Friday, June 30, 2006

Steckle's Trojan hobby-horse

Uber-git Liberal Paul Steckle has introduced Private Members Bill C-338 to recriminalize abortions performed after 20 weeks.
And not a moment too soon.
Because all over Canada women in their 5th month of pregnancy are looking down at their swollen bellies and saying oh man I just have to get rid of this right now or I'll look like shit in my bikini this summer. Some of them of course wanted an abortion back in spring when their tank tops started riding up a bit, but then they thought - nah, what's the rush? - I'll just wait a couple more months and get one later.

Bill C-338 makes very clear that it's high time this frivolous fashion of aborting five month old fetuses came to an end. All .4% of them. Unless it's :

"(a) to save the life of a woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself; or
(b) to prevent severe pathological physical morbidity of the woman."

(Editor : "severe pathological physical morbidity"? Who the fuck is writing this shit? Oh...the Parliamentary Pro-Life Caucus. Never mind, carry on.)

Yes, the wording is a little odd, evidently making some high falutin legal distinction between the mother becoming (a)"dead" and becoming (b) "really really dead".

No mention at all of the health of the fetus though. Or of the fact that 18 weeks is the earliest that certain congenital tests can be performed to see if the fetus has a functioning brain of any discernible kind. Or even if it will survive the birth.
No, even if you are gestating a footstool, the most important thing is to carry that footstool to full-term or suffer the legal consequences.

Kind of gives the term 'motherfucker' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

Galloping Beaver had a great post on this a couple of days ago. But especially read the comments below it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hey Alberta, who's your daddy?

This year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival is going to feature the "culture of Alberta".
"Festival director Diana Parker said the Smithsonian worked with Albertan scholars, government officials and ordinary citizens to come up with ....."

Go on, take a guess. What's it going to be?
The Calgary Stampede? The Oilers? Wheat-henge?
Nope. The "culture of Alberta" is a monster truck and the tar sands.

From Canadian Press :
"One in three Alberta jobs depends on exports to the United States and 85 per cent of those exports are petroleum and natural gas."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Leaves of three, let it be.

Premier Dalton McGuinty has replaced the traditional Ontario trillium logo with a new design.

Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips defended the change :

"The feeling was, we want to retain the trillium: Is there a way to modernize it a little bit?"

Speaking before the Bilderberg group earlier this month, McGuinty was quoted by an insider.

"He gave a stump speech on how great Ontario is and then (privately later) he said we're going to announce this week we're building new nukes," a source said.

As can be seen from the 2006 logo in this picture from the first link above:

an interim logo of poison ivy was chosen to help ease the transition between the two.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Public Service Notice

If you and six of your friends are currently sleeping in a warehouse while dreaming of one day starting up your very own karate club, and some guy comes up and offers you a membership in al-Qaeda and some camera equipment, please just say no, ok?
It will save all the rest of us a great deal of trouble.
Thank you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

A quiz and a poll

Last week Canadian Cynic introduced us to the very funny Harry Hutton of "Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry"

This week Harry takes exception to the quiz at Fark in which you try to determine whether a given statement was made by Hitler or Ann Coulter.

Harry :
"Another scurrilous attack on Adolf Hitler. Instead of trying to refute his arguments the left just call him a Nazi, and compare him to the fruitcake Coulter."

Harry suggests an alternative quiz here.
Brits are generally more diabolically funny than Canadians but we did pull off one bit of hilarity this week. According to Angus Reid, 33% of us would still like to see heterosexuality enshrined as the official sexuality of Canada.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Media Terror Advisory System

Same news story...
Five different flavours.

Paving the way for stuff

According to their website, NASCO is "a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the world’s first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America."
For "quality of life" here, read "stuff".
Expanding the wealth and power of corporations at the expense of people and the environment.

A ten lane corridor almost a quarter of a mile wide with gas, oil, electricity, and water pipelines running up either side, extending all the way from Mexico to Winnipeg.
Containers from the far East to be offloaded at Mexican deep-sea ports and transported by truck to the new $3 mil Mexican Customs Office - in Kansas City!
Texas has already been given both federal funding and the go-ahead to begin their section of this toll-road, and the second "Hemispheria" summit to discuss this project was due to happen in Winnipeg earlier this month.

What could possibly go wrong?

Oh yeah... Terror, Terror, Terror! Big fences! Passports and tighter border security! Bad Canada harbours terrorists! Canadians are naive! says Harper. Beef up Canada's spy network! Get under the Ballistic Missile Defense Umbrella! says the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

"Hemispheria" was cancelled due to security concerns, over the objections of the mayor of Winnipeg and the (so far laughably small) Winnipeg arm of NASCO, after the Manitoba government evidently deemed the $8 mil cost of providing security for the expected 600 CEOs and US governors to be prohibitively expensive.

