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Political Correctness

Vaginas and Frilly Dillies

There was a pro-life demonstration on Parliament Hill yesterday which drew the usual accompanying pro-abortion counter-demonstration. Sometimes I believe that the two groups are actually joined at the hip and are like opposite sides of the same coin. One couldn’t exist without the other.

It was all the usual stuff but one thing I will say about the pro-abortion side is that some of its members really know how to spice it up a bit. A couple of the demonstrators decided that the best way to stand up for what they see as women’s rights was to go topless and use their breasts to make their point.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m happy to encourage women on both sides of the issue to feel at liberty to promote the cause with bared breasts. I’m very egalitarian that way – or is it shallow?

The bared breasts were only a momentary distraction for me – I had forgotten my glasses so everything was kind of fuzzy. What really caught my attention was the message one of them was delivering.

“Stay out of my vagina!” Continue reading

Barbarians at the Gates

“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”
Thomas Paine

During the late 17th century, a new movement among intellectuals began to emerge. It emphasized reason as a means to challenge traditional ideas grounded in faith, superstition and convention. It sought to advance knowledge through the interchange of ideas, healthy skepticism and a scientific method. It was revolutionary using logic rather than opinion or obedience to dogma to arrive at conclusions and was unafraid to test its conclusions against newly emerging  evidence.

It was called the Age of Enlightenment and Reason or sometimes simply The Enlightenment. Continue reading

The White Poppy – Co-opting the Symbols of Others

A new symbol for an old cause has recently emerged. The cause is peace – the new, or more accurately, co-opted symbol is the white poppy. As most of us know, the red poppy is worn on, and leading up to, Remembrance Day to honour the men and women who sacrificed their lives in the defense of freedom.

It does not glorify war; it is a reminder of the human cost of war and the value of peace.

It increasingly seems that new generations who have never had to live or experience the horror of war, confuse the significance of November 11. They look on it as a glorification of all things military and so they protest Remembrance Day and have co-opted it’s singular symbol – the poppy – to make their point.

They live in a society where they have that right; a right guaranteed and protected by the lives of the very people they demean. They have the right to protest but lack the decency and the values not to misuse a symbol of honour and respect for their own purposes. Continue reading

Conservative Bigotry – Progressive Hypocrisy

“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.”
Carl T. Rowan

“The idea of democracy has been stripped of its moral imperatives and come to denote hollowness and hypocrisy.”
Paul Wellstone

“Any deviation is looked upon as a perversion, is feared, and is usually a target of hatred and prejudice.
Joey Skaggs

 

There is nothing more distasteful to me than people who lay claim to defending principle or religious faith as justification for their bigotry and prejudice. You see it all the time these days, although it’s  been around for centuries.

The latest example comes from Gwendolyn Landolt head of REAL Women Canada which has publicly accused Canada’s Foreign Minister, John Baird, of abuse of his office for his public support of the civil rights of gays internationally. It has caused a bit of a stir here in the land of maple syrup and hockey and there is some excellent commentary of Ms Landolt’s comments by the National Post’s Barbara Kay and Brigitte Pellerin on her personal blog.

Ms Landolt’s organization purports to speak for the women of Canada but one supposes that both Ms Kay and Ms Pellerin are two for whom she doesn’t necessarily speak – certainly not on this issue. I know for a fact that she doesn’t speak for Maggie or for any of the women in our family or social circle.

I get tired, quite frankly, of the hypocrisy of it all and I don’t believe I’m the only one. Fellow blogger, Cory Morgan, posted this comment on his Facebook page.

“Just as those with ‘Real Women’ have every right to act like puritanical harridans from 200 years ago in their condemnation and press releases; I reserve my right to invite them to blow it out their collective asses.”

Puritanical harridans – that’s one of those phrases I wish I had written because it summarizes Ms Landolt’s opinion and prejudice perfectly. It is smug, self-righteous bigotry that quite frankly is staggering at this point in time and which is embarrassing to the conservative movement and to women.

