So excited for this next election. I’m hoping there will be a bunch of really strong candidates to root for. I’m excited to ignore all the mass media mud slinging and get down to talking about real issues.

I’m going to start praying right now for an awesome election year.

7

SIGNAL BOOST SIGNAL BOOST SIGNAL BOOST SIGNAL BOOST YOU GUYS

This is Hannah Cowan and she wants to be president one day. Today I argued with one of her supporters during Chemistry about abortion rights. They think they should be illegal and even in cases of “rape and incest”. 

something should be done about this

Fact 4289: Theories as to why Rome fell include political weakness and corruption, immorality, Christian pacifism, racial mixing, class conflict, environmental problems, a divided capital (Rome/Constantinople), plagues, and mass migrations of wild Germanic people. Another theory is that water supplied by lead pipes caused widespread health problems including brain damage and impaired intelligence. Some scholars speculate that Rome never fell, it just adapted to a changing world.

‘I’m not racist, I just wouldn’t date a [insert race/ethnicity] person.’

A bit of advice: If you have to begin your sentence by clarifying that you are, in fact, not racist, it’s a fairly good indicator that you need to reconsider what you’re about to say.

By stating that you ‘just wouldn’t’ date members of a certain ethnic or racial group, you are making an absurd generalisation about that group: that their superficial qualities would make it impossible for you to form an emotional, romantic or sexual connection.

In case anyone hasn’t told you: this makes you prejudiced.

Despite this, racial or ethnic ‘preferences’ are repeatedly brushed aside as a valid and unalterable aspect of a person’s fundamental individuality, and questioning them threatens individuals’ personal expression with restrictive ‘political correctness.’

Let’s get this straight: you are not oppressed for being called out on stereotyping others.

I’ll put it this way: my cousin (20, straight, overwhelmingly middle-class) finds blue eyes attractive; a few of his past partners have had blue eyes. However, if a girl with brown eyes started flirting with him… ‘Would I turn her down? Based on her eye colour? Are you crazy?!’

Most people would agree with my cousin – not dating someone on the basis of the colour of their eyes sounds ridiculous, right? No rational human being would ACTUALLY do that.

Even if you’re not too rational, the slight edge in perceived physical attractiveness that the blue eyes hold for you could easily be compensated for by other traits you find attractive –  A sense of humour? Empathy? A shared passion for indie-rock of the feminist persuasion?

The same goes for racial/ethnic traits, and most crucially, for skin colour. Perhaps your potential partner’s skin is a different colour to yours. Or perhaps it’s the same. Whatever your supposed ‘preference’, you have absolutely no idea about their personality – they could be a gun-toting drug lord; they could be the next Gandhi. But, you recognise that skin colour, and other biased and oppressive racial stereotypes, have no effect on a potential partner’s romantic compatibility with you.

To clarify, inclusionary racial preferences can be racist as well. Claiming that you are only interesting in dating members of a specific race is equally insulting, because it defines someone by their ethnicity (or your perception of it.) Suggesting that someone’s racial background gives them more desirable qualities reflects the damaging histories of colonialism and the fetishization of people of colour that went along with it.

Basically, if someone’s skin colour alone is enough to make you attracted or not attracted to them, you’ve got some serious life-evaluation to be getting on with.

Finding someone attractive, or unattractive, based on their physical features is not racist (although it is rather superficial) but assuming that those physical features carry some sort of meaning or cultural significance most definitely is.

You can’t possibly claim that you know for a fact that every single person of a given race or ethnicity has no chance of falling in love with you based entirely on physical appearance.

Many people use the ‘exposure’ excuse as an attempt to justify their ‘racial preferences’, claiming that they have very little experience of interacting with a certain racial group, and therefore cannot find them attractive. By using this argument, you are essentially holding your hands up and admitting your cultural bias. You have never had the opportunity to try and form relationships with anyone from that ethnic group, so there is absolutely no way that you can ‘know’ that you won’t be attracted to them or enjoy their company. You are allowing cultural stereotypes to control your love life.

Closely related to this argument is the idea that the cultures associated with people of certain races and ethnicities are incompatible with others, leading to the conclusion that the two cultures are too incompatible to even bother trying to engage in a relationship.

Other people try to bypass the whole race issue by invoking a personality trait such as ‘they’re so lazy’ or ‘they only think about themselves’ that is assumed to be typical of that particular ethnic group. This kind of implied universalism is biased, narrow-minded, and just really racist. It is also dangerous in that relieves the racist individual of their personal responsibility for their opinions.

This is not to say that you should feel obligated to be with a person simply for the sake of inclusivity. Anyone (and everyone) can have undesirable aspects, but it’s just illogical to assume that those are ethnically specific

Racial and ethnic preferences reduce people to their ethnicity, and insinuate that skin colour or perceived traits are an important enough factor to negate everything else that a person has to offer.

You cannot know whether or not you are compatible with someone unless you actually get to know them.

Abandon your cultural biases and racial stereotypes. It’ll make dating a whole lot easier, I promise.

- Neha Shah

IRISH WATER.

