Tuesday 31 January 2012

Conflict ethics vs. ethical ethics

Hey folks, I have some new definitions for you. Fresh from the definitions fairy!

  • Conflict ethics: ethics you mysteriously acquire when there is money at stake, your political career at stake, or your not-so-hidden backers are prodding you to action. Conflict ethics are wielded against legitimate stakeholders and well-intentioned people standing between you and power and profit, or sometimes even simply between you and your ability to grind others down whether or not you materially gain from it. We find conflict ethics in conflict ethics mines, also known as Conservative Party conventions, Hy's Steakhouse by the Chateau Laurier, and so on.

  • Ethical ethics: what normal people mean by "ethics". A genuine intention to treat others fairly, to avoid destroying the planet, to deal honestly with others without an ulterior motive, and intention to swindle or grift, and so on. Ethical ethics can be found pretty much anywhere, there is rarely if ever any need to purchase or consume conflict ethics.

Some things to watch out for when shopping around for an ethic. Does the purveyor deploy glurge drills? Does he accuse others of accepting money from "foreign radicals" when he himself is displaying utter naked hypocrisy? Does he wear hideous orange wigs on his "TV" "channel"? Is he following proper procedure in reporting the source of his ethics?

Remember folks, conflict ethics are called that for a reason.

Allison at Creekside: "We all live downstream"

Go to Alison at Creekside: "We all live downstream" for a look at the real physical, horrific consequences of exploiting the tar sands for the China *socialist* billionaires.

*Ethical* oil, anyone?

Monday 30 January 2012

Shrieeek! Where is the fetus lobby?

Doctors in Peru said they would operate today on a 3-year-old boy to remove the body of his would-be twin.

Isbac Pacunda has the body of his twin inside his stomach – bones, eyes and even hair on the cranium. Dr. Carlos Astocondor, a plastic surgeon at the Las Mercedes Hospital in Chiclayo, told the Associated Press that the partially formed fetus weighs about a pound and a half and is 9 inches long. He and a team of 12 doctors will surgically remove the tissue from the boy’s stomach today.
From here.

So, why is it the Vatican Taliban has not threatened to excommunicate the doctors and the parents of Isbac Pacunda for allowing this fetus to be surgically removed?

I wonder if photographs of Isbac's twin will make their way into Blob Blogging Wingnut's gallery of fetal remains?

Hail Mary! and pass the popcorn.

Oh looky.

Fetus lobbyist MP Brad Trost wants to be a martyr.

Many might wonder, as @kady did, doesn't that require somebody to be brutally tortured?

But then there are some fundamentalist religious zygote zealots whose fantasies are fuelled by a well-developed persecution complex.

Take SUZANNE for example. Please.

At any rate, it's always entertaining when the Contempt Party, following the spiteful orders of PMSHithead, makes road kill of one of their MPs.

And it couldn't happen to someone more deserving of .... uh, torment. Except the MASSIVELY gynophobic Maurice Vellacott, of course.

More DJ! posts about Trost, here.

You Want a Scrip for Viagra? Mandatory Rectal Exam!

Pay back!

The state Senate this afternoon gave preliminary approval for legislation that would require pregnant women to undergo ultrasound imaging before an abortion, but not before rejecting a Democratic senator’s attempt to add what she described as “ a little gender equity” to the bill.

Democrat Janet Howell of Fairfax County proposed requiring men to undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before getting prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra.

“This is a matter of basic fairness,” Howell said.

Senate Bill 484 would require a pregnant woman to undergo ultrasound imaging to determine the gestational age of the fetus, and be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image, before having an abortion. The proposed law also requires the abortion provider to keep a printed copy of the ultrasound image in the patient’s file.

. . .
She said she was watching television in her hotel room that evening and saw an ad for an erectile dysfunction drug that included a recitation of “all the serious things that could happen to a man who was going to take this medication.”

“So, I said, it’s only fair, that if we’re going to subject women to unnecessary procedures, and we’re going to subject doctors to having to do things that they don’t think is medically advisory, well, Mr. President, I think we should just have a little gender equity here,” Howell said, explaining her amendment.

Every time another bullshit pre-abortion mandatory procedure law comes up, women in whatever legislature should propose this.

h/t I Am Dr. Tiller

Waah! Lying Has Consequences

Lost in DJ!'s coverage of CTV's 'exposé' of the fake clinic in Surrey and Maurice Vellacott's ensuing 8-page snit-fit is the local consequence of the spotlight focussed on the liars.

They won't be able to spread their crap to public school students any more.
Several public schools in Surrey are suspending sexual education classes offered by a counselling centre affiliated with a religious organization that opposes abortion after a CTV News investigation.

The South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre won't be teaching teens about contraception or abortion until the Surrey school district can determine if students are getting accurate information, according to district spokesman Doug Strachan.

"We would want information to be factual and impartial and informative," said Strachan. "If there's pressure on students that isn't warranted or unreasonable, that's something we would want to be aware of."

The move comes after a CTV News hidden-camera investigation revealed that a volunteer counsellor at the centre gave advice about abortion that medical experts have described as dubious.

Several schools in Surrey, including Princess Margaret Secondary, have allowed the group to give presentations to grade 10 students over the past five years.

It's incredible to me that PUBLICLY funded schools would accept such proselytizing. But it's grand that it's at least suspended and hopefully totally banned.

What's that they say about sunlight?

Oh yeah. 'It makes the creepy-crawlies squirm.'

Squirm, lying liars, squirm.

Sunday 29 January 2012

Bloggers MIA

I was just pruning the blogroll, deleting links to non-existent blogs. Several I didn't prune are kinda moribund, but I left them.

There are two I'm wondering about. Anybody know what's up with Audrey and/or Willy?

British Journal of Psychiatry: ^NOT 'Prestigious'

While writing yesterday's blogpost on Vellacott's references section, I found that the current issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry revisits the Coleman (with four citations from Vellacott) controversy with letters to the editor, the editors' response, and author's reply.

They are not yet available online, but available to subscription holders and to a grand friend of DJ! with access to a university sub -- thanks again, godammitkitty.

Here's the abstract of her paper with previous critical letters to the editor.

The criticism focuses on three major shortcomings in her work which found (astoundingly):
Results: Women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be attributable to abortion.




