Which is more “nanny-state”: a strong social safety net, or a government that lets fundies decide what art is and isn’t worthy of public funding?
A well-known evangelical crusader is claiming credit for the federal government’s move to deny tax credits to TV and film productions that contain graphic sex and violence or other offensive content.
Charles McVety, president of the Canada Family Action Coalition, said his lobbying efforts included discussions with Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, and “numerous” meetings with officials in the Prime Minister’s Office.
“We’re thankful that someone’s finally listening,” he said yesterday. “It’s fitting with conservative values, and I think that’s why Canadians voted for a Conservative government.”
Mr. McVety said films promoting homosexuality, graphic sex or violence should not receive tax dollars, and backbench Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers support his campaign.
“There are a number of Conservative backbench members that do a lot of this work behind the scenes,” he said.
Conservative MP Dave Batters recently urged the new president of Telefilm Canada, Michel Roy, to block federal funding for objectionable films, listing Young People Fucking as a recent example.
“In my mind, sir, and in the minds of many of my colleagues and many, many Canadians,” said Mr. Batters during a Jan. 31 meeting of the Canadian Heritage committee, “the purpose of Telefilm is to help facilitate the making of films for mainstream Canadian society – films that Canadians can sit down and watch with their families in living rooms across this great country.”
Please, take your not-so-hidden “conservative values” and *ahem* do something offensive with them (other than continually fucking with Canadian values, dig?)
Update: more from we move to canada and Dan @ More Notes From Underground, who wonders if right wing defenders of latter-day free speech crusader (snerk) Ezra Levant will also stand up for Young People Fucking?
Last year I decided to go on a voyage. A voyage of discovery and inner harmony. Of love and worship. And eating.
For Easter last year I received a large box of Koko Black chocolates. Koko Black is a small Melbourne chain which specialises in making high end chocolates, as well as selling things like chocolate mousses and rich hot chocolates as part of it’s chocolate cafe. I decided to review some of the chocolates I received. Later I decided to take this idea even further by trying all of the chocolates they have for sale. Apart from marzipan, which cannot be trusted. On to teh reviews
Product description: Coffee ganache in dark or milk chocolate
I had the dark chocolate version. While I enjoyed it, I was hoping for the coffee flavours to be a bit more pronounced.
Light caramel ganache hand piped into a rosette
Wow, I really enjoyed this. By and large I’m indifferent towards alot of caramel chocolates as I tend to find them too sweet and cloying. Not so this time. The mousse was wonderfully light with the right amount of sweetness.
I want to say something about Barack Hussein Obama’s name. It is a name to be proud of. It is an American name. It is a blessed name. It is a heroic name, as heroic and American in its own way as the name of General Omar Nelson Bradley or the name of Benjamin Franklin. And denigrating that name is a form of racial and religious bigotry of the most vile and debased sort. It is a prejudice against names deriving from Semitic languages!
Christian, Western heroes have often been bequeathed Middle Eastern names. Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, the medieval Spanish hero, carried the name El Cid, from the Arabic al-Sayyid, “the lord.”
Barack and Hussein are Semitic words. Americans have been named with Semitic names since the founding of the Republic. Fourteen of our 42 presidents have had Semitic names (see below).
Barack is a Semitic word meaning “to bless” as a verb or “blessing” as a noun. It is found all through the Bible. It first occurs in Genesis 1:22: “And God blessed (barak) them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
Here is a list of how many times barak appears in each book of the Bible.
Now let us take the name “Hussein.” It is from the Semitic word, hasan, meaning “good” or “handsome.” Husayn is the diminutive, affectionate form.
Barack Obama’s middle name is in honor of his grandfather, Hussein, a secular resident of Nairobi. Americans may think of Saddam Hussein when they hear the name, but that is like thinking of Stalin when you hear the name Joseph. There have been lots of Husseins in history, from the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, a hero who touched the historian Gibbon, to King Hussein of Jordan, one of America’s most steadfast allies in the 20th century. The author of the beloved American novel, The Kite Runner, is Khaled Hosseini.
But in Obama’s case, it is just a reference to his grandfather.
As they say, read the whole damn thing.
