Saturday, January 30, 2010

"you're right, Blanche. these naked southern guys sure can dance. "

This one is dedicated to my own Golden Girls: Joey, Chad, Christopher, and Ryan. although, Christopher doesn't really LIKE golden girls, he's just totally Dorothy.


This is pretty much the most brilliant satire ever written: the Golden Girls are to blame for making a generation of boys gay.

According to the author of "The Golden Girls: how one tv show turned a generation of american boys homosexual", nobody expected the show to be so popular with young men although in hindsight it makes perfect sense:

"In the 80s, these were boys too delicate for sports, too awkward for girls, too “artistic” for labor-intensive work and too flamboyant for peer acceptance in high school. "

So these fragile, bird-like creatures watched copious amounts of Golden Girls and became obsessed with the "poorly conceived characters" because they were "desperate for a firm hand in their lives" and the "subversive undercurrent of masculinity in these aged matrons" appealed to them.

In all fairness I think we need to point out that the argument here is a little bit flimsy: the Golden Girls were NOT "poorly conceived characters"!!!

But the article continues. the Golden Girls became a smash hit during the 1980s which made it even more threatening to boys' masculinity:

"The 1980s was an epoch of President Reagan’s manly wisdom and the terrifying threat of Cold War annihilation. America had sobered up from the flashy lights of 1970s disco. We were skipping all night cocaine and sex parties to focus on our careers. Spiritual leaders like Jerry Falwell were telling us that Christianity was in the majority again. On the other side, there was a subculture of homosexuality creeping up on our youths. It gave them an excuse to wear tight jeans and to sneak off to public parks for quick releases with hairy men of different ethnicities."[emphasis mine]

So boys who didn't fit in liked the Golden Girls, and sought out the company of other boys who liked the Golden Girls.

"The results were disastrous. Our horny, lonely boys sought out intimate comforts with likeminded Golden Girls addicts who didn’t mind each other’s theatrical voices and touch-feely hand gestures. Together, these clusters of awkward teens and twentysomethings bonded over their favorite episodes and characters, mimicking the voices and gowns of their tv friends."

The conservatism of the 80's paired with the Golden Girls is responsible for all the gay men in north America. the article even breaks down each Golden Girl and WHY she's so bad, starting with Dorothy:

"If you walk down the street today and bump into a middle-aged homosexual, chances are that the nasty comeback he will shout at you is something he picked up from Dorothy Zbornak of the Golden Girls. Played by noted liberal activist and Archie Bunker-foe Bea Arthur, Dorothy had a hard, masculine voice. She was cold and quick-tempered. She taught our modern butt rompers to disparage everyone in their orbit. She schooled them on insulting people’s clothing choices, body odors, organ sizes and educations. Dorothy taught the gays to speak very fast and have the most superior attitude possible."

According to the author Rose Nylund is responsible for every stupid homo and Blanche for the slutty homos.

The author wonders about what will happen now that these men, the Golden Girls generation, "are turning 40 and 50?"


This is where the article loses steam because the Golden Girls generation is ALL generations.


Ithink everyone should read the entire article because it's pretty long and pretty hilarious but I don't want to just reproduce it here. The author, however, is missing a few important facts.


The Golden Girls didn't just influence a generation of boys to "become gay", they represented and debunked every deplorable stereotype about women that exists. They didn't just come out during a good social climate and give boys an excuse to rebel.

The Golden Girls influenced everyone who watched it to be whatever they wanted to be, gay or straight, because those bitches could work it and they didn't apologize to anybody. They were a testament to true friendship, sticking together through thick and thin, and accepting difference.

They supported eachother.

They taught us all that groups of friends need someone willing to dole out tough love and that sometimes you need to pool together your resources to survive in a tough conservative climate. They drew on facets of the queer community that were in existence long before the show aired. They taught us that you can live with your elderly mother and not kill her or yourself. Sex lives and social lives won't end when you get old.

The ladies who rocked fluorescent silk get ups complete with five inch shoulder pads whilst in their 60s or 70s, bagging careers AND men, are an inspiration to everyone to not hide what you really are even if you're old or gay.


And that is why the Golden Girls generation will never die.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

brilliance. sheer brilliance.


another guest blog from hans, and it's amaaaaaazing!!

enjoy!


"I’m sure many of you read the editorial “Women’s Studies is still with us”, published in Tuesday’s edition of the National Post as part of their contribution to the Canadian media’s “Bash Women’s Studies Month”. At first I was a bit puzzled and upset, but then I realized it actually made a whole lot of sense. The problem was that it had been badly edited and there were just a few words here and there that needed to be fixed. I understand that in these days of fiscal realities and cutbacks, they probably don't have a whole lot of editors left. So in order to help them out and provide an enhanced reading experience, I made the necessary corrections. I think all told it was only about 40 typos that had to be fixed, and now the article makes sense. So please enjoy; it does make an important point.

Unedited: Women's Studies is still with us

Correction: The National Post is still with us

National Post Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Unedited (original):

If the reports are to be believed, Women's Studies programs are disappearing at many Canadian universities. Forgive us for being skeptical. We would wave good-bye without shedding a tear, but we are pretty sure these angry, divisive and dubious programs are simply being renamed to make them appear less controversial.

The radical feminism behind these courses has done untold damage to families, our court systems, labour laws, constitutional freedoms and even the ordinary relations between men and women.

Women's Studies courses have taught that all women--or nearlyall-- are victims and nearly all men are victimizers. Their professors have argued, with some success, that rights should be granted not to individuals alone, but to whole classes of people, too. This has led to employment equity -- hiring quotas based on one's gender or race rather than on an objective assessment of individual talents.

Correction:

If the reports are to be believed, the National Post is no longer being read by anybody with any sense and is about to go bankrupt. Forgive us for being skeptical. We would wave good-bye without shedding a tear, but we are pretty sure their angry, divisive and dubious views are simply being remarketed to make them appear less controversial.

The radical blend of neoliberal conservatism behind this paper has done untold damage to families, our court systems, labour laws, constitutional freedoms and even the relations between men and women.

The National Post has preached that all rich white men – or nearly all – are victims and nearly all women, immigrants, non-white and non-rich people are victimizers. Their editors and reporters have argued, with some success, that rights should be granted neither to individuals alone, nor to whole classes of people, unless they’re rich white and male. This has led to inequality – hiring people based on one’s gender or race rather than on an objective assessment of individual talents.

Unedited (original):

Executives, judges and university students must now sit through mandatory diversity training. Divorcing men find they lose their homes and access to their children, and must pay much of their income to their former spouses (then pay tax on the income they no longer have) largely because Women's Studies activists convinced politicians that family law was too forgiving of men. So now a man entering court against a woman finds the deck stacked against him, thanks mostly to the radical feminist jurisprudence that found it roots and nurture in Women's Studies.

The equality protection before and under the law, granted to all Canadians regardless of race, sex, creed or origin, has been eroded because feminist legal scholars convinced the Supreme Court to permit preferential treatment for "traditionally disadvantaged groups," chief among whom, they contend, are women.

Correction:

Executives, judges and university students are now free to be bigots at will. Divorcing women find they lose their homes and access to their children, and wind up homeless because their income is clawed back from social support payments, largely because National Post activists convinced politicians that family law was getting to be too equal. So now a woman entering court against a man finds the deck stacked against her – like it was for most of recorded history – thanks mostly to the radical conservative jurisprudence that found its roots and nurture in the National Post.

The equality protection before and under the law, granted to all Canadians regardless of race, sex, creed or origin, has been eroded because National Post editorialists convinced the Supreme Court to ignore the need to deal equitably with traditionally disadvantaged groups, chief among those who need to be exploited, they contend, are women.

Unedited (original):

Over the years, Women's Studies scholars have argued all heterosexual sex is oppression because its "penetrative nature" amounts to "occupation." They have insisted that no male author had any business writing novels from women's perspectives; although, interestingly, they have not often argued the converse -- that female writers must avoid telling men's stories.

They have pushed for universal daycare and mandatory government-run kindergarten, advocated higher taxes to pay for vast new social entitlements and even put forward the notion that the only differences between males and females are "relatively insignificant, external features." All other differences are said to be the result of patriarchal brainwashing. So the only way to ensure gender equality is to turn over all education to the state, where professionals can ensure only unbiased instruction.

In sum, there would be little of rational worth left even if Women's Studies were to disappear. Yet despite all the hand-wringing by the programs' supporters, are the worst elements of Women's programs really disappearing or just being renamed? Are the professors different? Has the basic philosophy behind the program changed? Has the curriculum been altered?

In most cases the answer is no. Little has changed but the nomenclature.

While we'd like to cheer and say "Good riddance," we're certain such celebration would be premature.

Correction:

Over the years, the National Post has argued that everything except heterosexual sex is disgusting because it’s not heterosexual sex. They have insisted that no female author had any business writing books, although, interestingly, they have not often argued the converse – that male writers must avoid explaining women’s lives.

They have pushed to abolish any hope for universal daycare and mandatory government-run kindergarten, advocated lower taxes so that the rich can get richer, and even put forward the notion that the only differences between males and females are, well, whatever they think will best contribute to the oppression of women.

In sum, there would be little of rational worth left even if the National Post were to disappear. Yet despite all the hand-wringing by the paper’s supporters, are the worst elements of the National Post really going to disappear, or just reappear elsewhere? Are the editors and reporters different? Has the basic philosophy behind the paper disappeared? Has its political agenda been altered?

In most cases the answer is no. Little has changed but the fact its supporters don’t really bother to hide their bigotry any more.

While we’d like to cheer and say ‘Good riddance,’ we’re certain such celebration would be premature. "

facebook allows humanity to hit an all time low.

we were trolling around on facebook today and we came across this lovely group/page/whatever:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hitting-Women/301425304125?ref=search&sid=81008449.4177706964..1


you can become a FAN of hitting women on facebook. cool!!

needless to say, we reported the fuckers. you can report groups that are offensive. and at the risk of being some kind of prude for not finding domestic violence funny, im going to go ahead and say that this page IS offensive.

my favorite part about the group is the picture of a man beating a woman, and the 14 comments racist and sexist comments underneath it including, from John Posey, "take that bitch".

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

oh wow, a tablet...*tepid claps*

This is what i think of the latest apple announcement:


dear paul shirley: maybe you should just voluntarily swim out into the middle of the ocean and never return. thanks, rest of the world.

a former nba player who still plays pro basketball decided to take the haiti problem into his own hands and write an article about why he hasn't donated money to the haitian relief.

at first, he's a bit right--the money being sent to haiti right now is being sent unconditionally and a lot of it will be misused... but he doesn't actually write that, because he goes on to say that the people of haiti themselves will misuse it and that the victims of the disaster should be responsible for the aftermath. maybe he's just really, really uninformed about the history of haiti? or the corrupt government who steals aid from the people?

he also likens haitians to cavemen who "chose" how they live and shouldn't be rewarded for doing so..which, sorry to inform you paul, just isn't the truth.

regardless, he crosses a major line of decency and, you know, fact when he addresses a letter to the people of haiti a letter:

"Dear Haitians -


First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it's possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?


Sincerely,


The Rest of the World"

before he begins writing he gives a little disclaimer that what he's about to write might make him seem like a monster.

well, it doesn't. it actually just makes him seem extremely stupid and uneducated. this man has zero grasp on the history of colonialism and slavery in haiti, nor does he understand anything about aid or international debt.

paul shirley doesn't understand that it's actually his side of the world who is to blame for haiti. he wants them to pull themselves up from their bootstraps but he doesn't realize that we stole their bootstraps and used them as collars for our expensive pets.

if you think about it, it's kind of sad. this is a man who still believes in "development" as a positive force. this is a man whose world view is so off mark that he basically lives in an alternate universe.

so, your article doesn't make you sound like a monster paul shirley, your willing ignorance does though. the fact that you have all the resources in the world available to you and you refuse to even read a book that could give you a bit more insight into haiti's reality, that makes you a monster.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

sometimes, you just need a little dino ballet

chalk away!

from U of O watch, uottawa chalking day!

"The event is scheduled for February 3, 2010, 1pm, at the display walls, south outside walls of the Morisset Library. CHALK WILL BE PROVIDED.

The Rock administration has been very protective of the cement display backing walls that it reserves for its corporate propaganda posters. It has gone as far as characterizing student messages on these backing walls as "damage to property" and has had its own students arrested and criminally charged.

The Rock administration is also developing a "donor recognition policy" so that corporate buddies can put their names on the walls for money but don't you try that with some spontaneous free expression...

Free expression under Rock is a dangerous thing.

Beware potential joy chalkers. "

Friday, January 22, 2010

rape really brings the pigs to the trough

Alex Bilyk is at it again.

You may recall, not so long ago, that Bilyk was MIA when a student was assaulted in a busy library at York.

He's notorious for saying stupid things in the media about York and on behalf of York.

This time, he's truly crossed a line.

In a recent national post article covering a sexual assault trial(several assaults in 2007), Alex Bilyk said that the lesson was to "lock your doors".

Not to mention that the assaults happened in a residence on campus, by people who weren't York students, who were somehow able to gain easy access to a locked residence.

So, if you don't lock your doors and you are gang raped then it is your own fault.