So the real issue is profit vs security then?
No. The real issue is profit and their security, how to free up the movement of capital while simultaneously controlling the movement of people.
Terror! Terror! Terror! is merely one way of getting us to agree to it.
We haven't yet, but they'll be back.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sinking Atlantica

The “Reaching Atlantica: Business Without Borders” conference just wrapped up last weekend. It's an Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce proposal to expand economic and political links between the Maritimes and the Northeastern US, and it kind of makes sense when you look at the map, doesn't it? Atlantic Canada plus Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York state and part of northern Massachusetts.

In fact the front page of the Atlantica website states :
"After the Americans rejected Reciprocity and Confederation was born, the continent was divided into two national 1867."
If this sounds like an unusual reading of history to Canadian ears, it may be because the VP soon-to-be-President of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce is an American and the CEO of Eastern Maine Development Corp.

And while there are many alarming references to minimum wage legislation, size of public employee workforce and “union density” as barriers to “Labour Market Flexibility” and “Public Sector Efficiency”, it is in the Atlantica Media pages that they really get down to it :
"If the vision of Atlantica could be realized, it would be a wonderful facilitator toward restoring Atlantic Canada's heritage as a thriving centre of international trade, but even better would be to integrate all of Canada and the U.S. inside one big continental economic and security zone, which would also eliminate the looming problem of American passport controls at the border which former Ambassador to the U.S. Frank McKenna estimated as potentially causing a reduction of up to 7.7 million visitors to Canada, and losses of nearly $2 billion annually - mainly from the tourism industry. The ideal solution would be a European Union-style "perimeter" that would allow Canada and the U.S. to jointly manage common external border entry points while largely dismantling internal border restrictions. Last year, an independent task force sponsored by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, of which former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley is a co-chair, recommended that Canada, the United States and Mexico become a single trading zone. This is so logical that it should be a no-brainer, but resistance from the above-mentioned "usual suspects" is of course a given."
I'm sorry, who were those usual suspects you mentioned again?
Ah yes, here it is :
"the usual suspects - unions, rabid ultranationalists like the Council of Canadians, radical feminists, and other fellow-traveling leftist flat-earthers"
Dear Atlantica :
While your proposal is generally well researched and adequately reasoned, in your list of usual suspects you refer to "fellow-travelling leftist flat-earthers" when the more usual designation of "godless tree-hugging Commies" would be more consistent with the rest of your material.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

He's a lumberhack - it isn't ok

He hides all night and he hides all day.
He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps
Between Canfor, Cons, and Libs.
The softwood deal is not one,
It's two with lots of fibs.
The Gazetteer has three great posts in a row explaining the softwood lumber deal that isn't.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Morality Poll - Update

with, of course, another completely gratuitous sexually explicit Lego image from the Brick Testament.

Have a quick look at the poll results below ...go on, just read 'em, I'll wait... and yeah, there it is - 81% of respondents think pedophilia is immoral. So do the other 19% think it's just fine then? Well no, not exactly.

Although the poll results were reported by the CBC and Canadian Press yesterday, Leger Marketing only released the data and methodology on their website today. You can read it in pdf form here but here's the skinny. In a telephone survey of 1508 English or French speaking Canadians 18 years or older, respondents were given the choice of answering Yes, No, or Do Not Know/ Refusal.

From their questionnaire :

(As all the questions have that 1, 2, or 9 thing going, I'm guessing those were the numbers to be punched in on a telephone keypad)
So all we really know here is that 81% of the respondents willing to answer this question answered Yes/1.
And the other 19%? They comprised the category of those who either answered no, or didn't know what they thought, or didn't know what pedophilia was, or just plain refused to answer. And Leger doesn't break this category down for us.

You're eating dinner and the phone rings and someone asks if you're willing to answer a few questions.
There's no subscription to Readers Digest in it for you, but what the hell it's only eleven questions. The first question is whether you think contraception is immoral. Well sure, that's an easy one, but then the very next question is whether you think pedophelia is immoral, and you think - Whoa what the shit? where the hell is this going? I don't even know you - and you punch 9.

Just remember this when you hear this poll cited later, either in support or against any related position to do with any of those eleven questions. It was what 1508 people were willing to punch into a telephone keypad.

A Morality Poll - illustrated edition

Robert at My Blahg posts a Leger Marketing poll on what behavior Canadians consider immoral.

Pedophilia : 81 % (men 78 %, women 84 %).
Extra-marital affairs : 74 % (men 68 %, women 81 %).
Prostitution : 68 % (men 59 %, women 76 %).
Alcohol abuse : 65 % (men 59 %, women 70 %).
Sex before age 16 : 65 % (men 61 %, women 68 %).

