Monday, 30 April 2012

... and the horse you rode into town, Texas antichoichers!

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a new Texas rule that would have excluded Planned Parenthood clinics from offering women's health services for the poor in the state because the organization provides abortions.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in favor of Planned Parenthood means thousands of women enrolled in the Texas Women's Health Program who go to its clinics will not be required to find new healthcare providers, at least for now.

"The court is particularly influenced by the potential for immediate loss of access to necessary medical services by several thousand Texas women," Yeakel said in a 24-page ruling.

The preliminary injunction is a big win for Planned Parenthood, which has been under siege in several states by abortion opponents. In the past year alone, states including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana, in addition to Texas, have all moved to block Planned Parenthood from receiving taxpayer money.
From here.

The War on Women's Reproductive Rights continues in the US; this is one small victory.

Chen Guangcheng


From the Pre-empting the Where Are the Feminists? Bleat File:

Have you heard of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng?

Probably not, unless you are a fetus fetishist or follower of China-US relations.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton no doubt hopes the diplomatically delicate case of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who escaped house arrest and then sought refuge with US authorities in Beijing, can be resolved before she and a high-level entourage including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner arrive in the Chinese capital Thursday.

Both American and Chinese officials are tight-lipped on their deliberations over the rights advocate, whose treatment has figured prominently in official Western protests of China’s human rights record. Mr. Chen, blind since childhood, is a self-taught legal authority and critic of the forced abortions he exposed through risky investigations.

At the White House on Monday, President Obama said during a press conference that he was "aware" of the Chen case but would not say how the US will treat Chen's case. He suggested, however, that the issue of human rights in China would come up in this week's talks, as it always does with Beijing, not only because "it is the right thing to do" but also because "we think China will be stronger as it opens up and liberalizes its own system."
The Fetus Lobby is spinning this sticky wicket as 'pro-abort Obama won't protect heroic baby-saver!!1!!1'

*sigh*

Nothing yet on Where Are the Feminists on the Persecution of Chen Guangcheng???!!??

For the record: Feminists are as opposed to forced abortion as we are to forced birth.

But unlike the zygote zealots, we recognize a diplomatic mine-field when we see one.


Image source and more about famous Chinese dissidents

UPDATE (May 2, 2012): Ah, there they are. SHRIIEEEK!!!!1!1

Sunday, 29 April 2012

SUZY's 15 minutes

In which SUZYALLCAPS demonstrates her total ignorance of feminism and socialism despite her claim to having been there, done that.

Also on display is the hallmark of fetus fetishists everywhere -- economy of truth-telling.
Q: Were you vocal about being pro-life when you were a feminist/socialist?

Fortin: I was somewhat vocal online, but less so in my personal relationships.

When I ran as an NDP candidate in 1993, I didn't hide my pro-life beliefs. I told the organizer who signed me on, and I answered the Campaign Life Coalition questionnaire. However, I did not publicize it to my fellow NDPers. I suspected they all supported abortion and I did not want to create conflict.
Running as NDP and 'suspecting' they all supported abortion, eh?

Also. Stupidity.

BONUS: An astroturf site seemingly devoted to attacking Joyce Arthur, deBeauxOs, and moi. Witness another universal fetus fetishist characteristic -- complete inability to pull off mockery and sarcasm.

DSK, your 15 minutes are SO over.

It doesn't seem Dominique Strauss-Kahn's MASSIVE ego needs viagra to remain tumescent, as his recent verbal ejaculations interjections in the media have demonstrated.
Strauss-Kahn stated that he believes the highly public undoing that followed his encounter with the housekeeper in the Sofitel hotel's presidential suite, and his imprisonment on charges of attempted rape, were orchestrated by his political opponents.

While he does not believe the incident with Nafissatou Diallo was a setup, he said the subsequent escalation of the events on 14 May into a criminal investigation that destroyed his chances of winning the presidency had been "shaped by those with a political agenda" and that "more was involved here than mere coincidence".

Strauss-Kahn, 63, alleges that he was put under surveillance by French intelligence weeks before he was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting Diallo. He accuses operatives linked to Sarkozy of intercepting phone calls and making sure Diallo went to the New York police, thus sparking an international scandal.

"Perhaps I was politically naive, but I simply did not believe that they would go that far … I didn't think they could find anything that could stop me," Strauss-Kahn told investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein.
"...I didn't think they could find anything that could stop me ..." Here is a man who *commands* his political strategy in the same imperious manner that he uses to subject women to his brutal physical demands.

And what of the criminal charges that he procured the services of prostitutes as an extension of his "duties" accomplished for the IMF? Did he truly believe those actions would not be disclosed and used by his critics?

"Gros bruit, petite queue." - en français, an excellent overview at Le Point.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Stephen Taylor gets Twitter smackdown


Nobody deserves it more than he does, and nobody is better equiped to smack down dickheads than @kady is.

This, of course, is all about the PMSHithead MASSIVELY mispoken observation that triggered the #HarperHistory hashtag.

More at the Toronto Star, via @SusanDelacourt and others, here, here and here.

Click on small pic to get enlargement.

What the heck did that mean?

There was some surprise yesterday in Parliament when Government Whip Gordon O'Connor rose to give the CON response to Woodworth's Wank. After all, the purpose of the Party Whip is to ensure party discipline.

Look at the spanking discipline he meted out (bold mine).
Madam Speaker, I offer my response to Motion No. 312. The issue before us, in essence, is on what it is to be human. This has been debated as long as man has existed. Scientists, theologians, philosophers and doctors have all offered opinions.

The House of Commons, however, is not a laboratory. It is not a house of faith, an academic setting or a hospital. It is a legislature, and a legislature deals with law, specifically, in this case, subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code.

The purpose of Motion No. 312, which we are considering today, is to open to question the validity of subsection 223(1), which asserts that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth. If the legal definition of when one becomes a human being were to be adjusted so that a fetus is declared to be a legal person at some earlier stage of gestation, then the homicide laws would apply. As a necessary consequence, aborting fetal development anywhere in the potentially new adjusted period would be considered homicide. Thus the ultimate intention of this motion is to restrict abortions in Canada at some fetal development stage.
. . .
Abortion is a very serious and long-lasting decision for women, and I want all women to continue to live in a society in which decisions on abortion can be made, one way or the other, with advice from family and a medical doctor and without the threat of legal consequences. I do not want women to go back to the previous era where some were forced to obtain abortions from illegal and medically dangerous sources. This should never happen in a civilized society.