Steve M. believes that non-issues inflated out of proportion by MSM blowhards (and supposedly insurgent bloggers) are pretty much all we can expect from here on in:
Get used to waking up every day and seeing your political culture — candidates, the press, even (perhaps especially) the blogs — discussing this crap rather than the issues. Get used to it because we’re going to have nine more months of it. By fall, one of these non-issues is effectively going to be the central issue of the campaign — or more than one is. And that would have been true no matter who the Democratic nominee turned out to be.
I love this Goldberg quote:
In the weeks to come, maybe reporters can resist the temptation to repeat health-care questions for the billionth time and instead ask America’s foremost liberal representatives why being a radical means never having to say you’re sorry.
Oh you and your stupid “issues.” We don’t care! We want a witch-hunt, dammit! We want irrelevant distractions!
Well, relax, Jonah. Tim Russert still has a job. We’ll all be neck-deep in the irrelevant very, very soon.
Neck deep? The irrelevant is about five inches over my head by now.
Alan Wolfe on how “that old time religion” has changed in America over the past five decades.
The Braintrust @ the Ottawa Citizen (h/t Fern Hill @ BnR).
Miss Vicky nails it in a diplomatic, sympathetic-yet-uncompromising fashion:
My heart breaks for families of murdered pregnant women – people like Mary Talbot, who wrote a piece in the Citizen today. They are dealing with a profound loss, and to them the loss is of two people, to be sure – their daughter or wife or sister, and the potential addition to the family that she was carrying. Believe me, I know the grief of the loss of potential, of a life-not-yet-lived, and all the dreams and hopes and aspirations and possibilities that accompany a pregnancy. But the thing about law-making, especially when it comes to justice issues, is that we have to strip away the emotion from issues in order to write legislation that makes sense for society as a whole. There is little to be gained from charging a criminal with a separate count of murder or assault for the loss of a fetus, except perhaps the satisfaction of a need for vengeance for those who are left behind. And while I can imagine the desire for vengeance is overwhelming in these situations, that isn’t what our justice system is about. And it certainly doesn’t bring back the loved one and the potential loved one in question.
Grief, while powerful and painful and often all-consuming, should not be driving legislation.
Mary Talbot may (may) honestly believe that Bill C-484 has nothing to do with abortion, but that claim is specious. As CC observed, the Unborn Victims of Crime bill doesn’t make any legal sense–unless one is trying to further enshrine the words “unborn” and “child” in Canadian law, putting a woman’s right to choose–and, if the effect that similar laws in the US have had are any indication, her bodily integrity and physical liberty–in jeopardy.
The problems in this Bill are two-fold: they seek to give status to the foetus as a separate entity with rights equal to human beings, and it seeks to re-define the foetus as a child. The wording of the Bill is geared to both. Let’s look at the problems with this Bill.
BILL C-484 – An Act to amend the Criminal Code (injuring or causing the death of an unborn child while committing an offence) 1. This Act may be cited as the Unborn Victims of Crime Act.
The word “child” would re-define a foetus and a zygote as a human being. Similarly, “unborn victims” would give them a status independent from the woman. If the Bill was truly concerned only with protecting the woman from an involuntary miscarriage while being the victim of a crime, wording of this Bill could easily be changed to reflect an additional crime against the woman, that of causing an unwanted miscarriage. Wording here is clearly to establish the rights of a foestus and zygote as independent from a pregnant woman. That Bill continues to use such wording throughout, leaving no doubt that such a Bill will indeed view the foetus as a separate human being, and a child, at that.
3. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 238: Causing the death of an unborn child while committing an offence 238.1
(1) Every person who, directly or indirectly, causes the death of a child during birth or at any stage of development before birth while committing or attempting to commit an offence against the mother of the child, who the person knows or ought to know is pregnant,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 10 years if the person
(i) means to cause the child’s death, or (ii) means to cause injury to the child or mother that the person knows is likely to cause the child’s death, and is reckless as to whether death ensues or not;
Just in case you still have doubts that the intent of this Bill is to declare a foetus/zygote a human being and give it rights as such:
Exclusion of defence
(5) It is not a defence to a charge under this section that the child is not a human being.
