Sunday 29 November 2009


This post from C. C. - Who reads the "Christian Science Monitor?" gave me an idea for the hook upon which to hang a couple of thoughts I've had recently about certain types of criminality.

fern hill and I often check our sitemeter because we are curious about how people get to our site and what they read once here.

A few times a week, DJ! gets hits from people who google Fernando Manuel Alves. Most of them originate in BC, which makes us wonder ...

Women are, as demonstrated by statistics and anecdotal evidence, more likely to be the target of violence at the hands of men who know them. Women are vulnerable to alleged serial rapists like Alves who exploit the 'opportunities' provided by his employment and social network.

Fortunately, not all men are prone to abuse, violate, brutalize, and/or murder female family members, intimate partners, spouses, neighbours, work colleagues, parishioners, clients or acquaintances. Unfortunately, the minority of men who engage in these actions are recidivists and their level of violence tends to escalate if they're not stopped by their peers or the criminal justice system.

Of course, the usual apologists like Mark Steyn and Michael Coren, Barbara Kay and Naomi Lakritz, will blame women subjected to violence for the actions of their abusers and killers.

Information about the 12 day campaign to raise awareness to bring an end to violence against women is available here in French and in English, here.

Feminism Dead Again?

Er, no.

The March of the New Feminists
They are the Topshop generation: young girls more used to partying than protesting; keener on women's looks than women's lib. But now they have had enough. A new wave of feminists, some still in their teens, are putting the struggle for women's rights back on the agenda for the first time in a decade.

The feminist resurgence has spawned a flurry of new blogs, magazines, books, societies, conferences and protest marches – and this time dungarees are out.

On university campuses, women's groups are thriving once more, while hundreds of women each month are joining new feminist networks in cities from Birmingham and Manchester to Glasgow and London.

The old-school Fawcett Society, which dates back to the suffragists, has seen its membership jump by 25 per cent in the past 12 months and the number of its newsletter subscribers double; while earlier this month, more than 2,000 women took to London's streets to "Reclaim the Night" from the men who make them unsafe. Similar marches have been held in cities all over the country. And websites such as The F-Word, started by Catherine Redfern eight years ago as a forum for contemporary feminism, is getting more than 110,000 hits a month.

From The F-Word site:
This webzine exists to help encourage a new sense of community among UK feminists, and to show the doubters that feminism still exists here, today, now - and is as relevant to the lives of the younger generation as it was to those in the 60s and 70s. The webzine was founded by, and is mainly written by younger feminists, those of us born during or after the feminism of the 60s and 70s. Although we encourage contributions from feminists of all ages, we are particularly keen to encourage and showcase the new voices of younger feminists, our peers. To this end, contributions from new writers of all ages, and young women and girls are particularly welcomed and encouraged.

What is contemporary UK feminism? It is impossible to define: it can appear in many different people's lives in many different ways. The F-Word does not define what contemporary UK feminism is but instead allows a place for different people to share their different opinions and views. The contributors to the site may have opposing views on certain issues, and that's fine; it simply demonstrates that feminism is a diverse, living and healthy ideology which is confident enough to question itself. There is no "party line" in feminism, there is no "feminist rule-book." Feminism in the UK today is whatever we make it.

Just out of curiosity I googled 'feminism+dead' and got well well over two million results and for 'feminism+alive' just over one million.
Sensationalist headlines or wishful thinking?

And then, of course, there are the fabulous Canadian F-Word Awards, inspired by the enduring dunderheadedness of the boyos at the Canadian Blog Awards.

Feminism dead? No freakin' way!

ADDED: To be clear, DJ! is not a winner of an F-Word Award. I just grabbed that badge from ACR's place.

Saturday 28 November 2009

Won't teabaggers please think of Ronald Reagan?

Today C. C. reminds us once again why we hold lying neocon christofascist rightwingnutters in such contempt. In this opinion piece, Kathleen Parker presents a lucid exposé on the derailment of the US Republican party at the hands of 9/12 pledgers and teabaggers.

You may remember that
Parker broke rank with her conservative peers and was one of the first to suggest that Empress Palin had no clothes. No, it wasn't the v-p wannabe's MILF mojo she held up to scrutiny, it was Sarah's lack of experience, competence, expertise and knowledge for the job.

Unfortunately for Palin's rabid acolytes and groupies, they couldn't dismiss Parker's criticism as the bitter, envious verbiage of a lonely, single, unattractive, man-hating socialist harridan. As for her feminist creds ... though not a card-carrying sister, her analysis is relevant.

Oh Dodo? Doesn't this contradict your theory about Palin's detractors?

Ronald Reagan. Oh yes. Somebody thought of submitting to the Purity Test the political positions of the Republican president that some US conservatives consider the saviour of the GOP. Guess what? Reagan doesn't pass it. Ha!

Fake Doctors with Real Drugs

This is just plain crazy.

Scott Gavura, a pharmacist, writes:
The other day, I went to a magic show. The magician manipulated energy fields, pulled toxins out of my stomach, and then gave me a remedy - but there was nothing inside. Then he pulled out a prescription pad, prescribed some Tamiflu, and sent me on my way.

Seem unlikely? Well, the Ontario government is poised to give another type of magician -- the naturopath -- prescribing rights, despite the reams of evidence discrediting their approach to patient health. It's a move that legitimizes a well-meaning but baseless profession, and puts patients at significant risk.

The piece was also published -- without linkies -- last week in the National Post (!?), followed this week by a rebuttal from one of the quacks who stand to benefit from the legislation. (The comments on both pieces are mostly reassuringly sensible.)

For background, here are a couple of articles on naturopathy.

