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Monday, November 26, 2012

Conflict of interest, Mayor Stupid, and the Globe's stunning incoherence

There was a short-lived meme on Twitter recently, riffing on the Teutonic gift for coining words that have no exact English equivalent, but nevertheless capture meanings beautifully. "Schadenfreude" is one of the best examples. (I'm trying not to indulge at the moment.)

So I'm left wondering whether there's a German expression for times when reprehensible people appear to do the right thing, albeit for questionable reasons and in contexts which make the rightness of their actions suspect.

As we all know by now, Judge Charles Hackland, ruling in the conflict of interest proceedings brought against Rob Ford, has ruled that Mayor Stupid must be removed from office. No surprise at the finding, although there was a fair bit of energy backing the prediction that the court would somehow find a way not to apply the maximum penalty.

However, it's the reaction of our supposed Newspaper of RecordTM that begs further examination. As the pinstriped pamphleteers of Front Street argue:

Mr. Ford didn’t want to play by the rules. Not the ones he didn’t like, anyway, such as those governing conflict of interest.

Well, no argument there, although it's not as if the observation first came to life in the Front Street drawing room over brandy and cigars. Pious and paternalistic, but essentially correct. But it's what comes after that triggers the WTF:

The country’s biggest city gave him a strong mandate to reduce costs and attack what Mr. Ford described as a culture of entitlement at City Hall. He has even had some success.

Um ... what?

[Slim Pickens voice]
Did you say "Attack a Culture of Entitlement?"
[/Slim Pickens voice]

Is there anyone who embodies that more than Mayor Stupid and Brother Dumbfuck? A pair of guys who think they can flout the rules and blow off the consequences whenever they feel like it because … because ... shut the fuck up, OK? Taxpayers taxpayers taxpayers, subways subways subways, mandate, drool, release the trolls.

Let's review: here's a guy who thinks he's entitled to

  • Phone Andy Byford and demand to know where his bus is
  • Abuse and demean public servants
  • Ignore the rules whenever they don't conform to his own sense of what's right
  • Demand that city staff fix the road in front of his family business
  • Blow off his official responsibilities to go coach football, and use public resources to do it

And that's just off the top of my head.

But let's move on, and compare that to the Globe's support for their charming ideological brethren in Ottawa, and ...

  • electoral fraud
  • robocalls
  • naked attacks on dissent
  • instructions for disrupting parliamentary committees
  • secret "free-trade" deals
  • Mordor
  • embarrassment and damage to Canada's international reputation.

These are the people, mind, whom the Globe endorses as a way of "finding new ways to protect Parliament."

Are you fucking kidding me?

(But never mind all that just now -- is there a trend we might not be catching? Like, omigaaaawd ... )

In the continuing train wreck otherwise known as the Wente Clusterfuck, it's easy to lose sight of our National Fishwrap's many other acts of civic and linguistic vandalism. While this little corner isn't fit to polish Carol Wainio's flatware, perhaps this one little bit of paint on the cave wall might merit a footnote.

Related posts:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wente, the Gelber, and the Globe: more quality control from Carol Wainio

Another persuasive argument from Carol Wainio, who, beyond providing a stellar illustration of the value of independent academia, is making a convincing case for herself as a national treasure.

In her latest post, Prof. Wainio takes issue with the participation of disgraced Globe columnist Margaret Wente on the jury for the Gelber Prize — a supposedly prestigious award presented by the Gelber Foundation and the University of Toronto's Munk School for Global Affairs. With all this academic and financial star power, one would think academic integrity would be a prerequisite for all involved. As Prof. Wainio argues:

Don’t universities take strong public standards against plagiarism?  What would the University of Toronto or The Munk School (partners in the award) do with students who engaged in these practices? 

Having documented repeated instances of, at the very least, sloppy attribution or "originality problems" from Wente, it's entirely in order for Prof. Wainio to be raising such a question. She goes on, however, to compare another column from Wente to recent work from Walter Russell Mead and fellow Globe columnist Gary Mason, and to note Wente's evident "efficiency" in using the same material for two columns two weeks apart.

