Thursday 31 March 2011

Will Toews Be 'Toewsed'?

This ought to be fun! Veteran NDP warhorse takes on delusional adulterer.
Former provincial justice minister and NDP titan Al Mackling will run for the NDP against Tory MP Vic Toews.

Mackling, a political heavy-hitter who served in several portfolios in the Schreyer and Pawley governments, will announce his candidacy later today.

The 83-year-old will battle the province’s senior Tory minister in a riding long believed to be among the safest in the province for the Tories.

Some in political circles have already dubbed it a battle of the justice ministers.

Some commenters at the link see this move as Mackling doing his NDP pals a favour as sacrificial lamb in this riding.

I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of Mackling, but he seems to be quite the soshialist stalwart.

Toews, on the other hand, is a fave here at DJ! Whether he's bringing back the word 'rape' or defending his coke-possessing, speeding former colleague or dismissing positive reports on the long-gun registry, Vic Toews is ^NOT our kinda guy.

Good luck, Al.

Trip-down-memory-lane bonus: Remember the challenge Dan Savage threw out to Canadians? To come up with a new definition of 'Toews' à la 'santorum'. Did we ever decide on a meaning for 'toews'?

Did ALL Con candidates have to post $1000 bond?

Yesterday it was revealed that not only is the process to select Contempt Party candidates rigorously controled by the ex-PMO politburo, but that candidates also have to post a $1000. *good behaviour*, held in trust until the next federal election. Yes, you read that correctly - until the next federal election. One wonders: did Contempt leader Harper have to post this bond too? Or does it suffice that his physician provided an affidavit that Stevie Peevie is taking his mood-control meds regularly? How about Rob Anders? I'd bet nobody made the guy Harper describes as "as a true reformer and a true conservative" post that bond. So ... is there also a detailed pledge of *good behaviour*, a legal document that candidates must sign when they hand over their $1000? What's in it? No adultery, no necrophilia, no cannibalism, church attendance every Sunday ... what exactly must candidates do, or avoid doing to get their bond money back? It sure would be fun to get a copy of that document. Just saying.

Yo! Progressives!

A few elections ago, a friend who doesn't follow politics closely told me she was fed up with all the old parties and was going to vote Green. Appalled, I refrained from detailing the many ways that the Green Party of Canada is NOT progressive, NOT like Green parties in Europe. Instead, I just asked her to go read their platform.

She did, and being a smart broad, thanked me for saving her from making a bad booboo.

I'm going to save everyone a bunch of time and point out one policy of the GPC that demonstrates how UNprogressive and how much more rightwing than leftwing they are.

You know that 'income splitting' proposal the ReformaTories rolled out? The one so roundly ripped to ribbons by sensible people -- real economists even -- as classist, sexist, unfair, useless for those who really need some financial help, yadayada, neatly summed up by some wag on Twitter as the 'June Cleaver policy'?

Not coincidentally, it is also intended to stir up a Mommy War, pitting working mothers against stay-at-home mothers, at least one of whom, by the way, rejects the policy even though it would benefit her family 'ENORMOUSLY'.

Well, guess who is also for that policy. Who, in fact, were for it before the ReformaTories.

Right. Elizabeth May and the Green Party.
So Harper has borrowed part of #GPC income splitting policy, but partial & only after deficit eliminated. We use tax shifting to do it now.

Do you need any more evidence that EMay and the Greens are not progressive?

How about her stand on abortion? I dug this up from 2007. You can revisit the whole Macleans interview here.
M: Last year, you made some comments on abortion that attracted attention - namely that you would never have an abortion, “not in a million years," and that “nobody in their right mind is for abortions.” Is there a conflict between you and your party on this?

EM: The party has the same position. The party’s position is called "pro-life, pro-choice." What we’re saying as a party, and what I’m saying as an individual leader, is that any civilized society must provide safe legal access to any woman who needs or wants an abortion. But it’s not something someone is for, in the same way that no one is for chemotherapy.

I admit it. The woman has a gift. Here she re-offends prochoicers WHILE dissing cancer patients and their loved ones.

Oh, and a gift for whining. She's real good at that, too.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Did Con candidate deodorize? (updated)

Senator Larry Smith is being jeered for a comment he made about 'catastrophic pay cuts'.

Contempt Party candidate (and former senator) Larry Smith recently stated that the survival of francophones in Quebec - and perhaps in the rest of Canada? - is no longer important. His declaration in Le Devoir:

"[C]e qui est important, c'est le monde, pas la protection des francophones au Québec. Ça, c'est du passé."

Aligning himself with the views of his caucus conspirator Maxime Bernier, Smith proclaimed that Law 101 is irrelevant.

This aggressive attack upon language rights could be a MASSIVE diversion intended to draw attention away from the pungent financial connections the Cons have cultivated in Quebec.

Rue Frontenac investigated the convergence of ReformaTory & ADQ interests here, and more recently the presence of Giulio Maturi in Agop Evereklian's campaign organization. For those who don't speak or read French - Google translations available here and here.

It’s all about the money, of course. Follow that trail; the rest is all dirty tricks, Rovian tactics and political agitprop.

Information worth noting:

  • Businessman Tony Accurso is connected to the vast fundraising network developed by Senator Leo Housakos in support of conservative politicians campaigning at the municipal, provincial and federal level.

  • On Friday March 18, 2011, then-senator Smith announced that the Harper Government©™ was providing $228 million to the agency that maintains and operates Montreal's two main bridges - Jacques-Cartier and Champlain.

  • Senator Housakos was vice-president at an engineering company which received, in 2009, a $1.4M contract to study the repair and restoration requirements of Champlain Bridge.

  • *Over-zealous* Dimitri Soudas and Housakos' actions came under the scrutiny of the Ethics Commissioner in 2008 for allegations of influence-peddling with regard to contracts allocated by Public Works.

  • Giulio Maturi was a top official in the campaign of former Montreal mayoral candidate Benoît Labonté who dropped out of the 2009 race under a cloud of corruption allegations. Labonté claimed Mr. Maturi wanted him to use four campaign organizers paid for by a private company as a donation in kind. He also claimed that he was encouraged to hire Maturi by Accurso and Housakos.

