That’s a very odd definition of “safety”

I’m sure exactly zero people need to be reminded of the sheer volume of misdirection coming out of the White House, but Joe Sands has a pretty on-point review comparing Sean Spicer/Trump’s statements regarding safety to the regulations the Republicans are about to strip.

Contrast Trump:

We’re going to put the safety of Americans first, we’re not going to wait and react, as I said in the statement, the president is going to be very proactive in protecting this country.

With Trump’s plan:

We have Superfund sites that have been operating for years, decades even, where the entire mission is to clean up the downstream pollutants. Superfund sites are reactionary. Much like disallowing visas from Saudi Arabia would be, after the attack on September 11, 2001. A mining company comes in, legally pollutes the land and waterways, and then leaves or goes bankrupt, and the government (the EPA) is left holding the bag. The citizenry of the United States pays billions of dollars a year to clean up the environmental damage to our water and land.

Much like the current administration states that the “extreme vetting” refugee rules are proactive, rather than reactive, an argument that can be proven (and debated) on its merits, they also say that the “mission of the EPA is to protect (should be read: proactively) our air and water.”

But Congress is now using the Congressional Review Act to completely eliminate that rule, rolling back the proactive protections of our environment, going back to only worrying about the permitted areas, or at least removing the protections from regulatory oversight, making it easier for a mining company to circumvent responsibility for polluting our downstream waterways.

If your sanity can handle it, read more here.

-Shiv

Jason Kenney is literally just making shit up this time

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney went to Twitter to express outrage about the provincial government’s tax plan and how it was ruining the economy because it made taxation high.

The problem with Kenney’s claim? Well, one of those pesky details he can’t be bothered with is that the New Democratic Party have a tax scheme that is still lower for all tax sectors than the Progressive Conservative posterboy Ralph Klein’s.

One wonders how taxes are “ruining” the performance of the Province which still has the lowest taxation rate in the country, even taking into account our new carbon tax.

Oh, and that “ruined economy”? Still the strongest in the country.

Can’t let pesky facts get in the way of our sabre-rattling, though. Governments don’t need details! And neither do pundits! That’s why all the papers say the province will fall apart, any second now!

-Shiv

Signal boosting: Some red flags in trans issue “debates”

I’ve not had the spoons to dive into anti-trans nonsense as of late, so I’ve been plundering the interwebs for trans commentators who have. I recently discovered Singularly Bizarre, a blog that has discussed Jesse Singal at length. The author is considerably wordier than I am (and that’s saying something) but they’ve also documented a pretty thorough inventory of well-cloaked dishonesty employed by anti-trans pundits.

One in particular I’ll signal boost is the tendency to start a conversation about trans children, and then make the illogical leap to discussing surgery. Undermining this trope–which does crop up a lot in Singal’s work–is this basic fact: No trans kids qualify for surgery under the prevailing standards of trans healthcare set out by the Worldwide Professional Association of Transgender Health. In fact, if we want to talk about subjecting children to “mutilation,”* we ought to be discussing the egregious human rights violations enacted on intersex children virtually everywhere in the world.

Yes, it’s this peculiar double standard that should immediately be recognized as a red flag. The idea of trans people voluntarily seeking changes to our body seems to reliably get a chorus of hoary-throated screams, but when you point out that the one of the epidemics of genital mutilation happening to children in mature Western democracies is on intersex children and infants, you get nothing but crickets.

[Read more…]

Alberta political roundup

Trinity Christian, the private school that was caught cooking its books by the NDP, have had an administrator appointed to manage their finances while the RCMP conducts its investigation concerning allegations of fraud.

Professional douchebag Fred Henry, a Bishop in Calgary infamous for typical Roman Catholic Church douchebaggery, has resigned from his post. He accused the NDP of breathing “pure secularism” …and meant it as a bad thing.

Progressive Conservative supporters continue to cite the NDP’s progressive income taxation and vice taxation as primary reasons to oppose the NDP. Except both policies were also on the PC agenda. Oops.