Well, we can't fault Wente for her embrace of the 3 Rs. But, as Prof. Wainio points out:

Are these as serious as past instances?  No.  But they do reflect a kind of practice, a habit, and dare one say, a kind of entitlement.  Given all that, and what was pretty universally described as the dreadful way Ms. Wente and her editors dealt with the more serious instances, one has to wonder why the Gelber Prize, the University of Toronto and the Munk School chose to rely so heavily on jurors associated with that particular newspaper ...

I've already pointed out the invaluable work Prof. Wainio does in providing the quality control that the senior editors of the Globe apparently refuse to do. It's particularly salient in this case, given both Wente and Mead's professed disdain for the kind of free and independent inquiry supposedly ensured by the institution of academic tenure, but it's even more valuable for the context it provides. Since it's clear that we're not going to get any critical analysis of Wente's, er, "work" from the Globe, Prof. Wainio's observations are essential as a reality check. They give readers the information they need in order to understand what they're getting from Wente.

And moreover, they put a rather jarring spotlight on the ideological and managerial decisions being taken in the executive suites on Front Street. It's not as if the warnings aren't there; while I'm not rushing to embrace the National Putz, Chris Selley raised several questions about the Globe's handling of the Wente scandal and its implications for the Gelber Prize in another essay late last week:

The Globe didn’t seem bothered about being seen to do anything, and I think it wound up leaving a widespread impression that it did nothing ... Maybe some principles are worth bending if sticking to them upsets the official Canadian chattering class hierarchy in which Margaret Wente plays house contrarian.

Nothing new about the smug, oblivious attitude the Globe appears to be taking toward this, or its condescending dismissal of mere "bloggers." It goes hand-in-hand with Wente's cringe-inducing poor-me non-apology in September.

What's left, however, are lingering questions about the Globe's credibility — questions which only grow more insistent the longer the Front Street brain trust tries to pretend they're not there.

(For even better takes on this, please read thwap and Sixth Estate.)

Related posts:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hey, Lone Pine Resources Inc. — sue this

NAFTA challenge launched over Quebec fracking ban - The Globe and Mail: "Energy firm Lone Pine Resources Inc. is taking on Quebec’s fracking moratorium, saying it violates the firm’s rights under the North American free-trade agreement and demanding more than $250-million in compensation."

'via Blog this'

Y'see, that's the great thing about "free trade." We get sued for "lost profits" when we try to protect our drinking water.

And the Chinese deal Harper's pushing? Shhh. It's a secret. Everything about it is a secret. Even Diane Francis is shitting on it, for Chrissakes.

Guy's not only letting foreign corporations fuck us over, he's handing out souvenir bags at the door.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it.

Related posts:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Carol Wainio rips Terence Corcoran and Margaret Wente a new one

John Stackhouse too, by implication.

And the best part is, she does it so politely and reasonably. No sneering, no condescension, no invective, none of the aggrieved privilege that marks so much of Wente's and Corky's oeuvre.

From her rebuttal to Corky, everyone's favourite crazy old uncle, in the Putz:
In the wake of the Margaret Wente affair, the National Post’s Terence Corcoran suggests that media ethics require no oversight at all. But in performing his analysis, could Mr. Corcoran not have provided us with something other than a variant on the “political-correctness-gone-amok” meme? It’s becoming a bit of a worn out catch-all, perhaps best retired or re-assigned.
There is such a thing as ethical correctness — more difficult and less cartoonish than political correctness — which we expect in banking, government and business. Does Mr. Corcoran recommend ethics be removed from all areas of public life, or just his own profession? And what good are ethics, without consequences in the breach?
You couldn't ask for a starker delineation between new media and old media. Never mind the arrogance of its initial response or Wente's I'm-the-victim non-apology or the Real Estate Deals From Leah McLaren And Her Mom section. To the extent that the Globe even acknowledges the existence of a "blogosphere," it's only to blow off the idea that bloggers have anything worthwhile to add or ought to be taken seriously. It still hasn't gotten the message, evidently, because it seems to think that if it just circles the wagons and ignores the buzz on social media, this will all go away.

