Tuesday 25 February 2014


Sunday I set the alarm for 6:30 am so I would make my way to the Lib14 convention, and arrive in time for the delegates' plenary session where a number of priority resolutions would be presented, possibly debated and then voted upon.

At the scheduled time, I was in the main hall, poised to follow the proceedings.
Resolutions 110:
A Resolution for Action for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
WHEREAS the effects of colonization, discrimination, stigmatization and remaining silent and inactive on the missing and murdered Indigenous women issue has contributed to the issue itself;
WHEREAS the missing and murdered Indigenous women issue has received international attention via United Nations, with a United nations Special Rapporteur spending nine days touring Canada and speaking with Indigenous individuals and organizations;
WHEREAS the Conservative Party of Canada has eliminated funding to the Sisters in Spirit Research Project and have dismissed calls from Premiers across Canada for a national inquiry on missing murdered and Indigenous women;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada, within its first term as government, begin working with pertinent Indigenous advocacy organizations, Indigenous communities, and Indigenous families of those missing and murdered on the issue of the missing and murdered Indigenous women to allow the project to be relevant to the unique issues facing Indigenous women and girls;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada reinstates research funding under the heading of Sisters in Spirit to allow appropriate documentation and analysis of this on-going human rights issue and support current Indigenous organizations research and documentation on missing and murdered Indigenous women;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada support current Indigenous advocacy organizations to continue their work in advocating for the families and friends of the missing and murdered Indigenous women.
My friend Naomi Sayers applied her skills and her knowledge to the task of drafting a resolution that would include critical information, define the issue and provide specific redress.  The Yukon division of the LPC brought it forward.

That resolution was adopted unanimously by the plenary.

Naomi has a twitter account and she blogs.  This post summarizes her experiences, and how she feels about the challenges of aligning oneself with a political party.

We met for the first time in real life at the convention, after a year of retweeting each other, and forging online alliances.  She is just as fierce, committed and kick-ass as one senses she might be, from reading her.  And she wasn't too disappointed that I'm not as blonde or as dissolute as my Patsy Stone avatar.... I trust.

During the four days (really...? it felt like two weeks!) I took notes about myriad events and glimpses that I caught or that caught me... There may be a concluding wrap-up.

Who ya gonna call?

Super Nanny!

On Twitter just now:

I've actually seen Super Nanny. I don't have children, but the show is fascinating in a train-wreck kinda way.

Have a look at this audition, aka plea, from this family, called "When your child's the school bully."

Too bad Super Nanny wasn't around when the Fords were children.

Not that Diane (The Enabler In Chief) Ford would have called.

Monday 24 February 2014

What's up with this?

This is odd.
The doctors who treat pregnant women are warning mothers-to-be against using “entertainment” ultrasounds solely to determine the sex of their fetuses.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, along with the Canadian Association of Radiologists, put out a new joint policy statement this week calling for an end to ultrasounds offered by non-medical clinics.
Here's the joint statement.

An excerpt:
Fetal ultrasound is a valuable tool in modern obstetrical care. This imaging technique is useful in assessing a fetus for anomalies, ensuring fetal health, and assessing fetal growth and development if performed by properly trained individuals in a carefully monitored and medically supervised environment. It is also an important technology in education and research. This imaging technology uses high-frequency, low-energy sound waves; it does not use ionizing radiation. The availability of ultrasound machines for purchase and use for non-clinical purposes has led to a proliferation of “entertainment” ultrasound units throughout Canada. With recent media coverage of nonmedical clinics performing gender determination in the first trimester, the SOGC and CAR find it necessary to update their previous policy statements on this issue and to issue a new joint policy statement.

The key phrases here are "for non-clinical purposes" and "entertainment." Health Canada and US FDA have warned against them for years -- in the FDA's case, since 2004. And at least one US state, Connecticut, has banned them.

But the issue has been safety concerns posed by multiple, longer-exposure ultrasounds.

What's odd here is the insertion of the sex-selection canard.

Here is the National Post offering a a piece with a totally misleading headline yet not a scrap of evidence that "sex-based abortions" are occurring in Canada, let alone that there's a "rise" in them. Here's the headline:
Rise in sex-based abortions prompts doctors to call for end to ultrasounds that only determine gender of fetus
It refers to an editorial in the Canadian Medical Journal from 2012. That editorial was occasioned by a study of gender ratios downloadable here free without subscription.

Researchers looked at Ontario birth records for the period 2002 to 2007, correlated to the woman's country of birth.

It includes a table with the actual numbers of male/female births to women of various origins and for each birth (first, second and third) in turn. An abortion provider I know took a good look at these numbers and found that there were only two statistically significant differences in gender ratios.
One involved third births to women of Indian origin, and the other second births to women of Korean origin; in both groups there was a small disproportion of males.
Then, calculations were done to determine how many "extra" males were born.
There were 48,362 third births of females. If the usual ratio of 1.05 had applied, one would have expected 50,780 male births, when in fact there were 51,520.  It was as though 360 births that “should” have been female were male instead.  But this amounts to only 60 extra male births per year in Ontario, 360 out of the 6-year total of 766,688 births – at .05% not much of a demographic threat!
(These quotes come from private correspondence, but you can download the study and do the math yourself.)

As we have argued here many times, sex selection is a serious problem in societies where it is widely practiced. That one study shows only that it might have happened in Ontario with very little effect on the larger population.

In fact, there's good evidence that when the overall population is questioned on gender preference, girls win.

That's why we call sex-selective abortion a canard. Or in Mark Warawa's recent anti-abortion gambit, sheer, cynical posturing, aka Warawa's Wank.

And speaking of Warawa, NatPo's resident sob-sister Kelly McParland produces his usual disingenuous froth to claim that the joint statement vindicates Warawa's thwarted motion.

Which of course it doesn't. Warawa's Wank was simply yet another back-door attempt to reopen the abortion debate. And all sensible people recognized it as such immediately.

But the question remains. Why would the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and Canadian Association of Radiologist link multiple, non-medical ultrasounds -- long frowned on by reputable experts -- to very sketchy evidence that sex-selective abortion is actually occurring in Canada?

Why now? What's going on?

We ever-vigilant proponents and protectors of women's rights in Canada should keep our eyes peeled for future moves and spin by fetus fetishists.

UPDATE: Dominionist-run website, We Need a Law, is revved in anticipation of a new bill.

Saturday 22 February 2014


It's the title of an early Joyce Carol Oates novel, possibly her best and deserving a place in the US literary canon.

_THEM_ depicts the chaotic lives of a family living in poverty in the Detroit slums, from the 1930s to the 1967 riots.  Oates draws a vivid portrait of a matriarch, from self-awakening as a naive young mother nagged by regrets at the age of sixteen, to a mature woman whose aspirations and struggles encompass the destinies of her children battling to survive in a perilous world fraught with violence. Poor white trash folks, before that epithet became a thing.

US against THEM is also a binary construct that imposes constraints and limits possibilities.

This imperative to separate people into opposite camps, assigned to one side or the other of an arbitrarily determined divide, is a facile reflex.  Though some sociobiologists would claim that every human brain is instinctually wired to respond in this manner because: survival strategy! I find their arguments oozing with smarminess and confirmation bias.

This polarizing framework is certainly omnipresent throughout history, across varied and numerous ideological and cultural settings.

Demonize, other-wize, isolate, target. 

Blue dot.

And thus, with regard to this ill-advised model that the Liberal Party of Canada is heavily promoting, today's JT speech announces what awaits Canadians in the 2015 election campaign, if THE MIDDLE-CLASS becomes its strategic meme (though it could morph into a much abused trope).

As someone who grew up in a rough-and-tumble mostly francophone area with many immigrants, working class (and working poor) in a town that's now part of Ottawa, I find this ploy repellent.

Though I may seem to be a member of this elusive and more likely, illusive demographic that the Liberal brain-trust is desperately trying to seduce into its camp, it does NOT speak to me. 

When I hear the expression "upward mobility" deployed in JT's speech as though it were an exalted entitlement, I retch.  Meaningful work, a decent salary, a social safety net: those are important elements that should not be available only to those who buy into the "upward mobility" scam, or more accurately, a form of fancy-schmancy Ponzi economic scheme beatified by the likes of Larry Summers and his sycophants.

