Quotation of the week

“It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.”  – John Stuart Mill

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Quotation of the week

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”   – Eleanor Roosevelt

Quotation of the week

“Science knows it doesn’t know everything, otherwise it would stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything, doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairytale most appeals to you.”  – Dara O’Briain

Just like Hitler

There’s an instructor at my gym who kind of shouts at us and makes us count down. If we don’t count down, she starts again at the beginning. She also makes us respond when she asks, “Can you feel it!?” She will yell it over and over again until we all respond. Whether we can feel it or not, we have to respond “yes!” It’s not as if we can say, “Sort of. Not really. Maybe I will tomorrow.” She’s such a Nazi. No, in fact, she’s Hitler!

I think the people who run NGOs are probably just using their socio-political humanitarian work as fronts to impose their own idealist “world peace” agenda. They’re all communists.

If you don’t wear deodorant in the summer time, you are imposing your disgusting body odour on others against their will and you deserve to be killed, you stinky Nazi.

Sometimes my cat scratches at my legs when his nails are too long and it hurts! Hitler cat.

When there is a line-up—stand in it! Don’t walk to the front as if you own the world. People who do that are no better than Hitler.

In my country, if I get sick or have an accident and break something, I can go to the doctor or hospital and get fixed. And I don’t have to pay for it. Clearly the Canadian system is just like Nazi Germany. Bunch of commies.

Sometimes when I get a coffee from the coffee shop in the lobby of my office building they don’t fill the cup to the top. Frickin’ Nazis.

Bob Ross was a painter who had a TV show called The Joy of Painting. He had an afro and painted mostly landscapes. He said things like, “I’m gonna put a happy little tree right here. Oh, but he needs a friend. Can’t leave him there all alone. I’ll put another little happy tree right next to him.” He spoke in a calm almost-whisper. He was mesmerising. Whether you cared about painting or not, you could not turn the channel when you stumbled upon Bob Ross. I think he was probably communicating something evil via subtext or subliminal messages. He was like a reincarnated Hitler!

There is hardly anywhere you can park in Toronto during the day without having to pay an arm and a leg. What is this, Nazi Germany?

The other day was the hottest, most humid day we’ve had in Toronto all summer. It was hard to breathe, the heat and humidity were so oppressive. Oppressive like Hitler.

There is gum stuck to the pedal of my bike. Argh! So annoying! It’s just like Hitler.

Best ever!

Is it redundant to call Dara O’Briain a brilliant genius?

Tricky Politicky

My last post was actually about Canadian (well, Toronto) politics! I’ve written very little about Canadian politics and quite a bit about American politics, and it makes me sad that I seem so much more interested in America’s politics than my own country’s. I guess because it’s so much more ubiquitous, steeped in drama and absurdity, and often affects the rest of the world.

I intend to make more of an effort to stay abreast of Canadian news. I have a bunch of Canadian news sites in my Google Reader, and I will try to start reading them first thing every day rather than all the American and world news blogs I read. I will try.

But for now I can’t resist commenting on some clever politicking going on in Washington!

It’s beyond my comprehension how actual government officials can blatantly get away with the most egregious bullshit—lies and conspiracy theories—and infect the public and the media with said bullshit.

I am speaking of the “Birthers” and the “Deathers.”

The Birthers, as you probably know, are the whack-job conspiracy theorists who claim that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore cannot be president.

It’s not only radical fringe right-wing radio/TV hosts and conspiracy theorists wearing aluminum-foil hats who believe this; actual Republicans in congress believe it too (or pretend to, which may be worse).

They all claim that the controversy would be laid to rest if Obama would just release his birth certificate. Why won’t he let us see his birth certificate? If he has nothing to hide and was really born in Hawaii, then why won’t he just release his birth certificate?

Of course the answer is: He has.

Not only was the birth certificate made public ages ago, it has been validated by many sources, including conservative ones.

Not only has he released his birth certificate, but his born-in-Hawaii “story” has been confirmed by the doctor who delivered him, Hawaii state officials, and the birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser.

