Saturday, 1 August 2015

Democracy Needs YOU!

Watch this trailer (3 minutes of your life).





Voting rights are the essential fuel of democracy. If we can't trust that our electoral system is fair and properly overseen, we're screwed.

This is a non-partisan issue. And should concern everyone who gives a damn about the power of the people to scare this hell out of the elites.

Sensible people from across the political spectrum understand that bad laws and corrupted institutions can and will be exploited by ANY party.

The makers of this documentary have been busting their butts to get this done and distributed in time to inform Canadians what's at stake in the upcoming election.

Here's the blurb from the gofundme site.

Help us get this doc on the road before the election!

In a few weeks Canadians will head back to the polls without any clear assurance the last federal election delivered the results they voted for.

Documentary filmmaker Peter Smoczynski has just completed a 42 day road trip across Canada from Guelph to Whitehorse interviewing and filming recipients of the harassment, live and robo calls which took place in 234 out of 308 ridings in the 2011 federal election.

MPs, journalists, scholars, court challenge litigants, and experts on the Fair Elections Act, voter micro-targetting and professional voter suppression techniques imported from the U.S. also lend their voices and expertise to the film.

When the writ drops, Peter plans to have an abbreviated version of the full length film ready to tour across the country from church basements and libraries to movie houses.

This is where you come in.

The film is running on fumes here. 

We urgently need your help with post-production and editing expenses to get this doc out into the public eye before the upcoming election.

Please check back for details of our progress and information on future tour dates. 

Producer's overview of the film can be viewed here .

Thank you for your time.

PETER SMOCZYNSKI
The Script & Film Co.
Producer/Director/Writer
Documentary Filmmaker
Peter's profile.

People give dough to the damnedest things. But this project seems not to have the "right" kind of appeal.

Beats the shit out of me why not.

Please consider contributing. And/or pass the info around your networks.

Donate.

At the moment, $855 of the goal of $10,000 has been raised by 16 people in 15 hours.


UPDATE: Sunday, August 2, 8:30 a.m.: $1515 raised.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Anti-Choice Robots

If you haven't seen this, take 2 1/2 minutes and watch.



Press Progress put together 13 Conservative MPs all delivering identical speeches. It's hilarious.

As a reproductive rights blogger, of course I immediately recognized several of them as fetus freaks: Woodworth, Warawa, Anderson, Lizon. Then I looked further and found that 11 of the 13 are rabid zygote zealots. The only exceptions being Robert Sopuck and John Carmichael both of whom voted against Woodworth's Wank which earned them the ire of Campaign Lie.

OK, there are a lot of anti-choice CON MPs, but 11 of 13 of the robots are double-plus-good fetus freaks?

What are the odds?

This is kind of beside the point. I was looking at -- and laughing my guts out at (see below) -- anti-choice reaction to Health Canada's long overdue approval of RU486/mifepristone.

Bottom line: despite having years, decades even, to coordinate their reaction to this inevitable announcement, they do not have their shit together.

Here is the one that cracked me up. Mrozek at Focus on the Family's Astroturf Blog offered some quick thoughts. One such thought: "women will be traumatized by watching this in their toilets." SHRIEEEEK!

Who knew that anti-choice women don't bleed? Or never bleed heavily? Or never look in the toilet? Or deal with pads and tampons discreetly in the dark? Or something?

But traumatizing the poor frail women. OK.

Now over at CTV, they mashed five reports from local affiliates together, all with de rigeur statements from fetus fetishists.

One hand-wringer:
“The bottom line is, you’re not taking the pill to get rid of a cold or a stuffy nose,” said Christina Alaimo of the Campaign Life Coalition. “This is a very serious procedure that’s being done and I think it may psychologically make it easier for women.”

Easier on the sluts. Well, we don't want that.

Another, this one from CON MP David Anderson who issued a press release:
"It is a dangerous combination of drugs that destroys a woman's tissues in the womb in order to kill her pre-born child," David Anderson, the member for Cypress Hills-Grasslands, said in a release.

This is a head-scratcher because antis always insist that the "pre-born" thingy is a totally separate and nearly-ready-for-kindergarten entity. Absolutely nothing to do with the woman's "tissues" or, hevvin forbid, her body.

On Twitter, despite being stone-cold sober, I got into an exchange with creepy Dominionist Mike Schouten of We Need a Law Like a Hole in the Head.

I offered facts and links. Got back idiotic non-sequiturs. Then I thought to ask the Big Question.



And that's when he went silent.