I won't address methodology, not being a statistician, but I'll quote one para in which I count 10 negatives:
This quantitative synthesis and meta-analysis did not follow the robust methodologies now generally accepted for systematic reviews.2 There is no detail of the search strategy including search terms; the strategy is not comprehensive (only two databases included); other strategies to search the literature, including citation tracking, hand searching and contacting authors and experts in the field to try to minimise publication bias, were not carried out; and there was no assessment or rating of the quality of included studies, so that only those of at least reasonable quality are included in the meta-analysis. This is particularly important here as many of the primary studies included in this review have significant methodological limitations, including non-prospective design, non-standardised measures of mental disorders, lack of adjustment for pre-existing mental illness, lack of adjustment for other key confounders (e.g. social deprivation), non-comparability of exposed and non-exposed groups, and selection bias. This is especially concerning, given that previous reviews raised serious methodological concerns about some of the included studies, and came to different conclusions when these were excluded from analyses.3–5 Furthermore, results from several of the included studies linking abortion to mental health problems have since been re-analysed by other researchers. These studies, using the same data, have less biased sample selection techniques and control for pre-pregnancy factors known to influence poor mental health outcomes (i.e. rape history) and have found no significant links between abortion and subsequent poor mental health.6,7

-- Louise M. Howard, Kylee Trevillion, and Trine Munk-Olsen

Kathryn M. Abel and Peter Brocklehurst single out her use of something called population atributable risk (PAR).
In Coleman’s synthesis, the PAR measure has been applied inappropriately and, we believe, reported misleadingly.

There is much much more of this sort of criticism, featuring the words 'not', 'failed', and so on. It's pretty apparent she fucked up majorly in the methodology.

Now, on logic, I'm on stronger ground. As I argued at the time, correlation does NOT equal causation. Something, Abel and Brocklehurst also note:
Second, in the first paragraph of the Discussion (p.183), Coleman states with apparent certainty that ‘. . . nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be directly attributable to abortion.’ This is about as unambiguous a statement of causality as could possibly be made, in the face of clear guidance on the potential pitfalls of drawing such conclusions when applying the PAR.

Well, duh. The correlation/causality fallacy is dealt with early in basic logic, classic example being: 'If the streets are wet, it's raining'.

I'm ready to sit corrected, but it seems to me that her flouting this basic basic basic law of logic is what got up most scientists' (and non-scientists') noses.

Next, her declaration of 'conflict of interest' was, incredibly: 'None.'

Julia H. Littell and James C. Coyne say:
An article in the British Journal of Psychiatry6 calls attention to the importance of non-financial conflicts of interest in the psychiatric literature. Coleman has at least two types of conflict of interest here. Among the most important of such conflicts is an agenda-driven bias, by which authors seek to influence legislation and social policy. David Reardon is a co-author with Coleman on seven articles included in the review and an author on an additional study in the review that does not involve Coleman as a co-author. Reardon is quite explicit about his agenda to instil fear of abortion as a way of facilitating passage of anti-abortion legislation.7

Coleman is the first author on 6 studies and co-author on 5 additional studies in her review; thus, she authored or co-authored fully half of the 22 studies included. According to the Cochrane Handbook,8 this is another potential conflict of interest, since it may ‘unduly influence judgements made in a review (concerning, for example, the inclusion or exclusion of studies, assessments of the risk of bias in included studies or the interpretation of results) . . . This should be disclosed in the review and, where possible, there should be an independent assessment of eligibility and risk of bias by a second author with no conflict of interest.’ Coleman did not obtain an independent assessment of the studies she authored or co-authored, nor did she acknowledge these conflicts in the review.

That's enough for now, except to note that David Reardon and Fergusson et al., (the latter also among the references provided by Vellacott) both defend her. And they are the only ones to do so. Surprise.

Here are Littel and Coyne again:
It is unclear how this paper got through peer review at the Journal. It appears that peer reviewers and the Editor ignored published standards for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Given the serious methodological flaws contained in Coleman’s review and the author’s failure to report obvious conflicts of interest, we believe the article should be retracted.

Let's hear from the editor of the 'prestigious journal' itself, shall we (emphasis and parenthetical comments mine)?
The article by Coleman1 was submitted in October 2010 and accepted for publication in March 2011, so predated the Munk-Olsen paper [yet another paper finding NO causality] paper ,2 as Coleman has indicated in her reply below. The handling editor was W.W. [Waquas Waheed] and the paper was accepted after revision with two reviewers supporting publication and one recommending rejection. It was recognised that the paper was likely to attract attention and P.T. [Peter Tyrer] suggested that a commentary should be published alongside the article. Unfortunately the major concurrent work [guess what it concluded] on this subject (commissioned by the Department of Health) had not then been completed and it was felt unfair to delay publication, so the article appeared without comment. Dr Coleman stated that she had no conflicts of interest to declare and when invited to revise this view subsequently when reminded of our guidance again reiterated this. She has again defended this in her letter; readers are free in the light of these full statements to come to their own conclusions. The failure to declare an interest is not a reason for retracting a systematic review even if failure was unequivocally demonstrated, and this situation is very different from other ones in which the publication of a paper has been retracted.3 [This footnote goes to the infamous Lancet retraction of the autism/vaccine fraud] We have nevertheless decided to give new guidance for the preparation of reviews in our authors’ instructions so there is greater clarity for both authors and reviewers. The correspondence and commentary in this issue indicates the importance of the subject and the value of an active correspondence column in a journal; it is not a reason to avoid the publication of a controversial subject.

Shorter: We didn't want to wait; it was going to generate (fun!) controversy; so what she lied; but we're changing the rules anyway.


But the real fun comes in Priscilla's defense of herself. She's NOT biased. Everyone else is.
By raising concerns of publication bias and attempting to undermine the credibility of an individual researcher who managed to publish in a high-profile journal, several people have sought to shift attention from the truly shameful and systemic bias that permeates the psychology of abortion. Professional organisations in the USA and elsewhere have arrogantly sought to distort the scientific literature and paternalistically deny women the information they deserve to make fully informed healthcare choices and receive necessary mental health counselling when and if an abortion decision proves detrimental.

To recap: bad science, conflict of interest, sloppy review, poor editorial oversight, only defenders also fetus fetishists = ALL GOOD.

I can't wait to hear what James Coyne and PZ Myers will have to say.

For my part, the word 'prestigious' will never appear in front of the words 'British Journal of Psychiatry' again. I'm thinking maybe 'shitty' or 'sensation-seeking' or 'weaselly'.

Aside: Priscilla Coleman is something of a hobby here at DJ! That link demonstrates the strength of our interest.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Anti-Choice: Suckers for Scientists for Hire

(Whoa. This got long. Sorry.)

As promised, we take up the matter of the 'ignored' information in the CTV investigation into a fake clinic, as alleged in the eight-page press release issued by Maurice Vellacott.

