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I know that there are racist bastards all over this globe, and that ignorant wankers aren’t exclusive to this bit of the world, but I’m starting to think that Spain, for such a developed country, has more than its fair share.

The latest incident involving Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton, makes me wonder how good the educational system in Spain is.

This excerpt is from The Telegraph:

Formula One world championship leader Lewis Hamilton is facing a new race hate campaign in the build-up to the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix after becoming the target of a Spanish website.

Pincha la Rueda de Hamilton – Spanish for ‘Burst Hamilton’s Tyre’ – encourages users to point drawing pins, nails and porcupines onto a computer mock-up of the Interlagos circuit at Sao Paulo.

Users have also posted a string of abusive messages. One reads: “Half-breed, kill yourself in your car.”

Another, from a man calling himself Alberto, reads: “I hope you run over your dad in the first pit stop, Hamilton.”


The Daily Mail reports:

Hundreds of sick messages have been left on the site taunting him over the colour of his skin – with some even expressing a wish that he kills himself.

The abuse has been posted on a website that encourages visitors to leave ‘virtual nails’ on a mock-up of the Brazilian racetrack where he hopes to win the drivers’ championship this Sunday…

The website says: ‘Hamilton can’t finish the race, we have to stop him however we can. All you have to do is choose a spike, place it where you want on the circuit and hope he suffers a historic puncture.’

Last night more than 16,000 had signed up to the ‘black magic’ bid to put Hamilton out of the last race of the season.

One, calling himself David, left a porcupine out for Lewis on lap seven alongside a message saying: ‘F*** you bastard. Monkey.’

Another, called Angel, left a nail out for Lewis on lap 11 and raged: ‘I hope you crash, son of a bitch.’
Yet another, dubbing Hamilton a ‘Conguito’ – a gollywog-style chocolate sweet popular in Spain – said: ‘Conguito, you are going to die.’

Another, who called himself Chusqui, left a nail out near the finishing line on lap 12, alongside the insult: ‘Nigger.’

An automated message that flashes up after visitors leave their messages and nails says in Spanish: ‘We hope Hamilton punctures thanks to your help.’

TTG and I already decided that Spain is no longer an option in terms of holiday destinations, because after all, we certainly don’t want to help an economy where this kind of hatred of black people is so widespread.

What I want to know is what the Spanish goverment is doing to combat this kind of intolerable attitude.

Not much by the looks of things.

Crusin’ With Obama And Crew…

Friday, October 31, 2008
Posted in: American Politics


Hilarious. I especially love Joe Biden’s wicked hand dance movements.

Blatantly nicked from Gennita’s blog.

To laugh or to cry?

Friday, October 31, 2008
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

With a tip of the hat to Katie(babs) for the image

Hopefully, your Hallowe’en won’t suck this bad.

By now many readers have heard about the McCain/Palin volunteer who claimed to have been attacked by a black man who purportedly wanted to punish her for not supporting Obama/Biden.

Looking at the photographs, which show a mirror image “B” superficially scratched on her cheek, it is so very easy to see that she lied, that the news about it left me cold.

Still, in the time between her claims breaking the news and the truth coming out, much damage was done to racial relations in the US.

And there is little doubt that there are people who will believe the invented attack actually happened–facts be damned–and that the ‘retraction’ was forced on the *cough* poor innocent victim *cough* by those horrid liberal dogs.

In response to that incident and the attendant racist overtones of the coverage (both ways), my recent crush, Keith Olbermann, had this to say:

And he is so right about the precariousness of racial peace and acceptance, and about how having a black candidate has brought to the surface underlying tensions and fears that many otherwise decent people don’t want to acknowledge, even to themselves.

Because this is not an isolated incident. There is a deeply rooted attitude of racism in the US, and while many–if not all–minorities face discrimination, active or passive, it is also true that it is most often evident towards blacks.

