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The assorted meanderings, rantings, and pontifications of... us!

Topics may include, but will not be limited to: feminism, hockey, atheism, shoes, politics, fat acceptance, fitness, skepticism, dancing, introversion/HSP issues, and anything else that happens to be on my mind.

Friday, September 29, 2006

When all else fails, play the homo card

Everywhere I click on Ted Morton's Alberta PC leadership campaign website, it just gets worse.

Among other things, he wants to:
- have a "made-in-Alberta immigration policy" (any ideas what that could mean?)
- create an Alberta Provincial Police and Alberta Pension Plan
- Allow private health insurance
- Allow private clinics to deliver some services
- "Provide marketing choice for grain farmers" [so in good years they can skip the Canadian Wheat Board]

He's a Reform Party Senator-in-Waiting

According to a collection of articles and news releases from his campaign website:

He was Stockwell Day's policy advisor.

At a bear pit session atthe Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association’s fall convention in Calgary, September 15, he is reported to have "proposed some interesting ways to attract labour to Alberta by stopping transfer payments to provinces where there are no jobs."

None of this is really exciting enough to get anybody in the Alberta PC party but policy wonks hot and bothered, but fortunately he has an ace in the hole: the homo card. He's been harping on that one since at least April, when he introduced a private member's bill to "protect freedom of speech and religion via Bill 208 for those who support traditional marriage".

He argues that "Tolerance is a two-way street. Bill 208 will ensure that the traffic keeps moving in both directions."

So gay and lesbian Albertans, in other words, can exist in public, but the people who want to push them back into the closet have every right to try.

Now that he's in the spotlight for this leadership race, he and the Edmonton Faith Coalition for Natural Marriage are getting out in the media with such brilliant, original and valid arguments as:
it is essential that the government consider the rights of children, because they're the most vulnerable in our society
same-sex marriage is not a basic human right, but rather it's a social experiment ... there is no charter of rights in the world that recognizes homosexual marriages

Not to mention the eponymous fallacy in the name of the Coalition for Natural Marriage.

Or the verging-on-theocracy statements the Edmonton Faith Coalition for Natural Marriage were making before they were part of a leadership campaign:
The scriptures of all participating faiths "indicate that marriage is a sacred thing between a man and a woman and we feel it ought to be kept that way," said coalition member Garry Rohr, representative of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Alberta District.
Marriage is (between) one man and one woman open to procreation and that's the way the human race started.

So I have an idea what's going to be wrong with Alberta shortly... Vote for keeping the homos out of public life, Get (...)

And on top of that, the colour scheme of his website's splash screen is the same as that villain from Sin City.

Waah, no Sunshine Girl

And the poor widdle mens is cwying. More than 1400 distraught readers called or emailed to complain. The Sunshine Girl was back the next day.

Never mind that the Sunshine Boy disappeared over a year ago, was way in the back (instead of opposite the opinion columns), was in black and white, and was maybe a quarter the size of the Sunshine Girl.

Reasons cited for the disappearance of the Sunshine Boy include lack of reader interest plus, according to longtime Sunshine Boy photographer Veronica Henri, "It was hard to get good-looking guys." She goes on to explain that
It wasn't considered "prestigious" to be a SSB, and most of the prospects preferred to wear suits. Women [...] are socialized to show off their bodies. "Men aren't brought up like that."

And people say we don't need feminism any more because women are already equal.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The First and Second 9/11

We in the West are familiar with the second 9/11. It was a tragedy that took place in the continental United States. It is an acceptable day to remember. However, there was another 9/11 with even more grievous consequences that also “forever changed the world”.

In 1973 in Chile, Salvador Allende ended his life in the presidential palace. It was being overrun by the military in coupe led by Augusto Pinochet. As Allende fell, so did the social democratic government that had led Chile. Replacing democracy was the murderous authoritarian regime with Pinochet at its head.

Pinochet murdered some 3000 people and throughout the course of his autocratic rule his secret police tortured another 30 000. The people of Chile were being ground down with the approval and blessing of the United States and their allies. Their crime, of course, was democratically electing a government unfriendly to foreign capitol, so the government had to go. Cuba, Nicaragua and most recently Palestine are other examples of the treatment provided to ‘wayward democracies’.

The first 9/11 is not mentioned in the press, yet the second is almost endlessly eulogized and revered and kept prominently in the news. Why is there a difference? Does the bloody end of the hemispheres longest standing democracy not merit recognition in our eyes?

On the tenth of July in 1955, in the New York Times, Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein issued an appeal to the people of the world asking them “to set aside” the strong feelings they have had about many issues and consider themselves “only as members of a biological species which has had a remarkable history, and whose disappearance none of us can desire.” The choice facing the world is “stark and dreadful and inescapable: shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?” Noam Chomsky wrote this in chapter one of his book Failed States. It is now, more than ever, the question of our times.

Comparing the two 9/11’s is very informative as to what our values are and who qualifies to be a worthy victim. Do the victims of Pinochet's slaughter not deserve the respect and remembrance that we lavish on the second 9/11’s dead? When (IF) the day comes when we can mourn others tragedies, and take responsibility for the ones we have caused, then perhaps we can begin edging towards the second proposition of Einstein and Russell, rather than ignorantly pursuing the first.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Just wondering

No civilised person would even think of printing this:

Fit for publication in our local newspaper: