Saturday, 31 July 2010

Welfare Mom Redeemed!

If you hang around the darker parts of the toobz as I do, you'll probably run into the name Linda Gibbons.

Ms Gibbons is frequently arrested for hanging around in places she is not wanted. Abortion clinics. Her name comes up on fetus fetishist sites as a 'martyr for life'.

Well, she's back in jail again for refusing to abide by the conditions of bail -- which is to stay the hell away from abortion clinics.

There's a weepy piece in yesterday's Notional Pest. Full of details both interesting and irrevelent (viz. she has spent more time in jail than Karla Homolka. Yep. They went there.).

So, while I've read about her martyrdom a few times, I didn't know anything about her personally.

I found this bit very interesting (emphasis mine):
Ms. Gibbons eventually married, had a daughter but she and her husband split up. A couple of years after the end of her marriage, in 1971, she became pregnant again. She had an abortion.

“I was living on social assistance and I was going to school. I didn’t see any way that I could have another baby. I wanted to become self sufficient, but I wished now someone would have counseled me out of doing it.”

A year after the abortion she went to a doctor and asked to be sterilized. The doctor advised her not to do it and suggested she was suffering guilt from the aftermath of her abortion.

Though she never married again, she eventually had a son and another daughter. She worked a number of different jobs keeping her family afloat. At one point, Ms. Gibbons said, around 1977, she began to think about God again and decided to go back to church. She thought of going to the liberal United Church but inadvertently walked through the door of much more conservative Protestant denomination.

'Eventually married' in a sympathetic piece is odd, doncha think? 'Nuff said there.

She and hub split. Oh dear. One wonders. . .

Then another pregnancy. While on social assistance. . .

Finding herself in a tough situation, as many, many women do, she made the choice to terminate the pregnancy.

Never married again. Two more children.

Then, beginning a career of being in the wrong place, she winds up among the fundies.

And voilà! Creepy fetus fetishist is er, born!

A single welfare mother with serial ooopsie! pregnancies without the responsibility to, you know, try to avoid those ooopsie! bits. Just the type that fetus fetishists and conservatards of all descriptions love to demonize.

But now redeemed! Reborn! Commanded to do Gord's work of harassing women just like she was.

Or, lounging around in jail talking about it.

So, these days, Ms Gibbons gets her martyrgasms living at our expense, while harassing the most captive audience an attention-seeking nutbar could wish for.
She talks about how much she loves “her girls,” referring to her much younger fellow inmates, who she gets to counsel against drug use and life on the streets. She glows when she says that she has saved three babies from abortion while on the inside.

And the serially pregnant welfare mom meme continues:
The bright light for her in all of this is that her 15-year-old granddaughter was recently pregnant and decided to have the baby, making Ms. Gibbons a great-grandmother. She is very proud that her granddaughter decided to have the baby.

Awwwww, isn't that special?

Bear takes on Goldilocks' role.

Who knew bears had a sense of humour?

This one walked into a house, ate two pears (that one's too green, this one's just ripe), drank water from a goldfish bowl (yum - appetizers too!) and liberated a stuffed bear. Sadly, he had no time to test the beds because he was startled by the sound of the garage door opening - a sure sign that the people had come home.

Is this Harper-style economics?

Labour organizations and unions should be monitoring this situation in the US and watching these corporations for similar cost-cutting decisions and their impact on Canadian workers.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Andrew Sum, an economics professor and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. “Not only did they throw all these people off the payrolls, they also cut back on the hours of the people who stayed on the job.”

As Professor Sum studied the data coming in from the recession, he realized that the carnage that occurred in the workplace was out of proportion to the economic hit that corporations were taking. While no one questions the severity of the downturn — the worst of the entire post-World War II period — the economic data show that workers to a great extent were shamefully exploited.

The recession officially started in December 2007. From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009, real aggregate output in the U.S., as measured by the gross domestic product, fell by about 2.5 percent. But employers cut their payrolls by 6 percent.

In many cases, bosses told panicked workers who were still on the job that they had to take pay cuts or cuts in hours, or both. And raises were out of the question. The staggering job losses and stagnant wages are central reasons why any real recovery has been so difficult.

“They threw out far more workers and hours than they lost output,” said Professor Sum. “Here’s what happened: At the end of the fourth quarter in 2008, you see corporate profits begin to really take off, and they grow by the time you get to the first quarter of 2010 by $572 billion. And over that same time period, wage and salary payments go down by $122 billion.”

If Stevie Spiteful and his cadre of thugs accept the operating principles of corporate greed, it would be another reason why he abolished the long-form census questionnaire. Without solid data for comparison, the long-range impact of such practices on Canadian workers could not be verified.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Et tu, Brute?

Add economists to the loooong list of professional organizations who oppose Harper's decision to axe the census long-form questionnaire.

The Canadian Association for Business Economics poll found that 76 per cent of 252 respondents surveyed last week say they do not believe it is good policy to replace the mandatory long-form census with a voluntary national household survey.

The survey comes as a growing number of groups are speaking out against the proposed change, saying it will degrade the quality of information on everything from city planning to school sizes and immigrant income levels. [...]

“There is no substitute for the census. It is the foundation of our household information set,” said Paul Jacobson, vice-president of the economics association. The switch means “we’re spending more money for less quality – that’s the part a lot of us find offensive.” [...]

Economists use census results to track changes in Canadian life, right down to the neighbourhood level. The census also serves as the backbone upon which almost all other household surveys, including the labour force survey, are weighted.

Gee, does this mean Stevie Spiteful is a maverick economist? (snort, snicker)

Beware the scourge of unmarried women! (hint: they're not ladies)

Phyllis Schlafly: still shrieeeky and strident after all these years.
"Unmarried women, 70 percent of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you've got to have big brother government to be your provider."

On Thursday, in an interview with Talking Points Memo, Schlafly repeated her link of single women, Obama and welfare, and added.

"Yes, I said that. It's true too. All welfare goes to unmarried moms. They are trying to line up their constituency for Obama and Democrats against Republican candidates."

And by the way, what exactly is that baked-solid entity stuck on Schlafly's head? I've cleaned up dog poop on the sidewalk that was more attractive than that.

209 to 6

From Census Watch.

209 -- and counting; the list hasn't been updated since Wednesday and there are a bunch more in the comments -- truthy, sciencey, facty organizations versus these guys:
1. National Citizens Coalition census
2. The Fraser Institute
3. Lorne Gunther and Ezra Levant, National Post
4. Canadian Taxpayers Federation
5. Toronto Sun editorial
6. Terence Corcoran, Columnist National Post

And now add ambulance chasers.
The group representing Canada's lawyers says changes to the census will make it tougher for people who suffer serious personal injuries to get proper compensation.