And here's a terrifying site documenting the harm these fake doctors cause.

Here's the text of Bill 179.

Similar legislation has been passed in BC. A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal describes the powers allowed under it:
In British Columbia, the government last April passed legislation allowing naturopathic practitioners to prescribe Schedule I medications, such as basic primary care drugs like antibiotics. In addition, qualified naturopaths will be able to prescribe hormones, botanicals, high-dose vitamins, amino acids and other natural substances they have traditionally used in their practices, but which are increasingly coming under federal control and scheduling limitations. As such, in many provinces such as BC, only medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians could previously prescribe substances such as digitalis and other botanicals and hormones that naturopaths normally used.

Under BC’s legislation and accompanying regulations, naturopaths will not prescribe certain restricted classes of medications, such as antipsychotics and chemotherapy drugs. The regulatory board that governs naturopathic doctors is now finalizing the standards and list of substances that naturopaths will be allowed to prescribe.

Naturopathy is quackery. It is not science-based. In fact, it rejects one of science's bedrock methods -- double-blind tests -- precisely because such tests demonstrate the utter futility of its 'treatments'. It also rejects vaccination.

And here's the call for action. Under the title I snaffled for this piece, Steve Thoms writes:
Defeating a bill in its third reading is rare, but not impossible. I'm asking for all Swift readers (especially the Canadians and Ontarians) to email the Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, and (, as well as the Minister of Long-Term Health and Care, Deb Mattews, ( It would also be wise to CC the same email to Andrea Horwath, leader of the New Democratic Party (ahorwath-qp@ndp. and Tim Hudak, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party ( The bill is under review by the Standing Committee on Social Policy (for a complete list of the members of the committee, click here), so Ontario residents would do well to email them as well. Remember to CC all correspondences, so that everyone knows who else is reading what.
. . .
We really need everyone's help defeating this affront to health care standards and patient safety. If we beat them in Ontario, we just might stop them in their tracks.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me directly at

Thanks a million
Steve Thoms
Skeptic North

Let's get those emails flying! Also, please spread the word to your friends, families, and associates of the not-insane type.

Friday 27 November 2009


Who knew this was still going on?

The Federal Court: 'Get over it already.'
A Federal Court ruling this week has said that the Governor General's highly controversial induction of Canada's "father of abortion," Henry Morgentaler, into the Order of Canada last summer cannot be legally contested.

In a decision released this week, Order-inductee Frank Chauvin's application for a federal court review of the award was rejected on the grounds that it is "plain and obvious that [it] cannot succeed."

Remember Frank Chauvin, one of the recipients of the Order so pissed off that he vowed to return it way back in July 2008?
Local Order of Canada recipient Frank Chauvin is returning his award to protest the appointment of abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the order.

"Yes, it's definitely going," Chauvin said Thursday from his Windsor home. "I don't want to be painted with the same brush as Morgentaler. It's definitely going back."

Well. Seems he hasn't. Yet.
"I have been quoted in the media as intending to return my award," said Mr. Chauvin in response to the news of the decision. "I may yet do so, but I first wanted Canadians to have a chance to take a close look at what can happen when an Advisory Council abandons a consensus model and uses the award to advance a highly divisive view, in this case the effective promotion of the tragedy of abortion in Canada."

I guess he's not done stomping his tiny feet.

Old white men. They're so cute when they're angry.

Buy Nothing Day in the UK

Yes, we know. Buy Nothing Day was started in North America as a responsible and forward-thinking answer to the problems of rampant consumerism, the worst example being "Black Friday", the shopping orgy that is held the day after US Thanksgiving. The HQ and brain trust behind the campaing is Adbusters, an organization based in Vancouver, BC.

But on so many levels, the UK approach resonates more strongly with Canadians, I'd venture to say. For one thing, it's held on the last Saturday of November, when the 'shopping days before Xmas' count-down becomes frenzied and incessant.

Here's one social marketing that the UK genius folks have developed.

More inspired
anti-shopping YouTubes here.

From the UK Buy Nothing Day website:
Everything we buy has an impact on the environment. Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical consequences of shopping. The developed countries
- only 20% of the world population are consuming over 80% of the earth's natural resources, causing a disproportionate level of environmental damage and an unfair distribution of wealth.

And voluntary responsible consumer simplicity can continue every day of the year if you keep the following in mind.

Ask yourself these simple questions:

Do I need it? How many do I already have? How much will I use it? How long will it last? Could I borrow it from a friend or family member? Am I able to clean and/or maintain it myself? Will I be able to repair it? Am I willing to? Have I researched it to get the best quality for the best price? How will I dispose of it when I'm done using it? Are the resources that went into it renewable or nonrenewable? Is it made from recycled materials, and is it recyclable?

If not shopping today disrupts your schedule and standing in solidarity with the campaign would mean that you're deprived of ciggies, your kitty of litter or your children of milk, pick another way to be a conscientious consumer.

Sexism? When rightwingnuts do it, it's okay by them.

Glenn Beck, Limbaugh's current rival for the religious fundamentalist zealots, teabaggers and assorted rightwing batshit crazy nutters' dream presidential ticket has unceremoniously dumped Sarah Palin. This we hear from the ever-vigilent C. C. - Uh oh ... the honeymoon's over ...

From Think Progress:

In recent days, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has indicated that she may be open to a conservative presidential dream ticket in 2012: Palin-Beck (or Beck-Palin). “I can envision a couple of different combinations, if ever I were to be in a position to really even seriously consider running for anything in the future, and I’m not there yet,” Palin told Newsmax. “But Glenn Beck I have great respect for. He’s a hoot.”