Because here's the thing. Antis cannot go public with why they have a particular bug up their asses about RU486 because that bug is drenched in pure misogyny. They hate hate hate the fact that women now have another venue in which to express their autonomy, control, and privacy.

Oddly, the only one to tell the truth is SUZY ALLCAPS.

http://www.bigbluewave.ca/2014/10/will-collapse-of-planned-parenthood.html

The problem with this [medical abortion] model, from the pro-life perspective, is that it's a little harder to protest the GP who does abortions, when he treats the community's ear infections, sore throats, STD's and so on.

If you make life hard on this person, it won't just be abortion clients who'll be unhappy. It will be all the patients this doctor sees.

But the CON robot MPs did so splendidly in the PMO-scripted videos. Maybe Canadian fetus freaks need some Kids in Short Pants to write for them.

Or someone like Herr Harper to put the fear of Lucifer in them.

Because they are screwing this up. Royally.



















RU486: Game. Set. Match.

Further to the long overdue approval by Health Canada of RU486 or mifepristone, the 'gold standard' of medical abortion: an explanation and a clarification. (And some gloating.)

Medical -- non-surgical -- abortion is not new to Canada. But the protocol doctors have been forced to follow up to now is outmoded, unreliable, and subject to screw-ups.

Here, an expert explains:
"We're absolutely thrilled," Jill Arkles, from the Sexual Health Centre in Saskatoon, told CBC News Thursday.

According to Arkles, some doctors in the province were already providing an alternative to surgical abortion, using a combination of an injection and medication to induce a miscarriage.

She called RU-486 a welcome advancement. The injection-and-tablet method can take up to five weeks to complete, and involve up to five medical appointments, while RU-486 is two pills taken a day or two apart.

"It's more cost-effective than other current medications that we're using, as well it requires less time overall," she said.
So, quicker, easier, more cost-effective. Not to mention less time and stress for patients.

Thus: gold standard.

The news story I based my blogpost yesterday was less than clear on how widely available the new protocol will be.
[Vicki] Saporta [president and CEO of National Abortion Federation] said initially the drug will probably only be available through health-care professionals who already provide abortion services.
It seems that Saporta's judgement was not based on any Health Canada requirement, but on training issues and individual doctors' inclinations.

Here's part of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada's statement.
The SOGC is working with the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), using the expertise of our members to develop clinical practice guidelines on the use of mifegymiso [Canadian brand name] and to provide educational opportunities to physicians to ensure that they are well-prepared to counsel and care for women requesting medical abortion.

More on the inclinations of doctors:

Canadian doctors who were wary of the makeshift cocktail [injection and tablets] will likely be more willing to prescribe an abortion drug that’s approved by Health Canada for that purpose, said Jennifer Blake, the CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. She expects the society to provide formal training around the drug and its side effects to doctors who want to offer it, and said family doctors and obstetricians will both be able to qualify. Doctors’ approaches to abortion “depends on the community,” Dr. Blake said.

“I think if you look at physicians in general as coming from the fabric of Canadians society, Canadian society on the whole feels this is a decision that is best made by a woman herself, and I would expect that to be the same among health-care providers.”
We'll have to wait and see how many doctors -- and as critically, where they are located -- will decide to offer this solution.

Now for the gloating. CBC notes that as we head into a protracted election campaign, this might not be the best timing for CONservatives wanting to placate the fetus freaks among their base.

Indeed, the initial reaction among cabinet ministers was to run like hell.
[Health Minister Rona] Ambrose told reporters in St. Albert, Alta., that the decision did not rest with her.

“It’s out of my hands and the decision is final,” she said.

“Any of those details you would have to speak to the officials at Health Canada and the scientists that actually manage the regulatory approval process. I’m not involved in it.”

Ambrose cancelled two events scheduled for Thursday afternoon and Friday in Edmonton and area. No reason was given.
Except for one CON MP (so far), David Anderson, who issued a foot-stomper of a press release demanding Ambrose roll back the clock to the 1950s.

To sum up, yes, medical abortion has been available in Canada but not very widely offered or actually undertaken, precisely because it was arduous for all involved.

The fetus freaks are particularly pissed over RU486, precisely because it is easier and more effective.

And they have good reason to be pissed. As SUZY ALLCAPS herself admits.

http://www.bigbluewave.ca/2014/10/will-collapse-of-planned-parenthood.html

The problem with this [medical abortion] model, from the pro-life perspective, is that it's a little harder to protest the GP who does abortions, when he treats the community's ear infections, sore throats, STD's and so on.

