Or maybe you are just dying to get some cred for Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal "We don't stand for anything" government. So our buddy Jason posted to facebook this...
Or maybe you are just dying to get some cred for Dalton McGuinty and his Liberal "We don't stand for anything" government. So our buddy Jason posted to facebook this...
Its kinda like the Liberal Party of Canada's contest that saw a couple too many, inappropriate depictions of Harper, appear on the official LPC website. I guess you could say, All's fair in Love and War.
There's a new sheriff in town....
No kidding, now the forth largest American city has a woman as Mayor and guess what, she is a lesbian. Take that Mr. Richard Keith "Dick" Armey. Armey once called out gay congressman Barney Frank, "Barney Fag".
City Controller Annise Parker made history Saturday by being elected Houston's first openly gay mayor, seizing 53.6 percent of the vote in the hotly contested race. - Proud Parenting
Parker a Democrat was running against another Democrat for the Mayor's job. Her opponent, Gene Locke looked to take advantage of Parker's sexual orientation. Two key Locke supporters were found to have contributed money to an anti-gay organization that was mailing leaflets condemning gays and lesbians and Parker's endorsement by queer groups.
Looks like it did not work...
You may recall that in the lead up to the 2006 election, Harper said, we didn't have to fear him because the bureaucracy and the the supreme court would temper him, ie keep him in line. (not an exact quote, I have been looking for it but can not find it.) He has since showed us his disdain for both these bodies.
He has refused to act on a Supreme Court ruling ordering the government to repatriate Khadr and now he and his Ministers have publicly attacked a senior career diplomat.
Harper has also decided not to seek assurances from other Nation states that Canadians will not be subject to the death penalty, erasing a long standing Canadian position being that we don't have a death penalty in Canada so Canadians abroad or extradited are entitled to protection.
So Harper has shown contempt of the Supreme Court, of our diplomats and today he and his government are trying to prevent uncensored documents from being provided to Parliamentary committees saying that the Canada Evidence Act takes priority over elected parliamentarians.
The speaker ruled today that Parliament trumps the Canada Evidence Act! Thanks to Kady O'Malley of the CBC for this today.
see also: Parliamentary showdown on torture documents
Just how silly can the LPCers get?
| CBC News Alert HST vote passes in House of Commons|
A majority of MPs have voted in favour of a harmonized sales tax for Ontario and British Columbia, passing a ways-and-means motion to combine the GST and provincial sales tax in those provinces. The Conservatives, Liberals and Bloc Québécois supported the motion, while the NDP opposed it.
Maybe because Ken liked Allan better than Barbie? Just asking...
He looks like a good friend of Dorothy.
Then there is a good reason to forget those sixties...
I will let this little ad speak for itself!
Meanwhile, attacks on climate science from interests invested in the status quo of "Drill, baby, drill!" and "Burn, baby, burn [fossil fuels]!" continue to cloud the issue with attacks on the science and scientists. Denialist arguments were seemingly supported by the release of hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain last week.
"Global Warming a massive conspiracy!" many on the right decried.
But is it really....?
Who and what should non-scientists believe?
I admit that at times I've questioned the science...it's hard not to when so many media voices claim that none of it's true, Al Gore's a liar, our economy will be in tatters if we move to a green economy, you can't trust those alarmist scientists who predict disaster and make up stuff just to get more research funding....
But ultimately the choice of who and what to believe is pretty obvious...
From Google News today:
From The Winnipeg Free Press:
And this from the Financial Post:
"There is no valid scientific evidence that polar icecaps are melting and there is no valid scientific evidence of global warming being the cause of polar ice melting."I don't know about you, but I'm going with Science and Direct Observation by experts. Thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers point to the undeniable fact that the planet is warming and that humans are responsible.
Then the melting Arctic must be in on it too!
From The Washington Post:
"MAKE NO mistake, Arctic Sea ice is melting. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the maximum extent of the winter sea ice cover for 2008-09 was the fifth-lowest on record. Underscoring their point, the agencies added, 'The six lowest maximum events since satellite monitoring began in 1979 have all occurred in the past six years (2004-09).'"
So why can't other Americans...
A 10-year-old Arkansan who has refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance until gays and lesbians have equal rights. CNN's John Roberts asks Will Phillips why the issue is so important to him.
Says Phillips: "Because I have many -- I've grown up with a lot of people and good friends with a lot of people that are gay and I really -- I think they should have the rights all people should. And I'm not going to swear that they do."
Roberts also asks Phillips what he said to the teacher after refusing to say the Pledge.
Said Phillips: "I eventually, very solemnly, with a little bit of malice in my voice, said, 'Ma'am with all due respect, you can go jump off a bridge.'"
Phillips says that since taking a stand he has been repeatedly called a "gay-wad" by other students, which he calls a "discriminatory name for homosexuals." - Towleroad
"We live in this moment where nothing must be thrown out, yet everything is disposable” said Ken Hillis, editor of Everyday eBay, a collection of essays about the auction site on which millions of objects are bought and sold each day. “I think you see eBay working very well there to tell people that this sense of self and long-term identity can be completely attached to objects.” Globe and Mail.Maybe all those tonka toys and dinky cars are worth something, sure wish I still had them...
