Friday, March 30, 2012

Danielle Smith: Wrong for Alberta

What happens if a rigid, far right ideologue who's only experience in a public service role is a tale of obstruction, fundamental lack of understanding of the facts, radical disdain for the role of the public sector, childish spats and a seeming inability to compromise or work with anyone who disagrees with her becomes Premier?
December 6, 1998: Smith proposed the closure of up to 30 schools due to excess space in older, inner-city classrooms. Smith suggested that the money earned from selling or leasing older schools could be used to build new schools and stem the exodus of public school students to Catholic, private, charter and home schooling. Contradicting Smith, LoVecchio told the Herald that she didn't "know where she's getting her numbers," explaining that when a CBE facility is leased to a non-profit group or private school, the Department of Education excludes those students from the board's utilization rate.

December 7, 1998: Calgary Herald editorial:

'Trustee Danielle Smith's contention that the CBE will close schools and then lease the buildings is also fatally flawed. Even if such buildings are rented to day cares, private schools or other users, Alberta Education still applies the space against the CBE balance sheet, but not the students. Previous decisions to lease old schools instead of sell them has simply exacerbated the CBE's poor utilization rate.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Damn Peasants!

The Globe and Mail sniffs in outraged offense at the peons daring to inconvenience or insult their betters.

Consider contacting the Globe and Mail and expressing how you feel about this display of patrician disdain.  Try to avoid any tempting four letter words.

Hat tip to Dawg

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Should Canada start considering EVERY American woman eligible for Refugee status?

Government mandated rape with medical instruments, laws mandating that women be forced to explain to their boss why they are using birth control pills, laws mandating that even if pregnancy will KILL the mother she be forced to carry a pregnancy to term - even if the fetus itself is dead.

At what point should any American woman seeking refuge in Canada start being considered a political refugee?
This week the Georgia State Legislature debated a bill in the House, that would make it necessary for some women to carry stillborn or dying fetuses until they 'naturally' go into labor. In arguing for this bill Representative Terry England described his empathy for pregnant cows and pigs in the same situation.

I have a question for Terry England, Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and too many others: I have three daughters, two of them twins. If one of my twins had been stillborn would you have made me carry her to term, thereby endangering both the other twin and me? Or, would you have insisted that the state order a mandatory fetal extraction of the living twin fetus from my womb so that I could continue to carry the stillborn one to term and possibly die myself? My family is curious and since you believe my uterus is your public property, I am, too.

Mr. England, unlike the calves and pigs for which you expressed so much empathy, I am not a beast of burden. I am a woman and I have these human rights:

The right to life.

The right to privacy.

The right to freedom.

The right to bodily integrity.

The right to decide when and how I reproduce.

Mr. England, you and your friends do not get to trade these rights, while "dog and hog hunting," in return for a young man's chickens.

My human rights outweigh any you or the state corruptly and cynically seek to assign to a mass of dividing cells that will eventually turn into a 'natural' person. Personhood-for-zygote based bills and related legislation, like Georgia's and hundreds of others, bills and laws that criminalize pregnancy and abortion and penalize women for being women, violate my human rights.

Just because you cannot get pregnant does not mean I cannot think clearly, ethically, morally, rationally about my body, human life or the consequences of my actions. Just because you cannot get pregnant does not mean that I do not have rights when I am pregnant. I have responsibility but am powerless. You have power but are irresponsible with my rights.

By not trusting me, you force me to trust you. And YOU are not trustworthy.

I gestate humans, you do not. I know how it feels to be pregnant. You do not. I know what happens to a fetus in a womb. You do not. I have carried three fetuses to term. You have not. What I experience when I am pregnant is not empathy. It is permeability. The fetus is me. And the state is you, apparently. But, no matter what you say or do I have fundamental human rights. What makes you think that you, who cannot have this fully human experience, can tell me anything about gestation or how I experience it? Especially when you compare my existence and experience to that of brutish animals.

The rest of the civilized world thinks this country has lost its mind.

Pandering to Hate

Throughout his career, whenever his job was on the line French president Nicolas Sarkozy has never shied away from pandering to the worst instincts of the French people.

With the polls showing that the French are abandoning the political center and that the more xenophobic have begin to flock to the far right, Sarkozy went into full pander mode echoing fascist party attacks on immigrants.

Is it any wonder the most violent and hateful would think they have been given the go ahead to consider immigrants legitimate targets?

The men, described by French media as "muscular and tattooed", were dismissed in 2008 after they were pictured giving a Nazi salute in front of a swastika flag.

Police have linked the men to the shooting of three soldiers from their former regiment, the 17th Parachute Engineers, on 15 March. Two soldiers died in the attack and a third was critically injured.

France’s Le Point news magazine said: “This is the first real lead the police have. [It is believed] there could be a link to the three soldiers dismissed from the army four years ago.

"The profile of these men corresponds to the scant information investigators have on the Toulouse killer, that is to say, muscular and tattooed.

"This lead is being followed up by both civilian and military authorities.

The shooting on 15 March followed another attack on 11 March, in which a soldier was shot and killed outside a gym in Toulouse.
All of the soldiers were reported to have been black or of north African origin.
Nicolas Sarkozy bears personal responsibility for this tragedy due to his despicable pandering to the worst parts of his people's natures.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How the mighty have fallen

Last year Gary Mar was the odds on favorite to win the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives and by extension the Premiership of the richest province in Canada.

Now he's been peremptorily and unceremoniously summoned back to Alberta from his consolation prize/exile job as Alberta's Asian trade representative in Hong Kong and suspended without pay by the upstart candidate who beat him to the job he really wanted, Premier Alison Redford.

His sin?  Desperately trying to pay off the huge debt from his failed leadership bid with a March 1st fundraiser that auctioned off a trip to Hong Kong with invitations that strongly implied business help in Asia for donors.

To the casual observer of course, accusing any Alberta Tory of ethics violations is a bit like accusing a fish of liking water.  Apparently there are big blatant lines you shouldn't cross even in a oil sheikdom petro-state like Alberta.  Particularly if your boss is someone you just fought a contentious leadership battle with.

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