Saturday, 31 December 2011

Rob Fucking Ford: Strange Man, Strange Family

Rob Fucking Ford is in the news. Again.

Again with the 911 calls and police visits, which brings up two interesting questions:

Who's leaking this stuff to the Star?

And, does the mayor get preferential treatment from the cops?

We may or may not ever learn the answers to those, but I started wondering about the guy's psychology.

Specifically, he's a millionaire but also a lying, classless, buffoon. Yes, of course, millionaires can be lying, classless, buffoons, but wasn't he raised or educated better?

Back in April, 2010, Ford was still talking to the Star and was interviewed by Linda Diebel. The article is titled 'Rob Ford's complicated life'.

First bit of news to me: his father grew up 'dirt poor'.
He talks to the Star on a recent Thursday at Deco Labels & Tags, the Etobicoke company co-founded by his late father, Douglas Ford. He’s chief financial officer and offers a proud tour of a wholly family-owned operation that employs 250 in Toronto, Chicago and New Jersey and does close to $100 million in annual sales.

We’re in an office with a framed photo of his father, former offensive guard for the East York Argos, business leader, philanthropist, Conservative MPP in the Mike Harris government and, to his youngest son, an idol. His dad grew up dirt-poor in the east end, the youngest of nine, leaving school in Grade 5 to help his mother, known to the grandkids as “Big Nana.”

Now listen to him talk about his father:
Ford can’t get over his dad’s death. On July 1, 2006, he announced he had colon cancer. He was dead within three months, at 73. Ford calls it “the worst experience I’ve ever gone through.”

“What did he ever do to anyone? It was so sad to see someone who helped out so many people — he donated millions to the poorest of the poor — have to suffer and die like that. He was just gasping at the end. If you’ve ever heard a death rattle, it’s a ghastly affair.”

A long pause.

“Oh man. It’s rough. Terrible. It makes me upset when I think about it.”

Ford is still seething: “He could have lived a lot longer. There was nothing wrong, you know. . . . All his friends (are) still alive. They’re all 75, like my mom. He just got gypped 10 years and I don’t know why.

“He’s the last guy who deserved to go through what he went through . . . he taught Sunday school . . . There are hardened criminals, murderers, that don’t suffer like he suffered . . . . But, like you said, life’s not fair . . . I just can’t figure it out.”

There is a LOT of unresolved strangeness in there. Seething? Wanting 'hardened criminals' to suffer like his father did?

But wait, there's more.
This family is, to say the least, interesting.

“Like my dad said, ‘Many are called, few are chosen.’ It’s on his tombstone. The Ford family was chosen,” he says.

In a manner of speaking, perhaps.

“Our family has been through everything — from murder to drugs to being successful in business,” he says. “We’ve dealt with the very, very poor and the worst, worst tragedies . . . nobody can tell me a story that can shock.”

He talks about his sister, complaining, “the media never got it straight.”

How’s this for an explanation: “The killer wasn’t her ex-husband, it was an old boyfriend.”

As Ford tells it, Kathy Ford’s first boyfriend was Mike, before she married Jeff and had a daughter.

After divorcing Jeff, she lived six years with Ennio, bearing a son. She left Ennio and went back to Mike, and they rented a cottage up north.

Ford: In 1998, “from what I was told (by the kids), Ennio knocked on the cottage door and Mike answered it and Ennio shot him in the head” with a sawed-off shotgun. Charges were laid; Ennio went to prison for manslaughter.

In 2005, Ford says someone else “shot the top of her head off.” Press reports suggest it was an accident; two men were charged with firearms-related offences.

She’s functioning well, he says, living with her two children and on methadone for her heroin addiction.

“Bizarre, yeah, it’s really bizarre,” he says. “We all backed Kathy 100 percent; maybe what she was doing was wrong, but you don’t just throw people out into the street for doing the wrong stuff.”

I had never heard of anything about the sister, so I went looking. Look what I found from Sun Media in 2008. Toronto councillor Ford up on assault rap.
Outspoken city Councillor Rob Ford has once again landed himself in hot water, this time as he faces assault charges stemming from an alleged domestic incident with his wife.

OK, I knew about that, but again, there's more.
The councillor's family was also in the news after his sister Kathy Ford, then 45, was shot in the head in their childhood home on March 31, 2005.

She survived the shooting, which was later deemed to be accidental. Her boyfriend and another man were charged.

It wasn't the first time Ford's sister was touched by violence. In 1998 Kathy's ex-husband, Ennio Stirpe, used a sawed-off shotgun to kill Kathy's boyfriend, Michael Kiklas. Stirpe was later found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

And now it gets timely. Ennio Stirpe is back in the news again. From December 9 this year:
A sensational attempted-murder case that led Vaughan’s former mayor to decry the justice system two years ago reached its conclusion Friday, with the conviction of Mayor Rob Ford’s onetime brother-in-law in a Newmarket courthouse.

Ennio Stirpe, a serial offender who was once married to Mr. Ford’s sister and later convicted of killing her new boyfriend, had been out of prison for a year when emergency responders found Angela Fantauzzi covered in blood inside his basement apartment on Vaughan’s Harmony Road in the fall of 2009.

He'll be sentenced in January.

Altogether some really weird stuff. Classic low-life shit.

But maybe Rob Fucking Ford is right. The Ford family has been chosen.

To fuck up everything they lay their hands on.

CPC fetus lobby breaking out all over.

First it was Trost.

Then Woodworth.

Now Ambrose. Pay attention to the words used in this superficially supportive message, framed in accordance with reformaTory ideology: "Sex selection feticide denies millions of girls the right to be born merely because they are girls."

Yes, Stevie Spiteful's Contempt Party MPs have received their talking points from his Politburo. They're breaking out all over the Canadian political landscape like boils on the Teflon-dipped butt of their *strong stable majority*.

The spin varies, but the underlying message is the same: the Cons are planning to criminalize a medical intervention.

My co-blogger fern hill, spin spotter extraordinaire.

Friday, 30 December 2011

"My job is to end ... politicians’ careers."

Think about that for a moment.

That was a Rovian statement, with all it implies of dirty tricks, amoral tactics, unlimited resources and murderous intent.

It was said by a guy who is the CEO of a *polling firm* - Campaign Research of course. It appears some legitimate pollsters are rousing themselves from their state of stupified complacency to investigate complaints against this little shit and his odious actions.
From polling methods described as “reprehensible” by the Commons Speaker, to some questionable polling in the federal and provincial elections, Canada’s public-opinion research industry has faced its share of controversy in the past year.

One big test case is looming immediately — an investigation by the Market Research Intelligence Association into the activities of the polling firm Campaign Research, which conducted a survey in the Montreal riding of Liberal MP Irwin Cotler that earned a slap from Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer.

If MRIA finds that the firm breached its standards — a charge that Campaign Research vigorously denies — this would be a first for the Canadian polling industry.

The call for stricter measures on how polls are conducted and reported is coming from some leading pollsters, who worry that the credibility of their business is getting dragged down by lax or controversial standards in Canada.

