Friday, April 15, 2011

Michael Sona vs Democracy

Oh Michael Sona, you are indeed an idiot.

Have you heard this story? It's a good one, showing just how much democracy appears to be eroding in Canada at the hands of the Conservatives. Sad and scary. It seems that there was a special ballot station set up at the University of Guelph to entice more students to take part in the voting process. Yes, it's a bit early, but this has been done before (for a wide variety of groups) and appears to be perfectly legit and fine with Elections Canada. However, the Conservative Party doesn't seem to agree and wants these votes discounted as expressed in a letter sent to Elections Canada. 

To make matters worse, one Mr. Micheal Sona, the communications director for Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke, decides to show up, declare that what was going on was illegal, and apparently even reach for the ballot box (what he was planning to do with it, I am not sure)! Oh may, oh my, oh MY! What can I say about that? What can anyone say about that? To get your slimy, no good, democracy hating lawyer (I shouldn't say that, I don't know the guy, I am only speculating) to send a letter to Elections Canada is one thing, but then to take matters into your own slimy, no good, democracy hating hands? What kind of an idiot must you be?? If these allegations are as true as they appear to be, this is just the latest sign that the Conservative Party would appear to be enemy of democracy. Disrupting voting is a disgrace. Canada sends observers to other countries to monitor elections to PREVENT these kinds of things from happening. Michael Sona was not only out of line, but seemingly out of his mind. This is just another black mark on the Conservatives who have already been kicking people out of their party rallies, stifling the media, and just generally being Conservative morons. These guys must go!

I not only urge Elections Canada to make sure that each of these votes count (and I hope each one of them is against the Conservatives) but whoever has the authority to deal with this situation must take action against the Conservatives for this complete and utter display of jerkititude. Does Canada need any more proof that the Conservatives aren't fit to be running the country? I sure know I don't!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jean Wharf, "Fuck Yoga" pins and Shaw Pet Homes

William Shaw, owner of Shaw Pet Homes of Calgary, you have WRONGED ME!

Okay, I'm just kidding (That's Shaw Pet Homes, Calgary, Manufacturer of Alberta's BEST cat furniture! Visit them today at CrossRoads Market in Calgary! It is Calgary's LARGEST Indoor/Outdoor Market!) I don't really have that big of a beef against William Shaw. Or do I? Well, YES I DO, darn it all.

I love it when business owners make me mad. The thing is, when you are representing your business along side of your own personal conversations in social media, it does open you and your business up to being discussed. And, right now, William Shaw, owner of Shaw Pet Homes of Calgary, is on my mind. We just had a lovely interaction on Facebook where he was a complete and total jerk to me! Oooooh, that burns me. Actually, I really shouldn't get into debates on-line anyway. It never really seems to work out. Do they ever? They usually end in everyone telling each other off and everyone walking away mad. At least this is my experience.

Anyway, the topic at hand? According to a short, not very in-depth article posted by the CBC (you can read the article here!), apparently, a girl by the name of Jean Wharf, who was riding (or attempting to ride) a SkyTrain in Vancouver was kicked off because she didn't pay the fare (fair enough if that is true), but then a comment was made that she couldn't ride the train again while wearing her pin that read "Fuck Yoga". Now as the owner of shirts that say "Fuck Homophobia" and "Fuck Your Fascist Beauty Standards", I have to say that I defend wearing items of clothing or accessories that contain the word Fuck. I don't really like to say the word. I try not to use it on a regular basis. About the only time I use it is when I am really angry. Anyway, this was my first comment about the story:

It's pretty hard to make an assessment based on such a short article. If she indeed was kicked off the train because she had a button with the f-word, then that is ridiculous. If she was kicked off for not having a ticket, well, that's different. I have many pins and several shirts with the f-word on them. I haven't had any trouble wearing them and I would be very angry if I did get into trouble for wearing a free country anyway. I don't wear them wear I am living now. I would end up in jail...:)
I didn't think that was too bad, was it? Now this was Mr. William Shaw's first response to the article:

Too bad!! She is a theif and theif is a criminal and criminals don't deserve fredom of speach. Besides, her button was one that was meant to insult and insite dissension toward a system that promotes well being. What is she, an emo goth, neo nazi squatter?
Well, okay then. That seemed a little intense. But, that is just my opinion. His response to ME!
Suck it up, Chris! She was probably lippy to the transit cop and she got what she deserved. As well, she steals from tax payers by not paying fair, but now she is costing tax payers more money because of this stupid inquiry. People like you and her have no positive purpose for society as a whole.

