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It's Time to Worry About FDS

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:37



Our Furious Leader suffers from FDS and so do a good many of his supporters. It's an affliction as curious as it is ancient.

FDS, or "faith-derangement syndrome," was explored in a recent item at Salon.com exploring the derangement of America's notorious Supreme Court judge, Antonin Scalia.  What is FDS?  The signs are unmistakable.


Sufferers of faith-derangement syndrome (FDS) exhibit the following symptoms: unshakable belief in the veracity of manifest absurdities detailed in ancient texts regarding the origins of the cosmos and life on earth; a determination to disseminate said absurdities in educational institutions and via the media; a propensity to enjoin and even enforce (at times using violence) obedience to regulations stipulated in said ancient texts, regardless of their suitability for contemporary circumstances; the conviction that an invisible, omnipresent, omniscient authority (commonly referred to as “God”) directs the course of human and natural events, is vulnerable to propitiation and blandishments, and monitors individual human behavior, including thought processes, with an especially prurient interest in sexual activity.


Secondary symptoms exhibited by sufferers of FDS comprise feelings of righteousness and sensations of displeasure, even outrage, when collocutors question, reject or refute the espousal of said absurdities. Tertiary symptoms, often present among individuals self-classifying as “evangelicals”: Duggar-esque hairdos and Tammy Bakker-ian makeup, preternaturally sunny dispositions and pedophiliac tendencies, sartorial ineptitude and obesity.


Obviously, Sideshow Steve and Company, don't have all of the symptoms - not that we know of - but they sure fit the overall profile.

Storms in U.S. and Global Warming

LeDaro - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 11:27
There have been too many storms last few years in U.S. In Maritimes we got storm Arthur last year. It was quite furious. I lost one big tree in my backyard. Luckily it fell on an angle and spared my house. These are all the indications of global warming. People in their 80's and 90's said that they have never seen and experienced anything like this before. We better start paying attention to this erratic and severe weather.

Watch the video here

I watched a documentary on CBC which indicated that global warming is impacting oceans and life in oceans. Read more here.

Pity the Poor Canadian Anti-Choice Movement: Lost and Losing

Dammit Janet - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:53
I've been thinking about the Canadian fetus freak movement lately and how despondent they must be. I mean, they've had absolutely no wins here and some -- admittedly minor -- defeats (see New Brunswick, PEI, and Ontario).

Yes, they litter the landscape with their idiotic underground fetus flags and gory postcards, but really, what have they got to show for their relentless SHRIEEEKING?

As compared to the US, where fetus freaks have been having an orgy of misogyny for the past four or five years.

I watch this stuff and even I get waaaay behind. This recent one, from Wisconsin, takes a cake of some kind.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said this week that he would sign a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy that does not contain exceptions for rape and incest victims, if the bill reaches his desk. The measure also contains a less-discussed provision that would allow the father to sue the doctor for "emotional and psychological distress" if he disagrees with the abortion, regardless of his relationship with the woman having the procedure.Got that? Some rando guy can sue a doctor for performing an abortion on some woman he may or may not have had sex with. Reports did not detail whether DNA tests would be required.

The USian anti-choice festival includes all kinds of legislation on extended waiting periods, mandated lying by doctors, bans on telemed abortions, bans on certain methods of abortion, vicious parental notification rules, hyped up "safety" requirements for clinics, totally bogus claims of "fetal pain," egregious funding cuts for healthcare orgs that might possibly, sometime, maybe discuss abortion with patients.

Et fucking cetera.

Here in Canada, they got bupkis.

So, the latest fundraising SHRIEEEK from LieSite titled "Don’t Be Silent!"struck me as funny. (There is randomly strewn bold in this that I'm too lazy to reproduce.)
We can no longer afford to deny the hard truth: the threats to the freedoms of Canadians like you and me who believe in the sanctity of life and the traditional family are growing every day. 

Right now the push to implement Wynne’s sex-ed curriculum is in high gear, the legalization of euthanasia country-wide is on our doorsteps, and abortion extremists have even taken away the rights of pro-life doctors in Ontario to refuse to refer for abortions!

