone a full religious colonoscopy for 7 days straight.

...Or when you'd rather find an excuse to re-post 10 year old photos of a blue-stained dress.

Or maybe you'd like to put down the dirty dress for a moment and look at the faces of the men and women who are trying to revive you from your 5 year nap? They have something to tell you:

So what will it be?

Read on, MacDuff!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Muppets: is there anything they can't do?

This made me happy, today. I know it's the day after St. Paddy's, but that's ok: Danny Boy isn't really an Irish thing, anyway ;)

Read on, MacDuff!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What do you think you'll do then?

What do you think you'll do then
I bet that'll shoot down your plane
It'll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you'll get a replacement
There's plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain't got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

© 1973 Dick James Music Limited

Read on, MacDuff!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Pay no mind to the recriminalization of abortion; the important thing is that you had a good time. (UPDATED X3)

***3 Updates follow***

So, like Ken Epp's fetus-personhood-granting Bill passed 2nd Reading in the HoC on Wednesday evening, 147-132.

What's that? Didn't hear a peep about this on the news, last night? JJ and Birth Pangs were all over this story since last November, when C-484 was but a glimmer in Epps' eye. Here's what JJ said, Nov 23, 2007:
The UVOC [Unborn Victims of Crime] bill would "protect a mother's choice to give birth", making it a crime to cause the injury or death of a fetus in the commission of violence against the mother.

Don't get excited. Nothing "anti-abortion" to see here, noooooo, just move along. Why, the UVOC bill is just about protecting "choice" -- the mother's choice to carry a pregnancy to term and have it culminate on Day 273 as a baked-to-perfection babycake. And anyone who wields a knife or baseball bat (or scalpel?) and stops that from happening would be committing murder, as surely as it would be murder to kill the mother. Fetus? Hell, never mind that, this bill would protect embryos... zygotes, even. "At any stage of development before birth"
And for a while there, it even looked like a lot of our elected representatives "got it:" this Bill offered nothing in the way of added protection for pregnant women; it was merely a vector for introducing anti-abortion legislation through the backdoor. Heck, even Raymond Gravel (BQ), a Roman Catholic priest, knew that enacting C-484 would set us all back many, many years:
“I’m against abortion, but this is no way to solve the problem of abortion. It’s through education, through outreach, through helping women who have undesired pregnancies I think that’s how to solve the problem of abortion. But not recriminalizing abortion, I don’t ever want to see that happen.”

Speaking in French, Gravel acknowledged that the murder of a pregnant woman is abominable. “But,” he added, “at the same time when the fetus is still in the mother they’re just one being. Its only when the fetus is born is when it becomes another being, when it becomes a human being.”
So they had their first round of debate about it on Dec 13, 2007, with 2nd round scheduled for Feb 29--Sadie Hawkins Day! Birth Pangs and Joyce Arthur (ARCC) issued alerts and exhorted anyone who would listen to post/write/call/fax/carrier-pigeon their MPs to vote against this Bill. We even caught a break, and got an extension of sorts when the debate was post-poned till March 3rd--even more time to contact recalcitrant MPs! Meanwhile, Joyce and Carolyn of the ARCC stuck their necks out and hit the airwaves for us: Joyce, going up against the likes of John Hof (Campaign for Life Coalition, BC), and Carolyn against Ken Epp AND Mary Talbot (the mother of Olivia, who was murdered when she was 27 weeks pregnant).

A lot of us did the quick "parliamentary fetus fetishizer" arithmetic and grew worried: could this thing really pass? Here's what I posted last week:
Ok. There are a total of 308 seats in the HoC, and only 90 anti-choice MPs. But here's the problem: if you add the 65 undeclared MPs to the 90 anti-choicers, you get a potential maximum of 155 votes for Ken Epp's backdoor anti-choice bill. That's 50.3%.

[...] Given that the Bloc and NDP will probably whip their respective caucuses to vote NO on C-484, we don't have to worry about them. Nope, the disquieting 'sect' is the Liberal caucus: Dion has not said that he will whip his group, so we have no assurances that those anti-choice or undeclared Liberals will vote against this Bill.
And here we are. Our worst-case-scenario is reality: too many Liberals voted for this Bill. A freaking Dipper even voted for this thing (I'm lookin at YOU, Peter Stoffer!). But you wannu know what really takes the cake?

