Julian Assange’s alleged crimes don’t even register on the metric that Pinochet established. But look at the British government’s fury when Ecuador took him in. Odd little contrast, isn’t it? Still think the international hue-and-cry is all about a couple of sexual assault charges?
Within Israel, politicians, academics, journalists and activists frequently describe the state’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid. South Africans who lived through the apartheid era have also accused Israel of committing the same crimes, if not worse. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “If I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank could describe events in South Africa.” The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa both declared that Israel is practising apartheid in the Occupied Territories.
The takeaway: there’s a substantial body of opinion suggesting that the “apartheid” label is appropriate. If some people find that uncomfortable or odious … too bad.
Refusing to debate abortion rights isn’t censorship | #cdnpoli
There’s a lot of sound and fury, understandably, about Stephen Woodworth’s attempt to reignite the abortion debate.
It’s hard not to be struck, right off the bat, by the disingenuous bullshit surrounding it. Woodworth likes to characterize his initiative as an honest inquiry about when life begins. The Harper machine insists that Woodworth is acting on his own, and that this isn’t official government policy.
Yeah, right. This from an operation so obsessed with message control that backbenchers dare not even fart without clearing it with the the PMO.
And let’s be clear about what this is: it’s not a simple intellectual exercise or an attempt to update the state of scientific knowledge. It’s an assault on reproductive autonomy — a transparent and disingenuous attempt to reassert patriarchal control over women’s bodies and take away the freedom of choice that took decades to achieve.
To suggest that this “debate” isn’t welcome is not, as some misguided voices would argue, the same as advocating censorship. It’s an assertion that some debates are simply not worthy of consideration in public discourse.
It’s inconceivable that in 2012, we would even discuss whether women have the right to control their own bodies. That question was settled by the Supreme Court of Canada more than two decades ago. Do we really have to go through all that again? Are we really prepared to put the basic human rights of our fellow citizens in issue? Seriously?
Framing it as a matter of free inquiry and intellectual exchange allows its proponents to posture as reasonable people and dismiss their opponents as angry, irrational and hysterical. Condescending? Ya think? What next? Are we going to have calm, reasonable, mature debates about whether black people should have the same rights as white people, or whether LGBT people should have the same rights as straight folk?
No. And saying “we’re not going to debate about it” isn’t censorship. Woodworth and his hangers-on — so-cons, misogynists, fundies and assorted intellectual wankers — are welcome to have as many of their little debates as they like. Fill yer boots, boys.
Just not in the Parliament of Canada, let alone any forum that bills itself as “progressive.”
Unethical oil and its Canadian friends | The Vancouver Observer | #EthicalOilBullshit #tarsands
Partnerships with Myanmar and Sudan… links to Burmese heroin traffickers… With this cast of characters partnering in the development of the Northern Gateway, you’d think Ethical Oil would be at the front of the line condemning the pipeline.
That is if you think Ethical Oil’s real purpose is to oppose unethical oil.
If, on the other hand, its real purpose is to front for Enbridge with scurrilous attacks on pipeline opponents…. Well then its actions to date make sense.
More untreated tar-sands effluent, spewing into Canada’s public discourse. I don’t want to think about the effect it’s having on our civic ecosystem.
Apparently the arguments are so convincing that they need to pay some worthless little putz to redirect the conversation by squealing obscenities at people on television.
Israel’s occupation: Apartheid on Steroids | The Nation
What I witnessed in the West Bank—home to about 2.5 million Palestinians and 400,000 Israeli settlers—exceeded my worst expectations. While the world’s statesmen have dithered, Israel has created a system of apartheid on steroids, a horrifying prison with concrete walls as high as twenty-six feet, topped with body-ravaging coils of razor wire. Spaced along these walls are imposing guard towers that harbor bunkers from which trespassers can be shot by Israeli soldiers. From this physical segregation—one land for Israelis; another, unequal land for Palestinians—flows a torrent of misery, violence and human rights abuses. The West Bank suffers from acute shortages of water, housing, jobs and healthcare. Palestinian children are separated from their parents, denied access to hospitals and stoned and beaten by Jewish settlers. Human rights sanctioned by international law, including the right to health, the prohibition on transferring populations into occupied territories and equal treatment before the law are routinely violated.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, once said that Israel will be judged by how it treats the Arabs. This is a moral test Israel now resoundingly fails—a failure that threatens to undermine all of its accomplishments and, as is increasingly clear, its future.
Guess this makes Stephen Robert an anti-Semite, doesn’t it? And me, for linking to it?