Incognito Press

truth. knowledge. freedom. passion. courage. Promoting free-thinking, activism & rogue writing.

Posts Tagged ‘news’

The Costa Concordia, Carnival, and why I will always hate cruises

Posted by E on January 19, 2012

Two days ago I came back from my first-ever – and only – cruise on a Carnival cruiseship, a sister ship in fact to the now-infamous Costa Concordia. Looking at news photos of the staterooms and general surroundings of the now belly-up cruise liner, I was uncomfortably reminded of the identical view on my own trip — obviously Carnival contracts out their architectural plans and ship furnishings to the same gaudy, Las Vegas-wannabe people.

And let me tell you — in terms of unique experiences, few can beat that of being adrift in the open ocean and hearing your captain come on the airways with the sad news that a sister ship has sunk and we should have a moment of silence. I’d already turned on CNN from our stateroom and observed the horrific images we all have seen by now — of a maritime disaster that was caused by the indefensable actions of a small number of people who brought the ship close to land (and strayed from the course of navigation by more than 5 miles) because they frivolously wanted to wave to family members residing on a small lagoon island.

But I’m not surprised to hear survivors tell of the utter chaos, and the every-man-for-himself mentality that broke out near the lifeboats. Anybody who’s ever been on a cruiseship this large, as I unfortunately had the experience of embarking, knows that the other half of the whole eat-and-drink-till-you-puke-funship-experience is being herded like cattle onto lines….and more lines.

When you debark on a shore excursion. When you return on board. When you wait for tenders. When you wait to embark and disembark again. All you see are elbows and assholes cutting ahead in line. Assholes who cough and sneeze all over the place without consideration of infecting their fellow passengers with all sorts of nasty viruses. In fact, the thing I have come to deduct from this one and ONLY cruise experience I will ever have, is that cruise ships are made up of huge lines crammed with inconsiderate people, and form one huge cesspool of bacterial infection. In more than ten years of travelling all over the world, I’ve never become this sick on vacation. Until now.

If you don’t know it already, cruise lines create those charming little villages that form their ports and the fake beaches that line neatly a hundred meters from where the ship is docked, and work out deals with the corporations who own the luxury goods lines that saturate the shops which dot every single bloody corner of their fake “islands” – stores like Diamond International, or Effy, or a shitload of other tanzanite and crappy interchangeable ugly jewelry lines that do their darndest – even by hounding you on ship by slipping envelopes through your stateroom door inviting you to “special buying opportunities” – to part you from your money.

Everything is always about the bottom line — Carnival’s policy, as I heard it on board, is to never sail until the ship is full. 3500 guests plus another, I don’t know, 1500 staff? It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Yeah, of course the likelyhood of Titanic-proportion disasters is exceedingly low, and lower than even air crash disaspers, but when it happens, you can count on the fact that it WILL be every man and woman for themselves. Without exceptions. And you’d better be prepared to fight – and have luck on your side.

I cannot imagine what would have happened on our own ship if something were to go wrong. Among the sweaty fratboys, bikini-clad drunken bimbos, the austere-looking Germans towering over everyone else with their ethnically-cleansed Aryan genes, the cranky geriatric patients who feel entitled to push ahead solely on account of their advanced age, and yeah, even the white trash bitch who almost ran me over with her wheelchair who felt similarly entitled to cut ahead of a one-hour-long line, who would survive? Certainly not civility, and certainly not the humanity in people.

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Posted in news | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Old Habits Die Hard – the dubious adventures of Grant Bristow, or how CSIS taught me everything I know about phone hacking

Posted by E on November 17, 2011

I’ve just recently been informed of a 2010 scandal involving ex-CSIS superstar Grant Bristow, who everyone these days knows better as Nathan Black. The story is convoluted and pathetic, and involves Grant Nathan pretending to be a phony reporter in order to conduct some mock aggressive interviews with Edmonton mayor Stephen Mendel. In other words, a déjà vu throwback to Bristow’s good old times – a dirty tricks campaign (in this case, against a Jewish person). Of course, the prank went terribly wrong since nobody quite “got” Bristow’s sense of humour and he was subsequently hit with a libel charge. Anyway, you can read more of the tawdry affair here.

