sexual harassment for fun and profit

There are a lot of things happening in my life that I’d like to write about, but my heart is heavy and my skin is raw. Instead, I’m going to write about this new contest from Electronic Arts:

Stay classy, EA.

Stay classy, EA.

I’ll give you a minute to re-read the ‘How To Win’ section a few times.

That’s right, EA literally wants you to sexually harass the booth babes at Comic-Con. You don’t have to settle for staring awkwardly at scantily-clad flesh and working up the nerve to brush your hand against an ass or two as you walk past them; their employer has actually posted a sexual bounty on them — so please feel free to grab a handful and get your money’s worth! And if your photos are the most ass-grabbingly great (keeping in mind step 3!) you’ll get to take them out to dinner in a fancy limo!

Goddamn it if EA isn’t the worst thing to happen to video games since Ultima Online. (Actually, scratch that. They published Ultima Online. I guess they’re just the worst thing.)

Every now and then I think about dropping everything and getting back into the video game industry, but then I am gripped by this fear, this panic, that somehow someday somewhere I would end up working for EA, and that’s enough to shake those dreams from my hair.

Oh, booth babes. Have we not yet visited enough ignominy and nerd germs upon you? Truly, you are the most underappreciated of all sex workers.

Corey & Vampirella

Corey & Vampirella. photo: roadkillbuddha

Things wrong with America’s criminal justice system: Second in a series.

Today’s subject: Joe Arpaio!

If you’re lucky enough not to live in AZ, you might not know about Joe Arpaio. He’s the Maricopa County Sheriff signed a promise to serve only one term when he was elected in 1992. He’s still the Sheriff. When it comes to drug warriors, this guy doesn’t mess around. He’s got a self-propelled howitzer with “Sheriff Arpaio’s War on Drugs” painted on it, with some tasteful lightning bolts added for effect.

From a New Yorker profile of Sheriff Joe (pdf):

Arpaio ordered small, heavily publicized deprivations. He banned cigarettes from his jails. Skin magazines. Movies. Coffee. Hot lunches. Salt and pepper–Arpaio estimated that he saved taxpayers thirty thousand dollars a year by removing salt and pepper. Meals were cut to two a day, and Arpaio got the cost down, he says, to thirty cents per meal. “It costs more to feed dogs than it does the inmates,” he told me. Jail, Arpaio likes to say, is not a spa– it’s punishment. He wants inmated whose keenest wish is never to get locked up again. He limits their television, he told me, to the Weather Channel, C-Span, and, just to aggravate their hunger, the Food Network. For a while, he showed them Newt Gingrich speeches. “They hated him,” he said cheerfully. Why the Weather Channel, a British reporter once asked. “So these morons will know how hot it’s going to be while they are working on my chain gangs.”

Arpaio wasn’t kidding about chain gangs. Foreign television reporters couldn’t get enough footage of his inmates shuffling through the desert. New ideas for the humiliation of people in custody–whom the Sheriff calls, with pervasive disgust, “criminals,” although most are actually awaiting trial, not convicted of any crime–kept occurring to him. He put his inmates in black-and-white striped uniforms. The shock value of these retro prisoner outifts was powerful and complex. There was comedy, nostalgia, dehumanization, even a whiff of something annihilationist. He created female chain gangs, “the first in the history of the world,” and, eventualy, juvenile chain gangs.

Joe Arpaio is directly and personally responsible for stillbirths and miscarriages; and the deaths, brain damage, and severe injuries of newborn babies. Women who go into labor while in his jail aren’t allowed to hold or even see their babies after they’re born, even the ones who survive.

Arpaio has a reality show on Fox called “Smile You’re Under Arrest.” The premise of the show is to use big-breasted women and promises of a $300 prize to get people with nonviolent warrants to show up at a nightclub taken over by Joe for this purpose, and filled with paid actors and undercover cops (all at county expense). Then they have to participate- on national television- in either a fashion show or a dancing contest. Joe hides behind a curtain or under a covered table during all this; and after the fashion show or dancing contest is over, he jumps out and arrests them. Meanwhile over 40,000 felony warrants, many of them for rape or murder, go unserved and the homicide rate has jumped 167%. I’m not making this shit up.