Whether one accepts it or not, abortion is and always will be part of society. There will always be dire situations in which some women may have to choose the option of abortion. No matter how many laws some people may want government to institute against abortion, abortion cannot be eliminated. It is part of the human condition.

I cannot understand why those who are adamantly opposed to abortion want to impose their beliefs on others by way of the Criminal Code. There is no law that says that a woman must have an abortion. No one is forcing those who oppose abortion to have one.

Within the free and democratic society of Canada, if one has a world view based on a personal moral code that is somewhat different from others, then live according to those views as long as they are within the current laws. On the other hand, citizens who are also living within the reasonable limits of our culture and who may not agree with another's particular moral principles should not be compelled to follow them by the force of a new law.

As we know, Motion No. 312 is sponsored by a private member, not the government. I can confirm that as a member of the Conservative caucus for nearly eight years, the Prime Minister has been consistent with his position on abortion. As early as 2005 at the Montreal convention and in every federal election platform since, he has stated that the Conservative government will not support any legislation to regulate abortion. While the issue may continue to be debated by some, as in the private member's motion here tonight, I state again that the government's position is clear: it will not reopen this debate.

I am sure we all recognize that the issue of abortion raises strongly held and divergent views within and outside Parliament. However, I firmly believe that each of us should be able to pursue our lifestyle as long as it is within the boundaries of law and does not interfere with the actions of others. Trying to amend the legal rules governing abortion, as is intended by this motion, will not improve the situation. It will only lead to increased conflict as the attempt is made to turn back the clock.

Society has moved on and I do not believe this proposal should proceed. As well, it is in opposition to our government's position. Accordingly I will not support Motion No. 312. I will vote against it and I recommend that others oppose it.
My goodness. That's Woodwank taken out to the woodshed for a thrashin', ain't it? I wonder if he had any warning this was coming.

Like most people, I was expecting a bromide of 'respect for private members motions' frappéed with stern repetitions of 'we will not reopen the debate'.

O'Connor's statement was breathtakingly, decidedly pro-choice. Well, he is on ARCC's list of pro-choice MPs.

So how did fetus fetishists take it?

On the Canadian LifeShite, two straightforward stories: here and here. Crickets at the USian LifeShite.

At the brand new astroturfed site The Bertha Wilson Motion, there is an attempt at sarcasm and a link to an interview of Joyce Arthur (ARCC) by Brian Lilley of FauxNewsNorth. And this:
Even Gordon O’Connor, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip, got into the fray and lectured those who value all human life to shut their mouths on the issue.

Mrozek spluttered:
Terrible arguments! Abortion will always be with us, says he; it cannot be eliminated. “It’s part of the human condition.”

This must be the PMO’s spokesperson as he is now detailing how this is a private member’s motion, not a government bill.
(That's the entirety of her post, by the way.)

SUZYALLCAPS, in her Twitter incarnation of @roseblue, was all over the tweets yesterday with her usual baseless assertions of 'it's a fact'. On her blog (http://www.bigbluewave.ca/), she now has posted the text of Woodworth's Wank, without comment, and a link to the FauxNewsNorth interview, with a snark at Arthur.

More crickets at Blogging Tories.

So what's going on here? Montreal Simon is celebrating a WIN! Dr. Dawg is having dark thoughts. Cliff at Rusty Idols thinks the Wild Rose debacle in Alberta affected Harper's strategy. Dave at The Galloping Beaver thinks we witnessed the public knock-out of an intense but private fight. (All those links are conveniently gathered together at the handy new Canadian Progressive Voices site.)

Me, I'm not celebrating anything yet. I will continue to watch and report.

Sex: pre-death or post-life? Discuss


DAMMIT JANET! has learned that Monsanto International is currently in the process of seeking approval from Health Canada to proceed with the wide agricultural exploitation and industrial application of
genetically modified garlic. Substances in this GMO would replace formaldyhyde and many other conservation and preservation agents in the food and funeral industry.

Corporate interests in Alberta are keen to obtain from Monsanto an exclusive agreement for a world-wide franchise for this product since it appears to flourish on land that has been ravaged by tarsands development.

As a result of this extraordinary scientific break-through, a Catholic Conservative MP has been quietly exploring how to correctly articulate the text of his private members bill. He hopes to set up:
a special committee of the House be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Section 182 of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that every one who neglects, without lawful excuse, to perform any duty that is imposed on him by law or that he undertakes with reference to the burial of a dead human body or human remains, or improperly or indecently interferes with or offers any indignity to a dead human body

to answer the questions hereinafter set forth;

(i) what medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a woman is no longer able to give consent to sexual activity after death?,

(ii) is the preponderance of medical evidence consistent with the declaration in Section 183 that a female body is actually dead?,

(iii) what are the legal impact and consequences of Subsection 182 on the fundamental human rights of a Catholic husband to enjoy conjugal rights with his legal wife before and after the moment of complete death,?

(iv) what are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the availability of scientifically developed products and applications that extend or alter the definition of human life?

- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * -

If you consider this spoof to be over-the-top, please consider the rather interesting ideological positions and historical practices of the Catholic Church, with regard to allowing the desecration of people, post-life.
The cult of relics gave a reason for digging up, boiling and dismembering dead bodies, a practice that must have appealed to necrophiliacs, and perhaps other sexual deviants. Sometimes crowds would gather when a saint was known to be dying, ready to dismember him or her while still warm. Dismembered limbs of saints are still popular, and may be seen slowly decomposing in tens of thousands of churches around the world. Bodies are still occasionally dug up to remove fingers or limbs as relics, as happened for example to Eva Peron.

The idea for the above blogpost came from Godel Noodle who alerted me to this islamophobic nonsense.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

STILL

Today's the day for the first hour of debate on 'The When Does the State Take Over Our Uteruses Motion'.

