Wednesday 31 October 2012

Samhain Tidings

As a virtual ghost around here the last number of months, I decided to scratch out some sign that while perhaps not sentient, I am still alive and not boycotting the sweat and blood work of DJ!.  I thought perhaps today might be the most appropriate; plus I'm huddling in a corner over a hot rock.

I confess I retreated from participation in blogging because I was feeling extremely disappointed in myself for not being able to add more than the intermittent beep of 'me too' and deciding I needed to concentrate on my individual existence before I got too despondent at not being able to be persuasively constructive in a year that wore out good people fighting so long and so hard on unrelentingly grating societal chodery.  The fact Ms Fern and Ms DeBee can keep digging and monitoring and going is a testimony to their determination and durability.  I seem best suited to donating pennies to progressive causes and not being a bystander in my own circle.  First world problems, eh?

I will try to see if I can find anything out there to bring to the DJ! table, even if only as a publicizer of other hard work.

Speaking of geekery...(smoooooth segue)

In the ancient calendar of the Celtic cultures of Europe, in the days of the world before a fairly powerful variant of the now many splintered sects of Christians declared the world hadn't existed (neat trick that, mead and beer being around before the planet, but hey, priorities neh?), the harvest festival of Samhain (Sauwhen) was the start of the new year, marking the first/dark half of the next annual cycle of their world.  It was such an important cultural occasion, that when the new imperial religion of Rome rolled up to the northlands, even with full state backing, the church fathers couldn't stomp it out and instead opted for rewriting what it meant.

There are times it strikes me that the church fathers were the greatest wave of altverse fanfic writers *evah*. Their 'fanon' overtook original local canon and buried it time and again.  Of course, it always helps when the rewriters have the ability to punish anyone referencing 'original paradigm' material.  Who can blame them? It's extremely inconveniencing when someone brings up annoying and contradictory facts to the official narrative.

One can see this in action even today, made worse by video recording and internet expansion.  Theocratic and secular authoritarian venues, and their various blends, have to work harder to overcome exposure of their unevidenced stands.

There is one aspect of Samhain that was alluded to by DJ! a few days back.  In comment to that post, I think there is also revelation in wearing costumes and masks, something known from the days of human birth of imagination and 'civilized' by the Greeks in the dawn of theatre.

It's been well studied that we are visual animals focused on faces and tempers of our own kind.  It's been well studied that we are instinctively dependent on 'parental' authority to guide our decisional heuristics when we are children learning to survive.  We can carry the comforts of our externally defined roles into adulthood, unquestioned until we are pushed outside that comfort, until we see that what we decide, as individuals and groups, can be looked at anew with a simple shift of awareness.  To be aware that costumes and masks exist outside the bounds of the Globe theater and within the bounds of the globe.

To willingly wear a mask and costume, to alter a state of expectations, it can be terrifying and exhilarating, expanding and discovery.  That is the lesson of Samhain and Halloween's determinedly secular celebrations.  To unwillingly wear a mask of expectations defined by others, because they can't or won't accept the truth of you beneath the expectations, or the evidence of harm such expectations levy, that also is a lesson of Halloween.

To all those privileged and at peace this holiday, masked and unmasked, bind together in the universal power of this end to harvest and the dark start of a new year.

Candy! Chocolate! Candy!

Halloween Jailbirds

*Sigh*. One of the Jubilee Jailbirds has been arrested again.

Yes, Linda Gibbons is up to her one-trick-pony trick again. Outside an abortion clinic, but according to the LieShite story, now with supporters. Plural.

One of her supporters had a video camera, proof at the link.

Maybe Linda wanted to join her pal Mary Wagner, who is still in jail, to show her what her little trinket looks like. Mary will get one too, courtesy of one of Canada's fetus fetishizing MPs, Maurice Vellacott.

In Canada, we celebrate the Queen's Jubilee by giving commemorative medals to convicted serial clinic harassers.

A petition asking the Governor General to correct this travesty is here.

BONUS: At Twitter, on the Zombie Hashtag #M312, insane fetus fetishists (well, only one so far) are tweeting about abortion as a satanic ritual.
Letting SmokeOut ‏@LettingSmokeOut
“Satanists view an abortion to be the most highly valued form of human sacrifice." Former satanist, Doc Marquis ‪#m312‬ ‪#ProChoice‬
Letting SmokeOut ‏@LettingSmokeOut
Abortion & the occult: a look inside life at a death mill ‪ …‬ ‪#cdnpoli‬ ‪#m312‬ ‪#ProChoice‬ = Death ‪#Obama2012‬ ‪#p2‬ ‪#WarOnWomen‬
Well, 'tis the season, after all.

(Check out the holiday decorations at A Creative Revolution.)

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Poland Gets Slapped Again by European Court of Human Rights

I first blogged about this horrible story from poor benighted Poland in 2008. (I've been at this too long.)

A 14-year-old girl was raped and got pregnant. Her mother braved Poland's insanely restrictive abortion laws and got permission for a termination.

But the local Catlick priest got wind of it and tried to bully the girl out of it -- in the FUCKING hospital.

All kinds of further hoo-haw ensued but the girl did get the abortion.

Apparently, they took the Polish government to the European Court of Human Rights and won with compensation of 61,000 euros.
In their ruling, which is subject to appeal, a panel of judges at the European Court of Human Rights found that there had been numerous breaches of the girl's rights.

The court found that she should gave had unhindered access to lawful abortion and that the details of her case should not have been made public by hospital authorities.

The BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says that Poland's abortion law is unlikely to become more liberal soon.

Poland's Catholic church is fiercely opposed to any attempts to ease the restrictions and a majority of mainstream politicians support the status quo.
This is not the first time Poland's Christian Sharia law has come to the attention of this court.

And as for having such draconian abortion laws, how about this?
An estimated 150,000 clandestine abortions take place annually in Poland, generating around $95 million of undeclared and tax-free revenue.
When abortion is restricted or illegal, it goes underground. Women and girls are put at risk and society loses.

h/t's for rape victim follow-up link Stephen Lautens and for clandestine Polish abortions link to Claudine Jacques

Sunday 28 October 2012

Only in Canada, You Say? Shame.

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has put up a petition asking the Governor General and PMSHithead to retract the Queen's Jubilee Medals from the Jubilee Jailbirds.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals were awarded in October to two convicted criminals. Conservative Member of Parliament Maurice Vellacott selected Linda Gibbons and Mary Wagner to receive medals. Both women are anti-choice protesters who repeatedly and deliberately violate Ontario court injunctions that ban protesters from harassing women as they enter an abortion clinic.

Wagner has illegally invaded clinics, frightening patients and staff and obstructing clinic operations. Both women have been in and out of jail for years, showing no respect for the rule of law or the rights of others.
Sign the petition here.

Image source

h/t KayVee.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Is the wearing of a "Hallowe'en costume" ...

a right? Or a tradition?

Or is it the strictly prescribed expression of an unbound human need to disguise oneself, to play, to have fun and to "step out" of character?

Every year there are schools that draw a boundary line with regard to the manner of costumes that can be worn - or indeed, if at all - in a classroom.

Disclosure: I have a long history of making costumes for myself, for family members and for friends.  These déguisements have been worn not only at Hallowe'en but on many other occasions.  A friend and I may were among the first people in Ottawa to dress up at a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Towne Cinema, back in the 70s. I lent him a lacy bra for his take on Dr Frank'n'Furter.

Day of the Dead

Last year I viewed an exhibition of ofrendas created by artists of Latina ancestry for Día de los Muertos - the day of the Dead - in Arizona.  That tradition is extremely moving, and as someone who grew up in a francophone, catholic environment, the politically engaged and charged art created by the Mexican-American activists resonated with my own perspectives.

Wearing costumes can be joyous, creative and affirming.  The ambivalence I feel about putting limitations on such opportunities concerns the ugliness displayed by most costumes, as they demonstrate bigotry, ethnic and cultural stereotypes and as well, the mercenary appropriation of the human need to express and experience oneself in a different way.

Friday 26 October 2012

*Mother* Russia and her Totalitarian Christian Patriarchy

Pussy Riot

From Putin and Kirill - the dogmatic duo that viciously punished Pussy Riot - more ideological crap.
Christians from Russia's Orthodox community are demanding that the country's Apple division remove the famous half-bitten apple logo from its products and replace it with a cross, because they find the apple image offensive to their beliefs.
In popular culture, an apple is often used to represent the fruit that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge when tempted by the devil, as found in Genesis 3 in the Bible – although the exact type of fruit is not mentioned in Scripture.
Still, conservative Christians in Russia have insisted that the logo should be removed and replaced with a cross, reported from a translated article from Interfax news agency.
The Russian conservatives may get their way and force Apple to change its logo because of new laws being proposed in the country's parliament on blasphemy and insults targeting religious, spiritual, or national values. It is expected that President Vladimir Putin will back the laws, especially since the Russian Orthodox Church heavily supported him during his election campaign in 2012. Besides replacing the logo, conservatives may even stop Apple product sales in Russia if they manage to convict the company of committing anti-religious deeds.
From here.

In spite of Amnesty International's concerns for the safety of the Pussy Riot women condemned by Putin's puppet court, they have been sent to serve their sentences in two of the worst prisons in Russia. 

The stench of fundamentalist christian sharia is floating around the Kremlin.

Whether it is islamist misogyny or ultra-orthodox gynophobia, it always ends with violent and murderously vindinctive retaliation against women who won't do men's bidding.

Thursday 25 October 2012

About those 'peaceful' anti-choice protesters. . .

Now that the MSM has twigged to the Jubilee Jailbirds, some sensible stuff is appearing. Here's Colby Cosh calling BS on the 'civil disobedience' claim by serial convicted clinic harasser and bully, Mary Wagner.

Because, you know, going where you're not wanted, upsetting people, and getting into a 'tussle' is totally like Martin Luther King or Gandhi or Jesus or something.

Look what just happened yesterday in Oregon.
Tolhurst, who gave his address as a motel, had been protesting by himself since June outside the health center. He came and went on a bicycle, with his signs in a duffel bag, said Myrna Shaneyfelt of Josephine County Right to Life, who sometimes stopped by to encourage him and warn that he was vulnerable protesting alone.
Josephine County is a real nice place for abortion clinic harassment/bullying.
Settled during the Gold Rush, politically conservative Grants Pass has a long history of anti-abortion activism. Josephine County Right To Life holds an annual parade, and the city is the hometown of Rachelle "Shelley" Shannon*, convicted of firebombing abortion clinics and the 1993 shooting of a doctor in Kansas who provided abortions. She is serving an 11-year term in federal prison.
What actually happened is in dispute. It seems a young woman was going into the clinic -- where abortions are NOT performed by the way -- and took exception to the loser's signs. She kicked one over.

Then he pushed her. She left and came back with her father who pushed the guy back and punched him in the face. The guy had a knife and stabbed dad 'several times'.

Dad had emergency surgery and is in stable condition. Daughter has cuts on her hand. Nutbar had bruises on his face.

Police are investigating various claims of self-defense.

Or maybe 'civil disobedience' was the cause of the stab wounds.

Cosh is generous to the fetus fetishists, noting that a majority of them are probably not deranged losers, who may or may not be armed.

But enough of them certainly are deranged losers with a fetish not only for fetuses but for violence.

And today on twitter, another lovely example of the double fetish.
All abortion clinics should have bubble zones around them. About a mile in diameter should do it.

*We remember Shelley Shannon, don't we? She shot Dr George Tiller in both arms in 1993. Roeder just finished the job.

**Both Roeder and Hill assassinated abortion providers.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Jubilee Jailbirds

So, that 'vetting' of Queen's Jubilee nominees supposedly done by the Governor General turns out to be not very rigorous.
Rideau Hall can vet nominees only against the “core eligibility criteria” for the medal, a process that amounts to little more than checking for a pulse and a passport.
Jailbird status -- past or present -- does not factor in.

OK, then.

We join our pal Canadian Cynic in encouraging an Opposition MP to do this.

Wouldn't that be fun?

ShriEEEk! Radical foreign lobby funds Canadian group

Oh.  Wait. 

This radical foreign "special interest" lobby?
The Catholic Organization for Life and Family [...] was cofounded by the Conference of Bishops and the world’s largest fraternal Catholic organization, the U.S.-based Knights of Columbus, “to build a culture of life and a civilization of love by promoting respect for human life and dignity and the essential role of the family.”  [...]
Although COLF is autonomous and they do their own publication, they still rely on outside sources to survive and are co-funded largely by the Conference of Bishops and the Knights of Columbus  [...] Based out of Connecticut, the Knights of Columbus run a network of charitable organizations which fund everything from broadcast media and construction of churches to scholarships and political activism. As of February 2011, the Canadian Knights have 227,538 members comprising 1,942 councils which form a dominant part of a link connecting potent Members of Parliament, the pro-life movement and the Catholic church.
Woodworth is a Knight, as are Americans John Boehner, Jeb Bush, and Rick Santorum.  [...]  The Canadian March of Life received $6,250 from the Knights of Columbus in 2004. In 2005, the Ottawa march disappeared from the books, but the Campaign for Life Coalition became an item on the cash recipient list with $17,752 in total financial support from 2005 to 2007.
Furthermore, according to a public statement by the Canadian Knights of Columbus, the annual interest of their $1 million Bishop du Laval fund is given directly to the Conference of Bishops. The statement also notes that the “Canadian Knights have also been key supporters and participants in Canada’s annual March of Life.” [...]
A March news release by the American Knights of Columbus records a private luncheon attended by Supreme Director of the Canadian Knights, Robert Cayea, and Speaker of the House, Conservative MP Andrew Scheer. The Speaker is himself a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 10418 in Regina. Other notable members of the Knights include Conservative MP Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and a potential successor to PM Stephen Harper.
From here.

Its representatives (that we know) in the House of Commons: MP Stephen Woodworth, Minister Jason Kenney and Speaker Andrew Scheer.

Where's *Ethical Oil* Kathryn Marshall to shrieeek about a radical "foreign special interest" lobby and the art of political puppetry when her incomparable performance art is required?

This will have to do, then. 

Grand merci to Teri Mooring.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

You Don't Own Me

Yes.  Sing it, women!

Funny.  I was thinking of this very song recently.  

Lesley Gore.  One of the original Riot Grrrlz in music.

And. Also this, too. via Sherry's tweet.

from Pat's tweet, merci!

How CONvenient!

The trial for Harper adviser Bruce Carson was set to resume in late October.  Following the RCMP investigation into Carson's actions while he worked in the PMO,  he was charged with fraud on the government, also known as influence peddling.

Is anybody in the Canadian media shocked to hear that it's been delayed to July 2013?  StunTV?  Anyone?

APTN is certainly not surprised by this delaying tactic.  Their investigative journalists have been on this most news-worthy story like velcro since the first stench of unethical dealings and insider contacts emerged from Carson's dealings. 

One hopes this trial clearly exposes PMSHithead and his Con Politburo's ongoing cosy connections with corporate lobbyists, with crooks and possibly, with organized crime.  

Grand merci to Dred Tory for the update. The picture of Bruce Carson was found here.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Best stocking stuffer evah!

Behold the Stephen Harper wood dildo.

Available here.

Another kind of PMSHithead gift item, here.

Bonjour la pôlisse! ... et Matricule 728

For years, community activists, political and social critics, humourists and citizens have demanded that the actions of the Service de protection de la ville de Montréal be scrutinized, independently investigated and that those responsible for systemic brutality and corruption be held accountable.

Recent events, precipitated by over one hundred nights of demonstrations in support of the Grève générale illimitée, have thrust into the spotlight the case of Matricule 728.  But as journalist Josée Legault demonstrated in her excellent reflection here and here, the behaviour of one Stéfanie Trudeau embodies the convergence of police powers and political ideology, in the context of a bigger and quite disturbing picture.

Marc-André Cyr elaborates further on this theme, in Voir.  I have loosely translated parts of his piece to post here. 
It was in 1838 that the first modern police service was created in North America, in Montreal for the purpose of preventing crime, and to monitor the political activities of insurgents and rebels.
The first provincial police was established in 1869 with the objective to intervene during riots - many at the time - and to ensure compliance with new federal and provincial laws.
Four years later, it was the turn of the North-West Mounted Police to see the day. Its mission is clear: Western Canada must become "white, English and Protestant", to monitor the Métis and ensure French Canadians do not overpopulate the west. Faithful to its noble mission, the organization was involved in the crushing of many indigenous revolts and workers throughout the second half of the 19th century.
The Mounted Police became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 1919, following the Winnipeg General Strike. If the fear of communism is still in its infancy, it is nonetheless intensified by the growing influence of trade unionism. Some agents, such as John Leopold, aka Jack Esseilwein, spying upon the Communist Party for many years, became as a result of their governments work "national heroes".
[...] In 1984 CSIS was designated the official national political police. It watches the Left, and especially after 2001, Islamists groups. As well, Aboriginals, Métis, communists, feminists, artists, homosexuals, unions, immigrants are still prime targets for "observation".  Thus the actions of Matricule 728 are anything but strange.  That part of the population is perceived as "rats", "guitar scratchers", "goddamned red squares" and "shit-eaters" by the police.
That view is in fact necessary to justify beating, pepper-spraying, gassing, blinding, causing concussions and imprisoning defenseless people considered as representatives of "evil".
This hatred and violence are traditionally necessary to law, order and security. It is not at all an "exception" to the rule and the norm: it is the rule and standard. 
It was on October 2 that the infamous *incident* which made headlines in Québec and in the rest of Canada was recorded on a cell phone, the evidence that allowed Radio Canada and other media to pursue their own investigative reporting into the history of the abusive actions of Matricule 728

Trudeau's colleagues thought that they had confiscated all the cell phones of witnesses to their violent disruptions, including that of Karen Molina.

She was handcuffed, arrested by the police that evening and charged, allegedly for "obstructing" police work.  The charges against her still stand.  She was the fourth person charged that evening; the other three are the original individuals apprehended by Trudeau during her rampage.  

Here is Molina's recounting of what she did that evening, how she called the SPVM to report what she observed to be inappropriate and incorrect police conduct.  Her cell phone was taken by the police; it's still being held.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that her phone was "unfortunately" damaged and the recording made on October 2 cannot be retrieved - though hopefully her 911 call was not "accidentally" deleted.  In news accounts on Radio Canada, one reporter thought that Molina was a landed immigrant and that she feared that the charges against her, though visibly unfounded, could be used to disrupt her application for citizenship.

Remember police actions in Toronto during the G20?

The first video clip is part of an ongoing series from québecois humourists Rock et Belles Oreilles - RBO -  which gently and savagely at times, lampooned police forces. 

UPDATE: Charges against the original three targets of Matricule 728's abusive actions appear to be on hold for the moment.

Friday 19 October 2012

Take That, Henry!

Who didn't see this coming?

Two convicted serial clinic harassers 'pro-life heroines' -- one actually in jail at the moment -- receive Queen's Jubilee Medals.

After all, REAL women was one of the non-governmental 'partner' groups advising on the award of 60,000 of the honours.
REAL Women is outspoken on several issues: They are strictly anti-abortion, believe in the traditional definition of marriage, oppose Canada’s “promoting [of]easy divorce legislation” and say the Supreme Court has too much power. They say Winnipeg’s Human Rights Museum project was spearheaded by “left-wing extremists” that included “representatives of homosexual and feminist interests.”

They also have criticized the “wayward” Michaëlle Jean, the former governor-general, who they say “cavorted” with separatists and Liberals. They wrote that Ms. Jean “appears to be a lightweight with little or no grasp of Canadian history, culture or traditions.” (A spokeswoman said Ms. Jean, now chancellor at the University of Ottawa, wouldn’t comment on the issue.)

This did not deter the office of Ms. Jean’s successor, Governor-General David Johnston, from inviting REAL Women of Canada – an order Rideau Hall says came from the federal government.
From the federal government, eh?

REAL Women, in addition to being fervent fetus fetishists, are also virulently homophobic.

It is simply pay-back for Dr Morgentaler's Order of Canada, a point Gwen Landolt of REAL Women makes perfectly clear.
Landolt pointed out that if Henry Morgentaler, Canada’s ‘father of abortion’ who “kills for a living and destroys human life,” can receive the Order of Canada - Canada’s highest civilian honor - then “its about time that someone who fights to protect life gets recognized”.
What vile, petty little people they are.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Anti-Choice AWESOMENESS! With Zip-Lines!!

From SUZYALLCAPSLOCK I learned there is a Facebook-like thingy for anti-choicers called ProLifeBook. SHE is involved in a discussion about what they should do next.

Jonathan Darnel doesn't think they should be doing this . (emphasis in original)
So here's an article about an enormous pro-life concert taking place in L.A. which is supposedly "aimed at strengthening young people in their pro-life convictions":

Pro-Life Youth to Fill Dodger Stadium* in Event Celebrating Life

Forgive my typical skepticism, but this just screams "Waste of Time".  Have we learned nothing whatsoever from the past 40 years of marching in Washington? 

Have we learned nothing whatsoever from the past 60s years of "Christianity is fun" revivals and worship services?

Churches have been trying to sell Jesus like this for decades, and the culture has only gotten worse.  Now the pro-life movement is making the same stupid mistake.

It does absolutely no good to get people all excited and emotional and energized about a cause if you then ask them to do......nothing.

If anything, it deadens our consciences because we feel like we've accomplished something when we've really just entertained ourselves.
Here's the website for the bunfest.
An AWESOME family-friendly event, packed with games, live music, food trucks and Dodger Dogs, along with inspirational Pro-LIFE speakers and special guests!  Plus there’s FREE parking and proceeds from the carnival-style games and activities will benefit local Pro-LIFE groups!
I stared bemusedly at the logo for quite a while until I twigged what it is supposed to be. What do you think?

I mean, who could resist this line-up?
A high-powered lineup of celebrities and church and community leaders will be appearing at the event, including Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez, actor Mauricio Kuri (For Greater Glory), who is traveling up with his parents from Mexico City, Christian musical sensation Lincoln Brewster, actor Eduardo Verastegui (For Greater Glory, Bella), and many others. The popular Christian reggae band Christafari will also perform, and dynamic international evangelist Justin Fatica will deliver an intensely dramatic message about abortion and healing that the young attendees of all backgrounds will not soon forget.

Amongst other AWESOMENESSES, they are offering 'Pro-Life All-Star' cards, modelled on baseball cards, zip-lines, obstacle courses (how appropriate), and carnival rides.


Regular DJ! readers know that I seldom agree with zygote zealots, but I gotta say Jonathan has a really good point.

Trying to make fetus fetishizing, slut-shaming, panty-sniffing, and fetal gore pr0n FUN is a ginormous waste of time.

*To fill Dodger Stadium, they need 56,000 people.

BONUS: via @RadicalHandmaid, an account of what happens to young people when they are indoctrinated in anti-choice hatred and lies.

Woodworth and 'Modern' Science

Aww. Isn't this cute? MP Stephen Woodworth, he of Woodworth's Wank, is still in the public eye he has grown addicted to.

But uh-oh, look at this.

Under the heading Woodworth garnering all the wrong attention Joseph McNinch-Pazzano writes:
After Kitchener-Centre Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth’s failed attempt to reopen the abortion debate in Canada, you might have thought he would gracefully exit the spotlight of hot button social issues. Regrettably, this is not the case.

On Oct.7, Woodworth was a featured guest for an event in Quebec where he appeared alongside Michel Lizotte, an outspoken advocate who believes that gay people can become straight if they simply choose to do so.

Woodworth was criticized in the House of Commons, but has not yet responded to the criticism nor made a public statement disowning what Lizotte advocates.

At the event, Lizotte reportedly delivered a lecture on sexual re-orientation.

Lizotte advocates for gays to learn “how to be freed from thoughts, attractions or unwanted homosexual behavior while taking the path of heterosexuality.”

One of two things could explain Woodworth’s silence.

The MP could actually believe the psychologically-debunked nonsense that Lizotte trumpets.

Or, Woodworth could oppose what Lizotte advocates but refuses to publicly state his disagreement—which is equally detrimental to gay rights.
McNinch-Pazzano goes on to demolish Lizotte's nonsense. Then winds up:
In his attempt to reopen the debate about when life begins, Woodworth stated that “our 400-year-old definition of a human being says a child does not become a human being until the moment of complete birth, contrary to 21st century medical evidence.”

If Woodworth wants to invoke his conceptions of modern medicine in the abortion debate, he must give equal time to the notion in the gay rights debate.

Woodworth cannot simply turn a blind eye to an activist who is living in 1970s psychology textbooks.

Among the Kitchener-Centre constituents that Woodworth purportedly represents are young men and women who are looking for guidance and acceptance of who they are.

If Woodworth does not have the decency to come out in strong opposition to Lizotte and his views, then perhaps he should reconsider whether he espouses the necessary values to represent the people of Kitchener-Centre.

Or, perhaps better yet, the people of Kitchener-Centre should tell Woodworth that they would like to have a full-time representative instead of one who seems to be more interested in advocating for the social issues that keep him in the national spotlight.
So much for 'modern' science when it doesn't toe the Vatican Taliban line, eh, Woody?

Wednesday 17 October 2012


From the CPC government that created a testerical brouhaha around Canada's Arctic sovereignty to justify the purchase of F-35 fighter planes, we now have the CON rebranding of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Yesterday, Heritage Minister James Moore announced that the name and mandate of the Canadian Museum of Civilization will be changed to create the Canadian Museum of History. $25 million will be moved from other areas of the Heritage budget to pay for the new museum.   
“This decision is a mistake,” said James L. Turk, CAUT executive director. “It needlessly eliminates Canada’s largest and most popular museum. While some of the current museum will be incorporated in the new Canadian history museum, it will not include the mammoth Canada Hall which is the largest and finest social history display in the world.”   
According to Turk, the government had numerous locations in the National Capital Region to house a new Canadian history museum without closing the Canadian Museum of Civilization whose mandate is to increase, throughout Canada and internationally, knowledge, critical understanding and appreciation for human cultural achievements.

“This is a government that has done so much to undermine Canadians’ ability to know our past. For example, it has made serious cuts to Library and Archives Canada, which is responsible for acquiring and maintaining Canada’s cultural heritage, and to Parks Canada which maintains 167 Canadian historical sites,” said Turk.  
Turk also expressed concern about the federal government’s revisions of Canadian history to fit its ideological agenda, such as its rewriting of the new immigrant study guide in 2010 and its misleading depiction of the War of 1812. 
From here. I expect that that PMSHithead's Politburo aka the PMO will be shortly providing MPs with speaking points for the purpose of discrediting universities, professors and knowledge, in retaliation response to this remonstrance.

The Harper government now has quite the history of tampering with organizations such as museums in response to corporate lobbying or its Reform special interest religious groups.  Taking over a complete facility to propagate its lies is consequent.

Meanwhile in Québec, the Charbonneau Commission inquiry into corruption with regard to the construction industry disgorges information and exposes practices that suggest corruption at the municipal, provincial and possibly federal level of political government.  I posted about these CON players.

Josée Legault has produced a powerful in-depth analysis, drawing lines between the *dots* that are Matricule 728, Charest's intemperate and deliberate obfuscations regarding the university students' call for a general strike, the demonstrations, the strategic deployment of the Service de protection de la ville de Montréal and to a lesser extent, the police force in Québec to suppress civilian dissent, and provincial politics. 

Legault called out the Premier on his deliberate use of the word "boycott" to diminish and discredit a general strike that kept growing and gathering strength as it became the way that ordinary citizens could express their anger against the alleged corruption of the Liberal government.

When constable 728 calls the artists she brutalized and arrested "rats", "shit-eaters", "assholes" and "worthless", she simultaneously uses the term "godammed red squares". This detail is not trivial.  The reference to "red squares" caused the director of the Montreal police, when he publicly apologized for the events of those Oct. 2 arrests, to specifically address "political profiling."  
Was the police mention of "red squares" accidental?  
In fact, this reference echoes the political discourse held by Premier Jean Charest and several of his ministers during the "Printemps érable." His spin on the general strike was fully embraced and repeated on several forums by media commentators; more populist voices have not hesitated to add worse insults.  
For months, versions of Charest's discourse was everywhere. The equation that emerged was as simplistic as it was false: greedy children + violence + bullying + Communism + left + anarchism + Montreal = anarchist student strike 
The political spin was the product of the Charest government's strategy in this conflict. This tactic was to try to win points with voters since a general election was foreseen this year.  In April, I identified this opportunism as a classic case of political division and polarization for electoral purposes. The choice of this strategy came at the price of a marked deterioration of the political discourse in Quebec. 
Rather than defend its policy of raising tuition with rational arguments, the Premier and his ministers attached the terms "violence and intimidation" to a student movement that was mainly peaceful.  

I translated the above excerpts; I suggest that you read the full version of her blog posts, parts 1 and 2. Legault is rigorous in her overview; she reaches back to the 1960s and 70s to recall the escalation of state violence and the abuse of political and legal procedures by the authorities. 

I think that Harper is preparing to use such strategies and that his government is judiciously organizing the means to curtail any democratic opposition to his corporate agenda, with totalitarian measures if necessary. 

And, in case we forget the *ghosts* of corruption past ...

Vatican Taliban FAIL

I'd say that a nominally Catholic country that legalizes abortion in the face of the shitstorm hurled by the Vatican Taliban is on its way to happier days.

Good news! Uruguay just joined the club.
Latin America is home to about half of the world's Roman Catholics and the Church is opposed to abortion under any circumstances. But Uruguay, a country of 3.2 million people, has a strong secular tradition.
Perhaps surprisingly, civil unions for LGBT folk are legal too.

The new regime is not perfect, of course.
Under the bill Congress passed, a woman can end her pregnancy during the first 12 weeks of gestation, but she must meet with a team of health professionals, who, by law, should discourage the abortion. The woman must then reflect on the decision for five days.

"This process is complicated and legally unjustified," the nonprofit Coordinating Group for Legal Abortion said in a statement. "This means there's no recognition of a woman's right to decide freely about her life and her maternity."
Here we learn something of the politics behind the move.
The developments however come under the government of a president who is a doctor by training, Jose Mujica, and a deputy health minister, Leonel Briozzo, who is an obstetrician.
. . .
Uruguay is now only the second South American country to legalize abortion, after English-speaking Guyana in 1995. Cuba, a Latin American nation in the Caribbean, did so in 1965 and procedures are also legal in Mexico City.

"The explanation is that Latin America is the last outpost of the Roman Catholic Church," Briozzo said.
There's a cool re-organizable chart showing Catholicism by country here.

By percentage of population, the top four Catholic countries are East Timor, Malta, Honduras, and Venezuela.

The raw numbers create a different list. Brazil, where 65% are Catholic, has 123.3 million adherents. Mexico is 83% Catholic with 95.5 million. Philippines is next at 81% and 75.5 million. Then the US at 24% and 74 million.

This news from Uruguay adds to the good news from Northern Ireland last week.

The cracks are appearing. Slowly but slowly.

For sheer religious misogyny -- outside the Islamic world, that is -- Philippines takes the communion cracker.

Abortion is illegal, of course, but the Church is adamant that Filipinos remain pig-ignorant on matters sexual.

Sensible people there have been trying for 14 fucking years to pass the Sexual and Reproductive Health Bill
The bill was first introduced some 14 years ago, but has been languishing in legal limbo since. It would extend sexual health education in school, make contraceptives more widely available and improve pre and post-natal care. The bill would not legalize abortion.
The local branch of Christian Sharia is having none of it. They've fraudulently labelled it an 'abortion bill' and insist that its passage will lead to promiscuity, infidelity, and MORE abortions.

And now election season is about to begin there and the bill will likely get sidelined again.

Ah well. Two steps forward and still playing Statues in Philippines.

Everyday Sexism

One way and another, misogyny and sexism have been in the news a lot lately.

A few days ago I noticed this Twitter account, @EverydaySexism and its website.
The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.
Some of the stories are sad, some shocking, some funny.

I was reading some of them out to my sweetie on the weekend. He was surprised. 'This still goes on?'

Indeed it does. The tweets and website entries include stories from work, school, home, and the street. There are wolf whistles, 'invitations', gropings, and comments. Comments on bodies, clothing, intelligence, sex.

It still goes on. And it is still intimidating and hurtful.

But the effort may be paying off.

Another tack was taken by a company that was the target of a Facebook rant, supposedly by a man outraged at being lied to about the nature of periods. (I think the rant is too over the top to be real, but the outcome is fun nonetheless.)

Here's how the company responded.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Exemplary Cop (Update)

The Montreal police force (SPVM), is known for its brutality and lack of accountability.

In this Rabble News report from March 2012, Stefan Christoff provided an overview of decades of injustice served upon the Montreal population, particularly members of communities that are not protected by their connections to social status, money, organized crime or political power. Some highlights:

Now widely used by the Montreal police, flash bang grenades are made by Defense Technologies, a subsidiary of the world's second largest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems.Flash bangs are rubber-encased devices that explode, creating a 175-decibel shock wave, while emitting a flash of light and releasing a charge of CS gas into the air. CS gas is a chemical irritant that burns the eyes, affects the respiratory system and can cause vomiting. 
According to Defense Technologies' official warning text on the exploding weapon, "this product may cause serious injury or death to you or others."
On March 15, police used sound grenades and CS gas on civilian protesters, weaponry that did in fact "cause serious injury" for 22-year-old student protester Grenier from Cégep de Saint-Jérôme, protesting for accessible post-secondary education.
Why are Montreal police deploying dangerous explosive devises against popular protests in 2012? Why are more serious questions not being asked in mainstream media coverage about this dangerous weaponry being deployed by Montreal police?

Fredy Villanueva, an 18-year-old youth from Montreal North, was killed by police in the summer of 2005, and his death is the subject of an ongoing struggle for justice led by the Villanueva family. 
To this day, no police officers involved in the Villanueva killing have been charged criminally or faced trial in relation to the shooting, despite a wealth of existing evidence on the topic. 
Villanueva's death inspired numerous underground hip-hop tracks in Montreal, with artists like Sans Pression and Dramatik directing verses against Montreal police shootings and racial profiling. 
In early January 2012, a police intervention at métro Bonaventure turned deadly when police shot and killed Farshad Mohammadi, a Kurdish refugee from Iran struggling with mental health issues and homelessness. The police killing quickly sparked protest in the city and police continue to keep secret a great deal of existing evidence and details surrounding the shooting. 
Since 1987, in Montreal, more than 60 people have been killed during police interventions, including Mario Hamel and Patrick Limoges, killed on the same morning by police bullets in June 2011.

And now Radio-Canada's report on the aberrant actions of a patroller, one Stéfanie Trudeau aka Badge 728 - captures the dysfunctional cop culture that flourishes within the rank and file of the SPVM. (Google translations here and here.) The CTV report is here.

The list of complaints against her is considerable.  It includes gratuitous violence.

Some may remember Matricule 728 from this GGI manifestation in May.

Trudeau may be exemplary but she is not unique.

UPDATE: The inevitable baying of sexist hounds has started, demanding her address and phone number to dox her so that others will inflict the physical harm they wish this woman to suffer.

This is harsh, and may recognize that a form of rehabilitation is required, for her and for all cops who behave thus.

But this is vile, as this one notes.

Josée Legault reminds us of the "rage à deux" that political discourse and police repression produce.

ADDED resource. From this tweet, more about the deleterious impact of cop culture.

TODAY'S UPDATE: My perspective was willfully misrepresented, with regard to outing and doxing Trudeau.  Read my original post.  I never suggested that the procedure used to deal with abusive cops should be more lenient for her.

Though it has been well-documented how social media has been used to transform specific women into targets for the rampant misogyny that festers at large, there are a few so-called pro-feminism men who persist in obdurate denial of this phenomenon and shriek about "gender stalinism" rather than acknowledge the reality. 

From Anita Sarkeesian to Amanda Todd, women and girls are violated online in specifically aggressive ways that men are not subjected to.  Are these threats carried out in real life?  Once a woman has been doxed, she is an open target.  

Food for thought: Whitney Phillips' piece in the Atlantic about Adrian Chen exposing  infamous Reddit moderator Violentacrez in a long profile. This is the product of a tenacious investigation into the many facets of this self-proclaimed troller as well as his role as the creator and moderator of the "Jailbait" and "CreepShots" forums. 

Phillips' reflection on trolling and its oft-denounced racist, homophobic and misogynist manifestations is a compelling and informative lecture.

Added: For those who can read French, this from Josée Legault must be read to understand the foundation and the connections that produced Matricule 728 and a cop culture amenable to political manipulation.
Grand merci to Miranda Nelson.

Monday 15 October 2012

CONtemptuous, Weasel Words

This morning, I couldn't help but draw this to Babs' attention.

It was the ever-online-vigilence of @FrogsAreLovely and @PierreLucDaoust who brought it to my attention.

You may recall that last week Kay Mère wrote tedious fawning glurge about Rona Ambrose, stopping short of nominating her for a humanitarian award for all her alleged achievements in the name of girls.

Jymn blogged about Ambrose's claim about a UN award, as she once again appropriated Malala Yousafzai's name for her own glory.

This is why Harper's CONtempt party needs to employ hundreds of communication flunkies throughout their government to lie about their "accomplishments".  And Babs Kay, nicely paid by the NatPo

Faux-semblant, lying lies and Attack Parrot speaking points, uttered high and low.

Sunday 14 October 2012

Shameless Douchebaggery

I have no words for the crassness of this.

This would be fetus fetishist Mark Warawa making a smarmy reference to his motion (M408) to condemn sex-selective abortion.

The only regard CONs hold for women and girls -- especially those furren women -- is their worth as political pawns when there's an invasion or a mean-spirited foreign policy to try to justify.

Or a bunch of uteruses to police.


Friday 12 October 2012

No. Fetus Fetishists Cannot Lie & Mislead on Our Tellies

Back in June, DJ! was alerted to the appearance of USian anti-abortion ads on Canadian telly.

The 'Milk Carton' ad was sleuthed out and it is USian, 'leased' by
Ontario Alliance for Life.

The National Abortion Federation issued a call to action, specifically for complaints to the Advertising Standards Council.

Looky here.
In what one pro-life leader is calling a case of blatant bias, the Advertising Standards Council of Canada (ASC) has censured a pro-life TV commercial for allegedly being “misleading” and “demean[ing] and denigrat[ing to] women”. The ASC Council will penalize the Ontario pro-life organization behind the commercial for refusing to “permanently withdraw or appropriately amend” it.
. . .
Since 2000, Alliance For Life Ontario has run six pro-life campaigns on mainstream television across Ontario that aim at reaching out to women experiencing a crisis pregnancy and at challenging the status quo acceptance of abortion.

This year’s campaign focused on the 3.5 million people missing in Canada since 1969, when abortion was legally permitted. Two commercials ran 500 times each and were viewed by as many as 14 million people.

The campaign appeared to be running smoothly when Jeffs received notice from the ASC of complaints over the pro-life “Milk Carton” commercial.
ASC found the statement '3.5 million missing children, teens and young adults' in contravention of its clause on 'accuracy and clarity'. Also in contravention was the implication that all women regret their abortions. It also ruled that the ad contained 'unacceptable depictions and portrayals'.

You can see both the original and Canadianized version of the ad here.

But it gets worse.

Since Jeffs refused to pull or amend the commercial, as demanded by the ASC, the ASC will now identify Alliance for Life Ontario for offending their guidelines in a public report that will appear on their website.

While Jeffs fears that the ASC’s censorship and vilifying public report will negatively affect her organization’s ability to purchase ad time for its next television campaign, she says that nevertheless she is already pushing ahead with fundraising for the next run of pro-life commercials.

“We’ll be up and running again, and I imagine that I’ll be facing the same battle again,” she said.
Oh noes! Censorship and vilification!

The ASC reports on its investigations here. We'll be keeping an eye out for the upcoming slap to Alliance for Lies.

Congratulations and thanks to all who took the time to let ASC know that ordinary, sane Canadians find lies and denigration unacceptable on our television screens.

Bitching works.