Monday 31 January 2011

Centre of the media universe or

... political black hole? You decide.

[...]Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank's [made a] widely circulated pledge not to write anything about her for the whole of February.

Milbank wrote that, since Palin did not hold political office and had become "more like Ann Coulter," he would try to ease his "obsession" with writing about her, or mentioning her in any media appearance, for a month.

Speaking at a meeting of the Safari Club, a hunting organization, Palin apparently said that was fine with her. The boycott, she said, "sounds good, because there's a lot of chaos in Cairo, and I can't wait to not get blamed for it--at least for a month."

Palin became a focal point during the discussions on rhetoric and civility in the wake of the Arizona shooting; people accused her of having soured the national discourse through her use of phrases such as "don't retreat, reload!"

From here.

Hey Sarah, has anyone in your family or entourage of sycophants ever told that it's not all about you?

The last word goes to comic John Fugelsang.

Sunday 30 January 2011

Can't blink.

In the hilarious stand-up comedy monologue below Janeane Garafolo - about whom it is claimed that she bears a slight ressemblance to fern hill in the same way that Patsy Stone looks like deBeauxOs - refers to US rightwing religious fundamentalists Con zombies using the expression "Can't blink". Garafolo riffs about that, and Stevie Spiteful.

I suspect the expression "Can't blink" was borrowed from military jargon, and it's exploited in the RepubliCon discourse just as terms such as pre-emptive strike and collateral damage are deployed.

Nonetheless, it reveals a political reality in the US - and elsewhere, as events in Northern Africa and the Middle East demonstrate - that one should remain vigilant with regards to the actions of ideological opponents.

fern hill's post about the US RepubliCons' MASSIVE push to re-criminalize abortion with legislature that limits women's access to abortion exposes the depth of their hypocrisy. As this NYTimes op-ed says:

House Republicans are preparing to push through restrictions on federal financing of abortions far more extreme than previously proposed at the federal level. Lawmakers who otherwise rail against big government have made it one of their highest priorities to take the decision about a legal medical procedure out of the hands of individuals and turn it over to the government. [...]

A separate Republican bill would deny federal funds for family planning services to any organization that provides abortions. It is aimed primarily at Planned Parenthood’s hundreds of health centers, which also provide many other valuable services. No federal money is used for the abortions. This is a reckless effort to cripple an irreplaceable organization out of pure politics.

Remember how ReformaTory HarperCon backbenchers' Preacher Vellacott and Rod Bruinooge kept introducing private members' bills to impose legislated restrictions on a legal medical procedure and re-criminalize abortion in past parliamentary sessions?
From another NYTimes op-ed:

The objective is to provide the Supreme Court’s conservative majority with a new vehicle for further tampering with Roe v. Wade’s insight that the decision about whether to terminate a pregnancy is best left to women and their doctors pre-viability.

Americans who support women’s reproductive rights and oppose this kind of outrageous government intrusion need to respond with rising force and clarity to this real and immediate danger.

This incremental erosion of women's right to choose when and if to procreate in Canada is a toxic spillover from US rightwing zealotry - and bigotry. Don't blink, because the HarperCons are following the lead of their ideological brethren in the US.

Saturday 29 January 2011

Two *ladies* ... (not the song from Cabaret)

An admission: I've long admired the thespian skills of Jane Lynch, long before she invaded US tv screens via "Glee" in the form of Sue Sylvester.

Every one of her roles has been a delicious comic performance, particularly in those ensemble mock-docs directed by Christopher Guest. Here she lampoons another modern archetype - the New Age therapist.

The SNL connection continues for Sarah Palin when Tracy Morgan (cast member on Tina Fey's 30 Rock) offers these ... um, affirming words about her.

Given the rumours recently spread by tabloids, one might think that this shout-out to her sex appeal would greatly cheer Palin.

"... no whore like an old whore." (Updated)

That Mulroney quote came to mind when Josée Legault broke the news about Lucien Bouchard accepting the role of Head Salesman Chief spokesman for the oil and gas industry in Québec.

From press release:
Knowing the work that remains ahead, I am glad to see a man of Lucien Bouchard's calibre pick up the mantle. I know that he will be able to rally Quebecers around this wealth-creating project," stated outgoing QOGA President André Caillé.

Ah yes. The new buzz-word is "wealth-creating" though it's not clear who exactly will benefit from this about-to-be-created, in gestation one might say, wealth besides the gas companies' shareholders.

Though the regulations regarding sollicitation have been challenged in Ontario, aren't those provisions in the Criminal Code still being enforced on the eastern shores of the Outaouais?

Update: Bouchard's honorarium to act as promoter/apologist for the QOGA will be paid by Alberta's Talisman Energy Inc. it was reported.

Just in case the name Talisman Energy Inc. rings a bell, here's the 411. When should we expect an opus to equal Ezrant's, on "Ethical Gas"?

Rapist Protection Act, 2011

In their obsessive compulsive campaign to control and punish women, fetus fetishists in the US have hit on a genius new ploy. Rethuglicans redefine rape.
With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape."

Simply horrific.
In an effort to prove that irony is alive and well, Smith has given his Rapist Protection Act of 2011 the nickname: “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”. 173 Republicans have rushed to support this effort to punish victims of rape and give predators ongoing power over their victims and the peace of mind that comes with the Bill’s assurance that anybody they get pregnant will be forced by the State to carry the child to term.

Well, we know fetush fetishists want to turn back the clock.
"This bill takes us back to a time when just saying 'no' wasn't enough to qualify as rape," says Steph Sterling, a lawyer and senior adviser to the National Women's Law Center. Laurie Levenson, a former assistant US attorney and expert on criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, notes that the new bill's authors are "using language that's not particularly clear, and some people are going to lose protection." Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes. "There are a lot of aspects of rape that are not included," Levenson says.

Here's Melissa McEwan:
There are so many things wrong with this proposed legislation, I hardly know where to begin: The implicit redefinition of what constitutes rape, the ramifications of that redefinition for all survivors of sexual violence (not just the pregnant ones), the revictimization of survivors, the policing of women's bodies and choices, the auditing and ranking of survivors of rape, the auditing and ranking of various acts of rape itself, the condescending and infantilizing paternalism that Other People know what's best for a pregnant woman and survivor of rape, the virtual impossibility of being able to "prove," presumably in a court of law, that one was raped (forcibly or otherwise) in time to secure an abortion... There are so many rape culture tropes being served here, I could frankly spend the entire day documenting the innumerable manifestations of misogynistic fuckery at work here.