He’ll kill your dog and burn your house down if you get in his way (while simultaneously crushing your neighbor’s car with an armored personnel carrier).

He’s got that tent jail in the desert, where you have to wear old-timey striped uniforms with pink underwear, eat substandard food, and work on chain gangs but at least he provides rebar for you (pdf) to make it easier for to beat other inmates to half to death. If you don’t want to read the pdf, the gist of it he got fined over $600,000 because the rebar had been used as weapons before, and he still chose not to secure them from the inmates. The judge said “…among other things, the Sheriff and his deputies had actual knowledge that prisoners used rebar tent stakes and tent poles as weapons and did nothing to prevent it.” Furthermore, “the Sheriff admitted knowing about, and in fact intentionally designing, some conditions at Tent City that created a substantial risk of inmate violence.

Your tent-mates are the least of your worries, however. Joe will beat you death even if you’re blind (and destroy evidence in a cover-up attempt), although to be fair to Joe he really only beat that guy partway to death- he only died after being left unattended in a cell for 6 days from the perforated intestine and broken neck he got from the beating- last time he gets picked up for shoplifting.

Don’t count on a wheelchair earning you any sympathy from America’s Toughest Sheriff, either. If you go to jail as a paraplegic on a 1-gram marijuana possession charge and ask for a catheter to piss in, you might just leave as a quadruplegic after you get a 6-hour ride in a restraint chair followed by a guard breaking your neck.

Hey, at least the chair ride didn’t kill him like it killed Scott Norberg, right? Well, it might not have been the chair- it could have been the stun guns or the towel shoved in his mouth. Joe Arpaio personally conducted an investigation of that incident and “surprisingly” found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the officers involved. The lawsuit found differently to the tune of $8 million, possibly because he got caught destroying evidence again. A man of principle, Joe publicly addressed Norberg’s family and stated that he essentially got what he deserved because he was a drug addict and besides only bad people are in jail anyway.

Mentally-handicapped? Too bad, you might get killed in the chair too- on a loitering charge.

Hope you don’t have diabetes, cause you might not get insulin even if you go and die on him, like Deborah did.

Yeah, Joe sure does love him some wrongful-death lawsuits, combined with all of his other suits, he’s a defendant in almost fifteen hundred cases- if they all come to settlement, Maricopa taxpayers could pay up to $50 million.

Criticizing him in the newspapers or on the Web might get you locked up.

Smokin Joe and his deputies work hard outside of jail too, what with all the racial profiling and immigration crackdowns; so you know they play hard too- nothing takes the edge off like getting a happy ending from a hooker while on the clock. Oh, it was a “sting,” and sure, 60 of the 70 cases got thrown out due to that gross misconduct, but hey, got to break some eggs you know.

My next Arpaio fun fact really stretches the imagination. He staged his own assassination attempt, involving blowing up his personal $70,000 armored vehicle with a pipe bomb. He created an elaborate sting culminating in a televised arrest of the “assassin,” who was quickly released when courts saw that he had been entrapped and most of the plot was in fact fabricated by Arpaio.

But what would Joe be without a sidekick? Meet Andy Thomas, Joe’s District Attorney who took a break from editing his own Wikipedia entry to prosecute a 16-year old boy (seeking a *ninety year* sentence- without parole) for showing a Playboy to some of his classmates. Oh, he was arrested in an early morning tactical raid and his family held at gunpoint; the family would go on to spend over $250,000 in legal fees and even when the child porn charges were thrown out he *still* tried to get the boy listed as a sex offender. Andy’s other adventures include spending $2 million of taxpayer money on TV commercials about himself. Not campaign commercials, just pointless self-promotion commercials. He had a “crime-prevention book” published, which was also largely self-promotion and included portraits of himself in it. Looking at his wiki entry now, there are some curious edits which weren’t there the last time I checked, so maybe he’s had some down time lately to brush it up.

