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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Out Of The Woodwork

  After many natural disasters have occurred in foreign lands, Western politicoreligious pundits have quipped about each earthquake, flood, or famine as a punishment from an angry god. And the rash of tornadoes in the southern U.S. unfortunately join the acts of science pawned off on an invisible sociopath in the clouds.

  As those who follow the goings-on in the Christian (not so)Right know, one of the fellows who enjoys peddling his terrifying trio of racism, homophobia, and doomsday prophecy is Bryan Fischer . Mr. Fischer of the American Family Association is well-known for his racist blog posts and the bigoted guests spotlighted on his show.

  This Friday's guest was none other than Calvin Beisner, a father of 7 and Christian lecturer. He does have a PhD in Scottish History but for some reason is the fellow that many on the right call in to argue the theological basis for his theories. Dr. Beisner has been on Glenn Beck, where he described some "Green Plot" to take over the world. Mr. Beisner truly believes that environmentalism is an evil new religion that will destroy children and cause abortions. When it comes to mainstream thought, this dude is one nutty professor; when it comes to the right fringe, he's the expert on faith-based judgments and Biblical global domination. He's a star to fundies, including some who live in Alabama and the Carolinas.

Yes, this is what one of your leaders said about your great-aunt's house getting flattened.

This is all God's wrath because humans are all sinners and this omnipotent bully enjoys seeing it's creations suffer. So, instead of sending tornadoes to wipe out Las Vegas, the ruler of the universe in his infinite wisdom decides to drop 200MPH funnel clouds over some of the most religious cities in America. This is the official version as taught by a Apologetics professor. Instead of saying "I don't know why shit happens and maybe I should find out", he offers up a long and winding lie that he hopes some people are going to be stupid enough to believe.

Calvin Beisner either does or does not know how the Earth works. He is either a person who knows at least the basics of geology and/or physics and is lying to people for commercial gain; or he is incredibly stupid. The thing is that I cannot comprehend someone with as much age as Dr. Beisner as having had existed in a hermetically-sealed bubble, not given any opportunities to learn. Calvin Beisner is blaming the victims of a national tragedy because he's too arrogant to admit that natural phenomena are not the will of some sadistic space monster. And because fear fertilizes power.

Fundamentalists like Dr. Beisner live in a world that is controlled. If you're petrified of committing some sin that will result in you spending an eternity as a supernatural shish kebab, you obey. Some say the subservience is blind, but it's actually an abusive relationship that might mimic that of the meathead down the street. "Do this or perish!", "don't do that or you'll piss of God!", "if I don't do what God says, I'm going to be punished forever." This is not a love relationship as we know it, and theocrat wannabes are all too happy to reap the rewards of a cowering population.

Dr. Beisner and Bryan Fischer are megalomaniacs who exploit every tragedy to further their divisive ends; I'm not sure why, but I suspect that they may have interpersonal issues. Rest assured, people- this is not some divine punishment. I could bore you to death with 15 videos on cloud formation, or just tell you this : If you want to actually change something, drop your Bible and its condemnations and pick up your wallet or offer to do anything but emotionally assault people trying to recover from the worst event of their lives.

U.S.: text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. go to to donate directly to the Alabama Red Cross
Anywhere: The Governor's Emergency Relief Fund or Feeding America 

Beisner's Cornwall Alliance
Video courtesy of Southern Poverty Law Center, 

Friday, April 29, 2011

I'll Just Leave This Here

This here is the only video pertaining to the British monarchy worth seeing once, let alone twice.

Go whiteboy go.

Letting Go Of God Part 7

I used to be religious. Yes, seriously. I was a religious nationalist; so much so that I even volunteered to serve in the IDF. I used my belief system to excuse hate crimes against Muslims and jokes about Christians. After all, they weren't following the real god, or at the very least their prophets weren't the same. I was more than willing to say that Jesus didn't exist, but would staunchly defend Moses and all of the others. Just like every other extremist, I used my belief system to judge others.

Separation is a fundamental part of every major religious system. The enemy of every cult is outside influence, for every apostate person is a symbol that one can leave the faith without the heavens dividing. Non-believers in a particular faith are often scorned in literature and adherents are required to keep themselves separate from those of other faiths. Dhimmitude, slavery, differences in the sabbaths, and laws on miscegenation are all worked into the scriptures followed by billions of people worldwide. And even all of the laws are interpreted differently by almost everyone- I mean there are hundreds of variations on Islam and over 30, 000 different kinds of Protestantism. Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus all have divisions that seem minute on the surface but can begin wars. The fact that I called my god Elohim and you called him Christ or Allah made me feel either greater to or less than others, depending on the circumstance.

Atheists and agnostics used to especially irritate me; along with Pagans and Wiccans, skeptics were the worst thing for someone who desperately tried to adhere to those 613 commandments. While I was raised around people of varying faiths, the concept of not believing in a supernatural creator was absolutely foreign to me. I understood why one could believe in Mother Earth and Father Sky, for they were part of the same energy, but not believing in an afterlife and angels and someone watching over seemed so wrong, but I couldn't understand why. It just was.

As most of you know, I am and have always been intelligent. I understood that the world was not created in a week, that dinosaurs did exist, that evolution must be part of it. As a Judeoapologist, I could state that some of the bible may have been metaphorical, with exception of all of the rules. The rules were real because humans needed to be moral, ad infinitum. I really tried to be a good religious person- I kept a kosher kitchen (before becoming vegan, because it is inherently Bible approved.) , I held Seders and fasted and did all of those other kooky superstitious things. The problem is that when you become more religious, you either spew talking points or become well versed in your faith. And this nerd read, which began the process of killing my belief in that particular god as well as a whole lot of others.

It really doesn't take long to find violence in the books we call holy. Moses' men were authorized to take all of the virgins for themselves in several passages. Same with Mohammed. Jesus was more concerned with blind obedience and killing your family members for not believing. All of these chosen men had condoned atrocities in order to spread their interpretation of the same god. And it's a really bad god. It is one that says to kill your disobedient children and murder pregnant enemies. It's a god who purposely manipulates events in order to confuse people into accidentally sinning and going to a roasting firepit for all eternity. This god is not a dude you want to have a beer with.

Once you start learning about gods, you start eliminating them as potential candidates. And I eliminated several gods in one shot. And you look around and realize that they're all based in violence either to begin with or have to respond to it, as in the case of Buddhists and Hindus. Sikhs wear kirpans as a symbol of restrained violence. But what if you don't find subservience to someone not yourself and dying to protect it all that appealing? What if you get sick of hating people for their nationality or religion and simply tolerating them, and decide that you don't agree with the division and want to just dig people for who they are?

These were just a few arguments for getting rid of religion, but I still believed in some sort of higher power that controlled some things and mainly left science to do what it does. I became very shaky about whether or not there was a Skydude or anything else to pray to. And when you start believing science greater than intelligent design, you become a heathen. And I'm just fine with being an atheist to all gods, goddesses, and bronze dogs presented for me because I have a lifetime of people to love and random acts of geekery to enjoy in place of praying. I'm also fine with no longer condoning wars, rape, genital mutilation, and bigotry. I'm fine without hating myself as a mistake of god and I'm fine with treating others in a way that would make them happy without interference of a man-made god that was created in the image of the most evil qualities of men.

I am a far more rational and compassionate person than I ever was when I had a god. I do nice things because I enjoy it and not because I'm afraid of some supernatural barbecue. I figure that even if I'm wrong and there is indeed some afterlife that the ruler of it would be cool with me being a flawed, but generally nice person, and reincarnate me as a giraffe instead of a barn fly. I mean I know we haven't invented that god yet, but it sounds rad doesn't it? A god that actually values you for how much you do to fix the world instead of how much time you devote to praying for someone else to fix it. But then my intellectual mind kicks in and reminds me of the scientific reasons for there being no reason why the so-called spirits of humans should be everlasting, but dogs just die. Every time I've thought of a god in the last couple of years, science would kick in, and trying to justify god versus the evidence became ridiculous.

