Thursday, April 30, 2009
Pandemic Alert: What does it Really Mean?
Well I see the World Health Organization has kicked up it's Pandemic Alert from stage four to stage five.
But what does it really mean?
Answer: Not much. Especially if you live in a developed country like Canada where pandemic preparations are well advanced.
It's really aimed at the developing countries where millions of poor people are vulnerable to any kind of flu. And their governments need to assess their emergency response capabilities...and ask for help if necessary.
Instead of doing stupid things like this.
And so people everywhere can be encouraged to do the simple things that can make a difference. Like washing their hands. Or staying home if they get sick.
Instead of just freaking out.
What it also means is that it probably won't be long before we move from level five to level six...the Pandemic Phase. Because the difference between the two is minimal.
But that only means the bug is spreading widely, and it doesn't mean we're all going to DIE.
Because we still don't know how deadly this bug really is. And there is room for optimism.
The virus could still turn out to be relatively harmless. Just a few days of discomfort....or a another good reason to call in sick.
Which is why I'm not panicking yet.
And the only thing I'm worried about right now is how the hell am I supposed to look cool and sexy this summer ?
Dressed like this....
And what about my poor dog? He LOVES pork chops.
You know I think I once read that every time you laugh you boost your immune system.
So my advice to everyone right now is don't panic. Prepare for the worst. Wash your hands. Laugh like your life depended on it.
And let your health professionals do the worrying...
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Stephen Harper's Disastrous Retreat from Quebec
Mon Dieu. It looks as if Stephen Harper's retreat from Quebec is making Napoleon's retreat from Moscow look like a happy hike.
LPC - 37
BQ - 31
Cons - 15
I also see that Paul Well wonders whether it's game over or just a game changer.
Even though they usually go together ...one after the other.
And that Steve Janke stares into the heap of manure. And comes up with the scent of VICTORY !!!
Or....um... something about how it's now OK to sleep with the enemy.
Isolated, Michael Ignatieff can plot and scheme with his inner circle, pawing over polling numbers like Gollum caressing the One Ring, to no avail. Jack Layton in particular will relish the chance to punish Michael Ignatieff. I think Stephen Harper and the Conservatives will, within reason, accommodate Jack Layton on this, giving Layton some face-saving means to support the Conservatives, and allowing him to take credit for some element of government policy.
You know the socialist hordes.
Gawd. Somebody take his temperature. You know Wanky was so much better when he was searching for dangerous doggy food from China. It was obsessive behaviour of course, but it was so much more RATIONAL.
Because somehow he forgot to mention the possible menage-a-trois with the Bloc Quebecois.
You know those sexy separatistes. Oooh la la.
Look.... all I can say is this. It's true that Michael Ignatieff has been charming Quebecers. They like intellectual leaders. He performed really well on the mega interview show Tout le Monde en Parle.
But the real reason I believe that Quebecers are shifting to Ignatieff is because more and more of them realize that only he can defeat Stephen Harper. And they want that more than ANYTHING.
Just like I do. And I'm sure a lot of Canadians do as well. So I wouldn't be surprised if any party that would be seen to be COLLABORATING with the Cons would end up bleeding supporters to Ignatieff.
Oh yeah. The universe is unfolding almost as good as I thought it would.
Great Loser Leader is fatally weakened.
The Count is on the way to his coronation.
What could go wrong eh?
Swine Flu: Deadly Threat or Alarmism?
Well I see that Don Martin has swapped his fedora for a white coat....and declared that the swine flu outbreak is nothing to worry about.
It’s likely beyond containment now, but to describe the Mexican swine flu outbreak as a potential re-run of the Spanish influenza pandemic seems, subject to change without notice, wildly alarmist......Today’s swine flu is no 1918 influenza, so perish the comparison.
When in fact, although we shouldn't panic, we simply don't know enough to rule anything out.
What we do know is that patient zero got sick on April 2nd...and the first recorded fatality happened eleven days later.
Which means that the virus has been running wild in Mexico for at least a month. It has only just arrived here.
And we still don't know why so far it has only killed Mexicans.
Is it because there have been many more cases than reported...and there are some other underlying factors?
