Monday, January 28, 2008

Pro-Choice IS Pro-Life

We have all heard the stories. They come mostly from China, but also from India. Forced abortions because of a government law on family sizes, the harvesting of organs from Falun Gong political prisoners for sale on the black market of for use by other deemed more worthy. Poor people willingly selling their children and organs in order to survive.

This is the stuff of horror films, urban legends and all-too-real totalitarian crimes against humanity. What repulses us is the ideas that someone - anyone - could invade our body, against our will or via coercion and remove parts or treat us like we are their property. It is anethma to the idea of being human and a fundamental human right that each person has total and exclusive control over their own bodily integrity. So disgusted are we, as a society, by this that when it comes to organ donation, we have allowed the individual to decide whether to donate, even if it would clearly and most certainly save the life of another. In this context we have already concluded that the principle of personal bodily integrity and control is more important than the life of another person.

That is, it is an essential element of our humanness that we own and control our own bodies. To allow others to do so is to render us to a less-than-human life as an incubator, spare parts repository or automaton to be controlled. It is slavery and it is not life.

The anti-abortionists, while claiming to be pro-life, are on the same side as the Chinese Communists who harvest kidneys and livers from Falun Gong prisoners. They have decided that their idea of 'life' is more important than the individuals lives involved and that they should be allowed to use all the powers of the state to invade and control another person's body.

They will do so even if they must lie and mislead. They try to shock with pictures of late term abortions, even though 92% of all abortions in Canada occur before 12 weeks and 98% occur before 16 weeks and abortions past 20 weeks almost never occur - even Dr. Henry Morgantaler won't perform them. They imply women who are 9 months pregnant are having abortions, when that is not the case.

They anti-abortionists are not about 'life' but about control, like any rapist or serial killer. They want to control your body and your actions and force you to adhere to their morality and to be a slave to their ideals. They want to use and mold you rather than let you live.

Merely being born is not 'life' if one cannot control one's own body and make decisions about your bodily integrity. That is dehumanizing slavery and oppression. It is the very stuff of 'The Black Book of Communism' and the driving force of the Holocaust.

That is the real legacy of that decision in R. vs Morgantaler 20 years ago today - that a person's bodily integrity is paramount - that only that person may control their own body and no one else. It has farther reaching applications than simply abortions. It is our legal bulwark against all actions that would allow others to invade our bodies, that would have others see us as property or other things less than human.

It is our defense against the horrendous, authoritarian and totalitarian ideals that would enslave us.

Remember that. Pro-Choice then is really Pro-Life. Pro human life rather than existence.

As has been said, Pro-Choice people want to control their own bodies, anti-abortionists want to control everyone else's.

Even if I find abortion personally repugnant, I know whose side I am on.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Paging Ezra Levant...

Freedom of the press and freedom of speech is under attack again. This time its not just questioning by a Human Rights Commission investigator:

"Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, 23, was sentenced to death Tuesday by a three-judge panel in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for distributing a report he printed off the Internet to fellow journalism students at Balkh University.

The judges said the article humiliated Islam, and members of a clerics council had pushed for Mr. Kaambakhsh to be punished."

Kaambakhsh was sentenced to death for something his brother wrote - "[Kaambakhsh] is actually being punished for reporting by his brother about abuses by northern warlords".

So can we expect a scathing indictment of the Karzai government and the Afghan judicial system over this? This is, after all, an actual example of a star chamber or kangaroo court, and one that we as Canadians are supporting, as our soldiers fight and die to protect this corrupt, fundamentalist Islamic government and state.

Do you think John Manley thought of whether we should be supporting a government and state that does this, or sentences people to death for converting the Christianity? I doubt it - it seems that he was too busy cutting and pasting.

Here is another example of actual brutal suppression of freedom by our so-called allies in the Afghan government, beyond their use of torture, which is far more serious than anything a stupid human right commission is even capable of doing. Where is the BT outrage over this?

