sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
I could go on all day about Israel and Palestine, and I have some crappy cell pictures from the (very well attended, quite amazing actually) vigil today, and there are a million links to outrage you and exhaust you, but I think I'd rather post about something nice.

So here is an article about Caplansky's Deli, which is a super-popular Jewish deli, and how it's signed on to be a sponsor for the Toronto Palestine Film Festival in an attempt to promote dialogue and peace. Never eaten there myself but now I pretty much have to, because that is just cool. (Adorably, a bunch of people at the vigil got takeout from there and brought it by; apparently it actually is as good as people say. If nothing else, the pickles smell like I imagine heaven would.)

By coincidence, Zane Caplansky is a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, so I'm currently talking to him on The Face about a) what the vegetarian options there are like, and b) hey, you know, thanks for doing this, you're awesome, and it's kind of a nice way to cap off a day that was mostly frustrating and sad.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
Between the photos of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and what will no doubt be a brutal bloodbath in Brazil tonight and the spoiled fucking Americans pumping black smoke out of their trucks because there's a president a millimetre to the left of the president they liked, I'm full of impotent rage for things happening far away that I can do nothing about.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (red flag over TO)
It's been a fun few days in Canadian (and in particular, Torontonian) politics.

By now, you may have heard that the Honourable Wife-Beating Mayor was filmed in a restaurant, three sheets to the wind, ranting in faux Jamaican patois. Included among the Laughable Bumblefuck's utterances were the words “bumbaclot” and “rassclot,” which has the local media in a frenzy as white people try to translate. It's pretty funny, actually.

I imagine this will do good things for his polling numbers, because let's face it, “bumbaclot” is a hilarious word.

It speaks to one of the fundamental contradictions about the HWB, though. I mean, the guy is racist. He says racist things, but more to the point, his policies are racist and cause disproportionate harm to racialized Torontonians. It's pretty racist for a white guy to mock patois. And yet. One of his strongest bases of support is in the inner suburbs populated by these same racialized Torontonians (including, by the way, the owner of the restaurant, who was on CBC this morning defending his regular customer and claiming that the outburst was in no way racist). The easy answer is that for all his flaws, and they are many, the Laughable Bumblefuck makes an effort to physically visit communities in the inner suburbs, whereas I see very few downtown left-wing politicians in Scarborough. But I don't think it's the whole answer.

If you were waiting for Ministry's legendary Al Jourgensen to comment on the political situation in Toronto (I know I was), you'll be pleased to know that he's finally weighed in. His official statement:
You do realize Torontonians he is making yer city a punch line to every fucking joke in existence .....I wanna meet this guy....uncle Al will set him straight...I'm like 6 years older than him...always respect yer elders !

Thanks for that, Uncle Al.

MEANWHILE IN ISRAEL, OMG STEPHEN HARPER!

Much has been made of our Chief Devourer of Kittens' recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, wherein he has been attempting to prove himself, and by extension, the whole country (yeah, thanks for that, asshole) more Zionist than the Israelis. And wow. He brought 208 people, which is about twice the size of the Knesset, including a member of the terrorist-sorry-"controversial" Jewish Defense League. Who are not at all the same as the group that even the US government considers a terrorist organization despite the fact that they have the same name and the same goals. And they in no way pall around with the EDL. Right.

So! Highlights include Mr. Harper serenading Netanyahu. You know how sometimes satire goes around on FB and people report it as news because internet? This is not one of those cases. By the way, it's okay to read the comments on that link.

Even Jonathan Kay, militant proponent of Palestinian self-determination and human rights that he is (that was sarcasm in case you've never read his column) has written that Harper's gone too far and even Zionists ought to find it creepy. Dude, when Jonathan Kay is pointing out that you support Netanyahu more than most Israelis do, you've clearly got a problem.

Alas, this will probably do for Harper's numbers what shouting "bumbaclot" will do for Ford's, as if there's one thing that can be guaranteed in Canadian politics, it's people voting against their own interests because they think they'll save 50 cents in tax breaks.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
I honestly kept forgetting that he was still alive. Happy to speak ill of the dead in this case, but it's not like he was up to particularly much in the last few years.

Related: Journalists Worldwide Really Struggling With Ariel Sharon Obituary.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
The UN recognized Palestine as a kinda-sorta-maybe state.

Though I don't think this will actually change the situation on the ground in any discernable way, it will at least give Bibi and Harper a bad case of indigestion so I guess that's good.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (handala)
I don't even.

