sabotabby: (furiosa)
Well, that honeymoon was short-lived. Dustin Waterhole's government has already met my expectations. Canada has caved to the terrorists, of both the ISIS and racist white variety, and will only be admitting women, children, and families as refugees.

You will hear me once, non-ironically, say: What about the men?

Seriously, I think I've found the one thing that feminists and MRAs can both get behind, which is to say that this is stupid. It's wrong. It's fractal wrong.

407588_10151140965990967_441452921_n

Here are the reasons why it's stupid:

1) What about gay men? Or trans people? Asexual men, even. Most of whom would presumably need to be closeted. There is a special last-minute exemption, but that sounds like the kind of thing that is very dangerous for LGBTQ++ people in practice. (And then it becomes useless anyway, as gay men, trans people, and asexuals can all be terrorists as easily as heteros.)

2) Did your wife and family get murdered by ISIS? Too bad, you can't come to Canada. Serves you right for not becoming the Punisher.

3) This is security theatre. Like all security theatre, it is harmful (in this case, to young men), and it is useless (as women can be terrorists too).

4) Assuming that the goal is security, which it isn't (spoiler: the goal is optics, because the Liberals crave popularity and post-Paris, 51% of the population now opposes bringing in the refugees), leaving a shitload of unattached young men, the prime demographic for terrorist recruitment, in refugee camps or at risk of being sent back to a warzone, seems strategically asinine.

Ultimately, this is a condemnation of Dustin's pledge to govern "from the heart outwards." You know why rationality is useful in politics? Because any sensible person would have immediately found four obvious flaws in the plan. It's also an indictment of Dustin's particularly condescending brand of Feminism Lite (anyone remember Justin Unplugged? Just me? Okay then!), which pays lipservice to gender equality while failing to address structural inequities.

On the plus side, fucking everyone is making fun of Dustin's global fedora-tipping, so I bet you they'll back down on this before the end of the week.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
12240864_892752047481476_5785890450540314798_o
Created by Allan Bassi, link to original here.

If you read comments on the SUN or Star websites, the red bit is a million times funnier.

ETA: Elsewhere, [livejournal.com profile] bcholmes pointed out—rightfully so—that you shouldn't donate to the Red Cross. So if you are actually using this flowchart for advice, donate to MSF.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (wall)
I don't have much to contribute to that thing that happens whenever a Western country experiences a horrific attack. It's all been said by people smarter than me. All I can do is extend sympathies to people who are near or have family in Paris—and Beirut; to be honest, I know a lot more Lebanese people than I do French people—and feel sad and shocked and disgusted.

But I wanted to share one really good thing. This is the first good thing on LJ I'm going to say about Dustin Waterhole's government, though I've mentioned a few good things they've done elsewhere. And I think, in general, they're reprehensible opportunists. BUT.

One of their election promises was to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada before the end of the year. There's been a lot of talk about how difficult that's going to be, both logistically and politically. Personally, I don't think 25,000 is enough—this is a humanitarian crisis beyond the scope of my imagination, and if we're not doing everything we possibly can, we are failing—but it's a good start and better than Harper would have done, of course.

The attacks on Paris yesterday would have been a chance for the Libs to back out of their commitment and score political points with the hawks and racists. (The attacks on Beirut, of course, would have no affect either way, because doesn't that sort of thing happen all the time over there to those people? No need to light up the CN Tower or change our Facebook icons to the colours of the Lebanese flag.)

They have confirmed, as of today, that they are still going ahead with it.

This is absolutely the correct decision. After all, the horrors we saw in Paris are the selfsame horrors that Syrians and others—oh yes, don't forget that Syria is not the only refugee crisis—are fleeing. It was the correct thing to do a few days ago and it is the correct thing to do today.

It is, furthermore, how the world should react to terror and tragedy—with compassion, empathy, and levelheadness.

So colour me surprised and impressed.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fighting the man)

I'm against hate speech.

I'm against murdering people for making cartoons.

I'm against attacking people in retaliation for murders that they had nothing to do with.

I'm against the climate of xenophobia in France, which is, among other things, fallout from France's colonialist history.

I'm also side-eyeing the fact that there was nowhere near this level of international outcry or media coverage of the murders of 145 Pakistani children massacred and suspect it was because they weren't white Westerners.

