Six In The Morning: Ranty Over Rob

1 HA HA TORONTO, YOU SUCK Canada’s most awful, stupid mayor won his appeal and gets to stay in office. Wooo! Bet he’ll win re-election too (ha ha, no). Okay, to be serious — SRS! — for a moment, this ruling probably does serve democracy. The only reason Ford was ordered out of office was that the original judge determined he didn’t have any latitude in his sentence once he’d determined Ford had violated conflict of interest laws (see the problem with mandatory sentences now, people?). So those laws really need to be cleaned up. But if there’s a larger moral to the story, it’s this: when voters elect a jackass, voters have to deal with the consequences. Also, the forces of decency need to develop electable candidates.

2 OH RUSSIA, YOU SUCK SO MUCH IT ISN’T FUNNY Ugh. Too bad the country’s a hotbed of bigoted gay-haters. Also too bad the Russian Orthodox church is so committed to this bigotry. Not very Christian of them. Not good business, either: how many potential Christians are walking away from religion altogether over this nonsense?


4 WAIT, RYAN MEILI IS PERSONALLY OPPOSED TO ABORTION? Whaaat? That’s weird. Well, I’ve said there’s nothing wrong with being personally opposed to abortion. It’s just kind of silly. But hey, as long as you’re not pushing your magical beliefs on the rest of us, go, um, nuts I guess. But I’m still surprised an NDP leadership candidate — and someone who so far has seemed like a really good candidate — would have such a super flaky stance.

5 THE CONSERVATIVES LIED They said killing the firearm registry would save more than a billion dollars. But they knew the actual costs were in the $2 million a year range. They’re dirty rotten lying liars. Oh wait. It says here that the Conservative government is running a nearly $2 billion deficit this year. Well maybe they just got the numbers mixed up. I apologize for calling them shameless fucking liars.

6 IT’S JUST A DIRTY RUMOUR UNTIL IT’S CONFIRMED BY LUCASFILM Well, the Internet is really taking this report (from yesterday, yes, this is old news) about J.J. Abrams directing a new Star Wars movie seriously. I want confirmation, and then I’ll weigh in with my thoughts which will be, *shrug* should be good but I’m a little scared of Abrams — he seems kind of scattered. Let’s be honest: after a great first half, the second chunk of the last Star Trek movie — everything after Vulcan — was pretty bad. But hey, look at this: a real-life tractor beam!

LOOK! It’s a dog! Walking a horse!

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

7 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Ranty Over Rob”

  1. #4: That just goes to show that Dr. Meili isn’t a cookie-cutter New Democrat, something I think Mr. Mandryk alluded to in his column.

  2. In Joe’s article, Meili says:

    “[Abortion] is a legal procedure and it should remain so and it should be [part of] a full spectrum of reproductive health services from education to contraception to termination for those who choose and all the other options for those who choose other options.”

    And that’s what matters.

    But I’m still weirded-out.

  3. Extremists aside, there actually is a coherent philosophical underpinning to Dr. Meili’s position. Whether one agrees with it or not is one thing. But I don’t think it’s fair or intellectually honest to pretend that it is a position rooted in “magic.”

    The point at which a foetus becomes a human person is, at the end of the day, rather arbitrary. Over the course of history there have been several different positions taken, including:

    * a foetus becomes a human person immediately at conception (this is the most recently articulated);

    * a foetus becomes a human person at “quickening” (the point at which movement can be detected by the foetus in utero);

    * a foetus becomes a human person at birth (the current consensus and perhaps the simplest arbitrary point to argue);

    * a foetus becomes a human person at some arbitrary time after birth (not really a current position, though there are examples of ancient census orders indicating children under a determined age should not be counted, including on biblical example).

    Whatever one may make of the position that a foetus becomes a human person at conception or at quickening, these are intellectually coherent positions. An the logical extension of either of these positions would be, at the very least, some reservation about the termination of a pregnancy.

    While many in the so-called pro-life movement (who aren’t coherently pro-life because their concern for life ends with natural birth, no natural death) sometimes claim that they can “prove” a foetus is a human person from conception, they can’t – not even from scripture. But neither can pro-choice folk honestly claim their position is in any way “proven.”

    Of course, this is just the first philosophical consideration in determining a coherent position on the abortion issue. But at least three of these underlying philosophical positions ae intellectually coherent and should be treated as such.

  4. I think we should always be clear, no one is really “for” abortion. What people are “for” is the woman’s right to choose, or the couple’s right to choose, free from state or church interference, for whatever, health, economic, personal reasons.

  5. The question to Meili is: Are you against the right to choose, free from state or church interference? If yes, eff him, he’s done. If no, good for him, we can all carry on.

  6. #3: Well done on distilling the coherent pro-life position. A man far smarter than I (David Foster Wallace in Authority and American Usage), had this to say on the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate:

    In this reviewer’s opinion, the only really coherent position on the abortion issue is one that is both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice.

    Argument: As of 4 March 1999, the question of defining human life in utero is hopelessly vexed. That is, given our best present medical and philosophical understandings of what makes something not just a living organism but a person, there is no way to establish at just what point during gestation a fertilized ovum becomes a human being. This conundrum, together with the basically inarguable soundness of the principle “When in irresolvable doubt about whether something is a human or not, it is better not to kill it,” appears to me to require any reasonable American to be Pro-Life.

    At the same time, however, the principle “When in irresolvable doubt about something, I have neither the legal nor the moral right to tell another person what to do about it, especially if that person feels that s/he is not in doubt” is an unassailable part of the Democratic pact we Americans all make with one another, a pact in which each adult citizen gets to be an autonomous moral agent; and this principle appears to me to require any reasonable American to be Pro-Choice.

    This reviewer is thus, as a private citizen and an autonomous agent, both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. It is not an easy or comfortable position to maintain. Every time someone I know decides to terminate a pregnancy, I am required to believe simultaneously that she is doing the wrong thing and that she has every right to do it. Plus, of course, I have both to believe that a Pro-Life + Pro-Choice stance is the only really coherent one and to restrain myself from trying to force that position on other people whose ideological or religious convictions seem (to me) to override reason and yield a (in my opinion) wacko dogmatic position. This restraint has to be maintained even when somebody’s (to me) wacko dogmatic position appears (to me) to reject the very Democratic tolerance that is keeping me from trying to force my position on him/her; it requires me not to press or argue or retaliate even when somebody calls me Satan’s Minion or Just Another S***head Male, which forbearance represents the really outer and tooth-grinding limits of my own personal Democratic Spirit.

    Now, I don’t personally agree with this position (for reasons I won’t bore you with here), but I can respect someone who holds it, including, apparently, Dr. Meili. It’s wrong, but it’s not particularly flaky.

  7. Hey Whitworth enjoying that cold crow and that bottle of loser progressive whine.

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