Just kidding, Alberta MLA reinstated after Facebook incident


A few days ago, Derek Fildebrandt was suspended from the Wildrose caucus for approving a double-whammy homophobic and transphobic comment. Now he has been reinstated:

Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt is back in the Wildrose caucus.

The party said in a news release that the decision was made by a majority of Wildrose MLAs after Fildebrandt committed to change his use of social media.

Ha ha, just kidding guys! You thought the Wildrose were more tactful than that. HA!

At a news conference Monday, Jean [Wildrose leader] said the Facebook incident was the latest of several missteps on social media. He wouldn’t specify the nature of the previous incidents.

Could it be that your MLA is a total dickweed, just like you and the rest of your babble-thumping hick party?

Alberta’s official opposition is a joke. With any luck it will stay that way.


More religious institutions receiving public money request “conscience” exemptions


Guys, I am getting so fucking sick of Catholic institutions receiving public funding but refusing to play by public rules:

Covenant Health is a Catholic organization that runs publicly funded hospitals in Edmonton and continuing-care facilities across the province. In February, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith said Covenant Health would not allow patients to end their lives with the help of a doctor in its facilities.

So we sailed way past, “this individual practitioner does not want to offer euthanasia,” which is fine, and into “euthanasia is never happening under this hospital.”

This is a public institution. Governed by public, not Catholic, law.

Yet, the Catholics have openly stated they will be even more obstinate than that:

[Read more…]

Good music to have stuck in your head: Mother Mother


It is often joked that one of Canada’s exports is musicians. I’m happy to say that my favourite Canuck indie rock group appears to have no plans to move away. Nonetheless, I’m all too eager to share their products:

How dare you suggest part of the reason I’m interested in them is that they’re all hipsters! Perish the thought!!


Let’s play Nation States with Shiv


Waaay back in high school, my friends and I formed a region on the text-based government simulator called Nation States. It’s a free web game where you make a fictional nation and respond to legislative issues, and watch as the game produces a text summary of your nation based on your choices. It abstracts three areas of performance: Civil Rights, Economy, and Political Freedom. It assigns you a classification based on your performance. I revisited the website and made a new nation, Shivistania. You can make the entire game just logging in once every few days, responding to issues, and watching your wacky nation change.

There is also another optional way to add to the game. You can join regions and participate in UN-esque mock debates with other nations. You’re given one of the default regions when you make your first one, but I’ve gone ahead and made Bloglandia. I want to invite the readers at FtB not only to make their own Nation States, but to come join me at Bloglandia. Password is “FTB.”

So, here’s the idea: the minimum commitment is that you’ll log on every so often, could be as little as once a month for a couple minutes, resolve your issues, and that’s it. By joining the region, the rest of us can observe your shenanigans. Or mine, for that matter. 🙂

I will moderate another optional form of participation. Every few months, Bloglandia will have some kind of crisis, and we can all do a bit of nation roleplay to see if/how the region settles it. Absurdism is the regional theme. For instance, quoted from my nation summary:

Average income is 22,706 Open-handed Spanks, and distributed extremely evenly, with practically no difference between the richest and poorest citizens.

Yes, spanks for everyone. Equality’s important!

The regional “crises” will have an absurdist bend to them as well.

I recommend going to your Settings and finding your Telegram filter. I filter all recruitment messages. There are many of them, and it is quite spammy.

Anyway, see you kooks in Bloglandia!


Conservatives expect cookies for axing opposition to gay marriage in federal policy


*Checks watch*

Yep, it’s definitely still 2016. Never mind that the Cons both had, and lost, the debate on gay marriage back in 2005. Let’s beat a dead horse, 11 years later. (Something to look forward to, Americans)

The Conservatives, the right-of-Canadian-centre federal party in Canuckistan, has only now removed its “definition of marriage” from their policy handbook:

VANCOUVER — The Conservative party wiped a policy opposing same sex marriage off its books Saturday, proof many said that the party is truly setting a new course on the road to the next federal election.

A motion to delete sections of the party handbook supporting legislation to define marriage as being between a man and a woman was adopted by a vote of 1036 to 462 delegates at the party convention on Saturday afternoon.

Nearly one third of your party has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era, but whatever, you made the right decision in the end.

Oh wait.

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Trans people illustrate their dysphoria


Buzzfeed has an article which features artwork from trans folk who were asked to illustrate their gender dysphoria. The results are pretty remarkable:

“To me, dysphoria comes mostly from people’s gazes and words. They see me as a ‘girl’ and call me as such — even in the most innocent way — simply because they don’t know. Being called that, because of my body shape, feels like being trapped into a tight envelope made out of ‘girl’ stereotypes and expectations. A ‘girl suit’ that is slowly choking me. The more they call me girl, the more the ‘girl suit’ takes over, covering my real self, my real colors.”