It was only a few weeks ago I read that some anti-gay christian radical dude that wants to ban books about gay families was appointed to sit on the Library board in Eganville an hour away from Lanark. The world is changing but not for the better.
It kind of makes me wonder if Canada is caught in the BUSH era. It also says that there is no way on Estre's green earth we can let Harper gain a majority government. I mean it would be all of rich fat dead leader of the moral majority's wet dreams come true.
And then there is the Senate. This ought to scare a few folks here.
Wake up folks, don't you see that the land is being taken over by the Leave it to beaver crowd. Soon we won't even be able to toke up to take away these awful maladies if we don't do something.
In the two big election events held in the USA yesterday an anti gay marriage victory in Maine and in Washington State "everything but marriage" passed.
The Maine vote was seen to have a good chance of succeeding. It almost did. Just after midnight with 82% Reporting 52.36% opposed gay marriage and 47.64% supported it. It appears to be lost.
Washington State's vote was 51.9% for "Gay Marriage" and 48.10% opposed. A victory to celebrate. The referendum confers all State and local rights of marriage to same-sex couples in registered domestic partnerships.
In Houston, Lesbian Parker was the top vote getter with 30% of the vote. She will take on the runner up in a run off in the weeks ahead...
... and in Chapel Hill, NC openly gay man Mark Kleinschmidt is going to be the next mayor. See Pam's House.
For more on queer victories in the USA go to gaypolitics.com.
Yes deep in the heart of Texas a Lesbian could become the Mayor of Houston, America's forth largest city. That's got to be something for Bush and Dick Armey to choke on.
Tonight is the night when voters in Maine could become the first voters in the country to sanction gay marriage. Washington State follows a few hours later.
It's looking like a good night for us, a bad night for the religious bigots and their immoral minority. Hey it will be a minority soon...
These lineups were made inevitable due to the lack of foresight or outright risk taking by the Ontario Mike Harris government and in some cases by the current McGinty government. Harris slashed the heck out of public health in this province and McGinty has failed to fix it beyond a few band-aids and another round of reorganization.
We have learned little it seems from SARS or WALKERTON. The government has slashed or reorganized public health to a point that when they have to address a monumental task like the H1N1 vaccination of the entire population, they have few staff or resources available to get the job done.
It use to be that these vaccinations would occur in schools for our children. Seems to me that it would be much easier for the system to set up at each school and do this. Perhaps a team of nurses could do a few schools every day. They could even do this is daycare and kindergarten.
Large employers could deliver this to staff at work. Non-profit, Co-op's and community housing would be great places to do these shots as well. People could sign up online for a a window of time to get their shots. Many people living with compromised immune systems belong to or receive services from community organizations that could deliver the flu vaccine.
No the Ontario option has been to make people line-up for hours at a time or be one of the lucky to belong to a private clinic. All you need is $2300 a year for personalized care. Then there are all the staff in public health that are being run ragged. Working long hours and taking abuse from angry folks that have lined up for several hours.
Our health care system is being rationalized out of business. Our once vaunted status as a nation that looks after its citizens, where health care is a right, is showing severe signs of strain and lacking credibility. I live in St. Jamestown. The health care system could easily set up in the lobby of each building and vaccinate thousands of people in a few days and people would not have to stand in line for hours.
I believe those at the top have rolled the dice. They have measured the risks and gone ahead and accepted that lack of resources and staffing is acceptable for these "rare" occasions.
The BC Government is seeking the opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada with respect to polygamy laws...
From the BC Government press release...
“Until Canadians and the justice system have clarity about the constitutionality of our polygamy laws, all provinces, including ours, face a lengthy and costly legal process in prosecuting alleged offences. With that in mind, I have instructed counsel not to appeal the Sept. 23 B.C. Supreme Court decision and, instead, to proceed with the reference questions I will be submitting to the court.
“I am proposing to pose two questions. The first will ask the court to determine if Section 293 is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The second will seek clarity on the Criminal Code provisions of Section 293. I am confident, given the importance of this matter, the court will agree to hear the questions.
After the Ontario Court approved three names on a birth certificate as parents a couple years ago, the changes to who and how many can marry can't be far behind.
The Supreme Court decision was unanimous. That says that even the three Supreme Court Justices from Quebec have deemed the law unconstitutional. That is not going to go over well and it provides an opportune time for the BLOC to solidify what was a weakening lead over the LPC in Quebec.
Add to this story the recent book by former Philadelphia Flyer player Bob Sirois, who examines forty years of NHL draft picks and determines that francophone Quebecers are systematically ignored by an “anti-french virus”.
"Francophone Quebecers are wrongly disparaged as too small, too lax on defence and not suited to the robust “Canadian” style of play, Mr. Sirois writes in the book, published in French and titled Le Québec mis en échec (Quebec Bodychecked). “Myths, prejudices, stereotypes and favoritism make up an integral part of every draft session in the National Hockey League.” - Graeme Hamilton, National Post, October 19, 2009Sirous makes a good case for his findings while pointing out that the current General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Bob Gainey has drafted fewer and fewer french players since he came into the job. If Quebec's team can't or won't draft french players who will?
