Thursday, 31 October 2013
But then came the near-Ides of June Flood and the triumphal Conservative march through the Olympic Arch at the mouth of the Calgary School was stalled, unable to cross the RoBowCalln. Not even a Very Concerned speech upon the Hills above, enrobed in Imperial Flight Jacket, caused the waters to recede, and the throne of CONut was dragged ashore to await a drier season. Some things even He could not turn back with a command.
And so comes that delayed season of the wolf. Over Samhain, when the veils between the worlds thin and those that should be dead walk among the living. Cold, unwarmed by hurried passage of PMperial laws and the smothered breath of Canadians that would question laws laid in place to authorize the placing of a favorite among the senior jurists of Democracy, He and His descend upon this place, promising a bump in merchants' depleted coffers and solace to the urban councilors that would support them had the hoi polloi but been better solicited.
But what are these? Are there men (and women) with swords upon which they have not loyally fallen yet? Shall they not join the others who leave crimson the street under the wheels of His bus? Will their tongues prove sharper than blades? Is Cicero finally at the Gates, damning speeches in hand, louder than Hannibal's elephants?
Nah, likely not, as it doesn't matter how low my expectations get, the Conservatives under Harper limbo beneath them, but the Circus is definitely in town, replete with horse...talk. I expect Sophisticated (look it up, it's not a compliment) rhetorical flourishes on Black is White Jobs Lawn Order Flags War of 1812 God Save Us All Competition Free Enterprise Foreign Investment Enemies of Liberty Assimilate and likely entertaining intermissions of throwing scientists and their heretical Facts to the young PMO hyenas in civilian drag on a gazebo-shaped stage.
I leave the final imperial word to "This Hour Has 22 Minutes". This is how you do satire. Close to the bone. Close to painful, painful bone. We need more of it.
Lorde Parody "Tories"
Friday, 18 October 2013
It is with great satisfaction that we report today that Phill has had his legal nads nipped.
The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday suspended the law license of former state Attorney General Phill Kline for misconduct in connection with his prosecution of abortion providers, including the late George Tiller.Regular readers may remember that we ascribe a great deal of the blame for Dr Tiller's assassination to Bill O'Reilly, armed by Phill Kline.
The court unanimously found that Kline’s “overzealous advocacy” and “improper motives” led to “significant and numerous” violations of professional conduct, which the court deemed “particularly troubling in light of his service as the chief prosecuting attorney for this state and its most populous county.”
Kline, whom Operation Rescue named “Man of the Year” in 2006, prosecuted cases involving Planned Parenthood and Tiller, who was one of the country’s few remaining late-term abortion providers before he was murdered by an antiabortion activist in 2009.
Shortly after being elected in 2002, Kline began an investigation into Tiller’s clinic, eventually obtaining patients’ personal medical records. Many of these documents were later leaked to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, though Kline denied he was the source of the leak.
The case against Tiller was eventually thrown out by the Kansas Supreme Court.
In other news of fetus fetishist tricksiness, the loophole the Fetal Gore Porn Gang, who have been plaguing the good citizens of Hamilton, Ontario, for the past month, is revealed.
Officials can't nab them for interfering with city property when they hang their gory banners because:
But protesters aren’t attaching the banner to any city property — instead, they’re tying the banner to their bodies and standing next to the edge of the overpass. That technicality ties the city’s hands, says Ward 7 Coun. Scott Duvall.Anti-choicers must lie and cheat because there is no logic or sanity to their 'arguments'.
“We were hoping to get them on the sign by-law, but they are not hanging these signs on public property, they are attaching the signs to their bodies,” Duvall told CBC Hamilton.
“I have received many phone calls and emails on this. I have contacted our bylaw staff and they have stated to me there is nothing they can do.”
And today we have two splendid examples of it.
(As if any more were needed.)
Thursday, 10 October 2013
Via Lawyers, Guns, and Money, we learn of the international campaign unleashed by the audacious choice of the Nobel prize committee to give the literature prize to dissident Canadian writer Alice Munro:
State media in Canada reacted positively to the news, calling it a great victory for the Canadian nation and the state ideology. Still, Munro is expected to come under intense pressure from Canadian exile communities, who are already calling on the author to use this moment to focus greater attention on the lack of political freedoms in Canada.
