Dammit Janet

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Updated: 39 min 50 sec ago

Clarke does for the Canadian National Firearms Association...

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:02
what Levant does for Tar Sands extraction corporations.

We suspect both of them do it for money, as mercenaries and paid lobbyists. Perhaps also out of love for the *cause* they promote.
Each one brings to advocacy endeavours a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience.
Ericka, however, is able to harness some persuasive arguments that Ezra cannot.

My co-blogger fern hill wrote a blogpost which features a photograph of Clarke with the Minister of Justice for the Harper government and Kurtis Gaucher, that Press Progress published
When that photograph went viral, Petey MacKay was asked why he donned the shirt, claimed it was a wounded Canadian veteran (Gaucher) who requested it, yadayadayada...
As fern hill pointed out in her screen caps as well as a very revealing one from PatRiotChick, it was all a RUSE engineered by Clarke.  And MacKay was duped. DUPED!!!

Mind you, Ericka appears to be as dim as Ezra, and she has yet to master the obstreperous bullying techniques that he has perfected as a StunTV host.  But as you can see from the photograph above and this, and that; she has different tactics at her command.  No matter that her gallery of photos on her Facebook account (now locked) looked eerily like those posted by Michele McPherson - Bruce Carson's fiancée - when she was a sex worker advertising "the Girl Friend Experience".
Lobbying is a complicated job which requires that supplicants hired by corporate interests or other organizations, meet politicians to secure their collaboration.  Much has been written about the talents that female lobbyists must deploy to win the support of powerful men.  While official meetings held in public officials' and government buildings must be recorded as well as any campaign or party contributions, quid pro quo may cover a wide range of mutually beneficial favours.
So, let's assume that Ericka Clarke is employed respectably and honourably in the performance of her duties, and that she is NOT a woman who needs rescuing from a dodgy organization that trafficks her talents to members of the Harper Conservative government.  Let take as a given, just as Kate Heartfield outlined here, that Clarke is NOT “selling her body” or “selling herself” for the purpose of promoting CNFA and its goals. 
No need to involve MP Joy Smith and Cons' prurient concerns and beliefs about the rampant sexual exploitation of women and girls that were spewed during the Justice Committee hearings about C36.  Clarke's interactions with CNFA, its membership and the politicians she meets are seemingly professional, consensual and not coercive.
In fact, her status and working conditions are much better than those imposed upon young women hired by PETA to stage a "protest" aka publicity stunt during the Ottawa Ribfest.  Those employees are the equivalent of female servers in the employment of Hooters.  It is a job requirement that they display their bodies in the uniforms provided by their employer, albeit a less revealing one for restaurant staff.
Sadly though, CNFA does not appear to value Clarke's role as a "field agent" highly enough to put her name on this very special invitation sent to MacKay and his *fellow* MPs (CPC only?).  Perhaps she'll be present as bullet buffer and spirit-fluffer, unless the association didn't appreciate the frenzied media brouhaha she created.
Ericka Clarke and Ezra Levant.  We may disagree with the goals and ideology of the organizations that pay their salaries.  Both are workers toiling, as many of us choose or are obliged to do, in the bowels of capitalist enterprises.  We may mock their words, expose their lies, deconstruct their odious tactics.  If they attack those who criticize their Over Lords, we will push back - as hard as we can.

This is a blogpost we published shortly after the Moncton shootings, questioning the premise of the NFA and its lobbying efforts in Canada.

No Compromise MacKay

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 09:58
Press Progress published this photo today.


Yes, indeed, friends of Peace, Order, and Good Government, that is Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General pandering his foul ass off.


It apparently comes from a tweet by Ericka Clarke, who identifies herself as "NFA Field Officer."


Peter Mackay (Attorney General of Canada) rocked a #nocompromise shirt with me today! #nfa #cdnpoli #change #politics pic.twitter.com/lGEhHbzBDJ

— Ericka Clarke (@ericka_clarke) August 23, 2014

That would be the National Firearms Association.

As Clarke points out, the corrupted Canadian maple leaf symbol is captioned "No Compromise."

Let's have a closer look at it from NFA's swag page. These are pins on offer.


(Isn't that sweet? They offer a girly-pink version.)

Now, I don't know anything about guns, but that doesn't look like a varmint-scaring or freezer-filling type weapon to me.

Moreover, the phrase itself is lifted from the org's bigger and scarier USian cousin, the mega-lobby National Rifle Association.

Sadly, cosmic synchronicity strikes.

The top news story today is about a 9-year-old killing her instructor with an Uzi at a place called "Bullets and Burgers." (You can't make this shit up.)

Also, from the Cosmic Whup-Ass Department, there's another story on the latest CONservative fearmongering fundraising flyer, touting "traditional family values."

Under a section entitled "I stand with the Conservative Party on the following issues," the members are asked to check off those that apply. "Respecting traditional family values," is one of the options, along with "safe and sensible firearms policies" and "tough-on-crime approach."
If only the CON Brain [sic] Trust could have seen into the future, I'm sure another option would have been "respecting the rights of young children to play with heavy assault weapons while their parents had a burger and a brew".

