Tag Archives: Politics

An old favorite from the TWoP FAQ:

One of the reasons I got so hooked on TWoP back in the day was because they didn’t take any crap.

Q: I love typing in all lowercase or all uppercase, ignoring proper grammar and punctuation, and writing my messages like I’m text-messaging on a cell phone with an eight-year-old. That’s cool, right? I mean, who cares? This is the internet!

A: Well, we care…but the sad truth is that other posters might skip over your posts if they’re too hard to read. Things like proper spacing, capitalization, and punctuation make your posts much easier on the eye, and they make you look like quite the Captain Smartypants, too.

Look, we’re not grading you. You won’t get banned for misspelling “definitely” or anything. Just try your best to write neat, coherent posts. Don’t type “2” for “to,” or “U” for “you,” or “l8r” or “LOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!” or any of that nonsense. Throw in a carriage return now and then to break up the text, and please use proper capitalization. Your computer comes with two shift keys. Use ’em.

Emphasis added by me. Link.


16: The Partly Cloudy Patriot

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

I :heart: Sarah Vowell in the same way I :heart: Tina Fey. Witty, snarky, incisive. What more do you need?

I read Take the Cannoli back in 2005, after I had started keeping track what I was reading, but before I started writing posts about each book (which, btw, was the best. idea. ever. I don’t care if everyone else thinks they’re dull as doornails). The Partly Cloudy Patriot I picked up at The Book Shop (shocking! ;-)). There was a book mark inside the front cover from a bookstore called The Book Mark (a book mark from The Book Mark!) with an address in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Oh, I do like to think that this book traveled all the way from Florida to Penticton. It just seems so apropos.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot was published in 2002 and is a collection of essays. The date is significant because it’s packed with pop culture references (as well as nerd humor and historical tourism). So while I adore Vowell’s sense of humor, I’m thinking those who can’t remember said references might not be similarly amused. Remember this post where I asked my students (millennials, formerly known as gen-Y) what their first media memory was? Some of them couldn’t even remember back to 2001/02!

Memory-challenged millennials aside, this is a fast, entertaining read. Which is not to say it doesn’t tackle serious issues. You know, like the 2000 US election. (Poor Al, done in by his nerdiness.) Showing her prescience, one essay is called “Tom Cruise Makes Me Nervous.” Ha! There’s even one on Canada (“Cowboys vs. Mounties”). Unsurprisingly, she confesses that some of her favorite comedians (Kids in the Hall!) are Canadian. Of course they are. It’s the snark, I tell ya.

Sit On Your Fingers

As my co-editors will attest, I am unfailingly polite in my responses to all the questions that we receive at TC, even the silly ones (there are no dumb questions! 😉 ). I know this is the Right Thing To Do, the choice I will not Live To Regret. But of course, there’s always a part of me that’s dying to write what I really think. I don’t, of course. Because I’m mature and all. Unlike, say, our “honorable” (ex-)Minister of State for Mining, Bill Bennett, who wrote this charming response to a constituent (scroll down).

Bwahahahaha. And also, yikes. And that kids, is why you sit on your fingers instead of hitting send. Thanks for the reminder, ex-Minister Bill!

To paraphrase Kanye West, South Dakota doesn’t care about female people.

But fortunately Canada does.

Today is International Women’s Day.

Anyone questioning why we still need a special day to highlight women’s rights need look no further than South Dakota.

Honestly, WTF?

Why men think they should have any say in whether a woman has an abortion is beyond me. If a woman chooses to involve the potential father in the decision, fine. But random politicians need to butt out. It’s so not their business.

For such obvious reasons, most discussion of abortion is focused on threats to Roe v. Wade by right-wing Americans. But I think people sometimes forget that Canadian women didn’t have unfettered access to abortion until 1988. Yes, you read right. 1988.

The decriminalization of abortion in Canada was a consequence of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms coming into effect. Section 7 of the Charter reads:

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

In R. v. Morgentaler, the Supreme Court of Canada decriminalized abortion by striking down s.251 of the Criminal Code:

Section 251 clearly interferes with a woman’s physical and bodily integrity. Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a foetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus an infringement of security of the person. A second breach of the right to security of the person occurs independently as a result of the delay in obtaining therapeutic abortions caused by the mandatory procedures of s. 251 which results in a higher probability of complications and greater risk. The harm to the psychological integrity of women seeking abortions was also clearly established.