I think of my daughter, who by virtue of her hard work and personal sacrifices, is now an accomplished physician who gives back to the communities she has pledged to serve and respect.  I really don't think this marketing gimmick will speak to her.

As I do, she may find it repugnant and exclusionary.

THEM is the group that I historically and emotionally identify with, that demographically disregarded and invalidated class that JT and his team discount when the focus becomes exclusively *THE MIDDLE-CLASS*.

THEM includes many many many people, and not only those who have fallen on hard times. We may not be the potential rich donors the PLC is wooing, but we can smell a deliberate shun.  And when we are angered, we vote.

You can't take that to the bank but you can count on it.

As an aside, is the NDP's best shot at challenging the credibility of JT's speech really this

Mulcair's communications flaks would do much better to query how much Summers charged the LPC for his tired dog-and-pony show at the convention.  Was the party billed his preferential Wall Street rate - for "friends"?

Friday 21 February 2014

Just a hairy guy...

Like this?

A blast from the past.

All three male party leaders in the House of Commons are hairy guys, though Harper's helmet-head looks suspiciously synthetic, like the rest of him.

Once known (also envied and demonized) for his flowing locks, JT has left those behind, on his own counsel or perhaps at the urging of Team Justin.

Merely having a little fun, here.

Will resume serious political blogging soon.

Fair - that is non-fraudulent - elections

Yesterday this retweet in Nancy LeBlanc's twitter stream caught my attention.

Like all politically aware and engaged Canadians, the blogging team at DJ! has been observing the CONtemptuous CPC maneuvers to pass their Unfair Elections Act, which the smarmy Poilièvre titled, with considerable malevolent double-speak from PMSHithead's PMO, the "Fair Reform Act".

So I turned to resolution 31 in the LPC convention program.  It's a long one, and advances this: 
... A truly independent, properly resourced Parliamentary Budget Officer;

A more effective Access-to-Information regime with stronger safeguards against political interference;

An impartial system to identify and eliminate the waste of tax-dollars on partisan advertising; Careful limitations on secret Committee proceedings, Omnibus Bills and Prorogation to avoid their misuse for the short-term partisan convenience of the government;

Adequate funding, investigative powers and enforcement authority to ensure Elections Canada can root out electoral fraud; ...
In short, the Liberals bringing this resolution forward hope that it acknowledges the harm and damage Harper's CPC government has wrought upon Parliamentary process, address it with specific actions to redress Con malfeasance, and inscribe it within their own party's mandate.

It's a tall order.  I don't know if media folks and bloggers are allowed to attend the discussions that accompany the presentation of resolutions, but I will certainly be reporting on how this one is received and whether it passes.

Note in the twit pic the presence of Fair Vote Canada, a non-partisan organization.  May this augur well for a unified and cohesive cooperative strategy by all opposition parties to rid the country of Harper's greedy grifters, fatuous felons, corporate criminals and sleazy kleptocrats.


A message confirming that I could attend the Liberal Party of Canada convention as an accredited blogger arrived without fanfare in my email box a few weeks ago.

This is the program.

First, I was surprised; DAMMIT JANET! has published some very rude posts, justifiably critical of specific LPC actions.

Then ambivalent - did I want to spend four days or so in the febrile, adrenaline-charged environment of a political convention?  I had attended one at the provincial level when I lived in Québec; from my perch as an observer, I noted what ideological hothouses they are.

Which is inexorably, the point of these conventions: to gather the troops, get every one armed - from the grunts to the generals - and in a state of readiness do to battle AGAINST the other parties.

So, I took myself to Montréal, registered, got my media pass, settled into the media room with my spiffy new MacBook all charged up; a wise move since the dozens of yellow extension with NO power bars are somewhat artisanale et broche à foin.  

With one eye on the closed circuit monitor which would eventually transit the feed from Liberal Live, I checked the convention program and saw that Chrystia Freeland and Larry Summers were to have a little chit-chat to *warm* up the crowd for Justin Trudeau welcome speech.

WTF?  Yes, that Larry Summers.

There's much that he has done that is not admirable.

More information about Naomi's reference, and Larry Summers' role in facilitating white collar crime.
As Treasury Secretary under Clinton, Summers played an important role in convincing Congress in 1999 to pass the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed key portions of the Glass-Steagall Act and allowed commercial banks to get into the mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations game. The measure also created an oversight disaster, with supervision of banking conglomerates split among a host of different government agencies -- agencies that often failed to let each other know what they were doing and what they were uncovering. 

At the signing of the bill, Summers hailed it as "a major step forward to the 21st Century." 

Summers also backed Phil Gramm's other financial time bomb, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed financial derivatives to be traded without any oversight or regulation. So it was on his watch that the credit-default swaps warhead that has blown up our economy was launched. 

Indeed, during a 1998 Senate hearing, Summers testified against the regulation of the derivatives market on the grounds that we could trust Wall Street. "The parties to these kinds of contract," he said, "are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies and most of which are already subject to basic safety and soundness regulation under existing banking and securities laws." 

It would be hard to make assumptions that turned out to be more wrong than Summers' were.
But aside from his association with catastrophically WRONG economic strategies, Summers uttered his Lib14 convention platitudes as though they were the fruit of some arcane lojong that he had cut up into children's bite-sized pieces.  All with the insufferable arrogant delivery that has branded his toxic imprint upon institutions.

So, I voted with my feet and left Le Palais des congrès.

As for the rest of the convention, I've set up some Real Life meetings with women who have chosen the Liberal Party as the route they want to explore to engage politically. One of them is Naomi.  Another is Nancy LeBlanc, also known as the blogger impolitical. I am curious about the path that has brought them to this convention, and what their own personal hope might be.

There are others, too.  Stay tuned.

Monday 17 February 2014

What's "neo" about "neoreactionaries"?

So there's this whole discussion that's been running around ALL the internets these past few months about the shocking propositions of people calling themselves "neoreactionaries" or "the" "Dark" "Enlightenment." To put a long story short, it's just about a bunch of attention-seekers (no criticism implied there, honest) running around telling the world that women really should get-back-in-the-kitchen-and-make-me-a-sandwich and-a-tribe-of-minions-while-you're-at-it and that we really should just let plutocrats run our societies because then we won't have to pay for other people's firefighters and that black people really do have a case of the stupids present time-orientation passed down by their stupid presently time-oriented ancestors. There's a refutation FAQ, and there's some other choice words over here.

But be that as it may, I fail to see what is "neo" about this "neoreaction". A motley collection of racists, misogynists, and wealth-worshippers suddenly discovering that woo-woo everything is connected woo-woo? It's not like they don't repeat that, oh, about seven times a generation. I mean, since when has a racist movement of any note not also been deeply misogynist? And wasn't Jim Crow deeply enmeshed in a quasi-feudal US-Southern social architecture? Pretty much all of zero of the arguments weren't being parroted on the intertoobs themselves back in the 90s!

Voldemort's got a viewpoint. OK, duly noted, time to move on.

Sunday 16 February 2014

About those CON-veeenient leaks...

Imagine it said in Preston Manning's voice.  CON-veeenient!

It's the only way to observe the onslaught of leaks and planted items that glutted the mainstream media this week.  If one were cynical, one might think that some were deliberately engineered to divert attention away from the MASSIVE Harper CPC attack on democracy — disingenuously called *Fair Reform Act* — by neutralizing and weakening the work Elections Canada does.  Some have called it the Conservative Amnesty Act since it will retroactively exculpate any election fraud engineered by the CPC.

Observe the 'who', the 'what', the 'how' and the 'when' of the following:

Exhibit A: It was predictable that the PMO would accommodate Harper's loathing for the LPC by devising a strategy to disrupt the Montreal convention with a range of smears and media-attention-grabbing tactics.

Exhibit B: Just one big, happy Regressive Conservative slash Reformatory family party! Well, except for Arthur Hamilton who is now living in the dog-house.

Exhibit C: Clearly, transparently and blatantly even, Harper Cons are exploiting publicly-funded Parliamentary resources to support their re-election bid. No accountability.

Exhibit D: As our blogging colleague Luna suggests, a critical backlash against the use of Laureen might be re-framed by the PMO, who would claim that she is being attacked, and then launch their own previously-crafted strategies to smear Catherine or Sophie, respectively Mulcair and Trudeau spouses.

Here is seasoned political journalist Susan Delacourt's take on the above leaks.

Exhibit E: This one may be gratuitous or part of an internal effort by Harper sycophants to discredit Jason Kenney who may be gunning for their leader's job.

Exhibit F: Glen McGregor presents the facts he has obtained, and raises questions about how and why this information has surfaced now.

Make of it what you will, but it seems to me that under Harper's direction, the PMO and the communications flunkies who crank out their Politburo propaganda are out to win. No prisoners taken. No mercy.  Just a craven need to crush their enemies, which includes Canadians who aren't onside with them.

UPDATE, February 17: It seems the Lt-Gen Leslie (retired) snowball packed around a sharp rock has become something of an avalanche. 

According to this news item, Con Minister Nicholson claims information about Leslie's $72,000 move costs was obtained through the Access to Information Act but CTV won't confirm that is correct.  Who's the more credible? 

Monday 10 February 2014

Conservative Amnesty Act, or Butchering Democracy

I am in total despair over the Cons' plan to butcher democracy, or as Canadian Cynic dubs it:

I was going to blog and collected a bunch of links.

Chantal Hébert

Marc Mayrand

Andrew Coyne

And Alison @ Creekside's expansion on Coyne's thoughts

Stephen Maher

Don Martin

Finally, Michael Harris's excoriations.

But really, it can all be summed up by this:

And we are absolutely helpless to stop them.

Unless. . . there are 18 or so principled Cons willing to vote against their party.

One thing to do today. Participate in the Council of Canadians' Hold the Phone campaign.

I don't have a Con MP (thank the goddess). The Council suggests calling one nearby.

I'm going to call Peter Kent, who claims his self-imposed demotion to the backbench will give him the opportunity to "express my mind and opinion across all our files."

I'll report.

UPDATE: First, all day the title of this has had "Butching" in it. Just noticed and fixed. Kee-rist. DJ! readers are lousy proofreaders. (It's all YOUR fault.)

Next, I called Kent's constituency office and talked to a pleasant young (sounding) man. I explained that I didn't live in the riding and why I chose Kent to voice my concerns to. The man assured me that my comments would be passed along, but that I should put them in writing as well. I told him I had already, but that I wanted to call so that someone would hear my voice and understand how deeply upset I am about this bill. (Thought that was a rather nifty move on my part, playing emotional old doll card.) No email reply yet and the bill passed second reading tonight, which apparently limits the sort and scope of amendments that can be made in committee.

So. They win.

But. #UnFairElxnsAct (Council of Canadians suggested hashtag, q.v.) trended today. We did what we could.

And. Justin Trudeau had pressing business elsewhere, I guess. He wasn't in the House to vote against this. Not that it would have made any difference, but.

Saturday 8 February 2014

Doug and Rob Ford, the morality police and patriotism.

Yes, you read that correctly.

For three days in a row, the political horror show known as Doug and Rob Ford has been exploiting homophobia in all its multiple hate-mongering facets to further ingratiate themselves with their bigoted fans and followers.

On Wednesday at the first mayoral candidates' forum of the 2014 Toronto municipal election, Mayor Mascot made a point of disclosing that his non-attendance at Toronto Pride is a personal and political boycott.
“I’m not going to go to Pride Parade. I’ve never gone to a Pride Parade so I’m not going to change the way I am,” Ford said.

On Thursday at City Hall, his brother Doug defended his brother's position by attacking the Pride Parade. In a four minute tirade about the event, he said five times that seeing "buck naked men" was disturbing.

In response to Ford's putative not-homophobic screed, Kristyn Wong-Tam who represents the ward that includes Church-Wellesley, and a blatant non-heterosexual councillor said:

Doug Ford [seems] to be doing “a bit of baiting,” possibly to “appeal to a homophobic base within his supporters.”

She said Pride is “so much more than just a handful of people who decide to express themselves in ways that not everyone would understand.” Referring to the mayor’s own controversial behaviour, she said his administration is not in a position to criticize the morality of others.

“Should the morality police descend on the mayor’s office or the mayor’s home, they may have something to say about public drunken stupors and behaviour, crack cocaine use, the allegations of domestic assault (a charge against Rob Ford was dropped in 2008), marijuana and hash dealing (Doug Ford has denied a Globe report that he was a dealer in the 1980s), improper use of city resources, drunken outrage, public urination, cultural appropriation of a Jamaican accent. I would imagine that it’s best not to judge,” Wong-Tam said.

Doug Ford has used such rhetoric before. In opposing a city hall bike station with public showers, he said the facility would turn into a “bathhouse” involving “hanky-panky” and “a towel boy handing out towels.”
On Friday this happened.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appears to have lost a fight to remove a rainbow flag flying at city hall.

The flag, an international symbol of gay rights, went up on one of the many flagpoles outside city hall on Friday, just as the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games were underway in Russia.

The flag-raising was meant as a response to Olympic host country Russia's anti-gay laws. Several other municipalities around Canada have done the same.

Ford wanted it taken down as soon as he saw it.
The Olympics, "is about being patriotic to your country, this is not about someone's sexual preference," he told reporters.

But it's not his decision to have the flag taken down. The city's protocol officer is the only one who decides what flags fly from the city hall`s "courtesy" pole. That pole hosts all sorts of flags during the year — for autism week, fair trade, and to honour the national days of dozens of countries, from Azerbaijan to Israel. The Canadian flag is always flying on several other poles around city hall.

My co-blogger Fern Hill went looking for news items about rainbow flags flying in other Canadian cities; she also discovered what hisser means in French.  Which led her to craft these bilingual bon mots:

Check out the LOVESOCHi campaign in support of gay rights — and its magnificent photos — on Twitter. 

Thursday 6 February 2014

And in Other Weird Sculpture News Today

That's NOT funny.

The Davis Museum at Wellesley College is holding an exhibit of the work of sculptor Tony Matelli, and to help advertise the exhibit, the museum placed one of Matelli's statues outside. Titled The Sleepwalker, the realistic-looking statue shows a bald man in his tighty-whities lumbering forward with his arms outstretched, his eyes closed, and his head lolling around in deep sleep. It's funny and is, unsurprisingly, a big hit on Instagram. It's also creating controversy, as reported by the Boston Globe, as many students object to the statue on the grounds that it's scary. Zoe Magid, a junior at the university, started a Change.org petition demanding that the statue be moved inside the museum. "Within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, the highly lifelike sculpture by Tony Matelli, entitled 'Sleepwalker,' has become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for some members of our campus community," she writes, adding variations of the word trigger two more times.

The museum director responded but. . .

This email did not placate the critics of the statue, who left dozens of comments, mostly written in feminist jargon.

Amanda Marcotte quotes some dandy examples -- go read.

I'm sure this story is on its way to a conservative media outlet near you, where some white, privileged man in tighty-whities will roll his eyes about the hysterical feminists, which, in this case, well—good call.

Seriously, and I say that SERIOUSLY because I am a feminist, what the hell kind of feminists are we raising these days?

Doll Face (and Body)

Twitter is often a very strange place.

One of the people I follow, @SarahSecord, posted this earlier today.

I had to ask: Where does it come from? She didn't know, said the person who posted it "did not a) post it respectfully or b) provide the name of the artist."

So I used the fabulous feature of Google Images and dragged the image into the search box and found the artist, Freya Jobbins. Have a look at her other work. For me, it's about equal parts playful and seriously creepy.

Here's an Artist Statement from her.
Toys, especially dolls can represent so much to us all. Memories of surreal companionship, co-dependancy, learned nurturing, innocent love to sexual and morbid curiosity. Represented flesh, like the plastic flesh used to manufacture these dolls to recreate 'the real thing, has beauty in its divine detail. To the superficial perfection of Barbie, Ken and the Bratz dolls to the plump baby dolls, the plastic is a very non-traditional sculpting material. But the act of cutting, dismembering and reconstructing the damaged, discarded, and worthless dolls, into humanoid faces and busts is a metaphor I use either consciously or subconsciously.
This particular piece, though, has some complex resonance for me, and I imagine, other feminists.

Might this be the ideal vision of women by misogynist anti-choicers?

Me, I'm going to keep it handy to post whenever I get lectured about the proper role of women.

Choice in Canada vs. No Choice in Texas

In Canada, a brain-dead pregnant women is being kept on life support until her fetus, dubbed "Baby Iver", can be delivered.

In Texas, a brain-dead pregnant woman was similarly kept on life support to incubate her fetus.

Can you spot the difference? The Canadian partner and family believe that the mother would have wanted it this way and, indeed they want the process to continue if possible, notwithstanding potential damage to the eventual child.

In Texas, however, the parents, paramedics both, had discussed this sort of horrible possibility and had decided that life support should be withdrawn in such a case.

Writing in the Dallas Morning News, columnist Jacquielynn Floyd titled her piece "Marlise Muñoz case was about bureaucracy, politics -- and cruelty".
Marlise was no longer alive. She was not a patient. She was deceased. But someone at JPS [the hospital], which has issued few details beyond terse press statements, decided her corpse must be forced to go on incubating the fetus, despite her family’s uniform plea to let them put her to rest.

This did not happen until Sunday, when the hospital complied with a state district judge’s ruling last week ordering the woman disconnected from artificial support.

It’s a vicious irony that this family was better prepared for this tragedy than most. Marlise and Erick, as paramedics, had seen their share of trauma and death.

In Canada, the wishes -- the choice -- of the family were respected. In Texas, home of Tea Bagger "small government" proponents, politics and cruelty prevailed. Until the good sense of the court intervened.

I hope "Baby Iver" is healthy and the family can cope with whatever care is needed.

But this is what choice is about. And why the "War on Women" in the US is a very real thing.

Lawless Abortion Still Safe

More as satisfying dénouement than as surprising development, here is the end of Maurice Vellacott's doomed last kick at the abortion can.

If you listen carefully, you may be able to hear a quiet collective sigh of relief emanating from Langevin Block this week, as the prime minister's House strategists go through the fine print of the next batch of private members' business set to hit the Commons floor over the next few weeks.

Despite constant rumours of continued, if muted, muttering from the government backbench, it doesn't look like any of the 5 Conservative MPs set to join the queue is particularly interested in setting the stage for a potential split within caucus.

Rather than champion one of the two abortion-related motions he added to the Order Paper just before the House rose in December, or even last week's eleventh-hour pitch to abolish a subcommittee currently charged with deciding which items of private members' business can be put to a House vote, retiring Saskatchewan MP Maurice Vellacott has chosen to champion his comparatively non-contentious bid to rework the current divorce laws to focus on shared parenting instead of custody.
Maurice obviously got the message: Canadians are fine with the status quo on abortion and will not tolerate any panty-sniffing, gord-bothering attempt to mess with it.

As Kady mentions, Maurice is retiring. One more dinosaur gone from the national scene. Only about 100 left.

Saturday 1 February 2014

Anti-Choice Courier???

My sweetie, on his way over here, saw this and was so stunned he took a picture.

Hmm. Not so easy to read. Above the doors it says: "Supporting Crisis Pregnancy Centres...the most Important Deliveries of All"

Well, at least The Messengers are honest.

What's Important To Us

Providing excellent service and value for our clients.

Our firm is based on those two important principles The Golden Rule and Honesty.

Everyone, I and the staff at The Messengers International interact with, will be treated as we would like to be treated and we will always be honest in all of our interactions with everyone as well.

Pretty basic and simple.

We also support Crisis Pregnancy Centres, (With the most imporant deliveries of all). We believe a child before birth deserves the same respect as you and everyone else does.

Pretty basic and simple as well.

You have my promise on this,

Frank E. D'Angelo

I think people should know that this company is anti-choice.

LATER: I didn't realize when I wrote this that the owner is this jackass.