But instead I'm going to focus on but one truly shocking aspect of this proposed legislation which probably won't get a whole lot of attention: The proposed law effectively, if not by design, gives veto control over terminating pregnancies resulting from rape to the rapist.

A Twitter campaign has begun.

Use the hashtag #DearJohn to send the Orange Cry-Baby, @johnboehner, a message.

I'm thinking -- no, I'd better not. I'll tweet when I cool down a little.

Dear goddess, what kind of society is the US turning into?

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Deliberate hoax or political spin?

From here:
After two suspicious packages were delivered to Sen. John Cornyn's (R-Texas)offices in the Dallas area on Wednesday, local station CBS 11 reports that bomb squad technicians detonated the two devices.

According to the Texas-based outlet, the office space was evacuated after the mail arrived.

Shortly thereafter, CBS11 said that no explosive or incendiary materials were discovered in the packages.
Wait a minute! How can a package containing no explosive or incendiary materials be detonated? Could they mean 'disarmed'?

OK. To recap, testerical staff in RepubliCon senator's office believe packages are *suspicious* (no return address?). They call the bomb squad - so now rightwingnutz can claim their politicians are also targets.

Nyah, nyah.

Lila Hosebag* Caught

Lying Liar Lila Rose and Live Action Films are at it again.

Remember the previous Planned Parenthood and ACORN 'stings'?

Planned Parenthood caught the media whores** in a new one aimed at them.
In what is perhaps one of the most craven actions of a deeply craven movement, anti-choice scam artists apparently affiliated with Live Action Films and Lila Rose of undercover "gotcha film-fame" appear to have attempted an "ACORN-like" hoax on Planned Parenthood Federation of America by sending people into Planned Parenthood health centers in six states posing as sex traffickers seeking health care for young girls who were "part" of their supposed sex trafficking rings.

In response, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder describing the visits and asking for an investigation.

In a statement, PPFA said:

Last week, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) alerted federal authorities to a potential multistate sex trafficking ring. Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring. Subsequent to alerting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Planned Parenthood learned the identify of one of those involved and believes these visits are likely a hoax by opponents of legal abortion seeking to discredit Planned Parenthood, which delivers preventive health care and abortion services to three million women each year.

PPFA reports that men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, "visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame." The visits were made between January 11th and January 15th to health centers in Virginia, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Arizona. "Among them was a clinic in Tucson, Ariz., which Planned Parenthood said was visited on the 15th, a week after [emphasis added] the shooting rampage in that city that critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

During their visits, they claimed to be involved in sex trafficking of teens, some of whom are in the United States illegally. These men appeared at health centers without appointments and said that they were seeking health services for themselves, but they quickly turned the conversation to the sex ring they said they were managing.

David Crary of the The Associated Press writes that in each case, according to Planned Parenthood, "the man sought to speak privately with a clinic employee and then [once alone with the employee] requested information about health services for sex workers, including some who he said were minors and in the U.S. illegally."

One of the men involved in these visits has now been identified using video tapes at the clinics, and he appears to be "associated with or influenced by Live Action."

How fucking sick is that?

With an update:
Yesterday anti-choice operative Jill Stanek stated on her website and indicated to RH Reality Check through Twitter that Lila Rose and Live Action Films were responsible. Rose has not claimed responsibility, but has stated that “The story that speaks loudest will be in the evidence,” ... “I can’t comment until we release the visual evidence.” In December, Live Action sent out a press release announcing plans for an operating targeting Planned Parenthood in 2011, according to Life News.

What -- other than the obvious and puerile 'gotcha!' -- on earth could be the purpose of this bizarre and twisted caper?

Jodi Jacobson speculates:

Does it help to clarify for policymakers, the media, and potentially engaged constituencies the problems of sex trafficking within the United States? Assist in identifying victims of sex trafficking and provide them with assistance? Focus on reducing the violence to which street children are exposed? Examine the policies and conditions that might exacerbate sex trafficking of minors? Help get victims of sex trafficking shelter, legal help....urgently needed medical care? Victims of sex trafficking, after all, also need sexual health services because they are effectively being raped regularly and are more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections and experience unintended pregnancies. Does this help them get treatment?

Is there anything about this that focuses on the real needs and rights of actual human beings?


It's not about the victims of actual crimes. It's not about helping young girls and boys caught in a cycle of abandonment, abuse, violence and poverty. It's not about "life."

What is it about?

The goal, according to Rose, is to "unnerve Planned Parenthood employees and eventually put them out of business."

"We will work to de-fund them in every state wherever it is possible, to de-license them and to expose them," she told the conservative Value Voters Summit in October.

"The other part of it, too, is to create controversy within the organization, keep them on their toes," she said. "We need to help them feel that fear."

Really? This is a goal? Of a featured leader of a movement that claims moral authority over women and their health?

It is just one more symbol of the craven agenda of ideology and lies supported by a full-time anti-choice industry and countless federal and state lawmakers who appear to have nothing better to do than to write one after another laws to restrict women's fundamental human rights and go after providers who indeed do provide needed health care to real human beings on a daily basis.

I have a shorter answer, Jodi: They are sick fucks who like playing dress-up and getting pats on the back from the other sick fucks in the Fetus Fetishist Movement.

Moral authority, my ass. Absolute moral bankruptcy.

Or maybe they're just in it for the money.
In December, Crary writes, Live Action announced that it was preparing to launch several major new investigations during 2011 and said it had received a $125,000 gift to finance the operations. It did not identify the source of that gift.

Hmmm, sexual role-playing for money. . .

Now, what would that be called?

*Stole title from JJ's post.

**No disrespect meant to honest, hard-working sex workers.


From Cairo today.

