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.

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.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Riiight. Who's more likely to shoot a doctor? -- UPDATED

"Prolife" has no shame or sense of irony.

This is what was posted on the front page of their website.


Gun held to the head of a Canadian physician?

This is why.

So "prolife" supports choice when it goes against the oath that doctors swear to uphold, AND limits women's choices.

A reminder that the "prolife" movement has a violent history of executing doctors and staff at abortion clinics.


UPDATE (July 29/14, 10:30 a.m.) Thanks to heads-up from Joyce Arthur in the comments, we note that Campaign Lie has replaced the image.

Here's what they have now.


But we have a screen cap of the original, don't we? And we'll trot it out frequently.

UPDATE: Press Progress, who first reported on the image, updates too, but points out that the image is still on Campaign Lie's site and Facebook page.

UPDATE (July 31, 2014): Press Progress is still on it, now reporting what they call a "weird" Nazi reference, but not at all surprising to long-time listeners.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

[Random number] things to know about _Words And Pictures_

So on $2.50 Tuesday at a local second-run movie theatre, since I was in the vicinity to dispatch some banking business, I decided to go watch something.

_Words And Pictures_ seemed moderately interesting: Australian director Fred Schepisi; Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen in lead roles.

Unfortunately it is set in the USA, yet shot in British Columbia passing for New England.  Thus it gets the Vegas treatment rather than a quieter, gentler interpretation of an intriguing narrative.

Consequently Owen reprises the Hemingway bombast he perfected in an earlier role.  He plays Jack Marcus: a charming, erudite, passionate, verbose and inspiring high school teacher who is also a deceitful, enraged alcoholic.

Binoche is allowed to develop multiple dimensions of her character Dina Delsanto; she is also a painter (in real life!) and it is her work that she produces that is featured in the movie.  It provides the script with some modicum of authenticity.

The students in this expensive, carefully groomed and pruned prep school are of "all sorts" though judiciously selected for their good looks; a vast palette of ethnic ancestries, all Benetton photo op-ready. 

Yet it's ironic how it happens that the de-rigueur bully character - also a creepy nascent sexual sadist - turns out to be NOT the typical privileged WASP but a cocky young man who may be the only student that might be considered "semitic" (though not overtly identified as such) at the snooty private school. 

He attempts to evade responsibility for his sexual harassment and stalking actions by framing a Black classmate for this particular vicious and vile prank.  The denials and protests that he utters, claiming he's done nothing wrong sound EXACTLY like the excuses and justifications proffered by Cody Boast.



Boast is the frat boy of pallour on the right.  He has received four convictions to date for his criminal actions.  He is a serial predator; unless all the women who have been the target of his abuse and rage speak up, nobody knows the exact number of victims upon whom he has inflicted his vindictiveness and spleen.

The psychiatrist claims that if Boast continues with his treatment it would be unlikely that he will re-offend.

I disagree. He supplied an obligatory proof of *remorse* with regard to the harm he inflicted up one ex-girlfriend and her family, at the same time he had started a campaign of intimidation and cyber-bullying against another prey.  He's learned much from these experiences; when his violent behaviour escalates, he will likely select new targets who won't have as much resources to push back as previous trophies did, and he will be much more efficient in disposing of evidence to avoid being caught.

But I digress.  Here's my list (I can hear my co-blogger FH groaning) of things that ruined _Words and Pictures_ for me.

  • Over-the-top dialogue. Less is more. The writer could learn a thing or two by watching films scripted by Noel Coward.
  • Mediocre or atrocious lighting and cinematography. Scenes shot on some sets are fine, but otherwise, ugh. There's one scene in bright sunlight, outside Dina's studio that looks so amateurish for an Australian director of photography that makes me suspect he delegated it to a gaffer.
  • Owen's hammy performance should have been reined in; he's capable of nuanced and powerful characterization. _Croupier_ and many more.
  • Actors cast in secondary character roles are excellent but sadly they are given crummy, cliché lines to spout. 
  • Inconsistencies and implausible details that make you go ... what?  For example: a chi-chi private school that can afford to hire an art instructor whose paintings command stellar prices has only a cramped, ill-equipped studio for honours students?  The spiteful pornographic caricatures produced by the criminally-stalkerish student are briefly flashed upon the screen and appear to be devoid of genitalia.  

