30 March 2010

Ashamed to be Canadian

Honestly, I've never been much of a patriot. I always thought (and argued in Grade 4, much to the dismay of my teacher) that patriotism was stupid. Proud to be Canadian? No. Lucky to be Canadian? Hell yes. It's like being proud of being blue-eyed. I was just born this way. Yeah, every once and a while I can feel proud of the government of Canada for doing the right thing, but I have long since figured out that the government does wtf they want, with little regard to what the country as a whole wants, so pride in being Canadian is kinda useless.

I have nothing to be proud of lately, that's for sure! The government doesn't do what I ask of them, doesn't represent my interests, and is actively transforming this country into something to be ashamed of. We're becoming more racist, more sexist, more intolerant. We're actively trying to destroy the planet (see: oil sands).

Some examples:
We're "cracking down" on refugee claimants: Kenney claims this is going to be good because it will "speed up the process". Uh huh. What it'll do is make it possible for the government to get rid of people faster and without the fuss and muss. A safe country list? Really? The minister can just decide that countries are safe for all people and send 'em back without so much as a hearing? This is bullshit.

We're telling women what they can and can't wear in our country (as if it's not their country too): Listen, I know that the burqa is the result of a very sexist, very patriarchal society. But I also know that the women who wear it choose to wear it. Just like I choose to wear a shirt in the summer, even when I'd be a hell of a lot more physically comfortable without it. But I'd be incredibly uncomfortable without it in other ways. Hell, I won't go into my backyard topless! If a society said, "Women must not wear shirts when it is warm", I wouldn't leave my house. I suspect there are a number of Muslim women who will feel the same about going out without their burqa. Some will wear a hijab instead, and feel extremely exposed (like I would in a bikini top, for example). Some will stay in. Some will be forced to stay in by their abusive partners. But if you think for a second that this is a good thing for women, dream on. It's not exactly working in Turkey! Religious burqa-wearing Muslim women aren't welcome in schools and universities. Get in line, or go to hell. That's what we're telling people.

Our plan for maternal health doesn't include contraception and safe abortion! That's ridiculous. Cannon (that asshole) said, "It does not deal in any way, shape or form with family planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save lives". What the blooming fuck? That's so stupid, it's painful. Women die because they get pregnant when they're not healthy enough.

Honestly, I would gtfo if I could, because this is utterly intolerable. The paternalistic crap coming out of our government is unbelievable.

17 March 2010

Trust Women

So the American Catholic nuns are saying that they support the healthcare bill, in defiance of what the bishops had to say. Nice. A few quick thoughts:
1) Are we being punked? Is it going to come out that this is a hoax?
2) If not, WOO! Go ladies! I've always been impressed with the strength of conviction that nuns have. And I tell you, they have a LOT more knowledge of what's going on in healthcare than the bishops do. So kudos to them.
3) I really hate that conscience clause bit. If your job requires you to do something in violation of your conscience, find other work. Seriously. And don't give me this, "but I need my job to live" crap. There are LOTS of jobs in healthcare that don't require being party to an abortion. I would NEVER take a job requiring me to provide abortions, or be part of the team providing them. If my job were re-shuffled meaning I had to start doing it, sure, I'd bitch and try to get that changed, but if they wouldn't change it, I'd quit. Simply put, someone else should do that job. I shouldn't be in that position, making it harder for women already in a difficult spot.
4) Hmm, agreeing with Catholics. This can't be good. (Hi Mom *grin*)

h/t Shakesville

16 March 2010

It's all in the subtext

Have you seen the "Catholics Come Home" ads?

Come on, baby. Come back to me! I promise I won't hit you again. And that whole thing with your kids? I didn't do it! And even if I did, it was their fault! And even if it wasn't, they got over it. And what, they're like 30 now right? Ew. And anyway, I've got it all under control now. So come back. You know you're worthless without me. You'll burn in Hell without me and you know it! Come back so I can make you feel good again. Oh, and bring your grandkids.

15 March 2010

Compassion, Conservatism and Capitalism

I've said before that I don't believe in "compassionate conservatism", and it's still true. They are diametrically opposed - at least they are in the way that 'conservatism' is used today to mean cutting social funding in any possible way. Now, I suppose I can buy the idea that there are compassionate conservatives, i.e. people who are opposed to government social programs, but believe in the power of charity, and in turn, donate a lot of money to it. My wacky bio-sis is one of these. She's stupid, mind you. She donates scads of money to charities, but is vehemently opposed to mandatory medicare payments. "I should be able to opt out!" (says the wife of a doctor!). Now, opting out of medicare, EI, etc. is a ridiculous idea for a number of reasons. (1) Without everyone, there wouldn't be enough money. (2) Even supposing (1) to be false, guess who is going to try to opt back in as soon as she can't afford the medical care for a sick kid or two? Guess what, honey, ya gotta pay while you're healthy to get the benefits when you're sick! (3) The vast majority of us just aren't evil enough to let you suffer/die if you opt out and then need the system.

Capitalism too, is at odd with compassion. A capitalist exploits resources to create profit for himself. That's practically the very definition. Unfortunately, compassion isn't part of the equation. If people are the resources to be exploited, good. Exploit them. If the earth is the resource to be exploited, great, have at it. Consequences are only relevant if they will negatively affect profit.

It's why I cannot reconcile capitalism with Christianity. Capitalism calls us to use people and love things. Christianity calls us to love people and use things. Unfortunately, not all Christians see it as such. It is horrifying to me the way that they can take the Gospels and twist them for hatred, intolerance, and now greed. Glenn Beck (I know, I know, but he's influential - sadly) urged Christians to leave churches that use the words “social justice.” WTF?! He's claiming it's code for communism. *sigh* No, Glenn, it's simply tolerance and compassion.

The minister at my church recently preached about the Charter for Compassion and I am intensely impressed with that group and its mission. This part in particular speaks to me:
We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate.
Yes! That is exactly it. Any interpretation of scripture that Glenn Beck or his ilk comes up with is illegitimate.
I love this next part. I am working on it, but it is *damned* hard. (Pun intended)
...to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
Wow, that's a hard one. I mean, there are people out there who seem to deserve no respect whatsoever (certain anti-abortionists, Stephen Fucking Harper, Bush and his Klan of Kronies, for example). What are they calling for us to do with people like that? Certainly, they do not expect us to sit back and let them spew their evil. No, they wish us to counter it with compassion. Wow.

Absolute justice would be something though, wouldn't it?

Speaking of absolute justice, I wonder what it is. An eye for an eye? Seems more like revenge than justice to me. I'm thinking they mean it in terms of fairness. Treat people fairly. If someone is a danger to society, take them out of society (prison). That sort of thing. But I don't think there can be absolute justice in this world. We can try though. But not without compassion.

Compassion is the Golden Rule in Christianity. Treat others as you would be treated, Love Thy Neighbour, whatever you want to call it. Profit is the Golden Rule in capitalism. The two just cannot be reconciled. And it irks the hell out of me that people keep trying.

08 March 2010

Happy International Women's Day

Have two sick kids, so I don't have a chance to write today, but here's my train of thought today:
International Women's Day - a woman (finally) wins Best Director - Seriously, it's 2010 and we're still celebrating 'first woman to...'? How sad. - Charter for Compassion - Capitalism, a Love Story - Harper's a prick