"Mass Bloodshed" threat by US fetus fetishists

Media Matters speculates that CNN's infotainment personality *Dick Dickson* is responsible for this thinly disguised threat issued by rightwing blog Red State:
We will not endorse any candidate who will not reject the judicial usurpation of Roe v. Wade and affirm that the unborn are no less entitled to a right to live simply because of their size or their physical location. Those who wish to write on the front page of RedState must make the same pledge. The reason for this is simple: once before, our nation was forced to repudiate the Supreme Court with mass bloodshed. We remain steadfast in our belief that this will not be necessary again [...]
One can safely presume the use of the term 'mass bloodshed' does not refer to the phenom of synchronized menstrual periods that occur with women living in college dorms and residences.

The abortion criminalizers are huffing and puffing these days, using false equivalencies and behaving like the gynophobic bullies they are. Emboldened no doubt by Palin's appropriation of the term 'blood libel', US senator *Roger Pricker* labeled women's legal access to abortion
"a three-and-a-half decades-long holocaust."
Fetus fetishists, instead of dealing with the harsh consequences of re-criminalizing abortion, prefer to spin and dissemble. Last year a bible-thumping blogger used twisty and illogical train-wreck-of-thought to attack this powerful statement by Jane Fonda, on the subject of choice.
"Every dictator—Stalin, Ceaucescu, Hilter—has made anti-choice a central component of their agenda. The anti-choice movement has used different strategies over the decades, growing more strategic and virulent in reaction to the modern U.S. women’s movement."
It may be religious fundamentalist zealots who shrieeek the loudest about re-criminalizing a woman's right to determine if and when she procreates, but underneath the rhetoric lies an imperative to control women's breeding potential just as political leaders and party bureaucrats do in China, the UAE, Kenya and other countries living under autocratic rule.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Egypt: Update

Still very confused in Egypt of course. Twitter's been blocked and cell phone networks have been cut off. Electricity in some areas cut off too to prevent recharging. (New wars, new weapons.)

Seems demonstrators are planning an all-night vigil in Tahrir Square. But there's very limited cell phone coverage. So there have been many retweets of this:

Those with wireless network connection near Tahrir Av. in Cairo are being asked to remove passwords, so ppl can inform thru the NET #Jan25

No confirmed deaths. What was reported as live fire in Alexandria turned out to be rubber bullets. Also from Alexandria, reports that cops are taking their uniforms off and joining the protest and women are throwing dishes and pots and pans from their balconies.

It's all over the country: 50,000 in Cairo, 30,000 in Alexandria.

I wish I weren't on deadline. . . .

Checking in with #jan25 when I can.

ADDED: Amazing photos.


MASSIVE protest. Cops seem to be restraining themselves. All over Egypt.

Hashtag #Cairo is trending worldwide. I'm following #jan25.

ADDED: Guardian live-blog.

UPDATE: Al Jazeera finally starts reporting.

Monday 24 January 2011

Sarah Palin caricatures.

"Please stop pointing those at me."

These were discovered at 'Rue Frontenac', the collective of journalists and one political cartoonist (Marc Beaudet, creator of these delightful caricatures of Palin) who were locked out from their jobs at Le journal de Montréal.

The labour dispute has now entered its third year and though Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO of Quebecor is charming and generous when it comes to public displays of financial and political clout, he is intransigent and brutal with the unions representing these 253 workers.

I think Beaudet perfectly captures the essence of Palin's political tactics.

Tunisie - je chante pour toi. (update)

This is not on YouTube so I can't post it here, but check out this young woman lifting her voice in song for Tunisia.

Notice how unaware she is to the media who creep in to record her spontaneous expression of joy, of hope; she turns and is startled by their proximity. That almost stops her but then those around her offer encouragement: "Vas-y!"

A beautiful moment.

PS: In this tweet the singer is identified as Emel Mathlouti, a Tunisian activist and singer.
Update: More about Emel Mathlouti including this, where her version of Baez' song commemorating Sacco and Vanzetti is played over violent, raw and rough footage of recent protests in Tunisia.

Sunday 23 January 2011

What a party pooper!

A female Radio-Canada, likely freezing her butt up on Parliament Hill whilst awaiting the arrival of Emperor Stephen the Phirst for the ReformaTory HarperCon Party celebrations of his 5 years of reign, waxes churlish.

She reports that it's not been all rock & roll for PMSH; he has become notorious for using tactics that divide his progressive and moderate Opposition in order to maintain his rule in Parliament. In fact, she reminds us, the PM's reflex during the 2008 market collapse leaned toward starvation and famine; it was a unified Opposition that insisted upon the government injecting fiscal incentives as well as funds into the Canadian economy.

Oh dear. I suspect this gal will be covering the town council meetings in Wadena should ever Stevie Spiteful get the majority he lusts after.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Beck directs hate campaign towards Piven.

Canadian-born Frances Fox Piven has the odd distinction of being a progressive septuagenerian for whom FauxNews infotainment jockey Glenn Beck displays a hate-on.

In terms as florid as they are vitriolic,
Beck directs a campaign of naming and blaming Piven for a multitude of *sins* as defined by his extremist rightwingnut perspective. Remember, this is the guy who uses his pulpit at FauxNews to drive his 9/12 Pledge down the throats of moderate and rational Republicans. More here.

There are a number of reasons that Piven has become an emblematic target for Beck: she is not an ivory-tower intellectual/academic (she has solid
activist creds as photo below taken at Columbia in 1968 demonstrates), she defends the rights of poor, disenfranchised US workers (Beck services wealthy corporate interests) and she is a Jewish peacenik who supports the campaign to pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.

How will
Beck's verbal violence and invective against Piven end? While she is a worthy and feisty adversary who vigorously and lucidly opposes the mendacious values Beck champions, why doesn't he bully someone his own size instead of this petite 78 year-old widow?

Someone like
Lush Bimbo, for example?


DJ! Does Saturday Sarah

Our friend Audrey at Enormous Thriving Plants has a regular feature called Saturday Sarah. Here's today's.

DJ! is forced to join in today with this from the National Enquirer, Todd Palin caught in sleazy sex scandal!!!11!!!!11! (caps theirs)
SARAH PALIN's husband TODD is caught up in a sleazy sex scandal, The ENQUIRER has learned!

Political bloggers are digging into incredible claims that the "First Dude" - father of the couple's five children - cheated on his wife with a female massage therapist who was busted for prostitution!

The scandal not only has the potential to sabotage Palin's possible 2012 White House bid, but also threatens to destroy her marriage, sources say.

While the story heats up on the internet, The ENQUIRER has uncovered official documents confirming the woman's arrest, and learned police have confiscated physical evidence that could tie Todd to an alleged extramarital affair.

We have also uncovered documents that show the woman - identified by bloggers as Shailey Tripp - contributed free massages to an anonymous person working for Sarah's campaign for governor of Alaska.

While representatives for Todd Palin vehemently deny he cheated on his wife, allegations of his extramarital affair surfaced on Jan. 4 when an anonymous tipster sent out messages to news outlets making the allegation using the e-mail address

"My sources reveal that a massage therapist and computer technologist, SHAILEY TRIPP, had an affair with Todd Palin that lead (sic) to her arrest March of 2010," claimed the anonymous e-mail.

"According to the tenants in the building of her offices, they saw Todd come and go often and heard noises that sounded like someone was having sex. It was the same tenants who called the police on her."

It goes on. Well, it is the National Equirer.

Oh. Wait. There's an update (emphasis mine):
Since the first hours of this breaking story ignited a firestorm of controversy key mainstream media The New York Daily News, Vanity Fair magazine, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post and Forbes Magazine, among others, have cited The ENQUIRER's bombshell investigation into the Palin cheating scandal.

In fact, Forbes suggested that "in the Palin-built political arena of 2011, Todd Palin’s affair might be just the ticket Sarah needs to be the first single mother in the Oval Office."

That's not JJ's take. When I tweeted the link a little while ago this is what she said:
I was wondering how the GOP would solve their Palin Problem.

And, if true (must put that in, I suppose), there will be no end of fun coz we know what dirty fighters the Palins are. Just imagine the 'he said's' and 'she said's'. And the 'well, she did it too's' and 'well, he started it's'.


Abortion criminalizers plan assault.

The New York Times provides a good overview of the attack plan US fetus fetishists are developing to take down a woman's right to a safe and accessible medical intervention to end a life-threatening pregnancy.
The politics of abortion have changed profoundly in some larger states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“We’re facing the biggest threat to reproductive rights we’ve ever faced in this state,” said Lisa Subeck, executive director for Naral Pro-Choice Wisconsin.

In Michigan, because of the switch to an anti-abortion governor, “the dominos are lined up well for us this time,” said Ed Rivet, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan. For starters, advocates hope to pass a state ban on the procedure opponents call partial-birth abortion that had been vetoed twice. After that, he said, “We have quite a list.”

Many defenders of abortion rights argue that because the election hinged largely on the economy and the role of government, officials did not receive a mandate for sweeping new social measures. “This last election was not about these issues at all,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We now are concerned about a real overreaching by some state legislators and governors that will make it very difficult for women to access reproductive health care.” [...]

The abortion rate in the United States, which had declined steadily since a 1981 peak of more than 29 abortions per 1,000 women, stalled between 2005 and 2008, at slightly under 20 abortions per 1,000 women, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute.

So, expect abortion criminalizers to regurgitate their usual lies about abortion as they crank up their war against women's right to control their reproductive capacity - in effect, to overturn Roe v. Wade not at the Supreme Court level but incrementally in women's lives, where it will cause them the most harm.

Friday 21 January 2011

It Gets Better: The Music Video

Hang around after the music for the statement at the end.

h/t AntoniaZ

It's NOT the fetus-fetishists' fault!!!

In the comments after fern hill's excellent blogpost yesterday, I speculated about the way SAINTE-NITOUCHE would respond to the story.

So. Not a MASSIVE shriEEEk, but a tedious, drawn-out whi-eeiieeii-ne that defies logic.

No link provided to HER blathering, as SHE redirects incoming visitors to HER favourite glossy pix of fetal pr0n taken from medical textbook illustrations and menstrual detritus. Navigate over there at your peril.

Shorter Blob Blogging Wingnut: We fetus-fetishists want abortion to be illegal and criminal. Not our fault if those evul sluts suffer pain and death because we keep shriEEEking our lies as loud as we can. Not our fault if competent physicians are terrified to provide medical services to women in need.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Fetus Fetishist Hero

This story is unbelievable in a country where abortion is legal, but sadly not at all unbelievable in countries where the fetus fetishists have criminalized the procedure.

This happened in Pennsylvania.
A filthy abortion mill where prosecutors say babies were delivered alive and killed with scissors would have been shut down long ago if not for extraordinary failures by state regulators, who had not inspected it since 1993, a grand jury report charges.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, a family practice physician with no certification in gynecology or obstetrics, was charged Wednesday with eight counts of murder in the deaths of seven babies and one patient. Nine employees also were charged, including four with murder.

It is a grand jury report, horribly detailed, but here are the main points:

The guy, besides being uncertified, was preying on poor women and making a bundle off them, while killing and maiming some. He had unqualified staff, including a 15-year-old high school student administering intravenous anesthesia.

He'd lie to women about how far along they were, knock them out, induce labour, then kill the fetuses. He kept some body parts in jars.

And it would not have happened if the state had done its job of inspection and regulation.
The state health department first gave the "Women's Medical Society" a one-year license when it opened in 1979, when a certified obstetrician/gynecologist and nurses were listed as employees. The state approval expired in 1980, but the next site review did not come until 1989.

By then, Gosnell was the only doctor on site, and the clinic had no nurses and no outside lab work being done. Promises were made to improve the failings, and the state renewed its approval. In 1992, a visit showed there were still no nurses or ob-gyn, and nothing suggests the state inspectors checked any patient files. The inspectors left blank the sections on who was providing anesthesia and post-operative care. They they concluded there were "no deficiencies."

The final inspection came in April 1993, four years after Gosnell had promised to hire nurses. There were none. The state cited Gosnell for expired medications and missing lab work but said they had been remedied — though there was no follow-up inspection — three months later.

So, of course, the fetus fetishists are revelling in the gore. P.Z. Myers says he got a whack of 'triumphalist' emails about the story.

But anyone with more than one functioning neuron can see: This situation makes the strongest possible case for legal -- and properly supervised and regulated -- abortion.

