Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Blogging in the Real World
When I see a picture like this one...it breaks my heart.
When I read this story.
The United Nations warned yesterday that it no longer has enough money to keep global malnutrition at bay this year in the face of a dramatic upward surge in world commodity prices, which have created a "new face of hunger".
I wonder why I blog.
Why I don't do more to help feed hungry people.
Instead of just typing....spitting out words into the void of a blogosphere consumed by wingnuttery and petty bickering.
In a fat and greedy country where hope is harder to find than the proverbial pony in a mountain of manure.
And it's so easy to feel like giving up.
Then I read a little story like this one.
And I remember why I'm blogging. Because I have no choice. Because if we don't tell our stories who will?
Who will report on our awesome struggle for freedom and dignity? So gay kids can feel proud of who they are. And know that they are not alone.
Who will write about ordinary gay guys like me and my buddy Sébastien? So straight people can understand that gay love is as complex, as strong, and as beautiful as any other.
If straight people won't tell our stories...because they don't care or they hate us so much... we will.
But even that's not enough.
Because even as we fight the hate.
Gays, lesbians and bisexuals reported higher rates of victimization by violence than heterosexuals in 2004 — including sexual assault, robbery and physical assault.
And show those bigot bastards that we're not afraid.
Despite experiencing higher rates of violence, however, gays, lesbians and bisexuals did not express more fear.
For me ... and Sébastien... being gay also means standing up for ALL oppressed and suffering people.
Being tough enough to beat the bullies and bigots.
But gentle enough to hear the cry of a hungry child.
And angry enough to do what we can to make other people hear it too.
Even if it's just WORDS.
So I guess I'll keep on blogging in the real world until I can figure out a better way to help make that world a better place.
But right now I'm going to be forced to take a break.
I have to go into the hospital to remove an old battle scar from my Bully War days. Kids remember.. when someone throws a brick at your head... DUCK.
And I honestly don't know when I'll be back.
But don't worry about me. It's not a big deal. I'm not the slightest bit afraid. I'm going to get to recover in one of my favourite places on earth.
With my favourite guy.
So I'm laughing.
And all I want to say is bye for now. Thank you for reading this humble little blog.
A kinder gentler world IS worth fighting for.
Hope springs eternal....from under all that manure. Or so they tell me.
And I BELIEVE them.
The great journey that is life continues...
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Obama the Messiah and Hillary the Witch
The photograph published on Monday shows Mr Obama - whose father came from Kenya - wearing a white turban and a white robe presented to him by elders in the north-east of the country.
The Drudge Report said the image had been circulated by "Clinton staffers".
Although I don't understand why the Obama camp is so angry.
Isn't it a GOOD thing to have a President who can declare a Jihad on Amerika's enemies?
Isn't that better than pushing the button? Or cheaper than a long losing war in Iraq?
No. I'm more concerned about Billary mocking Obammy as the Messiah Man.
Coz now it's EVERYWHERE...
Which as an atheist I find APPALLING.
So I just want to remind Hillary.... or as some are calling her....The Raging Nun.... that Obama has brought new excitement to the Presidential campaign.
He doesn't just MOVE people.
He really turns them on.
OMFG. NO we CAN'T. NO we WON'T.
And while I'm at it.....I should also remind Obama that it's probably time to turn this little scene from one of my favourite movies.
Into an attack ad...
Aaaaaaargh...my beautiful wickedness.... I'm melting!!!!!
Politics in Amerika.
First they raise your hopes.
Then they dash them....
Monday, February 25, 2008
Canadian Politicians Finally Notice Omar Khadr
Six years after he was captured in Afghanistan and locked up in Guantanamo, a bunch of Canadian politicians are finally demanding the return of our child soldier Omar Khadr.
And admitting that his country failed him.
"We did not play our proper role in protecting Mr. Khadr's rights. We are not going to remain silent any longer," said Comartin. "We have not done our job up to this point. We are going to do it in the future."
All I can say is Ah-fucking-men. It's about time Canada started acting like a real country again.
I've written many posts about the Guantanamo Kid.