A couple of factors could be causing the greater death toll in Mexico, said Howard Markel, a physician and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.
"They may have had cases for several months now and probably have a greater number of people who have the disease, probably tens of thousands," he said.
Also, he said, the people who have died in Mexico could have had what he called "another co-factor," such as taking medicine or having pre-existing infections that would make them more vulnerable. It's also possible, he said, that those who died had an underlying genetic predisposition or condition.
Is it because they were poor?
Julio Frenk, former health minister of Mexico and now dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, holds an opposing view: The disease could be killing people who are not healthy because of their living conditions.
"There could also be some elements in the host," he said. "These are poor people. Maybe their immune response is not as efficient. So we're going to have to just keep trying to understand why this difference and whether that continues as the epidemic unfolds."
Or is it just the first relatively mild wave of what could become a deadly pandemic? Just like the one that broke out in the Spring of 1918. But didn't turn into an agent of mass murder until August....when the second wave hit.
The bottom line: We still don't know anything about this new virus or where it's going.
Panic is bad, but so is denial.
Idiocy is WORSE.
“It is a tragedy only for people living ... in slums in Asia or Mexico. But will the honeymoon couple from Edinburgh die? No. A couple of Strepsils will do the job."
Don Martin should put his fedora back on.
And what you don't know can kill you...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Stephen Harper: Bastard or Monster?
When I read what James Bow,one of the best and gentlest bloggers in Canada, had to say about Stephen Harper's Cons.
I cannot understand the government’s actions in this case....Don’t they realize how bad this makes them look? Don’t they care? This and this alone is enough for me to want an election so we can throw these bastards out.
Such a government can only be deemed markedly worse than any other government which has preceded it, regardless of any scandal you’d like to wave in my face. The time has come to punish this prime minister at the polls, and to send the Conservative Party back to the political wilderness where it currently belongs.
It was like music to my ears.
Because when James calls Harper's Cons mean-spirited bastards... I feel so much better about calling Harpo Great Monster Leader.
On the other hand why has it taken so long for James and a lot of other decent Canadians to come to that conclusion? Because the evidence has been there from day one of Harper's hideous un-Canadian regime.
What else can explain his decision to go after women and minorities, by ordering that the word "equality" be stricken from government documents. And killing the Court Challenge program?
What kind of cruel person would keep a Canadian child soldier rotting in a place like this?
What kind of bully would say he enjoys seeing fear in the eyes of other people?
What kind of political thug would turn our Parliament into a partisan pig sty...and launch the ugliest attack ads in Canadian history?
What kind of Prime Minister would condemn hundreds of thousands of Canadians to suffering by refusing to allow more Canadians to qualify for employment insurance?
What kind of human being can't feel the pain of others?
You know.... I think James and other decent Canadians took a little longer to appreciate the true nature of Stephen Harper because they couldn't believe that something so horrible could happen in Canada.
But who can blame them? Not me. Because although I'm going to keep fighting Harper my way....until the monster is driven from power. And I could never be as nice as James.
Deep down inside.
I share their gentle vision of Canada...
Except that for way too long, too many good people in this country were blinded by their own decency....didn't call a spade a spade...or a monster a monster.
And only after that
Will Canada be Canada...
Swine Flu: Are Travel Bans Necessary?
I see the World Health Organization has raised the pandemic alert to four.
Which only tells us that this new virus travels easily from human to human. Instead of raising it to five which would among other things trigger all kind of travel bans.
But who can blame them?
A decision about travel restrictions or advisories, for example, could affect trade and finances at a time of economic chaos. If the public health emergency declared by the W.H.O. and the Obama administration turns out to be a false alarm, officials will be ridiculed for unnecessarily worrying millions of people — perhaps even for creating fear to justify their budgets.
Especially when they can't be sure how lethal this virus really is:
Occasionally, alerts of a new virus, or a mutation of an old one, come from a laboratory. More often, fatalities are the first clue.
But high initial death rates often fall as officials find that the causative microbe also causes mild, even symptomless cases. Officials may learn that the outbreak has gone on silently for weeks, even months.
And Mexico isn't providing enough answers.
A portrait is emerging of a slow and confused response by Mexico to the gathering swine flu epidemic. And that could mean the world is flying blind into a global health storm.