Reflecting back on my own personal encounters with Grant Bristow, it now dawns on me how wrong I was about him. How that poor man must have suffered. After I provided information on the Heritage Front, my life in hiding was absolutely nothing in comparison to the suffering Grant must have endured: the abrupt cessation of those few things that gave his life such joy and meaning – telephoning people under the guise of interviewing them, donning alternate personas only to mock and scare those on the other line. Breaking into answering machines to lift information that he would pass out to Heritage Front skinheads. Oh, how he’d miss his perennial favourites – putting skinheads up to crank call individuals on his target list, individuals who would end up being followed, harassed and terrorized 24 hours a day.

Today’s media have only half the story right: yes, Grant Bristow undoubtedly did his duty as agent provocateur extraordinaire to build up a racist empire in Canada. The part where the Bristow myth falls apart is in the fact that, no matter which way you spin things, Grant Bristow did NOT take down the Heritage Front.

That task befell a number of tireless activists, a sleuthing journalist for the Toronto Sun, Bill Dunphy, and as a result of the brave actions of a House of Commons staff member, Brian McInnis, who leaked an internal report to the Attorney General which warned of possible problems involving the activities of a CSIS agent in the field.

In the several years in which Bristow moulded and partially-funded the Heritage Front and their subsequent criminal activities, NOT ONE CRIMINAL CHARGE was laid against any Canadian white supremacist as a result of his actions. But it gets even better — Bristow was even busted by Metro Police with a trunk full of smuggled guns – but the police were promptly told “from above” to let him go and not pursue the matter.

Following Bill Dunphy’s front page exposé of Bristow in the Toronto Sun, our boy was promptly plucked out of the Toronto area by his handlers and placed into the Witness Protection Program. He was given a large home in Edmonton equipped with a three-car garage and an allowance of several thousand dollars per month. I have to ask myself, For what, exactly?

Let’s first start with the definition of hero: according to Oxford Dictionary, this is “a person, especially a man, who is admired by many people for doing something brave or good.” (Uh, as in instigate terror campaigns against people because of their differing political beliefs and sexual orientation? Because that’s what Bristow did. But I’m getting ahead of myself here).

How is Bristow a hero of the people? Well, let’s go down the list:

  1. Did any criminal charges get laid against any HF white supremacists as a direct result of his information? No.
  2. Did he testify in any proceedings against any Heritage Front members? Nope.
  3. Did he ever supplant police with any affidavits that were ultimately used to prosecute anybody? I mean, given the hundreds of thousands (likely millions) of taxpayer dollars that went into this operation, did anything concrete come out of Grant Bristow? Or are we only left with a bunch of hate speeches on YouTube and a bad taste in our mouths? Nada. Ugh, I’m starting to see a pattern here.
  4. Were either himself or his handlers charged with criminal harassment over the It Campaign, over possession of illegal weapons, or instigating a riot (as in what happened in June 1993)? No again. No criminal charges were ever laid (though rumour is, the handler was either demoted or fired, though I cannot confirm this).

What makes a hero in the eyes of Canadian media? Somehow I doubt it involves such dubiously-heroic acts as teaching underage girls like myself how to break into answering machines and how to “fuck with people’s heads” until they “shit their pants and have a total breakdown.” Though that is precisely what he did.

However, such heroic acts are deemed to merit exposure in press arenas such as Walrus Magazine, or worth standing ovations from synagogue audiences who blissfully had no clue about the character of the man who they were thanking, and what they were really giving applause for.

In contrast to Bristow, I’m not as full of myself as to claim that I acted heroically. However, I can answer yes to the first 3 of the above questions.

  1. YES, white supremacists were charged as a result of my information. And not just anybody, but Wolfgang Droege himself and a couple of his cronies went to jail.
  2. YES, my testimony resulted in convictions. And if CSIS hadn’t told the OPP and RCMP to back off my affidavits in order to protect their operative, many MORE convictions might have resulted.
  3. YES, my information was used to weed out a KKK-attending, Heritage Front member who just happened to be a police officer and gun-totting member of the Toronto Police Services.
  4. NO, I wasn’t given a three-car garage mansion in the suburbs, or an allowance of $3000 a month for years and years afterwards. Hell, I wasn’t even given a change of ID.

I panhandled on the streets of Ottawa and Halifax to feed myself. I dumpster-dived for food between court appearances and lived in shelters. After I did my part to take down the Heritage Front, I had nothing, couldn’t use my ID, and was on the run for my life. I received absolutely nothing, not even protection, from this government.

But I ain’t a hero, and unlike Bristow, I wouldn’t feel comfortable making such a claim. I’m just a nobody, someone who did what they had to in order to dismantle a vicious organization and take those bastards down.