Fox and Friends plugged the idea yesterday morning and asked Palin whether she would run with Beck. She kept the door open, saying, “I don’t know. We’ll see, we’ll see.”

But just a few hours later on his radio show, Beck shot down the idea, saying he was “absolutely” ruling out a Palin-Beck ticket. He explained that if he had the number two job, Palin would always be “yapping” like they were in “the kitchen”.

Pity poor Dodo. Yet another situation that will be wrenching her allegiances asunder.

See, Dodo venerates Beck and she idolizes Palin.

But ... wait.
C. C. has another scoop. It appears that Dodo is currently fixated on a new US coin that has just been minted. Shrieeekkk!!! No white men!!! Reverse racism!!!

Once again, Dodo is massively, one might say
mammothfully wrong. The people portrayed on the platinum coin are, from the top, a young woman of Asian ancestry, a young First Nations man, a young Black man and a young androgenous person of northern European ancestry.

What will Dodo do? Castigate Beck for dissing her beloved Sarah? I'll wager she will be silent, as most neocon rightwingers are when confronted with the essential malevolence of teabaggers.

Hey, So-Cons! Listen Up!

Just like the National Rethuglicans in the US, the Conservatard Party of Canada continues to pander to so-cons without ever doing anything about their pet projects.

But at least Stephen Harper is upfront about his lack of interest in abortion.
“We have a lot of challenges in front of the country,” Mr. Harper said during an announcement about arts and fitness funding for children. “We have a difficult world economy, as we all know. That has to be the focus of the government and I simply have no intention of ever making the abortion question a focus of my political career.”

Mr. Harper said that while some members of his caucus, as well as some Liberals, would like him to make abortion a priority, “I have not done that in my entire political career. Don't intend to start now.”

“I have been clear throughout my entire political career I don't intend to open the abortion issue,” he said. “I haven't in the past; I'm not going to in the future.”

Last time around though, he left the door open to private members' bills, like the infamous Kicking Abortion's Ass Bill, aka Ken Epp's C-484.

Not anymore.
After Monday's event, however, Mr. Harper's spokesman Kory Teneycke clarified in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail that Mr. Harper would tell his cabinet ministers they could not support any private member's bills that could reopen the debate.

“We can't prevent private member's bills from reaching the floor,” Mr. Teneycke said, “But the government would not support them.”

So-cons should give up on the Conservatards already and vote for the only party that truly represents their misogynist, homophobic, Christian Taliban values -- the Christian Heritage Party.

Just think how comfy so-cons would be with this bunch of losers.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Giving thanks that we are not neoCon rightwingnutz.

Yup. Today is Thanksgiving in the US of A, also known as the official start of Xmas shopping season though retailers have had displays up since Hallowe'en.

So. The
turbaconducken, folks. Another example of 'murrican nutrition-related ingenuity. All your basic food groups are present: fat, salt, sugar and meat.

C.C. this unrefutable "scientific" "proof" that the Homosexual Agenda is poised to unleash its control and influence upon an unsuspecting population. And what about all those ubiquitous rainbow-tinged soap-bubble-blowing machines, now sold to CHILDREN?!?!? Shrieeeeekkk!

From the BBC, we learn that the CIA scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrel in its never-ending campaign to spy upon the citizenry. Now you too can learn CIA operatives' deep dark covert techniques used for communicating secret messages. Hint: get rid of your shoes that have Velcro™ tabs.

And finally- tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day - just a head's up so you can stock up on essential consumables today.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

And the Maurice Vellacott Award goes to ...

those manly, virile, and likely R.E.A.L. fathers4justice fellows commenting after the CBC news story about Christopher Little being found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder.

The erudite:
Murder is horrible for everyone.......cheating is alos horrible, against the law in many places(I know Iknow not here). Many posters are saying that the cheating is irrelevant? Are u nuts? Being cheated on puts people in horrible mental states...our society's way of thinking is still too primitive to understand this fact. I am not defending this murder or saying I am an advanced thinker (lol), but you expect people to behave civily after this? This is assuming they were together since CBC stated she was having an afair....
The conspiracy theorist:
Maybe the two women were having the affair. It makes no sense for him to have killed both of them. Had he killed his wife for the affair it might make sense, had he killed her lover it might make sense. But why bother to kill the ex wife of the lover. How would that make any sense. Something is not right about this one.
The men's rights advocate:
What substantial evidence did the jury have that convicted Chris Little of this this double murder without a doubt?
And his sidekick:
I am a female and currently knows of a single father involved with the Ontario Justice system in a family law matter. The biasness towards the single father is beyond believable for 2009. I do not believe that there is evidence beyond the shadow of a doubt in the Chris Little case. In regards to the evidence against Chris Little, infidelity causes a person to do strange things. However, I do not believe he committed a double murder.
The wimminz-are-more-evul dude:
If it had been a woman who'd killed her cheating husband, what do you want to bet that the sentence wouldn't have been nearly as harsh? She probably would have cried in the court room about how upset she was, claimed he was abusive, that she let her emotions get the better of her and didn't know what she was doing, etc., and probably would have only been charged with manslaughter and got parole!
Yeah, dude. Violent men never get just a little slap on the wrist for vicious crimes they committed.

And finally, last but not least, Mr Misconstrue-and-blame-the-gold-digging-unfit-mother-bitch-who-got-what-she-deserved:
Let me see you cheat on the guy, bring you girlfriend to the matrimonial home as possible witness so you can protect your finical interest encase the guy assaults you, but you miscalculated this guys rage and you lost your life and the life of your girl friend, thank god the children were not harmed.