How I consider the way both Liberals and Conservatives looked the other way ....so as not to annoy the Bush administration.... one of the most shameful episodes in modern Canadian history.
Because it doesn't matter what you think of Khadr or his crazy family.... he was a victim of fanatics and a child soldier and that's THAT. And he never should have been locked up in a hellhole like Guantanamo.
But so many Canadians don't seem to get it. Understand that what's supposed to make us better than our enemies is that WE do the right and decent thing.
I'm not surprised the rabid Muslim hating Cons would put up a mushroom cloud of fecal gas to obscure the basic facts of the case.
But how do you explain this?
And he's a PROGRESSIVE?
Gimme a break.
When will a Canadian government demand Khadr's return?
How low can this shrivelled country stoop?
You ain't seen nothing yet...
Afghanistan and the Soldiers of Battle Company
The big debate on Afghanistan that we should have had years ago is finally underway.
But already it's looking more like a comedy show.
With Peter Mackay warning if we don't stop the Taliban in Afghanistan we'll have to fight them in Winnipeg. If they can find it on a map.
Stephane Dion blabbing on about how how our troops should have a non combat role... in a war zone like Kandahar.
Leaving Jack Layton.... who nobody listens to anyway.... to state the obvious:
"Make no mistake about it, Mr. Speaker, this is a motion to continue a war."
The bottom line? Our troops are condemned to three more years in Afghanistan... fighting as hard or harder than they have ....as long as NATO can come up with 1,000 more troops.
Even though our own commanders say we need five times more.
Canada needs as many as 5,000 professional NATO soldiers — double its current force — to hold Kandahar's key districts, a senior commander says, suggesting that previous demands for extra troops are not enough for basic security in the province.
Even though a Pentagon general recently told Congress that we need 400.000 soldiers to beat back the Taliban and provide security for reconstruction.
Even though if we are to win the counter- insurgency war....we will eventually have to move out from the Kandahar districts into bandit country.
Tribal elders from the mountainous district of Khakrez complained last week that NATO has failed to prevent the Taliban from running amok in the northern part of the province.
And start losing Afghan hearts....and OUR minds. Like the American soldiers from Battle Company.
One full-moon night I was sitting outside a sandbag-reinforced hut with Kearney when a young sergeant stepped out hauling the garbage. He looked around at the illuminated mountains, the dust, the rocks, the garbage bin. The monkeys were screeching. “I hate this country!” he shouted. Then he smiled and walked back into the hut. “He’s on medication,” Kearney said quietly to me.
Then another soldier walked by and shouted, “Hey, I’m with you, sir!” and Kearney said to me, “Prozac. Serious P.T.S.D. from last tour.” Another one popped out of the HQ cursing and muttering. “Medicated,” Kearney said. “Last tour, if you didn’t give him information, he’d burn down your house. He killed so many people. He’s checked out.”
Sandifer was questioning why they were sticking it out in the Korengal when the people so clearly hated them.
One day an Afghan visited their fire base, Sandifer told me. “I was staring at him, on the verge of picking up my weapon to shoot him,” he said. “I know right from wrong, but even if I did shoot him everyone at the fire base would have been O.K. We’re all to the point of ‘Lord of the Flies.’ ”
Uh oh. Memo to HQ. Send a pig's head and a sharp stick to Afghanistan.
Seriously though... would it be too much to hope that our politicians and the generals would just level with Canadians? And tell the truth about the bleak military situation.
So something can be DONE about it. So our brave and professional soldiers have a chance to succeed...instead of dying for a Mission Impossible.
Because as it is....three more years in Afghanistan, without enough troops, and no realistic expectation of ultimate success.
Could be a REALLY long and bloody time...
Bullying, Genocide, and Vancouver's Pink Day
They have been holding all kinds of memorials for little Lawrence King who was shot in the head because he was gay.
A series of candlelight vigils have been held throughout the U.S. in the wake of the student's death (an estimated 1,000 people marched in Oxnard the weekend following the murder), in an effort to raise awareness of what many feel was a largely underreported case.
I'm glad so many people are remembering him now that he is dead. But where were they when he was alive?
And why is the bullying of gay children so underreported?