Because I don't think being told that someone can not wear a "Fuck Yoga" pin on the subway is right, I have no positive purpose for society?? Wait a minute here. That seems a little intense. Why oh why would you take this approach Mr. Shaw (owner of Shaw Pet Homes in Calgary)? Why? Look, the girl did nothing wrong with her pin. She did wrong by not paying to ride the train, but she did nothing wrong with her pin. Yes, I defend her. I think it would be a shame if we started to clamp down on things like this. Freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of ideas is very important in our society (meaning Canada). Today it is that pin, tomorrow it is blasphemy laws! Well, maybe not tomorrow, but using the slippery slope idea, well, ya, it could happen. There are many (too many if you ask me) who would like to see that happen.

In previous blog posts, I have expressed anger about other people's opinions, especially when it comes to homophobia. Well, I stand by those. I have not called for business boycotts, I have not called for anyone to be arrested. I have spoken out against ideas that I feel are wrong and destructive. I have expressed outrage and concern. But, I have not called for freedom of speech to be curtailed. The hope is that in the future, discrimination based on sexual orientation is squeezed out of society. And, the hope is also that a person wearing a pin that says "Fuck Yoga" is not being told they can't ride the train because of it. Yes, it may offend people. I have seen those pins. My interpretation is that these pins are criticizing the excess commercialization of yoga and the turning of it into merely a fitness craze (Power Yoga? Come ON!). I think that is a fair assessment really. Again, this is how I interpret the pin and if I were to wear it that is the spirit I would wear it in. And that is why I support her. Maybe if someone had asked her, "Why do you wear that pin?", people might find out for themselves what her reasons are.

Most of the posts on that article revolved around the use of vulgar language and how unacceptable it is that someone would have the word Fuck on a button. Well, ya, it is a vulgar word, but it isn't illegal. Also, if that is the worst her button has to say, well, that's not too bad, really. If that is the biggest complaint people can have, then Canadian society is doing pretty darn good, if you ask me!

Now, remember to visit William Shaw at Shaw Pet Homes in Calgary and pick yourself up one of his UGLY as SIN cat houses and lizard dens or whatever the heck those those things are. I think he has a few little spider homes and stuff too.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Terry Jones: Legally a Jerk

Do I really have to go into the background of this story? Probably not. This has been a fairly well publicized one. As many know by now, a Pastor of a tiny church in Florida by the name of Terry Jones burned a copy of the Qur'an. You may be familiar with this book? In the last few days, Afghanistan has been rocked by violent protests over this. On the day they began, 11 people were killed, 7 of them being UN workers, two of them being beheaded. As I write this, protests are in their third day, and seem to be spreading.

Now, I don't know Terry Jones personally. I've never met him. But based on what I have read about him, I can't say I am overly fond of the guy. I don't think he did a very nice to thing when he burned a Qur'an. However, I have to be quite frank in saying that killing people over this action is incredibly ridiculous. Some have come out saying that Terry Jones has blood on his hands and is responsible for what is going on in Afghanistan. He is not. He has been roundly criticized throughout the world for his actions, but what he did was not illegal where he is from. Terry Jones is guilty of being a jerk. That is it. How people have responded is up to them personally, and they are responsible for their actions. What is most ridiculous about this is that it was one man in a tiny church in Florida who burned the Qur'an. That's it. That's all. Nothing more. To say the least, I think it is fair to say that the violent backlash has been disproportionate at best, completely idiotic at worst. He has been roundly criticized. I agree with the criticism. That's about as far as things should go. But, NO, people's heads rolled (literally!). And, TODAY, Hamid Karzai, the fearless leader of Afghanistan is calling on the US Congress to do something about this guy. What?? What should they do about a man in Florida legally being a jerk? 

Look, there are no blasphemy laws in the US. Although I believe burning a Qur'an could be considered inciting hate, it was done on private property and therefore he was not doing anything against the law. Besides, there are plenty of hate groups in the US who are protected by freedom of speech laws. That is the way it works in the US. Freedom of speech is alive and pretty important. Does Mr. Karzai want the US to adopt blasphemy laws so that the people in his country don't go completely berzerk and start cutting off peoples heads?? That doesn't seem like a good idea at all. Should Terry Jones be punished? Well, he didn't actually break any laws, did he? No, he didn't. So, no, he shouldn't be punished, other than what is dished out in the court of public opinion. He has pissed off a lot of people. Fine. But, nothing he has done should be resulting in beheadings and riots. It can be met with anger and frustration, with speaking out against him, by making one's feelings known. But, when it get's to the point where people are dying, things have gotten way too out of hand, and it isn't the fault of Terry Jones.