Shortly thereafter, in Tremblay v. Daigle (a case where a woman’s ex-boyfriend was trying to prevent her from obtaining an abortion), the SCC ruled that:

A foetus is not included within the term “human being” in the Quebec Charter and, therefore, does not enjoy the right to life conferred by s. 1. … In Anglo-Canadian law, a foetus must be born alive to enjoy rights. In light of the treatment of foetal rights in civil law and, in addition, the consistency to be found in the common law jurisdictions, it would be wrong to interpret the vague provisions of the Quebec Charter as conferring legal personhood upon the foetus.


[T]here is nothing in the Quebec legislation or case law, to support the argument that the father’s interest in a foetus he helped create gives him the right to veto a woman’s decisions in respect of the foetus she is carrying. The lack of legal basis is fatal to this argument.

So, to sum up:

  1. A fetus is not a person.
  2. Men have no say in whether a woman has an abortion or not.
  3. Restrictions on obtaining an abortion are a violation of woman’s right to security of the person.

Happy International Women’s Day!

I know (most) politicians are asshats, but this takes the cake.

I guess I have to post about the asshat who is David Emerson.

Okay, so here’s the scoop: two weeks ago we had a federal election. Emerson ran for the Liberals and won his seat. The Conservatives, however, won the election (albeit a minority government).

So apparently Asshat Emerson gets a call from Asshat Harper, our new PM, the gist being that he’ll get a cabinet post if he defects. Asshat Emerson thinks “What a great idea! More $$$$$ for me!” and does it. (Oh, come on, of course that’s what he was thinking. Well, mayhap power/prestige came into it a little.)

The former Liberal industry minister said … he’s been unjustly accused of rank opportunism for switching sides just days after an election campaign where he led the Liberal charge against the Tories in British Columbia.

(Unjustly accused. *boggle* I’ve never seen a more obvious case of rank opportunism.)

So on Monday, when the new cabinet is announced this all comes out and people–especially those who voted for him, worked on his campaign, etc.–are outraged. Well, duh. Except Asshat Emerson is all “Why are people mad? I didn’t expect this.”

Emerson said he was unprepared for the reaction in his home town to what seemed to him a logical move aimed at helping his province.

Dude, I’ll explain it to you. For TWO MONTHS you campaigned as a member of the Liberal party. TWO WEEKS AGO you won your seat based on the fact that you were a LIBERAL. You would not have won if you were not running as a Liberal. Yes, it’s true that certain people have a personal popularity that transcends partisanship. I don’t think you are one of them.

To say something like this shows that you don’t understand our political system at all. In Canada we get ONE VOTE. When we vote for our local representative, we are endorsing the party they represent and by extension the leader of that party, who will become the Prime Minister should the party win. Thus, the PARTY you represent is integral to voters’ decisions whether to vote for you.

80% of the people in your riding voted either Liberal or NDP. The Conservatives were a distant third with 18% of the vote. Do you not understand what this means? PEOPLE IN YOUR RIDING DO NOT ENDORSE THE CONSERVATIVE AGENDA.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so gobsmacked by a politician’s actions. How anyone could think this was okay is beyond me. This is not a case of a person sitting for a while (years perhaps) and then coming into conflict with their party’s agenda and either becoming an independent or switching to another party on a matter of principle. Oh no. In fact, Asshat Emerson says he would still be a Liberal had they won. WTF?!

I’ve never been a fan of recall, but damn, I hope they recall your ass.

(And let’s not forget the fact that Asshat Harper made this offer in the first place makes him a first class idiot. Don’t forget that come next election.)

How To Piss Me Off

Last night I was reading the newspaper and I ran across a small article about the PM-designate’s spouse.

The title says it all:

It’s ‘Mrs. Harper,’ for wife of incoming prime minister Stephen Harper

Harper’s 41-year-old spouse has been known as Laureen Teskey –

But the self-described small-town girl from Turner Valley, Alta., has let it be quietly known that she now goes only by the name of Laureen Harper.