The original hashtag, #MaybeHeDoesn’tHitYou, was an attempt to expand the conversation on abuse to include emotional abuse and not just physical violence. It was a heterosexual-centric strategy. I’ve heard plenty of anecdotal stories about queer women not seeking help for domestic violence because, of course, queer DV is seldom represented, so they get odd ideas about abuse that rely on the assumption of a straight man and straight woman being together.

So here’s my version:

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she threatens to leave you if you dare to mention your boundaries again.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you can’t remember what conversation you started because she made it about her again.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you can’t finish a sentence without being interrupted and told you’re being oversensitive.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you find yourself apologizing for trying to explain why you’re upset.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she convinces you to try risky things and then blames you for being scared when she offers no support.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she takes your consent for granted and feels entitled to push your buttons without discussion.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but you feel like you deserve to be hit.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she calls your life passion a waste of time.

Maybe she doesn’t hit you, but she psychoanalyses you without invitation and suggests motives to you that were never there.

I get to go to the domestic violence women’s survivor group this week. We’ll see how it goes.


Alberta MLA suspended over Facebook comment


On issue #1,232,191 of “politician puts foot in mouth:” Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt was suspended from his party caucus after approving a comment which stated, “Mr Wynne or whatever the hell she identifies as.”

Earlier Friday, a person commented on Fildebrandt’s official Facebook page, congratulating the MLA on telling the truth about “Mr Wynne or whatever the hell she identifies as,” referring to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay.

In a reply to the post, Fildebrandt wrote: “Proud to have constituents like you!”

Hours later, Fildebrandt took to Twitter to apologize for the comment, saying he felt terrible at the thought that anyone in the LGBTQ community thought he shared the original commenter’s views. He said after re-reading the original comment, he “entirely misread it. 100 per cent against my views.”

Fildebrandt goes on to say he missed the “Mr” portion of the comment, a deliberate dig not only at Ontario’s openly gay Premier, but also the trans affirming policies being debated at the federal level. Even if this is true, the latter portion of the comment, “whatever the hell she identifies as,” is a little harder to miss.

[Read more…]

Pastor collects $700,000 in relief donations, disappears


On today’s issue of “Shady White People,” Holly Renken has been accused of running off with $700,000 in Houston flood relief donations:

The Houston flood victims have reached out to me because, apparently, you don’t answer your phone or respond to emails, and they are DYING to know:


Over $700,000 was raised and not a PENNY has been given to these displaced families. So tell me, my good friend, can you fill us in? I’m not accusing you of shit, but there’s quite a lot of SHIT going on and the people need answers — and dollars.

Everyone else, here’s what’s going on:

– In mid-April, Houston suffered a catastrophic flood that damaged over 12,000 homes.
– Thousands of families were displaced and in response, the city of Houston sent them to various hotels and motels nearby
– But out of nowhere, these families received eviction notices from the hotels.
– With no home to go back to, families all over the city are HOMELESS.
– Mothers, babies, and children are living out of their vehicles or struggling to find a temporary place to stay.

Everything Looks Good!… Right?

– Unknown to the flood victims, the city of Houston set up a massive charity event called “Houston Recovers Live.”
– Organized by Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner, TV Superstar/Pastor Joel Osteen, and singer Clay Walker, this musical event brought in big stars like Yolanda Adams and Brian McKnight to raise money for the victims.
– In addition to this event, the Houston Rockets donated $500,000, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings donated $100,000, and JP Morgan Chase tossed out $50,000.

Enter: Holly Renken

– Out of nowhere, Holly Renken, an event organizer and “activist” of God, reached out to the Black community of Houston for help.
– And by help, I mean MONEY. MONEY. MONEY
– Holly organized charity events, took photos and broke bread with local Black Houstonians, and received donations through her personal website.

This Is Where Things Get Really, REALLY Fucked Up:

– After receiving eviction notices from the Hotels, families reached out to Holly Renken for help.
– But according to her posts on Instagram, Holly is LONG GONE.
– Holly and her team LEFT THE COUNTRY
– Families contacted the Mayor’s office for more information on the donation money and their answer was simple:
– “We don’t know because we don’t handle the money — only a non-profit organization can. But if you want, you call 211 to locate the funds.”
– The families called 211.
– 211 has NO IDEA what’s going on.
– PLOT TWIST: Holly Renken has a non-profit organization.

Where Are We Now:

– AT LEAST $700,000 is missing.
– Not a SINGLE Black family in Houston has received relief funds.
– Mothers with disabled children and elderly parents are HOMELESS.
– The city of Houston advised families to seek refuge in a HOMELESS SHELTER.
– People have been contacting Holly Renken NON-STOP
– Holly ain’t picking up.

So, Holly,


We need answers.
And we need it yesterday.

I can’t corroborate much right now (I’m on a limited budget and would rather not deal with the number of long distance calls that would take to the States). I will update if other media outlets find anything that changes the story.

In the mean time, enjoy this example of racist, opportunistic, religious assholery. And they call us predators.


First Update: LLAG, the Facebook page reporting on this, is collecting comments from others that state they are familiar with Renken and corroborate a long history of exploitation and theft. Same link as above.