sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (doomsday)
Just came back from a really interesting lecture at the Reference Library called "Bill C-51 and Dystopian Literature" by Allan Weiss, whose classes I now regret not having taken at York.

I found nothing to dispute in the content of the lecture, which traced the pattern of the classic dystopian novel and applied it to the recent thievery of our civil liberties in this country. In particular, he talked about the essential problem of happiness (in the Epicurian/Utilitarian tradition) versus freedom, and the willingness of citizens—and ultimately, the morally cowardly protagonists—in dystopian fiction to surrender the latter to avoid having the possibility of the former challenged.

This said, my brain went on a weird tangent that I couldn't quite put into words during the Q&A*. Early on, Weiss drew a distinction between classic dystopian fiction, which is about a totalitarian state (e.g., We, Brave New World, and of course 1984), and modern dystopian fiction, which is about the absence of a state or a state supplanted by corporate interests (e.g., cyberpunk, Mad Max). He talked about Bill C-51 in the context of classic dystopian literature, which, yes, makes more sense, but I kept thinking about the parallels with modern dystopian fiction, which are much less obvious.

It occurs to me that the disintegrations of our freedoms in the modern Western world are less a problem of totalitarian governments than a crumbling of the state itself. After all, the Tories were elected out of anti-government sentiment; fear of a state, not desire for a strong one. The oppressive provisions of Bill C-51 arguably support corporate interests more than those of a traditional state—data mining may be used to toss a few people in black sites, but it is far more broadly useful to sell to private companies to market to and/or sue private individuals. Even the state's coercion can be outsourced to private prison contractors. The enemies of the state as defined are as likely to be those who interfere with economic interests—trade unionists, environmentalists, First Nations activists, and the like—as they are to be ISIS fanatics with IEDs.

Or put another way: Are the traditions even actually separate?

One young woman in the audience raised the issue of Facebook, and how much of their privacy her generation has willfully given away, and this resonates with me a great deal. As we move towards unified online identities under real names, abandoning the pseudonymous anarchy of the internet's early days, as we move from programs that required expertise to use to apps that anyone can use but few can alter, as my students read classic dystopias and don't see what the big deal is, after all these people all have jobs and aren't starving and besides, they have nothing to hide, it seems doubtful to me that privacy rights will be anything anyone bothers to fight for anymore. It reminds me of what a prof said in one of the classes I did take at York: There are coercive and consensual ways of controlling and oppressing a populace. The coercive government is the one that's easier to overthrow.

It astounds me that, just because Canadians don't understand statistical risk and don't understand legalese, we can meekly put our heads down and accept, even embrace, such a brutal attack on basic freedoms. Only we've done it before, we do it all the time, and so why would I expect any different? Ask someone if they're willing to accept a decrease in their freedom, and they will say no; ask them if they'll vote for Harper or Trudeau and they won't see the inherent irony at all.

One woman in the audience actually said, "I'm an ordinary citizen, the government already knows everything about me, what do I have to fear from this?" The mostly educated audience took delight in Weiss's takedown of her ("so was Maher Arar") but I think her attitude is more common than mine or most of the people who go to Tuesday night lectures at the Reference Library.

Sometimes I fear that I won't be able to finish any of the dystopian novels that I start (I have started many) because politics descends into entropy faster than I can predict it. But I don't think there's a bottom to this well.


* I almost never ask questions at Q&As for that reason; the second there is the threat of a mic near my face, my brain turns to mush.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (pinko pie)
I've been away this weekend and there's probably many things that I'd like to post about, but one of the things is that Omar Khadr, the former child soldier imprisoned and tortured by the US and its Canadian lapdogs, is out on bail. I'd like to make a lengthy post but now I don't need to, because [livejournal.com profile] commodorified made an excellent post and you can read it here, and that pretty much says everything I would on the subject. Go read it. It's an important post.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
Canada's Parliament, last seen playing the Imperial March on the bells without a hint of irony or self-awareness, has voted to pass Bill C-51, euphemistically referred to as "controversial" in all the articles about it. Essentially it gives the government even more power to spy on and round up terrorists and terrorist supporters, which for those of you who haven't been paying much attention to Canadian politics, can be defined as "everyone the government disagrees with, but especially environmentalists and First Nations activists."

