Put up or shut up. The best war ever.


Liberal MP Trudeau and Conservative Senator Brazeau fight during their charity boxing match in Ottawa

Canadian Members of Parliament, Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau boxing for charity.

Someone once suggested that, instead of sending young men and women to war, we should round up all of the world leaders, put them in a field somewhere and let them duke it out among themselves. Sadly, this suggestion, while a good one, won’t solve the issue that war is profitable. The above photo is from a boxing match that took place last year between Canadian MPs Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau. This match raised $230,000 for Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. If this kind of cash can be raised with just one local match lasting just 2 and a half rounds that didn’t even air on pay per view, imagine how much could be earned by a world leader boxing tournament.

We could separate the world into 4 quadrants, using the equator and the International date line as our lines in the sand. Each quadrant would have their leaders fight each other until there were two winning fighters left, then both leaders would enter the quarter final round, boxing the winning rulers from other quadrants until there were just 4 heads of state left to enter the semi finals, then the winning 2 would fight each other in the final match for all the marbles. The United Nations could oversee the matches and negotiate the terms that each match would be fought over… free trade, oil etc. I can just see Don King salivating at the thought of all those dollar signs.

putinshirtless_display

Putin the Punisher.

I would pay big bucks to see Vladimir Putin taking on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey or Angela Merkel taking the piss out of David Cameron. In North America, it would be a tough call for the Vegas odds makers between Barack Obama, Steven Harper (the commonwealth countries would have to put up their heads of government, though it would be funny to see the Queen in the ring with her crown and knighting sword!) and the young Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto. Every country would participate, except, of course, Switzerland, who would get an automatic bye.

Of course, we’d need an undercard. What better way to whet our appetites than to have the religious leaders of the world (aka the other war mongers) beat each other senseless?

I would be glued to my sofa to see this guy,

DalaiLamamad

pounding on this guy.

popemad

The election of a new Pope would sure be a different proposition if he had to put up his dukes.

president-terry-crews

Terry Crews as the American President in the movie Idiocracy

This might really separate the cowards who hide behind 18 year old kids, doing their dirty work for them from the real leaders who are willing to get punched in the face for their convictions. Unfortunately, we would likely end up with a world akin to the one in the movie, Idiocracy where we elect the strongest and not the smartest, although its not like the smartest are in power now, so maybe it wouldn’t be so different after all.

And I am not ashamed


It was 1983 and I was a sexually active 18-year-old young woman. One night, in the back of a Shelby Cobra (I have always been somewhat of a car nut), I was in the middle of what can only be called a couple of hour stand, when, unbeknownst to me, the condom broke. It wasn’t until after the deed was done that either of us realized what had happened, but at that moment, I knew I was pregnant. I have no idea how I knew, but I knew. I also knew right away what option I would choose and never had a second thought about it.

The wait until I missed my next period seemed endless. Finally, when I was absolutely positive Aunt Flo would not be visiting, I went to my doctor and had the test. The results were positive, as expected and I immediately scheduled an abortion. There was only one hitch. In Canada, you had to be 19 years old (the age of majority) to get an abortion without parental consent. So, I had to tell my Mother. I told her that I was pregnant and without taking so much a the tiniest of breaths, I told her that I wanted to abort and that I had the procedure already scheduled, and that all I needed was her signature. To my mother’s credit, she was extremely supportive. She drove me to the appointment and was waiting for me when it was over. She even made my favourite dessert (witches nut cake) and had me stay at home with her for a few days until the tenderness and the bleeding was under control. She never made me feel guilty or judged.

I look back on my decision to have an abortion as one of the best decisions I ever made. I was in no way ready to have a child at that stage of my life. Having that baby would not have been fair to either myself or the baby. It could be said that my decision was selfish. To that I say, yes it was, and what is so wrong with being selfish? After all its my life to live as I see fit and I am free to do as I choose with my life and my body. I have not, for a moment, regretted having an abortion and I am not ashamed. Would I have preferred that the condom had done its job? Of course, but I am extremely happy that there was an alternate option available to me as that was not the case.

It has been said that no woman wants  an abortion. I can tell you that when I found myself with an unwanted pregnancy, there was nothing I wanted more.

There has been a lot of hoopla recently from Conservative politicians who want to ban abortion. The conversation has been derailed slightly due to some incredibly ignorant quotes about abortion in the case of rape, so that now all we are focused on is rape, when what we should be talking about is the necessity for abortion. Women’s reproductive rights are just that… rights, hard-fought and earned. Even entertaining the question of whether or not a woman should have those rights just proves to women that you do not see us as human beings capable of thinking for ourselves.

There seems to be only one American politician who gets it.

I couldn’t agree more. Male legislators need to stay far away from women’s uteri. If you don’t have one, you shouldn’t get a say.