In a letter to Industry Minister Tony Clement, the Canadian Bar Association calls for the return of the mandatory long-form census, saying lawyers and judges use the information to help determine how much injured clients should claim in court.

I mean, really, could the ReformaTories have chosen a stupider issue to deflect attention from the G8/G20 fiasco? No. Really. Could they?

Thursday, 29 July 2010

In spite of Kenney's best efforts ...

to deny entry to applicants the Cons consider to be undesirables, the justice system sometimes plays fair with refugee claimants.
A former immigration judge has been found guilty of trying to coerce sex from a South Korean refugee claimant in return for a favourable ruling on her case.

“He knew that what he was doing was wrong,” Ontario Superior Court Justice Thea Herman said Wednesday in finding Steve Ellis guilty of breach of trust and an Immigration and Refugee Protection Act charge of bribery. [...]

Ellis presided over Ji Hye Kim’s refugee hearing in July 2006, reserving his decision. Two months later, he twice visited the Korean restaurant where she worked and arranged to meet her for coffee to discuss her case.

Suspicious of Ellis’ intentions, Kim’s then-boyfriend and now-husband, Brad Tripp, recorded the Sept. 26, 2006 meeting at a Starbucks patio on Bloor St. near Bathurst.

Ellis received his sentence today; he must serve an 18-month jail term.

As Herr Magoo - who tipped us off to the news item regarding Ellis' sentencing - observed:

"With his background in trading sex for favours, he'll do fine."

Indeed. I hear convicted ex-judges and ex-politicians are very popular in prison.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

“Please leave your message at the gunshot.”

John Callahan, a sharp cartoonist whose life experiences with alcoholism and quadraplegia translated into irreverent and witty vignettes of political incorrectitude that were published in hundreds of newspapers and magazines, died last week.

Caustic humour was his extreme sport of choice.

Like his friend Gary Larson, the creator of “The Far Side,” Mr. Callahan made drawings with a gleeful appreciation of the macabre he found in everyday life. He was, however, a man who lived his life with disadvantages, some of them self-wrought, and he viewed the world through a dark and wicked lens.

“This is John, I’m a little too depressed to take your call today,” the message on his answering machine said. “Please leave your message at the gunshot.”

Bemused by the culture of confession and self-help fostered by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Geraldo Rivera, he was uninclined in his work to be outwardly sympathetic to the afflicted or to respect the boundaries of racial and ethnic stereotyping, and his cartoons were often polarizing: some people found them outrageously funny, others outrageously offensive.

From here.

His outlaw, outsider and out-of-bounds view of the world was pure Bouffon artistry.

Torontonamo: The Dog Ate My Homework Version

Gee. Biiiiig surprise.
The only person charged under a controversial G20 regulation appeared in court Wednesday to discover his charges have mysteriously disappeared.

Dave Vasey, 31, was exploring the G20 security perimeter June 24 when he was arrested and charged under a temporary regulation. The regulation, which was quietly passed by the province under the 1939 Public Works Protection Act, designated the security zone around the Metro Convention Centre as a “public work” and empowered police to search anyone attempting to enter the perimeter.

So. He walks. There is no accountability, no explanation, no further opportunity for media coverage.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

The systemic erosion of democracy (more)

This is how it starts. A narcissistic sociopath takes control of a political party and proclaims: "We can create a country built on solid Conservative values [...] the kind of country I want to lead." Here are a few more quotes:

"Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed."

"Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs."

"The writer is the engineer of the human soul."

"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas."

"Print is the sharpest and the strongest weapon of our party."

"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
The first pronouncement is from Stephen Joseph Harper. The rest are from Joseph Stalin.

Notwithstanding his tactical deployment of tricks perfected by contemporary Republican operatives, Stevie Spiteful's strategy is eerily similar to Stalin's view.

Of the Stalinist regime, Alexander Solzhenitsyn said: "In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State."

Yesterday's display in Parliamentary committee of the contempt which Harper and his thugs have for Canadians is breath-taking. Tony Clement reprised his Attack Parrot™© role, but it was Stockwell Day who cranked it up to a new level of sheer political chutzpah with this:
“Do you think it is right that you can threaten your neighbour with jail time if she doesn’t tell you if she has mental issues or not?” he wrote. “Or who does what chores in the house? Or whether she is a Jew or not? Don't you find that one even a little bit chilling?”
What I find chilling is the sustained campaign of propaganda and disinformation Stevie Spiteful's PMO has waged on every issue it has shoved down the throat of the electorate since the ReformaTories formed their first minority government in 2006.

And as the continuing debacle over the G-8/G-20 demontrates, the Cons' electoral promise of transparence and accountability in government is nothing more than a typical Con job.

The only obstacle to a Canada controlled by Harper's steel fist and administered by his cowering cadre of lying bullies is a purposeful response by Canadian voters.

More crumbling away: Who needs to get nasty feedback or pesky facts entered into the public record?

Federal civil servants won't get to fill out a workplace survey this year because the Conservative government has axed it. [...]

A Statistics Canada official broke the news to colleagues last month in an email obtained by The Canadian Press. "I regret to inform you that plans for the 2010 Public Service Employee Survey are cancelled," Geoff Bowlby, head of the agency's labour statistics division, wrote on June 2. "We received notice from Treasury Board secretariat yesterday evening that funding for the project was not approved for this year. [...]

Neither Treasury Board President Stockwell Day nor his department were immediately able to say how much the survey cost. The government solicits voluntary feedback from its workers every three years to improve programs and services. The survey gives a snapshot of workers' demographics, skills, career expectations and concerns.

ADDED by fern hill: A plug for the Facebook group, Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper, which today passed the 5,000 member mark. We've been raising money and placing newspaper ads to raise awareness of just this issue. Totally grassroots, volunteer. Check it out.

My Friend Maury

My old friend Maury Chaykin has died.

What people are saying about him is true -- he was a gentle soul, a modest person but also wicked funny and very kind.

He lived near me in an ordinary downtown Toronto house that he'd bought shortly before we met. He was having it renovated slowly, doing things properly. He'd invite me over for dinner, but mostly to inspect and comment on his latest project. One evening, I was sitting on a huge couch with my legs almost sticking out straight, clutching a massive glass of something. I said: 'Christ, Maury, coming here is like visiting the Friendly Giant.'