I am most certainly atheist. There are Conservative atheists and hippie atheists, our only commonalities being that we realize that there is likely no god and that fact doesn't make us too sad. We run the gamut from people who still practice some rituals to those who abhor the mention. The commonality of humanists, skeptics, atheists, and any other name that you call us is the fact that those who don't believe in a god are still the least trusted people in every part of North America. And this is why we need to talk.

All of our voices and experiences are distinct, but for every time someone has the spine to voluntarily question creationism on-air or in print, the scientific method will be spread to some of those who really need to get the message.

Caption This

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blast From The Past

 This booklet is not a joke. It came to my attention when an anonymous person's mum found it at her job as a school nurse. 
   It was printed in 1964 by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, who manufactures feminine paper products. 

  Choice excerpts include "since god wanted you to be a woman he gave you all of these parts just as he gave them to every girl." and "there are many degrees of retardation, it stands to reason that no one explanation will be suitable to the mental understanding of every retarded girl."

And these are the good old days everyone reminisces about.

You Are Not Imagining This

  Some people say and do so many inexplicable things that one wonders if he or she is a creation of The Onion or Funny or Die, but I assure you that what you are about to read here is real.

  Sally Kern is a State Rep. from Oklahoma who has some of the most absolutely bizarre views on record, even with today's Tea Party tinhats. Since , Ms. Kern has introduced a bill that would put a ban on the evil practice of Sharia, that we know is so present in rural Oklahoma's barnyards. She's also introduced a bill that would force teachers to question evolution. In 2008, she released this speech about gays being a bigger threat than radicalized Islam and called us paedophiles.

Obviously, all of these ridiculous things Rep. Kern has done are reprehensible. They involve sinister thoughts and coarse words and are very difficult to comprehend. However, Ms. Kern crossed the line so markedly this week that it bears repeating.

In a debate over whether or not Affirmative Action should be constitutionally repealed, many people offered their opinions. The proposed amendment, which passed last night, is packaged as an antidiscrimination bill, but will remove any possibility of Affirmative Action continuing in a state not overly known for tolerance. Sally Kern, who obviously has an issue with equal employment policies, issued this statement as part of her speech to the Oklahoma House about why ethnic minorities earn less than white people:

“We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”

Regarding women, she also stated that they deserve to earn less than white men, noting that “they tend to spend more time at home with their families.”( if you can stomach it, listen here)

There are few people who are so disgusting that I struggle for words to describe them, and Sally Kern is one of those. How is it that in our day and age, someone this outright hateful is permitted to hold public office in any state? Sally Kern has taken it upon herself to destroy any sense of racial unity and equality in the state of Oklahoma and has no desire to stop. Think also that this woman was an educator for over 20 years. Who knows what kind of insipid filth she has subjected innocent minds to. It's not like her bigoted thoughts magically appeared as soon as she put the chalk on the shelf; what amazes me most is that the hard-working people of Oklahoma City decided she was fit to represent them.

Sally Kern is a stain on public office, and she's not the only one. Racebaiting scumbags exist in every corner of the Continent, but the difference now is that people actually listen to the rantings of disturbed individuals who would be arrested elsewhere. When evil thoughts become hate speech, discrimination is allowed to flourish until it becomes law. While you may not yet be the target of the legislation of today- have no fear, if it isn't stopped, you'll be next. History will repeat itself if people do not unify to expel politicians who hate their own constituents.

 Use your right to protest and remember to vote, while you still have the freedom to do so.

Papers, Please

  Donald Trump's pretend run for the highest office in the United States is getting some huge press, with media outlets humming with barbs and endorsements. After Trump and his partners in Koch finally pressured a black man to prove he was a human being, jokes and op-eds began flying. Quips about Mr. Trump's hair, personality, and bankruptcies flowed, but a few of us paid attention to Donald Trump's latest lie.

  Mr. Trump claims to value the military to the point of wanting to increase the size and scale of the U.S. government's biggest business. ("I love the military and I feel very strongly about the military, and especially with the world being so evil, I feel that we should have a strong and even stronger military than we have right now.") After all, in this crappy economy it's easier to ship kids off to war than give them jobs. (Donald Trump's apparel line is proudly made in China) With the fact that Trump's buddies make unimaginable amounts of money off of defense contracts, it's easy to see why the billionaire would absolutely love the military. So we know that this isn't a lie. 

  The whopper Donald Trump has told is in regards to his own military service, or lack thereof. In response to a question posed during a Good Day, New York interview, Mr. Trump replied that he didn't serve in Vietnam because his number wasn't up yet.

"“I got lucky...I had a very high draft number… I was sitting at college watching…I was going to the Wharton School of Finance…and I got a very high number… they never got up to that number, so in a certain way, I got very lucky.

  The above statement is an absolute lie, and here's why:

  Donald Trump wasn't at the Wharton School of Finance. It's the Wharton school at Penn, and he graduated in 1968. The draft in question, the lottery where America's finest young people were issued numbers, didn't occur until December 1st, 1969, which is roughly 18 months after he graduated. 
  Secondly, in June, 1968, all recent graduates were inducted unless they were Doctors, Dentists, and Lawyers as Lyndon Johnson ended grad school deferments. This continued until the December 1969 number system, and Donald Trump would either have been drafted into some form of military service or deferred due to being somehow unfit. In any event, there is no possible way that Donald Trump was sitting nervously in his college dorm at Wharton on or after December 1st, 1969, terrified of his number coming up. It simply could not have happened.

  Now I understand that the Democrats care more about Medicare than the rants of a bigoted egomaniac, but with all of the hullaballo that Trump and his birther buddies raised it does surprise me somewhat that nobody has asked to see Donald Trump's papers too. If you want to see Donald Trump vanish politically in a flash, request to see exactly which rich kid reason he used to weasel out of military service. 

  Donald Trump is a lying, self-absorbed fraud who thinks that his fellow Americans are too idiotically mesmerized by his artificial air of prestige to notice. If he can craft such a carefully constructed tale about something as minor as chickening out on military service 40 years ago, one can only imagine the falsehoods he'll try to perpetuate when it comes to more recent events. 

  Donald Trump believes that today's America is an all-season high school where the rich kids have all of the power. Let's show him that we've graduated.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Sisterhood Of The Shitting Pants : Why Vancouver Has No Chance of Winning the Big One

Vancouverites are proud hockey fans who adore their home team, even though the city hasn't seen a Stanley Cup since 1915. And as much as I'd love to see block parties and parades, our boys have zero chance of winning this year. I know I'll receive a few thousand hate messages over this, but I'm only telling what any honest sports geek knows- Championships take heart and the Vancouver Canucks have too many wimps and selfish players to win.

The Canucks play the cycle too much, looking for the perfect shot. This may translate into huge scoring numbers for offensive players during the regular season against non-playoff teams, but it seldom translates into going past the second round. The goals that win are dirty, and the last 2 Art Ross trophy winners have not scored enough of them and have little desire to. Yes, I'm speaking of Canucks captain Henrik Sedin and linemate Dan Sedin.

I told my buddy sitting next to me that the Canucks were going to lose in overtime the other night and the Sedins would be on the ice. And I was right. Have a lookie here when rookie Ben Smith scores after Marian Hossa is allowed to march wherever he wants. The guy NOT blocking the shot, not poke-checking, not trying to do anything extraordinary to stop a kid with 6 career NHL games is Daniel Sedin. And it almost always is. The brothers are both defensive liabilities who are soft on the boards and were absolutely pathetic on this play. Hank seems to have an ounce more pride than Daniel, who may be the softest 200 pound man in the NHL.