But never fear! The Contempt Party's odorous diversion - the declaration that anglophone and *ethnic* groups will no longer be "oppressed" by French language rights - will surely obnubilate the messy optics of cozy fundraising schemes, for the scaremongered residents of West Island and of other ridings in the province of Quebec.

Also, voters should be edified by the catastrophic revenue loss that Con candidate Smith is willing to suffer should they elect him to be their humble public servant MP.

A question: who is that out-of-focus figure in both pix - Agop Evereklian?

NatPost not impressed by the two candidates either.

Update about Agop Evereklian's *credentials*, here.

A Conservative candidate once punished for financial wrongdoing hosted a rally with Prime Minister Stephen Harper one week after the party dumped another candidate over past financial woes.

Agop Evereklian, the Tory candidate in a Montreal-area riding, was castigated by a Quebec judge for writing bad cheques while his business was going bankrupt and was ordered to pay back $29,632 in 2005.
Evereklian has run for the Tories in two straight campaigns even though the party's vetting procedure asks candidates for any past financial and legal problems.
What was it Contempt leader Harper said about the uprising in Egypt? Oh yes, a quote from H. R. Haldeman: "You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube."

Manic Depression or Coalition?

This election has made me manic depressive. Madly hopeful one minute, scared shitless the next.

I seem not to be alone in my affliction. Today, NDP candidate Ryan Dolby dropped out of the race in Elgin-Middlesex-London in an effort to unseat incumbent ReformaTory, Joe Preston.
Dolby suddenly announced through an email Wednesday morning he's leaving the race to throw his support behind Liberal Graham Warwick.

"I am worried if Stephen Harper gets a majority. I made a strategic decision," Dolby said.

Evil, reckless coalitioning has begun!

And I found yet another grassroots group: Canadians for Coaltion.

Canadians for Coalition is a grassroots collective pressing for a stable federal government and collaborative Parliament. We understand coalition government to be a constitutional option to a one party minority. We represent no political parties.

We got wind that an election was brewing when the Conservatives started an election-style smear campaign this winter targeted at Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Concerned that the possible election would devolve into a series of character assassinations to serve Harper’s quest for majority rule, we decided to send another message.

We gathered together our friends to shoot a series of videos, and created this website with the aim of tapping into a growing appetite among left-leaning voters, who incidentally made up the majority in the last election, for a coalition government.

Join us. Let’s send Ignatieff and Layton a message that we support a Liberal-NDP coalition government if the Conservatives fail yet again to win a majority. Let’s see a government that better reflects the values of the majority of voters, and offers stable governance once again.

Finally, let’s vote. A coalition is only going work well if the Liberals and NDP collectively outnumber the Conservatives. It’s really up to us to turn our dysfunctional parliament around and get our elected officials working effectively on the issues that matter most to us.

Lots of good info on coalitions at the site.

Like them on their Facebook page. And follow on Twitter.

We scaredy cats need company.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Did Con candidate heel to party line?

Blogger Cowboys for Social Responsibility was the first to flag the potential election campaign disaster with this guy.

But, no problemo - the ex-PMO politburo has achieved spin control and their Contempt Party candidate has been effectively muzzled.

From here:
As the president of Quebec’s largest police union, Jean-Guy Dagenais forcefully defended Canada’s controversial long-gun registry, calling it a “must.”
On Tuesday, as he was officially presented as a star candidate for the Conservatives in the riding of Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, he was suddenly for its abolition.

“It gives police a false sense of security,” Dagenais told reporters as he stood next to Christian Paradis, Stephen Harper’s Quebec lieutenant currently on a tour of the province.

Dagenais called the registry’s administration “shameful,” adding, “It’s a program that cost $2 billion.”

While he led the Quebec Provincial Police Association, which counts 5,400 members, he was a strong advocate for the registry’s survival even as the Conservatives were working to kill it.

“Here, the registry is a must,” Dagenais told Le Journal de Quebec in March, 2010. [...]

Dagenais’ union was strongly in favour of the registry maintenance, describing it as a highly consulted tool that helps officers do their jobs.
More about the organization that's investing thousands of dollars towards the campaigns of candidates who do NOT support the gun registry.

Did Con candidate go rogue?

According to the Contempt Party's sycophant-in-chief and BT herder
Stephen Taylor, candidate Maxime Bernier's campaign slogan is "A guy from Beauce who does politics differently". Um, yeah. And unlike what happened to his former colleague Helena Guergis, Bernier was not shamed, blamed and thrown to the wolves excluded from the Con caucus.

He left unsecured classified NATO documents in a private residence, not his own. And he has proclaimed a number of personal & political opinions that may or may not have been vetted by the PMO's politburo, at his blog, and in public.

It seems that Bernier's MASSIVE ego is tailor-made to match his designer suits (or vice-versa). This guy from Beauce is clearly gunning for leadership of the Contempt Party and he displays all the obfuscating skills required for the job.

Contempt Party: Ageist and Sexist

In all the hoo-ha over Shelley Glover's not at all surprisingly idiotic ageist slur, I'm surprised no one has yet noted the sloshing sexism.

My immediate reaction was: Would anyone say this about a 68-year-old MALE politician?

No. Because under patriarchy, men are rewarded for aging, while women are punished.

So, how many retirement-age pols have we got in the House?

Getting an answer was a doddle. There are 14 men and 3 women aged 65 and over. (And five for whom we have no birth date? That's odd, isn't it?)

Contempt Party ® apologists insist Glover was referring to Anita Neville's length of service. So long has she been in the job?

Again, the answer was easy to find. From newbie Julian Fantino who at 68 is Minister for Seniors, but has served just 3 months, to Louis Plamondon who at 67 has served 26 years, Anita Neville is mid-pack at 10 years.

There seem to be better candidates whether the criteria is 'long of tooth' of 'long of hanging about' than Neville.

Why Neville then?

Look at this first comment on the Notional Pest piece on the row.
Maximum Cat: The NDP's deputy leader, Libby Davies, passed her expiration date the second she proposed that 9-11 is an inside job to Parliament.

It has nothing to do with her age. It reflects on her sanity, or lack thereof.

Forbye 'expiry date' has nothing to do with mental health -- unless my yogurt is going quietly batzoid in my fridge -- why pick on another female politician?