Given all that, what possible moral reason do we have for keeping our soldiers in Afghanistan to die for dictatorship and fundamentalist Islam? Why are we even still there, let alone considering staying for 3 more years.

Don't extend them until 2011, don't wait until 2009. Bring the troops home NOW and stop supporting a government of Islamic extremists and warlords who are doing exactly what the Taliban did. We are not fighting for freedom if we support these thugs.

Bring them home now.

So, can we expect a column and some video on this, Ezra?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Its really quite simple....

If you don't think abortion is right, don't have one.

If you want there to be less abortions, you can work to ensure that abortion is not the option chosen by making the other options more attractive. That might mean supporting charities and organizations that provide education, housing, and care for pregnant women during pregnancy and long after the child is born. That may mean advocating on behalf of women who choose to give birth. That may mean simply not being a judgmental ass who considers single women or teenage mothers sluts or whores.

If you want to be taken seriously in your opposition to abortion, be intellectually honest. Considering that 92% of all abortions in Canada happen before 12 weeks, before any brain activity, it is dishonest sensationalism to argue against abortion with pictures and posters of late term fetuses. It is lying. Even more so when one considers that abortion after 20 weeks is so rare that it only takes place if the mothers health is in danger. Even Henry Morgantaller won't perform them on demand.

If you want there to be less abortions, you may have to accept that people, including teenagers, have sex even when you tell them not to. You have to accept that abstinence only doesn't work and that proper sex education and access to good birth control will prevent a lot of aborted children from being mistakenly conceived in the first place. Defence in depth, as we call it in IT security. Teach your kids that they shouldn't have sex before marriage if you wish, but also teach them better safe than sorry and get them either on the pill or used to condoms, preferably both.

But you must also accept that you do not own anyone else. You cannot control their bodies. You have as much right to prevent a woman from having an abortion as you do to force a man to donate a kidney against his will - none at all. Part of being free is accepting that people are going to do things you find repugnant and abhor. So long as they don't harm you while doing it. Anything other than this is support for slavery.

It really is just that easy.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Listen Again and be Moved

The time is now....let freedom ring.

Hat tip to Ronald Bailey and Reason TV.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ezra Levant is No Hero, Even if You Agree with Him

Update Below

I do not agree with Human Rights Commissions, Hate Crime laws or other such tribunals.

I think they are too easily misused to quash freedom and liberty and can be counter-productive to their stated claim. Like prohibiting anything, prohibiting or punishing certain speech or publication does not stop such speech, but drives it underground. I would rather have them out in the open, so I know who my enemies are. Any government power that can be used against "the bad guys" can easily be used against "the good guys" given the right circumstances.

And I don't trust the government.

So that means that I begrudgingly side with Ezra Levant on principle. He should have the right to publish or say anything he wants, so long as it does not cause harm to anyone else. He should not have to answer to anyone not directly involved, let alone a government commission, no matter how minor or seemingly friendly. If his words incite violence, or are untrue, he should be sued and impoverished. Those that oppose his bigoted views should take him on head on, with more speech, louder speech and ridicule him into oblivion. Boycott his work, his publications or any publication or media outlet that employs him. Hit him where it hurts, in his wallet.

Defending free speech requires more speech, not less.

Despite that, Levant is no hero for free speech. He is, in my opinion*, merely an opportunist, looking for any public platform to spout his anti-Muslim garbage. And the Alberta Human Rights And Citizenship Commission has given him such a platform.

Remember how all this came about. In the middle of Canada's conservative heartland, Alberta, Levant couldn't successfully run a conservative political magazine. In an effort to boost sales, he pulled the Mohammed cartoon stunt. The cartoons, which were easy to find on the internet, were long past being news until Levant whipped up the fury again. Even with that and nuzzling up to the government teat, Levant couldn't keep his magazine going, after some private businesses such as Chapters-Indigo chose to stop carrying his magazine, especially the issue in question.

In other words, it was a stunt to try to make Levant money. And it backfired.