Have a look at the the Montreal Canadiens roster and it likely has more Russians than French Canadiens. That would have been unheard of 15 or 20 years ago.
These stories add up to the Bloc becoming rightiously indignant about the Quebec place in Canada. I can see an ad coming, Iggy and Harper gaining up and bodychecking some pee wee hockey player in a school league somewhere.
Women taking control, a fag rising from the womb, and more...
a bad couple of days where the MM lost ...
On October 16, 1919 Planned Parenthood opened its first space, the first U.S. birth control clinic. A woman named Margaret Sanger made it happen.
That was followed by Canadian Women becoming persons on October 18, 1929. They could vote in 1920 as long they were a British subject, not Asian, Inuit, or Indian or reside in Quebec. For some reason Quebec said no to women voting until 1940!
Edmonton feminist Emily Murphy, whose actions as a magistrate had been challenged on the grounds that she was not a "person" under the BNA Act, was the preferred Senate candidate of national women's groups.
Along with four other prominent women activists - Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, and Henrietta Muir Edwards - Judge Murphy persuaded the government to direct the Supreme Court to rule on whether women were indeed "persons."
The court ruled in the negative, but on October 18, 1929, eight years after the campaign began, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England, then the appeals court for the Canadian Supreme Court, ruled in the women's favour. - YorkU
Then of course one of the most well known, loved and despised men to gain an audience was Oscar Wilde. He joined the world on October 16, 1854. He was a little "out" there for the comfort of general society and spent some time in the brig for it, then deciding to remove himself from Victorian England for the freedom of Paris.
"the great Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories known for his barbed wit, he was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. As the result of a famous trial, he suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years of hard labor after being convicted of the offense of gross indecency"- White Crane
Then on this day in 1933 the Singing Nun was born, she was a real nun and she hid the fact she was a lesbian. It seems the Church also had a don't ask, don't tell policy. The singing nun is famous for her big hit in 1963 that tossed Elvis Presley from the top of the charts for at least 4 weeks with the it single "Dominique".
Soeur Sourire was a Belgian nun. Her real name was Jeanine Decker and her name in the convent was Sister Luc-Gabrielle. In 1985 Soeur Sourire and her (female) friend Annie Pecher committed suicide.
Call me silly, but I was that boy in school, I would have loved to walk up to a boy like this boy does. That would have been said to have "taken a lot of courage" and or "You are NUTS!" when I was in school. The ad suggests that differing attitudes are in place today, though the ad also says its still a problem.
As is usual, the New Democrat numbers go up a little when the LPC goes down. No different in today's polling info. The New Democrats need to do a lot more advertising, spend it now and show the country they do have some alternative views on the issues of the day. The LPC is sliding and the New Democrats can make some head way.
And the LPC needs to sit down and decide what it is that defines them. Can anyone point to an issue they lead on, that they have made their own?
Can Bob Rae have been worse than this? Rae's NDP government was likely the deciding factor in the LPC decision to choose Iggy to save Ontario. It looks like losing Ontario has happened anyway. The slide in Toronto is even worse. Would Bob have let this happen?
The decision to cancel fees will cost us 15 million this year in lost revenue. Just another way to say thanks to your friends. More over at Musings from the political youth corner.
Perhaps now he can change other regulations?
...that still wants an election
Support for the Harper Conservatives is flirting with majority government levels after weeks of parliamentary wrangling that saw the Liberals try and fail to topple the Tory minority amid a recession.
A Strategic Counsel poll conducted for The Globe and Mail and CTV says Conservative support has risen to 41 per cent nationally – a six-point jump from a month ago. - The globe and mail
Kiss up with Jack and be nice
"... We need another way. This harmonization of the GST, this tax collusion between provincial and federal Liberal governments, is not the way to reverse the economic decline of this country...."Who said this in 1996? Not the New Democrats, Not the LPC Government, no it was Stephen Harper MP from Calgary West.
a sexual orientation or preference in which an adult's primary sexual attraction is towards pubescent or postpubescent adolescents
Thanks to Bruce over at Canuck Attitude, I learned a new word. Ephebophilia is apparently what Catholic priests practice, but not only Catholics do this, it is apparently just as common in other denominations... according to the Holy See.
I think there is value in being a Catholic, I mean you get to say sorry every time you do something you shouldn't...
Bruce has a good piece on this, go have a look.
Politics creates some odd realities. The Liberals fed up with taking the brunt for supporting the Harper minority decided it was time someone else picked up that dirty job and the New Democrats have obliged. Jeff over at his "I'm an Ontarian after being a BCer" blog has a good analysis of the situation, albeit from an LPCer point of view. He takes few little shots at the New Democrats.
The truth of the stranger than reality show in Ottawa is that the New Democrats and Liberals do not want an election now. The New Democrats are taking the hit in the media and from Iggy for "propping up" the Harperites. Funny thing is, its truly to Iggy's short term benefit that we don't have an election, especially with Bob Rae breathing down his back. An election now would likely see the NDP lose some seats and the LPC gain a few and Harper gaining some, maybe enough for a majority.