I suggest that the sexism implied in Glover's smear is so engrained, so well understood that patriarchal minds leap naturally to another FEMALE target.

And there's also the not-small matter that neither Davies nor Neville ranks very high on the Contempt Party's 'busty-hooker' standard for female appearance.

And people wonder why more women don't go into politics. . .

When did Peter MacKay start morphing into

It seems fitting, does it not? After all, he calls women who escape his control "bitches". And, he is known to cause distractions in order to draw his target out of the safety zone.

Funny how those Contempt Party guys are chivalrous and gallant towards the ladies until a woman does something that challenges their authority. Or that threatens their carefully crafted image of propriety. Then the gloves come off.

My apologies in advance to Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrievers. You are all better sentient beings than this Contempt Party candidate.

Peter MacKay's picture from here.

Did Con candidate pull a Palin?

St Boniface Conservative MP Shelly Glover says Winnipeg South Centre MP Anita Neville has "passed her expiry date"

Shelly Glover, who has become infamous for driving her mouth before engaging the braingear, has done it again.
In an interview with Global News Monday, St Boniface Conservative MP Shelly Glover was responding to questions about the party’s difficulties nominating a candidate for the neighbouring riding of Winnipeg South Centre. That riding has been represented since 2000 by Anita Neville, who is seeking re-election.

Glover launched into this attack on Neville: “We need some fresh blood we need some new people who have some new ideas and who are willing to stand up for their constituents. And I’m afraid Ms. Neville has passed her expiry date.”
Con-temptuous indeed.

Past observations from the Contempt Party candidate, expressed in a rhetorical style reminiscent of Sarah Palin, cover a range of dumb, dumber and dumbest. And don't expect any demonstration of sisterly solidarity for murdered Aboriginal, Métis and First Nations women from Glover either.

Monday 28 March 2011

Harper Losing teh Base?

Oh dear. Strong language from Blob Blogging Wingnut.

Stevie Peevie losing fetus fetishists and free speechers.

Happy days for the FringeNuts.

Operation Maple

These short videos are popping up all over the Intertoobz. This one is for my virtual roomy -- two of her fave people in one video.

More at Operation Maple. The mission: Take Canada back.

Did Con candidate offer visas for votes?

An Ottawa Citizen news item reports that Contempt Party candidate Parm Gill has been bragging about his staff's capacity for processing immigration applications. Isn't that an administrative procedure that is legally required to be done by properly trained workers employed by the Ministry?
According to the audio recording of Gill's comments and a transcript released by the Liberals, the Conservative praised his own record of a candidate saying that it "speaks for itself."

"I'm very proud that people come to me for help, even though I'm not being a member or have a government budget," Gill said, according to the transcript.

"I have three staff full-time just taking calls and helping me process immigration files or anything else," said Gill.
Oh, and yesterday I re-tweeted this. Just to check out if @kenneyjason had produced anymore revealing typos, I scrolled through his twitter stream and discovered he had withdrawn the original tweet and corrected the word *ethnic*.

Nonetheless, an interesting slip.

That 'Unnecessary' Election

Since Friday, I've been monitoring a Facebook event inviting people to vote in the 'unnecessary, reckless' election. I'd like to see it go viral like CAPP did.

From under 30, when I replied affirmatively, right now there are over 5500 Yes/Oui replies (2000 more than yesterday at the same time), with more than 29,000 invitations awaiting reply.

Apathy Is Boring is doing even better with its I Will Vote event. I haven't been following this one, but organizers claim that more than 11,000 accepted in 48 hours. Now there are over 12,000.

I keep reposting this link to Elections Canada for people who don't know how to go about it and for people who offer lame excuses.

Now, because I'm a generous person and SiteMeter indicates that almost nobody came back for their prize last time, I'll link to it again. You'll laugh out loud at the singing poodle. Not cutesy, just funny. (Facebook sign-in required.)

Did Con candidate lobby for Lockheed Martin?

Radio-Canada and The Toronto Star report the Con candidate running in Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing is still employed by CFN Consultants, a company that lobbied the Harper Regime on behalf of Lockheed Martin. Lobbyists from CFN Consultants represent a large number of manufacturers of military equipment.
It was Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s party that initially cracked down on the cozy relationship between federal politicians and lobbyists. When first elected, the Tories legislated a five-year ban on lobbying by former politicians and political staffers.
The Harper Regime was *negociating* with U.S. company Lockheed Martin for the purchase of 65 stealth fighters F-35 Lightning II. It estimated the total cost of ownership, maintenance and updating of equipment to be $16 billion.

But Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page presented information that
the cost could actually exceed $29 billion because of many uncertainties. The Opposition also questioned the veracity of industrial benefits that will be generated by the project, valued to be worth $12 billion by Industry Canada, though this claim cannot be substantiated.

Yo! Ladies!

Feel a laser targetting beam on your back?
Stephen Harper embarks on his fourth national election campaign in seven years with a mission: to finally secure a majority government. And he plans to achieve that majority by convincing more women to vote Conservative.

Above anything else, this election is about Mr. Harper, a determined if extremely partisan leader whose personality earns the respect of some and the distrust of others.

Messrs Ibbitson and Friesen have provided a pretty short continuum of responses there.

Let's extend it a little, shall we? To include fear and disgust.

Unfortunately for Stevie Peevie, but fortunately for the country, a good many women regard the Cons with some combination of distrust, disgust, and fear.
The Proud Fringers, for example, whose number is over 5400, formed when an amateur video of Stevie crowing to what he thought was a private gathering about his accomplishments in silencing 'feminists and other left-wing fringe groups' surfaced.

An offshoot, Women Against Stephen Harper, numbering over 600, formed to WASH that man right out of our collective hair.

More than 1200 women joined a group called Women Who Are Creeped out by Stephen Harper. 'Nuff said there.

And when Senator Nancy Ruth counselled a bunch of women angry over the Cons' refusal to include family planning -- let alone safe abortion -- in his cynical G8 'Maternal Health Initiative' to 'shut the fuck up', another Facebook group sprang up. I don't need to tell you what it's called. (That audio clip is NSFW or children, by the way.) This group has more than 2800 members.

