Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas and Christians

Um, so, those of you who celebrate this holiday because you believe in all the christian hype, I have a news flash for you: some of your brethren are seriously bad advertising, y'know?

Like, why do grumpy people go to malls? It totally isn't my fault that you lot have decided the only way to celebrate the alleged "birth" of your sun god is to spend a lot of money. If you're pissed off about spending it, either don't do it, or have a lot of wine before you do it, but don't bust me over it. I didn't make you go to the mall with your over-tired, bored kids, for whom you're buying crap they don't need so that they shut up and leave you alone...

Um, and those of you who are in such a damned hurry to get to the mall to spend your hard-earned credit limit (because I KNOW you are not spending your own money), yeah, you still have to signal your lane changes and yes, you do have to turn into the correct lane and you are absolutely an idiot for thinking that the rules don't apply to your ass, and no, you don't get to be pissed off because you're a crappy, angry driver and I just honked at you. Get a grip!

And in case it isn't evident, I cannot stand this ridiculous, consumeristic orgy that is supposed to be the banner holiday for your peace and love movement. If the tempers and drama in my family are any indication, christianity and these stupid christian holidays should be abolished because the participants are criminally insane.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

And so it begins... again

Recently, I've posted several times, here and on a variety of other sites including CBC, that Dion must go and must go quickly: absolutely before the 26th January. It seems that this departure is in the works big time.

According to CP, Ignatieff will be installed as the new Liberal leader and without even a race of any type! Fabulous.

Bob Rae has made the fatal mistake of going out 'campaigning' for the coalition, which is a dead horse. By pretending to take over the leadership of this ationally unpopular coalition, he effectively elimited himself from the Liberal leadership race.

I just want to know: Don't these people read CBC? FaceBook? Their local paper's letters to the editor? If Rae had read any of those, he would have quickly seen that Ignatieff' staying well out of the fray and not making a single comment was the best plan.

NOW this is going to be interesting. Ignatieff is no dummy. He must realise that there is no future for this coalition and that continuing it will be death for the Liberals.

If Ignatieff speaks out against the coalition, speaks for stabiliy and for not going forward with any non-confidence vote, he will have begun rebuilding the Liberal party's image, which looks like the Canadian flag in Dion's YouTube the other night... barely in view at this point.

Support for the Conservatives Mounting

Just reading an article on CBC on line today, where I found this: "News websites and social networking sites have been key outlets for Canadians wishing to weigh in on the debate over the coalition agreement.

On Thursday, a public opinion survey suggested that the Conservatives had won the initial public relations battle surrounding the impasse.

An EKOS poll for the CBC, conducted over two days this past week, found that 44 per cent of respondents would support the Conservatives "if an election were held tomorrow." That's up from the 37.6 per cent support the Tories received in the federal election held in mid-October."

I'm telling you, people, you better be sure a Harper-led Conservative majority is what you want because this prorogue is giving him the time to have it coalesce. And, the most incompetant leader ever just won' shut up, making matters worse and worse: Dion is now claiming that Harper "ran away" from Parliament, which may or may not be true but Dion's not the person to be pointing it out because he looks like a scared rabbit most of the time.

M. Dion will go down in history as the man who almost single handedly gave a majority government by providing a bloodless coup that the other party hardly needed to participate in.

Comments from across the country HERE.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

AHAHA!!! More

Oh man, this stuff is happening fast!

Not three hours after the PM's address on the steps of Parliament, the coalition is already blowing apart!

CBC just said that it is already crashing and burning and that the coalition shouldn't have done this to start with.

JUST REMEMBER. YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!

Prorogued!

Wow. That was fantastic!

The opposition parties - all of them - Just handed Harper's Conservatives a majority government, whether after January 26th, if there is a non confidence vote then, or at the next election.

Duceppe, predictably, came out swinging with his own brand of brilliant, but fantastically spun slagging! That was awesome! If you can understand French, listen to what he says in French! Awesome. He's a great speaker but he was speaking like a really pissed off 15 year old.

As for the other two guys, no matter what they say and do - NO matter - they have put themselves in a position of losing face, creditility and voters. Neither of them can recover from this, no matter what they say and do next.

If they come out swinging, considering that Canadians are so pissed off about all this anyway, they're going to further anger anyone who might have voted for them and they're going to lose voters no matter what: they're going to lose anyone who thinks they made a really bad move and they're going to lose others because they have caused the parties they lead to be mocked big time. Guess where those voter are going... Right. Conservatives.

If the opposition parties campaign during this progrogation, they're going to set themselves up for serious, serious defeat. Duceppe's angry tirade is going to have a negative effect even on staunch separatists, no question, because Harper made a very good - and important - point today: he has not been attacking separatists; he has rightly pointed out that the Bloq does not act on behalf of all Canadians -and Duceppe confirmed that in his address today - but that they have an agenda that is Quebec centred (as it should be and iI have NO quarrel with their madate: Quebec - and Canada to a certain extent - needs the Bloq whether English Canada likes it or not).

And if the Liberal Party thought it was in trouble before this morning, man, that was fun and games compared to what's coming next. Mr. Ignatieff should get his butt out of there right bloody now. There is NO point in wasting his expertise on that party at the moment. Let Bob Rae have the leadership of what is now a leaderless, shit-distrubing party in utter shambles. Dion, who is perhaps brilliant but has zero skills as a leader, attempted to steal a job for which he is decidedly not qualified and has got himself nothing less than a spectacular backfire.

Mr. Layton better have another job lined up because there is NO recovery from this mess. None. No matter how he turns, he cannot recover. He got into bed with Dion, who has always been out of focus, and well before his disasterous address last night. (It may have been an oversite on the part of his tech crew, but the implication of being litterally out of focus - and having the Canadian flag out of the shot entirely - will not lost on the Canadian public. I'm a conspriacist. Read between the lines).

All I can say is there hasn't been excitement in Canadian politics like this since the Trudeau years. Harper could not be in a better position. Whether you like him or not, he's been handed the most amazing set of circumstances. Talk about Christmas coming early! There's no possible way Harper can come out of this looking anything other than Prime Ministerial and the ONLY viable leader there is. Against the backdrop of those three other guys, who now look like idiots, he's a winner.

In January, when parliament reconvenes on the 26th, the government will bring down a budget and will have done it in record time and under serious pressure to perform. If the budget is great - which it likely will be (because, in addition to this mess, the economy can totally reverse in six weeks, as it did in the last six to eight weeks), the opposition is going to be eating crow - and lots of it. If it sucks, then we're going to redo today but with no progrogation. We'll have another election - the third in just over two years. People are going to be looking for stability and they're going to make sure they get it by electing a Conservative MAJORITY government. The perhaps Harper will stick to his own four-year rule....

And there again on January 26th 2009, the opposition will be presented with new rope to hang themselves. If they oppose the new budget and vote non confidence, any election that ensues will guarantee the Conservatives a majority and probably a big one. If they don't oppose, they're all going to look like idiots for getting this shit started in the first place. This is the definition of Catch 22.

The only thing that surprises me about all this is that Harper was able to maintain his decorum when I'm SURE he wanted to be dancing in the streets and singing out loud praises to the idiots that lead the 'opposition' for putting him in the most win-win that the Conservatives have had since I don't even know when - Mulroney's landslide. Wow! Groovey Canadian politics! Fun fun!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Pot. What's it good for?

If you've been reading me for a while, you'll probably know a few things about me, one being that I'm absolutely convinced that a lot of the 'rules' are established for quite different reasons than what The Man wants you to believe.

You'll also know that about a year ago, when I was on a mission to prove to my son-that-I-stole that he was wrecking his health, I spent five or six hours researching pot, reading up on it, what it is, where it comes from, health issues related to it and about the current legal situation.

I found out - from about 20 different sources - that I was wrong, wrong, wrong about pretty much everything I thought I knew about pot. Even Stats Canada told me I was wrong!

Around the same time, my boyfriend, George Strombolopolis, who is arguably the most excellent CBC personality ever, hosted the two fellows who made The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.

Click here for a list of people who were interviewed on camera for this film

And before I go on, I want to make it absolutely clear that under no circumstances do I support anyone using anything - religion, chocolate, alcohol, vicodin, expensive cars, shoes, or pot - to excess or as a means to check out of real life.

So, back to pot.

Did you know that Pot puts $7 billion dollars into the British Columbia economy alone, annually??? $7Billion, the majority of which money comes from sales to the US.

Did you know that pot has not only been legal in Canada, it was a required crop at various times in the past. REQUIRED, as in if you refused to grow it you could be prosecuted. Why? because the by-products - fabric and rope and related stuff - were so durable and indestructible and necessary for WAR uses... yeah. War. Clothing and ropes and stuff.

Did you know that internationally - that is, all over the world - there is NOT ONE case of overdose or death from pot. NONE. There are thousands and thousands of cases of alcohol poisoning and caffeine poisoning annually.

Did you know that pot was criminalised at one point because it made soldiers turn into pacifists? Did you know that alcohol is encouraged for soldiers? Why? Because alcohol encourages aggression.

Did you know that of those who are in "treatment" for marijuana 'addiction,' not one person is addicted? People who enter 'treatment' do so to avoid a criminal sentence, not because they're addicted.

Pot is highly effective for pain control and relief; it is an excellent antidote to nausea brought on by chemotherapy; it is the only known effective treatment for glaucoma; it is an excellent treatment for Tourette's Syndrome and is also excellent for calming tremors in those who have cerebral palsy; it is extremely effective for sufferers of MS. If you were big pharma and pretty much all the biggies you're treating with expensive, toxic drugs could be treated with an easy to grow weed, would you want it legalised?

If you were a police department getting huge funding for "the war on drugs," would you want the source of your funds to dry up?

The realities of why pot is illegal in the US and not legal in Canada (I am making a specific distinction here) have nothing at all to do with weed being dangerous, at all and everything to do with business, police funding and politics. In the meantime, US prisons are overflowing with people who are there for carrying around a joint, while US (and Canadian) streets are regularly crowded with drunk drivers who have multiple convictions.

Anyway, I am not an advocate for anything other than people being informed. I hope, if you're reading this, you will find a copy of The Union - it is available, but I don't support illegal downloading, so perhaps contact the producers first. It is available on The Pirate Bay, HERE

Watch it.

If you can't find it, then click here for Woody Harrelson's film, Grass

Apparently, I'm taking a risk by even daring to blog about this stuff. Remember a few years ago when Tommy Chong was arrested? Yeah. He was arrested for selling unused 'paraphernalia' on line. He has a criminal record for selling products that are perfectly legal to sell.

Oh. My point above that pot is not illegal in Canada: in July 2007, the Canadian Supreme court struck down the possession laws in Canada. Why? because in Canada, where we have some compassion, those who have a medical right and reason to possess and use pot could also be arrested for possession because the law made no distinction. So, rather than rewriting the law, the Supreme Court just struck the whole thing down.

You can still be arrested for trafficking if you have loads of weed on you, but amounts for personal use (and that is where the law is 18% gray) are not illegal to posses. By the way, this is the second time in this century the pot law has fallen. According to The Pot Law has Fallen, there is a class action suit going on, launched by people who were charged with possession during the year or so in 2003 when there also was no possession law on the books.

I could go on about this for pages and pages. Our politicians and law enforcement agencies have found themselves a really, great source of revenue - and yes, they are absolutely enjoying the benefits of the pot industry in Canada - and they are not going to jeopardise it by making any moves to legalise. Oh, and yeah, part of that is due to threats from south of the border.

See? I could so go on...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Canadian Politics: Fired up but still retarded

OH the JOY! I'm so bloody thrilled to have something to write about Canadian Politics! We're so bloody nice that there's hardly ever a fight. But this week? OH MAN is there a fight going on. It's getting HOT up in here! Fun fun!


So, here's how this is going to go:

The Governor General, who has had her trip abroad shortened because the 'kids' are at home fighting, will pronounce that word - prorogue - which will suspend the scrap before the Monday deadline without actually disolving parliament - leaving just enough time for Harper to properly gassify the mess and light it on up.

The winter holiday will take place, as it does every year - meaning that the 'kids' will all go home to their ridings for five or six weeks - y'know, 'cause really, politicians don't work over the winter holiday.

And if you're wondering if they really will take a break, you only have to look at the red herring that's been dragged up from the dead: Karl Heinz Schreiber is back in the news today - one day prior to the re-entry of the GG. Considering that both Chr├ętien and Broadbent are getting front page at the moment, there's no reason to leave out Canada's fave political pugilist, Mulroney.

When the 'kids' come back, either everyone's going to back down because the public outcry will be so huge OR, Harper will push the issue big time, setting the stage for another election. Then, because even though he's pasty and boring, he's a grand strategist who will capitalise on the disaster this 'coalition' is (because as much as I get the separatist position, who jumps into bed with it if they're a federalist?), and he will set a very explosive stage for an election.

If that happens, the Conservative party stands to win big, seriously increase voter turnout and get a majority, because as much as people dislike Harper, they really, really hate the idea of having their votes mean absolutely nothing and seeing their tax dollars burnt up on three elections in two years.

Dion will then go the way of the Dodo, as he would have anyway. Unlike the dodo, he'll go with tail between legs but will make the occasional awkward squawk from the darkness. Jack Leighton's political career will end in disgrace because he should not have been sleeping with Duceppe and threesomes are definitely not allowed. If he shaves the 'stash, he might get a job somewhere other than as stand in for an aging Dudley Do Right.

In the end, Harper is going to come out of all this in a very strong position. This chaos is stinky and volatile but it's the greatest thing that could have ever happened to Harper's currently-minority government....

So. Here's the question: if, as Harper alleges, the NDP, Liberal and Bloq leaders have been in the back room sharpening their own long knives for the many months that Harper claims, will he let them all dig their own graves, dance themselves in and bury their respective parties' credibility with them? I think SO.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Pagan Christ

As you'll know, if you come here alot (and thanks if you do!), I'm fully of the opinions that
1. Religion is probably the most destructive force on the planet
2. Religious fanatics are the second most

Friday this week, CBC aired a great doc called The Pagan Christ, which, with a lot of excellent research by excellent minds, proves, in my opinion, that there was never any such person as the Christ of the christian bible.

If you've watched the documentary Zeitgeist, you'll already know what I'm referring to. The Pagan Christ essentially lays out a pretty simple, convincing case that the Roman empire had a polititcal goal, part of which was to recast its pagan gods into something more 'modern.'

For those of you who outside of Canada, my apologies if you're not able to view this video. Apparently, it is only available to Canadians, although I'm not sure exactly how CBC manages to sort everyone out... and let me say, I'm absolutely opposed to any intervention by any corporation/government/person in who can see/read/access what on the 'net.

Here's the link.
The Pagan Christ

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Liberal Party ...

Needs to stop putting forth bullshit in order to discredit the current government for two reasons: the current government is quite capable of implicating itself and secondly, shit rolls downhill and the liberals are currently at the bottom of the pile, so they're going to be who's rolling in the mess they create by spilling such garbage.

Canada is NOT in a massive economic crisis. Yes, the international chaos is affecting us but it is NOT affecting us to the piont that thousands and thousands are lining up for soup; retailers across the country show the last few months producing the best revenue they've seen in a bunch of years. Calgary's huge Chinook Centre complex said in August it had the highest retail sales numbers in something like 10 years.

As for housing prices, are Canadians seriously so stupid that they fail to notice the value of their homes had risen by ridiculous amounts in the 18 months prior to this adjustment?? Nobody's losing money, unless they sold their house at the peak and then threw their money into the nearest river. Values have definitely dropped. Right back to where they would have been had there not been that bubble.

As for petrol prices, the per-litre cost was so inflated that anyone with a brain knew the prices had been fixed and there was collusion in the oil markets. Anyone with two brain cells could smell how badly that situation stank. C'mon. Petrol is still at least 10cents a litre higher than it should be.

We are NOT in another great depression and to say we are is a dishonour to those who did live through that 10 years.

All of you go watch zeitgeist. www.zeitgeistmovie.com. If you can't stand to watch the whole thing, then watch the last 40 minutes.

NO financial 'crisis' happens on it's own. All happen with specific, targeted help by certain interested parties.

Scott Brison, who is a financial analyst, should do some digging; his current sources are not very good.

The Sky is Falling... or not...

Are you suffocating yet under the sky that has crashed upon you? Are you hanging off the edge? You know, because the bottom is falling out. If you’ve been paying attention to the current take on the Canadian economic crisis you should be panicking by now. Y’know, because the ship is going down RIGHT NOW.


Except it isn’t really. Yes things have shifted and yes prices are falling – gas and house prices, for instance – and it isn’t that the economists have been quoted out of context, it’s just that the context that has been spun.


Considering the recent event that passed for a Canadian election and as the national conscience has been pulled southward by that other election, this so-called “economic crash” has provided a most excellent weapon, in the form of mud dredged from the so-called crisis, for the warring political parties to chuck at each other. There’s nothing like getting you to believe you will never retire and that your house is only worth 2$ but that the bank is on the way to take it - and your kids - to get your focus back home and make you vote. The Global Economic CRISIS a great story but so was the one about weapons of mass destruction - or global warming... and where is Al Gore these days anyway?


I’ve worked for some years on the housing side of the financial industry. Working in our field can give a person motion sickness like living on a buoy in the Bay of Fundy in winter. However, the view is pretty clear unless certain interested parties fog it all up.


Recently, I spoke to a couple friends who have senior positions in the oil patch. They pointed out that oil companies build their budgets on the per-barrel break even point, which is currently around the $40 mark. At today’s $55, there is still profit happening and there's not a lot of reason to panic, unless you’re someone who will see their annual $5million bonus shrink to $3 million - or if you're one of those Wall Street fat cats who Obama is suggesting should try on some ethics for a change.Our Canadian oil and gas markets are immensely stable thanks in large part our hungry neighbour to the south, which takes fully a third of our produced oil.