"For whatever reason, there's still a lack of willingness to address the anti-LGBT bullying that goes on in schools. We don't know why, but there's still sort of this sense of having our heads buried in the sand. What happened to Lawrence King is a much more isolated incident, but what happened leading up to his death happens to youth every day, all the time. He was just expressing himself, and we're seeing more of this — youth are being open at an earlier age, and they are proud of their identities, but that doesn't mean someone won't bully them for it. In this case, King was bullied to such an extreme ... you can't get worse than that."
The terrible thing is that because of bullying....yes it can.
As Barbara Coloroso, who has studied the horror of Rwanda points out, there is a clear link between bullying and genocide.
Coloroso draws parallels between behaviour exhibited in child bullying and that exhibited in a genocide. She suggests that both share common characteristics: the dehumanization of the victims, an unquestioning obedience to authority, and a routinization of cruelty.
“The premise I take on bullying is that it’s not about conflict or anger – it’s about contempt for another human being....”
Which is why I am so disappointed that even though Canada has a bully problem that is worse than most other civilized countries, so little is written about it in the MSM...or even in the Canadian blogosphere.
And why I am so happy to see what Vancouver is planning to do to drive home the message that bullying STOPS here.
Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has recently announced that February 27 will be “Pink Shirt Day” in Vancouver. Next Wednesday, people in the city – and anywhere else, for that matter – can stand up to bullying in schools, in playgrounds, and at work. How? Easy. Wear something pink.
And not only that ......they're going to fly a pink flag over City Hall. Isn't that awesome?!!!!
I won't be able to write about it...as I'll explain soon.
But I hope with all my heart that the MSM and Canadian bloggers can pick up the story and help spread the great idea that these Canadian kids started.
Because bullying isn't something we can ignore.
If we don't stop the bullies in the playground, they'll POISON our tolerant society.
And haunt us ALL one day...
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Serbia and the Trap of the Past
I was downtown today when I came across this Serbian-Canadian demo.
Police were taking no chances.
They even had a fire engine standing by. I guess they were worried somebody would burn the American consulate down. And blame it on the Americans.
But this was a noisy but peaceful crowd.
And very Canadian...
I couldn't help but be impressed by their pride and their passion.
But I also couldn't help but wonder as they chanted "Serbia...Serbia....Serbia."
Whether they understand that the dead of Srebrenica also speak loudly from their graves.
And whether the proud Serbian people still don't understand what happened and why.
And really are trapped in the past.
Every effort has been made by NATO, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States to accommodate Serbian fears and sensitivities. Belgrade has never demonstrated any remorse for the carnage unleashed by former dictator Slobodan Milosevic on Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority — nor any willingness to negotiate the province’s independence.
Serbian leaders have a clear choice: stoke this xenophobia and self-pity, and further isolate themselves, or tamp down these passions and accept Europe’s offer of economic and political integration.
History has proved that Balkan resentments can trigger wider conflict. It must not happen again.
I don't want to take sides in this conflict. All I wish for is peace and reconciliation.
But it seems to me unless Canada and other countries recognize Kosovo....and help the Serbs come to terms with the new reality. This fatal blindness or delusion will continue.
And the situation can only get worse...
P.S. Whenever I think of the Balkan War I think of the story Sébastien once told me. About coming across a burned out village full of rotting bodies.
And some U.N. guy was sobbing and beating his fist on the hood of a jeep. And when Sébastien asked him who was to blame he said "everyone."
As in those who did it and those that didn't stop it.
It's his nightmare... and because I love him ...mine as well.
Please never let it happen again...
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Shining a Light on Jamaica's Homophobic Zombies
One night last month, Andre and some friends were finishing dinner when a mob showed up at the front gate. Yelling antigay slurs and waving machetes, sticks and knives, 15 to 20 men kicked in the front door of the home he and his friends had rented and set upon them.
The mob pummeled him senseless. His right hand, the one he used to shield himself from the blows, is now covered with bandages. His skull has deep cut marks and his ear was sliced in half, horizontally. Doctors managed to sew it back together and he can hear out of it again.
