Sunday, 28 February 2010

'We' Didn't Win Anything

A bunch of talented and dedicated athletes named Hayley and Sid and um, other names (I follow only the hockey) won.

I find it totally weird and more than a little sad when sports fans, however fair-or-foul-weathery, shriek 'We won!'

Both gold medal hockey games were awesome. Both could have gone either way.

Congratulations to all.

And STFU you wankers claiming that 'we' won anything beyond the obligation to pay for this extravagant bunfest.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

more MASSIVE lies?

Why are rightwing and religiously deranged zealots massively bent towards the qualifier MASSIVE?

"There's a sucker born every minute" is a quote widely attributed to P. T. Barnum, a US showman and erstwhile politician who perfected in the 19th century many marketing and public relations tactics that survive to this day. In fact, one might say that Karl Rove and his acolytes have taken the basic three-ring circus leitmotif "More, more, more!" to nausea-inducing depths.

Which is probably why this nugget of faux-journalism from Lies-Site abounds with the adjective massive. (Our emphasis.)

The flow of medical supplies waiting to be distributed to tens of thousands of earthquake victims in Haiti was delayed for weeks by a massive supply of condoms dominating the space of the main storage facility there, an eyewitness with insider information has told (LSN).

The central pharmaceutical supply center, known as PROMESS (Program on Essential Medicine and Supplies), is home to the operations of the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the area. "Without PROMESS we would have had a second catastrophe," Dr. Alex Larsen, Haitian Minister of Health, said at the PROMESS warehouse recently.

However, the glut of condoms at that same warehouse delayed the massive influx of aid pouring in from around the world, according to an inside source, and may have cost lives. The source reported that shipping containers of medical supplies were unable to be unloaded, sorted and distributed since an enormous supply of condoms clogged the facility till early February, when the condoms could be removed. The condoms were estimated to take up about 70% of the space in the 17,000 sq. ft. warehouse. [...]

Nicholas Reader of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said he was "not aware" of the problem, and directed LSN to the World Health Organization for more information. Paul Garwood, the communications officer for emergencies and humanitarian affairs at the World Health Organization, also said he was unaware of the issue. Garwood forwarded the request to colleagues in Haiti, who have not responded as of press time. While WHO officials are not speaking specifically about the condom clog, they have in more general terms admitted logistical hardships in dealing with the influx of supplies.

"Trying to both respond to the massive health needs in Haiti following the quake and organize the large volume of supplies entering the country has been a great challenge," according to WHO/PAHO representative in Haiti, Dr Henriette Chamouillet.

The scenario of medical supply buildings in the developing world taken up mostly by condoms and severely lacking in health care supplies is not new. [...]

The United Nations strategy of massive promotion of condoms as the primary solution to the AIDS crisis is reflected even in recent
reports, with no sign of letting up.

For cultures which value life, and family, the condom push into their cultures is highly offensive. Carol Ugochukwu, President of United Families of Africa in Enugu, Nigeria, commented in a 2000 interview noting that Western delegations at the United Nations were trying to "exterminate the whole race" with their promotion of condoms.

Strange how that "anonymous inside source" has no official credentials, except possibly those of a card-carrying christofascist member of the Catholic Church, like SoWrongOrNutz and Blob Blogging Wingnut. And interesting how nobody could be located to substantiate the LSN claim.

There were many outrageous delays in getting the physical resources, the appropriate provisions and humanitarian aid in time to save the hundreds of lives lost under destroyed buildings and from the lack of timely medical interventions and potable water supplies. But the odious bias and distortions on display in this piece of propaganda about the conditions in Haïti is exemplary.

Lies-Site should be given the P. T. Barnum award for finding an original way to spin the same-old Vatican Taliban anti-condom screed by exploiting the human tragedy in Haïti.

The pic of The Fetus©™ fetishizing circus clown was taken from this rightwing blogsite.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Do Nebraskan Fetuses Feel More Pain Than Their Neighbours?

The bold new front in the anti-choice war -- the bogus science of fetal pain.
A group of lawmakers is pushing to make Nebraska the first state to outlaw most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the argument that the fetus might feel pain during the procedure.

While six other states, those fetus fetishizing heavy-hitters --Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Utah -- require that women seeking abortion be guilt-tripped with a mandatory lecture including the information that a fetus may feel pain, this would be the first time that fetal pain would determine whether an abortion would be allowed.

Experts testified on both sides of the 'when do fetuses feel pain' question. Anti-choicers were all on the 'you filthy whores are inflicting unimaginable pain on innocent pre-born children' side. (Google 'fetal pain' for a round-up on who's on that side.)

Not surprisingly, the sciency-facty people are on the 'let's look at fetal neurological development, shall we?' side.

Well, shall we?

In 2005, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found:
A fetus's neurological pathways in its brain that allow for the "conscious perception of pain" do not function until after 28 weeks' gestation.

More science:.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says it knows of no legitimate evidence that shows a fetus can experience pain. It says a fetus’ brain begins its final stage of development between the 20th and 40th weeks of pregnancy, and that certain hormones that develop in the final trimester also must be present for it to feel pain. It’s not known exactly when those hormones are formed.

And finally, P.Z. Myers with a straightforward explanation of fetal brain development.

Which is all very interesting, but kinda beside the point. Because the law would probably be found unconstitutional.
Opponents say the bill, if passed into law, would be found unconstitutional if tested. It bans abortions for fetuses who could not live outside the womb and it fails to state a constitutionally recognized state interest - preservation of the potential life and regulation necessary to protect the health of the woman.

So what's really going on here? Besides the usual wanking, I mean.

Well, it seems that the sponsor of the bill had this to say when introducing it:
"With Dr. Leroy Carhart performing and advertising such late-term abortions here in Nebraska, the state needs to recognize the reality of what’s going on," Flood said.

Carhart, 67, has twice challenged abortion bans before the Supreme Court, successfully defeating a Nebraska late-term abortion ban in 2000 because the state didn’t provide for a woman’s health, and losing as part of a broad challenge to the 2007 federal ban on the so-called partial-birth procedures.

Abortion rights proponents are worried anti-abortion groups, by tying Carhart’s name to the current debate, are making him more of a target.

Dr Carhart already has a target painted on his back, his clinic, his home, his family, and his employees, and probably his little dog too. Painted by Operation Scumbag Rescue, moving on from its successful campaign against Dr George Tiller.

Let's run the checklist:
Another impediment to legal abortion? Check.

Manipulate and guilt-trip women? Check.

Target an abortion provider? Check?

Oh, and one more. Caitlin Borgmann, who testified against the bill at the hearing, reports:
At the hearing yesterday, the proponents of Nebraska's bill to ban abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy were asked about the lack of a mental health exception. In response to questions about a woman who is suicidal, they suggested she be treated with electroconvulsive therapy and be confined and restrained for the duration of her pregnancy, rather than be allowed access to abortion.

Torture and imprison women and force them to bear children? Yee-haw!

The Catholic Church Fades into . . . Lunacy?

As the Excited States continue their Swift Spiral into Stoopitude over abortion (I've got a doozy coming up from Nebraska and JJ reports on the recent cruel idiocy in Utah), here's some good news from Spain.
Spain on Wednesday approved a sweeping new law that eases restrictions on abortion, declaring the practice a woman's right and doing away with the threat of imprisonment, in part of a drive toward liberal policies that has angered conservatives and the Catholic Church.