Witness, for example, the disparity in the following sentences for juvenile offenders, one white and the other black (taken from the Dallas Morning News, but available pretty much verbatim from several other sources online; bolding is mine)

With a population of 26,000, Paris is 73 percent white and 22 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

A monument to the Confederacy dominates the front lawn of the recently remodeled Lamar County Courthouse, from which a mob seized two black brothers and killed them in 1920. That was the last of at least half a dozen lynchings in the county.

“You can’t talk about Paris without mentioning the lynchings,” said William Harris, the county’s first assistant district attorney.

Two years ago, Shaquanda Cotton was the talk of the town. Paris found itself in the national media spotlight when the black teenager was sent to a Texas Youth Commission lockup for pushing a teacher’s aide. Months earlier, the same judge gave a white teen probation for burning her family’s house down.

“That was a wake-up call,” said Pike Burkhart, who is white and president of the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce. We don’t perceive ourselves as a racially divided community. We want to make sure we have more dialogue between our black and white communities.”

Ms. Cotton spent a year in a juvenile lockup and was freed after protests alleging racial bias. Still, authorities insist they followed the law.

“We did nothing wrong,” said district attorney spokesman Allan Hubbard.

Yet, you may notice that the identity of the then minor black girl has been published while the privacy of the white teen is preserved.

On the other side of the coin, we have several groups (from the New Black Panthers to member of the Nation of Islam) trying to twist what appears to be a murder committed under the influence of alcohol, into a racially motivated crime (from the same article quoted and linked above):

Motorists found Brandon Demon “Big Boy” McClelland’s mangled body early Sept. 16 in northeast Lamar County, near a curve in a two-lane county road. Authorities first suspected the 24-year-old was the victim of a hit and run, killed by a speeding lumber truck.

But suspicions soon turned to the victim’s white drinking buddies: Shannon Keith Finley and Charles Ryan Crostley. Witnesses told police that the men admitted running down Mr. McClelland after an argument. Both suspects maintain their innocence.

What is there to gain by insisting that people focus on their differences more than on what makes them the same?

Will we–humanity–ever be able to ignore color of skin, political leanings, religious beliefs, and simply remember that we all bleed the same, we all love the same, we all die the same?

Some days it feels like there  has been no progress at all in that direction. Other times it feels we are walking backwards.

edited to add: well, of course, I should have known–turns out we have people hanging the other candidate from trees and house eaves. Gee, so not surprised.

(Two Feral attraction stories, released April 15th 2008 by Samhain)

Before starting, I have to apologize profusely to the amazing Angela James and the authors for it taking me six and a half months to get around to reading and reviewing these, since I got them at a giveaway hosted by the wonderful ladies at WriteMinded. I suck, and not in a good way. Sowwy. (Two down, four to go.) (more…)

(Still waiting).

If you think one vote will make no difference, listen carefully. And if you think that you can bitch even when you don’t vote… well, listen carefully.

(Disregard the crazy man–I promise you, it’s worth it, all the way through)



(Shamelessly swiped from Jaci Burton)

{KS: Doesn’t Will Smith look hot?}



Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Posted in: Karen Rant

Somebody mistakenly sent a text message to my Blackberry the other day. Here’s the text, word for word:

“Mornin Morning! Just wundad if u were stil on 4 2day? Es notbin sik sins Sat morn. Napysstil bit ify y’day. Wil undastand if u’d ratha avoid but if uthink ok wud lov 2 c u. Cudalways do park if u think leslikely to pik anythin up infresh air. Nice 1 in Twynin or Pitvil? E usually sleeps 4 hr or 2 around midday. Le meno wot u think so we can fitaround u too. Lov 2 al. Nicx On Gs as out creditx

Apparently this is English.

This kind of ridiculous text-speak has to be the worst thing to come out of the evolution of the mobile phone. It drives me absolutely potty.

Is it any wonder that half the time, a lot of people on the internet can’t seem to string a sentence together?