This isn't even the biggest news story of the day. It passed because it's got a boring name and hardly anyone was paying attention.

More later unless I'm thrown in an army transport vehicle and sent to a camp somewhere, but in the meantime, you can view a list of who voted for it, and, even more tellingly, who didn't even show up, so you know who should go up against the wall come the revolution, I mean next election.

Just in case you thought Trudeau's Liberals would be an improvement over the current lot: spoiler, no, they won't be.

Torture

Dec. 10th, 2014 07:12 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (house zizek)
I keep trying to write a post about the CIA torture report, but the thing is, what is left to write? We knew about this shit a decade ago. I mean, we didn't know some details, like anal-rape-with-culturally-appropriate-foodstuffs, but unless you were living under a rock or in some kind of backwards banana republic that censors the internet, you can't have not known this was going on. There were photos. There was a popular American TV show about the necessity and nobility of torturing Middle Eastern people ffs. So what is there left to say? It's not like anyone will be held to account over this.

When I was in Germany, I visited Buchenwald. There's a lot to be said about what it's like to stand in a concentration camp, but what struck me most was how close it was to Weimar; just a 15-minute drive. I kept thinking about the people we met in Weimar, and what the people would have been like there back then, living with a concentration camp in their backyard. They couldn't have not known. And yet they somehow went on with their lives, knowing that people were being murdered en masse within walking distance.

That's us. We knew. We're acting all shocked and horrified but we knew and had no excuse. 
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
US: Sorry about your election.
UK: Happy burning effigies day!
Canada: Here is what our freedom-lovin' gub'mint has been up to lately:

Obviously, the Conservatives used the Ottawa shooting to try to ram new civil rights abuses down our throat. "Preventative detention,"
"information sharing" such as the sort that led to Maher Arar's torture, and thought crimes. Not surprising; they've been wanted to do this for awhile and some mentally ill lone shooter who spent too much time on the intertubes gave them a good excuse to make it happen.

There's no money to pay for veterans' services, but there's apparently money to erect fake tanks all over the country.  However much this is costing, it is too fucking much.

The Tories' latest law, the amazingly named Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, bans a bunch of things that I think were illegal anyway and doesn't address any of the barbaric cultural practices that Conservatives enjoy. Convenient!

Speaking of barbarism, the Conservatives continue to fight the court ruling that found cutting health care to refugees to be unconstitutional.

And then the Bank of Canada governor just proposed a novel way to deal with youth unemployment. It seems that today's shiftless, aimless Millennials have not considered...working for free. Yes, really.

That's the kind of week it's been!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
So there was a shooting in Ottawa today. Ottawa isn't very far from me. I have a lot of friends there; my first instinct was to check Facebook and make sure that everyone I knew was okay. (Seems like.) I think that's a natural urge, to care more about violence that happens in your own backyard—relatively speaking—than on the other side of the world. It's not tribal; friends of mine were on lockdown. It's scarier than distant events happening to strangers.

This follows on the heels of a man mowing down two Canadian soldiers in his car, killing one. I suppose that was the first act of terrorism on Canadian soil resulting in fatalities since the 80s, and this latest killing and shootout the second. You know, if you don't count the murders of sex workers and indigenous women, the routine shootings of people of colour and the mentally ill by police, and the systemic poisoning of native land, etc. There are varying definitions of terrorism, after all. Martin Couture-Rouleau was a white man with a French-Canadian name, so the media is not sure whether to call him a terrorist or not. For now he's simply "radicalized." One of us, led astray by the lure of the internet and the mullahs. Robert Pickton, who murdered at least 26 women that we know of, is never referred to as a terrorist, because systemic racism and misogyny is not political.

Now we are "under attack" by "homegrown terrorists" and "ISIS sleeper cells," so the country must revert to jingoist-mode, or else. No doubt Harper will use this to his advantage, both in promoting his ill-advised kicking of the hornets' nest that is Iraq and Syria (the definition of insanity being repeating the same mistake and expecting different results), in shoring up election support next year, and in churning the swamp of hatred and Islamophobia that spawns the likes of his core of supporters. The war has come home, at last, and our Dear Leaders rub their hands together expectantly. When the drums of war start pounding, the profits are soon to follow.

