Friday, September 19, 2008

We Don't Like Abortion Either

People like Barbara Kay drive me nuts.

I like to think that, on the left, we actually try to understand what the right wingers are thinking. It's a big help when you're arguing with someone to understand her motivations.

So when I read an anti-abortion advocate (okay, "pro-life" advocate), I read with the intent to understand. Unfortunately, I immediately hit a title which shows that she has no understanding of those who favour legalized abortion. The title contains the phrase "Sanctity of Abortion".

Sanctity? Do you really think that there is anyone on this planet who thinks abortion is some kind of holy sacrament? Do you think there's anyone in this country who rejoices to see large numbers of abortions? Do you think any woman has ever gone skipping off to the clinic, rejoicing in the opportunity to take part in some great and holy mystery?

It doesn't work that way.

No one on either side of this equation likes abortion. No one wants large numbers of abortions. Ideally, I'd like there to be zero abortions.

The difference between us and you is that we have a way to get there that might just work. You don't. Your ideas simply cause a lot of illegal abortions and butchered women. Ours involve sex education, birth control and research in to even better birth control. Ours is not perfect, but yours is worse.

Onward. I can see that the author feels persecuted. Apparently, anytime anyone espouses a pro-life point of view, they are shunned from politics. That's news to me. That's also news to George Bush and Sarah Palin who are welcomed with open arms - at least on this issue - by a large chunk of the American population. In Canada, of course Gilles Duceppe is going to attack on this issue. He's a politician. It's his job to point out flaws in his opponents and exploit them for votes.

On the subject of persecution, I'm afraid that you merely have a persecution complex. Most Canadians simply don't support your point of view. If you want to have babies accidentally, that's your lookout. Hell, we'll even support you with child care benefits, a free public education and healthcare. That's our lookout. We're nice people that way.

In order to support your feeling of persecution, you offer a quote from a significant medical figure who says of Sarah Palin:
“[Her decision to carry Trig to term] will have an implication for abortion issues in Canada.”

So what? This is entirely accurate. Without some kind of context, there's no way to know what he meant by this. All we have is your clearly biased opinion that he expressed this statement with "thinly veiled contempt".

I have never once heard Sarah Palin being held up for public chastisement for carrying a Down's Syndrome baby to term. All I've heard are right wing blowhards complaining about her persecution. But again, there is no evidence of actual persecution. Her choice is her choice.

Why should I wish to force an abortion on someone? This is where we clearly have a disconnect. Does Barbara Kay really believe that people on the pro-choice side would want to force abortions on women?

Then we move to the CPSO. I don't have access to the document of which she speaks. It's fiendishly hard to find for such an important document that everyone is talking about. But even this guy admits that it won't force doctors to perform abortions.

What it does is prevent doctors from telling a woman that abortion is evil, sinful or in doing anything else that might unfairly intimidate a woman. If the doctor is unable, for personal reasons, to counsel a woman on the subject, he should refer her to a doctor that will.

There's nothing nefarious there. Abortion is a personal moral decision for the pregnant woman. That being the case, the moral opinion of her doctor should not be interfering with her decision. The doctor's job is to provide medical advice and treatment, not moral guidance.

And we wind up with this bit:
In the end, the almost cultish aura that has been whipped up around the sanctity of abortion by politicians and medical bodies comes down to the morally irrelevant cause of satisfying consumer demand for a service of convenience.

Could anything be more callous than this disregard of a pregnant teenager, lied to or tricked by a boyfriend? Could anything be more uncivil than ignoring the need of a woman who has found that her much wanted child is nonviable? Could anything be more heartless than this treatment of a woman, desperate for a way out of a loveless marriage?

Yes, you foolish women, your desire to control your reproductive organs, to keep your life sane, is morally irrelevant. Your only way to rectify your desperate situation is merely a "service of convenience".

Thus spake the conservative movement, and therefore it must be true. At least it's reassuring to see that no one on their side has enough intelligence to even attempt to understand our side.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Underneath those Conservative Suits

I'd always rather imagined that, though I disagree with them, the members of the Conservative Party were mostly decent folk who simply saw things differently from how I saw them. Certainly they'd be jaded by politics just like the members of other parties, but I still imagined that they had a shred of humanity.

I see the same thing whether we're arguing the free market and capitalism or abortion in birth control. Except for rare occasions, they seem to be human beings.

But then you start to hear stories.

The Tory Agricultural Minister, Gerry Ritz, speaking in reference to the Listeriosis crisis, described it as a death of a thousand cuts “or should I say the death of a thousand cold cuts.”

Yes, those darn dead people, all 17 of them, are so inconvenient. Their deaths are getting in the way of the deregulation platform plank. If only they would remove themselves from the public eyesight, the Tories could get on with privatizing inspections of all sorts of foods so that rich people and corporations could get bigger tax cuts.

It's not important that those people are dying. It's not the tragedy of the situations, the horror of the families watching their loved ones die and their women miscarry. No, the real tragedy is the effect this is having on Gerry Ritz and the Tories.

