Friday, March 28, 2008

Paging Captain Obvious

If there's one thing that I've learned in life, it's that history repeats itself. Regardless of the generation or time period, youth are considered badass and rebellious and the parents/grandparents are always complaining about "the youth of today" and all that jazz.

"Damn the youth of today!" was heard loud and clear recently in London, ON as a local health unit voted in favour of petitioning the government of Ontario to raise the legal drinking age to 21.

Currently the drinking age in Ontario is 19 and apparently the "low" drinking age is "promoting" drinking amongst youth and causes motor vehicle accidents. Apparently, if the drinking age is raised to 21, fewer youth will drink and there will be fewer motor vehicle accidents.

I'd like to quote this winner from a London high school as to why this idea is pure crap.
"'I think it's kind of dumb because everyone drinks from Grade 9 on anyways, so it doesn't really matter,' said Adam Abel, a 17-year-old student."
Eloquently put, my man.

Youth drink at ages way below the legal drinking age and if you raise it, it will become even cooler to drink at 16 because it's not just illegal, it's like... really illegal. I'm straight edge and have never been drunk and I STILL see through this.

Now I'm all about giving credit where credit is due and one of their resolutions does make sense.

The same Health Unit is also calling for the legal-blood alcohol in drivers to be lowered from .08% to .05%. That is something everyone who isn't a raging alcoholic will get behind and support. Drinking and driving is never okay.

Otherwise this resolution is a craptastic idea. I understood when they raised the drinking age from 18 to 19, because it meant that no student could have alcohol at school or be under the influence at school and legally attempt to get their way out of it. So by raising it to 19, they ensured that high school-aged students would not have some sort of legal loophole. That makes sense.

But 21? Are you kidding me? Where are we.. in Texas? Until this month, it was illegal to sell sex toys in Texas. Do we really want anything in common with them?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mother Nature is sinking and I don't wanna swim

Big news for the environment this week and like most things on this blog, the news is BAD.

It seems that a massive chunk of the Antarctic ice shelf has broken off and collapsed. Just to give you some perspective, the chunk of ice is bigger than Montreal. The city. In Quebec. Saddened, but not surprised, scientists are blaming the collapse on global warming. And the prospects aren’t exactly looking up when you consider that
“The rest of the Wilkins ice shelf, measuring more than twice the size of Prince Edward Island, is holding on by a narrow beam of thin ice.”
Obviously this is a big deal. So is the fact that Painkillers, other drugs found in southern Ontario drinking water. These “other drugs” include birth control and anti-depressants. Serious drugs with high hormone levels. The study is obviously ringing alarm bells for the 15 municipalities it includes, but it’s also a bad sign for the environment. The study concludes that they are “trace amounts”, which is enough for CBC respondents to go off about how you “take your own risks by drinking tap water” and “this is just another paranoid attack on big pharma”. But trace amounts are still amounts and add up with time. And let’s face it, we don’t really know that much about the effects of these drugs on aquatic life and the eco-system, since they are tested on peeps not animals. And with children hitting puberty at younger and younger ages, there is word that the link can be made to hormones found in water.

So I read this and think HOLY HELL. But apparently, Canadians aren’t too concerned. In fact, the biggest headline on Globe and Mail this morning when this was written?

No Rolling, No Winning. Context? A manufacturers default has made a bunch of Tim Hortons Roll Up The Rim To Win cups look as though they have already been rolled. Naturally, people are shitting bricks that Tim Hortons employees, who work shit hours for shit pay, have been rolling up the rims behind the counter and then handing them to customers.

Mother Nature is slowly crumbling - not a big deal. You quite possibly missed out on a free donut from the purchase of a low-grade, environmentally unconscious cup of coffee – massive deal.

Nice to see Canadians have got their priorities in order.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hi, My name is Pro-Choice Taylor

When I made the decision to start this blog, I really didn't intend to include so much discussion of reproductive rights, but the Jesus-Freak anti-choice crazies seem to really be revving it up lately.

You thought this guy was nuts? Well apparently the Americans have their own version of the crazy. His name is Pro-Life Richardson.

You're waiting for the punchline, right? I wish there was one but honestly, the jokes are writing themselves at this point.

A Senate candidate has legally changed his name to Pro-Life and will appear on the ballot that way this year, state election officials say.

Yes, that's right. An abortion hatin' freak from Idaho legally changed his name to Pro-Life so that his name would appear that way on the ballot. And in case this story couldn't get any funnier and weirder, he's running in the riding to replace disgraced US Senator Larry Craig. Yeah, that Larry Craig.

Idaho: I used to only know you for your potatoes, but now you will forever be in my heart for consistently bringin' the crazy.

Yes, the photo you see on the right is of Mr. Pro-Life. He looks frighteningly similar to Larry Craig. Must be an Idaho thing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Catholic Church: Out of Touch and Lovin' It

So I’ve stated on here many-a-times before that yours truly is a pro-choice, lapsed Roman Catholic. I grew up in a Catholic household in the sense that I did all my fancy, smancy sacraments and attended Catholic school. I’ve now abandoned it and am morally opposed to organized religion. There are many reasons for this, mostly the hypocrisy and ignorance which hurts my soul.