But there are teams who have a few wimps that win. The sissies usually are inspired to dig down deep for glory. The Detroit Red Wings have had small, flashy teams turn gritty post-season on the regular. It is no shock to see Johan Franzen or Pavel Datsyuk block shots with their faces in the playoffs. You do not have to be a big man or mean one to find your soul and work with your best friends to get the ultimate prize. You swallow your ego and eat a few pucks and then you win.

This brings me back to Vancouver. The major reason why they won't win is their selfish players. It makes me sad for guys like Alexander Edler and Ryan Kesler, who are easily the two toughest guys this postseason for the dudes in the mold-coloured jerseys. With asshats like Raffi Torres being permitted to run around taking selfish lunges at opponents and the Sedins waving their composite wands at the ankles of opponents like conductors on coke,  (instead of checking, which isn't apparently part of their combined $12.5million salary) you will see and have seen seas of dumb penalties resulting in momentum shifts that cost games. Add in coach Vigneault's reluctance to punish players for catastrophic brainfarts and you add to the disaster potential.

Vigneault's ego massaging is no more apparent in his willingness to kowtow to Roberto Luongo and his monster ego. The netminder was clearly injured in game 4, yet he still gets the opportunity to lose. The painful fact that Luongo's understudy is the best backup in the NHL adds to the agony, since Luongo will not sit the fuck down. Roberto Luongo has an abysmal postseason record, so why not give the kid a chance to change the team. It worked last year for Chicago and former Zamboni driver Antti Niemi exceedingly nicely, did it not?

So suck it up, my fellow Canuckleheads- this isn't our year, and it never will be as long as the pampered egos are permitted to be content with regular-season stardom and post-season emotional vanishing acts. Sorry, folks- I'm just telling you the truth beforehand instead of writing a playoff eulogy. The Vancouver canucks are not winning the Stanley Cup this year and probably won't make it past the second round.

By the way, I picked Chicago to take it all last year and wrote a nice piece early in the playoffs about Niemi's chances.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Unprofessional : When Joe Arpaio's Shaming of Others Crosses the Line

Sherrif Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona has made himself into a right-wing celebrity of sorts by engaging in all manner of publicity stunts and humiliating prisoners. Should you be caught by one of Sherrif Joe's goons, you can expect to be jailed outside in a tent wearing pink boxer shorts with ill-fitting pants sure to expose the rose colour. Arpaio's tough on crime outlook has made him the hero of many and the bane of Liberals, and some of his policies I agree with while others do seem a tad extreme, or at the very least unprofessional.

Case in point would be the County's website, which now has a section in which viewers are encouraged to vote on the mugshot of the day. You can search mugshots based on crime and demographics, with the purpose being to get a kick out of all of the unfortunate souls busted for everything from having an out-of-control frat party to murder. Sherrif Joe says that the mugshot galleries highlight how awesome his officers are at their jobs, but I think his real purpose is to invite folks to ridicule others.

To begin with, these people have not been convicted of any crime, save for bad fashion sense. I thought that America stood for fairness in judgment and penalty, with the presumption airing on the side of innocence, no matter how goofy a person may look. I also don't think it is an officer of the law's place to invite humiliation of others; Mr. Arpaio is behaving like a douchebag blogger instead of a community leader. This smells like another attempt for Joe Arpaio to massage his massive ego by offering citizens up for superficial slaughter. It serves no purpose in deterring crime whatsoever, and is in fact a punishment prior to conviction that brings a further stain upon a state that is often viewed as heartless.

The people featured on Arpaio's ego-inflating website are real life human beings. They have parents and spouses and real lives that are essentially ended by being the daily bullying victim on Sherrif Joe's blog. Not surprisingly, you'll find that many of the nominees have drug addictions or mental disabilities. The most disturbing featured photos are of those with physical handicaps or burn scars that are also prominently offered up to the cruel masses. This is absolutely unacceptable in any society that calls itself compassionate. It teaches teens that it's okay to be vicious to others and a man who has lived as long as Joe Arpaio should know better.

Run over to Joe's website and tell him what you think about his exploitation of the misfortunes of others for entertainment.

The Two Faces Of 4/20

  The stoners of Twitter and Reddit are getting all silly because it is April 20th. You see, April 20th has been designated as some sort of cannabis culture day, where revelers smoke weed like they do every other day, but this time it's on the street and in clubs.

  The origin of the event is based on a time of day, some teenagers in San Rafael, California would meet to smoke weed. The knowledge of the 4:20 was known amongst potheads all over, but took off when mentioned in periodicals like High Times. Translated into month and day, 4:20 became April 20th, and The People of the Pot found a day of celebration all their own.

  While the day originated in the United States and college kids and activists from numerous nations revel, Canada's 4/20 events have the largest crowds. A pot party is held near Parliament Hill in Ottawa and events in Vancouver, London, and Toronto even have bands and other acts.

  But the problem is that there is another party happening on April 20th; one that has gone on for much longer than the weed festival.

  Today is the 122nd anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler, former dictator of Germany and party to the ending of the lives of tens of millions of human beings. Yes, there are folks out there who dearly love the legend of the most notorious bigot and murderer mankind has ever produced. 4/20 is also a worldwide skinhead festival day- a day and night for racists to get together and drink in honour of a man who hated booze. Some gatherings are so well organized that they even have activities for the women and children. The men go on to serious discussions about how Jews and feminism are the source of all of their problems and bitch about the gay problem whilst secretly lusting after the nethers of the skinhead next to them.

  But some of the before and after parties are where you and I could run into problems today. You see, today is also the day that the teenage hillbillies-from-hell go and harass people who don't look like them. Sometimes these roughnecks even hurt people or worse.

  April 20th may be just another day on the calendar, but for two vastly different groups of people, it means something dear to them. I have no personal issue with pot nor those who use it, but I do have a serious problem with anyone stupid enough to celebrate anything on Adolf Hitler's birthday without thinking of the ramifications.

  I understand the battle over legalizing pot and the government's continued intrusions into private behaviour. These and many other issues do need to be addressed; there's almost always a good time for a protest. However, I think that it is disrespectful to the families of the millions of people who never lived to enjoy another smoke to celebrate a plant when the dudes down the street are memorializing a monster. Some dates have a permanent stain on them, and out of respect to all of those lost, we must reserve the day for recognizing just how evil some people truly are.

  The Neo-fascist movement is everything that the average rational-minded weed activist stands firmly against, so let them have 4/20. They had it first and they should keep it, lest the two become confused. My friends and I selected 4:21 as our toketime a long time ago, but it could be any other time really. For us, it's just a date on a calendar; for them, it's a date that signifies the decadent honouring of mass murder.

Be well.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Roofer On Fire's Guide to Exes

This is a piece I wrote several years and a couple of websites ago. I found one of the old ones today and decided it needed to be brought back, along with a few edits. While this installment of Ex Ed is purely for entertainment purposes, I think that some of my points are valid.


After noticing way too much dyke drama over the last couple of years I developed a few guidelines (because everyone hates "rules") on how to deal with them yours or a buddy's . This is not specific to gay folks, nor gender-specific - it goes across the board.

Here she flies (These rules are in no particular order here)

1. Never have sex with your ex . There is a reason (or a multitude of reasons) why your ex is your ex. Keep it that way.

2. Never be the reason for your friend's current to become an ex. ( A.K.A. The don't bang your buddy's old lady dude)

3. Never sleep with the ex of a friend if they are still cohabitating or bonking.

4. Never sleep with (or date in general) the ex of a friend within 1 month for every 6 months they were together. If they were together for 3 years, keep your pants on for at least 6 months.

