Wait And See: Is the MLS finally growing a spine and brain?

The MLS’s officious (not a typo) policy on “safety” at their games reads:

MLS and its Clubs will immediately action the following behaviors as they represent a threat to the safety of the event:


Using (including on any sign or other visible representation) political, threatening, abusive, insulting, offensive language and/or gestures, which includes racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist or otherwise inappropriate language or behavior

They have yet to explain how anti-racist and anti-gun violence signs are a “threat”.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, fans have been ejected and banned from stadiums for up to three years for waving Iron Front flags.  Meanwhile, MAGAts have not.  Fans leaguewide have begun to walk out in protest, putting aside team partisanship in favour of unified opposition to hypocrisy.

The MLS has (or might have) caved in to the pressure, changing its policy specific to Iron Front imagery, though a permanent policy will undoubtedly be coming.  They might want to ask the fans to write it, especially when the owners still can’t tell the difference between violent racists and non-violent anti-racists.

Lifting the ban on the Iron Front logo is a start, as is MLS’s promise to rescind the  suspensions of fans who displayed it. But even better is how the fans’ collective actions around the country made so much noise that it compelled the league to come to them and negotiate.

Rivalry came second to decency among antifa fans, something rightwingnuts cannot grasp nor would ever do.  They’ll stab each other in the back at the first disagreement.

MAGAts are so gutless they won’t even speak publicly under their own names.  Former US national men’s team member Geoff Cameron vehemently denies being the USMNT player who called into a rightwing radio show and told racists to wear MAGA hats to games.  If it’s not true, charlie, why are you so upset?

Cameron, from a Sports Illustrated interview:

“I believe it’s important to support our President whether he was your candidate or not,” Cameron told SI.com’s Grant Wahl. “I am pleased he is making security of all Americans one of his top priorities. Our enemies have stated—and in Europe they have proven—they will take advantage of lax immigration procedures for the purposes of staging attacks. A temporary pause on immigration for the purpose of evaluating and improving vetting procedures makes sense.

Cameron, from a New York Times interview:

Pressed about how he feels about the travel ban nearly a year later, Cameron insisted: “I never said I supported a Muslim ban. I said I support a better vetting procedure. And I still do.”



Slow Down: Estonia tries a new way of curbing speeders

In almost every country, even where defensive driving is the norm, people take the same ignorant attitudes towards the road:

  • “driving is a right”
  • “speeding is a right”
  • “cars are more important than people”

There are many ways to slow down traffic terrorists and stop speeders physically: chicanes, roundabouts, speed bumps and speed dips, etc.  One can use points systems tied to insurance premiums.  You can also stop them with fines, but a flat fee system only works on the least wealthy, the rich can shrug it off.  Finland’s approach is to fine people proportionate to their income; in 2015, a millionaire was handed a 54,000€ fine for speeding.

Estonia is trying a new approach with speeders: take a time out, or pay the fine.  First time speeders (not repeat offenders) can opt to take a time out up to an hour and sit in a waiting area.  Being massively inconvenienced and having their day interrupted may make drivers think twice.  It’s a test program, not a permanent system, but if it works….

Police to offer first-time speeders timeout instead of fines

Police are offering drivers the choice between a 45 or 60-minute break rather than a fine if they are caught speeding, as part of a series of innovative techniques aimed to decrease road accidents.

Drivers exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h must wait 45 minutes in a parking area next to the road and 60 minutes if they drove between 21 and 40 km/h over the allowed limit.

Officers will test the new technique on the Tallinn-Rapla road on Thursday morning. Only drivers who have no previous traffic offences will be offered a choice. 

Laugh So You Don’t Seethe: Why the US won’t allow Mariela Castro to visit

This is the most egregious example of the POTUS is calling the kettle black that I can ever remember.

