Concentrated Stupid

Madison County, Idaho was once dubbed “the reddest place in America” by Salon, but that didn’t make it any less shocking when elementary school children started chanting “assassinate Obama on the school bus.

According to an article which appeared in Salon in 2006, “You’ve heard of Jesusland, but Rexburg, Idaho, is something more. It’s not just a small town in rural Eastern Idaho. It’s a small town in rural Eastern Idaho completely dominated by a fast-growing Mormon college, Brigham Young University-Idaho.”

“Through this conservative convergence,” the article continues, “Rexburg and surrounding Madison County may well be the rosiest place in all of red America. Need numbers to prove it? In the 2004 presidential election, 93 percent of Madison County’s votes went to George W. Bush or minor-party conservative candidates — arguably the reddest result of any county in the entire country.”

The population of Madison County is not only heavily Republican but also 97.7% white. One of Rexburg’s lone Democrats, a professor at the university, told Salon that “she remembers the time when a group of classmates followed her third-grader home, shouting out ‘baby-killer’ all along the way. She took it up with the teacher, who didn’t seem to mind.”

Mormonism is sort of the Scientology of the 19th century (one guy makes up some stuff->gullible people succumb->religion ensues), but as an older religion it of course has had time to do what the big names do, kill people. Together with their interference in California’s Prop 8 vote they really are on course to join the big boys of fundie idiocy.

The fever for killing Obama is openly flaunted by rightists who revel in the murder of anyone not white, conservative, christian and capitalist. To be optimistic, let’s hope a brilliantly effective secret service keep Obama safe as this period brings the racism and eliminationism out of the woodwork and it can be confronted and defeated. This is beyond the policy let downs, Emanuel, Summers etc represent, if the forces of bigotry cannot be stopped from killing the most well protected man on earth then what is left? Open warfare? Many rightists claim to welcome such a breakdown but geniuses that they are they fail to realise they are outnumbered many times over, can it be impressed on their tiny minds- challenging their own bigotry is in fact their only survival option. It would be nice to be able to appeal to some higher rationale but they repeatedly indicate such higher thought is beyond them, so we’ll just have to keep it to that real simple selfish argument.

You Neon

While trying to find some more information on the Union of Good to see what the story is behind-

(Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday named an Islamic charity as a group aiding Hamas militants in the Middle East and prohibited Americans from dealing with the Union of Good organization.

Google threw up some of the usual Islamophobic sites and white supremacists (no try and be shocked the Bush regime line up with them), but in a totally off tangent set of results some Human Resource sites that display management’s utter prejudice against unions-

From organized labor’s legislative agenda (in the form of the Employee Free Choice Act), to corporate campaigns designed to damage employers, all the way to public pressure to sign neutrality agreements, unions today are going way beyond simple card signing in their effort to represent your employees. No longer willing to wait for employees to seek representation, they’re using any and all means necessary to gain members.

What’s a smart company to do? Research organized labor’s legislative agenda and, more specifically, find out if you’re a target (the unions often post their organizing targets online). One of the best ways to establish and maintain excellent employee relationships is to begin communicating with every newly hired team member.

“Communicate your union-free philosophy from day one,” says Walter Orechwa, CEO of employee communications company, Projections, Inc. “It could be as simple as a paragraph to a more in depth business approach. Positive employee relations go a long way toward avoiding the issues that can lead to a union getting its foot in the door.” According to Orechwa, 99 percent of Projections’ clients that have produced an Orientation video remain union-free.

The fear and bigotry is almost comedic if it weren’t for the reality of poverty for billions of people while such a thing as billionaire’s exist, ho hum.