Cracked him up.

Another story. I was in a bad patch. We were talking on the phone. He said: 'I know what you need. Be out front of your place in ten minutes.'

Ten minutes later, he rolled up in a whale of a convertible. He told me what it was -- I've forgotten -- something from the 60s, beautifully restored. It was summer, the top was down. We drove and drove and drove and wound up at a Chinese restaurant in a strip mall in Mississauga where he ordered a bunch of food. I wasn't paying attention -- it was always good policy to let Maury order -- so when the waiter put down one dish, I was surprised when he said: 'There. That's what you need. Pink chicken balls.'

He told me he loved living in Toronto because while people recognized him, they didn't come up and bother him like Americans did. I saw it happen many times. People would look at him, do the double-take, and by the time they looked again, he'd be smiling at them. They'd smile back. That was it.

So, the last time I saw him, it was by chance on Spadina, in front of -- what else? -- a Chinese restaurant. He hadn't seen me, so I came up behind him and said: 'Hey, aren't you Maury Chaykin? Can I have your autograph?' He turned with a polite smile, saw it was me, and swept me up in a big hug.

A good man. The world is poorer today.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Speaking of rightwing batshitcrazy ...

Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

While it's a positive thing that two high-profile women in US politics appear to be supportive of one another, most of the pronouncements uttered by these 2 BFFs are lacking in substance and typical of the phenom described by
Chet of The Vanity Press here.

In addition, Bachmann and her family have been receiving hundred$ of thousand$ of munee from the "Big Government" she and her fellow Tea Bag Party Patriots denounce. It's

Wingnut Welfare, in fact.

Here is a good description of the political trajectory Bachmann has charted in recent years, becoming more frantic and irrational in her claims and actions.

In a recent appearance at a Heritage Foundation luncheon, Bachmann defended BP and referred to attempts to set up a $20 billion escrow fund to pay for claims and clean-up "extortion" (in case you've been in a coma for the last six months, British Petroleum's massive oil spill is responsible for the worst environmental disaster in US history).

She asserted: "…If I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there: 'We're not going to be chumps, and we're not going to be fleeced.' And they shouldn't be. They shouldn't have to be fleeced and made chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest..."

While Minnesota - Bachmann's home state and constituency - may actually benefit from the BP disaster since it's a major producer of bio-fuels, it doesn't explain why she would so rabidly defend the multinational corporation. Unless of course, it might be of benefit to her, and her re-election campaign.

Torontonamo, 30 Days Later (updated)

And it's still in the news. Carol Goar today in The Star does the arithmetic.
Thirty days after the summit, the gains look modest; the losses extensive. The balance could change, but it would take a strenuous effort by public authorities to fix what they broke.

And yesterday, CBC ran a story about a young woman who is suing the Toronto Police over injuries from rubber bullets.
Police claimed the shots were "muzzle blasts" — harmless blanks meant to scare protesters, not hurt them. They deny using rubber bullets.

But photographs of Gray's wounds taken by an emergency room doctor show she was indeed injured in the chest and arm.

There are over 900 comments, by far most of them in support of the protesters.

If you've got a few minutes, go do the 'thumbs up/down' thing. Or leave a comment. The media will keep covering it as long as we keep paying attention.

ADDED: From the lawnorder Toronto Sun. Yup, they lied.
Rubber bullets were fired at the crowd outside the Eastern Ave. set up during the G20 Summit, a Toronto Police spokesman said Tuesday — one day after releasing erroneous information.

Mark Pugash corrected a statement he made Monday to the Toronto Sun saying no rubber bullets were fired outside the temporary prisoner processing centre, saying he had received the wrong information.

The person who provided the mistaken information called him Tuesday and said that rubber bullets were fired outside the centre, Pugash said.

Slam-dunk for the gal with the lawsuit. Slam-dunk for more costs for the rest of us as all these lawsuits get swept under expensive carpets.

Rationality and good sense VS Ideology and batshitcrazy

Rationality and good sense:

The national body that advises Statistics Canada and the chief statistician called Monday for the restoration of the long-form census, along with the removal of the threat of jail time for not completing it and reform of the planning process for the next census, in 2016.

The National Statistics Council, a 40-member panel of prominent analysts and researchers from across Canada, issued a statement expressing concern about the government's plans to make the mandatory long-form census a voluntary survey, urging a series of reforms and compromises instead.

"We believe that the changes will harm the integrity and quality of the Canadian statistical system," Ian McKinnon, chair of the council, said of the Conservative government's plans. "At the same time, the council recognizes that concerns about intrusiveness and confidentiality should be addressed."

The council believes Canadians "should not be overburdened by intrusive demands for unnecessary information," the statement said, but loss of the mandatory long-form data will leave a "serious gap" in the snapshot of Canadian society and its portrait of change over time. There are just a few weeks left to make changes to either the long-form census or the voluntary National Household Survey proposed to replace it if the census is to go ahead as planned in May 2011, the council said, but discussion of the issue has ground to halt.

"Debate over the future course of the census has become heated without moving toward a resolution that meets both concerns about privacy and intrusiveness, as well as the need to maintain the quality of Canada's statistical system," McKinnon wrote.

Ideology and batshitcrazy: The mouthpieces and Attack Parrots™© the PMO keeps trotting out - Flaherty, Clement, Day and Bernier - regurgitate "half-truths, red herrings, misdirection, scaremongering, and a straw man or two" over and over again to support Stevie Peevie's unilateral and monomaniacal decision.

The knuckle-draggers and ReformaTory minions who keep popping up in the comments after each news article that brings new facts forward also keep shrieeeking the same points.

"But, but, but, questions about bedrooms!!!" As these thugs, goons and bullies desperately try to Con-vince us that brave, brave HarperCons are protecting the Canadian people against the invasion of their privacy, the National Statistics Council would like to remind us that there are no census questions - and never were - about what folks do in their bedrooms.

From fern hill: I was going to blog on that but deBeauxOs was faster and no doubt more elegant than I would have been.

This census dealie is blowing up real good for the Cons. Now the seniors are miffed and they tend to vote and vote Conservative. (See the CARP poll here or zip to the quite comprehensive results here.)

BONUS TRACK: Go read Chet who doesn't want to be a Canadian idiot. (Fat chance, Chet.)

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Keeping score of the Harper Cons' Lying Circus stunts.