Let me tell you something about these ISIS sleeper cells. I know a little about them, without ever having met anyone who belonged to one, on account of what I do for a living. I can tell you that they're exactly the kind of people who lurk on Reddit and send rape threats to Anita Sarkeesian. It has nothing to do with politics per se; it has everything to do with frustrated juvenile masculinity. Why do you think so many of them turn out to be white converts to the most radical form of Islam they can find, one which practically doesn't exist as an organized thing? They are the same boys who, in other circumstances, open fire on schools. Girls with those frustrations slit their own wrists; boys take others with them in a hail of gunfire. That's the face of the enemy—not Islam, not the Middle East, but troglodyte junior misogynists searching for meaning. I'd bet you anything when the details of the shooters' lives emerge, somewhere in the story will be an overly entitled cockwomble who couldn't get a date.

And so I am angry, very angry, and scared, but not for the reasons I'm being told to be. It's never going to affect me personally; when they knock down doors, they'll knock on mine pretty late in the game. I'm scared for friends, I'm scared for the broader community, which includes Muslims who'll be targeted for racial profiling for no good reason. I'm angry at Harper for painting bulls-eyes on our cities because he wants to gain points in the election. I'm scared for the path that this violence has blown for crackdowns on our liberty and civil rights. I have no reason to be afraid of a terrorist's bomb, but I have reason to be afraid that one of my kids will get shot down in the street for wearing a hoodie or carrying a cell phone. I'm scared, and furious, that the resources that could make this country worth living in will now be redirected to depriving other people's children of lives and limbs.

There's a war on, but it's a very different one than we're being told about.

ETA: Looks like another white guy who converted to Islam and spent too much time on armchair jihadi sites, colour me surprised.
sabotabby: (molotov)
So there was a plot to bomb the B.C. legislature on Canada Day, apparently. Two white fuck-ups, who may or may not have converted to Islam, planned to interrupt the festivities in Victoria with pressure cooker bombs. They were stopped, which is obviously a good thing.

The RCMP is claiming that they were "inspired by Al Qaeda," which is a problematic claim to make for a number of reasons. I imagine that actual Al Qaeda would probably not want to have much to do with druggie homeless punks, but maybe they'll take anyone these days. But that's not what's bothering me. I'd rather talk about paintball and punk music, because that was the angle that woke me up this morning.

When a brown person commits an act of terror, there is seldom any attempt to question his motivations. (I feel like I've typed this sentence many, many times.) We can say "religious extremism"—or "American imperialism," if one is a certain type of leftist—and leave it at that. When a white person commits an act of terror, or tries to, there's a lot of discussion of motives, because white people have agency and brown people apparently don't. So while little is known about why John Nuttall and Amanda Korody allegedly tried to blow people up, that's merely an opportunity to speculate about all of the sordid details of their lives.

(I suspect there's actually not much in the way of motivation here. Walkom's article, the second link, is pretty sensible in that regard.)

Absent a clear manifesto (whatever happened to manifestos? I deplore the decline of literacy amongst violent extremists), the media has been left to its own devices, to report random details of the couple's lives, sans context and with a prurient overtone that suggests that anyone who engages in such activities is a potential terrorist. To wit, from the same article:

Nuttall’s tastes were for heavy metal. He posted four poor-quality recordings on a music website along with a picture of himself posing with four guitars. The undated songs include titles such as “The End of the World,” and “In League With Satan,” with the lyrics: “We are possessed by all that is evil, The death of your god we demand, We spit at the virgin you worship, And sit at Lord Satan’s Left Hand.”

and
In online postings, Nuttall identified himself as belonging to a band called No World Order, a Muslim punk band that was created in Victoria but moved to the Surrey, B.C., area in mid-August, 2011.

And then there's the paintball thing:

In an online paintball forum, Nuttall appeared to be quite active last year playing paintball on weekends. Nuttall posted comments in the forum using the name Mujahid, while Korody used the name PirateNinjaCat.