Granted, there is a lot of overlap in those numbers. (I think I belong to all of them. I have some strong -armed -minded Facebook friends.) But still, there are lots of Canadian women who wouldn't vote Conservative even if that target on their back were actually bleeding.

But what of the other thousands and thousands of women the Cons need for a *shudder* majority? What can we say to women who might be swayed?

Let's look south to the Excited States, where a wave of Tea Party victories in various states has unleashed an unprecedented orgy of misogyny. All manner of programs intended to benefit women and children have been slashed to ribbons: family planning, child care, violence against women, and, most importantly in this time of fiscal trouble and job losses -- abortion of course.

Ah, but Canada is a kinder, gentler place than the US, you say.

Oh yeah? Let's take a look at what Stevie Peevie has already 'defunded'.
1. Aboriginal Healing Foundation
(cuts affected several healing centres that focused on providing support to abused women, such as the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal)
2. Action travail des femmes
3. Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
4. Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale (AFEAS)
5. Canadian Child Care Federation
6. Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
7. Centre de documentation sur l’éducation des adultes et la condition féminine
8. Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
9. Child Care Resource and Research Unit, SpeciaLink
10. Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT)
11. Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto
(funding cut by CIC in December 2010)
12. Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia
13. First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
14. International Planned Parenthood Federation
15. Marie Stopes International,
a maternal health agency, has received only a promise of "conditional” funding IF it avoids any & all connection with abortion
16. MATCH International
17. National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
18. Native Women’s Association of Canada
19. New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
20. Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
21. Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
22. Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
23. Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre, Toronto
24. Sisters in Spirit
25. South Asian Women’s Centre
26. Status of Women Canada
(mandate also changed to exclude "gender equality and political justice" and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying)
27. Tri-Country Women’s Centre Society
28. Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
29. Women for Community Economic Development in Southwest Nova Scotia (WCEDSN)
30. Women’s Innovative Justice Initiative – Nova Scotia
31. Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program

(Note that immigrant and Aboriginal women are ˆNOT spared.)

That's what Stevie and his gang have done to Canadian women and children -- with a MINORITY government.

Imagine what he'd do with a majority.

(cross-posted at Unseat Harper blog)

Sunday 27 March 2011

Harpo's 'Hidden Agenda' from Far Right POV

For today's instalment of DJ!'s effort to divide the right, we present this thread at the Freaks started by my Facebook friend Connie: Does Stephen Harper Have a Hidden Agenda?
It seems to me that many conservatives are betting everything on their hope that Stephen Harper really does have a "Hidden Agenda".

Social conservatives have been told by Harper repeatedly that he won't even let Members of Parliament debate the issue of abortion while he is Prime Minister, yet they are planning to dutifully march to the polls on May 2nd and cast their vote for him in hopes that he is lying.

Free speechers have seen this government, on their own initiative, introduce legislation that would eviscerate our online privacy and freedom of speech. The CPC appointed Jennifer Lynch as head of the CHRC, where she launched a full-out attack on free speech, and the Conservative Justice Minister did nothing to rein her in. Yet, many free speechers figure Harper had "no choice" but to do these things because he has a minority government. Somehow, if he has unlimited power, they think he will stop taking our rights away, so they are going to vote for him, too.

Some fiscal conservatives are willing to gamble their prosperity on the hope that bank bailouts and wasteful spending by the Harper government were simply a way to lull their opposition into thinking that the CPC was not "scary", and that their threatened government attacks on the oil sands, and their seeming acceptance of the global warming farce was just play-acting. These fiscons will do their duty on May 2nd, too, and vote for Stephen Harper strictly on the belief that the past six years have been a lie.

I am going to propose something radical here. There is no "Hidden Agenda". There never has been, and there never will be! Whatever Stephen Harper has done in the past that he sees as instrumental in winning him his majority, he will continue to do in the future. There will be no change of heart, no ripping off of the shirt to reveal the caped conservative superhero.

If you are not happy with the performance of Stephen Harper over the past six years, don't vote for him unless you are content to see him behave exactly the same for the next five.

Conservatives are normally very logical people, so I find it appalling that, over an over again, they go back and vote for people who are promising the OPPOSITE of what they want!

There is a Bible verse in Matthew that says, "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."

Stephen Harper has squandered the past six years. If anything, Canada is less conservative now than when he started. We have seen how he has handled the "little" power of a minority government, so we know exactly how he will handle "much".

Think about it.

Isn't clear thinking from the Right bracing?

Several of the Freaks agree with her.

Contempt leader Harper stumbled

and this journalist caught the moment.
Harper, in an unscripted moment and in hasty reaction to the Ignatieff statement, made a mistake.

It was the kind of fumble that can happen in the rough and tumble quick action of an election, away from the controlled setting of the House of Commons, where the prime minister always gets the last word.

Harper, who really did sound a bit rattled, called Ignatieff’s written promise a “little tidbit” in a news release. Then, oddly, maybe even incomprehensively, he accused the liberals of “trying to set it as a hidden agenda” and that Ignatieff declared his position in writing because “he couldn’t deny it in front of the cameras.”

In another few moments, so short and yet pivotal in a campaign, Ignatieff replied at his own news event: “[Harper] wouldn’t recognize the truth if it walked up and shook his hand.”

Freeze frame that, and go back to Harper, at Rideau Hall.

Continuing down the unscripted road, looking and sounding even more unsure of himself, Harper did the one sure thing that had his script masters shuddering, he referred to the possibility his party might win only another minority.
Or lose his *érection* so badly that his Contempt party won't even get the opportunity to re-form another Harper Regime©™.

It was reported that Stevie Spiteful was booed at his appearance in Brampton today. Harper's handlers should make sure he's taking his mood-control meds. If one of his notorious temper tantrums or foul expletive-laden outbursts is caught on camera, it will crack the veneer of his carefully crafted image.

Is that a hidden agenda in your pocket Stevie

or are you just happy to be campaigning?

So the élection
érection is out of the pants bag. It sounded bizarre when the word slipped out during Harper's press conference on Saturday but I assumed my hearing was off and I needed more coffee.

As it turns out,
this isn't the first time Stevie has said érection instead of élection.

Now, what does that say about bilingual members working for the PMO politburo that they're all too scared stiff to tell the boss he keeps getting his French *l* & *r* mixed up?