Another minister has just been shoved onstage. Jim "When Irish Eyes Are SmiLying" Flaherty claims:

“My experience with Canadians is that when you ask them to do something for the good of the country, they'll do it voluntarily,” Mr. Flaherty told The Canadian Press over the weekend. The finance minister is the latest member of the Tory cabinet to defend the Conservative government's decision to scrap the long census and replace it with an optional one.

Mr. Flaherty said he thinks census data can be collected voluntarily without being compromised.

He thinks. Without even checking the PMO-supplied cheat sheet that features all the speaking points to date, plus the newly minted prevarications.

So far Tony "Soprano" Clement, Stockwell "Doris" Day and Maxime "Beaucebasket" Bernier (ex-minister but putative dauphin) have been sent out to justify what may be the most idiotic ReformaTory decision to date.

If this petard foisted by Harper's New©™ Government wasn't the latest nail Stevie Peevie and his bullies are pounding in the coffin destined to bury democracy in Canada, it would be downright hilarious. The Cons' performances at the Industry, Science and Technology Committee meeting on Tuesday will be entertaining and infuriating, no doubt.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Can Left and Right Work Together?

Well, I dunno if this will amount to anything, but it's fun. I'm hoping to prove JJ wrong when she says she despairs of the human condition because we can't seem to work together.

I was visiting the Dark Side earlier today and saw this thread about the protest supporting the prison farms that Stevie Peevie wants to axe. It included this link.
Hundreds of farmers, local residents and prison-rights advocates who want the Conservative government to keep Canada's prison farms open set up a blockade to the regional headquarters of the Correctional Services of Canada in Kingston, Ont., on Friday morning.

About 250 people showed up for the three-hour protest, which started at around 6 a.m. along the busy street. Campaigners said they want the government to reconsider its decision to close the farms, which are being phased out by the end of this fiscal year.

"We see the farm as an effective rehabilitation and job-training program that also provides food for the prison system," said Dianne Dowling, a member of the Save Our Prison Farms committee and local representative from the National Farmers Union.

The prison service currently operates six farms — each located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and two in Ontario.

About 300 prisoners work at the farms, operating machinery, taking care of animals and growing food for prisons.

The farms, which the prison service has operated since the 1880s, cost about $4 million annually. The government has said the money will be used to provide more relevant employment skills to rehabilitate prisoners in contemporary trades.

Several of the commenters at the Dark Side support the prison farms. For the wrong reasons of course, but nonetheless. . .

So I sent a message to my close personal Facebook friend, Connie Fournier, owner of the Dark Side, to tell her that there was another issue we could maybe work together on. In addition to the G20 insanity. I included a link to a Facebook group supporting the prison farms.

She sent a message back saying she found it creepy that we were agreeing on so much. She also said that she'd joined the group and posted the info at FD. And indeed, she did.
Anyway, I joined a facebook group to save the prison farms. It looks like Stephen Harper has managed to find yet another issue that I can agree with the lefties about. He's a uniter, for sure!

If we can't divide the Right, maybe we can work with them.

The Republicans' Pitbull and his quest for new fire hydrants.

Rust never sleeps. Karl Rove has helped his party launch a new "grass-roots" organization intended to funnel rightwing billionaires' contribution toward the defeat of Democrat candidates in the US fall elections.

You may recall that Rove was lured to Toronto during the by ersatz doctor Charles McVety to highlight his mini G8/G20 extravaganza.

More about American Crossroads here. ReformaTories have a history of being coached by US experts in various sleazy political tactics.

Watch for some Canadian version of Rove's project to be spawned in the months to come, in support of the Cons' attempt to elect a majority government for Harper.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Like a horse and carriage - with dog (update)

We demonstrated there's little, if any, solidarity among the Lakritzes, the Kays, the Blatchies, the Somervilles except for their common delight of piling on feminism and feminists.

I thought Blob Blogging Wingnut would run to the defense of Sara "My Choice, My Childcare" Landriault.

But then Sara may have been well rewarded for providing the media with a shiny new distraction and thus moving the spotlight away from the Cons' cancellation of the long-form census questionnaire and the violence against peaceful protesters at the G-20.

There's some MASSIVE whining at Blob Blogging Wingnut's place where info from other blogs and news items can be spun to suit HER zygote-zealot-shrieking and Vatican-Taliban-fluffing agenda. SHE tossed off a homophobic screed that concluded with a favourite religious fundamentalist rightwing aphorism: Marriage protects women.

Like the catholic church protects girls and boys from pedophile priests, SUZY CAPS-ON?

Won't someone think of the children?

And why do anti-feminists hate women?

Update: This news item brought to our attention by TWFDS, is likely to cause jubilation for Pope Maledict. Using Stockboy Day's sampling and census-taking techniques, the Vatican Taliban can now declare a church that ordains women goes to the dogs.

BTW, Erika Ritter has produced a well-researched book on the woven mythologies of humans, dogs and religious institutions - The Dog by the Cradle, the Serpent Beneath.

The Fiery Star

Now, this is what I call newspapering. Three pieces today in The Star on the G20 insanity in Torontonamo:

Make Our Police Accountable by A. Alan Borovoy, who needs no introduction to fans of civil and human rights.

An unsigned editorial demanding a full inquiry.

And an opinion piece by Dave Coles, President of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union, and one of the people who outed the agents provocateurs at Montebello, Security Operation or Political Theatre?

Keep the pressure on. We bloggers will help.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Long-gun registry. Long-form census.

Could it be that the loathsome ReformaTories are intimidated by anything long?

What's next? Long division? DJ! is accepting suggestions.

Why does Stevie Peevie Hate Women?

Stevie Grudgiepants and Helena in happier days.

He uses his (like the cats for whom he affects affection, everything human exists to serve his own needs) female ministers / members of his Cabinet as decorative props behind his seat in the House of Commons.

But when they do something which may be an embarasment to him, he banishes them.

From here:
NDP MP Pat Martin said at the very least Harper owes Guergis an apology “and he may well owe her an out-of-court settlement.”

“He has not just kicked her out of cabinet but also left her political career in tatters,” Martin said.

Martin said Harper owes it to Canadians to tell them what “could possibly be so unforgiveable and heinous that you not only kick someone out of cabinet, you drop-kick them from the party and you effectively destroy their employability and their career.”

Martin said he was astonished that the PMO is now taking the view that Guergis should be held responsible for the alleged sins of her husband.

“This is an appalling double standard and I can guarantee you if this was a male (Conservative) cabinet minister and the wife was associating with some unsavory characters, that wouldn’t cost him his career. Not in a million years,” Martin said.

