Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Harper and Ignatieff: Compare and Contrast

If you want to know how a leader will lead, look to how they respond when their followers screw up.

Harper’s closed-door campaign marches woman out of rally in London - thestar... - StumbleUpon

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has long been known for martial discipline, but his campaign may have crossed the line when someone frog-marched a young woman out of a rally in London, Ont., Sunday.

The first-time voter’s crime, apparently, was to have posed for a picture with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and posted it for all to see on her Facebook page.

About half an hour before Harper arrived at the crowded hotel rally, one organizer asked to speak with Awish Aslam and a friend outside the room. There, he ripped up their nametags and ordered them to leave.

“We know you guys have ties to the Liberal party through Facebook,” the University of Western Ontario student told the London Free Press. “You are no longer welcome here.”

The Tories say the incident was a mistake, though Harper himself offered no apology when asked about it Tuesday.

“The staff runs our campaigns and I can’t comment on individual matters like that,” Harper said.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has ordered an investigation into alleged racist comments made by one of his Quebec candidates, saying, if true, Andre Forbes would be dismissed.
"The reported remarks of this candidate are utterly unacceptable. They do not reflect Liberal values," Ignatieff said during a campaign stop in Compton, Que., on Wednesday. 
"As soon as I heard that these remarks were made or had been made in the past, I ordered an immediate inquiry. As soon as I find out the facts, we will take decisive action." 
Forbes, who is Metis and the Liberal candidate for the riding of Manicouagan, made a series of comments several years ago when he was president of an association for the rights of white people — but they are only now coming back to haunt him after the NDP brought them to light.

I'd say that the two reactions to followers acting in appallingly un-Canadian ways is pretty damn definitive. Despite all the Conservative hooplah about Iggy being more American than Canadian, I think that given the Cheneyesque arrogance displayed by Steven Harper, I think it's clear who owes more to the US tradition of leadership.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Yet one more reason to love Canada.

"Right To Life" means "You Have No Rights To Your Life" In Republican.

H/T Red Rambler: Is Pro-Life really Pro-Life?

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatm...Image via Wikipedia 
Have you ever noticed that when Social Conservatives use a bumper sticker term like "Right To Life," it often means something entirely different than what ordinary English Usage would suggest?

"Right to Life" - you would think - would imply a broad reverence for life and a reluctance to interfere in matters of individual liberty. But in fact, the only real right to life they seem to respect is their right to interfere with your life, and there are two iconic causes here - any chance that a woman might control her own reproduction, even in cases of rape or incest (one is tempted at times to use the word especially)  and of course the gun-culture fetishism. It is not Right to Life when the direct outcome of policy and politics is a demonstrable effect - the obvious and naked assertion that it's the Right of the Right to take any life they goddamn well please.


Of course, it's not just abortion. It's the War on Drugs. It's the Climate Denialism. It's the never ending whine that the concept of evolution is controversial. It's the outright war on science, education and yes, decent, civilized humane behaviour.

I've become increasingly impatient with the extremists of the Social Right. The raging intolerance of any complexity, any suggestion that professional and considered examination of anything is a good idea, and critical for whatever sort of government exits has taken western society into a very dark place indeed.

I am done considering it to be a valid, debatable, defensible position. Oh, you may have an ideology, a faith, a doctrinal viewpoint - but there are consequences and logical outcomes to those positions; if you blame those outcomes on the people who are affected by your views, you don't have a goddamn right to talk in public, much less try to impose your will. Oh, and I'm not the only one; HT: Dispatches from the Culture Wars. (ganked in toto with)

Answering the Anti-Abortion Billboard

Posted on: April 3, 2011 10:03 AM, by Ed Brayton
I posted the other day about the new billboard campaign in Chicago that features a picture of Obama and the text "Every 21 seconds our next possible leader is aborted." Commenter lofgren left the absolutely perfect response to that message:
Every 21 seconds, our next possible leader receives a crappy public education, misses out on invaluable opportunities due to his family's indigence as a result of a health crisis, is forced to work two minimum wage jobs in order to survive and cannot possibly invest in the world around them, commits suicide because of the despair of being bullied because of his sexuality, is benighted by denialism and anti-intellectualism, or finds herself forced against her will to sacrifice her future for a baby she doesn't want to give birth to.
I'm in awe of that response. Bravo!
Judgment Day - Everyone's screwed but us!Me too! And like another commenter there, I wish I'd said it myself. In a few years, I'm sure I will be quite sure I actually did. 

But in fact, this is more than just semantics, or pay to play politics, or social engineering, or the desire to impose a theocracy on us all. All of these things are ingredients in one putrid vat of toxic kool-aide.  It's not mere stupidity compounding ignorance. This is now a war on sanity. There's a point beyond where you cannot respect, much less tolerate a "divergent view." And here we are. 

Killing For Jesus

by digby

Nothing extreme here, nothing at all:

Religious Right activists have frequently found themselves at odds with the prominent health organization the American Cancer Society, attacking the group over its support for stem-cell research, the approval of an HPV vaccine, and for an anti-smoking program by an Iowa Planned Parenthood clinic. Josh Braham, the director of Right to Life Central California and the host of Life Report, has taken this antipathy to a new level, calling for a boycott of American Cancer Society activities because of the group’s support for stem cell research. Writing for the anti-choice website LifeNews, Brahm calls for a boycott of the Relay for Life and claims that supporting the group is no different than aiding Nazi scientists.
There is no greater example of the "Right To Life" moral bankruptcy than their stem cell fetish. They would rather see living, brething, sentient human beings die than kill a few cells in a petrie dish. You tell me who's the Nazi?
Well, when the same people want to put pregnant women in jail for things like this, but have no problem with sending people to death row for crimes they didn't commit, I have a problem with the phrase "right to life."

Here's an excerpt from the ACLU article, cited above.

Yesterday, the ACLU submitted a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Marion County Superior Court in Indiana to dismiss the prosecution of Ms. Bei Bei Shuai.
The facts of this case are heartbreaking. On December 23, 2010, Shuai, a 34-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from a major depressive disorder, attempted to take her own life. Friends found her in time and persuaded her to get help. Six days later, Shuai underwent cesarean surgery and delivered a premature newborn girl who, tragically, died four days later.
On March 14, 2011, Shuai was arrested, jailed, and charged with murder and attempted feticide. Had Shuai, who is being represented by National Advocates for Pregnant Women and local attorneys, not been pregnant when she attempted suicide, she would not have been charged with any crime at all.
 But Justice Alito sees no need to compensate a man from who almost everything and very nearly his life entire - was taken from him by a corrupt, malicious and incompetent agent of the state.

Justice Alito doesn't believe in your right to life. Just the right to impose upon yours. I'd like to close with this observation by A. Barton Hinkle.

[C]onservative Christians and conservative Muslims share enough values on enough social issues that it can be jarring to watch how the debate over faith in America unfolds. For persons of deep religious conviction, it matters deeply whether injunctions against homosexuality, fornication, abortion and so on are rooted in this sacred text or that one. For everyone else, the doctrinal basis someone cites for a theocratic state matters far less than the fact that he wants to impose one in the first place.
Oh, you may well wonder what I suggest we do about it. I have a profoundly powerful idea. Shunning. Do no business with such people. Make a point of avoiding them. Snub them in public if necessary. Lose their email addresses. And yes, even family, and even within marriage. Do not "agree to disagree" - hold no congress with them!

Unfuck 'em.

Unfuck the World
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