Next to Andre, huddled in a corner during the attack, was his boyfriend, 22, who goes by the nickname Junior. Deep machete slashes run up and down the arm he held in the air to protect himself. His head was also battered, though he escaped a more vicious beating by running through the mob waving a kitchen knife.
What a place. What cowards.
And don't you love the good pastor who gave Andre refuge? And is now trying to turn him STRAIGHT.
“Instead of cutting him, people should be counseling him,” said the pastor, who declined to be identified out of fear that his family might be attacked for protecting a gay man. “He needs to get over this demonic thing.”
WHO is demonic? WHO needs counselling?
Kookamunga. Are the homophobic zombies of Blood Island losing their minds...... as well as their heads?
The good news is that now that the MSM is finally shining a light on the horror that is Jamaica...and it's not just the gay press...or bloggers like me or Mark.
Now there are NO excuses.
Now that EVERYONE knows what is going on in Jamaica. That people are being murdered or hurt for who they are or who they love.
What are we going to do about it?
How are we going to STOP it?
P.S. the other good news of course is this:
Gareth Henry, a former leader of the group, fled to Canada last month, saying he had grown tired of being threatened. “Here, I’m no longer living in fear,” he said in a telephone interview from Toronto. “I’m finally able to be myself, to be an out gay man.”
Kinda makes me proud to be Canadian. Damn.
Welcome to Canada Gareth!!!!!!!!
Why Canada Must Recognize Kosovo
They may need them to defend Kosovo.
Russia's ambassador to Nato, Dmitry Rogozin, has warned that Russia could use military force if the Kosovo independence dispute escalates.
Trust the Russians to pour vodka on this bonfire of emotions.
The Serbs, with their legitimate right to mourn for the loss of Kosovo, were transformed into vandals who loot their own city
It's a greedily practical turn to the famous "inat" and spiteful defiance that Serbs generally offer the world community. .
There is one known fatality: a severely burned body was found inside the vandalized American embassy. He has no name, no face and is probably a Serbian hooligan overwhelmed by his own arson. The latest victim of a lethal myth.
I feel for the Serbs. Their capital Belgrade has been levelled over the course of their long and bloody history by 30 different armies. They have suffered a lot. Subjugated by the Ottoman Empire...murdered by the Nazis. They have been victims as well as victimizers.
So I can understand their anger and their humiliation at losing the land that contains some of the most sacred monuments and monasteries that define them.
But as I pointed out the other day...they have nobody to blame but themselves. Or the leaders and generals who led them to disaster. Because genocide is genocide. And you can't expect any people to want to share a country with those who tried to exterminate them.
What is done is done. And the only way out of this long nightmare is acceptance and reconciliation.
The Serbs must accept that things cannot be the way they were. The Kosovars must give them time to do that. Reach out to the Serbs within their borders. And above all protect the Serb monuments and monasteries as they would their own most precious sites..
There are some encouraging signs.
And hopefully one day the two people can bridge the hatred that divides them...and live in peace as neighbours.
In the meantime countries like Canada should stop fussing and recognize the new state.
Kosovo has split the nations of the world into two clubs: those who fear their own disintegration and those who do not. The Canadian government has signalled through silence that secession, even in the Balkans, is still too close to home.
Recognize that it is a unique case, and does NOT set a precedent for Quebec.
Because the more they hesitate the more they will encourage the Serbs to pursue their lethal myth or delusion. And their belligerent Russian allies to try to divide Europe and NATO.
Which could lead us to the brink of disaster.
The Serbs can truly claim to have been victimized by history. As well as by their own actions.
But if we're not careful they won't be the only ones...
Friday, February 22, 2008
Poppy McCain and the Lobbyist
One day after The New York Times published an article raising ethical questions about Sen. John McCain’s dealings with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, the Arizona senator pushed back today at a press conference in Cleveland, telling reporters, “Vicki Iseman did not force me into any positions.”
While Mr. McCain was vague about his official dealings with Ms. Iseman, he told reporters, “I would not allow a lobbyist to perform any favor for me unless it felt really, really good.”
Not just because some think the scandal might actually HELP him.