Now, more than ever, the unique investigative reporting of LifeSite is needed to combat the manipulation of the mainstream media and the growing anti-life and anti-family sentiments across Canada.  

However, with only 10 days remaining in our summer fundraising campaign,we have only raised $8,000 towards our absolutely minimum goal of $200,000.Summer fundraising campaign? They have one for each season? Meaning they need to raise $800,000 a year?

Wow. That's a lot of dough to raise when you've got absolutely nothing to show for it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was also amused by the Fetal Gore Gang's revisiting of their three-year old wet squib of a campaign to appropriate the historic Abortion Caravan.

That might have been better titled "How we tried to hijack a prochoice icon and then got lost in Ottawa somewhere and failed to show up for the grand finale to the great amusement of our critics."

But on further reflection, I realized that the fetus freaks have had a recent victory.

They singlehandedly elected weirdo Patrick Brown as leader of the Ontario Conservative Party. (I refuse to put the word "progressive" in there.)

If you're interested in Ontario politics and/or grassroots organizing, read that Interim article.

Ontario zygote zealots were stoked that they had TWO double-plus good fetus freak candidates, Brown and McNaughton, contesting all-but-annointed Christine Elliott.

Then the dirty tricks started.

The week before the vote, pro-lifers began receiving a flyer from Concerned Conservatives of Ontario, which claimed Brown was not pro-life or pro-family, going so far as to attack him for being a bachelor without kids who could not understand family issues. CLC’s [Campaign Life Coalition] Jeff Gunnarson told The Interim this was a dirty trick, probably carried out by the Elliott campaign or one of her supporters.

CLC contacted their supporters with mailings, email reminders, and a voice blast urging them to vote for Brown and ignore the bogus Concerned Conservatives letter.


CLC supporters came out in force. McNaughton told The Interim in April that pro-life and pro-family voters were the most motivated to vote in the leadership, and it appears he was correct. According to numerous sources within the Brown campaign, their voter identification efforts found that about three-quarters of CLC supporters who bought a membership voted in the leadership contest. That, as one put it, “is an astonishingly high number.”
YAY! Congratulations, anti-choice. For as long as Brown is leader, you've guaranteed a non-Conservative government in Ontario.



Image source.



Going, Going ....

Politics and its Discontents - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 09:51
...soon to be gone?



There are many things we take for granted in our lives: our health, our family, our way of life. Sometimes, changes in those and other areas happen so gradually that we really don't notice until it is too late. The state of democracy, both globally and domestically, is one of those things that, over time, has become grievously imperiled, with the vast majority seeming either not to notice or, perhaps even worse, not to care.

A newspaper report from a few days ago serves as an international illustration. In India, Greenpeace and a multitude of
other NGOs and charities — environmental and other — have been under the government radar since last June, when the Intelligence Bureau leaked a report accusing several foreign-funded NGOs of stalling infrastructure projects.

The government has also restricted direct transfers of foreign donations.The language of an intelligence report on these organizations is chilling:
The report named several activists and organizations but singled out Greenpeace as a “threat to national economic security.” The report also said the global organization was using its “exponential” growth in terms of “reach, impact, volunteers and media influence” to create obstacles in India’s energy plans.

Since then, Greenpeace India’s offices have undergone inspections, its bank accounts have been frozen and at least three staffers, including Pillai, have been refused permission to either enter or leave India.The parallels with what is happening at home should be obvious. There is, of course, the Harper use of the CRA to intimidate organizations that are critical of government policies. There is his widely reported muzzling of scientists. And then there are the very worrisome provisions of Bill C-51 that could be used to criminalize dissent. These are just three examples of the tip of a very large iceberg.

Today's Globe and Mail tells us that a a 66-page report is being issued today that should be of great interest to all Canadians:
The report is being released under the banner of Voices-Voix and its signatories include the heads of Amnesty International Canada, Greenpeace Canada and the former head of Oxfam Canada.

The coalition of 200 organizations and 500 individuals accuses the government of taking away funding or otherwise intimidating organizations that it disagrees with.

It accuses the government of muzzling scientists and public servants and portraying First Nations and aboriginal groups as threats to national security.The implications for democracy are deeply troubling:
...the government is silencing the public policy debate on important issues.

“We have borne witness to hundreds of cases in which individuals, organizations and institutions have been intimidated, defunded, shut down or vilified by the federal government,” the report states.

The report accuses the government of targeting dozens of charities that it deems “too political” for its taste.

It also says the government has undermined the function of Justice Department lawyers by discouraging them from giving important advice to the government.

And it points to the “muzzling” of several government watchdog agencies, citing the sacking of senior leadership at the Canadian Wheat Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

It also accuses the government of undermining the work of the military ombudsman, the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP, the federal commissioner of the environment and the correctional services investigator.

The report says the government has mounted an attack on “evidence-based” policy-making and cites Statistics Canada, which has undergone an 18 per cent staff reduction and $30-million in budget cuts since 2012.

It also takes the government to task for doing away with the long-form census.

“Canadians deserve a vibrant and dynamic democracy and they are capable of building that together,” the report concludes.The report ends with what is ultimately the ideal of which the Harper regime is the antithesis:
“It is the job of government to support those engaged in this task, not undercut and destroy their striving for a better and more inclusive democracy.”If this does not move Canadians, perhaps we are beyond saving.

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Tuesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 09:22
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- PressProgress points out that neither the public nor a group of the world's leading economists sees the slightest value in balanced-budget gimmicks which override sound public decision-making. And Paul Krugman observes that the entire conservative economic strategy is based on overinflating bubbles, then letting somebody else clean up the resulting mess.

- Matthew Weaver highlights the use of "poshness tests" to screen out working-class applicants seeking work with key UK employers as a particularly stark example of how prestige and wealth have less and less to do with individual achievement. And Anna Mehler Paperny reports on the spread of precarious work which has made so many other jobs into traps for the unwary.

- Meanwhile, Molly McCracken rightly slams Manitoba's PCs for trying to privatize child care and other social services when that only produces worse working conditions as a means to create a profit stream. And Warren Bell examines the far-reaching implications of the Doctors of B.C. run-off election due to the presence of corporate-health zealot Brian Day.

- Mike Blanchfield reports on a new study from Voices-Voix documenting the Cons' stifling of dissenting voices. Kim Covert writes about the Cons' decision to create lower tiers of citizenship. And Errol Mendes argues that we need a Magna Carta moment to ensure that our federal government uses its power in the public interest, rather than using public resources solely to increase its own power.

- Finally, the Parkland Institute makes the case to end corporate and union donations to political parties in Alberta.

Pope's Encyclical Leaked

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 09:12
In an act that the Vatican has denounced as sabotage, someone has leaked a draft of the Pope's encyclical on climate change.  A copy was obtained by L'Espresso magazine and published on Monday.

At the start of the draft essay, the pope wrote, the Earth “is protesting for the wrong that we are doing to her, because of the irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God has placed on her. We have grown up thinking that we were her owners and dominators, authorised to loot her. The violence that exists in the human heart, wounded by sin, is also manifest in the symptoms of illness that we see in the Earth, the water, the air and in living things.”



Flailbait

accidentaldeliberations - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 08:59
Susan Delacourt's point that Canadian politics have seen a shift toward a permanent campaign is generally well taken. But it's worth keeping in mind what it means when parties have the opportunity to plan for years in advance of a fixed election date:
Political advertising, once only a feature of the official campaigns, now runs in between elections so that parties don’t have to waste precious time “introducing” their leader, including character and values, to the voting public. The between-election ads also give parties a chance to build a storyline around rivals, which will only be hinted at during the big election show. In-house pollsters perpetually merge political strategy with micro-targeting at selected, focus-grouped segments of the electorate.I have my doubts about Delacourt's subsequent view that ideology and policy debates are doomed to fall by the wayside. But I don't think there's much doubt that a party's plans for an election cycle should be based on the longer-term goal of positioning itself for election day and beyond.

Just four months ago, an opposition party was running a distant third in the opinion polls, with another opponent looking like the primary magnet for voters seeking change. Instead of panicking, the NDP made relatively subtle changes to its deployment of resources and took a well-thought-out position on a major issue which demanded it. And now, Tom Mulcair and the NDP hold the lead in the polls.

