Tuesday 30 June 2009

Development and Peace cleared.

Last spring SoWrongOrNuts had himself some testerical hissy 'episode' about the Catholic-supported and widely respected Development and Peace. He, and other self-righteous religious individuals and groups (Lifeshite) accused the international organization of funding groups that advocate for practices forbidden by the Church, including contraception, abortion and the use of condoms to prevent the transmission of AIDS.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a report about the investigation into those accusations. Dennis Gruending wrote an excellent blogpost about some of the history behind this explosive situation.

Shorter Blob Blogging Wingnut on the report: "They lied! TheyliedtheyliedtheyliedtheyliedTHEYLIED!!! (Not the bishops. I'm not saying the bishops are lying - they were manipulated!)"

So, Canadian Catholic religious fundies are now foaming at the mouth about this, because the report also .... how shall we say this? ... reprimands them.
We make an urgent appeal to the leadership of Lifesite News that it establish an open and fruitful dialogue with Canadian Catholic groups. We are convinced that when a group makes allegations, accusations and denunciations against another, this can bring nothing positive to our Church and is a counter-witness to that Gospel spirit that should guide all Christians. Negative actions of this kind encourage suspicion, scandal and division in the Church.

But, but, but, but, BUT-HEADS! Fetishists of The Fetus©™ like and want suspicion, scandal and division.

Why? Because they truly believe: "We're right! We'rerightwe'rerightwe'rerightwe'rerightwe'rerightwe'reRIGHT!!! And everyone else is wrong and wishy-washy lefties."

It's why we call them zealots.

UPDATE: An article, from the Western Catholic Reporter - Canada's Largest Religious Weekly says that Bishop Weisgerber ...
is urging Catholics to turn to their bishops rather than blogs and websites when it comes to defining who or what is Catholic. "People are taking interpretations and making them fact. People are believing these facts as though they were indisputable, when clearly they are very disputable," said Weisgerber. "They are interpretations from a political standpoint."
Blogs and websites ... by that does he mean sanctimonious scolds like HERSELF and SoWrongOrNuts and their political agenda for The Fetus©™ ?

Monday 29 June 2009

Fetishism or Idolatry?

A recent post over at Blob Blogging Wingnut's House of Constant Shrieeekkking, Persecution and Fetus Fetishism supplied a closer look at abortion-criminalizers’ yammering and never-ending public obsession with The Fetus©™.

SHE was waxing poetic about the potential that this invention offered. You can go find HER post if you wish; I'm not linking to it.

Pregnant women are being given the chance to hold life-size models of their unborn babies, thanks to an invention that converts data from ultrasound and MRI scans.
The comments that follow the news item range predictably enough, from zygote zealotry to the cynical contemplation of a niche market for yet another tchotchka associated to the breeding function.

This one got it:
Women already hold their unborn babies. How can you "hold" a child more intensely than you do in your womb? Why is it that we need to see a fetus to get a sense of it when it's inside us? - from Susanna, Berlin.
Abortion criminalizers believe in the higher power of The Fetus©™, separate from a pregnant woman. This seems to be the pseudo-reality that fetus fetishists willfully choose to recognize. It suits their goal of ensuring legal control over The Fetus©™
, often to the pregnant women's detriment.

And what's with the fetus fetishism? In anthropological terms, a fetish is a "man-made" object used in religious cults. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object. That jibes with the zygote zealots view of the object of their obsession. Not of woman born. Unborn. Pre-born. Innocent because not yet contaminated by female naughty bits.

Why fetishism and not idolatry, then? The key difference is the degree of obsession. While zygote zealotry appears to be an all-encompassing financial, intellectual, emotional and religious concern for most abortion-criminalizers, it's a stretch to suggest that they worship the fetus. Intense spiritual focus is required along with attendant rituals, for fetishism to get kicked up to the level of idolatry.

While those repetitive images of The Fetus©™, juxtaposed with emotionally charged exhortations that are paraded outside Planned Parenthood clinics in the US could be construed as the manifestation of a primitive and savage religious cult, they are inspired by the ideological doctrine of fundamentalist monotheistic religions. This zygote/embryo/fetus obsession is not technically idolatrous.

Will anti-abortion priests officially bless the embryo effigies that devout fundamentalist Catholic couples bring to church? Some sort of ceremony that falls short of being a sacrament will be instituted no doubt.

Fern hill wrote about US FDA cautions regarding the effect ultrasonography could have on fetal brain development. Though seemingly endorsed by an obstetrician, Dr Lopes -the inventor - is neither a physician nor a medical doctor. He does seem eager to test the money-making potential of his invention in a Brazilian clinic.

How long would a fetus have to be exposed to this medically unnecessary procedure to create a 3-D model - long enough to cause irrevocable damage to its developing neurons? Sadly, fetishists like Blob Blogging Wingnut only care about how the object of their obsession - The Fetus©™ - can be used to further their political agenda.

DAMMIT JANET! is a low-tech image kinda of place. We like the knitted uterus pictured above. It's not a fetish, it's a yarnwomb.

It's all about the bay-beeez. Well, unless. . .

While legislatures in backwards US states are merrily passing infuriating picayune little laws to hinder women's access to LEGAL abortion -- mandatory wait times, mandatory ultrasounds, mandatory bullshit lectures on fetal development and pain awareness -- in Connecticut, the grown-ups are in charge. They just passed a law outlawing diagnostic medical tests for -- wait for it -- non-medical reasons. Specifically, ultrasounds done on pregnant women have to be ordered by a physician or done for a valid medical reason.

Why, you ask? Because back in 2004 those sciencey folks at the Food and Drug Administration warned against them, particularly the 'entertainment' variety
offered by commercial studios that can expose a fetus to up to 45 minutes of high energy in a 3D ultrasound.
Prenatal ultrasound videos called “keepsake videos” and taken by commercial studios may affect the fetus, warns the US Food and Drug Administration. The administration shut down such studios 10 years ago and is again considering regulatory action. Ultrasound is a form of energy and can't be considered harmless, even at low levels, it says.

The studios have been springing up in shopping centres in cities and towns across the United States. Typically they use the latest high powered ultrasound equipment, which can cost up to $100 000 (£54 000; €81 000), to produce videos of the moving fetus.

The studios offer expectant parents one or more sessions at different stages of the pregnancy for $125 to $250. The videos show the fetus's fingers and toes, hair, muscles, facial features, and genitals and show it sucking a thumb or moving about. Some of the studios' websites post testimonials from parents who say that they bonded with their forthcoming baby and recognised features, such as the father's nose. The studios say they are an optional service and do not replace prenatal care. The cost of the service is not reimbursed by health insurance.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' April newsletter to its members says that the studios typically offer “a 30- to 45-minute ultrasound session with as many as eight guests welcome; a video to take home, often set to music selected by the parents; a set of photos, both print and digital; gender determination if requested.”

In contrast, doctors use two-dimensional ultrasound at a low power level to check for size, location, number, and age of fetuses and to check for birth defects, breathing, and heartbeat. The result is a grainy black and white picture.

Well, that just makes sense, doesn't it? Willingly pregnant women go to great lengths to protect fetuses from exposure to all kinds of potentially dangerous stuff. If you don't need an ultrasound, why take a chance?