Posted in Capitalism, Class War, Corporatism, Human Rights, Media. Tags: , , . Comments Off on You Neon

How Iran Helped The US Fight Al Qaeda

Via Iran Affairs the AP (hmmm) report on the help Iran gave America after 9/11 yet the Bush regime (and it’s difficult not to see the hand of AIPAC & the neocons as a major factor here) took the help and in return called them part of the ‘axis of evil’. It’s a common story, how the world was horrified by 9/11 but the Bush regime managed to turn that solidarity into contempt by reacting as it did. Using the attacks as cover for a pre-determined set of bloody imperial polices & domestic repression that bore no relation to dealing with the attacks and their causes.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an effort to help the United States counter al-Qaida after the 9/11 attack, Iran rounded up hundreds of Arabs who had crossed the border from Afghanistan, expelled many of them and made copies of nearly 300 of their passports, a former Bush administration official said Tuesday. The copies were sent to Kofi Annan, the U.N. secretary-general, who passed them on to the United States, while U.S. interrogators were given a chance by Iran to question some of the detainees, Hillary Mann Leverett said in an Associated Press interview.

Leverett, who said she negotiated with Iran for the Bush administration in the 2001-3 period, said Iran sought a broader relationship with the United States. “They thought they had been helpful on al-Qaida, and they were,” she said. For one thing, she said, suspected al-Qaida operatives were not given sanctuary in Iran. Some administration officials took the view, however, that Iran had not acknowledged all likely al-Qaida members nor provided access to them, Leverett said. Many of the expelled Arabs were deported to Saudi Arabia and to other Arab and Muslim countries, even though Iran had poor relations with the Saudi monarchy and some other countries in the region, Leverett said.

James F. Dobbins, the Bush administration’s chief negotiator on Afghanistan in late 2001, said that Iran was “comprehensively helpful” in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack in working to overthrow the Taliban and collaborating with the United States in installing the Karzai government in Kabul. Iranian diplomats made clear at the time they were looking for broader cooperation with the United States, but the Bush administration was not interested, the author of “After the Taliban: Nation-Building in Afghanistan,” said in a separate interview. The Bush administration has acknowledged contacts with Iran over the years even while denouncing Iran as part of an “axis of evil” and declining to consider a resumption of diplomatic relations.

“It isn’t something that is talked about,” Leverett said in describing Iran’s role during a forum at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan policy institute. Leverett and her husband, Flynt Leverett, a former career CIA analyst and a former National Security Council official, jointly proposed the next U.S. president seek a “grand bargain” with Iran to settle all major outstanding differences.

“The next president needs to reorient U.S. policy toward Iran as fundamentally as President Nixon did with China in the 1970s,” Flynt Leverett said. Among the provisions: The United States would clarify that it is not seeking change in the nature of the Iranian regime but rather in its policies, while Iran would agree to “certain limits” on its nuclear program. Iran considers most of its neighbors as enemies. Among its incentives for improving U.S. relations is that they feel that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would be less provocative, the Leveretts said.

I’m guessing this won’t puncture the bubble of presidential campaign/financial thing obsessed homeland media, especially as the level of debate the right perpetuates is a flavour of imperial functioning racism with eliminationist goals –Obama’s middle name is Hussein, so he’s a terrorist like all Arabs & Muslims, we must kill them all– (not to mention Iranians are erm, not Arabs). Still, what can be expected from an administration led by a man who was unaware there were two major sects of Islam before invading Iraq.

PS. Apparently the police in Ohio are not treating the gas attack on a mosque as a terrorist act or a hate crime while the rubbish & hateful ‘Obsession’ DVD continues to be distributed by a well funded secretive hate group that maintains that crucial polite deniable distance from the McCain campaign.

Sarkozy’s War On Artistic Expression

Somehow this media courting fellow whose conservative shtick makes him aces with the rest of the world’s elites escapes scrutiny for his base authoritarianism (there’s a clue there about where neoliberalism is leading). It also helps he’s got a pretty new wife (and let’s be clear she is a daughter of wealth and privilege, enough with the fairy tale) a supposedly creative person (in the same way lots of rich kids get to be writers, artists, musicians…ahem) has not however stood up for freedom of expression and denounced her little Nicky.

On March 5, 2003, the door bell rang at the home of the French rapper Mohamed Bourokba, known as Hamé, and a bailiff informed him that the government was suing him for libel. The signature under the written complaint was familiar: Nicolas Sarkozy, then interior minister and now president of France. Five years, two appeals and countless hearings later, Hamé was acquitted Tuesday. Barring a petition to the final court of appeal by the government by Friday, the latest verdict brings to an end one of France’s most protracted and symbolic libel cases.

