Willy & KKKKaty on tour in Australia: an update

Willy & KKKKaty Windsor’s trip to Australia is really doing the British moochocracy proud–especially if you’re the kind of person who believes everything you read & your critical faculties have been blunted by too much Murdoch media.

Yesterday, our duo, without George the umpteenth as a prop, toured a children’s hospital in Sydney. When they met a seriously ill little boy, it is reported they “visibly struggled to keep it together.” Willy claims he welled up with tears & was really worried he would start crying. Odd that, since there’s an immense library of media reports describing how the austerity cutbacks in England are affecting thousands of sick, disabled, & poor kids. When Willy & KKKKaty collect their welfare checks there’s no evidence of any tears welling up in shame. They seem to have complete peace of mind in putting kids back in England at risk to bankroll their indolent lifestyle.

The bad news is KKKKaty appears to be back on her one biscuit a day starvation rations; the good news is it appears George the umpteenth is actually being fed whole meals. In a week or two he’ll weigh more than mama. Reports claim KKKKaty made sport of a growing bald spot on Willy’s head. If she’s not careful that one biscuit a day will be cut in half.

Betty Windsor celebrates 88th birthday at expense of national health care

We cannot let April 21st pass by without acknowledging Betty Windsor’s 88th birthday. Our girl actually has two birthdays including an extravaganza on June 14th paid for with monies stolen from the national health care service. Let’s hope this time she skips the flotilla up the Thames. Her longevity is entirely due to a life of being waited on hand & foot &, of course, the delight she derives from horse racing since her children & spouse have certainly been no blessing.

It’s been proven in many studies, including one at Harvard Medical School, that wealth positively correlates with longevity. They call it “the wealth gradient in mortality.” These repeated studies have likely cost a bundle but their necessity eludes us entirely. There’s no need for lengthy longitudinal studies to tell you what millions would give you an ear full of if you just asked: if you eat well & regularly, if you have a roof over your head with electric power & sanitation facilities, if your larder is stocked with healthy foods & you don’t have to dumpster dive to get it, you’re likely to have good health & long life. Good healthcare might factor in there too, n’est-ce pas?

The Harvard study should have stopped there but they went on to claim income alone has little effect on longevity. They said those with college degrees tend to drink less, smoke less, & are likely less likely to be obese. How do they correlate that with the Harvard-Yale study that claimed women with college degrees are more likely to be killed by a terrorist than find a spouse? Does this mean single women don’t need vices to cope with all that love married women are getting?

One evaluator of the studies says educated people are more forward-looking & plan for the future, unlike uneducated people. There is a ring of truth to that; if you’re scrounging through dumpsters for your next meal you’re not likely to be doing estate planning. One can hardly keep up with the silliness.

(Photo of Betty from hellomagazine.com)

New attacks on Palestinians worshipping at al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas threatened last week to dismantle the PA & dump the Oslo Accords if the phony peace talks with Israel fail. Abbas is, of course, just blowing hot air but it’s impossible to think of a single down side to his threat. The Oslo Accords formalize the terms of Palestinian surrender to Israeli apartheid & employ the PA as enforcers against intifada without meaningful jurisdiction over occupied territory: they establish a bantustate solution; legitimize Israeli occupation & terrorism of Gaza & the West Bank; facilitate Zionist settlements.

This past week an estimated 125,000 tourists poured into Jerusalem to celebrate Easter & Passover. Many of these “tourists” are Zionists (including Christian Zionists) & come as provocateurs. The al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem (per the Oslo Accords) is a focus of Israeli aggression against Palestinians. Worshippers from the West Bank & Gaza are restricted access & no males under 50-years-old are allowed to pray there but must instead kneel on the public pavement in adjacent areas. It is frequently under attack by Israeli soldiers. So that’s the first place the pious pilgrims head for to stir up more violence against Palestinians.

Zionists have fabricated quite a mythology about the religious history of the al-Aqsa site & Judaism to get around the mosque that’s been there over 1,300 years. There are even knuckleheaded Christian evangelists who claim the site has a history for Christianity. Soon enough Scientology will be laying claim to the site.

