30 September 2009

Whoopi Goldberg, rape apologist

My thoughts on Roman Polanski are pretty much the same as the ones here. If you're too lazy to click through, the gist is "He's a rapist. Hello! Rape. Child. Not okay. Not even if he made good movies."

EDIT: Well, it looks like I owe someone an apology. Ms. Goldberg, and loyal readers (all 12 of you), I apologise. Goldberg's words were taken out of context. She was refering to the the charge against Polanski, saying that it wasn't a rape-rape charge, but rather a statutory rape charge. I was busy today and didn't go to the source. My apologies.

Whoopi Goldberg, who is now on the same list I put Mel Gibson and Michael Richards on, said this, "I know it wasn't rape-rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and and when they let him out he was like, 'You know what, this guy's going to give me a hundred years in jail. I'm not staying.' So that's why he left."**

"Rape-rape"?! Are you fucking kidding me? So what? It was unrape? It was not quite entirely unlike rape? What in the bloody hell is she on about?! That only stranger rape is legitimate? The girl was THIRTEEN! She was unable to consent. And furtherfuckingmore, SHE DID NOT CONSENT! That is rape, no matter how you hyphenate it.

**there are a few errors and omissions in that article, not the least of which is that Goldberg is a host of The View, not a guest, and that she isn't the only one on the show with such shitty ideas.

edited to fix crappy editing.

26 September 2009

More cuts

So, as I referenced in my last post, the BC government cut funding for the EIBI program for autistic kids. It's inconceivable, but they actually hit a new low. They cut the programs for domestic violence victims, including children.

I am utterly appalled. And you just know that the assholes who thought "Hey, let's cut support for battered women and traumatized children" are the same assholes who say, "Well, if she didn't want to get hit, she should have left".

How can we stop these monsters?

EDIT: Well, will wonders never cease? The government reversed its decision on the domestic violence programs cuts. Good for them. Now let's see some more reversals.

23 September 2009

Press event: autism funding cut

This morning I went to a press "event" at the BC legislature. Here's the event email I received:

In response to recent funding cuts to provincial EIBI programs, NDP critic for the MCFD Maurine Karagianis will be bringing up this issue today in the legislature during Question Period, and has planned a media event for tomorrow, Wednesday September 23rd, at 10:00 am at the legislature.

We are asking for anyone who opposes the termination of these programs to attend this event. This invitation extends not just to the families who are being directly affected by this decision, but to anyone who is concerned about reductions to autism and special needs services, including waitlisted families, former program participants, professionals, extended family, and more. VSCA believes that children with autism and other special needs need increased access to supports and therapies, not a reduction, and that discontinuing these programs will result in further costs in supporting these children long term.

Date: Wednesday September 23rd
Time: 10:00 am
Location: NDP Opposition Office, Room #201, BC Legislature

Please meet at the office shortly before 10:00am.

Thank you for your support.
So we arrived shortly before 10 and the very nice security people helped us carry the stroller up the stairs. We gave them our i.d., they gave us a visitor's pass, and off we went. The event had been moved to a larger room because they got more people than expected. That was a pleasant surprise. When we got to the room, it was already pretty full, but a very nice lady offered me her seat. Crackle squawked plenty, and finally Mr.FCS took him out. I was right behind the people giving their speeches, so I tried my best to look nice, not pick my nose, etc. I did my breastfeeding advocacy duty, and nursed the baby in front of all the cameras.

A number of people gave very good speeches. A few people gave very long boring speeches. I think the best points were these:
1) EIBI cuts will cost the government money in the long run, because children who receive EIBI are less likely to need government care, support workers, disability welfare, etc.
2) Cutting off any public option and forcing everyone into a private system, even while funding it, is seriously irresponsible because the progress of children going to these programs isn't monitored.
3) The government claims this isn't a cut. They say that because they're giving 1.6 million back to the parents (from a 4.9 million program), they're just reallocating to make it more equitable. This is bullshit because a) 1.6 is less than 4.9, and (b) because that 1.6 million will come back to the government via the HST, which is being imposed on the program next year.