Unfortunately, the Libs' track record when trying to make up ground is rather less positive. And while I don't have a problem with some of the party's latest moves (particularly those which involve somewhat more worthwhile policy than we expect from the Libs), a shift toward sudden, high-risk maneuvers may ultimately have serious consequences for all parties - particularly if the Libs echo Con messages which reduce the likelihood of anybody being in position to offer an alternative government.

With that in mind, a couple of reminders are in order. First, we can't stop Harper without making the case for progressive change. Second, there's still plenty of time to go before election day.

And if the NDP has managed to emerge as the first choice of Canadians by making a consistent case for its vision rather than flailing wildly every time a poll doesn't look good, the Libs might be well served to learn from that example.

When The Leaving Was Good

Northern Reflections - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 05:23


As Stephen Harper seeks his fourth mandate, Geoff Stevens writes that he knows neither love nor respect:

This will be difficult, I know, but try to imagine you are Stephen Harper.
You are prime minister of Canada. You are approaching your 10th anniversary in that high position. You have won three consecutive general elections and are looking to make it four in a row on Oct. 19. With your majority in Parliament, you have more power and control today than an American president. You rank among the most successful political leaders in Canadian history.
Yet something is wrong.
Success does not translate into affection and admiration. You are successful, but you are not loved. Schoolchildren do not squeal with delight when they see you. Their fathers do not hoist them on their shoulders for a better view. Their mothers do not rush home to tell neighbours they have touched the garment of the prime minister of Canada. For all the sense of moment you generate, you might be an ordinary MP or a school trustee. 
Harper's success, ironically, has been fuelled by his ability to make enemies. And, ten years in, he has made a lot of them:
You have already assembled an impressive enemies list for the election campaign. Heading the list is the chief justice of Canada and her infuriating Supreme Court. The court keeps saying "no" to you. "No" to mandatory minimum prison sentences, "no" to appointing supreme court judges who don't meet eligibility requirements, "no" to abolishing or reforming the Senate without provincial consent, "no" to federal anti-prostitution laws, "no" to banning doctor-assisted suicide and, most recently, "no" to your government's efforts to stamp out the medical use of marijuana.
You upped the ante in your war with the court last week when your health minister, Rona Ambrose, declaring that she was "outraged" by that ruling, accused the court of steering young people toward marijuana use, just like, she said, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau who proposes decriminalizing possession of pot.
An election that pits the government against the Supreme Court would be an appalling precedent. But it's not as though Harper doesn't have other enemies to choose among. There's also the Senate — his own Senate — which cannot control the wastrels in its membership. There are all those terrorists in our midst who must be put down by Bill C-51, the new anti-terrorism law. There are those annoying scientists and environmentalists who keep insisting climate change is real.
And there is Vladimir Putin. Bashing Putin must be good domestic politics, because Harper was back in Europe again last week, stamping his foot and demanding the Russian leader get out of Ukraine. If Putin noticed, he has not responded, but he will have other opportunities to yield to Harper's demand before the polls close here on Oct. 19. 
What it all adds up to, Stevens writes, is that Harper's back is against the wall. One wonders if he occasionally thinks that he should have left when the leaving was good.

 

Why Canada Desperately Needs a Magna Carta Moment

Montreal Simon - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 03:49


Yesterday was the 800th anniversary of the day King John reluctantly signed the Magna Carta, the document that was the foundation of our parliamentary democracy, and the rule of law.

And most importantly declared that nobody was above the law, not even the king.

So it's ironic that few people have celebrated that anniversary more than Jason Kenney.

800 years ago today King John added his seal to the #MagnaCarta, establishing government under the rule of law. pic.twitter.com/sc9pGU4XzJ— Jason Kenney ن (@jkenney) June 15, 2015
In one tweet after the other.

Even though we are now ruled by his mad king, who has placed himself above the law over and over again. And has made a mockery of our democracy.
Read more »

Universal Health Care

Sister Sages Musings - Mon, 06/15/2015 - 21:09
After spending this winter in agony and anticipating the worst of outcomes, I finally went to my Doctor and have bloodwork, chemistry, and all the tests done.

Why did I wait so long?  Fear of not being able to afford the treatment.  Yes, because Health care is not universal, at least not in . . . → Read More: Universal Health Care

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