All of which makes the contrast with Carol Wainio and her firm and principled arguments that much more biting.

Better wake up, old-media types. Prof. Wainio is teaching a course in Credibility 101, and you ain't got much left.

Related posts:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Sixth Estate » Canada’s Print Media: Democracy Couldn’t Ask for Finer Keystone Kops

The Sixth Estate » Canada’s Print Media: Democracy Couldn’t Ask for Finer Keystone Kops:

This country has real issues to worry about. In the last year alone, we have been presented with documented evidence of large-scale electoral fraud, our environmental protection and climate change regimes have been ripped to shreds, and the federal government has laid aside the Canada Health Act and thus ended, at least in principle, universal healthcare. More evidence continues to emerge that it plotted a systematic course of deception with regard to the cost of a multi-billion dollar military procurement project. And our media is so breathtakingly incompetent that they can’t even agree on whether someone in their ranks was copying and pasting without attribution and, if so, whether it was very wrong of them to do so.

'via Blog this'

Related posts:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

From John Miller's blog: Wentegate and the Globe

Blog: Wentegate:

"So what should happen now?

The Globe and Mail has itself a big, big problem. The Wente Affair makes the newspaper -- and the rest of mainstream journalism -- seem hopelessly out of touch with the internet-savvy hordes who seem to enjoy circling around the decaying corpse of authority these days.


When Stead was appointed to the job last January, editor-in-chief John Stackhouse said: "The Globe and Mail is among the most respected names in Canadian media, because we've always been held to the highest standards. Credibility is our currency and we want to protect its value."

That currency has taken a fast plunge. One reader addresses it in a comment attached to Stead's column: "As questionable as I find Wente's lapses of journalistic integrity, the greater blame falls to The Globe for being so irresponsible as to give her this space and lending her an air of credibility by virtue of their (former) reputation. I stopped subscribing to the Globe years ago when it became apparent they were abdicating their responsibility to the public as a source of responsible journalism. This gutless editorial downplaying and excusing Wente's abuses has made me lose any remaining respect I had...No accountability = No subscription."

'via Blog this'

Pop quiz: When confronted with something like this, do you:

a. recognize that you're in deep doo-doo, reflect on how you got there, and take tangible steps to fix the problems that made it happen

b. circle the wagons, stick your fingers in your ears, and go "la la la la la?"

See also:

The Globe’s (and wider media’s) response to this is telling and a serious wake-up call
Margaret Wente Plagiarism Allegations: Globe Responds To Criticism (TWITTER)
Did anybody see where Margaret Wente?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Margaret Wente Plagiarism Allegations: Globe Responds To Criticism (TWITTER)

Margaret Wente Plagiarism Allegations: Globe Responds To Criticism (TWITTER):

'via Blog this'

Whoever did the twitter slideshow is an evil genius. When you're done guffawing, go read Jymn.

Is it just me, or does the Globe totally suck at damage control?

Did anybody see where Margaret Wente?

Yeah, well.

Not like any of this is new or anything, but for some reason it's suddenly getting traction. An overview:
First, some serious acknowledgement to the heroic Media Culpa, who is, evidently single-handedly, doing more quality control for Canadian journalism than the entire corporate media sector combined. No point in going through it all again. Read Media Culpa (and keep your Gravol within reach).

What to do about Wente? In a way, she does the same thing as Blatchford: create controversy, be contrarian, pose as the great crusading sacred-cow-attacker with the courage to say what everyone else is thinking, masquerade as the purveyor of "common sense," take a perverse pride in being "politically incorrect," and so on. There are a lot of people on that gig, of course, but Wente's been riding it so successfully for so long that she must be up to her ass in frequent-flyer miles.