Yesterday, the Radical Handmaids took the 'Fuck the Debate' message to Parliament Hill.

And there's been a call for an online ruckus.

Námo Mandos kicks off DJ!'s contribution with 'Comic relief apéritif'.

Here at DJ! we've been on Woodworth's Wank for months, since the very beginning, in fact.

We've been outraged, derisive, logical. We've exhorted, cajoled, and cheer-led (izzat a word?).

We've taken various varieties of crap for our stand, including some that -- happily -- led to the creation of a brand-spanking new aggregator and home for real Canadian Progressive Voices.

Throughout though, I suspect this is what we were all feeling.


Niles certainly is/was.

Coz here's the really really really depressing thing. Women's rights are ALWAYS up for negotiation.

ALWAYS considered a frill, an afterthought, a wait-til-everyone-else-is-served deal.

EVERYWHERE. Just ask Mona Eltahawy.

STILL.

And here's another really depressing thing. The fucking Liberals still don't get it.

They consider reproductive rights a matter of conscience, not human rights, and therefore will NOT whip the vote.
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae said he’s personally opposed to reopening the abortion debate but Rae said he won’t compel Liberal MPs to toe that line because the issue is a matter of individual conscience.

“If there are individuals in my caucus who feel strongly for moral reasons one way or the other, we’re not going to whip the vote,” Rae said.
Pro-tip, Bob: This kinda thing is why your asses are NOT sitting in Official Opposition seats.

Image source


Comic relief apéritif

I don't have terribly much more to add to everything that has been said about and against M312, at least not until the initial ordeal is over. The question of "when does Life(tm) begin" has absolutely never had a very clear answer on which all people have agreed---and what it means even if we were to agree has been far from clear. In any case, the proponents are asking the question in bad faith with no actual desire for some sort of interesting philosophical discourse, but instead glib platitudes that imbue DNA with implied supernatural properties, platitudes derived in reverse from their real, known desire to traduce the rights of individual women. Yes, we knew that. The battle lines were drawn a long time ago.

So in lieu of engaging with any of it seriously on its own, I offer up this couple of amusing, vaguely topical apéritifs. First of all, this...reimagining of Lada Gaga's Bad Romance, which some of you may have seen:

Secondly, a hilarious anecdote from one of my US blog/RL friends, Jennifer at Saying Yes.

Before these visits I would chant... think of dolphins, think of dolphins, think of dolphins...

But when they'd come in to check me out and would ask something that merited a smart-ass answer, with me giving it, and them taking me seriously, my BP would shoot sky high. I knew the drill... take the woman, who may or may not be abused, to a dark room... and let her think of dolphins for 10 minutes. Test again.

(Protip: don't click on the link at the beginning of Jennifer's post labelled "fish's" in public. It is hilarious but, um, a bit NSFW.)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Diluted Rights 200C

People in favour of diluting human womb owners' legal 'personhood' rights like to use the framing of pregnancy as justification.  The actual existence of a born individual in a society is denigrated in favour of enabling legal 'personhood' for the gestating potentiality of 'homo sapiens sapiens' replicating cells triggered by initially successful union of haploid cells.

This dilution of extant power in favour of potentiality is touted as something that makes society stronger and better and womb owners scientifically happier and healthier.

It occurred to me where else this argument is offered. Homeopathy.  Homeopathy is an alternative 'medical' practise where repeated dilution of a substance is said to make its efficacy as a a health cure incredibly potent , while negative side effects are completely neutralized.

Less is more .  It might explain why social conservatives are so often all about the fetus and not about a born baby or the woman forced to carry it to term.  There's too much humanity in the born forms, not diluted enough.  But diploid cells? A zygote? Not even implanted yet?  That's the kind of diluted cellular count Legal Persons they can invest their time and money in.  The quack science for dilution of rights and solutions seems to be pulled from the same rebutted holes.  I wonder how much overlap there is in the camps of belief?

When will the homeopaths lobbying Harper's government be getting a debate in Parliament?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Unintended Consequences


You know that War on Women in the Excited States that Rethugs insist is bogus?

Well, it may be having a bit of a boomerang effect.

It's turning people pro-choice. (Emphasis mine.)
Roughly half of the nation’s voters remain pro-choice when it comes to abortion, and the number of voters who view the procedure as morally wrong in most situations is below 50% for the first time.

Overall, 51% of Likely U.S. Voters consider themselves pro-choice when it comes to abortion, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Forty percent (40%) say they are pro-life, while another 10% are undecided.
Since Canada is already decisively pro-choice, maybe Woodworth's Wank will have similar unintended consequences.

Bwhahahahaha.

When Legislators Practise Medicine

I'm going to a dermatologist this afternoon to get my various bumps and spots looked at. And there's a thingy on my collar bone I want removed. I know what it is -- a spot of unpleasantly named bother called senile keratosis. The doc will blast it with liquid nitrogen and it will burn, then itch for a few days, then fall off.

Let's say there's a pill instead that will accomplish the same thing.

I go to the doctor (walk, streetcar, subway, more walk) to get the pill. Doc inspects, measures, tells me what to expect, answers questions. He also ensures I wasn't 'coerced' into wanting the thingy gone. I sign forms. Then I'm told to come back in 24 hours to get the pill.

Next day, I walk, streetcar, subway, more walk back. The same doctor has to see me to give me the pill. He gives me the pill and watches me take it.

Then 12 to 18 days later, I have to come back to get it checked out by the same doctor again.

If the doc does not follow this rigamarole, he or she can be charged with a felony, pay a fine of $10,000 and/or spend three-and-half years in jail.

Ridiculous, yes?

But this is what happens when legislators meddle in health care. It is what will happen now in Wisconsin when a woman wants a medical abortion.

RH Reality Check talked to a doc in Wisconsin about this new law. He said: 'If we follow the FDA rules and follow protocol, we would violate this law. And we have no ability to defend ourselves.'
By making failure to follow the new law a felony, Act 217 has made it nearly impossible for doctors to defend themselves legally without considerable expense. Although a doctor would be covered for potential malpractice under malpractice insurance, he or she would need to pay all court fees out of pocket if charged with a felony, as the insurance would not cover it.  "What we do would be 'defensible,' but we'd have to pay to defend it."