With a another dismal LPC performance, Iggy will have to leave and Bob Rae will step in, bringing with him all of Jean's buddies. The demon of Paul Martin will be washed away and the LPC will actually stand some chance of regaining government.
The New Democrats future looks about the same or worse. I wish I could suggest it would be otherwise. Instead of being acknowledged by the media for preventing an election and trying to make Parliament work at least until spring, they are being characterised as having to hold their noses while voting with Harper.
I haven't met any Canadian other than a few party hacks that want an election or think we need one. With that public thought pervading the land, the New Democrats should get some credit for doing the dirty work. But this is politics and the New Democrats are being roasted as hypocrites (79 Liberal votes).
Further disconcerting is the lack of imagination in any of the political parties. We Can Do Better and Standing up for Average Working Families are lame and bereft of content. Where is the grand vision. All we get is, "they are wrong and we are right."
The New Democrats must do better this time out or Jack is finished. With rumours that Olivia Chow may leave one of only two New Democrat seats in Toronto to seek the Mayor's job, the New Democrats fortunes look bleak for making any advances in Canada's biggest city. If Chow runs for Mayor then I expect the left and centre vote will split and John Tory will become Mayor, thats a lovely thought to contemplate.
The LPC and the New Democrats have a big job to do this winter. Polling does not build grand visions, polls do not inspire people to support this idea or that one. They both need to be out there listening and talking with Canadians.
I have seen many of the ideas the New Democrats have proposed and I support them whole heartedly. What they have failed to do is capture the attention of voters and would be voters. Instead of being seen as a party that supports working families, they are seen as the party that hates business. The LPC on the other hand is seen as having destroyed its foundation.
If we want to stop a Conservative majority we New Democrats and LPCers must take a good look at what our respective parties are offering Canadians and will Canadians like it enough to support it.
This company has been fined millions of dollars for wrongly denying coverage and delaying payment for health care services delivered to patients. They pay the fines because its better for the bottom line. Deny payment, deny coverage and many people will go away, in some cases die.
Its always hard learning on the job especially when you are busy trying to look like you want an election despite being way way down in the polls. Lucky for the LPCers the NDP managed to get some EI money, no matter how short lived it may end up being, at least it saved Iggy from being the second Liberal leader from going down in flames in an election.
An election now could do nothing other than give Harper his majority without Quebec, now that would make for an interesting four years. That is especially true given Harper's announcement today that 90% of stimulus funding has found a home, even if most of it is in Conservative ridings. Wonder where the Conservatives learned that way of doing business.
At issue is a Public plan that would compete with private insurance companies to provide insurance and changes that would prevent insurance companies from eliminating coverage for people with pre-exisiting health problems.
All of this lobbying is having an effect. Many lawmakers have still to agree on a public option despite 65% of Americans being in favour of a Government run plan that competes with insurance companies. Its time lawmakers in the USA trust themselves and the people.
"I watched The 700 Club sometimes with Pat Robertson -- they're constantly talking about gays."
Johnson learned to hate gays and himself. He was gay himself and felt what he was doing was wrong. To deal with his feelings of guilt and remorse he killed two gay men and attacked another.
Jay Thomas Johnson plead guilty to the murder of former State Sen. John Chenoweth, 48, and Joel Larson, 21. That was 17 years ago on September 30, 1992. Since then the anti gay rhetoric has gone up a few notches.
You can't convince me that the words of "moral" leaders don't lead to acts such as those exhibited by Jay. These moral leaders have instilled a deep hatred and a sense of responsibility or obligation to act, among many that listen to them.
In this case three lives were sadly taken, the two men Jay killed and his own. Jay has admitted to being gay himself and according to this website, has accepted himself now. Its an outrage that these murders, inspired by words of the demonizing Christian fundamentalist leadership and supported by stupid people like the one guy I mentioned in the post below, happen at all.
These murders happened before Matthew Shepard. Who said words will never hurt me? They didn't know Matthew, John and Joel.
Okay many of us are and this is not that rare in the USA today or parts of Canada for that matter. There is however one person who has been singled out for attention by Change.org. Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe seems to want to keep America white, christian and gays in jail.
There is no real need to read this if you live outside Pennsylvania. If you do live in this great state, then do something about Metcalfe.
This guy sees every progressive action in the State as an item on the Gay Agenda. End Violence against women, a gay plot. He simply has to go.
Off course if he sticks around he could become a spokesperson for the Republican party, that would help out progressive republicans and independents make up their minds on which party to support.
Do you live in PA House District # 12 in Butler County. You do if you live in any of these municipalities: Adams Twp, Callery, Clinton Twp, Connoquenessing, Cranberry Twp, Evans City, Forward Twp, Jefferson Twp, Mars, Middlesex Twp, Penn Twp, Saxonburg, Seven Fields, & Valencia. And the School Districts of: Butler Area School District, Mars Area School District, South Butler County School District, Seneca Valley School District.
Register to vote, write the local, state and national GOP leadership and demand Metcalfe be set free or turned out to pasture. Perhaps his local church could use an alter boy?
All the help you need is here.
