Wednesday 27 August 2014

No Compromise MacKay

Press Progress published this photo today.

Yes, indeed, friends of Peace, Order, and Good Government, that is Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General pandering his foul ass off.

It apparently comes from a tweet by Ericka Clarke, who identifies herself as "NFA Field Officer."

That would be the National Firearms Association.

As Clarke points out, the corrupted Canadian maple leaf symbol is captioned "No Compromise."

Let's have a closer look at it from NFA's swag page. These are pins on offer.

(Isn't that sweet? They offer a girly-pink version.)

Now, I don't know anything about guns, but that doesn't look like a varmint-scaring or freezer-filling type weapon to me.

Moreover, the phrase itself is lifted from the org's bigger and scarier USian cousin, the mega-lobby National Rifle Association.

Sadly, cosmic synchronicity strikes.

The top news story today is about a 9-year-old killing her instructor with an Uzi at a place called "Bullets and Burgers." (You can't make this shit up.)

Also, from the Cosmic Whup-Ass Department, there's another story on the latest CONservative fearmongering fundraising flyer, touting "traditional family values."

Under a section entitled "I stand with the Conservative Party on the following issues," the members are asked to check off those that apply. "Respecting traditional family values," is one of the options, along with "safe and sensible firearms policies" and "tough-on-crime approach."

If only the CON Brain [sic] Trust could have seen into the future, I'm sure another option would have been "respecting the rights of young children to play with heavy assault weapons while their parents had a burger and a brew".

As I asked on Twitter: Has any other Attorney General of a supposedly civilized nation ever panderingly posed with butchered national logo on his chest with a bunch of gunnnutz?

I'm pretty sure no other Canadian Attorney General has.

But then no other Canadian Attorney General has posed with a police department and a tank before either.

That's New Glascow, Nova Scotia, population in 2011 a tad over 9,000.

So, fellow and sister Canadians, is Canada unrecognizable yet?

UPDATE: Huffington Post: MacKay was duped into posing in offensive NFA t-shirt.

While that's really not hard to believe, Stephen Lautens opines:

Added: Duped is the absolutely most correct word for Petey.

MacKay has quite the history of blaming others for his boo-boos, doesn't he?

UPDATED: Challenged to make photoshop good on his Victoria's Secret idea, Stephen pops this out instead. (Some are very relieved.)


EVEN MORE: Lautens is on a roll. Check out #MacKayTees on Twitter. Fun!

UPDATE (August 28/14) About that "duped" angle.

Dammit, double dammit. Ericka Clarke insulted me on twitter four times, telling me that the other guy in the photo whom I'd called the other doofus is a vet who'd "sacrificed life and limb". She told me to "keep it classy." Just now I was trying to embed one of those tweets here and discovered that SHE'D DELETED THEM ALL AND LIKE AN IDIOT I DIDN'T TAKE SCREEN SHOTS.


The cowardice of these people knows no bounds.

MEA CULPA: I was wrong.

She didn't delete.

UPDATE: From harebell in the comments. This is priceless. The doofus is a liar and Ericka is a shameless schemer.

LAST (I promise) UPDATE: The Star ran a story on #MacKayTees with lots of Stephen Lautens's photoshopped creations but failed to credit him despite his name running up the side and the fact that the Lautens family has a long and current relationship with the paper. At his own blog, Stephen has collected the whole set for our enjoyment. Thanks, Stephen.

Leveraging Laureen: Part 2

So, how's that "leveraging Laureen" strategy going for the heartless, soulless CONservative government of Canada?

Judging from this piece from APTN (video), not well.

Herr Harper made his annual pilgrimage to the North, taking the First Cat Lady with him, and while he declined to answer any questions atall atall, Laureen deigned to answer a question about hungry children in the North with a word salad on corporate wonderfulness.

Really, watch the video at the APTN link, and more importantly, listen to the tone of it.

Wouldn't it be grand if other media outlets turned a similar critical eye on the hypocrisy of the Harper regime?

I know, I know. Too much to hope for. . .

h/t Jennifer McMackon who said: "Let them eat hockey equipment."

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Yo! Nanny Staters: Fuck Off

I am a smoker. Over the years, I've been vilified, demonized, ostracized, pitied, hectored, shunned, and shamed.

OK. Sure. I'm an addict. All addicts deserve this treatment, I guess.