And no, I’m not only talking about the Heritage Front here.

UPDATE: For a comprehensive media library of what took place in the 1990s, please start by checking out this blog entry (Race Traitor: The Media Library) and the mainstream media articles and documentary footage listed.

Also – here is a free PDF excerpt of my book, which includes affidavit-backed details of Bristow’s criminal activity within the Heritage Front: RACE-TRAITOR Excerpt by ELISA HATEGAN

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Posted in agent, canada, crime, news | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Starbucks: conscious promoter of social change, or consumer whore?

Posted by E on November 8, 2011

Yesterday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made international news with his announcement of Starbucks’ generous new approach to lifting the American economy from the gutter through their new “Create Jobs for USA” program: selling cheap wristband bracelets to help the poor.

Within a few hours, Twitterverse was buzzing with conscientious shoppers doing their part to help the poor. Instead of dropping a fiver into the empty cup held by that drunken bum at the corner, Manhattan fashionistas were walking away from Starbucks with a frappuccino and a piece of garbage elastic trinket around their wrist, feeling all the better for having done their social duty. Who would have thought helping the impoverished could be as sexy as a lattee-soaked biscotti? I mean, how better a way to celebrate having a job (and therefore, money) than buying a $5 lattee while thinking that you’re helping the unemployed?

The sweet irony here is that it’s Starbucks — Starbucks! the ONE company whose profits have not gone down during this recession, but way up — of all companies, to come forward with the whole “let’s help the poor without hurting our profit bottom line” idea, when, if you really think about it, they could help society all the better by donating one day’s worth of sales to any of a gazillion agencies helping the unemployed.

Methinks if Starbucks donated so much as ONE HOUR’s worth of total profits, the world would be a far better place. Instead, they come out with a marketing/advertising campaign designed to draw people inside their coffee shops — where hopefully they’ll buy more than a shitty nylon bracelet. But speaking of that shitty trinket, whose minuscule net profits (after marketing and production costs are deducted, understandably) will go toward some faceless unemployed schmuck in the hopes that he/she will soon raise back to their feet and revisit their neighbourhood Starbucks.

So yeah, let’s see this transformation from Starbucks-the-obscenely-priced-superchain to Starbucks-the-superhero-chain which single-handedly tackled the US jobless woes with a wristband and a cuppa java. Pretty ironic, ain’t it, for a monster company that has long been criticized for putting small coffee shops out of business.

Posted in news, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done!

Posted by E on August 22, 2011

Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada and leader of the Official Opposition, has lost his battle with cancer.

It is hard to put into words how significant a loss this is for Canada. Whether you voted NDP or not, Layton was universally admired for his sheer determination and devotion to Canadians — families, gay people, seniors, the impoverished — everyone who needed help. He genuinely believed we could lift each other up and create a fairer society. And he showed us all that when you believe, miracles can happen. The results of the Canadian elections that placed his party in a historically-unparalleled position were the fruits of his vision and hard work — and produced a victory that he only was able to enjoy for three months.

It has been a toxic year tainted by the disgusting spectacle of British politicians rushing to distance themselves from the corrupt media empire they had helped to create; revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere that provided hope which was quickly extinguished once it was clear youth, women, and moderate voices would have nothing to do with the new order; America brought to the economic brink by petty partisan bickering and a rabid right wing; London burning ostensibly over a police shooting but looters gone wild, torching their own neighbourhood and leaving hundreds of innocent people homeless. I have not even touched the economic roller coaster and the repulsive charade of bank bailouts followed by enormous-bonuses-as-usual on Wall Street.

Amid all this toxicity, negativity, and despair, Jack Layton had this to say from his deathbed:

“… consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

Amid the shameful circus of global politics, Jack Layton was a rare genuine spirit, the epitome of public service, and someone straightforward and most of all, real.

I am going to repeat Jack’s words many times to myself, and resolve to borrow from his stubborn, effervescent, indomitable spirit in this dark hour.

Rest in peace, Jack.

Posted in canada, news | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The girl in the picture is me

Posted by E on August 19, 2011

The girl in this picture is me. Or rather, it was me. The me I was between age 16-18. The me I lost when I left Toronto, after testifying against a bunch of neo-Nazi leaders who led an organization co-founded by a CSIS agent. Founded, and funded, by our own Canadian government.