I like reading Yahoo sports news headlines, because they allow readers to comment on the articles. The other day I was reading comments in response to the news about Liverpool Football Club ending Chelsea’s four-year unbeaten run at home, and I couldn’t help but be appalled at the number of commenters who couldn’t spell or string a coherent sentence together. I’m not talking about typos here, either, I’m talking about plain old ignorance of the basic constructs of the written word.

Anyway, I’m off to delete the stupid text. Sheesh.

Almost a Gentleman, by Pam Rosenthal

Set in the early 1800s in England, Almost a Gentleman is Ms Rosenthal debut novel and another sleepless night for yours truly (and this was a long night, since it is 380 pages long). Published originally in May 2003, it was reissued in December 2007 after her second novel, The Bookseller’s Daughter, had come out.

For whatever reason, I had endeavored to forget everything and anything I had heard about this novel—other than the title and author—when it was first released, and I am incredibly grateful I did. Because if I had known the central gimmick—the McGuffin, if you will—it’s quite likely I would not have wanted to read it, and that would have been an utter shame.


When Words Aren’t Enough…

Monday, October 27, 2008
Posted in: American crime

My heart goes out to Jennifer Hudson and the rest of her family.

Hanging isn’t good enough for the perpetrator of this heinous crime.

Mother, brother, and probably her little nephew.

Totally heart-breaking.

I wandered over to Lisa Valdez’s website earlier today, to see if there was any news on the release of Patience.

The last update on the website was May this year. Amazon says it’s due out January 2009.

Will this book ever get published?

I’d love to know what the problem is.

I finally have something to be excited about after lasy year’s dross-ridden X-Factor.

Laura White, Alexandra Burke, and Diana Vickers have got to be in that final. They are amazing. Simon Cowell thinks so too, and well, I tend to listen to what he has to say because he speaks as he finds. Let’s hope they all make it as big as Leona Lewis has.

Alexandra doing ‘Listen’ – I can’t believe Louis sent her home in 2005. What an idiot.

Alexandra on Big Band Night – Awesome performance that showed her versatility.

Laura White doing Alicia. Man I love her voice.

Diana Vickers’ version of Jackson’s ‘Man In The Mirror’. I totally loved this interpretation.

Are You A Serial Stander-Upper?

Sunday, October 26, 2008
Posted in: random musings, Uncategorized

Warning: This post is brought to you by the letters T.M.I.

I was forced (yes, forced!) to use a public restroom the other day, and as I hovered over the toilet, I wondered when it was I first started to forego sitting down on the loo. I simply refuse to sit down on a public lavatory.

Not only that, but I’m deathly afraid of directly touching anything with my bare hands, so of course, I make sure I use a bit of tissue to not only flush the toilet with, but to open the toilet door too.

Am I the only person who’s this anal? (Pardon the pun)

This quote lies very close to my heart:

A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

Mohandas Gandhi

This quote has never been more relevant than during these troubled times:

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

Mohandas Gandhi

Another truly great human being.

Have you ever heard of synchronicity?

How someone is banging away at an idea somewhere, and somewhere else someone else is having the same flash of genius?

Darwin and Wallace had it, right?

Okay, not really; they were aware of each other’s work, and it was more a matter of who finished first and got it published. Still, they started their research and came to their conclusions independently from each other.

To my amazement, I have been witness—if not quite part—to something eerily like that (though obviously not on that scale). (more…)

Colin Powell’s wonderfully articulated endorsement of Senator Obama, lifted from Ann Bruce’s blog:

And from Angela James’ blog, this most excellent rant by Keith Olbermann:

It’s a good job the judge threw out the case, but how the fuck did it even get to court?

A judge has thrown out a case against God – as the Almighty doesn’t have an official address and legal papers can’t be served.

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers filed the lawsuit last year seeking a permanent injunction against God who he said made terrorist threats against him and his Omaha constituents.

Additionally, he said God inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorisation of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants”.