5. Never openly date the ex of a close friend if you know the ex's kid(s). Wait at least 6 months, otherwise you risk screwing up the kid's head. (If you mess with a kid's head, I'll seriously beat you. Kids are fucking gold.)

6. Don't become jealous if your buddy dates your ex. If you get freaked, suck it up, at least in front of them . Again, your ex is your ex for a reason and friends can be forever . Besides, neither your pal or your ex survive to placate you or pander to your insecurities. Additionally, showing this kind of weakness in front of your ex will likely bring immense joy to your ex.

7 . You can become friends with an ex only if they abide by the rules. Otherwise she doesn't deserve your time. Recent exes should NEVER try to sleep with your friends immediately after you break up. If so, chances are she messed around on you and you were right to dump her. Get an S.T.D. test. 

8. Never hook up with the ex of a coworker if you work in a high-fatality-rate occupation. (police officer, tar roofer, iron worker, firefighter) People can become vengeful  and  "accidents" do happen. Friendly fire, fall restraint failures, you get the idea here. Sure, they'll get 25 years if they're actually caught and judged sane, but you are DEAD. And nobody's ex is worth that.

9 . If you are dating a buddy's ex while they are potentially healing, try not to be too graphic with the details of your sex life. It can create disturbing visualizations if your buddy has realized that their ex is unattractive or  in the unlikely event considers you to be unattractive. Also, it's mean and you risk losing your favourite golf partner over someone who may be Ms. Right Now. Tread lightly.

10. If you have found someone you can live with take reasonable steps to ensure they don't become your ex. Congratulations! You are pussywhipped.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Moment of Canadiana

  The CBC has run Heritage Moments for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure if they still do them today, but some were classics. These short little bits covered everything from Jews getting the right to vote to the discovery of Insulin to Dr. Naismith introducing basketball to Americans.
  Those ads may have been pretty great, but the following one intrigued and traumatized 2 generations of Canadian kids- in fact, anyone who was raised here will remember it.

  If you're in a party and want to find out if there's a Canadian in your midst, bellow out "I smell burnt toast". The reaction is almost instinctive, and usually the same. Watch and find out what it is.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Call Me Crazy

Last month I was missing for a few days. In February I was also missing for a few days. Many of you sent me tweets and emails, worried that something had happened to me, and while I have returned, something did happen to me. I only told one non-relative this, but both times I was in a mental health facility. I admitted myself voluntarily, but was still embarrassed to tell anyone because of the stigma associated with mental illness.

Looking back, I have probably been afflicted with some form of psychiatric disorder for a long time. My mum was convinced I was crazy and had me put on very experimental drugs as a teen. Both of my parents are openly afflicted with mental illnesses and so are many other relatives. Additionally, I've suffered more concussions than your average football player. Now, because of these many, many factors my nerd brain became obsessed with finding out what to blame for my eccentricities than with taking the needed steps to discover exactly what was wrong and how to fix it.

I'll be honest with you all- I have Bipolar Disorder. There, I said it. And to the best of my knowledge, the heavens didn't crash down. After years of self medicating, denial, and absolute shame I decided to do something about my increasingly fragile mental state.

For the last 2 years, I've been quietly waging a war with a double-edged sword inside my head; scaring off everyone lest they become too close and discover my closely guarded secret. I became petrified of the misconceptions of others; my ego just couldn't accept the idea that a few narrowminded morons would mistake my mental disorder for an intellectual deficiency. Because of my fragile sense of self-worth and general shame, I hid from the world. I've only done a few comedy gigs, I've avoided all of my friends, and I haven't been on a date in almost 3 years. Even though I was up as much as down, I was absolutely convinced that nobody should be subjected to me. I even refused to go to doctors because I was convinced that I was somehow annoying to them.

Let's be clear- almost everybody loves being manic. It's a high greater than that provided by any drug man has ever created. It is powerful, euphoric, superproductive bliss. You can be awake for days, write for 22 hours straight or work on the hottest roofs without stopping for water.The sheer awesomeness makes you forget about the fact that you may indeed be risking your life.
 On the flip side are the depressions, each worst than the last, pain worse than your parents getting cancer. It's real, and you not only can't stop the sad, you can't figure out how to live. Your mind becomes so progressively polluted by thoughts and visions of death that you eventually do yourself in or make a very serious stab at it.

Both sides of the Manic-Depressive cycle can be toxic to the psyche, and no amount of denial, blame, or Tom Cruise jumping on a couch will make that fact vanish. Mental illness is real, but my actual insanity was in refusing to acknowledge that I am no different from the millions of people on this planet who live with and sometimes die from diseases that are invisible from the outside.

I'm not afraid of the opinions of outsiders anymore. I am becoming myself again- a rational, competent, and confident person with a sound moral foundation and a very fertile mind. So go on, you tweeting twats- make fun of me, I don't care. The time you pea-brained peons spend ridiculing me is time you're not spending bullying someone smarter than you to death. If calling me crazy is the best insult you've got, I'd suggest that you're not very well-armed yourself.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The War On Logic

 The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that many religious apologists now concede that the Earth was not made in 6 days. Unfortunately, the fine folks of Tennessee have missed the message, joining Louisiana in advancing bills that many call antievolution policies.

House Bill 368, which was passed a couple of weeks ago, states that the state authorities are to provide information to teachers about controversial topics. The only named topics are biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning. Naturally, the majority of the actual debate is focused on denying factual scientific information that even suggests that the Biblical tales of creation might be wrong.

 For a bizarre period between 1925 and 1967, the Butler Act prohibited teachers from even teaching evolution, stating that it was "unlawful to teach any theory that denies the story of the divine creation of Man as taught in the bible and to teach instead that Man has descended from a lower order of animals." as soon as the Act was repealed, attempts were made to reinstate state-sanctioned theological dominion over the natural sciences.

  Now, the passage of the legislation actually violates Supreme Court rulings regarding religious education in public schools. Edwards v. Aguillard stated explicitly that the classrooms of public schools are not to be used to promote religious agendas, and make no mistake- that is exactly what these ridiculous bills are designed to do.

  Right now is a crucial point in America's history- one where the fight for common sense is very real. While you and I might know that the concept that Jesus planted all of the dinosaur fossils to confuse future geniuses is absurd, your children won't be taught anything but "An invisible man created the heavens and the Earth in a week". The right warns of Islamic Sharia law but has absolutely zero problem with injecting their bizarre belief system into schools, the government, and the laws which everyone must abide by.

  America is a secular nation by design, one in which everyone is supposed to have the freedom to believe as they wish and have their children taught as they wish. Americans also have the right to pursue excellence, and teaching children confusing fairy tales in science classes is tantamount to teaching children that 1 plus 1 equals 3. The United States will become the scientific laughing stock of the planet in 10 years because theocrats are designing a system in which students are set up for intellectual failure. There  are a multitude of reasons why 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences are atheists, but the one that sticks out the most is that religious orthodoxy is inconsistent with logic.

  I briefly went to a religious school and found the sheer disconnect from reality so alarming that I consulted with the Assistant Principal. He told me that he absolutely agreed with me, but that the Church forced them to teach that condoms didn't prevent AIDS and that Noah really did build a boat that defies all engineering possibility and fit millions of creatures on it. He knew what he had to teach students was entirely erroneous, but had several kids and couldn't afford to lose his job.

People can choose to send their kids to religious schools or not to, and they should absolutely have the right to raise their kids to believe as they do, within reason of course. However, what we're talking about here is public education and the logical separation of church and state should dictate that taxpayers aren't footing the bill for polluting fertile young minds with religious dogma.

