Yes we’re going to a party party

When we talk about the urgent need to eliminate right-wing extremism from Canadian politics, I am not sure why people jump to the idea of us ending up with a two-party system. There are several political parties in Canada, not all of them are either the Liberals, or the NDP or the CPC.

That being said, the Conservative movement in Canada is an existential threat to Canada having a future at all. Sure, the NDP and Liberals could merge, they could also schism again later.

If I could make it happen, I would certainly arrange for a alliance between the Liberals and the NDP bent on the utter destruction of the CPC. That is after all exactly what happened with the Unite the Right movement that had the Reform/Alliance party devour the Progressive Conservatives and made our situation so much worse in Canada and saddled us with Harper.

When the Cons no longer have any political power, when they lose the ability they have now to dominate our political discourse, when their extremism and corruption are irrelevant, then I would experience insuperable delight watching the Liberals, NDP, Greens, etal in a war of reasonable ideas for a better future.

Unfortunately while the Conservatives are always calling the tune, no forward movement is even possible.


From years ago. But nothing useful has changed. So…

It is evident that many Ontarians are supporting Conservative (radical anti-government) candidates. I cannot understand how they could make such a mistake. So I have tried to find a way to explain the situation to those voters.

Imagine there is a party with its platform centred on their intention to cut your leg off. They insist that concerns that you might bleed out when your femoral artery is cut are just liberal propaganda and that there is no consensus that cutting is a cause of bleeding. Moreover, when the usefulness of the amputations is questioned, they insist that it will cause private sector leg stimulus. Before the end of their term in office leg removal will inevitably result in you having more legs than you know what to do with. You will become a human centipede.

When the party is questioned about their apparent intention to give your leg to multinational cannibals, they insist that unregulated extraterritorial human flesh eaters are the true source of legs and it is only by obliging them that you will have any legs at all.

This sounds cracked, but is essentially the logic in radical right-wing policy that has been fucking everything up for 30 years. Supporting such parties has been digging Canada into a deep hole most of my adult life. Unless you stop supporting these flaky ideologues things are just going to get worse. Cause cutting the legs out from under our economy is what this “Conservatism” really is about.

Righteous bosoms!

Years ago I had a very strange FB interaction with a someone who was agitated about some feminist activists in Germany getting their tits out to draw attention to their message. I had responded by saying, “everybody likes breasts,” which for him was quite annoying.

I really could not follow his argument very well at the time. Something about how the breasts should have been randomized instead of lovely and healthy and young. “It shouldn’t matter,” was something he said. Apparently the breasts were not diverse enough in some way.

And my saying that for a promotional exercise you would necessarily want nice but otherwise unremarkable breasts to grab attention but not deflect from your message really triggered him. Then he unfriended me.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that the someone was a privileged white man, an educated and affluent one who ought to have known better than to dictate to young women what they were allowed to do with their breasts.

Apparently an environmental activist got her breasts out at the Junos and successfully got media coverage that drew attention to her message. And what the comments testify to is that people are still quite keen to shit on women for choosing to do what they feel is necessary to get the public to notice.


People have been consuming alcohol for longer than their ancestors have been human. Prior to modern sanitation most people consumed only alcoholic beverages from teat to grave, because mostly water was not safe and drinking it would give you cholera sooner or later.

I knew that the rise of temperance led to cholera outbreaks in the nineteenth century, killing thousands. I did not learn until more recently that since beer and ale are good sources of calories that temperance contributed to malnutrition in the poor and vulnerable at that time. And it is likely that temperance increased mortality by starving people experiencing food insecurity as much as alcoholism did.

Yes you can do yourself harm by drinking too much, but that is true of salt, and indeed even water. And like most things, drinking is safer by a long shot than driving or riding in a car. But ffs don’t mix drinking and driving.

It is not reasonable for a public health body to state, “When it comes to alcohol consumption, there is no safe amount that does not affect health.” This is objectively false by any reasonable statistical standard.

On the other hand, temperance is a controlling behavior based in ideas of sin and the possibility of persecuting people for non-compliance. It is a terrible concept with a terrible history. So, I would rather say that, “No amount of temperance is safe.”