RCMP Sergeant Stéphane Turgeon confirmed to the Star that the investigation is over and no charges are being laid.

“The RCMP has concluded its file and we advised the complainant, which is the Prime Minister’s Office, and Mrs. Guergis privately in writing, of the result of the investigation . . . and there is no further action being taken on this file . . . there is no announcement of any charges,” Turgeon said.

Guergis is fighting the Conservative Party’s decision to deny her the nomination as MP candidate in Simcoe-Grey for the next election.

“In recent weeks, in essence, I have been charged, convicted, and sentenced without any due process or knowing what I have done wrong,” she said in a letter in May to Conservative executive director Dan Hilton.

“There have been endless rumours and allegations unfairly levelled against me, but to date I have not been given a specific reason for my removal from caucus nor has there been any investigation launched, let alone concluded.”

What other female members of the ReformaTory caucus has His Imperiousness punished or belittled?

Belinda Stronach, certainly.

Diane Ablonczy, too. And we still don't know what role he played in the famous debacle launched by Senator Nancy Ruth when she conveyed the message that women'groups should just STFU in order not to vex his Imperial Peevishness.

More G20 Stories: Sexual Abuse

First, a press release from Toronto Community Mobilization Network announcing a press conference at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre today.

The women scheduled to appear spoke to the Star.
Allegations of abuse by women detained during the G20 summit will be included in an 11-year investigation into how Toronto police investigate sexual violence against women.

The activist known as Jane Doe, women’s studies professor Beverly Bain and Toronto Rape Crisis Centre counsellor Grissel Orellana are to present their report to Toronto Police Services at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Toronto police “are unfit to conduct a review against themselves. They are not equipped to investigate themselves,” Farrah Miranda, a spokeswoman for the activist group G20 Mobilization Network, told the Star on Thursday.

That is the message Doe, the pseudonym of a woman who successfully sued police in 1986 after she was raped, and the others will deliver at their morning news conference and in their report, said Miranda.

“This is the culmination of an 11-year process. Women’s groups are connecting the G20 violence against women with the ongoing police violence against women.”

Allegations of sexual abuse first surfaced as women were being released from the Eastern Ave. detention centre during the June 26-27 weekend that brought world leaders and thousands of demonstrators to Toronto.

Among those making allegations was Amy Miller, who will present a video at the Thursday news conference, Miranda said.

Also speaking will be Alison Peters. “They asked me and other women I was with if we wanted to have sex with them,” Peters said in a news release about the police. “We were told to take our clothes off if we wanted to be taken seriously. . .”

Another detainee, Skylar Radojkovic, said police “told me that I was going to prison, where I would be raped repeatedly. I was strip-searched and called various unprintable names by these officers. The detective pushed me repeatedly into the wall.”

Doe on Tuesday criticized the final auditor’s report, also due out Thursday, into how police investigate sexual assaults. The report says Toronto police have implemented 19 of 25 recommendations on how to deal with sexual assaults.

“It's business as usual, more of the same,” Doe said. “The police are not prepared to address the sexism, racism, incompetence and their own lack of analysis.”

The Toronto Police Services Board has appointed lawyer Doug Hunt to investigate police accountability during the summit. Toronto police have asked people with allegations against them during that weekend to file a formal complaint.

Lights! Camera! Action! Cue smirking authoritarian misogyny!

ADDED: An account of the press conference.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Newsflash: Will Munir Sheikh spill the beans? (updated)

Who would have thought that of all the Harper New©™ Government departments and agencies under the thumb of Stevie Spiteful, StatsCan would prove to be the one to precipitate such a vivid public uproar?

Ever since the PMO tried to sneak the cancellation of the long-form census questionnaire by publishing furtively in the Canada Gazette during the G-20, every day has brought fresh hell to the Harperites.

In the last dramatic twist, a cryptic note from StatsCan chief bean-counter Munir Sheikh to his staff presages nothing good for Stevie and his bullies.

Unless they get him to STFU by bribing, blackmailing or terminating him with extreme prejudice.

Update: Munir A. Sheikh is a man of few words and great honour. Watch in the comments section of various media - the CBC, Globe & Mail, NatPost, etc. - how knuckle-draggers and zealots on the Con payroll use this opportunity to vent their islamophobic rage. In order to get their munee, the Reformatory minions, orcs and astro-turfers have to do their job.

Whining rightwing whiner.

Where is Naomi Lakritz when we need her?

Ha! Betcha you never thought you'd read the above sentence here, right?

Just as once in a blue moon I agree with David Frum, right now I long for Lakritz to bitch-slap Sara Landriault upside the head again. Hard enough to shake some sense of perspective into that Sarah Palin look-alike head, that is.

And as I said back then, how much whining about victimization can one person produce? Canadian Cynic nailed here the stupendous self-centeredness and sense of entitlement that defines Landriault.

Besides, why is she looking for a job in the summer, when her kids aren't in school?

Could it possibly be the self-declared champion for Stay-At-Home-Mothers suddenly realized that she needed a vacation too? And being a conservative, what better job prospect than to apply for employment with the federal government while Harper happens to be in power?

As k'in, who brought this pathetic story to our attention observes, Sara appears to have lots of private sector media connections since her shrieeeking regularly pops up on places like CFRA and other rightwing outlets.

Well, perhaps once they got to know Sara the subject better, they liked her less as a potential work colleague.

Added: Adrian McNair, a.k.a. Raphael Alexander, whines on behalf of his spouse.

"The closing of the conservative mind ..."

Once more, David Frum stands up for the principle of journalistic integrity. Although I don't share most - if any - of his ideological notions, I admire him for being the lone voice in the arid rightwing crackpot media desert.

When people talk of the "closing of the conservative mind" this is what they mean: not that conservatives are more narrow-minded than other people — everybody can be narrow minded — but that conservatives have a unique capacity to ignore unwelcome fact.

When Dan Rather succumbed to the forged Bush war record hoax in 2004, CBS forced him into retirement.

Breitbart is the conservative Dan Rather, but there will be no discredit, no resignation for him. Instead, conservatives are consumed with a new snippets-out-of-context uproar, the latest round of JournoList quotations. Here at last is proof of the cynical machinations of the hated liberal media! As to the cynical machinations of conservative media — well, as the saying goes, the fish never notices the water through which it swims.

The difference between Dan Rather and Andrew Breibart is more complex than the simplistic reduction Frum suggests.