Science and Theology are different subjects, but in today's America politicians and Fox News want you to confuse the two. They want you to focus on theocracies in other nations just long enough to institute one in your homeland. It's up to you to vote for people who represent your interests, and if you want Christian Sharia, so be it. The thing is, I know that you, the intelligent readers of this blog, most certainly do not want your children's minds and the Constitution ripped apart by delusional charlatans and their messengers.

So get out and vote whenever you are required with no excuse. Use your power of protest to let the hateful minority know you're still around, trying to preserve freedom of intelligent thought. Use your power to object, because if you don't, the New Christian States of America will take that right away from you.

Watch as John DeBarry tries to dress down Dr. Miller of Vanderbilt University and another house member uses the religious toilet logic argument.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Media Moment

Last night Kobe Bryant received his 15th technical foul of the current NBA campaign, and needless to say, he wasn't too happy with it. In his state of rage, he threw a towel and called an official a 'fucking faggot'. Naturally, the media is all over the incident and Kobe has apologized  - sort of. In a moment reminiscent of John Kyl's baldfaced lie last week, Kobe simply replied that he "didn't mean it that way". Well how exactly did he mean it?

The word that Kobe Bryant used has a specific negative meaning. It's used to discriminate and emasculate. Teenagers have killed themselves because of being called this very word. Gay people have been incarcerated, lobotomized, sterilized, and tortured by the government in unimaginable ways, and this is a word that brings back a lot of bad memories for victims. Bigots use these slurs on a regular basis to vilify and harass people, in fact I have anti-gay slurs yelled at me fairly frequently. This word hurts and Kobe Bryant should know better.

Kobe Bryant's justification for his usage of a painful term should absolutely not be taken lightly. If he called Omri Kassipi a Kike, folks would be justifiably outraged. Should someone drop the N-bomb on Kobe, he'd absolutely flip his wig, and we would most certainly understand because words do matter.

The NBA needs to take a cue from the NHL in this instance and suspend one of their most marketable talents for abusing an official by calling him one of the worst words in the English language. Chris Simon lost paycheques for calling another man a 'monkey', and Kobe Bryant should sit in the stands and reflect while watching his club lose a few games.

Kobe Bryant's conduct is disgraceful, but it's not unique. By setting a standard that reflects the way in which David Stern wants a professional sports league to be perceived, the game will continue to be distinct from pick-up games where anything goes. It is a privilege to play a game for a living, but being one of the lucky few who do doesn't give you the right to behave like a spoiled child.

It's time to bring Kobe Bryant's foul mouth and inflated ego back to reality.

UPDATE: Due to media pressure, Kobe Bryant was just fined $100 000. It would be impressive to you or I, but he makes over $253, 000 a game not including bonuses or endorsements.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Take 5 Minutes Today

 The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas is an organized hate group with members that hate their country, but love their constitutional right to say that they hate America and her people. The WBC makes the news frequently for their harassment of the families of fallen soldiers and victims of bias crimes. Church members have been accused of evils by family members who have managed to escape that range from spiritual abuse to physical beatings. Unless you've been in a cave for the last 30 years, you know that this so-called church is a cesspool of pseudoreligious excrement.

  One of the methods in which the WBC earns capital to further their discriminatory causes is through lawsuits. Many members of the cult are attorneys; in fact patriarch Fred Sr. used to be a civil rights lawyer until he lost his marbles and was disbarred in 1979. Their financial modus operandi is to anger others into physical action and then sue with all proceeds going to creating more campaigns of havoc. Since the lawyers are all in the family, the WBC doesn't have to worry about the rising costs associated with lawsuits. Because of these factors, the WBC always wins, even when they lose a particular suit.

  There have been many endeavors to keep the WBC from picketing funerals, many met with legal challenges by the Phelps klan. Their websites have been the target of DDoS attacks, that I know nothing about ;) There have been counterprotests and the WBC has been kicked out of Canada numerous times. None of these previous attempts to keep the WBC from terrorizing everyday people have worked in the long-term. However, there may just be a way to beat them at their own game for good.

  9 esteemed retired Generals have filed a 600-page complaint to the Kansas State Bar association that calls for disbarment. Major Gen Larry Twitchell asserts that the complaint has "nothing whatsoever to do with the WBC lawyer members' so-called religious beliefs or First Amendment rights." and has everything to do with conduct which disgraces the Kansas and American Bar Associations. 

Among the grievances are:

— Failure to maintain integrity of the profession by engaging in dishonest, deceit or misrepresentation, "regardless of whether it is directly connected to a legal proceeding."
— Violation of a rule forbidding lawyers from abusing legal procedure by not making good-faith arguments and engaging in activities to harass or maliciously injure a person.
— Neglect of a provision mandating lawyers observe standards of conduct, "professionally and personally," whether or not the acts or omissions occurred in the course of an attorney-client relationship.
— Failure to report instances of professional misconduct of peers in Westboro Baptist Church.

  The 10 attorneys named in the report include family heavyweights such as Shirley Phelps-Roper, who went into a religious whining display when told of the accusations, and Fred Phelps Jr. 

  While the generals are seeking disbarment, their brave decision will certainly make an impact either way. 2 of the family members have had their licenses suspended in the past for unprofessional conduct, so it is indeed likely that the Bar will institute some form of punitive action against the group. Additionally, with Shirley in court arguing the WBC case, we'll have to see less of her shouting cruelties at school children. If disbarred, the WBC will have to hire lawyers at their own expense, leveling the playing field. 

  This case is not about punishing the WBC for holding their revolting views, but about the professional standards to which attorneys are expected to abide by. Membership in any Bar association is a privilege, not a right- something contingent on behaving in a manner that gives credibility to the profession. By openly harassing people and attacking the country they call home, the Phelps-Roper group has continually brought a stain upon their peers. 

Please take 5 minutes out of your day to show support for the work of Major General Larry Twitchell and his colleagues by clicking this text. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spit For Spat

  Last April, there was a monumental disaster at a West Virginia mine, leaving many good people missing their sons and dads. To the twisted minds over at the Westboro Baptist Church it was a work of an angry God. In usual fashion, the church sent out their worst spokesbigots in the direction of Charleston for one down and dirty protest. Running the operation was Shirley Phelps-Roper, who shouted insults at the families whilst carrying a sign that read Thank God for Dead Miners.

  Naturally, the fine folks assembled to pay tribute to their fallen comrades weren't feeling it, one of whom was a gent named Billy Spade. He was particularly inflamed by another sign which read Thank God for Dead Marines. Annoyed, Mr. Spade spat a big log of tobacco juice on Shirley's sign, which Mrs. Wingnut claimed hit her. Billy Spade was arrested on the spot, and while cops were leading him away Shirley shouted "I'm glad you pigs finally did something!".

  After being charged with battery, Mr. Spade could have plead guilty and saved himself some time and frustration, but he decided to fight. He went to court and told his version of events; that he was upset and merely wanted to hit the sign and not a woman. Billy Spade was found not guilty of battery on Friday. It took the jury of the Charleston County Court under an hour to reach the verdict.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cool Toy: Standard Heterosexuality Assessment

After I posted The Heterosexual Questionnaire, there were a LOT of replies from folks. Many even answered it via email or on Reddit. I found the replies really insightful and more than a few straight folks actually changed their perspective on their gay fellow citizens after pondering the questions.

However one very funky Psych decided to make a Hetero Questionnaire using the DSM-V blueprint, and I think it's incredibly cool.

Feel free to print it out for fun or to play shrink with your Sociology class.