If conservatives continue to rally to him in this way, the New York Times may have, inadvertently, done more to bind the fractured Republican Party together than tear it apart.
Although that does make me want to bite my weiner....
But because it's so UNFAIR.
I mean if you look at his wife.
And you look at the lobbyist.
Isn't it just possible he got them mixed up?
And it doesn't mean he BOINKED them both. Does it?
And even if he did....isn't that a good thing?
Although the idea of President Woody...or Woodums....Does Washington.
Hump hump hump. Hump hump Iran.
Is kinda SCARY.
But at least now we know....if he does get elected......and if they can fit all those candles on his birthday cake....without burning down the White House.
Who he'd really like to BLOW them....
OMG. Lies my Poppy told me.
Haven't we seen this movie before?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Eclipse and the War in Space
When I watched the moon turn orange last night.
It was easy to imagine how ancient peoples might have thought the world was ending.
But for signs of our own apocalypse..... I was watching that other space event.
Because if you can shoot down your own satellites like the U.S. and China now have...you can shoot down the satellites of your enemies.
Which explains why those enemies weren't happy today.
Moscow and Beijing complained that the missile strike smacked of hypocrisy as the US had rejected a joint attempt by the two countries from banning weapons in outer space only a month ago.
And why now they're ALL hypocrites.
The Pentagon now spends more than $12 billion annually to develop weapons capable of shooting down missiles entering or leaving space.....The military has also worked on a laser project in New Mexico that could have anti-satellite capabilities, and has launched two small satellites that independent experts speculate could be modified to attack, or defend, larger spacecraft.
The Russian program involved launching smaller craft to follow a target and get close enough to blow it up. Early last year, China demonstrated its own capability by shooting a ground-based missile at an old satellite 600 miles in space.
Which makes me wonder if people realize where this War in Space race is heading.
And whether we'll have the sense to force our leaders to hit eject.
Before it's too late...
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Fidel Castro and the Last Colonial Massacre
I received this comment....or poem:
Interesting angle. Cool. Castro is human garbage who has killed thousands of Cubans in his failed pursuit of a communist paradise.
God of the Universe
says Castro was BRILLIANT
like Marx, Lenin and Mao
he helped redefine EVIL
God of the Universe says
celebrities are GUILTY
of having talent and luck
so they must praise dictators
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never admit you were wrong
BEST false ideology
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says keep your people poor
deny them decent health care
convince them they have it GREAT
Fidel Castro murderous tyrant-
communist freedom killer
imprisons many poets...
To which I reply with this story:
On 5 December 1982, Ronald Reagan met the Guatemalan president, Efraín Ríos Montt, in Honduras....Montt. Reagan declared him ‘a man of great personal integrity . . . totally dedicated to democracy....The next day, one of Guatemala’s elite platoons entered a jungle village called Las Dos Erres and killed 162 of its inhabitants, 67 of them children. Soldiers grabbed babies and toddlers by their legs, swung them in the air, and smashed their heads against a wall. Older children and adults were forced to kneel at the edge of a well, where a single blow from a sledgehammer sent them plummeting below. The platoon then raped a selection of women and girls it had saved for last, pummelling their stomachs in order to force the pregnant among them to miscarry. They tossed the women into the well and filled it with dirt, burying an unlucky few alive. The only traces of the bodies later visitors would find were blood on the walls and placentas and umbilical cords on the ground...
And this Steve Bell cartoon....
And of course my own poem:
Rivers of blood and baby brains.
Muffled screams in a well. Raped women forgotten.
Mass murderers and torturers who build barbed wire houses.
Shouldn't throw stones.
Because if there was any justice for poor people. Absurd thought.
The real killers should be BURNING in hell.
The Day that Queen Street Burned
When I got there this afternoon this big fire was still burning.
As if it hadn't destroyed enough.
This is what was left of Duke's.... my favourite bike store in Toronto.
Gone after 95 years.
(Click pic to enlarge)
Gone too...forced into the bitter cold.... all the poor old and young people who lived...or squatted...in the rundown apartments above the stores.
I loved this old part of Queen Street. The little shops, the falafel joint , the young punks and the old drunks.