Christopher Little was found guilty of planning and carrying out the "honour" killing of his estranged spouse and he was also found guilty of killing a second woman as a means to evade responsibility for his actions.

The Gynophobe Award is named after Maurice Vellacott in recognition of his recent public statements regarding abortion, namely that it is used as "part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available". Vellacott, a former pastor, claims that women tell him "stories of being badgered, harassed and coerced into getting their abortion by boyfriends, partners, parents and employers". Maurice likes women when they're victims.

When women make choices that he doesn't approve, he says that those are not "real choices".

Uppidate: More on MV's warped perspective, one that emphasizes the victimhood of women and the predatory nature of the male gender. Huh? And neocons like Blob Blogging Wingnut and R.E.A.L. women call pro-choice feminists "men-haters"? Grand merci, big city lib.

The perfect cartoon for Palin's book tour

I don't know where the exquisitely named Dodo, the permanently Palin-panty-moistened, snaffled this cartoon, but it is perfect, yes?

I guess it's true. Birds (and mammals) of an (extinct) feather flock together.

Forsaking the Symmetry of Sin?

While I correctly predicted the immediate shrieeeking over the shooting of a
supposed Michigan anti-abortion activist
by a seemingly distressed and poorly medicated man, I was holding fire over this event.
Just before eight this morning a woman was going into the building for women on 1st Street in Duluth when she was met by a small group of pro-life supporters.

The protesters urged the woman not to get an abortion when the woman pulled a knife on one of the protesters.

No one was injured in the altercation.

More details here:
Duluth police arrested a 25-year-old woman this morning after she allegedly brandished a knife and threatened two anti-abortion demonstrators outside the Building for Women, 32 E. First St.

The incident occurred at 7:47 a.m., according to demonstrators who said the suspect was on her way into the building and had a verbal exchange with them before pulling a knife. The suspect reportedly held the knife to the neck of one demonstrator and told her to stop speaking. When the second demonstrator reportedly went to help the first, the suspect allegedly threatened her with the knife, as well. Neither demonstrator was injured, and the suspect reportedly went into the building.

Duluth Police arrested the suspect inside the Building for Women. Police report finding a knife in her purse. She was taken into custody and sent to the St. Louis County Jail, where she is being held pending charges of second-degree assault.

Slight digression: I wondered about 'building for women' in the first report, capitalized in the second. So, I googled (emphasis mine).
The Building for Women is a home for organizations and activities which promote the safety, dignity and empowerment of women and others in our region. Our mission is to provide safe, accessible and affordable space in which organizations and individuals, serving primarily women, can grow and thrive. Our goal is to support the women of this region by enhancing the long-term financial stability of the organizations that serve them. The Building for Women serves more than 30,000 women, children and men from northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan and from western Ontario each year. It is a local and regional model for cooperative capital efforts, shared resources and coordinated service delivery.

The Building for Women houses 23 tenants, among them:

League of Women Voters
Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault
Women's Health Center
Institute for a Sustainable Future
AFL-CIO Duluth
American Association of University Women
Aurora: A Northland Lesbian Center
Boyz II Dadz
Adeline, hair salon and art gallery

According to the comments at the second news link, the building is regularly picketed, because, presumably, of the presence of a clinic offering abortion services along with the usual health services to women like birth control and cancer screening. Or, maybe, it is picketed simply because it is dedicated to women's lives and work.

So, maybe the woman was going in for rape counselling. Or to get her hair done. We don't know yet.

In any case, I waited to see what hay the fetus fetishist shrieeekosphere would try to make of this act of pro-choice violence. So far, there's just this rather bland report, largely a quote from a news source prefaced by:
As sidewalk counselors "demonstrated" outside of a Duluth abortion mill they were given a frightening reminder of the violent nature of abortion.

(I guess demonstrated is in quotation marks, because they weren't demonstrating, they were 'counselling', as in 'harassing'.)

Why isn't the forced-pregnancy gang all over this? As they were with the Michigan shootings, the flying fetus fetish fancier, a (SHRIEEEK!) pregnant anti-choice harasser attacked by a clinic worker, and the terrible crime of egging the home of Cheryl Sullenger a few years ago. (Yes, that's the convicted terrorist Cheryl Sullenger, who pals around with Scott Roeder, confessed assassin of Dr George Tiller.)

Among other heinous acts of pro-choice violence, there are also allegations of drivers aiming cars at clinic harassers, rude language directed at them, and even -- gasp! -- spitting!

One would think that an actual weapon being brandished would elicit an immediate and martrygasmic outpouring of 'See, see, see? The pro-choicers are just as violent as the lone nutbars who have absolutely no, zip, zero, nada connection with the anti-abortion gang!!1!!'

You think the fetus fetishists are giving up on what the Washington Post calls the 'symmetry of sin', or, more commonly, false equivalence?
A comparison predicated literally on duplicity, i.e. on the shifting, imprecise, or tactical (re)definition of a linking term.

Nah, me neither.

UPDATE: Ah, here they come: SUZY ALL-SHRIEEEK and LifeShite. The LifeShite link isn't working for me, so, gee, I guess we have no idea what they have to say about this. I'll check back later.

MORE UPDATE: From LifeShite. A rising tide of pro-choice violence:
A Minnesota woman faces assault charges after she allegedly pulled a knife on a pro-life advocate who encouraged her not to have an abortion. The assault follows a shooting that took place in September in Michigan that saw local pro-life advocate Jim Pouillon shot and killed as he protested abortion.

Because pulling a knife on somebody who is screaming at you not to kill your bay-bee when you may be going to a rape counselling sesssion is EXACTLY the same as a disturbed man shooting a fake abortion protester. Right?