The length of the legal battle has raised the question of what freedom of speech really means in France. It also touches on the reputation and power of a president who has not shied even from suing a journalist perceived to be hostile – and whose tense relationship with youths in the suburbs has been a thread running through his political career.

It all started in April 2002, when Hamé’s group, La Rumeur, released its first album, and with it a magazine. Inside, the rapper had written an article accusing the police of acting with impunity in their treatment of immigrants and their descendants.

“The reports of the Interior Ministry will never acknowledge the hundreds of our brothers killed by the police without any of the murderers being held to account,” wrote Hamé, now 32, whose parents came from Algeria in the 1950s.

“The reality is that living in our neighborhoods today means you have a greater chance of experiencing economic abandon, of psychological vulnerability, of discrimination in the job market, of unstable housing, of regular police humiliations,” he wrote.

Sarkozy wrote a letter to the public prosecutor in July 2002, requesting that Hamé be sued. A year later the suit was formalized. Accused of “public libel against the national police,” Hamé was first acquitted in a trial court in 2004 and again in an appeals court in 2006. Then the Interior Ministry took the case to the top court of appeal, demanding that the judges annul the earlier verdict and arrange a second appeal. This time it won: In July 2007, not three months after Sarkozy had become president, the top appeals court ordered another appeals court in Versailles to rule again.

“I fear that the government cares less about the verdict and more about the deterrent created by a lengthy court case,” said Gwénaële Calvès, a professor of law and civil liberties specialist. “They are signaling that they don’t tolerate a certain type of criticism.”

Half a dozen rappers have been sued by the Interior Ministry and politicians over the past decade, according to Hamé’s lawyer, Dominique Tricaud, who has defended most of them.

The group Ministère AMER, in the 1990s, rapped about “sacrificing a pig.” More recently, the rapper Sniper sang about his mission to “exterminate ministers and fascists.” Most of them were acquitted. But none of their cases went beyond the first appeal.

What this is in part about is the continuing suppression of the history of fascists & racists and their roles in Paris, former Police Chief Maurice Papon for example who worked for the Nazis during the war and later as Police Chief oversaw the massacre of 200 Algerians, some of their bodies thrown in the Seine, in 1961.

It’s amazing what being a pro-corporate short arse with a MILF-y wife (or running mate) will get you in the media, a rock star level of attention and zero scrutiny of your political roots and context. At least Sarko’s fictional version got what was coming to him in Banlieue 13.

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Ponce

So-

PONCE DE LEON, Fla. – When a high school senior told her principal that students were taunting her for being a lesbian, he told her homosexuality is wrong, outed her to her parents, and ordered her to stay away from children.

He suspended some of her friends who expressed their outrage by wearing gay pride T-shirts and buttons at Ponce de Leon High School, according to court records. And he asked dozens of students whether they were gay or associated with gay students.

The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sued the district on behalf of a girl who protested against the principal, David Davis, and a federal judge reprimanded Davis for conducting a “witch hunt” against gays. Davis was demoted, and school employees must now go through sensitivity training.

But-

Despite all that, many in this conservative panhandle community still wonder what, exactly, Davis did wrong. “We are a small, rural district in the Bible Belt with strong Christian beliefs and feel like homosexuality is wrong,” said Steve Griffin, Holmes County’s school superintendent, who keeps a Bible on his desk and framed Scriptures on his office walls.

So that’s the schools superintendent, so once the attention is off and the reluctantly attending sensitivity training is done, what do you think is going to happen? Peace love and rainbows? I’m really trying to be tolerant but…these retards ‘feeling’ something is ‘wrong’ is a lie, it is a statement which hides what they really mean. It’s fucking eugenics-lite by bible bashers who let’s face it, do you think evolution gets a lot of fans there? Dammit, I was trying to be tolerant, except really, why should we be? Their views necessitate people being oppressed and it’s not as if there is a long history of conservative religious figures getting it on hot and heavy in the closet, oh wait, yes there is.

