Obamasculation

Are you a Republican? Libertarian (ha-ha!)? Did you feel emasculated after Obama won? Maybe you feel a little less virile, a little less of a man?

As it turns out, you are!

election_testosterone

The present study investigated voters’ testosterone responses to the outcome of the 2008 United States Presidential election. 183 participants provided multiple saliva samples before and after the winner was announced on Election Night. The results show that male Barack Obama voters (winners) had stable post-outcome testosterone levels, whereas testosterone levels dropped in male John McCain and Robert Barr voters (losers).

Wired has an oversimplified assessment of the study’s results, but the findings are clear:

Male voters exhibit biological responses to the realignment of a country’s dominance hierarchy as if they participated in an interpersonal dominance contest. […] Moreover, since the dominance hierarchy shift following a presidential election is stable for 4 years, the stress of having one’s political party lose control of executive policy decisions could plausibly lead to continued testosterone suppression in males.

CALL THE FUCKING ELECTION ALREADY ASDKFAKSDOFD

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.

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.

X

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?

Everyone loves politics!

As you may recall, some time ago there was a young American businessman named Nick Berg, who was brutally decapitated by one Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Now, two years later, al-Zarqawi has been killed in a targeted airstrike.

CNN interviewed Michael Berg, Nick Berg’s father, to see what he had to say.

O’BRIEN: Mr. Berg, thank you for talking with us again. It’s nice to have an opportunity to talk to you. Of course, I’m curious to know your reaction, as it is now confirmed that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the man who is widely credited and blamed for killing your son, Nicholas, is dead.

MICHAEL BERG: Well, my reaction is I’m sorry whenever any human being dies. Zarqawi is a human being. He has a family who are reacting just as my family reacted when Nick was killed, and I feel bad for that.

I feel doubly bad, though, because Zarqawi is also a political figure, and his death will re-ignite yet another wave of revenge, and revenge is something that I do not follow, that I do want ask for, that I do not wish for against anybody. And it can’t end the cycle. As long as people use violence to combat violence, we will always have violence.

O’BRIEN: I have to say, sir, I’m surprised. I know how devastated you and your family were, frankly, when Nick was killed in such a horrible, and brutal and public way.

BERG: Well, you shouldn’t be surprised, because I have never indicated anything but forgiveness and peace in any interview on the air.

O’BRIEN: No, no. And we have spoken before, and I’m well aware of that. But at some point, one would think, is there a moment when you say, ‘I’m glad he’s dead, the man who killed my son’?

BERG: No. How can a human being be glad that another human being is dead?

O’BRIEN: There have been family members who have weighed in, victims, who’ve said that they don’t think he’s a martyr in heaven, that they think, frankly, he went straight to hell …

You know, you talked about the fact that he’s become a political figure. Are you concerned that he becomes a martyr and a hero and, in fact, invigorates the insurgency in Iraq?

BERG: Of course. When Nick was killed, I felt that I had nothing left to lose. I’m a pacifist, so I wasn’t going out murdering people. But I am — was not a risk-taking person, and yet now I’ve done things that have endangered me tremendously.

I’ve been shot at. I’ve been showed horrible pictures. I’ve been called all kinds of names and threatened by all kinds of people, and yet I feel that I have nothing left to lose, so I do those things.

Now, take someone who in 1991, who maybe had their family killed by an American bomb, their support system whisked away from them, someone who, instead of being 59, as I was when Nick died, was 5-years-old or 10-years-old. And then If I were that person, might I not learn how to fly a plane into a building or strap a bag of bombs to my back?

That’s what is happening every time we kill an Iraqi, every time we kill anyone, we are creating a large number of people who are going to want vengeance. And, you know, when are we ever going to learn that that doesn’t work?

O’BRIEN: There’s an alternate reading, which would say at some point, Iraqis will say the insurgency is not OK — that they’ll be inspired by the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the sense of he was turned in, for example, we believe by his own No. 2, No. 3 leadership in his ranks.

And, that’s actually them saying we do not want this kind of violence in our country. Experts whom we’ve spoken to this morning have said this is a critical moment where Iraqis need to figure out which direction the country is going to go. That would be an alternate reading to the scenario you’re pointing to.

BERG: Yes, well, I don’t believe that scenario, because every time news of new atrocities committed by Americans in Iraq becomes public, more and more of the everyday Iraqi people who tried to hold out, who tried to be peaceful people lose it and join — what we call the insurgency, and what I call the resistance, against the occupation of one sovereign nation.

O’BRIEN: There’s a theory that a struggle for democracy, you know…

BERG: Democracy? Come on, you can’t really believe that that’s a democracy there when the people who are running the elections are holding guns. That’s not democracy.

O’BRIEN: There’s a theory that as they try to form some kind of government, that it’s going to be brutal, it’s going to be bloody, there’s going to be loss, and that’s the history of many countries — and that’s just what a lot of people pay for what they believe will be better than what they had under Saddam Hussein.

BERG: Well, you know, I’m not saying Saddam Hussein was a good man, but he’s no worse than George Bush. Saddam Hussein didn’t pull the trigger, didn’t commit the rapes. Neither did George Bush. But both men are responsible for them under their reigns of terror.

I don’t buy that. Iraq did not have al Qaeda in it. Al Qaeda supposedly killed my son.

Under Saddam Hussein, no al Qaeda. Under George Bush, al Qaeda.

Under Saddam Hussein, relative stability. Under George Bush, instability.

Under Saddam Hussein, about 30,000 deaths a year. Under George Bush, about 60,000 deaths a year. I don’t get it. Why is it better to have George Bush the king of Iraq rather than Saddam Hussein?

All I want to do today is sit at home and listen to Cocteau Twins

As we prepare to sign our country over to the control of the Reptiloids for the next few years, I would like to take a moment to highlight a fine Canadian institution, and their coverage of this, the last free election before we are all sold to the Grays for breeding.

During the last minority government, Macleans ran the finest cover to ever grace a Canadian political magazine:

In addition to the fantastic headline, the art director at Macleans performed an impossible task; in the hearts and minds of many, Jack Layton was no longer a used car salesman. The image was too reminicent of something, someone else, someone someone more sinister…

But who?

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Electoral Whozit? (Or: Bush received more votes than any candidate in US election history)

Dearest America:

You’re a very confusing neighbour. We’re not sure why you hate gay people, why you elected Tom “death-penalty-for-abortion-doctors” Coburn and Jim “single-mothers-and-homos-are-morally-unfit-to-teach” DeMint to the Senate, or what exactly you’re doing in Iraq, for that matter. But it seems very important to you, so we hope you accomplish whatever it is you’re trying to do.

We are, however, very much looking forward to taking weekend shopping trips to NYC after our dollar overtakes yours.

Love,
Canada.

COMMUNIST – 0.034% — MARXIST-LENINIST – 0.067% — MARIJUANA – 0.249%

For those who find such things interesting, here are our current election results:

LIB 135
CON 99
BQ 54
NDP 19
IND 1

…and here is how it would look if we had proportional representation:

LIB 113
CON 91
NDP 47
BQ 39
GREEN 13

Liberals + NDP = 154 Seats.
Conservatives + Bloc = 154 Seats. (The IND candidate is a CON that was listed as IND due to a party nomination argument. He’ll be welcomed back to the fold.)

Someone’s going to have to suck some conservative dick tonight if he wants to form a government.