This, in fact, is how it used to be in the bad old days. Yes, some abortion providers were caring, qualified professionals risking their licenses and freedom to help. Others, though, were unscrupulous and predatory quacks as this guy is made out to be.

And not just a little weird to boot, from the report.

He'll become the fetus-fetishist poster boy for 'Late Term Abortion! Gosnell! Gosnell! SHRIEEEEEK!!!1!1'

Just checked. Yup, they're aaaall over it.

Kermit Gosnell: Hero of the Forced Pregnancy Gang.

Pedophile priests in Nova Scotia

The diocese of Yarmouth has settled with some of its former parishioners who were sexually assaulted as children by pedophile catholic priests. When these crimes were reported to them, church officials denied that acts of sexual violence were committed by members of their clergy. Then later on they denied that they'd covered up their priests' pedophilia. And sadly the legal system was often complicit in this travesty of justice, even when priests were charged and found guilty of such crimes, by recommending sentences that invalidated the gravity of the offense and the harm the sexual abuse had caused. From here:
[...] Father Theriault was convicted in 1993 of indecent assault against one of the plaintiffs, for which he received no jail time, but rather a two-year suspended sentence and 500 hours of community service.

Filing the lawsuits are sisters Jeanne Doucette (nee Deveau), 48, and Margaret Deveau, 56, who went to the RCMP in the early 1990s to pursue criminal charges against Father Theriault. Both women live in Yarmouth County.

Both women are seeking a full investigation into the actions of Theriault and the diocese. "Their goal is to expose the truth,” states a press release issued by the Ontario law firm of Ledroit Beckett [...]

The sisters are also hoping their stories will encourage other survivors of abuse to come forward. [...]

In the 1960s the Deveau sisters were growing up in the community of St. Alphonse, Digby County. They were raised in a close and loving Roman Catholic family and were parishioners of Saint Alphonse Parish and attended Saint Alphonse Catholic School. [...]

In the statement of claim filed on behalf of Jeanne Doucette, it refers to how, because of Theriault’s position as a priest, parents trusted him with the training, safety and care of their children. As a result, her parents permitted her to be alone with the priest, which included being unsupervised in a bedroom during afternoon naps.

The abuse, it’s alleged, began when the girl was approximately three years old. The statement of claim says the sexual abuse was ongoing and continuous over a period of several years.

In the statement of claim filed on behalf of Margaret Deveau, it’s alleged the she was first sexually abused, assaulted and molested when she was approximately eight years old. The abuse was ongoing and continuous over a period of around seven years, ending when she was 15.

The statements of claim allege that the diocese and archdiocese knew that the priest had the propensity to engage in deviant behaviours, and that they knew he was doing so based on a number of factors that included knowledge or complaints of Father Theriault’s activities with young people at his previous postings, the frequency with which the plaintiffs and other children were involved with the priest, the unusual interest he took in children and the frequency and duration that the priest would have them in his company at the church or rectory. “Despite their knowledge set out above, the Archdiocese and Diocese took no steps to stop the behavior or to protect the plaintiff(s),” the statements of claim read.
And still the Vatican Taliban beat goes on and on with implicit and explicit gynophobic policies; women must breed more catholics or recruit them (as Mother Teresa did) for the greater glory of God the Father and/or Pope Maledict.

Sarah Palin: the queen of venal mediocrity

According to this, even Newt Gingrich is directing criticism toward Sarah Palin.

[...]Palin needs to "be more careful and think through what she's saying and how she's saying it. There's no question that she has become more controversial," Gingrich said. [...]

The weeks after the November election were notable for an apparent increase in the number of conservative commentators who were suddenly willing to deliver some version of the same basic message: We like Sarah Palin, but we're not so sure nominating her for president is a good idea.

Now, all these months later, there is polling evidence to suggest that the GOP base is embracing this same view. (For what it's worth, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds that Palin's unfavorable rating has spiked to an all-time high of 53 percent in the wake of Tucson, although it's not immediately clear what the breakdown among Republicans is.) In this climate, it's safer for Gingrich to join the pile-on when Palin attracts negative press attention [...]

It's unusual for established Republicons to criticize Palin; they know they'll be the target of venomous attacks from her sycophants, even though sane and reasoned objections about her suitability for holding public office are more numerous these days.
Palin's ignorance and inarticulacy are so constantly on display that she can't just be simulating them to strengthen her popular appeal. They are also attributes in which she takes pride. As Jacob Weisberg writes in the introduction to his new anthology, Palinisms: The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Sarah Palin: "Palin's exuberant incoherence testifies to an unusually wide gulf between confidence and ability. She is proud of what she doesn't know and contemptuous of those 'experts' and 'elitists' who are too knowledgeable to be trusted."
From here. And also: check out the photo of Leila Ben Ali - doesn't she look like $arah's younger muslim sister?

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Resistance Is Not Futile!

In another episode of DJ! cheers 'Dividing the Right' or, DJ! visits Freak Dominion so you don't have to, the Freaks are discussing Stevie Spiteful's convo with Peter Man's Bridge in two threads.

One is a general discussion in which Stevie Peevie gets called a socialist, an anti-Conservative, and -- what's really gotta hurt -- a Lieberal.

Admittedly, some there think he's just dreamy. It's the speechies and fetus fetishists who are really pissed.

The other, titled Harper on KILLLING BABIES (caps theirs), more of the same sentiment is expressed.

My Facebook friend Connie WINS the thread with:
I will vote CHP, Libertarian, or spoil my ballot if neither of those option exist. I will NOT send another body to Ottawa to join Harper's borg.


Let's make it a meme!

ADDED: You go, girl.
Harper could throw us all in his nice shiny new prison cells and some of you would say, "Just be patient until he has a majority".

Will Vatican Taliban defend pedophile priest?

After all, Eric Dejaeger was *hiding* in plain view, working for a Catholic pilgrimage organization in Lourdes, France, where he welcomed and guided Flemish pilgrims around the site. The former Arctic missionary was on Interpol’s international wanted list but it seems Catholic Church security officials do not read or respond to these requests.