It remained unclear where and how the epidemic began, how it has spread, who it has killed or how fast it is growing. And the government has yet to take some basic steps critical to containing any outbreak, such as quick treatment of people who had contact with the victims.
But who can blame the Mexicans when the real problem is poverty?
Or blame the WHO for taking that into account...and understanding what a complete travel ban could do to Mexico's shattered economy?
Especially since the virus cannot be contained. Not a single person has died anywhere else in the world. And the global economic crisis has already forced 50 million people in the developing countries into extreme poverty.
The kind of poverty that KILLS.
The WHO had to choose between the outbreak and the recession, and they came down in the middle.
Which at this point doesn't really change anything anyway. Once an influenza bug starts spreading NOTHING can stop it. It'll find you in Acapulco..... it'll find you in Chibougamou.
Until we determine whether the virus is a killer...or has mutated into something less lethal...we can't really determine the right response.
And kicking up the alert a notch could cause mass panic...for nothing.
Not that anything can help the WHO. Even if they're right they'll be criticized.
If they're wrong they'll be damned. And there is only one message we need right now.
Don't panic...be PREPARED.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Swine Flu and the Echo of 1918
As the swine flu continues to spread around the world.
The billion dollar question is why is it so mild in most places and so deadly in Mexico?
It may be that we simply don't have enough cases to get a proper picture of the outbreak. It could be the virus is fizzling out...which H1N1 viruses often do as they pass from person to person.
Or it could be an echo of the Spanish flu of 1918. Which was mild when it first arrived in the Spring of that year. And deadly by the fall.
This old chart shows how the virus suddenly mutated into a killer. One that caused the immune systems of young and healthy patients to go into overdrive. Which also seems to be happening in Mexico and is another echo of 1918.
And the question is whether the virus has been in Mexico long enough to trigger a second wave...or whether the deaths are just a wrong turn for the virus as it mutates into a milder form. And learns to live with its hosts instead of killing them.
The problem is the longer these kind of viruses are out there unchecked by herd immunity, the more likely it is that they might mutate into a more lethal form, or swap genes with something like the Bird Flu virus....and that could be disastrous. Because while the Spanish Flu had an average mortality rate of 2.5 %....and the mortality rate of this virus is slightly higher....the Avian flu has a mortality rate of about fifty per cent.
The good news is that we should be able to answer these questions in a matter of days. And that whatever happens we are infinitely better prepared to deal with a pandemic than we were in 1918.
We have antibiotics, we have ventilators, we have new anti-viral drugs. Thanks to SARS and the Avian flu scare we also have all kinds of plans to deal with an emergency situation.
And above all there is an army of men and women in green and white who have been preparing for years to fight this battle. And we're READY.
So the only thing to fear is fear itself. And if we all do what we have to do.
We can still beat this bug....
Between the Abyss and the Apocalypse
What a strange almost surrealistic Spring.The news is so gloomy and frightening. But in the Great White North all that bad stuff seems so far away. Like it's not really happening.
Take the recession for example. It keeps on getting worse...and claiming new victims. But I can't see the misery. Everything around me seems normal ...except for a few haunting voices.
Like this moving post.
Recessions are depressing and the depression has finally gotten to me....
Willy thought he was different, than those workers who gave up their dreams to stand in one spot for thirty years. Willy was a mover and shaker who followed his dreams and always reached for the brass wing, but now in the end he has been replaced by bits and bytes, also questioning the choices he made.
In the end Just Another Willy Loman.
Or the old bank manager on TV trying to hold on to his dignity, while being hectored by some young bimbo on how to fill out a resume.
Or the man in the hospital waiting room telling another "I'm 59-years-old and nobody wants me."
But if you weren't listening for it you'd never know it was happening.
Because Spring in the Great White North looks just like it always does.
But for how long I wonder?
How long before the pain becomes unbearable? How long before they tell us not to kiss or hold hands..... like they're telling them in Mexico?
And what would it be like if a recession and a pandemic hit at the same time? And if they do.... how many young adults could be dead by the end of the summer?
Oh boy. Maybe denial has its moment after all.
Maybe it's time to give it a rest. Because life is too short.