By the way, Kady O'Malley had this to say about it.
I believe Maurice Vellacott may have just sent out the longest press release in the history of Canadian parliamentary democracy.

Among many, here's the complaint about bias. (I don't like Scribd. One can't copy and paste. Grrr.)
'The report ignored the scientific literature referenced in the centres' brochures which substantiates the centres' claims that abortion is associated with increased physical and psychological health risks.'

So, one of the eight pages is devoted to providing that missing information. There are eleven references. I looked them all up. Three seem legit, if not quite saying what Vellacott implies.

For example, the one by Ostbye. T., et al. is a simple comparison on abortion outcomes by location, i.e. looking into whether women have fewer complications from abortions performed in hospitals as opposed to clinics. It has nothing to do with abortion risks as such*.

Two, Moreau, C., et al. and Shah and Zao, focus on the relationship between previous abortion and risks of subsequent pre-term or low-weight delivery.

Again, both seem legit and do find a correlation. However, the first is based on French data from 1997, specifically because French women have a higher rate of abortion than many. The second is based on only 37 cases. Both caution that more study is necessary on the topic especially into what manner of abortion and what sorts of complications are also associated with low-weight or pre-term delivery. Not terribly damning, in other words, but at least legit.

Which is way more than can be said for the other eight.

Joel Brind is 'a leading advocate of the abortion-breast cancer hypothesis', which has been debunked countless times. 'Nuff said. Moving on. . .

A PDF of the Fergusson, D.M., et al. paper is available at the Toronto-based de Veber Institute. 'What's that? you ask?
The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research conducts and disseminates research on topics connected to human life in its biological, social and ethical dimensions. These topics are selected for study depending on emerging medical, technological and social developments. In undertaking this work the Institute believes that a sense of the inherent value and dignity of human life and of the human person as an end and not a means is a foundational perspective to bring to bear on its work.

A glance at its current projects (abortion and breast cancer, abortion and mental health, abortion and infertility) confirms: yes, another bogus anti-choice science for hire gang.

(BTW, like other such echo-chambers for lies, the site also cites the Ostbye study, but lies about its purpose and conclusions: 'A study conducted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario shows that after induced abortion there is a 4 times increase in medical admissions and a 5 times increase in surgical admissions to the hospital.')

The Ring-Cassidy and Gentles paper is also associated with the de Veber Institute, its authors being principals there. Ring-Cassidy is a psychologist with a 'continued interest in Catholic Psychology and has taken American Psychological Association Continuing Credits in this area', while 'Ian Gentles is a Professor of History at York University's Glendon College and at Tyndale University College, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.' Yup, fully qualified to research 'women's health after abortion'.

Now we come to Angela Lanfranchi whose abortion=breast cancer paper was published in The Linacre Quarterly. Never heard of this prestigious medical journal? Me neither.
Linacre Quarterly, established in 1932, is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Catholic Medical Association. The journal primarily focuses on the relationship between medicine and spirituality and in particular on medical ethics.

An example of how the journal approaches both religious and medical issues is provided by an article in the August 2006 issue that discusses the medical aspects of crucifixion, given that the Crucifixion of Jesus is a central element of the Roman Catholic faith.

Ho-kay then.

But we're not done with Angela yet.

Her work can also be found at Breast Cancer Prevention Foundation, of which with Joel Brind (see above) she's a co-founder and at the Association for Interdisciplinary Research inValues and Social Change, which at least has the grace to admit that it is a 'pro-life' organization.
The Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change is a professional organization for pro-life researchers and educators which offers a forum to exchange ideas of scientific and social science disciplines. The Association is a network of pro-life professionals who encourage research and academic publication and the development of textbooks and curricula for high schools and colleges. Since its 1986 inception, the Association has published a quarterly news bulletin which has done extensive academic work, especially on Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS), a pattern of psychological problems suffered by some women and men after abortion. Professional research and writing on PAS is vitally important because it is an emerging new field.

(PAS is complete bullshit, BTW, again debunked countless times.)

Vellacott likes Angela. He brought her to Parliament Hill in 2007 to lecture on the inevitable cancer/abortion link.

We've saved the best for last. Four of the eleven references are to our old pal and professional liar-for-hire Priscilla Coleman, who is Perfesser of Home Ec and Abortion Trauma for Sluts.

Priscilla is aaaall over the newly announced World Expert Consortium for Abortion Research and Education, or 'wecare' for short. (Awww.)

She is ubiquitous in the articles and publications sections and is the ONLY person in the presentations section.

She is obviously making hay with her recent notoriety occasioned by the publication of a piece of typical bullshit in the 'prestigious' British Journal of Psychiatry, which is celebrating its bicentennial with a bit of hubbub about that very paper.

The editor says:
We have seldom been a campaigning journal, because campaigning, even in pursuit of a noble cause, indicates partiality, and we also like to think that we are independent of the many lobbying groups that surround our subject, even though we sometimes venture into territory occupied by factional fighting, as illustrated for example in the correspondence in this issue (Howard et al, p. 74, etc.) over a paper we published in September.

Annoyingly, that from the editor is the only bit not behind the sub wall. I've put out a twitter call for someone with a sub (and repeat it here) to clue us on on what transpires in eight letters, an editors' response, and and an author's reply.

There have been many calls for BJP to retract the paper, as the Lancet had to over the fraudulent work of Andrew Wakefield on the vaccine-autism non-link.

Somehow I doubt BJP will have the balls of the The Lancet.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, bravo to CTV for 'ignoring' a bunch of science-for-hire bullshit. These people need to be exposed every time they weasel their way into serious, grown-up discussions.

Again, we say: THIS is precisely why we won't debate them. Because they lie.

UPDATE: Ain't the twittersphere grand? Thanks to goddammitkitty for PDFs of BJP letters, editor's reply, and author's response. New blogpost coming.

UPDATE UPDATED: British Journal of Psychiatry ^NOT 'Prestigious'.

*Correction: From Dr. Dawg, we learn that the Ostbye study is not completely irrelevant. There was a control group of women who did not have abortions. But the conclusion is the same. The complication rate for abortion is low.

From Dr. Dawg's link we also learn that they've been pumping the same old crap for ages.

When Liars Are Exposed, It Ain't Pretty

How many members of the Contempt Party's Fetus Lobby have gone off-leash on the Hidden Abortion Agenda now? Trost, Woodworth, Ambrose, Watson, and now, predictably, Vellacott.

As deBeauxOs reported yesterday, the long-time fetus fetishist and forthright misogynist has his panties in a twist over a three-part investigative piece by CTV on a crisis pregnancy centre, or as they are more correctly termed 'fake clinics run by anti-choice, lying, manipulative Xians'.