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Polarize Much?



Maurice Vellacott is at it again.

The perennial sponsor of go-nowhere anti-abortion motions has a new pronouncement:
Vellacott, a former evangelical pastor, recently praised the shortage of doctors performing abortions in Saskatoon. And in the release, he asserted that “pro-life feminists have come to see abortion as part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available.”

And here's the QOTD:
Quipped [Liberal Scott] Brison: “I think the problem with Conservatives is that 90 per cent of them give the other 10 per cent a bad name.”

Missing gold worth $15.3 million not stolen says RCMP.

Somehow and somewhere between April and October 2008 more than half a ton of gold physically stockpiled by the Royal Canadian Mint could not be located.

The RCMP has now concluded that gold was not stolen.

Tory minister Rob Merrifield trumpeted in the House of Commons that gold was not stolen.

Since it has not been found by the RCMP however, one may surmise that it is still missing.

This happened while the Harper New™ Government managed the country, including Crown Corporations such as the Mint.

Last June, Merrifield, the junior Transport minister responsible for the Crown corporation, told the Commons that preliminary results of an independent audit failed to determine what happened to the gold. "I've instructed the mint to bring in the RCMP to examine this matter in a fulsome way," he said at that time.

The mint made a written request for a criminal investigation later that day. Merrifield's remarks in June followed a series of Citizen articles detailing how officials at the mint had been quietly hunting for the gold since October 2008, when a routine inventory count could not reconcile tabulations made six months earlier with the physical stockpile.

On June 29, three weeks after the mint called on police, detailed findings of the four-month Deloitte audit ruled out bad bookkeeping and other inventory control errors for 17,514 troy ounces of missing gold and other precious metals. The news generated international headlines and fuelled speculation about what would be Canada's biggest gold heist.

The same day, Merrifield and Transport Minister John Baird issued a joint statement calling the loss "inexcusable" and promising the mint will be "held accountable."

They added: "We have ordered the Mint to call in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. ... The RCMP investigation is ongoing." Not so. The RCMP had only been investigating whether to investigate. There was no formal case.

Ah. Merrifield and Baird asked the RCMP to investigate whether to investigate. That sounds very butch.

Why are The Fetus©™ fetishists oddly silent?

You might think, given her politics, the woman in the news photograph above would be a natural ally of The Fetus©™ fetishists everywhere, and in particular a sister in the struggle (as it were) with zygote zealots like our own Blob Blogging Wingnut but you would be MASSIVELY wrong.

The woman shrieking into the microphone is Catherina Wojtowicz, an organizer for a Tea Party splinter group at a town hall meeting in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It was there that

Dan and Midge Hough, of Chicago, spoke in favor of health care reform and in support of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) at a Nov. 14 town hall meeting in Oak Lawn.

Their daughter-in-law, Jenny, and an unborn grandchild died recently due in part, they believe, to a lack of health insurance. They said Jenny was not receiving regular prenatal care and ended up in an emergency room with double pneumonia that developed into septic shock. Her baby died in the womb, and Jenny died a few weeks later, leaving behind a husband and a 2-year-old daughter.

[Wojtowicz] falsely claimed that the Houghs fabricated their story. In an e-mail, she called them operatives of President Barack Obama who "go from event to event and (cry) the same story."

When the Houghs spoke at the Lipinski event, some Tea Partiers ridiculed them. They moaned and rolled their eyes and interrupted. Midge Hough began to cry.

The audience, Wojtowicz later explained, was exasperated by stories of isolated tragedies that cloud debate over the health care bill itself.

In spite of a ressemblance to HERSELF and similar reactionary rightwing neocon interests, Wojtowicz has no use for The Fetus©™ that doesn't support her political tactics. As well, she didn't apologize to the Hough family for defaming them or for the rude and uncivil behaviour of her mob followers.

Monday 23 November 2009

Sanity and Decency Winnin' a Little

Yee-haw! Truth in advertising, indeed. For the first time in the US, an elected body has decided to force the manipulative Xian Talibaners at so-called crisis pregnancy centers/centres to stop lying. Bravo, Baltimore!

Sadly, though, they won't have to post signs like this.

And dig the margin by which it passed.
The bill, which passed the council by a 12-3 vote, awaits a decision by Mayor Sheila Dixon, who could sign it, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature. Dixon supports abortion rights but has not indicated whether she backs the plan.

So much for those wacky polls claiming that opinion is swinging towards forced-pregnancy in the USA. Heck, even David Frum calls it the 'pro-life delusion'.

Kudos also to Pro-Choice Maryland and Crisis Pregnancy Center Watch.

And if you missed it, go here to read the testimony of a former CPC volunteer who describes their practice of targetting 'abortion vulnerable' women (i.e. those considering abortion) and ignoring the real needs of poor women who want to continue their pregnancies.

May there be many more such successes.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Taibbi on Palin

Matt Taibbi's hilarious and scary take on Sarah Palin, WWE star.

A taste:
Sarah Palin is the Empress-Queen of the screaming-for-screaming’s sake generation. The people who dismiss her book Going Rogue as the petty, vindictive meanderings of a preening paranoiac with the IQ of a celery stalk completely miss the book’s significance, because in some ways it’s really a revolutionary and innovative piece of literature.

Palin — and there’s just no way to deny this — is a supremely gifted politician. She has staked out, as her own personal political turf, the entire landscape of incoherent white American resentment. In this area she leaves even Rush Limbaugh in the dust.

As they say, go read the whole thing.

You're welcome.

Lest we forget ...