Dr. Broekhuizen is nearly certain that the law is unenforceable, and too vague to not be enjoined.  But who as a doctor wants to put his or her career in jeopardy, as well as shoulder the entirety of the legal costs, just to test it out? It's that unwillingness that anti-choice legislators are capitalizing on with their regulations, and it's one that doctors and pro-choice advocates didn't really expect to see. "We were a little naive," he admitted.
And how about the patients? Three visits, three round-trip expenses, loss of pay, childcare costs, etc., etc., etc.

So Planned Parenthood abruptly suspended performing medical abortions in the state.
By suspending medical abortions, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has taken a bill that was signed quietly, quickly, and right before a major holiday as an attempt to pass it mostly unnoticed, and turned it into a huge public policy debate over who should be creating medical protocol -- the FDA or the state legislature. 

Calling Act 217 a set of "minimum safety standards" for patient care and ending the potential for "tele-med" abortions, anti-choice legislators likely assumed the bill would go into effect without fanfare, Dr. Broekhuizen surmised. Then later, an "overzealous prosecutor" could charge a doctor based off of one of the vague, legally-ambiguous points in the law, putting medical abortion availability for the entire state at risk.

But instead, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin has acted first. Perhaps anti-choice politicians were a little naive, as well.

Thursday, Canada's legislators are going to debate whether the Criminal Code definition of 'human being' should be extended to include fetuses.

What could possibly go wrong with that?

The Radical Handmaids have some ideas.



Monday, 23 April 2012

Stephen Taylor is *Indignant*

The director of the National Citizens Coalition wants Harper to cut up the "taxpayer credit card" that has been loaned to Bev Oda because she has demonstrated little respect for ... hold on!

What exactly has Oda done that Cashmere Tony, Christian Paradis (here and here), Peter MacKay (here and here) and Bruce Carson have ^NOT in their own way done, so much more spectacularly and worth a helluva lot more of taxpayers' money than a $16 glass of orange juice at the Savoy Hotel?

Oh. Wait. Bev Oda is a female cabinet minister. I'd forgotten that PMSHithead and his band of CON bullies established quite a different standard of accountability and transparence for them. Ask Helena Guergis.

Note: I would link to Taylor's tweet but it appears that he has blocked me, after one or perhaps one hundred too many snarky bon mots lobbed in his direction.

This is the best I can do. For folks without a magnifying glass, just click on the screen cap below to see a larger version.

With a grand merci to my co-blogger fh, an expert in the use of the Capture app. for Macbooks.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Warning! Progressive Blogburst Ahead!

On April 26th CON MP Stephen Woodworth brings his dog-and-pony show to Parliament.


Motion 312 is a private member's initiative.

Substantial House of Commons financial, material and human resources are supporting Woodworth's exploratory shot at dismantling Canadian women's hard-won reproductive and procreative rights.

Here is an overview of two groups and their resources gathered to fight Woodworth's attempt to recriminalize abortion.



Starting today, all bloggers who support a woman's right to choose can and should blog fiercely about this CONservative, regressive attack on women's right to choose.

Tell a personal story about a family member who died from an illegal kitchen-table abortion.

Use your wits, your intelligence, your verve to expose Wankworth's motion for what it is: not only anti-choice but against religious freedom.

The right to government - in policies and practices that doesn't favour one religious belief system - is implicit in the Charter of rights.

Re-criminalizing a medical intervention will enforce the ideological dogma of fundamentalist religions, in particular those of the Vatican Taliban.

My parents grew up in the period of La grande noirceur, an unholy alliance of political and religious authorities. It seems to me that the Harper Regime is morphing into le Duplessis Nouveau.

Well fuck that, we're not going to let that MASSIVE obliteration of women's rights happen again. No christofascist sharia in Canada.

ADDED by fh: This is what we have to look forward to. @rWeEqualYet turned today's drivel and pap into MP Stephen Woodworth's Sunday Sermon on Twitter.

And also: petitions for the MPs - very important. Read fh, here.

Fat, Thin, Clueless

Someone on Twitter posted the wrong link and I wound up skimming Mallick. (What happened to her? Does anyone know? Was she ever worth reading?)

Using the Rob Fucking Ford at Kentucky Fucking Chicken guerilla video as a take-off point, she blithers about the 'vicious looks' she gets because she's thin.

Really.

Here at DJ! we take an occasional interest in matters of fashion, women's bodies, and the obsession and manipulation of same.

It's true: Fat is a feminist issue. And not just fat. All the sizes that women's bodies come in.

While I haven't experienced either end of fat-thin spectrum (well, except for that stint [ok, two stints] of excessive intake of what we called 'go-fast'), I know and have listened to people who have.

Here's a 'thin' story for ya, Heather.

A friend of a friend has Crohn's disease. She is amazingly stoic and rarely talks about it. One evening she arrived fuming at some small gathering.

She had been waiting for a streetcar with two other female strangers. The others starting discussing -- at a meant-to-be-overheard level -- how pathetic it is to see women who are so lacking in [insert noble characteristic] that they starved themselves to conform . . . yadayada.

She ignored them. They continued. She gave them the stink-eye. They continued.

Then she'd had enough. She rounded on them and I couldn't possibly duplicate what she said but it was operatic.

It contained words like: cancer, AIDS, Crohn's disease.

It contained an offer to show them a colostomy bag. Right there.

More about cluelessness and offensiveness. Etc.

She left them stunned and stomped off to take a different route.

We at the gathering were stunned too. She was still catching her breath from the reprise, while the rest of us congratulated her.

She said: 'Well, it just felt good to finally let loose with it'.

Someone asked: 'Finally? This has happened before?'

Answer: All. The. Fucking. Time.

So. Cry me a river, Heather.

No. Cry her -- and all the others whose thinness is a symbol of fortitude and forbearance -- a river.


Note to the Star: Fire Heather Mallick.

Note to self: Never read any of her shit again. (I know. That tactic worked real well on M. Wente, didn't it?)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bullying and the Vatican Taliban

While this is hardly surprising, it is still infuriating.

