bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Yesterday morning, CBC Radio's national Sunday-morning show played a piece by musical satirist and comedian Randy Rainbow: "Putin and the Ritz".  (Trump is orange.  And round and flaky.)  I went to his YouTube channel and found lots more, such as "Fact Checker, Fact Checker".  Lovely stuff.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I have seen the assertion that the reason many people are uncomfortable with seeing a woman wearing a niqab is a relic of our primate ancestry: we want to be able to see someone's face.  That we're wired that way.

This would be an argument from "evolutionary psychology".  Anything coming out of that is questionable; most of its assertions are untestable, explanatory without being predictive.

Even if it's true... part of being sentient is overcoming such prejudices.  Or at least working to do so.

The pernicious thing about the Conservatives' and BQ's raising the niqab as a significant issue is that it provided a positive spin on the prejudice, gave people an excuse for their behaviour.  "I'm really supporting women's rights!  It's not that I'm prejudiced..."

If only that supposed concern for women's rights had extended to other issues, it might be more plausible.

I'm ashamed that so many Canadians made such an issue about women wearing the niqab during the citizenship ceremonies.  I had thought we were better than that.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Sad StephenSad Stephen

Sad Stephen I saw sitting all alone
Purging his flock all down the mountain side

I still need to do a headstone with "Requiesce In Purgatorio", but I have a few days left.
 

Tableau

Oct. 18th, 2015 07:16 pm
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Travelling past Hallowe'en displays this afternoon, in stores and on lawns, gave me an idea for our front lawn.  Perhaps late for the election, but we'll see how the riding and the country go tomorrow.  A tableau of famous scientists... Albert Einstein, bound, gagged, and tied to the tree.  Marie Curie, mouth stitched closed, with her glowing skeletal hands.  I don't know which other scientists are iconic and easily recognizable by typical passers-by.

If I end up wearing a costume this year, it might be generic "scientist" (lab coat, pockets full of stuff) and lips stitched together.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Exercise it regularly, when you can.

We voted in the advance poll yesterday.  The wait was about half an hour.  People in line were pretty good-humoured about it, even those with mobility problems.  There were a few chairs and benches, enough to go around; people who needed to sit were invited to grab a chair until their spot in line had advanced to the next chair.  The only complaining I heard was from a guy upset about inadequate signage, which had caused him to walk from one door to another and back again, and the loudest snarking I heard about him was from other handicapped people.  "For God's sake, it hurts me to stand, let alone walk.  Get over it!"  But the polling officials did discuss the matter, to try to figure out signage that would be simple and clear -- yes, it would have been possible for the guy to enter by a different door, if he didn't need a ramp.  The original signs directed everybody to the one door that was was fully handicapped-accessible.

In retrospect, it would have been nice if people with mobility problems were given priority.  But nobody seemed to expect it; nobody suggested it.

It's nice to see people so engaged in the political process.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Spotted by a friend of mine in Barrhaven, and posted with her permission:

Darth Vader lawn sign
bunsen_h: (Popperi)

"Lake Wobegon Loyalty Days" is the name of our show tonight.

It's named after the old name they used to have in Lake Wobegon for the 4th of July.

Back during the first World War they called it "Loyalty Days." And they made all of the people of German extraction stand up in the middle of the town, where everybody could see 'em. Made 'em all stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance and salute the flag, and everybody watched to make sure they weren't crossing their fingers, I guess.

Well, everybody goes through that sort of foolishness once in a while. Our country does more often than most, but here we are. We are who we are.

— Garrison Keillor

Now it's the women of Moslem extraction, and we're supposed to watch 'em to make sure they're not just mouthing the words, I guess.

I'd hoped we were past that sort of "foolishness".  To use a much-too-weak word.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
To paraphrase from Dave Barry's Homes and Other Black Holes: Ask any conservative politician to name the three most important factors in maintaining national security, and he'll say, "Terrorists, terrorists, terrorists."  Now ask him to name the location of the Supreme Court, and he'll say, "Terrorists, terrorists, terrorists."  This tells us that we should not necessarily be paying a whole lot of attention to conservative politicians.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Well-known Ottawa folk musicians Shelley Posen and Ian Robb have crafted a nice song and video, "There's Always Money For A War".  Though the sentiment is general, it pokes at Stephen Harper in particular.  I recommend it.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Per a CBC article, Justin Trudeau made a media comment about the Boston Marathon bombings, to the effect that we need to look for and address the root causes of such violence.