Here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Watch and see for yourself if the series is 'one-sided' as is claimed in Vellacott's meandering and maundering eight-page (!) press release.

I'll get back to the press release in another post, but here I want to talk about how the investigation was handled and reported.

I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago when Andrea Mrozek at ProWomanProLie posted a link to a panicked bleat from Lara Lansink, director of the South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre. Under the heading 'Some troubling news':
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Because I know you love our Centre and our ministry, I wanted to share some troubling news with you about an incident that recently occurred.

On December 15th, a woman claiming to be in distress because of an unplanned pregnancy came to our Centre for help. One of our volunteer peer-counselors was able to see her immediately and they spent close to an hour talking through the woman’s concerns as well helping her to understand what choices were before her as she pretended to contemplate whether or not to have an abortion.

What this peer-counselor didn’t know, however, was that the woman had actually been sent by CTV News and that the woman was secretly recording the entire session with the hope that our peer-counselor would give false or biased information. Naturally we are very disappointed to see that CTV would use this type of tactic, particularly since the woman that came in pretending to be a legitimate client did agree to, and sign, our agreement of services which says in part:

"please turn off all devices with recording capabilities prior to the session. POC Staff and Volunteers do NOT consent to any recorded conversations".

Waaah! She signed the form!!

On January 5, they find out about it, when the reporter, Jon Woodward, tells them and asks UNREASONABLY for their side of the story.
Mr. Woodward also requested that a representative of our Centre speak to him on camera and implied that to refuse this request would make it appear that we had something to hide. Our board recognized that because of the tactics already employed, we felt it was likely that our Centre would be portrayed in a negative and misleading way despite his assurance of being impartial. We therefore declined his invitation to speak on camera as we did not feel that our explanations would be accurately or objectively presented.

Unfortunately when we declined, Mr. Woodward let us know that he would simply wait in the parking lot until someone from the Centre appeared and would then ‘confront’ us with his ‘questions’, meaning that we would be filmed even though we had declined his ‘invitation.’

(She goes on to invoke Gord's help and ask for supporter's prayers.)

As you can see from the clips, no such gotcha occurred. Rather, the liars wisely decided to sit down with CTV and it was hardly a confrontation. In fact, one of them admitted that the 'counsellor' may have gone off-script and that the brochure in question will be reviewed.

Back to Mrozek who on seeing part 1 said:
This could have been a lot worse.

Even sister and fellow fetus fetishists didn't find it that bad. Coulda been a lot worse, indeed.

It coulda gone like this.

CTV more than went out of its way to be fair to the lying liars. But those fetus fetishists do love their martyrgasms, don't they?

UPDATE: Vellacott's bullshit references exposed.

Friday 27 January 2012

Too little, too f**king late!

This is not a sincere apology and only slightly, a recognition of responsibility. It smacks of a CYA attempt by RCMP lawyers to head off litigation as damning details keep tumbling out, in spite of officials' attempts to do damage control.
The RCMP issued a public apology Friday to the families of the women murdered by Robert “Willie” Pickton, admitting the “RCMP did not do more” in the investigation before he was charged.

The prepared formal apology came after days of testimony at the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, in which the way that the RCMP and Vancouver police handled the investigation into the murders of six women Pickton was convicted for -- as well as the disappearances many other women -- has been challenged.
According to this revelation, the RCMP tipped Pickton off; they let him know that he was a target of their investigation - a "known subject".

Incompetence and malfeasance, that's what it appears to me. Isn't it obvious - particularly in light of allegations that women working for the organization suffered systemic discrimination and ongoing, unofficially sanctioned, sexual harassment at the hands of fellow male RCMP officers.

And, right on cue ...


... while PMSHithead is in Switzerland the grip he keeps on a muzzled Contempt Party caucus is not as tight, so Con MP and fundamentalist religious pastor Maurice Vellacott barges into view, revealing yet another facet of the CPC hidden agenda on abortion.

Vellacott's test balloon is this turgid media release about the recent CTV investigative series on pregnancy crisis centres in BC.

Note the quote marks he uses to frame the word investigation throughout this alleged "exposé". Does he expose the fact he is he is a founding Board Member of *Real Choices* Crisis Pregnancy Centre in Saskatoon ... ^NOT.

Vellacott's personal politics have been scrutinized by DJ! - here and here. In 2008 he introduced C-537, a private member's Bill that anticipated the re-criminalization of abortion and birth control - by adding to the Criminal Code an amendment facilitating the prosecution of organizations and individuals whenever any zygote, embryo and fetus fetishist feels threatened or persecuted for their beliefs.

Charter Rights actually provide for the protection of such religious notions so Vellacott's bill was really an anti-abortion tactic disguised as pious interventionist meddling.

Links to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the CTV series - an outstanding piece of investigative journalism that is objective and not blinkered by Vellacott's religious dogma as well as his ludicrous claim that "thousands" of women have told him that they were coerced into submitting to a medical intervention to terminate their pregnancies.

NatPo: We declare this debate OPEN!

Today, we have entries 12 and 13 in NatPo's ongoing campaign to 'Open the Abortion Debate' since Chief Fetus Lobbyist Stephen Woodworth's opening salvo on Dec. 21 last year.

First up, a straight report on yesterday's poll on sex-selective abortion.

Next, Chris Selley on Canada's abortion hypocrisy. He compares 'sex selection' (very very bad) with 'family balancing' (good) and points out that they are the same fucking thing. Except that we get to wag fingers at Deepak and Sanjana as culturally backward, as opposed to applaud Dick and Jane as technologically advanced.

Read the comments. The racists, sexists, prudes, and misogynists are STOKED.

And this is why we say again: Fuck the Debate. Nothing good can come of it.

At Last! Common Ground (sorta)

Wow. Whodathunk? Both pro- and anti-choicers agree. Mandatory registration of pregnancy is a bad idea.

Over the xmas holiday, Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's first female president, used a sneaky tactic to implement just such a rule, under the 'guise' (critics claim) of improving maternal health.

Let's hear from a feminist.
If you want a peek into the future of women’s health should Republicans succeed in criminalizing abortion, look no further than Brazil. Provisionary Measure 557 (PM 557) signed into law just after Christmas, created a National System of Registration, Vigilance and Monitoring Women’s Care During Pregnancy and Post Childbirth for the Prevention of Maternal Mortality (National Registration System).

It’s a long name that masks the Orwellian reality Brazilian women now face–compulsory registration with the state of all pregnancies.