Margaret Atwood could not be reached for comment.
Every society in the history of the world has engaged in some form of this batshittery. We would like to move on from it, but many, many people have made damn good livings over the centuries practicing, teaching, and writing about it, so we thought, what the hell?
Universities and colleges being no better, yours is offering you a course on this crap and here's the textbook for it.
Suck it up, buttercups.
This text is organized along the usual nutbar lines. We'll do the oldest stuff first, when humans were still pissing their pants over thunder and lightning and stuff and came up with some (sometimes) nifty stories to explain all that terror.
Then we move on to the next phase, when some slightly smarter humans figured out that they could take control by exploiting that terror by crafting more complicated stories with gods and smiting and guilt and things like that.
They also learned to write and so textbook publishing was born.
Later, things got more sophisticated and the guys in charge (and they were all guys) decided to demonize some people and activities -- principally folks like those icky women and sexual-nonconformists and activities like thinking -- so they could have more control and more money.
Later still, they divided into a lot of gangs (helps if you've seen West Side Story or Gangs of New York or other cool movies we're too old for) to enslave other peoples and steal stuff/land and wage wars and bomb things and rape people.
Which is still going on, note.
And that's pretty much it.
There will be questions.
[Note to editors, proofreaders, formatters, and indexers: This is how the book works. We mention some deity, person, movement, you get the idea, that we want the schmoes to remember. We'll put that in bold with a parenthetical note to you guys of how many pages that shit takes up so you don't hurt your heads reading it. We'll also put other key concepts (ROTFLMAO) in bold. We guarantee that the text is as well-written, -spelled, -punctuated, and as comprehensible as any of the original sources, so you don't have to read that either. You're welcome.
Note to illustrators: please put as many colourful and pointless pictures, maps, and tables in as possible. Thanks.]
Now of course those last two paras were NOT meant to get into print, but somehow, unaccountably, they did, and all the editors, proofreaders, formatters, and indexers blamed all the others.
And I feel better now.
Friday, 4 October 2013
International Development Minister Christian Paradis says the government will not fund overseas projects that allow war rape victims and child brides to obtain an abortion.To its credit, the NDP jumped in with appropriate outrage.
“It is simply shameful to see Conservatives putting their ideology ahead of helping these vulnerable women,” said Official Opposition International Development Critic Hélène Laverdière (Laurier--Sainte-Marie). “This is about helping some of the world’s most at risk women, it’s a shame Minister Paradis and the Conservatives aren’t willing to put aside their own narrow agenda.”As we've reported here before, the consequences to victims of war rape are heart-rending and enraging. Victims are shunned by their families and villages and women who are impregnated by rape are rejected by their husbands, if they have them, and so are left to raise a child alone in poverty, creating yet another victim.
This announcement runs counter to the Foreign Affairs Minister’s recent emphasis on the plight of child brides.
“In the developing world, complications in childbirth are the number one cause of death for girls aged 15-19,” said Official Opposition Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar. “Just last week Minister Baird told the United Nations that ‘these girls are children; they quite simply are not ready to be parents.’ So why are Conservatives turning their back on them now?”
But hey, this government is aaaallll about the girls and women, right? That's why Motherhood Steve led the charge on the Maternal Health Initiative, right?
How's that going, by the way, you ask?
Not so shit hot according to Joyce Arthur writing in today's Rabble.
There's been some progress overall on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), of which maternal health is one, but things are not so rosy for women and children.
A great deal of progress has been achieved across all eight goals, but many gaps remain, particularly those relating to women and children (MDG 3, 4, 5). Unfortunately, improvements to women's equality and rights, including access to reproductive health services, generally lag behind most other targets. Since reducing child mortality depends on raising women's status and saving their lives, that goal also has fallen far short in some parts of the world. Each year, more than a million children are left motherless because of women dying during pregnancy or childbirth. These children are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those living in families with a mother.So, what is Canada doing? Hard to say. It's kind of confusing.