On Monday, April 14th, five Zionist “worshippers” smuggled a goat through strict bag inspections at al-Aqsa, intending to re-enact an ancient Passover sacrifice ritual. Does anyone seriously believe you can smuggle a live goat past military checkpoints or that their intentions were religious!? It was an attempt at the political level of a frat house prank to disrespect & make a mockery of the mosque. Strict inspections administered by Israeli authorities apparently only apply to Palestinians.

This past Wednesday, 1,000 Israeli special forces & a sniper squad escorted buses of these pious tourists to al-Aqsa. To believe they were going there to worship would tax credulity beyond redemption. The military story is that “fierce clashes erupted” when they responded to “stones & firecrackers” lobbed by Palestinians with stun grenade canisters & rubber-coated bullets. At least 20 Palestinians were injured & dozens were arrested. The pious tourists were apparently hussled back on to their buses safely & we can only wish some of them caught some buckshot up their butts while boarding.

This travesty is apartheid; it is the legacy legitimized by the Oslo Accords & enforced by the PA. Support the right of Palestinians to worship at al-Aqsa; support Palestinian justice by honoring the boycott of all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); supporting the cultural boycott of Israel; & demanding “No military aid to Israel!”

(Photo of Abbas blowing hot air from Israel National News)

Scarlett Johansson the “face of apartheid”

While waiting for my car inspection to be completed yesterday, I thumbed the May issue of Vanity Fair supplied by the auto dealership. It features a cover story on Scarlett Johansson by a reporter named Lili Anolik. Anolik is a well-schooled writer throwing away an expensive education at Princeton on purple prose & groveling. Apparently incapable of shame or self-reflection & reduced to putty before Johansson’s charms, Anolik has done her writing ambitions no service with this regrettable piece. Even celebrity hounds must feel some discomfort at reading a panegyric elevating a mere mortal to goddess-like status.

Last month New Yorker magazine also profiled Johansson & I’m wondering if it’s conspiratorial to think her publicist (& possibly the Israeli embassy) have played a role in all this coverage since her recent achievements in film don’t seem to warrant such lavish attention. But restoring her reputation after the Oxfam-Soda Stream flap certainly does.

Anolik took a brief moment from slobbering all over Johansson to address the controversy of shilling for Israeli apartheid. Our goddess became overcome with emotion as she protested becoming “the face of apartheid” & said she had done careful homework about Soda Stream to determine they were an ethical enterprise worth shilling for. So there you have it! Johansson knows exactly what she is doing. So she can hold the bloody-assed tears; nobody but star-struck reporters & paid publicists are buying it. If you’ve done your homework on what Israel is doing in the West Bank & continue to draw income from supporting it, you deserve opprobrium. Goddess, my ass!

To prevent any unseemly spitting at the “face of apartheid,” I am instead posting this photo of Israeli soldiers throwing grenades at Palestinians rallying In Hebron, West Bank in defense of Palestinian political prisoners on April 17th. This is what Johansson fully & knowingly supports.

Support Palestinian justice by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729); support the cultural boycott of Israel; demand “No military aid to Israeli apartheid!”

(Photo from Reuters)

Immigration to US from Central America fraught with hazards & violations of human rights

This is another immigrant arrested yesterday along with 79 others in McAllen, Texas. Media reports the border patrol “swooped” in on their encampment, handcuffed them, & took them off to detention before deportation. Swooping is a thing fully-armed US cops do to scare the hell out of people. Is such machista peculiar to US cops or do the rest of you also have to suffer this crap? This guy is a US Border Patrol but Texas Rangers have a machista style all their own, including never removing their foolish 10-gallon hats, even when they’re using the loo or making love. That’s why their divorce rate is so high. Nobody can tolerate them, least of all their spouses.