The new law allows the procedure without restrictions up to 14 weeks and gives 16- and 17-year-olds the right to have abortions without parental consent. The senate's passage of the bill Wednesday gives it final approval.

The bill brings the country in line with its more secular neighbors in northern Europe is the latest of a series of bold social reforms undertaken by Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who first took office in 2004 and has ruffled feathers among many in the traditionally Catholic country.

While about 100,000 Spanish women a year have been getting around the law by using a mental health exception, technically they still faced prison.

The Catlick Church is really, really pissed, but won't take action against King Juan Carlos when he signs the new law.

From the above link, the story of how another weaselly monarch got out of a similar sticky wicket in Belgium in 1990.
Saying his [King Baudouin's] conscience and Catholic faith would not allow him to sign the [abortion] bill, he worked out an agreement with parliament allowing him to resign for less than 48 hours. During his temporary abdication, the country's council of ministers assumed the king's powers and signed the bill. Parliament then reinstated the king.

It seems people everywhere -- except the Excited States of course -- are blithely ignoring Christo-talibanny edicts and temper tantrums.

And here's another breath-taking demonstration of the Church's increasingly desperate efforts to hang on to power maintain its influence. It's hooking up with the Mormons.
Francis Eugene George is not just a cardinal. He is also president of the United States conference of catholic bishops and sets the tone and direction for church policy and position in the country. His comments, therefore, on the positive attributes of the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS), more commonly known as Mormons, seem surprising given the enormous theological and demographic differences between the two groups. Or do his words herald a spirit of co-operation among disparate religious movements in the fight against secularism?

Last Tuesday, in a speech called Catholics and Latter-day Saints: partners in the defence of religious freedom, he told an audience that Catholics and Mormons must stand together as a "vital bulwark" against those who wanted to "reduce religion to a purely private reality". The LDS church has proved its mettle in contentious areas. Were it not for their involvement in Proposition 8, there is every chance the same-sex marriage ban in California would not have been passed. Noting their ability to mobilise member support around issues that also concern Catholics, Cardinal George praised Mormons for their work to protect the rights of those who did not want to participate in abortion or assisted suicide and to defend marriage as a heterosexual institution. "When the government fails to protect the consciences of its citizens, it falls to religious bodies to defend them," he said. He also claimed that Catholics and Mormons shared more than a common understanding of religious freedom: they enjoyed a common experience of growing from a small, sometimes persecuted, religious minority to larger communities of 67 million Catholics and about six million Mormons.

But it's disingenuous of George to play up the similarities. Catholicism has been part of the US landscape for a lot longer than the LDS church. Immigrant communities ensure that the religion, its values and institutions, survive and evolve. It is the majority Christian movement in the US, boasting a profile and privilege that other denominations do not. And then there's the church's 2007 statement, which reasserted the universal primacy of Roman Catholicism.

So why the cosying up? There is an increasingly secular mood in the US and religious groups are all too aware of it. The Roman Catholic hierarchy knows it cannot rely solely on its congregations to campaign on touchstone issues and a "vital bulwark" – in the shape of the devout, wealthy and organised LDS church – is just what's needed to help it.

Yes. An alliance with a virulently homophobic, misogynist cult is just what the Catlicks need. (Just for fun, I googled 'Mormon cult' and got over a million hits.)

Mormons and Catlicks, oh my. Who's next? Scientologists?

The Honourable Member for Holt Renfrew.

Oh wait .... Sorry, that's Lisa Raitt's constituency.

That is Helena Guergis depicted above (photo from this G & M blog) who, according to a delicious news item over at the Kady O'Malley blog is trying to wrangle the "I'm entitled to my entitlements, dammit!" title from Raitt.

Yes, I know. Meow, meow, meow.

On the other hand, read over what the ReformaTory propagandists have been saying about members of the opposition, in riding newsletters that were paid by your tax dollars. That should rate one rather MASSIVE
WOOF!, no?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Lame Abortion Analogy Hall of Fame

After a fetus fetishizing commenter uses the old 'woman as car, fetus as passenger' abortion analogy on a post at Unrepentant Old Hippie, I commented that it was lame and that my all-time fave analogy was SUZY ALLCAPS's parrot-in-a-cage, though I confess I can't remember exactly how the pretzel-twisty logic went in that one.

JJ responded that someone should start a Hall of Fame for such thingies.

Serendipity strikes! Right now on ProgBlogs (!!!!!), there's a post titled 'Abortion' by a blogger I've never noticed before at 264MHz.

His or her kick at the abortion analogy can is a knee-slapper.
Let’s say a protester attached them self to the leg of a politician using an unbreakable chain and a lock that won’t open for nine months. The politician has two choices, walk around for the next nine months lugging the protester around on her leg or have the protester removed by cutting him open, killing him in the process. Would the politician’s right to control her body give her the right to kill the protester?

After I stopped giggling, I wondered 'why a politician?' Why not a heart surgeon? Or a fireman? Or some occupation of some actual worth to society?

So, let the games begin. What's your fave abortion analogy? For me, parrot-in-a-cage is still slightly ahead of protester-chained-to-politican. But the protester-chained-to-politician may grow on me.

(And we feminazis will be keeping an eye on 264MHz, who fits right in with the abortion-debating boyos at ProgBlogs.)

Pravda Blames Canada!

OK, it's Pravda, but wow. In an article titled 'Vancouver: Mutton Dressed as Lamb', the author -- who is British, according to The Star (h/t) -- looses a long litany of laments about the treatment of Russian athletes at the Owe-lympics, then poses a possible reason:
We all know Canada has problems with the future lines drawn on Arctic maps and we all know Canada lives in the shadow of its larger neighbour to the south. The abject cruelty shown by Canadian soldiers in international conflicts is scantily referred to, as indeed is the utter incapacity of this county to host a major international event, due to its inferiority complex, born of a trauma being the skinny and weakling bro to a beefy United States and a colonial outpost to the United Kingdom, whose Queen smiles happily from Canadian postage stamps.

Maybe it is this which makes the Canadians so…retentive, or cowardly.

I find it hard to believe that the author is British. That last sentence quoted is kinda weird for a native English speaker, isn't it? That's how it appears, with the dots before 'retentive'. Meant to indicate that 'anal' was left out? And since when does retentive, either anal or not, equal cowardly?

Anyway, I look forward to more from this writer. That piece was written before the retentive Canucks whupped the Russians' collective ass last night. *smirk*

A New Sin for Fetus Fetishists?

OK. We know they lie. We know they cheat.

Now, we learn that the fetus fetishists may also steal.
An £8,000 gold-plated cast of an illegally aborted foetus has been stolen from a London gallery.

Two thieves smashed into the Orel Art UK gallery in Victoria in what is thought to be a pro-life protest.

If Jesus Had Been An Abortion How Happy Would We Be by American artist Stephen J Shanabrook is a bronze cast of a foetus from the Sixties, plated in 24-carat gold.

Gallery owner Julian Farrow said no other exhibits were touched: “It will be a very hard thing to get rid of.

"We're wondering whether this is motivated by a political or religious take on the work.”