Let’s hear Joe in his own words-

“I put women on chain gangs, and I’ll be putting juveniles on chain gangs in a month or two… they like being on chain gangs.” “I spend $0.40 day on inmates, and $1.50 on dogs, the dogs get air conditioning.”

Arpaio's War on Drugs

(Most of this post is courtesy of SA’s HidingFromGoro. )

Let’s Go To Prison

Every year, over 90,000 women are raped in the United States.

If you’re an activist (or spend much time around activists), you might know this already. You might even talk about it, argue about why it happens, the effect it has on people, how to stop it.

What is less well-known is that every year, over 140,000 men are raped in the United States.

No one talks about it because it happens inside of prisons. No one cares about it because it happens to prisoners. On the inside, guards use rape (both implied and actual) as a form of prisoner control. On the outside, people joke about it. Worse even, they see it as a form of punishment prisoners should endure, even though rape inside of a prison is an order of magnitude more likely to transmit a disease than rape outside of one.

This is what 140,000 people looks like:


Generations from now, our treatment of criminals will be looked at with the same disgust and horror that slavery is viewed with today, and our society will rightly be condemned as cruel and barbaric for it.

Let me just hold those conventions for you, sir.


Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan will be ordered to attack opium traffickers and drug facilities when there is proof of direct links to the Taliban, CBC News has learned.

The new order follows a heated debate among NATO allies over whether the attacks could be declared war crimes.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay told CBC News soldiers would indeed target drug traffickers and drug production facilities.

First, using military force on civilian targets — even if you don’t like what they do for a living — is a war crime.

Second, our military is in fucking Afghanistan fighting DRUG DEALERS WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK ASDFKASODFKOAWEF

To Protect and Serve

There were riots in Oakland last night over the New Years Day homicide of Oscar Grant, who was shot by BART transit police at point-blank range in the back while being restrained by officers.

Amnesty International:

When an unarmed man is shot in the back after police put him face down on the ground, it is the time for authorities to demand action, not patience. Days after the incident, the officer still has not been interviewed. The delay in this critical part of the investigation hints at the callousness to the worth of human life to a public that is all too familiar with racial profiling, police brutality and cover-ups. Whatever the final investigation reveals, the bottom line is that there is never justification to shoot an unarmed person, especially one who is restrained. It is an obvious violation of the most basic human rights standards, and a clear cut abuse of power.

(Photos by Thomas Hawk and The Inadvertent Gardener.)

Kill him. Kill him dead.

I’ve been hoping for a Liberal-NDP coalition government since Chrétien left office, but I never thought I would actually see it so close to actually happening.

If the opposition comes out on top when the dust settles, we might see a new era of coalition governments in Canadian politics, and — dare I say it — electoral reform to prevent the vote-splitting which allowed the Conservatives to take power in the first place. Blue sky thinking to be sure, but no more than a Liberal-NDP coalition was, five years ago.

I could go on for days about my dream cabinet, or the platform I think we’ll see, but all of that is secondary to what would be the most important consequence of a successful coalition: The destruction of Stephen Harper.

Scott Reid said it better than I would:

Stephen Harper is the most dangerous animal lurking in the jungles of Parliament. He is a threat to the future viability of the Liberals. A blood simple opponent of the NDP and the only serious contemporary challenge to the Bloc Quebecois. Without him, his party is an unlikely combination of Reform Party leftovers, Harris refugees and Red Tory desperates. They don’t matter or even exist without Mr. Harper. So before you think a moment longer, opposition leaders, think on that.

