Friday, August 10, 2012

Barbara Falby's Excellent Adventure? Or Is It a Bogus Journey?

A fun letter to the editor of the Toronto Star has been making the rounds today. It goes a little something like this:
Many opinions have been expressed about the shooting of 24 people in a Toronto community housing project, and the shooting of 82 in a Colorado movie theatre. Admirably, the CBC is explored the role of extremely high temperatures as a trigger for violent behaviour. I know that living in a small, hot, airless room would motivate me to strike out at people.
Other organizations are exploring the “pistolization” of North American society; i.e., gun availability and the media’s role in legitimizing their use. The time has come to recognize Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s part in both of these scenarios.
Extremely hot weather has been allowed to escalate, because Mr. Harper pretends there is no such thing as climate change, having cut funding for many scientific studies, and having denied climate scientists access to media, without PMO approval, despite increasing evidence of species extinction (bats, frogs, bees, etc.), extreme heat (severe drought causing massive crop losses) and freakish weather (disastrous flooding and increase in tornadoes). Mr. Harper can take credit for blocking serious efforts by scientists who wanted the Canadian government to deal with this impending disaster.
The pistolization of Canadian society has increased because Mr. Harper has consistently argued for Canadians’ right to own long guns. Media talk seldom distinguishes between handguns and long guns, although some U.S. press reports emphasize that the Colorado shooter was able to wreak severe damage with both.

Many leaders, including American presidents, have been assassinated with long guns, so Mr. Harper’s naivete on the subject astounds. Most importantly, because many media reports simply repeat Harper’s words without comment, a clear debate about the idiocy of abandoning the long gun registry is lost on many.
Canada’s disaffected youth only hear the message that everyone should have the right to own a gun. By destroying an important piece of Canadian legislation, such as the Long Gun Registry Act, Mr. Harper and his government can now be regarded as accessories after the fact, aiding and abetting the increase in gun violence we are now seeing.
Because the Harper government, in these two areas, has played a large part in the rise of gun violence, it should do the decent thing and step down. Previously, gun violence in Canada has been held in check by government programs and regulations. This leader and his henchmen, however, have managed to abolish well-meaning legislation intended to protect the Canadian public.

How can a government, whose members’ ridings have shown widespread evidence of voter suppression techniques, such as robocalls, and outright fraud, accomplish such an outright abuse of power?
Furthermore, Mr. Harper’s singular lack of imagination in policies regarding the environment, and social policies, etc. show that he does not deserve his position of power. I pray that the justice system will quickly step in to remove illegitimate ministers, senators, and MPs by any logistical means possible, as quickly as possible. Injunctions, forbidding them from entering Parliament could be one such effective measure. 
Did you get all that? If you're anything like me, you probably didn't. I couldn't get through the first two paragraphs before writing this Barbara Falby off as a complete lunatic. So I decided to conduct a two-step experiment to find out if Babs Falby is really this crazy, or if this is some kind of aberration.

It goes a little something like this:

Step one - Google "Barbara Falby"
Step two - chortle chortle chortle

The results came up a little something like this:

"Whitewashing the Tarsands:"
 Unfortunately, there are probably many silent victims of the tar sands – the families afflicted with cancer because they drank downstream water. Not only they, but their families are those suffering – how does one explain to an infant that the mother’s death was justified because the oil that caused it was “ethical oil”? There is a rising mortality rate in several small communities that is magnified because those communities are very small and very isolated. Substitute stones for oil, and the harm is just as great. In fact, the damage done to the boreal forest and to the wildlife population is unconscionable. We are all affected when our oxygen supplies are threatened and our rivers poisoned.
Apparently, Babs didn't get the memo when Alberta Health Services looked into the Fort Chipeywan cancer scare and found that the "elevated" cancer rate at Fort Chipeywan was within the standard deviation... and was accompanied by various lifestyle markers, including elevated rates of hypertension.

The Royal Society of Canada didn't find the claims convincing, either. They've been holding out for more evidence. The punchline is that Babs wrote this a year ago in August 2011... well after AHS and the Royal Society reported.

"VOW Resolution: the Delegitimization of War:"
Whereas: military wars have directly or indirectly caused unconscionable suffering and/or death for millions of men, women, and other species; and
Whereas: military emissions form an unnecessary part of the world’s CO2 count, by adding to its rise, which threatens to eliminate one sixth of its human population, and up to three quarters of its ecosystems,
Be It Resolved that: The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace renews its call for the immediate delegitimization of all violent conflict and international war, by urging the federal government of Canada to support the goals of the UN Charter by embedding this policy in all of its practices, and furthermore, to urge all nation states to adopt these same policies and practices as soon as possible.
Moved by: Barbara Falby                              Seconded by: Elizabeth Raymer
Yes, Babs. War is awful. We get it. We even agree. However, sometimes war is also necessary. Think World War Two. The Korean War. The Star Wars Trilogy.

It sucks, but sometimes wars have to happen. So to delegitimize war is a nice thought, but an impossible idea.

"Development of the Oilsands - The Elephant in the Room:"
I believe that more attention could be focused on demand, rather than supply. I urge all governments immediately, to abandon the policy of providing free flights for elected representatives and staff. All governments would thereby cancel a direct subsidy, and be forced to look at alternative, less emitting forms of travel.
News media could participate by refusing to follow politicians unless they refuse to fly.
 But I imagine that celebrities who fly all over the world to sound the alarm over "human-induced climate change" are all hunky dory. But I think it's worth asking: how did Alana Mitchell get from Dana Point, California to the University of Toronto's Trinity College to receive an honourary doctorate? That was Falby's idea.

Oh, she's also against the construction of new housing units, apparently:
Why are we continuing to allow the huge emissions that are produced by such projects? The greenest building is the one that is already built. With extreme weather events like floods and droughts, affecting millions of people in far off countries, we are at the tipping point of runaway climate change, with the CO2 count now at 391 ppm, and ocean plankton and coral reefs unable to survive counts above 360 ppm. Ocean plankton, by the way, provide us with one half of the world's oxygen. For the first time, the Everglades in Florida have produced more CO2 than oxygen. The Toronto City Council and the OMB should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such monstrously wasteful and destructive projects.
Good gawd. It's not all about plankton and coral reefs. People need places to live, too! Sheesh.

There's probably more. But with responses to Falby's ridiculous Toronto Star letter clogging up the Google canal, it would take a lot of digging to find it all. Maybe that would be an alright project for some enterprising smartass who isn't myself.

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