The US is banning Mariela Castro from visiting the US because…

…wait for it…

  • government officials involved in corruption
  • human rights violations
  • causing a humanitarian crisis in a foreign country
  • interfering with governments of foreign nations
  • causing food shortages
  • causing a public health crisis

The hypocrisy is so thick you need a spatula, not a spoon.

Mariela Castro banned from traveling to US

The Trump administration on Thursday announced the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro who spearheads LGBTI issues can no longer travel to the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompous Clown in a statement said Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act “provides that, in cases where the secretary of state has credible information that foreign government officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.”


“Castro is responsible for Cuba’s actions to prop up the former Maduro regime in Venezuela through violence, intimidation and repression,” he added. “In concert with Maduro’s military and intelligence officers, members of the Cuban security forces have been involved in gross human rights violations and abuses in Venezuela, including torture. Castro is complicit in undermining Venezuela’s democracy and triggering the hemisphere’s largest humanitarian crisis, forcing 15 percent of the Venezuelan population to flee the country and precipitating a food shortage and health crisis of unprecedented scale in this region.”

Unlike Trumplethinskin, Castro takes part in the LGBTQIA parades, though how progressive she actually is on human rights, I don’t know.

Bogey Spotted: High speed railing against each other

The youtube channel Curious Droid recently produced a video comparing Japan’s Shinkansen railway the France’s TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or “high-speed train”).  The video also covers some history of high speed rail and its origins – and the US’s missed opportunity to be a world leader before commercial air travel took over.

Taiwan’s HSR system isn’t mentioned in the video.  While not as fast as Japan, France, or other countries’ high speed rail network, it doesn’t need to be (top speeds around 320kmh, usually 290-300).  As mentioned in the video, if it takes rail less time to reach a distination, air travel drops considerably because accessing and boarding trains is far quicker and convenient than airports.  The direct HSR route (Taipei-Taichung-Kaohsiung) takes just over two hours, far less than the time it would take to get to Songshan Airport in Taipei, board the plane, and fly to Kaohsiung.

Most domestic air travel in Taiwan is to the smaller and popular surrounding islands (Penghu, Green, Orchid, Kinmen) but even that is limited.  Ferry service to Green, Orchid and Penghu islands make driving possible.

The Broken Vows: The catholic cult pleads poverty when it’s time to pay up

The Rochester disease…I mean diocese…okay, the Rochester disease of the catholic cult is feigning bankruptcy in order to avoid paying compensation to victims of pedopriests. New York State’s one year “look back” period has begun, where there is no statute of limitations on sexual crimes commited by clergy.  From TIME:

A New York Diocese Filed for Bankruptcy Under the Weight of Sexual Misconduct Lawsuits. Will Others Follow?

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester was the first in New York to seek bankruptcy protection under the weight of new sexual misconduct lawsuits, but lawyers and church leaders say it may not be the last.

All eight of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses face financial pressures as a result of the state’s new Child Victims Act, which temporarily set aside the usual statute of limitations for lawsuits to give victims of childhood sexual abuse a year to pursue even decades-old claims.

More than 400 cases have been brought against the dioceses since Aug. 14, when the law’s one-year “look back” period for such suits began.

Representatives from the dioceses of Buffalo, Rockville Centre, Albany and Ogdensburg told The Associated Press they haven’t decided as they consult with legal, financial and insurance experts.

If the morally vacant vatican city in Rome controls and dictates individual diocese and parishes, can hold them responsible, then why does responsibility not go the other way?  If the dioceses and parishes send money to Rome, why is Rome being allowed to avoid making payments to victims of pedopriests?

The catholic cult has fleeced bilions from the gullible, claiming to be “church of poverty” doesn’t hold water.  (Only if they mean morally poor and bankrupt.)



Squeezed Between: Why South Korea’s LGBTQIA movement lags behind

South Korea’s LGBTQIA community is squeezed between the law and the reality of bigotry.  In 2003, same-sex intercourse was decriminalized for civilians, but it is still a “criminal act” for anyone in the military.  There is no marriage equality, and no laws against discrimination for being LGBTQIA (e.g. employment, housing, social, etc.).  The three main barriers to social acceptance are confucianism, christianity, and the military.

