Monday, 31 May 2010

Blame Harper for the attack on international aid flotilla.

Bullies do what they do because they are addicted to the adrenaline their brain produces when they engage in violence, and to the endorphin surge they get from terrorizing others. It's all about having and using power over others.

Stevie Spiteful and his cadre of goons - Kenney, Baird, Toews - recognize in Netanyahu a rightwing comrade-in-arms familiar with the bully principle. Alison at Creekside gets it:

Netanyahu says Israel has never had a better friend than Canada and thanked Steve today for being "an unwavering friend of Israel."

Too true. Canada was the first country in the world to boycott Gaza for electing Hamas. When Israel bombed Lebanon in 2008 killing 1400, Steve called Israel's actions "measured". A Canadian killed when Israel shelled UN offices went unremarked by our government. We support the Wall at the UN. Peter Kent, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has more than once stated on his website that "an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada." We have cut off funding to humanitarian groups like Kairos and UNRWA who have been sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians, and replaced members on the board of the once independent group Rights and Democracy with pro-Israel hawks.

Those who study the physiological and psychological factors present in subtance abuse and dependance have pointed out the role of the enabler in allowing the problem behaviours to escalate.

Harper is the biggest enabler of the state of Israel's violent apartheid policies and practices.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Yo! Iggy!

Time to grow a pair! Now!
New Democrat Leader Jack Layton taunted his Liberal counterpart Michael Ignatieff Saturday to vote against the Conservative government's "Trojan horse" budget legislation.

Layton argued there was "no way" Prime Minister Stephen Harper would allow his government to fall ahead of next month's G8 and G20 summits, and so would be forced to negotiate with a united opposition.

"The opposition has the opportunity to do some tough bargaining with Mr. Harper right now," Layton told The Canadian Press.

Please, Liberals, write, phone, fax your guys and gals. Make them see the light. Please.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Divide the Right!

Citing two new developments, the gloriously aptly self-dubbed Dodo whines:
I am not happy today with PM Harper and the Conservative govt. NOT AT ALL.

The issues?

Stevie Peevie kissing Mooslim butt and the billion dollar G8/G20 security boondoggle.

Yay! With today's declaration of war on the Cons over the Intertoobz by my Facebook friend Connie, more issues to help divide the right!

A Very Exclusive Club

Just the two of us.

She invited me. But we're not allowed to bash Harper over any other issues there. I don't know if I will be able to restrain myself. My membership may be short-lived.

Wasilla mayor: "No crime has been reported."

JJ was faster than DJ!, blogging about $arah Palin's latest battle with the media - that would be those she doesn't like and doesn't get money from (I hesitate to use the word 'work' to describe whatever it is Sawah does when she shows up at Fox).

According to many shrieeeking headlines, Palin is allegedly being "stalked" by a political writer who has rented a small house next door to hers, on Lake Lucille.

McGinniss, author of such best-selling books as "The Selling of the President," "Blind Faith" and "Fatal Vision," is planning a book, tentatively titled, "Sarah Palin's Year of Living Dangerously." It could be on book shelves next year.

The town's republican Mayor, Verne Rupright, said: "No crime has been reported." If Mrs Palin wants to build a fence on her property, he said, that's her right.

Mr Rupright said McGinniss met with him and told him he was researching his book and moving to town. He even told the mayor where he'd be living. "I was a little surprised by it, but I said, 'That's fine."

From here.

In this political blog at Time, a number of views are presented, regarding McGinniss' up close and, some say, invasive strategy in doing field research on the subject of his next book.

Taking up residence next to Palin doesn't even approach violating her legal right to privacy. She has no legal right to blind eyes looking at her property from an adjoining property or even from the street. If McGinniss didn't live next door, he'd be completely within his rights to interview Palin's neighbors about her. In fact, he'd be remiss if he didn't grill them about her. [...]

I'll predict that McGinniss' deck-side observations of the Palin family will not likely turn up much beyond atmosphere for his book. But that's not the reason he rented the house. It's his way of skywriting for all of Alaska—and America—to see that he's on Palin's case and that he's very available to sources if they want to share with him.

Here's hoping that McGinniss interviews the blogger of The Mudflats!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Jason, Jason, pants a-blazin'

And - trust us on this one - it's SO NOT because there's a party going down there.

Oh yeah, it's that good old-time ReformaTory religion - Liar, liar, pants on fire.

The lies, they are a-spreading - like a sexually transmitted disease on steroids.

And so is
the YouTube, first posted at stageleft, bounced by CC and now featured at The Galloping Beaver.

Make sure you read
Boris' post about the pathological Cons and their uncontrollable lust for lies.

As we've said here many times, and we say once again:

They LIE.

They lie they lie they lie THEY LIE!

Should Ayatollah Ouellet register as a lobbyist? (with update goodness)

From the Ayatollah's media conference yesterday:
"With my colleague, the Archbishop of Ottawa, who like me has close ties to governments, I am appealing to the conscience of my fellow Canadians, women and men, so that together we may one day call for a change in this unjust situation in our country – the current legal void in abortion matters."
"Close ties to government" ...? Regulations about lobbying are clear.
Generally speaking, they include communicating with public office holders with respect to changing federal laws, regulations, policies or programs, [...] arranging a meeting between a public office holder and another person.

Public office holders include employees of the federal public service, Members of Parliament, Senators and many other in government.
If Ayatollah Ouellet is demanding that Parliament legislate to limit women's access to a legal and safe medical intervention available under the Health Act and provided by physicians, then he and the Catholic Church should be obliged to register their staff, as other multinational corporations are required to do. And taxes should be paid as well on the revenue dedicated to lobbying public office holders.

These meetings and close ties that Catholic Church officials are using to exert pressure on public office holders to create legislature, as well as the campaigns they direct should be reported and monitored, as a matter of public record.

Update: Alison of Creekside, who steered me towards the quote from Ayatollah Ouellet raises a most important point: Charles McVety should also be obliged to register as a lobbyist.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

DJ! Gets into That Juxtaposing Thingy

Experts good.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews explained the costs were a result of an “unprecedented event” with two back-to-back summits.

“And we believe the experts when they say this is the necessary level of security. I understand that the Liberals don’t believe in securing Canadians or the visitors here. We are different,” Mr. Toews said.

Experts bad.
The Harper government turned its back on advice from its own civil servants when it excluded abortion funding in its G8 maternal- and child-health initiative, The Canadian Press has learned.

Briefing notes prepared in January by the Canadian International Development Agency for International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda suggest access to safe abortion services could save numerous lives in developing countries.

ADDED: Really bad elite experts.
The Conservative government, having ignored advice from public servants that abortion was an essential component of an effective maternal-health initiative, now appears to be turning its back on similar advice from the elite national scientific academies of all G8 countries.

The Royal Society of Canada as well as the national academies of Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia issued a joint statement late Tuesday.

It is a unanimous call to G8 leaders to ensure that access to contraception and “measures to reduce unsafe abortion” are part of a richer, more focused and more coordinated maternal and child health initiative in June.

