Wednesday, December 30, 2009

it's a post-christmas miracle!

so my bike got stole a little while ago. stole right from under my nose, while i watched from my kitchen window.

no amount of running after the thief, swearing, crying, and wandering could get that bike back--the policeman who i filed my theft report with said as much too. in his exact words: "you will never see your bike again."

he said it was probably sitting in a garage somewhere and in the summer the thief would post it on craigslist, and the police didn't have time to search garages for bikes, and so it was gone forever.

this is true. bikes that are stolen in this city are almost never recovered, so imagine my surprise when i walked into the grocery store for a late night snack and my bike was sitting by the check-out lane.

for real!! it was just leaning there, my bike lock and lights still attached. i've been carrying around the key for that lock in the hopes that maybe i'd see my bike somewhere and able to liberate it and ride away.

but the bike wasn't locked, it was just there. one of the employees told me that a notorious grocery thief had the bike--they saw him with groceries spilling out of his coat and when they tried to pursue him he tossed my bike at them. so they brought the bike in and decided not to throw it away for a few days.

and that is the story of how i got my bike back.

the bike is a little worse for wear--the seat came off in my hand, the handlebars are misaligned, the back tire is flat, and the fucker ripped the top off of my bell. all that matters, though, is that the bike is back at home--safe and sound.

so if you live on dupont/around dupont/in the vicinity of the loblaws and or sobeys then you might want to watch your bikes AND groceries.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

the best music videos of 2009

#1 best video of 2009: ohbijou--new years!!

http://www.topito.com/top-10-des-clips-de-lannee-2009

does santa vote conservative??

my friend H posted this on facebook this morning, totally brilliant:

"First of all, let me make absolutely clear that this commentary in no way intends to use Santa Claus as a tool for political partisanship.

After all, poor Santa’s been through enough over the past hundred years. The Cold War was a particularly taxing time for him, as he got caught in the middle of the struggle for global domination between America and the Soviet Union. Contrary to popular belief, Santa Claus was never banned in the Soviet Union. Christmas trees were, but that was actually the doing of the Russian Orthodox Church, not the communists. The Church banned Christmas trees (most of which came from Germany) as a sort of economic sanction against Germany for going to war against Russia in World War I. Christmas trees were legalized in the mid-1930s when Stalin determined that the benefits to children outweighed the dangers of bourgeois culture. However, Santa’s fashion sense suffered somewhat when it was decreed that the Soviet Santa had to wear a blue coat in order to distinguish it from the American Santa’s red coat. In fact, the politically rehabilitated Santa (or Father Frost, as he was known in Russia) proved to be an ideal agent for political centralization: he was ordered to replace local ‘Santa-type’ characters in the other Soviet republics in order to ensure greater cultural unity. The positive side of this of course is that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, most former republics kept the Russian Santa as well as revived their own local Santa’s, so now they have two Santa’s giving gifts instead of one (bonus!). All except Croatia, whose government launched a campaign to eradicate all vestiges of the former Soviet Santa when it won independence.

Post-cold war politics haven’t left him unscathed either. Denmark – which for years has hosted the annual Santa Claus World Congress (which awards Santa Of The Year, among other events such as the annual Santa Hula Hoop Contest, Santa Bike Parade, and Santa Beach Paddle) is now being challenged for North Pole primacy by upstart former Soviet republic Kyrgyzstan, which, although Muslim, has decided to implement a Santa Claus tourism development strategy involving naming a mountain ‘Mount Santa Claus’ and holding a rival World Santa Claus Congress. Mount Santa Claus, incidentally, joins other renowned Kyrgyzstani mountains such as Mount Lenin, Mount Communism, Mount Free and Independent Korea, Mount of the Military Topographers, and Mount of the 19th Party Congress.

Even the Canadian Santa wasn’t immune to the upheavals of the 60’s and 70’s. The Toronto Santa Claus parade had, for several decades, packed up and shipped itself to Montreal to participate in the Montreal Santa Claus parade, in a show of solidarity between the two cities. In 1969 however separatist FLQ terrorists designated the Toronto Santa Claus a primary target of Anglophone imperialism and threatened to bomb him, so the whole tradition was cancelled as a security measure.

But anyway, that’s all ancient history. Santa Claus is still thriving, at least as much as he can in the new globalized, neoliberal world economy. Which leads me to wonder...is he actually thriving? How has Santa Claus fared under the past couple of years of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government?

Well, for one thing, he probably doesn’t get your mail anymore. Under Harper’s Conservatives, dozens of rural and northern post offices have been closed, cutting off service to over 55,000 rural Canadians.

But maybe Santa was able to apply for stimulus funding, to build capital infrastructure projects like high-speed satellite reception at his workshop? Well, not likely. You see, Santa advocates for children and world peace, and those are three cardinal sins when it comes to seeking Conservative funding. His application would have been rejected either on the basis of his use of advocacy (which, as the Status of Women Canada discovered, is unacceptable) or support of world peace (which, as the KAIROS foundation recently discovered, is anti-semitic). His support of children probably doesn’t situate him well with the Conservatives either: almost 10% of Canadian children live in poverty, not including the over 25% of aboriginal and First Nations children, and the 37% of food bank users in Canada who are children under the age of 18 (food bank use, meanwhile, has jumped by 18% over the past year, so the number is probably even higher now). So while Santa’s priority is to help children, the Conservatives are pursuing a strategy of making things worse for children, so it’s unlikely funds will be forthcoming. Either way, the federal Conservatives haven’t even bothered to develop a national strategy on child poverty, so Santa, like the provinces, is alone on this one.

It’s also not entirely clear how Santa is going to deliver all his gifts. Used to be that he jumped down the chimney. Of course, given that the Canadian government eliminated funding for new public housing units in the 1990s, causing homelessness to grow at staggering rates (740% in Calgary during the past decade), and that the Conservatives’ housing initiative in this year’s federal budget – while a first – is geared primarily toward renovations instead of new housing, a lot of people don’t have chimneys for Santa to hop through any more.