Confucianism dominates social interactions in many northeast Asian countries.  The rules for a “harmonious society” are:

  1. ruler and subject (or senior and junior)
  2. father and son (parent and child)
  3. elder brother and younger brother (older and younger)
  4. husband and wife (male and female)
  5. friend and friend according to age

Where you see “and”, read “over”, because it’s hierarchical, about conforming and meeting social expectations.  The eldest male son is expected to lead the family or take over the family business, women expected to be obedient wives.  People who don’t fit into those pigeon holes (industrial farm chicken coop is more like it) face a backlash.

South Korea is also fervently christian, only the Philippines has a higher percentage in Asia.  But unlike the Philippines which are almost entirely catholic, a large percentage of Korean christians are protestants and fundamentalists, with some of the most rabidly anti-LGBTQIA attitudes.  By law, those running business, organizations, schools, government agencies, etc. are not permitted to impose their religion upon subordinates nor dictate religion in the workplace; in reality, and from first hand experience, I can tell you the law isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

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Godwin Loses: Dishonest D’souza lives down to his name. Again.

Are rightwingnuts so oblivious to and incapable of coherent argument and fact checking that they assume everyone is oblivious to and incapable of coherent argument and fact checking?

Today, in one of his most inept, clueless and contradictory posts on twitter, Dishonest D’souza equated environmental activist and all-round wonderful human being Greta Thunberg as a nazi.  Literally, a nazi, because of her appearance, and by extension he’s inferring that all environmentalists and climate change protesters are nazis.

From the above link to Dishonest’s twitter account:

This isn’t just Godwin, it’s god-lose. Even for Dishonest, inciting hate against a child is a low blow.  Given Jack Dorsey’s history of “free speech until I disagree with you or it costs me money”, it’s unlikely that D’souza’s account will be removed.

D’souza must be starved for attention because he doesn’t block those who disagree with him.  The criticism and takedowns of his latest blunder are strong and accurate.

It’s Time To Vote: The next Canadian federal election is on October 21

I am eligible and have registered to vote in the 2019 federal election. But between 2011 and now, I was barred from voting because I had committed a grave crime: I lived abroad for more than five years.

Seriously, that’s how I lost my vote.  The Canada Elections Act of 1993 said I wasn’t allowed to vote, but the law was never enforced until Stephen Harper came along. It was only in 2019 that Canadians living overseas regained out votes, both by legislation and a Supreme Court ruling that disenfranchisement was unjustified.  Prior to 1993, no Canadian living abroad could vote, regardless of how long.

Supreme Court of Canada guarantees voting rights for expats

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that expats have the right to vote in federal elections no matter how long they have lived outside the country.

In a 5-2 decision, a majority of justices said the infringement to charter rights is not justified.

Writing for the majority, chief justice Richard Wagner said voting is a “fundamental political right, and the right to vote is a core tenet of our democracy.”

“Any limit on the right to vote must be carefully scrutinized and cannot be tolerated without a compelling justification,” the judgment reads.

The Liberal government already passed legislation last month that guaranteed voting rights to all Canadians residing outside the country, but Friday’s ruling could have the effect of preventing future governments from enacting legislation to limit voting rights for citizens living abroad.

If any other Canadians living abroad are reading this, there is still time to register electronically before October 15.  Fill in the Elections Canada form and include digital photos of your passport’s pages 2 and 3.  You can also print a PDF and submit it by mail, but time is limited.

Over 2.8 million Canadians live overseas. Even if only 10% are gone for five years, that’s 280,000 people, roughly 800-1000 people per electoral riding. It’s enough to overturn dozens of close elections, and if the numbers are even greater….