But where Blatchford was all about visceral gut reaction and stoking the lynch mob, Wente's shtick is more insidious — and, just maybe, more fundamental to the Globe and its mission. She is the stinking, unrepentant, unreflective id of the smug entitled boomer demographic — people whose biggest complaint, apparently, is that they can't fit enough cases of wine into the SUV for the cottage. And uppity waiters, baristas and service staff, and why the hell are my taxes so high when these overprivileged brats don't want to learn marketable skills because they're being indoctrinated by entitled leftist tenured academics?

You know them. The generation who had it all their own way, and are insisting on keeping it that way. The ones who ran up such a giant fucking tab economically, environmentally and socially that the planet just won't be able to carry the interest, and can't be bothered to give a shit because they'll be gone when the bill arrives, and shut up and quit your whining, you pampered kids don't know how good you have it compared to what we went through …

Self-awareness and critical thought aren't part of the equation for the Wentes of the world and their milieu. They've never had to practice it  themselves. They don't want their privilege or worldview challenged, and they especially don't want the kids for whom they're leaving such a giant mess  questioning any of the assumptions underlying the generational and social structures sustaining that privilege. (Which is part of why you see such condescending contempt for the Occupy movement, but that's another essay.)

As for the alleged instances of plagiarism / manufactured quotes / fabricated sources / sloppy or non-existent attribution, well, no point in going through that when MC's done such a comprehensive job listing and documenting it. Why does the Globe allow it? God knows. Maybe they've made a strategic decision that that suppurating pile of aging biomass is their core demographic, and Wente, predictable and lazy as she may be, is their entree to that market. It's not about informing them, it's about reinforcing their prejudices and ensuring that their eyeballs can be reliably delivered, en masse, to advertisers.

I could be wrong, of course. But it's worth asking ourselves whether this is what we have in mind when we talk about "journalism."

See also:

Saskboy and Jymn rub The Globe's nose in #RoboCon | #cdnpoli
Media culpa catches Wente being sloppy again | #journalism
How The Globe channels the 1 per cent | #Occupy #classwarfare
The Sun's effect on our national conversation is obvious, but what about the Globe?
Media culpa: George Monbiot’s unedited letter to the Globe and Mail

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The downtown/suburban divide and its fetid offshoots

Doug Holyday gets grumpy about families downtown, Ed Keenan responds with facts | OpenFile:

"On a darker note, it also explains the laissez-faire attitude that so many suburban conservatives had towards the abuses of the G20, as if living downtown was itself incriminating enough to deserve the suspension of our civil liberties. After the G20 weekend, Rob Ford told his AM radio listeners "Personally, if you didn't want to be down there, then you shouldn't have been down there." "Down there," in this case, included a part of the city where tens of thousands of people live."

'via Blog this'

It's been a fun couple of days, mostly related to Holyday's Grandpa Simpson act and conviction that downtown Toronto is no place for kids. Next thing you know, little Ginny's not just playing in traffic -- she's doing crack in the alley behind the meth lab.

But this piece also draws the connection between putative suburban suspicion and resentment of downtown and the smug you-had-it-coming, you-shouldn't-have-been-there reaction to the mass arrests, police brutality and wholesale violations of civil and human rights during the G20. Remember Mayor Stupid suggesting the cops were too nice and didn't go far enough?

Related posts:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tell us again how the police are our friends ...

Why I’m an Actorvist now… (or, to hell and back.) « The Life of an Actor:

"Being arrested and charged is NOT the end of the world – they just want you to feel like it is. So much of police and court process is about intimidation, which is why sometimes people get physically beaten when they are not talking and giving police the answers they want to hear."

'via Blog this'

From Emily Scholey, who was apparently arrested for trying to report domestic abuse.

OpenFile's got more.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Toronto News: Protester sues ‘This ain’t Canada’ cop after York police board refuses to charge him - thestar.com

Toronto News: Protester sues ‘This ain’t Canada’ cop after York police board refuses to charge him - thestar.com: "Paul Figueiras"

'via Blog this'

Nice work, York police board. You been taking lessons or something?