As for the real estate market, yes prices have dropped but that isn’t the whole story. Prices in most Canadian locations have fallen to pretty much where they would have been had that crazy, unsustainable bubble not happened in late 2006 and early 2007. Our local real estate board’s statistics show that the real estate market is very stable and actually in better shape than it was at this time last year. Fewer available listings and more single family homes being sold mean a better balanced marketplace and will help clear out the glut of built but not sold condominiums in this city.


The part of the story you're not hearing, because it doesn't fit (as in "Don't confuse them with facts") is that in various parts of this country, values are very stable and in some places they are rising. Betcha didn't see that stat in the news lately.


The Canadian banking systems is properly regulated, so there’s no possibility of our banks failing. The international organisation that rates banking stability places Canadian banks at 6.7 out of 7 possible points. So... if your bank is colluding in this "we have to tighten our credit and lending" schtick, they've jumped on a profitable bandwagon. They're not drowning. They're making money, rest assured.


Our local employment markets are strong; our oil and gas industry is in full production. So things slow down for a few months. This isn’t the catastrophe that some might want it to be.


As I wrote about 2 years ago - and as MacLean's magazine has finally picked up on - this 'crisis' might get Joe Public to get his head around the difference between I want it (a ridiculous looking, wasteful, poorly designed penis enlargement tool called a HumVee or a vagina enhancing enormous house that looks gorgeous but is all balsa wood, hollow-core doors and glue) and I need it (a decent, probably-used car that is small, reliable and cheap on petrol and a home. The kind people like to come to because it's comfortable and smells like cookies).


Those of you who had to have the big-assed house and the stupid looking, mostly always empty, enormous vehicle and 5 credit cards with huge limits which you've maxed out - I have zero sympathy for you. Serves you right. Grow up. Learn the difference between need and want. If you can't figure it out, go spend a couple months in a third world country where it is a luxury for people to eat once a day and where a good day means the snipers stayed home.


And yes, I'll gloat. I live in a 55 year old house. Paid for in full. I drive a 12 year old car that was used when I got it. Paid in full. I have under $5000 in personal debt, all at 4%. I have no credit card debt. I travel twice a year. We stay with friends and family and we offer them the same benefit in exchange. I wear my clothes for years; I shop at discount fashion shops but I spend less than $50 a month on clothing. I have a very, very inexpensive gym membership and I otherwise do free activities like skating outside or running. My kids never got allowances and once they were 15 they all got jobs because I wasn't going to pay for their frivolities - and they didn't have those for long... when you make your own money, you figure out pretty quick what's worth spending it on.


Am I missing out? Yeah. On a ton of stress. No thanks.


We did this recession thing in the 80s and the 90s and we'll do it again. There's much more to life than stuff. Much. In reality, this crisis will be no rougher than 160 grit sandpaper and will do about the same job of knocking off the imperfections and shining the whole thing up.


What you learn from it? Well, that will depend on how much reality you're willing to handle.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Still here...

I'm in school... part time but busy all the same... and was in England and Spain... photos coming.

Just want to know a couple things:
Who drops a freezer in a random back yard? Hmmm??? Whilst we were abroad, someone came into my yard - in meaning all the way, a good 60 feet inside the fence - and left a really ugly, rusting 1970s chest freezer on my patio.

Who does that?

The other thing I want to know is why the media is still following Sarah Palin. She's far to stupid for words, although that in itself may be why. The Huffington Post has an article and related clip of Palin giving an interview - with turkeys being slaughtered in the background. Very graphic I hear, although not something I wanted to see.

She either doesn't have handlers or they're out to sabotage her, as they didn't move the shot to a less murderous location....

I'll be back. You know I will.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I have sons?

Yesterday, I read with interest a comment on my youngest daughter's social networking site; "... what about christmas. Your BROTHERS (caps reproduced) need to see their little sister."

The brothers are news to me! I know I have three girls - I was there at all the births and I have the scars to prove it - but the boys I knew not a thing about.

See, my girls' other parent married again a couple years ago and the new spouse is doing everything possible to abscond with my kids - my ADULT kids. At first, I said to myself the note was nothing more than funny and desperate and that I wasn't bothered, but I AM bothered. Only a bit but bothered all the same.

So, whilst outside absently mowing the lawn (it was absent, as is obvious from the very crooked paths and large un-mown portions), I had a mental conversation with this "step-parent" based on my partial hope and partial fear of a reaction to my comment, just following the other on my child's site; mine to the effect, "Whaaaat? I have sons? Who knew...."

The mental conversation went something like this:
She calls and she says, "I have something to say to you," to which I reply, "Ok, shoot," which precedes what I expect would be a bit of a barrage from her which includes protestations of her husband's honesty (questionable) and that she is really the step mom.

My reply would be something to the effect that, in order for the person to be legally considered a step parent, several things would have had to happen, one being my death and another being my children having lobotomies.

So, you, the guilty parties, if you should read this, here's the real scoop on step parents:

In order to be a step parent, one must be legally married to the other parent. I hear, via the grapevine that my ex spouse has legally married, but in the absence of my having been at the wedding and/or having seen the actual marriage license, I only have it on reasonably good authority that it all actually happened. My condolences, by the way.... But anyway, I'll concede that there's a marriage in place.

However, in order to be a really, really step parent, one would have to adopt the children in question. I'm dead sure that didn't happen in my case because I'm still alive and I sure as hell didn't sign any release of any type, nor was my sole custody revoked so yeah, there's no legal transfer of custody.

I also know that there's no way that the child who was an adult when my spouse married would need or want to be adopted and that neither of them, both legal adults, would consent to it now.

So, what that means is that colloquially my kids have a step parent but legally that person is nothing of the sort, which means that said "brothers" are neither anything of the sort.

I would feel much more charitable about the situation were it not for the reality that the so-called step parent not only knows nothing about me, their actions indicate they'd prefer if there was no me to know anything about.

But there is.

I and my partner, who has been on the scene full time for nearly 12 years, are very close and very connected to my kids and we are completely lacking in need of other forms of parents or wanna-be parents.