LuLu at Canadian Cynic blogs about Stevie Harpocrite -  Canadian Cynic: Hypocrisy ...

Bald-faced lying is the trademark and standard operating procedure of Stevie's New Government.

Will the usual ReformaTories and Con sycophants rail against the never-ending obfuscations?

Or better still, will the haters direct their vitriolic rage against this individual who is suing the government for complicity in his torture as they did against Suaad Hagi Mohamud, spewing xenophobic fear-mongering and racist loathing by the bucketful?

I suspect not.

Compare and contrast

A few years ago, there lived in my neighbourhood a feral tomcat that I named Raffi.  He was a large, virile Maine Coon who fathered several litters of kittens since it appeared that stray females in estrus were plentiful and fruitful.  Our little household managed to shelter a number of these pregnant “queens”, found homes for the offspring and got the females spayed.

A wild and inexperienced mama cat gave birth to her kittens under a porch somewhere but would show up every day for her dish of food.  We called her Moochie.  As her brood got older, they started accompanying her and were also fed on our back deck.  Raffi of course was a regular although he would wait until humans were out of sight before he approached the feline all-you-can-eat buffet.

One day Moochie disappeared.  We became concerned for her and the kittens until Raffi showed up with them.  He let the wee fur balls eat first and then he’d scarf up the leftovers.  We never saw Moochie again but eventually we scooped up all the kittens before they became feral like papa – two of them were spitting images of the sire – though Raffi never let us get close to him to take him to the vet for a check-up and neutering.

Raffi displayed what appeared to be nurturing behaviour towards the kittens that had been left to fend for themselves.  He brought them to our house and would even groom them.

It would seem that Rodney Stuart Miller did not have the nurturing instincts that a feral tomcat displayed towards a litter of abandoned kittens.  In fact, the criminal justice system demonstrated that Miller willfully killed Sarah Marie Russell’s new-born infant. The facts of the case are heart-breaking.

How can two adults, one acting consciously and with forethought, the other passively, be so devoid of compassion and empathy?  What did they not learn, how were they emotionally damaged as children, what led them to these circumstances and such actions?   They are both adults and accountable for their behaviour though one can’t help but wonder if they are replicating cycles of violence that they respectively experienced as infants, children and adolescents.


Keep in mind that fundamentalist religious zealots like Blob Blogging Wingnut and Operation Rescue equate what Miller did to a legal medical procedure available in this country.  They would criminalize abortion so that physicians and women could be prosecuted for terminating a pregnancy.

There’s currently a prime example of zygote zealotry spewing the predictable pro-lies ideology & crapping all over everyone in the comment section of this post, at unrepentant old hippie, if you feel the need to observe the tactics.

Thursday 19 November 2009

'Going Rogue': The Index

'Going Rogue' does not have an index. Various theories as to why not were promulgated, including the notion that it was an evul ploy to make Washington insiders actually read the book rather than just check the index for references to themselves or their overlords.

Some readers here may know that I'm a book editor who also writes indexes. I think the reason for omitting an index was simply time. The publisher wanted speed. Including an index would have added at least two weeks to the schedule.

Nonetheless, two smarty pantses have provided their own indexes. Here's a sample from Slate:
________autumn bouquet of, 1
________robin's egg sky of, 2
________superiority to Lower 48 of, 1-413

Who knew that indexing could be fun?

h/t Andrew Sullivan.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

'Going Rogue' Goes Rogue

And, in case you didn't get the other book reference (comme moi), here's a linky.

via Joe.My.God

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be bikers.

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be bikers
Don't let 'em pick fights and drive them old choppers
Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and such
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be bikers
They'll never stay home and they're always in gangs
Not to mention, often in jail ....

Not to generalize or anything, but this chilling news item from the BBC about biker wars in Ontario reminds us that before street gangs became la cause du jour, bikers were the outlaws you avoided as in-laws.

Six members of a Canadian motorcycle gang have been jailed for life for murdering eight fellow bikers found shot to death in deepest Ontario. What lay behind the massacre? ...

The motive for the bloodshed lay in a deep schism that had developed within the Bandidos' Canadian chapters.

The victims were members of the Toronto chapter, who were sponsored by the gang's Scandinavian wing but were not recognised by the Bandidos' head office in Texas.

Peter Edwards, a journalist with the Toronto Star and expert on the case, explained: "There was a chapter based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, who came under the auspices of Toronto. "But Winnipeg were not granted full patches by Toronto. They
effectively had no job security and they grew really frustrated."

Who knew that it was basically a labour/management problem that went terribly, terribly wrong?

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Cats on Dimitri Soudas: Why Does He Hate Us?

Fur flew, the claws came out and by the end of it all, a large hairball had been coughed up.

Though it all started innocently enough with a text message, not even a tweet.

"Thatcher has died".

That texting triggered a cascade of embarassing communications which ended with an ailurophobic remark.

Had it not actually happened, one might assume it was a brilliant Monty Python sketch, just as memorable as the dead Norwegian Blue parrot.

But it did and it was reported by the BBC in its characteristic pithy style.

Let's do 'The Time Warp' again

One year ago, DAMMIT JANET! was launched and, as dBO reminds us in her
anniversary post earlier today, she led off with a confession related to the name of the blog.

My inaugural post consisted of the lyrics of the song after which we named this little blog-thingy.

Well, now I'm ready to make a confession of my own.

When DJ! was proposed as a name, all I knew of the phrase was that it was in pretty common use. I did not know it came from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Because I am probably the last person in the western world NOT to have seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Way back, when it became a cult hit, some of my friends -- and one very annoying one in particular -- were in the van of the avant garde. They'd do the whole toast-and-costumes bit and head off to midnight screenings.