So far at least eight people have been killed, including two children whom I guess were terrorist children or something so we shouldn't be concerned about them, one of which was the terrorist child of a terrorist BBC worker. My government certainly isn't shedding any tears.

Posting pictures of dead and dying children isn't really my thing; I am seeing plenty tonight and I'm sure you could easily find them if you went looking. Needless to say, it's horrific, and the flippant Tweets only amplify the awfulness.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (the beatings will continue...)
You know about this, I'm sure, but three members of [livejournal.com profile] pussy_riot got two years in jail for a political protest. Isn't it great that there's no more Soviet Union and Russian citizens are free to express their beliefs?

Here's a letter from Billy Bragg to Pussy Riot:
Photobucket

There was a protest today, but I missed it. At least the world is outraged? That's something, I guess.

In South Africa, police murdered 34 striking miners, because apparently we've travelled back in time to that era of labour and race relations.

In Jerusalem, dozens of Israeli youth attacked three Palestinian kids, one of whom is now in intensive care.

It's a much smaller thing and no one got killed, but apparently it's a problem to have Asians on our money. Because Canada doesn't have a problem with racism at all.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (handala)
Okay, how come I don't see anyone blogging about this story?

To summarize: Six Palestinian activists boarded Israeli-only buses. They were, of course, arrested. I gather that there's a good deal of media coverage in Israel, but in the news here, this has been overshadowed by OWS.

The idea that there are certain roads and certain buses for people of one ethnicity and not another is so incredibly blatant and glaring that I can't imagine how anyone even bothers to justify it. I mean, does this remind anyone of anything? The reaction of Israeli observers, however, was pretty gross.

A 16-year-old Jewish Israeli, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the Freedom Riders shouldn’t be able to board the bus because, “It’s an Israeli bus.”

“We live here, this is our land,” he said.

When asked about those who feel differently, the boy replied, “Those who say this is Palestinian land don’t have proof.”

He added that Palestinians enjoy a lot of freedom. “We give them identity cards and they can do whatever they want.”


So remind me again: Why don't the Palestinians use peaceful methods to obtain their rights like Gandhi did?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Jew jokes)
Let's say I have a problem with the Chinese government. Despite maintaining the vestiges and rhetoric of Communism, the Chinese economy is ruthlessly capitalist and anti-worker. I loathe sweatshops and company "unions" that exist merely as another layer of management. I have my doubts about some of the Falun Gong's more outlandish claims, and I think they're a cult, but I don't doubt that they are persecuted just for practicing their wacky religion. I think Tibet has every right to be independent.

Now, am I anti-Chinese for saying these things? Am I anti-Communist? Would anyone in their right mind associate criticism of state policy and government with ill will towards the people of said country, particularly when the solutions I would propose (stronger and better-enforced labour law and environmental regulations, higher wages, real unions that fight on behalf of their workers, an open and transparent democratic process, freedom of religion, and an independent Tibet) would benefit the vast majority of people in China and disadvantage only a small elite (well, and it would have a negative impact on elites here, as well as most of us in the West who enjoy cheap products made in sweatshops, but I think that's a small price to pay for social justice).

I do know a couple people who would vehemently disagree with everything I just said, but I don't believe, in general, that my position in regards to the Chinese government is incredibly controversial or offensive. In fact, there are very few countries where I wouldn't have some sort of loud, vehement critique of government policy. (Bolivia is headed in the right direction. Venezuela was, and then Chavez came down with a bad case of the megalomaniacals.) I criticize the Canadian government all the time, but it's seldom that I'm accused of being anti-Canadian.* Criticism of the American government is a bit of a different bird—one does get accused of anti-Americanism. But it's generally held that disliking the policies of a given country can be easily separated from one's feelings about the people of that country, the religion and culture practiced by people who live in that country, and so on.

Well, you know. Unless it's Israel. If you're talking about Israel, any criticism of state policy or suggestion that maybe the Palestinians means that you probably have Protocols of the Elders of Zion stashed away on your bookshelf somewhere.**

I do understand the political reasons for the conflation of Israeli policy and all Jewish people, everywhere; it's an arrangement that very much benefits the Israeli government. And, in fairness, a majority of the Jewish citizens of Israel and Jews in the diaspora support the things that the Israeli government does, so it's not an entirely accurate conflation. It isn't, however, an accurate conflation either, particularly where the diaspora is concerned, and it's as silly as expecting that everyone of Chinese heritage has Mao's Little Red Book memorized.