WTBlue F*ck Of The Weak

  This is 29 year old Keemonta Peterson and she was released on bail after being charged with assault and criminal mistreatment in Oregon. She had been languishing in Multonmah County Jail since being arrested last month after her son was rushed to the hospital with uncontrolled bleeding and the crying associated with extreme pain.

  It seems Ms. Peterson had been reading her Bible and decided her son needed to be circumcised in accordance with one of the provisions held in the Torah portion. However, she didn't take her wee lad to a doctor nor synagogue. Instead she consulted YouTube.

 After watching some videos of physicians and mohels performing circumcisions, she decided she was capable of some D.I.Y. snippage. Mummy weirdest got a boxcutter and pair of pliers from her toolbox and went to work on her 3 month old son's genitals. Needless to say, she is not a doctor and her son nearly died from massive blood loss and shock. After doctors figured out how this child was critically wounded, she was arrested and had custody of her other children removed.

  It's absolutely bizarre what disturbed people will do when they read things as dangerous as the Bible, but I think it would have been better if she'd read on further. You see, being a single mother of 4, she should have known that Leviticus says that unchaste women are to be stoned to death. If she'd read that maybe she would have jumped head-first into a rock quarry instead of nearly chopping off her youngest child's private parts.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pint-Sized Hypocrisy

    Rebecca Black has generated a lot of buzz with her stage parent induced fame on Youtube. While some jerks in the opinion columns have trashed her, I think she's just fine singing about age-appropriate things.

  However, just like everything else, her song Friday has been exploited to commercial ends by others. While Rebecca has participated voluntarily in a comedic portrayal for funny Or Die, someone else has taken her work and twisted it into something entirely different.

  Community Christian Churches has released an unauthorized version to promote their religious organization. The CCC are a group of ultra-fundamentalist preachers that believe in a triune God and early indoctrination of children that includes teaching them to tell others that non-Christians go to a literal, fiery Hell. They also believe that the End is near and that Jesus will return in the flesh to guide selected worthy believers into the gates of a very real physical heaven. Additionally, members believe that the Christian Bible is absolutely literal, from the beginning of the world in 6 days 6, 000 years ago to Noah's Ark and more.

These folks are the child-confusing, evolution-denying, megachurch that scares the crap out of sane people. And they are violating one of those Big Ten Commandments by STEALING something from someone else. What's more- they're proud of it, bragging on their website about the number of hits their video has received. Naturally, they call it a comedic portrayal to justify their theft, but I see nothing funny here. I feel sorry for "Sadie Black" here because you can tell she's never had a free thought in her young life. As for the real Rebecca, I wonder if this multi-ethnic offspring of two scientists is thrilled with being pirated by an extremist group.

Watch it if you can stand it and don't forget to make a *huge* donation to the offering bag.

Just For Fun :

  My dad posted this today on his Facebook page. It reminds me of a very funny experience I had with a home waxing kit a few years ago.

  Now you know where I get my sense of humour from.

Friday, April 8, 2011

TGI Friday Grab Bag

  The final resting place for the random tidbits bouncing about my cranium.

  In the late 90s, The far-right Reform Party of Canada was looking to make it big on the national stage but saw the Progressive Conservative Party as far too open minded for their leanings. And there were some members of the PCs who needed a party that supported their often bigoted ideals. Thusly, they decided to unite the far right to try to win a national election. The Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party was born, ushering in a new era of CRAP in Canadian politics. Three years later, the party finally realized that they were being laughed at all over the western world and the party was merged into the federal Conservatives for good.

  There is a huge market for kosher and halal-certified products, but very few of the consumers are Orthodox Jews or Strict Muslims. While there are others who buy them for religious reasons, one of the biggest reasons for looking for a symbol on a can is the perception of cleanliness. But is it true? Well, if you consider insects and other life in your food dirty, it is true. The FDA and other food inspection agencies permit certain things in food products. According to FDA standards, 1 cup of orange juice is allowed to contain 10 fruit fly eggs and one maggot before raising an alarm . Frozen Broccoli can contain 59 aphids per 100 grams, Asparagus can have beetle eggs present on 10% of stalks, and certain fish are allowed to be sold with parasites. But Muslims and Jews aren't allowed to eat bugs, so in order to garner the holy-enough-to-eat seal, extensive steps must be taken to ensure that there are no crawlies in the food. Such restaurants also have each item of produce carefully checked before the chef is even allowed to touch it.

On the subject of eating bugs, all species of Beetles are suitable for consumption by hungry humans. But when it comes to scary critters, scorpions can often inspire terror because of their prehistoric appearance. (which makes sense because they've been around for about half a billion years) However, only 25 of the 1700 or so species of scorpion are venomous enough to kill a human. Interestingly though, scorpions are not immune to their own venom and have been known to pacify one another with it during their oddly romantic day-long mating ritual.
Occasionally toxic varieties of these crawlies and humans will meet in the wild and seeing one of these little dudes near your 3-year-old might be a freaky thing indeed. If you absolutely must kill a scorpion, make it kill itself. How? Pour it a drink. Scorpions are allergic to alcohol and as little as a single drop of Stoli will make the arthropod go crazy and sting itself to death.

British post-punk outfit Chumbawamba has spent almost 30 years producing songs in a variety of genres that can most easily be summed up as protest tunes. Some cover racism and other forms of discrimination, others are staunchly anti-government. So it came as a surprise when the decidedly anti-elite quintet found fame in the late-90's with anti-establishment tracks like Tubthumping.
 Corporate advertising departments, not getting the band's message, wanted licensing rights to songs for commercials. Nike offered 1.5 million dollars to use Tubthumping in a World Cup spot and were loudly turned down. But later on Pontiac offered $100, 000 to use Pass It Along in an advert for their Vibe compact car. Chumba diehards were confused and other bands thought they were finally selling out to the man. Alas, it was part of a plan. Chumbawamba donated the money to an anti-corporate action group to be used in an advertising campaign against General Motors, the company that owns the Pontiac brand.

Your Daily Awesome

There are a lot of folks out there who make their lives wealthier by promoting hatred against others. The most rapidly spreading hate groups in North America focus on attacking gay adults and their families. Groups like the AFA, NARTH, NOM, and many more survive exclusively on donations of time and money from otherwise decent folks who have been brainwashed into bigotry. And one of the newest national spokesbigots was Louis J. Marinelli.

Louis Marinelli is a Conservative blogger who has made a lot of noise as founder of Protect Marriage. About 18 months ago he began tweeting on behalf of NOM and his Facebook page became NOM's official info page. Louis' tweets compared gays to the incestuous and his Youtube videos claimed we were paedophiles.

 Louis Marinelli's hate speech was so wonderful that he was becoming influential. He became NOM's 2010 Summer tour manager and spokes-tweeter, telling America about each day spent on the road preaching hate.

Okay, so why is this the Daily Awesome? Well, because Louis Marinelli has just come out and said that he was WRONG- very wrong. While he may still hold on to a few misconceptions, he fully proclaims that the 2010 tour turned him into a compassionate human being. In December, Louis bravely took on former ally Peter LaBarbera by proudly stating that he no longer supports DADT, and today stated to Good As You that Peter LaBarbera is a hateful little man prying into the lives of the law-abiding. And it gets better than this.

  In an interview for Good as You and on his blog, the formerly anti-freedom foghorn discusses his 5 years spent channeling all of his energies into hate. He describes how protesters on the summer of hate tour seemed oddly human to him and how he began to question whether or not he had participated in a lie. Mr. Marinelli details a process in which he went from being a vital cog in the ugly homophobic hate machine to the realization that gay families are surprisingly normal. He's also been brave enough to admit just how wrong he was and that he's incredibly sorry for his 5 years of bigotry.

