Tag Archives: healthcare

You’re losing me, online news.

Tommy_Douglas

Here’s to Tommy Douglas, a great Canadian hero. Because of him, Canadians’ taxes actually go to healthcare instead of just meaningless wars.

I no longer get my news anywhere but online, but seriously, these news sites that aggregate news stories need to get away from the click-bait and the ideology-driven model, otherwise they won’t last as long. I have a very rough relationship with The Huffington Post. The Daily Beast and Salon have already lost me. Now and then, Breitbart.com would have a story worth reading, but most of the site is ideologically driven garbage. There were fears in the west that Aljazeera would mostly be pro-Islam, pro-Palestine propaganda, but ironically, they’ve been pretty unbiased with the materials they publish online, definitely better than CNN.com.

Let’s look at Salon.com. Now I consider myself a feminist, but they’re “new feminist” agenda is getting ridiculous. An inordinate amount of stories are bent to become feminist related articles even on issues that aren’t or shouldn’t be seen from a feminist standpoint. Just recently, the singer Kesha accused her long-time producer of sexual harassment. She signed an exclusive contract with him and Sony and is thus obligated to work with him and produce six more albums. Her producer claims the allegations are just a ploy for her to get out of her contract. Now, I would give her the benefit of the doubt if she didn’t deny any rape allegations herself back in 2011. A simple Google search would provide that information, but instead, Salon.com ran article after article of Sony “forcing” the singer to work with her producer.

Kesha filed for an injunction against her producer and Sony, but the judge in the case, not seeing any evidence of sexual abuse, rejected her claim. Unfortunately, the judge inartfully worded the judgment, saying that it was “my instinct to do the commercially reasonable thing.” Instead of saying that, she should’ve said that contracts cannot be annulled based solely on allegations. There was no evidence of sexual misconduct, and the burden of proof for sexual harassment is already lower than most crimes. If the judge allowed the injunction, it would have set the precedent for women to just make allegations in order to get out of what were normally binding agreements.

This was not a feminist issue. It wasn’t people ignoring the pleas of victims of sexual crimes. It was the law acting as it should, basing decisions on evidence and not on ideology. For the media like Salon.com to treat this as an example of miscarriage of justice not only betrays their role as journalists, but it also does a disservice to real feminism. Not to mention, it also tars the name and damages the livelihood of those who are accused of sexual allegations without any solid evidence. This was not the first time Salon.com and other online news outlets did this either. The same thing happened with Mattress Girl.

We really should listen and be more sympathetic to victims of abuse, but our sympathies should not cloud evidence or the lack thereof. Look at the Steven Avery case. He’s not the most sympathetic character if you look at his police record and his past behavior prior to getting incarcerated for rape the first time. But it’s exactly the sympathy for the rape victim and the hatred for Steven Avery that cost him eighteen years of his life the first time around. Forget the evidence. Let’s incarcerate the town villain! Then there’s OJ Simpson, some would argue that the social and political climate at the time convinced some members of the population to be on his side, regardless of the evidence of his guilt. (Of course, truly believing that the accused committed a crime versus believing that the case against the accused was proven beyond any reasonable doubt are two different things.)

But then again, this was Salon.com, the same Web site that argued that Magneto, a Jewish comic book super villain, should be black in order to reflect current racial tensions. Because you know, slow news day, so everyone decides to play lawyer and indict a man for sexual crimes on the press.

 

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That Drawing Sucks

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Everybody dreams. Everybody talks in their sleep now and then.

Little late, but congratulations Alberta! Perhaps there’s hope that Canada would be back to its pre-Harper form. With all the focus on oil and protected areas being opened to exploration, Canada is starting to look more and more like the United States. But out of nowhere, the most right wing and oil-rich province elected NDP to power after decades of voting Progressive Conservative (what a misnomer!).  There’s hope that yes, it’s not too late for Canada.

There’s been a lot of debate regarding drawing the prophet Muhammad and the difference between what Charlie Hebdo does and what Pamela Geller and her group has been doing. This is the difference: Charlie Hebdo is calling out all religions, Pamela Geller and her group is calling out all members of a religion and labelling them as savages. They are asking for moderate members of Islam to denounce the actions of the extremists, and without blinking an eye, calling every member of the religion a savage.  How can you get someone on your side when you spit right in their eye? There is no debating with this kind of rhetoric. They’re just as far gone as the extreme Islamists even though they are absolutely free to espouse any hateful sentiment and that people should not be killed for drawing anything.

What the shooters in Texas did is reprehensible. They might’ve done it over religion, but I believe that with their mental instability, they would’ve murdered for some other causes if the religion wasn’t there.

To call the incident as something uniquely Islam would be extremely dishonest. All religions have their sacred cows. To say that there is something about Islam which drives commands people to kill is not examining other religions or newspapers honestly. This is what makes Bill Maher’s take on the religion a little superficial. At the moment, drawing the Prophet Muhammad is the sacred cow for Islam. I doubt if most members of the faith would be driven to murder, maybe they would be insulted and annoyed, but extreme fundamentalist members of the faith see it as a hot button issue that would drive them to excessive action.  But this is not unique to Islam. Extreme fundamentalist members of the Christian faith see women practicing birth control as a hot button issue that would drive them to excessive action. Moderate members might be offended by gay marriage or contraception/abortion, but extreme members see it as a drive to murder. And if you look at the two sacred cows, one could even argue that a woman practicing birth control is more normal than drawing an ancient prophet.

Take the actions of Pamela Geller and her group. They intentionally goaded mentally unstable extremists by having a drawing contest of the prophet Muhammad. It’s intentionally mocking their sacred cows. And for what? Freedom? Not one person has ever had a birth control contest to goad mentally, unstable Christians simply for freedom. Commentators like to point out the urine-soaked Virgin or what not, and yes, no violence occurred. But there’s violence in other issues. Extreme members of the Christian faith are bothered by what people do out of necessity (birth control) or what people do out of love (gay marriage/adoption). Doctors just simply provide women the help they need, and news actors like Bill O’Reilly send insane followers to ultimately kill people like the late Dr. George Tiller. And then later, Bill O’Reilly rants about the dangers of Islam. It’s not a urine-soaked virgin, it’s doctors helping women.

That’s a mighty fine log you got in your eye there.

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