But then Syed Soharwardy handed Levant a gift - he made a HRC complaint.

Now, Levant could have merely answered by sending a registered letter. He was not compelled to appear the other day, he chose to. He could have left it at that and it is very likely the AHRC would have dropped the complaint (as they do with most) because it has no merits.

But he didn't. Instead he video taped it, posted it on Youtube, all after inciting his martyrdom on his blog for days before the event. He is even begging for donations from his followers for something that has yet to cost him anything besides the time he chose to take. He is begging for donations for a case that is not likely to succeed and not likely to actually cost him money. He is promoting himself as a saviour of "free speech" but "call now with your donation, before its too late!" Benny Hinn would be proud.

In other words, it is a stunt to make Levant money.

Every conservative who is donating money and supporting this is doing nothing more than wasting their money and aiding anti-Muslim bigotry.

Of course, from my perspective, all of this was a predictable result of the very existence of the HRC. Indeed, such things were predicted in 1644 by John Milton in Areopagitica. One of the main thrusts of Milton's argument is that by persecuting free speech and freedom of the press, the state gives credibility and credence to positions that would not otherwise merit it. If the government is so worried that it needs to silence an opponent, then they must have something worth listening to. Likewise, he argued, persecutions give those being persecuted a state sanctioned platform for their views, thus causing them, again, to get more credibility than they deserve and to be spread farther then they otherwise would.

Certainly, that is the case here. Levant has used the HRC as a platform to attack Islam in general and Soharwardy in particular. Merely peruse the comments at his blog or at the Shotgun (neither of which will get a link from me - use Google if you must) to see the depths of anti-Muslim hatred he has stirred because of this. He is even getting support from some who would not associate with such opinions under normal circumstances. And of course, this failed Conservative politician and failed publisher is now in the centre of the spotlight again, his face on camera, spouting his nonsense.

Its like giving the madman on the corner a megaphone and a 3 piece suit instead of ignoring him.

Ezra Levant is a lot of things, but, in my opinion*, he is not a hero for free speech.


It appears, if you read Mike Brock's comments in the comments section below, that I had not sufficiently clarified that thinking Ezra was an anti-Muslim bigot was my opinion (for the reasons I give in the comments, as well as those by Dr. Dawg) and not a "statement of fact". In an effort to avoid confusion for Mike and others that may read this, I have updated this post to make it clear that it is my opinion. After all, it seems Ezra, the king of free speech, is in a suing mood and I really want to keep my house.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Support the Troops

You might not agree with Ron Paul in the US, but listen to this American soldier. Does our government honestly think we don't have soldiers with the same sentiments on the ground in Afghanistan?

Supporting the Troops requires listening to them, all of them and even when they say things that you don't agree with. Some soldiers don't support the mission.

Or does that make them - and me - Taliban sympathizers? Or traitors? Or 'islamofacists'?

Hat tip to Lew Rockwell


In case some smug Conservative supporter thinks they are somehow different, they are not.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008, the Year of 'teh stoopid'

2008 is only 3 days old and already it is clear that the theme of this year will be unapologetic, unmitigated stupidity. Some conservatives are outright advocating on behalf of ignorance and stupidity, so how could it not happen? Others are merely demonstrating it. Over and over again (hmm, kinda looks like a BT anti-feminist blogswarm of stupidity, no?).

So, in honour of this, the Year of Stupidity, I present my 2008 Predictions (which I am certain will be more accurate than this idiot's.) for stupidity:

1. George Bush will do something stupid. I'm hoping for something Gerald-Ford-falling-down-the-stairs stupid, but more likely it will be the magnitude of nuke Iran stupid. After all, this is the man who thought it was a good idea to invade and occupy a country on the cheap, based on lies that would be obvious afterward and still give massive tax cuts. This is the guy that thinks Pakistan is an ally in the War on Terra(tm) and that Pervez Musharraf is a champion of democracy. This lame-duck moron's last year in office will likely redefine stupid and I think we will all suffer for that for a long time.

