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Left Over: Poor Little Rich Boys..

  San Francisco tech worker: ‘I don’t want to see homeless riff-raff’ ‘ Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco @juliacarriew Wednesday 17 February 2016 22.27 GMT Last modified on Thursday 18 February 2016 15.13 GMT – Guardian online   I will never understand … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: Poor Little Rich Boys..

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: A Little More For Alberta’s Bishops To Stew On

Since Alberta’s Roman Catholic Bishops seem to have something up their cassocks about transgender students, I thought it would be quite appropriate to post the following article that appeared in Huffington Post  in its entirety:Two and a half year… . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: A Little More For Alberta’s Bishops To Stew On

Left Over: Don’t Send Us your Tired and Poor….

More than 30 U.S. states refusing Syrian refugees on ‘shaky legal ground’ In wake of Paris attacks, governors of at least 31 U.S. states announce plans to bar Syrian refugees By Matt Kwong, CBC News Posted: Nov 18, 2015 3:02 PM … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: Don’t Send Us your Tired and Poor….

Death By Trolley: Dude, where’s my progressivism?! Why I no longer identify as progressive.

For many years I self identified as a proud progressive. I identified as such because I believed in such things as secularism, universal healthcare, affordable education, various other social safety net programs, gay rights, gender and racial egalitarianism, I was pro-choice, etc. I didn’t always fall directly in line with mainstream progressive views, but I generally did. While my political self-description has changed, my values really haven’t.

I also thought that the progressive movement and the left generally was the main home of reason and openness in North American politics. Part of this was due to my own situation. (Read more…)

Death By Trolley: Dude, where’s my progressivism?! Why I no longer identify as progressive.

For many years I self identified as a proud progressive. I identified as such because I believed in such things as secularism, universal healthcare, affordable education, various other social safety net programs, gay rights, gender and racial egalitarianism, I was pro-choice, etc. I didn’t always fall directly in line with mainstream progressive views, but I generally did. While my political self-description has changed, my values really haven’t.

I also thought that the progressive movement and the left generally was the main home of reason and openness in North American politics. Part of this was due to my own situation. (Read more…)

Death By Trolley: Follow up Post: Is Milo Yiannopoulos a “self-hating homosexual”?

Recently I did a blog post and YouTube video that was critical of an appraisal made by Joe Rogan and Kyle Kulinski (Secular Talk; a link to the video I was responding to can be found in the info section of my YouTube video). Milo Yiannopoulos, a well-known gay conservative commentator and writer on social issues, had said that he would have rather have been straight. I had glossed over something else he had said in my response, which was his saying that he would be better if he were straight. He went onto say that he is not self-loathing, (Read more…)

Death By Trolley: Follow up Post: Is Milo Yiannopoulos a “self-hating homosexual”?

Recently I did a blog post and YouTube video that was critical of an appraisal made by Joe Rogan and Kyle Kulinski (Secular Talk; a link to the video I was responding to can be found in the info section of my YouTube video) that Milo Yiannopoulos is a self-hating homosexual. Yiannopoulos, a well-known gay conservative commentator and writer on social issues, had said that he would have rather have been straight. I had glossed over something else he had said in my response, which was his saying that he would be better if he were straight. He went onto (Read more…)

Death By Trolley: Progressive Shaming: Milo Yiannopoulos, the “self-hating” homosexual.

In the video below I talk about how Joe Rogan, who I often find myself agreeing with, and Kyle Kulinsky of Secular Talk accused gay conservative Milo Yiannapoulos of being a self-hating homosexual. Why? Because he indicated that he would have preferred to have been born straight. I think this is a completely unfounded appraisal of Milo’s state of mind.

As I discuss in the video, there is no shortage of pragmatic reasons why a gay person could wish to have been straight while not for a moment hating themselves, homosexuality, homosexuals, gay subcultures, etc. Perhaps I should have made (Read more…)

Death By Trolley: Progressive Shaming: Milo Yiannopoulos, the “self-hating” homosexual.

NOTE (October 12, 2015): I have written a follow-up post on this issue. In the follow up I argue that while self-hatred is probably an overly-inflammatory descriptor, in his discussions regarding homosexuality Milo is sometimes pretty much “asking” to be interpreted as having anti-homosexual inclinations. He is a complicated man – surely be design. A fully out-of-the-closet homosexual who both lauds and criticizes aspects of gay culture and even homosexuality itself – sometimes apparently lauding and criticizing the very same things in different contexts… He’s a complicated man. As a self-described provocateur, I am confident that this is by design.

(Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Conscience, Human Rights, and a Kentucky Clerk

So inevitably, a blog that’s all about religious freedom would need to comment on the ongoing troubles of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and her stand against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I didn’t want to rush on that right away, because I wanted to do so thoughtfully, and dig underneath the impulsiveness and spin of both right- and left-wing media… and also add some context from the experience of a Canadian, living in a nation where marriage equality happened back in 2006 without a “Christian genocide” (I’ll discuss that sort of phrasing in a later post) occurring.

Because (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Conscience, Human Rights, and a Kentucky Clerk

So inevitably, a blog that’s all about religious freedom would need to comment on the ongoing troubles of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and her stand against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I didn’t want to rush on that right away, because I wanted to do so thoughtfully, and dig underneath the impulsiveness and spin of both right- and left-wing media… and also add some context from the experience of a Canadian, living in a nation where marriage equality happened back in 2006 without a “Christian genocide” (I’ll discuss that sort of phrasing in a later post) occurring.

Because (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Indiana put the lie to “religious freedom.” But Canadian Evangelicals hope you didn’t notice.

Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Which is why the Evangelical leaders who held a press conference on Parliament Hill calling for greater religious freedom laws and schmoozing with Conservative politicians last month might do well to remember Indiana.