Dan Rather, one of the last old-school journalists, "succumbed" to the pressure of a form of news reporting in the 21st century which has become fast, furious and focused on trash journalism. He was trained to rigorously examine the sources of putative damaging disclosures about public figures; in this case his need to prove himself in a media increasingly staffed with hungry young wolves proved to be his downfall. Although made the scapegoat by his superiors at CBS when the documents pertaining to Bush were alleged to be forgeries, Rather has not gone quietly into that good night.

Andrew Breibart is a toxic fabricator, a con man, and a dumpster-diver. He's a self-styled JackAss reporter; he's a balding, schlumpy and braying male version of Ann Coulter; a wannabe Christopher Hitchens without the creds. Yet his presence amongst the Limbaughs and O'Reillys serves a purpose; he makes them look like serious newsman in comparison with his own disgraceful method of gotcha! reporting.

This time, according to Frum, he has surpassed himself. Breibart sliced and diced a video recording of an USDA black employee so it made it seem that she was an unrepentant anti-white folks racist. The material was manipulated; in reality she was recounting an individual experience of a paradigm shift and how she went on to help the farming families she had prejudged.

Frum is visibly disturbed and outraged by Breitbart's willful deception and malvolence.
There will be no apology or statement of regret for distributing a doctored tape to defame and destroy someone. There will be not even a flutter of interest among conservatives in discussing Breitbart’s role. By the morning of July 21, the Fox & Friends morning show could devote a segment to the Sherrod case without so much as a mention of Breitbart’s role. The central fact of the Sherrod story has been edited out of the conservative narrative, just as it was edited out of the tape itself.

As I said, Frum's voice is a lone rational voice among rightwing media hate-mongers.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Heads, They Win. Tails, They Win.

Thirty per cent of us are going to get the long-form census to fill out.

Being good Canadians who really haven't minded filling out the long form for bloody decades and who recognize the value of good data to all kinds of projects, a lot of us will do it voluntarily, right?

But then the Cons win. 'See?' they'll say, 'The data is still coming in.'

So, we shouldn't voluntarily fill them out. Just throw 'em in the recycling bin.

But then the Cons win. 'See?' they'll say, 'The silent majority of Canadians hate intrusive government.'

I didn't think I could loathe these ignorant thugs any more thoroughly. Amazingly, this stunt has shifted them even lower in my estimation.

BONUS: A great round-up on the evolving lies of Cashmere Tony Clement.

(Personal note: I am swamped with work but hope to get back to blogging regularly sometime soon.)

And also. Too. (Blame it on k'in - she made me look - deBeauxOs)

Harper Cons' Lying Circus

If the Opposition parties agree to participate in the parliamentary committee that MUST BE urgently reconvened to discuss the census, I encourage their MPs to arrive armed with Olympic-style scorecards.

Thus when Tony Clement performs his long program:

Privacy Issues! Voluntary Questionnaires! Statistics Canada Said So!
followed by Maxime Bernier with his short one:

Bedrooms of the Nation! Jedi Knights! My Staff Deleted The Emails!
NDP, Bloc and Lib members of the Industry, Science and Technology Committee can hold up numbers that rate the credibility of their statements.

I can safely predict that the industrious and dynamic duo won't be winning any medals in individual or pairs competition.

Did I mention how urgent the PMO the Forces of Authority have declared the re-Con-vening of this committee to be?

There also a rumour that Senator Porky Duffy will lumber out to issue a public service announcement on behalf of Stevie Spiteful:
but only if there's Timbits. Lots of them.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Today's whining over at Blob Blogging Wingnut.

SUZIE-CAPS-ON! gets all whiny and preachy today as she provides her own fabulation / interpretation of Rob's misgivings at The Abortion Gang. He's upset at Emily Bazelon who wrote a well-balanced report for the NYTimes: The New Abortion Providers. I think that it's excellent journalism, with in-depth historical background and insightful portraits of the physicians who ensure that contraception and pregnancy termination are taught in medical schools, and they are provided to their patients as important elements in a primary health care model.

Rob was disturbed that Bazelon wrote that money for fellowship program which funds two or three years of seed money for abortion training for OB-GYN residents at medical schools (58 campuses in the U.S. and Canada have received financing) comes from one foundation and from one family. But Pro-Lies and other abortion-criminalizing groups are aware this funding is given by the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. As well, he feels that she has irresponsibly exposed the people she interviewed to harm, and the universities to harassment.

I disagree; paragraphs such as these, given the danger and threats posed to physicians by rabid extremist zygote zealots (which STE-NITOUCHE deplores but always justifies) were surely vetted with the potential targets of anti-abortion violence.

Many of the two dozen young doctors I talked to for this article were similarly conflicted. They wanted to talk about their work. They see it as part of making abortion mainstream. But the murder of Dr. George Tiller last year scared them.

One 33-year-old family-medicine doctor I met in Rochester drives 90 miles each week to perform abortions at a clinic in Syracuse. She is pregnant with her third child, and she asked me not to use her name after her father insisted that she’d be putting herself and her kids at risk.

Still, at her Episcopal church, where she feels safe, she is open about what she does. “When people are surprised, I say, ‘Yes, a Christian can also be an abortion provider,’ ” she told me.

The honest descriptions of behind-the-scenes reality Bazelon presents are authentic and faithful to the lives of women and respectful of the choices they make, physicians, care-givers and patients alike.

Yet Blob Blogging Wingnut perorates:
"It seems that they take it for granted that "objective" media is about serving ideological ends, not giving all sides of the story. Shocking, isn't it?"

What's really "shocking" is that SUZIE-CAPS-ON! does not attack the NYTimes article. And that's because it's more than HER capacity to spin dogmatic truthiness and religious propaganda can handle.

It's all fun and games for the Cons until Stevie throws a temper tantrum.

Tony Clement, a minister of the cabinet (and perpetual bridesmaid Con leadership candidate hopeful) grovels to keep his job.

Maxime Bernier, an ex-minister (and self-projected putative dauphin) brown-noses to get his old job back.

These two, and all ReformaTory members of Parliament, are in thrall to Emperor Steve the First. When first informed that data or facts could not be provided, tweaked or procured to support his policies, Stevie Spiteful declared that henceforth there would no longer be a long-form data collection process at Statistics Canada.