We try not to let the rage take us over, but in this case, we have something to say to Alex Bilyk: you are a fucking pig. You are the scum of the universe. You are the stupidest fucking piece of shit we have ever had the un-pleasure of meeting (and we have met you, several times, Mr Bilyk). You misogynist, ignorant, sleazy, immoral, lying, villainous freak. How do you even sleep at night?

Enough. This is the last we want to hear out of your dumb-shit mouth. You are obviously a complete idiot who has never read a book in his life.

Mr. Bilyk, how often can you stand being tagged with the words "sexism" and "sexual assault"?

Your time here at york has been a joke. You should leave.

bilyk@yorku.ca




the trick to avoiding the $3 ttc fare?? go to this guy's booth.

so we're all pissed off about the ttc pretty much all of the time. eff and i live on the dupont bus route and every time we try to take that bus we text each other about how late it is, or that it actually never arrived. seriously. sometimes it just skips a few scheduled times, you know, to keep things spicy i guess.

but, the ttc itself has solved our problems for us. and it's this guy:


this ttc employee was caught sleeping on the job yesterday at mccowan station. apparently the dude who took the picture(jason wieler) stood there for five minutes and watched old snoozy dream away.

we've all fallen asleep at work. the difference is that this guy works for the most hated public service in ontario, one that bleeds money and provides shitty service for an exorbitant and outlandish price to its users.

so i guess we could look at it as being a waste of money, or we could look at it as the ttc employee's resistance to the fare increase--letting a few customers go by with an extra three dollars in their little pockets.

he's probably not even sleeping, just slyly looking out from under his eyelashes chuckling at his little thursday night insubordination.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the university of ottawa: it's kind of like the borg.. only less sexy.

Sometimes when you're a student and you stand up for what you believe in while simultaneously insisting on transparency and accountability within your institution, you get suspended/expelled/arrested/charged/deregistered from school/told to change universities.

Such is the case of Marc Kelly vs. the University of Ottawa(and Allan Rock, presiding douchebag extrordinaire).

Originally, Marc was expelled from a physics project course by the u of o faculty of science after a "behind closed door" decision, who argued that his project was not physics. this led to a broader discrimination case. since November 2008 Marc Kelly has been arrested and re-arrested, then arrested again.

Marc was recently asked to leave the University of Ottawa and finish his degree elsewhere. even though the Crown decided to drop all charges against Marc he was denied registration at the University of Ottawa and banned from campus. he was arrested this week on campus, buying tea.

Below is a video of his recent arrest and you can read, in detail, about Marc/academic freedom/the University of Ottawa here--> u of o watch.

Getting arrested in January and being forced down into the snow, not so much fun.

more weird children's music videos please.

my sister lives in germany and after i sent her the mini daddy video, she sent me this gem.

meet bob zanger, the dutch mini daddy:

where can i download this ringtone?

i have this friend who loves that song "gasolina" by daddy yankee. well, i just found her a new song to put on her workout playlist: mini daddy, el nino mas bonito.




the song is great for many reasons. it has few lyrics. it has a killer video. and mini daddy has singlehandedly created a new dance craze at 1:36--staring wide-eyed at the camera whilst performing some kind of pelvic thrust. it's kind of like you were driving down the highway and you almost hit a deer while the deer was dancing to reggaeton, so he's caught in your headlights, but he can't stop the rhythm.

never stop the rhythm, mini daddy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

what bounces a ball and is more racist than avatar?

apparently there's a new basketball league in town and they're shopping themselves around.

the all-american basketball alliance announced on sunday that it will begin its season in june and will play in 12 cities in the united states.

the all american basketball alliance isn't just any old basket ball league, it's a whites only basketball league. according to their statement "only players that are natural born united states citizens with both parents of caucasian race are eligible to play in the league."

why? why for the love of basketball would anybody want to exclude non-white people who weren't born in the united states?

well, it's just fair. according to don lewis, the commissioner of the aaba, "white, american born citizens are in the minority now" and this means that "street ball" is on the rise and white kids just don't get to play the "fundamental basketball" they love.

"hatred" doesn't have anything to do with it apparently.

according to lewis, the new rules for the aaba reflect fans dissatisfaction with the way professional basketball is played and run. as an example he talks about players bringing guns into the locker room, "grabbing their crotches,""attacking you in the stands," and "flipping you off."

i'm sorry, but doesn't this guy remember the movie basketball diaries? apparently black/non-american players don't play "fundamental basketball", which means that they are skilled and technical, they just play "street ball" which is all crotch grabbing and half court shots.

white people just naturally play a game of skill and strategy. don't mention that the some of the greatest players of all time are not white.

it seems silly to act like this isn't about racism and xenophobia, playing style and skill aren't based on race or origin. in the world of professional sports, in fact, there are more than enough examples of foul and offensive white players. are they allowed to play in your whites only league?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"we're glad we chose life", but you have to choose life too.

last night i was in a grocery line-up and i noticed the new cover of in touch magazine:


without mentioning how creepy it is that this mother/daughter combo have babies that look the same age, i just thought it just thought that the headline was really hypocritical.

pro-"life" people often say that they "choose" life. sarah palin is pretty notoriously pro-life and has made her teenage daughter's pregnancy/subsequent baby into a strong statement about anti-abortion.

what i find interesting is that they use the language of choice to describe their aversion to abortion.

uhhh.... it's kind of nice to have that choice, right? i don't understand how these people can flaunt their choice while they simultaneously try to make that choice harder for others?

awkward.

Friday, January 15, 2010

nickel and dimed, but at least it's by the best

a few days ago the united steelworkers union filed a bad-faith bargaining complaint against vale inco, "challenging the company's refusal to engage in genuine, good-faith negotiations to end the six-month strike by 3,500 canadian workers."

the steelworkers lawyer brian shell said that “the ontario labour relations act requires that employers and unions make every reasonable effort to reach a collective agreement...at the minimum that means meeting with a union committed to a full exploration of all issues and together endeavouring to find an acceptable way forward.”

vale inco is a subsidiary of vale of brazil, the second largest mining company in the world.

sudbury is a city in northern ontario where a lot of nickle is mined. since the early 1900's sudbury has basically been a nickle bomb and made so much money mining that it recovered faster from the great depression than any other city in north america. it was also the first canadian city to install parking meters(fun fact).

the sudbury mines are also the site of some of the most vibrant and catalytic labour disputes in canadian history. unionized for the first time in 1944 as the mine, mill and smelter workers local 598 and striking for the first time in 1958, the sudbury worker's have been instrumental in shaping and developing canada's labour/union movement.

so when "inco"(one of the original nickle mining firms in sudbury) was purchased by vale in 2006 and became vale inco it was kind of a big deal.

vale(and now vale inco) are notorious for violating human rights and environmental codes and was removed from the FTSE4GOOD index for failing to meet their human rights criteria.

despite its seedy labour, environmental, and human rights practices vale inco brands itself as a "socially responsible" and environmentally awesome company. according to their website they are committed to sustainable practices:

"it is recognized that sustainable development includes commitments to health, safety and the environment through a balanced approach to economic, technical and social issues."

images of greenery are plastered all over their website and they smatter on about how great they are.

as we can see, they aren't that great. so they must have killer PR.

enter jennifer sloan.

according to a recent press release, jennifer led "global corporate affairs team responsible for public affairs, stakeholder relations, government relations, corporate branding and emergency management" at vale inco.

she did a damn good job and from the sound of it, vale inco needed a lot of "corporate branding and emergency management."


so where does one go, after vale inco? who could best use these mad lying skills? who needs emergency managment and a little suave corporate re-branding?

york university!

starting january 12, jennifer sloan will be the new vice-president university relations for york university.