“Unfortunately, Christians in this country find themselves under attack. This is a violation, and we are calling on the Canadian government to stop this type of violation across this country…” — Charles McVety

Because almost to the day that the collection of Canadian religious leaders held a (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Indiana put the lie to “religious freedom.” But Canadian Evangelicals hope you didn’t notice.

Everyone’s familiar with the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Which is why the Evangelical leaders who held a press conference on Parliament Hill calling for greater religious freedom laws and schmoozing with Conservative politicians last month might do well to remember Indiana.

“Unfortunately, Christians in this country find themselves under attack. This is a violation, and we are calling on the Canadian government to stop this type of violation across this country…” — Charles McVety

Because almost to the day that the collection of Canadian religious leaders held a (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: David Suzuki: Water is life; we can’t afford to waste it

Water is life, and its management and conservation is about global social justice, argues renowned environmentalist David Suzuki.

The post David Suzuki: Water is life; we can’t afford to waste it appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“). In it they call for universities to stand against what they felt was intimidation, specifically pertaining to discussions on trans* issues and sex work.

As a freelance writer and journalist, I could normally understand the concern of what they term no-platforming (alienating speakers like Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel because of past (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: “A little free speech for me, and a little shut-up-and-take-it-like-a-man for you.”

There’s a bit of controversy brewing in the UK press, as a result of a letter from academics and activists (including noted LGB activist Peter Tatchell, as well as some recognized trans-exclusionary reactionaries) published in The Observer (“We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals“). In it they call for universities to stand against what they felt was intimidation, specifically pertaining to discussions on trans* issues and sex work.

As a freelance writer and journalist, I could normally understand the concern of what they term no-platforming (alienating speakers like Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel because of past (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: ‘Tis the Season to Rethink Our Charitable Giving

This op-ed by yours truly was published in The Province. The examples are BC-specific, but the message is much broader: donating to charity is not enough, we also have to change the status quo that forces so many people to turn to charity in a rich country like Canada.

It’s December, the season for charitable giving. Wherever you turn you see boxes and bins collecting non-perishable food items for the local food bank or toys for the less fortunate children in our communities.

The cashier asks if you want to add a $2 donation to your purchase. You donate (Read more…)

Terahertz: Diversity in the atheist/skeptic communities: An evidence-based approach

Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name – Guardian Atheism’s shocking women problem – Salon Why atheists have a serious problem with women – Mic.com Will misogyny bring down the atheist movement? – Buzzfeed

The mainstream media has picked up that within the atheist community, there’s been a growing discussion about a perceived lack of diversity among the people viewed as leaders of this movement. I’m not going to rehash the entire discussion (Ashley Miller’s 2013 article "The Non-Religious Patriarchy: Why Losing Religion HAS NOT Meant Losing White Male Dominance" provides a (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Legislatively “Balancing” Human Rights

There is a simple, time-honoured rule about attempting to “balance” human rights classes in legislation so that it works out a particular way every time, and it goes like this:

You can’t.

That is a court’s role. When two human rights classes are put into conflict in a way that creates hardships for both, a court becomes the arbiter, weighing the context of a given situation in order to determine which party has experienced the most undue hardship.

Legislating such a way that one party’s rights always supersedes the other creates a hierarchy of rights, and defeats the whole (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: BDSM, Gender, Entitlement, and Jian Ghomeshi

Whether anybody wanted the conversation right now or not, it’s become time to have a conversation about BDSM, gender and entitlement.

Over a week ago, Jian Ghomeshi, the then-popular then- CBC commentator, appeared to be coming out of the closet about engaging in what he referred to as “rough sex (forms of BDSM),” and claiming to be fired because of workplace discrimination. The post read as sincere and from the heart (and badly timed because of his father’s passing), so we wanted to believe him. For anyone who cares about sex and gender minorities, there was a temptation (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Our destinies are bound together (even if our needs are diverse and sometimes at odds)

Monica Roberts at TransGriot is exploring the future of the trans* movement:

“One of the things I was pondering recently was triggered by me seeing a pic of a five year old trans girl. I began to ponder what her Trans World that we 2K10’s activists are fighting tooth and nail to shape, would be like 10 to 20 years from now…”

Blogger apparently won’t accept a comment this long, so I’ll post my thoughts here instead:

Any time we try to wax prescient about a social issue and its future, we have to be careful not to (Read more…)

My journey with AIDS...and more!: I’m Thinking, “This is Going to Hurt!”: On ‘How Not to Deal with Grief’

From my friend Betty Ann on her Facebook page: “This article deeply moved me…as I suspect it will for any of you who have been impacted by the kind of grief associated with multiple loss, deaths due to overdose and or HIV/AIDS. Rather than just clicking on “like”, can you write a few sentences in […]

Dented Blue Mercedes: On conscience-based medical exemptions

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently reviewing its Human Rights Code policy on conscience-based exemptions for medical professionals, and their effect on access to medical services.

This review was sparked by a number of news reports of doctors in Ontario and Alberta refusing to prescribe birth control because of their religious beliefs. In some of those cases, patients were refused in clinics where there was only one doctor on duty.

Concurrently, south of the border, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favour of a corporation’s right to deny medical insurance to its employees when doing (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality. Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)

Dented Blue Mercedes: Could Canada’s Anti-Sex Work Bill C-36 Also Stifle LGBT Speech?

Slightly over a week ago, Canada introduced legislation to replace the anti-prostitution laws that had been struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Conservative government has been trying to race Bill C-36 through both the House and the Senate simultaneously, at breakneck speed. But the text of the bill has raised questions about its constitutionality. Sex workers, mainstream media and even many Nordic model proponents and abolitionists agree that it places sex workers in even greater danger than the previous laws did.

But is there also a poison pill within the legislation that could be used to (Read more…)