(For context, this is a useful thing to read. Not substantially different than Nazi anti-Semitic cartoons of the 1930s. But they shouldn't have been killed over it, obviously.)

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 (moloch)
So is this shitbag murderer a Teabagger? I wouldn't be surprised. American political discourse involves one side compromising and the other calling for outright assassination and the violent overthrow of the government.

ETA: You've probably seen these already, but:

Palin totally threatened her life before:


As did Giffords' opponent:



Roll had also been targeted before for daring to do his job.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (quit your whoring now)
[livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid posted a picture. Compare these portraits to English portraits of drunkards in the Edwardian era. Also, their website must be seen to be believed. If I didn't think I'd get in trouble for it, I'd totally show it to my students when I try (in vain, I might add) to teach them why you shouldn't tile a background image and then put red type over it.

It's amusing to poke fun of them, but expect to see more of this sort of thing. American political culture has been steeping in a higher-than-usual amount of crazy for some time now, and it's just beginning to come to a head.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid posted a picture. Compare these portraits to English portraits of drunkards in the Edwardian era. Also, their website must be seen to be believed. If I didn't think I'd get in trouble for it, I'd totally show it to my students when I try (in vain, I might add) to teach them why you shouldn't tile a background image and then put red type over it.

It's amusing to poke fun of them, but expect to see more of this sort of thing. American political culture has been steeping in a higher-than-usual amount of crazy for some time now, and it's just beginning to come to a head.

Linkspam!

Jan. 11th, 2010 06:30 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (lite brite)
1. Via [livejournal.com profile] springheel_jack:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Why does Rambo have an anchor in Afghanistan? Because he is prepared.

HOLY SHIT IT'S A RAMBO COLOURING BOOK. Click on that link and there's MORE. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to download those and colour them in. Hahahaha. The 80s were so strange.*

2. If you have a few hours to kill, check out The Power of Nightmares so we can discuss it. It's pretty good; a parallel history of Islamic terrorism and neoconservatism. I think it's too soft on Nixon and Kissinger (you know your cast is pure evil when Kissinger is the good guy) but it's fascinating stuff.

3. If you are artistically talented, you should participate in Bruce Schneier's TSA logo contest.

4. And if you are a web designer, you might know about this already, but if not, check out Accessify. I ran across it in my attempt to find a resource on accessible web design that's, well, accessible to teenagers. This has tutorials and plain language, which the W3C pages, while great, do not.

* Tagged "rambo iii" because apparently I only have one Rambo tag and it's oddly specific.

Linkspam!

Jan. 11th, 2010 06:30 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
1. Via [livejournal.com profile] springheel_jack:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Why does Rambo have an anchor in Afghanistan? Because he is prepared.

HOLY SHIT IT'S A RAMBO COLOURING BOOK. Click on that link and there's MORE. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to download those and colour them in. Hahahaha. The 80s were so strange.*

2. If you have a few hours to kill, check out The Power of Nightmares so we can discuss it. It's pretty good; a parallel history of Islamic terrorism and neoconservatism. I think it's too soft on Nixon and Kissinger (you know your cast is pure evil when Kissinger is the good guy) but it's fascinating stuff.

3. If you are artistically talented, you should participate in Bruce Schneier's TSA logo contest.

4. And if you are a web designer, you might know about this already, but if not, check out Accessify. I ran across it in my attempt to find a resource on accessible web design that's, well, accessible to teenagers. This has tutorials and plain language, which the W3C pages, while great, do not.

* Tagged "rambo iii" because apparently I only have one Rambo tag and it's oddly specific.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (lite brite)
Tripod mistaken for big-ass gun.

I should mention, for non-Ontarians, that Sheridan is well-known for its animation, photography, graphic design, and film programs. Which makes the fact that they locked the school down over a tripod incredibly funny, seeing as the place is crawling with them.

Oh well. I'm glad it turned out to be nothing. Also, hee hee hee.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Tripod mistaken for big-ass gun.

I should mention, for non-Ontarians, that Sheridan is well-known for its animation, photography, graphic design, and film programs. Which makes the fact that they locked the school down over a tripod incredibly funny, seeing as the place is crawling with them.

Oh well. I'm glad it turned out to be nothing. Also, hee hee hee.

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