I guess these details might be interesting to some, but they're not really relevant, are they? As someone who lived through Tipper Gore's attacks on the music industry and the panic around D&D, I get my back up at the implication that playing paintball and liking heavy metal (or is it punk? do we know the difference anymore?) somehow leads to joining Al Qaeda or blowing up Canada Day revelers. It's impossible for me to read these sorts of details and wonder what the authorities would dig up on me under the wrong circumstances. Online searches about weapons and explosives (for writing purposes, naturally)? An iTunes library full of music with violent lyrics? Jokey posts about putting various enemies up against the wall come the revolution? A bookshelf full of political tomes, not all of which I actually agree with? A weekend spent LARPing? Those stories, lost to the pre-internet era, written when I was 12 about blowing up the school/Ontario parliament/whatever? It wouldn't take any effort to make me look like a terrorist in a newspaper article. "[Realname], who posted to internet forums using the name Sabotabby, used a default icon that read 'now serving Molotov cocktails' and ran around in the woods wearing cargo pants" and so on.

Me, or anyone. What frightens me about data mining is the sheer amount of available information that can be cherry-picked and taken out of context, and the ability to use said information to create fear where fear is misplaced. A generation ago, psychotic meth addicts might have drawn their boneheaded, and fortunately doomed to failure, terror plot from a BBS version of the "Anarchist Cookbook," but that's not to say that they drew their ideological inspiration from Emma Goldman. And, in a mad stampede to avert our worst fears from being realized, to what degree will various authorities attempt to extrapolate from said imaginary connections and predict who is likely to be a threat? Because you all know I'm not going to blow anything up, but neither was Byron Sonne, and neither the RCMP nor CSIS tend to deal much in nuance.

Everyone's committed thought crimes. Everyone's committed illegal acts. Everyone, in retrospect, will look like a problem waiting to happen.

Do I think that these guys did what they're accused of? Oh, almost certainly. But I'm not comfortable with the analysis of why they might have done so, not one bit.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
Interesting that the Star calls Omar Khadr a war criminal and the SUN calls him a terrorist. Both terms are inaccurate ("child soldier" would be much more appropriate; "torture victim" is also relevant); both are intended to dehumanize this young man to the papers' respective readership and to invoke a sense of fear at the very existence of this psychologically broken individual.

But both papers are very canny about what will arouse that fear-and-dehumanization response amongst their readers. The SUN knows that the worst thing one can be is a terrorist*; the enlightened readers of the Star know that this is just silly fear-mongering. The worst thing that one can be to the common liberal is a war criminal. Just the thought conjures up images of concentration camps and rallies in Nuremberg, obfuscating entirely the act itself: the alleged throwing of a grenade by a 15-year-old brainwashed child at armed men who had voluntarily signed up to get paid to subjugate other countries.

At any rate, I'm rather hoping that Mr. Hallam himself doesn't get too much flak over this, because he sounds like a stand-up fellow and someone I'd get along with. Anyone who takes such a positive interest in the education of young people is fine by me!

* Unless one's terrorism is directed against women exercising their reproductive choices and health care providers who assist them in doing so. That kind of terrorism will get you a medal from the Queen.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (sad panda by a softer world)
Private airline firms sue the CIA over the costs of transporting people to secret prisons to be tortured. No, seriously.

[Poll #1774888]

This is why almost all conspiracy theories are bullshit, by the way. Because this stuff isn't hidden. It's just that most people are too lazy and callous to do anything about it.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
We (Canada, that is), got our asses handed to us in Afghanistan by a bunch of dudes who live in caves. Greater militaries than ours have failed to successfully occupy and subdue Afghanistan, so it's not that surprising that even with our technological might, we would flee with our tails between our legs.

"The combat mission in Afghanistan has come to an end." While I have no love for the Taliban, this is a good thing. It's a senseless waste of Canadian, and more importantly, of Afghan lives*, regardless of how you dress up our invasion, assault, torture, and mass murder in that country with the liberal vocabulary of humanitarianism and "women's rights." (My fellow feminists will note that women's rights in Afghanistan went under the bus the second it became clear we were losing, and that any lasting stability in the country could only be accomplished by negotiating with the Taliban and other fundamentalist whackjobs. Also, there were Afghan feminist movements but we didn't like 'em because they were communist.)