And in accordance to official Catholic policy, canon law - which is claimed to be established by God - trumps any man-made law, including those found in criminal codes, prohibiting the sexual assault of children. From here:

A newly disclosed document reveals that Vatican officials told the bishops of Ireland in 1997 that they had serious reservations about the bishops’ policy of mandatory reporting of priests suspected of child abuse to the police or civil authorities. [...]

The letter was written just after a first wave of scandal over sexual abuse by priests in Irish Catholic schools and other facilities [...] By 1996, an advisory committee of Irish bishops had drawn up a new policy that included “mandatory reporting” of suspected abusers to civil authorities. The letter, signed by Archbishop Luciano Storero, then the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio — or chief representative — in Ireland, told the Irish bishops that the Vatican had reservations about mandatory reporting for both “moral and canonical” reasons.

Following Dejaeger's deportation from Belgium, he will be taken to Nunavut by RCMP officers.

Dejaeger came to Canada from Belgium in 1973. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest of the Oblate order and eventually began work as a missionary in the Arctic, where he served in several communities. According to court documents, Dejaeger pleaded guilty in 1990 to nine counts of sex crimes against boys and girls in Baker Lake, a small Inuit community...
More here.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Vivian Maier - what persists.

"Well I suppose nothing is meant to last forever. We have to make room for other people. It's a wheel. You get on you have to go to the end. And then somebody has the same opportunity to go to the end and so on. And somebody else takes their place."

Vivian Maier, 1926-2009, was a woman who chose to support herself by working as a live-in child caregiver for most of her adult life. Once a week, she had a whole day to herself and she spent it on the streets of Chicago, travelling across the breadth of its urban sprawl, taking photographs that have sparked an interest among curators, historians, documentary film-makers and gallery owners.

News item about Maier and John Maloof, the young man who found her photographs, here and below.

An exhibition of her photographs is currently showing in Chicago. A few of the dozens of thousands Maier took, below.

More about Maier, with links to articles published about her work.

Monday 17 January 2011

Wikileaks, Schmwikileaks

A couple of good smackdowns of the 'Assange of Arabia' meme: here and here.

Nonetheless, it is true that the Innertoobz played a part in the Tunisian revolution/revolt/uprising/whatever.

Because the Internet plays a part in everyfuckingthing in this century.

This bit, though, is extremely cool.
After weeks of public protests on- and offline the Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali resigned and escaped the country last Friday. Today, the head of the transitional government, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, announced his new cabinet members which include a familiar name. Slim Amamou, the Pirate Party member and freedom of speech activist who was arrested just a few days ago, is now the new Minister of Youth and Sports.

Slim's Twitter feed and blog.

That's some outta da box thinking, innit?

I remain hopeful.

Paradis and Depp not traveling to Israel.

Haaretz is reporting that Vanessa Paradis may have canceled her scheduled concert in Tel Aviv because a large number of her fans asked her respect the Boycott Israel campaign.

This information has not been confirmed by her manager, however.
Will mounting pressure from the campaign bring about a change in government policies that currently maintain apartheid zones for Palestinians, occupy their lands with new settlements and destroy Berber villages? It remains to be seen.

Here Vanessa Paradis and Jeanne Moreau sing 'Le Tourbillon de la vie'.

Sunday 16 January 2011

'A Difficult Happiness'

The Grauniad has landed in Tunis and Angelique Chrisafis reports on the state of affairs.

It's bad. Shooting, looting, snipers on top of buildings that held Ben Ali's torturers in basements. The army seems to be on the side of the people though.

And there are further horrible revelations.
Meanwhile, the full horror of repression over four weeks of demonstrations is beginning to emerge. Human rights groups estimate at least 150-200 deaths since 17 December. In random roundups in poor, rural areas youths were shot in the head and dumped far from home so bodies could not be identified. Police also raped women in their houses in poor neighbourhoods in and around Kesserine in the rural interior.

Sihem Bensedrine, head of the National Council for Civil Liberties, said: "These were random, a sort of reprisal against the people. In poor areas, women who had nothing to do with anything, were raped in front of their families. Guns held back the men; the women were raped in front of them." A handful of cases were reported in Kesserine and Thala last Monday. Rape was often used as a torture technique under the regime; opposition women report they were raped in the basement of the interior ministry, as were men, too.

But where there's courage and good will, there's hope.
On national state radio, a tool of regime power until days ago, DJs spoke freely for the first time, but had to regret that the joy of a dictator's departure had been tempered by a fear of the militia attacks.

"Ours is a difficult happiness," sighed one music show presenter, before putting on another 1960s resistance song.

Reporting from #Tunisia

Like all obsessed people I suppose, I can't understand why everyone isn't rivetted by events in Tunisia.

I'm no kinda expert in any element of this story, but I have learned a great deal and propose to share some tidbits with DJ! readers.

This website, Al-Bab, is a great place to start.
Al-Bab aims to introduce non-Arabs to the Arabs and their culture. Western explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries portrayed the Arab world as a strange, exotic and sometimes terrifying place. Al-Bab seeks to portray the Arab world neither as an object of fear nor as a cultural curiosity - fascinating though it may be.

At the moment, blogger Brian Whitaker (at link above) is reporting on unrest in Libya and suggests a 'Tunisia test' for distinguishing major and minor protests.

The #Tunisia hashtag has been running about half and half Arabic and non-Arabic. Lots of commenters are speculating on where else such protests may break out. Libya, Jordan, Egypt are frequently mentioned.

Probably the 'coolest' queen on earth, Queen Rania of Jordan, tweeted thusly yesterday:
Closely watching developments in #Tunisia and praying for stability and calm for its people.

Which drew this much retweeted comment:
@QueenRania I honesty think u should start palace-hunting in Jeddah, coz u and your husband r next. #sidibouzid #Tunisia #Jordan

There are two female journalists I'm now following: Mona Eltahawy and Dima Khatib, both funny and smart. (Dima Khatib writes in about five languages.)

It was Mona Eltahawy yesterday who, in assessing Ghaddafi's whacky appeal to Tunisians (live-tweeted here), said something like: 'To give him his due, Ghaddafi is the only Arab leader nutty enough to even go there.'