And in case you still don’t get it:
(6) An offence referred to in this section committed against a child is not included in any offence committed against the mother of the child.
It will be difficult to argue later that a “child” is a child in the case of crimes committed against a woman, but is not a child any other time. If the foetus is given independent rights in this case, it will be hard to argue it has none any other time.
[Bill C-484] is an unnecessary Bill since the extra charge of causing an unwanted abortion already exists in our laws. It is a dangerous Bill because it re-defines a foetus/zygote as a child and gives it independent rights. This will absolutely lay the groundwork for arguing to re-open the abortion issue.
Look, “what about my unborn granddaughter” is not an argument; it’s a deliberately manipulative fallacy that is being used (whether deliberately or otherwise) as part of a coordinated effort to incrementally chip away at reproductive liberty in Canada.
Once again: “Grief, while powerful and painful and often all-consuming, should not be driving legislation.”
The Ottawa Citizen has essentially given Mary Talbot an unchallenged forum to wack Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada over the head with grief just because Talbot has suffered a terrible loss. So, a challenge to the Citizen (and/or the folks in Winnipeg): allow Joyce the opportunity to respond to Talbot’s all-too-personal attack; let facts collide head on with emotion.
The women of Canada–and Joyce Arthur–deserve nothing less.
Via Dana @ The Beav (who wishes our so-called liberal media would also have the courage to highlight the ugly truth re: what Canadian soldiers are facing in Afghanistan), Elizabeth Rubin in today’s New York Times Magazine:
One full-moon night I was sitting outside a sandbag-reinforced hut with Kearney when a young sergeant stepped out hauling the garbage. He looked around at the illuminated mountains, the dust, the rocks, the garbage bin. The monkeys were screeching. “I hate this country!” he shouted. Then he smiled and walked back into the hut. “He’s on medication,” Kearney said quietly to me.
Then another soldier walked by and shouted, “Hey, I’m with you, sir!” and Kearney said to me, “Prozac. Serious P.T.S.D. from last tour.” Another one popped out of the HQ cursing and muttering. “Medicated,” Kearney said. “Last tour, if you didn’t give him information, he’d burn down your house. He killed so many people. He’s checked out.”
As I went to get some hot chocolate in the dining tent, the peaceful night was shattered by mortars, rockets and machine-gun fire banging and bursting around us. It was a coordinated attack on all the fire bases. It didn’t take long to understand why so many soldiers were taking antidepressants. The soldiers were on a 15-month tour that included just 18 days off. Many of them were “stop-lossed,” meaning their contracts were extended because the army is stretched so thin. You are not allowed to refuse these extensions. And they felt eclipsed by Iraq. As Sgt. Erick Gallardo put it: “We don’t get supplies, assets. We scrounge for everything and live a lot more rugged. But we know the war is here. We got unfinished business.”
And, surprise, surprise, the overworked and over-medicated soldiers in question are apparently this close to going all My Lai on the Korengal Valley:
Just before I left, Kearney told me his biggest struggle would be holding his guys in check. “I’ve got too many geeking out, wanting to go off the deep end and kill people,” he said. One of his lieutenants wanted to shoot every Afghan in the face. Kearney shook his head. He wished he could buy 20 goats and let the boys beat and burn them and let loose their rage. He tried to tell them the restraints were a product of their success — that there was an Afghan government with its own rules. “I’m balancing plates on my goddamn nose is what I’m doing,” he said. “All it’s gonna take is for one of these guys to snap.”
Is that the march of Freedom™ I hear tramp-tramping over someone’s fragile psyche?
Related: Tara McKelvey on the dearth of effective mental health care available to US military veterans suffering from PTSD. As one veteran puts it, “I felt like I was dealing with a M-A-S-H episode. There is this comedy of errors, and it culminates with this guy going home and blowing his brains out. And they say, ‘Oh, well, he was depressed.”
One wonders if Iraqis and Afghans are “depressed”, too.
Update: Another dispatch from the Korengal Valley by Sebastian Junger, which takes place just before the events chronicled by Rubin.
John McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, and yet he said “I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to.”
Sign the petition demanding McCain return the millions of dollars raised by lobbyists.