The Progressive Conservatives have announced no findings of wrongdoing within their own party following the allegations of harassment by former moderate leadership candidate Sandra Jansen. Never mind that they investigated themselves. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Brian Jean still has no idea how he’s going to “Unite the Right,” but it’ll be good, he pinky-swears.

-Shiv

SANTA MUST BE REAL: Canadian fascist loses libel appeal

Ezra Levant of Rebel Media infamy has been found guilty of libel a few times. He’s basically Canada’s Milo Yiannopoulos, who tends to spend one half of his time with spit-flecked howling into microphones about free speech and the other half filing lawsuits against his critics. Were Mr. Levant a foreigner, I’m guessing he’d be denied entry into the country for his activities. His website hosts a proto-fascist, he has helped the Wildrose curate Albertan political performance artist Bernard the Roughneck, and held a number of anti carbon tax rallies which degenerated into misogynistic, homophobic hysterics. In short, he’s the eye of a shit hurricane.

Between 2008 and 2014 Levant has been bouncing back and forth over the defamation of a lawyer. In 2014 he was ruled against and ordered to pay $80,000 in damages for his many unsubstantiated claims. He went on to appeal.

Now, not only did Levant lose his appeal two days ago, but he has been ordered to pay the expenses of the second trial too–$160,000 in total.

It’s an xmas miracle. Thanks Santa. Couldn’t have given me a better gift.

For the second time this week: Eat shit, fascists.

-Shiv

North Carolinian Republicans: Haha, jk, we weren’t repealing HB2

Covering this presents a challenge, dear readers, because I cannot possibly scrape deep enough into the lexicon of my loathing to adequately capture my response. If you could connect to my brain directly, it would simply be white hot pain manifesting behind your eyeballs with a backdrop of millions of fingernails dragged across millions of blackboards amplified through a megaphone.

What makes this different is that it isn’t merely the standard legislative process being used to beat queer and trans people into oblivion. This is a special kind of psychopathy, the kind that could only be treated with the judicious application of an aluminum baseball bat.

To recap, Governor Roy Cooper campaigned on a promise to repeal HB2, citing the law’s punitive nature against trans folk simply for existing as well as the implications for discrimination against cisgender gay folks. Despite the fact that North Carolina seems to have voted for Cooper at least in part on his promise to do this (despite the dirty dealing and breathless histrionics we could only expect of a party so unprincipled they couldn’t find the backbone to do anything about Cheetolini), North Carolinian Republicans have decided that they know better than their own electorate.

In an apparent deal to see HB2 repealed, Cooper coordinated with the city Charlotte to see its nondiscrimination ordinances, which included protections for trans folk, repealed. Shortly after Charlotte foolishly expected honour from the same party that just foisted a god damn serial rapist into the White House, a special session was called to repeal HB2.

Except that HB2 wasn’t fucking repealed. 

The bill they’ve filed (SB4) does repeal HB2, including its restrictions mandating what bathrooms transgender people may use. However, it also creates a “Six-Month Cooling-Off Period,” in which no municipality in the state may pass any laws related to employment or public accommodations, specifically noting “access to restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.”

Meaning even if HB2 is finally put to death like the savage fucking mistake that it is, its consequences would persist for another six months. Then, North Carolinian Democrats, having said “wait a second, that’s not part of the deal,” torpedoed SB4. Meaning HB2 is still alive, if in spastic death throes.

Then these same fucking twits tried to set up Cooper for not adhering to his campaign promises!

So twice before the election Roy Cooper kills a repeal/Repeal Deal. Now after being against a repeal deal, after the election he was for it. Now he is against it again because the repeal simply has teeth, to make sure our “long national Nightmare is over.”

It is clear Coopers only motivation here is political, first last and always. And the people of North Carolina who support repeal should know Cooper sold them down the river with a wink and a nod, to radical leftists who were waiting for the repeal and start this destructive fight all over.

YOU CHRONICALLY DISHONEST SACK OF SHIT. COOPER SUPPORTED A FULL REPEAL, NOT THE BULLSHIT YOU’RE TRYING TO PULL NOW.