Less so today, but popping up occasionally is the spat between people saying this is a 'Twitter revolution' (I was guilty of that yesterday; in my defense, I am only slightly newer to North African politics than I am to Twitter) and others who say that is Western-style BS and totally disrespectful of the real revolutionaries.

Here's the case for 'Twitter' revolution and here's the spectacular smackdown.

More succinctly, our friend Mattt Bastard put it like this:
I don't understand how the people of Tunisia overthrew their government without me signing an e-petition or changing my Twitter avatar.

That's it for now. I gotta get back to Tunisia. And, I guess, wash my hair, put some clothes on. . . .

ADDED: Reuters report. I don't think this sounds like 'street theatre'.

The search for a blogging topic.

The 2010 banning of polyurethane suits in swimming competition? All you need to know, here.

Tunisia? My virtual roomie is working that corner, but here's an update.

Gabriella Giffords' medical condition? I'd be willing to bet that even in her current condition, the US congresswoman would score winning points in a political debate with Sarah Palin.

Though the rehab process Giffords faces is daunting, her possibilities for learning anew the knowledge and the skills lost when the Glock bullet damaged brain tissue are excellent.

Palin's cerebrum, however, is an entirely different kettle of ... ah, barracuda. While there's no evidence of physiological impairments, it appears the only thing that $arah has learned recently is a range of new techniques for separating the suckers who support her from their cash.

Saturday 15 January 2011

A sensible and responsible idea -

which will never fly with US gun nutz.

From here:

[...]sidestep the entire gun control controversy and instead pass state laws that require anyone who owns a gun to carry insurance.

If they have risk factors (like teenagers in the house), their rates go up. If one of their kids sneaks a gun out of the house and gets caught, or uses it to commit a crime, the insurance gets canceled for some meaningful period of time - say, 10 years. And if someone steals your gun and you don't report it in a 24-hour window of you finding out, your insurance is suspended.

If you have a rifle and it's only used for hunting, low rates. If you have a Glock and you carry it in an open-carry town or state, your rates will be very high - because odds are so much higher that innocent bystanders may get caught in a shootout.

The comments after this short item are very informative and they reflect the whole gamut of ambivalence, sense and crazy about firearms / the 2nd amendment that US citizens share. Here's a few that made me chortle.

[...] that would further enrich insurance companies. They are venal and clever enough to offer policies that have the veneer of protection and coverage while not doing so in a practical sense. They would profit handsomely while putting themselves at minimal risk. Think of how they've gamed health insurance.

Accidents and deaths. I think we need to explore this idea. If own a machine that can kill, you should insure it. Motor vehicles and guns. [...] But there is an impossible hurdle - any legislation that requires people to 'declare' the guns they own will never work. The nuts think it is the first step for the government to take guns away. Which brings us to the question - why haven't they come for our cars?

Teabaggers [...] the same demographic as the gun fanatics. Sorry, all rational, reasonable attempts to ameliorate the effects of gun violence are "off the table" by default. Now if your mandatory gun insurance included mandatory gun ownership for all citizens, and the NRA owned the gun insurance company, then you might get somewhere.

"Gun control? We need bullet control! I think every bullet should cost 5,000 dollars. Because if a bullet cost five thousand dollars, we wouldn't have any innocent bystanders .” Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert ... why is it comedians are so much smarter than the rest of us?

Remember how our mothers used to fret that rough-housing and various stunts would lead to someone losing an eye? It seems that in the US, the obligatory worship to God the Father will soon be supplanted by the Almighty Right to Bear Arms, if that hasn't happened already. Who cares if politicians, teachers, by-standers get maimed or killed so that some 'murrican men and women can compensate for their feelings of inadequacy, and keep the scary evil monsters at arms' length. Until they look in the mirror, that is.

More on Tunisia

Tunisia's revolution, if that's what it will turn out to be, is still moving too fast.

But, man, I'm learning a lot. So are many people, it seems. I just retweeted this:
@greeneyedlilo Jayelle

Read tons about #Tunisia this am. Asked myself, "How did I not know about this?" Turned on cable news. That answered it.

For now, some links:

Somebody has made a searchable tweet aggregator.

A long, fascinating article from al Jazeera on how the government tried and failed to wage cyberwar on activists.

Ben Wedeman, a reporter for CNN, is there and tweeting now from his hotel room. Curfew is effect.

That's it for the moment. I've gotta go back to #tunisia.

And besides, it's snowing here.

Friday 14 January 2011

Tunisia's Twitter Revolution

This story is moving far too fast -- and I'm far too uninformed -- to write about it.

Today, in culmination of a month of protests, Tunisia's dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country in fear of the people. Here's some background.

I've been rivetted all afternoon watching Twitter feeds and hashtags. Tunisia has, of course, no free press, so the people took to cyberworld -- Facebook at first, now Twitter -- to report on what's been happening.

This revolution was indeed Tweeted.

And there is a Wikileaks connection:
What's the WikiLeaks connection? Foreign Policy's Christopher Alexander explains:
Shortly before the December protests began, WikiLeaks released internal US State Department communications in which the American ambassador described Ben Ali as aging, out of touch, and surrounded by corruption. Given Ben Ali's reputation as a stalwart US ally, it mattered greatly to many Tunisians—particularly to politically engaged Tunisians who are plugged into social media—that American officials are saying the same things about Ben Ali that they themselves say about him. These revelations contributed to an environment that was ripe for a wave of protest that gathered broad support.

Hackers affiliated with Anonymous, a vaguely defined, loosely organized group that has defended WikiLeaks, hit Tunisian websites in early January.

Follow these hashtags: Tunisia, sidibouzid (the town where it all began), and BenAli.

Or just follow this guy's Twitter feed.

Lotta uncertainty ahead no doubt, but the elation is palpable.

Thursday 13 January 2011

More police ...

Incompetence? Laziness? Inability to respect protocol? Decisions based on wrongful prejudices?

Whatever it was that caused police officers to behave inappropriately when called to a hotel room, it could have resulted in a woman's death - had forensic technicians not quickly and expertly assessed circumstances to be quite the opposite of what cops "believed".
Police say they received a call from a staff member at the Days Inn on Gordon Street, who believed a woman was dead in a room. Police arrived and determined the woman as deceased, sealing the room to protect the scene.