“I’m a little disgusted; no, make that a lot disgusted,” says Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos, who wrote an open letter to Canadian journalists last fall, warning of the growth of sketchy practices in political polling.
Too little, too late.

Sincere Ignorance

This story was all over Twitter yesterday. Here is the Globe report today.
Chris Jones had a very bad day yesterday, and he's not going to feel much better about things today.

The Port Hope, Ont. writer recently landed a gig as the back page columnist for ESPN Magazine, a U.S.-based sports magazine that does about 2-million copies every two weeks. That's the good part.

The bad part is that his fourth column - which was released online yesterday but lands in newsstands today - uses the term "Montreal Massacre Part II" to refer to the management antics of Jeff Loria, the owner of the Florida Marlins baseball team.

"Stadiums have never saved cities," Mr. Jones writes, comparing the Marlins’ plans to build a new stadium to Mr. Loria’s thwarted attempts to move out of the Big O when he was the owner of the Montreal Expos. "In fact, you're about to witness the Montreal Massacre, Part II, only on a far grander, even more heartbreaking scale."
. . .

There's also this unfortunate line in the column about the former Expos mascot: "I had the misfortune of covering his murder of the Expos; I'll never forget the sound Youppi! made, begging for his giant orange life."

Jones discovered his howler from Twitter, and he says, 'broke into a cold sweat'. I watched as he responded and he certainly seemed sincere in his horror at the mistake.

The online version has been amended, with an apology attached. But the print version hits newsstands today.

His excuse is that he was 15 years old living in Australia at the time of the Ecole Polytechnique executions.

But commenters have pointed out that he went to university at Bishop's, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, not long after.

Did the event not impinge on the young future sports writer?

Seems not.

Despite what Kady O'Malley tweeted yesterday, I do think he deserves to be known forever as 'That Guy Who Heartlessly Mocked The Montreal Massacre In A Sports Column'.

Or at least as a prime example of 'Wot? Me Worry?'

(Predictably, the comments on the Globe story are full of 'honest mistake, get over it, lefty wimps', etc.)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

We don't need another hero.

Former Canadian Armed Forces general Roméo Dallaire however he might meet all the requirements of a hero, eschews the label.

Nonetheless, this admirable man expresses awe for young Canadians, in particular ...
We are entering an era where the revolution in communications is empowering the under-25s and they're able to start realizing that they can coalesce in real-time around the world. They’re also getting more information about what's going on around them, whether they want it or not, because it's all being punched out every minute,” he says, adding that their power extends beyond protests.

“The 2.9 million votes that they represent (in Canada) have never been used and there are MPs who are elected with less than 50 votes. That means one class out of a political science course at U of T could have gone and voted and there would have been a different result at the end. So they hold the balance of power in our democracy with that vote.”

Dallaire notes that the politicization of Canada’s youth hit a tipping point last summer when Parliamentary page Brigette DePape held up her 'Stop Harper' sign during the throne speech.

“The gesture of that young page in the Senate has got to be one of the most significant expressions of opinion of that generation of under-25s has yet seen in this country. You've got all the Senators, all the MPs, the Governor-General, you've got the Prime Minister, the Chief of Defence staff, the Superintendent of the RCMP, all the Justices of the Supreme Court, you've got the whole gallery, you've got the whole country's media in this incredibly decorous room and she goes and walks in the middle of that, very stoically, and puts her sign up, turns around and shows her sign to the other gallery and then is escorted away. No screaming, no yelling, (just) enormous dignity.”

From here.

Grand merci to impolitical whose tweet provided me with a link.

Trends for 2012: 'Sleep Sex'

Twitter is alllll over this incredibly asinine bit of 'advice' from The Star's Ellie.
Q: My husband said that while I was fast asleep one night he had intercourse with me. He thinks it’s acceptable since I’m his wife. I feel it’s almost the same as rape. It’s my right to go to sleep and know nothing will happen to me. I should be able to feel safe.

To do that without a person’s consent while they are unaware surely can’t be right. What do you think?

Curious

A: If having “sleep sex” with your husband feels so unsafe, you have bigger marital problems going on. This is what you should be dealing with, more than this one incident.

Let's clarify, shall we? In late 2011, non-consensual sex, once known as rape or sexual assault, is now 'sleep sex'.

Taking bets on a retraction/clarification from Ellie. . .

Oh look. There's her email address: ellie @ thestar.ca.

ADDED: Ellie didn't coin 'sleep sex'; she just misused it.

UPDATE: Ellie apologizes.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

"Not intended to be a factual statement" ...

is a seven word expression for a lie.

It originated with the flunkey who was sent out to defend US Senator Jon Kyl's very public bald-faced lie,
an outright fabrication that abortion was "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does," a claim which a number of fact-checking organizations pointed out was drastically overstated; in reality, the figure is more like three percent.

Here in Canada, Contempt Party government ministers lie routinely; from Cashmere Tony to Airshow MacKay, the outrageous lies Cons spin to cover their corruption and their malfeasance never stop.

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


Go directly to Dred Tory: Season's Creepings. Read it.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Con Jobs are planning to criminalize abortion - again.

Yesterday, picking up on the posts here at DJ! about Contempt Party MP Stephen Woodworth, DrDawg produced an important overview of the Con Jobs' ongoing attempts to re-criminalize abortion.

It's interesting that the reformaTory tacticians did not choose to include the first shot across that bow in their new Hard-On Crime omnibus bill C-10. After all, they could have bludgeoned yet again Parliamentary tradition to pass it without debate.

Ah, but you see, the Contempt Party's overweening arrogance requires a game plan that reframes reality. In accordance with their ideological premise, it's called "re-opening the abortion debate".

As Beijing York points out:
They are also repackaging/rebranding broad cuts to services, pensions and social safety nets as "austerity measures".

And let's not forget the rebranding of "preemptive war" to "humanitarian intervention".

You know that they must be grooming one of their few female caucus members to run with whatever they come up with. That's one of their favourite tactics regarding any legislation that directly impacts women.
To which I responded:
That is a brilliant flash of insight into the Con tactics cesspool.

Let's try to deduce who that'll be. Likely Rona Ambrose unless it's Leona Aglukkak if they approach it as a *medical and scientific problem* - at least that's what it appears to be from the 3 talking points Stevie's Politburo has provided to Woodworth.

You're right. The Contempt Party will hang that political albatross around the neck of one of their female ministers.
Earlier posts about the Con game plan and Woodworth's role: here and here.

A Canada you won't recognize

Eventually I'll write a post today for DJ! but in the interim, go read Dave at The Galloping Beaver: Y'know, I have never voted so someone could tell me what to do.

If that doesn't get pepper up your nose, I don't know what would.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Homophobia is alive and festering in the US.

When is a kiss not just a kiss?


The photo above and an article about US armed forces personnel was greeted with the predictable nasty and murderous reactions from zealot christianists and vile bigots.

Tut, tut. What would Jesus do?

He might say something along the lines of this letter from the managing editor of The Seattle Times.
Dear XXX

I’m sorry that you found the photo on today’s front page offensive. That was not our intention. We selected the photo because it depicted an historic moment for the U.S. military, vividly illustrating the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era in a striking twist on the Navy’s “first kiss” tradition.