(as a corporation, this isn't the first time inco has had university related experience. inco has a long and controversial history at memorial university, where it had its name branded on a research facility. usually corporations pay to build/renovation such facilities, but inco received $20 million dollars in tax refunds for the project. so in reality the money for the research facility came out of tax payers pockets. was the building re-named "taxpayers centre for research"? naaaaaah. call it the inco innovation centre.)

only at york university(or any other corrupt institution) would working for vale inco be considered positive experience on a resume. lucky for jennifer sloan she picked a job working for a corporation as seedy as her former employer.

in correspondence with united steelworkers reps they expressed that they hadn't had contact with jennifer(maybe because she left before the strike). such is PR in major multinational corporations, where they are excellent at hiding the strings behind the puppets.

well, i guess i'd just like to formally welcome jennifer to york university and give her a little warning: here at york, the puppet masters are idiots so don't expect your strings to remain invisible.

"you should come over, we can teach you how to do it"

this is definitely keeping in line with a lot of the "sexy" breast cancer awareness gimmicks, but it's funnier:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

letters of note

stumbled upon this today: letters of note

it's basically just different correspondence that people submit, but it's really good correspondence.

like this letter to president roosevelt from a ten year girl whose last name starts with a 'w'. she suggested that roosevelt begin drafting fathers alphabetically, so that her father wouldn't have to go to war.

or this response letter from john kricfalusi--the creator of ren and stimpy--to a young artist(from toronto). the letter is 8 pages long, handwritten, and gives the young artist instruction on how to become a better cartoonist.

this letter from nikola tesla, a response to the red cross.

and this letter from a soldier in 1942 to his daughter, for her future birthdays.

a physics based adventure!

maybe you don't think this game will be that addictive, but it is....



"students were generally self-confident and bold "

a great article written by denis rancourt, published in the Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education:

canadian education as an impetus towards fascism

"Observing the Canadian (Ontario) educational system from the inside, both as a student and as a teacher and also as a researcher of education, I witnessed a dramatic transformation of the student persona (over the span of approximately 30 years.) I infer a deep transformation in the young person’s psychology."

read the entire article here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

$150,000.00 is basically nothing, right?

get ready to be extremely angry. like, extremely.

through freedom of information requests the information about how much york university spent on lawyer william mcdowell of the bay street lawfirm lenczner slaght royce has surfaced. harriet lewis, university counsel, retained mcdowell and authorized all payments.

york paid mcdowell about $50,000.00 to go after the york faculty concerned about the future of york university(which included trying to get a court order to force google to disclose their personal identities, a partially successful attempt on their part).

it doesn't end there. they paid mcdowell about $100,000.00 to defend york university at the human rights tribunal hearings enacted by professor david noble. a six day human rights tribunal hearing? $100,000.00?? from a fucking public institution??

so in total york university paid $150,000.00 to a fancy lawyer to piss all over faculty's freedom of speech and defend the reputation of perjurious administrators?

all done in a strike year when the university was claiming that they didn't have enough money to pay graduate students and contract faculty a decent living wage?

so on top of paying our idiot president approx. $400,000.00 per year for doing nothing the university has paid another idiot $150,000.00 of tax payers money for undertaking a seriously seedy case load?

go to york? got fucked over by the strike? just kind of feel like this is totally wrong? write to the president of york and let him know you'd like your money back:

416-736-5200 extension x55200
presidnt@yorku.ca
mshoukri@yorku.ca


the best way to respond to homophobic parents:




your true companion, not like that tricky flesh monster you normally date.

the adult entertainment expo was in las vegas this saturday and a technological marvel was unveiled: the world's first "sex robot."

douglas hines, the dr. frankenstein of this story, created the life-size rubber doll over a period of 2 years. it can speak from an internal speaker and can be hooked up to the internet for updates and downloadable things like new phrases, personality traits, etc.

so it's like your ipod, but you stick your pee pee into it(or whatever).

hines says that he designed the doll more for "conversation" than sex, and that she can perform lifelike movements because "sex only goes so far – then you want to be able to talk to the person."

unfortunately, hines forgot that "persons" can move their heads back and forth, blink their eyes, and their lips move when they speak--none of which are part of the sex doll's repertoire.

according to hines, the major inspiration for this project was his friend's death in the september 11th terror attacks. he originally wanted to preserve his friend's personality so that his children would be able to interact with him. he thought "hey, maybe i'll create a health care aide for the elderly."

but making the lives of the elderly better = waaaaay to much paperwork. on to different markets.

"the sex robot thing is marketing – it's really about making a companion," hines says. a life partner, even.

"she can't vacuum, she can't cook but she can do almost anything else if you know what i mean.”(unless you want her to move her limbs because she would do anything for love, but she won't do that).

“she's a companion. she has a personality. she hears you. she listens to you. she speaks. she feels your touch. she goes to sleep. we are trying to replicate a personality of a person."

unlike real women, your doll knows "exactly what you like" and "if you like porsche, she likes porsche. if you like soccer, she likes soccer."

the doll also comes with a bonus that a lot of "real life" partners do not: you can download your doll's custom personality online and other users around the world can try her out!

that means if i have a genius idea--like programming my robot girlfriend to cry when we have "sex"--i can send that out to every other user. i create her personality for distribution and, ultimately, the sexual gratification of perfect strangers.

how respectful!

actually, i found most respectful how they displayed "roxxxy" at the convention. i mean, this doll is really not a sex doll-- she's a companion-- and so displaying her in skimpy lingerie with her legs spread wide open was a really classy move.

i feel like probably the theme song of the true companion doll(that's the official name) should be the song "true companion" by marc cohn:

"There ain't no act of God girl
Could keep you safe from me
My arms are reaching out
Out across this canyon
I'm asking you to be my true companion

So don't you dare and try to walk away
I've got my heart set on our wedding day
I've got this vision of a girl in white
Made my decision that it's you alright
And when I take your hand
I'll watch my heart set sail
I'll take my trembling fingers
And I'll lift up your veil
Then I'll take you home
And with wild abandon
Make love to you just like a true companion"

music.. for when there truly are no words.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

guest blogger: matthew furlong

another piece by matthew furlong:

"A few days ago I wrote a piece called “Why you should care about the 2010 prorogation of Parliament”. I want to pick up on a point I made and unfold it further, because I think it’s at the heart of what’s occurring right now, and because it reveals the true seriousness of current events.