Lusting after a majority is Viagra to Harper? That's hardly a surprise. But since we're rubbing up to the edge of vulgarity here - what the hell, let's go all the way.
One could blame it on Dan Gardner since he wrote "Stephen Harper is Richard Nixon on a bad day." back in 2008.

Stevie Peevie. Tricky Dicky.

Don't Switch Dicks in the Middle of a Screw, Vote Nixon in '72

Harper desperately desires a majority. His strategy so far is to warn Canadians they shouldn't switch, that they should stick with the one who'll provide them with a steady and stable ride economy.
WTF? Is that some weird subliminal tactic, an attempt to seduce undecided female voters?

In what other weird, frantic, unattractive ways is Harper like Nixon?

Saturday 26 March 2011

Rachel Maddow Is Envious of Canadian Parliament

Sure, Rachel ultimately uses the occasion to talk about USian fiscal transparency, but she does a very creditable job of explaining the Canadian situation. She seems to have a better grip on it than many Canadians.

I really want our MSM to do some education on Canadian government and electoral system, while they're breathlessly covering the horse races and keeping score of gaffes.

I know. Hopeless.

Harper is a Victim. Really.

Poor, sad Stevie Spiteful.

Harper says he didn't want an election and now he has to run for it.

Harper was betrayed, betrayed! by Bruce Carson, he the PMO tells us.

Harper and his Harper Regime©™ were found in contempt of Parliament for these actions - although these are the same old same old tactics the Cons have been exploiting since Stevie became leader of the *new* ReformaTory Conservative (NOT progressive) party in 2004.

And now
this damning G20 report, calling for a MASSIVE inquiry.

Oh. Wait. Could Stevie be playing at being a victim, a role-reversal trick that bullies typically like to pull?

In the
words of our esteemed blogging colleague Alison @ Creekside:
The Cons' contempt for Parliament was just a part of their contempt for all of us.

The Cons' contempt. It's why we call them Cons.

Friday 25 March 2011

A is for Anti-semitism and Apartheid (with update)

My father and mother shared the history of growing up in Ottawa's multicultural Lower Town with their daughters. It was thus I learned of the bigotry that francophone Catholic priests spread from the height of their pulpit, preaching - and deliberately planting seeds of violence - against the Irish, the Protestants and particularly, their Jewish neighbours. Later on, I discovered research documenting the hateful manifestions of anti-semitism.

My parents' choices as well as their open minds allowed me to understand the life experiences of immigrants to Canada as well as the vital and dynamic role the Jewish community held in Ottawa since its foundation. As an adolescent, I had the privilege of attending a religious service in the old synagogue, now closed.

When my cousin who converted to Reformed Judaism in her 30s invited me to her daughter's Bat Mitzvah, I felt honoured then moved by the beauty and spiritual force of the ritual. The women and men of this congregation are equally and fully engaged in all practices of their religious traditions.

Recently a friend's mom stated the film "An Education" sugar-coated its anti-semitic depiction of anti-semitism; after watching it I agreed with her impression, though some Jewish reviewers had a different perspective.

Today my friend lagatta directed my attention to powerful opinion piece by Letty Cottin Pogrebin, one of the original founding mothers of Ms magazine. It concludes:

As a life-long, Israel-loving, peace-seeking Zionist, I disdained the hyperbolic label and the facile, incendiary parallels to pre-Mandela South Africa that, for years, have been propagated by Jimmy Carter and some pundits on the left. I’ve made at least two dozen trips to Israel since 1976 and, though strongly critical of its government’s policies toward Palestinians within and outside the Green Line — whether under Labor, Likud or Kadima leadership — I never felt that extreme indictment was warranted by the facts on the ground. Then again, until last month, I had never been to Hebron.

Justice-loving Jews cannot keep denying what is happening under Israeli auspices in Hebron; we can never say we didn’t know.

It is painful to discover that a person, an institution or a belief one respects is wrong. It takes courage to say so.

Via our feminista consoeur AntoniaZ, a link to a strong and timely opinion piece in Haaretz.

NOT #elxn41 news: Pedophile Catholic Priests

From here:
"In one of the largest monetary payouts nationwide in the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis, and the largest one by a religious order, the Jesuit order in the Northwest has agreed to pay $166.1 million to about 500 abuse victims as part of its bankruptcy settlement," The Seattle Times writes.

As The Associated Press adds, the payments will go to "hundreds of American Indians and Alaska Natives who were abused at the Catholic order's schools around the region. The settlement also asks the order to provide a written apology to the victims and to share documents with them such as their personal medical records."
There are MASSIVE resources at this website, about various forms of abuse by members of the Catholic clergy: news, updates, groups, connections, discusions -

They're like ... The Village People

- except they're really into Conservatives. ROTFL!

Found this at impolitical. In answer to the rhetorical question she posed re: The Rant - there is never enough Rick Mercer. He leaves us gasping with laughter and asking for more.

You are cordially invited. . .

To your own polling booth, sometime soon.

Yesterday morning, Jon Wiltzen created this Facebook event. When I confirmed my 'attendance', the number was under 30. It just blew by 500, with nearly 3,000 'awaiting reply'.

I'm trying to make it go viral, like Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP) did last year. It's the invite to your polling booth: 'I am a Proud Democratic Canadian and I Pledge to Vote on Election Day!' I wasn't in on CAPP at the beginning, but I think it was over a week old when I joined -- I joined in the 11,000s. Some critical mass occurred and it took off. And kept going. And going.

If this does go viral, it will be a lovely counter to the 'unnecessary, unwanted' election meme. 

Go do it. There's a reward for you when you come back. Don't sign out of Facebook.

Good. You're back.

Here you go.

Democracy's Future*

If nothing else, the past five years have shown Canadians how badly broken our democracy is. Until and unless we get some radical electoral and democratic change, it's going to be up to citizens to protect what's left of that creaky old institution.

Luckily, we're a resourceful lot. When Harper prorogued Parliament for the second time, we'd had enough. Unfortunately, over 200,000 of us on Facebook and thousands in the streets didn't seem to impress the politicians much.