As if to add insult to stupidity, or stupidity to insult, Gerry Ritz, upon hearing that there was a Listeriosis death in Prince Edward Island, added:
Please tell me it's Wayne Easter.

That would be the Liberal Agricultural critic, the guy who has been demanding answers about how and why the crisis happened and how the government would prevent such incidents in the future given that they are ploughing ahead with the deregulation of inspections.

Yeah, classy bunch.

You have to wonder if we're looking at a party of people who honestly believe that massive tax cuts for corporations will somehow benefit every Canadian's standard of life, or we're looking at people who are just a bunch of greedy, selfish bastards out to soak us for every last penny.

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Who will invade the United States?

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Federal government was going to bail out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two giant mortgage insurers in the United States. This is, of course, in direct violation of the free market ethic which states clearly that failing businesses must be allowed to fail. Propping up nonviable enterprises supposedly only leads to a weakened economy. This is the economic Darwinism model.

In response to this former baseball pitcher Jim Bunning (R-KY) said, "I thought I woke up in France. But no, it turns out socialism is alive and well in America."

Well, I'm sorry to say that it gets worse, Jim.

Not only are the Fed and the American government bailing out corporations, they're also Nationalizing them.

Nationalize? Isn't that the root word of "Nazi" as well as the soul of godless Communism? I can't believe George Bush and his toadies have given over to socialism.

The only question is now: will anyone invade the U.S. and overthrow this communist dictatorship? If there's one thing we know it's that socialism never, ever, ever works. It just leads to impoverished people living the everyday horror of public medicine and public education. It leads to having your nation blockaded and sanctioned and all sorts of turmoil.

In fact, in every South American country that has tried it, there have been vicious coups: in Chile in 1973; in Venezuela at least twice in the last six years; in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Yes, socialism leads to violence.

So who will rescue the poor American people from this socialist evil? Who will march an army in to the United States, occupy Washington D.C., get loans from the IMF and World Bank and impose austerity measures on the government of the United States? Maybe China or Russia could do it, in the name of liberation of course. In theory Canada and Mexico could do it but the Canadian snowmobile army doesn't run very well in the American winter and I've been told that Mexicans never learn to speak English so they'd run in to language problems.

But it maybe impossible for the Chinese Army to reach North America for lack of transport capacity. And alas the Russians are busy fighting with the Georgians. We can only hope that George Bush and his people see the error of their ways and return to the only real workable model for democracy: cutthroat free market capitalism. Any other option is simply not freedom.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tax Break Insanity

Mr. Harper, you've already squandered the surplus. You squandered it so quickly that you couldn't even buy the icebreaker that was part of your vaunted "Arctic Sovereignty" plan nor your supply ships that were part of your central "revitalizing the military" concept.

And now you're going to offer $750 to everyone who buys a new home?

Besides being an obvious bribe for votes, what could this hope to accomplish? Should we lure more people in to debt that they can't afford? Is this really going to change the number of people buying new homes? How much will it cost and how are you going to pay for it? You've already run a deficit. Do you even know what you're doing?

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Pushing Back Against Empire

The government of the United States and its sycophants in the media are happy to trash talk the United Nations whenever they can.

On the rare occasions in which the U.N. actually stops the United States from doing something, or at least declares its opposition, the U.S. will declare it unrealistic and ineffective.

Of course, when the U.N. does try to do the right thing, the U.S. will use its veto in the security council to prevent any actual action. The U.S. has used its veto more than any other nation with such power. In fact, it has used its veto more than all of the other four nations combined.

For decades now, especially through the Cold War, most of the nations that weren't under Soviet thrall would support the U.S. as the lesser of two evils. When the U.S. knocked over democratically elected - but left-leaning - governments in Iraq, Iran, Chile, Nicaragua and other places, it was opposed by some and tolerated by many others as part of the "fight against communism".

In Nicaragua, the United States committed terrorism. It helped a group of rebels it invented (the "Contras") to attack non-military targets throughout Nicaragua with the intent to bring down the democratically elected Sandanista government. The whole while, the Sandanista themselves were called terrorists bent on destruction. The two sides had their day in court and the U.S. was found guilty of terrorism.

Normally, what the United States tells people to do is what they end up doing. This is especially true in the United Nations where it is considered important to placate the Americans.

But not today.

The United Nations members have voted to make Father Miguel d'Escoto, a former Sandanista government official, the head of the General Assembly.

That can't sit well in the Bush Administration. Look at it. The very same sociopathic crowd that gave us the terrorist attacks on the Nicaraguans is now going to have to deal with a guy who was the target of those very attacks.

Talk about uncomfortable. Imagine if they have to have dinner together or something.

What it tells me is that the American power is waning. From Venezuela to Bolivia and down in to Chile. In Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The ability of the Empire builders in the United States to force their will upon developing nations around the globe and in the United Nations in New York is weakening.

Sunshine through the clouds in my opinion.

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