. . .

But Bev Oda, Canada’s international aid minister, who said “I used to be an English teacher,” read it differently.

She said the statement recommends family planning services and adequate treatment of the complications that result from abortion, but does not recommend measures for the provision of safer abortions.

Keee-rist these people are braindead.

Should women fall to their knees in gratitude?

Their Pomposities Ayatollah Ouellet and Archbishop Prendergass are multiplying their entreaties for those poor wimmin victimized by men, families and society that pressure them to submit to abortions.

No, the above is not satire. Ayatollah Ouellet, who flapped and flopped around in the last few weeks - issuing edicts, has been joined by Prendergass in some ecclesiastical round robin of "The More, the Fetus©™ Fetishizier".

And Ayatollah Ouellet (it's said he is grooming himself for popehood) is keen to wrap himself in the cloak of persecution by claiming his words were distorted:

On Wednesday, Ouellet told reporters that he was "a bit surprised by the magnitude of the reaction" to his comments, which he said had been "twisted" and taken out of context.

"They took one small phrase and created a weapon … to discredit me," Ouellet said.

From here.

In his press conference, Ayatollah Ouellet called on the different levels of government to provide pregnant women in distress with support and to enact laws that will limit women's access to a safe medical procedure.

In other news, the Vatican Taliban said that it would be happy to pay the bill for universally accessible and free 24/7 infant and toddler childcare but unfortunately, the religious institution is facing an increasing number of expensive lawsuits from women and men who were sexually abused as children, by Roman Catholic pedophile priests. "If only those wretches would find forgiveness in their hearts and drop their demands for a cash settlement, look what we could pay for!"

Guaranteed Uncontrollable Giggles

Go read PZ Myers: Republicans discover sarcasm, don't like it much.

Plummeting Teen Pregnancy Rate

We must be doing something right.
Teen pregnancy rates have fallen more steeply in Canada over the last decade than in the United States, England or Sweden, a new study shows.

Between 1996 and 2006, the most recent year for which information is available for all four countries, Canada's teen pregnancy rate declined in each consecutive year, falling from 44.2 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 in 1996 to to 27.9 in 2006. That represents a 36.9% decline over the course of a decade, compared to a 25% decline in the U.S., a 4.75% dip in England (where statistics include Wales) and a 19.1% increase in Sweden.

"What's striking is that the magnitude of decline appears to be more significant in Canada," says Alex McKay, lead author of the study and research co-ordinator with the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN), which released the study Wednesday morning. "Declining teen pregnancy rates for the country in general are indicative of better sexual and reproductive health among young women."

In 2006, Canada's teen pregnancy rate was lower than any of the other three countries, he says, and Canada has seen a decline both in babies born to teenage mothers and pregnant teens seeking abortions.

The Canadian teen birthrate fell 38% over a decade and the teen abortion rate declined by 35.7%, compared to a 21.7% decrease in the teen birthrate in the U.S. and a 28.6% drop in the teen abortion rate. In England, by comparison, teen birthrates fell 13.2% and the abortion rate increased by 9.1%, while Sweden's teen birthrate dropped 22.1% and abortions rose by 30%.

Canadians teens are availing themselves of our sensible attitude towards abortion.
Over the last decade, just over half of Canadian teen pregnancies ended in abortion, with births accounting for 45 to 50% of teen pregnancies in any given year. In the U.S. over the same time period, births accounted for 65 to 70% of teen pregnancies, while in England, that figure hovered between 58 and 64%.

And using effective contraception.
"By and large, the Canadian teenager today is not more or less likely to be sexually active than the Canadian teenager from a decade ago," Dr. McKay says. "But what is different is that the sexually active teenager today is more likely to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections."

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

On 'pro-choice' and 'pro-life'

Alison in the comments here reminds me of a post I've been meaning to write.

In a discussion of the terms 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' at the Left-Wing Fringe Group Called 'Women' on Facebook, I said:
On 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice', all news orgs should follow NPR's lead on this. I'm OK with being called an abortion rights supporter or whatever. As long as the fetus fetishists lose 'pro-life'.

Here's the link to NPR.
This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.

On the air, we should use "abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)" and "abortion rights opponent(s)" or derivations thereof (for example: "advocates of abortion rights"). It is acceptable to use the phrase "anti-abortion", but do not use the term "pro-abortion rights".

Around the anti-abortion bunfest in Ottawa, I collected some headlines from MSM outfits.

Here the Toronto Star uses 'pro-life' but it is a letter to the editor and the writer of it uses the phrase.

A National Post column has this title: Sense of momentum bolsters pro-life rally.

The Ottawa Citizen has Thousands gather for pro-life rally on Parliament Hill.

And an article in the Toronto Sun has 'US anti-abortion group pleased with Canada' (and doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?)

CTV covered the die-in protest at Bev Odious's office with Pro-choice protest and XTRA had Pro-choice supporters make presence felt at the National March for Life.

Here at DJ! of course we will continue to refer to the two sides as 'fetus fetishists/zygote zealots/braindead' and 'the sane people' but then we're hardly mainstream.

You won't hear a peep from Lakritz or Kay about this.

Police are investigating two car accidents in Quebec that killed four people on Monday:

Denis Philippon, 39, was driving a minivan on Highway 165 near Plessisville with his four-year-old son, Thomas, when he caused two crashes within minutes of each other. [...]

Just before 2 p.m. ET, Philippon crashed into a small car, killing a man and a teenage boy and injuring two other passengers, who were taken to hospital. He jumped out of the van, and grabbed a pickup truck idling nearby that police say was being driven by his ex-wife.

Four kilometres further, he crashed again, severely injuring himself and his son and two people in the other vehicle. Both Philippon and his son were declared dead at the hospital.

Police are piecing together what happened and "the hypothesis of a deliberate act is still possible," said provincial police spokesman Martine Isabelle.

According to entries on his Facebook profile, Philippon was troubled by a recent separation from Thomas's mother.

From here.

Perhaps Naomi and Barbara will rush to excuse Philippon's violence, shrieeking that this poor man, like so many others browbeaten by evul feminists, was driven to his actions by a female partner who wouldn't cleave to the conservative ideal of quiescent wife and baby-maker.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Just because I can. . .

Patsies for Life

Still monitoring the fetus fetishist reaction to Stevie Peevie's 'NO' to a new abortion law. And his political death threat 'strong recommendation' to other ReformaTories:
A senior government official also says that while the prime minister will not "whip" or demand Conservative MPs vote as he votes, it will be "very strongly recommended" that Conservatives vote to defeat the bill.

Over at ProWoman ProLife a blogger gets all riled up in a blogpost titled 'Well that's a bit much'.

In the comments, we get the Official TheoCon Party of Canada spin.
Veronique Bergeron on 22 May 2010 at 3:49 pm

He is letting the MPs vote as they wish. That’s what “will not ‘whip’ or demand Conservative MPs vote as he votes” means , right? Full disclosure (for those who have not read my bio lately), I am a Conservative staffer for a pro-life MP.

