Monday, November 30, 2009
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
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.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
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)
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"
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....
Unit 3, 844-51st St. East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 5C7
Tel (306) 975-4725
Toll free (888) 844-8886
Fax (306) 975-4728
Suite 610, Justice Bldg.
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Tel (613) 992-1899
Fax (613) 992-3085
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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.
"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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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?"
Friday, November 20, 2009
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."
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.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
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."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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
“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."
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!
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."
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
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.
also, that is an epic moustache.
who knows. it sounds silly to me.
but my friend sent me this link and it seems to me that this is the proper usage of twitter:
for those of you who don't know (and let's be honest here, how could you not), stephen harper has a penchant for kittens. he loves being photographed with them--kitten photographs say to the world "i am not a cold monster, i just have a taste for kitten flesh, be kind."
but what about the kitten? where did it come from? why does it have kangaroo feet? what is that little kittie thinking?
well now you can follow that kitten on twitter. or you can just go to the link and read without following it-- that would be my choice.
Monday, November 16, 2009
i read this in the salt lake tribune today:
Public Forum Letter
"I am thrilled that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endorsed the rights of gays in employment and housing. As a faithful, active Mormon, I hope the Utah Legislature will remember this endorsement when it considers similar bills for our state in 2010.
No one should be fired from their job or denied a home because they are gay -- or because they are Mormon, Jewish, female, male, black, white or any other unrelated factor. To deny someone a job or a home for these reasons is purely and simply discrimination.
We Latter-day Saints should remember the suffering and discrimination that happened in our own past. In Missouri and Illinois, our people were cast out of their homes, had their property destroyed and were forcibly exiled because they were Mormon. Later we suffered continued oppressions because of our own "sexually deviant" practice -- polygamy.
Today, we must not be the oppressors of another group of people who simply want to live their lives according to the dictates of their own conscience. We must protect the rights of all people to live free, safe and fair lives, even and especially when they are different from us.
Salt Lake City"
Saturday, November 14, 2009
three judges at the b.c court of appeal ruled against 14 female ski jumpers who have been fighting for years to compete in the olympics. the decision was unanimous.
the 14 female athletes argued that by allowing men and not women to participate in the ski jump event the vancouver organizing committee(vanoc) is violating the charter of rights freedoms. they were asking the court to declare that unless women were allowed to compete, the men's competition should be cancelled.
in the ruling, justice fenlon said that that it is discriminatory to exclude the women's event, however, vanoc can't be held responsible.
vanoc says that the international olympics committee decides what events are held and that vanoc itself has no power to decide who competes.
the ioc says that there aren't enough women to warrant a women's ski jump event, but apparently men's ski jump doesn't fulfill ioc requirements either.
so what the shit?
apparently vanoc is really sad about this. john furlong, the chief executive of vanoc said that they are "first and foremost, men and women of sport and [they] believe in athletics" but that they just don't have any jurisdiction.
he laments: "these girls have tried very hard, they have put up a good fight."
first of all, mr. furlong, even if you have no jurisdiction you can take a stronger stance against this discriminatory practice.
and secondly, if you're "men and women" who first and foremost you believe in athletics then you don't call talented athletes "girls."
gender discrimination is not cool!!
where are the male athletes in all of this?? they should be in solidarity with their female counterparts.
Friday, November 13, 2009
that means: don't use the TTC yo.
boycotts are an interesting tactic, they've worked sporadically in the past but in reality they need to be well organized and air tight to effect real change.
the problem is that a boycott of the TTC can't be well organized and airtight because it's an essential service. eff and i were discussing the boycott the other day and she nailed it: boycotting the TTC just says that we don't need the service and that we can do without it.
exactly. people use transit every day out of necessity, not for fun. it's not fun to take the subway/bus combo to school, but i have to. it's not fun to pack yourself into a crowded subway car at bloor station to go downtown into businessland, but people have to.
we don't want the fare to go up because we HAVE to use the TTC and therefore we will HAVE to pay the new fare and we can't afford that shit!!
so eff and i propose a different tactic.
there will, inevitably, be a fare hike. we all know how things work in toronto and we can all tell already that the fare hike is on. if there was still any chance with the fare hike they wouldn't have put those creepy token rations into effect.
so, on january 3rd, when the city announces its precious fare hike we should all do something that hasn't been done before to show how pissed off we are:
everyone should jump the turnstiles.