When Canada hosted the G8/G20 summit in 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper put maternal and child health front and centre, with resulting pledges of $7.3 billion from participating countries and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At least $24 billion was needed, however, according to aid groups. Further, Harper had to be shamed into including funding for family planning services in Canada's contribution, and he refused outright to fund safe abortion in countries where it's legal.Joyce's column was published before today's shocker. But she points out the fundamental hypocrisy in the Harper Government's incoherent policy.
Harper decided that Canada's money would be spent on three main needs in 10 countries (seven in Africa): strengthening health systems, reducing the burden of disease, and improving nutrition. So far, it appears that only a tiny portion of Canada's portion of the G8 funding ($2.85 billion) has been spent on family planning, although it's difficult to figure out exactly where all the money is going. Several Google searches produced these tidbits: $20 million for free prenatal care in Haiti, and undisclosed amounts for the UN Population Fund and a sexual and reproductive health project in Bangladesh; $6 million for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (for sex education, family planning and post-abortion counselling); $75 million for the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program (to strengthen health systems, reduce disease, and improve nutrition); and most recently, $203 million to provide immunizations, basic health care, and community services to make childbirth and pregnancy safer.
Not only is Canada cherry-picking its aid for maternal/child health services, it attaches strings to it. Money can only be spent as per Canada's own goals and guidelines, giving little or no say to smaller groups on the ground in the target country. This makes it far less likely that the money will be used constructively, or will flow to needed reproductive health services such as post-abortion care.
Ignoring the need for safe abortion in maternal health programs means disregarding the health and lives of millions of women. It also reveals a fundamental hypocrisy. Conservatives apparently believe that only women who have babies are worthy of support -- but most women having abortions are already mothers. As Rachel Atkins says: "There aren't women who have abortions and women who have babies. Those are the same women at different points in their lives." Abandoning women who need abortions therefore means abandoning mothers and children -- the very demographic Harper has promised to help.If possible, it seems that the Harper Government has even less empathy for women and girls who are brutalized not just by poverty but by war rape and child marriage.
But hey, there's a Conservative convention coming up and the rabid base is starving for red meat.
Motherhood Steve just offered up the bodies of these women and children to the ravening horde.
We're the Ugly Canadians now. Thanks, Steve.
FACT: Canadian taxpayers fund at least $80 million every year for the killing of children in the wombBasically, we are buying birth control for slutty sluts with money desperately needed elsewhere for your parents and special needs children.
FACT: There is a severe shortage of family doctors, nurses and funding for elder care and for treatment of autistic children across Canada
FACT: Abortion is an elective procedure that is not medically necessary
FACT: Over 96% of abortions are performed for convenience as a back-up birth control method
Are you ok with that?
Conclusion: We must get abortion out of the healthcare system.
The defenders countered in classic hi-jack style, using the format and hashtag of the opposition.
This is my fave and probably went zooming rightover the heads of the defunders.
#DefundAbortion because churches are sick of all their tax dollars going towards it— chris p cream (@chris_p_cream) October 3, 2013
Later, defenders got into counter-arguments.
Some defunders thought they were cleverly co-opting the language of the sane people and referred to abortion as 'choice' with the gotcha -- 'Well, it' my choice NOT to fund your choice.'
I tried this out to some success.
Do you have children? By choice? We all paid for your pre-natal care, their birth, their healthcare.
When they tried 'the money is needed elsewhere' gambit, defenders replied with: yabbut, what about costs of surgical care for botched back-alley abortions, costs of birthing extra babies, subsequent healthcare, education for them?
That was greeted with crickets.
To the abortion is a conscience issue, I shouldn't have to pay for it trope, defenders responded with lessons on how taxation works.
If defunders didn't ignore defenders completely, they put up the typical and tedious last-ditch retort, shrieking 'abortion is murder' and quoting bible verses.
Throughout, the many defenders were witty, reasonable, and relentless.
Of the warring hashtags, #DefendAbortion was trending higher than #DefundAbortion all afternoon, joined later by #DefendChoice, which also trended higher than Defund.
This is particularly remarkable because the defenders usually used BOTH tags (to get their ripostes in the faces of fetus fetishists), while defunders used only their own tag.
So, even with a boost from defenders, the Twitter War was clearly won by the sane people.