On the question of why pro-lifers generally support the Conservative government (see the last comment here*, it is true that Harper’s Conservatives are not all that pro-lifers wish they were. But the “no new abortion law” position does exclude the co-existence of pro-life and pro-abortion positions within the same party. What makes the Conservatives the best option for pro-lifers – or the least bad option – is the possibility for pro-life MPs (and by extension the large swath of pro-life Canadians) to have their voice heard and their position considered politically. But it doesn’t mean that they should always get their way. That’s what democracy is all about, isn’t it?

There is a difference between welcoming the pro-life position and passing new abortion laws. By reflecting the spectrum of abortion positions that exist within the Canadian population, the Conservative government is the best home for pro-lifers. Because the Bloc Quebecois or NDP caucuses unanimously condemn the pro-life position doesn’t mean that there are no pro-life voters in Bloc or NDP constituencies. It just means that their voices are not heard. Ignoring the existence of pro-life voices in their constituencies was the downfall of Ignatieff’s Liberals on the infamous “abortion motion.” The critical mass of pro-life MPs on the government side of the House makes it impossible to ignore the way Michael Ignatieff ignored his pro-life MPs. At the political level, pro-lifers shouldn’t expect a democratically elected government to reflect anything but the mushy-middle-of-the-road view shared by most Canadians. But they are within their rights to expect their voices to be heard. Harper’s Conservatives are the only ones listening.
Shorter Conservative Staffer: 'Silly fetus fetishists. Just because we've been stringing you along forever, you really expect us to endanger our chance at a majority? Keep sending money and voting for us, though, and we'll pat you on your pointy little heads occasionally.'

*That was moi asking if people thought Stevie Peevie was lying and if so are they OK with that. And if they don't think he's lying, are they really happy being patsies?

To the fainting couches!


UK fetus fetishists are doing their nut over this telly ad, billed as
'the first UK TV commercial to offer advice on abortion services' set to air this evening.

Really. One spokesthingy for a ff gang in, predictably, Northern Ireland where abortion is still illegal, called it 'grotesque'.

Do they have dictionaries in NI?

Marie Stopes, the UK equivalent of Planned Parenthood, is the sponsor.
Marie Stopes said it took the decision to screen the commercial after a study found fewer than half of UK adults knew where to go for specialist advice about an unplanned pregnancy other than their GP. It also found that 76% of adults believed adverts for services offering advice on unplanned pregnancy should be allowed on television at "appropriate times".

76% of adults in the UK are, well, adult. But UK fetish fetishists are even frailer than ours.

Adjusting the picture - and the content.

Or it might be your attitude that should be fixed.

First, there were spambots. And now, propagandroids.

But not really 'droids, just people like you and me, stuck in a lowly 'communications' job in the Ministry of Truthiness, hired for the "greater good" of Harper's New©™ Government.

From here:
The government is looking for ways to monitor online chatter about political issues and correct what it perceives as misinformation.
The ReformaTory Con jobs have been arming their troops with speaking points and marching orders for years now, one key Rovian tactic in a grab-bag of party tricks.

But this is a new twist. Normally public servants are hired to serve the public. Instead, they'll be serving the interests of Stevie's bullies.

When was the last time you phoned a government service and spoke to a real, genuine human being who answered your question and provided you with the exact information you needed?

Oh, and go read pale at A Creative Revolution, for more about the Ministry of Truthiness.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

More So Conned Reaction

Or, 'Another Instalment of DJ! Visits the Freaks So You Don't Have To'.

It's still early days for measuring the so-conned reaction to Stevie Peevie's steel-toed boot to their forced-pregnancy delusion, but it seems to me there are -- so far -- three identifiable types.

First, the over-reacting emotional dimbulb, example here being Cecilia:
Do you think Harper has secret prolife plan? He doesn't. Harper is a pro abortion zealot. He'll never let any type of abortion legislation pass while he's on watch. Harper doesn't give a damn about a woman who has been "coerced" into ending her pregnancy.

Harper has to go.

Um. OK. (I don't think Cecilia understands the proper use of sarcasm/scare quotation marks. But then, there's sooo much she doesn't understand, isn't there?)

Next, the reality-challenged ideologue, represented here by our old pal Mr Kicking Abortion's Ass/Sock-Tube Holocaust Survivor, Pacheco:
In my opinion, we are putting too much emphasis on what Harper thinks.

Politicians don't lead, they react and follow. So why take what they say too seriously?

Harper will bend when the underlying politics of the question go against him. And that is going to come with time. Harper is a passing leader. He won't be the guy who has to really face this issue. It will be the next leader.

I swear that I have never heard the phrase "this debate is over" by so many of our opponents. It's quite comical, not unlike the "unqualified support" management gives to a hockey coach before he gets the boot.

Besides, the otherside is confusing the numbers with political will. They are assuming that one correlates with the other. The fact is that the one-third who are pro-life have more gravitas than the weak kneed pro-aborts. Believe me, if the momentum shifts significantly, many of the so-called "women's right to choose" brigade will go silent when the politics of the question shift. Don't kid yourself. The key is in the momentum.

As the momentum shifts so do politicians. Very few are principled. And frankly, we have more principled pro-life politicians in power than we do "principled" pro-aborters. And that's the key factor here.

So not worry, the march for life continues with or without Harper who will still have to give a full accounting to God for his actions -- some of that "accountability" he likes to talk about -- except this kind of accountability has eternal consequences.

So, the anti-abortioneers have 'principles', time, and Gord on their side, while we 'pro-aborts' have only superior numbers of sane people. OK, works for me. (Pacheco does understand the correct use of quotation marks.)

Then there's yesterday's example: the once-hopeful now totally pissed-off, as represented by my Facebook friend Connie.

The ideologues are useless to DJ!'s evul scheme to divide the right. We'll just have to wait for them to die off.

But maybe we can work with the dimbulbs and the pissed-off.

I'm thinking a concerted chorus of 'nyah-nyah -- how's that "Waiting on a Majority Thingy" working out for ya?' might help our cause.

No one likes to be mocked, of course, but it may work differently on the two groups. The emotional dimbulbs might get whipped out of shape enough to vote for the far-far-right christianist parties. Whereas the pissed-off may just become cripplingly depressed over their painful and embarrassing realization of being strung along for so long and stay home.

Now, we at DJ! would never ever suggest trolling of any kind, but a good place to er, gauge how the Mock the Right Campaign is going over might be this Facebook group, Canadian So Cons. From the info page:
We are constantly told that Canada is a socially liberal country, and that social conservatives do not have a place in the public square.

Well, they sure do! Membership in the group numbers a whopping 21! Including many of our fave fetus fetishists like SUZY ALL-CAPS.

Another place to um, monitor reaction might be Bruinooge's Facebook group set up to support his 'coerced abortion' private member's bill.

Mock the Right! It's fun and it might actually do some good!

UPDATE: The conversation at the Freaks continues. Our evul plan is working!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The So-Conned Catch a Clue

It's a long weekend so it's not surprising that the fetus fetishists have yet to respond to the news that Stevie Peevie insists there will be no new abortion law. (Not that we trust him on that atallatall.)