we're not even kidding. you have to use the TTC but you can't afford the fare? well then jump the 'stiles and utilize the service.
if enough people continuously jumped the 'stiles there would be safety in numbers and it would work like a protest. but, rather than just having a protest that is noisy it would effect the TTC where they've proven to be most vulnerable: $$$$$$.
anyone who takes the TTC has already spent like a bgillion dollars more than they should have on public transit, so why not cash in on your free ride?
for people who don't think this is a good idea because you might get "arrested" or "fined"--that can happen regular protesting as well. if no one ever took any radical action because there could be some consequences, nothing would ever change and we'd probably be paying a $10 fare on the TTC by now because our interplanetary reptilian rulers would need the money for the metro system on their home planet.
so we think that from now until january 3rd there should be some serious organizing so that when they announce the fare hike everyone is has on their best pf flyers*, ready to run and jump.
*if you haven't seen the sandlot recently, you should probably re-watch it.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
i'm not even going to read the article. but let me tell you why people actually say that a woman would be best for a job.
this upcoming few years in toronto are going to be shitty. there's the TTC problem, the murder, the pollution, the economy. you know, all of those things that somebody's going to get the blame for.
so, it might as well be a woman!
because we all know that besides the vagina, female politicians are generally no different from male politicians.
and, i actually did just read the article and it's a piece of shit. sexist, disgusting, as usual.
it says "Boys are groomed for this. The blood, the gore, the victory. They are coached to grow thick skin. Get up, get back out there, pummel him."
women, on the other hand, don't know anything about blood, gore, or victory. because it's not like women experience "giving birth" or anything like that.
the city could use a "woman's touch". WHAT?! what the fuck?! who wrote this garbage?!
it's a joke to think that because a woman is in charge that everything will be magically changed. suddenly the city will be awesome, there will be no more discrimination, and everyone will have health care.
i hate the toronto star.
come on palin, make up your mind!
will phillips, a 10 year old from the states, recently got into a bit of trouble at school.
why? because he exercised his right to not participate in the pledge of allegiance.
will and his parents are allies of the gay community and feel that the movement to take gay rights(like marriage) away from people doesn't really fit the definition "liberty and justice for all."
so on monday, october 5th, he didn't stand when it was time to pledge allegiance. he did this three days in a row, each day being asked to stand and each day declining until finally his(substitute teacher) threatened him with trouble if he didn't stand. she yelled at him and told him that his mother and grandmother would want him to stand to say the pledge(which they didn't).
he knew that he had every right to decline and he stood his ground. he also delivered the line of the year: "with all due respect, ma'am, you can go jump off a bridge."
of course the teacher freaked out(as teachers usually do) and hauled his ass to the principal's office where he was told to research the american flag and what the pledge of allegiance meant.
the principal called his parents admitted that it was his right not to stand, but he was in trouble for telling the teacher to go jump off a bridge. considering that the teacher was bullying him and trying to deny him a basic political right, she totally deserved.
will's parents demanded an apology, which the school refused to do.
even though he's getting a lot of support from some of his friends and family, apparently there are a lot of jerks at his school who are really vocally unsupportive. that his protest is over gay rights hasn't made it any easier.
imagine all of the times you knew something was wrong and you did it anyways? how many times you didn't speak out, when you should have?
well, this kid is speaking out enough for all of us, and it's a shame more people don't follow his lead.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
what makes this story even more incredible is that the ordinances were passed because prior to the vote the mormon church announced its support for the legislation, making the vote unanimous.
interesting turn of events. when california's prop 8 passed last year many people speculated that it was because of the support of the mormon church(even though eventually it surfaced that Focus on the Family and related donors pumped more than six times as much as the Mormon church did into the ProtectMarriage.com campaign).
