Tuesday, July 05, 2022

What I'm Listening To...The Pink House.


The 'Pink House' in Jackson was the last clinic to provide women with a safe place to obtain an abortion in the American state of Mississippi:

On June 24, Diane Derzis stood outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. Behind her loomed the building’s large, bubblegum-hued fa├žade that has earned it the nickname “The Pink House.”

Her clinic has been an icon of abortion rights in Mississippi. And it is at the centre of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, in the most cataclysmic case for the cause in generations: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. With that case’s reversal of the landmark 1973 ruling, American women no longer have a federally protected right to seek and obtain an abortion...

Now, two weeks after the overturning of Roe, the Pink House has closed its doors, seemingly for good.

In Jackson, at least.

Because the folks behind the Jackson Women's Health Organization are working to open a clinic three states away in New Mexico.

As only it can, 'This American Life' tells the human stories behind the struggle to keep the spirit of the Pink House alive.

It's a great listen.


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Towers, In West Point Grey?


We're talking about the old Safeway site on W. 10th between Sasamat and Tolmie.

And it's not just a proposal for towers, but a decent amount of below market rental as well.

Could it actually happen?

Well, as noted by the intrepid City Duo duo, based on the first public hearing where folks did not go completely NIMBY bonkers it just might....maybe...potentially, perhaps, possibly....happen:
...(B)y the time I arrived at this church the line to get in stretched for about a hundred feet. Luckily the time went by pretty quickly, and often I would hear those leaving remark they had already taken part in the virtual presentation the night prior, and just came to ask a question. Still, I was certainly surprised by what I saw when I got into this room...


...Do not get me wrong, many were quite unhappy to see these two 14 floor towers, and even the 5 floor podium had some saying this was way too tall. Yet almost everyone I observed was willing to hold their noises and support this form as it meant their neighbourhood would once again have a grocery store. Like one person stated, the only reason they missed living in Fairview was because it was such an active area.

Others feared this would eventually lead to these blocks being transformed into something that resembled Cambie Street. This group concluded they could accept this project as it replaced the old Safeway, but firmly believed plans for a six floor rental building proposed at 10th and Highbury was completely out of place. That said, city council’s decision to route the UBC SkyTrain through the Jericho Lands was warmly received, as it meant there wouldn’t be one located at Sasamat...

This could be interesting and, potentially, a good thing.


The Brownshirting Of Canada.


You may have thought that my last post, in which I suggested that at least some of the fine convoy-supporting folks marching with/surrounding/enveloping a certain candidate for the CPC party leadership may have things in common with figures from history who wore shirts of brown, was a little over the top.

Except, this, from Brigitte Bureau of the CBC:

One of the judges who presided over the court hearings of Freedom Convoy organizers is speaking out after receiving threats considered serious enough to require police intervention, according to information obtained by Radio-Canada and CBC.

The judge in question confirmed that supporters of the convoy from Canada and the United States sent several offensive messages, but the message that prompted police to react threatened their physical safety, the judge said.

CBC has agreed to withhold the judge's identity to protect their safety.

"I thought, should I tell my children not to come home for a while?" the judge said.

"I changed my alarm system. I was advised not to take the same route every day," the judge added. "You feel vulnerable in your house, in your own home."...


On The Plus Side...

On the plus side, only a few of the shirts appear to be brown...


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Grey Lady Takes To The Fainting Couch.

The following is the NY Times front page, above the fold summary of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the US'ian January 6th Congressional Committee earlier today:

I couldn't help but note the following in the headlines, above:

"He (Trump) Knew Crowd Was Armed, but Tried to Loosen Security, Panel is Told"

Why note that?

Because it so sugarcoats what Ms. Hutchinson actually said to the Committee regarding what she heard Mr. Trump say backstage before his rally on January 6th:

"I don't care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me, take the F'ing Mags away."

In this context, 'mags' were the magnonometers or weapon detectors that were being used to screen people coming to Mr. Trump's rally that was held just prior to the insurrection at the Capitol. 

Furthermore, Ms. Hutchinson told the Committee that Mr. Trump made the statement above after he had been told that security personnel needed to keep the magnometers in place because they had identified armed people in the crowd.

And why did Mr. Trump want the 'mags' removed when he knew it would allow armed people to join the crowd at the rally?

Because he had just been shown photos demonstrating that the crowd that had come to hear him speak had not filled the rally area known as the 'Ellipse'.

, as the deflector-spike spin cranks up A.G. of 'Mueller She Wrote' makes an important point re: eyeballs on the thing...


Monday, June 27, 2022

Your Evening Audio...Something A Little Different.


I am no Beatles freak but that didn't stop me from being fascinated by Andrew Hickey's latest podcast on all of the events that led to the making of the Beatles 'All You Need Is Love' for the bizarre  'live by satellite' 'Our World' TV special.

The podcast covers the period from April 1966 to August 1967 when so much was happening personally, culturally and musically for the four members of the (by then disintegrating) band as they tried to keep up with all kinds of other folks, including Brian Wilson.

I found it particularly interesting to learn (again, I'm no aficionado) how important Brian Epstein was to the entire operation, both from a production and a musical point of view, and how on top his game Mr. Epstein was at the time of his tragic demise.

Somebody Worth Reading On Canadian Politics.


I first started paying attention to Evan Scrimshaw's writings during the run-up to the recent Ontario provincial election. 

I realize that I'm a little late to the party, but just in case you haven't yet stumbled on his work Scrimshaw also writes insightfully about national politics.