And if that’s not compelling enough, remember: He doesn’t play to win. He plays to conquer. Under his guidance, the public interest is always subjugated to his personal political advancement. And he poisons Parliament with an extreme, bare-fanged breed of partisanship that has no hope of repair until he is banished.

This becomes relevant because suddenly, he is weak. In fact, at this particular moment, he is almost unable to defend himself. Owing to a ridiculously ill-considered act of hubris, he has laid himself vulnerable to his opponents. Their imperative could not be more clear: kill him. Kill him dead. Do not, whatever you do, provide him with an opportunity to extend his hold on power. Because you can be damn certain he will never again be so reckless as to give you a chance to finish him off.

He’s right. Everyone involved has gone past the point-of-no-return; this is uncharted territory, and whoever gains ground will be salting the earth behind them.

I hold these truths to be self-evident

A secret, filter-free:

Not only do I still find it unbelievable that Barack Obama won — and I mean literally unbelievable; as in it feels exactly like when I realize that I’m dreaming because something impossible has happened — but I actually start to tear up if I think about it too much.

The civil rights movement is extraordinarily inspirational to me (more than any other single event/person/process/etc), and seeing a black president just 40 years after Martin Luther King was murdered fills me with an emotion so unexpected and intense that I don’t have a name for it.

To be clear, this isn’t about politics. I’m not interested in what happens to taxes or guns or gas prices in the US. What moves me is to see a black American carry himself to the office of president through the power of oration, motivating a culture that has never trusted the establishment to participate in it instead of combating it.

I’m Canadian, but my grandfather was a black man born in Philly, and his family name — the same name I was born with — is the name of the white family from Virginia that owned his (and my) ancestors, not that many generations ago. Seeing things come full circle from slavery is a deeply personal and powerful experience.

We’re certainly not in Dr. King’s world yet, where a man is judged by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin; but we are one step closer to the brotherhood he dreamed of, and that moves me very nearly to tears every time I think about it.

I almost didn’t include any family history in this, because I feel like people will write me off as soon as they read it. It makes it easy to treat me as someone who’s just happy one of his own is on top (even though I’m not black), rather than a spectator who is ‘legitimately’ amazed by what a group of people have managed to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

i have the outrage fatigue

It gets worse:

CBC NEWS – The chorus of voices blasting the federal Heritage Department’s recent cuts to federal arts and culture programs grew louder on Friday, with critics calling the decision “appalling” and “disastrous” for the community.

“Culture is not an expense, it’s an investment — in human potential, the economy and in creativity,” MP Denis Coderre, the Liberal Party’s heritage critic, told a news conference in Montreal on Friday, adding that the decision is a “disastrous” step backwards for the country and “extremely worrying.”

“When you cut a program you have to rebuild it some other way. Creating new programs takes months and months,” he said, also accusing the government of denying funding to artists “because they’re radical” and of trying to define “what culture is, when we should be fostering creativity.”

Last week, government officials confirmed it would no longer fund the $4.7 million PromArt program, which subsidizes the promotion of Canadian artists touring abroad. News then emerged that funding of the $9 million Trade Routes program, which promotes the export of Canadian arts and culture products abroad, had also been cut.

The elimination of further federal cultural funding came to light late this week, including contributions of:

$300,000 to the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada, for programs archiving important film, television and musical recordings.
$1.5 million to the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund.
$2.5 million to the National Training Program in the Film and Video Sector.
Two programs that provide administrative support to arts organizations — the Stabilization Projects and Capacity Building — will also be eliminated, as will two New Media Research funds, the government announced in updates on the programs’ respective web pages.

New condemnation

Myriad arts and cultural groups had already voiced their dismay regarding the PromArt and Trade Routes cuts, but a flood of new condemnation came on Friday.

“It’s appalling that these cuts come during the Olympics when all eyes are focused on the world stage,” Richard Hardacre, national president of performers’ union ACTRA, said in a statement on Friday.

“You can’t compete without investment in years of training and long-term support. The arts are no different.”

