Van the Man bends the knee to feudalism; makes ass of self

Van the Man getting knighted second time

Not to belabor my disdain, but then again why not!? This is the unseemly sight of Van Morrison being knighted a second time by a bored Charlie Windsor who would rather be at the horse track.

Behold the ignominy & try to imagine this is the same guy who wrote “Tupelo Honey,” “Into the Mystic,” & “Moondance.” Feudalism is all about groveling & even Van the Man can’t make it look dignified.

(Photographer unidentified; thanks to Maggie Gordon for this regrettable documentation.)

Defense of hijab brings out the rightwing & nationalists

Overnight, I got flagged in two different posts on Facebook denouncing me in rather crazy-assed terms for defending the hijab–something I’ve done consistently, if not also belligerently, since Islamophobia (& specifically the hijab & burqa) began to be used to justify US wars & military actions.

One of the criticisms was that I dared to address cultures I know nothing about. I’m an American; most of us don’t know squat about most cultures. But I was not talking about other cultures since I try not to talk through my hat. I was talking about feminism & its use in war propaganda & those are things I do know something about. There is little culturally specific about manipulations & scare-mongering for war.

I didn’t stick around the vituperations against me for long; I try to preserve adrenalin for the things that matter. But what was observable among the comments was the liberal veneer to peddle intolerance–a style they learned from the rightwing crap they read.

There were criticisms like “Will she support if Chinese girls start binding their feet just because they wish to?” & a comment that I had “blood on my hands” for naming the woman I was criticizing for her attack on women who wear the hijab–though she wrote her banal article for The Nation, with a readership of thousands. Her opening sentence in the article stated her own reactionary politics about the Indian occupation of Kashmir when she said: “… the attitudes towards females covering up for modesty were always conservative but turned quite ugly in 1990 with the breakout of the Pakistan-backed Islamist insurgency in Kashmir against the Indian State.” So now we know which side she’s on in the Indian occupation of Kashmir & why Indian nationalists were so supportive of her & insulting of my critique.

In the two posts I was denounced for speaking from white privilege & called, by men & women: a moron; drug-addled from the 60s; having a psychiatric past; dubbed Mary Scurrilous; called a bitch, “Osama’s ho”, a “puta” (whore or prostitute in Spanish). Sorry, but none of that rang true. I’m something of a prude in my personal style.

Several people involved in these posts wanted to make sure I read their vituperations so they tagged me. Some were my FB friends–but are now regrettably in FB hell after I booted them. Let me be frank: you don’t stay a woman activist if you cry every time somebody calls you a naughty name.

My favorite comment has to be the guy who posted that he informed “Dr. Phyllis Chesler” about my polemics against her. I’ve wanted to kick her ass for nearly 50 years now–beginning with those boring books she wrote about women’s psychology & mostly for the racist crap she writes ad nauseam about Palestinians & Islam–particularly targeting Muslim women & the hijab. If he could provoke her into a debate with me, making chopped liver out of her would be child’s play. She’s so hateful she could be taken out with a feather.

You gotta wonder why my defense of hijab evokes such ugly outbursts. But not really. They want to hoodwink feminists into supporting Islamophobia & when we don’t buy their crap, they go ballistic. No big deal. Just don’t tag me so I have to read it.

(For those who have time to kill & want to read the stupid article, here is the link; don’t blame me if you wind up regretting the waste of time. Just use it for toilet paper:

Thousands of unaccompanied child refugees being victimized in Europe & U.S.

Child refugee (Darko Vojinovic:AP) Feb 6 2016

Over a week ago, a local newscast reported, without elaborating, that many undocumented children caught crossing the US-Mexico border here had been sent to homes where they were abused, sexually assaulted, or forced to work as slaves. They did not repeat that report on their website or in either of the other newscasts that day nor in any newscast since. So I phoned & emailed the news director to ask for more info & which government agency had reported that. I have received no response.

In the next couple days, the Guardian-UK & Al Jazeera both reported that according to Europol, Europe’s police agency, in the past two years, more than 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children had disappeared after registering with state authorities when they arrived in Europe. Five-thousand of those children had disappeared in Italy alone & 1,000 in Sweden. Europol officials said they feared many had been kidnapped for criminal purposes, most likely for sex trafficking.

It is entirely possible that some of those children reconnected with family members or that others went on the lam to elude the inhospitable & controlling grip of the EU. But many questions are raised. Exactly what are EU procedures for processing children without caretakers? Do they just fingerprint them, give them papers & send them to the streets in foreign cities where they don’t know the language? What about food & shelter? What about protection? What about child welfare? How exactly did EU officials lose 10,000 children? How exactly did US officials pass children into the hands of exploiters?

This is a catastrophe that highlights the monstrous character of EU & US refugee policies. When it comes to kids, there are no national boundaries or xenophobic policies with a shred of validity. There needs to be a clamor, thorough investigations, & reforming of the policies for handling children that assure their welfare & safety. If a single child has suffered harm from refugee policies–either through neglect or direct collaboration with the traffickers–criminal charges need to be lodged & the perpetrators prosecuted. Neither Europol nor the local TV station can just report this & move on to something else. They have an obligation under international law & every standard of human civilization to find out what happened to those children & to take the necessary actions to make certain children are protected.

This is a refugee child walking alone into Serbia from Macedonia.

(Photo by Darko Vojinovic/AP)