It very much does tie to evolution in that these people live in denial of the laws of nature because, Shock Fucking Horror! The ‘God’ who inspired the writing of holy books for some odd reason only had knowledge commensurate with the state of human knowledge at that time, funny that init? I mean just to impress us the god geezer could of chucked in the odd mention of bacteria, or DNA or atoms or hell, even quarks and the iPhone maybe (at least dinosaurs, c’mon throw us a frickin’ bone god dude). How about even saying this is one planet (yes it’s a sphere!) that goes round a big star, and there are loads more in this really quite big universe. But no, God in his/her/its infinite wisdom kept schtum, which is unfortunate for the religion business as it rather looks like the holy books, while having some useful ethical parables, were sort of well…made up by blokes (probably doing ‘shrooms or at least grass).

Consequently since then we have discovered truths about the world that show that a bad case of the sniffles is not caused by demons, and while women were locked out of authorship back then, hey guess what? Half the worlds population ain’t going for the second class status anymore my conservative chums, game over. And all the GLBTQ people on earth back then, well they got shut out too by the authors and editors and distributors of these publications, sort of like Fox News was the only channel in the whole world for a few hundred of years, except they called themselves God News. Maybe Judas was Jesus’ husband, so they spun that and made him the bad guy and Jesus into a lifelong ‘bachelor’ -and hid Mary was a surrogate for the gay couple who wanted kids ‘The Fabulous DaVinci Code’- not to mention Judas having the only foreign sounding name out of all the western renamed disciples in our English translations, yes- dodgy foreigners will betray you! Who ran that translation gig, Murdoch? But nice chaps like Peter and Mathew should be invited to the country club for a nice round of golf (don’t worry WASP’s they aren’t Jews anymore, they’re Christians! The Club is safe, shit unless they’re Catholics!).

Throughout their lives the fundies will meet people and they can either treat them as they themselves would like to be treated (hmm rings a bell, wonder where I read that…) -accepted and respected- or they can hate them using one interpretation of ancient texts as cover. The problem of small communities does become that they can build a monoculture where they only ever run into other loonies fellow fundies and as in this story victimise, isolate and oppress those in their own community who confound their constructed worldview (and as well as opposable thumbs-down to evolution I reckon they don’t do ‘The Crucible’ for the school play much either). A worldview which they attempt to place beyond debate by claiming a divine source, allowing them the comfort of their prejudices and psychoses without challenge. That’s what ‘feel‘ means. And it should be noted that when these fudamentalists are 1/. not Christian and 2/. are foreign, killing them with huge effing bombs is totally cool with these saintly god botherers.

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Heinz Folds To Homophobes -UPDATED

A mayonnaise advert showing two men kissing has been withdrawn after it led to more than 200 complaints. Heinz confirmed last night that it had withdrawn the television commercial for its Deli Mayo following ‘consumer feedback’. Viewers said it was ‘offensive’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unsuitable to be seen by children’, while some parents were angry that they had been forced to explain same-sex relationships to their youngsters who asked them about the ad. (ht2 D-Notice)

Ok second link in as many days to The Mail (shudder) but it’s the- won’t someone think of the children? and ‘forced to explain same-sex relationships to their youngsters‘ (forced?) that I find…well hilarious. As well as in the context of the ad [youtube] they are not even gay, the ‘gag’ of the ad is the wife in this nuclear middle class family is played by a New York deli chef character (who sexistly the makers deemed male as they came up with the ‘gag’). Now clearly these people are idiots, retarded bigots raising children who I hope escape their parents diseased mindset. However I am a charitable soul and so in the spirit of cut out and keep guides I offer this helpful attempt to reach those parents and give them a simple way to explain to their children after they are traumatised by condiment adverts.

Of course I am speaking here to these self same simpletons who despite their low wit and intelligence have found another person (or the milkman) and managed to figure out basic fucking procedures (although not contraception) and produced offspring. So first thing to remember retards when I say cut out and keep this is not to be taken literally. Do not attack the computer screen with a knife and scissors attempting to carve out the glass and display surface below upon which the words appear. No, it is more a figure of speech, although if you print the guide (onto paper, ok, paper, got that?) you could then cut around the edges to produce a handy wallet sized mnemonic (sorry- thing to help you remember stuff, ok? Don’t panic I’ll keep the words simpler from now on). So don’t try and cut open your screen, although congratulations on being able to use the internet, maybe your kid showed you how, y’know the one you are terrified of explaining same sex relationships to. (Although let’s face it even if you are using the internet you probably think for example MSN Messenger is a mandatory element of the web, have no idea what instant messaging is or that other software exists, or browsers like Firefox or other pc’s (Apple, they make ipods don’t they?) oh yeah I’ve met you people!) Ahem, so here it is how to simply and quickly explain to your tiny little precious doe-eyed trusting child about the vast ranges of sexualities-

You can like men or women or both.