Estimated 2.8 million Canadians live abroad

An estimated 2.8 million Canadian citizens live abroad, with naturalized Canadians leaving the country at a rate three times higher than those born here, according to a report released Thursday.

Released by the Canadians Abroad Project of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the report said the emigration rate for the naturalized portion of the Canadian population from 1996 to 2006 was 4.5 per cent.

For the Canadian-born population, the exit rate was estimated at 1.33 per cent, which translates into 500,000 Canadian-born leavers over the 10-year period.

People living abroad for long periods are likely to be more worldly, less xenophobic, and probably more socially progressive.  Small wonder Harper didn’t want us to vote.

Scarper, Harper.

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Beauty Costs: Pain is the price of looking beautiful

One of the worst things about my transition is that I can’t take HRT.  I tried for a while but had to stop.  I ended up on heart medication for eight months (valsartan), but I’m fine now.

One of the positive effects of estrogen or other female HRT is loss of body hair, something I was aiming for.  Yes, yes, yes, I know that people should accept transgender women as we are, even with body and facial hair.  I don’t wax to live up to others’ beauty expectations, I’m doing this for myself, TYVM.

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Let’s Remember: Mary Mallon, 1869-1938

Mary Mallon was born on September 23, 1869, a hundred and fifty years ago. An Irish-American, was first person in the US known to be an asymptomatic carrier, and became known as “Typhoid Mary”.

Mallon worked as a cook, unknowingly passing the disease onto people in seven homes she worked for. Each time an outbreak happened, she left to avoid the outbreak, not knowing she was the source. After an investigation she was detained and quarantined at Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island for three years. She fought a legal battle to be released because she had not intentionally committed a crime. In February 1910, Mallon was released under agreement, signing an affidavit, that she never work as a cook again and begin regular hygienic precautions (washing, etc.) to protect others.

Mallon could only find work cleaning laundry, a job that did not pay as well as cooking. After a few years, she changed her name to Mary Brown and broke her agreement, returning to work as a cook and causing several more outbreaks. She was captured and quarantined again in March 1915, this time never to be released. She died at the hospital in 1938.

Mallon’s case was a key moment in the science of bacteriological epidemiology, as the first (or one of) case of an immune carrier of a disease, the investigation and tracking of infectious diseases, and changes in washing and hygiene standards.

Permanent Shutdown: Three Mile Island is now forever closed

NBC reports on Friday that the Three Mile Island nuclear power station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania has been permanently closed because it was no longer profitable.  Poor safety and environmental hazards weren’t good enough reasons to close it, but money was.  There’s capitalism for you.

Three Mile Island closes: meltdown changed nuclear energy in America

Even 40 years later, John Garver vividly remembers the metallic taste of the nation’s worst commercial nuclear disaster.

An acrid odor permeated Harrisburg as he walked out of a restaurant in Pennsylvania’s capital city the morning of March 28, 1979.

“We had this smell in the air, wondering what it was,” recalled Garver, 80, now a retired salesman. “Well it didn’t take us long to find out … that the accident started.”

Some 14 miles away, the “accident” was unfolding in Unit 2 at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant, triggering panic, confusion and, within days, an evacuation order.

Below is what I wrote about TMI on facebook back in March, on the fortieth anniversary of the accident.

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The Depths Of Stupidity, Plumbed Again….

Today, in one of my left handers groups on facebook, someone mentioned a group named “Single Christian Mothers Against Left-Handed Deviants“.

At first, I thought the poster was joking about that page’s existence.  Having seen it, I thought the page and the group were a poe.  I’m still not entirely sure if it’s a joke or serious, there’s no “Betty Bowers” style humour.  I’m leaning toward parody because the group page‘s admin hasn’t deleted or banned people who joined the group and then disagreed.

Thankfully the group has only 60 members, so if it’s serious, they’re insignificant.

Some selected ignorance from the pages:

You left handed bastards are all the same: perverts, murderers, creative types… you’re disgusting.