It reminded me of St Laurent street in Montreal before it got gentrified.
A little bit of anarchy and sleaze in the heart of the urban blandness.
So Sébastien and I took these pictures to help us remember what it was like.
Because the writing is on the wall.
They'll rebuild the block. But it won't be the same place.
Because its soul will be gone...
Huckleberry and the Talking Doggy Bowl
You know things are getting desperate in the Great White North when you need an icebreaker to get to your island refuge.
But you're glad you do live on a frozen island ..... because in the city the legions of thieves that roam its mean streets have run out of cars and bicycles to steal.
And are now kidnapping dogs.
"This is a member of my family. I've never been in this house alone without him. He and I – it's our house. My life revolves around him. You know the adage: `A dog is man's best friend.' Well, he is my best friend."
OMFG. What are these filthy Cons DOING to our country? If Huckleberry can be kidnapped nobody's safe.
So much for their fucking crime bill.
And then there's the devastating effect on our industrial base. Or what's left of it.
Can you imagine what that dognapping story could do to sales of this great Canadian invention?
I don't even want to think about it
And neither does my dog.
I think he'd probably take refuge behind the couch. And I don't blame him.
I mean would YOU eat off a talking plate?
Arghhhh..... cabin fever in Canada.
You have to live here to appreciate it...
P.S. Ooops.... I hope that didn't sound TOO negative. I want everyone to know that I still think living here is better than being totally gay for Amerika...
Dognapping suspects arrested.
Whew....back to the igloos everyone.
We can hibernate safely tonight...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Why I'm Going to Miss Fidel Castro
Whether you like him or not, I think you'd have to be a really petty person not to recognize that Fidel Castro was an extraordinary political leader.
So I'm not surprised that even some conservative bloggers are giving the old man his due.
So let’s hear it for universal literacy and decent standards of health care. Let’s hear it for the Cubans who help defeat the South Africans and their allies in Angola and thereby prepared the end of apartheid. Let’s hear it for the middle-aged Cuban construction workers who held off the US forces for a while on Grenada. Let’s hear it for Elian Gonzalez. Let’s hear it for 49 years of defiance in the face of the US blockade. Hasta la victoria siempre!
Which is basically how I feel.
Fidel may be a flawed figure. His clumsy attempt to re-educate gays in the early sixties was pathetic...even though he did apologize later. His island remains a poor and sometimes oppressive place. Life for many Cubans is hard.
But if you've ever visited Cuba like I have, and you want to see the greatest victory of Castro's Cuban revolution , all you've got to do is look at the happy faces of the Cuban children...
They are a beautiful mix of all races together... and unlike so many other poor children in Latin America.... they are well fed, healthy and educated.
The Cubans may be poor, but they've sacrificed a lot of things to make sure that they have first-class medical facilities, and schools....and a literacy rate that is better than ours. Even as they struggle with shortages..... they pamper their kids.
And all of that in a little country that has been strangled for half a century by the world's mightiest superpower.
So when I see some illiterate gusano in Miami holding up a sign like this one...
I'm reminded that are many versions of freedom. And mine doesn't include the freedom for children and others to die of starvation and disease....or ignorance and poverty. Like they do all over Latin America.
And in many so-called free and richer countries. But not in Castro's Cuba.
In a world full of hollow words and promises that's a REAL achievement.
So all I can say is ..... not bad old man. It has been quite a show. I'm think I'm going to miss you.
And how you showed the yankees that small and poor doesn't have to mean weak....or meek.
Viva Fidel !!
Kosovo and the Shame of Srebrenica
So I can't really understand why Canada is taking so long to recognize it.
Or why the Serbs are complaining so much.
Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica responded to the news of the declaration by calling the breakaway province a "false state."
Serbian nationalists have repeated many times that they will never recognize Kosovo's independence.
Because after what they did to more than 7,000 men and boys at a place called Srebrenica.
They don't have the moral right to complain about anything to do with Kosovo as far as I'm concerned..
And since they continue to shelter the war criminal Ratko Mladic
They should just have the decency to shut up.
But of course Srebrenica wasn't just Serbia's shame. It was the U.N's shame as well. And Holland's blackest hour.