Its tough being the AIR Apparent. You have to say so many things to get elected. Its does however appear that the Liberal leader will keep the commitment made by the Tories in Ottawa and The LIBcons in Queens Park to harmonize the sales taxes. Its really not fair for Iggy to call it Harper's Sales tax in BC anymore. That is what he has been doing as the TAX is not going over well out there.
Here in Ontario, it different, people here have rolled over. So Iggy went to meet some business folks the other day and decided there are more votes here than in BC so he won't change the HST. That is going to cost him in BC.
As for Ontario, the longer we wait for an election the worse it looks for the Liberals. To add insult to more red faced LPCers, they may have handed the NDP a big repeat victory in Quebec with the Pontifical one himself, (that's Iggy) declaring he will anoint a woman to run in Outremont. I can hardly wait.
Till then try out this tune (note its always a "right foot")
You put your right foot in,
You put your right foot out,
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Iggy shuffle
And you turn yourself around,
That's what it's all about.
- Kelly McParland: Liberals do the Iggy Shuffle on sales tax
Adding to the difficulty will be the idea that the Liberals have again decided against a democratic selection of a candidate, continuing the age old practice of benevolent leadership.
The Member of Parliament for Outremont, as awful as that sounds today to the LPCer, is a New Democrat and likely will be no matter who Iggy hand picks for the riding, especially if Iggy hand picks someone. Mulcair is a new breed of New Democrat and not so easily dismissed.
update: I missed Scott's advice to Iggy here.
See in the spring, Iggy said in order for him to support the Conservative government something had to be done on EI. Iggy created a committee of three of his guys and three of the Conservative dudes. The committee had no teeth. It met a few times with predictible results. Why didn't Iggy make changes EI a condition of his support. The budget could have been amended if the Harper folks wanted to avoid an election. You likely would even have had the NDP support it.
Don't look now, but look who found money for at least 190,000 Canadians! It wasn't Iggy's committee, nope, it was the NDP and Jack Layton, using their leverage when they get it.
The Court Challenges program's direction was to provide financial assistance for important court cases that advance language and equality rights guaranteed under Canada's Constitution.The program has long been a thorn in the side of right wing ideologues conservative political parties and the Religious Right. Two of the more vocal objectors were the Reform Party and a national lobby group, the National Citizens Coalition.
The primary objection was too "left wing" groups gaining access to funding to challenge the law of the land. They referred to it as undemocratic and usurping the duly elected government's will. The program was key to many issues being canvassed before the Courts in Canada. It meant that Queers, women and other groups were able to make successful challenges to the law of the land, base primarily on the Charter of Rights. Many of these challenges would have been delayed or lost due to inadequate access to funding to take a case to the Supreme Court of Canada in the first place.
One case that has stuck in the craw of Prime Minister Harper has to be Harper Vs Canada, in which he then the Executive Director of the National Citizens Coalition, challenged what is called the election gag law. That law limited organizations, like the NCC from spending gobs of money during elections. They lost the case. The court Challenges Program funded two interveneors in the case, Democracy Watch and National Anti-Poverty Organization who argued in support of the "Gag" law.
I'm sure that Harper didn't like taxpayers money being used against him in is fight to remove the "gag" law.
So I can imagine it was with a great deal of delight he eliminated the program. Now in a move likely to appease Quebec and Francophone voters across Canada Harper has started up a Language Rights Support Program. It's job is address language related issues across the country.
Mulroney in 1985 expanded the then Minority Language Rights Support Program after the Charter of Rights kicked in. It was likely that they would have been forced to expand the program by the courts if they had not done so. Mulroney however in 1992, in a bid to appeal to the more Conservative voter that was being pulled away from the Tories, killed the program. It was re-instated in 1993 by the new Liberal Government.
Back to this day and we now again have a Minority Language program to fund challenges based on instances of discrimination. I suspect they (Harperites) have to know the new program discriminates against other minorities but are willing to chance it won't be successfully challenged, by in large due to minority groups not having enough funds to mount a successful challenge. Clever right?
Well it seems some very conservative folks aren't happy about it. Check out Joseph C. Ben-Ami. This guy would be a "birther" in the US of A.
So much for my favourite potato chip, I guess I'll have to Lay off my Old Dutch for awhile. What's crazy about all this is Old Dutch is doing well during this recession.
Help out by picking up a bag of other brands and be sure to tell the cashier, (nicely) that you won't be buying Old Dutch until they start treating their workers properly.
Close your eyes, listen to Obama and imagine a Canada that had its leader recognize the need for a strong union movement...
It seems there are no shortages of new stories about gay men being attacked by straight men. This story out of London ON is just the latest.
Brandon Wright had a choice -- jump from a moving pickup truck, or stay and possibly be beaten to death.
"I don't know if it was bravery or fear that motivated me to jump," said the 22-year-old Londoner, who says he was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime last Tuesday when he was forced to leap from the moving pickup on Kipps Lane in north London. - London Free Press, September 15, 2009
Is this a copy cat of the Thunder Bay attack, is it the hard economic times that brings this out more, or are we just seeing what happens regularly and its being reported more?