Anyway, you'd think this would be a big deal, the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan. But we've been at war for almost 10 years and practically no one here gives a shit (our troops handed over innocent people for torture, the government covered it up, everyone found out, and said government got in with a majority in the next election), so I guess it makes sense that it's not front-page news. And the massacre in Norway does deserve its cover space, of course. But you'd think the withdrawal wouldn't be totally buried, right?

What gets me is that nowhere will you see a mainstream newspaper state that we lost. We are leaving because we lost. Our inglorious defeat is framed entirely framed in articles about heroes returning home and how the Canadian military is now firmly embedded in the hearts and minds of Canadian civilians. We blundered into a war that, for various reasons including that it was a war declared against an abstract concept, we couldn't possible win, stupidly following the U.S., we committed terrible atrocities, wasted huge sums of money and many, many lives, and then lost the war, That's bad enough, but to make matters worse, no one will admit that the whole thing was a colossal fuck-up. Fifty years from now, schoolchildren will read a pretty story about the War on Afghanistan that bears absolutely no resemblance to anything that actually happened, because no one can admit what happened now.

Reading the Canadian news today is like reading dispatches from Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, except significantly less entertaining.

We lost because we had to lose, because you can't win the hearts and minds of a people by invading and occupying their country or by torturing and murdering them. We lost because we are led by stupid white men who know zilch about a country like Afghanistan. We lost because you can't eliminate terror any more than you can eliminate addiction or sadness or shoddy journalism. Losing was always inevitable; lying about said defeat is not.

* Yes, I believe the lives of Afghan civilians are more important than the lives of Canadian soldiers. Denounce me as a traitor all you like. Some of the people murdered with my tax dollars were children.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (purged!)
Because it's been awhile since I've made this particular rant. You'll stop me if I repeat myself, right?



I am on several mailing lists that frequently clog my inbox with the same requests for endorsements, angry letters, forwarded articles, and demonstrations, talks, meetings, film screenings, and other events of interest to leftists. Most of these mailing lists started as Palestine solidarity listservs but somehow bred like rabbits on Viagra and expanded their topical range to be about anything vaguely left-leaning. The listserv rant is actually a separate rant; basically, these mailing lists are useless because I get the same forward from Al Jazeera ten times a day (protip: I have an app that brings Al Jazeera right to my Android! Like, the entire English language site. I don't need articles in my inbox too!) and the more frequently a subject line appears, the less I'm likely to actually open the e-mail. That goes double for the ones marked "URGENT."

But anyway.

I did open one of these e-mails today, since I knew it would piss me off. It was from Reel Activism, a well-named but apparently politically naïve film series at the Bloor St. United Church (that's the lefty church, for all you non-Hogtowners). Tonight's film is "Explosive Evidence," a film by, I shit you not, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The accompanying text was a spiel by a theologian named David Ray Griffin, and the introductory blurb mentioned an "important 9/11 conference to be held September 8th-11th in Toronto." Because, yeah. That's exactly what we need.

I believe that to the extent there is an anti-war, anti-imperialist movement in North America, the 9/11 Truthers need to be purged from it. They can be treated more gently at demonstrations than would, say, an infiltrating white supremacist group because they pose less physical danger, but they should not be allowed to march or appear on cameras with us. My intolerant stance comes as a direct result of Loose Changers hijacking legitimate political agendas with their fairy tales and making the rest of us look like moonbats. There are already plenty of people on the left who make the left look like moonbats; we do not need people who are not actually leftists to make us look more like moonbats.

While it's possible to believe a simple version of the conspiracy and a) be a leftist and b) not be an unmitigated moron, it's highly unlikely. The simple version is that highly placed people in the American government knew in advance that there would be a terrorist attack on September 11th and let it happen because they hate America, puppies, and rainbows. If you believe this, you're wrong, but given that there have been many government conspiracies that have turned out to be correct, I won't hold it against you.

The Truthers believe in more complicated conspiracy theories, though, which include things like controlled demolitions, false flag operations, Reichstag parallels, and so on. There is nothing particularly left-wing about their politics, other than that they generally are opposed to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (you know, like that raging socialist Pat Buchanan). They're generally one-issue activists, but they show up at everyone else's rallies like a parasitic organism, mugging for the cameras and professing sympathy for causes that they know nothing about.