They're discussing it at the Freaks, though, and my Facebook friend Connie had this to say:
There is no reason for Harper to take the position that he will "oppose any attempt" to create legislation around the issue of abortion.

If he thinks he is fooling the socons because the "threw us a bone" in refusing to fund overseas abortions, then refused to even allow a discussion of the issue in Canada, he's in for a surprise.

Canada is probably the only country in the world with absolutely no restrictions on abortion, yet Harper has no problem putting all kinds of restrictions on our real rights, like freedom of speech.

The cultural change has happened already. The polls prove it. The turn-out at the March for Life proves it. That cop-out doesn't work for Harper anymore. At this point, it is Harper's gutlessness that it holding back progress in this area, and the socons aren't being fooled.

We have a Prime Minister who thinks it is appropriate to legislate that ISPs install software to spy on us and turn over that data without a warrant, and that the police be allowed to conduct random breathalyzer tests. But, NO WAY will he allow legislation that would infringe on the "right" of an abusive man to force his woman to have an abortion!

It's time for Harper to go.

Of course, she's wrong about the culture changing in her desired direction, but I can really get behind that last sentence.

So, ya think the so-conneds will sit on their chequebooks, stay home, or vote for one of the fringier nutbar parties?

BONUS: From Norman Spector an account of Stevie Spiteful's hissy fit. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall. . .
According to a report by Hélène Buzzetti in Le Devoir this morning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper met for nearly an hour with his closest advisers last Monday in order to find a way out of the G8/G20 maternal-health abortion mess on the government’s hands.

“ ‘Stephen Harper was furious,’ according to a well-informed Conservative source and is reported to have said: ‘I’m in a bind on this issue and don’t look forward to taking it into an election campaign.’ According to the same source, the minister responsible, Bev Oda, is part of the problem: ‘She’s not a good communicator, she’s pro-choice and is not persuasive when she speaks on the issue’.”

“At last Monday’s meeting, one faction suggested that Mr. Harper deliver a major speech ‘to set the record straight.’ The other group [led by chief of staff Guy Giorno] ruled this out: ”We must protect our base’.”

Yah. Connie feels real protected. Not to mention Bev Odious.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Harpo: 'Read my (glossed) lips'

So now we're supposed to trust him on this?
A new abortion law for Canada just isn't in the cards, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday as the issue continues to bubble and backbench Conservatives press for new legislation.

Harper's statement came in response to a question about a private member's bill by Conservative backbencher Rod Bruinooge, who wants to penalize anyone who "coerces" a woman into ending her pregnancy.

"I generally don't comment on private member's legislation," the prime minister said.

"But I have been clear: I will oppose any attempt to create a new abortion law."

When I posted that question at the Left-Wing Fringe Group Facebook page, Antonia Zerbisias replied:
No. Has he honoured anything he has said? Senate appointments? Accountability? Deficit? ANYTHING?

And, of course, that list could go on and on and on.

The man never met a promise he didn't want to stomp his widdle feet on.

If this isn't the clearest signal yet that the CPC is stringing the fetus fetishists along, I don't know what would qualify. Why the hell don't they wakey-wakey?

JJ counsels vigilance. I agree.

But if you'd like to mosey over to Bruinooge's glurgey yet eerily quiet Facebook group to snerk at them, I would entirely understand *ahem*.

In related news, another! poll! on abortion! Demonstrating yet again that despite the fetus fetishists' wishful thinking, Canada is definitely pro-choice!
A third of Canadians want the abortion debate reopened - but a far greater number want politicians to leave the explosive issue alone and are satisfied with the status quo, according to a poll released Friday.

In fact, Canadians are so blasé about the status quo that
. . . 17 per cent said they didn't care one way or the other.

I find that number kind of reassuring. I'd like to see that 17% not as ignorant slackers but as people who think: 'Yeah, whatever. No matter who's shrieeeeeeking what, we're not going back to the Dark Ages. It's a done deal. Now, go away, I've got a hockey game to watch/patio to hang out on/cottage to open.'

ADDED: Da woims toin. Fetus fetishists getting it, ya think?

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Idiots Saboteur or Provocateur?

Early Tuesday morning an act of calculated civil disruption and arson, now claimed by a purported anarchist group, took place in Ottawa.

A very short video, taken by an accomplice of the perpetrators of the incendiary device shows two individuals leaving the ATM area of the RBC branch in the Glebe, a quiet residential area within a few kilometers of Parliament. The video footage was posted online, followed by a written statement scrolling up the screen and read aloud by a computerized voice.

Various media are spinning the story, on the basis of limited information released by the group claiming to be responsible for this criminal action and what the police are disclosing about their investigations.

As well, Radio Canada is reporting that the posting is linked to a community-based centre that provides unsupervised access to its computers and the internet. The centre is located in Montebello Quebec where demonstrations and confrontations happened when Harper met the elected leaders of the US and Mexico to discuss border securityand free trade. Presumably anarchist groups as well as the RCMP and CSIS would have scouted out such facilities, back in 2007.

It would be irresponsible not to speculate, in view of headlines such as these:

Anti-terror laws could apply

Firebombing of Ottawa bank is escalation of fringe extremist tactics

Bank blast could be taste of G-8, G-20 troubles

In one report, witnesses say they saw a group of men fleeing the scene and taking off in an SUV. While the exploitation of SUVs and sophisticated technology is not limited to those who support the established "world order", I find it quite interesting that these self-proclaimed anarchists - an obscure group that has conveniently emerged as a champion of First Nations rights, among other hot button causes - chose a neighbourhood known for its residents' progressive leanings rather than a Royal Bank branch located at a strip mall in a Conservative suburban stronghold.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

You've Lost, So STFU!

This is refreshing. Someone in the MSM talks straight, tells the truth, and slaps the fetus fetishists upside the head.

Mindelle Jacobs:
Pro-life? Get over it!

The anti-choice crowd would have you believe that Canada is in serious moral and legal disarray because we haven't had an abortion law for two decades.

Their tactics are appalling. They wave around placards with photos of bloody fetuses from late-term abortions when the reality is that almost all abortions are performed in the first trimester.

In the minds of the most fervent abortion opponents, such as Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet, abortion is akin to murder even in the case of rape.

They would dearly love to ban all abortion but that would result, of course, in only desperate and poor women being forced to have unwanted babies. Rich women with connections have always been able to discreetly end unwanted pregnancies, whether legal or not.

She's got a bunch of actually accurate facty-facts on abortion, too.

Then she winds up:
Good luck to the whole pathetic lot of them. They've lost the war and they just can't stand that they no longer have the power to control women's bodies.

And never will. Because we will not shut the fuck up.

Quebec to HarpoCons: Join the 21st Century Already

Or, as the Winnipeg Free Press styles it, Enough with the ambiguity over abortion.
The Quebec legislature has taken aim at the Harper government over the abortion issue.

Politicians on both sides of the chamber unanimously adopted a pro-choice motion today.

