Monday, January 02, 2006

moving lante

I've recently joined blogging efforts with fellow rabble rouser and college friend Steve Fake to form a new blog where we will both be posting, with more of a Latin America focus. Please check it out here.

No, really, click on the link.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

they'll both lose

Get your lawsuit on.

Friday, December 09, 2005's not just for adults

A Simpsons' episode that I recently had the pleasure of viewing features Homer sporting the following t-shirt (the episode featurues the family travelling to Brazil - yes, I'm jealous):

Smart satire, surely. But it turns out it's not so easy to differentiate satire from right-wing reality:

And if that's not bone-chilling enough for you, you can show your imperialist stripes with this gem (or, more accurately, you can turn your unsuspecting daughter or son into an unwitting propaganda tool, given that this is the infant/toddler version....the fact that such an item even exists should be enough to give pause to Genghis Khan):

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

this is what you do when you're weak politically and rich in money

According to the Washington Post, "The U.S. military command in Baghdad acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it has paid Iraqi newspapers to carry positive news about U.S. efforts in Iraq." But before jumping to any radical leftist conclusions about ethics, rest easy with the knowledge that "officials characterized the payments as part of a legitimate campaign to counter insurgents' misinformation." What efforts to buy press access wouldn't be characterized by its paymasters as "part of a legitimate campaign" to "counter...misinformation"?

I'm reprinting below an excerpt from the Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2005 from Reporters Without Borders, which examines " the degree of freedom journalists and news organisations enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the state to respect and ensure respect for this freedom"....

N° Country Score
1 Denmark 0,50
- Finland 0,50
- Iceland 0,50
- Ireland 0,50
- Netherlands 0,50
- Norway 0,50
- Switzerland 0,50
8 Slovakia 0,75
9 Czech Republic 1,00
- Slovenia 1,00
11 Estonia 1,50
12 Hungary 2,00
- New Zealand 2,00
- Sweden 2,00
- Trinidad and Tobago 2,00
16 Austria 2,50
- Latvia 2,50
18 Belgium 4,00
- Germany 4,00
- Greece 4,00
21 Canada 4,50
- Lithuania 4,50
23 Portugal 4,83
24 United Kingdom 5,17
25 Benin 5,50
- Cyprus 5,50
- Namibia 5,50
28 El Salvador 5,75
29 Cape Verde 6,00
30 France 6,25
31 Australia 6,50
- South Africa 6,50
33 Bosnia and Herzegovina 7,00
34 Jamaica 7,50
- Mauritius 7,50
- South Korea 7,50
37 Japan 8,00
- Mali 8,00
39 Hong-Kong 8,25
40 Spain 8,33
41 Costa Rica 8,50
42 Italy 8,67
43 Macedonia 8,75
44 United States of America (American territory) 9,50

That's right folks, the U.S. was outdone by Mali, Mauritius, Benin, and El Salvador, a country we nearly destroyed in its entirety in the 1980s. But at least United States proper outperformed its colonial offshoot "United States of America (in Iraq)," which placed 137th with a score of 48,50.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Yasser Arafat is worse than Hitler

I'm responding to a recent Daniel Pipes article not because he's worth replying to, but because he is such a transparently ethnocentric and Islamophobic fool (and an influential one) that anything that I can do to out him as such is surely time well-spent.

Wasting no time for the demonization game to begin, he claims that Palestinians "have established a worldwide reputation not just for relying heavily on suicide murder but for doing so enthusiastically." In fact, he can hardly contain himself in his orgiastic effusions on the exceptionally evil nature of "Palestinian Arabs" (as opposed to Palestinian Africans?):

No other press and school system indoctrinates children to become suicide murderers. No other people holds joyous wakes for dead suicide bombers. No other parents hope their children will blow themselves up. None other receives lavish endorsement and funding for terrorism from the authorities. Nor has another people produced a leader so inextricably tied to terrorism as was Yasser Arafat, nor so bountifully devoted its allegiance to him.

Strangely, in the annals of human history, Pipes can find no leader "so inextricably tied to terrorism" as Arafat, whose "terrorism" apparently surpasses that of such luminaries as Hitler, Stalin, and Reagan (and yes, those names do deserve to be mentioned together). Perhaps most sadly, Pipes' inexplicable Arab hate fests aren't just for WASPy U.S. neocons - the article is available in no less than 8 other languages. Prepare to be propagandized, Slovak-speakers!

On Pipes' blog, he reports Europe as being "under siege" by, amongst others, these most nefarious of groups - "asylum-seekers" and "refugees." If only those brown people could stop slaughtering each other, then Mr. Pipes' Anglo-Saxon brethren could rest easy at night, safe from the fleeing hordes invading Europe's soft underbelly. Cue Mr. Pipes' approval for the West's endangered white minority as it valiantly "protects its patrimony." (Curiously, attempts by Palestinians to protect Palestine's "patrimony" are looked upon less favorably by Pipes).

The only thing left to say is that the Wall Street Journal has dubbed him "an authoritative commentator on the Middle East."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

tracking hostility to U.S. dominance

BBC has a handy and concise map about Latin America's upcoming round of elections.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

apply this to current events

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience... therefore [individuals] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."

- Nuremberg International Military Tribunal