Whatever it is its intolerable. It made me sick to my stomach. Its sharp pang inside me that can't be eased. I want to lash out at those that refuse to act in our schools, every time a member of the glbttq community is assaulted. So much for all we claim to have achieved in this pink "friendly" country.
And then it angers me further when Branden's mother adds, "When you're a mother and you walk in that hospital room and see the damage that was done to him, it's just appalling," said Wright, who described her son as a "good guy" who doesn't flaunt his sexuality, and never bothers anyone."
Just what does "flaunting it" mean? What has that got to do with anything? I know she is not meaning any harm, she is just trying to add to description, but what she is really saying is, Branden always takes a seat at the back of the bus.
Flaunting it means he was asking for it. That's like saying the woman dressed very nicely was begging to be raped. Just think about this when its your son, brother, nephew, sister, daughter, niece attacked for who they are.
My own story of school is not unlike the topic in which Simon in Montreal posts about on his blog and the post below this one.
I have mentioned a few times what happened to me as a teen in high school. It was pretty much hell a lot of the time. That's not to say I did not experience good times as well, I just wonder how many others were faced with having to hide behind pillars so bullies wouldn't see me, or wait for the bell to ring and the halls were empty to go to my locker. That made me a couple minutes late for class and often a lecture from the teacher.
As awful as being called out in front of the whole class for being late again, it was better than the likelihood of being caught out in the hall and called fag or dicksucker or worse by people that had no reason to think such things of me. I didn't even know I was gay myself.
I had excelled in high school early on, I was a good athlete in soccer and rugby despite being the smallest guy in school. I didn't like gym, climbing ropes, chin-ups etc. I did them but not without a great deal of fear of failing at them.
In grade ten I became more than someone that was "simply" the subject of name calling and being pushed around, tripped or pushed. I was attacked in an ambush.
Ten boys from my school stood and waited for me and my friend to walk down town for lunch through a church yard. As we approached the end of the church property they stepped out from behind the trees and blocked our path. They asked me where I was going. I told them and started to walk around them. They blocked us.
They were only interested in me, my friend was the high school basketball star. One guy grabbed me and started pushing me to the ground. I refused to be pushed and that is when he hit me. He swung his open hand and slapped me in the face, telling me I was a faggot. My nose was bleeding and my friend said cool it guys but was held back by two or three of them.
I kicked from behind. It was unexpected and caused me to fall. When I fell a guy jumped on me to keep me on the ground. He was slapping my face, demanding I admit I was a fag. Each time he would demand it, I kept my mouth shut. When I did not respond he started slapping me on my face, the back of my head, sometimes pulling my hair, raising my head off the ground.
This went on for several minutes and those around me started yelling insults. Some were not satisfied. They started kicking me in the side, on my legs. One guy kicked me in the jaw. They were laughing, demanding I tell them I was a fag. All this time they held my friend back.
I did not know I was a gay, I wondered what made them think I was. The attack kept up, until the lunch hour was almost over. They left us there, me bleeding from the nose, mouth and cuts on my head, arms and soon to be bruised all over.
We made it back to the school. I went to a washroom and cleaned up as best I could. I felt embarrassed that this happened to me. I needed to be tough. I knew that if I had admitted I was a Fag, these boys would never let up on me. I admitted nothing, said nothing. In the classroom after i was cleaned up, bruises started to appear and my face swelled up. My teacher was very concerned and asked what happened.
I refused to talk. I felt i was inferior for some reason, I could have avoided the beating some how. The teacher was persistent, I told him I was beat up by some guys. He wanted to know why, I said I didn't know.
No more attacks like that happened to me in school. It made me very weary of those around me. I was always watching out for those that had attacked me. I became very good at staying out of sight, out of the way. Nothing happened to these boys as a result of attacking me. Several of them turned out to be decent people when they became adults, three of them had problems with the law for years to come. Four of the attackers I know nothing more about.
I went to the library to look up Homosexual. I found it in a dictionary. It said something like "Homosexuals were sexual deviants, a psychological disorder." I don't recall exactly what it said today. The school had no place for me to go, no one to talk to about this. I certainly wasn't going to talk to a school counselor if he would think I was a pervert.
The word fag is used as a put down for anything bad. It is used to degrade, to hurt others gay and straight. Today some schools have GSA's. Gay Straight Alliances. Places youth can go for support. Not all schools have them. In fact most schools do not have them. Why no pressure from government to make it happen?
Homophobia is alive and thriving in our schools. As long as authorities and peers allow this behavior, all the rights in the world will not keep youth safe. More stories like mine will occur, and sadly, worse things will happen.
In the interim, the boys and girls that live through each assault lose a little more of themselves every time.
If queers were going to advocate for something more—and Canada, pink as it is, is still not quite a gay utopia—activists would have to look beyond changing discriminatory laws. But the transition from wartime to peacetime has not been easy. At the height of the marriage debate, Egale’s annual operating budget peaked at $538,000; now it’s about $160,000, plus donated office space in Ottawa and Toronto. This year the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario packed up shop after more than 33 years, during which time it had successfully advocated to include gay and lesbian people in Ontario’s Human Rights Code and get the Toronto District School Board to adopt a non-discrimination policy that included LGBT people. - This Magazine
Canadian schools are another example of what's left to be done. A ground breaking survey was begun last year of schools across the country. That survey found may GLBTQ students were often on the receiving end of verbal and physical assaults and found many locations in schools unsafe. Prof. Catherine Taylor is continuing her research of homophobia in schools in phase two of the study.