Even more disturbing is the fact that Ms Landolt has more in common with Yelena Mizulina, the head of Russia’s Committee on Family, Women and Children than the Canadian values she claims to represent. Ms Mizulina is a Russian Member of Parliament who has pushed through a significant amount of legislation that restricts the rights of individuals with whom she disagrees.

That’s the kind of government control and oppression on individual freedoms for which conservatives routinely condemn progressives.

Ms Landolt states that Mr. Baird, who is gay, has no business interfering in the affairs of other nations and trying to influence them in the development of their internal policies. Really? What in the hell does she think we have a foreign affairs department for – to set up vacation plans for the Prime Minister?

It’s logic so convoluted that I had to double check to make sure I wasn’t on a Liberal web-site, REAL Women make this statement about itself: “NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.”

Well, isn’t that special!

Apparently, Ms Landolt has no problem with consulting with the UN to try and help the United Nations influence policies in other sovereign countries as long as they are about things of which she personally approves.

Personally, I don’t care what Ms Landolt’s position on gay rights is to be honest nor am I insensitive to the fact that she may be uncomfortable with the gay lifestyle; but I take great exception to her position that Canada has no business trying to overcome injustice and prejudice in other countries. It was people like Ms Landolt who tried to avoid war with Nazi Germany by staying out of what was happening in that country until it became too late. Czechoslovakia was deliberately sacrificed to avoid war in the rest of Europe.

Compromising principle didn’t work out too well as it turns out.

Millions of people including thousands of Canadians paid for that head-in-the-sand attitude with their lives and Ms Landolt would do well to consider the words of Tim Holden.

“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.”

Canada like every other nation that values freedom and human rights has an absolute responsibility to stand up to defend injustice everywhere. In fact, if I had a criticism to level against the governments of Canada and other democratically elected countries; it is that they don’t stand up often enough. Too often they allow trade considerations and political expediency to interfere with doing what is right

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

This time, the Government of Canada got it right and Ms Landolt needs to reconsider her position from this perspective. Besides, criticizing the Russian Government isn’t quite the same as interfering with their right to do as they please.

I am a conservative and share many of the stated values of the Conservative Party. I believe in less government and the rights of the individual. That means the rights of all individuals – not just those who agree with me or who don’t make me uncomfortable. There is a difference between being conservative and being a bigot. I am a conservative. Ms Landolt is a bigot cloaking her bigotry in Conservativism.

That probably sounds like I’d be rushing to support the ‘boycott the Olympics’ crowd. I’m not. I dislike hypocrisy as much as bigotry.

Let’s back up for a second.

There are more than 70 countries in the world that have laws on the books declaring homosexual activity to be a crime. Depending on the country, conviction can result in punishments that range from a few months to 14 years in prison, flogging / whipping, and in some countries – death, because in those countries, being gay is a capital offense.

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Being gay isn’t a lifestyle choice. People don’t get up one day and think, “Gee, I think I’d like to try something different.” It’s an established fact that being gay is how your brain is wired and it isn’t exclusive to the human species. Same-sex behaviour is common in mammals and birds across nature from the big cats and chimps to penguins. It takes a pretty closed mind to believe that someone would risk their lives in Iran just to try being gay for a bit.

There was a time when it was believed that the earth was flat.Society used to think that some races were inferior and that women were incapable of holding their own with men. Some people still do unfortunately but just as that is uninformed bigotry, so is the prejudice against gays.

Darryl Hannah chains herself to the White House fence to protest the Keystone Pipeline because God knows it’s better to buy oil from Saudi Arabia where people are flogged and imprisoned for being gay than to buy it from Canada because – well – those damned oil sands kill birds.

My kick with the current self-righteous progressives demanding boycotts and signing petitions against participation in the Olympics is how bloody hypocritical and thoughtless it all is. My own godson is one of those eager to take action against Russia. He is my favourite nephew and I have loved him dearly since he was born but I want to grab him and tell him to give his head a shake because he’s put no thought into his position. It’s all emotional knee-jerk reaction and that is the kiss of death when trying to fight injustice.

It’s easy to pick on Russia; it’s safe protest and even convenient but what about all those other countries?

Are the folks who want to have other people pay for an Olympic boycott prepared to boycott Middle Eastern oil they use to fuel their SUVs? In Iran, they hang gays publicly. You never hear much about boycotting stuff from Iran – it’s all about their nuclear program.

How about the Caribbean? Are these same hypocrites prepared to organize boycotts of St. Lucia or the Barbados; both which have long-standing laws that criminalizes same-sex activity?

I have a gay friend who is outraged by Russia’s legislation but who is recently back from a two-week vacation in Mauritius where male same-sex activity is a crime punishable but up to five years in prison. She has also vacationed in the United Arab Emirates where same-sex activity is punishable by deportation or imprisonment.

I like her and personally don’t care where she vacations but if you’re going to criticize one country for criminalizing homosexaulity, criticize them all. If you’re going to call for a boycott of something in one country in protest of their laws against homosexuality, call for boycotts of them all and be prepared to step up and honour that boycott – not just the ones that don’t inconvenience you.

As E.B. White said once:

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”

And that is my kick with the self-righteous these days. They prance around making a lot of sanctimonious noise but have put less thought into the issue than my dog Jasper puts into selecting precisely the correct spot to take a dump. They become aware of something and jump on the bandwagon. “Something needs to be done.” moves quickly to “Let’s do it” without any consideration of the scope and breadth of the issue or the ramifications and consequences of the current protest.

What do these twits think they will accomplish? They’re naïve if they think petitions will cause the Olympic Committee or any major nation to boycott the Olympics and even more gullible if they believe their shallow demands will cause the Russian government to change the law. The only people who get hurt by an Olympic boycott are those who have invested millions in creating the games and the athletes who have worked for years to achieve an opportunity to compete and perhaps kick start a professional career.

But then the boycott hypocrites will tell you that it is a small price to pay to achieve justice. Yeah! Right! Progressives are always big on sacrifice as long as it is someone else being sacrificed.

Fighting injustice is hard. It takes time, effort, commitment and most of all; it takes consistency. You can’t condemn something over here because it offends you but ignore it over there because it would be inconvenient to lose whatever ‘over there’ provides for you.

It’s small wonder we take so long to accomplish anything of real value anymore. Conservative bigotry and progressive hypocrisy impede the advancement of the issues we face together. Both, despite their claims to the contrary, are two of the biggest impediments to obtaining and respecting the equal rights of all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or political ideology.

I don’t expect much more than that from the left but I did expect better from fellow conservatives who make a lot of noise about respecting individual rights.

But apparently it doesn’t seem to matter whether it is conservative bigotry or progressive hypocrisy it all comes down to the same thing in the end. It’s just a lot of sanctimonious, self-serving noise that signifies nothing and accomplishes even less.

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Gay Penquins and The Flat Earth Society

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© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The written content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others
Connect with the Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or send a friend request on Facebook to: Maggie’s Bear

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Issue-Creep

I have issue fatigue.

Issue fatigue is not the same as having issues; I’m fairly confident that most of us have issues but it isn’t those personal issues of which I am tired. I grow weary of the constant carping about social issues by politicians, activists, the chronically under-informed, intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals alike.

Give it a rest – if only for a bit.

Every issue now is a crisis and each presented as the most important issue facing the world today by those who promote that particular issue. It doesn’t matter how the issues evolve, nothing changes. The rhetoric remains the same, it’s merely the justification to keep the issue alive that changes and that rhetoric is always borderline hysteria. “The issue is so critical that the world could end at 10:00 on Sunday if it isn’t addressed immediately – 10:30 in Newfoundland.”

Climate change is a perfect example.

