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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 32,381

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I just had to remind my ex-wife that balls come in different sizes

They tested my IQ in Grade 1

Because I didn't fit in socially in kindergarten, the administration figured I was "slow" and put me into the "slow" grade 1 class. My mother caused all kinds of havoc and eventually an IQ test was administered. I vaguely remember it consisting of matching stuff through logic puzzles.

I worked away at it and soon announced, "OK, I'm done - now what?" The test administrator gave me a look of abject horror and announced, "I don't know. You're not supposed to be able to finish the test."

The next day, I was sitting in class working on a project that consisted primarily of cutting out pictures of cows and pasting them into a book, when the principal came in, gathered up my stuff, roughly hauled me out of class and dumped me into the mainstream Grade 1 class, where I didn't know anybody and had missed some of the work, but soon caught up.

Still can't identify cows worth a damn.

Alberta Wildrose Party platform says no global warming

Danielle Smith: Climate Change Science 'Not Settled' ]

EDMONTON - The woman leading a front-running party in Alberta's provincial election has cast doubt on the widely accepted scientific theory that human activity is a leading cause of global warming.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith made the comment in an online leaders debate organized by two Alberta newspapers.

"We have always said the science isn't settled and we need to continue to monitor the debate," said Smith in response to a direct question from a reader.

I heard this on the drive into work and damn near caused an accident.

This woman and her party have completely lost it. The problem is, the polls are saying they may win a majority government.

Alberta election - Wild Rose party leader Danielle Smith backpedals from supporter blog entry


Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith stood by a controversial Edmonton candidate Sunday, refusing to condemn a blog post decrying tolerance toward gays and lesbians.

Smith said her party accepts a wide range of views and has no plans to legislate on contentious moral issues.

In a June 2011 blog, Edmonton-South-West candidate Allan Hunsperger, a pastor with The House church in Tofield, referenced the Lady Gaga hit song Born this Way and said gay people can choose "to not live the way they were born."


Homophobic dog whistles

Repost from my blog

Yes I own a dog - two, in fact, with possibly a third on the way if it works out. No, I don't own a dog whistle. In my younger years I could hear dog whistles but age and too many years in rock bands has dulled my hearing and I can't pick them up any more. That's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about hidden messages in ordinary speech. If some young lady dressed like she's in the 50's; long skirt, conservative shoes, high-necked blouse, strides up to me while I'm minding my own business and loudly demands "are you a Christian?", she's not asking whether I'm a member of one of the many Churches making up the panoply of Christendom. She's asking whether I'm a literalist "Bible believing", "born again", Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian. I'm not. I'm Anglo-Catholic, a particular practice of the Anglican Church. She would not consider me "Christian" and would likely start to proselytize and I'd call her a heretic (my priest says I should have been a Jesuit and I've actually taken part in an Inquisition) and it would go downhill from there.

A number of years ago I was sitting in the staff break room and a colleague gestured towards my ankles. I gave him a blank look. He gestured a little more firmly. Bear in mind that I'm considered to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum so I don't necessarily get some of the subtleties of non-verbal speech, so I just said "wha?" "Don't cross your legs like that." "Why not? It's comfortable." I suffer from bursitis and my joints have their good days and bad days, mostly bad. I've got a bad hip that gives out at the worst possible moment making me scream in pain and fall, my ankles crack and hurt like hell and I've got enlarged joints in my toes and hands either from cracking them, or because they were already swollen and cracking them makes it feel better, at least temporarily. I'm a piano player so that probably doesn't help any, especially how I pound the keys. Hence, only certain seating positions are comfortable and leaning back with my ankles crossed low down is one of them. Another one is half-cross-legged with my left ankle up high. I can't do the right or I'll start screaming. "Don't do that either." "Why not?" "It looks faggy." At that point we didn't have a sexual harassment policy in place so I blew it off and ignored him. When I came out a few years later he wandered around for days looking lost and confused. He knew me as a "good person" and now this. He got over it.

Remember how my hands hurt most of the time? What's with people and their damn "firm handshakes". I've had people do it to me to the point where I've fallen to the floor crying and haven't been able to type or play keyboards for the rest of the day. One guy did it to me and I damned near fainted on him. He caught me on the way down then apologized profusely. When I asked "WTF??" he said "weak handshakes are faggy - businessmen have firm grips".

Then there's the whole "light in the loafers" thing. In the back of the office we have a metal staircase. The "real men" stomp their way up it, clanging deafeningly, disrupting the entire office. You can't hear someone on the phone. I weigh 183 pounds, but I've always have been a light walker. If I "stride manfully" it shocks my ankles which then hurt like hell and swell up and I'm in agony for the rest of the day. Hence, I sort of tiptoe around at the best of times but especially on the stairs. I don't make much noise walking and I'm constantly scaring people who aren't paying attention (dude, get a hearing aid and learn what peripheral vision is all about) but if I hear mutterings about "light in the loafers" they're really calling me a fag. That's a dog whistle.

Now Santorum has entered the fray. Santorum tells young man not to use pink bowling ball on camera . That's right. A pink bowling ball.

I like bowling. Up here in Canada we have 5-pin bowling which is a lot more challenging that 10-pin. You have to know what you're doing to knock down any pins, never mind all of them. I also like it because it's easy on my hands - the balls are lighter. Nevertheless, I like 10-pin for a bit of a change and when I go to the alley, they've got a selection of balls in the carousel and I usually pick the "ladies" pink one because it's a bit lighter and the holes are a bit closer together. I've got big hands, but it's still a bit of a stretch to fit a "manly" ball without straining my knuckles. It doesn't have quite the power of a heavier ball but I'm more accurate with it and I can hit the strike zone easily and do a strike or pick up the spare and get a fairly good score and by the end of the evening I'm not in too much pain. Santorum is calling me a fag.