I mention this, of course, because of the worrying report from the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism, which has concluded that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Canada. I mean, it would be worrisome if it were true, which it isn't. The report is flawed because it lumps in one definition of anti-Semitism, which is any criticism of the State of Israel, with the traditional definition of anti-Semitism, which includes racially-motivated violence and neo-Nazis painting swastikas on synagogue doors. The latter category is really uncommon here; in fact, it's been years since I've seen a Nazi swastika or a neo-Nazi in Toronto. As a Jew in Canada, I feel pretty safe, actually. As a woman, maybe not so much. I don't doubt that there are still some anti-Semites out there, but Jews don't face anywhere near the level of danger and harassment faced by, let's say, First Nations people. You will notice that there is no Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Racism and Violence Against Indigenous Canadians, though far more Native Canadians than Jews are the victims of systemic discrimination, poverty, racist rhetoric, and racially motivated attacks.

I imagine that if the CPCCA had only focused on incidents that were anti-Semitic, they wouldn't have had much of a report, and our illustrious government might have been forced to conclude that there was no real reason for an inquiry into anti-Semitism as somehow separate from other forms of racism in Canada. But rather than just admitting that they were wasting time and money, the CPCCA has decided to justify its ludicrous conclusions and exclusion of interest groups, including Jewish groups, who might have provided a more balanced perspective:

Over 10 days of hearings between November, 2009, and February, 2010, the CPCCA’s 22 members heard from 74 witnesses, including federal and provincial cabinet ministers, diplomats, university administrators, academics, chiefs of police, journalists and other interested individuals.

But many groups that do not embrace the new definition of anti-Semitism – including Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Seriously Free Speech, and Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East – were refused the opportunity to testify.

“The groups basically that we did not hear from were groups predominantly of individuals who started from the premise of condemning the particular coalition of parliamentarians to combat anti-Semitism,” said [Mario Silva, former MP who chaired the coalition]. “I personally feel I didn’t want to give a platform to individuals who had no time for us. Why should we have time for them?”


Right. Why listen to people who disagree with us in a supposed democracy? The CPCCA only makes sense when framed in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict and as a tool with which to bash anyone, Jews included, who is even slightly in favour of Palestinian human rights.

Closely related to the CPCCA story is the news that the Canadian Jewish Congress is no more. I'm not all that surprised, given that the organization has been irrelevant for some time now, except that I am kind of surprised. I've had no shortage of criticism of the CJC or Bernie Farber in the past, but in the current political context, Farber is actually pretty sensible, which means that as a leader in an increasingly polarized community, he was doomed from the get-go. The CJC is now the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy; the name change is obviously a sharp turn to the right and an indication that the needs and aspirations of the Canadian Jewish community are no longer the first priority of Canadian Jewish leaders. The only thing that needs to be advocated for is the foreign policy of a tiny country on the other side of the planet.

Just so I don't get strawwomaned by my resident troll—yes, obviously, there are some anti-Semites who criticize Israel. There are still people who hate Jews. This is a Bad Thing and those people ought to be called out. However, my great-grandmother fled the pogroms in Russia. My grandfather could not open up a business in his own name. My mother was forced to sing songs and recite the prayers of a religion that was not hers when she was in school. I was also forced to recite the prayers of another religion when I was in school, but thanks to an alliance between Jewish and Muslim parents, that ended by the time I was in fourth grade. Today, we are not systemically oppressed as a race, culture, or ethnicity in Canada.

And that is awesome. It's progress that there's no longer any need for an organization like the CJC, and I also think it's awesome that anti-Semitism is largely non-existent and irrelevant in my country. We should celebrate and take that struggle as a model to ensure an end to systemic racism against other ethnicities. What one shouldn't do, however, is take that progress and use it as political capital to quash freedom of expression and stomp all over the rights of people who are still discriminated against, to move the goalposts and redefine terms so that racist policies can be framed in anti-racist language.

* I totally am, of course. But that's a different issue.

** I actually have a copy. Given to me by another Jew. I am pretty sure 90% of the North American market for the existing copies of that book is Jews buying copies for other Jews because we think that shit is hilarious. The other 10% consists of 9/11 Truthers and neo-Nazis.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (no pigdogs)
Elected official brings his camcorder to the Dyke March.

You know.