But that was just the beginning. More non-partisan or multi-partisan grassroots groups sprang up: Catch 22 Harper Conservatives, Unseat Harper, and a more recent group, LeadNow.

Today I went looking for more, specifically for groups aiming at young voters. Found two.

Apathy Is Boring.
Revolutionizing democracy through art & technology.

Apathy is Boring is a national non-partisan project. Our mission is to use art & technology to educate youth about democracy.

Apathy is Boring aims to meet the following Youth in Democracy Goals:

Increase youth voting rates.
Increase youth engagement in their communities.
Build a sustainable dialogue between youth and elected officials.

It has a dandy facts page with definitions and other helpful info.

OurVote is also targetting youth.'s goal is to mobilize young Canadians to actively engage and participate in the now declared 2011 Elections for the governance of Canada!

Young Canadians have a decisive voice and interest in determining the direction of Canada and necessary leadership that takes into account our needs & concerns!

Why does does getting youth involved matter?

Because voter turn-out is declining and there's that old saw: 'Low voter turn-out favours the conservative parties'.

Hey, look at this (from October last year).

How Parliament would look if only youth voted .
Canada’s youth would elect a Liberal minority government, with a substantial increase in representation for the New Democrats, Bloc Québécois, and Greens, according to projections based on recent polls of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24. The Conservative Party would be severely reduced, virtually wiped out east of Manitoba.

Want to unseat Stephen Harper? Encourage the kids to vote.

(*Cross-posted at Voices for Democracy, Unseat Harper's blog. Good bloggers there. Check it out.)

Thursday 24 March 2011

To my virtual roomie. . .

It's not you.

It's the election.

I've been invited to contribute to the blog at Unseat Harper.

After struggling with the mysteries of WordPress* (or as JJ calls it, 'WeirdPress') I produced this, Democracy's Future.

I will probably put a version of it up here tomorrow.

*@dBO: Man, the struggling brought back unhappy memories of 'WTF? I knew how to do this yesterday. Why is it all changed? Why does this have to be so fucking complicated?' Etc. You remember. Fun times.

Plague rats

Roof rats and diseases such as plague aka. the black death - black death era painting
are vicious when they are forced into a corner. And that is exactly what the Opposition has done to Stevie Spiteful and his cabal of Cons in the Harper Regime. If the minority Conservative government falls as a result of losing a confidence vote in the House of Commons, an election will follow.

Harper's rightwing party which had the hubris to campaign on a platform of accountability, ethics and transparence has surpassed its predecessors in evasion, corruption and opacity.

These folks have never taken the high road; they are dedicated followers of Rovian tactics and their leader is the nouveau Tricky Dick.

The cornered Con rats will deploy every nasty strategy and parrot any vile lie to win; their political operatives function as though an election campaign is a blood sport.

Redact Harper

Ah. I'm not nuts. Yesterday, I said that there was a third video at Enough Harper's YouTube channel. Which later disappeared.

I guess it needed a little more tweaking. It's another home run for this bunch, whoever they are.

And there's an event for you to attend: 'I am a Proud Democratic Canadian and I Pledge to Vote on Election Day!'

ADDED: Hmm. As to who is behind Enough Harper, is the Liberal Party just a big fan? Or?

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Ready to Rumble?

If you are one of those 'nobodies' who desperately want an election in Canada, here are some non-party ways to get involved.

One of them is Catch 22 Harper Conservatives campaign.
Our strategy is to focus our efforts in those Conservative-held ridings where voters have the best chance of defeating the incumbent. We are in the process adding additional ridings as it becomes clear where we can best focus our campaign. For details about the criteria we considered in selecting these ridings see "Riding Selection".

Catch 22 has begun to identify opposition-held ridings that are vulnerable to a Conservative take-over. On Feb 28, we added our first defensive campaign - Edmonton-Strathcona. [Linda Duncan, NDP]

Each riding has a group that you can join to discuss the local campaign, and a riding profile with MP information, demographic data, election results, news, maps, links and more! If you are unsure of your riding, you can search by postal code at Elections Canada.

Check the Riding Selection to see if your riding, or one near you, is on the list. In Ontario, I'm gratified to see that four cabinet ministers are targetted: Diane Finley, John Baird, Peter Kent, and Julian Fantino.

Then there's another group that began -- and continues -- as a Facebook group, Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper, aka CRUSH. You might remember them as that 'radical anti-Stephen Harper group'. Membership has been hovering in the 5,900+ range for months, but lately and unaccountably *cough*, zoomed up to more than 6,100. There is also a website now.

And there's another one, launched recently, called Leadnow.
Leadnow brings generations of Canadians together to take action for our future and hold politicians accountable.

Leadnow was founded in 2010 by a group of young people who care about a wide range of issues and wanted to create a new way for people to participate effectively in our democracy.

Our founding objectives are to deepen our democracy, strengthen our communities, advance social justice, extend economic opportunity and protect our planet. We'll build an independent community that works together to help set the political agenda, take effective action on important issues, and shift elections.

We're inspired by a new model of political and movement organizing that uses technology as a tool to help people organize themselves and strengthen their voice. This model was pioneered by organizations like MoveOn (USA), GetUp (Australia), 38 Degrees (UK), and Avaaz (Global), mobilizing over 10 million people around the world. We hope to bring some of the best of these organizing techniques to Canada, while we adapt them to suit Canada's unique character.

Ooooh, 'shift elections'. I like that.

And finally, a video producing entity called Enough Harper, where I snaffled this HarperGraph,'Conservative Priorities', today.

Enough Harper also has a YouTube channel, with two videos, both of which have appeared here. (I saw another vid there this morning -- reason for starting this post -- but it's gone now.)

Anyway, here's one of the earlier ones.

Time to act. Or at least donate. Or support. Or something.

Let's take our Canada back.

Tea Bagger Misogyny

You thought ReThugs' obsession with controlling women's bodies couldn't get any more extreme?

Watch this:

To my American cousins: This is what happens when you elect nutbars. Or when you don't bother to turn up to vote for sane people.

I'm sorry to say that my sympathy for your plight has reached its limit.

Adieux, cons et le roi des cons.

"Après moi, le déluge" ... ? Not likely - Emperor Stevie Spiteful the 1st - since your reign has been one raging incompetence and/or scandal after another.