The first-phase report of The National Climate Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools can be found here.
All that plus the recent case in Thunder Bay where a brutal example of Homophobia resulted in one man being severely beaten.
Maybe we queer activists are burnt out, or maybe for many the fight was just for marriage. I hate to think that is where it is at.
Topp is a New Democrat, but put forward the NDP positions much better than I do below. Its a good read and one that should resonate well with Canadian voters who don't want an election 11 months on from the last one...
Jack Layton has said he would wait and see what Harper is going to do before deciding if the NDP would vote with the Liberals in bringing down the government. Minority governments must work with the other parties if they wish to stay in power.
In 2005 Paul Martin very much wanted to stay in power and agreed to many of the NDP demands for concessions in the budget. Paul Martin in 2006 decided he wouldn't make any concessions and as a result the NDP voted against the budget. This is one of the methods the NDP though never in power has brought about significant change to public policy over the years. One need only look to the Trudeau government in 1972. Trudeau required NDP support to stay in power. That resulted in several policy moves that likely would not have occurred had Trudeau to rely on his on party to support them. The threat of the government falling allowed for more progressive budgets and legislation to proceed.
In 1974 Mr. Trudeau met with his caucus in Sudbury Ontario days before the non-confidence motion was presented. He suggested at the time the NDP were too scared of an election and thus wouldn't vote down his government. The NDP on the other hand felt that Trudeau had become arrogant and his parliamentary actions proved it. Really what was at issue was Trudeau's wish for an election. He got it and subsequently won a majority government in 1974.
Paul Martin desperately wanted to stay in power. He had barely squeaked back into government with the support of the NDP and as it turned out some independent MP's and the floor crossing from the Tories to the Libs that helped. Martin managed to do some very good things in his time as PM. He passed same-sex marriage, looked seriously at decriminalizing Marijuana possession, agreements with the Provinces to reduce wait times. All of which squeaked by in votes.
Martin then proceeded to deliver on Child Care and repairing relations with First Nations. Martin held a historic meeting in Kelowna, for which many including the NDP applauded him for. Martin failed to deliver however. Seeing his government hanging on every vote, he must have decided he needed election fodder, something to distinguish the Liberals from the Conservatives.
While Martin could have brought in legislation or a mini budget to implement the Kelowna Accord and the Childcare program, he did not. Instead he put it out as a carrot for voters. This was a serious mistake. The Liberals were already down in many places due to the sponsorship scandal and they paid dearly for it in the polls.
Its my contention, that if Martin had brought in Childcare and the Kelowna Accord it would have passed in Parliament and the result would have seen him re-elected, most likely to another minority but re-elected. The NDP voted against the government after it became clear Martin was not going to take immediate action on the Kelowna Accord nor the Childcare program.
It was a very risky strategy for Martin, hold the carrot way out there, hope he could paint Harper as mean, and squeak in on the promise to implement the Childcare program and the Kelowna Accord.
The rest is history as they say.
The election of Harper saw the Liberals whacked severely by the voters. The sponsorship scandal and a line from Harper that stated there were enough checks on his power by the courts and bureaucracy that people should feel safe voting for them. Whats happened as a result was a Liberal party battered from inside and out, no money and no leadership.
I can say charitably that they were between a rock and a hard place. Harper attached confidence in his government to just about everything. If a bill or budget failed it would bring down the government and the Liberals would have to fight an election with little funds and likely return of the Conservatives, perhaps even a majority Harper government. The Liberals sat on their hands, not voting sometimes or voting if they could hold their noses.
The Liberals have only themselves to blame however. Martin need not have lost a confidence motion to start with. The time to pay the piper over the sponsorship scandal was heavy on people's minds.
Yes the NDP could have supported Martin, Martin would still have required some independent MP's and its not totally clear he could count on them. Martin may have lost the confidence motion no matter which way the NDP voted.
Now here we are two elections later and the Liberals could have defeated the Harper government on any one of 79 occassions. They have allowed Harper to govern as if he has a majority. Throughout this time the NDP as is well noted voted against the Harper government. The NDP put many motions and bills before parliament but were rejected by Harper.
Now the Liberals have a new leader (their second since Martin lost), the party coffers are full and they want to go to an election. The trouble is they have no reason for their new found opposition. It will be fourth election in approximately five years. The chances of a majority government are slim, Canadians have become less scared of Harper after three years in the job. Generally polls have indicated the electors do not see a need for an election now.
Back to the NDP and Jack Layton. They have continued to try to make Parliament work. Proposed many Bills and Motions in the house and all were rejected by Harper. Now Harper faces a significant threat of losing power. Does he want to remain as PM? If he does he had better look at the issues the NDP have been talking about for the last year. Major EI reform, Pension secuirty, Credit card interest rates. True these are not sexy issues but they matter very much in the lives of Canadians.