In the OIPRD report, Charlebois admitted saying, “This ain’t Canada right now” and “there are no civil rights here,” but insisted it was just “crap talk.”
“I mean, (Figueiras is) going, ‘I have my rights, this is Canada,’ all this stuff. I’m just giving him gibber back, right?” Charlebois told investigators. “We do it all the time. Guys are talking nonsense and he got nonsense back.”
When questioned about why he put his arm around Figueiras, Charlebois said he was giving him a “hug.” He also explained that he was feeling for any “obvious” weapons in his backpack.

Arrogant fucking pig.

Related posts:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another opportunity for the healing power of public scorn | @TorontoPolice #G20

Can't believe I haven't found this until now. Adam Nobody talks about the dickless pieces of shit who kicked him in the face after he was cuffed. Tough guys.

Note the memes that come out of this and have subsequently become ingrained in all post-G20 discussion: topping the list, the seminal "you should have stayed home" sentiment, wrong-headed though it is; the swaggering aura of unaccountability; the gratuitous sadism; and the overarching, stinking miasma of lies and insults to our intelligence. Thousands of cops right there. Egregiously criminal activity taking place right in front of their fucking noses. Not one of them lifts a finger to stop it. Not one of them sees, hears or remembers anything. Sorry, but if it's Adam Nobody's word against theirs, I know who I'd believe.

And we're coming up on almost two years later.

On a completely unrelated note, anyone know what Todd Storey and Luke Watson are doing?

Related posts:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Couple more guys who are a real credit to the badge | @TorontoPolice #G20

Sergeant Michael Ferry and Sergeant Douglas Rose.

Unnecessary and excessive force (in normal everyday language, police brutality) in the arrest of journalist Ryan Mitchell. (Not that it would be any less disgusting if he weren't a journalist, but, well, you know ... Sean Salvati, Adam Nobody, Dorian Barton, John Pruyn, Lacy McAuley, Gabriel Jacobs ... Christ, do I have to do this again?)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We get spam ... | #uspoli #dumbassracistcracker

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough CouncilmanYarbrough@comcast.net
11:34 AM (11 hours ago)
to me
Did you see this, ?

A state legislator says "Black Youths are Terrorizing" the upscale section of downtown Baltimore.

Immediately, the mayor, governor, and all the other usual suspects go crazy. Calling him lots of names.

The next day it happens again: 20 black people attack a white kid in the same place. And again, in a downtown train station.
Broad daylight, too. Riot in Baltimore. Again.Lots of that happening all over the country.

Here are the articles.

story for you?


good book on it out there too. The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It.

Except that it isn't spam, because according to the message header, it was sent directly ...

Sandbag the border (have I said that already?). The Sewer of StupidTM is backing up again.

Related posts:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lying cops, Mark Pugash, and the Star: Where we juxtapose, once again

Three links to start off with: one from the CBC and two from the Star. Excerpts follow.

New homicide chief on fighting 'code of silence'

Staff Insp. Greg McLane told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning that a lack of information can frustrate investigators, especially when it is known that witnesses were present when a crime took place.

Just like the witnesses who were there when Dorian Barton's arm was broken, or when Sean Salvati was beaten and then paraded around naked, or when Adam Nobody was beaten and kicked in the face. Have we mentioned that most of those witnesses were cops? And that it took the Star to out Glenn Weddell?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

So Bob Rae's still an unctuous, spineless, weaselly hypocrite? Carry on then

We can't pretend to be surprised at the Harper Regime's appeal to the socon mouth breathers. That's part of their playbook, and we've known that all along.

But when you read that Bob's not going to whip the vote on Wankworth's misogynist merry-go-round (h/t @JeninCanada), the first thing that comes to mind, as the Dawgster points out, is his failure on a similar matter almost 20 years ago.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A new progressive aggregator? Woohoo!

Thanks to our good friends Fern Hill, the Dawg, and Dave at TGP, we note this morning the establishment of a new, er, establishment for our progressive friends.

Henceforth, I propose that we refer to the inhabitants of the Rump Aggregator formerly aggregating us only as the Regressive Bloggers. (Hey, "Regressive Rump." Has a kinda ring to it, doncha think?)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And the PB exits continue ... @DrDawg and @gallopingbeaver

The good folk over at DJ and Regina Mom we know about already.