And how exactly does Santa get by during his seasonal shutdown period? While opposition proposals to reduce the number of hours required for EI eligibility would have undoubtedly helped Santa during the off-season, and the recent move to extend parental benefits to the self-employed is a good step, it’s unlikely to benefit Santa since he’s a bit old for children. And given that one in five seniors in Canada is living in poverty, things don’t bode so well for him on that count either.

While the ongoing shortage in skilled trades has probably hit Santa’s workshop pretty hard, one would think Santa could take advantage of opportunities to hire sponsored immigrant workers at his workshop to keep up with growing demand. Oops, only the Conservatives’ failure to follow through on their THREE-YEAR OLD promise to create a national framework for recognition and assessment of foreign credentials, coupled with the new watered-down version of a framework that won’t be fully active for FOUR MORE YEARS, probably hasn’t helped much on that front. Nor has the fact that the Conservatives somehow forgot to spend a third of the money they ‘allocated’ for immigrant language instruction programs in this year’s budget.

So all in all, life under Harper’s Conservatives hasn’t been too pleasant for poor old Santa. Nor for the reindeer either: the Conservatives’ consistent policy of refusing to sign international treaties for good things (like fighting climate change, or the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People) meant they also refused to sign the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare. I don’t think it’s so much that the Conservatives hate reindeer as it is that they hate international treaties. Which raises another concern: does the Conservative government’s growing determination to assert military force in the Arctic mean Santa is going to get the boot? Or worse yet, get bombed by Canadian submarines? Of course, given the Canadian government’s penchant for purchasing cheap used and malfunctioning military equipment, it’s probably not something he’ll have to worry about for a while.

And in case this has gotten you worried about poor old Santa, I wouldn’t be too concerned, at least as long as the Conservatives are in office. Their failure to introduce any meaningful pension reform to help the significant percentage of Canadians who are unable to save for retirement, means that Santa won’t be able to afford retirement for the foreseeable future.

So rest assured he’ll probably pay you a visit this year. Meanwhile sit back and enjoy this brilliant animation of what happens when you privatize Santa (as the Conservatives no doubt will try):"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

people are nice. really nice.

so we wrote about how the toronto women's bookstore is in a seriously shitty situation--they might have to close!

so everyone should shop there and donate money to them, to save them---that was the general idea of the post.

two amazing people have donated items to auction off and the proceeds will go to the toronto women's bookstore.

the items are in this event:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=224659239047&index=1

the first item is a painting, donated by maria sergio: "roughly 45" x 21" oil on reclaimed table leaf (wood). would do well as a table again if covered with glass, or could be mounted to the wall with some brackets"







the second item for auction is a coffee package donated by java mama which includes:

2 lattes and 2 treats
2 1/2 pound bags of custom roasted coffee-your choice
1/2 pound of espresso colombian fair trade


java mama is located at1075 bathurst(at dupont) and has their own facebook group HERE.
they roast beans daily on site, sell fair trade coffee in bulk, sell baking supplies/collectibles/crafts, and rent their space for community functions.

or you can just donate directly to the TWB here:

https://www.paypal.com/ca/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=0aHVyqxneri7Ti_fLZGZglWF56OAsedruOHvudqh3ZLCJSepyzGQvrjdori&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1ffc45dc241d84e953ae3a912d7415d1a97451b677930c8a71

Thursday, December 17, 2009

save the toronto women's bookstore.... or else.

there are a lot of really special things about the city of toronto.

there are a lot of parks, it's a relatively safe city, it has a lot of good places to eat and drink, it has roasted marshmallow ice cream at greg's, some good schools, and overall it's not the worst city to live in for awhile.

but there is one feature of the city that is genuinely 'toronto' and genuinely awesome: the toronto women's bookstore.
located at harbord and spadina and founded in 1973, the TWB is one of the largest not for profit feminist and humanistic bookstores in canada

the TWB was opened to provide a space for women but also a space where people could find books written by women and about women's issues.

a lot has changed since 1973 and as feminism changed so did the TWB. you don't just find books by "women" at the TWB, you find books and resources by and for all people.

the TWB actively promotes anti-oppression and feminist politics and their mission statement is "to provide books by women writers, especially marginalized women, including women of colour, First Nations women, lesbians, other queer women, working class women, disabled women, Jewish women, and other groups of women."

unfortunately, the TWB is in serious risk of closure. over the past two years they just haven't been able to make enough sales to sustain the store

partly to blame: the recession. being any business is hard in a time of recession, but being an independent bookstore with an actively political mission is even harder.

more than the recession, the indigo-ization of book-buying has hurt not just the TWB, but most indie book stores.

in fact, the big mega store trend has hurt pretty much every indie retailer, from music to clothing.

usually you can get things cheaper through a big chain, but what you sacrifice in doing so are your politics in a lot of cases.

sure, you can probably get that copy of the communist manifesto at chapters-indigo, but you won't find any books criticizing zionism. they might carry feminist books, but they're union-busting/labour law breaking ways of operating are anything but feminist.

i, for one, don't want to shop at a bookstore that carries The Game in the women's studies section(dear chapters-indigo, we hate you.)

eff and i are both students--women's studies students. the TWB is conveniently located near the university of toronto AND oise. when i first moved to toronto to start my MA the bookstore was one of my favorite places to kill time between classes. not only was it convenient, but the TWB carried the course material for my classes, which gave me a reason to go there and also exposed me to events, resources, and a community.

the TWB is a crucial link between community activism/politics and academia.

as robyn bourgeois, member of the board, wrote to us today about her own experience at the TWB:

"The Toronto Women's Bookstore is important to me because it is my home away from home. I came to this city in 2004, and the TWB was one of the first places I connected with because, not only could I get my reading materials, there was a strong sense of inclusive community, political activism, and a general commitment to make the world a better place. As an educator, I believe it is INTEGRAL that academia bridges itself with community - makes knowledge accessible to everyone - and TWB makes this happen. It's one place where you'll find academics, activists, frontline workers, and "regular" people working together to make this world a better place."

the TWB is more than just a toronto landmark. it's one place that hasn't given up on politics and isn't afraid to identify with a radical mission. it's a living, breathing reminder of why bookstores and books are the first targets of fascist governments: because books, and people who read books, have the ability to spark revolutions and change lives.

so, we obviously need to save the TWB.

here are five things we can do:

1. Spread the word - let people know about the TWB situation and how they can help

2. Volunteer with TWB - "volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization" and they always need help.

3. Go to a fundraiser. Swagger is donating $1 from each ticket sold to the TWB. Event is on facebook: here.

4. Donate!! You can make an online donation HERE through pay pal.

5. Use christmas/holidays as an excuse to shop at the TWB. we all spend way too much money this time of year, might as well spend it saving a bookstore.

so do all of these things. NOW.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

dear nobel peace prize concert: get that dude who sings about lynching to perform!

this morning on the huffington post there's an article called "toby keith racist?"

the country singer was in norway for the peace prize concert and while dancing along to will smith's version of "rapper's delight" he pulled his eyes back when will smith said "yellow."

the asian american justice center is pissed, and released a statement saying "Toby Keith embarrassed himself and his country, denigrated the Nobel Peace Prize and offended Asians and Asian Americans by using a crude, racist hand gesture."

um, i completely agree. but here's my question: is anyone surprised?

it actually makes me feel sick to my stomache that toby keith was even allowed to perform at the peace prize concert.
remember his song about 9/11?

"Now this nation that I love is fallin' under attack. A mighty sucker-punch came flying in from somewhere in the back. Soon as we could see clearly through our big black eye, Man, we lit up your world like the fourth of July."

america certainly did light up people's world like the fourth of july when they used 9/11 as validation for waging an illegal war that killed countless civilians--all the while lining the pockets of their contractor friends.

or that other song, 'whiskey for my men, beer for my horses?'

"Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son A man had to answer for the wicked that he done Take all the rope in Texas Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys Hang them high in the street for all the people to see"

right, because "back in the day" in texas, it was alright to LYNCH people. the whole point of the song is that drunken vigilante justice is the only true justice but honestly, if people think him pulling his eyes back in a crude representation of "asian eyes" is offensive then maybe they should consider the history of lynching in america and how it's so NOT peace prize concert material.

enjoy your cursed bike, thief!!!!!

yesterday i was just sitting around, minding my own business, when some asshole walked into my backyard and rode away with my bike.

i actually saw this person ride away. i thought that it was my neighbour riding her bike through the yard until i realized "hey, my neighbour is a lady" and also "hey, that's MY bike."

the bike thief also got away with my lock, which was conveniently wrapped around the frame of the bike, and a rear light.

the jerk was wearing one of those ski coats from the nineties in neon blue and purple and also wearing some kind of white hat.

i gave chase but bikes are faster than legs and the bike thief got away.

so, if you happen to be wandering around the city of toronto and you see a blue and white simpsons-sears 3 speed cruiser(like the one in the picture below), with a black bike guard lock wrapped under the seat, it might be mine.

the bike also has a blue and white spring seat, not a black one like the one in the picture. the lady who i purchased the bike from gave me the nicer, vintage seat to replace the ugly black one in the picture.

last time i used the bike it was raining, so it might still have a lovely green shopping bag wrapped around the seat.

i'm sure i'll never see it again, but who knows.

also, the person who stole it should probably know that it's cursed. the first night i rode it i was hit by a car which leads me to believe that they will most certainly be hit by a car as well. they should probably return my bike before that happens.


Monday, December 14, 2009

oh, that's nice.

this is why i don't like obama. everyone is always like, obama is so awesome, he's going to change everything, he's so progressive.

yes, he's done some progressive things. SOME. but he hasn't done enough to warrant the mindless fawning over him that people engage in.

today the supreme court rejected an appeal filed by four men who were detained at the guantanamo bay. the supreme court was in step with the obama administration, who opposed the appeal as well.

the four men-- shafiq rasul, asif iqbal, rhuhel ahmed, and jamal al-harith-- claim they were tortured and denied religious rights.

the four were held at guantanamo from 2002-2004 and released with no charges laid.

according to the men rasul, iqbal, and ahmed were travelling from afghanistan from pakistan to do humanitarian relief work at 9/11 while al-hadith was in pakistan for a religious retreat.

the three men were captured by a uzbek war lord and then given over to the u.s. in afghanistan while al-harith was captured by the taliban in pakistan and accused of being a british spy, he was then placed in u.s. custody after the taliban fell.

al-hadith was actually told he could go home after the taliban fell but american forces decided to keep him.

he writes in his statement that after arriving at guantanamo he was "kicked, slapped, elbowed and punched" and told repeateledly "you are no property of the united states marine corps."

he also writes that when the afghans told him he would be moved into the custody of the americans he was relieved--americans were britain's ally and he knew had done nothing wrong.

but no, instead the american military was given full license to do whatever they wanted to prisoners. they took full advantage of the power they were given.

from 2002-2004 they were not only held without charges but claim they were beaten, shackled in painful positions, and threatened by dogs.

they were harassed for practicing their religion, forced to shave their beards, had their prayers banned or interrupted, denied copies of the quran/prayer mats, and had copies of the quran defiled in front of them.

the obama administration opposes high court review of their case

The Obama administration opposed high court review of the case, which is really just a defense of the bush administration officials who were responsible for the imprisonment of individuals for no reason.

these men lost years of their lives, were subjected to inhumane and indefensible treatment, but hey i guess as long as a bunch of rich white house adminsitrators and contractors get to live free of responsibility or consequence then obama should be able to sleep at night.

why did obama promise to close guantanamo bay if he wasn't actually interested in making sure that the people that were detained there received some semblence of justice?

maybe obama should close guantanamo but re-open it as a swanky resort where the people who orchestrated the horrendous torture and illegal detainment can spend the rest of their days in complete comfort, guilt-free of course.

you can watch a short documentary about the men, and others, who were detained at G. B here.

i mean, these men were only subjected to something that most of us couldn't even imagine, for no reason, but who cares? clearly obama doesn't.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"the front of your cat is a veritable treasure chest of fun"

3:12 of pure joy... "like the touch of a fairy.."