And, as our savvy commenter Niles pointed out here, there is no originality or content in the Con "brain trust". Harper is cannibalizing the achievements of previous PMs and repurposing their shine to disguise the cavernous depths of his ideological depravity.
"We can create a country built on solid Conservative values, not on expensive Liberal promises, a country the Liberals wouldn't even recognize, the kind of country I want to lead."
Given his track record on spending Canadians' money, Harper isn't leading the country, he is eating it.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Who knew the Pope was such a spiteful dick?

The Vatican Taliban does it again.

It issued an announcement regarding changes made to procedures for dealing with what it terms "exceptionally serious crimes," (for example, acts of pedophilia committed by a priest, deacon or bishop) by extending the statute of limitations from 10 years after the victim's 18th birthday to 20 years.

In that same list of "exceptionally serious crimes," it included the ordination of women to the priesthood. The Vatican thus associated the latter to priestly pedophilia as a serious crime against faith and morals - an implied equivalence that many catholics find repugnant. From the NYTimes:

The Vatican's decision to list women's ordination in the same category as pedophiles and rapists is appalling, offensive, and a wake-up call for all Catholics around the world. This new canonical declaration which names women's ordination as a serious crime against the Roman Catholic Church is medieval at best. The idea that a woman seeking to spread the message of God somehow "defiles" the Eucharist reveals an antiquated, backwards Church that still views women as "unclean" and unholy.

It is clear this recent decision was made out of fear of our growing numbers. The Vatican is using this attempt to extinguish the widespread call for women's equality in the church. In a statement published on May 29, 2008 in L'Observatorio Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, all women who "attempt ordination" and the bishops who ordain them are automatically excommunicated, known as latae sententiae. Adding delicta gravioria as a scare tactic to already "excommunicated" women and the priests who support us is ridiculous and does not make a bit of difference. [...]

In the face of one closed door after another, Catholic women will continue to make a way when there is none. We will continue to speak out. And women will continue to prophetically answer their call to priestly ordination with or without the Vatican's approval.

Pope Maledict and his gowned bullies can't be happy with last month's US Supreme Court decision that rejected the Vatican's request for dismissal of a civil litigation case where the Oregon complainant is seeking financial compensation from the church.

At issue was whether the Vatican, a foreign sovereign nation, can be forced to pay money damages to a US citizen for the alleged illegal acts of one of its employees.[...]

Foreign nations are generally immune from lawsuits. But under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Congress said a foreign nation can be sued in a US court if the harmful act was carried out by an official or employee of the foreign state “while acting within the scope of his office or employment.”

“Sexual abuse is clearly outside the scope of a priest’s employment,” Vatican lawyers said in their brief.

The victim is identified in the lawsuit by the pseudonym John V. Doe. His lawyers say the Vatican is partly responsible for the sexual abuse their client endured as a teenager. According to court documents, the priest, Fr. Andrew Ronan, had admitted to sexually abusing a boy in the Archdiocese of Benburb, Ireland. He was transferred by church officials to the all-boys St. Philips High School in Chicago, where he later admitted to sexually abusing three boys. Church officials then transferred Ronan to St. Albans Church in Portland, Ore. That’s where he allegedly sexually abused Doe.

For the Vatican Taliban it's always about defending their power and their money.

But, but, but ... Stevie's mom agrees, right?

Go read Chet's Harper Burns His Report Card at The Vanity Press.

Any moment now, I expect Stevie to drag his mother to the media stage, another voice in the wilderness recruited in support of his one-sided, monomaniacal and ideologically-driven decision to scrap the long-form census questionnaire.

here, here and here.

Update: Well, I thought Stevie wouldn't back down since the Cons can't blame this MASSIVE faux-pas on Evul Feminists as they did with their idiotic attempt to change the words of our national anthem, and Bernier stepped into the breach.

Way to go, Maxime. That brown nose looks good on you.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Clarification needed about BQ Mourani's statement on "TB inoculation".

At the 4:53 mark here, Kady O'Malley says:
I think it's safe to say that Mourani's allegation that some detainees were vaccinated against their will managed to wake up the media table. For tuberculosis, apparently. Not heard that one before.
Later, the Toronto Star also reported:

Conservative members of the Commons public safety and national security committee talked out the clock preventing a motion to review controversial security matters, arguing it would only lend a voice to the thugs, hooligans and anarchists who traumatized Toronto last month during the gathering of world leaders. [...]

An impassioned Bloc Québécois MP Maria Mourani emphasized that if and when the probe happens it must be a thorough airing, given the unsubstantiated reports she is hearing about the conduct of police, including threatening women with rape, to involuntary vaccination of some protesters and others who were rounded up.

DJ! co-blogger fern hill shared the following with me:
Just now on Facebook, someone reported a private email from a mother of one of the people claiming to have been given a shot. The kid is from Quebec and he told his mother that the people were speaking in English so fast that he didn't understand, but after it was done, he's pretty sure someone said 'tuberculosis'. He also told his mother that only francophones were getting this special treatment.
I spoke to my daughter who is a physician in Toronto. There are some serious concerns involved because:
  1. There's no effective vaccine against TB.
  2. A mandatory test is given to all health care workers, teachers, etc. in order to detect TB antibodies and it ressembles a vaccine injection but anyone who receives that must have the spot examined to determine if there's a reaction, 48-72 hours later.
  3. A professional health care worker in Ontario - RN, RPN, MD - would refuse to administer any kind of injection without the patient's consent.
So it's unlikely to have anything to do with TB and whoever administered it to the detainees was doing so against the ethical rules of their profession, if indeed it was a regulated health care worker.

La Presse and Le Devoir (not available online) have all provided first-person accounts of young Québecois activists who were rounded up in the gymnasium of the University of Toronto and detained for days in the most rudimentary conditions that barely met the standard set by the Geneva Convention for military prisoners.

But no substantiation yet regarding this mystery medical procedure.

So DAMMIT JANET! is asking faithful readers to supply credible information regarding the claim advanced by Mourani, as this is an outrage that should be investigated.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Attack Parrot™© in full bully mode.

After some judicious prodding by the PMO, the conservative Fraser Institute catapulted a senior economist onto the media stage, in order to regurgitate more speaking points.

When asked how they would ensure even representation across different income and ethnic groups on such surveys without reliable long-form data, Veldhuis questioned why those differences would matter.

“This is what should be worrying average Canadians — this information is used by central planners to plan how to tinker with the lives of Canadians,” he said of the ways in which census data is used. [...]

The Fraser Institute uses long-form data in its school report card rankings, Mr. Veldhuis said, but he believes the short-form census — which will remain mandatory — the voluntary census and other polling, market research and voluntary surveys conducted by private companies will provide more than enough data on Canadians.