2. More of our soldiers will die needlessly in Afghanistan. That is stupid. Beyond stupid. But since our current government isn't willing to change the mission to create the winning conditions (like forgoing tax cuts and dropping $13 billion in surplus on debt relief and instead investing it in the military so there are far more than 2500 soldiers there and that they have way better equipment) or to pull out completely. So we get more of the same non-working strategy that has bogged us down in quagmire.

3. The Conservative government and their slack-jawed supporters will use #2 to try to stifle dissent and opposition to the war. If you disagree with the mission, or think it needs to be changed or want to withdraw, why you are a traitorous Taliban sympathizer who probably likes little boys too and should be locked up. Yes, they are that stupid. They will then tell you that continuing the mission as-is is actually supporting the troops, while trying to get them a chance to win or get out alive is treason. Morons, every one of them.

4. Tony Clement will speak.

5. A group of fundamentalist Christians who wish to force women to wear conservative clothing, to be baby machines subservient to men will condemn 'the Left' for wanting to leave Iraq or Afghanistan because we are there to help rescue women in those countries from their evil Muslim overlords. No, they will not get the irony at all, why do you ask? Of course, there will be others who continue to, on one hand deride ALL Muslims as the greatest evil because of the rantings and beliefs of the Islamists minority, yet on the other hand continually agree with those beliefs. Very stupid.

6. A group of fundamentalist Muslims (probably in London) will blather on about jihad on a BBC or CBC interview, giving fodder to the fools for both #1 and #2. Of course our media won't mention they are about as "mainstream" in Islam as The Church of the Creator is in Christianity, because that won't whip fear and sell papers or advertising spots. Damn Liberal media!

7. Some idiot will claim that true conservatism is about free markets and free choice when it comes to dismantling our health care system and selling it off to their corporate buddies in the medical and insurance industries, but will turn around and claim the only way to fight drug abuse (a medical problem, like alcohol abuse) is with neo-staliniod, draconian laws that interfere with a free market, criminalize victims and clear the field for organized crime to prosper and profit. They will probably own stock in some private prison venture or pharmaceutical company. The BT peanut gallery will think this is a great idea, cheer it on and deride 'teh Lieberals' for creating the rise in crime which isn't happening and hasn't for 18 years. See #4.

8. Some of us will still think using 'teh' is witty.

9. A disgruntled boob who thinks restricting Access to Information, stalling on regulations for lobbyists and trying to control the media is 'accountability' and 'transparency' will complain in the comments that this post is too anti-Conservative, and besides, what about the Liberals? He or she may or may not be an economist or a law student. They will be stupid.


10. Ah, thanks to the keen eye of JJ and via Dr. Dawg, we find that when it comes to stupidity, Kathy Shaidle (aka 'Five Feet of Cunt Snot') will never disappoint. Given the tone and quality of this post so early in the year, I predict she will regularly produce such horrendous, lying nonsense, as often as once very few day. Yet, she will still pass herself off as a "religious writer" and appear on The Agenda again, paid for, of course, by my tax dollars. And, again, no one on the show will challenge her hate-filled bigoted utterings and give her some respectability she most certainly does not deserve. One can hope that when that does happen, Dr. Robert Buckman will hold her down while Warren Kinsella beats her senseless with a leather-bound copy of the Law Society of British Columbia's decision against neo-Nazi defending lawyer Doug Christie.


11. Sweet mother of Pearl, its a freakin' epidemic of stupid today. I could not possibly have imagined the 'halal=Sharia Law in Ontario run for your white lives!' stupidity, how cana I even predict anything other than Mesopotamia West will certainly top this...

Is that enough? I think not. The wave of simple 'moronicness' that is about to wash over us all will come in forms even I cannot imagine. If you have any add, please leave them in the comments. I'll add the good ones to the list above, with all due credit of course.

Now, if you don't mind, I have some books to read and some research to do. We need to stave off the stupidity any way we can.

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