"the internet? isn't that for technogeeks with spreadsheets?"

moms of the world realized, many years ago, that the internet was a useful tool.

they could do their children's research reports faster, diet more easily, do their sister's jobs for them conveniently, and also have a kentucky legolas deliver flowers directly to their door.

i have decided that this video should be mandatory for all moms who decide to use the internet.

specifically, the direction on not using all capital letters.

"what an attractive woman, but she looks like a bitch!"

so, stand in the subway writhing and caressing your own body to signal to men that you looking for love. because god knows you've got nothing left to lose at this point.

the funniest protest sign of 2009? yeah it is!

so whoever compiled the top viral videos of 2009 on the huff post is kind of an idiot for including soulja boy, but whoever is moderating the funniest protest signs of 2009 is a genius.

we submitted a photo from the LOL/JK protest(which you can read about, all over again, HERE) and it was accepted!

that means that you can go to the slideshow and vote on the picture, making it the funniest protest sign of 2009.

why is this important? because 2009 was the year of rolling back gay rights in canada and the U.S.

unconfronted homophobia, however, isn't what 2009 was all about and it's important to showcase how creative and awesome the queer community is.

way better than the homophobes, that's for sure. and also way hotter than the homophobes.

so go vote, because pointing out how stupid anti-gay "activists" are is probably the most important thing you'll do on a saturday anyways.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/21/the-funniest-protest-sign_n_292342.html?slidenumber=VqO%2BckU%2FTmk%3D

Friday, December 11, 2009

who compiled this list???

there are "best of 2009" lists all over the place right now and i just checked out the "top 10 viral videos of 2009" on the huffington post.

whoever did this research was obviously doing crack because number 4 on the list is "crank dat(soulja boy)" by soulja boy...

ummm... that video came out in 2007....

like you don't just get to pick videos and say they went viral this year, viral means something--numbers!

higher standards, huffpost, higher standards.

"it's great to send a letter-but it's more effective to send a hanger"

so of course the united states health reform had to come with the crazy anti-choice stupak-pitts amendment, those anti-abortion folks are always trying to stick their agenda in wherever they can.

the scary part about this amendment was that it seemed as though people were going to take it laying down. a kind of "well, to pass health care we have to pass this"-- the lesser of two evils thing.

but it looks like that isn't the case. on wednesday the city of berkeley mailed coat hangers to 20 members of congress.

the city. not just a group of activists, the actual city council debated and voted to protest the amendment.

the hanger is a symbol of what happens when abortion is made illegal: back-alley abortions and women trying to give themselves abortions by whatever means possible.

council member kriss worthington said that the hanger was sent with a letter that reads:

"The City of Berkeley is sending you this coat hanger as a symbol of the horrible pain and suffering endured by women as a result of years of anti-choice policies imposed by our government. ... We strongly support health care reform but it is unconscionable that this should come at the expense of a woman’s reproductive rights."

amazing!

council member susan wengraf co sponsored the measure and said that initially she thought it was too extreme but came to realize that she didn't want her granddaughter to have to go through what her grandmothers had to.

people who are anti-abortion don't really get the reality of the situation. making abortion illegal doesn't stop abortion. it increases dangerous illegal abortions, often performed by unqualified practitioners or even women themselves.

even if it's illegal, women will seek out abortion. you will never stop it.

think of canada. the criminalization of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality wasn't reversed until the 60's. our mothers and grandmothers couldn't legally access these things. i'm sure many of us have heard horror stories from the women in our lives who understand why rights to abortion and contraception shouldn't be taken for granted.

so sending hangers might be a little extreme to some, but if it helps prevent the most extreme outcome possible-- major restrictions on a woman's right to choose--then it'll be worth it.

"facebook you're the one, you make spying so much fun!"

well this is just embarrassing.

the latest news in the denis rancourt saga is the uncovering of some extremely seedy student involvement.

in other words, spies!!!

in these blogs (here) we wrote about the involvement of maureen robinson, a student who was being paid by the university legal counsel to spy on professor rancourt.
(anyone who knows anything about universities and their legal counsel isn't going to be surprised here. consider how much york university recently spent on "top notch" legal counsel will mcdowell in their battle against professor david noble--a figure that the university refuses to disclose.)

what we didn't realize then was the lengths to which ms. robinson was going to get her "information" on dr. rancourt.

according to ottawa independent media ms. robinson engaged in the following methods for her "job":
  • she recorded(covertly) conversations of others. she created a FAKE facebook identity(Nathalie Page) to covertly join activist student events and discussion groups.
  • she used this fake account to make enquiries about protest events.
  • she created a fake gmail account(based on her fake facebook account) to make enquiries.
  • made false pretence enquiries to outside editors of blogs and outside conference organizers.
  • sent approximately 100 emails back and forth between herself and university legal counsel.
so first of all, facebook has a policy about making fake accounts in its facebook statement of rights and responsibilities. in fact, they have policies about a lot of the shit this student did.