So here's the deal. If you want to have a relationship with your step-children, accept that their existing parents are a major presence in their lives that cannot be replaced or eradicated. Any attempts to do so make you look desperate. This is assuming that the existing parents are not dangerous or absent or drug-addicted. That's a whole different scenario but not at all applicable in my case.

A better plan would be to simply accept the fact that your spouse has children and that they're part of the extended family but that they are not your children, nor are they siblings with your children. You should let those children -especially if they're all adults, as in my case - get to know each other and to form whatever relationships THEY choose to form, without your pushing your desires on them or manipulating how those relationships play out or trying to make a family out of a bunch of potentially unwilling strangers.

Kay. I'm done. I'll go fix my messy lawn now.

The Bottom Line


I have a weird little addiction to a kinda mediocre TV show called Second Chance. It airs (2 in a row) in the mornings, so I often take my coffee downstairs and go watch it.

The premise of the show is that the main character has made life choices that have resulted in lots of sadness and loss. The plots turn on the main character dying (in the first two minutes of the show) and this angel, Mr. Jones, hauling the dead person - kinda dead, actually - off to plead their case for this other guy, Judge Othniel or something, so they can get three days grace, go back to the point where they made the crappy choice and fix it. It's cheesy has hell.

Most of the stories revolve around a parent who's been a shit and has badly affected their children's lives as a result.

I don't think most people would describe me as the weepy type but I weep my head off every time I watch this show. If you know this program, you know how really not tight the acting is and how the storylines are designed to make one weep, so weep I do.

I come from one of those families where a parent (two in this case) made endless bad choices in respect to their kids. My dad died five years ago so he's done making bad choices but he left without us getting to a full resolution. My mom? Yeah, she's still here. That is a whole
'nother 2000 page book....

What it comes to is this: the point in that show that sets me off every time is when a parent finally realises how their choices have so badly affected their kids and they ante up with a full-on apology AND a complete change in behaviour; and when the kid says to a parent, "You are the best mom/dad ever there was." You cannot imagine how desperately I want to experience a parent that has not only full clarity on their life but is able, willing and ready to admit their mistakes, say sorry and CHANGE.

It makes me cry because we (my sibs and I) not only don' t have that, nor have we ever have never had it, we are 100% sure we will never, ever see the day when our live parent has any kind of clarity or even admits to any glimmer of clarity.

Her resistance to clarity is as if that clarity was paper and a fat black marker, with which she'd draw on the paper, and which drawing she would instantly deny even knowing about, regardless of still having pen in hand.

I've written tons and tons on my view of parenting but I have neglected this; there is absolutely nothing a parent can buy, do, acquire, steal for their child that will ever - infinity ever - compensate for that parent's refusal to be human and fallible. Such refusals are all the worse when that parent blames the child for everything that is ill in the world and tops that off with the admonisment that god is watching the child and the child will not only be sorry when the parent is dead but will be punished by said watchful god.

There is nothing that will ever heal the heart of a child that has been betrayed by a parent and there is absolutely nothing that can feed the soul and mind of a child, no matter the age of that child, who knows they are not loved by that parent because the parent is utterly, endlessly, completely self-obsessed.

We, my sibs and I, live hopefully, despite what we know is reality; we live with the desperate hope that someday our parent is going to have a flash of understanding. It won't happen but letting go of the remote hope that it might would mean the end for us. It's pretty much our personal "Faint Hope" clause; it is there to stave off the utter despair that is the alternative.

This is my brief advice: love your children with abandon; be fascinated by them; learn from them; love them and when you say you love them, pay it more than lip service. What you say and how you live MUST add up; otherwise, don't waste your breath. Better to admit to being cold, uncaring and disinterested in your children than to spend 40 some odd years making life for your children the hell of a thousand cuts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Have you NOT HAD ENOUGH???

I'm in complete shock after speaking with a man who is Canadian but works mostly in the US... he says that in Montana at least, people are still so backward and stupid that they won't consider Barak Obama because of the colour of a body organ!!!

I CANNOT believe that! In 2008? After 8 years of BUSH? With the US economy in complete and utter decay? With Bush selling his FAT, RICH BUDDIES' DEBT BACK TO THE US POPULATION, people are voting based on body organ colour???


YOU MUST BE BLOODY JOKING!!!!

DAMN! Americans are WAY stupider than I thought!


WAY!

For the record, EVERY company that BUSH has ever had any part of running has gone BANKRUPT! Check it out! TRUE! AND the one current company that he and his daddy are still involved with they SHARE WITH THE BIN LADEN family! YES. The Carlyle Group. CHECK IT OUT!

You AMERICANS scare the hell out of the rest of the world! You're uneducated and fixated on your freaking guns and fast food that you have allowed an utter madman to 'lead' your country for eight years AND, because you're so afraid of SKIN, you're considering electing a REPLICA Bush???

Keeeeyyy RISTE!

If there was actually a powerful sky god who listened to the requests of the little people, I would be 'prayin' for an earthquake that would separate the continental US from the rest of the world. Bloody hell.

Click here for a link to Slacker Uprising

And then watch Fareheight 911 and every other film you can get your hands on about how BUSH has screwed over your country!

TAKE IT BACK. PLEASE!

CLOSE YOUR EYE to skin colour. It means absoultely NOTHING!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The McCain, Palin Gallery of Lies and Bullshit


I'm pleased to post two excellent editorials by other people whose perspectives on the U.S. election candidates is bang on.

I wish I could put this information in front of every eye belonging to any brain that is seriously considering that the McCain/Palin ticket would be anything other than a complete and utter catastrophe. I"m sure both these writers wish the same.

So. If you're from the U.S. and reading this post, or if you're anywhere else in the world and have friends, family, mailing lists, acquaintences in the U.S. Please, do the world a favour and pass this post - and the links therein - on.

Please.

Read on so you comprehend why it is imperative that we who are not in the U.S. nor able to vote in that election do what we can to educate those 'Red' states, where the population is kept in the dark, poorly educated and placated with fantasy called religion in order that they don't fully comprehend to what extent they're used as pawns by the GOP.