Just to make sure that nothing improper is going on. Like ladies with their shirts off or doubleplus ungood speech.

Mammoliti's campaign to defund Pride, and ultimately to stop it (because that's what the homophobes who have taken over our municipal government want, let's not kid ourselves) has just levelled up in squickiness.

i can haz restraining order?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
It is quite simple, actually. Politicians, negotiators, and pundits are hereby forbidden from uttering the following hackneyed phrases: "painful concessions," "new realities on the ground," "Where is the Palestinian peace movement?/Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?", and "a democratic (and/or independent) Palestine and a secure Israel." Then, maybe, we'll get somewhere.

Okay, perhaps it is not the solution. But in watching the latest round of "breakthroughs," I am reminded uncomfortably of the Oslo Accords. Everyone seems to think that Obama's call for a return to the 1967 borders with the odd land swap is some sort of radical (anti-Semitic, in some circles) departure from the traditional U.S. line in these discussions, but really, it's the one thing that everyone but extremists (including myself and Benjamin Netanyahu, albeit for different reasons) seem to agree upon. As that last link puts it:

Although the use of the phrase “1967 lines” will irk many Israelis and delight Palestinians, the basic framework of an independent Palestine comprised of Gaza and the West Bank with land swaps to accommodate major Jewish settlements has long been American policy.


In fact, it's Harper, not Obama, who is Netanyahu's staunch ally this time around, (Obama's stance makes some political sense in context), drawing praise from such luminaries as convicted fraudster Conrad Black.

Harper's bluster distracts from the fact that there's really nothing new on the table, which is why May's posturing will inevitably lead to no change whatsoever. Israel under Netanyahu won't agree to the 1967 borders; the various factions within Palestine won't agree to a truncated and militarily neutered state, and two states divided on 1967 borders is likely demographically not feasible in the long term. The issue is not ultimately where the borders are adjusted to; the most perfectly drawn map in the world will not compensate for fundamental imbalances of power and resources, the refugee issue that no one wants to talk about, and the question of whether a state can be both "Jewish" and "democratic," especially once its non-Jewish population rises to equal its Jewish population.

As for the Palestinian Gandhi, lately we've seen what happens when Palestinians adopt—rightly so, by the way—the strategies of non-violence. A clash with the IDF at the Syrian border has left 20 dead. A very one-sided "clash,: since according to reports, the closest the protesters had to weapons were some rocks; if someone else were doing the shooting, we would call that a "massacre."

Here's an interesting editorial from the Guardian on non-violence in Palestine and India. (Is anyone talking about Kashmir anymore? I guess not.) And another one from Al Jazeera about the rhetorical use of children.

I actually don't think that peace is impossible, despite the overwhelming negativity in this post. Quite the opposite; I think it's inevitable, but only after Netanyahu's generation dies or retires out of politics, opening the way for pragmatists, and only after the continued entanglement of Jewish and Arab populations erodes the convenient fantasy that maps are the solution to the problem. One can certainly understand, though, given the recent violence, that no one wants to wait that long. Accordingly, I propose as a first step the purging of convenient and meaningless catchphrases from the political vocabulary in favour of a frank assessment of what is actually going on over there.
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 (sweatshop nationalism)
You know, in case you were feeling complacent today.

Tony Kushner, one of my favourite playwrights and deserved winner of the Pulitzer Prize, was denied an honourary degree from CUNY for his views on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. I dunno about the whole idea of honourary degrees, to be honest, but if one is going to grant them, nuanced political opinions ought not to be the reason.

From Barbara Ehrenreich:

The CUNY board's decision came after board member Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld objected to Kushner's statements about Israel, excerpts of which Wiesenfeld claims to have gleaned from various websites (Wiesenfeld's citations have been described by blogger Mitchell Plitnick as having been sourced from the notoriously reactionary pro-Israel propaganda purveyer, Camera.org). Wiesenfeld does not claim to have sought out the original sources of the statements he cites, lending credencem to the objection that he willfully has taken Kushner's comments out of context. Wiesenfeld has since argued, in an unrepentent op-ed posted on the Jewish newspaper site Algemeiner.com, that Kushner's views should be labeled anti-Semitic.


Lest you think that the new Conservative majority is going to be remotely moderate, check out this article on their proposed crime bill.

