Bogus Solidarity (FINAL UPDATE – I’VE HAD IT)

by matttbastard

The inimitable Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings has been guest-blogging over at Andrew Sullivan’s place all week (congrats on the nuptials, Sully!) and has, IMO, been doing a bang up job. Big surprise, considering she’s one of the best writers in the blogosphere, hands down. Unfortunately, she (along with her fellow superlative guest-bloggers Steve Clemons of The Washington Note and Gregory Djerejian of The Belgravia Dispatch) have been forced to share the fill-in gig with one Jamie Kirchick, aka Marty Peretz’s Mini-Me assistant. Kirchick’s latest lazily sketched, Euston-shilling ‘woe is teh contemporary Left’ twaddle is ably destroyed by Hilzoy here. But in honour of Labour Day, I wanted to highlight a brief aside Jamie made that Hil didn’t explore in depth.

Sez Jamie:

Whereas once the AFL-CIO had a large and effective international office, you’d be hard-pressed to hear, for instance, what they’re doing for Iraqi trade-unionists.

Apparently Jamie hasn’t figured out that newfangled ‘Google‘ thingy. ‘Tis a pity, since it would probably have helped him discover this ongoing solidarity campaign, or maybe even brought him to the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center (which ineffectively “assists workers around the world who are struggling to build democratic and independent trade unions.”).

BTW, those woefully forsaken Iraqi trade unionists Jamie uses as a rhetorical cudgel to bash the AFL-CIO (and liberals/the Left in general) with? They aren’t too keen on one of Bush’s key benchmarks. Gee, imagine that – trade unionists fighting to prevent foreign-imposed privatization of a vital national industry. Oh, and they also aren’t exactly thrilled with the ongoing US-led occupation, either.

Neocon concern trolling about ‘solidarity’ with Iraqi unions is akin to movement wingers suddenly discovering women’s subjugation in the Middle East (‘Oh where oh where has teh feckless, vagina-monologuing Western feminazis been all these years?!’ Katha Pollitt pwns that bogus truism here.)

Have a great holiday weekend, folks.

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(Increasingly shrill updates below the fold)

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Alvaro Orozco Update: Pre-Removal Risk Assessment Results

by matttbastard

“It’s not so easy when you don’t know what can happen… . Some days it’s scary, some days I’m hoping. I’m still waiting for any good news.”

From Alvaro’s website:

Wednesday August 29, 2007

The Latest Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRAA) decision was released verbally yesterday to MP Olivia Chow’s office. the decision was negative, and Alvaro is now at risk of being deported more than ever.

It is now more imperative than ever that you contact Immigration Minister Diane Finley and request that she allow Alvaro to remain in Canada on compassionate and humanitarian grounds, because at this point a last-minute reprieve directly from the Immigration Minister is pretty much his only hope. As Mark @ Slap Upside The Head says:

I’m not sure what the Immigration Refugee Board is thinking, considering that Alvaro’s story has been published in the Nicaraguan media. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether or not he can prove he’s gay at this point; his safety is threatened.

Parliament Hill Office:

Fax:(613) 996-9749
E-mail: finley.d@parl.gc.ca

Simcoe Riding Office:

Fx:(519) 426-0003
E-mail: finled1@parl.gc.ca

Dunville Riding Office:

Fx:(905) 774-9281
E-mail: finled1@parl.gc.ca

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Funny Business.

by Isabel

Knoxville has an interesting way of dealing with KKK rallies.

Saturday May 26th the VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK group attempted to host a hate rally to try to take advantage of the brutal murder of a white couple for media and recruitment purposes.

Unfortunately for them the 100th ARA (Anti Racist Action) clown block came and handed them their asses by making them appear like the asses they were.

Alex Linder the founder of VNN and the lead organizer of the rally kicked off events by rushing the clowns in a fit of rage, and was promptly arrested by 4 Knoxville police officers who dropped him to the ground when he resisted and dragged him off past the red shiny shoes of the clowns.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheered and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.

At this point several of the Nazi’s and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed “White Power!”

The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”

Normally I’m not really down with clowns (reading Stephen King’s ‘It’ at age 11 may leave you slightly scarred in that respect), but I would definitely let any one of those clowns shock me with their hand buzzer.

Edit: Fixed the links

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Insider Baseball

by matttbastard

Apparently this is supposed to be a really big deal or something. Never did get the thrill of ‘outing’ online. Since, having never met him in the flesh, ‘Red Tory’ is essentially a series of glorified ones and zeros to me (albeit one hilarious pixelated collection of text on my screen), I don’t see how knowing that ‘Red Tory’ is also ‘Martin Rayner’ (if that IS your real name, SneakyMcPseudonym) makes a rat’s ass of difference.

And yes, ‘matttbastard’ is (obviously) a pseudonym, and no, I don’t plan on revealing the Peter Parker below the Spider-Man mask. Trust me, the ‘truth’ is more underwhelming than Fred Thompson’s campaign kickoff (non) announcement (who the fuck pre-announces the date of their official announcement? The phrase ‘shit or get off the pot’ was never more apt.)