Now for some background from Slate.
So what is going on? Brazil, the most populous Catholic country in Latin America, finds its politics intrinsically tied to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Dilma, who won a last-minute reprieve from the church’s negative onslaught in the 2010 presidential elections once she disavowed any suggested support for abortion, is to a certain extent beholden to that base. Indeed, Dilma’s cabinet includes an unofficial church representative who was responsible for brokering an agreement between the Vatican and Brazil during President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration. For years Catholic and evangelical parliamentarians have been trying unsuccessfully to establish a registry for pregnant women, with Dilma’s support they’ve finally succeeded.

. . .

It’s unlikely that Congress will review the new law until it next meets in March. In the meantime, it’s unclear whether women will be lining up to register their pregnancies and if they do what will be the consequence of a pregnancy that ends in miscarriage or an abortion—the latter of which, under Brazilian law, is criminalized except for cases of rape or risk to the life of the pregnant woman. One thing we can be certain of is that maternal mortality rates will not be dropping any time soon, but the prosecution of women for harming a fetus or for getting an abortion could be on the rise.

SHRIEEEK! The Handmaid's Tale and all that.

But wait. The Fetus Lobby doesn't like it either.
That Provisory Temporary was drafted by a government full of feminists that claim that legalization of abortion strengthens the women’s human rights, who treat abortion as a “right to choose” in the cases of normal pregnancy; in other words, to abort (kill) the baby “simply” because a woman should have the freedom of deciding if she wants to continue or not a pregnancy.

For the sane people, it's a matter of what use this registry will be put to. For the fetus fetishists, it's a matter of wrong focus -- on the woman, NOT on the fetus.

But I think a commenter at LifeShite approaches the crux of it-- except of course for the god/satan crap.
This is the right step, but as the article points out, for all the wrong reasons. First, it is the right step because when abortion is outlawed it will allow the government to protect the unborn by preventing pregnant women from going outside the jurisdiction to kill their children, and punishing those that do. Second, this shows why our nation and every nation needs to make the Church part of the government, to have Her steady guidance. The Brazilian government has been infiltrated by Satan.

I'd go further. For the Fetus Lobby, this is the right thing to do, but by the wrong people. It shouldn't be feminist socialists regulating women's bodies; it should be patriarchal churchy-types.

Politics in Latin America is hugely complicated by the MASSIVE influence of the Vatican Taliban. Remember lefty poster-boy Daniel Ortega? When he became president, he cut a deal with the devil and outlawed abortion altogether. Read this old piece at Birth Pangs for the dirty details. And this for the results of the complete ban -- unsurprisingly -- 'sheer horror'.

And don't forget: Ortega used his political immunity to avoid charges by his stepdaughter of rape and sexual abuse. Charges she has never withdrawn. (Dirty details of this also at BP link.)

I'll be keeping an eye on developments in Brazil. I do believe that Dilma wants to improve the status of women. Perhaps this is some kind of manoeuvre to thwart the church. If so, I hope it doesn't boomerang on her. Because in the wrong hands, it is just what the FFs most ardently desire.

Thursday 26 January 2012

Piggies! CON piggies! Corporate piggies!

CONtempt Party = Corporate Welfare

Brilliant, witty video produced by Ottawa's MediaStyle for the Canadian Labour Congress.


heh. That reminds me of the lyrics to The Beatles' song:
Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

Hey SUZANNE! Is this what you mean?

Former Catholic priest James Boudreau took advantage of a young man’s friendship and another’s interest in the clergy when he sexually assaulted the two in the 1980s, a city courtroom heard Wednesday.[...]

Boudreau served as pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, on Victoria Road North, from 1978 to 1985. He went on to work at six other Ontario churches, including Kitchener’s St. John’s Catholic Church.

One of the complainants was an active member of the St. John the Baptist parish in July 1984 and was a family friend of Boudreau when the sexual assault took place, said assistant Crown attorney Steve Hamilton.
From here.

So, if someone or some organization out there would like to continue with the project, let me remind you of the kind of information to gather that SUZANNE doesn't think is an invasion of privacy or likely to promote violence against individuals: photos, credentials and certificates, disciplinary records, news articles, videos, criminal histories, and more.

Though Blob Blogging Wingnut believes ALL abortion services providers in Canada should be documented, DAMMIT JANET! suggests a registry for Catholic pedophile priests should be limited to *only* priests suspected of, alleged to have committed, charged with or convicted of criminal sexual offenses against children and youth.

Oh, and Church Fathers like Bishop Bernando Alvarez must also be thoroughly documented; members of the Vatican Taliban definitively should be held accountable for lying about child abuse and shielding their priests from investigation and criminal prosecution.

Polls, Schmolls

You knew this was coming. Angus-Reid poll on the recent SHRIEEEEK-fest over sex-selective abortion.
Three-in-five respondents—including two thirds of women—believe there should be laws to outline whether a woman can have an abortion based solely on the gender of the fetus.
. . .
In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,001 Canadian adults, 51 per cent of respondents believe there should be laws which outline when a woman can have an abortion in Canada. Conversely, 37 per cent of Canadians think there should be no laws on this matter and want women to have the unrestricted right to have an abortion at any time up to the moment of birth.

(Note spin there at the end. 'Any time up to the moment of birth'!!!! Two SHRIEEEKS for the price of one!!!1! Ah well, I suppose polling companies would lose a ton of dough if abortion were uncontroversial.)

In reply to Chris Selley's posting of the above info (with typical NatPo spin, emphasizing that a [slim] majority of Liberal voters think there should be laws on 'when a woman can have an abortion in Canada'), SadieMae said:
This is why we don't write laws based on polling data.

That wedge-issue debate still won't open.

To recap: Yes, sex-selective abortion IS a problem where it is widely practised. It is NOT widely practised in Canada and likely to grow even less so. A gender imbalance in some communities would affect only those communities and would perhaps get them rethinking their antediluvian treatment of women.

A law would be useless -- women will use at-home prenatal gender tests or go to the US.

And yet, there will be much caterwauling about this for months to come.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

So you think we can dance ...err, be a US "homeland"?

Sadly, it's neither a reality show nor exploitative entertainment: it's actual *real* exploitation of Canada and our resources.

Go read Creekside: Combined Defence Plan - So we're a "homeland" now?, howl loudly then take action with the political and social action group of your choice.

Clue for the Clueless

So, how did Operation ReScum get all that information for its nationwide anti-abortion hit list?