Later, defunders posted pix and media reports of the on-the-ground effort, cleverly billed in advance as 'mini-rallies'.
Alissa Golob, the main organizer, called this one 'awesome'.
Organizers said as many as 13 people took part in the one-hour demonstration.Others were less awesomely attended. Someone posted a photo of an event at Cheri DiNovo's office in Toronto where the protesters (5) outnumbered the stacked printed signs.
On Twitter, @HisFeministMama reported her one-woman counter demonstration there.
Here's her blogpost about the experience. Go read. This was awesome.
From most accounts, the 'mini-ralllies' would have been better labelled 'micro-rallies'.
Except at the Manitoba legislature (bold mine).
A pro-life protest against health-care funding for abortions in Manitoba drew more than their own supporters to a demonstration at the provincial legislature today.And finally, I want to report on and laud a media report that demonstrates some sensitivity to pro-choice's complaint about media treatment of the abortion issue.
Pro-choice supporters from the women’s rights and labour movement used social media to counter the planned event, and all together more than 200 people spent a noisy lunch-hour chanting slogans at each other over the polarizing debate.
Pro-choice numbers were easily three times the number of the supporters at the pro-life event.
From a brief report by CBC also reporting on the Manitoba event.
Anti-abortionists assembled on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building on Thursday for a planned protest only to be outnumbered but pro-choice activists.'Anti-abortionists'. Not 'pro-lifers'.
But best was the following sentence -- I repeat, in a very short piece.
Abortion is a legal, approved medical procedure in Canada and has been since 1988.Beauty, eh?
That sentence, or one like it, should appear in every single report on abortion in Canada.
Legal, approved, medical, and settled for 25 years.
Or as we at DJ! might put it: 'Abortion is a done deal in Canada. Get the fuck over it.'
I think some eyes were opened by this exercise. Some people, both neutral on or largely ignorant of the issue, were surprised at the very existence of this tiny minority of extremists. All of whom were totally anti-choice/anti-women, NOT as they tried desperately to spin it, merely concerned citizens.
And some of the same people and others were shocked by this blatant neo-liberal attack on Canadian healthcare.
They recognized the unholy alliance of neo-libs manipulating idiots in the drive to privatize.
All in all, I'd say, this was a MASSIVE win for the sane people.
Canadians are not stupid. Fetus fetishists would be well-advised to stop treating us as if we were.
Part I of DJ!'s takeaway.
Thursday, 3 October 2013
It was an abject failure in getting across their main spin-point.
That being: the funding of abortion is a separate issue from how people feel about the procedure itself.
That, in fact, a 'majority' of Canadians do not want public healthcare funding for abortion.
Here they are, spinning a 2013 poll with a pie chart that demonstrates that 51% 'question' taxpayer funding of abortion.
Of course, they're being creative with numbers as usual.
Here is the poll report (pdf). 43% think abortion should be funded whenever a woman wants one; 42% only in emergencies (p. 11).
If my math is correct that means 85% of Canadians are fine with healthcare funding for abortion in some or all cases.
In the coverage of today's events, here is a fetus fetishist spinning for the reporter.
For Ms Buchner, it’s not a “pro-life” or a “pro-choice” issue, though she admits she stands on the pro-life side of the grander debate. She says publicly funding abortions is an issue that should concern all Ontarians.On Twitter today, I tested this theory. I challenged several 'defunders' on whether they were OK with abortion except for the paying for it part.
“There are many views and approaches about the procedures,” she says. “This isn’t about that. Today, I would hope that a lot of people who maybe even support choice and abortions would agree they shouldn’t be publicly funded.”
Most didn't answer. Others pivoted.
Bottom line: not one 'defunder' said she or he was OK with abortion except for the paying for it part.
(Any such person is welcome in the comments here to prove me wrong.)
In prochoice Canada, the funding issue is the one that polls best for fetus fetishists. Ergo, the big push on it.
They think they can get some traction on it.
They still need to prove that there are ordinary Canadians, either pro-choice or 'don't give a shit', who want to exclude abortion from the healthcare system.