Teachers at a Mississauga Catholic school are encouraging students to sign a petition that supports a federal motion to re-open the abortion debate, Xtra has learned.

In an email sent out to all teachers at St Joseph Catholic Secondary School this week, teachers are encouraged to ask students to sign. Xtra obtained a copy of the email from a source at the school.

Michael Payton, interim executive director of Centre for Inquiry, says the school is manipulating students to lobby the federal government on behalf of Conservative causes.

“This is a clear example of indoctrination and pernicious lobbying that is being funded by taxpayers in Ontario,” Payton says. “Why is this allowed in a publicly funded school? This is not education. It’s vile and manipulative.”
Are the admins keeping track of which teachers return the most signatures? Is it a quota thing?

How is this not bullying?

What galls the hell out of me is that these are the same people who whine: 'I don't want my taxes to pay for your abortion'.

Well, I don't want my taxes paying to brainwash a bunch of future misogynists!

Fight back. Download and print a petition opposing M312 here. There is room for 25 signatures, but you don't need to fill it up. ARCC needs 25 signatures total before it can submit it to an MP for presentation in the House.


h/t to commenter Godel Noodle for the PDF link.

CONtradictions

Oreo breastfeeding ad-t

The Calgary Herald wrote about the controversy and censored this cookie ad - produced specifically for one-time use at an advertising awards program, according to Kraft spokeswoman Lisa Gibbons.

DJ! did not.

It would seem that RWNJ CONs are quite upset about the shameless display of a nekkid nipple in the mouth of an infant, because shriEEEk!

More about the furor around this ad, and the depiction of breast-feeding, here.

Hats, Old and New

Canadians are waking up to the danger posed by Woodworth's Wank. More than 11,000 people have signed the online petition opposing M312, including Nancy Ruth.

That's good but not good enough. Canada's rules about petitions are archaic. Here is ARCC's explainer on the difference between paper and electronic petitions and its plans to use both sorts.
The main reason ARCC is also offering a paper petition is because the anti-choice movement has been submitting paper petitions, and it's important to show Parliament that we have official support for our side too. Another advantage of submitting a paper petition is that MPs are required to present it to the House and it gets read into the official Hansard record. We will ask a number of MPs to present batches of petition sheets to maximize the impact. Finally, the paper petition allows people who are not online to express their opposition to the motion - so please target them if you can. (People who are online may sign both petitions.) Note: You do not need to obtain 25 signatures on every sheet - ARCC just needs a minimum of 25 signatures total before submitting petition sheets to an MP.
And indeed the Fetus Lobby has been busy. Here's one bragging yesterday that they have 3816 signatures on paper. (It's got a breakdown by the MPs who will present them.)

Yeah. I know. This is all so old hat. Been there, done that.

But it's gotta be done AGAIN. Old, er, experienced campaigners and new, younger campaigners are joining forces to beat this down once and for all. (Yeah. Right.)

And speaking of hats. . . .









Friday, 20 April 2012

The basis for "Honour Killing" ...

has the exact same origin as the blathering of antichoice concern trolls.

Yesterday on Twitter I had to smack down "lettingsmokeout" who spouted pseudo high-minded crap about *Western civilization* defending human rights; eventually his tweets devolved to the point where it was apparent that the only right he defended was that of men controlling women's fertility and their capacity to breed.

There's "tedgurk" who seized upon the idea of appropriating one sentence from Madame Justice Bertha Wilson's complex judgement and cross-dressing it up as an excuse for Wankworth's M312.

The creepiness of male antichoice trolls - whether they slip themselves into the skin of a powerful woman to put their dicks words in her mouth or to flog the disingenous CON Attack Parrot©™ re-framing of issues to fit their fundamentalist religious ken - is boundless.


They manipulate the realities of women violated in many, many, many ways by patriarchy. They chose to ignore the pervasive social, political and religious forces that pressure women to behave in the ways that serve the needs of the men in their families, their husbands and their communities. Those who try to disobey their cultures' misogynist dictates are mutilated or killed.

So this CONvenient shrieeeking
about the termination of pregnancies within specific ethnic communities, and using loaded words "missing women", "exterminated" and "snuffed out" is surely not happenstance.

Just imagine if these rightwing apologists for their own cultures' gynophobia were as MASSIVELY outraged over the thousands of Aboriginal "missing women" and girls, "exterminated" and "snuffed out" by the likes of Robert Pickton and his brethren of christofascist gynophobes. And directed their fury towards the cops who deliberately screwed up the original investigations with their racist, sexist behaviour.


Meanwhile, this.
Men who kill female family members tend to be treated more leniently by the courts if they are white, rather than non-white males perceived to have committed a so-called honour killing, a study suggests.

University of Ottawa law professor Pascale Fournier and two researchers analyzed 54 cases where men were convicted of killing their wives or close female family members.At trial, the men all argued the killings had been committed in the heat of passion after they were provoked and lost control.

Under the Criminal Code, this "defence of provocation" can reduce a murder charge to one of manslaughter.Fournier said that when the men in the study were divided according to ethnicity, the courts differed in how often the defence of provocation was accepted. "It was more likely that it would be accepted by judges, by the courts, when the individual was a Western white male," she said.
Chris Little didn't use that "defence of provocation" since he claimed that his estranged ex-wife had been killed by someone else. Fortunately a jury rejected his preposterous fabrication.

And then, there's Richard Wills, another entitled, privileged, pallid "honour killer".

It's only fitting the Maurice Vellacott Award be bestowed upon those who defend Motion 312 by piously proclaiming that feminists are murdering female and gay "preborn children".



The TechnoDolt Report: Part 1

Poking around Progressive (or Progessive) Canadian Voices and found forums!

Go up to the top there and click on 'Feedback'. At the moment, that takes you to a particular discussion, but click on 'Forums' or 'General Discussion'.

And you're ready to rumble.

Welcome Progressive Canadians!

The essential bit in the word 'progressive' is 'progress'.

Moving ahead.

A group of committedly progressive Canadian bloggers has moved on to Canadian Progressive Voices.

Brand-spanking new and evolving into we're-not-quite-sure-what yet.