Worse, at the drop of a hat, they'd sing the songs, recite the dialogue, and generally rhapsodize about what sounded pretty damn dumb to me.

So, natch, the more they bugged me to come with them, the more I dug my heels in.

Besides, why bother when I could have an impromptu, albeit amateur, performance of it any time I liked?

Let's jump in the time machine and fast-forward to a year-and-a-bit ago, shall we?

The name was proposed, your humble scribe here liked the sound of it, completely forgetting where it came from, and so it came to pass that I'm contributing to a blog commemorating and celebrating a cult classic movie that I've never seen.

Is that irony? Or simply comeuppance?

Where's The Cake?

Well. Time sure flies by when one is having fun.

DAMMIT JANET! is one year old.
This was my inaugural blogpost.

When I turned to the weird world web for blogging inspiration, I found
this, The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies!!! Could the WWW actually be ... Alice's Restaurant?

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant.

Absolutely, and all the rest of it too, as Arlo Guthrie set it down here. While reading those lyrics you might get a feeling that someone pushed the fast forward button. Because everything old has become new again. The authoritarianism of the 50's is being lovingly restored by Stevie and his Harpocrats - It's the New™ Government, peons!!!

There's an article in Ottawa Magazine (sorry, articles are not online, not even the table of content) this month about the changes on The Hill. It confirmed that Harper Conservatives are not your parents'; the PM has never debated a bill - in the Parliamentary definition of debate rather than the obfuscation his MPs practice - in the House of Commons. Never.

Monday 16 November 2009

Sarah Can't Catch a Break

Via TPM, this shocking news:
On a day where most critics are attacking Sarah Palin for being too conservative, one group of anti-choice activists is slamming former Alaska governor for not being conservative enough when it comes to the issue of abortion.

American Right To Life, the self-proclaimed "personhood wing of the right-to-life movement" attacked Palin today for using "liberal, pro-choice, socialist terminology" in her political rhetoric on abortion and for distinguishing "between her 'personal' and public pro-life views" ("personally pro-life means officially pro-choice)," the group says.

ARL has launched a new website to promote its 'personhood' idiocy initiative.

It ranks Sarah in Tier 4, 'Personhood Never', along with pro-abortion Mitt Romney and George W. Bush.

I am not making this up.

At the top of her page, there's this:
As a candidate whom many pro-lifers want to support, her actual abortion record and rhetoric is shocking to the conscience.

Then a long list of sins against personhood, including this:
Uses Liberal, Socialist Terminology: Palin's Facebook page uses liberal, pro-choice, socialist terminology even in a very politically sensitive context (trying to defend her pro-life credentials after appointing a Planned Parenthood board member to the Supreme Court). America is told that Palin believes in a culture of life "from cradle to grave." This is poor, even harmful, communication and shows a lack of political savvy. On the economic spectrum from freedom (capitalism) through socialism, to communism, Palin commits an economic faux pas by using a term that describes a socialist government which gives entitlements including health care, "from cradle to grave." Regarding abortion, using the phrase "cradle to grave" seems to betray a pretend ownership of pro-life values.

Here she is dancing with another liberal, pro-choice socialist.

Photo snaffled from Pink Sheep of the Family.

Sunday 15 November 2009


Dunno what's with the triple word headlines recently. Late onset Tourette's syndrome perhaps?

Any hoo, I found this whilst checking out other blogs that are not known to me at The Blogging Alliance of Non-Partisan Canadians (link on sidebar).
It's a funny rant about a bad shopping experience. It's not Buy Nothing Day for another week at least, and I'm sure many of us have had similar experiences so ... enjoy.

Natural and "man-made" disasters.

The science in 2012, the most recent disaster film directed and written by Roland Emmerich is flimsy, the plot is clichéd, the characters are wafer-thin (can't fault the actors, they do their best but how can you wring drama from lines that were telegraphed to the audience 3 scenes beforehand?), and the special effects - though spectacular - feel déjà vu, as though CGI footage was recycled from The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day.

Which leads to thoughts about other disasters threatening to destroy the planet. For example: in C.C.'s blogpost
Palin 2012!: flimsy science + banal narrative + shallow characterizations + re-purposed effects = Sarah's strategy to win the White House in 2012, aka Going Rogue.
The next weeks will be bursting with various Palin-flavoured news items and fillers, ranging from knowledge-based and interesting:

When Sarah Palin burst onto the national political stage there was a lot of talk about her distinctive way of talkin', you betcha. Heck, she moved to Alaska when she was too young to speak and grew up in the small town of Wasilla, but doggone it, why did she talk like someone from the movie "Fargo"?

Three University of Wisconsin-Madison linguists tackled the conundrum in a research article to be published in the Journal of English Linguistics next month. The answer lies in something that happened in the 1930s.

to Frum-penned arch:
Palin supporters have constructed an alternative reality in which their heroine is wildly cheered by the American yeomanry, and despised only by a small coterie of sherry-drinking snobs. No contrary evidence, no matter how overwhelming and uncontradicted, can alter this view: not the collapse in Palin's support in just five weeks in 2008, not the statistical studies that show her as the only vice-presidential nominee in history to have hurt her ticket, not her rampant unpopularity with American women, not her own flinching from a second encounter with the Alaskan electorate.
and finally, the glurge.
The Palin graphic was found at this blog: Pink Sheep of the Family. There are more.

ADDED: fern hill here: I hope you don't mind, dBO, but I'm parking this very useful link on your post. It is Andrew Sullivan's The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin: A Summary Before The Next Round. Lots of lies, lots of links.

There SHE goes again, right?