Look I’m just gonna come right out and say it: LEFT HANDED PEOPLE ARE THIEVES.

People always ask me, “If you’re such a good Christian mother, why are you single?” BECAUSE MY HUBSBAND LEFT ME FOR A LEFT HANDED DEVIL WOMAN THATS WHY.

When you use your left hand, what your really doing is shaking hands with Satan and telling him how cool you think he is.

FUN FACT: Left-handed people caused every major war in history. And actually, that fact isn’t very fun now that I think about it.

Ten years ago, ridiculous stuff like this would obviously be parody.  Now I’m not so sure.


She Can’t Remember: Riley Horner and her two hour memory

About nine years ago I suffered a concussion, falling and hitting the right side of my head on the granite base of an art piece.  Since then I have had both long term and short term memory issues.  I can easily forget things that aren’t reinforced with repetition or connected to other information (e.g. something specifically work related, or related to something from my past). I constantly use and depend on my phone to take pictures of paperwork since it’s faster than writing and cheaper than photocopying, plus there’s only one thing to carry.  There are gaps in my memory and of earlier events in my life that can be triggered by things from the same time period.  Both of these are annoying, but I can cope.

I have no self-pity because there are people who have it far worse.  Unlike many with Post-Concussion Syndrome, I don’t suffer chronic pain and I’m still able to function and work.  My biggest issue is emotional, occasional periods of inexplicable anger and have to watch myself.  Many people I talk to (in several Post-Concussion groups on facebook) are incapable of working, and have to deal with arrogant and inept doctors and social welfare systems who refuse to believe them, who disregard their symptoms.  Every brain injury is different, even when it happens to the same part of the head.

Facebook: Post Concussion Support-real support for all Concussion Types

Facebook: Canadian Post Concussion Syndrome support group

The people I feel the most empathy for are those who are have lost all ability to remember, like Riley Horner.  Did you see the movie “Memento”?  If only that were fiction.  From The Independent:

Teenager’s memory resets every two hours after being kicked in the head, meaning she wakes up thinking every day is 11 June

A teenager wakes up every morning thinking it is 11 June as her memory “resets” every two hours after she was kicked in the head.

Riley Horner, 16, has no recollection of the day she suffered a traumatic head injury after she was hit by a student crowdsurfing at a dance.

She has woken every morning since believing it is still 11 June – the day her life completely changed.

The former athlete and student, from Illinois, in the US, now has to keep detailed notes and photos with her at all times, and has a two-hour timer set on her phone.

Every time the timer goes off, Riley reads back over her notes to remind herself of everything she’s just learned but forgotten, including where her locker is.


“I’m not making memories and I’m just really scared,” Riley said.

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The Diseased Mind: Anti-vaxxers are calling themselves ‘civil rights activists’

Anti-vaxxers (primarily rich and middle class white women, of course) are calling themselves “civil rights activists”, comparing their ignorance about vaccines to the Black civil rights marches of the 1960s. And Andrew Fakewield (*) is their leader, the Maudlin Ruthless Killer of children.

The only thing those buffoons have in common with civil rights marchers of the 1960s is polio, measles, and smallpox, because those diseases hadn’t yet been eradicated or brought under control when King was marching.  From Politico:

Anti-vaccine protesters are likening themselves to civil rights activists

A chorus of mostly white women sang the gospel song “We Shall Overcome” in the California State Capitol, an anthem of the civil rights movement. Mothers rallied outside the governor’s office and marched through Capitol corridors chanting “No segregation, no discrimination, yes on education for all!” Some wore T-shirts that read “Freedom Keepers.”

But this wasn’t about racial equality. In the nation’s most diverse state, protesters opposed to childhood vaccine mandates — many from affluent coastal areas — had co-opted the civil rights mantle from the 1960s, insisting that their plight is comparable to what African Americans have suffered from segregationist policies.

(* Fakewield, that great spoonerism; he’s fake who claims to wield a medical license.)