  What's more, Louis J. Marinelli has publicly come out in full support of marriage equality. The former hateman-for-hire has come out in solidarity with gays when it comes to civil marriage rights. Oh, and he's also agnostic. Even better, this morning he began scrubbing NOM's Facebook page and is completely changing the message, just as he did with his old blog. The new Marinelli blog focuses on Conservative fiscal issues instead of incendiary culture war vitriol.

Louis Marinelli is living proof that people's views can indeed change when confronted with the truth. Never be afraid to challenge your own preconceptions of others. the world may just be better for it.

Read Louis J. Marinelli's interview with Good As You here

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yo Canada

  Anyone who knows me knows my feelings on monarchies. Whether it's the Brits, Saudis, or Japanese, being forced to bow to someone because of their parentage or marital status offends my democratic sensibilities. A modern leader's respect should be earned by good deeds and the nation's votes instead of an antiquated decree that claims King or Queen so-and-so was chosen by this god or that one. The Divine Right of Kings states that a Saudi king must be Muslim and a British one must be Protestant and to question such things is to question their respective imaginary friends and questioning the will of their respective spacemen is blasphemy.

  Now folks, I have spent most of my life residing in Canada, becoming highly aware of the peculiar relationship our nation has with the inbred patriarchy across the Atlantic. First off, we have our institutions. The fact that we have the Royal Canadian Armed Forces means that we can be called upon to protect the Queen if someone bombs her island; if fact, she's the commander-in-chief of several military regiments. We also have the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Royal Canadian Mint. If you cross the border into Canada, the first thing you will notice in the customs office is an enormous portrait of the Royal relic herself. Until about 40 years ago schoolkids in English Canada had to sing God Save The Queen, and the person who has never once been elected for her position's image hangs in a lot of educational venues.

  Kids today know who the Queen is and little girls still imagine finding their Prince Charming, but very little else about the monarchy that their parents are forced to pay to support. The British monarchy is the darling of old white people who fondly remember the days when Aboriginals were relegated to reserves and Christianity was preached in schools. Make no mistake- old Canucks, many of whom were born in Britain, love the Royals. They also resent loudmouth homos like me who refuse to honour the caste system instituted upon us by foreigners. To them I'm a disrespectful frog who doesn't know her place in the societal pecking order; a troublemaker whose thoughts are inciteful and possibly treasonous.

  So now we have this latest, wondrous Royal event. A lucky girl gets to marry her Prince and everyone in the commonwealth is supposed to celebrate with the peculiar patriarchy and, of course, spend lots of money doing so. The Royal Canadian Mint has event produced coins honouring the engagement of a couple who is only remarkable because the male has nobility and we do not. The Mint is so proud of their revolutionary way of making a coin that they're not going to share the way it was created nor the cost to Canadians or anyone else. All the mint wants us to know is that these people are so much better than us that they get to have their faces on the coinage of a foreign nation. That and that you should want to buy these things because even if you're a paediatric neurosurgeon, William is so much better than you because his grandparents were cousins that descended from a tyrannical queen who also ascended to her leadership position because of the luck of the uterus. We're supposed to feel lucky to have the supposed honour of sharing in a wedding that we're not really invited to attend.

  Am I the only person who believes that non-elected leadership is contrary to democracy? What I do know for a fact is that holding foreign rulers, particularly monarchs, as heads of state is not consistent with a truly independent nation. Canada is a tremendously prosperous country that escaped the global financial meltdown relatively unscathed. Now imagine if we didn't have to foot the bill for the Governor-General, royal vacations, weird ceremonies, guard details, and the rest of the many, many taxes related to this foreign monarchy that we pay. I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but maybe if we weren't paying for non-Canadians to pretend they rule over us, we could afford a few more of those new fancy-schmancy fighter jets P.M. Harper has his eye on.

  It's my hope that our generation will finally be brave enough to say that sexism, religious discrimination, and unearned leadership are values that Canadians will not support. Ascension by birth, unwarranted appointments, and ornamental humans are bourgeois British things that insult the ingenuity, spirit, and toughness that have always made Canadians distinct from the fair-skinned folks across the pond. It's time to drop out of the Commonwealth and get someone who wouldn't last a day in our Arctic off of our coins.

Down with colonialism. Vive la Canada.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bryan Fischer: The Ass The Republicans Are Lining Up To Kiss

 Republican presidential hopefuls are tripping over themselves to ally themselves with the American Family Association, a vicious hate group who spends their time trying to push for America to become a theocracy. Folks like Newt Gingrich love to get on air with director Bryan Fischer, a bigot that believes that gays should be imprisoned and that Muslims should be denied the right to serve as public officials. As I told you recently, Mr. Fischer is an equal opportunity bigot who writes inflammatory articles, like one saying that Native Americans deserved to have their rights taken for not being Christian. And today, Bryan Fischer showed his views on blacks in a blog post that included this lovely statement:

"Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits." 

This insensitive statement was included in a post about how true Christian politicians should support the traditional family and cut taxes for corporations. Additionally, he states that the good politician doesn't interfere with the liberty of others, which I find most peculiar since Mr. Fischer's entire organization is founded on the idea of exercising control over the families of the nation.:

"Others - sadly, the great minority - pursue public office because they want to liberate people rather than control them. They want people free to make choices that affect their own lives without the interference of the overreaching hand of government. They want to free their constituents to engage in the God-given right to the “pursuit of happiness” without bureaucrats defining happiness for them. This is public service in the spirit of Christ." 

You would think that a man who makes this statement would be in favour of a woman's right to choose, religious freedom, and would be against discrimination- and you'd be wrong. Bryan Fischer believes that if you're a white, Christian, heterosexual male with children, you should be free to do as you wish. For him, this is the essence of what Jesus would want politically. If you're black, Aboriginal, gay, female, Muslim, Jewish, or a person who uses medical marijuana you're to be watched like a hawk because in Mr. Fischer's warped imagination, that's what Jesus would approve of. 

The fact that folks like Huckabee and Gingrich are so quick to cozy up to folks like Bryan Fischer should tell you what you need to know about the appalling shift in the views of Republican big cats today. What was once a diverse party has been taken over by people who truly want to see the old South rise with a vengeance. Mike Huckabee admits to supporting the 7 mountains of Christian dominionism to the point that he's said on-air that people should be forced to listen to lectures by historical revisionist and Christian supremacist David Barton at gunpoint. And Huckabee could become your next president if he and his brothers in Koch get their way. 

Admittedly, I'm not a huge New Testament proponent, but I know a lot of Christians. And while the Bible may promote sexism, and slavery, most folks believe that the concept of loving others is paramount to antiquated misunderstandings. The idea of Huckabee, the Koch brothers, Newt Gingrich, and all of the other rich bigots being more godly than the working stiff does indeed seem contrary to what is attributed to the teachings of Christ.

Here's a newsflash, people. The only beneficiaries of the establishment of New Christianistan will be those who hold the dollar so holy that they'd rather watch children starve than watch a bill leave their hoard.   These self-absorbed hypocrites are perverting a religion in order to gain control over the masses and further their radically racist and classist agenda and millions of otherwise decent people are falling for it. Don't support those who hate your neighbours.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Everything Is Connected

  I live in an odd little city on Vancouver Island that's surrounded by the mountains. For a former city-dweller such as myself, the wonderful postcard-image surroundings are a source of amazement and gratitude. However, every so often, something occurs to remind us lucky folks that life isn't always as beautiful as the 800 year old trees.

  Like every city, we have crime, and given the small population we have far more of it than we should. So many people are beaten up on a daily basis that the police don't usually respond. Almost everyone you meet has a criminal record and a full set of teeth are a rare possession indeed. This picturesque retirement town is also a rough blue-collar joint where violence often occurs for little reason at all. And people do sometimes die.

