News Round-Up

Stories from the past week that stood out.

July 17

July 21

Serious Soldier

July 22

John and Cindy McCain

July 23

  • Cindy McCain robot gets new head.
  • Well, I called the Obama campaign several weeks ago and said that I’d like to go and my invitation has apparently been lost in the mail.
  • “What I’m afraid of is that if Sen. McCain picks one more relatively boring, normal, mainstream Republican white guy… he just makes the ticket seem boring compared to the level of energy and drive and excitement that Obama has.”
  • Blackwater affiliate Greystone Ltd, registered offshore in Barbados, is an old-fashioned mercenary operation offering “personnel from the best militaries throughout the world” for hire by governments and private organisations. It also boasts of a “multi-national peacekeeping programme,” with forces “specialising in crowd control and less than lethal techniques and military personnel for the less stable areas of operation.”
  • The political controversy that has swirled around Pastor Hagee reminds me of one of the unique lessons in the Bible about leadership. In Greek mythology, the leaders were flawless and virtual demi-gods. It was impossible for mere mortals to try to emulate them. The heroes of the Bible, however, are humans, great humans, but with human failings.

Obama,Tiergarten, Berlin

July 24

Ex-Gay Billboard

July 25

  • “Obviously one is interested in a candidate looking towards the future rather than the past.”
  • The entire world drafted an open letter to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) today, asking him to drop out of the U.S. presidential race and concede the presidency to Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois).
  • White House gave FOX commentators talking points.
  • “For those who oppose the death penalty and want to see it end, our best bet is to vote for Barack Obama because his supporters have been working behind the scenes to end this practice.”
  • ACLU releases three new documents on the government’s torture program. “If a defendant acts with good faith belief that his actions will not cause such suffering, he has not acted with specific intent. A defendant acts in good faith when he has an honest belief that his actions will not result in severe pain or suffering…Although an honest belief need not be reasonable, such a belief is easier to establish where there is reasonable basis for it.”
  • “He got up there in front of 200,000 people and he glommed on to one of the most ridiculous and one of the hateful stereotypes about America, which is that we torture. The fact that he did that on foreign soil I think is absolutely atrocious.”

Banksy, American Influence

July 26

Karl Rove

July 27

I Don’t Get Out Much

May your penis hurt when you make love.
Recently discovered curse from Cyprus’s old city kingdom of Amathus (circa 7th century CE)

I discovered the GENKI website by clicking a link over on Zaeega. (Not ot be confused with this Genki). I wish I understood Japanese (the language, the culture, everything). My Genki site apparently sells fetish movies, like Caught like a fish:

I had been stripped naked and suspended in a net without warning. Mysterious aboriginal men surrounded me, chanting as if trying to cast a spell over me. Then they all bowed down before me and began to grope my body. I was whipped incessantly with fish and eels. Is this a ceremony to purify me, I thought? Am I a sacrifice to their God…. Their behavior was beyond my comprehension. And what my fate might be is beyond imagination.

Squid Ink
The site also sells stage props, I imagine so you can karaoke the films. Items for sale go beyond the common dildo or massager:

  • Super-thick eels (“They are very difficult to catch. They mainly live inside the vagina, in which they love wriggling around.”)
  • Boiled octopus (“Absolutely delicious with boiled rice. Rubbing against the rough surface of the suckers feels great.”)
  • Salmon roe (“Pickled in soy source and itchy on the skin. To eat as they are on, or mashed-up and painted on an actress.”)
  • Frog sister buddies (“They are not mating, just close friends and family. They are a pain when they form many faction. “)
  • White Vaseline (“You shouldn’t swallow it. It’s like a mother gently tending a wound. Is that an insult to my mother?”)
  • Long Hair Wig (“Enables you to change the sexual identity but only on the outside. It’s a faulty, but a very expensive one.”)
  • High-heels (“Will force anyone onto their knees. Increases the power and allure, but also lowers intelligence.”)
  • Gas mask (“ame use as the mask bought to hide the identity of the amateur actors. However, is sound noisy??”)
  • Multiple-use chain (“As well as being used to hang actresses and swings, these are useful as a fashion and for securing.”)
  • White briefs (“The badge of a masochist actor, like the insignia of manga superhero.It’s a mark of identification.”)

Sorry. Got carried away. However, I didn’t see this for sale: an athletic cup with a built-in electric fan. America still prevails.

Arnold Scharzennegger and his Dolly

The sexualization of torture from the top basically turned Abu Ghraib and Guantnamo Bay into an organized sex-crime ring in which the trafficked sex slaves were US-held prisoners. Looking at the classic S and M nature of some of this torture, it is hard not to speculate that someone setting policy was aroused by all of this. And Phillipe Sands’ impeccably documented Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values, now proves that sex crime was authorized and, at least one source reports, eroticized: Diane Beaver, the Staff Judge Advocate at Guantanamo who signed off on many torture techniques, told Sands about brainstorming sessions that included the use of sexual tension, which was “culturally taboo, disrespectful, humiliating and potentially unexpected.

“These brainstorming meetings at Guantanamo produced animated discussion,” writes Sands. “Who has the glassy eyes?” Beaver asked herself as she surveyed the men around the room, thirty or more of them. She was invariably the only woman in the room, keeping control of the boys. The younger men would get excited, agitated, even: “You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas” [reported Beaver]. A wan smile crossed Beaver’s face: “And I said to myself, you know what, I don’t have a dick to get hard, I can stay detached.” [Sands, p 63]

“No one will keep us from seeing.”

Amnesty International

Another great ad campaign from Amnesty International.

News Round-Up

Sam Javanrouh: Yonge street, north of Eglinton

A selection of headlines from the last week or so, give-or-take, that grabbed our attention:

June 7

June 12

June 27

June 29

July 1

July 2

July 3

July 9

July 10

July 11

July 12

July 13

“He’s done nothing.”

Amnesty International Campaign Poster

“He’s just showing Amnesty’s phone number. Discriminating is not human. Denounce it.”

This campaign, from Amnistia Internacional Portugal, won the Bronze Prize in the Press category at the The 2008 Cannes Lions Festival.