Thursday, 28 August 2014

Clarke does for the Canadian National Firearms Association...

what Levant does for Tar Sands extraction corporations.

We suspect both of them do it for money, as mercenaries and paid lobbyists. Perhaps also out of love for the *cause* they promote.

Each one brings to advocacy endeavours a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience.

Ericka, however, is able to harness some persuasive arguments that Ezra cannot.


My co-blogger fern hill wrote a blogpost which features a photograph of Clarke with the Minister of Justice for the Harper government and Kurtis Gaucher, that Press Progress published

When that photograph went viral, Petey MacKay was asked why he donned the shirt, claimed it was a wounded Canadian veteran (Gaucher) who requested it, yadayadayada...

As fern hill pointed out in her screen caps as well as a very revealing one from PatRiotChick, it was all a RUSE engineered by Clarke.  And MacKay was duped. DUPED!!!




*Mind you, Ericka appears to be as dim as Ezra, and she has yet to master the obstreperous bullying techniques that he has perfected as a StunTV host.

  

But as you can see from the photographs above and this one, and that one; she has different tactics at her command.  No matter that her gallery of photos on her Facebook account (now locked) looked eerily like those posted by Michele McPherson - Bruce Carson's fiancée - when she was a sex worker advertising "the Girl Friend Experience".

Lobbying is a complicated job which requires that supplicants hired by corporate interests or other organizations, meet politicians to secure their collaboration.  Much has been written about the talents female lobbyists must deploy to win the support of powerful men.  While official meetings held in public officials' and government buildings must be recorded as well as any campaign or party contributions, quid pro quo may cover a wide range of mutually beneficial favours.

So, let's assume that Ericka Clarke is employed respectably and honourably in the performance of her duties, and that she is NOT a woman who needs rescuing from a dodgy organization that trafficks her talents to members of the Harper Conservative government.  Let take as a given, just as Kate Heartfield outlined here, that Clarke is NOT “selling her body” or “selling herself” for the purpose of promoting CNFA and its goals. 

No need to involve MP Joy Smith and Cons' prurient concerns and beliefs about the rampant sexual exploitation of women and girls that were spewed during the Justice Committee hearings about C36.  Clarke's interactions with CNFA, its membership and the politicians she meets are seemingly professional, consensual and not coercive.

In fact, her status and working conditions are much better than those imposed upon young women hired by PETA to stage a "protest" aka publicity stunt during the Ottawa Ribfest.  Those employees are the equivalent of female servers in the employment of Hooters.  It is a job requirement that they display their bodies in the uniforms provided by their employer, albeit a less revealing one for restaurant staff.

Sadly though, CNFA does not appear to value Clarke's role as a 'field officer' highly enough to put her name on this very special invitation sent to MacKay and his "fellow" MPs (CPC only?).  Perhaps she'll be present as bullet buffer and spirit-fluffer, unless the association didn't appreciate the frenzied media brouhaha she created.

Ericka Clarke and Ezra Levant.  We may disagree with the goals and ideology of the organizations that pay their salaries.  Both are workers toiling, as many of us choose or are obliged to do, in the bowels of capitalist enterprises.  We may mock their words, expose their lies, deconstruct their odious tactics.  If they attack those who criticize their Over Lords, we will push back - as hard as we can.

This is a blogpost we published shortly after the Moncton shootings, questioning the premise of the NFA and its lobbying efforts in Canada.

*After reviewing the docs that I screencapt'ed in preparation for this blogpost, I realize that I forgot to insert that one as an example of Ericka's skills. So, there it is.

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.)



MORE UPDATE: CBC.


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.


Arggggghhh.

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.

Viz.



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.

Look.


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
noun
   
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.