If you've forgotten how the Dutch pulled out of what was supposed to be a safe enclave....and abandoned the Muslim men and boys to Ratko and his Scorpion death squads.
Here's a short video... that includes nauseating scenes where the triumphant Ratko chums it up with the Dutch commander in Srebrenica.
While his troops prepare for mass murder, and the Dutch boys dance....
That's why Kosovo is a country.
Because it's built upon the bones of genocide... and the shame of a world that didn't do enough to stop it.
And if the Serbs don't understand that .... and that they have only their war criminals to blame. Or themselves.
One day they will...
For an awesome account of the moral failure of Srebrenica, you should read Mark Danner's Great Betrayal.
BTW.....did I mention that the failure to commit enough troops to do the job in Srebrenica and Rwanda reminds me that we're making the same mistake in Afghanistan? And that drives me crazy....coz how many mistakes are we supposed to make before we FINALLY learn?
I didn't ?
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Afghanistan: The Horror and the Pity
Who were having a jolly good brutish time watching two dogs tear each other to pieces.
Dog fighting is a popular form of Afghan entertainment that was banned under the Taliban, but which has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years.
Some residents said they believed that as well as targeting Commander Jan, the Islamist fighters were punishing people for daring to flout their old diktat.
And then I read this story about how the road to peace might mean bringing old Taliban commanders back into the government...like Mullah Mamuk.
"The authorities simply got the wrong guy and drove him into the Taliban's hands. Now he is currently fighting against the British in Helmand but in my opinion local leaders like Mamuk can be won back over again.
To join those already there...
There are many people who served with the Taliban regime who are now well-placed inside the Karzai regime or else are pillars of Afghan society."
And then I saw the World Press Photo of the Year....of a young American soldier sheltering in a bunker in Afghanistan...
I couldn't help captioning it:
Mullah mia. What the FUCK am I doing here?
Or what ARE we fighting for?
Because sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words....
More stunning pictures here.
Gareth Henry and Jamaica's Lost Gay Hero
Welcome to Canada Gareth !!
They should not only remember what the homophobic mob did to him and his friends in Jamaica.
They should also remember how another bloodthirsty mob reacted the day they murdered the noble and brave gay leader Brian Williamson.
By holding an obscene murder party.
On June 9, 2004, Brian Williamson, Jamaica’s leading gay rights activist, was murdered in his home, his body mutilated by multiple knife wounds. Within an hour after his body was discovered, a Human Rights Watch researcher witnessed a crowd gathered outside the crime scene. A smiling man called out, “Battyman [homosexual] he get killed!” Many others celebrated Williamson’s murder, laughing and calling out, “let’s get them one at a time,” “that’s what you get for sin,” “let’s kill all of them.” Some sang “boom bye bye,” a line from a popular Jamaican song about killing and burning gay men.
Police claimed he was killed in a robbery. But when you kill a man by stabbing and chopping him more than 70 times with a machete...it's a HATE crime.
But the police won't call it that ...... because they're CRIMINALS as well.
On June 18, 2004, a mob chased and reportedly “chopped, stabbed and stoned to death” a man perceived to be gay in Montego Bay. Several witnesses told Human Rights Watch that police participated in the abuse that ultimately led to this mob killing, first beating the man with batons and then urging others to beat him because he was homosexual.
And it's not only gay men either. Lesbians are being driven from their homes, raped, and murdered. The whole island is sewer of homophobia that needs to be quarantined from the civilized world.
That's why I was glad to see that some religious leaders are talking about organizing a global boycott.
''This is the beginning today of a global movement to stop the violence against gays in Jamaica,'' said the Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson of the Metropolitan Community Churches
Wilson said if government officials fail to take steps to stamp out what appears to be sanctioned homophobia, religious leaders would consider a boycott of Jamaican goods and tourism.
Which is excellent. Except that the boycott should begin right NOW. The Jamaicans have had more than enough time to change their murderous ways. But STILL the killing goes on.