-also, side note, imagine if michael otterson was actually an otter. in disguise. think about it-
anyways, brandie balken(the director of equality utah) said that she thinks this is a "historic event" that establishes that the gay community and the church "can stand together on common ground" and that they don't have to "agree on everything."
it's true. small steps like this seem to be a good plan.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
the supreme court of alabama recently upheld a weird state obsecenity law that BANS the sale or promotion of sex toys.
the law originated not in the 1800's but in 1998, when the alabama legislature passed an amendment to the already present obscenity laws making it a crime "to distribute any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary value."
the law doesn't criminalize masturbation or mutual masturbation, and you can still buy sex toys across state lines and then bring them back to alabama, but still...
you can read about the legal context and the consitutional right to sexual freedom here
the letter was written in response to this letter that called for mcguinty to legislate 3906 back the first three days of the strike.
lisa says everything i could possibly say about legislating a union back to work after three days, and more eloquently:
RE: McGuinty should force end to Mac strike
"The strike at York University last year was miserable. I should know. As a teaching assistant and graduate student at York, I spent November to February out in the cold, waiting in vain for my employer to negotiate with my bargaining team. During that time, my colleagues and I were branded as uncaring, greedy, selfish, radical and as “hostage-takers”.
York cried broke, public opinion was against us and in the end we were legislated back to work. This sent a dangerous message. It told employers that they don’t have to negotiate with their employees – especially not in the education sector where workers can just be portrayed as holding students hostage.
This is dangerous for several reasons. First off, it implies that strikers, who are exercising important legal rights, are guilty of both violence and theft. This detracts from any possibility for dialogue about the actual issues at the table. Secondly, it hides any responsibilities that the employer has in the bargaining process. Thirdly, in the cases of both the CUPE 3903 and 3906 strikes, it fails to recognize that the majority of the workers are also students.
Mr. Silvert insists that all of the parties involved have time but the students do not. What do we make of this argument when we remember that the striking workers at McMaster are students as well? Perhaps we should consider the fact that they might not want to be on strike but rather that they felt forced to withdraw their labour. And perhaps we could spend a bit of time talking about the reasons they have for this rather than demanding that their civil rights be suspended their first week out on the line."
and by now we've all ranted and raved about it. $2.75 is already too high!! the bus is always late! the streetcar doesn't even come! the subway cars are too full!
it's true. it's all true. for the service provided, the fare is already too high. it's also important in times like these to understand that raising fares doesn't solve the TTC's economic problems, nor will it help stimulate toronto's economy. the last fare hike didn't, and this one won't either.
as if a fare rise isn't bad enough, the TTC has decided that people can only buy tokens five at a time from now on.
apparently people were all like, shit bitch-i better buy tokens at the cheaper price before it gets hiked. fair enough. we live in a free market system where we buy what we want when we want it. you have the money? well then here you go, tokens.
i guess the TTC forgot that. originally they had announced a ten token limit, and by originally i mean friday. so you can buy fiven tokens from all collector booths, and ONE token from token vending machines at auto-entrances. if the collector runs out of tokens, you're paying $2.75 cash fare.
doesn't this kind of seem like a cash grab? like getting "sticky with mickey" from matilda?
we all have stories about the horrible service we get from the TTC. eff uses the numero 26 bus, and it is never on time. like, its twenty minutes late. every day. every morning i get an angry text message from her about how her bus still isn't there and how she's going to be late for work.
i go to york and anyone who goes to york knows how much TTC hate you acquire having to commute there daily. it's a subway AND a bus ride. long line ups, full buses.
quite frankly, york students/staff/faculty who use the TTC are probably spending the most money on TTC of anyone in this city and we get the shittiest service. a $3.00 fare to take the shitty subway to the shitty bus does not sit well with us york people.
schedules aside, the TTC is shitty for other reasons. recently our guest blogger nai wrote about experiencing the lack of physical accessibility on the TTC--a notoriously widespread and unacceptable problem-- not every subway station is wheelchair accessible. how does that even make sense?!
in nai's story, the accessible features of the station were broken and the TTC collector was basically just like: you're shit out of luck. no help, no calling for help, nothing. many TTC collectors are awesome, and nice, and friendly, and probably would carry you up the stairs if you needed it, but this particular collector didn't care and didn't feel it was part of his job description to call about the broken elevator.
that's not $3.00 worth of service, not even close.
so on tuesday, november 17, the TTC will consider a rise in fare which would come into effect on january 3rd. the TTC is a city run service, which means you can write to your city councillor and demand that they not support the fare increase.
go here to find your councillor:
make sure you include your address and postal code in your letter, otherwise they won't have to read it.
also, there is a !