If you make life hard on this person, it won't just be abortion clients who'll be unhappy. It will be all the patients this doctor sees.
When GPs, nurse practitioners, midwives, and hopefully, eventually pharmacists are able and willing to help end an early pregnancy, it's not just a game-changer. It's a game-ender.

Game. Set. And soon, the whole fucking shooting match.


ADDED: Health Canada Regulatory Decision Summary.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

FINALLY

Nearly 30 years after much of the world's women got access to the "gold standard" of medical abortion, Health Canada has finally approved RU486 for Canadian women. (Remarkably, the news story does not "balance" the news by getting SHRIEKY quotes from fetus fetishists.)

This is great, if long overdue, news for safety, privacy, cost, and convenience.

Big Fetus® hates it, of course. Their long campaign, verging on the farcical at times (see Godwin's law), against it always was futile.

SUZY ALL-CAPS repeats the usual lies about it: http://www.bigbluewave.ca/2015/07/ru-486-approved-in-canada.html

So does We Need a Law Like a Hole in the Head.

And here's LieShite rabbiting on about "human pesticide."

Amusingly, to accompany their extremely dodgy claim that medical abortion is "reversible," The Hole in the Head gang is encouraging fetus freaks to write to MPs to reverse Health Canada's decision. Good luck with that.

While they may have hopes of the misogynist Harper government, it seems not even proponents of 1950s morality could withstand the overwhelming evidence that mifepristone is safe and effective.

Rona Ambrose was tight-lipped about it.
Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose had little to say Wednesday night about her department's decision.

"Drug approval decisions are arms-length decisions made by Health Canada officials based on analysis by Health Canada scientists," a spokesperson for Ambrose said in an email.
Shorter: Don't blame me, fetus freaks.

And while RU486 represents an advance in abortion care, one of its main advantages, it seems, will not be implemented for a while yet.

It was expected that its approval would greatly improve access for women in rural and remote areas by allowing GPs and other healthcare professionals to dispense it.

But no. Or not yet. (My emphasis.)


Reproductive medicine experts have called the drug the best known option for abortion and have been advocating for its approval in Canada.

While some countries allow the drug to be dispensed by pharmacists, Health Canada has opted not to go that route.
[Vicki] Saporta [president and CEO of National Abortion Federation] said initially the drug will probably only be available through health-care professionals who already provide abortion services. But she said it's hoped that over time more doctors will agree to prescribe the drug — especially those serving remote communities or working in areas where women have to travel long distances to see a doctor who will perform an abortion.

"Mifepristone holds the promise of improving access to abortion care for women in more rural communities where there isn't a current abortion provider," she said.

Saporta said it is likely the drug will only become available in Canada in early 2016.

So, Canada, long a world leader in sensible abortion policy, has finally joined the 21st century in offering a full range of options to patients.

DJ! has been writing about medical abortion in general and RI486/mifepristone in particular for fucking years. Some past blogposts.

ADDED: CBC does an explainer.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Enough is enough

This happened, certainly not for the first time on Porter Airlines:
Christine Flynn, 31, said she was buckled in and waiting for Porter Airlines Flight 121 from Newark, N.J. to Toronto to take off early on Monday morning when an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man approached.

"He came down the aisle, he didn't actually look at me … or make eye contact. He turned to the gentleman across the aisle and said, 'Change.'"

Flynn said she was confused at first, wondering why the man was speaking to the other passenger and gesturing toward her. The man didn't speak to her directly, but Flynn said it's clear to her that he didn't want to sit next to her because she's a woman.

Flynn said she might have been willing to accommodate the man had he spoken to her directly and politely asked her to switch seats. She admits language may have been a factor — saying his English "wasn't terrific" — but said his refusal to even make eye contact was offensive.

"He could have made a plan, he could have put in a request," Flynn said in an interview Wednesday on CBC Radio's Metro Morning. "When someone doesn't look at you, and when someone doesn't acknowledge you as person because of your gender, you're a lot less willing to be accommodating.

"Leaving it to the last minute and expecting me to move is appalling. He's expecting me to fall in to that archetypical feminine role and acquiesce."
Other airlines, too.

My response would have been:


Oh yeah.  We see you Patriarchy.  The voluntary members of your ideological clan - the arrogant, the hateful, the entitled, the gynophobic - assume their beliefs are universal and immutable.

My solution:


Another solution: Make the dudes wear blindfolds.  If their eyes offend them by allowing them to *see* women, they can pluck them out.

