Donald Trump is Jesus

Twist yourselves into knots over this.

I for one agree with most of what Jesus is supposed to have said about looking after the poor, hospitality for the stranger.

It's always a dilemma, are we doing enough to look out for the poor, for our veterans, for our grandparents? The answer is no for many of us.  So when catastrophe happens in places like Syria and people are in far more desperate state than most of us, we shouldn't help because we're not doing enough for our own people.

No one can say with a straight face,1 we should not reach out to help refugees. Are bombs dropping on your children?

The answer is to start looking after our neighbour. Sometimes it's uncomfortable, they're different than us. These are real people. We walk by the homeless veteran, we vote for tax cuts, we demand the drug abuser stop drugs before we offer help. We demand conversion.

Trump offers us a vision that will change none of this. Tax cuts for the 1%. We've been doing that since the 80's. The results have meant the government has no money. Education and health care are cut because we have no money.

We no longer care as a society for the fortunes of others. Workers incomes are slashed to keep companies more profitable. Employers feel no obligation to look out for the people that make them rich. Trump is that employer.

Trump is fanning the flames of hate. Fear the Muslims, the Mexicans. It's the last desperate hope of fools and con-men.

He has shown us the real him. His misogyny, his rascim, he denies things he's said and done even when it's recorded.

Trump is about only him. He is Jesus. If you don't like it, he'll sue.


Why Donald Trump scares me

Hate does a lot of harm. It kills. This could have been me, it could have been you.

A new election ad is out and it takes aim at the hate being generated by Donald Trump and his campaign. It's below.'

Judy Shepard, whose son Matthew was murdered in the horrific 1998 Laramie, Wyoming hate crime which brought anti-LGBT violence to the attention of the nation, speaks out against Donald Trump and the hateful rhetoric he uses to rally his supporters in a new video for Priorities USA.

Says Shepard,
“When I see the hate that Donald Trump brings to his campaign for president, it terrifies me. Words have an influence. Violence causes pain. Hate can rip us apart. I know what can happen as the result of hate, and Donald Trump should never be our president.”

You can see the ad here: https://youtu.be/_OBQe83zj7


We have to be afraid again...

You have to be afraid again. That's how it's become. Politicians and Conservative preachers are spreading the hate.

In elections, especially in this US election cycle the politics of division are being used to drive voters to the polls.

How does that work? In the US if you're a Republican you have a subset of supporters that make up a minority of the population. You want them to vote because if they do, your chances of winning go up.

In North Carolina, the plan to bring out these folks was the so called bathroom bill.  HB2 was passed which prevented transgender folks from using the bathroom that matched their identity. 

The bill was not required except to give conservative Christians a good reason to vote and ensure a Republican victory. 

When opposition  to the bill started to rise across the state and country, the Republicans made-up the threat of men pretending to be women going into the womens' washrooms to assault little girls.

It is ludicrous yet repeating it often enough their supporters start to vilify the LGBTQ communities. 

Things like this happen...


All of this happens because a political party will stop at nothing to win.  They don't care if it means they are providing open season on LGBTQ citizens. 

Federally the Trump campaign is doing the same. Blaming all the problems in the USA on Mexicans, using blatant misogyny, and attacking Muslims. 

Supporters of Trump show up at rallies wearing t-shirts saying 'stop the cunt', a pastor stating it's better to have a President who grabs pussy instead a President that has a pussy.

Hate, hate hate.

It's seems to have backfired federally in that many Christiansare speaking out, students at Liberty University have called out the school's president for supporting Trump. 

Conservative women are now speaking out against voting for Trump. 

Wedge issues can be very nasty. The Republicans have been using them with great success for years now. 

It may be they have gone too far this time. Let's hope so.


None is too Many

I tuned into Justin Trudeau's speech last night, like many to hear what he had to say about Liberty and the Politics of Fear.  I expected he would largely ignore the NDP in the speech and target Harper and the Conservatives and that was what we got.