But what I -- and most other addicts I'd wager -- most object to is being treated like idiots.

We know.

We know smoking is bad.

It's expensive. It stinks. It burns holes in our clothes. It stains our teeth.

It makes us sick and if it doesn't kill us, will probably contribute to our deaths or long-term ill-health.

It may harm people around us, hence self-ostracization.

We know all that.

But we are addicted to nicotine.

We try to quit. Alternate nicotine delivery systems -- patches, gum -- have deficiencies of two main types.

1. They are not like smoking: no warmth, no fiddle-factor, no-"I'm having a break"-factor.

2. The nicotine dose is not adjustable to the user's mood and need.

The fiddle-factor is surmountable. The dosage problem is not so easy.

If I light a cigarette and decide I don't really want one now, I put it out.

If I put a patch on and immediately want to puke (which is what patches do to me), I rip it off.

If I light a cigarette and get involved in reading something and forget about the cigarette, it burns away.

If I chomp down on a piece of nicotine gum, get involved in reading something, forget about the gum and chomp down a few more times absent-mindedly, I want to puke (see above).

Enter e-cigs. Dosage is variable. With added fiddle-factor fun.

They're not perfect, but they are definitely a huge advance.

But guess who doesn't like e-cigs?

Big Pharma who wants to sell us patches and gum -- outrageously over-priced patches and gum.

And Big Tobacco who doesn't want us to quit smoking.

And Nanny Staters. Who, according to Sweetie, have an addiction problem of their own. They are addicted to telling others what to do.


I don't watch much telly any more. But I remember ads with people smugly patting their upper arms: "I've got the patch." Did people go insane over that "optic"?

Oh but wait. Maybe patting the upper arm sends the "right message" whereas Nanny Staters worry about the "wrong message."

You mean like this?

From the same source, a succinct summary of the issue.

No matter how you feel about the product or the industry, electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco and lack virtually all of harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. THEY SHOULD NOT BE CLASSIFIED AS SUCH or be limited by the same harsh restrictions. So far, no adverse health effects have been associated with electronic cigarettes, yet the alcohol industry is responsible for at least 80,000 deaths each year and the media seems unconcerned about their marketing techniques. Most people acknowledge that kids should not have access to these devices, but comparing electronic cigarette companies to the tobacco industry of the past is not only unfair – it’s inaccurate. Electronic cigarettes help smokers quit and expose them to significantly less health risks. For now, consumers have a wide array of choices and full access to these products, but if the government, pharmaceutical and big tobacco companies have their way, that may be a thing of the past.

My succinct summary: Fuck right off, Nanny Staters.

ADDED: from Anonymous in the comments: UN doing Big Pharma's bidding. Again.

Study of second-hand effects of vapours. No apparent risk.

Added: deBeauxOs' response as a non-smoker:

No reply from Dr Goldman yet.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Toronto the Good

Well, this is some shitty mayoral campaign we've got going here in Toronto.

Rob Fucking Ford is all lies all the time. David Sockacki has ideas and position papers but is dull as dishwater. And the other supposedly front-runners are depressingly namby-pamby.

For a great and recent example, read Matt Elliott on what the candidates have to say about finances and inflation.

Even worse, all (except Soknacki and Ari Goldkind) are running on the current understanding and practice of populism.

The biggest disappointment is Olivia Chow. I endorsed her back on March 13.

I still like her and think she'd be a good mayor, but her campaign is driving me -- and all the progressives I know -- nuts.

Yesterday, a tweeter named Karen Geier grabbed my attention and that of a bunch of others with her criticisms of Chow's campaign.

Here's the first tweet that arrested me.

She continued to point out the many deficiencies in the campaign, including this one.

She, like many of us, really doesn't want to vote for another middle-/upper-classs white male, but Olivia is not making it easy for us.

Geier put her tweets together in a Storify titled Dear Olivia Chow. It's had more than 6500 views since yesterday, and going by Geier's (do follow her by the way) tweets today, she's taking some crap for it.

Toronto under the Fucking Fords has lost a ton of ground. Toronto used to be a leader in things like transit, inclusiveness, and the environment.

So many of us are longing not just to get rid of the bloated, lying, criminal fool we have as mayor but to return to Toronto the Good.

Toronto the Good
• on transit and transportation in general
• on affordable and innovative housing
• on parks and public spaces
• on libraries and community centres and programmes
• on the environment
• on the arts and creativity.