There's no litmus/purity test. Just read this:
We are bloggers who advocate for social, economic and labour justice, for human rights, sexual freedom and reproductive choice, for non-violence, the protection of the commons, including universal healthcare, public broadcasting and Canadian culture in an independent Canada dedicated to true representative democracy, the well-being of our environment and the betterment of all in the world.

Sound OK to you?

Then come on in.

ADDED: We are still figuring things out. Please be patient with us. ;-)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Creekside: latest in CON Election Fraud news

Creekside: The life of a RoboCon is always intense

eh. Tabatha Southey on casting, for "RoboCon" - the movie.

That Genetic Mishap

And here, Anonymous gives me the chance to vent what I really feel about sex-selective abortion.
The thing that drives me crazy is how it is a fact -- women are not valued as highly as men; in business, in government, in courts, anywhere in society. YET, when it may be that someone is actively CHOSING A CHILD based upon that value, well, the shit hits that fan. Worried about gender selection? Fights for women's equality. Tax dowries.
sm

Most middle-of-the-roaders on abortion accept it in some cases: rape, incest, risk to life or health of the woman, fetal deformity.

But then the all-pervasive misogyny kicks in.

How do we know a woman is telling the truth about rape or incest? Does it have to be violent rape?

How do we know a woman's health is really endangered? Should a woman be evaluated by more than one doctor to make sure?

What about mental health as a reason? Does a woman have to attempt suicide or just threaten it?

How bad does fetal deformity have to be? Is anencephaly (i.e. having no brain and no chance of survival) a good enough reason? (Nope, according to the Vatican Taliban.)

How handicapped, dependent, limited, distorted a life does the fetus have to face?

How mocked, vilified and shunned will its existence be?

If, simply by virtue of a genetic 'mishap', the fetus will face relentless, lifelong, murderous hatred, is that a good enough reason?

In many benighted places in the world, the genetic mishap of having XX chromosomes IS a good enough reason. I wonder how many women forced to abort a female fetus are quietly happy that they have spared one from a life like theirs.

*sigh* 'Female Feticide' Again

All right, all right. Here we go. The most recent outbreak of shock and appallment over 'female feticide' wearies, worries, and disgusts me in about equal measures.

Wearies because I've been on this particular beat literally for
fucking years.

Worries because of the oh-so convenieeent timing of it.

Disgusts because of the putrid stew of misogyny and racism generated by it. Here's a sample of the comments at the Toronto Sun.
They should just sterilize them all and start deporting all Muslims and Canada would be a safer place to live and we would get our Merry Christmas back and our Canadian traditions back . Trudeau ruin this Country with his imigration policy

Read the comments on any media story and there will be gems like that.

And the normally sensible Toronto Star is not helping with tidbits of info like this:
Female feticide — the widely-condemned practice of aborting female fetuses due to a preference for sons — happens by the millions in China and India, where the practice has been deemed a “crime against humanity” by the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India.

Both the Star and the Globe at least consulted another expert in the field -- the same one, Dr Jha -- to critique the research.
But the study’s greatest weakness is failing to determine the genders of the women’s previous children, said Prabhat Jha, chair of Disease Control at the University of Toronto. He also works at St. Michael’s Hospital as director of the Centre for Global Health Research.

“To really understand what these stats are, you have to understand what was the gender of the previous children in the family,” said Jha, who has done extensive research on female feticide in India.

“Selection happens at higher birth orders, which means you let nature decide the first child and if you have a girl, then a small number of homes say, ‘Well, we want a boy.’ That’s when they turn to sex-selective abortion.”

Even if this latest study proves that female feticide is happening in Ontario, it would reveal that it is occurring in very small numbers, Jha said.

Using the study’s findings, Jha calculated that there were about 245 “missing girls” for Indian-born mothers with at least two prior children — that’s less than one per cent of the 31,963 babies born to Indian women between 2002 and 2007.

“Important but subtle biases, such as higher migration of women who are about to give birth to a son might well explain this finding and suggest that selective abortion is not the explanation,” Jha said.


Typical, right? Media leading a SHRIEEEK-fest over a small, flawed study.

Here's the Star revealing that GTA hospitals are breaking the law in concealing patients' medical information. (Well, actually, the Star does NOT point out that law is being broken, just that information is being withheld at hospitals catering to large populations from 'certain' communities.)

And here's CTV with the SHOCKING fact that US clinics are advertising sex-selection services in ethnic media in Canada.

(Wanna bet the next cycle will bring the HORRIFYING news that one can order gender tests online? Since 2006?)

To recap: if it is happening, the numbers are small and restricted to 'certain' communities. The practice will NOT affect Canadian society.

And if it is happening, there is exactly ZERO than can be done about it by regulation or current law.

Abortion is legal. No woman has to give a reason.

On the other hand, concealing medical information is illegal.

It is pointless -- and insulting -- to restrict access to products or services that are available online or a short car journey away.

The problem, as we sane people have to keep pointing out, is patriarchy.

And, as we keep repeating, 'female feticide' is NOT a big gotcha for feminists. We're cool with all choices. Of course, we'd prefer that all choices be accurately informed and freely made.

We're working on that.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A very CON-veeenient shock and outrage.

The Squeal

The advance team for CPC MP Woodworth's M312 also known as "The kinder, küche, kirche Motion
" has started tactically framing the discussion for the CONservatives.

Last year, the CPC sent out Rona Ambrose to cluck about "Sex selection feticide denies millions of girls the right to be born merely because they are girls."

The specific language used is chosen ^NOT to denounce the fundamentalist religions and patriarchal societies that support many, many, many forms of violence against women, but to attack women's rights to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. That was in December.

Now, this.

There's a name for a pathologically threatening mental disturbance whereby an individual exercises his need for attention and control by appropriating another person's reality. It's called Münchausen syndrome by proxy and this is how it manifests itself when men tell women what's good for them.

A paternalistic columnist for a national newspaper - viz. Jonathan Kay - deliberately exaggerates facts and fabricates outrage by declaring himself to be a de facto defender of vulnerable females; whether impregnated or fetus. With deception at its core, this tactic proposes to decide on behalf of the victims what the outcome should be, without addressing the religious, social and political forces that have produced the alleged victimization.