I don't like Harper's politics and what he has been able to do to date. We can't undo that. He has managed to govern like a majority because of the state of the Liberal party. Now that the Liberal party has stepped up, there is a chance (however slight) for some movement from Harper. It is not something that should be ignored.
I doubt very much the Liberals would vote against the issues being put forward by the NDP. I expect the BLOC would also support the NDP positions if Harper brought them forward.
As awful as Harper is, there is likely no better opportunity to extract some progressive policy from him for a few more months in power. That of course is reliant on Harper's desire to stay in power.
Two Hypocritical actions
One Republican who rants and raves about family values and opposes same-sex marriage saying it will harm the institution of marriage then tells a colleague that he just had sex with a female lobbyist and he has had sex with other women. This Republican, Michael Duvall, is the Assemblyman from the 72nd district in California and is married and has two kids.
Here is a snippet caught on video ...
Duvall, speaking to a relatively mum Republican colleague seated to his left, apparently had no idea his dais microphone became live beginning about a minute before the start of a cable-televised committee hearing. He was captured in the middle of recounting portions of an affair.
"She wears little eye-patch underwear," said Duvall, who is married with two children. "So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And so, we had made love Wednesday--a lot! And so she'll, she's all, 'I am going up and down the stairs, and you're dripping out of me!' So messy!"
The other Republican listens to President Obama's address to Congress last night and shouts out "You Lie!"
Prime Minster Mulroney has appointed B-C Court of Appeal Justice Robert Bauman as the new Chief Justice of the B-C Supreme Court. Bauman replaces Donald Brenner who resigned earlier this year.
Sent at 7:45am ummm?
The CBC obtained the video of the secret speech from the Liberal party who said they got it from someone that secretly videotaped it.
Most of the speech is not a surprise. Most of us know what a majority Conservative government would look like and its not going to be progressive on any front.
I found the most interesting comments were about the Supreme Court and gun registry...
See the speech here on CBC.
Harper on the gun registry...
(4:00 minutes) We are still, you know we believe that you go after the people that use guns to commit crimes, we are still trying to get rid of that registry, we have the NDP, the Liberals and the BLOC stopping us from even having a vote on that issue in the House of Commons. We need to get a mandate so we get that passed.(4:27 minutes)
Harper continuously railed against the appointments to the Supreme Court before he was elected to anything and as opposition leader, here he goes on to imply that there are too many "left wing ideologues" in government the courts and agencies and if you re-elect his party to a majority, he will change this...
(5:31 minutes)...Just ask you to imagine how different things would be if the Liberals were still in power, imagine the bloated bureaucracy their national day care program would have been created and problaby not have delivered a single child care space, imagine how many left wing ideologues they would be putting in the courts, federal institutions, agencies, the Senate, I should say how many more they would be putting in...(5:49 minutes)We have come along way to providing a decent caring and fair country, only to see the likes of Stephen Harper win a majority government and impose his views of what this country should look like. The Supreme Court will look like the right wing US Supreme Court. Judges throughout the system from the bottom up will have to pass a political leaning test, something we did away with some 40 years ago.
A couple elections ago, Harper said we shouldn't be scared of him because the Supreme Court and the bureaucracy would keep him in check. If Harper gets a majority, who will be there to check his government? No one, no thing, no law, nothing.
We will see neighbourhoods fighting to keep new prisons from being built. The new prisons will be run and operated by private companies just as in the United States. They will have quotas. That is, the Government of Canada will guarantee these private prisons so many new inmates each year. The number of prisoners will have to be increased each year so the private prisons can see growth in its profits year after year.
Health care will be under new restrictions with many services now provided by government handed over to the private sector. Those that can afford it will be able to purchase private services and thus go to the head of the line, just as happens in the US today.
This is only the beginnings of Harper's plan to reshape Canada into what I would call, The Alabama Project. Want to know what that looks like? Take a look at the state of Alabama. Its not pretty.
See CBC story here,
Northwestern Lad's blog post here
and in Montreal Simon Says
You get the picture. So have the Liberals really quit? I expect they have this time. So instead of going on, they attack the NDP for not jumping up and down cause the LPCers quit. Jack Layton I suspect is happy the Liberals decided to give up smoking Harper's butts.
Its kinda like the first pull on a cigarette. You cough, you sputter but it also makes your head dizzy. You try it again, a little less coughing, soon you begin to like it, even though you know its bad for you. You keep puffing away, have them more often.
Then the effects of the smoking start to take effect. You are coughing more, and all that second hand smoke is hurting those you seek to support you. People around you glare, you begin to smell...
Layton however wasn't content that the LPC managed to wean themselves, he wanted to see if he could get the Cons to quit selling those butts and do something a little more healthy for Canadians.
No luck there it seems as Harper is addicted to selling butts.
So it looks like an election this fall. Now it would be cool, if just a couple of those LPC bloggers would say something nice about Jack and how he managed to embarrass the LPCers enough that they had to quit smoking Harper's butts!
Now I want to spend some time going after Harper's Butts and all that gross smoke coming from the PMO.