Noted Canadian filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson, who is also president of the Directors Guild of Canada, said his group was “gravely concerned by these recent decisions and will be seeking meetings with both [heritage and foreign affairs] ministers to encourage their reconsideration. Given the size of our market and the current state of our industry, now is the time to strengthen, not abolish, such key programs.”

The cancellations will have a “devastating effect,” Antoni Cimolino, Stratford Shakespeare Festival general director and a vice-president of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, said in an earlier statement.

“Canadians depend on our artists and their work to communicate Canadian values. Government investment is a crucial element of cultural diplomacy in every developed nation, including Canada.”

On Thursday, Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe called the funding cuts “unacceptable.” He called on his Liberal and NDP colleagues to join the Bloc in calling the Heritage Department to task and demanded the Conservatives immediately explain their decision.

Efficiency, stronger impact sought: Verner

After mostly silence (save for brief statements from department spokesmen) this week, Heritage Minister Josée Verner defended the Trade Routes and PromArt decisions in an interview with the French arm of Canadian Press on Thursday.

“What’s being considered … is to examine how we can create a new program or new avenues that will be more efficient and with a stronger impact for our culture abroad,” Verner said.

Though these programs are important for artists, they did not demonstrate that the federal government’s investment in them had enough impact to make a difference, Verner said, adding that the decision to abolish these programs stems from revisions announced in the budget last spring.

Verner said she would “always fight” for the cultural sector but that reality dictates “that we seek efficiency. I think the first beneficiary of this [action] will be the cultural world.”


In case anyone missed this from a few days ago:

OTTAWA – The federal government will cancel a program today that sent artists abroad to promote Canadian culture because the program’s grant recipients included “a general radical,” “a left-wing and anti-globalization think-tank” and a rock band that uses an expletive as part of its name.

Canwest News Service has learned that the Conservatives are cancelling the $4.7-million PromArt program administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade because most of the money “went to groups that would raise the eyebrows of any typical Canadian,” said a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The move is sure to provoke a backlash in the Canadian cultural community, already angry at the federal Conservatives for tinkering with the funding criteria for other arts programs, most famously for pending legislation which would prohibit federal funding of films and television shows the government might find offensive.

The cut is part of an ongoing government-wide review to cut spending but the department’s PromArt program became an easy target when senior Conservatives discovered that some recipients of taxpayer-funded foreign travel were “not exactly the foot that most Canadians would want to see put forward.”

The recipients singled out by the Conservatives include:

– $3,000 to Toronto-based experimental rock band Holy F— Music for a week-long tour of the United Kingdom.

– $5,000 was given to former CBC broadcaster Avi Lewis, who now works for al-Jazeera and who is described in a Conservative memo as “a general radical” to help pay for his travel to film festivals in Australia and Argentina;

– $16,500 to send Tal Bachman, a bestselling recording artist and the son of The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman, to South Africa and Zimbabwe for music festivals.

“I think there’s a reasonable expectation by taxpayers that they won’t fund the world travel of wealthy rock stars, ideological activists or fringe and alternative groups,” the source said.

Bachman, Lewis or representatives of Holy F— Music could not immediately be reached.

But the program also funded travel to promote what many Canadians might consider “mainstream” Canadian art. For example, the Canadian Museum of Civilization received $50,000 to help defray the costs of taking an exhibition of Inuit art to Brazil; the Royal Winnipeg Ballet received assistance of $40,000 for a U.S. tour; and former Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache received a $3,000 grant so he could travel to Cuba to give a lecture about the Canadian Charter of Rights.

The Foreign Affairs website said the grant program “provides funding to Canadian artists and arts organizations for the promotion of Canadian culture abroad, in alignment with Canada’s foreign policy and trade priorities.”

More than 300 grants were awarded in 2006-07.