Cake!!! Dion was MIA for the vote because he was hosting a party at Stornoway for...*drumroll*...International Women's Day. Susan Delacourt explains (h/t Antonia & matttbastard):
Liberals and New Democrats also are unleashing a raft of women-friendly events this week in Ottawa and beyond. Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, for instance, will spend International Women's Day in Toronto on Saturday, while his wife Janine Krieber is speaking in Montreal.

Female journalists on Parliament Hill are invited tonight [March 5] to a reception hosted by Krieber at Stornoway, the official opposition residence, and female MPs and Liberal candidates have various events scheduled for the weekend.
Ok, I haven't even BEGUN to unleash my fury at these people for rolling the dice on this one. Thought it wouldn't pass? Fuck you: it passed. And now it's onto Committee. Go visit JJ for the Cmte member list, and see how each MP voted on the Bill. JJ's also posted the full HoC shitlist--all the 'yeas.'

Save that shitlist, folks. We're gonna need it for the days and weeks ahead. I wonder if eVite has a template for this kinda thing? Hmm...I wonder if Dion can give us the name of a good caterer?

More on this:
***Cathie found a doozy of a post on a so-con blog: "... the momentum is clearly moving in our direction. If not this time, it will happen in the future. It’s inevitable now."

Here it comes. Here it fucking comes.

Update: Bene Diction Blogs On and Red Tory have more to add. Red Tory actually has the complete list of Liberals who voted FOR this fetus-personhood Bill, along with an equally important list of those who were MIA (including the aforementioned Dion!):
Voting For: Raymond Bonin; Gord Brown; John Cannis; Hon. Raymond Chan; Hon. Roy Cullen; Sukh Dhaliwal; Hon. Albina Guarnieri; Hon. Charles Hubbard; Hon. Jim Karygiannis Derek Lee; Hon. Lawrence MacAulay; Hon. Gurbax Malhi; Hon. John McKay; Hon. Joe McGuire; Hon. Dan McTeague; Hon. Shawn Murphy; Massimo Pacetti; Francis Scarpaleggia; Hon. Raymond Simard; Lloyd St. Amand; Paul Steckle; Paul Szabo; Hon. Robert Thibault; Alan Tonks; Roger Valley; Tom Wappel; Borys Wrzesnewskyj

Absent: Stéphane Dion; Bryon Wilfert; Joe Volpe; Scott Simms; Nancy Karetak-Lindell; Hon. Mark Eyking; Ujjal Dosanjh; Denis Coderre; Brenda Chamberlain; Gerry Byrne.
Update: More reactions from:
Update: More reactions from:

Read on, MacDuff!

Friday, February 29, 2008

WIRED publishes more Abu Ghraib photos

You know, I don't think "NSFW" really cuts it this time. Perhaps "NSFHR"--not safe for the human race--is more appropriate. I am posting a link and a bit of a blurb, but no comment. No doubt you already know what this is about.

From WIRED, Feb 28, 2008:
As an expert witness in the defense of an Abu Ghraib guard who was court-martialed, psychologist Philip Zimbardo had access to many of the images of abuse that were taken by the guards themselves. For a presentation at the TED conference in Monterey, California, Zimbardo assembled some of these pictures into a short video. obtained the video from Zimbardo's talk...
From the WIRED interview with Zimbardo:
Wired: Do you think it made any difference that the Abu Ghraib guards were reservists rather than active duty soldiers?

Zimbardo: It made an enormous difference, in two ways. They had no mission-specific training, and they had no training to be in a combat zone. Secondly, the Army reservists in a combat zone are the lowest form of animal life within the military hierarchy. They're not real soldiers, and they know this. In Abu Ghraib the only thing lower than the army reservist MPs were the prisoners.

Wired: So it's a case of people who feel powerless in their lives seizing power over someone else.

Zimbardo: Yes, victims become victimizers. In Nazi concentration camps, the Jewish capos were worse than the Nazis, because they had to prove that they deserved being in this position.

Read on, MacDuff!