See the evidence for yourself.

But the thing about conspiracy theorists is that they can never be disproven. No matter how much real evidence you throw at them, they will always counter it with an even wilder proclamation about a conspiracy. I suppose this could all be a 48-year conspiracy by Muslims or Kenyans to install one of their own in the White House. Anything’s possible.

The Deathers is a group of lying, fear-mongering anti-healthcare-reformists who are feeding the public the outright lie that under Barack Obama’s proposed healthcare reform bill, old people will be killed.

Many Republicans in congress, not to mention the conservative pundits, have been busy trying to quash healthcare reform by scaring the public. Now they’re claiming that the U.S. government will mass euthanize the elderly under “socialized” medicine.

One cannot even claim misunderstanding or confusion of facts on this one—it’s simply a bald-faced lie.

This is just the latest tactic to try and undermine a public healthcare option. Republicans are against “socialized” medicine, saying that the government has no place in healthcare, even though the best healthcare administered in their country is provided by the government: Medicare for seniors, the Veterans’ Association for veterans, the Department of Defense for soldiers, and the federal government for all members of congress. These are all rated among the very best healthcare systems (particularly the VA’s system).

The truth (if anyone cares) is that a part of the proposed healthcare bill entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation” would enhance Medicare to pay for end-of-life consultations with doctors to prepare for the inevitable. It’s essentially about living wills, powers of attorney, palliative care, etc.—informing senior citizens as to the options available to them and making sure they have everything in order when that inevitable end comes.

The consultations would include “an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.” (Thanks to Talking Points Memo for providing the text of the bill.)

And it’s optional, not mandatory.

But conservative crazies trying to scare the general public are feeding them the lie that this will mean government workers will knock on your grandmother’s door and ask her if she’d prefer a needle, a pill, or the gas chamber.

The fact that Republicans are using this as a scare tactic now is not only disgusting, underhanded, and despicable, but it’s hypocritical. From Talking Points Memo:

Discussions between sick or elderly people and their doctors about end-of-life treatment have long been an accepted part of modern patient care. As Politico itself notes, in 2003, a Bush administration agency “issued a 20-page report outlining a five-part process for physicians to discuss end-of-life care with their patients.” And since 1990, Congress has required health-care agencies to inform patients about state laws regarding advance directives such as a living will.

This web site has a good overview of the absurdity, plus a video compilation of the Deathers and their lies.

Okay, so now onto the fun politics part.

The Democrats are calling the Republicans’ bluff on both of these issues.

Congressman Neil Abercrombie introduced a resolution in Congress to recognize and celebrate Hawaii on the 50th anniversary of its entry into the union. It’s a pretty standard tradition. Business as usual.

But, Abercrombie introduced the following language into the resolution: “Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii….”

And voila: Gotcha!

The language turns this standard lip-service bill into a sort of anti-Birther bill. Thus, Republicans would have to choose to vote against recognizing and celebrating Hawaii as the 50th state, or for admitting that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and therefore is a U.S. citizen.

The bill passed unanimously.

Brilliant!

Now onto those trying to block a public option on healthcare. Their latest tactic to convince the public that government-run healthcare would be a terrible, horrible, very bad thing is the “government-run healthcare will kill your grandparents” line.

So Congressman Anthony Weiner introduced an amendment that would eliminate Medicare, the popular publicly funded healthcare plan that cares for America’s elderly (quite well), and has done for over 40 years.

Every Conservative who says they are against publicly funded healthcare had to go on record and put their money where their mouth is. You’re against publicly funded, government-run health care? Fine then, vote to eliminate Medicare.

How many Republicans voted to eliminate Medicare? Why, that’d be zero.

Brilliant again!!

You gotta love this new calling-your-bluff, cutting-through-the-bullshit politicking. I hope they keep it up. The mythmakers shouldn’t win. I’m getting pretty damned sick of the fear mongers spewing lies and vile invective about Canada’s universal healthcare system.

But more on that later.