At this point, a democratically functional government is required.

For the first time in a while, I'll be actively participating in a federal election - to ensure that Anyone But a Con gets elected. And I will offer help to those in other ridings, too.

Political caricature from here.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Funny Twitter Folks


My virtual roomie just blogged about a journalist named Andy Carvin, a *serious* Twitter person who tweets and retweets events as they occur in real time in Libya and other political hot spots and who provides links to news stories and people in the fire of action.

In addition to @acarvin, I also follow a variety of individuals who exploit Twitter's potential for delivering pithy and scathing political commentary.

@RagingTeabagger, for example, offers the above photo with a suggested caption: "Palin puts the move on Netanyahu's wife in a Bush/Merkel moment."

However, from Sara Netanyahu's vantage point, it might be possible to see The $arah's nostril hair, as well as the rest of her, becoming ever so wordly and savvy in diplomatic affairs ... NOT.

The Evolution of News-Gathering in Real Time

If you are interested in developments in North Africa and the Middle East and/or the evolution of journalism and you're not following Andy Carvin on Twitter, you should.

The Guardian has a profile on him.
Andy Carvin is getting a little sick of talking about which verb best describes what he does. "It's somewhere between reporting and collaborative network journalism, and George Plimpton-like oral history, except that I'm doing it in real time in 140 characters. I don't know what to call that and I don't care as long as people don't waste my time trying to give it a name."

Whatever Carvin's particular brand of news gathering should be called, it has made him a must-read source on the Arab uprisings – and possibly the most talked about person at SXSW. "All roads now lead to Andy Carvin," declared media critic Jeff Jarvis at a discussion on the future of news.

(SXSW is an annual festival held in Austin, TX. Carvin was there recently, still tweeting.)

Many, if not most by now, journalists use Twitter, but nobody does it like Andy.
Although Carvin had a network of blogger contacts in the region whom he used to check information being tweeted, what marks him out is his willingness to retweet unverified material and ask his followers for help to establish its accuracy. "I admit that I don't know the answer to things and see users as potential experts and eyewitnesses. In some ways what I'm doing is not that different from a broadcast host doing a breaking live story with a producer in one ear, talking to pundits and all the while anchoring the coverage, but rather than producers I have followers."

Imagine that, friends of truthiness. Fact-checking! As opposed to making shit up.

Here's an example:
"I see my Twitter account as a newsgathering operation and the success or failure rate is clearly tied to the expertise of the people who follow me. I would rather have almost no one following me and have them all be experts than have a million followers."

That expertise was highlighted recently when he tweeted a request for help identifying a photograph from Benghazi of "a guy holding up the biggest bullet I had ever seen". After some discussion among his followers, US military serviceman sent him a link to an image of a Russian anti-aircraft round that matched it perfectly. "There is no way that I or anyone else at NPR could have done that on our own."

Or so quickly.

It will be fascinating to see if this catches on. And in the meantime, it's just plain fascinating to follow Andy Carvin.

Monday 21 March 2011

Politicians and humour-challenged Macleans staff writers.

Shall I compare thee to an *old whore*?

Or more approriately, to each other?

Scott Feschuk produced a stupid, cheap, sexist & puerile piece for Macleans that compared escort and hooker. It's been removed now, and according to a tweet I read, he has apologized. So, if readers had not expressed their disgust, he wouldn't have known it was offensive and dirt-dumb?

I wonder ... if DAMMIT JANET! did a similar piece comparing politicians and Macleans staff writer, would the subjects would find it amusing?

For example the former might be considered prickless farts and the latter heartless pricks. Yeah, that exact kind of *humour*.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Right back at you, Juan Terranova!

This week's Maurice Vellacott Award goes to Argentine writer Juan Terranova who defends his *right* (and that of all men) to verbally threaten and sexually terrorize women. He claims there's a
"beautiful richness to obscene language." Terranova, who some view as one of the newly appeared voices in Argentine contemporary Literature, goes so far as to call for "the revindication of the cat call as a minor literary genre."

We're not coy, pearl-clutching damsels here at DAMMIT JANET! We think that you deserve the same opportunity that you wished to personally inflict upon the feminist activist, Inti Maria Tidball-Binz.

Juan, here's hoping that you'll soon meet a virile, muscled, hairy and MASSIVELY endowed Macho Man and that he'll growl in your ear that he "would love to rape you in the ass".

There's such a beautiful richness in the obscenity of that threat language - don't you see, Juan?

From @WentRogue's tweet.

Friday 18 March 2011

Harper Wants to Campaign on the Economy?

Nice economy ya got there, Stevie, be a shame if . . .

. . . the Conference Board of Canada rates it 10th among 17 'peer' nations and sinking.
When grading is complete, the Ottawa-based Conference Board said Thursday, Canada will slip to 10th on a list of 17 peer countries in 2010 from sixth in 2009. The Conference Board’s advance rankings have Canada in ninth place in 2011.

Maybe you shouldn't have spent all that dough on gazebos, fake lakes, overtime for useless and/or brutal G20 G8 cops, and your religious cronies.
"Wycliffe Bible Translators slurped up a hefty $495,600 of your money and mine. But that was dwarfed by the $3.2 million awarded to an outfit called Youth For Christ--and, while children living in poverty on a reserve in Attawapiskat have been denied a new school for years, Edmonton's Newman Theological College was recently awarded $4.2 million of Harper's largesse."

Maybe you should have spent stimulus money -- that you didn't want to spend at all -- wisely as other countries did, like on green job creating strategies.
Environmental researchers say the Harper government could have created three times as many jobs if it had invested stimulus funding in climate projects rather than in traditional infrastructure.

An analysis by the Pembina Institute shows that climate-friendly projects tend to be more labour intensive.

It suggests the $16 billion Ottawa spent on building roads, arenas and the like during the recession could have created or maintained almost 240,000 green jobs — instead of the 84,000 the government boasts of.

The study was funded by the British High Commission and relied on Ontario government research into how effective environmental spending is on job creation.

The Conservative government put just eight per cent of its stimulus funding into climate projects — much lower than in other countries.
Yo! Liberals! NDP! The Harper Regime wants to run an election on the economy? Bring it on!!!!!!