From his latest:
..The way Michelle Rempel Garner wrote about the CPC last week was stunning – it was all things you could infer from the outside, but to see a senior Canadian Conservative say the party was basically ungovernable was still fascinating, especially given she allegedly wants to stay in the party. But what it did was expose a truth that was self-evident. Between now and 2025, the Conservatives will have to vote on a handgun ban, some form of abortion access expansion bill, Pierre’s vaccine mandates for everything Private Member’s Bill, and probably more hot button cultural issues-based legislation. They will have to come out on either side of the child care deals, which Skippy is on every side of. They will have to take stances in the next three years.

If they vote for the abortion access bill and the handgun ban, they might have a chance in the suburbs but the PPC will get 12% of the vote. Vote against, and the suburbs continue to move left and you lose Niagara Falls and Carleton instead of putting Conestoga or Cambridge in play. Split yourself and try and play every side, you get hollowed out at both ends. This is what actually matters about the state of the 2025 campaign, not whether Skippy’s camping video went “viral”...


Scrimshaw is saying that it's the Suburbs v. Bernier in a cage match for the FedCon soul.

It's an interesting notion surely, but can we make book on it?

Time, and there's quite a bit of that between now and 2025, will tell.

Personally, I did not find Ms. Rempel Garner's missive compelling in the 'All Cons are Doomed Because they are in Disarray!' sense of the thing that so many pundits are pushing...Are there serious internal squabbles in both the FedCon and AlbertaCon parties?...Of course there are...So Ms. Rempel Garner has apparently decided to bow out of the AlbertaCon leadership race because of these squabbles despite the fact that, according to her, all the externals say she could win the next general election...Gosh, isn't putting down squabbles and silencing the voices of the mates that call you Captain Queeg behind your back while you set a single electoral course forward with all hands on deck the first real job of any new leader of a political party?
BTW...E. Scrimshaw's writings pop up quite regularly over there on the left sidebar.


Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Downward Spiral.

It's hard not to think, based on (many) recent events, that more Americans are more Christian than ever.

Tim Alberta, writing this month in The Atlantic, concludes that the numbers do not support that conclusion:
"...In 1975, more than two-thirds of Americans expressed “a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the church,” according to Gallup, and as of 1985, “organized religion was the most revered institution” in American life. Today, Gallup reports, just 37 percent of Americans have confidence in the Church. This downward spiral owes principally to two phenomena: the constant stench of scandal, with megachurches and prominent leaders imploding on what seems like a weekly basis; and the growing perception that Christians are embracing extremist views. One rarely needs to read to the bottom of a poll to learn that the religious group most opposed to vaccines, most convinced that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, most inclined to subscribe to QAnonconspiracy theories is white evangelicals..."

It's real food for thought that the views of a waning minority are controlling so many important aspects of American life at the moment.

It also leads to an important question...

Who benefits most?

I highly recommend Mr. Alberta's piece which is titled: "How Politics Poisoned The Church" in print...Interestingly, someone at the magazine decided to change that title a little bit online to "How Politics Poisoned The Evangelical Church" which is a pretty darned important distinction (and better reflects the conclusions of the piece).


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Somebody Do This With Hockey.


This is absolutely fantastic - and it is the kind of thing the interweb was built for, in a good way.

Essentially, a knowledgeable hoops fan lets go of his preconceived notions, watches an entire game from each decade since 1950 and does a little research while he describes how the game has changed and evolved over 70 years.


Somebody should take advantage of all that tape on the Tubes and do the same thing for hockey...Heckfire! Just watching the size of goalies and their pads change would be interesting in and of itself.

Tip O' The Toqu
e to our old friend Cathie from Canada for the heads-up.


Friday, June 24, 2022

HST Friday...Before Roe v. Wade.


The following is from an HST Friday post I wrote a long time ago, back when George Bush the Younger was nominating the 'reasonable' conservative to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of course, it is even more more apropos today....

..."And so much for all that. I have to go upstairs and call the hospital. Sandy is in there again with another miscarriage - a real nightmare version, this time, since it puts me head on with the abortion laws. She's only two months pregnant, but the pain is so bad she can't stand up....and the pigs say they can't do a therapeutic abortion. All they do is keep her drugged up on codeine and wait for God to work His Will. The D&C operation is as simple as pulling a tooth, but they won't do it.....and this is Colorado, which recently passed a "liberalized" abortion law. Man, I'm coming to really hate that word 'liberal'"...
Hunter S. Thompson,Letter to Oscar Z. Acosta (his 'Samoan' Attorney), March 1970
Reprinted in: The Gonzo Letters Vol II, Simon and Schuster, 2000, pp 286-7.

At two months! This is way before quick, with a woman who had a history of life-threatening difficulties and still she and her husband could not make informed decisions of their own just three years before the first of many final decisions on Roe v. Wade.

Which makes it all the more important to forget about sifting through the tea leaves of 50,000 pages of side issues about what he said or did 20 years ago. Instead, during his confirmation hearings Democratic Senators must somehow find the gumption to ask the following direct question of Bush Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts:

"If there was a constitutional challenge to Roe v. Wade how would you respond?"

And if Mr. Roberts does not answer this direct question directly it is the Press' job to keep pressing him until he does answer directly.

It is the only way that the people of the United States will know what they are really getting.

And if Mr. Roberts does say that he would vote to overturn and he is still confirmed without a nuclear option-invoking fight from the Democratic party liberals and progressives in the States who believe in a woman's right to choose will finally come to understand that, in its present day guise at least, the Party has forsaken them.

Normally, I try my best not to say I told you/them so.