Hmmm. Artist Stephen Shanabrook seems to have some, er, issues.
Stephen j Shanabrook first became well known for making special kinds of chocolate pralinés from casts of wounds on dead bodies from morgues in Russia and North America. Son of an obstetrician and the town coroner, as a child Shanabrook worked at a chocolate factory in a small town in Ohio. Overlapping these oppositional influences the artist created a unique vision of beauty, one on the threshold of death, pain and disaster. Shanabrook gives a new and often disturbing meaning to substances and forms otherwise associated with comfort, happiness and banality. His most recent chocolate pieces was a life size cast of the remnants of an 18 year old suicide bomber.

Here's his webpage.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Make a Donation, Get a Reward

Do you share this view?
Stephen Harper says the Senate needs reform, but more Canadians think it's the Prime Minister's Office that has too much power.

With the Commons shut from December till March because Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament, a new poll shows 42 per cent of Canadians think the power of the PMO should be trimmed.

The survey, conducted by Nanos Research, finds Canadians retain the long-standing feeling that the Senate has more power than it deserves. But there's more concern about the Prime Minister's Office.

“It's not just the usual suspects,” said pollster Nik Nanos. “There are more Canadians that think the office of the prime minister is one of the parts of our democracy that requires a second look.”

The Nanos poll found that 42 per cent of Canadians think the Prime Minister's Office has too much power. Another 40 per cent say it's just right, and 9 per cent say it has too little power.

Yeah. I know. Polls, schmolls.

But if you are a regular reader of DJ!, you probably share our opinion that Stevie the Spiteful is the worst thing to happen to this country in a verrrry long time. Maybe ever.

So. What to do? I've yammered on about the grassrooty CAPP Facebook group and its offshoot CRUSH.

CAPP seems to have stalled -- at least in membership numbers -- and CRUSH (Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper) isn't exactly booming.

Here is CRUSH's vision:
Stephen Harper is increasingly strengthening the powers of the PMO and eroding the democratic rights of the people of Canada. It is time for a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons. It is time for the people of Canada to have their say in a general election!

Harper’s Offenses Against our Democratic Traditions and Institutions:

o Proroguing parliament to avoid facing a nonconfidence vote (2008)

o Proroguing parliament to avoid answering questions about the government’s handling of Afghan detainees (2009)

o Muzzling ministers, members of Parliament, and government watchdogs; stacking committees with political operatives

o Politicising federal institutions and programs that should represent all Canadians

o Avoiding questions by the media; restricting or denying access to information

o Using obstructionist tactics; employing American “spin doctors”

CRUSH is trying to raise enough dough to run nationwide newspaper ads calling for an election on March 3.

As I've said before, this isn't really about newspaper ads, or unseating Stevie the Spiteful -- lovely as that prospect is.

No. It's about The Money Test. The leaderless, totally grassroots, non-astroturfed CAPP put feet on the street on January 23, much to the chagrin of pundits and pols.

Now, simply, can it raise money?

I think it/we can collectively give the one-fingered salute to the ReformaTories and their running dog lackeys in the MSM.

If you have 5 or 10 bucks not otherwise committed, go get your checkbook or credit card. I'll wait. Remember, there's a reward. You'll like it.

You're back. Good. Those of you with credit cards and PayPal accounts, click here. For those of you with chequebooks, here's the info
Make cheques payable to: UNSEATHARPER.CA

Mail cheques to:
K0L 2H0


Here's the reward. It's not violence, it's therapy.

This is what TheoCon maternal healthcare looks like

This is what Motherhood Steve wants to offer poor women in the developing world. From Nicaragua* again.
Nicaraguan authorities have withheld life-saving treatment from a pregnant cancer patient because it could harm the foetus and violate a total ban on abortion.

A state-run hospital has monitored the cancer spreading in the body of the 27-year-old named only as Amalia since her admission on February 12 but has not offered chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a therapeutic abortion, citing the law.

The decision has ignited furious protests from relatives and campaigners who say the woman, who has a 10-year-old daughter and is 10 weeks pregnant, will die unless treated. The cancer is suspected to have spread to her brain, lungs and breasts. They have petitioned the courts, government and the pan-regional Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to intervene.

The case has revived controversy over the 2007 law which made Nicaragua one of the few countries to prohibit abortion under any circumstances. Girls and women who seek an abortion, and health professionals who provide health services associated with abortion, face jail.

No exceptions. None. Not rape, not incest. Certainly not the health or life of the woman. Even women carrying fetuses with no brains and zero hope of life must carry them to term.
Amalia is being monitored at a hospital in Leon, the second-largest city in the impoverished central American country. The hospital director, Ricardo Cuadra, said the case had been referred to a government-run medical commission which is due to issue a recommendation next Monday.

The doctors won't treat her because they're scared. Imagine being one of the doctors or nurses 'monitoring' Amalia.
The government said it would make an announcement after the medical commission reported. "We will comment on this case in due time," said the health minister, Guillermo Gonzalez.

And then the spin:
In apparent reference to the authorities' frequent clashes with non-governmental organisations, he added: "Unfortunately, it seems that there are political interests behind this."

Spin taken up by a Catlick organ.
In an attempt to pressure officials in Nicaragua to legalize abortion, feminist groups are drawing attention to the dramatic case of a pregnant woman suffering from cancer, arguing that the only chance of survival for “Amelia,” the fictitious name given to the woman, is to undergo an abortion.

Um. No, not in anything I've read. Amalia's family and supporters want her cancer treated.

Typical fetus fetishist fantasy. Elsewhere in the article, there is the claim that Amalia is being 'sequestered' by the evil abortion-loving feminazis.

Last summer, DJ! blogged on a scathing report from Amnesty International.
According to official figures, 33 girls and women have died in pregnancy this year as compared to 20 in the same period last year. Amnesty International believes these figures are only a minimum as the government itself has acknowledged that the number of maternal deaths is under-recorded.

And ferlardsake, it's not just the preventable deaths of these women, but the bloody suffering they go through. And their families. And their soon-to-be-orphaned children.

Yet this is the kind of no-family-planning, no-contraception, no-abortion, misogynist healthcare Steve is promoting.

It's unconscionable.

* For more information on the dastardly wheeling and dealing, including Daniel Ortega's embrace of Catholicism, at least in part to evade charges of 'systematic sexual abuse' of his step-daughter, check out this old blogpost I wrote at Birth Pangs.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Some things about Sarah are stranger than fiction.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Or not. Your choice.

A longer YouTube, with a collage of various US humourists observations edited together, can be found here.

Just when you think . . .

. . . the fetus fetishists can't sink any lower than race baiting,
there's -- I don't know what to call it -- this from Virginia:
State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God's punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.

He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

"The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children," said Marshall, a Republican.

"In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment Christians would suggest."

I have nothing to say.

But in the spirit of The 40 Days of Harassment Campaign now on, I'm reposting the video of 'Anti-Choice Poster Boy'. If you're in Ottawa and see him hanging around outside a women's health clinic, ask him how he likes being the Canadian face of misogyny.

Psst. Bloggers, let's post this vid a few more times. But WARNING: if you go to the YouTube site for the code, there is some violently insane crap in the comments.

h/t feministe

Wanted: Twelve Not-Angry Men/Women

Man, it's hard to find a good anti-abortion saint/martyr these days.

There is so much ill will in the town of Owosso towards murder victim James Pouillon that 'jury selection could be difficult'.

This is the case that the fetus fetishists jumped all over last September as being exactly the same as the assassination of Dr George Tiller. And proving that pro-choice people are as hate-driven and violence-prone as their own anti-abortion terrorists.