Today, we note the departure of the Dawg and the collective over at TGB.

Not sure whether this is part of a larger pattern, but the need to reclaim the term "progressive" still stands. If you want to call yourself that, you don't put the rights of your fellow citizens on the debating table. You just don't.

And just so the PB admins can't misrepresent this, it's hard to square that with their suggestion that anyone was calling for banning. But apparently even a reiteration of that simple principle was asking too much.

Not only that, there's the arrogance and condescension of their response, for which Dr. Dawg has called them out (Thanks Dawg. Thought I was the only one for a minute there):

The response of Tribe and his moderators to legitimate concerns has been shocking, and I’m not easily shocked these days. This is 2012, and they still don’t get it. Their scorn, smugness and arrogance, with which they appear to be plentifully endowed, have been directed at the pro-rights crowd, not at those who want to debate whether those rights should even exist. The caricatures they’ve been pushing are drearily familiar to anyone following the feminist conversations over the past two or three decades. The goodly folks at DAMMIT JANET! who reacted to their rights being put up for debate have been stereotyped and lampooned. Fern Hill is an “idiot,” avers a prominent Liberal. Those concerned about a progressive aggregator offering safe harbour to those who want to debate human rights for women are, in Tribe’s words, “screaming banschees” [sic].

Not only that, but there's a disturbing willingness to smear and misrepresent as well -- if not on their parts, then on the part of one of their supporters ...

As our comrades note, it's not as if we need this particular aggregator in order to get traffic. But we can't let the term "progressive" be hijacked. Words matter, and so do their meanings. We've got work to do.

Related posts:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

And speaking of 'Progressive Bloggers' who Just Don't Get It, have you good people met Paladiea?

Wow. Just ... wow.

"Paladiea" would like you all to know that he or she is very pro-choice, and dislikes anti-abortionists with a vengeance. He / she makes it clear in the very first paragraph of his / her post, which is not-at-all-patronizingly titled Mountains and Molehills - Abortion Redux.

The rest of the post continues in a slightly less nauseating can't-we-all-just-get-along tone, but here's the money shot:
... when dealing with misogyny, we should be careful to separate the malicious (“Nice Guys” PUAs MRAs etc.) from the ignorant and well meaning (most of society). The solution to this is not to scream and wail and have the Prog Blogs moderate to the point of dictatorship, it is to bring facts and reason to the argument to prove your point.
Got that, ladies? Stop your screaming and wailing, and bring facts and reason to the argument to prove your point. That point being, apparently, that women should have the right to control their own bodies. I guess in Paladiea's view, that's still in issue, so it needs to be established all over again.

I'm just shaking my head here.

Related posts:

Hey, 'Progressive Bloggers' and Scott Tribe: Are you giant wankers, or just trying to look like it?

From a comment over at DJ:

I've requested the regina mom be removed from so-called ProgBlogs because "I will not be associated with an organization of any sort that believes women's fundamental right to freedom of the person is up for debate." The response? Wait for it! "The organization believes nothing of the sort.. it isnt official Prog Blog policy.. it IS official Prog Blog policy to allow freedom of beliefs and expression on touchy topics like this. The reaction to this is way overblown and over the top. Your request will be honoured when I have the time to do so." So, now our full emancipation as human beings is a "touchy topic!" Fuck that bullshit, I say!

Let's just see how fast they find the time now.

Related posts:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hello, "Progressive Bloggers?" Open asses. Remove heads.

So apparently the administrators at the so-called "Progressive Bloggers" aggregator are prepared to continue indulging members who think it's worthwhile to have a "debate" about Stephen Woodworth's crusade for "the rights of the unborn."

Well, fuck that, and fuck them, sez I. While we're at it, maybe we can have a "debate" about whether black people should have the same rights as white people?

