Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

This goes hand in hand

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with the supposed “looting” going on in Haiti. Ten thousand US troops are in Haiti. Ammunition is in abundance. Food, not so much. There are still only four distribution points in all of Port-Au-Prince – a city of two million – and food and supplies languish behind military checkpoints. To wit:

“An airdrop [of food] is simply going to lead to riots,”

said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, four days before they decided to airdrop the food they let pile up behind fences.

“Everything‚Äôs just 100 metres away. We can look at the supplies sitting there.”

said Alphonse Edwards, coordinator of the Port-Au-Prince General Hospital, unable to actually use said supplies.

The hold-up is supposedly because of security: They’re worried, like in New Orleans, at what Black people would do when desperate; hence the hang-up with “looting.” Or, to quote David Brooks of the New York Times, the problem in Haiti is

“…a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized.”

So let us beat civilization into these lazy, stupid primitives. Let us teach them that this tragedy is the fault of their own doing, and let us withhold supplies until they get the message. After all, America abhors giving free handouts: It’s capitalism for the poor all the way!

To speak of the vagaries of capitalism, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines have returned to stopping at Haiti’s ports of call so that their revelers can partake in its “pristine beaches,” defended by armed guards, while its people starve. Ahh, the new Gilded Age.

But honestly now – since Voodoo was mentioned – if we’re gonna be totally prejudiced and bigoted, why don’t we look at the Protestantism and charity: You know, the part where a “good person” is one who succeeds with money, begging is abhorred and charity is done by giving to “charitable organizations” instead of directly to those in need? Like how we’re right now doing everything in our power but directly help people – just as Royal Caribbean Cruises donated a million dollars to ease their corporate conscience while they continue to exploit those same people?

Would I go so far as to say that David Brooks is proposing that these people drag themselves up from grinding poverty, worldwide disdain, rampant racism and a huge natural disaster by their bootstraps because of the intolerance of his religion? NO! He’s just a fucking jerkoff!


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Ahh, our post-racial world.

You’ll notice that photos as shocking as have been published on the Boston Globe and the New York Times concerning Haiti would not nor could have been published about Sept 11th, 2001. Showing open piles of corpses and people shot in the head by police on the major media as if it’s an anthropological study or a documentary – including watching a girl die on live TV – is sickening, and evidence that in a fundamental way the people of Haiti are viewed with a sense of disdain by the American press. Like they’re less than people.

It’s not unlike how Black victims were depicted during Hurricane Katrina. And it didn’t even take a day for the loonies to come out and be given plenty of air time to blame the victims – as they have for Katrina and 9/11 (sinful, lascivious Blacks and sinful, lascivious gays, respectively). Idiot opinions and gory videos have always been around – from Vietnam to Beirut to Tehran – but this isn’t a war and the visuals then were either first-hand or objective and respectful (with notable exceptions) as journalists could not pick sides.

There’s a difference between showing butchery in a conflict as to document the insanity of war or the moral bankruptcy of the aggressor and showing a morbid desire to see suffering without just cause. As if the blood itself is what makes it good journalism, reducing message to mere spectacle.

I wonder, at this point, how all the mainstream media gets their personnel down there to decide the narrative when we can’t even seem to ship more than eight thousand meals a day for two million victims.

Firing into the Crowds

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Moussavi has declared that he’s ready to be martyred, and for good reason: The gloves have come off in the crackdowns, with “security” forces and Basijis (pro-regime paramilitary militias) firing into the crowds.

Basijis firing into the crowd

Basijis shooting a student on camera

Security forces firing machine guns at a crowd (BBC Persia)

Protester shot dead by police

Protesters shot by police


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Ominous is the tone set by Ayatollah Khamenei when he, tiring of using both the carrot and the stick, stuck wholly with the stick, in reversing his position and insisting that there was no possible way they could have falsified a victory margin of 11 million votes in favor of Ahmadinejad over Moussavi.

That’s not rationality. That’s a refuge in audacity.

They didn’t manipulate election results; they fabricated them.

Coupled with the violent crackdowns of protestors, his words on what “democracy” is are particularly egregious in their doublespeak hypocrisy. This is no longer, as it was, an mere insult to the collective intelligence of the Iranian people. This is outright oppression.

The blogosphere

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Word has it that more than 32 have died in the protests in Iran now, with over 500 arrested – including journalists.

Also, the filmmaker of Persepolis claims that he has evidence that Moussavi won with 19 million votes – crushing Ahmadinejad, who came in third (!) with 5.5 million votes, or 12% of the vote.


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Look, I know the rightwingoverse isn’t terribly versed in taste or tact, but this is just bad:


official news sources are being notoriously slow (or painfully equivocational; I’m looking at you, New York Times) on reports on what the fuck is going on, but through a series of independent sources (including twitter), Iranians are pointing out that there are more deaths from militia forces on the streets, that five students from Tehran university were killed by pro-Ahmadinejad paramilitary goons during a major raid, and that 150 professors have summarily quit to protest such heinous acts.

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