Got it? The use of inflammatory terms like "missing women", "snuffed out" and "exterminate" is sex-selective manipulation and rhetoric.

When Kay and other rightwing gynophobes start crying genuine tears over Aboriginal "missing women" and girls who have been "exterminated" and "snuffed out" (as they are now doing metaphorically to curtail women's right to choose) on that day I might consider the authenticity of their outrage.

Until then, I will correctly assume that anything they say is a CONtemptible stratagem used to justify their misogynist imperative to control women's procreative choices.

Nancy Ruth to Stephen Woodworth: STFU



Senator Nancy ('Shut the fuck up'*) Ruth has signed the petition opposing Woodworth's Wank. And she commented.
there are only a few Conservatives that think like woodworth. Most of us, including the PM, do not want any debate on rights for the fetus or abortion. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. keep up the good work.

More than 10,000 people have signed.

And discussions are happening in odd places. Earlier today, DJ! recorded a Wedding Bells forum as a referring URL. I checked it out. Indeed, a few people were talking about M312 and one participant had linked to a post here.

Thinking 'this is a good audience', I joined, introduced myself, and left a link to ARCC's Motion 312 Action Alert page. There were a couple of replies, nothing unpleasant. But just now when I tried to return, I got a 404 disappeared message.

As Senator Ruth would say: WTF?

* Why we call her STFU.


PS: Yes, I'm working on a blogpost on the latest ugliness from the sex-selective abortion file. Having written on the topic a few times, I'm finding this eruption particularly disheartening. It's happening in Canada and exposes a virulent combination of misogyny and racism. Go look at the comments here. If you have the stomach.

Image source.

CON electoral fraud coming apart at the seams.

The Galloping Beaver: And look what floats to the surface (updated)

Oh yes, the very latest in the CPC election fraud can be found there.

With linky goodness to everyone who has been on top of this story since the disastrous May 2011 federal elections where Stevies thugs and goons lied and bullied their way into a "majority" regime, with only 39% of the votes from those Canadians who weren't deterred by the MASSIVE robocall campaigned engineered by individuals working to the CPC, yet to be identified and charged.

It's why we call them CONs.

Added: an overview of what we wrote at DAMMIT JANET!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

Marching for women's rights. Marching for women's rights. Marching for women's rights. Marching for women's rights. Marching for women's rights.

Marching for women's rights.



Mr. Woodworth, kindly take your pia fraus of Motion 312 and insert it into your own reproductive orifice, no one else's.

#CreepingSharia

From here:
Tommy Robinson took a few seconds on Sunday evening to make an observation about Twitter's homepage. "Welcome to twitter homepage has a picture of a mosque," he wrote. "What a joke #creepingsharia." Of course, Tommy isn't just any old tweeter, but the co-founder of the English Defence League, a far-right protest group. [...]

In less than 24 hours, #creepingsharia was trending, but what could have become a feed for EDL members and sympathisers to display their hard-hitting "evidence" of the rampant Islamisation of Britain, instead attracted the nimble fingers of sensible and funny tweeters, wittily but firmly telling Robinson and others of his ilk where to shove their ill-informed views. (It's worth pointing out that the "mosque" that started this hashtag, this emblem of creeping sharia law into Britain was in fact the Taj Mahal, the marble mausoleum in India. It's almost as if the very existence of the EDL is based on false information, suspicion and idiocy. Hang on…)
Hilarious. And fundamentalist religious political rightwing racist zealots wonder why rational folks think they're stupid.

I'm going to use that hashtag when tweeting about MP Wankworth's antichoice M312, adding beforehand #catholic.

Grand merci to this tweet.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

A Stunning Achievement in Goalpost Shifting!




In arguing with conservatives, all of us sane people have encountered the 'moving the goalposts' schtick.

Elected misogynists in Arizona have achieved a magnificent feat in that department.

They've wrestled those goalposts into a Time Machine.

The new anti-abortion bill, dubbed the 'Life Begins at Menstruation Bill' and considered (so far) the most draconian in the land, has many dandy punishing, shaming, panty-sniffing elements, but this is breathtaking.
[The bill] sets the gestational age as beginning on the first day of a woman’s last period, rather than at fertilization. Which, in practice, means that a virgin can get pregnant and instead of barring abortions after 20 weeks as the law states, actually cuts the time to 18 weeks.

Who gives a shit what the facty-sciencey people have to say about gestational age?

Canadians may snicker at such shenanigans but looky here. On April 26th, we in Canada are going to be treated to a weighty debate on When the State Can Get Up Your Hoo-ha Life Begins.

Go to ARCC and take action.


Image source

Goal Dollies: As only one set is needed to move all your goal posts and by using dollies you can save thousands of pounds and at the same time do the job better.  The clever design allows goals to be moved sideways as well as backwards and forwards by a single person.
 

Friday, 13 April 2012

Dred Tory: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Warren Kinsella*

Dred Tory: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Warren Kinsella*

This is the most recent smackdown of a certain junkyard dog, whose most annoying yapping had previously been addressed here, in the manner one tweet described as being "the Beethoven's 9th of fisking".

And do check out this earlier post which may require that you settle down with your favourite potable to fully savour its amusing and scathing points.

Vatican Taliban Child Pornographers

6fg.png
This is from the website of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.

Then people wonder why some boys grow up to be Russell Williams.

Link from this tweet. Grand merci!

Added: The man in the background is dressed in full Knights of Columbus regalia. I wonder if Stephen Woodworth MP has one of those costumes.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Bro-Choice

Remember the 'Every Sperm Is Sacred' Amendment in Oklahoma?

This is the funniest Daily Show bit I've ever seen.



h/t @thishotplace.

More racism in your misogyny?

When I originally started drafting this post, my topic was the skinny on skinny or why do you still have too much fat on your body? Faithful readers of DJ! have read my screeds on that topic here, here and here.

So. There's a young actress in a blockbuster film that has become the target of the slash-and-burn media.
NY Times critic Manohla Dargis calls her "a new female warrior" [...] then in the next sentence says that she doesn't look hungry enough and that her "womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission." [...]