Stephen Harper attacked him for his attitude, asserting that the proper action is to "condemn it categorically, and to the extent you can deal with the perpetrators you deal with them as harshly as possible."

I am somewhat doubtful about the efficacy of threats of punishment as a deterrent; people who do such things usually don't believe they're going to get caught.  And if you're talking about a suicide bomber... what are you going to do to him afterwards?  "I'll take all the little bits and I'll... I'll - I'll jump on them! And I'll carry on jumping on them until I get blisters... or I can think of something even more unpleasant to do..."
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I just heard back from the CRTC, re: Bob Chiarelli and the Ontario Liberals' "Town Hall Discussion" calls.

Regardless of the exemptions provided to political candidates and political parties in regard to the "Do Not Call" registry, they must respect a direct call to them requesting that they not contact me. If they continue to call in spite of that request, they are in violation of the CRTC regulations.

Chiarelli's robocalls on April 2nd and 3rd were illegal.  I have just filed a complaint with the CRTC.
 
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I got yet another phone-spam message left on my answering machine today from Bob Chiarelli.

The phone spam was sent from a number which, when I called it back, merely repeated the spammed message, then hung up.

I dug up Chiarelli's office number and left a message.  The following message that I sent to his office via their web form is a slightly expanded version:

Is there ANY way to get you to stop "inviting me" to participate in your "phone discussions"?  Is there ANY way to get you to NOT call me for the "discussion" after your phone-spam "invitation"?  I note with disgust that when I call back to the number that the phone spam was sent from, I just get to hear the spammed message a second time, instead of being allowed to leave a message.  It's not like you're allowing me the courtesy of letting me reply to the message you left for ME.

Look.  I'm on the do-not-call list for a reason.  I DON'T WANT YOUR JUNK CALLS.  I have repeatedly tried to get you to not call me.  I have repeatedly told you that your harassment is a major reason why I no longer vote Liberal, as I used to.  Your continued failure to respect me in this very simple way is a major reason why I expect to continue to vote against you.

Get off my answering machine.

And don't add me to any E-mail lists.  I don't want to hear from you.
bunsen_h: (Default)


Clint Eastwood, yes... but what about Naomi?
 
bunsen_h: (Default)
I was trying to remember why, in my last post, the Immigration Minister's idea seemed so familiar.  It just came to me:
"Back during World War I, they called it 'Loyalty Days,' and they made all the people of German extraction stand up in the middle of the town where everybody could see 'em.  Made 'em all stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance and salute the flag and everybody watched to make sure they weren't crossing their fingers, I guess.  Well, everybody goes through that sort of foolishness once in a while. Our country does it more often than most, but here we are." — Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Loyalty Days
Sadly familiar territory.

ETA: What do they do for somebody who can't speak?  There must be some provision for written oaths.
 
bunsen_h: (Default)
Anita Vandenbeld, the Liberal candidate in my riding, robocalled me yesterday at dinner time.  A recorded message "invited" me to join a teleconference / information "meeting" this evening; I just had to pick up the phone when they called me.

At that point, I hung up, and called her constituency office.  I told the volunteer that I detested that kind of phone spamming, and that though I'd intended to vote for her, if they called me for that "meeting", I'd vote for someone else.

He asked for my phone number.  I wasn't inclined to give it to him, on the principle that any kind of telephone solicitation should be opt-in, but in the interest of expediency I gave it to him.  Then he asked if he could have my name, and I told him "No." and hung up.

I'm on the do-not-call registry.  I know that political candidates don't have to pay attention to it, legally, but... this is a list of people who've made their preferences clear: they don't want to be called.  Pretty stupid to ignore that.

At any rate, they called me again this evening.  Left another automated message on my machine.

So: I was intending to vote for her, because I thought she had the best chance of defeating scummy John Baird.  But I can't vote for someone who is — or who's set up a system — so stupid, so unethical, and so disregardful of my wishes. Never mind that the system should be opt-in by default; they can't even respect an explicit opt-out.  And how stupid do you have to be to call someone who's told you that he plans to vote for you unless you call him?

I just called her campaign office again and told the volunteer that she'd just lost my vote, and why.  Maybe it'll make a difference in future.

I'll probably be voting Green.
 

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