That motion demands that the federal government continue respecting free access to abortion, end its ambiguity on the issue, and stop cutting funding to women's groups that favour abortion.

The unanimous -- that means every single democratically elected representative of the people, right? -- motion will be sent to the federal House and Senate.

DJ! to Quebec: Have we told you lately how much we *heart* you?

Is there no solidarity among anti-feminists?

The fetus fetishizing Naomi Lakritz (pictured above) publicly whaps Sara Landriault (pictured below) upside the head for her MASSIVE self-righteousness regarding Robert Munsch.

As one can predict, much whining about victimization ensues, as one can expect from someone who ... well, just go read Canadian Cynic: The spectacular hypocrisy of Sara Landriault to get another view of the stupendous self-centeredness and sense of entitlement that Sara displays.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Excommunicated for saving a life

A Catholic nun in Arizona was reassigned and 'automatically excommunicated' for her role in deciding to provide a life-saving abortion. She was a nurse and a senior administrator at the hospital.
A statement released by the hospital said, "In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother's life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy. This decision was made after consultation with the patient, her family, her physicians, and in consultation with the Ethics Committee, of which Sr. Margaret McBride is a member." According to The Arizona Republic, the patient suffered from pulmonary hypertension, which limits heart and lung function and can be fatal during pregnancy.

Pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy is a killer.

From a blogger, who describes herself as:
As the daughter of a Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) patient myself, I've come to learn a lot about the condition. Pulmonary Hypertension's a killer, not least because there isn't enough information out there about it. Please let people know this site exists, and hopefully we can work together to save lives!

some (non-jargony) information:
An early case series reported a 50% mortality rate associated with pregnancy and Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH). A more recent account noted a 30% mortality rate and partly attributed the decline in the mortality rate to earlier recognition, better understanding of the pathophysiology of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH), along with improvements in medical therapy and critical-care obstetrics. Recognition of the elevated maternal-fetal mortality rate has led physicians to recommend effective contraception and, in the event of a pregnancy, early fetal termination.

Now, we don't know the severity of this woman's disease, but presumably all those medico-types at her bedside had an excellent opportunity to assess her chances. One in three or one in two chances of dying sounds pretty dire to me.

But the bishop, who, as far as we know, is not the possessor of any kind of medical degree, disagreed.
Reverand Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said in a statement "I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this Diocese. I am further concerned by the hospital's statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother's underlying medical condition." Olmsted also said "If a Catholic formally cooperates in the procurement of an abortion, they are automatically excommunicated by that action."

Boom, yer outta here, sistah!

So, who is this guy Olmsted?

He's described as a 'Hardline Catholic' and he has the mean-spirited history to prove it.
Thomas J. Olmsted, the Catholic bishop at the center of the abortion excommunication controversy once refused communion to a 10-year-old child with autism.

He refused to allow the child, who could not swallow, to take communion.

Olmsted, of Phoenix, Arizona, also tried to shield his archdiocese from clerical sex abuse suits by incorporating the local parishes individually.

Tellingly, he did not speak out on behalf of the victims, preferring to protect the financial interests of the Church.

Beating up on women and children while protecting the financial interests of the church. Yup. 'Hardline', all right.

You know, sometimes I really really really hope there is a hell.

Now She Tells Us

There was always something seriously 'off' about Laura Bush, wasn't there?

Well, for starters, anybody who married that evil buffoon would have something off about her.

But she also often had a glassy look about her. An air of not quite being there. Or maybe wanting to be somewhere else. Drugs? we wondered.

And who the hell would blame her?

But it turns out even weirder -- she supports legal abortion and equal marriage! She's a crypto-feminist!

She's written a book -- for a ginormous sum of money -- and she's plugging it. Last week she was on Larry King.
KING: . . Gay marriage, you tell us in the book that during the 2004 campaign you talked to George about not making it a significant issue. Do you think we should have it?

BUSH: Well, I think we ought to definitely look at it and debate it. I think there are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman. But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have I think the same sort of rights that everyone has.

KING: So would that be an area where you disagreed?

BUSH: I guess that would be an area that we disagree. I mean, I understand totally what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman. And it's a real, you know, reversal really for that to accept gay marriage.

KING: But you do?

BUSH: But I think we could, yeah. I think it's also a generational thing.

KING: You think it's coming?

BUSH: Yeah, that will come, I think.

KING: How about choice?

BUSH: That was the -- I write in the book about the very first question I got on the morning of George's inauguration, from Katie Couric, who asked me two questions about abortion. That was the social issue in 2000 that everyone got asked about. And then I think gay marriage was the social issue in 2004. And I was say probably in the more recent election as well.

She asked me if -- she asked two questions about abortion, and then she asked me if I was for the overturn of Roe versus Wade. And sort of everything went through my mind. This was the very morning my husband was about to be inaugurated. And I thought, do I really want to start my husband's presidency, you know, suggesting that a Supreme Court rule being overturned. And I said no.

And I think it's important that it remain legal, because I think it's important for people, for medical reasons and other reasons.

KING: So you -- that would be two areas of disagreement.

BUSH: Uh-huh.

She was biting her tongue so hard the whole time that she must have just spazzed out.

Other interviews reveal that she's in favour of more women on the Supreme Court and doesn't like the totalitarian new 'papers please' law in Arizona.

My, my. What if Bush's rabid TheoCon followers had known there was an Enemy sleeping with their guy? A feminazi -- well, in their terms -- behind the throne? A supporter of the Gay Agenda with very close access to the Homophobe-in-Chief?

I betcha Bush's primary adversaries are gnashing their teeth over the lost opportunity.

Monday, 17 May 2010

The More Canadians Think about It. . . (part 2)

A poll released yesterday and another today.
Canadians want the federal government to spend aid money on safe abortions in developing countries despite the prime minister's refusal to do so, an exclusive QMI Agency poll has found.

This sample is bigger than yesterday's but the results are similar. Slightly more people in this poll support spending foreign aid on access to abortion (61% v. 58%) and slightly more oppose such spending (34% v. 30%).

But will Harper and his TheoCons listen to the people?

Yeah. I know.

Nonetheless, Canada is a pro-choice country.

Truthiness and outright lies (with updates)

Ayatollah Ouellet was a speaker at this event, and while in the presence of flaming homophobes, he drew quite a bit of attention for his screed against women who have abortions. From here:

He called abortion a "moral crime" as serious as murder. Ouellet said he understands how a sexually assaulted woman has been traumatized and must be helped and that her attacker must be held accountable. "But there is already a victim," he said. "Must there be another one?"
Former MP and Catholic priest Raymond Gravel observed that this was the same-old same-old discourse of blaming and shaming women. He opposes the criminalization of abortion.

The Fetus©™ fetishist deputy Paul Szabo, à propos of the auditor general reviewing the books of the Board of Internal Economy which is the secretive House of Commons’ committee that administers MPs' allocated budgets, said: "... all of a sudden people would jump to conclusions without having all the facts".