This is beyond disgusting. Lawrence looks normal. Her male co-stars look even healthier (and have some seriously big muscles) yet no one thinks they are too healthy or big boned or big boobed or just plain old fat. Look at her. She's not fat. She's even thin and she is also totally normal about her food intake. She likes to eat and won't diet. Power to her.

Sometimes I think that we are so used to seeing such skinny women in the movies that when we see a normal looking girl we think she is big.
"... when we see a normal looking girl we think she is big." Yeah, about that normal-looking thing ...

A blogger at Jezebel goes to town on this product, the latest installment in the never-ending creation of new markets for self-loathing - a business model that requires self-loathing to ensure the consumer target is receptive to its newest crap.
Needless to say, certain citizens are troubled by this product—which, in addition to just being fucking insane, brings up painful issues about the hierarchy of skin tone within the Indian community. As if it isn't bad enough that darker-skinned people are encouraged to stay out of the sun and invest in skin-bleaching products like 'Fair & Lovely', and that white actresses are being imported to play Indian people in Bollywood movies, now everyone has to be insecure about the fact that their vaginas happen to be the color that vaginas are??? Splendid! God, I was just saying the other day that my misogyny didn't have enough racism in it.
The meticulous parsing of the advert was a tad absurd, though the purpose of the product is too sadly evident. Bleach your punany, cos it has to be lily-white, virginal and pure!


Yes. The Georgia O'Keefe plate, from The Dinner Party, Judy Chicago, 1979.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

No, he's not actually irony-impaired

A very strange third attack on our very own Fern Hill has emanated from the keyboard of one Warren Kinsella. Suffice it to say that we all know that his irony-impaired act is totally disingenuous, and this is hardly the first time he's used this sort of tactic. You can rest assured that he knows that "good friend" is uttered in irony, and that he's playing some sort of game.

My theory is that he thinks that he's responsible for giving Fern some credibility from the whole Hudak business, and that he thinks that Fern is somehow basking in pleasure from his attention, and now that DJ has not proven a reliable ally to a Liberal buddy, he feels obliged to take away what he hilariously thinks he's given. And, likewise obligingly, the tedious Liberal authoritarian followers unsurprisingly follow suit. Couple that with Dawg's awesome act of totally sucking the wind out of WK's sails, and now it's personal, about his ego.

These sorts of tactics might work with buffoons who care and who live and die by what other people think of them, like Stockwell Day (nice takedown, guy), but for us at DJ, this is mainly rubberneckishly instructive, though admittedly less so than the actual megafail trainwreck that was the ProgBlog response to M312. Warren is a bright and very successful guy, but ultimately he too is limited by the things that brought him success, of which he is a clear product.

But DJ comes from another place and has another end. I have been a part of the Canadian political internet since the time when babble, the grandmother of the Canadian progressive internet, was itself young, and, in fact, quite a bit before that. This was also before FD, a site of whose "qualities" and "character" I am intimately familiar. I know very well what sort of loathesome little toads inhabit it, that disingenuous enabler git Connie Fournier included, I know that they mean people like me no good, and worse than no good.

Our Fern comes from the selfsame political culture that existed before Warren was ever any kind of player on the Canadian political internet and will probably exist after he retires from it. She too is well aware of what is at stake, is not a child on the interwebs, and can handle herself thankyouverymuch.

But, as I said, we should all take this as an instructive moment when the political culture of the traditional media and Parliament Hill meet the culture of internet debate and are shocked to discover that it is full of ordinary people with ordinary human relations. Thank you, Warren, for obligingly providing us this little reminder. Have fun with your quixotic little campaign. All of us, Fern included, will sit back and enjoy our popcorn.

Creekside: Woodie and the ProgBlogModSquad

Check it out - Alison at Creekside wraps it all up for you with a brilliant, bonus cartoon illustration for the rationally-impaired like this boy-o. Check out his libcon Parrot tactic, in the comments.

Going too far - or satirical honesty?



Harper's CPC government ministers lied in Parliament about the F-35 procurement process.


The CBC and Radio-Canada - unlike StunTV, the Sun tabloids and other Quebecor infotainment media products - has reported on the investigations of a number of CPC initiatives which may eventually lead to criminal charges being laid against the party, particularly with regard to electoral fraud, voter suppression and other illegal activities including corruption at the highest levels.

Thus the political cartoon from Le journal de Montréal is quite amusing - and honest about the CPC intent and tactics.

Just how far will the CONs go, to destroy the CBC?

Sadly, not so much of a WTF moment

Apparently, I am still an idiot.

Riotously, though, look where he's screeching from now.

Yes, indeedy, from the very blog aggregator that booted DJ! a mere 5-6 days ago. I wonder when he applied because I've heard it can take a while to get modly approval. Maybe his smearing me is enough to prove his bona fides.

Meanwhile, my friend Connie (ever heard of Facebook, WK?) has come out to her flock with 'Progressive blogger "punished" by Kinsella for talking to me!'

Well, no, Connie that's not all I'm being punished for, but her account -- with, natch, different emphases -- is about right. (Do go read some of the flock's, er, odd reactions.)

In a related meanwhile, Orwell's Bastard is keeping a tally of the Progressive Blogger Exodus.

And an in-case-you-missed-it. Dr Dawg's masterful takedown of the original WK smear.

And because it is such a keepsake, WK's response.
You're a great writer, old chum.  But you've way over-analyzed this thing (which may explain why I started skimming it halfway through).

I just think she's (she could be a he, by the way, as I assume "Fern Hill" isn't his/her real name) an idiot, is all.  When he/she got chummy with the scumbags at Free Dominion, she proved it to the world.

Anyway, his/her 15 minutes are up.  Talk soon.

To which DJ!'s Niles replied:
ooh. snap. WK pulls a tl;dr while trying to show how 'white man's burden' clubby he is with the 'man' of the house.  he needs a passive/aggressive award.

There, I think you're caught up now.

Wait. One more thing. This is what it is really about: Woodworth's Wank, aka M312.

ADDED: Been thinking. Read his latest again. 'Time for Fern to learn a lesson, I'd say.' Is he threatening me? I'm beginning to feel very weird about this.