All day the Liberal party has been pumping up the speech, Liberty and the Politics of Fear. Trudeau provided a little bit of history, praised the Charter of Rights, spoke of multiculturalism, and then got into the politics of fear.  To this point he didn't say much with which I could disagree. He wasn't doing a bad job up to this point.

We all know Trudeau is prone to gaffes in unscripted moments. It's part of his charm. A gaffe in a prepared speech is no longer a gaffe, is it. That's what happened.

Trudeau in an effort to describe the perils of Muslims in Canada under the Conservatives, actually compared their plight to that of the Jews fleeing the Nazis, in the lead up to World War II and subsequently refused entry into Canada.

“So we should all shudder to hear the same rhetoric that led to a ‘none is too many’ immigration policy toward Jews in the ’30s and ’40s being used today, to raise fears against Muslims today,” Trudeau said.

So who was talking the Politics of Fear...

Trudeau in 'implying' that under the Harper government Conservative immigration policies and rhetoric was creating an atmosphere similar to the Liberal government of Mackenzie King's "none is too many" policy against European Jews in World War II. 

If you are unfamiliar with the 'None is too Many' see this National Post article from 2011
‘None is too many': Memorial for Jews turned away from Canada in 1939.
Canada's government was refusing to take in European Jews fleeing Germany. In one example 900 German Jews sailed for Cuba in 1939 and were refused landing, the same happened in Miami, the ship came to Canada and was refused. The ship then had no choice but to sail back to Europe. 254 of the people turned away by Canada died at the hands of the Nazis.
Instead of talking about what Trudeau wanted us to focus on, were all about a gaffe, this one it seems, was written into his prepared speech. 

That's a gaffe one has a much harder time defending. This will need more than #HopeAndHardWork. 

One lucky thing though eh, Trudeau had no media availability and didn't have to explain his support for C51

Michael Geist Giving a talk on standing up for liberty & then saying you don’t want to get into political fight over C-51 makes no sense to me


UofT prevents me from attending 'The Laramie Project'

Teaching Assistants are on strike at the University of Toronto.  They are underpaid, under appreciated, and under estimated by the administration of #UofT.  I was astounded to learn how little these people made and how much the University actually depends on them. 

You can learn more about the TA'S fight for a fair deal here

Check out twitter hashtag #WeAreUofT 


Dear Friends,

I was really looking forward to attending your production of 'The Laramie Project' this week. As a gay man who grew up in a small town in western Canada, this play speaks to my own history.

Unfortunately I can not attend. Teaching Assistants are on strike and it would mean crossing their picket line. I could not cross a picket line in which workers and students are forced to stand against an institution which won't negotiate a fair agreement.

This means I will miss your production which you and many students have put so much effort. I am so very sad. Please convey my regrets to the crew of this production and most certainly onto the President of the University.

I look forward to seeing further productions after the students and workers have received a fair deal.
Sincerely yours

Rick Barnes


Save the CBC TV ad rejected by CBC

This ad was rejected for broadcast on CBC.  The non-profit group, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, have created an ad highly critical of Stephen Harper's government.

Will we ever see it on television?  

Please share it widely. 

The Man Behind The Desk EN - 60 sec from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting on Vimeo.
http://www.friends.ca/freethecbc/ -- Take action now to free the CBC from political interference!


"It Gets Better", and some don't make it out of the dungeon.

Me at 8 years. I made it.
Many don't.
I am pleased the Ontario government is going to implement the new health and physical education curriculum. As I stated in this post, it's long overdue and very much needed.  Dammit Janet does a good piece here.

I have been passionate about this since I was a kid in high school, trying to figure out my way forward. I knew I was different from grade three or four. I didn't know why or how I was different, or if there was something wrong with me. Teachers never said anything in school about differences. You learned from your friends and peers. We were taught how babies were made and how to avoid Venereal Disease and you didn't want to be called Fag or Homo.

That was it. So in grade ten, I found myself in the library of my high school practically alone. It needed to be that way, you couldn't be caught looking up something like homosexuality. I've told the story of the beating and taunting I was subject too in high school, you can see that here. I mention it as it was after the beating when I was sure I must be a homo.

In the library I checked the shelves. Nothing said "Want to find out if you're a fag?" I was scared. I finally pulled out a huge dictionary. I looked up homosexuality. It confirmed my friends and peers taunts. I was a pervert. It was freaky to read that. It was a low point. Yet somehow I came around to thinking it couldn't be true. I wasn't a bad person. I still never talked to anyone about it. You couldn't.

And this all came flooding back to me when I heard Graham Moore who won Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Imitation Game". His words could have saved me a lot of grief. And a lot of lost lives.

I am very excited the government has brought in such an important and life saving curriculum. 

So many like me didn't make it, so many struggled much more, some still live with the scars. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, from high school, no less. 

The carnage of the system can be explained no better than through Canuck Attitude blogger, Bruce. Bruce was a victim,  This is what he had to say about the "It Gets Better" project. 
In a recent post Bruce said ...  "As much as I'm impressed and heartened by Dan
Savage's It Gets Better Project and the incredible response it has generated, I can't shake the feeling that all we are doing is patting kids on the head and sending them back to the dungeons while telling them to be patient. I'm sorry, but that's still a kind of tacit approval of bullying."
Bruce was a victim of our school system, three decades after leaving it. His life experience, an experience not unlike many other gay men.  Some make it too see, "It Gets Better", and some don't make it out of the dungeon.

The new curriculum the Ontario government is bringing in this September will go a long way to eliminating the dungeon and cases of culturally induced PTSD. 


It's Education, Not Dirty Talk

Ontario will get it's long awaited revamp to the "health and physical education curriculum for grades 1 - 12. The changes are long overdue and expected to be well received by most in Ontario. I am very pleased to see these changes. Kudos Premier Wynne.

The Minister of Education, Liz Sandals vowed this morning that this will be the curriculum ...

The minister promising not to back down is a good one and you might think it weird for a minister to make such a comment. Well, she had too. The last time the Liberals introduced changes to this curriculum, they backed down when a small group of evangelical and conservative politicians made a big noise.
The media will be telling us of the groundswell of opposition to these changes. They will be wrong. I suspect an overwhelming majority of folks in Ontario still support these changes, even if its five years after first proposed.

Martin Regg Cohn of the Toronto Star gets it ...
"It's not dirty talk," Regg Cohn
No, it’s not dirty talk — just straight talk on sex, sexting, body parts, consent, mental health, and other life (or life-saving) skills for girls and boys. The idea is for teachers to inoculate students against the ways of the world before they surf the world wild web on their own.
and this
Opponents claim they don’t oppose sex education, just that parents should teach it at home — which sounds suspiciously like a home-schooling recipe for unravelling any class-based curriculum. And assumes that kids would cheerfully absorb parental lectures on the perils of oral sex (or that teenagers heed their parents about anything).
Some of the more opportunistic politicians from the Official Opposition say they support sex-ed, they just want more parental involvement — or as leadership candidate Monte McNaughton argues, while boasting of his credentials as the father of an 18-month-old — parents should “be at the table.”
Apparently it’s not enough that the government consulted hundreds of experts, educators, and religious bodies, reached out to parents from the more than 4,000 elementary schools across Ontario, have massive support from teachers and their unions in all school boards, and that public opinion polls show more than 9 in 10 parents are broadly supportive. 
There will be many complaints from the few about a lack of consultation, They will be wrong again. Just remember the noise is only deafening because it is amplified.

PressProgress does a good job of taking apart the case made by Campaign Pro Life in this link

Pro-life group fears “gay agenda” will plant ideas in the minds of Ontario's school kids

The New Curriculum can be found here 
Regg Cohn's article here
And the noise makers (Lifesite, Campaign Life Coalition )