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     “One cannot simultaneously call oneself a leftist while defending a multi billion dollar industry that profits from the exploitation and degradation of women. One cannot call oneself “progressive” while refusing to stand up against the commodification of women and while refusing to challenge an industry that depends upon the absolute selfishness of men who tell themselves that their orgasms are more important that women’s humanity. One cannot claim to care about equality while choosing to defend men’s hurt feelings over women’s hurt bodies. There is no debate. If you are a leftist, you oppose capitalism and you oppose the exploitation, commodification, and abuse of your fellow human beings. You oppose hierarchy, oppressive systems of power, and imagery and ideas that naturalize and sexualize inequality.”

-Meghan Murphy

Visit Ms.Murphy’s website – The Feminist Current.

Designer babies, the end of diseases, genetically modified humans that never age. Outrageous things that used to be science fiction are suddenly becoming reality. The only thing we know for sure is that things will change irreversibly.

Well, if we don’t immolate ourselves first, some interesting things await for us in the future. :)

BLM  Some peoples lives are worth more than others.

In the context of American society one of the deciding factors of how much your life is worth is determined by the colour of your skin.  Here in Canada a similar skin tone gradient applies as being First Nations in Canada gets you the special police attention you don’t deserve.  Bonus features of being in First Nations in Canada include (but are not limited to), poverty, limited access to potable water, and an hostile educational system.  Make no mistake, we have much to do in Canada to address the needs of our people.   We have a Canadian Highway of Tears that sullies our escutcheon and is indicative of the racism that still permeates our society.

The inherent racism present in Canada pales before the horrendous shitshow that is running south of the border.  Racial divisions and discrimination represent a clear and present danger to fabric of the civil society of the United States (necessarily so).  The scale of protests against the racial violence of the white establishment is increasing – fuelled by social media that circumvents mainstream media and offers a small gory window into the lives of black people who are being murdered by the security apparatus of the state.

I cannot imagine the horror of witnessing your partner being shot to death in your car, having to be polite to the individual that just inflicted moral wounds on our loved one while having your child witness the entire blood spattered episode from the backseat.

 

Violence breeds violence.

The unidirectional nature of the violence was reversed as an individual who proclaimed his hatred for white police, killed five white police officers in Dallas.  The shooter was a reservist and had seen a tour of duty in Afghanistan.  Lives are being lost because we have tied how much humanity you’re allotted to the colour of your skin.

Madness.    It is sheer madness that we have allowed our societies to be shaped by racism and that the status quo is in fact racist.  Is this series of murders in the US the tipping point?  It certainly seems like people have had enough and are willing to entertain a large spectrum means to achieve their ends.  It should be (like the constant stream of black people being murdered by police hasn’t been) a wake up call to the American congress and its legislative position on systemic racism and gun control.  Henry Giroux paints a darker picture when he says:

“In the increasingly violent landscape of anti-politics, mediation disappears, dissent is squelched, repression operates with impunity, the ethical imagination withers, and the power of representation is on the side of spectacularized state violence. Violence both at the level of the state and in the hands of everyday citizens has become a substitute for genuine forms of agency, citizenship, and mutually informed dialogue and community interaction.”

The response of the law makers will tell the tale though, because the disconnect between public opinion and public representatives is being brought into stark relief.  Congress has been mostly bought and paid for – but they have to at least look like they are serving the needs of the public on occasion, will the murder of five police officers stir the sycophants into action?  I really don’t know, because getting reelected seems to override important qualities of being a decent human being. Qualities like empathy, compassion, and morality seem strangely missing when it comes to societal issues that threaten idea of moving toward a just society.

The cynical side of me contemplates this question: Would the US have gun control if members of Congress were similarly subjected to the murder/assassination program the rest of America is being subject to?

 

Gun Control psa[Source:Counterpunch]

mechanicaldoping   The competitive cycling world is being shaken as riders during competitions have be discovered using mechanical assists to help them perform better.  From the AP:

“Caught using a hidden motor at a world championship race, cyclo-cross rider Femke Van Den Driessche of Belgium has been banned from cycling for six years.The sanction imposed Tuesday by the International Cycling Union is a first using its rules on technological fraud.

This case is a major victory for the UCI and all those fans, riders and teams who want to be assured that we will keep this form of cheating out of our sport,” UCI president Brian Cookson said in a statement.

 The UCI banned Van Den Driessche through Oct. 10, 2021, stripped her of the Under-23 European title she won last November and fined her 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,500).
 She must return all prize money and trophies, including her Belgian national title, won since Oct. 11, the UCI disciplinary tribunal ruled.

The 19-year-old rider had said she would skip her disciplinary hearing at the UCI’s Swiss offices and retire from racing.”

Isn’t technology grand?  We have miniaturized engine components enough to fit into a skinny bike frame and at the same time have improved battery performance enough to make this sort of cheating worthwhile.  In the video below, see how it works and possibly see it in action on during professional racing.

I’m not a fan of bike racing or anything but what I find interesting is what the ‘competitive spirit’ can do to people and their moral/ethical character when it comes to high reward activities.

Competition should bring about the best of us, whether it is competing against a time or someone else in an endeavour.  I see nothing wrong with this concept as being committed to a goal and focusing time and energy on it is how many things are accomplished in the world.  However when the stakes are too high, and too fraught with competition, then unethical activities can be realized.

“There may be no Olympic sport as dependent on technology as cycling, whose space-age, feather-light carbon fiber bikes can cost more than a car and make the difference between a gold medal and nothing.

That has also made the sport ripe for an entirely new kind of doping: mechanical.