"Central planners" - is that Con code-speak for policy-shapers who don't cleave to the ReformaTory party line? And by the way, Veldhuis is a flat-taxer and reactionary analyst of the Calgary School mold.

Are those who share the CMAJ perspective set out in a recent editorial also "central planners"?

"It [long-form census questionnaire] provides accurate and reliable data on social trends and issues, including the determinants of health, such as the relationships among income, gender, education, region, work and other factors that influence access to care and health outcomes."

The CMAJ's position is that the elimination of the long census will cause regional institutions to "lose the only accurate information about the populations they serve."

Of course, Stevie Spiteful's goal to create a Canada that conforms to conservative values is not "tinkering". No, it's more political engineering that will shift power and profits to friends of the Conservative party and will exclude those who aren't ideologically aligned.

And that's why Stevie and his bullies, thugs and hooligans don't want evidence of damage their tactics have wrought documented and recorded.

When pesky facts stand in the way of your goals ...

you get rid of them, right?

Stevie Spiteful dreamed of beating the Liberals to a pulp with his Karl Rove tactics. In 2004 he said in 2004 to his supporters, those who bankrolled his drive to power:

"We can create a country built on solid Conservative values, not on expensive Liberal promises, a country the Liberals wouldn't even recognize, the kind of country I want to lead."

Some of those folks are getting really pissed at Stevie right now for his decision (as part of his plan to grind down Stats Canada to a shell of its former status as a credible collector of data) to abolish the long-form census questionnaire.

The top Jewish and Evangelical Christian organizations in Canada have joined the surging wave of opposition to the Conservative government's axing of next year's long census.

The Canadian Jewish Congress and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada have both written to the Conservative cabinet to say they rely heavily on the data from the census in order to serve their faith communities.

Questions on religion are asked on the compulsory census every 10 years and the 2011 census would have been the next opportunity.


There's this too.
In a sharply worded editorial, the Canadian Medical Association Journal accuses the Tories of putting ideology ahead of “evidence-based decision making” and charges the government is taking an “uninformed approach to public policy.”

Solid Conservative values ... a country Liberals - and non-Liberals - won't even recognize ... yes, the picture of the Canada Stevie wants to lead is coming into sharper focus every day he's still controlling the government.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Feet on the Street SATURDAY, July 17

Using the time-honoured tactic of lying misdirection, at least one commenter on the current CBC G20 story is posting the wrong date for the upcoming nationwide solidarity rallies.

It is Saturday, July 17. This Saturday.

Of course, Toronto has the most intense interest in it. Queen's Park, South Lawn, 1 p.m.

Here is a list of rallies in Nelson, St. John's, Ottawa, Vancouver, Niagara Falls, Winnipeg, and Bancroft.

And of course our friends in Quebec are on side: Quebec City
and Montreal.

Rabble has a list of confirmed and pending rallies, including one in the riding of Peterborough held by toad/MP Dean Del Mastro, who is carying the leaky Con can on this file. He said this morning on CBC Radio that a Parliamentary inquiry would be tantamount to a 'kangaroo court'. Really, Dean? This is what you do for a living? Create and attend kangaroo courts?

My disdain for this fat fuck/car salesman knows no bounds.

So. Get yer butt out. No excuses. If we don't put the feet on the street, They win. See, they'll say, Canadians don't care.

Well, yes, we bloody do.

I'm planning to hang out at the western end of the war memorial -- black granite wall thingy. If you see someone who looks like a fern hill (hint, she may be smoking), say hi.

ADDED: London, ON.

Bernier regurgitates Con speaking points about long-form census. (more and more)

Today on Radio-Canada the putative dauphin to the ReformaTory leadership Maxime Bernier mouthed PMO speaking points, 'splaining why the Stats Canada practice of compelling citizens who receive the census long form to fill out the questionnaire is EVIL. (Note: Bernier was Minister of Industry when he first joined Harper's cabinet.)

1. It is a blatant and intrusive invasion of privacy. (The interviewer said that only 3 complaints were filed with the Privacy Commissioner in the last decade. Bernier did not respond to this fact.)

2. There are too many questions, people don't want to fill it out and Harper's New©™ Government gives the people what it wants. Power to the sheeple!!!

3. There are thousands of people (not just with the long form, though) who have said that their spiritual beliefs are informed by the religion of Star Wars. Heathens!!! Why do they hate Canada?

Bernier churlishly added that critics - municipalities, academics, and other "special interest" groups can damn well pay for the research, studies and data they need.

Opposition to yet another ill-advised and capricious Stevie Spiteful decision, here.

Update. Tony Clement's communiqué - which desperately attempts to justify the abolition of the mandatory long-form census - is, as Hill Queeries observes: "full of half-truths, red herrings, misdirection, scaremongering, and a straw man or two".

As for census data users - a wide range of federal, provincial and territorial governments departments, municipalities, non-profit organizations, community groups, academia, private industry (which includes licensed distributors and the media) - their needs were conveyed to Stats Canada during a scheduled consultative process. There's a report here.

Has anyone suggested this may be a Con attempt to undermine Stats Canada and to privatize data collection? Data users could be forced to pay twice and three times as much as Stats Canada charges now (read BCL on that issue) for less consistent/reliable information from profiteers.

It was almost 2 years ago that a MASSIVE poll was run by KLR Vu Research for an anti-abortion group. Perhaps Stevie and his bullies are cancelling our national, exemplary and internationally respected data collection service for the benefit of push-polling outfits owned by ReformaTory benefactors.

More delicious insider info, at Impolitical.

From the Toronto Star:

“Harper does not like StatsCan, that’s what we kept hearing,” according to a longtime employee of the agency. “In particular, he does not like the analytical work we’ve done for years.” The Prime Minister thinks of it as fodder for critics.

Sure enough, it’s the analytical work that he has been decimating. Gone, truncated or privatized are surveys that kept track of pensions and benefits at our places of work; the proportion of our incomes going to housing, vacation, medical expenses to see how well or badly we all were doing; the level of inequality among Canadians; the economic integration of immigrants; and how people with physical and mental disabilities were coping.

“When these surveys were being cut back, the concerned federal departments were told not to comment on how that might muck up their work,” said the source. “They were told to shut up. The message had come from the top.”

Will Harper reverse his decision? Will glass be shattered and furniture smashed, will rugs be chewed and holes gouged in the walls, and will the temp help have to coaxed out from underneath the desks again? Stay tuned.