As you know, treatment of gay and lesbian members of the U.S. military has been hotly debated for years, including at military installations around the Puget Sound region. As politicians and military leaders argued, the effect on individual soldiers and sailors sometimes got lost. This photo, which both our picture and news editors described as iconic, showed what the policy change meant at street level.

Part of our responsibility as a news organization is to reflect the reality around us, even if it might make some readers uncomfortable. We do not make those decisions lightly. We debated how and where to use this picture extensively. In the end, we felt the historic nature of the photo merited front page treatment.

While you may not agree with this decision, I hope this explanation helps you understand it. We were not trying to push a political agenda. We were trying to show the real-world effect of a political change of policy.

I hope you will reconsider your decision to cancel the paper. Just as we value lively debates in our newsroom about how to display news, we value lively debates with our readers about whether they think we’re doing a good job. We need readers like you who care enough to call us to account when you don’t think we’re doing our jobs well. It keeps us on our toes and helps inform the choices we make going forward.

Sincerely,
Kathy Best
Managing Editor, The Seattle Times

Oink, Oink, Oink: Cons are entitled to their entitlements!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks away following a television interview with Mike Duffy in Ottawa in February 2007.

At the rate it's going, the Contempt Party may soon set a record for the most patronage appointments ever produced by a leader who once railed at, and denounced the practice.

Con-gratulations, Stevie! Long live irony and reformaTory greediness.

The Sixth Estate has been valiantly trying to keep up with Stevie's largesse with the public purse.


The most recent rash of appointments is intended to keep defeated Con candidates well fatted and to reward the party faithful who expect and hope one day they'll be snuffling in the trough alongside Larry Smith and Josée Verner.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Will Woodworth be smacked-down by Stevie's Politburo?

Yesterday fern hill posted this about Contempt Party MP Stephen Woodworth's attempt to re-open the abortion *debate* in Canada.

As things stand now, health care practitioners provide abortions to women who choose to terminate their own life-threatening or unwanted pregnancies.

Zygote zealots and fetus lobbyists want to change that - they want the government to dictate the terms of this medical intervention.

Ironic isn't it? When it comes to allowing a total free-for-all - with regard to gun ownership - the Cons support libertarian rights. No government meddling or gawdfersake us, registration of weaponry, much of it not designed for mere duck hunting.

In spite of MASSIVE obfuscation by the mini NRA lobby (Canadian chapter) that claims it's all about sportsmanship, marksmanship and skills, the gawdgiven right to end life seems pretty evident with regard to the unbridled possibility of owning objects whose only purpose is killing or inflicting serious injury.

Abortion however ... a woman's right to end a pregnancy?

Can you hear the fetus lobbyists shrieeeeek MURDER?

And Con MP Woodworth is their mouthpiece, it seems. He keeps re-framing his *Q* to imply that prochoice advocates do not consider fetus to be human. Well, duh. If it's inside a woman's uterus, what else could it be?

On Radio-Canada today, Hélène Buzzetti pointed out that the Contempt Party caucus is completely muzzled - or provided with speaking points - by Stevie's Politburo on every single issue except for ... abortion.

And yet, Buzzetti claims that Laureen Harper made her spouse promise that the Cons would not challenge a woman's right to choose.

Ha! Well now the ConJobs have their *Strong Stable Majority* and Stevie owes nothing to Laureen who provided his election campaign with the required ideologically expedient photo op.

The New Normal

What do you call something that one in three women experiences? Oh look, my thesaurus is handy.

Let's see: 'common, prevalent, ordinary, average. . .'

How about normal?

A group in Cleveland, Ohio, has a started a campaign to destigmatize abortion.
We are here to create a new and positive conversation about abortion in the lives of American women. We are sponsored by a clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and our activities are based in this area for the time being, but we are open to the stories of all women. We invite you to join us.

They cite some stats about just how prevalent abortion is.
Imagine what will happen if just a small fraction of us who have been impacted by abortion begin to break the silence! We will…

•Help women who have had abortions to not feel so alone.

•Begin to end the shame and secrecy that surrounds abortion in this country.

•Help people see abortion for what it is: a normal and necessary part of women’s reproductive lives and health.

Well, natch that 'normal' bit has got the Fetus Lobby's collective panties in a twist.

LifeShite sniffs:
This much seems apparent, that if something is normal it needs no justification. As far as I am aware, there are few parades in support of sleeping, falling in love or eating bread, and fewer websites in flagrant support of wearing clothes. Normal things are either self-evidently normal, or they ain’t normal.

Hate to quibble with the august LifeShite, but yes, indeed, there are parades to celebrate falling in love.

They look like this.



My Abortion My Life has the dough to run bus and kiosk ads for which they are predictably taking some shit. We at DJ! wish them good luck and hope that it spreads throughout the Benighted States.


Image: 2011 Pride Toronto parade

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Absotively ^NOT about abortion

Aaaaand. . . . we're off!

David Akin's got the goods.
MP Stephen Woodworth calls for another look at Canada’s 400 Year Old Law

A recent poll disclosed that 80% of Canadians believe that Canadian law protects the fundamental human rights of children before birth in the later stages of gestation.

In fact, the opposite is true. Canadian law provides no human rights protection whatsoever for children before the moment of complete birth. This results from an unusual Canadian statute which defines a human being as a child who has completely proceeded in a living state from the mother’s body, whether or not the child has breathed. This means that in Canada a child is legally considered to be sub-human while his or her little toe remains in the birth canal, even if he or she is breathing.

This law was first formulated prior to the seventeenth century, when an early version of it was recorded in Coke’s Institutes of Law. In those times, medical science and principles of human rights were not sufficiently advanced to challenge such a law.

The important question is whether this 400 year old Canadian law is supported by 21st century medical science and principles of human rights. Perhaps Canadians should at least examine this question. MP Stephen Woodworth proposes that Parliament has a responsibility to lead that examination.

I checked him out with the Fetus Lobby.

Surprise! He's a fetus fetishist.
If elected, will you strive to introduce and pass laws to protect unborn children from the time of conception (fertilization) onward? Yes.

If elected, would you support all legislative or policy proposals that would result in a meaningful increase of respect and protection for unborn human life? Yes.

Are there any circumstances under which you believe a woman should have access to abortion? (note: Medical treatments to save the life of a mother and which result in the UNINTENDED death of her unborn child, are NOT abortions. Eg. in case of tubal pregnancy or cervical cancer) No.

Rating: Pro-life, pro-family

He's a lawyer, former Catholic school trustee.

And gets two thumbs up on his pertinent voting record. Solidly anti-choice, including his vote for the Stringing the Fetus Fetishists Along Bill, aka Roxanne's Law.

Now, don't worry your purty little heads, ladies. This has noting, zip, zero, nada to do with abortion. Not atall atall.

ADDED: Globe story.

ADDED: The Fetus Lobby has begun to weigh in.

Mrozek and our pals at ARPA where I found the interesting information about Tim Hudak's intention to defund abortion in Ontario.

Yet to hear from: LifeShite and SUZY ALLCAPSLOCK.

ADDED: There's SUZY.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

oh, Jesus!

Virgin Mary billboard sparks outrage in New Zealand

As longtime and faithful (ahem) readers of DAMMIT JANET! know, I have a strange fascination with Mary, allegedly the mother of Jesus whilst still a Virgin. I've blogged The virgin, the angel and choice as well as The Incarnating Game in this regard.

My co-blogger has bestowed a most delightfully seasonal gift upon me: this.
The large poster outside St Matthew's in the City, a prominent Anglican church in Auckland, was designed by an advertising agency and depicts Mary in the style of a classical Renaissance painting.

A caption competition on the church's website has already drawn some questionable responses.

Suggestions include "Yay! I hope it's a girl," "Now, which way to the abortion clinic?" and "If I say I'm a virgin, mum and dad won't kill me."
A densely written comment that reads as though it was written by a kiwi John "Vatican Taliban & TubeSox Holocaust" Pacheco captures in a nutshell why fundamentalist right-wing religious zealots reject rationality and science.


UPDATE (fh): You knew this was going to happen. Nutbar attacks poster with scissors. Montreal Simon has the story.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Cesaria

Obrigada.



A veritable inspiration in so many ways, Cesaria Evora performed at the Ottawa Jazz Fest in 2003, if I recall correctly.

A quiet presence on stage, Evora's voice was a sensuous bridge that traversed centuries and continents, connecting people through the power of emotion and music.

Poor Tim Tebow

Poor Tim Tebow. First, the sane people mocked his on-field sanctimony.

Now they're using his success as a fundraiser for pro-choice organizations.

Abortion Gang started it.
A few years back, the-best-person-and-football-player-on-the-planet, Tim Tebow, the savior from The University of Florida, Heisman Trophy winner, 2010 number 25 draft pick, and now savior quarterback for the Denver Broncos, made a commercial. That in and of itself isn’t that surprising, pro-athletes make commercials for all sorts of reasons. Except he wasn’t selling football gear, he was selling anti-choice propaganda. In his commercial (funded by Focus on the Family) he reminded everyone that his mother was a missionary whose life was threatened by her pregnancy – or more specifically, the pregnancy that would turn into the child who would become the man who would become Tim Tebow.

You know, because every abortion eliminates a talented football player. Or Albert Einstein. Or something.

Here's the call:
So here is my solution, and if you’re a sports fan that also thinks women should be able to do what they want, when they want, and how they want it with their uteri, you can join in this too. For every touchdown Tebow throws next week (when the Broncos play against another famous QB, Tom Brady) , donate $5 or $10 to your local pro-choice organization. If the Broncos make the playoffs (I haven’t checked if that’s even a possibility at this point), I plan to continue the pledge.

I figure this is indeed the best way to enjoy football, support Tim Tebow (more touchdowns, mannn!!!), and give , give, give to pro-choice organizations earning little to no glory, yet desperately in need of funds.

(Yes, some of us feminazis *ahem* are sports fans.)

It's all over the place. Gone 'viral'? Who knows? Pro-choice bloggers are on it.

Jezebel:
No word on how much money the 10 For Tebow project will raise; Tebow's only scored 10 touchdowns so far this season. Maybe more money would be raised for pro-choice causes if we all agreed to donate $10 every time Tebow strikes his famous pose. On second thought, scratch that. We'd all go broke.

When the Fetus Lobby clued in today, Big Nurse Jill Stanek's blog, or as JJ styled it,
Stanek's Floating Fetus Amniotic Juice Bar & Mobile Marine Tuneup, is quivering with a gleeful call to Twitter War!
So pro-lifers unite! Let’s take over the #10forTebow hashtag – beginning today! Use that hashtag for all your tweets. And watch the Broncos/Patriots tomorrow, December 18, at 4:15p EST and note your $10 donation at #10forTebow!

Fetus Lobbyists are whooping it up! They're WINNING!

But no! The sane people are fighting back. Someone has scored the @10forTebow handle and promises a 10fortebow website coming soon.

UPDATE: Now on the #10fortebow twitter stream, suggestions are being made for pro-choice donations. Here are some Canadian outfits. Planned Parenthood Ottawa, defunded -- along with a bunch of other women's groups -- by newly neo-con United Way. Or Planned Parenthood New Brunswick, aka Kansas of the North. List of PPs across Canada here. Not surprisingly, there isn't one in PEI. Pro-choicers there are just now getting their shit together. If someone knows of a group, add it to comments and I'll put it up here.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Campaign Research = proudly fabricating nasty s**t for Cons.

I read this Toronto Star piece from Noah Richler about the Contempt Party candidates' connection with Campaign Research and its CEO Nick Kouvalis.
[...]the dubious pollster hit the big time by making a specialty of small lies with our present abundance of overly comfortable politicians who will resort to just about anything in their majority glee. This Tory axis, partying over summer barbecues in Rob Ford’s backyard, is such a collection of bullies that moral indignation just won’t do. How could it, when Jason Kenney, never resisting the chance to rally the mob, will always supersede it?
Doesn't Kouvalis seem to embody the very kind of lampoonish caricature that Sacha Baron Cohen should add to his rogues' gallery?

Unfortunately he's a real backroom bully egging the other Con bullies on, and laughing all the way to the bank.

Addendum: This is what Harper's reformaTory government is doing.

Meanwhile, Chantal Hébert scolds the media for failing to scrutinize Layton's health. Say ... Chantal - perhaps it's more urgent to examine the mental health issues of the sociopath currently running our country rather than poring over Jack's death certificate?


ADDED by fh: Go read Alison at Creekside. Now. Disgusting but unsurprising.

Your Compassionate Conservatism at Work

'Tis the season yadayada. . .

This is the time of the year I do my charitable donations. Not because of any seasonal sentiment, but because it's only at the end of the year that a freelancer knows how much she can afford.

So I was doing that and thinking about all the cuts that have been made and will be made by various levels of nasty governments, necessitating more of us ponying up more to try to mitigate the harm done to the most vulnerable here and elsewhere in the world.

Then I heard that CBC Radio had held its annual day-long Sounds of the Season fundraiser for local food banks yesterday. It was announced that a record $230,000 in cash and around 15,000 pounds of food have been donated so far. (The campaign runs to the end of the month. You can donate here.)

Good. Might help ease the sting of the Grinchy cut to the city's Christmas Bureau.

Here's what the our measly $125,000 DID.
Since 1956, the Christmas Bureau has coordinated the distribution of gifts and donations to thousands of children and their families in Toronto annually. Employment and Social Services is proud to partner with Toronto Fire Services, CHUM Christmas Wish and the Toronto Star to make this possible.

The Christmas Bureau:
• Co-ordinates the distribution of Toronto Star Gift Boxes to children 12 years of age or younger whose families are receiving social assistance.
• Provides a referral and information service to people receiving social assistance and low income families living in Toronto.
• Connects individual and corporate donors to appropriate agencies.
• Co-ordinates the distribution of gifts to community agencies to give out to low income families. To do this, the Christmas Bureau works closely with CHUM Christmas Wish and the Toronto Fire Services.