However, police say that forensic investigators later found the woman was alive but with very faint vital signs. She was then taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

If this woman had died because cops failed to request medical assistance - who would be held liable and responsible for their actions?

Not the cops - it's never their fault, is it?

Cry me a river ....

Sorry Officer Olivera, but this mawkish attempt to spin the reality of working conditions for cops, medical emergency personnel, fire fighters and street intervention staff is transparent.

From here:

An Ottawa police officer wants the public to know that working in the police station cellblock can be dangerous. Special Const. Carlos Olivera said he has to take a cocktail of drugs in case he was infected with the HIV virus or hepatitis C after an incident in the cellblock in December.

He came forward with his story because of recent news coverage of a video showing another special constable kicking Ottawa woman Stacy Bonds after she was arrested in 2008.

And perhaps you've been pushed into the media spotlight by the public relations guy Ottawa Police chief White hired?

Funny how it is that nurses, ambulance personnel, firefighters and homeless shelter workers who face similar health-endangering risks when helping people in need don't beat them up to teach them a lesson, the way some cops feel they're entitled to do.

Wednesday 12 January 2011

WTF? Honouring the dead? Please explain

Seriously, I really don't understand 'honouring the dead'. Really. Seriously.

When I was 20, my husband of six months was killed in a workplace 'accident'. Four years later, my father died.

I think I know something about death, but I know nothing about honouring the dead.

I watched the big memorial thingy at the University of Arizona tonight. (I lived in AZ for about six months a generation ago and it was nucking futs about guns then.) Obama had a bully pulpit to speak about the national discourse. He didn't have to get political. Though some reference to 'rhetoric' might have been good.

Instead, it was all glurge.

Here is Andrew Sullivan on the glurge-fest.

Obama FAIL. US FAIL. World fucked.

If someone can explain 'honouring the dead', I'd be grateful.

Never responsible, always the victim - update.

$arah Palin, of course.

As others quicker off the mark than I these days pointed out, Palin and her sycophants produced this map, as well as reams of political eliminationist discourse directed at ideological opponents.

Palin has a history of evading responsibility for her actions, as well as shirking her obligations. Over and over, she's blamed others for everything that shines a spotlight upon her intellectual laziness, her egotism, the fabrication of her image and her greediness. Couric allegedly ambushed her; though she (and family members) preened in clothing and luxury items bought by the Republican party during the presidential campaign she refused to wear the issue; she abandoned her job as Governor of Alaska to pursue lucrative proposals yet said it was the media's fault she quit, etc. etc. etc.

Some political observers think Palin's bid for the presidency will be damaged by the Tucson carnage, others believe she'll bounce back.

Andrew Sullivan:

"There is no way to understand the politics of this without Palin. She has long been the leader of the movement that drapes itself in military garb, that marinates in violent rhetoric, that worships gun culture, that has particular ferocity in the state of Arizona, and that never ever apologises for anything." He adds: "My hope is that this horrifying momentary conflation of politics, guns and mental illness will lead responsible figures on the right to eschew the path of Palin."

David Frum:

[...] Palin's response – condolences to the victims and a simple denial of any responsibility – was perfectly fair in reply to opponents who suggested the crosshairs contributed to the shooting. But if she wanted to be a leader, she had to go beyond that, he said. He called on her to express real grief and sincere compassion, be visible, engage in the debate, and challenge opponents [...] "Palin is splashed by that history [the build-up to the Tucson incident] and the challenge is to find something big and generous to speak of in a larger way. So far, she has opted not to do so."

Expect the usual whining from Palin and her die-hard supporters. It will be difficult for Palin to spin that she is - not Gabrielle Giffords and the citizens killed or injured by the shooting - the "real" victim of this tragedy. Nonetheless she'll exploit her own brand of truthiness in her favour.

And also, go read Dr Dawg, Audrey II, Buckdog and Simon.

Update: Palin responds, not as Frum suggested, but in her habitual 'Pit Bull with Lipstick' attack form. Republican Jewish leaders choose to remain silent on Palin's opportunistic appropriation of the term "blood libel".

Grand merci to Jymm.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Demand Honesty and Accuracy

It's not just the rhetoric. It's the outrageous LIES and DISTORTIONS.

Pro-choice people have been battling this crap for decades. Now, though, with the cranked-up crankiness of the loathesome Teabaggers and their cheerleaders like FUCKED News, the Tucson massacre was as inevitable as the assassination of Dr George Tiller.

Bruce Gorton puts it like this:
I think the assassination attempt on Gabrielle Gifford was to some extent caused by America’s major political pundits.

And it isn’t hard to see how – they make a habit of doing things like making abortion out to be exactly the same thing as killing babies, immigrants are sold as raping your daughter and stealing your job, and the Democrats as being in support of taxing you in order to do both while killing Grandma.

About 14% of Americans think the current US president may be the anti-Christ. Yeah, I think the guys they rely on for their information may well be a wee bit questionable, and driving the continent towards civil war and anarchy.

And here's a science blogger's thoughts on the matter.
So let's not be so concerned with civility, but instead demand honesty and accuracy. That will serve us far better.


Monday 10 January 2011

We've turned into louts, too

As Jymn points out, Canadians are no longer international good guys.

Now, we are being told we're louts to boot.
It is a good thing that the World Junior hockey tournament did not last any longer. Another week, and we might have had a border war.

Even as it was, I think we saw a different side of the normally placid, polite, patient good neighbors we thought we knew. Buffalo was invaded by a sea of red. The tide has receded, leaving behind some hard feelings, shattered stereotypes and an aftertaste as bad as the backwash from a warm Molson.

Whatever happened to the polite, humble, rule-respecting folks we thought we knew? Where were the civic-minded citizens who dutifully wait at the street corner when the traffic light is red, even when no cars are coming? Wherever you are, we want you back.

I am not sure if it was the insufferable sense of hockey superiority, or the pre-and post-game beers, but this tournament brought out the inner lout in a lot of Canadians. Arrogant, loud, drunk, obnoxious — if I didn’t know better, I would have thought that they were, well, Americans.

(And we're still miserable tippers.)

And Stephen (You Won't Recognize Canada When I Get Through with It) Harper still isn't done with us.