Patriarchy is not limited to religious institutions; the crusty members of the *New Atheist™old boys club* easily roll within the ruts of obsolescent yet familiar dogma.

I would support a movement to dump ALL THESE DUDES on the next available uninhabited planet, with their toys, their issues, their fetishes, their infuriation, their toxic narcissism.

It's a phenomenon. Wherever male (or one man's) privilege or opinion is challenged, it produces a torrent of consummate women-haters cranking up the volume, using extreme sexualized and/or murderous terms, engaging in habitual 'masculine' trolling tactics directed at the target of their _rage du jour_.

It all eventually degrades into an orgy of vile verbal violence, with these jerks behaving exactly like chimps competing to establish who's the most alpha of them all, who is the most MASSIVELY endowed.

They just form a panel with Barbara Kay and Christie Blatchford judging who has the biggest metaphorical dick.  Or who is the best at compensating mightily

for a lack thereof.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Police charge alleged cupcake enforcer with assault.




Ottawa police have laid additional charges against a 75-year-old woman who is accused of approaching men and forcing them to eat cupcakes.

Gwen Landbrauchen was initially charged after police investigated several complaints about a woman approaching men during daytime hours in Orleans.

Police said that on July 8 and 9, a woman had approached three different men in incidents around the transit station at Place d'Orleans.

Police said that the woman would offer a cupcake from a Rubbermaid™ container she carried. If the victim refused, she would put the tasty treat against the man's face and threaten to make him eat it for his own good. 

Sometimes she would shout "Lebensmittel!" at them.  If the woman was confronted about her actions by the men she was attempting to feed, she would speak in a foreign language.

According to police, new victims have come forward, prompting additional charges.

Landbrauchen is facing four counts of assault. She appeared briefly in court by video Monday to face new charges.

One of the victims interviewed on condition of anonymity said that, had the cupcake enforcer been a MILF like Catherine Deneuve in a black leather jumpsuit yelling at him in French, he thinks he might have enjoyed the experience.

Since the alleged assailant is a wizened, cranky old lady muttering in German, he didn't like it so much. He added: "I think that it was a just a crummy Loblaws bran muffin with stale icing from a can."

Another victim, also requesting anonymity, said that his colleagues at work taunted him about filing a complaint.

"They kept mocking me, asking why I didn't punch her in the face or shove the cupcake down her throat. I don't engage in violence unless my life is threatened.  But I had to report her to the police. Even if she's someone's granny who's suffering from dementia.  She can't be allowed to force people to eat cupcakes. What if somebody choked on it and died?"


- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *

This is the news item that inspired the above spoof.  Think about the misogynist messages that media reinforce when they trivialize unwanted physical or sexual actions directed at women. 

Update: "Kissing bandit" was originally used by The Citizen, that acknowledged it was an inappropriate choice of terms, and changed it online.




If you think that media narratives using half-truths and prejudices don't create and cement false perceptions, read this powerful deconstruction of the NYT coverage of the infamous Kitty Genovese femicide.

Monday, 27 July 2015

"No Toronto Olympics" Say 10 People on Twitter

They did it. Ten people on Twitter got the Boston 2024 Olympic bid pulled.

Olympic officials hate an argy-bargy and the good people of Boston put up a heckuva rumpus.

So, they took their ball and went elsewhere. Probably Los Angeles.

Toronto, chuffed from pulling off a second-rank sporting event -- for which the costs and overruns will not be revealed for months -- at which Canadians won the second-most medals after the US's less-than-star athletes, is again contemplating a bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

To which we say, NO FUCKING WAY.

A few points to start.

First, it's expensive.
But the Olympics are a much bigger event. This summer, more than 7,000 athletes from 41 delegations travelled to compete in Toronto. That's at least 3,000 athletes and 164 delegations fewer than what London managed during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The city would need to galvanize public support to spend taxpayer dollars this way. The bid process could run the city between $50 million and $60 million, while a successful bid could cost up to $6.9 billion, according to a 2014 feasibility report.

"They're always looking to open up new markets for the games," says Janice Forsyth, former director of Western University's International Centre for Olympic Studies. That could explain why many recent host cities have never staged the Olympics before.
Got that? It costs at least $50 million to buy a lottery ticket to this bunfest and if we win, we get to spend up to $7 BILLION more.

Second, the cost overruns. Since 1976, cost overruns have averaged more than 200%.

This is largely a factor of estimated costs being pulled out of various assholes to begin with.

Next, Toronto already said no thanks. At that committee meeting in January 2014, not one person showed up to support a bid.

Not. One. Person.

