News began trickling out on Monday and Tuesday on the death of radical feminist Andrea Dworkin. For those who don't remember Dworkin was practically a media fixture in the 80's as she campaigned against pornography in any form as being the root cause of violence against women.
The 80's were a mythical time when porn was invented and suddenly there appeared these crimes called "rape" which were caused by it. This was much different than say a thousand years ago when there was absolutely no porn and rape was nonexistent.
Seriously Andrea Dworkin's body of work was the culmination of two separate strands of neuroses: radical socialism and prudishness. Combined they produce the most joyless of personas. Nothing in Andrea Dworkin's work suggests any thing close to happiness. At least some left-wingers are liberal about sexuality and enjoying it. On this however Andrea and her clones are closer to the evangelicals, which they no doubt hate with a blind fury. But each side has one thing in common. That's not to say their reasons for hating it are similar though. One side hates it for religious reasons, the other as an outgrowth of a bigger hatred: hatred of men.
Yes that's right I said it: Andrea and her kind hate men. Sorry I know that people are falling all over themselves in the blogosphere to say that she didn't but anyone who could write such abject stupidity as -
In fact it doesn't take much of a stretch to conclude that someone who could write such garbage had serious mental problems.
Ok maybe she didn't but like most radical feminists Dworkin had no interest in understanding men only blaming them for everything that was wrong with the webcam sex world.
One of the great triumphs of the feminist movement in the 60's was that men learned about women. We learned everything from their feelings, to their lack of equal rights to their sexuality (no one was talking about the female orgasm before that). The great tragedy of the same movement was that women made no effort at all to learn about men. So we have a world to day where most men could tell you an awful lot about women but most women are proudly ignorant when it comes to men.
The quotes from Dworkin above are the epitome of that ignorance.
Why do I do this to myself?
This morning I get up and for some bizarre reason turn on the CBC ( your right I'm mental). I catch the end of a bit about the sponsorship scandal where the point of the story is that the big problem is that the poor Liberals who have basically been shown to be thieves are the only thing holding Canada together right now.
I catch a sound bite from a Liberal MP who is in a panic because all this sponsorship stuff means that if there is an election then the bloq will win her seat because they are the only viable alternative in Quebec. Boo hoo loser, it's not my fault your government is basically running the country like a mafia family. "Elect us even though we are criminals because without us separatists might threaten to secede again even though they never do" is not a real good election strategy sister.
Cut back to the studio where we have a panel discussion between Pat Gossage (Liberal strategist) and Tim Power (Conservative strategist). Pat Gossage is one of those people that literally makes me want to punch my television. His picture could be in the dictionary next to the word smug he so perfectly epitomizes the word.
Even now when his cronies have basically been exposed as pure unadulterated criminals he is still treating the opposition with disdain. Every time Tim Powers tried to make a point there was Mr. Gossage laughing out loud and interrupting to make condescending snarky remarks.
Infuriating as he is however Gossage represents the accurate face and attitude of the Liberals and their media co-dependants towards the Conservative party: they think they are rank jasminlive amateurs who couldn't lead a group in silent prayer. It comes through in every word and action.
Please let these arrogant corrupt hypocrites get their comeuppance soon.
Or at least lets hope that Gossage gets kicked in the nuts.
Oh one more thing, I said this to my wife last week: If there is an election over the sponsorship scandal and the Liberals win. I will seriously think about never voting again in this country.
Once More Into the Breach
I am growing very tired of the Gomery leak thing. It is starting to consume way too much of my time and too much of my mental energy. I feel like I am caught in some weird Internet version of a train wreck where I am compelled to watch but if I tell someone I watched I would somehow be arrested as complicit in the wreck itself.
Many bloggers who are far braver than I have been openly breaching the ban. At least they have in theory. They have been posting live links to the American blogger who has been posting the testimony. Depending on whose interpretation you believe these bloggers are either in contempt of the Gomery Inquiry or they are not.
Other bloggers have been critical of these linkers because they feel that the exposure of the testimony is not so much a blow for free speech against a Government cover-up as it is a travesty of justice. For an excellent summation of this argument see Damian Brook's post on the matter. And if you aren't reading Damian every day then that is also a travesty.
The ban was supposedly put in place to protect the rights of those testifying to a fair trial. The concern is that if too much information gets out into the general public then it will contaminate the jury pool. The jury pool is resident in Montreal and that is where the hearings are taking place.
So a publication ban was enacted.
Now here is where I get confused. If the idea is to protect the rights of Mr. Brault and his clique then why are people allowed in the room at all? And not just reporters, but these hearings are open to the general public. So if you don't want to contaminate the jury pool why are you letting potential jurors into the room??
But it doesn't end there. One of the more onerous chores of blogging about this type of event is that you have to watch a lot of newscasts. I spent most of my day with one eye on the TV watching FOX and CNN. I was hoping that just once they would talk about this because if they did then Rogers and Cogeco and all the other cable TV providers would be as guilty of breaching the ban as any blogger who linked to Captain America (or whatever his name is). See they would have to fall under the "facilitation of dissemination" bit of the ban.
So it was purely selfish on my part.
