Posts from our progressive community

Watching Gawker implode -- grab the popcorn

Cathie from Canada - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 16:58
I have often enjoyed reading Gawker, particularly for goofy posts like this:

Not to mention how they single-handedly made Rob Ford's cocaine use into a major story in the United States, where it would otherwise have been ignored.
But what I don't like about Gawker is its juvenile and parochial tendency to start little wars with other New York media organizations -- Reddit, for example, and the New York Post, and now Conde Nast.
I haven't done any research on this because I don't want to affect my amateur status, but I would think these bizarre wars are a combination of 1) the Gawker organization hiring executives and/or reporters with grudges against former employers, and 2) inadequate editorial judgement which allows too many stupid stories to be posted by people with agendas instead of news judgement.
And now it has all come tumbling down. Last night I was shocked to read Gawker's mean-spirited and gratuitous "outing" of a Conde Nast chief financial officer -- I wasn't the only one, and Twitter death rays roasted Gawker all last night, resulting in Gawker removing the story earlier today, issuing a non-apology apology which was apparently misleading about how the removal decision was made, and now its own editorial staff is flipping out about the removal.
This isn't going to end well.

No 2 Trudeau: Sick Puppies

Dammit Janet - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 16:52
The No 2 Trudeau campaign has been annoying and disgusting a lot of people lately.

These good folks, who absurdly expect to look through their junk mail without encountering fetal gore porn, have complained to cops, politicians, and Advertising Standards Canada (ASC). ASC, which has no power to actually do anything but tut-tut, has looked at this sort of thing before and shrugged it off as beyond its purview, being deemed "political." (So I guess the CPC gets a pass for using ISIS snuff-film footage too.)

Well, the FetalGoreGang has so annoyed people that ASC decided to have another look.

Several Canadian residents have complained to Advertising Standards Canada.

Under their code, "Advertising that is directed to children must not exploit their credulity, lack of experience or their sense of loyalty, and must not present information or illustrations that might result in their physical, emotional or moral harm."

However, last month, residents were told that because it's a political campaign, it's exempt from the voluntary Advertising Standards code.

However, due in part to the number of complaints, ad standards took another look at their definition of political advertising and came back with the following response which has been posted to Facebook.

"ASC has concluded that, notwithstanding that aspects of the No2Trudeau advertising are political in nature, the political elements may be separated from the images of aborted fetuses featured in this advertising. Based on a 2014 decision by ASC's Standards Council, which upheld consumer complaints about the use of the very same graphic images in advertising by a different advertiser, ASC has now asked the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform to withdraw and no longer distribute this advertising in its current form in which the aborted fetuses have been highlighted."

Jonathon Van Maren, communications director with the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform, said ASC has made these types of requests before and the response remains the same.

"We have polling that shows this is the most effective way to show people that abortion violently victimizes a pre-born human being, and we're going to continue doing it," he said. "They have no legal authority to ask us to cease and desist. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms trumps their request."Isn't that adorable? This gang, and fetus freaks in general, usually excoriate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, born of evil Justin Trudeau's eviler dad, Pierre, of course. This same Charter has been used by rabid activist judges to support a woman's right to autonomy and privacy that the fetus freaks stomp their little feet over deny. Here for example is the Fetal Gore Gang's take on it.

But now they're hiding behind it.

And find zip zero nada irony in their position.

So, there's that.

As the campaign goes on, other questions are being raised again. From the beginning, there were speculations about what possible political party might be behind a gory, misleading smear campaign against Justin Trudeau.

In the face of mounting disgust in their communities, various politicians are now peddling furiously away.
Oakville MP Terence Young said he was disgusted by the flyers and emphasized they have nothing to do with the Conservative Party or himself.

Young also sent the architects of the No2Trudeau Campaign a cease-and-desist letter.

“I am writing to ask you to cease and desist your campaign of placing graphic and appalling flyers entitled No2Trudeau in the mailboxes and doorways of my constituents in Oakville and elsewhere,” wrote Young in his correspondence, a copy of which was forwarded to the Oakville Beaver.

“They are quite understandably causing distress and anger, particularly as they are exposed to children who react with confusion and fear. This is unconscionable. Rather than changing the hearts and minds of people on abortion, these flyers will ensure most people will never listen to anything you have to say.”Even other clergy are getting into the act.
Rev. Mike Marsden, Lead Minister of Knox Presbyterian Church, also takes issue with the flyers, which he condemned as exploitative.

“I am disgusted and disturbed, not just by the images, but that any organization purporting to uphold the rights and dignity of an unborn child would actually devalue the worth of such a child by striving for shock value,” said Marsden in an email to Campaign Life Coalition, which was also sent to the Oakville Beaver.

“The use your organization has made of such images is, in my opinion, the ultimate degradation…The children represented did not choose to be conceived, nor did they choose to be aborted, but neither did they choose to be exploited by your organization in death.”Funny, but that's sorta what the Catholic Herald had to say in 2012.
It called use of such images "profoundly counterproductive."

So, if not just ordinary people but politicians and clergy are unhappy with the campaign, who's getting anything out of it?

Canadian Cynic has a notion.

Given how quickly CPC shut down "HarperPAC", if the CPC didn't condone Trudeau-linked abortion flyers, they wouldn't be happening. Period.

— CC (@canadiancynic) July 16, 2015

And I've been thinking about it too.

My conclusion: these people are simply sick. They have the same fascination with gore and torture and blood that snuff-film aficionados like Luka Magnotta have.

When the Gosnell case was in the news, these sick puppies were creaming themselves over descriptions of body parts kept in specimen bottles, blood on the floor, and other fun stuff.

And now, the bogus story of Planned Parenthood selling fetal body parts has them again gloating over itty-bitty gory guts.

There are not too many careers in which one can indulge in one's psychopathic obsession, get lauded as a martyr, and get paid, are there?

So. I'm done with them. At least for this sad campaign. (I reserve the right to snark at them on Twitter if the mood strikes.)

May they find some capable psychological help.

Change Is Coming To Cuba, Not All Of It Necessarily Good

Politics and its Discontents - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 16:42
Readers of this blog will know that I have a special affection for Cuba, having visited it many times and gotten to know, to some extent, the 'real' Cuba. Yet it would be wrong for me or any other non-Cuban to pontificate about what is best for the country, given the changes that are coming due to its increasing normalization with the United States. The course of Cuba's future has to be decided by Cuba itself.

Nonetheless, one hopes that the ecological balance highlighted in the following will continue well into the future, despite what will undoubtedly be an onslaught of American tourism:

Recommend this Post

Here's a Photo. Take It All In. Think About It.

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 14:18
Behold, kayakers paddling along a river of prehistoric glacial melt water.

It Happened - Yesterday - At the Dog Park

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 13:52

I took my little beagle down to the dog park yesterday so he could run and run and run.  I swear he'll outrun any dog on the planet and just keep going.

People would come, run their dogs for a while, and leave.  The little guy didn't want to go so we stayed for a total of well over two hours.

At one point a van pulled up and the owner got out with his dog.  He came in and sat down at the little picnic table and we started chatting as strangers do.  The conversation started getting into some interesting stuff and this fellow was obviously knowledgeable.

Eventually it emerged that he's a federal research scientist.  What he told me gives me cause not to describe him in any detail that might give his identity away.

One thing we discussed is what it's like being a scientist in today's public service. I mentioned the CBC's ill-fated attempt to interview the top guy on drought research only to find, when they showed up, that he wasn't permitted to discuss drought or even use the word.

My new friend quite dispassionately confirmed the worst of what we've been hearing - how the public service has been sequestered from the very public they're supposed to serve - how government scientists are no longer in the traditional advisory position but now are expected to find things that comport with the government's political narrative - how it's almost impossible to collaborate with scientists from other countries because Harper and Co. insist on a veto on publication, a term others simply cannot accept.  These are all things we've heard many times before.

What I wasn't prepared for was this fellow's jarring assessment that a change of government won't fix what Harper has broken.  He said the damage is too deep, too much science has been buried, destroyed or lost.  Worse yet, he added, was that too many of the best minds have moved on.  They're gone, either by their own choice or the government's, and they won't be coming back.  They're done. That core, so methodically built up over the decades, is wrecked.  It'll take decades more to build it all over again.  It can't be fixed.  We'll have to start pretty much from scratch.

Mein Gott.  The damage that bastard has done.

The Worst Case Scenario

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 11:51
FIFTY? Fifty self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms are now active? University of Arizona professor emeritus, natural resources, ecology and evolutionary biology, Guy McPherson no longer pursues pure science, environmental research. He can't. He's too busy digesting the mountains of research pouring in from other scientists and connecting the dots.

There's really no nice way to put this.  McPherson has now logged 50 self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms underway.  That's another way of saying "runaway global warming."  At the time of the interview below, back in March, he'd only identified 39.  Apparently eleven more have turned up since then.

In Dr. McPherson's assessment, we're screwed, it's done, over.  He believes it will claim the lives of most of us alive today.  Here it is, the Worst Case Scenario:

I've been following the major feedback mechanisms at work today - the melting seabed methane clathrates, the tundra fires, the thawing permafrost, the vanishing Arctic sea ice, the retreat of glaciers and the astonishingly rapid acceleration in the melting of the Greenland ice cap.

We may have flipped the switch on these feedback loops but they're progressing on their own now and we have no idea how to make them stop much less turn the clock back.  If the YouTube video wasn't convincing, you might read this July 7th article from Esquire.

Ah, forget all that 'doom and gloom'  Look on the bright side.  Aussie PM Tony Abbott is doubling down on his country's coal exports.  Tony knows it's "the very foundation of prosperity."  So there, Cobber, turn that frown upside down.


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