It has long been rumored that riders were finding ways to hide tiny electrical motors in their frames, or were using magnets in their wheels, to produce a couple of extra watts of power. But it was not until a young cyclocross racer was discovered to have a motor hidden in her bike frame last year that it became a prominent issue.”

   Can we think of cheating as a indicator of when a sport has become too competitive?

   The Cycling Union is taking this threat to the legitimacy of the sport seriously as they are using MRI scanners for the Olympics to ferret out the mechanical dopers.

“The group will work with the International Olympic Committee to test bikes in Rio; both will use proprietary software that the governing body developed for iPads. The system essentially scans a bike for magnetic fields that could indicate the presence of motors, and it is advanced enough to distinguish between illegal technology and the electronic shifting systems that have become common among elite riders.”

   It seems that there is a limit to the usefulness of competitiveness as a motivator to many human endeavours as once a critical moral threshold has been breached, the allure of cheating becomes too strong.  Thus the legitimacy of the sport, built on competition, is undone by that very same factor.

    Similar analogs can be seen in the world of business and trading.  The market works fairly well until rampant greed ruins the party for everyone.  I smell a sociology paper flitting about on this topic as to how the limiting aspects of cheating interact with competitive sports and other activities.

[Source: NY times]

[Source: Associated Press]

canadaflag    Wouldn’t it be nice if people, for once, didn’t decide to make money of the misery of others?  (I know, I know.  Capitalism would collapse the End Times would start, et cetera).  One news story that caught my eye was the tomfoolery going on with some Immigration Consultants and their business of getting Syrian refugees to Canada.

“CBC News has learned about a troubling aspect of the drive to bring Syrians to Canada: professional immigration consultants, in partnership with some refugee sponsorship groups, are charging refugees thousands of dollars in arrangements that critics say are unethical and violate federal rules on sponsorship.

The immigration consultants have been targeting Syrians living in the Gulf states, many of whom are there on work permits and are able to earn a living. In that sense, they are potentially a more lucrative client base than those in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.”

Well so far, not bad.  I’m sure unethical people wouldn’t try to game the system to rich themselves based on the misery of others…

In the case of one such agency, information available online and documents obtained by CBC News reveal that the consultant is not only charging prospective refugees thousands of dollars to process their applications but also asking them to pay the full cost of their resettlement up front, which violates the financial guidelines of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Whoops, there we go.  The dark side of what humans are capable of has come front and centre once again.  Would more people be left in trouble without these private companies working their magic?  Would it be wrong to legislate them out of the picture?

I understand that the entrepreneurial spirit thrives in conditions such as these, but I think in the case of refugees we should prioritize their safety rather than the profits of these so called ‘Immigration Consultants’.   Let’s close with what Jackie Swaisland has to say on the issue, as she frames the problem quite concisely:

“There are still people who are incredibly vulnerable. There are still people who don’t know what tomorrow holds for them, or they are in dire circumstances,” she said.”So, to sort of charge those individuals, even if they can technically afford to pay for it, a large fee for your services, I think that becomes unethical.”

Unethical, indeed.

[Source:cbc.ca]

 

 

 

Canadian society, especially the justice system, just isn’t ready to hear women when they speak the truth…

This is an amazing post detailing all the conditioning, socialization, and patriarchal f*ckery that women have to fight through, just to be heard.

Our Rape Blog

There’s a question people keep asking about the Ghomeshi trial, and I was up most of last night trying to think of how to answer it. I finally shut my brain off by picturing, in as much detail as possible, a solid wall of packed dirt in the dark above me. I spent the rest of the night mentally attacking my invisible wall. When I finally went to sleep it was what I dreamed about.

Between pretend punches, the words crept in.
Why
punch
did
punch
they
punch
lie?

If they were telling the truth about the assaults, why did they lie about other things? Why didn’t they just tell the truth?

Manipulative
punch
Deceptive”
punch
Why?

I’d like to try to answer that question for you because I’m in an oddly perfect position to do so.

As the verdict of the Ghomeshi case came out, I…

View original post 1,127 more words

Finally.

A Houston grand jury investigating undercover footage of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing Monday by the abortion provider, and instead indicted anti-abortion activists involved in making the videos that targeted the handling of fetal tissue in clinics and provoked outrage among Republican leaders nationwide.

 

Yeah, dudes rallying to deny women their rights.  Shocking, I know.

Yeah.   Dudes rallying to deny women their rights. Shocking, I know.

This is what happens when your platform is based on lies, deception and intimidation of women and those who support them.  You get your shit called out in court, one of the few places in America where evidence and facts still matter.

Planned Parenthood vindicated:

“This is absolutely great news because it is a demonstration of what Planned Parenthood has said from the very beginning: We follow every law and regulation and these anti-abortion activists broke multiple laws to try and spread lies,” said spokeswoman Rochelle Tafolla of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.”

Ah, the noble crusaders for life are in for a legal drubbing.

“Despite the lofty name of the Center for Medical Progress, public filings suggest only a small number of people are affiliated with the non-profit, none of whom are scientists or physicians engaged in advancing medical treatments. The people named as its top officers are longtime anti-abortion activists with a history of generating headlines.

Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood sued the centre in a California federal court, alleging extensive criminal misconduct. The lawsuit says the centre’s videos were the result of numerous illegalities, including making recordings without consent, registering false identities with state agencies and violating non-disclosure agreements.”

Isn’t just amazing the array of bullshit brought into play when women get close to being treated a full human beings.  Let’s hope the court, seeing the vast swath of anti-choice malfeasance, nails these bastards to the wall.

[Source:cbc.ca]

 

 

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