Not to live it as well as he did.
Maybe it's time to surrender to Spring...and go a little wild. Fall in love all over again. Make a new video. Paint the town red.
Or just jump on my bike and go REALLY crazy.
Like Danny does...
I wish. But you know what I mean eh?
We all know we are going to die.
But between The Abyss and the Apocalypse.
Will we dare to LIVE?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Swine Flu: When All the World's a Barnyard
OMG. Hit me with a pork chop. With all the things that can kill us these days...the recession, the Cons, Pakistan, Iran...who knew it would be these guys ?
Or that the mortal danger would come from Mexico.
Caramba. Don't forget to keep your party sombrero handy eh? So you can wear it to your funeral.
Although also don't forget that we've seen this panic before.
U.S. officials ordered the manufacture of swine flu virus vaccine and the country proceeded to launch a mass immunization program that saw upwards of 40 million people injected with the vaccine.
The feared pandemic never occurred. But the vaccine appeared to trigger a high level of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a type of paralysis that is often, though not always, time limited.
And the reaction was more dangerous than the disease.
On the other hand this is troubling.
The new strain contains gene sequences from North American and Eurasian swine flus, North American bird flu and North American human flu.
Most of Mexico’s dead were young, healthy adults, and none were over 60 or under 3 years old, the World Health Organization said. That alarms health officials because seasonal flus cause most of their deaths among infants and bedridden elderly people, but pandemic flus — like the 1918 Spanish flu, and the 1957 and 1968 pandemics — often strike young, healthy people the hardest.
The leading theory on why so many young, healthy people die in pandemics is the “cytokine storm,” in which vigorous immune systems pour out antibodies to attack the new virus. That can inflame lung cells until they leak fluid, which can overwhelm the lungs
Great eh? Why go out with a bang? When you can go out with an OINK...choking in your own mucus.
Because that's the same kind of mixture and the same deadly demographic that resulted in this catastrophe.
So I guess the questions that need to be urgently answered are these:
(1) What exactly is this virus... and is it being spread by humans?
(2) Are the young and the elderly being spared because they are more likely to be vaccinated...or because their immune systems aren't as strong?
(3) Is the virus being spread by migrating birds as it was in 1918?
And of course the ultimate question. Is it just panic.... or the beginning of a pandemic that could make the recession look like a picnic?
Gawd. Just what we needed eh? Another reason to worry.
Another reminder of how puny we are.
And that all the world's a barnyard...
Friday, April 24, 2009
Omar Khadr and the Werewolf
I had this horrible nightmare last night. There was this disgusting werewolf crawling all over Omar Khadr.
Mumbling something about appealing to his redneck base, how he was going to FUCK the judges, and how the little brown bastard hadn't been punished ENOUGH.
Which is when I woke up in a pool of sweat. Only to turn on the TV and see Lawrence Cannon accuse Khadr of killing Canadian soldiers.
And announce that the ReformCons were
Which left me shaking my head and wondering whether these foul incompetent Cons have lost the steering wheel....as well as their moral compass.
I mean I can excuse the Cannon. Everyone in Quebec knows that he's not playing with both barrels. Although only a vile Con could smear a defenceless kid...or turn tragedy into comedy.
But how can you excuse Stephen Harper for not being HUMAN enough to do the right and decent thing? For acting like a monster and savaging the rights of a Canadian child soldier.
I don't think you can. All I know is that Omar Khadr has suffered enough.
He needs to be brought home IMMEDIATELY.
And that ..... *sigh*..... since it is Friday night and that's a good thing...even in Con Canada.
But not in Guantanamo...where ALL days are bad days
When it comes to werewolves.
I prefer this one....
Damn. They always take the wrong werewolves eh?
Have a great weekend everyone....
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Stephen Harper's Moment of Infamy
Take a close look at this photograph. Because for me it marks the exact moment when Stephen Harper lost his moral authority to govern.
The moment he stood up in Question Period today, and announced that he will seek to appeal this ruling.
"The facts, in our judgment, have not changed. "We will be looking at the decision very carefully and, obviously, considering an appeal."
Even though that means that Omar Khadr will continue to be held even longer in that hellish gulag called Guantanamo.
Even though the Judge couldn't be clearer.