And on prudence and planning and the acceptance of the really rather simple idea that THINGS COST MONEY.

Olivia could be a leader if she'd set her own narrative, be her own person, and boot all the delusional advisors who are telling her to play the Populist Game.

Olivia would have my vote if she could pull it off.

There's still time for her to do it.

But not much.

My vote, like Geier's, is up for grabs.

UPDATE (August 20/14): Today's Kinsella idiocy. Note non-apology and Chow camp's attempt to distance themselves. Kinsella is "just" a volunteer. Yeah, right. A volunteer whose company has been hired to do media work.

Thursday 14 August 2014

Hate Gets Smoked by #Prolove

Since they were in the general nabe (PEI), the Ontario-based fetus-fetishist gang "Show the Faked-Up Gory Fetus Pr0n Pix" thought they'd mosey over to Halifax to spread some hate and disgust.

But about a hundred young Haligonians were ready for them.

Media coverage.

Blogger coverage with an update.

UPDATE: The repulsive image brigade moved on to Fredericton this afternoon, almost certainly oblivious to the damage they’ve done their cause — and to how much the charming response of young Halifax feminists multiplied that damage.

Protest groups of all kinds could learn a lot from this exchange: The purveyors of fear got smoked.

Regular readers of DJ! know that our taste here runs to mockery and insults, but this is lovely and seemingly very effective.

May such cleverness and inclusiveness greet the haters wherever they turn up.

Check out the hashtag #prolove for more pictures and fun.

ADDED: More media with video of organizer Allison Sparling.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Buying Friends, Corporate Canada Style

Enbridge is quite the good corporate citizen, isn't it?

Donating giant cheques to smallish towns and townships in its "Community Safety Program."

Well, to be specific to police, fire, and EMS departments.

And even more specifically, to OPP divisions that are or will be tasked with keeping pipeline protesters in line.


I mean, it's not like they'll be asked to knock any heads or clean up any messes, right?

Image sources:

Jan. 23/12

Jan. 31/13

Aug. 23/12

Feb. 24/12

Dec. 21/12

Added by deBeauxOs: Alexander Knight of Poor Man's Media has the pdf with maps of the counties traversed by Enbridge's Line 9.  He also writes extensively about fracking and the extraction of non-renewable fuel sources - oil and gas.  His website is full of helpful resources, articles, etc.

He's probably compiling a dossier of the numerous gifts made by Enbridge to police forces in the locations where local residents might vigorously object to, and demonstrate against a potential environmental disaster waiting to happen in their community.  It doesn't appear that the cheques so far are substantial enough to cover the costs of militarized weaponry that police forces have deployed in Ferguson, Missouri for example but any information that might be useful to his investigative reporting should be directed to him.

ADDED (August 13/14) by fh: I should have included this info from Enbridge's website. The company's rationale (bold mine):
Small communities all across Canada and the U.S. rely on volunteer fire departments, minimally staffed police services, and other cash-strapped first responders to keep them safe. Money is perennially tight in rural municipalities with a small tax base, and equipment that could enhance the capabilities of the first responders is a luxury most of these communities can’t afford. Unfortunately, budgetary decisions such as these are made to the detriment of the communities, and add extra burdens and risks for first responders.

Recognizing that, Enbridge in 2002 launched its Safe Community program for towns along the company’s project corridor rights-of-way.

Go to the link for details.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Fetus Tunnel Vision and Lying for Baybeez

Just because it's so rare to see evidence of intelligence or self-awareness among fetus fetishists, I offer these two links.

Here's an anti-choice "trainer"(whatever that is) who admits that *gasp* not everything is about abortion.

One of my colleagues at Students for Life of America recently asked me for an example of pro-lifers doing things that appear weird to our society. The first thing that came to mind was something that my brother Timothy and I call FTV: “Fetus Tunnel Vision.”

fetus tunnel vision
1. the inability to see and/or acknowledge human rights injustices without equating or comparing them to abortion.
He then gives some good reasons to avoid this idiocy.

Not that the majority of them will see the sense in that advice.

Here's a more recent one (July this year) about a fetus fetishist who actually acknowledges *gasp* science and admits that anti-choicers are lying.

The state legislative director of one of the nation’s leading anti-choice organizations recently contradicted a key refrain of the anti-choice movement when she admitted that abortion is safer than many common medical procedures, including delivery.