And you'd think the fetus fetishists would agree, wouldn't you?

And you'd be wrong.

The zygote zealots consider forcing women to look at ultrasounds of the contents of their uteruses a powerful tool in their relentless campaign to lie, manipulate and coerce unwillingly pregnant women out of considering abortion.

Many of the fake pregnancy centres set up adjacent to women's clinics offer such ultrasounds, often performed by poorly trained volunteers.
Here's the whinging at LifeShite:
Pro-life leaders around the country consider ultrasound to be a technological marvel that has saved countless unborn children from abortion. Other states such as New York have considered banning ultrasounds for non-medical reasons.

Weird, innit? They're all for the fetuses, unless exposing fetuses to potential harm furthers their Mission from Gord. They're all A-OK with that.

Love: sex on the side, hold the marriage?

Shorter Ross Douthat, The Way We Love Now in the weekend New York Times: "Middle-aged guys have dangerous and reckless liaisons; middle-aged women crave dangerous and reckless liaisons".

His op-ed is a shallow response to a couple of thoughtful essays written by two women reflecting upon their recent experiences as well as to the tabloid-sensationalized sexual shenanigans of men who gave lip service to US religious conservative Family Values©™.

In What's Love Got to Do With It?, author Seth Michael Donsky looks to Dagmar Herzog, a CUNY history professor and the author of Sex in Crisis for insight.

She states that, because of AIDS in the mid-1980s, there were legions of young men, mostly in New York and San Francisco, in their twenties, who were faced with the sort of mortal, life decisions—such as health-care proxy and inheritance rights—that men in their twenties rarely have to deal with. “People would be dying in the hospital, and families, often estranged, who hadn’t seen their sons in years, and who didn’t accept their lifestyles, would show up and kick their sons’ lovers out and take over the whole operation. It was one of the first times that the queer community sensed, en masse, how vulnerable it was without those civil rights.”

Herzog further contends that, at the same time in the mid-’80s, as a direct result of the woman’s movement in the 1970s, women with school-age children from previous heterosexual marriages were now living in lesbian relationships.“There were great complexities,” she explains, “in attempting to co-parent with a partner who didn’t actually have any legal, parental rights over the children.” According to Herzog, however, it wasn’t marriage that people sought in the beginning. It was civil rights. “I don’t think that people really thought that marriage, as the solution, was even possible at the time.”

She poses that the next big shift occurred in the early ’90s when the Republicans, who had just lost the presidential election to Clinton, in their desire to rally the troops and to court the religious right, spearheaded the Defense of Marriage Act, before many people on the other side of the issue were even talking about marriage.

On the 40th year anniversary of Stonewall, one does wonder about love, marriage and the whole damn relationship thing.

Sunday 28 June 2009

The zealots' hate rages on.

Anger is not a "bad" emotion; it is in fact the necessary fuel for social change. There's an Anglican community in Ottawa that displays inspiring quotes and thoughts outside the church for all to see. This one in particular caught my attention: "Hope is the daughter of anger and courage." Yes, it's a transformation of the original St Augustine aphorism; I find it so much more relevant these days.

Celia Murray is a columnist writing for the Morgan County Citizen in Georgia. She was attacked - verbally - for the views she expressed after the public execution of Dr George Tiller. This, in part, is her response:

The retaliation for expressing my opinion was swift and vicious. Last week, in two published letters, I was accused of “spewing hatred,” of being full of “anger and bitterness,” and the question was posed as to whether I should be labeled a “terrorist.”

There are two distinct issues presented by these letter writers – the abortion issue and what I will call the “debate” issue – and I want to address both, after which I will say no more on this subject. First, with regard to the abortion issue and those who consider it a moral and/or religious issue, I encourage them to read the opinions of Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, who for more than a decade has been president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Based in Washington, D.C., the coalition advocates for reproductive choice and religious freedom on behalf of about 40 religious groups and organizations.

Prior to joining the coalition, Veazey spent 33 years as a pastor at Zion Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Surely we all agree with Rev. Veazey when he states that “men and women are moral agents and equipped to make decisions about even the most difficult and complex matters.” Rev. Veazey goes further: “We must ensure a woman can determine when and whether to have children according to her own conscience and religious beliefs and without governmental interference or coercion. We must also ensure that women have the resources to have a healthy, safe pregnancy, if that is their decision, and that women and families have the resources to raise a child with security.” ...

Although the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a very difficult one, it can be a responsible decision. Depending on the circumstances, it might be selfish to bring a child into the world. Pat Gillespie and Brenda Thompson undoubtedly believe that every child conceived must be carried to term. It has been my observation that many like them are 100 percent supportive while the child is in the womb, but as soon as the child is born, their support disappears. Too often those who are most vocal in their “pro-life” positions are also those who oppose taxpayer funding for healthcare, education, housing, family assistance programs and other anti-poverty programs. Essentially, in the words of Rev. Veazey, they “abort” that child by driving him or her into generational poverty, drugs or the criminal justice system. It has often appeared to me, based on fiscal policy, that the Right’s concern for the “unborn” ends at the birth canal.

Murray's original column was Politics of Hate.

There's a big difference between anger and hate. Anger can be channeled into community-building, into respect for others who are also angry for different reasons, yet wish to work to find solutions to the situations and problems that provoke anger.

Hate is cowardice, it is passive aggressiveness that explodes in violence, propaganda used to demonize and destroy those who are cast in the role of the enemy.

Saturday 27 June 2009


Tim Hudak is the new leader of the Ontario Conservatard Party.

I much preferred the Campaign Life Coalition-endorsed Frank Klees.

Klees is a real fetus fetishist. Woulda been fun.

More Moral Equivalency

Further to the earth-shattering news about a man getting pissed off at a fetus fetishist's gory sign in his kid's face, there's been a heinous attack on Operation Rescue!

Here's the press release put out by OR.
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman heard noise outside his office and observed the assailant through the security cameras attempting to gain access to the roof. Newman rushed outside and confronted the man, who then tried to punch Newman. When that failed, he flung his bicycle at Newman then fled the scene.

Attacked with a bicycle!!!11!!!1! What will these evul supporters of legal abortion not do??!!!1!!1!11

What horrible damage was done, you ask?

From the press release again:
One security camera was stolen causing an estimated $1,000 in damage. No one was hurt in the fracas.

3. . . 2 . . . 1


UPDATE: In the comments, JJ says that there is now a video up at OR's website. I'm not going to link, but you can find it. The vid is short and lame.

Religious Wingnutty Factor Gets Wingnuttier.

The saga of lost-and-found South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford just keeps getting wingnuttier.

He's now back at work and, needing a powerful metaphor to gloss over his little escapade, he reaches for the Old Testament. Appropriate, you'd think, for a Republican who based his campaign on the GOP's obligatory fundamentalist religious Family Values©™ - right?

First Mrs Sanford, with the obligatory stand-by-your-man sound bite:

South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford says she discovered her husband's affair in January when she found a letter to the governor from his mistress. Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press on Friday she told him to end the affair and was shocked this week when she found out he'd gone to Argentina to see his mistress. She says she believed Gov. Mark Sanford had gone somewhere to work on writing a book.