First:From Kristin Amend, writer of the excellent blog, Blue Hearts

I'm a little confused.

If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."


Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American story.


If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.


Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.


Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.


Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well-grounded.


If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.


If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 6,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.


If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.


If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and three children and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.


If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.


If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.


If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values
don't represent America 's.

If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.


And finally, if you're famous for your quick temper, you're the one to have your finger on the button.


Okay, much clearer now.


10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3

4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4

5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5

6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6

7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

John McCain is not who the Washington press corps make him out to be. Please help get the word out—forward this email to your personal network.

Sources:
1. "The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day," ABC News, April 3, 2008

"McCain Facts," ColorOfChange.org, April 4, 2008

2. "McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq," Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008
3. "Buchanan: John McCain 'Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'" ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008

4. "McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill," ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008

5. "McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned," MSNBC, February 18, 2007

6. "2007 Children's Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard," February 2008

"McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion," CNN, October 3, 2007

6. "Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady," Associated Press, April 3, 2008

"McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'" Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008

7. "Will McCain's Temper Be a Liability?," Associated Press, February 16, 2008

"Famed McCain temper is tamed," Boston Globe, January 27, 2008

8. "Black Claims McCain's Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: 'I Don't Know What The Criticism Is,'" ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008

"McCain's Lobbyist Friends Rally 'Round Their Man," ABC News, January 29, 2008

9. "McCain's Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam," Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008

"Will McCain Specifically 'Repudiate' Hagee's Anti-Gay Comments?," ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008

"McCain 'Very Honored' By Support Of Pastor Preaching 'End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'" ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008

10. "John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record," Sierra Club, February 28, 2008

Second: BY TIM WISE

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get (sic) pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a “light” burden. And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain…

WHITE PRIVILEGE IS, IN SHORT, THE PROBLEM.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finally. Christianity Explained.

And the most hilarious thing when I posted this: My counter was at 7 - 666.... It's surely a sign.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

LaVena Johnson: Raped, brutalised and murdered. The Bush response? Suicide

USA: This is your government.

It has lead you into an illegal war
It has sanctioned "Contractors," which run the show, shoot, maim, rape, kill at will;
It turns a blind eye to the rape and murder of its female troops;
It will not charge its murderous contractors with ANY crime.

CANADA: Steven Harper supports the US administration's decision to go to "war" with Iraq and agreed to send troops abroad. Do you want your country's name and reputation associated with the WAR Criminals that populate the Bush Administration?

The following video is intensely disturbing for its content but also for highlighting the endless crimes perpetrated on females (of any cultural extraction) in Iraq and the extent to which the Bush administration will go to lie, cheat and steal.

Dear Natalie Maines: we are ALL embarassed and disgusted. You were right. Twice.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Just for fun, and in this order:
Alex the Shooter


Balloons at night -except it was mid-afternoon on a sunny day with a storm brewing...
My gorgeous neice

My gorgeous neice at a weekend triathlon ... the finish line is in her shades... My sister ran...
The runner and the daughter. Distances: 1.5K swim; 40K bike; 10k run. Yeah, she does rock.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

There seems to be some confusion....

I must have a different outlook on loyalties....

Me: Hey, why do you have all these photos of my ex on here? Hey! Those were taken here! He was here two months ago??? Why? We've been apart for 14 years!

Mom: He's never done anything to me.

Me: Perhaps not, but he hurt me and the kids. He was convicted! What's the rationale for hanging out with him still? It's a slap in the face considering how much you know it hurts us. Don't you think it's a bit disrespectful to my current spouse who I've been with for over eleven years and who is the defacto 'dad'?

Mom: I follow christ. I have an obligation to be nice to (the X). Besides, ( partner) is just a friend.

I may be totally wrong in this, but unless a child says to a parent, "Yeah, we're not enemies, it's ok if you stay in contact with my X," wouldn't a reasonable parent NOT? And more to the point, wouldn't they not, considering they didn't support the marriage in the first place and made it clear they didn't like the spouse during the marriage and that said spouse was abusive and was convicted of assault?

And yet more to the point, doesn't a parent have some instinctual loyalty to their offspring, especially when that offspring has been physically hurt by said spouse? And doesn't it follow that said parent also has some instinctual loyalty to their grandchildren?

Dunno. Maybe I'm completely different, but if my child left an abusive spouse I sure as hell wouldn't be maintaining any kind of relationship with that spouse, especially if my child has said once "please don't." I'm pretty sure 14 years of "Please don't" should have made an impact.

For the record, it is nice to tell your children you love them, but they will not believe you if what you DO is in total contradition to what you say. If you put your 'relationship' with an abusive ex spouse, who lives 6 hours away by air over a relationship with your child, who lives 20 minutes away by car, you suck.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sacrifice

Some years ago - about 15 or so - a good friend began displaying really bizarre behaviour. Her life had been really disrupted and difficult for a few years and so she decided to make a major change in her circumstances.

That in itself wasn't such a worry but there were other details that were too out of character and too odd to lump in to the "just making significant changes" category. I was terrified for her, to the point that I was worried for her life. Enough that I called one of her family members to let them know I was really concerned about her and why.

Of course this family member called her and I'm glad they did but she was furious with me.

It would be a lie to say I wasn't shocked that she was angry with me. Really angry. The 'don't ever speak to me again' type angry.

Looking back, however, considering how unlike her usual self she was then, I can understand her reaction. Despite that, were that situation to recur -with her or with someone else, I would do it again.

What kind of friend was I, really, had I not been willing to put the friendship on the line? I was terrified that she was not moving out of the city but that she intendied to shuffle off the proverbial coil. The truest test of a freindship is whether one will sacrifice that friendship to preserve the life of that friend.

I did hestitate to make that call but I made it anyway because, if I were wrong about her, so what? If I were right? That was a different story. I couldn't turn away and hope for the best.

At the time, she hadn't the perspective to understand; everything else was wrong and my actions were just one more wrong thing. We are friends again, for the record and I know she understands now why I did what I did.