Ok now you’re confused, I can see it in your big moon idiot face. You are wondering if this is for a boy or a girl, well the beauty of this handy guide is- it applies to both equally, simple really. Now how hard is that really? Because niece number two once asked me having seen ..yes can you believe it, two women kissing on TV!!!! (won’t someone think of the children!) now you (you, you Daily Mail reading complaint letter writing numpty) may expect that after this earth shattering event (not to mention a divorce, oh the iniquitous immorality of it all!) that this poor child is now a confused drug addict, pervert and recidivist criminal (who nevertheless to your way of thinking deserves no sympathy and must be jailed and quite possibly hung, drawn, quartered… and birched) which would be news to all of us as she is head girl and a champion athlete. Which is to say, oh pasty gimps of idiocy, saying those eight words is not at all hard and it will not harm your child. In fact I have to be truthful here, this also operates as a rudimentary bigot spotting device, if you have a problem with saying those eight words that indicates you have bigotry coursing through your tiny brains. But…the good news is, if you can still fight that, let your child grow free of the prejudices that were put into you, say those words, not be afraid of adverts for Mayonnaise, then you are growing and becoming a far better person, which makes for a far better parent. Heinz though, they be naughty, bad Heinz.

Update: Thanks to Josh in comments details of complaints and a petition (now over 8,000 names, so that far outnumbers the 200 bigots so that ad better be back on Heinz!)

let them hear us! write an email to pressoffice@uk.hjheinz.com with copy to butlerc@amvbbdo.com, Ted.Smyth@us.hjheinz.com, Nigel.Dickie@uk.hjheinz.com and Consumer.Contact@uk.hjheinz.com

i’ve sent this:

subject: Censoring of Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad

dear mr. or mrs. i’m really disappointed, why did you remove the Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad made by BBDO only because a bunch of sick homophobes pressured you to do that? you are endorsing a homophobe agenda and i won’t buy any of your products again until you repair the damage you have done. you have lost one customer, and i’m pretty sure i won’t be the only one. have a nice day xxxxxx

and sign the petition too: http://www.petitiononline.com/heinz/petition.html

we are a lot more than 200 sick homophobes, and they have lost us as customers!

Racist Corporatists- Hoist, Petard

Dozens of US and foreign companies will be forced to fight off costly lawsuits claiming that they helped South Africa’s white rulers repress blacks during the apartheid era, after the US Supreme Court failed to intervene on Monday.

ExxonMobil, IBM, Credit Suisse and 30 other companies had tried to persuade the court to reverse an appeals court ruling that had allowed the apartheid case, American Isuzu Motors v Ntsebeza, to proceed.

Several justices had earlier expressed a dim view of the apartheid “reparations” litigation, but the court was unable to intervene because too many justices held stock in or had some family connections with the companies involved, and so had conflicts of interest that prevented them from sitting on the case.

The Supreme Court’s failure to act will allow the lawsuit, which at one point claimed $400bn in damages, to go forward in a New York court.

But this does not guarantee victory to the plaintiffs, apartheid victims who claim big multinational companies aided and abetted apartheid South Africa’s violations of international law.

The Bush administration had backed the companies before the Supreme Court, saying that the lawsuit, “effectively seeks to overturn South Africa’s post-apartheid policy of reconciliation”.

The case involves the Alien Tort Statute, which allows non-US citizens to bring suit in US federal courts for some violations of international law.

The US business community has been struggling for years to persuade the Supreme Court to limit such Alien Tort suits and yesterday’s move constitutes a setback for this effort.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of elite capitalist bigots, their own investments, their own unprincipled greed finally throws on a big hat with KARMA written on it and their game is up.