The scripted standard of a good, loyal political spouse response that's become a cliché.
Meanwhile, Sanford was back at work today, telling his state agency chiefs that he's sorry for keeping them in the dark when he went to see Argentina to see his mistress. The Republican on Friday held his typical public meeting with the agency chiefs, but started with apologies and likening his confession and future to the biblical plight of King David. Sanford says King David fell mightily but picked up the pieces and built from there.

The question remains though - will the Republicans require Sanford to fall on his sword? Or will it all get swept under the carpet, as it was for other GOP presidential candidates? I'm thinking that Sarah Palin will throw a spanner in their well-lubricated presidential electoral machine if the old boys try any of their old tricks.

Friday 26 June 2009


All of the three*
discussion boards that I've been a contributor to have had obituary threads.

Me, I don't get obituaries. Really. I don't get teddy bears and flowers left by AOAs (media term for 'any old asshole'), the 'outpouring' of emotion, again from AOAs, and now in the digital age, websites devoted to such glurge.

Just sayin'.

*And isn't it sad about the tumbleweeds blowing through a once vibrant site?

The Stoning of Soraya M.

There is a buzz happening around this movie. Part of it is the timing - it's an adaption of the eponymous book written by the Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam who was subjected to a fatwah declared by Khomeini's clerics.

The Stoning of Soraya M. is based on a true story; in fact, you may have read the bestselling book when it came out in 1994. Journalist Freidoune Sahebjam was traveling through Iran when he came upon the village where Soraya had lived and died. He learned about Soraya and her cruel fate from her aunt. Sahebjam’s book gave Soraya a voice from beyond the grave, making her a spokeswoman for all women who have suffered under radical Islam.

Soraya was 35 years old, a wife and mother of seven children, when her husband, Ghorban-Ali, decided to marry a 14-year-old girl. But it would cost him too much to support two families. ... Soraya’s only crime was being what was called “an inconvenient wife,” for standing in the way of her husband’s second marriage. For that crime, Ghorban-Ali determined, she had to die. He brought a false accusation of adultery, and with the support of their friends, neighbors, and family, Soraya was sentenced to death.

Soraya’s story shocked the world when it was published. At that time, little was known in the outside world about a system that said that an accused wife had to prove her innocence, but if a husband were accused, his wife had to prove his guilt. We must remember that these grave injustices, like what happened to Soraya, are still happening today.

The film was presented at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival: Director Cyrus Nowrasteh explained at TIFF that the act of stoning has created,
“Voiceless women, armed with only their innocence and dignity, are no match for the overwhelming primal forces that overrun their town."
The other reason for strong public interest in this film, other than heightened international awareness about Iran and current violent confrontations between religious authority and political forces, is the powerful critical and audience response that it has generated.
Saw this film recently at a special "pre-screening". The Stoning of Soraya M. is one of the few movies you will vividly remember to your dying day. It is almost unwatchable, yet you can't take your eyes off the screen. To think that women are still going through this today, creates a sense of obligation to see this movie. I can't stop thinking about all the women who encounter this type of injustice around the globe. Shohreh [Aghdashloo]'s performance is stunning and she surely deserves an Oscar nomination. She literally has pages of written text on her face, in one glance she communicates so much.
The above review from IMDb reflects the impact 'The Stoning of Soraya M.' has on many viewers. No indication yet on when it will be released on Canadian screens.
Will fundamentalist christian crusading zealots attempt to use this film as propaganda in their ongoing campaign to demonize muslims? Sadly, that would be a tactic typical of their odious hypocrisy and pro-lies spinning.

Cue the shrieeekkking in 3 ... 2 ... 1.

Expect the following news item to become a MASSIVE headline on pro-lies websites over the next days and possibly weeks.

Frantic to reverse the downward spin that their implicit support for and explicit incitation to carry out the public execution of Dr George Tiller last month has precipated, abortion-criminalizing and zygote zealot organizations will be frothing and shrieeeking about the incident.

Road rage is never an acceptable response to a perceived provocation, even when the target is a propaganda-toting rightwingnutter.

It remains for the Chico, California police to determine whether charges should be laid against the driver of the SUV who allegedly attempted to hit a protester outside a Planned Parenthood clinic with his vehicle.

Already Lifeshite has branded the driver an "abortion advocate" in its coverage of the incident. Now what? Are fetus fetishists going to start claiming that any imagined threat, such as those that had Jill Stank's knickers in knots, is an attempt to produce a "retroactive abortion"?


Added by fern hill: Here you go, dBO, SHE is on it.

Investigative journalism: the excellent and the ugly.

JJ at unrepentant old hippie brings us up to speed on the latest escapades of the pseudo-investigative pro-lies darling Lila Rose. One of her odious little productions has been removed from YouTube and ...
Predictably, the whining and yammering is rising to an ululating crescendo as the denizens of Nurse Stanek’s Psych Ward & Basketweaving Workshop stroke themselves into a persecution-driven ragegasm ...
Ah yes, it's all about their conspiracy-driven premise that women seeking help from US Planned Parenthood and the staff are in collusion to commit murder. Murder most foul!!! The Every-Sperm-Is-Sacred League of fetus fetishists and abortion-criminalizers is willing to see all clinics closed to achieve their aims. Women suffering from various chronic and life-threatening illnesses related to their reproductive systems be damned!

At the opposite end of the investigative journalism spectrum, as far as possible from Lila Rose's "How to Entrap and Defame Planned Parenthood Clients and Staff and Make $100,000." videos as possible is the excellent Dennis Gruending and his recent exposé of the pro-lies campaign to shut down Peace and Development.

Back in April we blogged about this particular manifestation of religious zealotry. Gruending however meticulously followed up every allegation, every shrieeek, and every MASSIVE accusation against Peace and Development and connects it to a resolutely self-righteous and self-serving movement within the Catholic Church.

A Catholic organization should, by LifeSite’s criterion, be prevented from participating in any project that is not explicitly Catholic in its values and approach. In other words, Catholic organizations should not be involved in anything that the church does not direct or control. This rigid triumphalism is entirely contrary to Vatican II, which promoted engagement in the world with people of other religions and people of good will. To place this mentality in a Canadian context, Catholic organizations should not participate in any project with the United Church of Canada because that church does not subscribe to Catholic positions on abortion or contraception, not to mention women’s ordination. ...

The great misfortune here would be to have the church retreat from engagement into a judgemental and sterile ghetto. In fact, this is already beginning to happen. Some Catholics, including bishops, have chided Amnesty International for supporting family planning as a woman’s right and the organization has had to curtail its clubs and fund raising activities in certain Catholic schools. Other Catholic schools have reportedly cancelled fundraisers for the Stephen Lewis Foundation because Lewis promotes the distribution of condoms to combat the spread of AIDS.

It appears as though the Vatican Taliban continues to promote human suffering as a strategy for entrenching its ideologically-driven doctrine.

Thursday 25 June 2009

Anti-Abortion CodeSpeak Update

From LifeShite (emphasis mine):
With Nebraska-based late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart saying he will take the place of George Tiller to do the lions share of the controversial abortions in Kansas, the pro-life group that was a leading Tiller watchdog is putting together a new research project focused on Carhart.