Nobody knows what it is like to live in the underground. It’s been romanticized, glamorized, but unless somebody’s actually lived it, nobody can imagine the toll this life can take on you.

Nameless cities, countless names, and through it all, you just ask yourself, Why do I bother? Why not just let them find me – the ones who kept tracking me down, phoning me in the night with threats like “we’re coming to get you,” and “rats end up in the sewers.”

By writing this entry, I’m coming out. Not as gay (that happened a long time ago!), but as a poser. A faker. An impostor.

This is an open letter to all my friends who will be reading this, whether via this blog or through my Facebook account link. Friends I’ve made in different cities and different countries. Friends near and far who have all called me by different names. I’m here to tell you that no, I wasn’t going through eccentric, creative phases whenever I changed cities and switched names.

 There was a reason for it. At least at the time. But as the years went by, I found myself repeating a pattern that was no longer necessary, yet I didn’t know how to stop – lying. Lying had become part of my identity. Lying about my past, my family, my name. All of it as easy as a knee-jerk reflex. Because when you discard identities like you do clothing, sometimes you don’t know how to relate to others without exposing yourself. Even when the threat has long ended.

So for all those who called me Emma in Nova Scotia or Kat in Ottawa or Elisa in the GTA, or the countless little monikers I’ve worn between one place and the next, this entry should provide the answers to some of the questions you’ve always been too polite to ask.

Why am I “coming out” now? Some of you know about my novel Race Traitor, which is loosely based on my own story. You probably didn’t realize there was a connection. What you’ve been told is that it’s a cool little thriller I’ve been working on for the last couple of years. What you don’t know is that it’s full of demons. Not of the supernatural kind, because those can be vanquished easier than those who come to you in the night, through nightmares and flashbacks and terrors that leave you shaking and wondering what the hell’s the point of going forward.  These demons are real people, and they are out there in the world. Seducing and recruiting young, impressionable people, into movements that rob them of their minds and souls. And you owe it to this world, and to all of those lost youth, to understand what happened to me. And what forced me to write this book.

The irony is, this fall my memoir was going to come out with Penguin. I turned them down, because they wanted me to expose myself and offered me nothing to compensate for the threat to my life and that of my loved ones. So instead of telling my secrets, I turned the memoir into a novel, and wrote new secrets for a new character. I’ll never regret this decision. It led me to create an updated story that will reach far more readers than the decade-old story of a girl who disappeared in 1993.

I paid the price for my privacy. I had to publish it myself. Sure, it came close to being bought several times, but ultimately rejected with comments like “this isn’t pertinent to our society anymore. The heyday of right-wing extremists is over.”

Then the shootings and bombing in Norway happened. It was a wake up call for me. Ultimately I had to fire my agent, take my career back into my own hands, and publish the book myself. Incurring, of course, the silent disapproval of nearly all my writer friends who were horrified that I’d subject myself, and my manuscript, to the ghettos of the “Indie” world. Regardless of the quality of my writing, no respectable newspaper or magazine would review my work now. I’d effectively committed career suicide.

So where does this leave me? Yeah, I guess I could go around peddling my wares on writers’ forums now. Bombarding everybody with tweets and emails begging them to buy my book. But I won’t bother to do that. I won’t plead, beg, or steal you attention with requests that you buy it.

All I wanted to do is to tell you the truth about me, and the truth behind my book. If you don’t like the subject matter or don’t want to waste five bucks on something that took me over a year to write and a lifetime to escape, I don’t give a shit. Really.

 I don’t really give a damn about anything anymore.

Posted in books, canada, commentary, crime, freedom, germany, history, letter, life, literature, news, politics, press, publishing, thoughts, toronto, writer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Norway’s attacks – debunking the terrorist myth

Posted by E on July 23, 2011

Since September 11, 2001, most people’s image of a terrorist has been that of an extremely religious, Muslim, bearded man with a burning hatred for the West. The reality of home-grown, white extremist groups and fringe left or right-wing nutcases has been relegated to the dusty corners of our consciousness. Despite the Oklahoma City bombing, despite the skinheads who marched on the streets of Toronto and London, Molotov cocktails in hand, Swastika banners in hand, we refuse to believe that a terrorist could be one of our own – not a Muslim, not a brown-skinned immigrant, but someone born and raised here.

Today Norway struggles with a momentous tragedy in its history – the bombing of a government building in Oslo and a savage massacre that took the lives of at least 80 youths in a Labour Party youth camp. The suspect – an Aryan-looking, blond and blue-eyed killer, well-known for his links to right-wing extremists, according to AFP sources.