The claim I made then was that the current controversy is fundamentally about sovereignty, and that, within a political system, sovereign power is defined by who is in a position to decide on policy. At the time, I didn’t make that claim strong enough. I’ve gone back and amended the piece in order to connect it more strongly to what’s about to follow, but what I didn’t say then was that, fundamentally, sovereignty refers to the power to institute, preserve, suspend, or destroy the constitution itself. This aspect of sovereignty has everything to do with what’s going on right now, and understanding it will help us understand what it means to say that Prime Minister Harper has fomented a constitutional crisis.

The concept and practical reality of sovereignty has a rich history that we should pick up by thinking about monarchical rule. Under the rule of a monarch, whether or not a law remains in force depends on the king’s command. Today, we are reminded of this power when we hear that someone has been remanded to custody at “Her Majesty’s leisure”. If we go back to earlier times and consider famous kings, queens, princes, lords, and so on, we have no trouble finding scenarios in which the question of whether or not a monarch’s subjects can expect to live under consistently applied policies and rules depends on, precisely “His/Her Majesty’s leisure”.

The difference between that and the kind of political society that we live in today is that the rule of law is founded on a decision called the “social contract,” in which a social body comes together and agrees to institute a political order. The decision doesn’t belong to any one person, but to a constantly changing group of people. So the maintenance of the decision is embodied in a symbolic entity that replaces the monarch. In Canada, the Crown remains in place, represented by the Governor General, to symbolize the social contract and to guarantee our political order. Supreme executive power concerning the state of the constitution rests there. And, as such, the seat of sovereign power rests outside of the confines of the constitution, since it can’t be displaced from within the constitution itself, that is to say, according to any of the statutes currently in place. Only an appeal to the Crown itself could transfer sovereign power to, for example, Parliament itself. In other words, the Crown is the entity that contains and maintains the force of law itself in our political order. In the United States of America, the Constitution is meant to play that role; our constitution differs from it in that way.

But the point is this: the source of constitutional legitimacy doesn’t exist entirely inside a political order like ours. And now, Prime Minister Harper has politicized the Governor General by using prorogation politically, to directly disrupt the workings of our political institutions. In doing so, he’s created a situation in which the Governor General has effectively become an arm of the PMO, and has collapsed the distance between the PMO and the Crown, which is to say sovereign power, itself. In other words, the PMO now exists outside of the constitution; it has not only extra-parliamentary but also extra-constitutional power. This is one sense in which Harper has provoked a constitutional crisis.

Another way that we’re currently going through a crisis can be considered according to the question of whether or not this prorogation is constitutional. Critics of the anti-prorogation movement have argued that it is constitutional, because no laws were broken. And that’s true, but as long as we keep circling around that debate we’re missing the target. The correct answer is that we’re now at a place where the question of constitutionality can’t be answered affirmatively or negatively. This prorogation hasn’t broken any statutes, but because it’s been used to suspend constitutionally routine procedures, it’s put the constitution itself into question. So far, nobody in this debate has emerged to show any provisions that give us a way to deal with this situation; the constitution itself doesn’t cover it. We’re in a place where the next move is a dice-throw no matter what we do; it’s a pure decision. And that qualifies this situation as a crisis.

That brings us to an interesting and crucial point: I said above that decision in a political order, ultimately, is a function of sovereignty. And decision on the constitution itself is always a crisis moment, where the outcome is uncertain and not guaranteed by any statutes. That means that sovereignty and crisis are always bound together, and whoever wields sovereign power has the authority to foment crisis. What we’re embroiled in now is a struggle over that relationship.

This is why I think we need peaceable but forceful demonstration right now; if there was ever a time to care, this is it. We’re still in a position to get a lid on this institutionally, before institutional access is severed and we get into deeper and deeper games of brinksmanship between whatever government happens to occupy the PMO and the citizens of this country. I don’t really want to get into espousing values here because I want to insist on the importance of the institutional perspective. But let me just indicate a few possibilities. If your worst fear is fiscal irresponsibility, you should be concerned about a PMO that can bankrupt the country without any effective control apparatuses to rein it in. If you’re concerned about civil liberties, you should be equally concerned about the possibility of a social project being pushed through legislation in the same circumstances. That’s why this is really a non-partisan issue, because this power is available to whichever party acquires the PMO. That’s why this is so serious: right now, we're at a point where the position of Prime Minister is at risk of transforming into a figure that's more like a monarch.

I’ve noticed a lot of the sneering going on involves some shaming tactics; for instance, I’m seeing statements that go a little like this: “How dare you be so ungrateful and whiny, look at what those people in Iran are going through,” and so on. The Iran example is actually great, because in truth it’s an absolute affront to what they’re fighting for to not close this down right now, while it’s institutionally within our grasp. Iranians have been caught up in that struggle for as long as I’ve been alive; after all this time, people are still willing to go out in the hundreds of thousands and bleed and die to push back against an oppressive regime, whether it’s a monarchy or a theocracy that emerged out of associations forged in the revolutionary struggle of the late 1970s. Given the effort that they’re willing to put in, we should be ashamed if we consent to let this slip away while it’s still within our grasp. That’s why I’m going to be marching on January the 23rd. If we don’t do this now, there’s no telling what kind of social unrest we risk bequeathing to our children.

We need to pressure Prime Minister Harper into rescinding the prorogation, and we need to convince every single MP or Parliamentary hopeful that they have to implement constitutional reform if they ever want to see another vote. We’ll always have to face new dangers, but I believe that this is appropriate today.

thanks for cutting down the oldest tree EVER, graduate student

today i was looking at this list of the "50 most interesting articles on wikipedia" and i actually did find a lot of the articles interesting!

here are five to check out:

1.) old man of the lake, oregon's crater lake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Man_of_the_Lake

2.) prometheus the tree, nevada: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus_(tree)

3.) the kola superdeep borehole: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_Superdeep_Borehole

4.) mojave phone booth, mojave desert: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_phone_booth

5.) the sokal affair: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_Affair

enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

guest blog: bra colour vs. ACTUAL awareness?

another great guest blog from hans on this bizarre facebook "awareness" blitz:

"Because every wave of collective ridiculousness should be followed by a bit of sober reflection...