As I've said before, here are the things you have to believe in order to be a Truther:

1) The vast majority of engineers and architects are lying bastards.
2) Not only are they lying, they are lying about an event that directly caused the deaths of 3000 people and indirectly tens of thousands of more. So they are not just lying, they are actively evil.
3) A bunch of guys with commercially available video editing software and crackpot theories cobbled together from various internet sources, a large percentage of which were written by anti-Semites wearing tinfoil hats, are more trustworthy than Popular Mechanics.
4) Despite the existence of Wikileaks, and the difficulty of maintaining secrecy in an age of information overload, and the fact that the Bush administration is no longer in power, a cover-up is still possible and still effective.
5) The Bush administration was competent enough to pull something like that off and wasn't caught, except by Alex Jones.

You don't have to also believe that the Jews did 9/11, but it certainly helps. Here are some other things that Truthers seem to believe:

1) It actually matters. Assume that the Jews did 9/11, or Bush, or whatever. Assume that the truth gets out. How quickly do you think this will result in a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan? If your answer is "with exactly the same haste as we are currently witnessing," you are correct.
2) 9/11 is the most important and awful thing to happen, ever. It's been over a decade. I realize America is entirely solipsistic and doesn't care about far more catastrophic tragedies in the rest of the world, but that doesn't really explain Canadian Truthers, of which there are apparently many.
3) Terrorist groups have no real reason to hate America. There is nothing about America's foreign policy that would make a bunch of people want to fly planes into buildings.

I get that demo marshals like big crowds, a substantial number of people on the left feel that Truther theories have a bit of credence, and progressives in general are a tolerant bunch that don't like to kick anyone out of meetings or silence anyone's voices but I'm pretty sure that there are others like me who don't come around to as many things because they're tired of demo detritus, marches that are off-message, and having their inboxes full of dogwhistle propaganda. The noise to signal ratio in the local activist scene is unacceptable.

Enough already.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
Here are today's top stories, courtesy of the Star:

The IDF kills 13 Palestinian protesters. "Oh, but I bet they were Hamas members lobbing home-made rockets at Israeli civilians!" you say (well, no, you wouldn't say that). Nope, the only "attack" they were planning was against the fence at the border of Syria and Israel. Nevertheless, according to Netanyahu, "These protests aim to undermine the very existence of Israel," presumably necessitating the slaughter of (as far as I know) unarmed protesters.

Speaking of Syria, 850 people have been killed there since mid-March. This hasn't been highly publicized compared to the uprisings in Arab countries where we aren't so heavily invested in the status quo, and despite rampant and horrifying abuses of human rights, our illustrious government is keeping mum. To add a personal note, the new Minister of the Interior is the guy who arrested and tortured the father of a friend of mine, so you can imagine what the rest are probably like. Said friend suggests writing to your MP, given that Canada has been silent on the international stage.

On a happier note, Byron Sonne has, nearly a year since his arrest, been granted bail! Here's hoping that he gets off and is able to turn around and sue the bastards.

The IMF continues to screw the working class. Literally, and non-consensually.

Stay classy, Disney!

And in local news, Shorter Rosie DiManno: It's all about MEEEE. Is it just me or do her articles never make a single lick of sense?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (the beatings will continue...)
LJ tells me that Bin Laden is dead, and Al Jazeera confirms it.

Can we have our civil rights back and stop invading and occupying Middle Eastern countries now? No? Then who gives a fuck?

get your war on
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
It's not like I don't read the newspaper every day, but if I didn't read LJ/my feeds, I wouldn't know about...

The Georgia Prisoners' Strike.

On Thursday morning, December 9, 2010, thousands of Georgia prisoners refused to work, stopped all other activities and locked down in their cells in a peaceful protest for their human rights.
...
· A LIVING WAGE FOR WORK
· EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
· DECENT HEALTH CARE
· AN END TO CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS
· DECENT LIVING CONDITIONS
· NUTRITIONAL MEALS
· VOCATIONAL AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
· ACCESS TO FAMILIES
· JUST PAROLE DECISIONS
...
The Georgia Department of Corrections is at http://www.dcor.state.ga.us and their phone number is 478-992-5246


Or about Jody McIntyre, a student protester who was dragged from his wheelchair by police during the London protests. China Miéville is at his scathing best on the way the media covered it.