From: Philadelphia Weekly
Last year, in the wake of the arrest of Kermit Gosnell, Operation Rescue came to town. They met in the basement of St. Agnes Church in West Chester. As PW reported in March, the militant anti-abortion organization was there recruiting volunteers to gather doctors’ names and schedules by pretending to be mothers of daughters who were seeking abortions. Volunteers were told they’d find it surprisingly easy to lie, and that the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say. It was described as playing a fun detective game.

Whee! Let's play 'Target Doctors and Clinic Staff for Assassination'! It'll be FUN!

They could make a board game out of it.

'I got it, I got it! Is it Paul Hill with a shotgun in the parking lot?'

'No, no, I got it! Is it Scott Roeder with a handgun in the church lobby?'

'Wait, I got it. Is it James Kopp with a sniper rifle in the kitchen?'

No, the next assassin won't be any of those. It will be a new player. Emboldened and enabled by these domestic terrorists.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

And the winners are. . .

After having pumped the 2011 Canadian Blog Awards (and spurred/shamed by Beijing York's congrats), we should report on the winners.

Which did ^NOT include DJ! *sob* (We came in second and third in the two categories we were up for.)

None of our nominations/freeping efforts pals won either, except for the always excellent Slap Upside the Head, who bested the LGBT category again. That makes for umpty-zillion wins and I think his blog gets some kind of Lifetime Achievement award and is henceforth not eligible, opening up the competition to others.

I'm not sure the number of votes cast have been published before, but these don't seem very impressive. The most votes were in the Best Overall category -- 314.

Are blogging awards 'over'?

Seems commenter and co-blogger Mandos thinks so.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who voted. And special thanks to our pals.

Soylent Blue is Feotple!

I have been so wrong.

I understand now why SHE is declaring as Bare-Breasted-Motherhood-With-Childbearing Hipped-Loins-Girdled-In-Virgin-Blue-Justice at the barricades, urging the other revolutionaries to Go Over The Top* in martyrdom for defense of the tithings-yet-to-come.

How could anyone do anything less than declare Diablo Abortoraderos should be hunted down, their horrific infamy ended by any means, when such monstrous truths as THIS* have been exposed in the same land that brought forth the call to action??!!??1!

It also explains that hot dog ad, the fiends! Right here in the Heart of the New West! Right here in River City! Right here in the bib.......mmmm...hot dogs..... Excuse me, I need to pop down to 17th Ave...

*(Ms DeBee. Told you. Compared to Ms Suzanne and fellow travellers' OTT disorder? You? Piker. See, you can't think about going Over The Top. Thinking is bad, makes you lethally hesitate and sanity checks creep in. You have to -BE- OVER THE TOP. There is no try)

That Damned Stubborn Debate Won't Open!

Agenda? What agenda? Nah, the NatPo has no abortion agenda.

Well, somebody really wants to reopen the so-called debate.

Two pieces today, one on Saturday, gasbag de Souza last Thursday, two last Wednesday, one Tuesday, all spurred by the sex-selection story. (That link is to André Picard, sensible on this as he is on so many issues.)

Going further back, but still in January, NatPo ran more stories about abortion in Canada:
Jan. 13, news about the human rights complaint in New Brunswick, but dig the heading: 'New Brunswick abortion debate could reopen as province seeks to block doctor’s human rights complaint'.
Jan 11, Gunter's Grunts
Jan 7, 'Attempts to fire up abortion debate in Canada fizzle'.

And December 12, 'Tory MP boldly calls for abortion debate with statement that avoids using the word "abortion"'. That would be Chief Fetus Lobbyist (at the moment) Con backbencher-in-search-of-an-issue-any-issue Stephen Woodworth.

Plus all the letters to the editor that fit in print.

In just over a month, eleven stories humping that really really uninterested leg.

Today, Margaret Sommerville witters as usual, but Kelly McParland really belts one outta the park.
Taken to its logical extreme, abortion would ultimately prove its own undoing. If enough women abort female festuses [sic and snerk], eventually the world would be depopulated of women, ending the need to worry about whether abortion is moral or not.

Such spectacular stupidity can not be out-done, yes?

Wrong. The best-rated comment is by known dunderhead 'Sassylassie'.
Or the new progressive gay utopia sans females? Sick thing is the solution to the shortage of females in China is to force women to marry more than one man. The sickos are always one step ahead of the rest of us, abort us enmasse and then victimize the survivors sans enforced polygamy.

The evul plan hatched by homos and feminazis is working nicely, isn't it?

And they wonder why we sane people don't want to debate them.

Monday 23 January 2012

Imperial Oil Packages and Markets its Corporate Message.

In return for a $600,000. sponsorship Imperial Oil bought the right to control the content and the texts of an exhibition currently running at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa.

Energy: Power to Choose was launched in September 2011.

Radio-Canada obtained e-mails that were exchanged between Susan Swan, Public and Government Affairs Manager at Imperial Oil and the museum staff. Here's a loose translation from the news item:
[...]in the many emails she exchanged with the museum, Ms. Swan complained about the tone used in the messages about the oil industry. She claimed the language was "not balanced".

Ms. Swan had other messages. She provided one that stated the oil sands industry recycles 80% to 95% of the water it uses.

This is not the case, according to some environmentalists.

She also asked that it be stated only 1 tenth of 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions is due to the Canadian oil sands. She also wanted the exhibit to say that the oil sands development will contribute more than $ 1.7 trillion to the Canadian economy over the next 25 years.
Radio-Canada is broadcasting the report from investigative journalist Brigitte Bureau this evening.

By the way, that was quite a bargain. It would have cost Imperial Oil hundreds of thousands of dollars more to buy airtime that might have reached the thousands of school kids who will see this exhibit.


Last week, this appeared in the National Post. Someone was told to "balance" the facts in that piece in support of the Contempt Party campaign to discredit environmental organizations who challened the Keystone Pipeline and the Northern Gateway projects in the the Financial Post.

Sunday 22 January 2012

SUZANNE is a prick. Cue the shrieeeking.

What? Oh, should I have used the hard-C word?

Consider Blob Blogging Wingnut and HER prick actions, emulating the tactics of Patrick Ross.

SHE publishes inflammatory posts. When folks who disagree with HER views link to these posts, SHE re-directs them to sites that feature pictures of the gory by-products of medically assisted or spontaneous miscarriages, culled from anatomical textbooks.

SHE moves the goal-posts.

SHE tweets and blogs about such *news* as the purported sexiness of ovulating women, pix of man sexually abusing a dog, a priest evangelizing mall shoppers, CIDA funding, breast implants, robots for interventions with autistic children, StunTV programming and most prevalent, Fetus Lobby truthiness to discredit scientific research.

When links are provided to allow people to read specific tweets at HER Twitter account @Roseblue, SHE blocks access.

Not surprising behaviour from this MOMMIE DEAREST who is compelled to breed by the Vatican Taliban, trumpeting the reason SHE is overpopulating the planet is ^NOT because SHE loves kids - SHE sees it as a competition to win: producing more progeny than HER ideological adversaries.

SHE is one dangerous passive-aggressive rightwing religious zealot. HER children's chances of growing up to be normal, compassionate human beings would improve if SHE let that humanoid robot raise them.

When Wingnutz Are Wrong. . .

When I was a young bloggerling, I was unaware of many internet traditions. From my favourite bloggers, CC and JJ, I quickly learned, among them, of course, the wingnut's fave, moving the goalposts. (See also: Ross, Patrick, passim)

But moving the goalposts is just a tactic. Because the real crux of the matter is that wingnuts CANNOT BACK DOWN.

They take moronic positions and when vestigial logic circuits begin to send signals that they are getting the crap kicked out of them, they simply crank up the motorized goal markers.

There is a grand example of it going on right now.

SUZY ALLCAPSLOCK is in favour of Canada's adopting a nationwide anti-abortion hit list, but not, curiously, in favour of a nationwide registry of known pedophile priests.

SHE is having the crap kicked out of her on HER blogpost announcing HER enthusiasm for anti-abortion terrorism. (I'm trying an experiment here. Usually SHE redirects links to fetal pron, but it appears that SHE is powerless against a shortened link. Because this is an experiment, here's the link. Check back later to see if it turns gory.) **see update below.

Seemingly, amidst the dung-flinging, SHE had one tiny, immaterial thing right. Dr. Dawg looked, found he was wrong, and said:
On this point, it seems I owe you an apology. I found another link that does just what you said. Indefensible, even if the information was in the public domain.

You did not lie on this point, and I withdraw that accusation. I stand by everything else I have said wrt "Nuremberg Files v2.0."

SUZY goes all sanctimonious with:
Thank you for being big enough to apologize. You are forgiven. God Bless.

No, you silly twat*, it's not 'big' to apologize, it's 'big' to ADMIT you were wrong.

Something no rightwingnutjob can EVER do.

Why is that? Has anyone ever seen a wingnut back down in the face of facty-sciency stuff?


For more hilarity, go to CC's and scroll down to 'Aftersnark 3'.

*I got into a twitter spat with another RWNJ yesterday who claimed I was sexist for using that word. I posted that link and suggested to the vocabulary-impaired twit-twat that he check it out. He didn't of course.

**Update from deBeauxOs: Yep, both links now lead to goriness instead of HER original post. In order to see HER blogposts and the comments, go to HER tweet and click on the link there.

Saturday 21 January 2012

SUZANNE - do you really want to go there?

Suzanne Fortin

Local fetus-lobbying, abortion-criminalizing Catholic zygote zealot @Roseblue aka Blob Blogging Wingnut SUZANNE FORTIN recently suggested her own project, based on this US initiative of a "hit-list" of abortion services providers.

Our blogging & tweeting colleagues Dr Dawg and Canadian Cynic responded.

Although the Vatican Taliban and Pope Maledict haven't honestly said so, most Church Fathers clearly believe all this nastiness about holding Rome and its powerful clergy accountable for their priests' abuse of children is inappropriate.

How will the Church be able to recruit and keep priests if not for the pedophile bait it once dangled in front of the right men?

Thus Catholics have been ordered to breed more and more, to satisfy dogmatic need to mold children, body & mind, and break their will so that they'll be blindly devout Catholic foot soldiers.

The organizations representing women and men who were physically and sexually violated as children by church clergy should start, as SUZANNE suggests, a registry of names and known addresses for pedophiles and abusers, as well as the names of the bishops, cardinals and other Church Fathers who facilitated their crimes and protected them from judicial prosecution.

That should end well, no?

A New Euphemism!

Sassy, in the comments here, informs us of another bit of Sanity on the Rise.

The UK is going to allow TV ads for private abortion clinics.

Previously, ads for reproductive services had been allowed only for non-profit clincs. Only one ad was run and remember the SHRIEEKING that occasioned?

So this should be even more fun.

What struck me in Sassy's link though is the new euphemism.
A source close to the changes said: ‘This isn’t about all-out adverts for abortion – it’s for post-conception advisory services. It will be places saying, “Come and chat to us for advice”. Of course, a lot of those organisations will provide terminations.

I just love it. It will drive fetus fetishists around the twist.

Friday 20 January 2012

Foreign Special Interests have Mr Peanut Puppet

Kathryn Marshall reprises her role as Mr Peanut spokesthingy for the ethically oily interests promoted by the Contempt Party.

Watch the video created by Alison at Creekside, here:

Go read Creekside: Foreign Special Interests and their Deep Pocket Puppet - lots more linky goodness there.

Us . . . Winning A Little

I'm not getting used to it, but it seems the sane people are something of a roll lately.

Today, two more wins on the reproduction front.

In the US, contraception is now as important to healthcare coverage as Viagra.
Today, in a huge victory for women’s health, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that most employers will be required to cover contraception in their health plans, along with other preventive services, with no cost-sharing such as co-pays or deductibles. This means that after years of trying to get birth control covered to the same extent that health plans cover Viagra, our country will finally have nearly universal coverage of contraception.

I'm still pissed at Obama over the idiotic Plan B decision, but this is good.

Next, from the UK, fetus fetishist and fraud-artist, Nadine Dorries has withdrawn her private member's bill mandating 'abstinence education' for UK teens. Like, it worked so well in the Excited States.

Back to work. . .

Thursday 19 January 2012

Meanwhile, back in Ontario ...

We could use some actual information about abortions instead of the truthiness, prevarications and outright lies the fetus lobby propagates.

Campaign Criminalize Abortion pamphleted 20,000 homes in 24 provincial ridings, claiming it costs $30-50 million every year to provide abortions to Ontario women "for the killing of children in the womb".

Campaign Criminalize Abortion Youth has also been gathering signatures for a defund abortion petition that is to be presented to the Ontario Legislature in the near future and urging people to contact their MPP to tell them that abortion is a financial drain on our health care system and should be delisted from OHIP.

Based on figures available here, Campaign Criminalize Abortion has doubled and possibly tripled the costs of providing health care to women who choose to terminate a pregnancy.

Here's recent information about what happens when medically safe and legal abortions as well as reliable contraception are not accessible to women.
Abortion rates are higher in countries where the procedure is illegal and nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority in developing countries, a new study concludes.