Here are two links to contextualize why “harmless awareness-raising” gimmicks like the ‘name your colour’ game which swept across facebook yesterday actually aren’t so harmless.

Once I figured out people were posting bra colours as part of a chain-mail game that said it would raise awareness about breast cancer, I thought about posting some colours myself, just to poke fun at the trend and to hope some people might realize they were just buying into heavily gendered marketing which brackets breast cancer as a women-only issue, while simultaneously serving sexually objectifying ends (the wave of sexist jokes and comments I saw in response to colour posts on the majority of my friends’ pages just confirmed that). But turns out the ‘gimmickers’ had already thought of that – threads on discussion boards either poked fun at guys who were posting colours and therefore must not understand what it’s all about (hello? Way to marginalize anybody who doesn’t subscribe to your narrow binary-gender world) or they said it was fine because guys were encouraged to post their underwear colours as well (uh...okay).

But the more I thought about it, the more it concerned me.

While many people were participating out of a genuine sense that it was a good thing to do, and genuinely care about breast cancer, and while many people probably feel a certain strength in engaging in a collective action – especially those who have been touched by cancer in some way – the cavalier way in which this game is playing itself out must also be causing a world of hurt to many survivors and people who have been affected by cancer. Here’s a very insightful, and moving, blog post by one of the many survivors who have found this ‘awareness gimmick’ to be extremely painful and hurtful:

http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com/2010/01/08/in-the-name-of-awareness/

The other thing to bear in mind, is that these sorts of marketing gimmicks have a very strong impact on how our society conceptualizes important issues like breast cancer.

The following is a very insightful exploration of how corporate control of breast cancer ‘awareness’ has done that. Researchers and fundraisers hoping for a cure have been so influenced by the corporate sponsors who provide their research money that they’ve abandoned very important research directions, are ignoring some of the front-and-centre products and activities that contribute to breast cancer, and have re-branded breast cancer as a matter of private responsibility (“only YOU can be responsible for your health”) instead of the public health issue which it is (where government’s failure to regulate carcinogenic products, provide adequate care and research support, and to support primary prevention initiatives play a much bigger role in spreading this disease, than individual activity will ever play in preventing it).

Fact is, individuals CAN’T prevent breast cancer; only responsible action as a society will enable us to actively fight it and reduce its incidence. As she explains more eloquently here:

http://www.bcam.qc.ca/html/bulletin/13-2/profits.html

The only thing missing from these two blogs is the exclusionary ethnocentrism involved in this game.

Posting your underwear colours is fine – for those who are comfortable enough with their bodies and their sexuality to do so. But many people from many cultural and religious paths would not feel so comfortable doing so. And so are excluded from playing a role in this ‘collective effort’ to raise awareness and fight a common enemy in breast cancer. Wearing a pink ribbon is one thing. Talking about your underwear and opening yourself up to sexual objectification by all your misogynistic sexist friends? Something totally different. And I should note that I don’t in any way endorse “cultural” or “religious” practices that constrain the sexuality of their members. In my opinion, it’s the 21st century and it’s about time the human species was comfortable with its bodies and its sexualities. In fact I’m actually one of those people who supports banning the display of religious symbols in public space (not just burqas, but crucifixes and all other symbols of oppression and genocide). But that aside, it doesn’t change the fact that millions of those people who are affected by breast cancer are part of cultural or religious traditions which would make them uncomfortable talking about their underwear in public. An awareness-raising gimmick that excludes millions of those who are affected by the very disease it purports to be raising awareness of, is no sincere awareness-raising initiative. Furthermore, it just underscores the growing perception among many racialized groups that breast cancer campaigns are designed to focus on and support white women in the western world, and white women alone.

Anyhow, the above links provide some interesting material for reflection."

Friday, January 8, 2010

we know this much: waldo is not on the sexy boat

i used to like "where's waldo" a lot. i was pretty good at spotting waldo(i mean, who wasn't), and i always really liked to look at the rest of the photo.

so, i was pretty excited to find this today: nine strange things found while searching for waldo

hidden in the original waldo maps are some very interesting images.

<---like the sex boat, in the campsite map. the thing about this image though that i find most strange is the unibomber in the background.

i mean, the sexy boat is bizarre (as are all the ladies running to it) but it's really that lone man staring sullenly at the sexy boat that is truly intriguing.

if this picture were a frame from criminal minds, that guy would be the unsub.

tasty, tasty plastics.

i stumbled upon this collection of photos( by chris jordan) of albatross chicks taken in "one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent", midway atoll(north pacific).

the babies are fed plastic by their parents, who forage for food on the ocean, and tens of thousands of chicks die per year.

jordan writes that none of the plastic in the photos has been moved or manipulated.

btw: of the 21 different species of albatross, 19 are considered to be threatened by extinction.

thanks human beings, and thank you plastics industry!


to see the rest of the collection:
http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php?id=11

best commercial ever

it's true, when the lights are on things don't seem as scary, unless it's stephen harper.. then it's always scary.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

why you should care about the 2010 prorogation of parliament

a really, really great piece written by matthew furlong.

"There seems to be a two-tiered gripe with the Harper government’s, and more specifically Stephen Harper’s, decision to prorogue Parliament for the first quarter of this year. The first tier is concerned with an inactive Parliament, with paid MPs who aren’t doing the work that is expected of them, and with the consequent waste of taxpayers’ dollars. The second tier is concerned with Prime Minister Harper’s questionable use of prorogation, which is normally an uncontroversial parliamentary procedure, with his apparent evasiveness about issues such as the war in Afghanistan, and with his contempt for the challenges a minority government faces in a Parliamentary system.

I’m more interested in the latter, because it’s emblematic of the important and dangerous juncture that we’re at right now in the history of our Parliament. There’s no doubt that a lethargic Parliament full of MPs who are getting paid without getting any legislation passed is a bad thing; however, it’s also not as perilous as what’s currently underway. More than a few op-eds from constitutional scholars and others, written during this prorogation and the last, have referred to PM Harper’s use of prorogation as a constitutional crisis. This is quite correct: the word “crisis” refers to a decisive moment or a turning point. And the crisis in question is about the relationship between Parliament, which is supposed to be the representative body of the Canadian electorate, and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which is the Prime Minister’s centre of operations.