This young man doesn’t seem to be impressed with all the machista. But he must be very scared & uncertain of his fate. Our fullest solidarity with him since it is scary as hell to get caught up in an unjust & rotten judicial system, pickled to its gills in racism. We aren’t told this man’s name or his country of origin. We don’t give a damn where he’s from. He’s one of ours, he’s a brother. Our land is his land. Open the borders!

Immigration is a human right!

(Photo by Gabe Hernandez/The Monitor/AP)

Immigration is a human right! Open the borders!

This man is Everado Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras who was arrested yesterday near here with 79 other immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, & Guatemala. Most of them traveled nearly 2,000 miles, some paid thousands of dollars, & most have gone through unspeakable suffering to find work in the US. Many have come to locate or reunite with family members.

US immigration arrested 132 others this week in a location just miles from where the others were found. They were living in what is called a stash house until their transportation further north past border patrol stations on the highway could be arranged. Senor Sanchez & the others were living in the scrub under tents camouflaged by cacti & mesquite trees, sleeping on cardboard, & with little food or water for at least a week. After being arrested, they were all handcuffed & herded on to buses as though they were criminals.

All in all, the US border patrol boasts of over 154,000 arrests last year in this part of Texas–mostly immigrants coming from Central America, & thousands of them unaccompanied minors. Most of the children will be stuck in detention centers, including abandoned military bases; most of the adults will be dumped back in Mexico to fend for themselves. Every morning you can see border patrol buses dropping them off on the Mexican side of the bridges. Most of them have exhausted their resources for survival & wouldn’t be coming here if they could find work in Mexico or in their home countries. Many will attempt to cross the Rio Grande again but on their own, without “coyotes” to guide them. If they are picked up a second time, the border patrol will simply dump them further south in Mexico.

This is barbarism. If neoliberal plunder, including US corporations, were not laying waste to their livelihoods they would not be forced to leave their families & cultures to move here. The grief on Senor Sanchez’s face says everything we need to know about US immigration policy. Let it be damned! And let us do our utmost to join with immigrants in demanding the US open the damn borders. This land is our land; this land is their land. Immigration is a human right!

(Photo by Gabe Hernandez/The Monitor/AP)

May Gabriel García Márquez RIP

When someone in your life dies there is always a sense of something left undone. At first, you chide yourself for the times you lost patience or didn’t give sufficient attention when they wanted it. But later, it’ll be taken over by a sense you didn’t let them know often & strongly enough how much you loved them. This beautiful quote by Gabriel García Márquez from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” summons that feeling so well:

“If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.”

Kim Novak denounces misogynist trashing of older women

What is not to respect about Kim Novak publicly denouncing the ridicule she received at the Oscars awards & the ridicule of Liza Minnelli by Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres? She likened the treatment of older women, including those using plastic surgery, to the bullying so destructive to teenagers.

The obsessive & vicious media scrutiny of celebrity women compels them to starvation diets, dangerous & multiple cosmetic surgeries, umpteen beauty enhancers & prothetics. They are humiliated, even lacerated, publicly for any deviation from the odious standards of being perfect at all times. Their “baby bumps” get monitored, their post-pregnancy recovery to body-beautiful is commented on (the quicker it is, the more admirable it is considered), every weight gain is monitored with scathing disapproval, eating disorders are pilloried, they’re commented on in every gown, in bikinis, in gymwear, & they are recoiled from if they dare appear without full makeup.

You needn’t read celebrity magazines to know all this; you catch it in the checkout line at the supermarket or on the nightly news. No wonder so many young women grow up with an encompassing, even disabling, sense of insufficiency. It’s a misogynist outrage that young women don’t get to enjoy their beauty & their bodies & the vibrant energy that characterizes them. Their so-called imperfections put those loathsome–& let’s be frank, white supremacist–beauty standards to shame. Nature is not improved on with identical prosthetic masks. (Though a little lipstick is always good.) And aging isn’t deformation; it’s a different kind of beauty.

By speaking out, Kim Novak has done all women a great service & we should tip our hats to her beauty, her intelligence, her dignity, & her sense of solidarity with the rest of us. She makes us older ones damn proud.

(Photo from yahoo)