In more recent years, a young man I did not know well but who was one of my children's circle also took his life. After, there were many, many regrets and many comments of "I wish I'd said something or done something. I kinda knew something was up."

Sadly, those who felt there was something terribly wrong didn't do or say anything for fear of pissing of the young man or for fear of being, themselves, uncomfortable or perhaps making a mistake or being wrong.

But what if?

What if one person had conquored their own fear of being wrong, of pissing of said young man? What if he had become really angry? What if he had lashed out? What if he had understood that one person gave a damn, and what if that had kept him from shooting himself in his family's garage?


What if that one person had lost that friend but that friend were not now dead?

What if?

What are we willing to risk to preserve the friend even though doing so - keeping that person alive - might kill the friendship?


Photo Credit: David Rabinowitz

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Read the Contract

Ok, I've said this before, written about it a few times and say it to ALL of my clients, over and over:

READ the Contract. If you don't understand it or you don't like the terms, DON'T SIGN IT.

If you don't read it but you sign it anyway, that contract is VALID. There are certain aspects a contract must contain, among them that the transaction it covers is a legal transaction (you can't write a contract for someone to sell illicit drugs for you, for instance, because selling illicit drugs is not a legal activity); the parties entering into the contract must be of sound mind and able to understand the contract and they cannot have been coerced into signing; etc, etc....

If you do not understand the contract or if you don't like the terms outlined in it, don't sign it. Figure it out, get help, get a second opinon, get a lawyer involved, but don't sign it if you don't like the terms or don't understand what the contract entails. Period.

In my case, clients are offered an initial contract that outlines the specifics, in great detail, of what they're after. The first page of these contracts always contains a clause that states if one signs the contract, it is assumed that the signing parties have read, understood and accepted the terms.

After that, there is a second, legal contract drawn up, which a lawyer must present and must discuss in full. The lawyer must also be satisfied that the signing party comprehends and accepts the terms of the contract.

I may have become a hardend old boot but I don't have any sympathy of someone chooses not to read the contract, signs it and then doesn't like it. All contracts contain that clause - make sure you like this because if you sign it, it's yours.

That clause isn't just there to fill the page. I cannot stress this enough. READ the contract. Yes it's boring and yes it may be difficult to understand but those are not valid excuses to skimming a contract, the terms of which probably affect your life. There are NO stupid questions when it comes to contracts.

This is a link to brief info on contracts. It's a US link and applies specifically to housing loans in the US but it's good info anyway.

yes, I've changed my name to Ranty McRanterson.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The New Yorker: Awesome Move!

I love this cover! The US population needs nothing more critically than to be confronted, on the cover of a venerated magazine, with their endless, ridiculous prejudices and stereotypes. The illustration includes nods to every stupid, wrong, made up criticism of Senator and Michelle Obama. The US - the powers that be - are terrified of them. They are Kennedy-esque but better (he's not a philandering asshole who kills his lovers).

Maybe throwing all that crap in their collective face will finally wake the complacent, FOX consuming US public that something is very, very wrong with how they see their world and their politics and maybe that cover will piss enough people off that they start asking questions about what they are led to believe by their numbingly coercive, manipulated and manipulative media.

In his article about this cover, Trey Ellis notes that a shirt he saw in France (something to do with a drawing of bush holding a gun to his own head and a caption that says something like kill yourself, save us all) is illegal in the US. The reason it is illegal in the US is that, despite unlimited rhetoric, free speech is a myth in the US. Just ask the Dixie Chicks....

Ellis also suggests Bin Ladin is similar to Hitler, which I suggest is is a MASSIVE disrespectful stretch. IF (and that is a giant, minimally probable IF) Bin Ladin had anything to do with 9/11, the damage done does not, in any way, equal the Holocaust.

For the record, Trey is one of the premiere writers in the US today. He is human enough to be subject to the emotion of this election, and that flaw - being human - is what makes him a wonderful writer.

That aside, however, given the 60 year relationship, via the Carlyle Group, between the Bin Ladin and Bush families, there is little reason to believe Osama Bin Ladin is anything more than a pawn used by a 'government' intent in getting US people to buy in to a false-premise war . The money that has been made by nameable corporations via this illegal, immoral war is probably uncountable, let alone traceable.

The terrorists live in the white house.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Coining a term

I'm just posting to mark the date that I am offically claiming that I coined the term "Celebridiot."

I've used that term numerous times on this blog and so just want to make the point that, if it turns up elsehwere from now on, it's my term and I originated it.

That's all.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's wrong with that? Just because I'm a judge.....

Judge Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, described as "A brilliant legal mind," granted a 48-hour stay in the obscenity trial of a Hollywood adult filmmaker after the prosecutor requested time to explore "a potential conflict of interest concerning the court having a . . . sexually explicit website with similar material to what is on trial here."


According to the
LA Times, this brilliant legal mind is also a sexual weirdo who is not brilliant enought to know that websites are accessible to anyone with an internet connection and that it really isn't appropriate for a thinking, ethical human - who is also a bloody judge - to have werid-assed sexual stuff on his WORK computer!


When asked about the site, Kozinski denyed that the material was purient, stating he simply thought it was 'odd and interesting,' and part of life.


"'Before the site was taken down, visitors to
http://alex.kozinski.com were greeted with the message: "Ain't nothin' here. Y'all best be movin' on, compadre.'"


"The sexually explicit material on the site was extensive, including images of masturbation, public sex and contortionist sex."


I'm sorry, but last time I checked, "brilliant legal mind" didn't preclude having simple common sense.


This Tuesday past, Kozinski acknowledged that his website was full of weirdness - naked women painted as cows; naked men cavorting with aroused farm animals.... yeah, weird.


He claimed he didn't realised the site was accessible but he also said he'd forwarded the material to 'friends.' Given his profession and the level he's at in the profession, one wonders who those friends are and what trials they might be presiding over currently....


He then claimed that he didn't remember posting some of the material and then... he blamed his kid.