Prior to Pierre Trudeau’s tenure as Prime Minister, the PMO was relatively weak in relation to Parliament; however, since around the late 1960s or early 1970s, it has become more powerful and has been modified by subsequent Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments. The result has been that the Prime Minister is, more and more, a position with ever-greater latitude in relationship to Parliament. To put it simply, the modern history of the Office reveals its increasing distance from the body which serves as the voice of Canadian citizens. Prime Minister Harper doesn’t stand at the beginning of this history; his occupation of the PMO is just one event in a whole series of historical events that constitutes the transformation of our system of government. His unique contribution has been to play that system off against itself, by using an ordinary parliamentary procedure to counteract other ordinary parliamentary procedures, thus creating an extraordinary situation: a constitutional crisis.

That possibility was always there; systems of government are a kind of machinery, and all machines can be used in ways that outstrip or even cancel out what is perceived to be their intended use. A cellphone can be used to screw up navigational devices on airplanes, as we’ve heard so many times by now. A car can be used to drive somewhere, or it can be turned into a suicide machine with a long enough bit of hose. Likewise, a system of government can be turned on itself and can even destroy itself by way of unforeseen interactions between perfectly ordinary bits of procedure. It was probably inevitable that someone would come along and see the potential for exploitation in this system; all it ever takes is someone with the insight and the will to do so, along with a large number of people who can’t see it or who don’t care.

Fundamentally, this crisis is about sovereignty. Most of us have heard this word used many times in the last 10 years, but only in the context of international relations, or in terms of Quebec sovereignty: the sovereignty of a nation-state is its freedom from coercion by other nation-states, supra-national organizations (like the EU or the UN), or non-governmental organizations. National sovereignty consists in the ability of a nation-state to decide on its own domestic and foreign policy in an independent way; almost everyone is familiar with this idea. But we never hear about the question of sovereignty at the domestic level itself: in other words, who or what gets to decide on policy within a given political systemand, ultimately, who has the authority to preserve, suspend, or entirely undo the constitution itself. In a Parliamentary democracy, the idea is that Parliament, which is the voice of the people, is the sovereign body; this is a representational version of what’s called popular sovereignty, or the sovereignty of the people. Decision-making power, or sovereign power, is distributed amongst 308 MPs and 105 Senators who are supposed to represent the people subjected to that power.

What we’re seeing right now, on the part of Prime Minister Harper, is an attempt to change that situation, and to transfer sovereign power to the PMO. In other words, what we’re seeing is an attempt to destroy popular sovereignty and to solidify a solitary, unilateral sovereign power held by the Prime Minister’s. As we know, every Prime Minister is currently selected from the MPs of whichever power bloc (it doesn’t have to be a political party) has the lion’s share of power, whether it’s a plurality or a straight-up majority of seats. What Prime Minister Harper’s innovative use of prorogation opens up is a way for a political party to exert even more power than the bare occupation of Parliamentary seats allows. The PMO can invent policy, disseminate it to MPs (who, in the case of this government, are under the very tight control of the PMO itself), and then push it through legislation in a House constantly under threat of prorogation or dissolution.

So why should you care? I’ll tell you why I care. First of all, I think that the idea of Parliament being the “voice of the people,” is a rather romantic notion. We already know that our votes are in competition with lobbyist dollars, among other influences. We also know that the conflict of many different voices in a constituency (and in any society in general) will always result in some of those voices being drowned out. The Parliamentary process is always going to be one that distorts, no matter what. We have to live with that reality in this system; however, any body (like a parliament) that presumes to govern the lives of others has already given itself over to being under fire forever, regardless of whether it announces that fact or whether people are willing to take responsibility for their relationship to being governed. There is no such thing as a natural right to govern, and anyone who takes on that position rightly exists on the razor’s edge.

In other words, to be governed by a plurality of individuals who constitute a miniscule portion of the whole population is already contentious. But being governed by a solitary power that wants to remove itself from whatever power the governed might be able to exert against it: this is an unacceptable state of affairs. There’s a lot of spin going around poo-pooing the use of the word “dictator” in this instance. But that’s exactly what’s happening. A single agent, the Prime Minister, is consolidating a unique, supreme executive power and sabotaging popular sovereignty. It doesn’t matter who occupies the Office, or what colour their campaign posters are. It isn't a partisan question, or even a question of national identity. This is a matter of what I would call the solidarity of the governed. Nothing more, nothing less.

Should you care? It all hinges on whether or not you care about how you’re governed and who governs you. This isn’t a “big” versus “small” government problem; it’s a question of fugitive government. And the essence of a dictatorial regime is its capacity to take flight from the reach of those whom it governs. We’ve seen it happen in previous governments in our lifetime, but not in this manner and not with such potentially disastrous implications. It’s time to care right now. I’d encourage you to write to your MP, talk to your family and your friends, to attend rallies, and to donate to political parties to build their coffers (if that’s your thing – it’s not mine). But what needs to happen, most of all, more than any regime change, is procedural reform. This is a constitutional, not an administrative, crisis. We need to have widespread public reflection and action on this. The avenue that Prime Minister Harper has taken needs to be permanently closed down.

We’re at a point where people are talking about abolishing prorogation, which is in and of itself an unremarkable parliamentary tool. It shouldn’t be abolished, but the fact that people are suggesting it just shows how destructive the Harper government is. We're becoming so mistrustful that we're willing to start dismantling our own constitution. What needs to happen is that the role and power of the PMO be redefined and sovereignty be returned to Parliament. Governments will probably always try to pull a fast one on us, but what’s happening right now is obscene. Whether or not we will have to deal with venal, greedy, careerist MPs for the foreseeable future is one thing. But what Prime Minister Harper has taken up and exacerbated is of an entirely different nature. That’s what’s at stake here. That’s why you should care. That’s why I care."

matthew is planning to write a companion piece on the subject of sovereignty and crisis, that
"sovereignty is not so much defined by who can decide on policy within a political system, but, precisely, who has the authority to suspend or disrupt a constitution entirely."

pffffft

children the biggest victims of war in afghanistan, surprise!

a report came out the other day which stated that children are the biggest victims of the war in afghanistant.

according to the report more than 1,050 children under 18 were killed last year alone.

children are also "press-ganged, sexually exploited, deprived of health and education, and illegally detained by all sides" in the war--which is going into its ninth year.

the director of ARM, an afghani human rights watchdog, said that "at least three children were killed in war-related incidents every day in 2009 and many others suffered in diverse but mostly unreported ways."


although the war was started to "democratize" afghanistant and "protect" women and children the western backed government hasn't introduced or implemented any laws to protect children against abuses of war.

as well, none of the nations currently stationed in afghanistan have pressured the government to introduce such laws.

so i guess this is another angle to the whole proroguing parliament business. every day stephen harper prorogues parliament three children in afghanistan die in a war that stephen harper actively supports and perpetrates.

so, mr. harper, while you're lieing around doing basically nothing for the next few months for no real reason except that you're a huge douchebag, maybe you should remember that three children will die while you lounge.

