Glasgow Update: Whoops – Our Bad.

by matttbastard

Nick Bryant of BBC News details what led to the collapse of the (flimsy) terror case against Dr Mohammed Haneef. If this shameful debacle doesn’t provide Australian voters with ample justification to (finally) give Bush-licking fear monger John Howard the boot…

Related: Churumuri gleans 8 lessons from l’affaire Haneef.


Hump Day Music Spotlight: “I Can’t Dance a Single Step” Edition

by matttbastard

Los Campesinos!You! Me! Dancing! (Arts & Crafts)

Am immensely envious of Isabel, who gets to see the ‘2nd most punk rock band in Britain’ live in Toronto this upcoming Tuesday.

For free.

Whereas I get to stay home and throw knives (not parties).


We Throw Parties You Throw Knives

Best best best!

by Isabel LaCoeur

A few highlights from Reason’s hilariously fantastic recap of the CNN/youtube debate:

7:16: The ghost of Wesley Willis tosses out a reparations question! Terrific. “I know you’re all going to dance around,” he says, and John Edwards dances around it.

7:21: Ah, I really would have liked for Richardson to distinguish himself on the Katrina question by talking about private investment. But he took up time that could have been used by Edwards, so it evens out.

7:25: Edwards: “If you’re not voting for Clinton or Obama because you’re a bigot, I don’t want your vote!” Ninety percent of Democrats: “OK!”

7:28: Kucinich and Dodd would let gays marry. They’ll also legalize unicorns. Neither of them will win, everybody.

7:45: I’m getting the feeling we’ll elect the next president before anyone answers the “how do we pull out now” question.

7:53: Look, I’m trying to be substantive, and Mike Gravel pounds the podium with the best of ’em… but septugenarians shouldn’t talk about how they want ice cream cones.

8:19: Ah, it was too much to hope that Richardson would endorse vouchers. He endorses, instead, the “Into the Groove” curriculum. (“You can DANCE! For inspiration!”)

8:24: Elizabeth Edwards really needs to buy a bigger skirt if her husband is going to keep hiding behind it.

8:26: Mmmm, the drugs are kicking in. UPDATE: A magical snowman taught Dennis Kucinich the meaning of global warming. I think J.K. Rowling has her next project.

9:06: Look, everybody else is going to say it, so I will, too: Joe Biden is going to kill Dennis Kucinich and sleep with his wife.

Part 1

Part 2

(Not) So Ghetto

by matttbastard

As a person of colour, the ‘ghetto dude’ affair hits home in a very personal manner. Even though I grew up in a small Huron County farming community, surrounded by rednecks and hackers (all nearly uniform-white), my complexion automatically marks me as ‘other’.




Throughout my life these and other backhanded compliments have been tossed my way, like crumbs brushed off the table of white privilege. I’ve been called ‘nigger’, constantly questioned about my background (‘no, I mean, where are you from originally?’) , forced to listen as blissfully oblivious (white) friends go on about the various endemic evils of black folks (‘but not you, Matt – you’re different!‘)

But so far I’ve been fortunate enough to have avoided scenarios like the one Evon Reid found himself pulled into – as far as I’m aware, that is. Incidents like this make me seriously wonder just how many prospective employers were negatively influenced by my ethnicity. The racism of Aileen Siu was only exposed by her carelessness. If not for an errant CC, none of us, especially Evon Reid, would have known of Siu’s apparent bias.

Myself and countless others could have been–have likely been–the ‘ghetto dude’ already, without even knowing.


by Isabel LaCoeur

U.N. suspends peacekeepers amid sex abuse charges

The United Nations said on Saturday it had suspended a Moroccan military contingent from its peacekeeping mission in Cote d’Ivoire while it investigated allegations of widespread sexual abuse.


U.N. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday the investigation involved Moroccan soldiers having sex with a large number of underage girls in the West African country’s northern rebel stronghold of Bouake.

Turkey’s Brothels Produce Two Election Candidates

Raped by her uncle when she was 9 and sold into prostitution by a man who had promised to marry her, Ayse Tukrukcu remembers her first day at a state-controlled brothel in the southern Turkish city of Mersin like it was yesterday.

“There was a song–‘Is This Justice, World’ by Hakki Bulut–playing in the shop opposite the big metal gate and a line of men waiting,” she says. “I asked the policeman at the door where I was, but he just laughed and pushed me in. My world collapsed.”

It’s been more than a decade since she paid off the $12,000 price she was sold for. Now, in an effort to draw attention to the plight of Turkey’s 3,000 state-registered prostitutes, she’s running as an independent candidate in parliamentary elections on July 22.

Lawn care company offers bikini-dressed mowers in Memphis, Tenn.

One lawn care company is showing a little skin to boost business.

The women of Tiger Time Lawn Care offer to mow customers’ lawns dressed in bikinis – a service that attracts more attention to the ladies than the lawns.

“Oh yeah, they honk and yell. They can do everything you can imagine,” said employee Blair Beckman, 21.

Beckman said the extra attention is expected, but she looks on the bright side.

“You get the attention but you also get a tan, which I need,” Beckman said.

Doctors Treating Older Anorexics

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia have long been considered diseases of the young, but experts say in recent years more women have been seeking help in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and older. Some treatment centers are creating special programs for these more mature patients.

Most of the women in this age group who seek treatment have had the problem for years, said Dr. Donald McAlpine, director of an eating disorders clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “The epidemiology is pretty clear that anorexia and bulimia both peak in the late teens, early 20s,” yet “a lot of (patients) continue to be symptomatic right on through to middle life.”

Receding Insight

by matttbastard

I totally missed this, too: Via Idealistic Pragmatist*, Macleans pundit Paul Wells wants to kill universal healthcare deader than Tommy Douglas:

I have long been a (fairly quiet) advocate of private, for-profit, two-tier, American-style, dance-on-Tommy-Douglas’-grave-style health care, on the simple principle that if something is important you should be allowed to buy it.

Hmm. Appears that Wells has been dutifully gorging at the ideological trough of the Fraser Institute. IP is spot on here:

This means that if Wells had his way, the wealthiest among us would all be purchasing air, specific mountain ranges, human relationships, children, and success. Not to mention elections. Oh, wait a minute.

Wells seems to be establishing his ‘balanced’, middle-of-the-road bona fides–a Northern spin on ‘High Broderism‘–before dismissing a hamfisted attack on single payer health care in the US.

Of course, using Wells’ ‘objective’ standard (“profound idiocy” + bad ‘do = STFU), we should arbitrarily dismiss any future insights he brokers.

receding insight

I mean, just look at that hair. Does his mommy still trim it for him?

*Be sure to check out the comments @ IP’s place – Wells shows up and attempts to defend his remarks.