We continue to have a heads-under-the-sand mentality in North America – that right-wing fanaticism doesn’t exist anymore, that violent skinheads and neo-fascists have been relegated to a harmless, inactive status, merely losers on Jerry Springer who garner a few laughs with their Klan-totting robes, but not much more a threat than that. And certainly NOT the types of people who can mobilize like Al-Queda, who can recruit alienated youth and train them to hate, and to kill.

When I was sixteen years old, I experienced first-hand the recruitment tactics of such a group. I witnessed more than a sixteen-year old should witness, and I testified against some very prominent neo-Nazis in open court. When the dust cleared, it became known that the white supremacist group I was being hunted by had been co-founded by an agent provocateur of the Canadian Intelligence Security Service (CSIS), our version of the CIA.

This man was provided funds to sustain this group, many of whose members travelled to Libya to meet with Moammar Gaddafi, who was at the time in the process of connecting various terrorist groups from across the world, funding and giving them access to secret training camps in the desert.

 

The fact that a government agent would have a hand in not only establishing, but fuelling a radical white supremacist group, provoked a temporary outrage in the Canadian public, but not a lasting drive for change. Within a few years, the entire story was forgotten. The former agent provocateur was relocated to another province, given a massive house in the suburbs and a generous allowance for another three years. For what amounts to teaching violent neo-Nazis how to terrorize innocent civilians, and how to smuggle guns over the border from the US. A government report came out that basically acknowledged that Operation Governor had been compromised by an “overzealous” source who might have gone “a little too far”, but nothing was ever done to bring those responsible to justice.

In fact, when I submitted my book for publication over the past year, comments ranged from the flippant to the entirely dismissive, as in the editor from Canada’s Douglas & McIntyre, who sent this rejection note: “I just feel like the issue of white supremacy has had its day, and it would take something more current for a book on this to break out.”

Just tonight, Norway’s Prime Minister, faltering before the press, answered the question “Is right-wing extremism a problem in this country?” with a wishful self-denying “No, we don’t have a big problem with right-wing extremists.” What? That’s after 92+ people have been murdered by a neo-fascist. But in his head, like in publishers and most journalists’ minds, when a Muslim kills, it’s an organized plot. When a neo-fascist kills, it’s one lone, crazy gunman. Nothing to really worry ourselves about.

To the establishment, terrorists have to be Islamic fundamentalists. Even if a Timothy McVeigh or Anders Behring Breivik pops up every few years and takes the lives of hundreds or thousands of people in the process. The fallacy of thought behind editorial boards and mass media is dismissive and shockingly small-minded. The reality is, even if a lone gunman is behind a massacre, there is an entire ideology of hatred behind him.

I suppose that soon I’ll have to list my book on Kindle, since there seem to be no interested publishers in New York who want to buy a novel based on this stuff (but they’d easily offer a million bucks to Kim Kardashian or Casey Anthony for a ghost-written memoir). I owe it to people to put this book out. I’ve received funding from Ontario and Canada arts councils for this project, and there are many of us who I believe it’s an important book since it depicts the step-by-step process of indoctrination of young people into radical terrorist groups.

But traditional publishers do not see my book as “commercial enough” (St Martins / Minotaur). Beyond the disappointment I have in the system, I genuinely wonder what Douglas & McIntyre, Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins have to say tonight. I wonder if they really think a terrorist must have a Muslim face. That the subject of radical right-wingers is passé. Because if they do, they are very, very wrong. And Norway is paying the price for such a flawed assumption.

Posted in canada, commentary, crime, culture, europe, freedom, germany, literature, news, politics, press, publishing, war, writer, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Character Assassination or just…Assasination?

Posted by E on June 10, 2010

I’m sitting here watching Amanda Knox’s parents on Oprah, trying their best to clear their (convicted murderer, pictured on the left in the photo above) daughter’s reputation, and the thoughts that are rapidly crossing through my mind are:

1. What kind of strings did they pull to get Oprah to endorse this charade?
2. Yet another unbalanced tripe that passes as journalism – with no side given to Meredith Kercher’s family, and 100% attention to the Knox side. But of course, Italian authorities were guilty of “trial by media”, botched up the investigation, the jury hated the blond&blue-eyed innocent young girl, the list goes on.
3. If the freaking drug-dealer’s DNA is inside that poor raped and murdered British girl, then how did the drug-dealer get in the house, past all the other roommates and boyfriends there? Wouldn’t a more plausible explanation be, they invited the druggie in to buy some of his stuff, the party got out of hand, and they collectively murdered Meredith in a drug-infused stupor?
4. DEJA VU!! This is so, SO reminiscent of the Schapelle Corby case, where an equally blue-eyed, innocent Westerner female just happened to be caught by Indonesian authorities with a boogie-board stuffed with hashish. Read my blog entry on Schapelle here.
5. A motive doesn’t have to be necessary in an accidental death…esp one that involves drug and alcohol-fueled parties
6. Oh, the irony! All these accusations of “trial by media” having impacted Knox’s trial, when in fact the ABC co-anchor and other personalities invited on the Oprah show are also members of said-media…but I suppose their point of view is to be weighed more than that of those oh-so-biased European media outlets??
7. And lastly, never underestimate the tear-jerker effect of broken-hearted parents who triumph their convicted murderer daughter’s innocence on Oprah.
Where, oh where is the humanity? Those horrible judges, those lying lawyers, that hating jury who would convict Little Miss Amanda?…. Don’t they know anything? That a pretty, blond co-ed raised by a nice American family just does not DO this sort of thing??

So let’s all discard our IQ to the wayside and pitch in to her college fund (since she’s enrolled in university long-distance studies, like a good girl should be) and jump on the Let’s-Free-Amanda bandwagon! If I send in a dollar to the Defence Fund, do I get a ribbon, a button pin or an elastic wristband?…

.

Posted in amanda knox, bullshit, italy, media, meredith kercher, murder, news, oprah, press, violence, wtf | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Beijing 2008: Top 10 Olympic scandals, hissy fits and tantrums

Posted by E on August 23, 2008

This has been one colourful Olympics. For every glorious moment of well-deserved glory for winning athletes, there was a hissy fit, temper tantrum and otherwise classy behaviour from others not quite caught in the Olympic spirit.

It took until the last day to get our gold-medal moment of shame, which I will arbitrarily award to Cuba’s Angel Matos, but there are many other honorable mentions. So here they are, our spectacular lineup of athletic sportsmanship: *drumroll*

GOLD MEDAL LOSER: taekwondo (curtesy of CBC)

Taekwondo athlete Angel Matos of Cuba faces a lifetime ban after kicking the referee in the face following his disqualification in a bronze-medal match Saturday at the Beijing Games. Matos’s coach Leudis Gonzalez also faces a lifetime ban in response to the incident that took place at the end of the men’s over-80 kg bout.
“We didn’t expect anything like what you have witnessed to occur,” said World Taekwondo Federation secretary general Yang Jin-suk. “I am at a loss for words.”

SILVER MEDAL LOSER: wrestling (Courtesy of the Telegraph.uk)

Abrahamian threw down his 84kg greco-roman bronze in disgust after his shot at gold was ended by a decision denounced by the Swedish coach as “politics”. Abrahamian took the medal from around his neck during the medal ceremony, stepped from the podium and dropped it in the middle of the mat before storming off. The Swedish wrestler had to be restrained by team-mates earlier as a row erupted with judges over the decision in a semi-final bout with Andrea Minguzzi of Italy, who went on to the take gold. Abrhamian, who won silver at the Athens 2004 Games, shouted at the referee, then went over to confront judges, angrily throwing off the restraining arm of a team official. Swedish fans booed loudly as the judges filed out of the arena. Abrahamian said nothing to waiting reporters but whacked an aluminium barricade with his fist as he left the hall.

Abrahamian was eventually stripped of his bronze medal by the IOC because of this tantrum.

BRONZE MEDAL LOSER: fencing

I have decided to remove this particular entry because it is time to put this incident to rest.

OTHER (DIS)HONORABLE MENTIONS:

These other guys didn’t throw hissy fits during their matches, but must be included nonetheless in order to have a complete account of Beijing 2008’s various petty dramas:

4. The lip-synching fiasco:

The golden Olympic opening ceremonies was somewhat tarnished by news accounts that some of the fireworks had been computer-added to the program we all saw, and that the pretty little girl in the red dress who sang so sweetly was actually lip-syncing, with the original pre-recorded child singer deemed “too ugly” by the Chinese program directors, because she had a missing tooth and buck teeth.

