In which I, inexplicably, defend Stephen Harper

July 8, 2009

Yes, it’s true. I think I just threw up in my mouth a bit, but I really am defending the actions of our Prime Minister.

It seems that while attending the funeral of former Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc, Stephen Harper was caught on video accepting a communion wafer and, gasp, putting it in his pocket instead of immediately consuming the body of Christ right then and there. Well, today must have been one heck of a slow news day because this made the front (web)page of most Canadian news outlets.

The argle-bargle (fooferaw?) results, of course, from the long-standing tradition of religious people getting all uppidy when other people don’t consider the same things sacred as they do. Roman Catholics are outraged because they believe the cracker, once “consecrated”, becomes the literal body of Christ (usually to be washed down with the blood of Christ, in the form of communion wine). By not consuming the cracker, Mr. Harper is offending the religious sensibilities of Catholics. The story goes something like this: Catholics think the cracker is sacred, and so, therefore, must everyone else. At the very least, those of us who are not afraid to call a cracker a cracker (ummm…) must treat the cracker with a certain amount of respect that would not ordinarily be afforded to other pieces of unleavened bread.

Nonsense.

Stephen Harper was under no obligation to do anything with that cracker. If he (or I) were actively preventing Catholics from eating their holy cracker, THAT would be grounds for anger. But he was not interfereing in anyone’s ability to practice their (ridiculous) religion as they deemed fit. If Mr. Harper had, say, taken the cracker home, driven a nail through it, and then tossed it in the garbage, that would be his right. Catholics might not like it, but I’m afraid that’s the price you pay to live in a liberal democracy.

Of course, in the end, Stephen Harper ate the cracker, which is a bit odd. He’s not Catholic, and as far as I know, Catholics have a very well-enforced “Catholics only!” policy on these things. Perhaps they shouldn’t have offered it to him in the first place, or perhaps he should have declined. I don’t really know. This is the most ridiculous non-news piece of news I’ve heard in a long time.

Bottom line of how this should all go: Catholics, go ahead and delude yourself into thinking cracker = Jesus, and we here in realityland wont get in your way, so long as you don’t get in our way of making merciless fun of your ridiculous superstitions.

K?


A Question for Gary Goodyear

March 18, 2009

I have sent the following question to Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), via email:

Hello,

Does the Honourable Minister of State (Science and Technology) accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that all life on Earth has evolved from a common ancestor?

This should be fairly simple for him to answer; it’s a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

If you wish to ask a similar question, you may do so at GoodyG@parl.gc.ca. I figure that some Canadians may wish to know whether the Minister for science is anti-science or not.


Canada – On The Fast Track to Ignorance

March 17, 2009

Canada’s science minister, Gary Goodyear, will not confirm whether he believes in evolution.

“I’m not going to answer that question. I am a Christian, and I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate,”

Okay, let’s reboot for a second and approach this in as calm a manner as possible.

What the fuck!!???

First, the question is meaningless to begin with; one does not “believe” in evolution. One accepts the vast, overwhelming evidence for evolution, in the same way that one accepts the vast, overwhelming evidence for gravity.

Second, what does being a Christian have to do with this? “Do you believe in evolution?”, no matter how silly the question (see above), is not in any way a question about religious faith. No, it is a question, asked of our minister of science (who’s job it is to promote and defend science in Canada), about whether he accepts scientific evidence.

Mr. Goodyear also apparently believes in the god-of-the-gaps:

“I do believe that just because you can’t see it under a microscope doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It could mean we don’t have a powerful enough microscope yet. So I’m not fussy on this business that we already know everything. … I think we need to recognize that we don’t know.”

This is, of course, technically true; he’s merely stating the fact that one cannot prove a negative. No one is claiming we already know everything, Mr. Goodyear. In fact, science says precisely the opposite (that is why we need more money, sir); we need to know more about how the universe works, about how the human body works, and about myriad other things; that’s how we’ve grown as a society. The history of empiricism shows that science works.

On the contrary, you’ve had two-thousand years to provide some evidence for your god, and still you have nothing.

So Mr. Goodyear, let’s have it out; do you accept scientific fact or do you accept magic?


Oh Canada, our home and ignorant land

December 15, 2008

It’s always nice to have some numbers to back up the gut feeling you have that many of those around you are idiots. Sure, one can go off all high-and-mighty and claim that there is widespread ignorance, but it’s just so, well, satisfying to see it out there for the whole world to see.

Apparently, more than half of Canadians (51%, in fact) believe that the Prime Minister is directly elected. Huh??? Fifty-one percent???

Now, I know that our voter turnout levels are terrible, and one wonders if the 51% of mistaken Canadians are those that aren’t able to pry themselves away from the TV once every few years to make a fricken checkmark in a box, but WTF??? Do these people actually recall voting for the Prime Minister? Do they???

Now you see why appealing to truthiness, rather than the truth*** is such a valuable proposition for politicians.

I don’t know why I’m so shocked, but there you go.

*** – Not at all trying to imply that Wikipedia is the ultimate database for what is true; just trying to show that this information is out there, on the Interwebs, for anyone to learn from.


More lunacy from our Prime Minister

December 11, 2008

So it seems that Stephen Harper is primed to add 18 new members to Canada’s Senate. This is, of course, his right as the Prime Minister (though it runs contrary to his prior committment to appointing only elected Senators). He’s doing it quickly because he knows there’s a fairly good chance that he won’t be the Prime Minister for very much longer.

Fair enough, but listen to how Mr. Harper rationalizes appointing these 18 new Senators (my emphasis):

“We remain committed to Senate reform, which means elections for senators. [But] as long as the Senate exists in its present form, Senate vacancies should be filled by a government that Canadians elected, not a government that Canadians rejected.”

“The democratically elected government will fill the Senate before the end of the year. And only senators who support our senate reform agenda including senate elections will be chosen.”

Man alive, our Prime Minister is a grade-A asshat. Do YOU remember voting for a government? I don’t. I remember voting for a Member of Parliament, who’s job it is to then sit in Parliament and select the government based on his or her support for a particular party or parties.

What a shitstorm this has become. Our PM continues to lie to Canadians about the legitimacy of the coalition. Once again, we can debate whether it’s a good idea or not to allow the Bloc to have a controlling stake in Canadian government policy, but the legality and “democraticness” of a coalition government should be beyond question; certainly by the Prime Minister.


In Which Stephen Harper Remembers How Parliamentary Democracies Work

December 8, 2008

From Canadian Cynic (my emphasis added):

September 9, 2004

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,
C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1

Excellency,

As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the
Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister
to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons
fail to support some part of the government’s program.

We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together
constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We
believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give
you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the
opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising
your constitutional authority.

Your attention to this matter is appreciated.

Sincerely,

Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

Gilles Duceppe, M.P.
Leader of the Bloc Quebecois

Jack Layton, M.P.
Leader of the New Democratic Party


Good Company

December 7, 2008

I’m lazy today, so here’s a blatant repost from here:

Steven Harper wants to shut down
parliament just because he does not agree with it.

Some say this is unprecedented.

In fact, Harper is following
parliamentary tradition.
Consider the following precedents:

1629 King Charles I in England
1799 Napoleon in France
1913: Victoriano Huerta in Mexico
1933: Adolf Hitler in Germany
1936 Fransisco Franco in Spain
1939: Benito Mussolini in Italy
1973: Augusto Pinochet in Chile
2008: Steven Harper in Canada

Way to go, Steve.