Sick and tired


 Image by the brilliant DonkeyHotey

The American hype machine has been running at a fever pitch this election season. Between the dog and pony show that was the race for the Republican nomination, to the game of hot potato that came before the announcement of a running mate and the actual Presidential campaign, it seems as if America has been campaigning for about a decade now.

As regular readers already know, I live in Canada. You would think that Canada is now America Junior with the way we have been inundated with every little fart that each American candidate has tooted since the beginning of this election season. You can’t get away from news about the U.S. election… it’s everywhere. It’s reported on by our Canadian news shows, in our Canadian newspapers and on our Canadian websites, thankfully the American election is never the top story on any of those venues. Unfortunately, on sites like Huffington Post Canada or Yahoo Canada (Canadian versions of American websites), unless there is a heinous killer on the loose (Luca Rocco Magnotta) or a natural disaster (earthquake of the coast of B.C. or hurricane Sandy) it’s almost always the top story. Yesterday’s top story on The Huffington Post Canada was cleverly disguised as a story about Canada. It was even titled O Canada. The story was all about how a recent poll showed that Canadians would vote for Obama over Romney by a margin of 7 to 1. How is this Canadian news?

Canadians are a fairly savvy bunch. You can’t just put the word Canada and an image of a Maple Leaf on your logo but still report mainly American news stories and expect that Canadians won’t notice. In the case of the Huffington Post, I imagine that the reason for them to have, typically, less than 50 percent Canadian content is due to the fact that most Canadian bloggers know that cachet is not French for cash and don’t want to write for free. In the case of Yahoo Canada and others like it, I assume that as they are American owned and operated, they are not bound by the same Canadian content laws that govern our media.

Canada is part of the Commonwealth, otherwise known as the British Commonwealth, and as such, we have a close relationship to Britain and the Queen, yet when there is an election held in England, we hardly hear about it. The province where I live, Quebec, is still very French in both language and culture, but when an election is held in France, it barely makes our radar. Recently Quebec held an election and the U.S. election still got more news coverage in Quebec than that of our own.

Believe it or not people who live in Canada actually want to know about what is happening in their own country. I have spoken to many Canadians who go out of their way to avoid news about the U.S. election, but still know more about it than the undecided American voters do.

America is the only country on the planet that has such a long election campaign. In Canada our campaigns range from 36 days (the minimum) to 74 days (the length of our longest campaign… just two days longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage). One could be led to believe that Americans really like campaign season, but it seems that Canadians aren’t the only ones who are sick and tired of having news of this election shoved down our collective throats.

I must say, this little girl sums it up perfectly.

Is it just me?


As an outsider watching the Republican race for the nomination, I can’t help but think that the Republicans don’t want to win the presidency this term. After all, the country is still in an economic quagmire  (not the funny Family Guy kind of Quagmire) and why would they want to inherit that mess? It’s too soon to be able to blame it all on Obama. People still remember that it was George W. Bush that handed Obama the economic train wreck in the first place, after being given the biggest economic surplus in the history of the country by Clinton. Historically it seems that the Republicans like to run the country into the ground, then the Democrats patch it up as best they can for a term or two, then pass it back to the Republicans to break again. This chart shows that the Democrats outperform the Republicans when it comes to the economy. http://www.eriposte.com/economy/other/demovsrep.htm

 The Republicans in this race seem to be doing an ‘I don’t want the nomination’ dance. From the very beginning when there were ten people vying for the title. It seemed to me that every time a new candidate became the front runner they would say or do something so outlandish that they would fall by the wayside within a week. Now it’s down to four, possibly five, if you believe that Sarah Palin has a secret plot afoot http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-dunn/sarah-palin-2012_b_1351763.html

Arguably, none of the remaining four men have much of a chance at winning the presidency back from Obama if they keep inserting their feet firmly into their mouths as they have been. The Republicans, as a whole, are alienating their female supporters right out of the party with all of this backward talk of contraception and abortion. Issues that had been settled 39 years ago when Roe vs. Wade was decided. However, according to this video, at least, there are many Americans who are voting faith over issues that directly concern them like the economy. It’s shocking that in the poorest state of the union, people would rather starve than elect Obama again.
Rick Santorum recently stated that Obama was a snob for wanting people to attend college and he’s winning in the southern states.
Santorum came out against higher education and women and is still winning the support of entire states. The scary thing here is that he could actually beat Obama if the people who vote faith vote in higher numbers that the people who vote issues. Not to mention the flames of racism that still run rampant through the country that are being fanned by conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh and the fine folks at FOX news. Illustrated by this bumper sticker.
The Republicans like to divide and conquer. This attitude has served them well, historically but it will be severely tested if Romney wins the nomination. Who will the Christian right vote for without a horse in the race, the Mormon or the ‘Muslim’? Romney has been so transparent in his pandering that he has very little chance of a presidential win, but stranger things have happened.
It’s hard to think that a win is the real goal this election with the crazy dog and pony show the Republicans have been putting on, but, they may just be crazy like the proverbial fox and incite their base into voting en mass. So I guess my real point is…
Dear America,
If you want to be taken seriously, vote issues, not faith and please vote for the one person that will least embarrass you on the world stage.
From a concerned Canadian.