Have you noticed what's going on to the south, ProgBlog mods? Have you been off the planet for the last couple of years? There's a wholesale war on women, in case you hadn't noticed. Republicans are working to roll back abortion rights and control women's sexuality in almost every state. And you want to crack open the door for that up here? We're supposed to keep the Sewer of Stupid from oozing over the border, not let it roll over us.

News flash, folks: you don't get to entertain a fucking "debate" over whether women control their own bodies and still call yourselves progressive. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, things aren't black and white, there's room for nuance and shades of meaning, and you can't reduce everything to ideological litmus tests ...

No. This time, you can. Either you believe in reproductive freedom and personal autonomy for everyone or you don't. There's no fucking middle ground on this.

So with all due respect to the mods at Progressive Bloggers:

Now it may be, as some commenter suggested over at the National Putz, that this is just

the Harpublicans chumming social conservative waters with a disposable Theo-con MP destined to join Stockwell Day counting angels dancing on the head of a pin

but really, that's neither here nor there. They want to have their little wanker debates and socon circle jerks, they can get a room somewhere. In progressive company, that question was settled a long fucking time ago.

Which means that there's a dirty but unavoidable task in front of us. Words and labels are vital, and it's obvious that we need to be vigilant about their meanings so that they, and the conversation, aren't co-opted and colonized. We cannot allow people who think this way to strip words of their meanings and repurpose them. The admins at the so-called "Progressive Bloggers" need to be put on notice.

Related posts:

On reproductive freedom, there is nothing to fucking 'debate'

The folks at Dammit Janet, the Dawgmeister and Dave over at TGB have already pointed it out, so I'm not going to go through it again. (You can stop the applause, smart-asses.)

I am not going to "debate" about the notion of fetal rights or when life begins or whether or not women have the right to control their own bodies. That's done. Anything that purports to "reopen" such a question needs to be seen for exactly what it is: a transparent attempt to reassert patriarchal control over women's sexuality and reproductive autonomy.

Anyone who wants to have that "conversation" can go fuck themselves. The idea that it could even be entertained in a forum billing itself as "progressive" just strips the word of its meaning.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Once again, let's hear from a few Sun readers

Breathless smear merchants on King Street manufacture another "scandal." Hilarity ensues.

And then Sue Ann's readers show their class ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

U.S. doctor urges colleagues not to perform transvaginal ultrasounds

Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds – Whatever:

'via Blog this'

It is our responsibility, as always, to protect our patients from things that would harm them. Therefore, as physicians, it is our duty to refuse to perform a medical procedure that is not medically indicated. Any medical procedure. Whatever the pseudo-justification.
It’s time for a little old-fashioned civil disobedience.

Not quite absolution for the medical profession, and not a decisive battle in the War on Women, but every little bit helps.

Just so we know the whole Excited States hasn't gone utterly bugfuck.

Related posts:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sure. Private-sector involvement in police work. | #areyououtofyourfuckingminds

Via a helpful reader, one of the most disturbing things I've seen this week:

I don't know Joe Couto, and I'm sure he's a perfectly decent guy in real life, but this is on behalf of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.

How many ways do you want this to be a bad idea? Policing priorities determined, not by public need or democratic process, but by shareholders' demands for profit? Policing decisions made in accordance with the desires of the folks holding the purse strings? Policing operations influenced by (horrors!) ... class biases?

If you filled a trial balloon with swamp gas instead of helium, this is what it would smell like.

Related posts:

Saskboy and Jymn rub The Globe's nose in #RoboCon | #cdnpoli

RoboCon: Journalism Failure at the Globe – UPDATED | Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff:

"And what’s the reason that John Ibbitson, a professional journalist for a national newspaper, treats Giorno with so much respect and kid-gloves that he talks him up as some sort of non-lying politician, while a nobody blogger in Regina has quickly demonstrated the exact opposite, using evidence?

And in closing:

They should know by now that breaking the rules can land a party in a world of hurt, no matter who did it, or why.

Yes, they might get another $52,000 fine for overspending by $1.3M on a campaign that wins them the Prime Minister’s Office. Ouuuch."