5. The underage gymnast scandal

Chinese gymnasts are very likely younger than the minimum allowed age of 16 – and certificates have been “doctored” by Chinese officials in order to allow them to participate, leading to a team gold medal and several other gold and silver medals that weren’t deserved. While this cheating allegation is currently being seriously investigated by the IOC, (one of the girls even admitted in a Chinese television interview last year that she was 14!) nobody is batting an eye at all the horrendous Chinese child labour practices that are going on in factories across China in order to feed the government coffers that wasted spent a disgusting 43 billion dollars in showing the world that “we do Olympics better than everybody else.”

Ok, I know a lot of people are saying in defense of the Chinese “Asian kids are much smaller than Western ones”, but let me tell you something. I taught kids in Korea for a whole year, and I did travel to China as well, and I’ve never taught a sixteen-year old who looked that young. From my guestimate as a teacher in Asia, three out of the six girls are 12 or 13 years old.

6. The Spanish slanty-eyes photos

This one speaks for itself. But apparently it wasn’t meant to be offensive, as hard as that may be to swallow. The Spanish basketball team (and their supporters – in the other photos) took out ads featuring this photo, saying “We are prepared for China!”; that is to say, being prepared for Chinese competition meant seeing things through their competitors’ eyes…

7. Accusations of bribery and manipulation in Boxing:


Bought boxing matches, what else is new? I only watched two matches before being too disgusted to continue. Read the account, courtesy of Yahoo News:

Boxing officials were battling to contain a major scandal on Saturday as serious claims of bribery and the manipulation of Olympic judging panels emerged after a series of disputed bouts.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) suspended Romanian technical delegate Rudel Obreja after he held an impromptu and rowdy press conference and made lurid allegations against senior officials.

AIBA also revealed that it had been tracking “possible attempts of manipulation” for more than two months and had brought in an International Olympic Committee (IOC) observer “when the situation became more serious”.

8. The paralyzed dancer

Because of sloppy platforms and mishandling, a 26-year old woman who was supposed to perform a 2-minute solo dance at the Olympic opening ceremonies, a prize-winning and talented top Chinese dancer, fell and broke her back, resulting in complete paralysis from the waist down. Apparently she had laid in agony for 50 minutes while the emergency medical crew had to endure a lengthy security check. One wonders if more immediate attention and packing of her back in ice could have prevented to extent of the damage.

At first this story was given the usual sanitized Chinese cover-up. But as more stories emerged about the young Mongolian woman who came from nothing, and for whom dance was everything, the media picked up on it. The photo shows the brave face Liu Yan puts on as she wishes the best of luck to her country’s athletes. You have to hope that the Chinese government will be prepared to pay for her lifelong care, rehabilitation therapy and give her a generous pension. You just have to hope.

9. The Grannies sentenced to a year in a re-education labour camp

Two frail-looking Chinese women in their late 70s have caused a storm in China by applying to protest during the Olympics. They’ve embarrassed the Beijing authorities and so earnt themselves a one-year sentence to re-education through labour for disturbing the public order, and that’s even before they got a chance to actually protest. Their case has led to criticism that the so-called Olympic protest parks were never intended to allow people to demonstrate during the Games.

In an interview, neighbours Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, said they had not received compensation after their homes were demolished by the city government seven years ago and were simply fighting for their rights.

In an interview, Wang (who is blind in one eye) and Wu were seated together in a ramshackle one-room apartment without electricity in which Wu now lives after her home in central Beijing was demolished to make way for a development.

“We have done nothing wrong,” said Wang.
“They won’t let me protest, then they sentence me to a year labour camp. […] It’s not fair.”

Thankfully, after all the media attention, their sentences have now been suspended, on the condition that they “behave well”. Read: no more protests for grandma.

10. The constant police presence. Read an excerpt from Globe&Mail’s article by G York:

Many of China’s security measures at the Olympics seemed to be symbolic threats, aimed at sending a strong warning message, rather than having any practical purpose. Why did China park an armoured vehicle outside the main Olympic Press Centre? Why did police walk through the crowd at Ditan Park last Sunday, taking photos of every citizen who was watching the closing ceremony on giant outdoor screens? Ditan Park is an ordinary park, not an Olympic venue, and nothing except the large television screens had any connection to the Olympics. Why did the police need to photograph everyone at the park?

I am leaving any other Olympic scandals that come to mind to the readers’ vote – what other dark moment sticks in your mind as an embarrassment to the Beijing 2008 Olympics? Please feel free to contribute your suggestions.