Kozinski knows full well the internet is essentially a glass house and he said so in an interview with Reason Magazine:


"Kozinski: The world is probably getting more libertarian. Modern communications and modern trade are making it very difficult for modern governments to exercise controls. You can no longer keep ideas out of China. People can log onto the Internet; they’ve got television. It essentially becomes impossible to block ideas.


Then Reason made this point:

Reason: There is a countervailing tendency in technology: It also allows the authorities—whether the government or your employer—to keep tabs on you.

Kozinski: It is certainly easier to keep track of people, and that will be a threat to privacy. But I think people can work around it once they realize that they live in a fish bowl. They will take defensive measures. For instance, you don’t have to walk around with a cell phone if you don’t want to be tracked. You don’t have to use the Internet."

Kozinski then makes it clear that he knows how to protect material from prying eyes:

Reason: Has this new technology made us freer if we have to be afraid?

Kozinski: You don’t always need complete privacy. There are ways of getting it if you want it.


First, he attempts a defence of ignorance, which, if he were really such a brilliant legal mind, he would know is not accepted as a defence ever.


Then he calls objectionable material 'funny,' in order to diminish the crime, a tactic regularly used by criminals trying to worm themselves out of a dirty little hole they've dug for themselves.


Then, he has the audacity to blame his own child for putting material on a website he had, a day earlier, claimed he didn't know was publicly accessible.


This man should be thrown to the wolves from whence he came. He's either not mentally capable of doing his job or is seriously compromised in his ethics.


There's no question he has some weird sexual stuff going on in his life.


For the record, this is why the rest of the world laughs at the U.S. This guy should not be on the bench. Period. There is likely much prior indication of previous inappropriate behavior, but as judges in the U.S. are elected, their friends - meaning those in whose best interest it is to keep such judges on the bench - turn many a blind eye.


According to Reason Magazine, "Kozinski, now married with three children, was a late intellectual bloomer who, before graduating at the top of his law class at UCLA, wiled away his time wooing women in such unusual places as television’s Dating Game, which he won with an audaciously smarmy pick-up line: “Hello, the flower of my heart.” That unctuousness is totally absent from his legal writings, which feature a razor-sharp analytic skill."


Why is this guy still sitting???


Photo Credit: Stephen Osman, LA Times

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hey, get your fingers out of my EYE!

I have been following with much interest the BC Human Rights brought against writer, Mark Steyn and MacLean's Magazine. A group headed by Mohammed Elmasry is accusing them of islamophobia and has taken the case to the BC Human Rights Commission, which is obviously staffed with store mannequins because the case is ridiculous but they've let it proceed.

These guys claim that Mark Steyn's writing - a column and a book, America Alone - exposes Muslims to hate and that MacLean's is complicit for publishing excerpts from the book.

No word on where they're going to bury free speech.

Section 7.1 of the BC Human Rights Code prohibits "any statement, publication, notice [etc.] that... is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred of contempt."

As Andrew Coyne points out, the 'legislation' says "is likely to," not "absolutely does."

About a month ago, I watched Billy Connolly’s film “The Man Who Sued God.” What made me think of this film was Andrew Coyne's mention in the June 16th edition of MacLean’s, of Section 7.1 of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

In the film, Billy Connolly (his character, anyway) attempts to sue an insurance company that will not pay his claim when his boat is destroyed, citing its “act of god” clause. He claims there is no god and therefore they must pay.

The case is finally settled when the defendants are left to prove or disprove the existence of said being in order to establish their right to even include “act of god” at all. Interestingly, as art usually imitates life, there is no end to the personalities and posing and posturing and presumption of special-ness among the ‘religious’ characters in this film.

As this relates to the BC case and Mark Steyn’s book, it can quite easily be argued that the Christian bible and the Islamic Q’uran , Scientology or Tom Cruise (or any religious text, or heck even my own blog) expose adherents to no end of hatred and contempt. Could it not then be argued that whoever brought this case has no case to bring really, given their own ‘religious’ texts absolutely expose their own groups to contempt and ridicule?

As case in point, recently the Concerned Christians group wrote a letter that got them into very hot water. The short form is that they claim that gay people are exactly like paedophiles.... except that is bullshit... and they directed that 'information' specifically to a man called Rob Wells.

The group was ultimately forced to apologise (if the letter they wrote can be considered an apology). However, could members of this organisation not proceed with a similar case, given that the letter and the resulting furor certainly exposed them to a lot of heckling?

I scanned their website yesterday and I was instantly struck by the presumptive bent the site takes. I’m sure it exposes its members to no end of scorn from those of us who don’t replace reality with fantasy for starters but who have moderate, inclusive views (and who know that paedophile (mental illness) does not equal gay person (normal permutation of humanness).

It would be a very interesting exercise to have the group that brought this case against Mr. Steyn and Maclean’s prove that their own texts, blogs, websites and publications at no point expose their members to any of the very things Mark’s book or MacLean’s Magazine is purported to have done and that at no point do those or will those texts, etc. ever contravene section 7.1.

Considering B.C. HRC code’s language is so loose, could it be that difficult to swing this case back at the accusers?

If they cannot prove they are not also contravening section 7.1, and surely they cannot, the Human Rights Tribunal must toss this case or launch a thousand others.

Click here for Ezra Levant's very excellent commentary on a similar case and its outcome.

As it is written somewhere, one should not attempt to pick a sliver from another’s eye without paying attention to the stump in their own.

But here's the core of it for me: since when, in Canada, does the law - or something that presumes to pass for law - require people to be afraid of other people. And since when do we have these quasi legal groups trashing free speech because they're afraid of a loud Islamic guy?

I'll be damned if I'm going to roll over because someone from some religion doesn't like it that I disagree with them.

Here it is for the record. I disagree with your religion, whatever it is, because it is first of all made up and serves no purpose other than separating human from human, inciting fear, teaching children to be slaves to bullshit and giving the 'religious elites' (preachers, imams, ministers, bishops, rabbis, all of 'em) a false pulpit from which to promote "We're better than you." Total, utter, stinking garbage.

Oh. And for the record, statistically, religious people get up to a lot more scandals and into a lot more legal trouble than us heathens and YEAH I can prove that!