'via Blog this'

See also: John Ibbitson shames himself in the Conservative daily Globe & Mail, but if you've got delicate digestion, you might not want to look directly at the screen.

It bears repeating: sometimes the blogosphere, for all its tripwires and potholes, shows up the corporate media despite the imbalance in reach and resources. Antonia Zerbisias, bless her, is way out in front in acknowledging that.

Update: At PAID, Lorne weighs in as well.

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Rob Ford's mayoral trajectory | #TOpoli

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Originally I thought this was a good representation of George Smitherman's campaign, but I'm an environmentalist, and I believe in recycling, and given Mayor Stupid and Brother Dumbfuck's handling of the transit file (subways, subways everywhere ... )

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Harper and the electoral fraud scandal | #cdnpoli

You know, I really want to believe this thing will grow uglier and get out of control. Massive, systematic and coordinated misinformation, all with the express purpose of disenfranchising voters?

If this doesn't throw the results of last May's federal election into doubt, then God knows what will. Alison's been keeping track of the numbers. A majority without legitimacy? It's a sweet thought. Boris, Simon and the Dawg have been all over it too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

@ToewsVic has brought this humiliation upon himself | #cdnpoli

... with his contemptible, sanctimonious hypocrisy.

With regard to @Vikileaks30, the sordid details of Toews' personal life were not "leaked." They were set out in public documents available to anyone with reasonably effective research skills. There was no breach of the law, so there's nothing to investigate.

I can't really improve on the Dawg's description, so I'll just cite it here:

Those details were already public record, obtained without the warrantless taps and probes that the Public Safety Minister wanted to lay on the rest of us. They expose the unpleasant fact that the man who ran on a platform of “family values,” and preached to the world about the “sanctity of marriage” and what-not, is an arrant hypocrite. 
He then added to that by stating that all those who opposed his thuggish bill were “standing with child pornographers”—and then calling the leaks “gutter politics,” as he was still dripping head to toe from a close encounter with one. 
Now he has further compounded his hypocrisy by demanding an investigation to track down the identity of “Vikileaks,” who has committed no crime and done nothing remotely actionable. Whining about his own privacy, he sees nothing wrong with outing the Tweeter who mocked him.

Oh, but it gets better. The Minister apparently doesn't even know what's in the legislation he's spearheading.

This after accusing critics of the bill of standing with child pornographers, and then trying to walk that back.

Sanctimony, hypocrisy, disgusting personal conduct, and a vindictive authoritarian streak, coupled with a willingness to smear opponents and whine like a coward when his own dirty laundry gets an airing.

Resign? What the fuck for? This guy's clearly the pride of the Harper cabinet.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

One Town's War on Gay Teens | #uspoli #lgbt

One Town's War on Gay Teens | Politics News | Rolling Stone:

"Asked on a radio program whether the anti-gay agenda of her ilk bore any responsibility for the bullying and suicides, Barb Anderson, co-author of the original "No Homo Promo," held fast to her principles, blaming pro-gay groups for the tragedies. She explained that such "child corruption" agencies allow "quote-unquote gay kids" to wrongly feel legitimized. "And then these kids are locked into a lifestyle with their choices limited, and many times this can be disastrous to them as they get into the behavior which leads to disease and death," Anderson said. She added that if LGBT kids weren't encouraged to come out of the closet in the first place, they wouldn't be in a position to be bullied."

'via Blog this'

This is from the fetid fever swamp otherwise known as Michele Bachmann's home district.

Why this tumorously stupid woman and her comrade-in-bigotry Rick Santorum aren't pelted with eggs, targeted with rotten fruit and/or tarred and feathered for daring to open their pieholes in public is beyond me, but hey -- it's not my country.

But can we please, for Christ's sake, stop confusing their ignorant, stupid, hateful superstition with Christianity? I mean, I don't claim to be a biblical scholar, but I can't remember anything about Jesus counselling his disciples to bully, harass and abuse LGBT kids to the point of suicide.

Have I reiterated the need to sandbag the border recently?

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