"The ongoing refusal of Canada to request Mr. Khadr's repatriation to Canada offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr's rights," O'Reilly said in his 43-page decision.
And stated the ugly truth that cannot be hidden, and will not be silenced anymore:
To their eternal shame two Canadian governments allowed the Bush/Cheney war criminals to send a Canadian kid to a place like Guantanamo. Even though he was a child soldier.
Even though he had been badly wounded.
Allowed these monsters to keep him there for almost seven years and torture him.
Never lifted a finger to help him.
And COLLABORATED with his torturers.
How could we ever have allowed this to happen? How can we ever stand up for the rights of children and child soldiers after committing this human right's outrage?
You know...William Kuebler, his heroic lawyer, says Omar will probably not find out about today's decision for a few days. But I hope when he does it's as big a present as the Disney comic books he loves so much.
Because apparently he has been able to hold on to his humanity better than many Canadians have. Even in that horrible place.
And because his horror has been our shame. A black mark on Canada's reputation that will NEVER be erased.
Oh well. At least now I will never have to call Stephen Harper Prime Minister again.
Because after today he lacks the moral credentials to call himself a Prime Minister....and uphold our Canadian values. He should resign or be dismissed by all decent Canadians as soon as possible.
Until then all he'll get from me is this:
Harper you miserable, cruel, racist, Bush stooge bastard.
Bring Omar Khadr home TOMORROW....
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Stephen Harper and the Vanishing Criminals
Well so much for Stephen Harper's plans to become Canada's Great Mussolini Leader. So much for his law and order platform.
New statistics suggest serious criminal offences were on the decline well before the federal Conservative government launched its anti-crime campaign in Parliament.
The Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper has campaigned on promises to get tough on crime and has introduced a number of bills in Parliament to address what it characterizes as a rising problem.
Oh.My.Duce. Is that a fading police siren? Or the sound of a squeaky toilet ?
And why do these diving blue lines....
Remind me of Stephen Harper's polls?
Wow. Talk about the Con Connection. The more criminals there are the better they do. They must really LOVE them eh?
And what is Great Crime
Will he create his own crime wave? Send out the tiny but notorious hitman Jimbo Flaherty, to rob banks and grab what's left of our money? He whacked the economy, so that should be a cinch. Or will he send out John "Screamer" Baird at the head of an army of pickpocketing Con hookers .....to steal our moral fibre?
Because if that doesn't cause mass panic .....NOTHING will.
Gawd. Life in Con Canada.
Stay tuned. Today it's the invisible criminals
Tomorrow it's the KILLER KLOWNS....
Yikes. Do ReformCons REALLY see the world like that?
Brutish, violent and frozen in time.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Jamaica: The Horror and the Silence
I'm glad those Canadian tourists got out of Jamaica alive.
I hope that before the scary end they had a good vacation..... in the most homophobic place on Earth.
In 2004, a teen was almost killed when his father learned his son was gay and invited a group to lynch the boy at his school. Months later, witnesses say, police egged on another mob that stabbed and stoned a gay man to death in Montego Bay. And this year a Kingston man, Nokia Cowan, drowned after a crowd shouting "batty boy" (a Jamaican epithet for homosexual) chased him off a pier.
Bathing in gay blood.
One night last month, Andre and some friends were finishing dinner when a mob showed up at the front gate. Yelling antigay slurs and waving machetes, sticks and knives, 15 to 20 men kicked in the front door of the home he and his friends had rented and set upon them.
His skull has deep cut marks and his ear was sliced in half, horizontally. Doctors managed to sew it back together and he can hear out of it again.
And then there's Stephen Harper. I hope he enjoyed his little vacation too....with his new best friend Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
The ugly bigot who recently said this:
“We are not going to yield to the pressure, whether that pressure comes from individual organizations, individuals, whether that pressure comes from foreign governments or groups of countries, to liberalize the laws as it relates to buggery,”
Where "buggery" can mean just holding hands.
I was hoping the plight of gay people might come up at a news conference this morning. But it didn't. Harper didn't mention it .... naturally. And the media asked no questions.
What a wasted opportunity. Can you imagine what an effect a statement from Canada might have had? Can you imagine how much violence it might have prevented ?