Here’s what the Library of Parliament says about the bill on its website: “Clause 5 of the bill provides that the offences of public incitement of hatred and wilful promotion of hatred may be committed by any means of communication and include making hate material available, by creating a hyperlink that directs web surfers to a website where hate material is posted, for example.”


Okay, so if I link to a site that has hate material on it, I'm guilty of a hate crime? I link to the Toronto SUN and the National Post pretty frequently! I am so screwed.

The latest from Foxconn, the sweatshop where all of your cool gadgets are made: workers must sign a statement promising not to kill themselves and pledging to "treasure their lives". That's because the horrible conditions in the company are so brutal that workers regularly kill themselves rather than put up with 96-hour weeks, overcrowding, and frequent humiliations. (Don't read the comments on the BoingBoing link. There are a lot of libertarian sweatshop apologists on that thread.)

So how was your day?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (handala)
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid's withdrawal from the 2011 Pride Parade is a brilliant bit of political maneuvering. I am looking forward to attending whatever events they've planned, as well as the official march itself. It removes the false conflict, imposed by various political factions, of QuAIA versus the Pride committee—a conflict that neither group wanted—and places it where it belongs, between Pride and the people of Toronto, the vast majority of whom love the Pride parade and recognize its value to the city, versus the homophobic, boorish troglodytes on City Council, particularly councillor Giorgio Mammoliti and our Honourable Wife-Beating Mayor Rob Ford.

Of course, QuAIA's well-considered and dignified move is not enough for Mammoliti, who is insisting that Pride, in order to receive city funding, must promise to ban QuAIA forever and ever. This is so ridiculous that even Bernie Farber, staunch Zionist and CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, thinks that it's bollocks.*

This follows a decision by the city manager that criticizing the policies of a government that occupied a group of people, demolished their homes, drove them into refugee camps, randomly shot at them, built a wall around them, and attempted to starve them out, while within its own borders created a system of separation that privileges the members of one religious-ethnic-cultural group over others, is not actually akin to discrimination. Duh.

Basically, everyone is coming out of this one smelling like roses except, of course, Ford and Mammoliti. And QuAIA's actions reveal the real issue here, which has nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ford has, throughout his political career, demonstrated that he is viciously and violently anti-queer, and the current debacle at City Hall is only one of a string of attempts on his part to prevent Pride from taking place because the thought of bum-fucking makes him uncomfortable or something**.

Here are some choice quotes from our Honourable Wife-Beating Mayor regarding queer people and Pride:

2005: Then-councillor Rob Ford said during a council debate, “I don’t understand a transgender… is it a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy?”

2006: Ford argued against city funding for AIDS prevention programs, saying, “If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line.” He also voted against such programs in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

2006: Ford was the lone vote against putting up three welcome banners over roadways for the 2006 International AIDS conference being held in Toronto that year. The city did not require any extra funding to install these banners.

2010: Ford endorsed council candidate and fundamentalist pastor Wendell Brereton, who said, “My kind of Toronto doesn't parade immorality and call it pride.” In endorsing Brereton, Ford said, “We’re together. We have the same thoughts.”

2010: During his mayoral campaign, Ford said, “I support traditional marriage. I always have.”

While trying to distance himself from homophobic attack ads, Ford called homosexuality a “lifestyle choice.”

2011: In February, Ford was the only member of council to vote against accepting $100,000 from the province to establish screening programs for syphilis and HIV.


* Bet you never thought I'd say something nice about Farber on this LJ. But good on him, seriously.

** Or something.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
The murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis, which was probably a political assassination, represents an overwhelming loss to humanity. He was an incredible artist who devoted his life to art's highest possible purpose: creating a better future.

Here he is talking about the Jenin Freedom Theatre:



Mother Jones has a tribute. And here's the story of one of the lives he helped change.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (handala)
project hope graphic novel

When I grow up, I want to work for Project Hope. They're an NGO that runs educational programs, focusing on language, drama, and art, with Palestinian children and youth. They have an office in Toronto at Beit Zatoun. The absolute coolest thing (in my entirely biased opinion) that has come out of the project is a graphic novel featuring 14 stories by students in Nablus.

I just got an e-mail announcing that they've extended the graphic novel project into a three-year program for the original students and others.

cut for length )

Anyway, I thought I should share. Project Hope is one of the charities out there that I heartily endorse, and this is exactly why.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (handala)
I feel sick.

Not really surprised*—we all knew that the PA were corrupt, that the talks were deeply asymmetrical, and that the US favours the Israeli side—but a little ill at just how bleak prospects for peace, let alone justice, are.