Experts couldn’t say whether more liberal laws led to fewer procedures, but said good access to birth control in those countries resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies.

The global abortion rate remained virtually unchanged from 2003 to 2008, at about 28 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, a total of about 43.8 million abortions, according to the study. The rate had previously been dropping since 1995.

About 47,000 women died from unsafe abortions in 2008, and another 8.5 million women had serious medical complications. Almost all unsafe abortions were in developing countries, where family planning and contraceptive programs have mostly levelled off.

“An abortion is actually a very simple and safe procedure,” said Gilda Sedgh, a senior researcher at the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute, designated by the World Health Organization as an official Collaborating Center for Reproductive Health. “All of these deaths and complications are easily avoidable,” said Sedgh, the study’s lead author.
Unfortunately, abortion criminalizing organizations prefer to spin their propaganda.

Merci to AntoniaZ who provided links to the news realease from the January 16 anti-abortion campaign.

Nationwide Anti-Abortion Hit List

Rachel Maddow catches us up on two recent Fetus Lobby moves in the Excited States -- both terrifying.

I won't link to Operation Re-Scum, but here's a description from Ms. Magazine.
Operation Rescue, an extremist anti-abortion group, has launched a website - abortiondocs.org - which lists the photographs and addresses of abortion providers, as well as maps to find their places of business. The website, which describes itself as the "largest collection of documents on America's abortion cartel," aims to list every abortion provider in the country.

Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and co-founder of the National Clinic Access Project, stated, "What causes us real concern is fear of where this could be headed. It opens the possibility that some so-called 'grass-roots activist,' who does believe in the use of violence, will be able to use this as a tool for stalking doctors, which has happened."

Rachel Maddow remarked on her show on MSNBC last night that website is Operation Rescue's attempt to take individual WANTED posters, which she described as "a tried and true means of intimidation for the anti-abortion movement," to a national level through the web. She stated, this is "an extremist movement with a history of violence taking something that is arguably criminal and trying to make it more mainstream and national."

And oh yeah, Dr LeRoy Carhart -- the subject of an OScum 'research project' -- is on the list.

Rachel also brings us up to date on the most recent Looney Tunes ReThuglican debate, sponsored by Personhood USA.

Here at DJ!, we've written about the Humpty Dumpty Initiative a few times. These are the nutbars who want a fertilized human egg declared a 'person', thus not only outlawing all abortions, but endangering birth control, emergency contraception, and in-vitro techniques. Also possibly criminalizing miscarriage and spreading the application of child endangerment laws back to second 1.

Basically, you know, shoving the government up every uterus in Merka.

Yabbut, I hear you saying, this dealie recently failed a referendum in ultra-conservative Mississippi, didn't it? So, like, there's nothing to worry about, just a bunch of nutters, right?

Wrong. Rachel points out that while Mississippi -- arguably the most conservative state down there -- rejected this insanity, EVERY SINGLE ONE of the ReThug candidates has endorsed it.

Let me repeat that -- EVERY SINGLE ONE.

There you have it, fans of sense and reason. This is the atmosphere into which a nationwide, online, anti-abortion Hit List has been injected.

Someone -- a doctor, nurse, clinic worker, patient, bystander -- is going to be killed. And it probably won't be long now.

h/t RH Reality Check

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Six Degrees of Separation

Go look at the illustrated graph at Creekside: Six Degrees of Separation that shows the *ethically oily* connections between Stephen the 1st, Kenney, Oliver, Velshi, Levant, the Marshalls and the unidentified - likely "foreign" - entity bankrolling the campaign to foist an environmentally threatening Northern Gateway pipeline and shipping route on Canadians.

January 18 black-out protest.

Thanks to a creative revolution who provided the above badge, lays out what the issues are, and suggests actions to take.

To honour the strike and internet black-out action on Bill C-11 and SOPA, I'm staying offline all day, January 18.

Google, which has more clout than Wikipedia, has taken the following position:
Google on Tuesday announced it would make an unprecedented change to its homepage for American users on Wednesday, January 18, in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), the two pieces of anti-online piracy legislation being considered by Congress that have been criticized by Web companies and tech writers for their potential to break the Internet.

“Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokesperson told TPM in an emailed statement. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.” [....]

Google previously was the only tech company invited to testify in a hearing on SOPA in November, during which time Google policy lawyer Katherine Oyama mounted a formidable attack on SOPA and vigorously defended the company’s position against the legislation from the probing questions of lawmakers.
Update: fern hill informs me that she's staying off-line tomorrow too.

Monday 16 January 2012

Play on, Grand Corps Malade.

Just heard this lovely performance on Radio-Canada, from one of the best slameur in the francophone world, imho, in a duet with Reda Taliani.

If music be the food of love, play on. Inch'allah.

Note: I wasn't able to post the original music video, as YouTube would not supply the code.

*Christians* threaten 16 year-old schoolgirl with violence.

The facts about her challenge to US Christofascism:
Jessica Ahlquist, a student at Cranston High School West, sued the city of Cranston and its school committee in April 2011 to remove the banner, which dates back to 1963.

As an atheist, Ahlquist said the mural made her feel excluded and ostracized. She accused the school of violating the Establishment Clause of the Constitution's First Amendment, which prevents the government from promoting one religion over another.
From here:
“A Christian Catholic prayer may bring comfort to the majority of students in my school,” said a confident and composed Ahlquist, who sat surrounded by her father, two lawyers, the ACLU Executive Director Steve Brown, a reverend and a rabbi. “But it sends a different message to the large population of students of other faith or in my case, none. I firmly believe that it should not be on display in a public school.”

Last week, a judge who evaluated the legal arguments of both parties ordered the banner removed.

Friday 13 January 2012

The skinny on fashion pix.

Last January we posted this when altered photographs were published, giving the impression that a curvaceous actress had overstepped the boundaries of what the fashion world considered fashionable.

Today @Amphitrit directs us to her blogpost that features a number of NSFW photos that contrast two women's bodies; one is average and the other is the couture and fashion photographers' ideal.

Guess which one?

Yes. The scrawny-as-a-coat-rack frame is the one that works best to display designer clothing.

More at Plus Magazine, which had the courage to publish this full-bodied feature article and a powerful editorial: What is wrong with our bodies?
The answer to the question is this, there is nothing wrong with our bodies. We are bombarded with weight-loss ads every single day, multiple times a day because it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that preys on the fear of being fat. Not everyone is meant to be skinny, our bodies are beautiful and we are not talking about health here because not every skinny person is healthy.