But instead there was NOTHING about the poor gays of Jamaica. Nothing about this humble boycott.
Can you imagine how powerless I feel? The deadly silence continues.
And the horror goes on and on...
Monday, April 20, 2009
Susan Boyle: The Ugly and the Glory
Well I see that Susan Boyle is on her way to becoming the biggest internet phenomenom EVER.
And just about EVERYONE has written something about her.
But I thought this feminist review was the most interesting.
Why are we so shocked when "ugly" women can do things, rather than sitting at home weeping and wishing they were somebody else? Men are allowed to be ugly and talented...But a woman has to have the bright, empty beauty of a toy - or get off the screen.
Susan will probably win Britain's Got Talent. She will be the little munter that could sing, served up for the British public every Saturday night. Look! It's "ugly"! It sings! And I know that we think that this will make us better people. But Susan Boyle will be the freakish exception that makes the rule. By raising this Susan up, we will forgive ourselves for grinding every other Susan into the dust. It will be a very partial and poisoned redemption. Because Britain's Got Malice. Sing, Susan, sing - to an ugly crowd that doesn't deserve you.
I thought John Doyle also nailed the ugly truth.
If American Idol and its many imitations actually featured a lot of people who looked like Boyle, then hardly anybody would watch.
What we want is young, pretty people to gaze at. We think we root for the underdog, but we don't really. We are a superficial, catty and vapid culture. We aren't interested in authenticity. We mainly watch TV shows featuring people we'd like to date, touch and have sex with.
Which is why I normally don't watch those shows. But will watch and cheer for Susan.
Because this story really moved me.
"I was born with a disability and that made me a target for bullies. I was called names because of my fuzzy hair and because I struggled in class.
"I told the teachers, but because it was more verbal than physical I could never prove anything. But words often hurt more than cuts and bruises and the scars are still there."
But look at me now - I've got the last laugh."
BTW did I mention that if you drive north from the Scottish village of Blackburn where Susan lives ....for just two and a half hours.... you come to the village where I was born?
Is that a close brush with greatness or what eh ?
Don't change a thing BEAUTIFUL.
Sing Susan sing.
Go Susan go....
Another Good Reason to Boycott Jamaica
No. not this one.
Although I warned you that crime in that country is out of control, and that nobody is safe ANYWHERE.
Or the murderous homophobia.
Because that's been going on for years...and why we're already boycotting Jamaica.
Or the fact that Stephen Harper spoke to the Jamaican Parliament today and never said a word about human rights in that country. Or the gay pogroms.
Because he was too busy falling all over that country's bigot Prime Minister.
Ugh. How ghastly. I guess that's what happens when two homophobes try to hug each other.
But what's a little fondling compared to this latest bit of disgustingness?
Doctors from local hospitals in Kingston, Jamaica, report that they've been seeing a record number of broken dicks in the past few months. They attribute this to the increased popularity of "daggering."
Daggering, or "daggeration", is slang for very, very rough sex.
If you're a gay man you're hacked to pieces with machetes.
If you're a lesbian you are raped and/or murdered.
And if you're a straight woman you're DAGGERED.
Look I'm glad their dicks are snapping like twigs.
But why would anyone EVER want to go there?
P.S. After taking another look at that picture...maybe I was a little harsh on Great Loser Leader.
Maybe I just should have said...Hallelujah it's Spring !!!!!
And even Harper's in LOVE...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
When the Humble Find their Voice
I was really happy to see that the Summit of the Americas has ended on an optimistic note.
And that an American President has admitted that fifty years of economic warfare against Cuba has gone nowhere.
In a news conference at the close of the summit, Mr Obama conceded that decades of US policy on Cuba "hasn't worked the way we wanted it too".
Because I love Cuba and its people, and I know how much they've suffered because of the cruel U.S. embargo.
And I admire how despite that suffering they have managed to feed and educate their children better than any other country in Latin America. Which for me is the true measure of civilization.
But what I liked the most about this summit was the way the indigenous people of South America have finally found their voice.
And that after centuries of oppression, the mighty have been forced to listen to what these poorest and most humble of people have to say.
Which lifted my heart, and for some reason reminded me of this cute little video.