I don't expect it to do a damn thing, this being the Campbell government, but at least we tried.

p.s. Order your shirt! I ordered mine yesterday.

17 September 2009

Olympics clearly more important than autistic kids

Why thank you, Mr. Campbell you sonofabitch.

"The B.C. Children's Ministry will stop funding a high-cost treatment program for 70 autistic children in order to give more money to about 800 autistic children in regular programs."

Um, CBC, why are you reporting their backpedalling as fact? The fact is, they're cutting a major program for autistic kids. The best program in the province.

"The government will drop the $5-million early intervention program in January. In April, the amount of money provided to families with autistic children under age six will increase to $22,000 a year from $20,000."

Oh, this is just a big fuck you, that's what this is. The incoming HST is going to end up sucking back all of that!

"She said the ministry found little difference in progress among children in the intensive program and those in regular treatment.

"We have to look at the outcomes and when it comes to what was occurring … we were not seeing any appreciable improvements in the outcomes for those kids.""

I'd like to see these alleged studies. What kind of bullshit study shows that 13 extra hours per week of intense therapy don't actually help? Perhaps ones funded by the group that would really like to cut the funding for that program! Talk to any of the parents of those kids. Talk to all the parents of kids waiting patiently for that program.

"Autism funding for children and youth from six to 18 years old remains the same, at $6,000 a year, she said."

And that amounts to a 7% cut because of the HST.

Good thing we can spend BILLIONS of dollars on the fucking Olimpdicks, but autistic kids can just go to hell. And you know, you can't say, "Oh, but it wouldn't have been spent on that anyway", because this is a cut, not just a refusal to fund.

Do you know what options a person in Victoria has for their autistic kid? A program called Little Steps or hiring employees of their own. Little Steps handles the paperwork for you, but is expensive. Hiring one's own employees is a paperwork NIGHTMARE, and getting the government to reimburse you for your expenses is crazy.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have a kid (possibly two, depending on the outcome of Monday's meeting) with Autism. This funding cut affects me directly. My son was on the waitlist for the cut program. I was seriously looking forward to him getting into the program. It's not that I don't like his interventionist (she's phenomenal) but right now, he gets 6 1/2 hours per week. Getting him into a 20hr/week program would have been amazing for him. I've seen the good work they do in other kids. So okay, now I don't get to put him in the best program, but we've still got the other program. And what's happening there? They're being flooded with calls. They're going to be so overloaded, I am positive the level of care will go down until they can adapt. And since Crackle (my son - if you haven't figured out the naming conventions, they're Snap - 14 year old girl, Crackle - 3.5 year old boy, and Pop, 6 month old boy who looks like an old man because of his silly hair and wrinkles) only has 6.5 hours per week, and only has until he's 6, we can't really afford for his care to go down in quality. He's nigh on impossible to handle with two adults around. With one, and Pop? Hard. Very very hard. And he's not terribly severe. I cannot imagine how the parents of the kids who are already in the program are feeling today. They must feel like they've been punched.

I really and truly need to get Gordon Campbell's ear for a while. And Minister Polak. Bastards. They truly don't see what harm they're doing. Either that or they just don't care. And if that's the case, I hope they rot in hell.

14 September 2009

Parents meeting bullshit

I went to a parents meeting at my kid's high school tonight. She's in Grade 9, so it was a meeting for new parents. I hate these things, but I went because maybe it'd be interesting. Hahaha. Interesting, it was. But only because the Principal was a ... gah... I can't even come up with a decent word for it, but I'll bet a million bucks she votes Conservative.

So, she's going on about how she doesn't like Cs. The school system has already gotten rid of Ds and Es (what the rest of us call Fs). She says we should get rid of Cs too because no one should be average. That they can all get As and Bs, they only need ask for help. Okay, no. Average is what the vast majority of people are. That's why they call it average. Way to make average kids feel like shit. Way to blame the parents and kids if their kids don't excel. Unreal.