Please take note of Exhibit A: Ottawa's Catholic archbishop says he will refuse communion to any politician who "obstinately" supports access to abortion, but only if he or she cannot be persuaded to stand down.

So if you’re an elected Member of Parliament who has gone through all the religious sacraments necessary to receive “the body of Christ” but you think that womyn should have the right choose, no bread for you.

My question is: who and what defines “obstinately” supporting access to abortion? Is it voting YES on certain Bills or is it only if you’re really into it and joining pro-choice rallies? And how exactly does this fellow intend to “persuade them to stand down”?

“Mr/Ms/Mrs Minister – If you don’t vote NO on such-and-such a Bill, you can’t have any bread. Why? Because I said so!”

This whole thing is really that paternalistic and truly hypocritical considering the history of the Catholic Church. They’re shunning pro-choice politicians from church ceremony but it took them forever to admit to histories of sexual abuse and they’re still trying to skirt away from the residential school controversy. Then there's the stuff like, you know.. the Crusades.

Not to mention the sheer hypocrisy of listening to not only a man, but a man sworn to celibacy, telling other people what their reproductive rights should be.

But! Fear Not Loyal Followers! Observe Exhibit B: The Pope says that polluting is a sin. Enviromentalists have been touting this line for years, but apparently it takes a decrepid old man in a funky hat to preach love for the Earth before it really sinks in.

So, does that mean we can expect the Pope mobile to be a hybrid?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hey Minister, you ain't foolin' me!

While Canadians are getting pounded by the snow and pounded by news of the US elections, a sneaky and very important Bill is being debated in the House of Commons.

Ken Epp, a Conservative MP, put forward Bill C484, also known as the “Unborn Victims of Crime Act” which “seeks to make it an offence for injuring or causing the death of an unborn child during the commission of an offence against the child’s pregnant mother.” (This was taken directly from Epp’s website).

Translation? Killing a pregnant womyn would legally be considered killing two people: the womyn and the “unborn child”.

On the surface, who doesn’t agree with this? Pregnant womyn are called pregnant because they’re carrying a child! Many pro-choicers argue that a fetus is not a person, it’s a potential person, etc. I am pro-choice and believe that what a pregnant womyn carries is indeed a child. A human being. HOWEVER, I am pro-choice because I believe a womyn’s choice and rights trump those of the child that she carries. Without her, there would be no child, in every literal sense.

Furthermore, pregnant womyn are at an increased risk of abuse and assault and there are various reasons for this that I won’t get into here. But statistic after statistic demonstrates that womyn who are abused are even more abused once they are pregnant. This is a sad state of affairs.

So in a perfect world, I say right on Epp! Sign away on that Bill and let us stick sick, abusive bastards in jail for even longer! However, when you take off your rose-coloured glasses, you see that this Bill is really just a sneaky anti-choicers attempt at taking away a womyn’s right to choose.

If this Bill goes through, we will be forced to re-open the age-old abortion debate. Why?

Well you can’t say that a fetus is a “person” onto itself when it is murdered along with its pregnant mom, but that it’s not a person when a womyn has an abortion. If this Bill passes in the House, the Canadian Government will be saying that a fetus is an unborn child in the case of murder by a stranger. Anti-choicers will shit their pants with glee and then run to the courts calling every womyn who has an abortion a murderer, because “Hey there Judge, you just said they were people and that killing them is a separate offense that should be recognized under the law!”

See where I’m getting at? Now Mr. Epp realizes this and keeps saying that it will not interfere with a womyn’s right to choose and for the sake of the argument, let’s just say he really believes that. Well sorry Mr Minister Man, but we will have a legal contradiction in Canada and you know some Smart Ass lawyer is going to rip it to shreds and open up the legality of abortion. And considering abortion is only decriminalized in Canada, this can of worms very well might open.

Putting aside the abortion issue, how about the implications for the valuing of womyn’s bodies?

So killing a young womyn of reproductive capacity – bad. Killing a womyn who is currently reproducing – very bad. Killing a young womyn is killing a future mom too, isn’t it? But they aren’t actually giving us babies right now, so it’s not that big of a deal, right?

Think I’m an exaggerating feminazi? Well how about the fact that it’s called “The Unborn Victims of Crime Act” and not the Fetus Act? Or better yet, “Pregnant Victims of Crime Act”? It’s obviously not out to address violence against pregnant womyn. It’s about giving fetuses full personhood rights while under the guise of “saving pregnant womyn”. To me, this is a whole lotta “Let’s go save the Afghani womyn!” when really it’s a matter of “I could care less I just want oil for my SUV.”

This Bill is HUGE and very important. And in the world we live in, with anti-choicers waiting on baited breath for any opportunity to revoke womyn’s reproductive rights, Minister Epp is on a slippery slope. And I pray to God, Goddess, Allah, Jehovah, whoever, that he falls down that slope and forgets this whole thing. But I won’t hold my breath.