Pornographic films : 58 % (men 46 %, women 68 %).
Blasphemy : 51 % (men 45 %, women 57 %).
Abortion : 34 % (men 35 %, women 33 %).
Homosexuality : 31 % (men 37 %, women 26 %).
Divorce : 17 % (men 19 %, women 16 %).
Contraception : 8 % (men 9 %, women 8 %).

As Robert points out, blasphemy seems to be a bigger goddamn issue than either abortion or homosexuality. While pedophilia understandably tops the list of 81% surveyed, that remaiming 19% presumably think it is some kind of harmless foot fetish.

Illustrations from The Brick Testament.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

So how are we all doing then?

Positive, snappy, and it's a movement linked to at Cerberus.
Not entirely my thing, as I probably would have been just as happy with :


A few days ago Canadian Cynic was a tad concerned about the Blogging Tories, as were Dr Dawg and The Amazing Wonderdog , so let's have a look in on them now :

Hmmm, not so good. So who moved their dish?

Why just last week the 101st Fightin' Keyboarders, Canadian Division, were all happy about Harper and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus of course they still have the one in Iran to look forward to. But now, at the first whiff of fertilizer, suddenly it's as if they've just realized the abyss can see them in their jammies.

So given that June the 2nd Changed Everything for them, I made up a spiffy new graphic to replace their old one:

Sadly I didn't have any chickenhawks handy so I was obliged to substitute rubber chickens instead, but I don't think anyone will notice the difference.

;-) to Canadian Cynic for the idea

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Teenage Terrorist Poetry Competition

The National Post announced the winner of their first annual Teenage Terrorist Poetry Competition today in a dramatic front page spread designed to thrill their verse-loving readership.
In a surprising coincidence, NaPo also speculates the winning poet just might be one of the 17 alleged terrorists arrested for nearly being in possession of fertilizer and wanting to cut off the PM's head.

From NaPo :
"It could not be confirmed yesterday that the poems are the work of the same Zakaria Amara arrested on the weekend. But the poet is from Canada and there are no other Zakaria Amara's listed in online Canadian phone directories.
In one of the poems, which first appeared on the [shoot-em-up computer game "Delta Force"] website in 2002, the writer says he is 16 years old. Mr Amara is 20, and so could have been the right age in 2002."

Just one more example of the kind cutting-edge boots-on-the-ground dial-411 investigative journalism that keeps Canada informed.
Well, there was also this one. And this one.

*Sadly, no photoshopping was required in the making of this post.

Monday, June 05, 2006

RCMP, now with...


Spreading the fertilizer

Pretty quiet day around here so I thought I'd tackle cleaning out the utility drawer in the kitchen. And just look what I found - a cheap-ass battery tester, a battery recharger, and an unused soldering iron. The bag of fertilizer wasn't actually in there; I just included it here for "display purposes".

Terrorist product placement


Friday, June 02, 2006

Same-sex marriage redux

First off, our heartfelt thanks to all the lobbyists at the nine websites above for their tireless work in stemming the tide of biblical plagues and the complete meltdown of civil society which - just as they predicted - has been Canada's lot since the passage of same-sex legislation a year ago.
There may in fact be some minor differences among these groups but as I haven't been able to determine just what those might be, let's go ahead and give credit to them all as a group.

According to the Globe & Mail, Harper announced today that his government plans to hold a vote on the same-sex marriage issue in the fall. The G&M further speculates that it will not be an actual vote on SSM, just a vote on whether or not to have a vote about it. Given the new reticence on the part of many Con MPs to revisit this issue at all, coupled with the extreme fervor which a few of them will probably bring to it before it fails to pass (fingers crossed here), Laura and Dave at The Galloping Beaver both think this spells a no-win proposition for Harper even before we get into any 'notwithstanding' controversies.

I'm not so sure they're entirely right here. This announcement will keep Harper's nutter base happy for the next 3 or 4 months it will take them to whip themselves into a self-congratulatory spittle-flecked frenzy before they are roundly defeated by MPs representing the two thirds of Canada who are done with it. When the forces of reason, civilization, and yes, expediency prevail, it will not be Harper's fault because at least he tried. By keeping his promise to raise the issue, Harper can successfully bury the whole bitter divisive mess before he has to face that next election he hopes will give him a majority. Canada will relax in her fears about him and he can still keep his nutter base.
Seen this way, it could actually be a win/win proposition for him.

It's the rest of us I'm worried about.
Bush has also just announced he will try for a constitutional ammendment to get SSM banned in the US this year. Many of the groups listed above are only branch offices of their heavily financed rightwing US counterparts anyway, who will now most certainly morph into one united continental christer echo chamber. We haven't had to deal with the full force of that up here before.

So I think the real issue here is - Is Canada up to facing them down?

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