Operation Rescue told LifeNews.com on Thursday that it is asking women who have had abortions at the hand of Carhart to contact it.

"We are conducting a research project and are encouraging women who are ready to share their stories about their abortion experiences with LeRoy Carhart to contact us as soon as possible," OR staffer Cheryl Sullenger told LifeNews.com. "Of course, all communications with us will be held in strictest confidence."

(Would that be convicted anti-abortion terrorist Cheryl Sullenger? The one whose name and phone number were found in the car of the person charged with Dr Tiller's murder? Yes.)

So, now 'research project' = 'hate campaign' > 'death threats' > more anti-abortion terrorism.

Wednesday 24 June 2009

More to the point, alcohol-based "sanitizers" may promote infection.

Crazy Bitches R Us have been writing about the outbreak of H1N1 on reserves in Manitoba since the possibility emerged in the community of St. Theresa Point First Nation, on June 2nd.

Yesterday A Creative Revolution covered the hand-wringing idiocy around sending alcohol-based sanitizers to the aboriginal communities affected by the outbreak of H1N1.

It turns out though that there may be legitimate concerns regarding alcohol-based sanitizers, the danger they present and the harm they cause, besides the fact they are not as efficient as washing the hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Many, many non-Aboriginal children have been rushed to hospitals and treated for alcohol poisoning because they ingested small amounts of sanitizer when they licked their hands.

As well, non-alcoholic sanitizers may be safer, less toxic and more effective. The active ingredient is benzalkonium chloride.

This in no way leaves federal health officials off the hook for the racist assumptions of staff members. Instead of procrastinating and spinning their wheels, why didn't they share their concerns with the Aboriginal and First Nations community leaders?

GOP Prom Queen

Sarah Palin remains a never-ending source of blogging material. This week the Pew Research Centre For the People and the Press released the results of a recent survey.

Almost a year after capturing the attention of the political world as John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin remains a broadly popular figure within the Republican Party, despite receiving mixed reviews from the public as a whole. Palin received her highest overall favorability rating of 50% in mid-September 2008, shortly after McCain named her as his vice-presidential running mate. At that time just 34% expressed an unfavorable opinion of the Alaska governor, while 16% offered no opinion. But her favorability slipped later in the campaign. In mid-October, more people expressed an unfavorable opinion of Palin (48%) than a favorable opinion (42%).

Since the election, public views of Palin have shifted only slightly. Unlike Romney, Palin’s ratings continue to be much better among conservative Republicans (80%) than among moderates and liberals in the party (62%). ... Notably, as was the case during the election, Palin is rated somewhat better by men than she is by women. About half of men (48%) say their overall opinion of Palin is favorable, while 40% say it is unfavorable. Among women, the picture is reversed: 48% offer an unfavorable view, 41% a favorable one. ... Palin receives a more favorable rating from those with a high school degree or less (48% favorable, 36% unfavorable) than she does from college graduates (41% favorable, 52% unfavorable).

The Pew Research Centre is the organization that surveyed segments of the US population to note their attitudes regarding the use of torture. It is a non-partisan, credible and well-regarding research centre despite rightwingnutz attempts to discredit its findings when they do not agree with the results obtained.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Shocking Nixon Tapes Revelation!

When more than 150 hours of tape and tens of thousands of pages of material from the Nixon administration was made public by the US National Archives, it was revealed that:
... when the Supreme Court struck down state criminal abortion laws in Roe v. Wade, President Richard M. Nixon made no public statement. But privately, newly released tapes reveal, he expressed ambivalence. Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster “permissiveness,” and said that “it breaks the family.” But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases, such as interracial pregnancies. “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding: “Or a rape.”
Who knew that Richard Nixon's opinion on the issue of abortion was as "progressive" as Gordie Canuck's?

Hot Flashes, Power Surges & Laughter.

Readers' Digest had a regular feature called Laughter is the Best Medicine. When I was a sullenly rebellious adolescent, it was my favourite reading material at my grandmother's house where my mother would send me because I was "getting on her nerves".

Last month's brouhaha regarding Québec Docteur Clown's request for a modest amount of funding - the first time since programs were launched in 1999 - reminded me of laughter's documented therapeutic value.

You think clowning around is a joke? It's certainly not for the faint-of-heart.

Humour is the armour required when one is required to act as an advocate for one's own health care challenges or for a family member. Navigating those uncharted waters, interacting with medical and nursing staff, obtaining information, establishing boundaries and ensuring follow-up. It can become a full-time job.

My Brief Life As A Woman, a tongue-in-cheek personal essay from the NYT was enjoyable and poignant to read.

As my wife and I sat on the couch one night this past winter, reading and half-watching the inevitable HGTV, I started sweating hard and my face got so fevered and flushed that I felt as if I were peering into an oven. I turned to Deb and said, “Man, I’m having a wicked hot flash.” And she said, “Me, too.”

Then we laughed. You laugh a lot — unless your hormones are making you cry — when you’re having menopause with your wife.

I was in the middle of treatment for an aggressive case of prostate cancer last winter, and it included a six-month course of hormone therapy. My Lupron shots suppressed testosterone, which is the fuel for prostate cancer.

When your testosterone is being throttled, there are bound to be side effects. So, with the help of Lupron, I spent a few months aboard the Good Ship Menopause with all the physical baggage that entails. It’s a trip that most men don’t expect to take.

Jennings' witty observations made me laugh to tears.

Monday 22 June 2009

Gone fishin'

Nice work if you can get it ... and you can evade work responsibility if your name is Mark Sanford and you're the governor of South Carolina.

In Canada - and I presume that applies in other countries as well - if you hold a job that involves important responsibilities, you don't spontaneously go incommunicado & AWOL, while not even ensuring that a colleague has assumed your key legal tasks. But an elected official in the US? Not so much, it appears.

The whereabouts of Gov. Mark Sanford was unknown for nearly four days, and some state leaders question who was in charge of the executive office. ...

Neither the governor’s office nor the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for governors, had been able to reach Sanford after he left the mansion Thursday in a black SLED Suburban SUV, said Sen. Jake Knotts and three others familiar with the situation but declined to be identified. ...

First lady Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press earlier Monday her husband has been gone for several days and she did not know where. She said she was not concerned. ... Jenny Sanford said the governor said he needed time away from their children to write something.

The governor’s office issued a statement Monday afternoon: "Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session, and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside. We are not going to discuss the specifics of his travel arrangements or his security arrangements."

Thank gawd Sanford is a pale-skinned, English-speaking Republican otherwise US religious fundamentalist rightwingnutters in the state of South Carolina would have worked themselves into a state of shrieeeking frenzy by now.

Update: At Truth, Justice and Tacos, the blogger makes a good point about Sanford taking off for a hike on Fathers' Day and leaving his wife and four sons wondering WTF? Fundie Christian Family Values ©™ anyone?
One final note: Sanford has been acting squirrely for some time now. ... All of this should be deeply troubling to the people of South Carolina. Clearly, something is up with Sanford. Whether it's some kind of weird mental breakdown, or something as pedestrian as an affair, I have no idea. But should Sanford ever come down off the trail, I imagine he's going to have to do a loooooot of PR spinning.