From this blogpost about the plight of women who face heart-wrenching second or third term abortion decisions Blob Blogging Wingnut selectively cites:

"A lot of pregnancies I see at work are wanted, even if they aren’t planned, even if the boyfriend is a jerk and the woman is still in school or even on drugs. Some women really want the baby, but it’s the circumstances and the future that they don’t want, and that tells them that they won’t really be able to support this pregnancy."
SHE claims:

Pro-lifers dedicate millions of dollars to help these women bring their wanted pregnancies to term.
Millions of dollars? Oh yes, under Bush, The Fetus©™ fetishists received funding to establish 'Pregnancy Crisis Centres' which are fronts for anti-abortion groups. Directors and some staff of these agencies were paid big bucks while exploiting volunteers who did the front line work. Very little of that money was actually spent to directly benefit pregnant women or to support them and the children who were born. Those who asked for help were discouraged or distracted or harassed and delayed from exercising their choice to have an abortion in the first trimester. Then, more revenue is generated for zygote zealot organizations when connected christian adoption mills (such as this one, or worse) succeed in selling perfect white babies with no defects to the highest bidders.

There's fundamentalist christian profiteering for you.

Furthemore: o solo mama provides a link to this powerful investigative report about christian adoption mills, it may be one that fern already addressed in one of her many posts about the callous practices of crisis pregnancy centres.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Weird, Creepy, Hilarious Science Projects

This is my fave.

This is the one Andrew Sullivan posted.

More here.

Nyah, nyah, nyah.

The IOC is pleased with the court decision barring female ski jumpers from the Vancouver Olympics, saying the Games can now proceed as planned. ...

VANOC president John Furlong said the organization has spent well over $100,000 on the case.

After the court decision, Mr. Furlong expressed sympathy for the young women ski jumpers. "It's an unhappy day for these girls. It's not fun watching it. But for us, this is a chance to move on and focus our attention on preparing for the Olympics."


"This is a matter that's been far from our reach and our influence and we simply didn't have any jurisdiction here . . . these girls have tried very hard, they have put up a very good fight."
John Furlong
here, commenting on the 'pluckiness of these girls' - women and female athletes actually, not girls - who dared to challenge the powerful IOC.

Beyond 'mere' callous sexism, there is another issue, a Toronto Star sports columnist points out:

The International Olympic Committee has a long memory. The British Columbia court Friday rejected the appeal of women ski jumpers to be included in the Vancouver 2010 Games, but had there been any assertion that the IOC was subject to such mundane things as Canadian laws, no Canadian city ever need bid for another Olympics, Summer or Winter. The IOC won't again put itself in a position of having a court decide its sports lineup.

The IOC considers itself and its members above the law when it comes to anything to do with sports and specifically Olympic sport. Remember when the shakedown artists went to court during the Salt Lake City bribery scandals? Far too much IOC dirty laundry was exposed and it all registered in Switzerland. Has anyone noticed the United States, with its sue-happy mentality, being awarded any Olympics lately? How did things work out for Chicago there last month?

Um, yeah. Who wants to offend the Olympdick deities? Nyah, nyah, nyah indeed.

Picky, picky, picky.

Is there anything more annoying than having one's opus magni laboris (that's a MASSIVE book, for the rubes) being picked apart by the small minds and fact checkers of the liberal media?

If there's anything worse, count on Sarah Palin to whine about it as she launches her memoirs promotion tour. As expected, most reputable news gathering organizations have been scrutinizing the details of Going Rogue because that's where the deity of your choice - or the devil - are bound to be found.
Palin's new book reprises familiar claims from the 2008 presidential campaign that haven't become any truer over time. Ignoring substantial parts of her record if not the facts, she depicts herself as a frugal traveler on the taxpayer's dime, a reformer without ties to powerful interests and a politician roguishly indifferent to high ambition.
More here.

As expected, Palin uses her book to pay back those members of John McCain's campaign team who kept her on a tight leash.

Cashing in on Stupak

So, what is at stake for the Christian Taliban in the attack on women's rights in the USian healthcare debate?

According to Wendy Norris at RH Reality Check, plenty.
What the Stupak-Pitts amendment does for the Catholic health care system is omit a competitive advantage secular and other religiously-affiliated hospitals without doctrinal restrictions can use to simultaneously market their services to both the expected influx of newly insured patients and the outpatient medical professionals who will treat them.

By restricting insurance coverage of women's reproductive health care, the competitive barriers faced by Catholic institutions will be eliminated — provided the amendment is not stripped out of the final bill that emerges from House-Senate health care reform conference committee. Which is why pro-choice advocates should expect nothing short of a full-frontal attack by the Vatican on conservative Senators.

Get a load of these numbers:
One in six patients are cared for in 624 Catholic hospitals scattered throughout the U.S. in 2006, according to the Catholic Health Association. The church also operates more than 800 post-acute care, senior living and skilled nursing centers across the nation. All told, $84.6 billion was spent on Catholic church-affiliated care.

But Catlick healthcare is restricted by misogyny faith in what services it can provide.
Add those restrictions and compound it with two simple facts: 73 percent of the now uninsured are of reproductive age and the leading cause of death among people aged 15-44 is accidents.

In essence, the people most likely to benefit from the proposed public option and insurance exchange will undoubtedly be seeking the type of care Catholic hospitals refuse to provide as a matter of religious principle. And these prospective patients are young and will conceivably need care for many decades to come.

For the business arm of the Catholic church it's a theological and economic two-fer.

Sniffing panties/punishing sluts PLUS raking in the dough. I'd call it not just a two-fer but a religio-cash-gasm.