Monday, November 16, 2009
3:00pm - 9:00pm
City Hall - Nathan Phillips Square
this is obviously the beginning of a disney movie, possibly even a cartoon.
but it isn't! it actually happened! the boy was out on the ice, floating in the ocean, for more than a day. not only was he probably scared of drowning and freezing, but a polar bear and her two cubs were trying to get on the ice with him...
so he shot the adult bear. it sounds mean, but anyone who knows anything about bears knows that mother bears will kill you in a second, even if you're not threatening her cubs. you're there, and thats threat enough, so you're dead.
to make things worse, he was spotted by two different crews, neither of which was able to rescue him before nightfall--so they lost track of him, and he was left out for the night. one of the flight crews dropped him a container of candy and chocolate though.
if that was me i'd be like "don't give me chocolate! rescue me!!!"
they were finally able to rescue the boy after two search and rescue people parachuted to a nearby ice pan. parachuted.
most dramatic story ever.
Monday, November 9, 2009
"When David Noble was fired from M.I.T. Noam Chomsky explained that "he was too radical for M.I.T." David Noble is arguably the most important historian of science and technology of the 20th century. When he contributed a talk about the corporatization of campuses at the University of Ottawa in 2004, with co-speakers Ralph Nader and Leonard Minsky, several executive officers of the university declared that "he is not an academic".
if you think chomsky is radical, you've never heard of david noble.
i couldn't embed the player, so you'll have to go directly to activist teacher to listen.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
the amendment, which was introduced by stupak(who we talked about earlier, and his wolfiness, apparently he is also an asshole who hates women and wants to take away their right to health care) "would ban the public health insurance option from funding abortion and also ban any private plan operating within the exchange from funding abortions. "
"under stupak's plan, a woman buying private insurance from within the exchange with her own money would not have a choice of a plan that covered abortion."
what the fuuuuuuck????
stupak is a democrat. a democrat!!
abortions cost money!! so, if you can't afford to buy private health care insurance, you have to pay out of pocket for an abortion?? under all circumstances? so if you're a rape victim and you happen to have public health insurance, you have to pay to have the rape baby aborted?? is that what this means???
i get that some people don't "believe" in abortion, but you know what, those people should just have their belief and not be crazy and try to force it on women. so just because some asshole doesn't believe in abortion, women in the united states don't have the same right to accessible and safe health care???
representatives louise slaughter and diana degette(co-chairs of the congressional pro-choice caucus) put out the following statement about this unbelievably insane move:
"Placing onerous new restrictions on a woman's right to choose sets a terrible precedent and marks a significant step backwards. This effort will effectively ban abortion coverage in all plans, both private and public - marking a significant scaling back of the options offered under existing laws. Such a terrible, last minute amendment to a critical, historic piece of legislation is a shame. This kind of outrageous interference in health care by the government marks a sad day in this struggle and will result in women across America losing the right to health care."
it is a sad day. it's an especially sad day when the president, mr. "i'm so progressive, look at how progressive i am" president, puts out his own statement about how fucking historic this day is and how awesome it is.:
"The Affordable Health Care for America Act is a piece of legislation that will provide stability and security for Americans who have insurance; quality affordable options for those who don't; and bring down the cost of health care for families, businesses, and the government while strengthening the financial health of Medicare. And it is legislation that is fully paid for and will reduce our long-term federal deficit."
um, you know who "americans" are obama? WOMEN. a lot of americans are women. so "affordable options" means that there are special reproductive services that women require--and they need to be able to choose those options.
you know what will "bring down the cost of health care?" making sure that the women who need the public health care option AND an abortion can get both, because you know what makes health care costly? when women go to extreme measures to get a cheap abortion outside of the system.
remember back alley abortions? well they are going to cost your precious health care system.
or how about women having babies they can't afford? that has a cost, doesn't it?
i guess he is kind of right though, it is a historic day. i'm sure the generations of women and men who fought(and continue to fight) for safe and affordable access to abortion for women will never forget this day as they watch the rights they fought for get rolled back so effortlessly.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
chris brown think its a "private matter" between he and rihanna.
in fact, he released a statement about her interview: "while i respect rihanna's right to discuss the specific events of february 8, i maintain my position that all of the details should remain a private matter between us."
um, if you "respected" her right to talk about what happened to her, then you wouldn't release a statement saying that she shouldn't have done it.
sorry, but when you beat the shit out of your girlfriend you don't get to decide if she talks about it and you certainly don't have the right to comment at all if she does.
and when you beat the shit out of your famous girlfriend and the whole world sees it, you definitely don't get to say anything about her decision.