It gets better.

The Senate–holy fuck, don’t you love the Senate?–proposed an amendment to the bill that would EXTEND the motherfucking moratorium until the end of 2017.

I’m a writer, and I don’t have words. I would not permit these Republicans to lick the mud off my boots. Duplicitous, cowardly sacks of shit who have no qualms turning queer and trans people into political football for your asinine political fucking theatre. Fuck. Every. Single. One of you.

It’s time the football kicked back.

-Shiv

This post also appears on Modern Liberals.

2016 Canada Primer

I love stats, although certain applications of it are a bit rusty on my end because it’s been a few years since I left university. Nonetheless, my stats say I’ve been steadily gaining regulars from the United States over the past year and received some fair feedback concerning my coverage of Canadian politics–chiefly that it’s a bit hard for outsiders to follow, and secondly that Americans don’t seem incentivized to follow it. Canadians don’t seem to need much incentive to click on these types of articles–y’all already do it.

I figured that as 2016 comes to a close that I would do a small series covering the background of some clowns politicians & lobbyists that even Americans might be interested in watching with me. If nothing else, many of you seem to enjoy my thinly veiled contempt for the reality-denying chucklefucks hanging on to the right-wing of democratic society like a gangrenous limb. Unlike a dingleberry like PBog*, whose inanity is largely painful only to those who are tragically exposed to it, a lot more is at stake if these people win or retain power.

So there are four objectives for the primer that I hope serve my readers:

  1. Introduce the history & context of movements and the consequences their successes have had or are likely to have on Canadians;
  2. Argue for the global relevance thereof (i.e. why non-Canadians might care, other than empathy).
  3. Give information for Canadian voters to cast informed ballots.
  4. Paint targets for proactive, progressive resistance in Canada.

For the most part, influence from the USA in particular tends to bleed into Canada, rather than the other way around. But if nothing else, appreciate the solidarity of knowing the USA does not have a monopoly on political parties composed entirely of clown cars filled with reprogrammable Randroids masquerading as people. Yay?

There’s also a secondary goal, which is to identify those actors in politics who bear nothing but contempt for democracy. While we can debate until we faint over which specific stripe of Authoritarianism is manifesting in any particular movement, I’d like to equip my readers with a few red flags when Canada comes to visit you. Depending on who is visiting, you may want to pay real close attention to what they’re saying, the way Alberta collectively needed a barf bag when Ann frickin’ Coulter came to town on Trump business. I don’t particularly care which breed of dickhead we call them, only that you recognize the necessity of resisting. Ideally peacefully**.

Posts on the Primer to follow soon.

Remember: You can’t take care of the Resistance if you can’t take care of yourself.

-Shiv


 

*Thanks Bruce.

**Bearing in mind that there is a significant gap between what I consider ideal and what I consider realistic.

Quoting Jordan Peterson is “muckraking” now

I don’t know if Jordan Peterson is a Christian or not, but by George has he ever mastered their breathless cries of “perseeecuuuutiiiooooon.”

The Varsity noted that Dr. Peterson’s Patreon is now pulling in a few pennies shy of $8,200/month, at least as of December 5th. Shortly after they asked him to elaborate on his Patreon goals, he shot back a rather nasty response:

An hour after the initial statement was sent to The Varsity, Peterson expressed frustration at this newspaper’s pursuit of this article. “Here’s an idea, why don’t you do a story on the fact that my YouTube channel, prior to this political firestorm, had already attracted a million viewers? That means I brought advanced psychology knowledge to a million people – free,” he said in the email.

He continued: “But you can’t do that, because you are so blinded by your damnable ideology that you muckrake instead. Why do good, when you can advance your ideological presumptions, and find someone to hate?”

Dr. Peterson’s irony has presumably been surgically removed.

He references, of course, the fact that The Varsity has been a breath of No, Both Sides Don’t Do It fresh air. Perhaps he doesn’t appreciate that the editor has correctly identified that Peterson’s free speech vs. ess jay double yoos is a false equivalency.

