Thursday 28 May 2015

Working in Montréal today --Free guns, lower taxes, imprison women

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Now is one of those moments where I will make some statements that will have a polarizing effect on my readers, much like advocating the serving of seal meat in the Parliament Hill restaurant. Mmmm pan fried bashed head seal filet stuffed with dolphin fin served with steamed greens and artichoke.

While I expect some hate mail from some of you, just keep it civil.  Not so much for me, but really for you and your own karma.

I recently received a piece of campaign filth, campaign American style where a group, the CLC -The Campaign Life Coalition, is campaigning against the Liberal party and sent out a card filled with photos of aborted fetal tissue and several statements about Justin Trudeau.

I will disclose that I am neither a Liberal party supporter nor in the Conservative camp (who keeps just enough distance from the CLC so it has plausible deniability, but the CLC's mouth piece explains that it is working hand in hand with Conservative MPs and candidates).  I thought that I would make that clear, not a fan of either house.  I have also become quite 'meh' over the NDP since they have moved to pursue the popular vote, in effect, a man without a party, but that is a different Pulp.

I am going to wander a bit from topic flow but will be right back.  I do find it odd that it is usually proponents of less gov't, fewer laws, that are also proponents of more laws about women's bodies.  "The gov't should tax me less, let me 'free range' my children, leave my guns alone, but control my wife's, daughter's and neighbour's wife's sexuality and uterus" --really Biff?

That the card strangely suggests that young Justin is responsible for abortion in Canada is beyond absurd.  Way back in 1988 (Justin was 17), during the Conservative gov't of Brian Mulroney and after a few decades of slow movement away from imprisoning women for life, and forcing them to carry a fetus to full term over what ever objections they might have to the use of their bodies in this fashion, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canada's abortion laws to be unconstitutional.

The highest court noted that the law "Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations" and that the law "asserts that the woman's capacity to reproduce is to be subject, not to her own control, but to that of the state" were essentially a breach of the woman's right to Security of the person, which is guaranteed under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I'll let that sink in a bit.  It was the Supreme Court of Canada not Parliament that freed women from the threat of imprisonment if she obtained an abortion.

The Conservative gov't then tried unsuccessfully to pass new legislation in 1989-90.  Yes, the C's have a long track record of trying to replace one piece of unconstitutional legislation with more unconstitutional legislation.  Although the legislation passed vote, while it was waiting to pass the upper house one young woman in Kitchener was severely injured during a botched back room abortion and a young woman in Toronto died from a self inflicted abortion.   Many speculated that she was too scared to go to the hospital for fear of being arrested.  The Senate ended up in a tie vote, failing to pass the legislation.

You see, the proponents of anti-abortion laws seem to always conveniently forget or ignore the fact that countries with anti-abortion laws do have something else instead.  Dead young women.

In the absence of legal, safe abortions, women will take what ever steps are available to them.  Lysol flooding, wire hangars, and back room improperly trained hacks.  These methods result in severe infections, horrible injuries and deaths.

Think about the mindset of a young woman, perhaps in university or the mother of several other children where an additional is simply not feasible, or the incest or rape victim that does not wish to discuss or make her circumstances public, or the woman with emotional stresses or perhaps it would be a high risk because of age or genetic make up, or what ever.  For as many women there are as many situations, all different.  There are a myriad of situations where the burden of carrying a pregnancy to full term and creating a new child that needs to be fed, clothed and cared can be too much to cope with emotionally, economically, physically.

Who the hell is the state, who are we, to require under the threat of life imprisonment (yeah, the good old day, what a bunch of horse sh*t) that economically limited women perform this act?  Safe abortion performed by well trained physicians has always been available to the wealthy and if Canada reversed itself back to the Dark Ages, then women of means will travel to any of the 75 or so countries on this planet where it is legal.  

And the less than economically advantaged?  Back rooms and death.

Hey, how about I list some of those 'enlightened' countries that the CLC would like Canada to emulate where a woman can die waiting for an abortion.

El Salvador
Dominican Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo

Let's not let this become an election issue and how about Harper separate his party from the CLC and direct his candidates to disassociate from them as well?  And let's knock off this American style third party soft dollar campaign bullsh*t shall we?

If we give them a foothold on this issue, next it will be the re-illegalization of birth control or being gay.  It was abortion, the pill and same-sex sex that Justin's father, Pierre Trudeau, spoke of when he said in 1969 that gov't should stay out of the bedrooms of Canadians.

Have a good day.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Working in Ottawa today --The Wall of Doom

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today and am hoping for a pollen free day.  I managed to go a little more than 50 years without allergies but this spring has been brutal.

But enough whining and complaining let me introduce and explain.. The Wall of Doom.

Have I written about construction before?   Sure, there was the squirrels that were renovating the attic a couple winters back and then the raccoon that ripped a new hatchway into the storage area under the deck, and sure the realignment of Jennifer's mailbox during End of the World  part 1and part deux But I don't think that I have written previously about construction methods, practices or finishes.

And then of course there is the differences between the way that the brain lad growing up is so much different to that of a young lass.  This is the intersection of those two topics.

While not from Southern Alberta originally, Lethbridge is where my brothers and I grew up.  In case you have never been, there is a particular house exterior finish that I have only seen in Southern Alberta and parts of older Vancouver.  The stucco finish with bits.. nay, shards of glass imbedded therein.


Now if you don't know the particular finish I must make sure that you fully understand.  This is a exterior house finish that covers all surfaces with the exception of window sills, door casing and the foundation parging.  Sometimes even then.  It is a mixture of portland cement troweled over wood lath with small peddles pushed into the final coat so that the pebbles all are half exposed.  Can be very attractive and when applied correctly can last 100 years.

But it doesn't always stop there.  In the 1930s or so, someone had the idea, hey, it would be great if it sparkled!  Gosh.. how to make it sparkle?  Crushed glass of course!  So the industrious and Great Depression trained recyclers decided to use broken beer bottles for brown sparkly bits, broken ginger ale bottles for green sparkly bits and the elusive milk of magnesia bottles for the rarely seen but very cool blue sparkly bits.  I keep typing bits, but these were pieces that stuck out a 1/4 inch or so and some were damn sharp!

So maybe this is adequately pictured in your mind.  A house wrapped in the equivalent of 20 grit abrasive.

Um.. Uncle Daniel this is fascinating and all, but the difference between boys and girls?

Yes, almost there.  Nope, not almost, we're there now.  

For a young lad there was nothing more tempting that when walking beside such a house beside a brother or neighbourhood guy to 'nudge' the other guy into the stucco wall.  It never took much, and the resultant collision between person and wall never failed to disappoint.  The victim would initially attempt to retract hands, face and limbs away from the approaching Wall of Doom in hopes that will power alone could reverse the momentum and avoid the resultant ablation of skin, flesh and dignity.

It never worked.  Arm, shoulder and if it was a great day, the face plant.  Having been both the instigator and victim of a stucco attach, I can tell you the best defense was to never allow yourself to be between such a wall and another guy.  Never.  But if you end up there and the inevitable should occur, you must do everything you can to bring yourself to a stop of all lateral motion.  When you come into contact with the wall it is best to come straight in and stop.  Continuing in your original direction will result in long scrapes and gouges into your flesh. Yay!

And girls?  Never had I ever saw a lass perform a Wall of Doom attack on another.  And no guy ever did it to a girl.  No sir.  That would not be acceptable. But even more..

My Dad never asked, but I distinctly recall being asked by my mother, "Why, WHY, would you do such a thing to your brother?!"

I recall that I didn't understand the question.

Have a great day. Beware the Wall of Doom.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Working in Montréal today --Belle of the Ball

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today, Ottawa tomorrow, Toronto on Friday, my backyard on Saturday and snoozing on the couch on Sunday afternoon.

Now a short tale of a gal and her date to the ball..

For pretty much all of Alberta's adult life she has hung out with the Conservatives, now sure back in her 'College Days' she experimented with Social Credit, just being 'adventurous' the cute Prairie Belle told her friends, after all, she was young and carefree.

But what happened last night will certainly get the attention of the other Belles of the Ball.  Alberta went alternative, not that there is any wrong with that.  I mean sometimes a gal has to start wearing a plaid shirt and look after herself, has to be responsible for her own Big O if you know what I mean.

Come on, you knew I meant OIL, I'm just messin' with ya.

Okay, I tried a juxtaposition of the unlikeliness of Alberta jumping the PC train for the NDP akin to a person swapping sexual orientation.  It didn't really work, and now I am almost out of flight time.

But what did happen last night?  It was the result of what could be arguably the worst campaign orchestration and result since the 1993 federal election where the Progressive Conservative party went from 156 seats down to 2 and ceased to be a federal party only to reborn as the Conservatives and retaking power with Damien at the helm.

Yeah, PC's 

For them it was destined to be an 'interesting' election.  First they broke their own 2011 law dictating fixed election dates and called the election early by a year.  Albertans all enjoy a certain moral flexibility, and wholly capable of saying one thing and doing another, but they really don't like it in their elected officials.  What is rather odd, is why they called it now, one usually doesn't call for a vote when you are sitting at the bottom of the popularity trough.  Odd to go through the effort of passing a law through the legislature and then be the first to break it.

Oh yes, Damien, I mean Harper did the same thing.  With the same law that he put in.  Just federal style.

Next, and you really have to admire the absurdity, Prentice blamed Albertans themselves for the economic mess they are in with the effects of plunging oil prices and that they should look in the mirror.  WTF..!  The PCs have been in office for 45 years straight.  Look in your own gd mirror Bozo!  Then amongst the most wishy washy budgets and then budget reversals Prentice insulted (Premier elect) Rachel Notley, and perhaps all women, and perhaps all Albertans with the line, "I know math is hard."

What a pr!.

In the end, it was clear that Albertans are ready for a change, and a bit of a stampede. Congratulations Alberta Premier-elect Rachel Notley!

Hey, have a great day.  It's never to late to change teams.