That encapsulates the MASSIVE abortion-criminalizing and propaganda war being waged by the Zygote Zealots. Marie-Claude Lortie simply and eloquently demonstrates how pro-choice advocates are the sane, reasonable and humane thinkers in this confrontation. She would like a public discussion that would allow an authentic expression of concerns about abortion, without all the shrieeeking, the gynophobia, the hypocrisy and the tactical lies exploited by anti-abortionists.

At DJ!, we call them the Vulture Culture, since The Fetus©™ fetishists are willing to sacrifice women's lives in order to establish their theocratic dominion.

Why aren't Catholics like this one receiving the media attention they deserve, instead of gynophobes like Ayatollah Ouellet?

Consecrated women cannot remain silent in light of the sex scandals destroying the moral credibility of the Church, says Ursuline Sister Teresita Kambeitz.

"Who is going to speak out if we as consecrated women don't speak out?" Kambeitz asked. "Who is going to speak on behalf of the children? Who is going to encourage the good and faithful priests? Who is going to call the bishops to account?"

Kambeitz, a professor at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon and a former professor at Newman Theological College, gave a series of talks on Hope-Filled Discipleship at the annual assembly of the Council of Consecrated Women (CCW) April 23-24.

Interestingly enough, she doesn't believe women should STFU. But of course, fundamentalist zealots like SUZANNE and Paycheck would likely call Sister Kambeitz a deluded and 'useful idiot'.

The Catholic Magisterium has established an ideological religious scheme founded on the premise that women are inherently evil, and that men are absolved from responsibility - because they only ever rape or engage in pedophilia when it's a woman's fault - that's the belief The Fetus©™ fetishists MASSIVELY support.

Update: From Slap Upside The Head: Pope: Gay Marriage “Insidious And Dangerous”

And also: Pure Hypocrisy - France Bédard, who was raped and repeatedly sexually abused by a priest when she was 17 and forced to work for the parish, was told by the vicar Armand Therrien to get an abortion and leave him the hell in peace, when she told him of her pregnancy. Criminal charges fell when Therrien died 2 weeks before the start of his trial for the years of abuse to which he had subjected her. After speaking to Ayatollah Ouellet about these events, Bédard was told that the Church could not help her, since the priest would not take responsibility for his actions. BTW, Bédard chose to carry the pregnancy to term, gave her son up for adoption and, decades later, was able to re-connect with him.

Sweet tap-dancing Baby Jay-Zeus: On Radio-Canada, Isabelle Bégin-O'Connor has just declared, presumably as some form of religious truthiness, that women who are raped almost never become pregnant because of the high stress level they endure. That must be so comforting to the hundreds of thousands of devout Catholic women who endured coercive marital sex for decades and yet became pregnant, to know that they are exceptional.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The More Canadians Think about It. . .

. . . the more we want abortion included in the G8 maternal health initiative.
Stephen Harper's much-vaunted maternal health initiative that was meant to galvanize next month's G8 summit is now causing some queasiness -- among Canadians and internationally.

A new poll suggests that a majority of Canadians opposes the Prime Minister's refusal to fund safer abortions in developing countries, even as international concern grows about the state of his G8 maternal health initiative.

The Canadian Press-Harris Decima poll found that 58 per cent of respondents oppose Harper's exclusion of abortion funding in his drive to improve maternal and child health in poor countries.

And there has been significant movement in the numbers (bold is mine).
That's up from about 46 per cent in March, when a similar question about aid for abortion access was asked. The increase suggests people are taking their time to think through the complex pros and cons before making up their minds, said Megan Tam, vice-president at Harris-Decima.

"It appears that the general sentiment of most Canadians is to have a maternal health policy that includes funding for abortion," she said.

The poll of 1000 people was conducted by telephone between May 6 and May 9. It has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The survey found that opposition to the government's stand was about the same for both men and women, but was stronger in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia than other regions of the country.

Only 30 per cent of respondents said they would support the government's decision, down from about 48 per cent in March.

A gain of 12 per cent in opposition to Stevie the Misogynist and a loss of 18 per cent in approval.

Canada is a PRO-CHOICE country.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Cruelty and Sadism

I've been feeling increasingly gloomy lately, so I decided to consult a psychoanalyst.
It's one thing to oppose abortion, though I am not in that camp myself. It's another to regret it - or even discourage it. I do understand that it is not a simple or easy matter to destroy a budding life. But some of the new laws being proposed are truly cruel and sadistic.

Tuesday, the Legislature in Oklahoma mandated that a woman must get an ultrasound before any abortion, and it must be done in such a way so that, "the woman can see it and describe the heart, limbs and organs of the fetus. No exceptions are made for rape and incest victims."

Friday, the Legislature in Florida passed a bill requiring, "all women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. Even if the women don't want to see the image, the doctor must still describe it to them." The Florida bill is a bit more compassionate than Oklahoma's, as women may be exempted if they can prove that the fetus resulted from rape.

I don't know if the courts will strike down these provisions as unwarranted invasions of privacy, but I do know that they are punitive and sadistic - and psychologically harmful to those they affect.

The good doctor speculates for a bit on why this orgy of women-punishing is happening: a resurgence of misogyny, a new puritanism, the escalation of all difference into hate and abuse, or the growing gap between rich and poor and the resultant feelings of powerlessness.

He settles for the last and concludes:
If this is the underlying explanation for this destructive trend, we can expect that it will not soon abate. It took a long time for us to drift into this condition of greater economic inequality, papered over by the credit bubble, and it will take a long time to recover from it.

Me, I think it's sadistic misogyny coupled with cruel, jack-booted authoritarianism, with the economic opportunity -- and here in Canada, with the grand political opportunity afforded by the totally fucking USELESS Opposition -- all wrapped up as a tidy gift for the pricks in charge and the masochists who grovel under them.

And we know how these situations can play out. Hop over to CC's for a look at a telling photo of yesterday's bunfest on the Hill that CC calls Fetuspalooza*.

*I'm really torn between Fetuspalooza and JJ's FetusStock for the festivity.

Bible Thumpers Get Funding

Anti-abortion men such as the one depicted, who was likely bussed to annual March for Lies when an adolescent attending catholic school, were visible and in your face in Ottawa yesterday.

No wonder - as fern hill pointed out yesterday, the dogs heard the whistle. And a gold-plated whistle it is.
Wycliffe Bible Translators slurped up a hefty $495,600 of your money and mine. But that was dwarfed by the $3.2 million awarded to an outfit called Youth For Christ--and, while children living in poverty on a reserve in Attawapiskat have been denied a new school for years, Edmonton's Newman Theological College was recently awarded $4.2 million of Harper's largesse.
From Dawg's Blawg.

That half-million of taxpayers' money bought us "capacity building for public school". Not religious schools. Public schools.

Do you think that fundamentalist, orthodox jewish and muslim institutions would get that kind of MASSIVE funding for translating the Torah and the Qur'an?

Welcome to Harper's New©™ Theocratic Government.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Fetus Fetishists Are Stoked

The dogs have clearly heard the whistle.
Heartened and emboldened by Canada’s new anti-abortion stand on foreign aid, thousands of pro-life campaigners flooded in unprecedented numbers to Parliament Hill on Thursday, daring to hope that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government will take further steps against abortion at home as well as abroad.