(from the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities)

"3. Safety
We do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it. We need your help to do that, which includes the following commitments:
10. You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory. "

AND

"4. Registration and Account Security
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission. "

toss in that maureen robinson is a student journalist and you have one sick and twisted plot against a professor.

it's too bad that ms. robinson didn't decide to put her reporting skills to good use. instead, she will forever go down in university politics history as a mole, a snitch, as an affront to the institution of student journalism, used as a pawn by a university that clearly doesn't give a shit what happens to her.

it's sad kind of, to think of what universities have done to students. but who knows, maybe ms. robinson's major aspiration in life was to become a spy.. in which case, she should reconsider because she really isn't very good at it.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

courage fail

this is my favorite fail blog ever, i've probably watched it ten thousand times in a row. for reals.

fired?? they should both get a promotion!

today i read a story in the new york daily about two high school teachers being suspended after they got caught getting it on in a classroom.

two LADY teachers!

hot.

apparently the two teachers had a little spare time while their students were at an assembly or something, so they got naked and did what teachers do.

the only problem was that the janitor was prowling around and busted them, then TOLD on them.

i bet you one million dollars the janitor only told on them after they told the janitor that he couldn't join them.

honestly, i don't see what the big deal is.
they weren't doing it with students and i'm sure this is every high schooler's fantasy, so the school should just let it go.

i think as a protest against rolling back gay-friendly curriculum in schools and the worsening hostility against queer educators all teachers should just start getting it on like this. like, if they can't get married in the states, can't teach inclusive sex ed, have to hide their sexuality, etc.. they might as well have fun at the taxpayer's expense right?

i hope one of these dudes wasn't your dad.

eleven people were arrested in a downtown health spa in toronto on wednesday.

apparently the owner is facing charges for keeping a bawdy house and the employees are being charged for working in a bawdy house.


so the employees and the owner are being charged, i guess they didn't find any customers in there procuring the services a bawdy house has to offer, because if they had they would have arrested them too right??

wrong. according to the toronto to star, when the officers entered the spa they found "four embarassed, contrite, and sheepish middle-aged men."

sheepish and contrite because they were clearly getting some kind of rub and tug deal. that's not legal right? being a john? right?

apparently it is, because the men aren't facing any charges and instead they will act as witnesses in court.

so it's only illegal to provide sexual services but not to pay for them?? i'm pretty sure that's not right. i can't believe that these guys get to testify in court against the people who probably handled their balls!! oh i'm sorry, i think it's actually called "exotic massage."

wrong on so many levels.

dear toronto police: don't criminalize people who are doing their jobs if you aren't also going to criminalize the fuckers who are on the receiving end.

maybe they haven't ever heard of supply and demand?


holy shit, cute overload!!

this kid is actually more entertaining than anybody, ever. he doesn't even need to sing the actual words to the songs because he's that good.

he's also clearly having the best time ever. someone give him ten million dollars please.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

in memory...

of the fourteen women murdered in montreal, twenty years ago today, for nothing more than being women in an engineering class.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

you might not want anyone to catch you watching this...

this is for a certain someone who loves vanilla ice cream.....

if this is true, heaven really sucks.

cardinal javier lozano barragan, a leading roman catholic cardinal, said on wednesday that "homosexuals and transsexuals will never enter the kindgdom of heaven" because they are an "insult to god."

apparently saint paul says this in the bible. except that in the bible the term homosexual and transsexual isn't ever used, so i guess it's just an interpretation of what saint paul said. modernized version, if you will.

he went on to say that people aren't born gay but become so for different reasons like "education issues or because they did not develop their own identity during adolescence." Also, while it might not "be their fault" they are still "acting against nature and the dignity of the human body" which is an insult to god.

he also said that while the church hates homos, this doesn't justify "discrimination" against gay and trans people.

right, because when one of the leading figures of your faith says something hateful you can just ignore it and treat everyone equally.

this is what i hate about the roman catholic church, or any organized religion really. they say these horrible things about sexual orientation, sexuality, birth control, women, whatever and then they backpedal and say "wait wait.. that's what GOD says-- we're not judging."

so they plant the seeds of hatred and bigotry into their follower's brains and hearts and abdicate any responsibility for the consequences.

i'm sure there are some catholics who feel that homosexuality is a sin but don't actively discriminate, but i just don't think it's fair for the church to do shit like this when they very well know that people are crazy and have been known to kill people who "sin against god."

maybe be more responsible, crazy cardinal, because whether or not they like to admit it people who espouse hatred always have blood on their hands.

plus, if heaven is going to be filled with gross old dudes like this one, i'd rather be in the awesomer place where they banish the "homosexuals and transsexuals."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

dear scummy landlords: do your jobs, or else.

if you rent, which the majority of people do, you've probably at one time or another had a question about your apartment or your landlord that you couldn't find the answer to.

is your landlord allowed to do this, do they have to fix that, can they charge you for such and such.
renting an apartment can be extremely annoying and tense if you have a shitty landlord and if you don't know your rights.

so the other day, when i was googling a question about my apartment, i found this website:

the federation of metro tenants' association

pretty much it's the best tenant resource i have ever found, and i'm really surprised i hadn't found it earlier.

the best part about the association is that they have a tenant hotline that runs from monday-friday 8:30am-6pm

416-921-9494

i called yesterday and the person on the line had an answer to my question and it was awesome.

they let me know that i can also call the city of toronto municipal licensing and standards division if my landlord is not responsive and they'll come do an inspection to make sure everything is up to code, because sometimes you end up in an apartment that is only divided from your neighbour by a sheet of drywall, and that just isn't right.