The US politician said his case was over the fact that everyone should have access to the courts regardless of whether they have money or not.

However, Douglas County District Court Judge Marlon Polk ruled that under state law a plaintiff must have access to the defendant for a lawsuit to move forward – and this would be rather tricky under the circumstances.

Judge Polk said: “Given that this court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant this action will be dismissed with prejudice.”

But Senator Chambers, a law school graduate, thinks he’s found a hole in the judge’s ruling.

He said: “The court itself acknowledges the existence of God. A consequence of that acknowledgement is a recognition of God’s omniscience.

“Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit.”

Senator Chambers, who has served a record 38 years in the Nebraska Legislature, has 30 days to decide whether to appeal.

I want to know if anybody’s checked Senator Chamber’s mental processes recently.

Long-lost Mom, by Jill Shalvis

Even though I have two (or is it three?) novels by Ms Shalvis in the tottering TBR mountain, Long-lost Mom, a shorter romance published back in 1999 by Silhouette Intimate Moments, is the first book of hers that I’ve read.

I have to preface this review by saying that I’m more than a bit flummoxed by my reaction to the book—as you’ll see when you read further.

First the typically awful back cover blurb:

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Single mom Jenna Loggins had come from the wrong side of the tracks, but she’s vowed to give her beloved baby a better life. So ten years ago, desperate Jenna fled, leaving her daughter in the care of Stone Cameron, the child’s father and the son of the richest family in town.

But a near-fatal crash has given Jenna a second chance to make things right for the man and child she loved but left behind. Now Jenna’s back—with a new name and face. And Stone is drawn to the mysterious beauty. Can Jenna risk telling Stone and her daughter the truth, or will she have to hide behind the face of a stranger forever?


I can’t say I’m overly surprised.

Sarah Palin has spent nearly £100,000 of Republican money on clothes and accessories.

Her own party has admitted the Alaska Governor blew the cash (almost $150,000) on shopping sprees in upmarket shops such as Neiman Marcus and Saks.

Hey, at least she has great taste in shoes right?

The names. Yeah, really. Because of some of the stupid effing names of the fictional places, and the fictional characters.

The blurb below is a great example methinks.

Fionn helped save Yadderwal proper, but can he save the world for one woman?

Book II Yadderwal Balance

Lord Fiontenhal Banaghal Gellert, the thirteenth Marquis De LaRounge, heir to Numarea is a gifted alchemist who has just helped save the planet. Tannah ust Nairn, who is held captive by the vile soul stealer Keegan, is his soul mate.

Keegan has promised Tannah her freedom if she does what she is told—give herself to him, become his. Linked through their dreams, Fionn goes in search of Tannah, promises to save her from a fate worse than death But will their love be enough? Can he find her in time and keep his Whispered Promise?

Ok, the above book is from Samhain.

First of all, the book is set in a place called Yadderwal. Now, would that be Yad-er-wal or Yadd-a-wall?

And the hero? Fiontenhal Banaghal Gellert. Now would that be pronounced Fin-te-nal or Fee-on-ten-hal? Ban-a-gawl or Ban-a-gal?

And the heroine? Tannah ust Nairn. Now would that be Tan-ar or… You get the picture right?

Now I’m pretty anal about trying to get the pronunciation of words and names right in my mind, so it drives me crazy, when I come across unnecessarily complicated names in romance books. I absolutely hate it. I think this is one of the reasons why I’m not too partial to historical books set in Ireland or Scotland.

If you not only have complex world building, but you also have ridiculous names that are difficult to pronounce, guess who wont be reading your book anytime soon?

Yeah, that’s right. Yours fucking truly.

Rant over.

So, like almost every other blogger in romanceland, here you have it:

(I suck at all things technical, so I can’t embed the wicked widget thingie)

Anyway, you can go read all about it over at Dear Author and/or at SmartBitches. Go forth and save the world, peeps.