Un grand merci to Canadian Cynic for alerting us to "Building the New Majority Conferenece" (sic).

Anti-Abortion Hit Man: 'I did the hit and now -- WAAAAAH!'

The accused in the anti-abortion assassination of Dr George Tiller is talking to the media. Again!!!!

And dig this, he's whining about being deserted by his terrorist pals.
The man accused of killing abortion provider Dr. George Tiller says he hasn't heard any more talk of outside groups raising money for his bond. Scott Roeder spoke to Eyewitness News today over the phone from the Sedgwick County jail. He says when the judge set his bond at $5 Million, he heard rumors people outside the detention facility were working on a way to raise that money. Then, more than a week ago, the judge raised that bond to $20 Million. Prosecutors say Roeder made statements to the media in other interviews from jail that show he's a public threat.

Since then, Roeder says talk's gone quiet on rumors people were trying to raise the $10 Million cash necessary to free the accused killer. He says he's only heard of people raising money for the original bond, and that he's never received any offers in writing.

(I'm still mystified as to why the hell he'd be granted a bond of any amount. Not to mention mystified as to WHAT THE FUCK IS UP with him having phone privileges???)

That aside, if the nutters actually raised the dough, wouldn't that make a pretty convincing case that the scum has lots of enablers supporters? With damn deep pockets enabling him to run like hell? And wouldn't Homeland Security love to have look at that list of domestic terrorist cell members donors?

But being deserted might make the hired gun rat out his terrorist pals. That would be good too.

Wake up Maggie

... I think I got something to say to you
It's late September and I really should be back at school.
I know I keep you amused
but I feel I'm being used ...

Margaret Somerville - a cougar? Unlikely, though stranger things have happened. No, I suspect Maggie is a latex - errr, latent and likely self-suppressed dominatrix though that orientation breaks out when she launches in one of her predictable and tedious public floggings of public morality.

Dr Dawg, who can run epistemological circles around Somerville, nails her sanctimonious hide to the wall. Metaphorically, of course.

...while on the subject of public intellectuals, the Citizen graces us today with another incompetent column by Margaret Somerville, the popular self-anointed authority on bioethics from McGill who is fond of telling us how to live and what to think under the guise of ethical discussion. There is, in fact little real discussion in Somerville's writings: it's all moral claims and assertions.

This time she's on about stem cell research and the sacredness of the embryo. ... "We are all ex-embryos," she says, in her sloppy way. We are, of course, all pre-corpses, too. ... Somerville makes much of the potential of an embryo, its "becoming," and summons up that phantasm, "moral intuition," which she has referred to, in other columns, as the "yuck factor." But the same abstract argument of potential could be used about contraception, since sperm and ova are, at least potentially, joined. In fact one could trace a chain of potential back to the origins of life. A protozoan has the potential of evolving into a human being. Morally speaking, must the chain never be broken? How can it be avoided?

Frances Kissling has a much better understanding of these issues, in addition to being more rigorous and honest in her intellectual analysis.

Surely I'm not the only one scratching my head at Somerville's never-ending perorations and wondering what deep, dark private secrets she knows about selected gros fromages. It's certainly not her MASSIVE moral authority or intellect that keeps McGill officials in her thrall.

Sunday 21 June 2009

Spin and shrieeekkk watch.

Pro-choice supporters advocates have allowed to a certain extent pro-lies zealots to set the terms of an 'abortion vs no abortion' orthodoxy.

Because abortion-criminalizers are rigid, absolute, dogmatic, uncompromising, and extreme in their ideological discourse, pro-choice individuals and organizations have articulated and developed official positions that offer the same political intransigeance, as counter-weight.

Frances Kissling - you may remember her from this - raises some challenging and complex questions in the first part of an essay posted at Salon.

We are pro-life to the extent that we do not want to abuse or harm living things if we can avoid it. That at least is our ideal -- which we then regularly violate with war, torture, the death penalty, and the callous way in which we deny those in need healthcare, food, shelter and education. Still, I realize that expressing pro-life values, when you're pro-choice, is much more complicated. The fact that the fetus resides in the body of a woman requires special consideration of her rights.

Protecting the fetus in any way comes with a cost that only women can bear. But I have come to believe that women's autonomy does not require that all efforts be made to protect women from pain or from hearing the word "no." The Supreme Court attempted to balance women's autonomy and respect for life in Roe [vs Wade] by allowing states to "proscribe abortion [after viability] except when it is necessary to protect the life or health of the mother."

These are valid considerations in the US where the laws are different. In Canada, the termination of a pregnancy has been for over 20 years a strictly medical intervention regulated by the health care system. Yet we know for a fact that access to first-trimester abortion is not quickly nor easily available in all jurisdictions and that has consequences for women's reproductive health as well as their choices.

It's safe to predict that Blob Blogging Wingnut and other fetus fetishists will prevaricate and spin snippets of Kissling's reflection while ignoring its resolutely pro-choice foundation. SHE has sneered and twisted HER own meaning from such iconoclastic musings before - it may be the fact that Kissling is a former president of Catholics for Choice that gets HER knickers in knots.

In parting, we at DAMMIT JANET! support Emma the Embryo and her perspective, as drawn below by Alison at her own blogsite Creekside.


Man, but those fetus fetishists lurve themselves some martyrdom. Two days after his inalienable right to screech at clinic workers and patients appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court, Donald David Spratt got himself arrested for the same breach of law in the same place.
Charges have now been laid against two people accused of protesting Friday outside of a Vancouver abortion clinic — and police have confirmed one of those charged is the same man who lost an appeal late last week of his jail sentence for protesting outside the same clinic in 1998.

Vancouver police announced late Saturday charges of protesting in an abortion access zone have been laid against Cecilia von Dehn, 72, and Donald David Spratt, 58. The pair were arrested outside of the Every Woman’s Health Clinic on Friday.

Spratt was arrested outside the same East Vancouver clinic in 1998 while he was carrying a large wooden cross and a sign that said “You shall not murder.” He was convicted under the B.C. “bubble zone” legislation and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Spratt has been fighting the law in the courts ever since.

And to make sure everyone is aware of his supreme sacrifice to the cause of harassing women, he 'fired off' a press release:
“The Supreme Court of Canada today announced it has denied British Columbian Don Spratt’s application to appeal his conviction and 30-day sentence for breaking B.C.’s infamous ‘bubble zone’ law,” Spratt stated. “It’s now official . . . socially conservative human rights advocates, using only speech to defend innocent and defenceless pre-born babies, can be sent off to prison.”

Smug, sanctimonious prick. Throw his martyr's ass in the pokey.

Saturday 20 June 2009

You must remember this

A kiss is just a kiss.

And sex minus condoms often equals unintended pregnancy.

Bristol Palin was quoted this week:
"Girls need to imagine and picture their life with a screaming newborn baby and then think before they have sex. If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex. Trust me. Nobody."

Funny how Sarah Palin blows hot and cold about the exploitation of her family. If she does it, that's okay, right?

But anyone else? Yep, yep, you betcha, pitbull with lipstick time. David Letterman was able to apologize in the nick of time; Sarah was all set to suck the marrow from his cadaver.

More here about why Sarah Palin's family is a growth industry.