Monday, November 30, 2009

gay sex is exactly what video games need!

this is great.

it reminds of the time this jerk professor failed my research project because it was about becoming a gamer and researching whether or not there is a queer scene in games like this. apparently she thought i was making a joke out of the course, but i swear, i wasn't!

anyways, this validates my shitty grade. enjoy:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

don't try to ask palin a question, even if she wants to answer it

mary walsh from this hour has 22 minutes went to a sarah palin book signing event and tried to ask the former governor of alaska a pretty simple question.

going as her conservative character marg delahunty, walsh asked palin:

"i just wanted to ask you if you have any words of encouragement for canadian conservatives who have worked so hard to try to diminish the kind of socialized medicine we have up there."

the best part isn't even really palin's answer--which was an answer that i'm sure noone was surprised by--but the fact that walsh was forcibly ejected from the book signing while sarah palin was yelling her answer to her.

palin yelled to walsh that she should "keep the faith because common sense conservatism can be plugged in there in canada too. in fact, canada needs to reform its health care system and let the private sector take over some of what the government has absorbed."

if this was any other author, i'm sure they would be allowed to answer a question. sarah palin obviously wanted to, but because she says such stupid things usually her handlers seem to think it best to avoid her opening her mouth at all.

yeah they are

this crazy lady decided to stand on a corner at syracuse university(where she isn't a student) with this hateful sign. so an actual student, chris pesto, decided to start his own protest:


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

oh mariah carey, only you would wear those boots on the pitcher's mound

so, the new mariah carey video is really fucking weird. it's a cover of foreigner's "i wanna know what love is" and whatever, it's a cover of a classic song, so it's not that bad.

but the video is bizarre. it's in a huge stadium, on a baseball diamond, with people just staring at her and smiling.

i don't know, i feel like it could have been a little more... lucid?

anyways, besides the weirdness of the video, there IS a gay couple in it. i kind of perused the comments under the video(which i normally don't do because they are usually scary and violent) but i found this little exchange, which i liked:

RobLives4Love (1 week ago)
There IS no sanctity. We live in a world where two men/women falling in love is looked down upon versus a man and woman getting married for money.

did she included a gay couple in the video? makes it so much better!

mburmy (1 week ago)
Makes it so much WORSE! I thought she and Nick were both good Christians!

delahorga (1 week ago)
They are, they're just not the type of Chistian Hitler was ;)

mburmy (1 week ago)
So you're comparing true Christians to Hitler just because we believe in the sanctity of marriage between ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN?

delahorga (1 week ago)
I'm comparing your extremist obsession with the bible; come on, in these days it's just irresponsible, you'd might as well justify slavery or fly planes into buildings: USE YOUR HEAD!

take THAT "mburmy!!" bigot!!

anyways, here's the video, revel in the weirdness that is mariah carey:

"this conservative party has a deep vein of meanness to it...it's a party that kicks people when they are down"

yeah, kicks them in the uterus!!!

anyone who really pays attention to national politics will not be surprised by this madness, but some people might not know the glory that is saskatchewan MP maurice vellacot and so it's my duty to post this.

the conservative party line got a bit more creepy today as two MPs pull back their creepy white man face masks and reveal... well, more creepy old white men masks.

no scotia MP gerald keddy called out of work nova scotians "those no-good bastards sitting on the sidewalk in halifax that can't get work." he eventually apologized, although why he would say something so idiotic and horrible in a newspaper interview is beyond anyone.

maurice vellacot, on the other hand, refuses to apologize for his nut bag opinion which he publicly expressed in a press release from his office.

in the press release he states that it's a good and positive thing that abortions are becoming harder to get in saskatoon, sk.

he cites non-existent "medical research" and says that abortion causes "significant health problems...including a greater risk of breast cancer, cervical lacerations and injury, uterine perforations, hemorrhage, and serious infection."

his make believe research also shows that there are "long-term physical consequences of abortion" which include sterility, ectopic pregnancy, [and] premature births."

anyone who knows anything about abortions know that it is a practice that has an extremely long history of being safely practiced by women. wherever and whenever women have gotten pregnant, they've also found ways to abort that child. women used to do it with herbs that they received from knowledgeable midwives, until most countries accused midwives of being witches and burnt them all.

vellacott says that "pro-life feminists have also come to see abortion as part of a male agenda to have women more sexually available."

(and some of us pro-choice feminists see restricted access to abortion as part of the male agenda to ensure that women are sexually available to men, pop out babies non stop, and can never progress in any way beyond being wives and mothers.)

finally, he says that “the intelligent women of today are owed a full and complete disclosure of information on the life changing abortion effects and long-term harms... women are done a great disservice and are not treated with equality when there is not a fully informed consent.”

right, making abortion inaccessible is the direct route to gender equality. obviously. and also it is obvious that telling lies about abortion and its complications to scare women out of accessing abortion is a good strategy to realize "fully informed consent."

as an intelligent women of today, i feel annoyed that maurice vellacott is speaking for me. and as intelligent women of today, i think people should email/call this freak and tell him that an insane conservative deciding for us isn't exactly equality.

when i lived in saskatoon and went to the u of s i volunteered at the women's centre. i can say without a doubt that it is already difficult enough for women to find good information about services related to their sexual health, and conservatives like vellacott only make it worse. if you've ever done any volunteer work/school/been employed/whatever in a field related to women, women's bodies, sexual health, abortion, feminism, whatever then you should email vellacott and let him know how much harder he makes your work and how dangerous his message is.

also, please let's never let the conservatives get a majority....

Saskatoon:
Unit 3, 844-51st St. East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 5C7
Tel (306) 975-4725
Toll free (888) 844-8886
Fax (306) 975-4728
vellacott.mp@shawlink.ca

Ottawa:
Suite 610, Justice Bldg.
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Tel (613) 992-1899
Fax (613) 992-3085
Vellacott.M@parl.gc.ca
www.mauricevellacott.ca

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

we'll take ten

having trouble finding a job?