Can you spot the differences?



Yesterday was indeed a sad day. Christopher Hitchens died and it was reported that Etta James is terminally ill. In both cases, Cancer was the culprit. For Hitchens it was a long battle with esophageal cancer, for James, the final stages of leukemia. Both are being touted by their fans and friends as iconic and legendary in their respective fields. Both have been controversial figures who liked their alcohol. Both are known for an arrogant personality. So why is it that the public response to each has been so different?

Let’s begin with Ms. James, a wonderful singer with a soulful voice, a member of no less than three Halls of Fame, who has influenced the careers of numerous artists in her wake, but has had a rocky personal life. She has had a well publicized heroin addiction since the 1970’s and has been in and out of treatment facilities for decades. She has had her run ins with the law. She has suffered ill-health due to her addictions to heroin and various pain killers. When Beyoncé Knowles sang her most famous hit song at President Obama’s inauguration, Ms. James went on a very public jealous rant against, both Ms. Knowles and the President.

When it was announced yesterday that the blues and gospel singer is terminally ill, people immediately began asking for prayers (even her live in doctor asked for her fans to pray for her), calling her great, a legend, saying how much they will miss her, how sad they are at hearing the news etc. This is exactly how one would expect people to react to the impending death of a celebrity. The pedestal is at the ready and all is forgiven.

Moving on to Mr. Hitchens, a renowned atheist, intellectual and author, known for his outspoken nature and penchant for debate. His personal life was not quite as rocky. He was a drinker and a smoker, but, by no account, did he partake of anything harder than that on a regular basis. Admittedly, his alcohol intake was enough “to kill or stun the average mule”. He is also famous for his politics, or more specifically, his seemingly opposing political views. But it is his railing against religion that he is most known for and, likely, will be most remembered for. In his book, God is Not Great, he criticized every religion on the planet as “the main source of hatred in the world”.

When the news hit, there were quite a few people calling him great, a legend, saying how much they will miss him, how sad they were at hearing the news etc, but there was another layer to it. Religious people seemed to revel in the news that a man, famous for his atheistic views was gone and likely burning in hell.

I’d like to share some twitter messages on the news of Etta James being terminally ill.

Praying for Etta James…

Hang in there Etta James… There is no one else n music like you

have Ms. Etta James in my thoughts. Sad to hear she’s terminally ill. Thankful to have seen her sing live and fill hearts & minds with love.

OH NO! DOCTORS ARE ASKING FOR PRAYERS FOR TERMINALLY ILL ETTA JAMES!

My Prayers Go Out 2 Etta James

Etta James is terminally ill with cancer. Great lady, great voice.

Etta James In Leukemia’s Final Stages: Iconic singer is in a home with her husband by her side. (End of golden era of soul)

I think I’ll put some Etta James on. I hope her last days are peaceful.

In contrast, here are a mix of twitter messages in response to the death of Christopher Hitchens.

‘Farewell great voice against can’t, hypocrisy, obscurantism, pretension, against all tyrants including god

I am 100% certain that Christopher Hitchens is no longer an atheist.

Goodbye Christopher Hitchens. Your lance-like rhetoric introduced my hungry young mind to the intellectual battlefield that surrounds us.

Christopher Hitchens is in hell, in case you’re wondering

Noted atheist Christopher Hitchens has had plenty of time to re-evaluate while burning in Hell the past couple of days.

Then there are the reactions to his book title, God is Not Great as a trending topic.

WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? Whoever started #GodIsNotGreat needs the shit beat out of them!

whoever started that trending topic #godisnotgreat needs 2 die a slow death

WHO EVA MADE THIS A TRENDIN TOPIC.ILL PERSONALLY KILL EM MYSELF.

And it just gets worse from there.

Honestly, I was never really a fan of Etta James, yes she had a lovely voice, but I’m more of a rock fan. I was never a fan of Christopher Hitchens either. I know this is tantamount to blasphemy from an atheist, but his smug arrogance rubbed me the wrong way.In a previous blog entitled, But what if you’re an asshole? I wrote “I get the impulse to celebrate someone’s life after they die, but let’s actually celebrate the WHOLE PERSON. Warts and all. After all, the sooner we can collectively embrace our humanity the better off we will be as a society. It’s easier to change something when you stop making excuses and see it for what it really is.”

It says so much about us as a society that an alcoholic atheist is demonized and a heroin addicted gospel singer is deified.

I’d like to leave you with this last message from a twitter user and close by saying, if religious people are going to claim to be better than the rest of us, you might want to act like it.

“Remember that time when atheists threatened to kill and burn all those christians over a twitter trend? Yeah, me neither. “