when you release a statement saying that abuse is a "private matter", you're sending a bad message out to the kids that listen to your music and love you and you're also proving that you've probably learned nothing from this situation.
abuse is not a private matter. in fact, one of the biggest obstacles in overcoming and addressing domestic violence is that people keep it private for a lot of reasons.
in fact, chris brown should know that silencing women is another form of abuse.
chris brown also said in his statement that he is "extremely sorry" for what he did and has accepted "accountability" for his actions. he is "taking the proper steps to learn" about himself and "grow from [his] mistakes."
do the proper steps in clude shutting the fuck up for once and letting the woman you abused do whatever she wants without you shadowing her?
chris brown says : "abuse of any kind is always wrong.. the rest i leave it to god."
really? you're going to leave it to god? are you stupid? leave what to god? god obviously didn't do anything when you decided to practically kill your girlfriend, and god doesn't do much globally when millions of other men do the same.
so maybe don't leave it to god. maybe actually take responsibility for your actions and don't try to brush this off as just a "private matter" between you, the women you abuse, and god.
chris brown is such a douche bag.
nothing seems more disconcerting than a grown man debating the very serious issue of health care reform, through a baby.
another amazing moment from the floor, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)
"You have to pick your fights at the right time. You can't be crying wolf all the time because you lose your wolfiness.
dear united states: you've lost your wolfiness.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
the ACLU produced this film about a group of men who had been detained at guantanamo(some for as long as 5.5 years) and then released with NO charges.
detained in a what could be argued was the highest security level "prison" in the world for years, being abused/tortured/raped/degraded, with no evidence, and apparently no intent to investigate their crimes, these men are an example of why we should be critical of any government that advocates a war on terror at all cost.
it's a really interesting interview and i was really surprised by what rihanna said about her abuse. i can't even imagine how many female celebrities are abused by their partners, and when it hits the media usually they don't want to talk about it, or people play the whole 'its private, noone knows the whole story."
women who are abused have it hard enough, but someone who gets abused in such a public way-at such a young age-gets it times a hundred. after her attack there were gossip columns saying that she used to pick fights with chris brown, that she hit him first, that she provoked his attack by throwing his keys out his window, or telling him she had herpes. that was the big question: what did she do to deserve it?
so, people made reasons up. it was her fault. this is a common accusation in violent domestic abuse cases. that a woman did something so infuriating that her partner couldn't help but hit her. men being charged for murdering their partners have used this as a defense. the provocation defense. in murder cases, a succesful provocation defense can lower the conviction to voluntary manslaughter because the man kind of had a reason to do what he did.
but rihanna straight up says what happens happens to too many women, that she didn't do anything to "deserve" being beaten, that she went back and shouldn't have, and that girls need to "eff love" when it comes to returning to a violent partner.
she schools diana sawyer when she is asked :"how could it happen to someone so strong?"
rihanna says: "i am strong. this happened to me, i didn't cause this, i didn't do it. this happened to me and it can happen to anybody."
it can and does happen to anybody, regardless of how strong you are. i feel like it's important that rihanna talked about it publicly(and directly) because all too often domestic abuse gets swet under the rug as a "private issue" which makes it practically impossible to address or change.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
that's right, our first guest blogger to blog a second time is back:
This is, properly speaking, 2 days late, but better late than never.
First off, I’ll be up front about where this is going. I love Hello Kitty.
Yes, I know all the critiques about how commodity fetishism and neoliberal consumerism is destroying our culture and our planet and I’m fully committed to the fightback against global capitalism. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve got a purple Hello Kitty with a bear mask dangling from my cellphone and I’m darn proud of it.
Hello Kitty, for those who are not aware, turned 35 on Sunday. Yes, she was born in 1974. And not in Japan, but in London. England. If you were surprised by that, then you probably also don’t know that Hello Kitty is just a nickname, and her real name is Kitty White. She lives in the forest and is 5 apples high (which means of course that she weighs as much as 3 apples). You probably knew she liked to collect different coloured ribbons, but did you also know she loves to collect goldfish? And that her favourite toothpaste flavour is strawberry?