... well, your troubles are over! the best job in the world is hiring!

this woman is really stupid.

a couple of days ago michelle malkin, crazy fox contributor, posted on her blog about the new barbie which she entitled "barbie meets sharia."

apparently sotheby's will auction off barbie dolls wearing traditional islamic dress for a children's charity. i think the barbie dolls are actually quite interesting and, in my opinion, no worse than blonde haired/blue eyed barbie doll. women wear veils, head scarfs, hijabs, purdah, facial covering, etc. if there are barbies in the world, then barbie should reflect this.


malkin disagrees:

"no word yet on whether the dolls will be subjected to female genital mutilation or come with stoning pits in order to accurately represent their “diversity.”"

riiiiight.... because "accurate" portrayals of islam include female genital mutilation and stoning pits always and because burqa's are an unquestionable part of sharia law...

from now on barbie should be exclusively non offensive, like these ones:

universities are crazy!

the university of ottawa is actually way worse than you think it is.

denis rancourt, activist teacher extraordinaire, has uncovered documents establishing that the university collected information about him and other CUPE members(including students).

apparently the university legal counsel hired a student-maureen robinson, to act as an "agent of legal counsel" to basically spy on rancourt from 2006 to 2008.

you can see rancourt's grievance HERE.

it's actually amazing what university's spend time and money on. i'm sure that any student at ottawa u would be interested to know how much of their tuition money is going towards the covert surveillance of their professors and fellow students.

also, what a seedy way to earn your degree--by being a stooge for the administration.



why do palin supporters like palin?

oh right.. because she's as stupid as they are.

i started watching this and i was like, "haha, idiots", but then the more i watched the more scared i became.

these people don't know ONE policy that palin supports. they completely back a politician for NO reason.

i agree with the dude at the end of the video "i'm very much afraid of what's happening in america."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

congratulations on winning the most offensive t shirt ever award!

whaaaaat?
they sell this t shirt on the glenn beck studio store website. i feel that "torches and pitchforks" were actually really useful tools in "protecting" americans from other people too... it's just too tasteless to even put into words.

cats against climate change

"there's definitely been a change in the....air."

what? hospitals need electricity? get out of here!

the united states is worried that once they leave, iraqis won't be able to keep up with the reconstruction the americans began.

the u.s government has spent $53 billion on reconstruction in iraq since 2003. the money has been spent on hospitals, water treatment plants, electricity substations, schools and bridges.

from the new york times:

"The projects run the gamut — from a cutting-edge, $270 million water treatment plant in Nasiriya that works at a fraction of its intended capacity because it is too sophisticated for Iraqi workers to operate, to a farmers’ market that farmers cannot decide how to share, to a large American hospital closed immediately after it was handed over to Iraq because the government was unable to supply it with equipment, a medical staff or electricity."

surprise, surprise the american government spent billions of dollars on "reconstruction" that actually would never be used by iraqis.

let's just stop pretending that these billions of dollars went to not-for profit engineers, construction workers, etc because that just isn't the truth.

the reason the united states spent billions of dollars on 'reconstruction' in iraq is because the money went to american/american friendly contractors.

many years ago, when my little brother was still an apprentice in his trade, he was offered a job in iraq. pulling cable or something like that(which is what apprentices do).

he would get paid something like $10'000/month(at least) in american dollars if he wanted the job.

the only draw back was that the turn over for workers was so high because they were injured or killed so often so he basically had to sign away any liability on the part of the company for shady working conditions or death.

basically it's like the documentary iraq for sale, where they recruit truck drivers to run non-military equipment and then run them through red zones and live combat. then the truck drivers die, and the contractors are all like "sorry widows, we didn't put them in armored trucks or protect them in any way, because that would cost us a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars we're making on this project."

because truck drivers and electricians are expendable when there are billions of dollars on the line. (there's a really good article from 2004 about the "private contractor gravy train" compliments of the republican party HERE)

so of course all of the projects those men and women worked on will be useless once the army retreats, because they were never meant to work in the first place.


dear jerk infertile white people: stop whining, please.

i have a serious, serious problem with so called "fertility treatments" and people who are willing to do anything to have a biological child (like in this post--here)

i'm not going to sugar coat it, i think it's selfish. i think it's extremely out of date, and elitist.


so when i read this article in the star about the black market for human eggs i was just like, what the fuck people.

i'm so sick and tired of reading articles that make infertile couples such a sad, sad sob story. you're alive, you're healthy, you're usually wealthy enough to spend thousand upon thousand of dollars on crazy procedures, and you think you're the worst off person in the world because you can't grow a baby in your uterus and pop it out the tradition way?

give me a break.

the story is about a woman named "thea" who wants a baby(she's 39, so her options are limited apparently). because you can't legally buy eggs in canada she needs to go out and find someone willing to sell their eggs to her "illegally" which is apparently "draining" emotionally.

um, you want a baby so why don't you deal with the draining emotions?

so she posts on kijiji and within days she starts getting responses and this is what she said about them:

"few of the replies were worth considering: some women were too short, others the wrong ethnicity"

what the fuck? too short? the wrong ethnicity? you're SO sad because you can't have a baby but you won't buy a short woman's egg?

i'm sorry, but this proves my point about how selfish, elitist, and also racist this whole process is.

don't they even know anything about genes?? just because the mother is short doesn't mean her egg will produce a short baby.

and also, what's wrong with having a short baby??

it's eugenics, plain and simple, what is the difference between this and only buying the egg of a blonde haired/blue eyed woman that is guaranteed to be born a boy?

i'm sorry, toronto star, but i refuse to feel bad for couples like this--ever.


another awesome reason to hate the olympics


we got a really good comment about the olympics on our blog about the 14 female athletes who don't get to compete this year, so i'm going to post it so everyone reads it.

it's true, not only is the olympics a sham because female athletes get the shaft every year and because it destroys cities and pushes aside local/national politics, but it's completely bogus from the "canadian" economic standpoint too.

from michelle:

"Here's my question why hasn't anyone commented on the idiocy of having the Hudson Bay Compay and Zeller's exclusively selling Cdn Winter Olympics gear - the stores are not even Canadian!!! I'm so sick of endless commercials demonstrating our Canadian heritage which is inspired in our winter clothing (hello we have 3 other season too?!?!) sold by Americans to Canadians. So how does Olympic gear support Canadian athletes - is it when I purchase a $50 t-shirt that gets paid to the NRDC Equity Partners of New York or when I wear the sweater to watch the olympics on t.v. because all the politicians have bought the seats?"

thanks michelle!