Look, you can call yourself Bozo the Clown for all I care. But as long it’s still considered politically necessary for a woman to take her husband’s last name, to be a Mrs., not a Ms., then women will NOT have achieved equality. PERIOD.

The fact that I’d noticed his wife had her own name was the ONE thing Harper had going for him. Now he has NOTHING. NOTHING.

It pissed me off when Hillary did it. It pisses me off when the media calls Tony Blair’s wife Mrs. Blair when her real name is Cherie Booth. But this pisses me off even more, maybe because Laureen & Stephen are closer to my age–and I guess I just expect younger people to be more enlightened on these matters.

I remain impressed with Maureen McTeer (and by extension, Joe Clark), who didn’t stand for this bullshit, even 30 years ago when it was a much bigger deal.

It shouldn’t be a deal at all anymore. That it obviously is, is sad, sad, sad.


On a related note, there’s been much media speculation about who will make up the new cabinet. I noticed that ALL the names being bandied about were men. ALL.

Then I saw a snip of a Harper press conference in which he was saying how he had to increase the number of women in the Conservative party. Ha. Well, subjugating your wife isn’t going to do it.

Curious, I looked for some stats.

The number of women elected for each party, and the proportion of women in the party’s elected caucus, are as follows:

* Bloc – 17 (33.3% of caucus)
* Conservative – 14 (11.3% of caucus)
* Liberal – 21 (20.3% of caucus)
* NDP – 12 (41.4% of caucus)

The Liberal party isn’t doing great there, but the Conservatives? 11%? Can’t say I’m surprised, though. With all the anti-women crap they support (I know, they’ve tried to tone it down, but it’s there, simmering under the surface.), what woman in her right mind would join such a party? And as for the men, they probably secretly wish that it was 0% because y’all know where they think women are supposed to be.

The Bad, The Good, & The Fugly

The Bad: PM Stephen Harper. Bleh. 😦

The Good: It’s a minority government.

The Fugly: Belinda Stronach. Gah. *grind teeth* Think of a cross between Paris Hilton & Dubya. I can’t even begin to think what the person who puts an X beside her name on a ballot is thinking. “Wow, she’s really qualified for this job and I know she’s got my best interests in mind!” Riiight.

I do, however, remain more appalled by the fact that she won numerous awards for holding some executive position in her daddy’s company. This chick dropped out of university in her first year. So, you know, she was really qualified to run a mega-corporation. Sure. That’s uber-believable. Here’s some coffee. Smell it.

I Voted.

Did you?*

You know what’s weird? I live right on the edge of a riding (what a weird word–does the origin have to do with how far one could ride in a day or something?), and the voting place is actually on the other side of the line.

Anyhow. If this election goes the way the media’s been predicting, don’t blame me. I didn’t contribute to it.

I’ll be watching at 7 to see who won, with fingers crossed. There’s been a lot of hot air blowing around here the past month about BC being the deciding factor, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Never happens. Always all over by the time the polls close here. Ontario. Much too big. Needs to be split into like three provinces.

[*Only applies if you’re Canadian.]

Solstice Prezzie

Judge Rejects Teaching Intelligent Design

In the [US]’s first case to test the legal merits of intelligent design, the judge, John E. Jones III, issued a broad, stinging rebuke to its advocates and provided strong support for scientists who have fought to bar intelligent design from the science curriculum.

Judge Jones, a Republican appointed by President Bush, concluded that intelligent design was not science, and that in order to claim that it is, its proponents admit they must change the very definition of science to include supernatural explanations.

Is it just me or is this ruling especially sweet because Judge Jones is a Bush-appointed Republican?! FOCLMAO. Intelligent Design. Bah. I tell ya, if the school board had come to me when I was teaching biology, and said I had to teach ID (read: creationism) in my classes, I’d’ve laughed in their faces. Probably I’d’ve thought it was a joke. No biology teacher worth his/her salt is going to teach religion as science.

You know what really gets me are these so-called “scientists” who are pushing ID. I figure they have to be getting something out of the deal, some sort of kickback, because honestly, if they have degrees from reputable universities (and maybe they don’t, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt) they have to know what they’re espousing is BS. How they can blither away on CNN with straight faces is beyond me.

On a related note, on Sunday an older guy on a bike stopped and asked where I got my Darwin fish (it’s on the back of my car). Go evolution!