When, if they'd waited a few days, more of the sad story of accused Harlan Drake would have revealed him to be a troubled, haunted man on medication for depression.

His lawyers plan an insanity defense.

Well, we're not surprised. Remember what Pouillon's own son said about him?
"It will be impossible for some to believe, but my dad really didn't care about aborton.

He did this to stalk, harass, terrorize, scream at, threaten, frighten, and verbally abuse women. He had a pathologic hatred of women: his mom, my mom, everyone.

After my mom finally left him and he lost his favorite punching bag the violence and abuse that was always contained within our 4 walls was unleased on the people of Owosso.

My dad used the pro-life movement and 1st Amendments foundations to defend him, support him, and enable him. He fooled them all.

He was at the high school because my niece was there, and female family members were always his favorite targets.

Again, my dad didn't care about abortion. He wanted to hurt people, upset people. He enjoyed making people suffer.

His goal was to be shot on a sidewalk. His goal was to make someone so angry, to make them feel so terrorized, to make them feel the only way they could make him stop was to kill him.

His pro-life stance was the most perfect crime I personally know of. He hid behind the 1st Amendment and was allowed to stalk, terrorise, harass, be obsene, ect. These things are crimes. Offending people isn't a crime, and having different political views isn't a crime, but he committed several crimes over the last 20 years and got away with it.

Yes I really am his oldest son. Owosso is now rid of a mad man."

Anyone still need convincing that anti-choice is -- often violently -- anti-woman?

Hey, SUZY! Still pumping for his canonization?

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Olympic Hockey = NHL Hockey? Screw That.

I was so looking forward to Olympic hockey -- men's and women's. I am a life-long fan, but am kinda weird in that I don't pay attention to trades and rules and hype. Like Chance said, I just like to watch.

Tonight, Canada v. USA. Men's.

It was a pretty boring game between two middling-skill NHL teams.

Because it was all NHL style. Same ice size, same rules.

Changes from previous tournaments

The 2010 tournament marks the first time since NHL players have been allowed to compete that the Olympics will be held in a city with an NHL team. For the first time, Olympic games will be played on a narrower NHL-sized ice rink, measuring 61 m × 26 m (200 ft × 85 ft), instead of the international size of 61 m × 30 m (200 ft × 98.4 ft). This change is expected to save $10 million (CAD) in construction costs and allow more spectators to attend games.

This will also be the first Olympics in which the four-official system, with two referees and two linesmen, will be used during the men's tournament.[2] The NHL began using the two-referee system in the 1998–99 season,[2] while the IIHF first started using it in its major men's championship tournaments in the 2008 IIHF World Championship.[3] However, for the women's tournament in Vancouver, the IIHF still plans to only use the standard three-official system with one referee and two linesmen, saying that the four-official system is not currently needed in women's international hockey.

Who knew?

The fun of Olympic hockey used to be not just the jingoism. But watching the hot-shit stars of the NHL deal with bigger ice, different rules.

It's official. I'm done with the fucking Olympics.

Mavericky-Roguey Sarah at 7

Per cent, that is.
In a surprising result, Texas Congressman and 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul (R) won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, capturing 31% of the vote. Three-time CPAC straw poll winner Mitt Romney (in '06, '07, and '08) finished second with 22%, followed by Sarah Palin with 7%, and Tim Pawlenty with 6%.

When the announcement of Paul's victory was made, many in the crowd responded with “boos." That said, as people left the convention, "Ron Paul" chants could be heard coming from across the hotel lobby.


Though 10,000 were registered at CPAC, just 2,395 participated in the straw poll. Almost half of them (48%) were students, and more than half (56%) were 25 years old or younger. Men made up 64% of participants.

Interesting demographics. Male -- whose support during the presidential campaign forced me to find out what MILF stands for -- but young -- so maybe that MILF-thingy makes young people also go 'ewwwwww'.

To be fair to $arah, she wasn't there to give a word salad barn-burner of a speech like Paul was.

But, still being fair, why the hell wasn't she there?

So, it appears that her fantabulous sparkliness continues to fade. I wonder how that will turn out for ticket sales at her upcoming Hamilton bunfest.

Way to Go, Hawaii!

Unlike the rest of the Excited States, Hawaii seems a remarkably sensible place.
The House of Representatives yesterday paved the way for Hawaii to become the first state in the nation to repeal its abortion law.

The repeal bill passed by a 31-20 vote and is expected to breeze through the Senate on Tuesday.
The current law says a woman may get an abortion only when her life is in danger.

The bill would repeal this and make abortion a matter of conscience between a woman and her physician.

That may have been the law, but it seems it hasn't been enforced. Here's what the respected Guttmacher Institute has to say about abortion in Hawaii:
• In 2005, there were 39 abortion providers in Hawaii. This represents a 24% decrease from 2000, when there were 51 abortion providers.

• In 2005, 20% of Hawaii counties had no abortion provider. 0% of Hawaii women lived in these counties. In the West census region, where Hawaii is located, 18% of women having abortions traveled at least 50 miles, and 5% traveled more than 100 miles.

• In Hawaii, no metropolitan area lacks an abortion provider.

* Hawaii does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states.

Goodness. Hawaii -- with the notable exception of the weather -- seems quite Canuck-like. It has employer-paid health insurance, even for part-time workers.
Imee Gallardo, 24, has been scooping ice cream at a Häagen-Dazs shop at Waikiki Beach for five years, and during that time the shop has done something its counterparts on the mainland rarely do: it has paid for her health care.

Ms. Gallardo cannot imagine any other system.

“I wouldn’t get coverage on the mainland?” Ms. Gallardo asked. “Even if I worked? Why?”

Since 1974, Hawaii has required all employers to provide relatively generous health care benefits to any employee who works 20 hours a week or more. If health care legislation passes in Congress, the rest of the country may barely catch up.

Lawmakers working on a national health care fix have much to learn from the past 35 years in Hawaii, President Obama’s native state.

But will they? Unlikely.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Would you pay $1.75 for democracy?

At Far and Wide, some thought on 'strategic electoral agreements' and why they probably won't happen. (Hint: $$$$$$$$$$$)

An article in the Vancouver Sun discusses this open letter by Philip Resnick and Reg Whitaker published at The Tyee.

Since it's an open letter, here's the whole thing (emphasis mine):
Time for Grits, New Dems, Greens to Make Electoral Deal

An open letter to Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton and Elizabeth May for an arrangement amongst the three opposition parties.

The three most recent federal elections have resulted in minority Parliaments. There are a number of reasons for this.

One: Stephen Harper was able to merge the Reform/Alliance and Progressive Conservative Parties in 2003, ending the split in right-of-centre votes and the artificial stranglehold over Ontario's Parliamentary representation that the Liberals had enjoyed during the Chrétien era.

Two: The Bloc Québécois, which first burst onto the scene in 1993, has turned out to have staying power. It has garnered between 40-49 per cent of the Quebec popular vote and between 40-54 seats in most of the six elections since then. The result is that the Liberal Party, which had been able to count on a strong Quebec contingent when it was Canada's "governing party" through much of the 20th century, has been reduced to minority status in that province.

Three: The NDP has come back from its near-collapse in the 1990s and can now count on popular support in the 15-18 percent range and between 25-40 seats in the Commons.