Or this story, brought to my attention by [livejournal.com profile] springheel_jack:

"One individual had two boxes attached, one box taped to his leg and one box seemingly taped to his forehead," he said.

"There were what seemed to be wires attached to them," he added.


Go on, guess what it was.

ETA: All this is SRS BUSINESS, so here's one that [livejournal.com profile] radiumhead found.

Wil Wheaton playing D&D with the Golden Girls, framed by bacon )
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (war is fun)
American troops kill a bunch of insurgents with AK-47s.

And by "insurgents," we mean "Reuters journalists." And by "AK-47s," we mean "cameras." But they're still totally dangerous to the war effort, so much so that the Americans felt the need to lie about it afterwards.

After they were done blasting the hell out of a group of clearly unarmed people, they shoot up a few Good Samaritans trying to evacuate one of the wounded journalists. Oh yeah, and two kids. Then they congratulate themselves on some good shootin'.

You can read about it and watch the video of the murders here.

Hat tip: [livejournal.com profile] kynn.

Related: Collateral damage in Afghanistan.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
American troops kill a bunch of insurgents with AK-47s.

And by "insurgents," we mean "Reuters journalists." And by "AK-47s," we mean "cameras." But they're still totally dangerous to the war effort, so much so that the Americans felt the need to lie about it afterwards.

After they were done blasting the hell out of a group of clearly unarmed people, they shoot up a few Good Samaritans trying to evacuate one of the wounded journalists. Oh yeah, and two kids. Then they congratulate themselves on some good shootin'.

You can read about it and watch the video of the murders here.

Hat tip: [livejournal.com profile] kynn.

Related: Collateral damage in Afghanistan.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (lite brite)
Via BoingBoing, every violent act in the Superbowl ads:


Most of that just comes off as slapstick, to be honest. None of it's as violent as the following ad, which also apparently aired during the Superbowl (via [livejournal.com profile] fengi):



I know, rationally, that most men I encounter don't think that way about women. I mean, they can't, right? You can't hide that kind of hatred.

Can you?

I saved the worse for last. This story comes to us via [livejournal.com profile] audrawilliams.

cut because I don't want to even look at the link when I check my LJ )

You know, I think I'm just going to curl up under a pile of blankets with my cats for awhile. Wake me up when the world doesn't suck so much.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Via BoingBoing, every violent act in the Superbowl ads:


Most of that just comes off as slapstick, to be honest. None of it's as violent as the following ad, which also apparently aired during the Superbowl (via [livejournal.com profile] fengi):



I know, rationally, that most men I encounter don't think that way about women. I mean, they can't, right? You can't hide that kind of hatred.

Can you?

I saved the worse for last. This story comes to us via [livejournal.com profile] audrawilliams.

cut because I don't want to even look at the link when I check my LJ )

You know, I think I'm just going to curl up under a pile of blankets with my cats for awhile. Wake me up when the world doesn't suck so much.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (ignorance)
Here are the five stupidest stories to make the headlines in my five-minute scan of today's news.

5. A French parliamentary commission proposes banning niqabs and burqas
Presenting conclusions after six months of hearings, the panel also suggested barring foreign women from obtaining French visas or citizenship if they insisted on veiling their faces. I've already blogged before about why I think this is moronic, but to reiterate: Men deciding what women can and cannot wear is fucking sexist, regardless of whether the motivation is patronizing pseudo-feminism, post-911 paranoia, or a misguided interpretation of Muslim dress codes.

4. Nashville censors tell a Toronto theatre group to "tone down" Romeo and Juliet
"If Mercutio doesn't offend the Nurse with his line about the bawdy hand of the dial being upon the prick of noon and she doesn't try to exit in protest, then what happens to the rest of the play?" When I was in 9th grade, we had to study this play. Okay. I think it's not the greatest choice for high schoolers, but whatever. Our English teacher showed us the Zeffirelli film and censored the sex scene by holding a white piece of paper in front of it. This is probably the root of my Victorian porn fetish or something.

3. Children's TV show hosts detained by London police for terrorism.
"We were stopped, not arrested, but they had to say 'we are holding you under the Anti-Terrorism Act because you're running around in flak jackets and a utility belt', and I said 'and please put spangly blue hairdryer' and he was, like, 'all right'." Really, London? Really?