Among those who received a grant was author Gwynne Dyer, who received $3,000 to help him travel to Cuba for a series of lectures. The grant program’s annual report said Dyer’s funding application was approved “with the expected results of creating greater awareness and appreciation of Canadian foreign policy … within key audiences of Cuban decision-makers and opinion-leaders.”

But the Conservative talking points say Dyer is “a left-wing columnist and author who has plenty of money to travel on his own.”

The Conservatives also dismiss a grant given to The North South Institute, a non-profit foreign policy think-tank, that received $18,000 in federal travel assistance so its representatives could attend a conference in Cuba.

The North-South Institute is “a left-wing and anti-globalization think-tank,” the Conservative memo said. “Why are we paying for these people to attend anti-western conferences in Cuba?” it asked.

Other artists and groups to receive federal funding for foreign travel assistance in 2006-07 were:

– Comedian Andy Jones received $11,000 for an Australian tour; the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada received $18,000 to go to South Carolina; and The Gryphon Trio received $13,200 to travel and play in the United Kingdom.

– Combined, the Quebec-based dance troupes Le Projet Ex Machina, Les 7 doigts de la main, and les Grands ballets canadiens received more than $500,000 in travel assistance for tours through the U.S., Asia, and Europe.

– Rock band The Rheostatics received $7,000 for a trip to China.

$500 times 51,514 mp3s = $25,757,000 fine for me

The new copyright legislation is in the mail:

The federal Conservatives are set to introduce new copyright legislation that will include provisions to target users with a $500 fine for all illegal files transferred online, a move that legal experts say could see Canadians sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars if found guilty of infringement.

Sources have told the National Post that one of the provisions in the updated Copyright Act of Canada will include a fine for each “personal use download” found to be shared online through peer-to-peer software programs.

Other provisions in the bill, which is said to be tabled in the House of Commons tomorrow afternoon, will include measures to make it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods as well as making it illegal to copy “time-shifted” shows on to personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.


Loss of Copyright Act right to make a copy of music for personal use.
Modifying electronics that you own will be illegal
Ripping copy-protected CDs that you own to play on mp3 players that you own will be illegal.

No one knows yet if this is going to be tabled tomorrow or next week, and no one knows if it’ll be left to die over summer recess or pushed through; so look up your MP, give them a ring on the hill, and let them know what you think.

40 Years Later – The Last Four Remember Dr. King

“…martyrdom also forced onto King’s dead body the face of a toothless tiger. His threat has been domesticated, his danger sweetened. His depressions and wounds have been turned into waves and smiles. There is little suffering recalled, only light and glory. King’s more challenging rhetoric has gone unemployed, left homeless in front of the Lincoln Memorial, blanketed in dream metaphors, feasting on leftovers of hope lite.

White Americans have long since forgotten just how much heat and hate the thought of King could whip up. They have absolved themselves of blame for producing, or failing to fight, the murderous passions that finally tracked King down in Memphis, Tenn. If one man held the gun, millions more propped him up and made it seem a good, even valiant idea. In exchange for collective guilt, whites have given King lesser victories, including a national holiday.

But blacks have not been innocent in the posthumous manipulations of King’s legacy. If many whites have undercut King by praising him to death, many blacks have hollowed his individuality through worship. The black reflex to protect King’s reputation from unprincipled attack is understandable. But the wish to worship him into perfection is misled; the desire to deify him is tragically misplaced. The scars of his humanity are what make his glorious achievements all the more remarkable.

Both extremes of white and black culture must be avoided. Many whites want him clawless; many blacks want him flawless. But we must keep him fully human, warts and all. In the end, King used the inevitability of a premature death to argue for social change and measure our commitment to truth. There is a lot to be learned in how King feared and faced death, and fought it too. What we make of his death may determine what we make of his legacy and our future.”

My homeboy Dion grows a pair

…and finds his election issue: Ideology.

Dion is making clear that poverty and the Charter are at the centre of the national debate he wants to provoke.