As I asked on Twitter: Has any other Attorney General of a supposedly civilized nation ever panderingly posed with butchered national logo on his chest with a bunch of gunnnutz?

I'm pretty sure no other Canadian Attorney General has.

But then no other Canadian Attorney General has posed with a police department and a tank before either.


That's New Glascow, Nova Scotia, population in 2011 a tad over 9,000.

So, fellow and sister Canadians, is Canada unrecognizable yet?




Leveraging Laureen: Part 2

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 03:50
So, how's that "leveraging Laureen" strategy going for the heartless, soulless CONservative government of Canada?

Judging from this piece from APTN (video), not well.

Herr Harper made his annual pilgrimage to the North, taking the First Cat Lady with him, and while he declined to answer any questions atall atall, Laureen deigned to answer a question about hungry children in the North with a word salad on corporate wonderfulness.

Really, watch the video at the APTN link, and more importantly, listen to the tone of it.

Wouldn't it be grand if other media outlets turned a similar critical eye on the hypocrisy of the Harper regime?

I know, I know. Too much to hope for. . .

h/t Jennifer McMackon who said: "Let them eat hockey equipment."




Yo! Nanny Staters: Fuck Off

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 09:47
I am a smoker. Over the years, I've been vilified, demonized, ostracized, pitied, hectored, shunned, and shamed.

OK. Sure. I'm an addict. All addicts deserve this treatment, I guess.

But what I -- and most other addicts I'd wager -- most object to is being treated like idiots.

We know.

We know smoking is bad.

It's expensive. It stinks. It burns holes in our clothes. It stains our teeth.

It makes us sick and if it doesn't kill us, will probably contribute to our deaths or long-term ill-health.

It may harm people around us, hence self-ostracization.

We know all that.

But we are addicted to nicotine.

We try to quit. Alternate nicotine delivery systems -- patches, gum -- have deficiencies of two main types.

1. They are not like smoking: no warmth, no fiddle-factor, no-"I'm having a break"-factor.

2. The nicotine dose is not adjustable to the user's mood and need.

The fiddle-factor is surmountable. The dosage problem is not so easy.

If I light a cigarette and decide I don't really want one now, I put it out.

If I put a patch on and immediately want to puke (which is what patches do to me), I rip it off.

If I light a cigarette and get involved in reading something and forget about the cigarette, it burns away.

If I chomp down on a piece of nicotine gum, get involved in reading something, forget about the gum and chomp down a few more times absent-mindedly, I want to puke (see above).

Enter e-cigs. Dosage is variable. With added fiddle-factor fun.

They're not perfect, but they are definitely a huge advance.

But guess who doesn't like e-cigs?

Big Pharma who wants to sell us patches and gum -- outrageously over-priced patches and gum.

And Big Tobacco who doesn't want us to quit smoking.

And Nanny Staters. Who, according to Sweetie, have an addiction problem of their own. They are addicted to telling others what to do.

Viz.

The optics of the e-cig concept: a controlled nicotine delivery system. Why would anyone expect that to be well received in the gen public?

— Dr. Brian Goldman (@NightShiftMD) August 26, 2014

I don't watch much telly any more. But I remember ads with people smugly patting their upper arms: "I've got the patch." Did people go insane over that "optic"?

.@NightShiftMD Why not? It's way better than the nicotine patch that Big Pharma makes a ton of $. I can't use patch because of indigestion.

— Fern Hill (@fernhilldammit) August 26, 2014

Oh but wait. Maybe patting the upper arm sends the "right message" whereas Nanny Staters worry about the "wrong message."

@AureliaCotta @fernhilldammit I don't disagree. But do billboards of famous people inhaling nic vapour send the right message?

— Dr. Brian Goldman (@NightShiftMD) August 26, 2014

You mean like this?



From the same source, a succinct summary of the issue.

No matter how you feel about the product or the industry, electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco and lack virtually all of harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. THEY SHOULD NOT BE CLASSIFIED AS SUCH or be limited by the same harsh restrictions. So far, no adverse health effects have been associated with electronic cigarettes, yet the alcohol industry is responsible for at least 80,000 deaths each year and the media seems unconcerned about their marketing techniques. Most people acknowledge that kids should not have access to these devices, but comparing electronic cigarette companies to the tobacco industry of the past is not only unfair – it’s inaccurate. Electronic cigarettes help smokers quit and expose them to significantly less health risks. For now, consumers have a wide array of choices and full access to these products, but if the government, pharmaceutical and big tobacco companies have their way, that may be a thing of the past.
My succinct summary: Fuck right off, Nanny Staters.

Toronto the Good

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 08:23
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.


.@oliviachow consider that you're being beaten in the polls by a corporate shill who was a fundraiser for the mayor. It's inconceivable.

— Karen Geier (@karengeier) August 15, 2014

She continued to point out the many deficiencies in the campaign, including this one.

.@oliviachow the fact remains that Kinsella was LEGITIMATELY SURPRISED when Horwath lost. You can't afford a delusional campaign

— Karen Geier (@karengeier) August 15, 2014

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.