No amount of temperance is safe.


I have been overweight or obese most of my life. And growing up I did not like being tormented about it. The lesson here being that it would be better if people were not cruel and did not recreationally torment others, making their lives worse.

But that is quite different than pretending it was fine that I was a morbidly obese child. It was not fine, and someone should have intervened. I have no doubt that that obesity and this obesity didn’t just directly interfere with my ability to enjoy life then, and now, but that there are inevitably long-term consequences to my having been a fat kid and for the most part a fat adult.

The obesity crisis in the US lead to “being overweight” during the pandemic becoming the main factor predicting worse case outcomes including death. And 1.1 million Americans have died.

There is a huge difference between not being an asshole and pretending that people struggling, or not, with being a little or a lot overweight is fine, or healthy. And while adults are entitled to make bad choices, trying to make being a fat kid, like I was, acceptable is just as creepy as if you were pretending that starving kids is ok.

Abortion is a human right.

This is a rewrite of an earlier article. We have to keep on saying these things. It is pathetic, but necessary.

I was born late in 1963. In 1969 contraception and abortion stopped being illegal in Canada. In 1983 spousal rape became illegal in Canada.

So in the spring of 1963 when my father raped my mother the assault was perfectly legal. She had no access to contraceptives. She had little or no access to reproductive health services and certainly not an abortion. This, despite the fact that she was living in astonishing poverty with a drunken abusive rapist and already had two nearly grown daughters.

In fact, gynecological neglect contributed to decades of health problems for my mother, which significantly worsened the misery of her later years.

That being said, OHIP started in 1966 so she was more fortunate than her mother who, without healthcare and birth control had a life of near-annual miscarriages that took a heavy toll on her health. And even so they both had it easier than my father’s mother who had an unknowable number of miscarriages as well as some-teen surviving children by a physically abusive man who once hung his heavily pregnant wife out a second story window and would try to, in my aunt Virginia’s words, “beat the French out of her.”

Antiabortionists like to frame their cause in terms of protecting babies. But blastocysts and embryos and fetuses are no more babies than babies are adults. And blastocysts and embryos and fetuses cannot be persons in fact. Such as it is, “pro-life” campaigners cannot be acting as they are to protect the unborn, because unborn “babies,” in the sense that they are proposing, are imaginary.

What is actually the case is that these people, or specifically the leaders who agitate them for their own purposes, are trying to undermine women’s access to reproductive health services. And they do this opportunistically out of a cynical disregard for the safety and well-being of women because abortion is an easy topic to get ignorant people angry about and angry people can be easily manipulated.

In order to have rights at all, to have “security of their person,” women must first have access to the contraceptive and gynecological services my mum and her mum and my dad’s bruised and beaten mother suffered without. There is no way around this. If anyone can be required to be pregnant, then they have no other liberty.

Already in the US, after the entirely disgusting and disingenuous SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe, states are acting to remove women’s freedom of movement and association by making it illegal to travel out of state to get a legal abortion. Women are being left dying for hours while doctors hesitate to save them by providing a medically necessary abortion for fear of being arrested and sent to jail for years. Therefore palliative care for pregnant women who are going to die without an abortion is becoming a growth industry. When a women dies from medical neglect because the state prevents her from getting an abortion, no part of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is left to her.

And the reasoning behind the SCOTUS decision on Roe is not even legally valid, as was testified to by the recent Republican SCOTUS appointees when they were perjuring themselves before Congress during their confirmation hearings. And that same reasoning also has implications for interracial marriage decisions, same-sex marriage decisions, as well as decisions on contraception, with far reaching implications for the undermining of large swathes of human rights.

Attacks on women’s access to reproductive health services are attacks on personal liberty and justice in general, not just attacks on women’s health and women’s rights. Abortion bans are on the same road as contraception bans and disenfranchisement of women; as the decriminalization of spousal rape. As a return to an appalling age of suffering and abuse of which we should all be profoundly ashamed. There can be no tolerating these appalling policies. There can be no decent moral position that does not loudly condemn restrictions to women’s access to any reproductive health services.