“The fight against poverty will be at the heart of the Liberal agenda,” said Dion, who recently unveiled his plan to cut overall poverty rates by 30 per cent and the child-poverty rate by 50 per cent within five years of Liberals regaining power.

The Liberal leader portrayed Charter rights as under assault by the Harper government, not just at home, but in the face Canada is now showing to the world.

He rattled off a list of examples, including the Conservative government’s refusal to seek clemency for a Canadian facing the death penalty in Montana; the refusal to endorse a United Nations declaration on aboriginal rights; questions over whether Canada is respecting conventions on prisoners and torture in Afghanistan; and cancellation of the Court Challenges program, cuts to programs and the removal of the word “equality” from the Status of Women’s mandate.

“Canada needs more than ever the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the party of (former prime minister) Pierre Elliott Trudeau,” Dion said.


The provincial election is coming up soon, and it’s quite possibly the most important provincial election we’ll see in our lifetimes. There’s a referendum (the first in 80 years) to switch to a proportional representation system, instead of the first-past-the-post garbage we currently have.

If you don’t know what that means or why you need to vote, check out the site and read a primer; all should become clear.

When it comes to the candidates and parties themselves, however, I just can’t bring myself to like anyone at all. It’s just a matter of which particular kind of government is the least bad. The Green Party of Ontario isn’t as market-oriented as the Green Party of Canada, but at the end of the day, it’s just watered down eco-capitalism.

The NDP platform is probably closest to what I’d like to see, as far as policies are concerned. Unfortunately, they haven’t gotten over their irrational fear of nuclear power, and they’d like to ban any further nuclear development in Ontario, saying it’s too ‘risky’.

How many people in Ontario died last year because of nuclear power? Right, no one.

How many people in Ontario died last year because of coal power? 800? 1300? 2000? Depends which stats you look at, but it’s a fuckton more than zero.

I can understand that the average person doesn’t really understand all the issues involved in nuclear power, and that there’s a general fear of all things nuclear, thanks to Chernobyl and the Cold War, but I expect my politicians to think critically.

The Liberal party’s platform isn’t interesting in any way. More promises which they may or may not be able to keep.

Broken Liberal promises are much better than kept Conservative promises, though.

I get the feeling I’m going to end up voting Communist.

Why I hate reading the news

So we have this little thing called the HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review. It’s a think tank to provide analysis, review, and solutions for HIV/AIDS issues in our country. As you may know, one of the ways that people in Canada contract HIV is through drug usage. Resultingly, the Policy and Law Review studies our drug policies to see how effective they are at their stated goals.

The new report says the same thing our Auditor-General said five years ago: Law enforcement is not a workable solution to the drug problem. Let’s look at the report:

The federal government continues to invest heavily in policies and practices that have repeatedly been shown in the scientific literature to be ineffective or harmful:

The drug strategy’s $245-million budget breakdown:

  • Law enforcement: 73%
  • Treatment: 14%
  • Research: 7%
  • Addiction prevention: 3%
  • Harm reduction: 3%

The overwhelming emphasis continues to be on conventional enforcement-based approaches which are costly and often exacerbate, rather than reduce, drug-related harm.

Pretty heavy stuff. As all the literature and science shows, law enforcement doesn’t deal with the issue. Luckily, we have a new government which has vowed to solve this problem, right? And clearly, the Liberal strategy of an overwhelming focus on law enforcement isn’t working. Let’s ask the office of the Health Minister for his reaction!

“Our own national drug strategy is in the works. It’s something we’ve actually been working on for some time. The previous government took its own approach, which we happen to disagree with.

In every poll, when Canadians are asked whether they want more law enforcement or less, they want more. So the bottom line is that Canada’s new government will be taking a different approach.”

You heard it right, folks! The Conservatives disagree with the failed Liberal policy of overwhelming law enforcement. They have a different approach to solve this problem, which they’ve been working on for some time: More law enforcement!

Can we have an election now, please?