See there’s a lot to know about the enigmatic Kitty. And yes, I know the critiques. There’s the efforts to locate her in a heteronormative relationship with the introduction of her quasi-boyfriend, Dear Daniel. There’s the odd embrace of British neocolonialism: Kitty *White’s* boyfriend Dear Daniel spends most of his time in Africa where his father is a safari photographer. Thankfully things have been troubled a bit by the introduction of a love triangle – the friendly bear Tippy has apparently developed amorous designs on Kitty while Dear Daniel is off exploiting the global south. But anyway. All this – much like the latest three Star Wars movies, or the Catholic church – are merely humanity’s flawed efforts to warp a primordial myth to a narrow-minded politico-social agenda. I couldn’t care less about Dear Daniel or Tippy or even the diesel-guzzling bus that Kitty rides for the 4 kilometre trip to school every morning.
My respect is for the Kitty, and the Kitty alone.
And researchers suggest that’s the way it should be. Rob Walker, in his book “Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are” argues that the unassailable strength of Hello Kitty – in the face of most of the rest of global capitalism, which required elaborate efforts to craft histories and partisan ‘buy-in’ motivations onto the products they were trying to sell – lies in the fact that it is the very nature of her enigmatic expressionless face, and the fact we know virtually nothing about who she is or what she does, that we come to love her so much. We can project whatever values or ideas we want onto her. This is a valuable and all too rare commodity in today’s world, and explains in part why so many people of so many different ages, ethnicities, and social locations embrace her. She means, quite literally, only and already always what they want her to mean. Nothing more, nothing less. (Unless of course you happen to know her family’s secret apple pie recipe or the fact that the only way to tell her from her twin sister Mimi is the fact they each wear their ribbon over a different ear. )
But Hello Kitty has even more subversive potential than most would give her credit for. Anne McKnight, in her excellent article “Good-bye Kitty, Hello War” (positions: east asia cultures critique - Volume 13, Number 1, Spring 2005) uses the Kitty image as a metaphor for the creative potential of the spontaneous rave-style street protests that were launched by a range of Japanese youth groups in response to the American war against Iraq. It was not post-hippie organizing that drove their struggle, but their embrace of a philosophy of cute that shaped their explosive expression of global rage.
And it’s here that I find Kitty not only comforting, reassuring, and a friend in need (as well as a crack tennis player – for real!) – but also inspiring. I once remarked to a friend that I embraced what I referred to as Kitty praxis. He found this a bit hard to believe, but I don’t. You see, my hero used to be Judith Butler. For those who haven’t yet encountered this scholar and queer theorist, she more or less invented the notion of gender performativity and argued for parody and drag as strategic tools for cultural subversion. The problem is, with her pedantic and theory-heavy writing style, she became a hit for ivory towers the world over, and most of her ideas have either remained inaccessible to the general public or have been possessively hoarded by pompous-headed intellectuals. So much for that.
Kitty, on the other hand, successfully dodged the ivory tower blockade and launched a barrage of kawaii (a Japanese term which lies somewhere between ‘cool’ and ‘cute’) on an unsuspecting popular culture, 35 years ago. And her revolution of cute is still going strong. She may not have toppled global capitalism, but she hasn’t been co-opted by the global neoliberal machine (even if Taiwanese Eva Air *has* painted an entire airplane in her image). Subversion, queer theory, even punk rock – it’s all been absorbed by the powers that be. When I was doing my Masters degree, I could sign a paper with an anarchy symbol, hoist a hammer-and-sickle flag at my thesis proposal presentation, or stage a theatrical play in place of submitting a term paper – and my profs loved it. But the day I submitted a Hello Kitty image on the cover page of a term paper, and included a brief dedicatory verse to Kitty? I got a 5% grade penalization for trivializing the assignment, and the look in my prof’s eye was not disapproving – it was sheer fear and terror.
This morning on the subway, as I loitered in the doorway and the subway hurtled toward Ossington Station, one of the passengers got up in preparation to disembark. I couldn’t help but stare, because the young man had on a pink Mountain Equipment Co-Op vest, and a pink pair of pants, and a Hello Kitty baseball cap. I don’t know who he was, and probably never will, but for one brief moment our eyes met, and it was the age-old salute of cultural subversion in progress. While the rest of the subway car stared at him, he flicked his Hello Kitty baseball cap at a 45 degree sideways angle, flipped the collar of his Hello Kitty mountain climbing vest, and proudly hopped off the subway car. The gaping mouths of the other passengers made my day.
So feel free to hoist the red star or tattoo Che on your forehead, for all I care. My hero is 5 apples high, loves strawberry toothpaste, and neoliberal hegemony can’t touch her.
Happy Birthday Kitty!