Those who came to the rally advocating for social justice engaged in a range of protest activities, which included blasting white noise over the sound of rally speakers. While the tactics this group employed are not beyond scrutiny — in a free society, almost nothing is — it is essential to recognize that the cause of this group is legitimate in a way that the cause of those propagating hate speech will never be. Those who would have The Varsity present the former’s cause on equal footing with the latter’s will be disappointed.

How to be PERSECUUUUTIIOOOOOOON’d like Jordan Peterson in six easy steps, according to Glad Hand:

Fuck, Peterson, if this is your idea of persecution, then hand me a nail and a cross. I’ll crucify myself for eight grand a month.

-Shiv

(Silver lining: As long as Dr. Peterson is still a professor, his combined yearly income puts him in the new tax brackets that were recently increased.)

Conservatives scatter in light of crank Rebel Media rally

David Climenhaga has collected the official, on-the-record responses of Canada’s many besieged “Moderates” running for various conservative positions amidst an increasingly reactionary climate:

But even the likes of Rona Ambrose, interim leader of the federal Tories, and Jason Kenney, would-be leader of the provincial PCs – both associated with the Tea-Party-like Reform Party wing of the federal party – were embarrassed enough to try to walk away as quickly as dignity permitted from the PR disaster the rally organized by Ezra Levant and his Rebel Media organization is fast becoming.

“It’s completely inappropriate,” Ms. Ambrose said yesterday. “It’s people acting like idiots.” (This too is hard to argue with.) It’s “ridiculous and offensive,” said Mr. Kenney, who prudently avoided the rally, perhaps because he is acquainted with Mr. Levant.

I’m also cackling in a funny-because-it’s-horrifying-and-I-need-a-way-to-cope fashion after Brian Jean’s limp-wristed response:

He also weakly condemned the racism and homophobia apparent on leaflets and signs held by rally participants, who apparently included many who represent the worst elements of Alberta society: “I wish people who had those desires, to have those chants, or have that signage, would just stay at home,” Mr. Jean explained.

I’m gonna keep saying I told you so until you fucking get it, Jean. Shrink your frickin tent or watch everything you’ve worked for burn to the ground.

The federal Liberals jumped in too:

[Read more…]

The significance of political misogynistic violence on the anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre

27 years ago, a shooter entered a Montreal STEM school lecture hall with a loaded gun and held a class at gunpoint. He ordered the class to divide itself into men and women. They didn’t comply until he shot the ceiling.

Once separated, he turned his gun on the women. 14 women were murdered and another 20 injured before the shooter would turn the gun on himself. We would dub this the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre.

As with all atrocities, promises were made to never forget–certainly many Canadian feminists, myself included, observe the day of mourning. Yet it would seem that many in Alberta’s political landscape have a selective memory indeed, given that mere days ago an entire crowd worked itself into a frenzy to speak of our female Premier, “Lock her up!

It certainly puts Alberta’s conservative leadership in an awkward position. Their previous big tent success has always worked only with the cooperation of their snarling, reactionary dickhead vote, in which virulent misogynists have had their home for decades. Now they are tasked with keeping this vote whilst condemning violence spun in the same cloth that occurred on this day, 27 years ago.

Of course this isn’t the first time Brian Jean, leader of Alberta’s right-wing Wildrose Party, has had to contain this feral portion of the conservative voting bloc. He has gone on record to condemn them multiple times, yet they don’t seem particularly convinced by his ineffectual bleating. Maybe it’s because he’ll turn around in 3 months to start courting their vote again, but only before issuing another disingenuous apology about how wrong violence against women is. You’re not fooling your drooling bloodhounds, Jean, and neither are you fooling me.

How fundamentally perverse it is that the authoritarian jackboots can make their proclamations that the Premier ought to be jailed, simply because they dislike her, mere days before an occasion which reminds us all of the cost of patriarchal entitlement. If that’s a “joke,” you’ll have to explain it to me.

-Shiv