Friday, November 20, 2009

precious!

the actress who is starring(Gabourey Sidibe) in the new movie 'precious' was on oprah the other day and surprise, surprise the discussion turned to body image and dieting.

oprah noted on the show that the director of the movie(lee daniels) has said the actress speaks "like a white girl from the valley" and has so much confidence that she is either in "denial about her physicality or from another planet."

aside from the obvious ridiculousness of that statement, why does the conversation about this actress automatically have to turn to dieting and body image?

so she has to be in denial about her body image because she's confident??? really?? that doesn't exactly seem fair.

and, she probably isn't from another planet since there is no life on other planets.

she said that after a lifetime of body image issues and bad diets she had to: "sit down with myself and decide that i loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body."

idiot award alert!

a store in colorado took out this billboard space, stating that president obama is a jihadist.

the manager of the store said the billboard isn't offensive because the words "we are a christian nation" appears in the american consitution.

well, i'll just point out the obvious because i'm sick and i can't really think of anything better : isn't obama a christian??

i'm pretty sure he is.


"hello white man. we trust you."

americans are crazy and celebrate 'thanksgiving' in november, which is obviously too close to christmas for comfort.

enjoy this video from babelgum, about the first thanksgiving:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

because jesus never hugged nobody like that

because jesus doesn't believe in hugging from the front.

also, i think these men should look up "rough rider" in the urban dictionary.. unless they believe that jesus supported the practice of "sticking your dong in the sand to create a more intense bang out."

a woman among warlords

especially for anyone who thinks the "war on terror" in afghanistan is accomplishing anything even remotely related to democracy:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"but i don't want to sell swingsets to people who can't afford them!"

is this for real?

apparently the "best selling author" katharine debrecht has written a new book called "help! mom! radicals are ruining my country!"



the book is a "hilarious and entertaining way for parents to sit down with their children and teach them the origins of the new tea party movement and the importance of standing up for liberty and the american dream."

the plot of the story: tommy and lou(children) have a swing set business. they're trying to keep their business 'afloat' despite "246 czars, onerous regulations and sky high taxes." they media targets them and "marxus obundus(the one)" makes fun of them.

here's a little sample from the book

“But we can’t just give these away,” Lou told the radicals. “We have to sell them so we can pay the people who work for us.”
“Watercress sandwiches!” Senator Dudd thumbed through his thick address book.

“I know some very nice loan companies that will loan money to commoners to buy swingsets. They make some sweetheart deals, let me tell you,” he stroked the lapel of his expensive suit.

Tommy and Lou knew how long they saved and hard they worked for their swingset and did not feel right about selling swingsets to people who could not afford them. But, under the radicals’ new law, they were forced to do so anyway."

wow.

just, wow. i'm sorry, but anyone who reads this garbage to their children should probably be arrested for some form of child abuse.

not only is it bizarre propaganda based on lies, but it's not even suitable for children. "marxus obundus"? like karl marx? equating obama with communism?

kids don't get that!

and the tea party movement is CRAZY. it's a tiny fringe movement and the media has been caught like a billion times manipulating footage to make their wacko protests look huge.

some people have actually reviewed this book:

“The J.K. Rowling of the Ronald Reagan set” - Tiradad Derakhshani from The Philadelphia Inquirer (note: the reviewer's name is actually tirdad, not tiradad which is how it is spelled on debrecht's website...)

so she's the j.k rowling of the idiot set? awesome.

debrecht's website says that she has three children... i cringe imagining the kinds of crazy right-wing weirdo shit she tells her kids.

i don't know, maybe people should read this to their kids so that they know early in life what kind of nutbags are out there!



cats for gold!!!

please go here... please.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/catsforgoldcom-cci

oh good, now we all get to be poorer.

the ttc fare has officially been increased, starting on january 3rd. now, we'll have to pony up $3.00 per ride, cash fare.

metro passes are going up to $121.00, and tokens will now be $2.50.

awesome. so now all of us suckers who actually need to use the ttc will be punished montarily on top of the normal torture one suffers: late trains and buses, long line ups, no more metropasses available, over capacity trains, dirty trains, dirty stations.

the list goes on.

long story short: the ttc sucks. it's a shitty, shitty service and it's only going to get shittier from now on the only difference will be that it'll be more expensive.

apparently such a big increase means the ttc risks losing "at least 11 million riders."

wait.. what??

if the ttc loses 11 million riders, won't that make the fare hike irrelevant? won't the ttc LOSE money??

i'm so confused, and annoyed--i'm sure a lot of people are right now.

so, without further ado, sidney the baby otter:




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

racism? and you're surprised?

everyone is up in arms over universal's decicion to remove the "black actors" from the poster and list of stars of the stupidest looking movie ever: couple's retreat

apparently the studio was advised to "simplify the poster to actors who are most recognisable in international markets" because the movie got the worst reviews ever and probably isn't going to make a lot of money on the international market.

here's my problem with everyone acting all outraged about this. in the US version of the poster, they need a HUGE red arrow to even point out the two actors. sure, the other two couples are pretty distant, but faizon love and kali hawk are significantly farther away. they kind of look like they accidentally walked through the photo shoot and are looking at the camera going "whaaaaat."

shouldn't the people who are outraged about this decision also be outraged that movies about white people have to throw in token black actors so that they can at least look politically correct and not racist?

i'm not saying it isn't bad that the production company did this, i'm just saying that it's important to not just look at the symptoms of racism. the film industry is racist. so instead of attacking an airbrush job once in awhile, why don't people do things like stop paying to see movies that stereotype and tokenize anyone who isn't a white yuppie?

yes, complain about the poster, but don't just stop there and expect that things will change.


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