Cut.

Yabbut, yabbut, compassionate conservatives don't loathe poor people; they just think that private charity should do all that kinder, gentler stuff.

I looked around for local charitable efforts, especially sponsored by media outlets because, you know, that's a great way to get the word out, viz CBC.

The Toronto Star is running its annual Santa Claus fund with a goal this year of $1.6 million (almost $1.3 million raised as of now).

The local CTV station does 'Toy Mountain' every year.

I had a quick look but couldn't find anything from Global TV.

Then I went looking for what the Toronto Sun might be doing. On its home page, it's got a link to Variety Village, but it goes directly to that organization's home page. Seemingly no promotion other than a link. (They are promoting the
Molson Coors Drink Responsible [sic] Contest
though.)

Looked some more and found this.
So I’m sitting here getting depressed reading how Canadians are giving less and less to charity.

Donations are at a 30-year low, says Statistics Canada.

It’s the economy, right? Or we’re too busy. We gave last year. We’re taking the kids to Disney World. Granny needs new teeth. The cat just had kittens. The locusts ate our crops. The tornado...

Myriad reasons, all good. But it’s worrisome, since 80% of charity comes from you and me, not big corporations.

So I’m down in the dumps — as I get set to launch my 2011 Christmas Fund for Variety Village.

Oh. The Christmas Fund for Variety Village is the work, not of the Sun Empire, but one columnist. Gracious of them to let him use valuable corporate assets to do it, doncha think?

Now you're wondering what Fox News North Sun News Network is doing for the Giving Season, aren't you?

Zip. That I could find.

But Big City Lib has the Xmas message the corp has for its staff. Wage freeze for 2012.

No compassionate conservatism from those lying vultures, it seems.

But here's a heartwarming antidote. Mysterious donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts.

Of course I sit ready to be corrected if someone has news of any effort by FNN.


h/t for the Kmart story to godammitkitty.

What's the opposite of having an abortion, Fetus Lobby?

Previously on DAMMIT JANET! the world of girls' beauty pageants collided with the parallel universe of Fetus Lobby, here.

Now we have this:
Katie, mother of competitors Bob and Riley (6 and 5, respectively), who is best summed up by this quote: “When I was pregnant and I found out I was having a boy, I was quite upset because I actually had the children so that we could do the pageants.”
This mendacious justification for breeding is to pro-choice folks what Sarah Palin's consideration of abortion as an option may be to zygote zealots and fetus fetishists.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Compare and contrast

niqab-1












As fern hill pointed out here and also here, Jason "Vatican Taliban" Kenney's self-righteous little shrieeek about the niqab was an opportunity to attack the Charter of Rights. It was as well a dog-god-whistle to their reformaTory islamophobic base supporters as well as a CPC-engineered media diversion away from *Airshow* MacKay.

PHOTO: This image released by Time Magazine shows the Person of the Year issue featuring "The Protester.", Dec. 14, 2011.

Funny, isn't it? Especially when you consider who are those who completely cover their faces - and routinely remove their badges - in the exercice of their roles during *Security Theatre* multi-million dollars performances.



It's why we call Contempt Party members Con Jobs.

Addendum: Read Tabatha Southey's thoughtful piece about women's right to choose how to clothe oneself and what those choices communicate.

Peter "I'm Entitled to My Entitlements" MacKay

Yesterday on Twitter two of the sharpest political observers called the current run of CPC-engineered *media declarations* what it is: PR tactics deliberately launched to change the channel and divert the public focus away from the lying Con liar Peter MacKay and his lies in the House of Commons.

Well. It looks as though the 1500 or so propaganda flunkies appointed by PMSHithead's Politburo will be working overtime at Xmas, spinning fake news stories to distract attention away from this:
According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, hotel bills show that Peter MacKay spent $1,452 a night for two nights at a top-end Munich hotel, and $770 a night for three nights in Istanbul, The Canadian Press reports. His staff reportedly had rooms at the same Munich hotel for $276 a night during February of 2010 after a NATO meeting in Turkey.
Meretricious and profligate with our taxes, those Cons are.

Bruce Carson, anyone?

Addendum: Kady O'Malley's post on this.

Grand merci to Joel Duff and Ian Capstick, for their ongoing media vigilence.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Today's Top Fetus Lobby Comment

Today, there are two -- count 'em -- stories in the NatPo on welfare-mom, anti-choice-poster-granny Linda Gibbons.

In each one she is depicted as a martyr who has suffered enough/been oppressed for her cause.

(The occasion is the hearing of her case by the Supreme Court today.)

As is not unusual, I'm on deadline but waiting for client to get back to me with info vital to my getting the fuck on with it.

In short, I'm kinda stuck at my 'puter.

So I posted a comment on each, then got into it with a couple of fetus fetishists. I also posted a link to that old DJ! post at the top.

On the second one, by Dan Gurney, the discussion seems a bit more rational for some reason. Yet, when I remarked that the NatPo had two stories on this pathetic person today, I got this in reply:
Fern I love your arguments. They are as empty as befits an airhead. Your mother should have aborted you and saved the state money on wasted education. I know you will take this as a compliment as a flappy collection of fetal material. Hitler was perhaps right, worthless human beings should be exterminated. I trust you would be first in the queue.

Oh and if this post offends you, trusting you understand it, go back and read that vile blog you referenced. I know you will treat this post with the same sense of amusement

Calling my blogpost vile while wishing me exterminated, with Hitler thrown in for good measure.

The day is still young, but I'm calling this one FTW!

UPPITY-DATE: Apparently, NatPo called it for the win too. It's been deleted. That link takes you to the article. My comment and the reply both gone.

MORE UPPITY-DATE: My bad. All comments are gone.

More on stripping women . . .

Speaking of forcibly stripping women. . .

Sheema Khan writes eloquently about this week's Bright Shiny Thing -- barring niqab-wearing women from taking the Canadian citizenship oath.

She winds up with an anecdote that some may not have heard.
Inas Kadri had her niqab torn off by a woman in a Mississauga mall in the summer of 2010. The incident did not shake her faith in Canada. Rather, she re-evaluated her role as a citizen: “Living with people in this society, I think I should work harder to educate people about my religion.” Fellow niqabi Sana Mutawi summed it up best: “We want our kids to be brought up in an understanding community, so they will be good citizens.”

Hate the niqab all you want. But banning it is not a Canadian value.

More than that, banning something helps to demonize the custom or the wearers, enabling pointless violence in suburban malls.

And speaking of pointless, spiteful violence. . .

OccupyMelbourne protesters had camped out in a park. Told that was against the law, a few cheeky buggers decided to wear their tents as clothing.

That was a bit much for the bully-boys. This happened on December 5. Watch.




Ban, demonize, harass, it's all good, when you are in charge of keeping the uppity [insert derogatory epithet] down.

Those Pesky Rights Thingies

When barbarians invade our legislatures and pass rights-crushing laws, our only recourse is the courts.