Posted in canada, cuba, culture, fencing, humor, humour, media, news, olympics, politics, press, wtf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

WTF is the problem with Young People F*cking?

Posted by E on June 13, 2008

As so many of you are aware, a little independent film, which may or may not have any artistic value (I haven’t seen it yet, and even if I did, my subjective opinion has no bearing on this post) has splashed into the news, solely because of its cheeky title: Young People F*cking.

Now I don’t really know anything much about it except having heard some convoluted news reports involving Canada Arts Grants and public outrage, of the sort that goes something like: “Is this what our tax dollars are going to,” yadda, yadda, yadda.

Not that I find Arts Grants judges to be much more than an inbred, pat-each-other’s-backs sort, but ask yourself this: If this title should have been called any of the titles below, would anybody in the media have batted an eye, never mind sensationalise it to such a degree that now it is receiving top billing at film fests (as the filmmakers undoubtedly intended)?
Young People Killing
Young People being raped and murdered by psycho cannibals
Young People dismembering each other
Young People blowing each other’s heads off
Young People being torn to shreds and eaten by wild dogs
Young People being murdered by eccentric millionaires in Slovakian torture chambers
Young People being disemboweled by crazy hillbillies
Young People being hunted down by serial killers at roadside stops
Young People cannibalizing each other

Well, what do you think? Would Bill C-10 approve of any of the above? Most likely, if it’s anything like the garbage being produced by Hollywood and the television industry over the last few years? So — how many of those titles I just listed sum up any of the films you might have seen over the past year or so?

Of course, all of that gory, gross stuff is nothing compared to the rather insipid, vacuous act of Young People Fucking.

Well, at least it wasn’t called Young GAY People Fucking. It wouldn’t even make it past the screening room.

Posted in canada, censorship, commentary, culture, gay, media, movie, movie review, news, political correctness, politics, rant, thoughts, violence, wtf | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How the System Failed Angelica Leslie

Posted by E on June 5, 2008

Everyone listening to the news in Canada and even parts of the US has undoubtedly heard of the little eight-month old baby abandoned in the frozen stairwell of a garage near Leslie Street (hence her new name), bleeding from the nose, on a cold day in February.

Dozens of offers of adoption came in, and that’s not mentioning all of the families already on an adoption list for healthy infants like this one. But what I predicted eventually came to be: instead of the police and CAS releasing the baby for adoption as soon as possible, various delay tactics ensued.

Chalking it up as “for the good of the baby”, the police then went to court to ask for a 1-month postponement to Angelica being released for adoption. “We are so close to solving the case,” they insisted, four months after the baby was thrown away like garbage and no one resurfaced to claim it. “In the long run, she will be better off knowing who her family is. She will know her medical background.”

Bullshit. These kinds of cases go on unreported every day in the Children’s Aid system. Children young enough to benefit from bonding with new families who want them, are being kept deliberately in the foster care system, where they rot unwanted, for the benefit of their delinquent parents.

You can bet that Angelica will not be adopted at this point. Arrests finally came two weeks after the cops found her alleged parents in Kitchener. They had 3 other daughters. Even when cuffed and transported to their jail cells, they denied being the baby’s parents. Only DNA would prove them wrong.

Any good defense lawyer can tell you how this story is going to end. But since none of them are talking, let me tell you:

It will look “good” for the mother to plead that she was abused and abandoned the baby to “save” her. Pleading remorse and wearing a conservative dress always wins brownie points. She will say that her husband suffered from severe gender disappointment at having yet another girl. Etc, etc, etc. And nothing garners more sympathy and a lighter (possibly suspended) sentence than asking for the baby back. Any good lawyer will undoubtedly advise their clients to do just that.

And of course, in the politically-correct days of our liberal social system, a remorseful birth “mother” is always given the benefit of the doubt. So the baby will wait, once again, for a mother to take care of her, while the female who gave birth to her serves out her (likely suspended) sentence.

For the rest of her childhood, Angelica will thrive or rot, as her luck will be, in foster care for a couple of years, after which she will be reunited with her birth mother. She will grow up maladjusted and questioning why she would not have been adopted out to loving families who would love, spoil, nourish and treat her like a daughter should be treated: with care and affection.

Instead, she will live in low-income tenement housing, being resented by her other siblings for making daddy go to jail, and knowing that were it not for the police and the pathetic system which was supposed to protect her, she could have been wanted and loved.
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Posted in adoption, canada, children, family, gender disappointment, news, ontario, political correctness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »