Saturday 29 March 2014

Too Nutzoid for the Nutzoid

When you've had a run-in with a particularly noxious nutbar organization, seeing them get some comeuppance is sooo satisfying.

This just in: National Right to Life [NRCL] has named Georgia Life Alliance as its new state affiliate. That means Georgia Right to Life is out.

The challenge came as a result of GRTL’s fierce opposition to allowing abortion exceptions for rape and incest.
Yee-haw! Georgia Right to Life is too radical even for these bozos.
One of the central goals of the organization is the passage of a constitutional amendment banning all abortion.

While NRLC defines itself as a "single-issue" organization, they are also active in other issues such as partial-birth abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, and cloning. NRCL opposes RU-486 and some forms of contraceptives, including "the pill."

Image source.

Why PM's Security Costs Have Doubled

So nobody does this.

The cost of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s RCMP personal security team has more than doubled since he took office, according to records obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

RCMP numbers, obtained by the Citizen under access to information legislation, show the annual operating budget of the Prime Minister Protection Detail (PMPD) has increased 122 per cent between 2006 and 2014 — to almost $20 million annually.

There is a mightily growing number of Canadians who would love to "snatch him bald-headed."

I'm one.

Friday 28 March 2014

Defamation in the Internet Age: The Trial

Were my ears burning yesterday?

Frankly, no.

But a comment by Marky Mark on an old blogpost alerted me.

First, the old blogpost, User Pay, from June 2012. The stage was being set for an examination of defamation in the Internet age.

My point then was that no matter who *won*, everyone who participates in discussion forums, blogs, comment threads, and now, I suppose, Twitter and Facebook too, had a stake in the matter.

And that its resolution was going to cost a bomb.

A lively discussion ensued and some strong positions were taken.

Now, finally, the issue is before a court and blogger Marc Lemire of Free Dominion is reporting. He's obviously not an experienced court reporter and his writing could be clearer.

Here's where I come in (his formatting):
There was some back and forth about a blogger named “Fernhill”. Apparently she was a “leftist progressive” blogger who mentioned this case and proposed to her readers to support both “Dr Dawg” and Freedominion.  This apparently made “Dr Dawg” “very upset” and left him feeling “betrayed” by her.  Fernhill was a progressive blogger and he wanted her to “pick a side” and that “it was wrong to raise money for the other side”.
Note that I did *not* raise money for any side; I merely raised the issue of how this slugfest was to be financed.

Lemire is reporting daily (links to other sessions at his blog) and will presumably continue.

I confess I won't be following with bated breath, but the outcome might be interesting. Also of interest is the fact that the judge is a complete newbie to the Innertoobz. She says she's "never been on a blog." Woo.

I'll report if and when there's anything of note.

Added by deBeauxOs: If any new or old readers might be fascinated by the trivia and arcana of this case, the blogger MarkyMark posted this, with a very lively and informative open comment thread, in June 2012.

Forget the Gong Show, Let's Concentrate on City Council

Well, Matt Galloway on MetroMorning did the best job (so far) of any interviewer's attempt to hold Rob Fucking Ford to account.

Given this, at least:

But there are still seven months to go for interviewers and opponents to learn how better to deal with RFF's bullshit. We live in hope.

If RFF's tenure has taught us anything, it's that while a mayor can embarrass the hell out of us, under a weak mayor system, she or he needs collaborators on council to get things done.

I propose turning our attention away from the giant gong show that is the mayoral race to wannabe city councillors.

We need to rid Council of the morons, the toadies, and the mindlessly ambitious, which of course puts Mammo at the top of the heap, overlapping all categories as he does so effectively.

OK, then. Here is an immensely useful graphic (more about its provenance below*). I'm sorry it's kind of hard to read.

It's arranged in rings by year, innermost being 2011, when RFF had max influence. Note how much support he had then.

By 2012, less support, more opposition. Even more so by 2013.

For an overview, this is very handy. For my money, no one with a preponderance of blue and green should be returned to office.

Here is the list of current councillors. Find yours.

Next step, follow @GraphicMatt who has been doing heroic work in tracking how each councillor voted, presented in colour-coded tables.

Some examples here and here. You can also find his work at

Decide whether your incumbent deserves your support. If so, get your butt out for him or her.

If not, check out who else is running. Here is the current list of contenders. The list will no doubt grow. Some incumbents have not yet registered. And some contenders are probabaly still testing the waters.

Check them out. Find someone with ideas, integrity, and a lively sense of civic responsibility.

For example, Dan Fox is contesting Ward 24, now held by blue/green Ford-supporter David Shiner. Dan could use some volunteers.

Remember that the mayor, while potentially possessed of great persuasive power, has only one vote.

There are 44 others that -- collectively -- matter more.

*Provenance of graphic: It was tweeted by cinemaven. I asked and looked but couldn't find an original, even though it says "" in the corner. I tweeted a couple of times asking for help and got no joy. In particular, I complained about how hard it was to read, how it needed embiggening.

Well. In my email last night was a message from Ace Blogger and Photoshopper Extraordinaire Alison @ Creekside, with an improved and slightly embiggened version of the chart. Yes, that Alison, who to the dismay of the masses does NOT have a Twitter account. So, how did she get my bat signal Alison signal?

She's not saying, is she? Me, I think she has an alter ego on Twitter. Maybe @80sDougFord. Feel free to speculate in the comments.

ADDED: Of course there are municipal elections across Ontario this year. All of us need to do our duty and vote good people in.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Green Fetuses and Spam

I thought I was losing my feel for the madness of fetus fetishists. I really thought this story would bust the Shrieeeeek-o-meter.
The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.

Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’
While that piece garnered more than 1800 outraged comments, now closed, the story didn't seem to catch fire as I expected.

I guess what I failed to take into account is that it happened Elsewhere, i.e. in Britain, not the United States of Asshatitude.

They're on it now. And trotting out all the predictable comparisons.

From LifeShite:
While the pro-abortion movement frequently condemns pro-life advocates who draw comparisons between abortion and the Holocaust, the report of babies burned to heat UK hospitals is a shocking reminder of the callous way human life was treated by the Nazi regime. According to the report in the London Telegraph newspaper, the aborted babies were incinerated as “clinical waste” in “waste to energy” plans at British hospitals.
And from the WingNutDaily:
The UK is in an advanced stage of moral collapse as was seen in a shocking TV documentary aired this week exposing that foetal remains are being incinerated as ‘clinical waste’, many of which are burned in incinerators that produce energy to heat in at least one of the hospitals identified.
. . .
Since the program aired the morass of bureaucracy has shown itself to be thicker than the London Fog that hid Jack the Ripper, making it virtually impossible to ascertain which body is to be held ultimately responsible for regulating what should be clear moral guidance in handling the human remains of tiny babies.
Extra points for Jack the Ripper! Don't often run into a Jack the Ripper reference in the abortion wars.

Well, what the hell else is tissue removed by medical procedure but "clinical waste"?

And if it is to be incinerated, why not put the heat generated to a useful purpose?

I'd say the hospitals were being conscientious and environmentally responsible.

ADDED: Interesting comment by choice joyce moved up for the click-averse.
Someone in the UK who I know made the following astute remark about this 'scandal':

"It’s a very clever form of demonisation of hospitals who do abortions, with yet another non-reason to 'trash the National Health Service' thrown in for free. And of course it allows a Tory health minister to claim the moral high ground on yet another non-subject and give absurd orders that make him appear to be an authority. Sick-making."

Wednesday 26 March 2014

A Few Facts (ahem) about John Tory

Most people who've been around for a while know this one.

Watch for young sprog Tory starting about 2:19. Ending with Kim Campbell and we know how her campaign went.

Here's Wiki:

The decision to launch the ads was taken mainly by PC campaign director John Tory along with Allan Gregg. . .

Arguably, the modern age of vicious attack ads was launched with that beaut.

Now, courtesy of a John Tory parody account, two stories you may not know (I didn't).

The Missing Years in John Tory's Resume, aka The Cable Guy.
From 2001 until 2009 John Tory was a director of Charter Communications, at the time it was America's 3rd largest cable and internet company. He was also a member of Charter's audit committee. It looked as though he was going to do the right thing and resign when he became PC leader and an MPP.
. . .
Long story short, Charter Communications filed for Chapter 11  bankruptcy protection on April 1, 2009. Under John's watchful eye as a director and member of the audit committee, Charter which was then America's 4th largest Cable TV company had amassed $20 billion of debt that it couldn't repay.
. . .
Charter had collapsed under a huge debt, but it also never made a penny of profit in all of the years John was there. 
. . .
John Tory's run with Charter Communications came to sad ending in 2009.  John takes credit for successfully leading, managing and obtaining results from large, complex organizations.
. . .
He may have stabilized the CFL, and he still is intimately involved in the Oligopoly that is Rogers, but in the real world of business he presided over one of the largest bankruptcies in America, #14 on Forbes list link

So why is this significant?

It is omitted from his resume (and only mentioned in arcane references buried deep inside corporate filings) even though Charter Communications was 3 times the size of Rogers' cable and internet businesses.
. . .
Pretty much all of John's business life he has been in companies his dad either owned or had great influence over.  Charter Communications was different. It was an American company and it was big. When John closed the door behind him at Charter, the company was unable to pay its debt and its shareholders were wiped out.

No wonder he excluded Charter from his resume.

Some business man, eh?

And now for some very recent prevarications. Watch Tory make shit up.

And now for my fave photo (so far). Anyone for cricket?

ADDED: More extensive fact-checking of the bogus humble beginnings fable.
Just a regular guy. Much like Rob Ford, in fact, with a bit of gloss.

Saturday 22 March 2014

What They Say And What They Do

I've pulled a few things out of my previous post to consider a bit more.

While reading about Forced Pregnancy Promotion sidewalk proselytizing at Canadian high schools, I was struck by a couple of quotes from one media article.
Doug Liberty, whose16-year-old daughter, Halle, was accosted by the protesters, said picketing a school at rush hour is simply dangerous. "She was approached by this person, she said she didn't want to speak to them and they got right in her face," Liberty said. "She was very irritated and upset by the whole thing."
Later in the same article we hear from the 'righteous' group responsible for a multitude of anti-choice protests across the country Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.
For Stephanie Gray, the group's director, it's all about getting the message out when the audience is there. She specifically rejected allegations students were accosted during the action. "Our team holds signs and is stationary," she said. "Our style is to be stationary and if people wish not to engage with us that is up to them."

CCBR is the Canadian farm team of this American group CBR, who calls them CBR-Canada and has a Stephanie Gray video featured on their front page.  There are a lot of things to be addressed about them and their preferred fellow travellers but I want to address that talking point of who's accosting whom.  Free speech for the picketers? To the letter of the law.  For the students? Not so much. The words of a teacher at one of the schools picketed...
"Obviously," he says, "I believe that people have a freedom of speech but, you know, something that one of the kids said was that: the students actually don't get to choose to go to school. So on one hand there's freedom of speech, but on the other hand there's [the fact that] kids actually aren't free to avoid those messages" — giant posters of dead fetuses displayed "prominently" in front of their school.
"I think telling girls who find themselves in difficult situations, who have to make difficult choices, I think calling them a murderer, is an act of violence," he says. "I think putting a focus on women's bodies and increasing women's shame is an act of violence. And I think doing that in a space that students are forced to be in is potentially an act of violence." 
 Ok, that's directly targeting legally juvenile Canadian high school students -at- their schools.  What about actual medical clinics and hospitals that include abortion among their services? Let's go for the gusto. Let's hear from the US, the legal environment CBR/CCBR also feel is too liberal in allowing utero-humans control over their bodies, but at least would be an improvement over the professed Netherworld of Casual Murder and Indifference To SufferingTM that is Canada.

From Shakesville blog, a guest post by a clinic escort:
Sometime this summer, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of buffer zones around abortion clinics. Buffer zones keep protesters out of the immediate vicinity of the clinic, and allow patients and staff to safely access clinics. Many of them are fairly small—15 to 30 feet wide.  Opponents of buffer zones claim that they infringe on free speech: If people want to talk to the clients of abortion clinics, if they want to protest the operations of the clinic, it is their constitutional right to do so. The figurehead of this opposition is Ellen McCullen, a charming grandmother of four who claims she just wants to "walk and talk gently, lovingly," with clinic clients.
Sound familiar? Read on. Lovingly, I don't think it means what she or CCBR think it means.  They can claim the words, they can claim empathy, they can claim Morality(whatever that means to them) but how they walk the talk is where people need to pay attention.

PS: You know what's odd? I can't define any difference between Anti-Reproductive Freedom promoters who'd force people to serve their sexual fears and the Westboro Baptist Church's free speech protests, yet the WBC draws far greater international condemnation of their aggressive crusade of lies and cruelty condemning human sexual rights.  You know what's odder? I'm not even sure the WBC has ever picketed schools or threatened to picket schools, without there being a shooting at one first.

Friday 21 March 2014

The Best Argument For Comprehensive SexEd In Canadian Schools

Once upon a time in the Dominion of Canada, there were abortion bans and criminal restrictions, imposed by legislation and enforced by police.

Some effects of these laws were as follows:

They ignored utero-human needs and were done without consultation of the populace affected.
They showed utero-humans, by law, the only real life value of a utero-human was expressed in their fertility and that fertility must be controlled by the state.
They killed utero-humans who desperately resorted to unsafe abortion methods.
They criminalized utero-humans whose only crime was being pregnant
They caused humiliation, scorn and shunning of utero-humans forced to continue pregnancy but not owning a wedding ring.
They caused harmful medical conditions and killed utero-humans whose forced pregnancies went biologically crippling and literally toxic
They caused utero-humans forced to continue unwanted pregnancy to drop out of education and/or employment.
They targeted utero-humans and their families who were financially disadvantaged, because evidence abounds that economically-advantaged people simply ignored the laws and had safe abortions by means of money and complicit medical staff.
They forced babies onto families already stressed by economics and other factors, closing options for betterment of the already living.
They caused utero-humans to wedlock with penile-humans they really didn't want to life partner with, but couldn't afford societal shunning; resulting in familial misery that washed over onto children in the situation.
They forced utero-humans to continue pregnancies started by rape.
They forced utero-humans whose *wanted* pregnancies had turned biologically lethal/non-viable to continue pregnancy, no matter the wasteful, costly threat to their lives and families.
They forced utero-humans to continue pregnancy, survive childbirth and then surrender the resulting baby to adoption, where, if it wasn't immediately adopted, became a ward of the foster system or orphanages, with all the hazards attached thereto.
They granted legal control over pregnant utero-humans to everyone but the utero-humans themselves. Often, 'everyone' meant 'penile-human'.

The overall effect of these laws is as follows:

THEY.DIDN'T.STOP.ABORTION. They only took away the right of utero-humans to legally and safely control their own bodies, lives and decisions.

Once upon a more recent time in Canada, those laws were finally and totally struck down, returning legal, safe control over their own bodies to utero-humans inside Canada's boundaries.

Look around at the amazingly unremarkable nation that survives in the wake of that. The quiet has maddened some.  But these Retroactors realize they're getting little traction with the adults who remember the 'When There Were Laws' bloody times, so, naturally, they're now going after the young and uninformed.

Unlike Catholic schools (mostly, but check the '6th to last' paragraph), where class credits can be gained from voluntold staffing of forced-pregnancy protests, and evangelical Protestant schools; students in Canadian public schools must have their public sidewalks turned into a target of freeze peaches in hopes of finding teenagers to plump forced pregnancy promoters' ranks.

Mostly, public school students roll their eyes and walk past the Usual Suspects, but this is an In-Your-Face vector of misinformation and oft-debunked lies.

The easiest way to innoculate young people against Arguing From Feelings and Faith is evidenced-based sexuality and reproductive education, with age-appropriate levels of actual sexual reality from elementary to high school.  (emphasis mine)

Don't wait until secondary education, it's not always an option for teenagers. Walking in to college and work environments without a grounding in sexuality and reproduction leaves teenagers and young adults having to ascend the Mt. Everest of sexuality learning curve without informing oxygen, when they could be focused on fearless learning and doing.

Sexually developing kids are under primal physical and psychological stress while shifting to adult.  It makes them vulnerable to exploiters and 'caretaker' claims about the world. Fall down on arming kids with reality and facts and critical thinking and you leave them swinging in the wind, unsafe, able to be harmed by the accusations mounted by the Just-So Feelings brigades.

Those accusations, touted by adults, inform school bullying of many stripes, escalating into the greater community, up to and including laws that deny rights to the humans and society we *have*, while praising Dystopian Up Is Down Fantasy Islands of those invested in fear and servitude.

Canada's 26 years without forced pregnancy laws is an evidenced signpost that abortion is a practical, private choice between a utero-human and medical support.  For those that weren't born before those years and don't understand the consequences of the aggressive push to return to laws as in the past, look South of the Medicine Line and gaze your fill.

Gaze upon those American laws Pro-Liferating (puns for Namos) to restrict the lives of utero-humans,  those desperate utero-humans and their allies fighting to keep the criminalizing nets from tightening, those growing underground networks to defy high sounding but bad law to support utero-humans' control of their lives.

Make no mistake, the same forced-pregnancy groups in the US are inside our borders, sharing funding. Canada's law-free quiet is the beacon that shines on their lies.  We're not perfect. Canadian access to safe abortion must still be improved, but the US pregnancy panic is the fate that awaits Canada the moment we forget how blackly despair can settle onto a utero-human's psyche when pregnancy is proved and they are now a disposable being in the eyes of their society's laws.

That is reality. Teach your children well.

PS: For those wondering at my choice of 'utero-human', remember, not all women have a uterus and fertile ova and not all men don't.  I also think sometimes, the mere use of the word 'woman' in a conversation flips some switch inside people's internalizations to marginalize associated concepts, so let's see if it makes any difference to mindsets.

The Coat Hanger Symbol: Anti-Choice Victory

USian fetus fetishists have their shrieeeky panties in a major twist. (More than 1000 comments there, many with the word 'satan' and 'sick' in them.)

And more.

The fact that someone would wear a coat hanger as a display of support for abortion just shows that the culture of death knows no bounds.

The occasion is a thank-you gift from a DC charity that provides small grants to women needing abortions.

The brouhaha took the charity somewhat aback.

The coat hanger is a reminder of women’s suffering when abortion is placed out of reach. It is a promise from reproductive justice advocates to never go back to the grotesque world our anti-choice opponents are striving for: a world WITHOUT safe access to abortion, where women might have to resort to horrific alternatives like a coat hanger. That’s why our supporters love the pendants and wear them as a point of pride.

While we were surprised by the conservative media’s ignorance of the history of the coat hanger’s symbolism, we certainly welcome the spotlight on our efforts to help women.

In short: the coat hangers are not going anywhere, and neither are we.

These nimrods claim that the timing of the gift offering is a celebration of the anniversary of the trial of Gosnell, aka Fetus Fetishist Hero.

It's the fetus fetishists who should be celebrating. The coat hanger is the symbol of desperation, illegality, stigma, and needless suffering. All their doing.

Added by deBeauxOs: an archival blogpost here provides background on the history of the coat-hanger as a symbol of those days when desperate women without support or financial resources used illegal providers or self-aborted.

Saturday 15 March 2014

If the law don't get you, your regulatory body will

What fuckery is this?

From BC.

Women’s health clinics, health authorities and the Opposition NDP are lining up to criticize new fees that could lead to service cuts at community abortion clinics.

Two Metro Vancouver women’s centres and one Vancouver Island clinic are facing 400 per cent increases to regulatory fees charged by the College of Physicians and Surgeons this year, which equate to an almost $9,000 bill this year.
The College had raised these fees to other clinics a few years ago but granted the women's centres a reprieve.

Now suddenly and summarily ended.
The college is now treating the non-profit women’s health clinics the same way it treats for-profit surgical centres, and that’s not fair, said NDP Health critic Maurine Karagianis.
Supporters point out that these clinics provide a range of medical services for women. Many women don't have family doctors and don't feel comfortable having something like a PAP test done by any old random doctor one may encounter in a walk-in facility.
The fees are also not supported by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and the Vancouver Island Health Authority, which provide operating funding to the women’s centres. In a joint letter to the college, both authorities said the fee hike “seems inappropriate” and the clinics have fixed budgets, funded mainly by government, that don’t allow them to make up the extra money elsewhere.

The clinics are different from private surgical facilities, argued the health authorities. They clinics save the health care system money by treating women in the community instead of in a hospital, and provide an environment without fear and stigma for women needing [sentence ends here].
So. One's gotta wonder. What's -- or maybe more appropriately, who -- has gotten into the BC College of Physicians?

Plain brown envelopes welcome over the virtual transom.

[Blogged from my laptop! First time.]

UPDATE, March 22, 2014: BC Health Minister orders health authorities to pay the increased fees for the clinics.

Thursday 13 March 2014

Fern Hill Endorses Olivia Chow (WWWKD?)

So. It's official and launched this morning. Olivia Chow, my former city councillor and just-resigned MP, is running for mayor of Toronto.


I am not a partisan any more, but I did join the NDP years ago, principally to work to get Chow elected as MP over useless Liberal douchebag Tony "Trust Fund" Ianno*, which I did.

Before that I was an activist and as such consulted with her and her city councillor's office several times on behalf of my little gang and we always got a warm reception and helpful advice.

I like her and admire her. I think she'll be good for the city. And I will do my part as a wee blogger and tweeter to help get her elected.

But there's another fun angle.

From the link above:
Chow's campaign will be headed by veteran Conservative strategist John Laschinger, while her war room will be run by Warren Kinsella, a well-known Liberal.
Regular, long-term readers of DJ! may remember -- and others bored to tears by -- the history between Kinsella and me.

In the 2011 Ontario election, I came up with the tidbit that CONservative leader, Tim Hudak, had vowed to fetus fetishists that he would defund abortion.

Kinsella happily snaffled that meme, eventually crediting me with the discovery, and we worked a pretty good tag-team on the hapless Hudork on the topic over the election.

But then, something bizarre happened.

Kinsella had deemed me an idiot. Three times.

OK, then.

At first, I was confused that a wee blogger like me would attract such wrath. But soon I was mostly amused, especially when the kerfuffle occasioned absolutely magnificent blogging from Dred Tory, Dr. Dawg, and DJ's own Námo Mandos.

In ensuing Twitter exchanges, WK blocked me. (He is apparently quite quick to do so, something of a handicap, one would think, in trying to run a "war room" intended to attract perhaps obstreperous progressives.)

Over the upcoming loooooong mayoral campaign, which I plan to cover in my half-assed way, I expect that I will offer both kudos and razzberries to Ms Chow and her campaign.

I wonder how each will go over with the Lib-turned-municipal-nonpartisan attack dog.

I wonder if I'm still on his radar.

I guess we'll find out.

Stay tuned.

*In more recent news today, it seems that Christine Innes, wife of Tony Trust Fund, wants to run again in the Trinity-Spadina by-election caused by Chow's resignation. Chow beat her twice, but hey, these Liberals are pretty bouncy.

Well, bouncy until the bullying tactics of their classless husbands get their candidacies blocked by head office.

Fun times ahead!

Manufactured outrage

It's what all bullies do.  Every single one.  

Whether serial intimate partner abuser or totalitarian politician.

Harper has made this particular Karl-Rove-perfected tactic the centre-piece of his Politburo PMO propaganda communications strategy.

Reframe whatever criticism that is directed at you as an *attack* upon yourself or your party.

Wildly exaggerate what was said; prevaricate outrageously.

Shrieeek loudly to drown out any objections.

Discredit whoever had the temerity to express the notion that the Emperor might be prancing about, nekkid and weenie-wagging at small children.

Demand an apology.

Use the manufactured outrage and putative victimhood to elicit support from acquaintances or your political base.

The Parti Québecois' spin doctors are attempting to deflect attention away from their crass veer to the rightwing corporate agenda by demanding an apology from Amir Khadir of Québec Solidaire, the only progressive political party currently active in Québec.

Khadir related his personal experiences in Iran when left-leaning progressive activists and militants joined forces with right-wing traditionalist folks, to oust US imperialism and invite a leadership that spoke to the needs of oppressed Iranians.

The rest of that history is known: Ayatollah Khomeini took power; he and his fundamentalist islamist entourage established an anti-democratic, repressive, totalitarian regime in Iran.

From what Khadir stated, the PQ propagandists spun a tale that claimed Pierre Karl Péladeau was compared to the Ayatollah.  

The intended criticism was likely directed at Pauline Marois and her party, but the shrieeek potential there was not as meaty for the spin doctors.

Delusional fabulations.  It's what bullies do.

Added: Rob and Doug Ford. They use manufactured outrage not only as a political strategy, but engage in it as though it were an Olympic event.  More examples forthcoming.  Stay tuned.

Thursday 6 March 2014

Don't Want an Abortion? Don't Go to a Crisis Pregnancy Centre

On Twitter yesterday National Network of Abortion Funds posted a link to an excerpt from a book by heroic USian abortion provider Susan Wicklund.

I had a patient in the clinic who really did not want an abortion but who had no resources to cover the costs of prenatal care or childbirth. She was single and without insurance coverage but made just enough money to be ineligible for state assistance. She already had outstanding bills at the hospital and with the local ob-gyn practice. No doctor would see her without payment up front.

We were willing to do the abortion for a reduced rate or for free if necessary. But she really didn’t want an abortion. Once I understood her situation, I went to the phone and called the local ‘crisis pregnancy center [CPC].’

"Hello, this is Dr. Wicklund."

Dead silence. I might as well have said I was Satan.

"Hello?" I said again. "This is Dr. Wicklund."

"Hello," very tentatively, followed by another long silence.

"I need help with a patient," I said. She came to me for an abortion, but really doesn’t want one. What she really needs is someone to do her prenatal care and birth for free."

"What do you expect us to do?"

I let that hang for a minute.

-- This Common Secret, Susan Wicklund

Now if that woman didn't qualify as "abortion vulnerable," I don't know who might.

But here's former CPC volunteer Rosa explaining how fake clinics work.
Our task in greeting new clients was to determine, on a scale from 1-10, how "abortion vulnerable" the woman is. That is, is she considering abortion, or did she come here because she's already chosen life and wants help with the new baby? If a woman was deemed not abortion vulnerable at all, they were often given nothing more than an opportunity to volunteer at the CPC itself, on top of whatever real job they actually had. They were paid in diapers, wet wipes, formula, some second-hand clothing. Nothing substantial. Certainly no prenatal care or anything like that. The abortion vulnerable women, however, they were offered the lot. High chairs, cribs, brand new clothing, even financial assistance for prenatal and pediatric care in rare cases! Doesn't that seem backwards? There are women who wanted to just have the abortion and be done with it, pay their $400 or whatever it is, and leave it behind. But they were getting what women who were struggling to make their choices should have had. I had many conversations with God about this, and with each one I became more convinced that what I was doing was not God's work at all.
So pro-lifey.

UPDATED (March 12/14): The ending of the story, thanks to @ClinicEscort.

"Parental Consent" Comes to Canada

In what is believed to be a first in Canada, a new partnership between Saskatchewan ProLife and ARPA (Association for Reformed Political Action) is trying to bring parental consent regulations to Saskatchewan.

This is currently the situation.
I’m under the age of 18, do I need parental consent to have an abortion?

There is currently no legislation regarding the age of consent for obtaining an abortion in Canada; however, many hospitals have their own internal policy regarding parental consent. Some hospitals require parental consent for any type of surgery performed on a young person. The age when parental consent is required varies. You can ask about the rules regarding parental consent at your local public health unit. Free-standing abortion clinics do not require a parent’s permission for an abortion, if it is clear that the youth understands what she is doing.
Specificly, here's the deal.
In Saskatchewan abortion is available up to the 16th week of pregnancy (12 weeks in Saskatoon, 16 weeks in Regina) and is covered under Saskatchewan Health, provided a woman has a valid Provincial Health Number (PHN).

But here's what the new gang says: “The capacity to become pregnant and the capacity for mature judgement concerning the wisdom of an abortion are not necessarily related.”

Because if a teen isn't mature enough to decide whether she needs an abortion, she's totally mature enough to give birth. Riiight.

Then there are some small matters of human rights and privacy. If a young woman doesn't want her parents to know, there's probably a bloody good reason.

We remember ARPA, don't we? It's the Dominionist gang who back in 2009 polled potential Ontario Conservative leaders on abortion and whatnot and posted the results for us to find, rather inconveniently for Tim Hudak, who had told the god-squad that he would defund abortion. Oops.

Here is ARPA's mission and it is a Mission.
The mission of ARPA Canada is to educate, equip, and encourage Reformed Christians to political action and to bring a biblical perspective to our civil authorities.
Another familiar outfit in this new bunfest is We Need A Law, fronted by ARPA member, Mike Schouten. (We Need A Law is the bogus grassroots group conjured up to support Woodworth's Wank, aka M312.)

Now that we've got the players sorted out, let's have a closer look at what they want (bold mine).
Parental consent for abortion legislation will not prevent women from requesting and receiving an abortion.  It will not stop abortion from occurring. It will not make abortion illegal.