OK, fly me down there and let's go at it "man to man". I'll use my faggy pink ball and Santorum can use whatever he wants (likely the heaviest ball the carousel). I'm betting I'll beat the pants of him (not that I'm sure I want to see him without his pants).

Are we on?

White Pride March expected March 24th in Edmonton - counter-protest group formed on Facebook



White supremacists are marching into Edmonton.

For the first time, the group Blood & Honour is holding its white-pride rally here, inviting participants from across Canada to “openly express racial pride.”

The event is slated for March 24, according to a stormfront.org blog post.

An organizer first said Edmonton’s will replace Calgary’s march — which has lost steam in recent years — but later told Metro the event status in that city is “complicated.”

A blog post on Anti-Racist Canada's website (anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com) gives details about a counter-rally planned for at noon at End of Steel Park on Whyte Avenue, in conjunction with The International Day Against Racial Discrimination.

Two interesting comments to Doonesbury cartoons

If you go to the Doonesbury main site, there's a section called Blowback, allowing user comments. It's a mixed bag, most favourable, a few "I'm cancelling my newspaper subscription because of you" sort, but two stuck out for me.

Dr. Priscilla O'Connell | Franklin Square, NY | March 13, 2012

I am shocked that you would equate an ultrasound to rape. Mothers need to have full knowledge of what they are contemplating doing when they go for an abortion. They are taking a human life. If they could see their baby they would probably not abort. Some will choose not to look and that is their right.

A doctor (medical??), but completely missing the point.

Jill Lee Williams | Owensboro, KY | March 13, 2012

I read your cartoon which suggests that Old White Men are in no way able to make laws concerning women. I personally find it disturbing that men such as yourself want to keep women dumb and in the dark. A woman having an abortion deserves to have all the facts! For some reason men like yourself seem quite uneducated when it comes to women's health, but boy do you love a soap box. As for making fun of the men that pass the laws so women can have all the facts, it was Americans that voted them into their positions. I'm hoping you'll take some time to help women, instead of trying to keep us uneducated about our own bodies.

Again, completely missing the point. If a woman wants the facts, all she has to do is ask. Planned Parenthood is a good source of information, but Mitt Romney wants to get rid of it.

An excellent article on B of A's woes

This is from last October, but we're still seeing the ramifications today.


The blog site is a hangout for post-Keynesian economists.

BAC’s request to transfer the problem derivatives to B of A was a no brainer – unfortunately, it was apparently addressed to officials at the Fed who meet that description. Any competent regulator would have said: “No, Hell NO!” Indeed, any competent regulator would have developed two related, acute concerns immediately upon receiving the request. First, the holding company’s controlling managers are a severe problem because they are seeking to exploit the insured institution. Second, the senior managers of B of A acceded to the transfer, apparently without protest, even though the transfer poses a severe threat to B of A’s survival. Their failure to act to prevent the transfer contravenes both their fiduciary duties of loyalty and care and should lead to their resignations.

I think the "homophobic people are closetted gays" thing is wearing pretty thin

Authoritarian followers like simple things, simple thinking. Authoritarian leaders know how to deliver those. Authoritarian followers fear "the other" and complexity. Authoritarian leaders know how to prey on those fears. Hence, they rely upon the easy, time-worn scapegoats;

  • gays
  • women
  • intelligent people
  • people who look or behave differently
  • people who believe other things or follow other traditions

There has been much talk of Steve Jobs "reality distortion field". While he was no conservative by any stretch of the imagination, he did share that one characteristic, the ability to create an alternatively reality out of thin air, then do everything in his power to make this so.

I grew up in a "conservative" household with all the trappings including the white fence (it was ranch-style, not picket). I was expected to believe and act on things that were demonstrably not true. Slogans, old-wives-tales and urban myths trumped reality. I was not allowed to believe the evidence of my own eyes. When I finally got out of that household, I had no tools with which to confront the real world, because up until that point, it didn't exist.

For authoritarian followers, it's simply safer to live in "the box", mumble the scripts dictated to them by their leaders, believe what they're told to believe and lash out at anything that could possibly make that change.

Don't you get it? Authoritarian followers don't care about Gingrich's hypocrisy

The Authoritarians

First off, authoritarians don't do Cognitive dissonance.

Anne: I'm not a violent person.
Anne: *throws tantrum ending with chair through window*
Bob: Wasn't that a violent action?
Anne: Yes, but that doesn't make me a violent person.
Bob: OK, define "violent person".
Anne: "Violent people perform violent actions".
Bob: You just performed a violent action.
Anne: So?

That would make a reality-based person's head hurt. They seem to be immune.

Authoritarian followers believe that their authoritarian leaders may do anything it takes to become a more powerful leader, even (and especially) if it violates the exact principals they are espousing. Hence they will see Newt dumping a wife because "she's not pretty enough to be a President's wife" as a good thing. In fact, it's probably a dog whistle to the Republican base that he's got the ambition/greed/whatever to pursue American imperialism/dominionism to its bitter end.

Also, authoritarian followers will support anyone who spouts the right rhetoric/dog whistles even if neither one of them follows those values. Everything in the authoritarian world is about appearances, not actual values or reality. I grew up with this in the 50's. You could be starving your kids, beating your wife and cheating on your taxes, but as long as your white picket fence was painted, you were good to go.

I'm betting on Gingrich as the Republican candidate. The Evangelicals will never vote for a Mormon. Santorum is too wimpy and Kennedy already broke the Catholic barrier.
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