Update: For reasons unclear to me, Bene Diction has chosen to take issue with my (very brief, very glib) post on the Red Tory outing. Since my rebuttal is awaiting moderation [edit: it's now up], I thought I’d offer my response in its entirety here [edited slightly for formatting and to correct a couple of typos]:

I think you misinterpreted my (very sarcastic) post, Bene. I wasn’t minimizing the potential harm ‘outing’ can have. I agree with everything you said in your response to the straw-matttbastard of your own creation.

I have many friends (pseudonymous and otherwise) in the blogosphere (not so many here in the Great White North, however), and have been involved in some capacity or another with the political blog community since late ’01/early ’02 (yeah, back in the good ol’ days when the VLWC consisted of five or six bloggers, most of whom discovered muckracking online agitation via Bartcop and MediaWhores, although I didn’t graduate from constant lurker status until around ’04. Yes, I remember when Drum was ‘CalPundit’, and the comments were actually readable. Hell, I remember Kos when he was a ‘he’ and not a community). So I [do] know and appreciate the value of pseudonymity, and the potential damage malicious outing and cyberstalking can present.

Hell, I’ve had online friends and acquaintances who’ve been outed by (or have received threats of outing from) such ‘ethical’ Yankee conservatives as Jeff G*ldstein (king of the virtual dickslap and the one who first patented the frivolous blogsuit – just ask [the pseudonymous] Bitch, PHD) and Josh Trevino (aka TAFKA Tacitus). And don’t get me started on Michelle-fucking-Malkin and her cyber-poo-flinging flying monkeys…(and then there’s the supposedly progressive Ann Bartow, who once threatened to out both bitch| lab AND zuzu, supposedly for their own ‘protection’. But I digress.)

As for the very unfortunate Kathy Sierra affair, well, here’s what I had to say at the time about Kos’ blase response to the cyberstalking she was subjected to.

In summary, the tone of my post was indeed offered purely in solidarity with Red Tory’s ‘fuck you, whatever’ tone, as you pointed out. Ultimately, what I can’t fathom is how truly pathetic those who take [childish] thrill in their revelations are, and how callous their indifference to [the potentially devastating] consequence is. But if you took it differently, well, I’m very sorry for apparently being unclear.

Judging by your attempt to ‘school’ me, apparently I need a secret decoder ring before I’m considered part of the Kewl Kanuck Kidz (thanks, but no thanks). But please, before you next decide to adopt a similar condescending tone with me, remember that just because I’m new to the ProgBlogs community doesn’t mean that I’m some blog-n00b who needs edumacation on how these here intert00bs work.

And (if there is indeed a) next time, at least have the decency to post your objections in the comments at my own blog.

Update 2: Now that I’ve calmed down, an addendum to the above (also from Bene’s comments):

What gets me is that I intended my post to supplement your (very apt) point about the ridiculousness of positing so much importance on ‘real names’ vs. pseudonyms (apparently these chuckleheads would arbitrarily discount the Federalist Papers. Publius-Smublius.) I linked to your post where I did because I thought you were bang on here:

O. Henry
George Orwell
Lewis Carroll
Mark Twain
Voltaire

Their thoughts, ideas, creativity, personhood, writing and influence any less authentic because their real names were:

William Sydney Porter
Eric Arthur Blair
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
Samuel Langhorne Clemens
François – Marie Arouet

That’s why I don’t give a toss who Red Tory publicly identifies as – because his posts are awesome, regardless. I felt that enough folks were tackling the outrage portion, and that there was no need to also join in. Again, maybe I’m jaded because I’ve seen it happen so many times.

Perhaps my intentions would have been clearer if I’d included a quote and if I’d explicitly said that I didn’t understand why it (ie, pseudonymity) was a ‘big deal’ to the outers.

Apologies if my tone was too harsh. ‘bastard’ is sometimes more than just a clever name (and, in my defence, I recently quit smoking. A lame excuse, but one I’m sticking to like that construction worker superglued to the ceiling).

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“Start Angry, End Mad”

by matttbastard

There isn’t a brazen, two-bit, purse-snatching money caper you can think of that didn’t happen at least 10,000 times with your tax dollars in Iraq.

Was all prepared to highlight Matt Taibbi’s bile-inducing round-up of perpetual corporate malfeasance in Iraq (pigs gorging at the trough, US gov’t offering taxpayer-subsidized pearls before swine, [insert your own pork barrel metaphor here]) but can’t seem to muster the energy. Outrage fatigue? Hardly. More like ‘not enough epithets in the English language to properly encompass my disgust’.

Thankfully, the following tune by Brampton post-hardcore heroes Moneen says it better than I ever could (and with far less profanity):

You’re nothing, you’re worthless, except for these verses.

Update: Maybe American-style democracy is working in Iraq.  They’ve certainly got the corruption down pat.

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At Least He Didn’t Make the Introduction in a Wet Suit

by matttbastard

Sure, they’re dancing to the beat of a different drummer (and the tune is apropos), but dude, come on – WTH does a world music dance party have to do with energy policy? Oh, and somebody should tell Jack Layton to work on his Michael Buffer impression. Kee-hrist.

Via Uncorrected Proofs.

Related: SES/Sun Media poll indicates NDP may hold balance of power in minority Liberal government. Haven’t we heard this song before?

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