In the US, ReThuglicans have been merrily enacting laws intended, at the very least, to chip away at women's reproductive rights, and in the cases of 'heartbeat' laws to confront Roe v. Wade directly.

But some ReThugs may be having second thoughts about the astronomical costs of defending them in the courts. Especially since they usually lose on constitutional grounds.
As Republican-majority legislatures this year have passed new limits on abortion, some states are now paying mounting cots for litigation as those laws are challenged on constitutional and other grounds. The American Civil Liberties Union has promised to sue if the [Ohio] heartbeat bill passes.

The article goes on to detail some of the costs already incurred and funds being set up to defend new laws.

Naturally, the Fetus Lobby is unfazed by millions of taxpayer dollars blown on indefensible attempts to infringe on women's rights.

One goes further -- blaming the victims.
Mary Kay Culp, state executive director at Kansans for Life, noted that no state money would have to be spent if groups like Planned Parenthood didn't sue.

Bad Planned Parenthood! Bad American Civil Liberties Union! Forcing states to pony up to protect the fantasies of the Fetus Lobby!

And of course, as any Canadian CBC-hater will tell you, using ALL taxpayers' money. Even those who don't agree!

Meanwhile, in the formerly sane country now known as Harperland, Jason (Promoter of Vatican Sharia) Kenney is handling this week's Bright Shiny Thing File with his proposal to strip niqab-wearing women.

Is he worried about legal consequences?

Heck, no.
Speaking on CHQR, a Calgary-based Conservative radio show Monday morning, Mr. Kenney said he isn’t worried about legal objections to the ban.

“I’m sure they’ll trump up some stupid Charter of Rights challenge. That’s democracy. They’re welcome to object,” he told host Dave Rutherford.

Not only 'bad' Charter of Rights. 'STUPID' Charter of Rights.

This is how the 1% thinks of the rest of us. Bad and stupid when we try to assert and defend our rights.

The only way I can think of to fight back is to donate to the fighters.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Pronatalism in Israel?



From the Jerusalem Post, a straightforward account of falling abortion rates in Israel.
The rate of legal abortions in Israel – among the lowest when compared to the countries of Western Europe for both women under 20 and women over 35 – has declined since 2000 after being steady from 1995 until then.

This emerges from the abortion report issued by the Health Ministry for publication on Monday. The report does not explain the reasons for these trends.

Details of the numbers follow, then:
But when The Jerusalem Post suggested that it could be a result of the decline in aliya [immigration of Jews to Israel] and the aging of women who arrived from the former Soviet Union – where abortions were widely used instead of contraception – and the improved access to birth control among these immigrants – ministry official Dr. Yoram Lotan said it “sounded very logical.”

Now, another story on the same topic from a source I'd never seen before, Israel Today.
Israel Today has written several times before about how Israel has an abortion problem. Since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, more than one-and-a-half million babies have been aborted - more than the number of Jewish children killed in the Holocaust. Going by current birth rates, had those children been allowed a chance at life, there could be 5-10 million more Israelis today.

Alarm bells going off? Specifically the 'demographic winter' aka 'THEY-are-outbreeding-US!' SHRIEEEEK alarm?

Israel Today notes and dismisses the JPost's 'very logical' supposition for the causes of falling abortion rates and instead points to the work of 'a handful of pro-life organizations'.
One of those organizations is the Messianic-run Be'ad Chaim (Hebrew for "Pro Life"). With centers around the country, Be'ad Chaim is able to provide assistance and teaching to hundreds of women who may otherwise have aborted their children every year.

While the work of Be'ad Chaim and other such organizations may only be scratching the surface of Israel's abortion problem, it is making a difference. The latest Ministry of Health report revealed that women with a higher education or from better socioeconomic conditions are already far less likely to have an abortion today. Most abortions today are performed on mothers with low socioeconomic status, or, in other words, crisis pregnancies, the very ones being targeted by Be'ad Chaim and others.

Hoookay, crisis pregnancy centres in Israel.

So what is Be'ad Chaim?
Be’ad Chaim (Pro Life) is a registered Israeli non-profit
organization dedicated to the protection of mothers and unborn children. (Registered in 1989) We are a national organization with offices and Hotlines throughout Israel. All women are eligible for our assistance, regardless of nationality or religious beliefs.

We have no reason to doubt that last bit, but . . .

Next, what the heck is Messianic Judaism? (That link comes with a warning: 'Article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed.')
Messianic Judaism is a syncretic religious movement that arose in the 1960s and 70s.It blends evangelical Christian theology with elements of Jewish terminology and ritual.

Our next question is posed by Israel Today.
Israel Today: How many Messianic Jews are in Israel today?

Asher Intrater: When we speak of Messianic Jews in Israel, we are speaking of people who are Jewish and Israeli citizens and who believe in Yeshua as their messiah. This is the Messianic Remnant, and it numbers about 15,000. In addition, there are many Arabs who believe in Yeshua, and there are many international Christians who make their home here.

Are we creeped out yet?

I went looking for other Israeli anti-choice organizations and found EFRAT.
Efrat is an Israeli pro-life group which tries to convince Jewish women not to perform an abortion. To this end, the organization distributes explanatory materials and offers economic aid to pregnant women considering abortion.

Let's see what it has to say about itself.
Since 1977, EFRAT has saved over 34,000 children. Through a combination of education and economic assistance, EFRAT has helped establish a new generation of Jewish families.

Hm. Not quite so non-denominational. . . But to its credit, there's little of the USian-style lies and fear-mongering. No links between abortion and mental health and/or breast cancer, for example.

So, what the heck is going on here?

Last week, deBeauxOs blogged on the Israeli Ministry of Immigration Absorption's campaign to discourage Israelis from marrying or befriending American Jews for fear of losing their identity.

Taken together, it sure seems some Israelis are flirting with notions of nativism and pronatalism.

They really want to go there?

I'm definitely creeped out.

(Gee. Look where I found that image from 'Demographic Winter'. Yup, Big Nurse Jill Stanek's. Quelle surprise.)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Songs of the Season



We've posted this and this to mark the *festive* season at DJ!

The above, in honour of the Occupy Movement, seems appropriate this year.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Fetus Lobby FAILS Science




Yesterday I tweeted thus:
Any real scientists care to comment on bad, biased science published in reputable journals? http://bit.ly/ruvHXV I'm thinking @pzmyers

The link goes to Jim Coyne's lambasting of Priscilla Coleman that I blogged about here.

Well, looky here. PZ Myers writes 'Bad science in the British Journal of Psychiatry'. He quotes the wacky stats from Coleman's 'study', including 'nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be attributable to abortion'.
Those numbers are so extravagantly extreme that there ought to be alarm bells going off in your head right now, and the research had better be darned thorough and unimpeachably clean.

As it turns out, it isn't.

But, but, but. . . . It was published in what the Fetus Lobby is calling a 'prestigious' scholarly journal. So we can assume then that her conclusions are valid, yes?
Obviously, you can't assume that. This is a case where the editors and reviewers failed to do their jobs, and that happens way too often…and now this study has been thoroughly politicized and is being touted by the anti-abortion wackaloons to argue that abortion must be banned…for the good of the women. Which is probably one of the few times they've given a damn about the women involved.