Rather, parental consent for abortion, drafted to withstand the test of constitutionality, will protect the health and welfare of minors, as well as foster family unity and protect the constitutional rights of parents to raise their children and be involved in the steps of that process. With the loving support of their parents, many young women will be able to bring their babies into the world and not face the physical risks and emotional devastation that an abortion can bring.
Sure. And with abusive and/or fetus fetishist parents who threaten to kick her out of the house or worse, many teens will be forced to bear a child perhaps fathered by a member of that "loving" family.

So far, this campaign is limited to Saskatchewan, but you can bet that there are anti-choicers elsewhere watching carefully, ready to roll out the same bullshit across the country.

There are already moves in several provinces to defund abortion.

We've also got moves to ban certain methods of abortion. For example, the theme for this year's March for Lies is RU 4 Life, a genius play on RU486, the abortion drug still, unaccountably, NOT approved yet by Health Canada.

Now we've got a nascent "parental rights" schtick. Can mandatory ultrasounds, mandatory waiting periods, etfuckingcetera be far behind?

There is absolutely no stomach for reopening the abortion debate in Canada, as even Master Panderer Stephen Harper realizes. But the fetus fetishists are relentless.

And so are we. We will continue to watch and report.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Money for sex, sex for money.

Time for a little self-disclosure.

Women, has a man ever offered you money to have sex with him?

It happened to me, twice.

About 10 years ago I was heading home after working late.  My Sandy Hill neighbourhood features some dilapidated buildings offering single rooms for rent to students and other transients.  There's also city-sponsored lodgings and transition housing.  Two men schlepping a 24 walked past me, one of them trying to engage me in conversation, for the purpose of checking out whether I'd like to "party" with them.  When I expressed my lack of interest in them or their plans, the other man offered me money as an incentive.

I walked into the lobby of an apartment building and waited 30 minutes before I felt it was safe to go to my own house where I lived alone since my daughter had graduated.

When I was young and silly, I crashed a private party with a friend of mine. It was the 80s; the theme was Movie Stars and Hookers. The two of us - decked out in tatty Rocky Horror Show duds - dropped into a Victorian era townhouse in Ottawa, checked out the activities and left after an hour.  Yes, there was "free" food, booze and blow - but as I suspected, those came with an invisible price tag.

I had heard about the party from an acquaintance at work, which is probably how The Lobbyist found me.  Out of the blue, I got an invitation, via the colleague, to have lunch with a man who had co-hosted the event.  Intrigued, I accepted and thus caught a glimpse of a most unsavoury side of politics.

He offered employment; attached to the impressive salary were ambiguous tasks and responsibilities that could be described as networking and maintaining favourable private relations with Important Men.

I declined.

Now, radical feminists and abolitionists believe that all "good" women should be offended by men who offer payment for sex.  I wasn't offended, I simply didn't want to engage in that kind of work.  Nor do I wish to be employed as a registered nurse, a zoo-keeper, a short-order cook or an early childhood educator although I have benevolently taken on some of the chores involved in the work these professionals do, as part of my commitment and willingness to care for those I love.

Was I concerned for my personal safety?  Of course.  In the first case, I didn't want those two men to know where I lived.  As for the second offer ... Sex work is work.  Like being a professional athlete, there are physical risks involved.  

In the 80s, the feminist therapist Dr Helen Kaplan, "a pioneer in the field of sex therapy and founder of the country's first clinic for sexual disorders established at a medical school", advanced a savvy comparative analysis of the working conditions of prostitutes and professional athletes.  When religious moralizing and weepy calls to rescue victimized fallen women are removed from the equation, professional sex-work and sports-playing are remarkably similar.

Truthfully, there are disgusting men that most women would never fuck for love or money but are compelled and coerced to do so by religious, political or social reasons.  Fear of economic reprisals as well as the threat of emotional and physical abuse are also factors.  

These "clients" are called husbands.  I hasten to add, those particular husbands who feel entitled, by virtue of marriage, to use their wives as flesh-holes.

And, à propos de rien, are Toronto taxpayers footing the bill for Rob Ford's trip to attend the Academy Awards?  Since the Mascot Mayor won't be "eating at home", will his sponsor Jimmy Kimmel pick up the tab for Rob and his entourage's entertainment suite in Hollywood?

Also, read this and this about the Harper government's attempts to re-criminalize prostitution.