The day passed and I didn't see anything (admittedly I didn't watch TV all day). However I did find myself watching CBC's The National some minutes ago and they were talking about the Liberals dropping the Kyoto Accord provisions from the budget (see my post below). The general feeling from the CBC is that this has more to do with the Gomery revelations than anything else.
So they do a piece on the ban and how information is "leaking out". What do they talk about? Free sex cams Blogs? The Internet? Nope. Instead they show a room in Montreal where the testimony of the inquiry is being shown closed circuit. The room looks like it could fit at least 100 people probably more. And according to the reporter this is the hottest ticket in town. Montrealers are lining up in droves to hear the testimony of the Mr. Brault et al.
So why is this not a concern to the lawyers for these gentlemen? I mean those who watch this testimony aren't sworn to secrecy. They are gong to tell two friends and then they'll tell two friends, and then they'll tell their friends, and so on, and so on, and so on……
Ok so it's not the Internet but do you think all the traffic to the ban-breaking site is coming from Montreal? If 300,000 people read the testimony you can bet that a good chunk of them are from areas outside La Belle Province. I have experienced quite a jump in traffic since this all began and though some of the hits are definitely from Quebec I can tell you that they are in the minority. Far in the minority.
So if you are a lawyer what do you think is more prejudicial to your client? The exact reproduction of what your client said UNDER OATH? Remember these guys are under oath so they can't change what they said when they go on trial themselves. Or the hearsay and half truths that will float around Montreal when people start repeating what their friends told them they heard from a friend of a friend who was at the hearing?
If I'm Mr. Brault or his lawyer and my client doesn't get a fair trial then I am angry at only one person; Gomery. Not because he imposed a ban but because he imposed a half assed ban.
At this point arguing about whether it is right or wrong to link to or reproduce the testimony is moot. The genie is out of the bottle. You can't un-invent vacuum cleaners or nuclear bombs.
The real argument is whether this really contaminated the jury pool in Montreal and I doubt it – after all the offending sites on both sides of the border are written in English. So all you have to do is stack the jury with Francophones. And beyond that the argument is whether the Judge or Justice or whatever he is imposed a ban that was truly effective.
The answer to the second question is self-evident don't you think??
Deep in the Heart Of…
Downtown Burlington I have found a little oasis of sorts: Petes Pepper Place which I had heard about almost a year ago when it opened but I promptly lost the local news article and forgot where it was.
Well today I was thinking about making some authentic Texas style chili this weekend but one problem: no authentic ingredients.
Specifically: no chile powder. Not to be confused with chili powder which you buy almost anywhere chile powder is made from ground chiles and nothing else. Chili powder is a mixture of chiles and a bunch of other ingredients and can range in quality from average to horrible depending on where you get it.
To make authentic chili you use very few ingredients. Basically meat, chiles, and not much else. No beans, no tomatoes, and the meat is cubed not ground.
So you have to make sure you have the right stuff. I figured that the pepper store might have some authentic chile powder but where to find it?
Well a quick google search turned up the location of Pete's Pepper Palace (or at least the web site). I place a quick call to them and asked if they had any real chile powder.
Yes I was told; what kind of chiles?
Uh-oh. I hadn't expected that. Turns out they have chile powders made from a wide variety of chiles ranging from mild to very hot. I told Pete that I was making Texas style chile.
You need Ancho chiles he said confidently. I was already aware of the anchos which are renowned for giving the unique flavour that real chili has.
So around 5 I drove down to the little shop, which is nestled in downtown Burlington in one of those "market square" type complexes that so many towns and cities have now a days. The store itself is small but when you inventory is basically small bottles you don't need a huge store.
At the same time the selection is great - especially if you like hot sauce. But that wasn't why I was there. I was looking for the chili powder and as promised they not only had powders but a variety of dried chiles as well. Incidentally if you really want to get into the purest authentic chili you they say you should use dried chiles not powder - but I am not going to go there yet.
I picked up a bottle of Ancho Chile Powder. Also I grabbed a bottle of bbq rub which contained chipotle peppers and has a fantastic smoky flavor . It tastes so good just out of the bottle I can't wait to try it on brisket. In fact I can't wait to try it on anything.
Of course being a pepper shop you can get all manner of hot sauces there. In fact the store is almost exclusively devoted to hot sauces that go from hot to insanely hot. I will stick to the rubs and powders for now. Although a sample of wasabi mustard snacks really tempted me, and spicy pork rinds, and spicy habanero peanuts…..
This could be the start of a beautiful relationship.
The Sinking Ship
I was going to write last week that Liberals who are disgusted by the sponsorship scandal should cross the floor and join the Conservatives.
It seems however that many are thinking about doing so without my prompting (so much for the power of this blog) as news reports yesterday indicated that as many as five Liberal MP's were thinking about defecting. Of course these are just the ones that have spoken about it in public. I would assume that there have to be more.
There are several Liberal MP's who have always been at odds with the party over issues like abortion and gay marriage. It would make sense that they would use this opportunity to move to a party that seems more in line with their thinking. However all four of them (at least I think there are four) are denying it publicly. But lets say for arguments sake that they are thinking about it privately. That makes nine.
The Liberals currently have ( I believe) 134 seats. The Conservatives 99 that's a difference of 35. If the conservatives could get 18 Liberals to defect then it would be a fantastic coup. However it is probably unlikely. But we can dream right?