It began as a sudden concern about a pending ice age. Scientists – the same scientists that environmentalists sell to us as the ultimate authority – were predicting a severe cooling of the earth’s temperatures. Based on their models, temperatures would dramatically drop, glaciers would emerge start moving south. Arable farm land was going to be lost causing food shortages and the water level of the oceans was going to rise causing major flooding along coastal areas.

When that didn’t work out quite as well as planned, the same scientists came up with new models that predicted global warming. Based on these models, scientists were now predicting significant increases in global temperatures which would melt glaciers causing the level of the oceans to rise. Arable farm land would dry out causing food shortages and there would be flooding along coastal areas due to the melting glaciers.

No matter which you believed, it didn’t seem to pay to live along a coastal area. Continue reading

What We’re They Thinking?

asdfWhen I first read the quote by Tina Rosenberg, I thought it was a joke but upon doing a little research I discovered it wasn’t and I had to remind myself to breathe. Apparently, in Ms Rosenberg’s mind if you’re heterosexual woman you’re a traitor to your gender.

Maggie is a bit uncomfortable about this because she doesn’t like to see herself as a revolutionary.

I’m not exactly sure how Tina Rosenberg arrives at the conclusion that following the genetic wiring of your body is somehow a traitorous act but she’s not alone in her belief. Feminist Andrea Dorkin said that heterosexual sex itself is rape. I gather that Ms Dorkin is unaware of the fact that rape is an act of violence, anger and control rather than merely a sexual activity and that both heterosexuals and gays can be raped.

Thinking – or more accurately – the lack of thought by people like Ms Dorkin and Ms Rosenberg, trivialize profound issues with petty political perspectives and bias. Others inflate the trivial into the illusion of something profound but in the end, it always comes down to the same thing. The lack of thought behind the opinion is the only profound thing about the opinion.The_Thinker_Rodin-2-713279[1]

I often write about the fact that too many of us don’t take the time to think these days but I have to tell you, my friends, there are also those who walk among us who think just a little too much although unfortunately, seldom very effectively. They have a brain wave – or perhaps a brain fart – think it’s a brilliant idea but never go beyond the concept to determine what the consequences, if any, might be.

I wrote yesterday about some in Canada wanting to give voting rights to non-citizens and I’ve had a number of people contact me to tell me that they don’t have a problem with it.

How very egalitarian of them.

It’s the kind of reaction that has about as much thought behind it as that of Toronto City Council and the Premier of Ontario, both who seem to have forgotten that the terms of permanent residency status are set by the federal government and cannot be arbitrarily changed at the provincial level.

But it did get me thinking that if some people think that citizenship shouldn’t be a qualifier for voting in elections; why should any form of membership be a qualifier for voting on anything anywhere?

Of course, the unions won’t like it. They don’t permit anyone to vote on a contract unless they’re a member of the union. In fact, in Canada, they don’t even allow people to work for a unionized company unless they’re members. Nonetheless, many union members are quite content to allow non-citizens to vote in government elections. But the truth is that any union contract has a direct impact on other stakeholders including management, customers and shareholders.

rentIf we follow the laser-like think of Toronto City Council, all of those stakeholders should be permitted to vote on union contracts.

Instead, we see the kind of fuzzy logic that precludes politicians from seeing any contradiction in restricting voting in a municipal election to residents of their city but expanding voting to non-citizens of the country. You have to work pretty hard to rationalize that level of stupidity.

You see this illusion of thinking virtually every day in the mainstream and across social media. Just take five minutes, go to any newspaper’s web site and read the comments below a random news story or opinion piece. It will take less time to realize that the ability to think critically or even consistently has become a lost art than it will to log in to your Facebook account. Two or three comments ought to be enough to confirm that for even the most obtuse among us.

I believe it is partly because people just can’t be bothered to do a little research or at least get informed before they form an opinion – they react emotionally and move on to the next issue. You can always tell these folks because they start the first sentence in their opinion with “I feel…” rather than with “I think…” For them, feelings are more important than thoughts.