Four: The Greens have made their presence felt on the federal scene. Though they have not been able to elect an MP to date, they have begun to poll something approaching 10 percent of the popular vote.

Harper's tilted playing field

The split in opposition to the Conservatives -- four parties in Quebec, three in the rest of Canada -- plays beautifully into Stephen Harper's hands. Though the electoral vote for the Conservatives hovers around the 35 per cent range, the split in Opposition forces has allowed his party to achieve a plurality of votes and seats in the past two elections. The same pattern is likely to reproduce itself the next time Canadians go to the polls. Roughly 65 percent of Canadian voters do not want a Conservative government for a whole variety of reasons -- its contempt for Parliament and for an independent civil service, its poor environmental policy, its gutting of cultural programs, its weakening of Canada's international position as a respected middle power.

Yet they will find themselves forced to look on as the Conservatives continue to govern the country.

What is to be done? At the very least, the caucuses and leaders of the three opposition parties whose principal support lies outside Quebec need to discuss amongst themselves the possibility of not contesting a sufficient number of seats across the country so as not to split the anti-Conservative vote.

Much in common, much to gain

Although the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens have their own policies and programs, there is sufficient common ground amongst them to permit such cooperation.

One possible suggestion would be for the three parties in question to focus on 60-80 seats where a three-way split in opposition party votes has allowed the Conservatives to win ridings with fewer than 35 percent of the votes, or come within striking distance of defeating current Liberal or NDP sitting members. The party with the best-placed candidate in 2008 would then be able to run its candidate, with the others stepping down. To ensure the Greens some representation, in particular the seat where its leader chooses to run, the other two parties would give its candidate a clear run.

Agreeing to an electoral arrangement of this sort, or some variation thereon, would not mean that a formal coalition among the three parties would necessarily follow an election. But it would be important that the parties to the arrangement reach a modest set of agreed-upon common policies, even while continuing to differ on others.

Revive the coalition idea

A coalition would be a distinct possibility following an election, particularly if no single party will be able to form a majority government. There is nothing undemocratic about coalition governments. British Columbia had a Liberal-Conservative coalition between 1941-52. Great Britain had a coalition government between 1940-45. Australia and New Zealand have had coalition governments, as have most West European states, India, Japan, and a host of other countries in recent decades.

On Jan. 23, 2010 thousands of Canadians took to the streets to protest the proroguing of Parliament by Stephen Harper for the second time in two years. Those same Canadians and millions more who support their views are looking for a workable alternative to an electoral system that allows a party with little more than a third of the popular vote to ride roughshod over the views of a clear majority of Canadians.

We call upon the leaders of the Liberal Party, the NDP, and the Greens to heed the call for an electoral arrangement amongst them prior to the next federal election.

As Steve V at Far and Wide points out, though, parties get $1.75 for each vote cast for its candidates and the NDP would take the heaviest financial hit under this arrangement.

Well, how about this? If, in your riding, an agreement is made to run a candidate you normally would not vote for but you do to UNSEAT STEPHEN HARPER's gang, would you send $1.75 to the party you didn't vote for?

The people can make up the federal financing. The parties could set up PayPal accounts. We vote for the strategic candidate, come home, donate $1.75 and PRESTO! Money made up, centre-left government elected, all's good.

What think?

Friday, 19 February 2010

No Family Planning, No Contraception, No Abortion = Maternal Health, Public Version

What was behind the subscription wall at Embassy Magazine is now publicly available.

That great friend of women and limousine-hopper, Bev Oda confirms: No abortion or contraception for developing countries because our fundy base wouldn't like it, unless the racists thought about it and then they might.
The federal government won’t add contraception and abortion to a package of initiatives aimed at improving women and children’s health despite pleas from the Opposition to include the practices.

International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda said Thursday that Ottawa isn’t changing its policy on what measures will be part of a major initiative with G8 countries to improve the lot of women and children in the world’s poorest countries.

“Canada is not currently going to be changing its approach to improving maternal and infant health,” Ms. Oda said in Halifax, where she announced the port city will host a G8 development ministers meeting in April.

Ah, but, you see, that's a great big porky pie. Canada -- under the ReformaTories -- is changing 30 years of foreign aid policy that, in consultation with the receiving country of course, did include the full range of reproductive services for women and men.

Now, have a gander at this swerve:
“The Prime Minister has been clear since we became government that there’s no intention on regenerating any debate on abortion.”

That is true -- but only for Canada. And he had to say that when Ken Epp's private member's bill, aka the Kicking Abortion's Ass Bill, was about to bite the Cons on the butt before it was tossed under the bus just before the last -- or was it the one before that? I'm losing count here -- election.

(Read the comments at the Globe link -- over 450 when I was there. Just about universally appalled.)

Now, go read Joyce Arthur who has a slew of facty-truthy thingies about how hellyeah access to safe abortion is an integral part of maternal health.
Conservative politicians and commentators have heaped scorn on Ignatieff's concerns, however, and condemned him for turning women's health into a "political football." But most of the politicking is actually coming from Ignatieff's critics, who have launched attacks without the benefit of any facts, and even less compassion for women. Some of the coverage is so shockingly ignorant that it qualifies as being misogynist. Please, if we are going to have this discussion — and we should — please, let's pay attention to some key facts:

* 19-20 million women in developing countries resort to unsafe (usually illegal) abortions every year. 98% of unsafe abortions occur in countries with restrictive abortion laws (generally archaic laws passed by former colonial powers). There are 42 million abortions a year in total.

* 68,000 women die every year from unsafe abortion. 8 million women experience complications serious enough to require treatment. Of those, 3 million never receive medical treatment.

* Thirteen percent of all pregnancy-related deaths are due to unsafe abortion.

* Unsafe abortion is the only cause of maternal mortality that is entirely preventable.

* The highest abortion rates in the world are generally in developing countries with strict criminal laws against abortion. Laws don't stop abortion; they only drive it underground and make it dangerous. (Abortion rates are lower and have been declining in countries where it is legal and widely available.)

* 220,000 children worldwide lose their mothers every year from abortion-related deaths. (Most women in the developing world who have abortions are married with children.)

* When a pregnant woman dies from unsafe abortion, her existing children are 10 times more likely to die within the next two years.

* 215 million women in the developing world have an unmet need for modern contraceptives (meaning they want to avoid a pregnancy but are using an ineffective family planning method or no method).

* Lack of contraception contributes to high rates of unintended pregnancy, which in turn contributes significantly to the maternal death rate. That's because childbirth is dangerous in many developing countries. For example, the lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 17 in West and Central Africa, and 1 in 8000 in industrialized countries.

* Additional consequences of unsafe abortion include loss of productivity, economic burden on public health systems, stigma, and long-term health problems like infertility.

* The costs of treating the 5 million women who are hospitalized every year after unsafe abortion is at least $460 million. In Africa, complications of abortion account for 30 to 50 percent of maternal deaths, and hospitals' maternity wards and budgets are often largely diverted to treating these complications.

* Safe legal abortion saves women's lives. Without exception, every country that has legalized abortion has seen dramatic decreases in deaths and serious complications due to unsafe abortion. In western industrialized countries, death from unsafe abortion has been virtually eliminated.