The latest incident occurred on Jan. 29. According to local press reports and New York-based Human Rights Watch, a mob broke into a house in the central town of Mandeville and slashed the occupants inside, sending two to the hospital. One was severely injured and the other is missing and feared dead....
It's time for decent people everywhere to make the Jamaicans pay for their crimes against humanity.
You can write to your M.P and the Jamaican High Commission.
Refuse to buy anything made or grown in Jamaica.
Or hand out pamphlets like these outside travel agencies...along with frightening reports about its terrible crime and malaria problems... to warn Canadians not to go there.
Although if you can draw like Mark.....that's even better...
The main thing is to let Jamaican officials know that there is a price to pay for genocide.
That the world is waking up to the horror of Zombie Island.
That Brian Williamson.... gay hero....Jamaican hero..... LIVES.
And the murder party is OVER ...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Canadian F-Word Awards and Me
Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote in the first round of the Canadian F-Word Blog Awards.
And I want you all to vote for JJ .... the Unrepentant Old Hippie
Because she's an awesome one-woman Feminist Army....who supports the gay cause.
And for Bruce at Canucktude. Because he's a super gay brother who supports the feminist one.
And because they have always supported me.
Believe it or not...... I was also nominated in the Support Bro category for this post.
Which although I borrowed the idea from the great Beep Beep it's Me, I was pretty proud of because it explains how the foundations of the patriarchy are firmly anchored in a swamp of ignorance and superstition.
And I really liked the idea of being a Support Bro. But unfortunately for some reason the nominated post didn't make it onto the voting list. So more people might have read it. Instead of just my six regular readers.
Talk about raising my hopes...and then dashing them.
What a cruel blow.
And so soon after the other.
Jane....Jane ....where is that knitting needle when I need it?
Lucky I got a sense of humour.... and everyone knows I'm a support bro.
And that I like to think blogging is like writing a simple song. As long as you enjoy singing it.
That's what counts....
Nice tune eh?
Have a great weekend everyone!!
The Killing of Lawrence King
He was a small gay kid. He lived in a center for abused and neglected children. But he was also very brave one. And it cost him his life.
Lawrence King, 15, was taken off life support on Thursday and his body was taken for autopsy after the organ harvesting.
Several classmates have said King would wear feminine attire, making him a social outcast with other boys at the school. King sometimes came to school wearing makeup and high heels...
Now his 14-year-old killer could face fifty years in jail. Which as angry as I feel, I find both cruel and ridiculous.
This little bully may have pulled the trigger. But who do you think taught him it's OK to hate and attack gay people?
As Matt Foreman from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said today .... a lot other people are also to blame.
Right now we don’t know exactly how anti-gay hate expressed itself in the murder of Lawrence King. We do know is that he was harassed on a daily basis because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.
We do know that adults at his junior high school did not stop it and that kind of tolerance of anti-gay bigotry is pervasive in our nation’s schools. Our hearts go out to Lawrence’s family — and to all young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids who are — right now, right this minute — being bullied and beaten in school while adults look the other way.
Others have talked about how brave Lawrence was. How even as the insults and the threats rained down on him, he refused to blend in. Or hide.
Like so many other gay kids are forced to do.
When I was in middle school, I knew I was gay, but I buried it deep inside. I skillfully deflected teenage crushes, whispers in the locker room, and dates to the prom...I was able to escape detection because the more effeminate guys caught all the trouble.
Every gay person remembers his first corrective message -- being gay is not OK. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. The lucky among us get bruised. Some of us get killed.
I've written about my problems with bullies. I didn't blend in either. But I was lucky. I was fairly big... and I knew how to fight. Having learned certain basic skills in the streets of Glasgow.... before I arrived in Canada.
Lawrence was slight and gentle....but he still refused to blend in .... and wasn't afraid to face the bullies. Day after day after day. Until one of them killed him.
So who do you think was braver?
The question everyone should ask themselves is why DO gay kids have to be brave to go to school?
And why isn't society doing more to fight the genocidal hatred called homophobia?
Like the British are trying to do with this new ad campaign.
It's really pretty simple.
Lawrence King may be the latest victim of this blind hate.
Rest in peace brave little brother.
But it's EVERYBODY'S problem ...