There's more, but those are the highlights of points that undermined the movie's credibility and otherwise high-end qualities.

On balance, it's a better-than-average movie, if one is not vulnerable to the situations depicted. I found that parts of it were painful to watch; it could be extremely triggering for women who have experienced intimate relationships with alcoholics and/or men afflicted with entitlement delusions: expecting and wanting their emotional needs and sexual demands to be met.

There's been a flurry of excellent resources that have been suggested, with regard to this phenomenon: "A deeply disturbing portrait of male entitlement", "Nice guys, the friend zone and sexual entitlement" and "Men aren't entitled to women's time or affection" are some good items to read on the topic.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Update on the Save the Clinic Campaign

All along, the fundraising campaign by Reproductive Justice New Brunswick was nothing more than a stop-gap, intended to ensure the continuing possibility of an abortion clinic that accepted self-referring patients.

Having hit the initial goal of $100,000 last week, yesterday they announced they're raising their sights in order to buy necessary equipment.
The words "Thank you" don't feel big enough to express the gratitude that we at Reproductive Justice New Brunswick are feeling right now. To surpass our original goal in the first 2 weeks of our campaign? There are no words! Thank you, thank you all, for your support.

We are still a long way from our final goals, however. Negotiations continue with the owner of the former Morgentaler Clinic to secure an agreement to manage the building. Now we are asking for your support and enthusiasm to move forward with Phase 2 of our goals. For a further $85,000 we can potentially buy all the equipment currently located at the clinic; equipment that is required to provide a full range of reproductive health services.  It’s a bargain we don’t want to miss but we need your help. 

RJNB will also continue to lobby the New Brunswick government to change Regulation 84/20 that requires a woman to have the procedure deemed "medically necessary" in writing by an OB-GYN and another doctor, in order to obtain a publicly funded abortion in one of 2 hospitals.

The government still refuses to even meet with us to discuss a change. Until the people of New Brunswick have the same right as other Canadians to the reproductive health care of their choice, where and when they want it, we will never have true equality in New Brunswick. RJNB, with your help, pledges to continue the fight until the people of the Maritimes have access to a full range of publicly funded reproductive health services.
That the Conservative government won't even meet with them is hardly a surprise, but given an upcoming provincial election that the Liberals seem poised to win, this is a little harder to stomach.

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s pro-choice stand is reverberating through New Brunswick, where abortion-rights activists are vowing to make the closing of the Fredericton Morgentaler clinic an election issue – and the provincial Liberal leader is offering little support.

Justin and Brian look pretty cozy here, don't they?



Maybe chicken-shit Gallant is scared of people like this.
Some New Brunswickers, such as Kelly Seale, want less access to abortions, not more.

"Soon as I walk by there, I feel a very strong feeling of the devil. Yeah," said Seale, who works at an anti-abortion centre next door to the clinic.
Well, OK then. The anti-Satan voting bloc must be MASSIVE in Brunswick.

Here's a good round-up on the state of abortion access in Canada by Press Progress. Graphic is from Canadians for Choice.



If you were thinking of donating but didn't get around to it, then thought "Great, they've hit their goal," please think again.

Something else you could do is simply tell someone about the situation in NB and PEI. From the comments at the fundraising site, on various media stories, and blogs like Trashy's World, it's clear that there are a shit-ton of Canadians who have no idea what Maritime women are up against.

Most Canadians consider abortion a non-issue, a done deal -- and are shocked to find out that that's a big fat lie for thousands of us.