Let's hear from somebody else who knows a thing or two, Keith Martin.
Liberal MP Keith Martin, a doctor who is an expert on the sorry state of maternal health around the world, is one of those supporters. Martin has travelled to Africa dozens of times, and worked there as a doctor several times. He has also been involved in previous attempts to get the G8 to take strong action on improving maternal mortality. He has chaired pre-G8 summits on international health, including maternal and childhood mortality.

Martin says the federal government must articulate exactly what it is going to do when it comes to the G8 maternal health initiative and access to reproductive technology. "I hope they don't take an ideological position."

Harper will be "turning back the clock," Martin says, if the initiative does not include reproductive health: "I can't think of another country that would take that position."

Yeah, well, the Excited States went down that foreign policy abstinence only and screw people vulnerable to AIDS road under the influence of their ChristoTalibaners. And now Motherhood Steve is taking up that slack now that grown-ups are in charge in Washington.

So, I say again: Yo, Iggy, Jack! Ride this horsey!

Slut-Shaming Law Rejected

Oklahoma's panty-sniffing, slut-shaming legislation is declared unconstitutional.
Called the Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act, the law would have required all doctors to file information on a woman's age, marital status, education level, number of previous pregnancies, cost and type of abortion, as well as the mother's relationship to the father, with the Oklahoma Department of Health.

Though it did not ask for names, the form posed 37 questions detailing a woman's personal situation. Critics say the first eight questions alone could easily lead to the identification of a woman who lives in one of the state's many small communities.

Doctors who fail to provide information would face criminal sanctions and loss of their medical license.

Sadly, it was found unconstitutional not because of its prurience or invasiveness, but because it violated the state's requirement that legislation deal with one subject only.

So, natch, the old white male farts in the state leg are working on new bills that do address single aspects of a woman's right to bodily autonomy.

But the Oklahomans are a bunch of pikers compared to Florida Baptist-minister-turned-legislator, Charles Van Zant.
Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, cites the state and federal Constitutions, as well as the Declaration of Independence, in asserting that all people are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that the first among these rights is the right to life." Nearly one-third of his "Florida for Life Act" is devoted to legislative "findings," including statements that life begins at conception and that the high court’s 1973 and 1992 rulings legalizing abortion were wrong.

The bill also states that about 50 million abortions have occurred since the Roe v. Wade ruling 37 years ago. It contends that "the standard of decency of the people of this state has evolved" to a point that the people of Florida want the ruling reversed.

"I’m the brand-new kid on the block, as far as being in politics, but I believe that this appeals to the will of our people," Van Zant said in an interview. "I believe it is the will of the Lord but beyond that, this country was founded on a Constitution that was a flat-out attack on every act that would take rights away from the people — and the very first of those is life, which includes the unborn."

Stephanie Kunkel, state director of Planned Parenthood, called the bill "totally unconstitutional." She said polls and experience in other states show the public to be pro-choice, although the Republican-run Legislature leans the other way to varying degrees.

"This is the most rigid and inflexible ban on abortion in the United States," said Kunkel. "Not only does it ban abortion, it also has absolutely no exceptions for rape or incest."

The only exception would be to save the life of the mother but the approval of two doctors would be required.

Take that, Roe v. Wade!

Attention SUZY ALL-CAPS: your panties are on fire – again.

Sadly, not in any good (or bad-girl) way.

Blob Blogging Wingnut often screeches about feminists who don’t and won’t use the vocabulary employed by The Fetus©™ fetishists in their propaganda. SHE believes that’s a reveal and SHE claims “the refusal to use plain language, the substitution of euphemisms and rhetorical evasions, is an infallible indicator that a speaker or writer feels uncomfortable with the truth”.

Anti-abortionists like SUZY ALL-CAPS believe that their truthiness is the same as the facts.

Those who don’t share HER beliefs know HER claim about feminists is pro-lie truthiness. Consider the following words.

Egg. Sperm. Fertilization. Zygote. Embryo. Fetus.

Spontaneous abortion. Miscarriage.

Unwanted pregnancy. Voluntary termination.

Desired pregnancy. Expectant mother-to-be.

Giving life. Giving birth.

Premature labour. Death in childbirth.

Is that language plain enough for you, SUZY? Those are objective terms that describe clearly the possibilities that potentially fertile women face.

Feminists deal honestly with these plain truths and realities. We don’t gloss over them or pretend they don’t exist.

SAINTE-NITOUCHE – like other pious women – has chosen the comfort of religious doctrines that control HER reproductive potential and choices. Yes, choices. Even though SHE wants other women to be deprived of the right to self-determination. If HER religious beliefs regarding abortion are as universal as SHE maintains, why not leave it to whatever cosmic deity that may (or not) exist to pronounce judgment?

Feminists challenge the domination of religious dogma, whether judaic, christian or islamic and their gynophobic tenets.

Yet Blob Blogging Wingnut blathers on, determined to “prove” that white is black and up is down.

Feminists don't really support abortion as a means to save women from childbirth. After all, childbirth has been rendered pretty safe in this day and age.

They just want abortion, period. Regardless of whether it reduces maternal mortality or not.

There are 4 untruths in those four sentences from SUZY ALL-CAPS. All are predicated on her belief that abortion is an abhorrent and universally evil intervention. Thus anyone who supports access to evil is also abhorrent and evil. In her view, there is no justification for abortion, but any tactic that enforces pregnancy from fertilization to birth is justifiable.

Antonia Zerbisias debunked the misleading interpretations that The Fetus©™ fetishists have concocted in response to research produced by World Economic Forum's recently released Global Gender Gap Report. This makes her the target of attacks by the religiously deranged – such as Blob Blogging Wingnut.

Pregnancy can be fraught with complications ranging from problems with fetal development to medical conditions triggered by the reproductive process. Sometimes unexpected events that occur during labour are life-threatening.

Pregnancy, labour and childbirth have been rendered “pretty safe”? The term “pretty safe” is not a valid scientific observation. There are a number of women for whom pregnancy is not “pretty safe” in Canada and in other countries. Using this expression is cruel, ignorant and a deliberate obfuscation of current trends with respect to women’s reproductive health.

I Want to Know . . .

Who the hell are pundits and pols talking about when they airly say: 'Canadians don't want an election'?

I am Canadian and I desperately want an election. So does every single one of my politically aware friends.

Or a coalition.

Mainly, we want someone OTHER than Stephen Fucking Harper in the PMO.

The heretofore bloody useless MSM has started to pay attention to the Harpocrits -- and to us, pissed-off Canadians.

We pissed-off Canadians put our feet on the street in rallies across the country.

Another is planned for March 3 on Parliament Hill.

CRUSH, Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper, is planning to run that ad up there (or something to the same effect) in newspapers across the country on March 3. They need $30,000 to $40,000 to do it.

Here is the donate link, now with PayPal and hoary but effective fundraising thermometer. Last time I looked, the money-meter read just over $1,000. (I mailed a cheque, so I don't know if my contribution is included.)

Let's ride this wave of grassrooty citizen activism and show the pols and the media that we really do care about democracy, transparency, and accountability in our government.

This is the Money Test. Are you in?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Update on the Humpty-Dumpty Initiative

Here we go again. Another 40 Days of Harassment begins, not that it ever ends. (Lard, I'm dim betimes. I just realized that there are two of these bun-fests a year. The persecution high is too intense for only once a year.)

So, over the next while, when you see tiny shivering groups of DUOPs (dried-up old prunes) holding tattered signs with the usual fetal pr0n, you'll know you must be near a women's health clinic.