The debate that Harper says he doesn’t want to reopen in Canada arrived literally on his doorstep on Thursday, with high spirits and demands for the Conservative government to do much more to discourage abortion in this country.

Around 15,000 pro-life campaigners, clearly buoyed by what they see as last month’s victory on the foreign-aid front, cheered loudly when numerous speakers talked about the next steps in what one called bringing a “culture of life” to Canada.

“We would like some more courage to do something more in Canada in defence of the unborn,” Cardinal Marc Ouellette, of Quebec City, told the crowd.

Ouellette minced no words in explaining later what he would like Harper to do next: “Reopen the discussion in Canada about this judicial void; there is absolutely no protection for the unborn,” Ouellette told reporters. “The next step should be a reopening of discussion about the legal situation of abortion in Canada.”

I've seen various crowd estimates. Here, 15,000, elsewhere 10,000 and 12,000.

But howevermany, MPs were there.
All together, about 20 MPs from the pro-life caucus were at the event, most Conservative, but a few Liberals too, including Paul Szabo, Gurbax Malhi and Dan McTeague. All but one of the MPs on the stage – Conservative Kelly Bock – were men. No cabinet ministers, New Democrats or Bloc Quebecois MPs took part in the rally.

There's a list of all MPs at the link. Check to see if your MP was there.

One thing I found heartening. A couple of news outlets pointed out that Catlick school kids were bussed in -- a little factoid I haven't seen in media coverage before.

CTV has this as its second para.
The throng included hundreds of students drawn from the capital's Roman Catholic high schools.

And this very very brief report saw fit to include this line:
Organizers have drawn a large delegation from the capital's Roman Catholic high schools to take part in the rally.

Other coverage includes this bloviating piece by John Ivison on the astonishing fact that Canada has no law on abortion. It's full of lies as usual, for example, he states that gestational cut-off dates in other 'civilized' countries are lower than they, in fact, are. I'd do linkies but who gives a shit what John Ivison says, eh?

But I did take a bit of solace from the headline for his piece -- probably not written by him.
Anti-abortion forces enjoy their moment in the sun

And a very brief moment it will prove to be.

In related news, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has issued a G8 Maternal Health Initiative Action Alert. Among the suggested actions is signing a petition to the government. Go. It won't do any good, but you might feel a bit better. I did.

THIS JUST IN: According to the always reliable LieShite, via SUZY ALL-CAPS who was too excited to provide a link, the number was 12,500. So, I'm thinking 10,000 tops.

Why Toews might want changes to the Criminal Code.

Adulterer Vic Toews - who impregnated a woman decades younger than him (she was at the time a junior staff member working for a Conservative deputy in the House of Commons) - is thinking the Criminal Code should be changed.

Canada should consider reinstating the word "rape" in its criminal code, a senior Canadian cabinet minister says.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews called current use of the term term sexual assault a "very misleading and deceiving concept" that fails to capture important distinctions [...] It can basically be from a very minor sexual touching to a rape," Toews told a news conference Tuesday.
Changes to the Criminal Code sections that addressed a range of aggressive acts - sexual assault and abuse as well as significant indicators of their gravity and degree of violence - were the result of many years of work, involving all levels of expertise in the justice system. and collaboration between parliamentarians, Crown prosecutors and defense lawyers as well as advocates for witnesses/complainants.

These changes framed the prosecution of sexual assault in a manner that limited the attacks the lawyer for the accused could direct towards the witness/complainant. It was intended to facilitate the gathering of evidence, and to subject those procedures to the same rigour used when building a case for other forms of criminal assault; police officers and lawyers were to shift their focus from the victim's credibility (and judgments based on she said/he said) to the merits of all evidence collected, including the complainant's testimony.

A national examination of the efficiency of the Criminal Code is certainly in order; the recent case involving Fernando Manuel Alves raises questions about the efficacy of the criminal justice system when serial sexual assault charges can be so easily brushed off.

So why did the deputy representing the riding known as Bible Belt/Provencher choose to hold a press conference, where little information of substance was presented? He
is NOT the minister of Justice.

Changing the Criminal Code sex assault provisions would fall under the auspices of the justice minister [...] Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's press secretary, Pamela Stephens, said Nicholson is "always open to hearing suggestions on ways to improve the justice system." But she noted that the government already has an ambitious justice agenda.

The Con government exploits a number of tactics, among them the trick of sending out decoys to test the waters - public reception to one of their schemes. Is this one of them?

There could be another reason Toews seems hell-bent on changing the current provisions in the Criminal Code, with respect to sexual assault. This:
273.1 (1) Subject to subsection (2) and subsection 265(3), "consent" means, for the purposes of sections 271, 272 and 273, the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question. (2) No consent is obtained, for the purposes of sections 271, 272 and 273, where the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority, ...
What is Toews trying to bury? It would certainly be inconvenient, if not actually a problem if someone in his position had coerced a subordinate to have sex with him. A fundamentalist christian patriarch like Toews would do everything in his power to ensure such provisions were removed under the guise of "improving" the Criminal Code.
Toews suggested the word “sexual assault”—the legal term since 1983 for sexual activity without voluntary consent—is a “very misleading and deceiving concept” and fails to capture important distinctions.

“It can basically be from a very minor sexual touching to a rape. Unfortunately the Criminal Code was changed in that respect,” said Toews.

Is it any surprise that Stevie Spiteful and his ReformaTory theocratic bullies are trying to change the Code and a number of laws to reflect their values? Stupid on Crime is a good way of describing their willful and obdurate plans. Nonetheless, in light of Marci McDonald's excellent, well-researched book "The Armageddon Factor", Canadian citizens should also look beyond the official agenda to scrutinize private motives for everything the Cons do.

The personal is still political.

Grand merci to Vanessa Long who brought this our attention.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

First, you spell his name correctly

Jane Taber continues to cover that 'radical anti-Harper group', CRUSH.
The viewer who inspired a CBC poll on women in politics – and outraged Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in the process – is speaking out, arguing her question was neither partisan nor was it loaded or leading.

Mary Pynenburg, who is a two-time Liberal candidate in Britsh Columbia, wonders why she should have to “identify my party before I speak?”

“As a past candidate, I am very interested in women in politics,” she says.

And that was the subject of very non-partisan, uncontroversial poll suggestion.

So WTF is up with the CBC?
The CBC has dismissed the allegations of Liberal bias against their pollster, Mr. Graves. It noted it doesn’t “generally do a background check on people who have sent us non-contentious polling question suggestions,” but conceded the Pynenburg case “raises a good point about requiring closer attention to the background and affiliation of those who make submissions.”

BACKGROUND CHECKS? By the fucking CBC? To ask a question?
Ms. Pynenburg remains perplexed. First, she says the supposedly “radical anti-Stephen Harper group” is a Facebook group that is pointing out the Prime Minister’s “radical agenda.” She adds: “And that does not make them radicals it makes them caring Canadians.”

