Jason Kenney generously runs a charity dedicated to himself

My best friend Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney is running a non-profit called Unite Alberta. Is he building homes for the homeless? Fundraising for disaster relief? Providing resources for battered spouses? Starting a pro bono legal network for civil rights prosecutions? Pushing awareness for prostate cancer?

Nah. He’s financing his campaign for the leadership of the “Progressive” Conservatives without subjecting himself to oversight from regulatory bodies–because it’s not a campaign organization–it’s a “non-profit”:

And the vessel for all of this, Jason Kenney assured us, would be a non-profit that would carry out his campaign. Even his campaign website says Unite Alberta is a non-profit corporation. Except Unite Alberta Ltd. isn’t a non-profit at all.

When you do a corporate search and pull what’s publicly available for Unite Alberta Ltd. you see that it is a “Named Alberta Corporation” with the corporate access number 2019802210.

When you ask a registry agent to explain whether there is any way that Unite Alberta could be a non-profit the answer is a steadfast no. Based on the first two numbers of the corporate access number (the 20) there is simply no way Unite Alberta Ltd. could be a non-profit.

It’s worth pointing out that if Kenney had registered Unite Alberta as a non-profit society he would have been obligated to file his financials with Service Alberta at the end of the year and we’d be able to do more than just take Kenney at his word when it came to how much money his campaign had raised and spent. It’s a far more transparent organizational structure and one Kenney didn’t choose.

It’s also worth pointing out that any gifts that Kenney receives while he is a sitting MP would have to be declared to the federal ethics commissioner. Any professional service that is provided would have to be done and paid for at market rates or it would have to be declared. Remember Kenney hasn’t resigned his seat and is currently still drawing a federal MP paycheque while campaigning all over Alberta to be leader of the Alberta PCs.

So why is Kenney saying on his website and in the media that Unite Alberta is a non-profit when it clearly isn’t? I haven’t the faintest idea but inquiries with Kenney’s legal counsel about the discrepancy went unanswered by press time.

Bah. Details. You want transparency from the same party that “misplaced” $29 billion? Ridiculous! Just more red tape to cut through!

Must be some of that good Christian charity he wants to bring to government.

-Shiv, Fashionable Communist, Annihilator of Man

The politics of transphobia: We’ve been here before

Over on the TransAdvocate, Cristan Williams examines the history of the “bathroom panic” as the flashpoint of discrimination for minorities in the past century. She finds, unsurprisingly, that the same tactics used to justify discrimination of Black people, Jewish people, and Gay people are identical; as is the rhetoric used today to paint trans women as predators and disease carriers.

During the rally, CCS co-founder Danny Holliday told the crowd that the “leaders” of the trans rights movement were pedophiles who enjoyed having sexual intercourse with animals.

Political discourse situated around the minority use of bathrooms has featured significantly in numerous social equality struggles, from the fight to preserve racist Jim Crow laws to the sexist battle to keep the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) from being ratified. Rhetorical themes featuring bathrooms, privacy, and safety concerns are integral aspects of a specific and identifiable political dialectic used to incite, promote, and sustain the fear that an oppressed group may well rape, molest, harass or infect the majority group should equality between the two groups come to pass. In contemporary times, this political dialectic features prominently in narratives supporting North Carolina’s recently passed law mandating that transgender people who’ve not been able to amend their birth certificate use the restroom assigned to them at birth rather than the restroom that matches their transitioned status, irrespective of legal identification or phenotype. Proponents of laws like North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” assert that these laws are needed to ensure that A.) the privacy of cisgender people is respected[1]; B.) without these laws, rapists will dress in drag in order to molest little girls in the restroom[2]; and, C.) transgender people are actually perverts and pedophiles who need to be prevented from accessing women’s restrooms[3].

I first wrote about the ways in which contemporary anti-equality discourse situated around trans issues closely resembled the sexist discourse used against the Equal Rights Amendment in a 2013 Autostraddle article. In doing my research for the article you are now reading, I came across the work of Gillian Frank, PhD, a visiting fellow at Princeton. I reached out to Frank to help me better understand the ways in which the very discourse currently focused upon the trans community was used against other marginalized groups throughout American history.  What follows is my interview with Frank and a review of the ways anti-equality groups have historically cast oppressed groups as voyeurs and/or perverts, warning the public that should an oppressed group have equality, bad things may happen in public bathrooms.

You can read the rest here and support the TransAdvocate as a patron here.


Liars citing liars

This is starting to get exhausting:

Earlier this year, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) issued a position statement rejecting transgender kids. Now, the fake medical organization that exists solely to oppose abortion and LGBT equality — not to be confused with the legitimate American Academy of Pediatricians — has published a more extensive manifesto denying the reality that some kids are transgender and benefit from being respected in those identities.

ACP’s thesis is founded on false statements that begin appearing by the second sentence of the document. Here are 14 claims the ACP makes about kids’ gender identities that are either unsupportable or directly contradicted by the available research:

Fucking seriously. I’m so done. No amount of fact checking penetrates these fucking brickheads, and there are rubes who will blindly accept the ACP’s myth-riddled manifesto. You can’t take a sieve and claim you have a fucking bucket!

At the core of it all, once again: Disagreement over what constitutes a good outcome. Cisgender child, or happy child regardless of their gender? ACP thinks the lens of analysis should not be ethics or psychiatry, but normativity. 

Read the rest here. I’m gonna snap soon. We have had this conversation over and over and over and over and over. And thanks to the ACP, we’ll keep having to have the conversation over and over and over again, and it’ll keep going nowhere, because critical thinking is in short fucking supply apparently.

And unlike myths about conceptsthese fuckers are influencing the lives of people. Real kids. They’re antagonizing proven healthcare models that help trans people function. This isn’t just some bogus creationist getting facts about physical sciences wrong, this is a lobby trying to pound a certain class of people into the ground. They would see us straddled with widespread discrimination and an illness eating us up from the inside to be treated with torture and shame. That’s their idea of medicine–treating cancer with snake oil and polio with bloodletting. Let’s bring back the quackery of humors while we’re at it and restore the good ol’ days when people still died of fucking dysentery.

Jesus H Christ.


Breaking News: Conservative talk show host has existential crisis

On today’s issue of “no shit Sherlock,” a rightwing radio host is on the cusp of an existential crisis as he questions his involvement in a fact-averse American electorate:

“We’ve basically eliminated any of the referees, the gatekeepers. There’s nobody. Let’s say that Donald Trump basically makes whatever you want to say, whatever claim he wants to make. And everybody knows it’s a falsehood,” he explained. “The big question of my audience, it is impossible for me to say that. ‘By the way, you know it’s false.’ And they’ll say, ‘Why? I saw it on Allen B. West.’ Or they’ll say, ‘I saw it on a Facebook page.’ And I’ll say, ‘The New York Times did a fact check.’ And they’ll say, Oh, that’s The New York Times. That’s bullshit.’”

According to Sykes, any attempts to continue fighting back against misinformation is dismissed with complaints that he has “sold out,” adding, “Then they’ll ask what’s wrong with me for not repeating these stories that I know not to be true.”

Sykes warned “There’s got to be a reckoning on all this.”

“We’ve created this monster,” he warned. “Look, I’m a conservative talk show host. All conservative talk show hosts have basically established their brand as being contrasted with the mainstream media. So we have spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media. And by the way, a lot has been justifiable. There is real bias. But, at a certain point you wake up and you realize you have destroyed the credibility of any credible outlet out there.”

“And I feeling, to a certain extent, that we are reaping the whirlwind at that,” he continued. “And I have to look in the mirror and ask myself, ‘To what extent did I contribute?’”

Nope, couldn’t be connected with The Terrible Fascist Cheeto. Nothing to see here, folks. Remember: Feelings are facts, up is down, and Mexicans are taking yer jerbs, and if you pray hard enough you will be forgiven for being a selfish piece of… work.


Transphobes inoculated against facts

If any of you want a demonstration of willful ignorance, check out this article on transgender athletes:

But plenty of other prominent athletic leagues have instituted policies for allowing transgender athletes to compete with others have the same gender, including the NCAA and the Olympics. Both simply require that athletes have undergone at least one year of hormone replacement therapy. That’s because it’s the hormones that matter, and research has shown that trans athletes lose any competitive advantage they might have had after hormones begin to make changes to their bodies, such as to their muscle mass. A recent studyspecifically confirmed this result in transgender runners.

The author of the piece helpfully points out a number of factors that challenge the exclusion of trans folk in competing in gender segregated sports.

  1. Literally any physical attribute which contributes to fitness in sports can be possessed by both AFABs or AMABs–cited in the article is the example of a 6’7″ AFAB cis woman competing in basketball having an edge over her competitors, just as any other 6’7″ competitor would;
  2. The more malleable facets of fitness, like muscle mass/tone, are governed by sex hormones–in this respect, trans and cis athletes are nearly identical (trans women in fact have lower testosterone than cis women);
  3. Bio sex is a blurry concept when you look closely under the microscope, and setting precedents for policing trans bodies will inevitably bleed into policing uncommon phenotypes in cis bodies–even if the sex hormones are still in the typical range otherwise.

All of these have citations in the author’s article. You can fact-check the claims.

Despite this, transphobic commentators make the exact same arguments that were just refuted in the article.

How do you get through to someone like this? I can’t even.

“I can prove gravity is an attractive force by dropping this pencil. See? It falls to the Earth.”

“No it doesn’t! It clearly just floated into the sky!”

Sure makes you rethink that painfully stubborn “activists against science” trope, no? Who, exactly, is denying science here?


Jason Kenney: Exploiting taxpayers a feature, and not a bug, of Conservative work ethic

An administrator of a Facebook group called “Government for all Canadians, not just the wealthy” has the tragic circumstance of being represented by Jason “I Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details” Kenney in the federal government. He had some issues he wanted to raise with his Member of Parliament–invoking the whole “meet with your constituency in order to represent their concerns in government” idea.

However, Jason Kenney’s office said it was too busy to meet with the administrator, because he is preparing to campaign for provincial conservative leadership in Alberta.

While still being paid by the federal government to be an MP.

Must all be part of that Conservative work ethic, right? All Canadians are currently financing Kenney’s leadership bid in Alberta. I’m sure the Quebec sovereigntists and liberal Newfies are thrilled.

Source: Government for all Canadians, not just the wealthy

Source: Government for all Canadians, not just the wealthy

Parliament is not in session right now, which is precisely why now is the time to meet with your constituency.

Unless you’re Jason Kenney, campaigning on “pull up your bootstraps” rhetoric while employing the rest of Canada to pull up your bootstraps.

“Hard work” indeed.

-Shiv, Fashionable Communist, Annihilator of Man