You can oppress a humble people for centuries. You can steal their land. You can kill them or starve them to death.
But you can never kill their spirit.
My beautiful America, from Tuktuyaaqtuuq to Patagonia...
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Michael Coren: Women Shouldn't be Soldiers
I don't usually care what the Jabbasaurus SoCon Michael Coren has to say about anything.
Because he's such a religious reactionary and disgusting homophobe he doesn't deserve to be listened to or read. And besides his plummy accent makes me want to scream. Or call him a (s)limey ARSE-hole.
But even by his Jabba blabber standards this is the limit.
So Canada sacrifices another victim on the altar of equality.
Last week a young girl dressed up as a soldier died in the increasingly futile and pointless war in Afghanistan....But what on earth was she doing in such a place and in such a job?
Because there are few if any women who have the skills required to serve as a front-line combat trooper.
Yes, yes, yes, I know it's fundamentally anti-Canadian to say this but I'd prefer to articulate the views of the silent majority than hide behind some modernist fetish that places more importance on the myth of absolute equality than the safety of a girl who should be laughing with college friends rather than fighting theocratic madmen.
Gawd. When the Jabbasaurus farted that one they must have had to clear the building.
But of course he would say that. Because the
And all this grotesquely sexist article amounts to is the most naked and disgusting defence of the patriarchy I think I've ever seen.
When in fact women in front-line positions have the same skills training and physical requirements as the men. I know a couple of female soldiers who could whup most guys' asses. And being able to serve and die for your country is an important measure of equality.
OK. I know.The Jabbasaurus is a monstrous idiot. Yabba Dabba Doo.
But what's their excuse?
Oh boy. These ridiculous old men still clinging to their dinosaur world. Where women are too PRETTY to fight and die. And daddy knows best. Will someone please tell them that the Stone Age is over ? And we're not going back.
In the meantime I'll cling to MY beliefs.
Trooper Karine Blais is a hero.
And a feminist one as well.
Some Blogging Tories are real idiots eh?
And Michael Coren is an ARSE-hole....
The Gay Movement and the Misogyny Monster
As I said when I was nominated for an F-Word Blog award, I've always considered the gay movement and the women's movement to be natural allies.
Because we're both fighting for equality, and we both have the same enemies.
But also because in the dark cave of homophobia lurks the monster of misogyny.
Being called a “fag,” you see, actually has almost nothing to do with being gay.
It’s really about showing any perceived weakness or femininity – by being emotional, seeming incompetent, caring too much about clothing, liking to dance or even having an interest in literature.
The message to the most vulnerable, to the victims of today’s poisonous boy culture, is being heard loud and clear: to be something other than the narrowest, stupidest sort of guy’s guy, is to be unworthy of even being alive.
It's about the evil of trying to put gentle boys into cookie cutters...and turn them into violent men.
And the horror of self oppression....that hurts straight boys as well as gay ones.
Boys avail themselves most frequently of epithets like “fag” to “police” one another’s behavior and bring it back to being sufficiently masculine when someone steps out of line
“Boys were showing each other they were tough. They were afraid to do anything that might be called girlie .....It was just like what I would have found if I had done this research 50 years ago. They were frozen in time.”
Which clearly demonstrates that this poisonous hatred is not just a question of confused identity. But rests squarely on the patriarchal belief that women and girls are weaker and lesser humans.
Which of course is NONSENSE..... as I pointed out in this post.
And why I'm fighting with the women...to help them AND my gay brothers and sisters. And liberate us ALL.
And why I know that when women finally win their long battle for equality and respect, the bells will ring for them that day. Hallelujah.
And the next day they'll ring for us...
P.S. Today is the final day of voting for the F-Word blog awards. You can vote for me and the others here. Just don't forget to show your support.
Because we have a world to change and we need EVERYONE...
Friday, April 17, 2009
The Day of Silence and the Young Bigots
Today hundreds of thousands of students in the United States took part in a Day of Silence.
A day designed to draw attention to the silencing by bullying of gay kids...every day of the school year.
It's a humble, gentle symbolic protest. And it may seem a bit melodramatic.
Until you meet the people the people they're up against.