I thought this might be an opportune moment to update the Egg as Person Initiative.

There are 31 USian states working on crafting legislation or amending their constitutions to redefine 'person' as a fertilized human egg.

But the campaign is not going too well.

First up, Colorado, where the fetus fetishists are banging their collective head against a wall trying again despite being clobbered by a 3 to 1 margin the last time they tried this.
On Friday, Personhood Colorado turned into the Secretary of State 79,817 signatures in support of its initiative – not even 4,000 more than the 76,047 needed to land its proposed anti-abortion “personhood” proposal on the ballot in November. Thousands of signatures are routinely thrown out in the process of validating initiative petitions. The group’s amendment seeks to grant fertilized human eggs the full spectrum of rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens. The difficulty its sponsors seem to have had gathering support suggests the idea they are promoting is no more attractive now to Coloradans than it was in 2008, when they defeated a similar proposal in a landslide vote.

Next, that free-wheeling state of Nevada.
The Personhood Nevada organization has filed a state Supreme Court appeal of a district judge's decision prohibiting the circulation of a petition aimed at ending abortion.

Kenneth Wilson, treasurer of the organization, said Monday the group hopes that justices will overturn District Judge James Todd Russell's decision and allow the circulation of the petition. Russell ruled the petition was too vague and violated a state law that limits a ballot question to one subject.

On to Mississippi, where, it seems, the entire exercise was a charade from the git-go.
It appears to be all over but the cryin' for supporters of the Mississippi "egg-as-a-person" initiative to ban abortion. RH Reality Check has discovered that a unique provision in the state's Constitution prohibits modifying the Bill of Rights by voter referendum.

A fact known by the Personhood campaign and ignored for political reasons.

Facts? Pish, say the fetus fetishists.

More Quixotic efforts in Montana.
Legislative efforts similar to CI-102 failed in Montana in 2007 and 2009 and another initiative in 2008 fell about 18,000 votes short of making the ballot.

And Iowa and 26 other benighted places.

So, while it's encouraging that the Humpty Dumpty Initiative is falling off the wall all over the place, what's depressing is that we -- the normal people -- have to keep fighting. There is so much work to be done to improve the lives of people in so many ways, but the fetus fetishists keep sucking us into this kind of idiocy.

And it must be fought. Every time. Everywhere.

With hard times facing individuals, organizations, and governments everywhere, precious time, energy, and money is spent countering this dippy delusion.

Leave aside the whole abortion/contraception bollocks and women's rights problem for a moment and consider this.

During the last Colorado battle, I read an argument against the amendment from a lawyer who did not declare her- or himself on either side. The argument was: The word 'person' occurs about 10,000 times in Colorado state law. If this measure passes, thousands and thousands of lawyer hours will be billed to the state to examine every instance of 'person', to determine how the new definition impacts that law and what should be done about it.

Property law, inheritance law, family law, criminal law. Every kind of law would have to be revisited with the new definition of person in mind.

What a colossal waste of time and money.

And the fetus fetishists have the gall to label us pro-choicers as 'selfish'.

(Isn't that a gorgeous illustration?)

The Senate Lounge became very quiet. . .

No shit.

Yet another in the seemingly endless series of posts on USian abortion insanity. This one from Missouri.
It was a fairly uneventful debate last night, during a hearing Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit, dubbed “abortion night.”

That is, it was uneventful until Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, asked a question of Planned Parenthood lobbyist Michelle Trupiano.

Trupiano was lobbying against two bills. One, sponsored by Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Peters, would require abortion providers to ask women seeking an abortion why they were seeking the abortion, and another bill by Sen. Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, that would increase the state’s existing informed consent law.

After Trupiano stated her concerns with the two bills, Cunningham asked her:

“Have you ever had an abortion?”

The Senate Lounge became very quiet at that point. Trupiano told Cunningham that the answer to that question was none of her business, at which point Cunningham got a bit combative until Bartle reminded her to allow witnesses to answer the questions asked of them.

Stunning, innit?

Trust Women? Ha!

It all seemed so simple, didn't it? Virginia has anti-choice speciality licence plates, with some of the dough raised going to fake pregnancy clinics (aka 'crisis pregnancy centres'). So why shouldn't there be pro-choice licence plates, with dough going to the pro-choice outfit that organized the campaign for them?

Having been advised that there'd be a dandy lawsuit if denied, legislators in both houses passed bills allowing them.

But. The lower house is controlled by Rethuglicans, so they threw a spanner in the works.
The House of Delegates gave preliminary approval Monday to a special license plate promoting abortion rights, but voted to deny any of the proceeds to the sponsoring organization.

Del. Robert Brink’s bill, HB1108, would authorize a plate with the message “Trust Women/Respect Choice.” As submitted, the measure would have directed a portion of the proceeds to the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood for women’s health services.

As amended on the House floor by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, the bill instead directs the funds to the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund, a fund administered by the state Board of Health to support women facing unplanned pregnancies. Gilbert’s amendment was adopted 56-39.

Brink, D-Arlington County, said Gilbert was unfairly punishing an organization that followed the proper procedures for sponsoring a special plate, including collecting at least 350 signatures on a petition. No other organization has been treated that way, he said.

This despite the fact that Planned Parenthood pledged that no, none, zero, zip, nada of the money would be used to fund abortions.

Apparently, these women (and presumably men too) are not to be trusted.

But then the Democrat-controlled Senate passed a similar bill that would direct the money to PP.

Aieeee. Merkins go insane over abortion.

If they come up with a 'bipartisan' solution to this little pickle, I'll report it.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Kents on Recalibration

I don't think that word -- paraphrase -- means what you think it does.

Peter Kent backs down on his whoring remark. (And I mean no disrespect to honest sex-workers.)
In an interview published in Shalom Life, dated Feb. 12, Mr. Kent said: “Prime Minister Harper has made it quite clear for some time now and has regularly stated that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada.”

Mr. McIntosh pointed to Mr. Harper’s statements from May, 2008, marking the 60th anniversary of Israel, where the Prime Minister said: “Our government believes that those who threaten Israel also threaten Canada, because, as the last world war showed, hate-fuelled bigotry against some is ultimately a threat to us all, and must be resisted wherever it may lurk.”

“In this ongoing battle, Canada stands side-by-side with the State of Israel, our friend and ally in the democratic family of nations,” Mr. Harper said. “We have stood with Israel even when it has not been popular to do so, and we will continue to stand with Israel, just as I have always said we would.”

Gee, and I thought that fella had some background in the werdz biz.

Meanwhile, the brother who got all the smarts in that family said on Facebook today:
So we're to believe that the C.I.A. has nabbed a top Talib with Pakistani help? Sure, and Wali Karzai's got some land to sell us in Kandahar. With our Afghan mission now teetering between big power treachery and rampant corruption, it's time to recall Parliament, Mr. Harper, and truly recalibrate.

I would have said that Arthur got all the looks too, but that woulda just been mean.

Yo! MSM -- Try This: No Questions, No Pix!

In Haiti, loathesome jingoism and relentless politicking.
He went on to address his critics, saying some of them had argued against purchasing those cargo planes as inconsistent with Canada's "soft-power needs." Harper said, however, that his government bought them "for the hard-power requirements of today's world."

Military analysts agreed the new C-17s played a key role in the speedy Haiti deployment.

But one interviewed by The Canadian Press described most of the Harper government's so-called "hard-power" purchases - like tanks for Afghanistan - as irrelevant to a mission like Haiti. At least one other purchase nixed by Harper's government, a supply ship, could have been especially useful to those aid efforts.

Ker-rist, I want this goon -- and his ugly mug -- out of our public life.

Tell the spineless MSM: No questions, no pix!

Feet on the Street? Check. Pay to Play? We'll See.

The creators of the Facebook group, Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper, or CRUSH, have a new -- and still work-in-progressy -- website.

From it:
Harper’s Offenses Against our Democratic Traditions and Institutions:

o Proroguing parliament to avoid facing a nonconfidence vote (2008)

o Proroguing parliament to avoid answering questions about the government’s handling of Afghan detainees (2009)

o Muzzling ministers, members of Parliament, and government watchdogs; stacking committees with political operatives

o Politicising federal institutions and programs that should represent all Canadians

o Avoiding questions by the media; restricting or denying access to information

o Using obstructionist tactics; employing American “spin doctors”

We progressives/lefties/feminazis don't need no steenkin' links to all those crimes. Most of us have been blogging about them incessantly for four years.

For me, the most recent and craw-sticking examples are the disgusting exploitations of the Owe-lympics and the suffering in Haiti. And the embarrassment and insult of 'our' Olympic Shed too, of course.

This whole CAPP -- and its offshoot CRUSH -- movement is truly grassroots and it's a fascinating experiment in online activism.

It's still being dismissed -- despite the 60,000 feet on the street it organized on January 23 -- by pundits and politicians.

They're right about one thing though -- the next test is the money test.

Can we get pissed-off Canadians to open their wallets, chequebooks, and Pay Pal accounts?

Well, can we?

CRUSH now has a PayPay option.

Fetus Fetishists Sink to New Low

Well, it seems the lying liars in the Forced Pregnancy Brigade have reached a new low. And that's saying something.

Here at DJ! we've reported on their various scams and schemes ranging from fake abortion clinic escorts and fake pregnancy clinics to claims of murderously unsafe abortion clinics, or, more commonly, 'abortuaries'.

We've reported on their persecution/martyr mania and their ludicrous hyperbole equating abortion to the Holocaust. And, of course, they're always ready to drag out those hoary old standbys, the inevitable -- and totally false -- links between abortion and breast cancer and/or instant insanity.

Now they've sunk to race-baiting. (It's Black History Month, you see.)

Here's how Tana Ganeva at AlterNet sees it:
Creepy Billboards Accuse African-American Women of “Endangering” Black Kids

A new anti-choice campaign seeks to lower the rates of abortion in Georgia’s African-American community by lobbying for affordable health care and access to contraception accusing black women of being inadequate vessels for the propagation of the race.

The billboard campaign, created by the Radiance Foundation and Georgia’s Operation Outrage, features a really cute, unaborted child staring accusingly at female passersby thinking about contributing to the destruction of the African-American community. ”Black Children Are an Endangered Species,” it reads.

My first take was 'whaaaaaa? Black kids are a "species"???!?!!'

By the way, as a commenter there points out, the claim is utter bullshit:
Endangered? The total number of African Americans in the U.S. has risen steadily since the 1930s when the total was 11,891,143 making up 9.8% of the total U.S. population. That number has increased every single decade not only as a total (over 41 million in 2008), but also as a percentage of the population to 13.5%.

To make a claim that African Americans are “endangered” seems ridiculous on the surface, but when you look at the actual numbers it reveals itself to be a flat-out lie.

Today, a website billing itself as Black America's Daily News Source weighs in:
A controversial new anti-abortion campaign is targeting black women, but not all black women are happy about it. The ad campaign, which got started in Georgia billboards recently, depicts a picture of a black baby with the words "Black Children Are An Endangered Species."

. . .

An accompanying video on YouTube (shown below) argues that black women are more likely to have an abortion than other women. "Abortion isn't a me issue. It's not a you issue. It's not just a woman's issue," according to the text attached to the video. It adds: "It's a human issue."

The video contends that black women abort their children at more than three times the rate of white women and twice the rate of all other races combined. "And all, the while," the video creators argue, "Planned Parenthood profits from the destruction."

Although blacks make up a third of the Georgia state population, black women accounted for the majority of abortions performed in Georgia in 2006, the Washington Post reported from data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some black women are outraged by the ad campaign. Spelman College professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall told the Washington Post that the strategy was a gimmick. "To use racist arguments to try to bait black people to get them to be anti-abortion is just disgusting," she said.

Mary Mitchell, a columnist in Chicago, says:
Honestly, black women can't catch a break.

Black children are gunned down disproportionately in the streets, and now anti-abortion advocates are suggesting that black women are committing genocide.

And she goes on to wonder:
How often are men urged, from the pulpit, to practice safe and responsible sex?"

Where are the billboards that urge black men to marry their baby's mamas so these women see their children as blessings and not mistakes?

I went to the website so you don't have to. One of its pages is called (no shit) The Negro Project for which they get in the Waaay Back Machine to dredge up the shocking -- SHOCKING I TELL YOU -- news that Margaret Sanger, founder of the outfit that morphed into the baby-murdering Planned Parenthood, held eugenicist ideas. In the 1930s!! (Pssst, so did The Greatest Canadian, Tommy Douglas.)

Oddly, the site fails to mention that the über-evil Sanger was actually opposed to abortion.
Sanger wrote, "While there are cases where even the law recognizes an abortion as justifiable if recommended by a physician, I assert that the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization."


She wrote further, "No one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception. This is the only cure for abortions."

(Yes. I realize. Logic has no attractions for the lying liars.)

Ooh, I'm running out of fingers and toes. How many lies, misrepresentations, twisty-logic-pretzels, guilt-trips, and insults are we up to now?

And, of course, the sly and creepy racism of the whole thing.

Congratulations, Fetus Fetishists. I really didn't think you could disgust me further.

This takes the cake.

Monday, 15 February 2010

What If Sarah Palin Were Black?

Chauncey DeVega answers:
So, let's play a game of fill in the blanks. I will start:

If Sarah Palin were black she would have disappeared into obscurity long ago.

If Sarah Palin were black, her daughter's out of wedlock, "baby daddy drama" would have been presented as an example of both pathological behavior and a dysfunctional family that is symbolic of the social problems in that community. If Sarah Palin were black, never would the poor decision making by the Palin family be marked off as challenges overcome, or deeds to be valorized.

Here's the blogpost, linked to at Alternet, that seems to have inspired that piece. It's by the same author at We Are Respectable Negroes and it is hilarious.
Because of the hole in the space time continuum created by the Large Hadron Collider, the Niggaro Universe has overwritten the universe of We Are Respectable Negroes. Scientists are diligently working to correct this problem, and it should be rectified in the next few days. For now, because of the influence of this alternate reality things are changed. Our Barack Obama is now "Barack O'Bama," a white Republican, Sarah Palin is a black Democrat, Joe Biden is Joe Biden but just a Republican, and John McCain is a maverick, Democratic populist. Zora, Gordon, and Chauncey have been replaced by their doppelgangers from the Niggaro Universe. They are the same, yet different. If you too have been changed by the disruption of the space time continuum do not feel obligated to resist. Instead, indulge your new self until this Crisis on Negro Earths is remedied.