Friday 19 June 2009

Hard(ly) News

Leaders of Canada's largest political parties pledged yesterday to increase the number of women in the House of Commons as a public opinion poll found Canadians want to see more women in Parliament.

The Environics poll, conducted for the group Equal Voice, found that 85% of respondents support efforts to increase the number of women elected to public office, compared to 11% who opposed those efforts. The poll also found 63% believe women are under-represented in the House of Commons.
Did this make the front page of any newspaper in Canada? Uh-uh. Didn't think so.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Two Good Moves

Good Move 1
In New York an assemblymember (that's apparently what they call them) is calling for enhanced penalties for crimes against the reproductive health care community. He is joined in this effort by Lynne Slepian, widow of the last doctor assassinated before Dr Tiller, Dr Barnett Slepian.
"Abortion is safe and legal, and no one providing, seeking or supporting abortion services should be in the line of fire," said FPA [Family Planning Associates, another supporter of the legislation] President and CEO M. Tracey Brooks. "This law will be a strong deterrent to these extremists, and we are so appreciative to Assemblymember Hoyt for spearheading this effort."

The reproductive health care community in New York and nationwide reports an increase in the number of protestors who engage in threatening behavior or violent rhetoric. "Violent protestors should stand up and take notice," Brooks warned. "If you injure a reproductive health care professional, staff, volunteer or patient in New York, you're going to face strong, felony penalties."

Lynne Slepian said:
"I had hoped my husband's killing would be the last over the issue of reproductive choice, but I now see this fight continues," she said. "Violent offenders need to know they will go to jail for a long time if they target the reproductive health care community in New York State."

Dr Slepian's murderer, James Kopp, has been in the news recently, once when his appeal was rejected and again when the Ontario Provincial Police inexplicably announced it would not be pursuing the case against Kopp for the attempted murder of Dr Hugh Short.

Good Move 2.
We move back home for the second good move.

The Supreme Court of Canada
will not listen to a fetus fetishist's 'free speech' argument.
Donald David Spratt had hoped to convince the top court that a law restricting protests in front of abortion clinics is unconstitutional. The high court offered no reasons for dismissing the challenge - the usual practice for the many cases it is asked to consider.

Its decision upholds the Access to Abortion Services Act which makes it a crime to protest or interfere with a patient or doctor within a clinic’s so-called "bubble zone."

Spratt was convicted after standing in front of a Vancouver clinic in 1998 with a large wooden cross and a sign that said "You shall not murder."

The BC law that created the bubble zone restriction was put into place after Dr Garson Romalis was shot by a sniper, as were both Drs. Slepian and Short. Kopp is suspected in this crime also.

There is much more to be done to stop the anti-abortion terrorists and their enablers. But this is a pretty good day.

MORE: Those prowoman women note the Supreme Court's decision in a post titled 'Silent Sneer'. Then they engage in a little less-than-silent sneering by saying that by not giving a reason for dismissing the Christer's whinging the Court 'does not look very smart'. My turn to :sneer:

Two Shocks

Shock 1.
One in four men in South Africa may have raped someone - with most of those attacking more than one victim, data from a new survey suggests.

The study, by the country's Medical Research Council, also found three out of four who admitted rape attacked for the first time while in their teens.

It said practices such as gang rape were common because they were considered a form of male bonding.

The MRC spoke to 1,738 men in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces.

The study found that 73% of respondents said they had carried out their first assault before the age of 20.

Almost half who said they had carried out a rape admitted they had done so more than once.

Read the whole thing.

Shock 2.

I went to wikipedia to confirm the numbers. There's a table based on a UN report on 64 countries' rape statistics for 2001 and 2002. It shows raw numbers as well as the rate per 100,000 population.

Indeed, South Africa topped the list with rates of 121.16 and 115.61.

So, which country is number 2?

Canada at 77.36 and 77.64.

The wiki article points out the obvious difficulties with such statistics -- under-reporting, definition, false reporting.

And I know that Canada no longer has a 'rape' law, but rather 'sexual assault'.

Nonetheless, Canada is SECOND?

If you were wondering, USA is third at 31.85 and 32.99.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Clueless in Kansas

Remember when the Ottawa Senators organization cluelessly got itself involved with the fetus fetishists and it didn't go too well for them? (Summary and linkies here.)

They now have company. The Kansas -- oooo, Kansas again -- City Royals have stepped in the pro-lie doo-doo.

And it's not going too well for them either.
“Come cheer on the Royals as they play the St. Louis Cardinals and support the Missouri Right to Life,” read a blurb that was up on the team’s Web site promoting this Friday’s game at Kauffman Stadium.

Some people said to selves: WTF? Then they asked the Royals organization. The blurb was removed and the story emerged.
Like any number of other groups, Missouri Right to Life arranged with the ticket office to reserve a block of seats for their members to sit together.
. . .
But here’s the kicker. About 10,000 of the stadium’s 38,000 seats were sold to groups for Friday’s game. Missouri Right to Life’s share: 50.

So how did that one group out of hundreds rate mention on the Royals Web site?

“I think someone at the Royals organization was just clueless and miscalculated the potential impact it could have,” Brownlie [Planned Parenthood spokesperson] said.

Yup, clueless. Especially timing-wise. Especially location-wise.

But typical of the pro-liars and their supporters. Clueless.

Yeah, Totally Alike. . .

They're unbelievable, aren't they? JJ at Unrepentant Old Hippie comments on the fetus fetishists' pathetic attempt to equate the assassination of Dr Tiller with the death of a woman undergoing a medical procedure. (Hint: guess what kind of medical procedure.)

Now the pro-lie crowd are shrieeeeeking about threatening emails.
In the aftermath of the shooting of late-term abortionist, Dr. George Tiller, American pro-life leaders have been receiving death threats prompting round-the-clock protection from authorities.

Death threats! Aieeeee! Who's getting death threats?

Well, Jill Stanek for one. She has been
receiving credible threats from a "troubled man involved in the abortion industry." Jill said that this individual is the child of a pro-choice advocate/writer and his mother had aborted several of his siblings. Following the Tiller shooting, the stalker emailed Stanek again. Federal agents are currently monitoring his movements.

'Involved in the abortion industry'? Because he's the child of a pro-choice advocate who -- shrieeeek! -- aborted several of his siblings? Sheesh.
Pro-life leaders have uniformly been forced to increase security measures to address threats of violence. In recent days Stanek has been placed under continuous police and federal protection following email threats to kill her at church or as she left her home.

So the authorities are taking this seriously, when they did not do the same just before Dr Tiller's murder?

So, who else? Ah, it looks like the usual suspects are lining up.
Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life, said that he needs armed escorts at speaking engagements to guard him against disruptive pro-abortion demonstrators. Individuals from groups such as NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and Catholics for Choice are often bussed in to derail these presentations. Even peaceful prayer vigils, so common to the pro-life movement, can be dangerous. Fr. Pavone was leading a prayer service in Bellingham, WA when someone confronted him and spit in his face.

Oooo. Disruptive demonstrators! Confronted and spat at!

There's more!

Lila Rose, the young woman who pretends to be under-age and then covertly films Planned Parenthood counsellors as she lies to them. What about her?

She's getting 'menacing emails'! Oooo!