Stay tuned. Jim Coyne shows up in the comments, promising more on Lyin' Priscilla next week.

Image source and good site, Bad Science.

Friday, 9 December 2011

PMSHithead sure knows how to negotiate!


She nails it. Eh.

Dept of Duh: Abortion Does NOT Raise Mental Health Risk.

Here we go again. From the Department of Duh.

No. Abortion does not raise mental health risk.
Abortion does not raise the risk of a woman suffering mental health problems, a major review by experts concludes.

Data from 44 studies showed women with an unwanted pregnancy have a higher incidence of mental health problems in general.

This is not affected by whether or not they have an abortion or give birth.

It is the unwanted pregnancy that is the stressor. NOT the abortion.

While this particular study was undertaken a few years ago, the (non)issue was raised recently with the publication in a 'scholarly' journal of more bullshit from the usual suspects, in this case our pal, Priscilla Coleman.
Recalibrate your SHRIIEEEEK-o-meters! Abortion increases your risk of insanity by 81% !!!!!!11! Or even by 230%!!!1!!!1

The American Psychological Association has debunked this one over and over and over.

Here's a real scientist demolishing Coleman's methodology.

And here he is again taking the editors of the journal to task for shirking some pretty big responsibilities in her case.

He has a list of nine bullet points of 'non-controversial criteria' that should have been considered in accepting her piece of dreck paper for publication, ending with:
Conflicts of interest and sources of support were not acknowledged. The serious conflict of interest is that Coleman and one of her co-authors have gone on record strongly opposing women's right to choose to have an abortion and to try to instill fear in women by raising concerns about mental health effects. Readers should have been made aware of these statements.

Coleman and her gang's GLARING conflict of interest has been well known since 2007.

Can we stop taking these nutters seriously now? Please?

Nah, I didn't think so.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Tebowing for Dummies

Tim (The Un-Laid and Un-Aborted) Tebow is something of a fave here at DJ!.

American Talibaners love him for his glurgey, hey-mom-look-at-me Xianity.

But now, some meanies are mocking his sanctimonious football-field displays. Waaaaahhh!

Watch.



Tebowing is an attack on Xianity!!!!!!
“Tebowing,” should the term be unfamiliar, takes its name from another quarterback, current Denver Broncos play caller Tim Tebow. More specifically, the term designates the now-viral mockery of his habit of kneeling down and bowing his head after a touchdown to commune with his God.

As Foster writes with more than a hint of indignation, Tebowing his become an Internet phenomenon, with its own website, a Twitter account, and most recently a YouTube video titled “Tebowing for Dummies.”

Here's the original harrumph from someone named Daniel Foster at National Review Online.
When the Detroit Lions’ Stephen Tulloch sacked Tim Tebow in the first quarter of their week eight matchup, the linebacker immediately kneeled next to the prone Denver quarterback, in a mockery of Tebow’s habit of praying on-field, most recently seen after his miraculous fourth-quarter comeback against the Dolphins the week before.

The insult coincided with and reinforced the explosion of “Tebowing” as an Internet meme, complete with a Twitter account and web-site. There you can see an act of communion with one’s creator rendered as a bit of pop-cultural ephemera, and you can scroll through pictures of folks striking the pose everywhere from Oxford to Istanbul, with that muddle of irony and enthusiasm that has become my generation’s trademark.

Yup. The kids are all right.

ADDED: Aaaaand . . . yes, there it is. From the Freaks, where I found this silliness.
I think much of the anger and hate comes from the fact that Tebow wasn't aborted as had been recommended.


A-yup. We sane people hate unaborted people.

Language of the season.

One of canadian cynic's tweets directs our attention to this:
Suspicious Conservatives are vetting guests to their annual caucus Christmas party in Ottawa Wednesday night, ensuring there are no spies or interlopers in the crowd. Anyone, who is not a bona fide member of Stephen Harper’s team (lobbyists and journalists, for example) must be in a committed relationship with one in order to gain entry. [...]

The invitation is very clear about who is – and who is not – allowed to come and tip a glass of Christmas cheer: “If you choose to bring a guest,” it reads, “please ensure that he or she is a close personal acquaintance, unless he or she is your partner, is not a lobbyist, consultant, or journalist, or employed in a similar capacity, and is not there is
[sic] any commercial capacity.”
Am I correct in reading that as permission for Contempt Party MPs, VIPs and hacks to bring along a lobbyist, consultant, or media person - but only if they're currently fucking them?

Any bets on whether Bruce Carson will show up with Krista Erickson?

On an amusing note: Erickson before and after her StunTV venom-for-hire makeover.

Bad Sex Lit Award

The official list is out.

Yet Barbara Kay is not one of the *winners*.

It's a shame, really. She should receive a life-long achievement award for bad sex writing in non-fiction.

Her arid, hectoring, astringent prose - which projects her deeply gynophobic fear and loathing of juicy, passionate, joyful women and the men who love them that way - is the very opposite of sex.

Rarely have I read such unbalanced and scolding screeds. Though misery loves company, I can't even imagine men who are drawn to Babs' particular brand of verbal abuse.

On the other hand, if one were contemplating entering a convent or a monastery, her turgid little pieces would certainly make life-long chastity and sexual abstinence appealing.

Occupy #Attawapiskat



Politics Respun's idea:
Let’s occupy the #Attawapiskat hashtag in Twitter for most of the day on Wednesday, December 7. Hashtag occupation is an activist technique in Twitter to push a message around a new or existing hashtag. If the hashtag ends up trending in a city/province/country, all the better.

Go to the link for more, including contact info for PMSHithead and lying liar, John Duncan.

If you've missed it, here's the story on where the money went.

Speaking of money, if you've got a bit to spare, consider donating to the Attawapiskat fund managed by the Canadian Red Cross. I did yesterday by phone and the nice young man wanted to know where I found out about it (all charities want to know how their campaigns are working). 'Bloggers and the news', I said. Then I told him it was a political gesture as much as a charitable one. He laughed and said he understood.

Let's do this.


And again, The Official Portrait of Lying-Liar-in-Chief.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Not Keeping Sweet

The phrase referenced in my title is used mostly these days by evangelical Christians (like the Quiverfull Duggars) and Mormons (especially the polgyamist communities) The words may vary a bit, but 'keep sweet' is meant (by far in the majority) for women and children and is directed at their behaviour.

Their job, should they want it or not, is to always be obedient to the commands of their community leaders and always maintain a cheerful, 'happy to obey' mien whatever their inner mental states, because to do otherwise, to be complaining and rebellious, to question and doubt and contradict, brings shame on the reputation of the men divinely ordained to lead their households and communities.

Those who don't 'keep sweet' face a range of punishments until they learn to fake being happy or surrender to Stepford wife robotic joy. The problem is not, so they are told, that the system is failing them, it's that they are failing the system. It's the ultimate tiger trap in the positive thinking guilt trip.