  When people are murdered here, it's generally not from a shot fired from the street, but it's usually up close and personal. Since I've lived here, every person who has been killed has had their life taken absolutely senselessly, and often slowly and painfully. A man named Darrel died this weekend. I've met the guy a couple of times but he had family and friends who did know him well. He was beaten to death by his room mate because his buddy didn't like his cleaning skills. And this wasn't a one-punch knockout- Darrel Andow was absolutely brutalized and left to die for a couple of days before someone cared enough to call an ambulance.  He had several facial fractures and his ribs were shattered, puncturing his lung. Darrel's injuries were so severe that he died from massive haemorraging. His 47 year old flatmate was arrested for murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence in Canada. 2 men have become statistics and 3 young people are fatherless because one man just couldn't let sleeping dogs lie.

  When did we lose respect for other people's right to exist? Until recently, those who took the lives of others were considered to be exceptional examples; murderers were seen as sick individuals and not as the norm. But today we are so self-centred and infantile that almost anyone could hurt someone else. Whether encouraged by media,  drink or drug, or group mentality, humans today seem to care less about their fellow man than a pair of shoes or the imagined impact of some small slight. Childish machismo dictates that if another dude steps on your toe, you're to make him pay a penalty in blood. And there's something fundamentally flawed with this barbaric pattern of thinking.

 We only have one life- once it's done you or the victim of your narcissism is just worm feed. We need to learn to let the small things go and stop viewing nonreaction as a sign of weakness. If we remind ourselves of the humanness of our neighbours and the fragility and finality of life, the world will be a more peaceful one.   Everything is connected- the good deed you do can become the one that makes someone's day and that joy can spread. However, negativity can also become viral inspiring a pattern of revenge that can only be described as mutually ensured destruction.

  Whether you pass around positivity or buy the violent lie is up to you, but there are appropriate consequences to each of our choices. Don't become a casualty of a disease that resides between the ears, one that destroys everything it touches. Stop letting the things that don't matter rot your mind and let go of your anger in a constructive way. Or not and die in a ditch or in prison, leaving your family heartbroken.

Take your pick.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fundie To Burn


 Last year, Gainesville preacher announced on CNN his plans to burn a Qu'ran on September 11th as a type of revenge intended to inspire his flock into similar actions. Terry Jones, who has published books about the supposed evils of Islam, has garnered a bizarre fame from the lunatic fringe who believe that their god is superior to all others.

  After acquiring the publicity he craved and admonishment from moderates as well as General Petreaus, Terry Jones went back to making his living selling anti-Islamic chotchkes instead of burning the holy book of another religion. Well, that was until Sunday, when he decided to hold the Qu'ran on trial at his church. Found guilty of not being Christian, a kerosene-soaked Qu'ran that was sentenced to death by burning was ignited with a barbecue lighter. While the crowd was small, the fundamentalists cheered and then spouted anti-Islamic vitriol to the press.

  Naturally, some Imams heard of Pastor Jones' blasphemous deed and used it as an excuse to call for revenge. You see, in the Islamic world, there are people just as fundamentally wrong as Terry Jones- folks filled with anger who are always looking for an excuse to attack innocent folks. In the deeply observant nation there were protests and politicians have called for Mr. Jones' arrest.  And this morning 3 Muslim Terry Joneses told their flocks to make someone pay. And 12 people paid the ultimate price for someone else's wrongs.

  Terry Jones, for his part, is absolutely basking in the glory of this tragedy. For him it's a gotcha moment, proving once and for all that Islam is not peaceful and that all Muslims are subhuman barbarians. Terry Jones is not for one second sorry that 12 human beings didn't get to go home to dinner tonight. He was warned about  the ramifications of his cultural insensitivity and the fact that he was potentially endangering the lives of UN troops and aid workers and still decided to burn a Qu'ran because his 15 minutes were almost up. Not only is Terry Jones a narrow-minded, famewhoring bigot, but he's also criminally negligent.

  But what of the Imams? Well, they're just as bad as Terry Jones. They could have said that Mr. Jones is an exception to the rule; that he's just an attention-hungry hillbilly who has no real influence in the western world. They could've preached tolerance or burned a Bible as revenge, but they didn't. They could have mentioned that only 1 in 10 million Americans even attended Terry Jones' famewhoring exposition, and they didn't do that either. While other religious men did tell their followers not to engage, 3 angry men incited a riot that left at least a dozen people dead. Some of the deceased were even Muslims.

  If there is ever a world-ending war like some think, it will most certainly be caused by religious inflexibility. The commonality amongst the Abrahamic faiths is that they all mandate that you maintain the faith of your parents, stay away from those who are different from you, and kill apostates or those who make too much noise. Fundamentalist Islam is not a religion of peace, nor is fundamentalist Christianity. One hateful American idiot intentionally inspired some hateful Afghani idiots to kill in order to prove a point about a religion he disliked. And 12 people are dead because a few Imams couldn't let one insult fly. Imagine the world if all people were as rigid as the religious.

Smoking The Sammon

Fox News wanted to start a Canadian network to further far-right agendas. The effort was supported by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who attempted to change Section 181 of the Canadian Criminal Code. The Section makes it an indictable offense to knowingly spread false news. To make it short, Mr. Harper and Fox didn't get their wish and there is no Fox Canada or anything close to it.

This is important to note because Americans are continually exposed to false news due to a Florida decision in 2003. Fox News was vindicated in court, permitting them and anyone else to lie on air. While the FCC may frown upon news distortion, there is very little that can actually be done about it aside of telling people to think for themselves. As it stands today, CNN could tell the world that Keith Olbermann wears pink panties under his suit and get away with it. They'd lose their remaining hair of journalistic integrity, but they wouldn't be breaking any laws.

One of Fox's most respected pundits is vice president and DC editor Bill Sammon. Mr. Sammon has been on the air hundreds of times supporting erroneous stories about Barack Obama and others on the Democratic side of the aisle. In various leaked emails Mr. Sammon has inserted his voting preference into topics such as health care and climate change. And the thing is, Bill Sammon often doesn't agree with the opinions he passes off as news, just spouting them so  more people vote Republican.

In one particular series of speeches aboard a luxury cruise for Conservatives, Mr. Sammon not only admits to  distorting facts, but that he doesn't even personally believe what he tells others. On the cruise, he calls his smears mischievous speculation, but it's a means to a political end that benefits those wealthy enough to sail on opulent ships.

Most news networks in our day and age project a bias in op-ed segments, but those at Fox have made careers out of deliberately lying to people in order to further the cause of the rich man. Fox claims that their news segments are different from op-ed, but they've become indistinguishable from one another; a news story about a Muslim nation almost always peppered with divisive hyperbole. The 2003 decision made it 100% legal to lie, conceal, and distort information broadcast over the airwaves, and nobody takes advantage more often than the network that paid for the verdict.

Think about this the next time you hear of a breaking story. Look at an issue from as many angles and sources as possible before automatically trusting that the first report is the correct one. Like it or not, we are in an age where the spotlight has corrupted many, with some journalists preferring fame over facts. Bill Sammon is just one of those who are content to throw viewers into a sea of misinformation in exchange for ratings. He knows that the more people who believe a lie, the closer it comes to resembling the truth. Don't become a casualty of  misinformation and discrimination spread by the greedy.

It's time to jump off of the obfuscation bandwagon. My only promise to you that is if you stop taking Fox seriously, you'll be less confused about our section of the planet and the world at large. You might even learn to say "hello" to your Mexican neighbour or at least stop viewing those different from yourself as evil. By watching less hatred, you may just hate less. And the whole world will be better for it.