During a political and legislative strategy session at the National Right to Life Committee’s annual convention held last weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, Mary Spaulding Balch said current data shows that abortions—including riskier second-trimester abortions—carry fewer risks of death than vaginal births, cesarean sections, and plastic surgery procedures, such as facelifts and liposuction.

In making this point, Balch criticized the legislative strategy used by other anti-choice groups to pass bans on abortion after 20 weeks by claiming the procedure is dangerous to women. The proper approach, she said, is to base the argument around the unborn.
It’s no secret that the National Right to Life Committee has always framed anti-choice arguments around saving the unborn, while other advocacy groups in the movement have opted to focus on the woman’s physical and mental health as part of their legal and political strategy. But it is rare for anti-choice leaders to publicly admit that abortion is actually safer than pregnancy or other common medical procedures.

Sadly, it does not mean that the forced birth gang has had a "come to Darwin" moment. But rather, this is just another salvo in the warfare between absolutists (the egg meets sperm = sacred life gang) vs the incrementalists (the lie and cheat and throw up as many barriers as possible to women seeking bodily autonomy gang).

The ultimate goal of both sides is the same -- to outlaw abortion -- but I plan to use that link whenever the "abortion hurts women" meme comes up.

They're lying and they know it and don't give a shit.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Canadian Ambassador: "Abortion = Terrorism"

What kind of maroon would compare the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to a common medical procedure?

The next Canadian ambassador to the Vatican Taliban, that's who.

Mr. [Dennis] Savoie, once a senior executive at New Brunswick Power and a former top official with the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization, was tapped Friday to represent Canada to the Holy See, the government of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican City.
As if Canada's international reputation needed any further mockery criticism, now we've got one of these jackasses representing us.

Not only does he have zero diplomatic experience, he's a rabid fetus fetishist.
A December 2009 post on a “Quebec Life Coalition” website discusses a pro-life speech where he talks about the need to defend this position in a “Quebec culture that seems increasingly bent on killing the vulnerable” by abortion.

“Mr. Savoie started his speech by comparing the 3,000 deaths from 9/11 to the over 3,000 daily deaths that result from abortion,” the website says.

“‘Why,’ he wondered out loud ‘were we so stunned and bewildered by the 3,000 deaths on 9-11 when we’re so silent about the 3,000-plus deaths that occur each day in North America from abortion?’,” Mr. Savoie is reported to have said.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said his party feels the new envoy is unfit to represent Canada.

“Comparing reproductive rights to 9/11 terror attacks is not the kind of judgment we expect in a Canadian diplomat. Appointments like this will further undermine Canada’s reputation on the international stage,” Mr. Dewar said.
A man who considers the exercise of human rights (by slutty women) equivalent to terrorism? Sure, why the fuck not?

It's just another step in furthering the religious take-over of the Harper Government.

A March news release by the American Knights of Columbus reports on 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 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. Kenney, too, voted in favor of Motion 312. Last June, on behalf of the Canadian government, Kenny awarded Deputy Supreme Knight Dennis A. Savoie with a commemorative medal for his charitable work and contribution “to the revitalization of the new voices of lay Catholics” expressing “the values of dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life.”

And don't forget another promient a feather-hatted fetus fetishist. Stephen Woodworth.

ADDED: Just saw this. So succinct.

MORE: Andrew Bennett, Mr *Religious Freedoms* Ambassador was also a K o' C fella. May still be, for all we know though his Ko-Conspirators, all good Catholic family men and proud patriarchs found it odd that a bachelor chose to join. Read that in his parish newsletter.

Friday 1 August 2014

Buy *prolife* propaganda or a doctor gets shot. In the head.

That is congruent with the violent ideology and vicious intolerance of organizations that have incited violence against healthcare professionals, as DJ! pointed out here.

But Holy Obfuscation Batman!
Jack Fonseca [...] a Campaign Life project manager and the author of the blog post in question, decided to wade into the comments section on his blog Tuesday afternoon to clear up any lingering confusion about the photo of a handgun pointed at a doctor.
His explanation? That's not a handgun pointed at the doctor; it's a proverbial handgun:
"In the graphic you referenced, the proverbial gun is clearly being held by the College of Physicians. The supporting graphic is a clear condemnation of the brute force that the CPSO is threatening to use against doctors. If a historical scholar were to publish an article in which he condemns the NAZI extermination of Jews, and includes in the article a photo of a mass grave filled with murdered Jews, it would be ludicrous to argue that he supports the killing of Jews. Clearly he's reinforcing the message that the Nazi actions were evil. Likewise, our blog post reinforces the message that the brute force being threatened by the CPSO against physicians (in the form of a policy of coercion) is evil."
This is a typical anti-choice sophism: If a credible academic writes a scholarly article, condemns the Shoah and uses verifiable photographs as documentation, then Campaign Life can claim with a disingenuous graphic that the CPSO might do the *same evil*.

(Never mind the decades of anti-abortion terrorism: clinics bombed, doctors and staff murdered or injured, women criminally harassed.) 

Who is this Jack Fonseca?  DJ! has posted articles about his tactics, here and here.

Fonseca's job is to organize rallies and spout the usual propaganda.  (This peer-reviewed article provides actual facts and scientific research about the cost of terminating a pregnancy.)

Besides being paid to campaign against women's reproductive rights, Fonseca has also mobilized the usual bigots against same-sex marriage, lobbied against a fundraising event in his home town because ... fundamental Catholicism, AND gotten quite testerical about Ontario's "Accepting Schools Act".

But enough about Fonseca the dissembler.  Juxtapose his slimy rhetoric with the actions of a real hero, Doctor Willie Parker.
Inspired by Gandhi's idea that the Gospel should appear to a hungry man in the form of bread, he went to work in a food pantry. But gradually, the steady stream of women with reproductive issues in his practice focused his mind. He thought about his mother and sisters and the grandmother who died in childbirth and began to read widely in the literature of civil rights and feminism. Eventually he came across the concept of "reproductive justice," developed by black feminists who argued that the best way to raise women out of poverty is to give them control of their reproductive decisions. Finally, he had his "come to Jesus" moment and the bell rang. This would be his civil-rights struggle. He would serve women in their darkest moment of need. "The protesters say they're opposed to abortion because they're Christian," Parker says. "It's hard for them to accept that I do abortions because I'm a Christian." He gave up obstetrics to become a full-time abortionist on the day, five years ago, that George Tiller was murdered in church.

[...]he grew up a few hours away in Birmingham, the second youngest son of a single mother who raised six children on food stamps and welfare, so poor that he taught himself to read by a kerosene lamp and went to the bathroom in an outhouse; that he was born again in his teenage years and did a stint as a boy preacher in Baptist churches; that he became the first black student-body president of a mostly white high school, went on to Harvard and a distinguished career as a college professor and obstetrician who delivered thousands of babies and refused to do abortions. They certainly don't know about the "come to Jesus" moment, as he pointedly describes it, when he decided to give up his fancy career to become an abortion provider. Or that, at fifty-one, having resigned a prestigious job as medical director of Planned Parenthood, he's preparing to move back south and take over a circuit roughly similar—for safety reasons, he won't be more specific—to the one traveled by Dr. David Gunn before an antiabortion fanatic assassinated him in 1993. Or that his name and home address have been published by an antiabortion Web site with the unmistakable intent of terrorizing doctors like him. Or that he receives threats that say, "You've been warned." Or that he refuses to wear a bulletproof vest, because he doesn't want to live in fear—"if I'm that anxious, they've already taken my life"[...]

He remembers what it's like to be terrorized. That fueled the search for social justice that led him, eventually, to theologians like Paul Tillich, Dr. King, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor who wrestled with "Thou shalt not kill" before joining a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. "He said the kind of Christianity that does not radicalize you with regard to human suffering is inauthentic—cheap and easy grace."
His "come to Jesus" moment occurred in Hawaii. He was teaching at the university when a fundamentalist administrator began trying to ban abortions in the school clinic, throwing students with an unwanted pregnancy into a panic. One day, he was listening to a sermon by Dr. King on the theme of what made the Good Samaritan good. A member of his own community passed the injured traveler by, King said, because they asked, "What would happen to me if I stopped to help this guy?" The Good Samaritan was good because he reversed the question: "What would happen to this guy if I don't stop to help him?" So Parker looked in his soul and asked himself, "What happens to these women when abortion is not available?"

[Dr Willie Parker] knew the answer.
It's a long, informative article well worth the time spent reading it.