So as she's saying this, she goes Way Too Far and says that our kids need to try harder and get better grades because there are more and more international students than ever, and those students are getting As and Bs, and they're getting into University, possibly taking "our kids'" places.

Whoa. Not just whoa, but Full Fucking Stop.

So "our kids", i.e. white kids, are entitled to university, and they're getting screwed out of them by those hard working "international students" (read: Chinese and Japanese kids). "Our kids" need to work harder to keep their places. Not because, oh, it's always a good idea to do one's best.

What racist claptrap!

Harper shows his true colours

God bless the guy or gal who videotaped the scheming lizard Harper, showing him for what he is:

Dude. Where do I even start? He's seriously proud to have dropped the national childcare program, in favour of giving money directly to parents so "they could make their own decisions". Wtf decisions are there to be made with $100/month?! It's $1300/month here for childcare. I can't even hire a teenager for $100/month. The only people who benefit here are are the people who decide to stay home with the kids. And for most people, that's not a decision, that's either a last resort or unavoidable because they can't find a job!

And then there's the Court Challenges program. Oh, Harper, you asshole. Left-wing fringe groups? You mean like those lefties who wanted to stop Keegstra from teaching that the Holocaust is just a conspiracy theory? No? Then it must be the women's rights (i.e. human rights) groups that brought challenges against employers and landlords trying to discriminate against women.

That's right. You heard it here (though not first). Women are a left-wing fringe group (on facebook, even).

h/t Antonia Zerbisias at Broadsides. I am *totally* buying one of those t-shirts when they're available!

08 September 2009

Check your privilege at the door

Elsespace, I was reading a post by a woman who is frustrated with the extra funding, support and programs provided to aboriginal children in her community. I know this woman fairly well, know about her kids and her family life. Things haven't been all that easy for her, but she has had the advantage of being white and pretty.

The question she was asking, and without an agenda (near as I can tell) is do you support a kid who wants to start a White Kids club? In her child's school, there is a club for Asians (read: SE Asian), Indians, Aboriginal kids, but (of course) none for white kids. The general consensus was NO! The kids, though, are frustrated, because they see all these programs for Other kids, including lots of freebies. I can understand how the kids feel, but they're missing that these programs, handouts and extra support are only there to help give them the same advantages that the white kids get.

One of the replies to her post really got me frothing, but I couldn't quite figure out why right away. I think I have it now. What he was saying was that he, a white man, is a minority in the lower mainland of BC. He was complaining that he can't read store signs, that "everybody" speaks Mandarin or Cantonese, and lots speak Punjabi. Okay... So lemme get this straight, a group of immigrants comes in to the area you live in (and by that I mean, the entire country that you claim for all of whitedom) and puts up signs in their language, doesn't adopt your culture, but brings their own. They exclude you with their language, their schools, their churches, and you feel like this isn't fair. Okay. I'll give you that because I'm feeling extra generous. But then HOW THE FUCK DARE you complain when the aboriginal people have a similar complaint? Especially when the Chinese people you're complaining about didn't come in, displace you, kidnap and beat your kids and thoroughly destroy massive swaths of your culture!

For crying out loud, with what white culture did to native culture here in Canada, giving them a few breaks, benefits and programs is the LEAST we can do. And so help me God, the complaining that they "don't do anything with it" just isn't going to fly with me. Perhaps that says something about how systemic the problem is, how you can't just make decades of repression disappear by throwing a few bucks at it. Yeah, every person has a personal responsibility, but damn it to hell, so does society.

And if you don't like that they don't speak your language in Richmond, learn Mandarin!

02 September 2009

quick hit: media

A small bone fragment was found on a property beside the home of a California man who was charged with kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard, and who is now being investigated in connection with the deaths of several prostitutes.

Lemme fix that. "... and who is now being investigated in connection with the deaths of several women."

I guaranfuckingtee you that if they were all computer scientists, that wouldn't be in the lede.