Our brains are powerful, highly complex organic computers capable of an ability to conceptualize beyond anything available frombrain-alive-11-300x225 Microsoft or Apple. If our brain was only meant to run the body, it wouldn’t have required the analytical capabilities that it has but it does have those capabilities which I believe are being allowed to atrophy in too many cases.

“I think therefore I am!”

It is this ability to think beyond the moment, to think in the abstract and to think conceptually that separates us from other species.

You could wait a long time for my dog Jasper to develop any concept beyond pooping, eating and sleeping. He and his pal Sasha the black lab up the street will never come up with concepts that might address some of the socio-economic and other issues we’re facing these days but then, they aren’t even aware of those issues.

Basically wherever their noses lead them is pretty much what they believe at the time and usually that’s from tree to tree and then to each other’s butts.

Sadly, they are not unlike many on social media who vociferously voice their opinions.

It’s easy to distinguish these folks in the herd. They’re the ones who very quickly get angry and resort to name-calling when they are challenged on the facts. They resent that someone would believe that facts are relevant to forming an opinion and dislike having them brought into the argument.

With other folks, it’s just a pathological need to prove their intellectual superiority but the simple fact is that arrogance is a poor substitute for knowledge or ability.

computational-thinkingThat’s how we end up with an endless supply of seemingly intelligent people accusing those who didn’t support Barrack Obama’s reelection as being racist rather than opposed to his policies and performance – which, by the way – many of his ‘non-racist’ supporters now also now criticize and oppose.

It’s how a United States Senator makes the comment that the female body is genetically programmed to prevent pregnancy when she has been raped as a defense against extending abortion rights to the victims of rape who become pregnant. He apparently never stopped to ask himself how that happened if her body is programmed to prevent it.

It’s how environmentalists continue to rush about claiming the end is nigh as a result of global warming when scientists including many at NASA and connected to the United Nations have now acknowledged that the earth’s temperature hasn’t actually increased for the past 17 years. The models upon which all the hysteria was based were apparently flawed – as was much of the thinking of many in the environmental movement. But then, that’s what you get for thinking that people like Al Gore and David Suzuki are actually authorities on the subject rather than mere opportunists.

Sadly, it’s also how you end up with parents endangering the health and well-being of their children by refusing to vaccinate them because of a fraudulent study conducted by a now disgraced British researcher that claimed vaccinations were linked to autism. They aren’t and the World Health Organization and pretty much every federal health organization in the developed world tried to tell people that – but – they weren’t listening because that might involve having to think and thinking is hard.

It is very hard at times but not as hard as cleaning up the mess caused by a lack of critical thought and there is always a mess because people didn’t stop and think.

What were you thinking? Too often, many weren’t thinking anything at all. They were too busy feeling or pontificating.

This is particularly true with governments who just plow ahead without any regard for the unintended consequences of their actions and there are an awful lot of unintended consequences these days. Politicians never seem to learn from their past mistakes or failed decisions and so we continue to live and relive their mistakes over and over and over again.

All of that to say, that after considerable research and thought I have decided that even if it makes me a gender traitor, I am comfortable with being heterosexual. I like women – especially the woman in my life, Maggie and I am damn happy she’s a traitor to her gender.

Quite frankly she is the gender revolutionary who makes my life worth living.

I don’t consider my gay friends and family to be gender traitors or heroes either – just normal folks trying to get on with life just like me. I don’t have an issue with sexual orientation because I don’t see it as an issue although, to be honest, I do draw the line when it comes to people having sex with animals, no matter how attractive or sexy the goat might be.

We’re people and it doesn’t get much simpler – or more equal – than that.

Hopefully, more folks will rediscover the value of real thinking before all of us become equally stupid – but I have to tell you, my friends, I believe it’s going to be close.

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© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The written content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others
Connect with the Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or send a friend request on Facebook to: Maggie’s Bear

 

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