Keep focus on Con's rotten core.

News item after news item uncover dodgy, unethical and potentially corrupt tactics involving Con flunkies, political operatives, advisors and ministers. It seems the Harper Regime was built on quicksand and the shiftiness of its *principles* will bring it down.

Now's the moment for us to strike quickly and efficiently, and yet the word that blazes from headlines is HOOKER.

While it's important to constantly challenge the *Family Values* pseudo-morality card the ReformaTory party plays whenever it's Con-veeenient - and to remind voters of its patent hypocrisy - snickering salaciously like frat boys about this information can derail an urgent hard punch to the Harper Regime's soft belly.

It's difficult to surpass impolitical's deft touch when it comes to handling activated explosive devices, but could we try to be strategic on this one? Taking the high road is critical for progressives; the credibility of our analysis of the Conservative's systemic, pervasive, and putrid practices could be be undermined by cheap shots.

Let's steer clear of the howling hyenas and jackals. We don't want to lose this battle.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Re: Previous Post on Hudak

For some weird Blogger reason, there's no 'comments/edit' bar on our previous post on Tim Hudak's status as pro or anti Fetus Lobby.

If you have comments, leave them here.

Tim Hudak: Is He or Isn't He?

Several Blogging Tories have their knickers in knots over this clever ad.

I got to wondering -- is Tim Hudak a fetus fetishist?

I hit the google and it seems the jury is out.

This Catlick site notes:
in 1995 and 1999, Hudak signed a CLC [Campaign Life Coalition] questionnaire, with the organization rating him “pro-life with exceptions.”

This source says that Jason Kenney thinks so.
He supported Tim Hudak in the Ontario provincial race, telling colleagues Hudak was reliably pro-life.

(But consider the source -- Kenney, I mean.)

LifeShite more recently:
Hudak has however been a great disappointment for pro-life, pro-family Ontarians who had originally expected the MPP to stand up for life and family since his first election win under the Harris regime.

In his recent party leadership campaign, Hudak, consistent with his past performance, refused to announce a stand on pro-life issues.

Ah, the old bob-and-weave.

Well, inquiring minds want to know. Is he or isn't he a proliar?

Because in Ontario, fetus fetishists can always go with the Family Coalition Party.

Zow. In 1990, they polled 2.7% of the popular vote. Sadly, in recent elections, they've sunk by 2/3 to 0.8%.

DJ! just doing its humble bit to help divide the right.
Catlick bishops.
“The Alberta Bishops have decided not to participate in the 2011 Alberta March for Life,” announced Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith in a March 9, 2011 blog post.

The reason given for the bishops’ withdrawal is that the organizers of the Alberta March are unable to guarantee that participants will not bring graphic abortion images.

Well, of course, they are 'unable to guarantee'. Fetus fetishists can't work up to a good martyrgasm wank-fest without their preferred pr0n.

Cue the SHRIEEEKING here in 5, 4, 3 . . .

Remember this from the Fight the FetusMobile campaign in Calgary?

Maybe it's time to rethink your strategy when so many people -- including Catlick bishops -- are put off by it.

Yo! Anonymous! How about #OpProchoice?

The War on Women (also title of a book on the Canadian version by Brian Vallée) is fought on many fronts.

General violence against women More specific assaults like female genital mutilation and war rape (yes, that's a term). And so on and depressingly so on.

But never in my life have I witnessed such an absolute orgy of assault on women's reproductive rights as is going on right now in the Excited States. Unbelievably cruel, petty new laws are being enacted all over the place by Tea Party Hatriots. And then, of course, there's the MASSIVE effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

It occurred to me that women could use some help here. And then I started thinking about an excellent article by our pal Antonia Zerbisias a couple of weeks ago about Anonymous.

And then I started thinking that I know quite a few female geeks. And many male geeks even have female partners (kidding!).

From AZ's article:
Want a revolution? There is an op for that. Op as in operation. #OpEgypt #OpAlgeria #OpTunisia. #OpPayback. These are the Twitter “hashtags’’ that disseminate dissent.

I'm thinking #OpProchoice -- or something cleverer -- sounds very good.

Here's AZ's primer on Anonymous's past and present actions.
Project Chanology (2008): This was the attack on the Church of Scientology that brought the first mainstream attention to Anonymous. When a YouTube of a manic Tom Cruise raving about the benefits of Scientology was posted, the Church threatened legal action. As a result, Scientology.Org was taken out.

Anonymous Iran (2009): During the uprising after the contested Iranian election, Anonymous and other hacktivists set up an opposition Green Party support site with news and resources for protestors.

Operation Titstorm (2010): An attack against the Australian government, which had tried to pass a law that would censor online photos of small-breasted women because they could be seen as child porn.

Operations Payback/Avenge Assange (2010): This was where Anonymous sealed its reputation as champion of WikiLeaks and free speech. Among other actions, Anonymous brought down MasterCard and Visa’s websites because they would not accept or froze donations to founder Julian Assange.

Operations Tunisia/Egypt (2011): Anonymous helped protestors by knocking out government websites and providing resources for getting around the denial of Internet access.

The Attack on HBGary Federal (2011): This is the humiliating attack on a major U.S. security firm, which claimed to have identified Anonymous leaders and was planning to out them to the FBI. The corporate website was hacked, 60,000 emails leaked, and even its phone system was disconnected. Last week, the CEO resigned.

Westboro Baptist Church (2011): Last month, on live radio, while a representative from the notoriously homophobic church was debating with an Anonymous participant, a WBC website was hacked.

Operation Koch Block (2011): Last week, the growing ranks of Anonymous went after the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers because they were working “to undermine” the political process and workers in Wisconsin. They temporarily disabled the website of the Koch-funded group, Americans for Prosperity.

Avenge Bradley Manning (2011): On Thursday, #opbradley was launched, aimed at supporting U.S. Pvt. 1st Class Bradley E. Manning, the soldier charged with “aiding the enemy’’ by providing classified government documents to WikiLeaks.

Anti-choicers are all over the InterToobz, spewing hate, lies, and shame. Some enable anti-abortion terrorists. And, of course, they use those sites to raise more dough to continue and escalate their war on women.

And now I'm thinking, nice sites they got there, be a shame if. . .