Like this group of young bigots demanding the right to wear t-shirts with Biblical anti-gay quotations on them.
Listen and shudder...
That's the fanatic face of the enemy gay kids are up against.
The ones who are stirred up by the crazed zealots of the religious right, who hate gays so much they are willing to wage war on children.
Even if that hate makes their lives hell....and drives so many of them to suicide.
You know some gay activists were saying today that instead of a passive Day of Silence, it would be better to invest the money and energy into teaching gay kids self-defence.
Like Pansy Division sing in their new album "That's So Gay."
"I heard what you said, just a figure of speech/If you meant nothing by it, practice what you preach/ The next time you say it, you'd better think twice/Some pissed-off faggot may not take it too nice."
But I don't know.
Because for me tough is good....but so is gentle.
Because that's the kind of world I want to live in.
Most of the time you have to speak up against the hatred that kills.
But sometimes silence speaks volumes...
Homophobe Zombies Get Pwned. Again
Last week I told you how the nasty Christianist homophobes had launched a $1.5 million dollar campaign against gay marriage.
With this ridiculous Zombie ad.
And I also told you how the Forces of Light replied with a volley of YouTube parodies...which exposed them as liars and Frauds of the Undead.
Until the Zombies bit back
NOM used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to force YouTube and other video sites to remove the clips and replace them with a message saying: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by National Organization for Marriage."
So what were the good people to do?
Except spend a little money, shoot their own video.
And mock them mercilessly. Again...
And then they came for the DOG....
Is NOTHING sacred?
But what WILL the Zombies do next? Will they bite their heads off...or just bite their bags?
And will they EVER get their brains back?
Stay tuned for the next episode...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Shabby Treatment of Trooper Blais
She fought with the guys. She was killed by their side. But when they brought Trooper Karine Blais home today, they treated her differently.
Canada's chief of defence staff issued an apology Thursday for the decision to make a stopover in Ottawa to drop off troops from the plane that was bringing their slain comrade back to Canada from Afghanistan.
Blah.Blah.Blah. The General can say what he wants. But that was HER flight..... HER last flight home. And they treated her like freight.
Shame on those idiot Brass heads, and good for this soldier.
A "very upset" member of the Canadian Forces sent an email to the CBC complaining about the stopover on the flight from Kandahar Airfield to CFB Trenton, in Ontario.
The person said Trooper Blais "did not get the respect she deserved" and that the 116 other Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan have first landed in Trenton.
Oh boy. It really makes you wonder how badly our army is broken. Why couldn't we properly honour that brave woman. Why couldn't we protect this one?
When Kandahar is supposed to be OUR turf.
And BTW what exactly are we teaching our Afghan police trainees?
Swarms of angry men shouting epithets and hurling stones confronted hundreds of Afghan women who staged a rare public protest yesterday against a law that allows husbands to demand sex from their wives.
Some of the policemen assigned to keep the two groups apart joined the protest, shouting threats at the women.
And since we're talking about the Afghan police... how is that boy rape investigation going?
Then there’s that weekly ritual I observed at forward operating base Wilson in the summer of 2007, where young boys selected by Afghanistan police officers were brought inside the base for what disgusted Canadian soldiers told me was “man love Thursday”. This weekly ritual of child sexual abuse may continue even now, although Canadian soldiers have been told to practice zero tolerance against it and a military investigation has been launched.
Because I really want to know what kind of values we are propping up in the barbarous Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Because they sure aren't mine or Canadian eh?
But of course the extension of this mission had nothing to do with human rights.And everything to do with Stephen Harper's attempt to exploit divisions in the Liberal Party. And pose as a strong leader.
And now we're all paying for his criminal folly. Especially our soldiers who are fighting and dying in a moral SWAMP.
Oh yeah...that reminds me. As I said the other day.
No matter how crazy this mission may be..
No matter how shabbily they treated her.
Like all the other soldiers who died.
Trooper Blais is still a hero...
P.S. I am a finalist in the F-Word Blogging Awards in the Support Bro category. I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me. As I said before I'm just honoured to have been nominated.
But don't forget to vote for all the other finalists...and my excellent Support Brothers. The cause is a great one. And even if I come in last...as I richly deserve to...my granny would be proud of me...