"snow days don't apply to adults unless you happen to be the prime minister"

rick mercer on proroguing parliament:

"There's a very good reason why the word prorogue doesn't come up that often in our society. Why would it? The word has absolutely no resonance with anyone in Canada because the notion that you can shut down anything for months at a time is a total fantasy. That's the thing about life; it's relentless. If you are an adult and live in the real world, proroguing isn't on the agenda, in much the same way levitating isn't.

God knows I love the idea of proroguing. Everyone in Canada has lain in bed and prayed for the elusive snow day. The idea that while you slept, the heavens opened up and dumped so much snow on the ground that the front door can't open and the school bus just can't come. We all remember snow days and that glorious feeling that the deadlines, the tests, the irritating people, the routine and the responsibilities could be avoided for one entire magnificent day with no consequences whatsoever. And if you didn't do your homework, or you were heading into what you knew was going to be a world of hurt, a snow day meant you dodged the bullet.

But snow days happen to children. If you are an adult, it doesn't matter how much snow falls – you still have to get to work and you still have to shovel the walk. Snow days don't apply to adults unless you happen to be the Prime Minister of Canada, who with one phone call has the ability to give every member of Parliament two months off.

We elect these men and women to travel to Ottawa and represent us in the House of Commons. Well, forget that notion – it's old-fashioned and democratic. Welcome to Canada 2010 – we embark on a brand-new decade as a country that has taxation without representation.

It is ironic that while Parliament has been suspended, we remain a nation at war. On New Year's Eve, we greeted the news that five Canadians were killed in a single day with sadness but not surprise. We are at war because, ostensibly, we are helping bring democracy to Afghanistan. How the mission is progressing is open for debate but this much is certain – at present, there is a parliament in Afghanistan that it is very much open for business. Canada has no such institution.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai's government faces fierce opposition at every turn. Many of his cabinet choices have been rejected in a secret ballot by the more than 200 parliamentarians who sit in the legislature. Simply closing it down and operating without their consent is not an option; to do so would be blatantly undemocratic or at the very least downright Canadian. If Mr. Karzai suspended the legislature on a whim, we might be forced to ask the question why Canadians are dying to bring democracy to that country.

Stephen Harper doesn't have that problem. Our Parliament has been suspended for no other reason than the Prime Minister simply can't be bothered with the relentless checks and balances that democracy affords us. He doesn't want to have to stand in the House of Commons and hear anyone question him on any subject. I don't blame him. Parliament is filled with jackals, opportunists and boors. The problem is, like it or not, they were elected.

I also don't blame the Prime Minister for wanting to keep his ministers out of the spotlight. This is a man who could argue that he is Canada's greenest PM simply because he's the only one who has gone out of his way to give potted plants key portfolios.

The problem is, he is the one who appointed cabinet and like it or not, they are supposed to be accountable. A minister's job is not to hide in his or her riding; it is to be accountable in Ottawa – or at least that was the promise.

This Prime Minister has gone from the promise of an open, accessible and accountable government to a government that is simply closed.

It is too bad that prorogation isn't something that our soldiers had in their arsenal. When faced with the order to head out on a foot patrol in the Panjwai district of southern Afghanistan, to risk their lives to bring democracy to that place, wouldn't it be nice if they could simply prorogue and roll over and go back to sleep? Soldiers don't get that luxury. That is afforded only to the people who ultimately order them to walk down those dangerous dusty roads in the first place."



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

these guys are the worst. the worst!

yesterday the general manager of the saskatchewan roughriders, eric tillman, plead guilty to the assault of a teenage girl.

that means, he's guilty. assign a punishment and move on to your next case.

but no. today judge murray hinds granted eric tillman an absolute discharge. that means NO punishment.

an absolute discharge means that a guilty person is not convicted and there is no criminal record.

that's right, he admitted that he sexually assaulted a teenager--he plead GUILTY to sexual assault--and that shit won't even be on his record.

the judge said that he believes eric tillman is "genuinely remorseful" and that his "behaviour" was just fuelled by a bad combination of non prescription drugs that he took for his sore back.

really?? i'm pretty sure that, legally speaking, remorse doesn't erase the crime or the impact of the crime on the victim. tillman feeling guilty about assaulting the girl doesn't change the fact that she was assaulted by him.

the girl he assaulted was 16 and the babysitter of his two children. he sexually assaulted her at his home but claims he doesn't remember doing so because he had taken sleep-aids and pain medication together and they made him all loopy.

so being drunk or high is now a successful defense for sexual assault charges??

i find it interesting that he was her boss. for example: if you're working in an office and your boss shows up high, then he assaults you, then he feels bad, that's still sexual assault. it's also an unsafe work place and a violation on the part of your supervisor/employer to provide you with a safe working environment and to not abuse their power.

technically this girl was injured on the job due to the negligence of her employer, so maybe she should go to the saskatchewan worker's compensation board and try to get compensation that way.

but for real, this is really actually unbelievable. the roughriders should fire tillman's ass.

Monday, January 4, 2010

avatar, pocahontas... same thing!

all of that time and money and brain power spent on 'avatar' just to tell an old, racist, and historically inaccurate story.

congratulations james cameron, you're the worst.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/reddit/james-camerons-pocohontas-err-avatar



to read about the actual story of pocahontas you should read this:

the true story of pocahontas: the other side of history by dr. linwood "little bear" custalow and angela l. daniel.

dolphin for prime minister!!

i read this news item the other day about a study which places dolphin intelligence second to human beings. this means that chimps are now ranked as the third intelligent "creatures" after humans and dolphins.

experts are now calling for dolphins to be given rights and treated as "non human persons"--because we treat our fellow humans so well.

the study, conducted by zoologist lori marino, used MRI scans to map the brains of dolphins and compare them to primates. she says that dolphins brains are actually larger than human brains and are only second to humans in mass once corrected for body size:

"the neuroanatomy suggests psychological continuity between humans and dolphins and has profound implications for the ethics of human-dolphin interactions."

dolphins(especially the bottle nose) have distinct personalities, strong sense of self, and can think about the future. they learn new types of behaviour from other dolphins(like covering their snouts with a piece of sea sponges to protect themselves when searching for spiny fish on the ocean floor.

anyone who's seen planet earth knows that they live and hunt in groups and use extremely complicated tacticts to round up and catch fish.

they surf!!


just because something or someone is intelligent doesn't guarantee them rights or ethical treatment--when chimps were second on the intelligence list it certainly didn't mean that they were treated better than any other animal.

so it's nice to have proof that dolphins are really smart but i think most people can guess that they're really smart. the key to protecting animal species from cruel treatment shouldn't be to prove that they're intelligent because intelligence shouldn't be a prerequisite for rights.
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