Because -- and I think even the nimrods understand this -- that would entail the inevitable conclusion that abortion is OK for people who can pay for it themselves, but not OK for everyone else.
And that's kinda un-Canajun, eh?
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
They've targetted four provinces.
DAMMIT JANET! proposes a counter Tweet Fest using the hashtag #DefendAbortion.
At DJ!, we live to serve, so here are the lists of provincial pols on Twitter from PoliTwitter.
We've reported on these feeble efforts before. They've been centred in Ontario so far. Like this lame little gathering from March this year.
Sadly, this rally had been postponed from the previous fall when Hurricane Sandy pooped on their parade.
The planned rally was announced with some hoopla at Queen's Park, 'sponsored' by three MPPs, who unaccountably did not attend.
They were Rick Nicholls, John O'Toole, and Randy Hillier.
Only @RickNicholls and @RandyHillier have Twitter accounts.
I intend to concentrate my spamming efforts on those two.
Along with @timhudak, aka He Who Would Defund Abortion Until It Became Too Hot a Potato, of course.
Check out politicians on Twitter from your province and identify those who might be receptive to defund/defend messages. You can also check Campaign Lie's handy list of MPPs, MLAs, MNAs, abd MHAs to find out where they stand on abortion -- if they've bothered to answer its questionnaire. Many I checked had not.
If you need some talking points for why abortion must be fully funded, ARCC has you covered here.
Let's do this.
UPDATE: Wow. Alison in the comments points out that ALL the comments at LifeShite on this article come from Murricans blatting about ObamaCare and the US government shut-down. Now we know that fetus fetishists aren't the sharpest pencils in the box, but this is a bit much. Alison asks: Just where does the funding for the Canadian anti-abortion gang come from again?
MORE UPDATE: AntoniaZ in the comments prefers #DefendChoice. Fine by me. But in this case, it is specifically abortion they want to defund. So I'll used #DefendAbortion and add #DefendChoice if I've got characters to spare.
EVEN MORE UPDATE: Alison expands on her comment at her blog.
AND MORE UPDATE: I haven't read this yet (11-page PDF). The Evangelical Whatsits have updated a 2012 evaluation on the requirement to fund abortion by provinces. Arming themselves for tomorrow, it seems.
Tuesday, 1 October 2013
The witty ditty's message fits quite well with the magical concern many in authority express when presented with women out of "the home", for women's own good of course, usually when 'good' is defined as procreative functionality. We here in Canada usually see these handwringing declarations of Revealed Medical Wisdom Feelings attached to Dire WarningsTM about the horrors of legal abortion, but it's a global game.
The latest Very Worried cultural counselor shouldering the heavy burden of keeping women from harming themselves in shameless pursuit of being considered human beings is in Saudi Arabia. He's waxing scientifictionish on the topic of women being harmed by driving motor vehicles. He's not bothering with actual vision hazards of wearing full hijab/niqab affecting collision statistics, he's bemoaning the sliding of a Lady Bits owner behind the wheel at all.
"If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards," he told Sabq. "That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees."
Oddly, women are just selfish, wild things, unwilling to put "reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions".(where have we heard this before?...where haven't we heard this one before?)
These 'common sense' expoundings about women's internal organs tendencies to go walkabout have always been a go-to when denying women full participation in society. I especially like the one that circulated in the 'women can't be educated because think of the children!' hey day. Apparently, women could procreate or think, but not both because the blood supply available in a woman was a zero sum game. If she thought too much, her Lady Bits would shrivel. Medical certainty!
But with biological sciences slowly turning attention on how Lady Bits actually function, the "Glurge of the Gaps" is being reduced to even less coherent sputtering that often now receives the media respect it is due.
Why, even the International Olympic Committee has tired of looking like Saudi Muslim clerics. The Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 will be the first time women are allowed to compete in Ski Jumping.
Why? Finally struggling past Lady Bits and the gender expression expectations foisted upon those that have'm? Nahhhh, can't be that...can it?
PS: Just as an aside for how talking about woman's sexual reproductive organs is twisted into our taboos and gender expectations, has anyone else ever met someone who found Regina uncomfortably close to Vagina in pronunciation and how it somehow made Regina sound even more feminine and unworthy of a capital city? Especially when trying to indirectly haw-haw insult the Roughriders? No? Just me?