[livejournal.com profile] smhwpf has analysis.

* Zizek might argue that it is not the knowing of the secret that's traumatic, it's the public acknowledgment of the secret.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
Dear fellow Jews,

If you find yourself siding with and endorsing fascists—and I'm not talking about "I'm a commie so I call everyone to the right of me a fascist," but dyed-in-the-wool, violent, murderous fascists—you should perhaps take a deep breath and, uh, reconsider your stance. These people will have us killed as soon as they get done with the Arabs and Roma.

Case in point:

the fascist Jewish Defense League is bed with the fascist English Defense League )

...England doesn't need defending. WTF?


On a related note, a representative of Stephen Harper just called me up! She told me that no Prime Minister in the history of Canada had ever stood up for the State of Israel the way Harper had,* and did I consider it important for Canada to maintain its support for Israel.

I replied, "Given the State of Israel's abominable violations of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people, I feel that Canada should economically divest and place economic sanctions on Israel in order to pressure it to comply with international law."

"So your answer is yes?"

"...um, what was the question again?"

She repeated it.

"Quite the opposite."

She then asked if I'd consider voting for Harper in the next election.

I managed to stop laughing long enough to get out, "Not in a million years."

I guess she didn't have any other questions for me.

I also guess that I'm on a list now, if I wasn't before.

ETA: In hindsight, I should have kept her on longer and asked why the Harper government was asking me questions about a country that I'm not from and have never so much as visited, rather than asking me how I felt about its policies in my own country. But it was after Pill Time and I was groggy, and I was also pretty amused that this was the first time anyone from the government had asked me for my opinion.


* Really? Not even Lester B. Pearson, who voted for Partition in 1948?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (eat flaming death)
Here are some stories that you should pay attention to:

[livejournal.com profile] bcholmes has a post on how the cholera epidemic in Haïti likely started because of UN peacekeepers.

Did the Star seriously just run an article slamming Jenny Peto's master's thesis? Yes they did.

Don Cherry is a douche. This isn't news, I just thought I should mention it. Also, that suit is fucking horrible.

Ontario's ombudsman reports that McGuinty's secret law but not really a law was illegal. Rumour has it he will next investigate the preferred defecation grounds of bears.

You might not have seen this in the news back in May, but there is currently a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge around homelessness and inadequate housing. You can find more information here and here.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (lite brite)
1. Via [livejournal.com profile] sphinctourist:

The ViceTV guide to the Anarchist Cookbook. Lots of nice explosions, questionable sense of self-preservation. I can't say "do not try this at home" often enough for this 12-minute long video. Don't try any of the recipes in the book itself at home either. Just don't.

I wonder if anyone has ever made a book of recipes for vegan and dumpster-dived foodstuffs and called it "The Anarchist Cookbook."

2. MAC is a bad company.* Makeup and fashion, inspired by the lives and deaths of maquiladora workers in Juarez, Mexico. I think there was an episode of More Tears like this, only it was supposed to be ghastly parody.
"At Rodarte, the designers were inspired by the idea of workers in Mexican maquiladoras walking half-asleep to the factories in Juarez, after dressing in the dark."


3. Most everyone has seen this awful story. A Palestinian man was convicted of rape after having consensual sex with a Jewish woman, who was under the mistaken assumption that he was a Nice Jewish Boy. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised—we live in a world where a man can get away with murdering a woman if he finds out that she's transgendered.
"The court is obliged to protect the public interest from sophisticated, smooth-tongued criminals who can deceive innocent victims at an unbearable price – the sanctity of their bodies and souls."


For the record, things you should disclose to a new partner before having casual sex with them for the first time: If you have any STDs, if you have any other partners, if your significant other is likely to barge in and aim a shotgun at your head, and, if you are taking them home with you, whether you have any sort of animals to which they might have a deadly allergy. Things that you do not need to disclose: The shape of your genitals, your ethnicity, your religion, whether you've done your taxes yet this year, whether zombies or pirates would win in a fight, whether you're ever going to give them up or let them down. The former is life-or-death stuff directly related to sex. The latter is typically nice to know when you're sleeping with someone, but we takes our chances and part of life's adventure is discovering things we don't know about our fuckbuddies, pleasant and otherwise.

* Really glad [livejournal.com profile] zingerella introduced me to Urban Decay last weekend. I do like my fancy makeups.

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