How about Jenn Giroux (so prominent a pro-liar that we at Dammit Janet! have never heard of her)? How has her life been changed?
Following the shooting, she suspended her website, ChargeTiller.com, due to a barrage of profane and violent posts.

(Shrieeeking is tiring. I need a :shrieeeeek:)

OK, how about Judie Brown, leader of the nutters who hallucinated pro-abortion doughnuts? Well, somehow the evul pro-choicers must have forgotten about her.
In response to our questions the league issued a statement. It calls to mind the hostility pro-lifers face at every level as they, "stand in beautiful and striking contrast to both the violence inherent to the abortion mill and the street-side violence and drive-by intimidation of abortion supporters."

Hostility? Hostility? How's this on the hostility scale?
In the U.S., violence directed toward abortion providers has killed at least nine people, including five doctors, two clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort.
. . . According to statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an organization of abortion providers, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers.

And for further 'hostility', we have the anthrax threats, arson, bombings, vandalism, and on and on and on.

Keep trying to equate the law-abiding pro-choice way with the terrorism enabling and enacting of your side. It's really working for you.

deBeauxOs adds- :shrieekkky: icons are difficult to find.  All I got for you is this, fern hill.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Iran: A Nation of Bloggers

I don't pretend to know much about what's going on in Iran but I'm finding it rivetting. Andrew Sullivan is doing a fabulous job of blogging on it.

I found this vid there.

IRAN: A Nation Of Bloggers from ayrakus on Vimeo.

Sullivan also reports that blogs and websites all over the world are going green in solidarity. Even the BBC.

I'm the resident TechnoDolt here and I believe the least technodoltish among us, deBeauxOs, is in a light-blogging phase. So while we are kind of green here at DJ! already, I'm not going to try to go greener in case I blow something up. dBO would not be amused.

ADDED: Pop over to Antonia's to see a mordant cartoon.

Rigged "election" in Iran cheated women.

That's the Christian Science Monitor's unflinching take on the recent electoral fraud.

Yes, that is the Christian Science Monitor, but it's not Blob Blogging Wingnut's type of Christian at all, along with all that rigour, factual, science-y information that SUZIE - aka fetus-fetishizing terrorism enabler - doesn't believe is worth disseminating.
For the first time in one of the Islamic Republic's controlled presidential campaigns, the women's movement was able to raise its demands clearly and independently – even though the unelected, 12-member, all-male Guardian Council did not allow any female candidates to run.

The movement's courage to confront the patriarchal theocracy (in which "morality police" still roam the streets looking for women with make-up) may have been a big reason why the regime rigged the vote count – and why supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was forced to make a show of ordering a probe of the fraud.

Iranian women do enjoy privileges that women in many Arab countries do not. But Iran's powerful clerics know that democracy's advance and the liberation of women go hand in hand. They've seen women recently elected in Kuwait and in Iraq's new democracy, while their proxy group in Lebanon, Hezbollah, lost an election. So they are trying to stop both the women's movement and open democracy in Iran in order to maintain their Shiite "revolution" and their own rule.

It will be interesting to observe how Harper's RepubliCons respond to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad election rigging, given all the sanctimonious bleating they've done with regards to women's rights in Afghanistan.

Monday 15 June 2009


Via PZ Myers, a chance to vote on late abortion!

At PBS you can read/hear a debate between Operation Rescue president and anti-abortion terrorist enabler Troy Newman and Cristina Page of RH Reality Check.

PZ reports that Troy says he's winning. Troy also tells his readers that voting will be open until June 29.

So, um, if you've got a minute over the next couple of weeks, well, you know what to do.

Oh, and about winning, here's the score at the moment:

UPDATE ('bout half an hour later): Wow. When the Pharyngulans get on it, watch out.

Sunday 14 June 2009

Like a broken clock, Blob Blogging Wingnut is sometimes correct.

SUZANNE SAID: "The vast majority of feminists do not care what happens to the fetus."

Shorter Blob Blogging Wingnut: How do you like MY anti-feminist generalization? I got a MILLION of them!

SHE is right. Abortion-criminalizing, zygote zealots are the ones who obsess about "the fetus" - and nothing but "the fetus".

While feminists care about women.

There's a lot of posturing and blathering in rightwing neocon and in anti-feminist fundamentalist religious groups about individuals taking responsibility for their own actions, and how the government interferes too much with the lives of private citizens. So let women be responsible for decisions regarding their own fetus.
Feminists care when women become pregnant - with or without intent - we care whether they have access to the medical care they need. If women choose to give life, to carry their pregnancies to term and to give birth, feminists care that they're able to do so in the best conditions possible.
Feminist advocacy for women's reproductive health includes all aspects from menarche to menopause. And health care providers need to get it.
One of the themes of the annual meeting of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada is to consider how inducting labour rather than letting it proceed as it does normally has negative outcomes.

For most expectant mothers, labour begins spontaneously, at about 40 weeks into the pregnancy.Induction of labour occurs when medications such as prostaglandin and oxytocin are used when a woman is past her due date to ripen the cervix and get the uterus contracting.

Says Dr. Andre Lalonde, “The message to doctors, nurses and midwives is, be patient and do not consider inductions before the end of the 41st week,” said Lalonde. “If you wait that extra week to 10 days, you will find that most women — a large percentage — will go into spontaneous labour.” He says “the number one risk” of induction is that it leads to earlier decisions about a C-section, which now stand at an all-time high in Canada. Nearly 28 per cent of babies were born surgically in Canada in 2007-08, according to a national report released last week. That’s up from five per cent in 1969.

Induction can lead to longer, more painful labour and continuous electronic monitoring of the baby’s heart rate, which itself increases the risk of C-sections, because it generates “a lot of information. In fact, too much information,” says Dr. William Ehman, a family doctor in Nanaimo, B.C. who will be leading a session on normal birth at this week’s meeting of pregnancy doctors and gynecologists. “So you are trying to sort out the important things versus what’s not important.”

Research shows that, in healthy pregnancies, checking the baby’s heart rate after contractions by listening, or using a hand-held device, reduces the risk of interventions.

Healthy pregnancies for women. Because pregnancies have consequences.

The photo was taken from Birthing without fear.

More from Bizarro World

Rightards are saying that the guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum is a lefty.

I thought that was terrifying and hilarious at the same time.

I just saw something funnier and Canadian to boot.

Over at Freak Dominion, someone put a link up to an article in the Notional Pest about the 'radical' (NattyPo's term) anti-abortion group, Signal Hill, formerly Pro-Life BC.

Some of the freaks are taking exception to the Signalers' 'new' approach -- stop trying to recriminalize abortion and work on 'hearts and minds' instead.

Here's what one genius said (I'll save you a click and quote it in its entirety):
These "pro-life" groups are leftist trojan horses. Prolifers who support their agenda are $&%(*# heads.

Maybe she or he was kidding. You think?

Nah, me either.

When Pro-Lies turn against their own.