2. Tofu cream pies are terrorism.
A Liberal MP says he believes the federal government should investigate whether the pieing of Fisheries Minister Gail Shea by a woman opposed to the seal hunt constitutes an act of terrorism. Never mind that this story creates a weird mash-up in my head that involves Osama bin Laden starring in a Marx Brothers movie. This story gave me an intense craving for pie. Plz to be serving up more of this sort of terrorism and less of the blowing-stuff-up sort, kthnx.

And the stupidest story of the day...

Get ready...

Drum roll...

1. SoCal school district bans the dictionary.
A Southern California school board has pulled the Merriam-Webster dictionary off its shelves after a parent complained about the entry “oral sex.”

Okay, so you, like everyone else in the world, looked up dirty words in the dictionary and tittered. In fairness, we were all in fifth grade, when "poo-poo" stopped being the funniest thing ever*, to be replaced by "self-abuse" (what?). Maybe it even, well, made you a little hot. You can admit it, I won't judge.

But did you ever encounter a dictionary that defined "oral sex" in such detail that you would know how to do it? I'm pretty sure Merriam-Webster doesn't.

Poll-time!

[Poll #1516926]

Comment with your rants about descriptive versus prescriptive dictionaries.

* I jest, of course. "Poo-poo" is still funniest.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Here are the five stupidest stories to make the headlines in my five-minute scan of today's news.

5. A French parliamentary commission proposes banning niqabs and burqas
Presenting conclusions after six months of hearings, the panel also suggested barring foreign women from obtaining French visas or citizenship if they insisted on veiling their faces. I've already blogged before about why I think this is moronic, but to reiterate: Men deciding what women can and cannot wear is fucking sexist, regardless of whether the motivation is patronizing pseudo-feminism, post-911 paranoia, or a misguided interpretation of Muslim dress codes.

4. Nashville censors tell a Toronto theatre group to "tone down" Romeo and Juliet
"If Mercutio doesn't offend the Nurse with his line about the bawdy hand of the dial being upon the prick of noon and she doesn't try to exit in protest, then what happens to the rest of the play?" When I was in 9th grade, we had to study this play. Okay. I think it's not the greatest choice for high schoolers, but whatever. Our English teacher showed us the Zeffirelli film and censored the sex scene by holding a white piece of paper in front of it. This is probably the root of my Victorian porn fetish or something.

3. Children's TV show hosts detained by London police for terrorism.
"We were stopped, not arrested, but they had to say 'we are holding you under the Anti-Terrorism Act because you're running around in flak jackets and a utility belt', and I said 'and please put spangly blue hairdryer' and he was, like, 'all right'." Really, London? Really?

2. Tofu cream pies are terrorism.
A Liberal MP says he believes the federal government should investigate whether the pieing of Fisheries Minister Gail Shea by a woman opposed to the seal hunt constitutes an act of terrorism. Never mind that this story creates a weird mash-up in my head that involves Osama bin Laden starring in a Marx Brothers movie. This story gave me an intense craving for pie. Plz to be serving up more of this sort of terrorism and less of the blowing-stuff-up sort, kthnx.

And the stupidest story of the day...

Get ready...

Drum roll...

1. SoCal school district bans the dictionary.
A Southern California school board has pulled the Merriam-Webster dictionary off its shelves after a parent complained about the entry “oral sex.”

Okay, so you, like everyone else in the world, looked up dirty words in the dictionary and tittered. In fairness, we were all in fifth grade, when "poo-poo" stopped being the funniest thing ever*, to be replaced by "self-abuse" (what?). Maybe it even, well, made you a little hot. You can admit it, I won't judge.

But did you ever encounter a dictionary that defined "oral sex" in such detail that you would know how to do it? I'm pretty sure Merriam-Webster doesn't.

Poll-time!

[Poll #1516926]

Comment with your rants about descriptive versus prescriptive dictionaries.

* I jest, of course. "Poo-poo" is still funniest.

Profile

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
sabotabby

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  12345
67891011 12
1314 1516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Style Credit

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Page generated Aug. 20th, 2017 02:06 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Most Popular Tags