On September 20, Andrea Houston broke this story under the heading 'Why is the CBC censoring Canadians to protect John Baird?'
When a producer from CBC’s The Current asked if I would appear on the show to discuss the politics of “outing” closeted politicians who work against the fight for gay rights, I didn’t hesitate in accepting.The story goes on to explain the back and forth of the pusillanimous discussion between Canadian gay activists and the Canadian public broadcaster's scaredy-cats, with multiple references and links to stories about Baird's quite openly gay life, including one with the fabulous phrase 'glass closet'. As in, Baird lives in a glass closet.
And I wasn’t alone. CBC also asked playwright and Xtra contributor Brad Fraser, as well as Roy Mitchell, activist and host of Roynation.
But, in the end, none of us appeared on the Sept 17 program. The producers wanted to ensure that there would be no mention of Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
“The implications of this whole thing is really horrifying,” Fraser says. “Our tax-payer funded national broadcaster doing this, it stinks to high heaven.”
In an email exchange, producer Gord Westmacott told Fraser that he must “hold back” from mentioning the names of any specific politicians on air because Baird “has made the choice not to talk publicly about it."
OK, I geddit. The CBC is so terrified of further CON cuts that they don't want to rock the boat.
But jeebers, Baird's gayness has been a open secret for nearly two decades.
He first got elected to the Ontario legislature in 1995. My downtown elitist gay pals were soon falling all over each other to tell more and more outrageous stories of where, when, and with whom Baird had been spotted in various (in)famous gay venues.
Of course, I don't know if any of those hilarious stories were actually true, but my pals and their pals were agreed and emphatic on one point -- John Baird is gay -- as has been documented many, many times since.
OK, I also get the fact that Canadians mostly don't give a shit about the sex lives of politicians. And that's good.
But for the CBC to censor itself and Canadians to keep an open secret 'secret' is simply disgusting.
Here's another kick at the can, by a lawyer this time, desperately trying to spin a loss -- that they decided NOT to appeal, mind -- into a victory.
In Court, Arthur and the Pro-CAN argued that although the Report did reference the Vancouver CPCs and one of their executive directors, that the portion of the Report alleged to be defamatory was not talking about the Vancouver CPCs [crisis pregnancy centres] specifically. In fact, Arthur and Pro-CAN argued that this section of the Report talked about CPCs across North America. This is an important legal question because in order for the Report to be considered defamatory, there needs to be a target of the defamation. The Vancouver CPCs argued that they were the targets because they were specifically referred to in an appendix and because the Report as a whole was about CPCs in British Columbia, where they both operate. If, however, that section of the Report was found to be about CPCs in North America, of which there are approximately 4,200, then the sample is simply too large for any reasonable person to suspect that the Report is speaking about the Vancouver CPCs.Not only clever but quick and effective, clearly.
It’s a clever argument that has been used in many defamation cases in the past and unfortunately, it was successful in this case.
But NOT, apparently, how the esteemed zygote zealot would have approached it.
As a lawyer, if I had a client seek my advice after being sued for making defamatory statements of fact, the first question I would ask is if the statements were true. If they were, that’s how we would defend the claim.On no evidence whatsoever (buy hey, that's how they roll), he goes on to claim that Arthur's defense relied on that argument because it was the only one they had.
Well, duh. While we don't know what other arguments the team had up their sleeves, it's hard to imagine this simple defense of the truth wouldn't have been one of them.
But why roll out all that rigamarole and competing experts, especially the lying liars from the BAD (biased, agenda-driven) gang, when the whole butt-hurt exercise could be made to simply stop?
And as we pointed out, they continue to obsess over the general observations and conclusions in the report, while ignoring the damning demolition of the training manuals issued by the fetus fetishizing organization to which both fake clinics belong and presumably use to
I am neither a lawyer nor a PR pro, but I would advise these people to STFU about this report. Their caterwauling and ridiculous attempts to spin a loss as a win are simply drawing more attention to it.
Which is a good thing. *evilsmiley*
Get the pdf of the whole report here and read Arthur's explanation of the case here.