More importantly, she is curious as to how she became a Tory target for simply asking a question. “When did it become a cause célèbre in this country to ask a relevant and timely question affecting half the voting public?”

Well, Mary, you might be handicapped by your gender. You know, the Shut-the-Fuck-Up gender.

The canny but poor spellers at CRUSH, leapt on this and issued a press release.
"We were absolutely shocked to see this report" said Tina Naftali, a Montreal resident and spokesperson for C.R.U.S.H., a 3,000+ member group of Canadians organized through Facebook. "This is Canada, isn't it? Since when is it considered radical to criticize the government's performance?"

The group's Facebook page describes their objective as "A group of committed Canadians who want to exercise their democratic right to unseat Stephen Harper in a general election. Our central goal is to get out mainstream media ads that will reach out to as many fellow Canadians as we can and engage them in a discussion about the actions of Mr. Harper's government. The ads will focus on issues of trust, transparency, accountability, and democratic values".

To date, C.R.U.S.H. has published ads in a number of national and local newspapers including the Toronto Star and The Hill Times. The ads are funded solely through member donations. Ms. Naftali pointed out that all C.R.U.S.H. ads are viewable on their website at "I'll leave it to Canadians to examine the ads and decide if they are radical" commented Naftali.

"We are Canadians from all walks of life with members who identify with every political party or none at all" said Naftali, who went on to comment on low voter turnout in recent federal elections stating "politicians are concerned that Canadians are not engaged in the political process, however, it seems that by getting involved and engaging other Canadians, the government then labels you a radical".

In reflecting on this newly earned moniker, Naftali takes comfort in the words of Ghandi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."


Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Paying for It

Back here, we reported on the authoritarian and paternalistic practice in BC of withholding info on a fetus's gender.

The clever meddlers have come up with a new twist.

They're going to make parents pay to find out.
Expectant parents curious to know the sex of their fetus during ultrasound examinations are now being asked to pay $50 at some hospitals, but the charge could eventually expand across regions.

The "gender determination" fee has been newly implemented at Lions Gate and Richmond General hospitals following a pilot project at the latter.

The knicker-twisty 'problem' is that members of 'some communities' may be aborting fetuses of the wrong (i.e. female) gender and the Big Daddies don't approve of this.

But how would a smallish fee deter someone from abortion?

Trick question. It doesn't. Because even when the fee is paid, the information is still withheld!
"The ultrasound staff will not disclose this information to the patient. Rather, [the pregnant patient] will obtain it from the referring physician after 20 weeks gestation [when abortion is no longer an available option]."

The time period after which such information is disclosed is important to prevent women from aborting if they are disappointed by the news of the gender of their fetus. In some countries, such as India and China, millions of female fetuses are aborted each year.

Anna Marie D'Angelo, spokeswoman for Vancouver Coastal Health, said patients must sign a disclaimer before the ultrasound acknowledging that the ultrasound technician may make a mistake in gender determination.

"Right or wrong, no one gets their money back. But they will get a refund if the sonographer can't make a determination, based on the way the baby is positioned."

Simple cash grab? More shaming for women who even consider abortion? Feeble-minded faux do-goodery?

Hmm. Maybe the hospital administrators want to horn in on a source of extra cash that may now be going to sonographers with particularly expressive faces. Because we all know that when information is valuable, someone will put a price on it, and someone else will pay it.

Not that I have any knowledge of such carryings on. . . just sayin'.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Radical Rally-ers!

On Facebook.


The ReformaTories are lashing out at a Facebook group, Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper, or CRUSH.
The CBC-bashing continues unabated as Tory strategists uncover more revelations of so-called Liberal bias at the network.

Mary Pynenberg, the viewer who inspired a recent poll on women in politics, is not only a former Liberal candidate but is also a “radical anti-Stephen Harper group,” according to the latest internal Tory talking points. Oh, and she has donated $14,000 since 2004 to the Liberal Party.


The latest is that Ms. Pynenburg is also the vice-president of the National Women’s Liberal Commission and “a proud member of Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper (CRUSH), a radical anti-Stephen Harper group,” the Tory missive says.

Of course, we CRUSHers are chortling over it.

And last week, as promised, I sent CRUSH another donation. I took it outta my MASSIVE tax refund, which was very satisfying. ReformaTories aren't going to spend my dough on self-congratulatory advertising. Instead, I get to spend some on advertising intended to help bring them down.

If you haven't heard about CRUSH, go check them out. I think it's a fascinating experiment in multi-partisan grassroots activism.

SLAPP schtick goes to the movies.

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

The acronym was coined in the 1980s by University of Denver professors Penelope Canan and George W. Pring. The term was originally defined as "a lawsuit involving communications made to influence a governmental action or outcome, which resulted in a civil complaint or counterclaim filed against non-government individuals or organizations on a substantive issue of some public interest or social significance." It has since been defined more broadly in one state (California) to include suits about speech on any public issue.

The original conceptualization proffered by Canan and Pring emphasized the Right to petition as protected in the United States under the US Constition's specific protection in the First Amendment's fifth clause. It is still definitional: SLAPPs refer to civil lawsuits filed against those who have communicated to government officialdom (in its entire constitutional apparatus). The Right to Petition [granted by Edgar the Peaceful, 10 Century] precedes the Magna Carta in terms significant in the development of democratic institutions. It claims that democracy cannot work if there are, or if interest groups can erect, barriers between the governed and the governing.

According to New York Supreme Court Judge J. Nicholas Colabella, "Short of a gun to the head, a greater threat to First Amendment expression can scarcely be imagined." A number of jurisdictions have made such suits illegal, provided that the appropriate standards of journalistic responsibility have been met by the critic.
It appears multinational empires corporations are exploring new ways of bestowing pre-emptive SLAPP suits upon those who would dare to document their business practices and their impact on individuals and communities. The "rights" of big business to produce big profits and to keep the wheel of greed industry turning have become God-given entitlements, and the US Supreme Court seems happy to oblige them.
The director Michael Moore says that a federal judge’s ruling to allow Chevron to subpoena footage from the documentary “Crude” could have dire consequences on the documentary film-making process, and urged that film’s director to resist the subpoena if he can.

[...]Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of United States District Court in Manhattan said that Joe Berlinger, the director of “Crude,” would have to turn over more than 600 hours of footage from that documentary. The film chronicles the Ecuadorians who sued Texaco (now owned by Chevron) saying an oil field contaminated their water. Chevron said that Mr. Berlinger’s footage could be helpful as it seeks to have the litigation dismissed and pursues an international treaty arbitration related to the lawsuit. [...]

Should the decision of Judge Kaplan be upheld and a subpoena be served for Mr. Berlinger’s footage, Mr. Moore said, “The chilling effect of this is, someone like me, if something like this is upheld, the next whistleblower at the next corporation is going to think twice about showing me some documents if that information has to be turned over to the corporation that they’re working for.”

This seems the right moment to remind greedmongers of this Cree Nation wisdom:

"Only when the last tree has died and last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money"