What's changed?

Mainly the mayor, who wants the Games, but who is playing it cozy so far saying people would have to be "reasonably interested" for Toronto to bid.

Now this is the really clever bit. If we want to mortgage our city for 30 years, we must act fast. A letter of intent has to go to the IOC by September 15.

Classic huckersism. Buy now! These prices won't last long! Deal of a lifetime!

No.

Let's strangle this notion in its cradle.

I have more to say about the brilliant, hard-working people of Boston, but their advice is: get to the councillors.

Here are their Twitter accounts.

@cllrainslie

@JustinDiCiano

@PamMcConnell28

@MariaAugimeri

@FDiGiorgio12

@mary_margaret32

@Ward18AnaBailao

@DoucetteWard13

@joemihevc

@CouncillorMB

@JohnFilion23

@DenzilMW

@jon_burnside

@PaulaFletcher30

@ron_moeser

@TorontoRobFord

@shelleyCarroll

@Mark_Grimes

@JamesPasternak

@rcho42

@stephenholyday

@gordperks

@JoshColle

@jimkarygiannis

@PeruzzaTO

@CllrCrawford

@norm

@JayeRobinson

@joe_cressy

@m_layton

@vcrisanti

@CncllrChinLee

@Thompson_37

@Janet_Davis

@kristynwongtam

@JoshMatlow

@Campbell4Ward4

David Shiner, Glenn De Baeremaeker, and Giorgio Mammoliti seem not to have Twitter accounts.

Other contact info here.

On Twitter, use the hashtag #NoTO2024.

Just to forestall any accusations that I'm a Negative Nellie, I want to go on record as in total, ethusiastic support of Matt Elliott's Fakelympics.

Let's get this done.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Funday

Can there ever be too many videos about inter-species frolicking: critters having fun and playing together?



We've seen a lot of crazy stuff but we've never seen anything like this
Posted by The Pet Collective on dimanche 4 janvier 2015



No.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Back to Life, Back from Cambodia?

Canada, a staunchly prochoice country, nonetheless has its equally staunch fetus freaks.

Their cause is hopeless but they keep stomping their little feet and SHRIEEEEKING.

Case in point: the Parental Consent campaign, a co-masturbation between Saskatchewan ProLife and Dominionist ARPA.

They've been told repeatedly that it ain't gonna happen, yet they persist.

One might find this pathetic or even quixotically amusing.

Except.

The campaign continues to disseminate harmful LIES.

Yesterday, it tweeted this statement: "Abortion has a profound impact on adolescent girls," accompanied by this graphic.


There it is again: Parental Consent wants pregnant teens to give up their autonomy to provide someone with a baybeeee.

But they're lying in the process, as I pointed out by replying with this link to a study from 2012.
Getting a legal abortion is much safer than giving birth, suggests a new U.S. study published Monday.

Researchers found that women were about 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth to a live baby than to die from complications of an abortion.

Experts say the findings, though not unexpected, contradict some state laws that suggest abortions are high-risk procedures.
Explicitly contrary to what Parental Consent would have teens believe -- staying pregnant is 14 times more lethal than choosing abortion.

But what is that website at the bottom of the graphic? I'd never heard of Back to Life Canada.

It's a website created in November 2012 to promote celebrate a bunch of women who walked from here to there to protest abortion.

A little more digging revealed that our old pal Faytene Variable Last Name, most recently Grasseschi, is a prime mover.

Weird group, weird activities.

The website contains the requisite Risks of Abortion page, on which the usual bogus and nauseatingly often debunked claims are made.

Then there's The Walkers, a group of 25 women, first names only, most with pictures, and, oddly, ethnic identities. For example, Chinese Canadian, Anglo Canadian, Metis Canadian, French Canadian, and Barbadian Canadian are listed, but two women who look black are identified as Anglo Canadian, which may describe their language but huh?

(Faytene herself does not appear.)

And they have a Big Field Trip! A project called Back to Life Cambodia.
Back to Life Cambodia is a 2-week event that will focus on prayer, prophetic decrees, seminars, and outreaches to establish value for the life within the minds and hearts of the Cambodian people.

The trip was set for May 17-31, 2015, at a cost of only $500 which does not include accommodation, meals, airfare, travel insurance or Cambodian visa but does include .... ?

The page contains a video report from its inaugural 2014 field trip, but contains nothing from 2015.

I looked and found ... more nothing.

Did they not go? Did they get lost? Did the good people of Cambodia tell them to get stuffed and go home?

Inquiring minds. . .