Positive thinking is great, but the more systemic blocks are placed in the way of success, the more that bizarre goals identified as 'success' are set, the more someone's inner survival system will be balking at jumping through razor-edged hoops too small for them to fit, or it will be psychologically melting down repeatedly trying to overcome rigged circumstances with inadequate support and resources. Balking is not negative thinking. That's a reality check.

That's the trouble with evolving large group societies out of group loving critters like humans, who can also anticipate suffering and death.

So, the hypothesis gets set up again and again, is it better for survival inside a society to...

A/ 'keep sweet' and think positive so some day you'll be the very best at what you do and what you do is what you're told (which is always possible to be what you merit if what you merit is what you're told you merit) .

B/ balk against a rigged game and demand a rewrite of societal rules that promotes more participants in the society gaining survival factor by positive merit.

Historically, option B events have had the crap lethally kicked out of them a lot by the societal leaders in position to judge option A. Survival conditions have to have serious diminishing returns to go against the framework of a society by individuals. One of the classic ways of 'keeping sweet' aka 'being shut the fuck up' is to be dead. It takes many, many feet in the streets to shift B to a positive outcome. Fall of the Berlin Wall. Collapse of the Soviet Union. Latin America. Arab Spring.

But here we are again on a local level. G20. Occupy seedpoints. And now, Attawapiskat. The band didn't keep sweet. They were swiftly judged, warning them to get back to option A.

They're not going. This is serious B-ball. Attawapiskat isn't the first or the only community in Canada to have nothing to lose, but it has finally gained international attention amid international unrest against the wealthy and powerful, and by that, it's hurting Harper's pride while he's lecturing other countries on how *their* little people are not keeping sweet.

What can possibly go wrong?

(edited to take out a sentence fragment that should have been deleted before posting and sprinkle a few commas around)

Parliament gets *retasked* by Cons

Go look and read Creekside: Parliamentary cakewalk.

Now!

Degrees of anti-semitism

It would seem that using fear and hate, to influence people and to rally their support is gaining ground in surprising ways.

For example Steven Weiss, a reporter for The Jewish Channel drew attention to a US campaign created and disseminated by the Israeli Ministry of Immigrant Absorption which has been warning Israelis against befriending or marrying American Jews. One of the short television ads which was withdrawn after American journalists and bloggers brought attention to it, shows a young woman living with a man who might be Jewish-American. The guy doesn’t understand why his Israeli girlfriend is sad. From here:
“They will always remain Israelis,” the announcer says in Hebrew. “Their partners may not understand what they’re talking about.” After receiving tips from viewers across the U.S., Weiss collected together several of these ads last month, announcing that “a concerted effort is targeting Israeli expatriates in at least five cities to convince them that their heritage will be lost if they don’t soon leave America to go back to Israel.”

The campaign [...] uses every technique imaginable to make Israelis feel that their identity is in danger. One billboard urges people to leave America before their children start calling them “daddy” instead of addressing them in Hebrew. In another TV commercial, an Israeli couple is appalled to discover that their American-raised granddaughter thinks that she’s supposed to celebrate Christmas. The message is clear: Jews born and raised in America might just as well be goyim.
And thus, the enemy.

This *fear-and-loathing* mindset would explain why, according to BCL, a group of islamophobic anti-feminist pseudo-christians are gleefully anticipating a violent confrontation at the December 6th Memorial events held at the University of Toronto. DrDawg continues the analysis here.

The Jewish Defense League exploits the massacre of 14 women at La Polytechnique for their own purpose: to attack the Toronto and District School Board for allegedly "allowing radical Islam" into their schools or at least, that is the JDL fear and hate-mongering claim.

Good move, JDL. You're playing according to the Contempt Party game book. Divide and conquer.

Update: It should come as no surprise that R.E.A.L.Women sympathizer & NatPo prevaricator Barbara Kay gets all shrieeeeky today.

Monday, 5 December 2011

My Afternoon Satori

On a rainy and already depressing afternoon, I got trapped by Twitter, in particular, the moronic questions and observations from the Toronto Budget Committee on the subject of libraries.

I've repressed which moran councillor needed to have explained to him why Toronto's liberries have material in ferrin languages and even movies like Pie-rats of the Carrybean. (OK, I'll stop.) But it struck me as surreal that so many of these ijits Just Don't Geddit.

I was pondering for the umpteenth time 'What the fuck is wrong with these people?' when one of my tweeps retweeted this from a smart person named 'TallPolitical'.
Classic right wing failure to empathize. If i can't imagine myself using or wanting this, it can't be worth anything 2 anyone

My brain lit up.

Good Goddess! That's it!

Went googling and found this terrific RSAnimate of a talk by Jeremy Rifkin on 'The Empathic Civilization'. It's almost 11 minutes long but totally worth it.




Brief version: Humans are soft-wired for empathy. Originally, we had empathy just for our blood relations, then our co-religionists (some are still horribly stuck at that stage), then on to our nation states. Why should we stop at this stage, he asks. Why not extend our empathy to everyone and the biosphere to boot?

He goes on to say that if we don't get beyond this stage, we -- and a human-friendly planet -- are fucked.

So. There. The lefties, the liberals -- the ones I call the sane people -- have successfully extended their empathy to the Other. We can actually feel for homeless people, addicted people, poor people, disenfranchised people.

We feel their pain and distress. And we don't like it. We want to do something about it.

Knuckle-dragging right-wing nutjobs are incapable of this evolutionary feat.

They are stunted. They are stuck at the blood-ties or religion or nation state stage. 'Family! [Insert Relevant] Religion! Patriotism!' as a slogan neatly captures it.

Rifkin also points out that if the development of empathy is stifled, other nasties like aggression, selfishness, greed, and violence pop up.

Yup.

About where we are right now.

The world is being run by a bunch of empathy-deficient morans.

I dunno how, but we sane people have to get it back.

To Hell in a hand basket ... ?

Once again, scientific research smacks down RightWing NutJob alarmists' shrieeek and claims that our children are threatened and endangered by the evuls of an "open" society.
In recent years, high-profile cases in which teenagers were arrested for forwarding nude pictures of other minors have attracted nationwide attention. Despite sexting’s reputation as a teenage pastime, surveys now suggest that it is actually more common among young adults than children.

“It only takes one or two cases to make people think this is very prevalent behavior,” said Janis Wolak, an author of the new paper and a senior researcher at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. “This has been reported as if it were something that everyone was doing, not just in the teen population, but in the young adult population. It’s really not the case.”

Over all, the new report found, 149 youths interviewed for the study, or 9.6 percent, said they had sent or received images that included full or partial nudity in the previous year. Just over 2 percent of those who engaged in sexting said they had appeared in the pictures or had taken them themselves, and 7.1 percent said they received sexual images from someone else.

In most cases, the motivations for sending or forwarding sexual texts were not malicious. Most of the youths who sent such messages said that they did so with someone they were involved in a relationship with, or that their messages were flirtatious gestures to someone they had a romantic interest in.

But, but, but ... Harper's MASSIVE Hard-On Crime Bill C-10 should fix all that, according to Contempt Party members ... ^NOT.

Un grand merci to Rick's tweet.