Thursday, November 23, 2006

Why are we doing this again?

In the name of "Democracy," again and again this country supports and props up dictators, despots and regimes that view their time in power as unbridled opportunity for violence and brutality, whether in South/Central America, Africa or S.E. Asia.

As if these governments are certain that, with the United States as patron, they will never fall out of control.

And this support has come from both Democrat and Republican administrations.

The below linked video is from Britain's Channel 4.

If even a tenth of the accusations are true, this is unconscionable.

And it's happening on our watch.

Channel 4 - "Death Squads"


I've been trying to come up with something to say about this, but it's really beyond me.

All I can think of is a change of scene, and that every generation breeds fools and animals, on both sides..

35 years ago.

Only imagine muddy roads and murderous humidity, instead of dust and the desert.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Somebody's site has been spoofed..

And it's just so well written.

There is a spoof of the World Trade Organization's website at

And right at the top of the spoofed site of "news" is "WTO Announces Formalized Slavery Market for Africa," that has all the flavor of "A Modest Proposal."

There are some commentators who don't seem to be aware that this is a satire, however. (one of the problems that arises if you don't double- and triple-check what a search engine gives you...)

I'm not exactly a fan of the WTO, with its over-emphasis on promotion of "free trade" as the prime answer to so many of the world's issues. On the other hoof, what does it say about what is happening in our society that such a spoof is even considered at all possible?

The actual WTO website is here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I guess sexist idiocy really *is* worldwide

I really can't add any snark to this -- it is so full already.....

China love boat wants rich, good-looking

BEIJING (AP) -- A matchmaking love boat cruise open only to male millionaires and "good-looking and desirable" women is slated to set sail later this month, a state-run Chinese newspaper said Tuesday.

Men on the cruise scheduled to go along Shanghai's Huangpu River must be worth at least 2 million yuan ($250,000), the China Daily quoted organizer Xu Tianli as saying.

Xu said more than 20 men had signed up for the Nov. 25 cruise and that half of those registered to take part were worth more than 200 million yuan ($25 million).

Fewer than 30 of the 1,000 woman who applied were accepted, Xu said.

"Only those who were attractive in every category can take part in this event," Xu said, without giving the specific criteria interested female applicants had to meet....

I suppose it's nice to know that the USA doesn't have the sole franchise on this sort of thing...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Oh, Ye Of So Many Faiths

On Pandagon, Amanda has noticed that some commentators think that the Religious Right is really reforming and reaching out to the Roman Catholics to bring under the "conservative big tent." Or that the pickup of Catholic voters for Democatic candidates this past week was the result of pandering to that population.

As someone who was raised Roman Catholic, I can certainly attest to the fact that most of the rabid "fundies" see Catholics as saint-worshipping idolaters who will follow the Whore of Rome unthinkingly, and will *really* welcome people of all races into the fold to pray in the same church pews, at the same time as the white folks (yes, I'm pandering to stereotypes here, it's a rhetorical device).

And, to get the full irony, bear in mind that, for all the fundie fringe proclaims about how "oppressed" they are for "their faith," remember that the christian denomination that, in this nation, has suffered the most explicit discrimination and suppression is the Roman Catholics. And that one denomination is, and has been for a *long* time, numerically the denomination that tops the charts in the "self-identified religion" surveys.

Add in that, overall, the Roman Catholics are a lot more "liberal" on social issues than the Fundamentalist base denominations like the current rulership of the Southern Baptists Convention. And any Catholic that votes based on the single hot-button issues like abortion and stem-cell research is ignoring the balance of things that should also be on their minds, like worker's rights, concern for leaving a viable environment, concern about *not* shafting the poor, the use of the death penalty, and separation of Church and State

Any Catholic who thinks that the Religious Right had anything really in common at the core, instead of just a few issues (like BC and abortion) is either being willfully obtuse or knows absolutely no history about the "relations" between Catholic and the myriad other christian denominations, from loudly proclaimed predictions that JFK would be following secret orders from Rome, the expressed fears that the Catholic nannies and housemaids would steal away good protestant babies for secret baptisms, to the equally load proclamations that all these Catholic immigrants would be out-breeding the good Protestants and taking all the good jobs away, and costing the gummint dollars to support 'em.

Believe me, I have issues with the RC hierarchy and current theological climate, but to think that the Religious Right views the Catholics as any but a Dark Days Desperation Denomination-ally as a collaborator is smoking something that will probably net you several years in the gey-bar hotel.

In the interests of full disclosure, even though I was raised Roman Catholic (as opposed to a variety of denominations that call themselves "New Catholic,") I worship these days with an Episcopal congregation that, bless their pointy little heads, has even recruited me to be one of their Sunday School teachers.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

OK, yes, I am Happy...

LAst year about this time I expected that the control of the Senate would be switched decicivly, and that Democrats would pick up some seats in the House, but that body would remain stubbornly GOP.

I never expected that this would be reversed, and especially I didn't really expect that the control would pass to the Democrats.

Thank you Messrs Delay, Foley and Cuningham.

And thank you, Karl Rove, for twisting arms so that Foley ran for another term.

However, I envision that there will be two years worth of hearings, and that GW will figure out where Laura put the ink bottle for the "veto" pen.