At News of the Restless & A Creative Revolution, I read that a US woman engaged the rapt attention of thousands of anti-abortion fetus fetishists for months with a totally fabricated story about a pregnancy, a doomed fetus and religious glurge. Ooops - sorry, the glurge was authentic.
Blogger's baby was a hoax ... Raechel Myers, a friend of Beushausen's from college, heard from someone that Beushausen was going through a difficult pregnancy. Myers and her husband, Ryan, had a daughter who died at birth, so they did more than most to support Beushausen."When I heard that she was pregnant, I called her and said if she needed anything, I was there for her," said Myers, who lives in Nashville. She said she spoke to Beushausen almost every day for the last few weeks. ... Even after learning of the hoax, Myers said she and her husband don't regret their involvement. "She's someone who needed love and attention, and we gave her that," Myers said.

Unfortunately, not all the readers of "April's Mom" were as forgiving and kind in that, you know, christian way. Which is odd, since Beushausen is vociferously against abortion and blogged incessantly about that and her imaginary fetus. However, some of her former fans don't display much, if any compassion for someone so obviously emotionally fragile and still grieving the loss of her child, 4 years later. One comment is typical of the bloodthirsty hatred the discovery of her subterfuge provoked:

"It has everything to do with the fact that this woman cooked up an elaborate scheme to defraud people. To prey on peoples emotions and to exploit that. I was quoted in this article; I have delved into Beccah's life this past week. People everyday live through much harder things than she could ever dream of and they don't make imaginary lives up for themselves. She needs to be held accountable for her actions."

Oh really? Such loathing, usually reserved for those the Pro-Liars call abortionists.

"I'm still feeling a lot of hate towards her," said Jacki Gallagher, a 30-year-old blogger from British Columbia who followed the site from early on. "Reading her site was part of my life. I hand make toys and was ready to send something, because she had moved me so much. She wrote beautifully and that was really the seller. She didn't just make short posts, she put a lot of time an effort into this," Gallagher said.
There's hundreds more comments like those.
"I think it's sick, what she did," said Briane Gibson, a 24-year-old blogger who quickly became suspicious and helped identify Beushausen ... "She was feeding off people's sympathy. She was making money of people," Gibson said. "She wasted the time of so many people who could have been helping real families in need," she said.

Now there's an interesting claim. Beushausen never asked for money for herself. It wasn't an extortion scam, where she threatened to have an abortion unless people sent her financial support, as others have tried to do. She directed donations towards an anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centre which, one would assume, her readers should consider worthy of support, regardless of the legitimacy of her story. Yet the Centre is furiously trying to distance itself from "April's Mom" because of the optics.

"We never had any direct contact with this woman and we are investigating," said Rick Ligthart, executive director of PASS. "We know of one, at least, donation related to this hoax and we want to make sure we do the right thing. "This lie is another indication of the brokenness this country's moral fabric," he said.

There you go. There was no fetus, just a still broken-hearted mother who gave birth to a baby that did not survive. Beushausen did not force anyone to read her moving and "beautifully written" posts. Her former supporters shrieeek that they could have been spending time helping real people who "everyday live through much harder things". But how many anti-abortionists actually help those in need, the mothers and families raising infants with physical handicaps, life-threatening genetic disorders and serious cognitive impairments? Observe how the religious fundamentalist abortion criminalizers cannot find a shred of love in their heart for someone so obviously needy. Doesn't that make them the liars, the fakes, the frauds?

Update: Check out psa's delicious rant du jour: Caps Lock ENGAGED!

Gadhafi & Van Susteren: Where are the feminists?

Together in spirit, though not on the same continent and likely not even in the same universe: Moammar Gadhafi and Greta Van Susteren.

Gadhafi lectures Italians on women's rights - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave Italians a contradictory take on women's rights Friday, criticizing Islam's treatment of women but then suggesting it should be up to male relatives to decide if a woman can drive. ... At times he appeared to strike out for women's rights, but also backed some of Islam's strictest tenets and criticized the history of women's emancipation in the West.

Gadhafi, a self-styled feminist on his first trip to Italy, arrived at the auditorium dressed in traditional robes and surrounded by his female bodyguards. After his speech, he reached out to the veil of a woman in his entourage and used it to wipe the sweat off his brow.

Meanwhile, back in the US, Greta Van Susteren played the indignant feminist card on Fox News Infotainment, citing first Rush Limbaugh's faux-trage as he spins his claim that Letterman suggested
"that Palin's daughter was raped at 14 years old during a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. And who's denouncing it? Who denounced any of the hatred against Sarah Palin?"

Disregarding the fact that Letterman didn't actually say that, Van Susteren then brought on as guest Jane Swift, the former governor of Massachusetts as some sort of expert on feminism, or perhaps to proclaim that Limbaugh is now a champion of women's rights. In fact, Swift's authority appears limited and specific to the role she played during the Republican presidential campaign as the head of a "truth squad", with the purpose of debunking false rumors about Sarah Palin. Is that the odour of a well-greased political machine grinding away to keep Palin in the news or the stench of Limbaugh roasting in his own fat under the TV studio lights that we can smell?

Oh, and by the way Greta, how's that Best Friends Forever thing with Sarah working out for you?

Saturday 13 June 2009

Eliminationism: Interview with David Neiwert

Good read. Longish interview with David Neiwert, author of The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right at AlterNet.

The intro:
In April, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report (PDF) warning that the shifting political climate and tanking economy were spurring a resurgence of violent right-wing extremism (known as "terrorism" when applied to those holding other political views) in the United States.

At the time, a number of right-wing commentators lambasted the report as a politically motivated attack on mainstream conservatism rather than what it was: an early warning on the dangers posed by a violent, fringe minority within their movement. Under pressure from GOP lawmakers, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano apologized for the report.

But in the short weeks since, the department's warnings have proved prescient. An abortion provider who had been a frequent target of Fox News' bloviator Bill O'Reilly was gunned down during a church service in Kansas; a mentally disturbed man who believed the "tea-bagging" movement's contention that the Obama administration is destroying the American economy -- and who reportedly owned a number of firearms -- withdrew $85,000 from his bank account, said he was part of a plot to assassinate the president and disappeared (he was later captured in Las Vegas); and this week, a white supremacist who was deeply steeped in far-right conspiracism entered the U.S. Holocaust Museum and opened fire, killing a guard before being shot and wounded by security personnel.

The three incidents share a common feature: All of these men thought they were serving a higher moral purpose, that is, defending their country from an insidious "enemy within" as defined by the far right -- a "baby-killer," the Jews who secretly control the world and a president who's been accused of being a Manchurian Candidate-style foreign agent bent on nothing less than the destruction of the American Way.

David Neiwert, a veteran journalist who has covered violent right-wing groups for years, calls the worldview that informs this twisted sense of moral purpose "eliminationism." It's the belief that one's political opponents are not just wrongheaded, misinformed or even acting in bad faith. Eliminationism holds that they are a cancer on the body politic that must be excised -- either by separation from the public at large, through censorship or by outright extermination -- in order to protect the purity of the nation.

As eliminationist rhetoric becomes increasingly mainstream within the American right -- fueled in large part by the wildly overheated discourse found on conservative blogs and talk radio -- Neiwert's new book, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, could not have come at a more important time. In it, Neiwert painstakingly details how the rise in eliminationism is a very real threat and points to the dangers of dismissing extreme rhetoric as merely a form of "entertainment."