Water, water everywhere,
and now you’ve got to pay
water falling from the sky,
and they are stealing it away.

The Boys who fought in the G.P.O.
would shudder at the thought,
that their Country has been sold away
and that ” IRISH “water must be bought.

Enda says to turn off your taps,
whilst you brush and floss  your teeth 
sure that must be why he talks such bull,
to the ” Paddy ” that he meets.

" Sure Paddy wants to know" ,
famous words from the Taoiceach’s gob,
and a lot of good that will do,
when thousands leave to find a job.

So now you pay to wash your face,
while Enda sits on his Dail stool,
and he preaches at you to turn off your taps
while he can fill his swimming pool.

And  the Labour Party have sold us out,
the things they say are just a farce,
that they lied to all, is in no doubt,
they just wanted a seat to rest their arse.

And the same is true of Fianna Gael,
Enda kissing Angela’s hole,
and when elections come around they’ll see,
they will get their answers at the poll.


Scattered Thoughts

Photo courtesy of (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)
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Please! Share this petition and all its information on Bill C-51 with family and friends. Every single informed Canadian counts!
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Bill C-51, the government’s proposed anti-terrorism law, has passed second reading in the House of Commons with a vote of 176-87 and will now be sent to committee.” CBC News Posted: Feb 23, 2015 7:53 PM ET

Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada have crossed the final line in re-election politics. The privacy, security and everyday lives of Canadians is NOT a re-election chip to be played haphazardly. Parliament MUST recognize that Bill C-51 is NOT in the best interests of Canada or her citizens.

Strike it down.

You can find a pre-written letter outlining our concerns below (which of course, feel free to customize). You can sign the petition (without having to give your full address) and leave a comment explaining what’s concerning you about Bill C-51, or the actions displayed by the Cdn. Gov’t in general.

FOLLOW OUR EFFORTS ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK WITH #RipUpC51 #StrkDwnC51 #IdleNoMore #cdnpoli

JOIN THE REDDIT UPRISING @ 
https://www.reddit.com/r/ProtestCanada/
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Names, Party Affiliation, Riding and Contact Information of all 176 MPs who voted YES to Bill C-51 as of February 23rd, 2015. 
(Give them HELL the Canadian Way; Write a bunch of angry letters):
http://openparliament.ca/votes/41-2/338/

Find your MP via your Postal Code Here:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseofCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

What Bill C-51 can mean for Canadians:
http://on.aol.com/video/what-bill-c-51-means-for-canadians-518659205?socialmd=0%7C577%7C144%7C2

Follow Bill C-51’s progress in Parliament at:
http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-51/

Bill C-51 as of January 30th, 2015:
http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1513457/bill-c-51.pdf

Open Letter penned by over 100 Academics on Bill C-51:
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1678018-open-letter-on-bill-c-51.html
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News articles reporting, following and analyzing the Bill:

CBC

Report on Open Letter to Cdn. Gov’t by 100 Academics. 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/anti-terrorism-bill-c-51-dangerous-legislation-100-academics-say-1.2975233

Report on Bill C-51 passing SECOND READING in 176-87 landslide vote.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/bill-c-51-anti-terror-bill-passes-2nd-reading-in-house-of-commons-1.2968534

Highlight of key implementations by Bill C-51.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/anti-terrorism-powers-what-s-in-the-legislation-1.2937964

Critique of Bill C-51 Defying Legal Precedent on Security Certificates.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/bill-c-51-defies-key-rulings-on-security-certificates-lawyers-say-1.2973772

Critique of Bill C-51 Benefiting only the Wealthy.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/doubling-tfsa-limit-will-only-help-wealthy-study-argues-1.2967796

Huffington Post Canada

Critique of Bill C-51 making it Easier to Throw Canadians in Jail.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/yan-roberts/bill-c-51_b_6723612.html

The Toronto Star

Report on Harper Cons AVOIDING Expert Testimony (Backpeddled since)
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/02/24/conservatives-want-to-limit-testimony-in-study-of-terror-bill.html

Critique of Bill C-51 Degrading Privacy Rights of Canadians.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/02/17/bill-c-51-moves-us-one-step-closer-to-the-end-of-privacy.html

Macleans

Report on Introduction of Bill C-51 to Canadian Politics (#cdnpoli)
http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/anti-terrorism-act/

The National Post

Report on the same open letter to Cdn. Gov’t. regarding Bill C-51 
http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/27/open-letter-to-parliament-amend-c-51-or-kill-it/

Critique of Bill C-51 Asking Judiciary Warrants to Authorize instead of Prevent Charter Violations.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/17/forcese-roach-on-bill-c-51-judicial-warrants-are-designed-to-prevent-not-authorize-charter-violations/

Critique of Bill C-51 Undermining Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Strategy.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/13/national-post-view-its-easy-to-imagine-bill-c-51-actually-undermining-canadas-anti-terrorism-strategy/

Critique of Bill C-51 expressing symptoms of Totalitarianism
http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/11/terry-glavin-a-whiff-of-totalitarianism-in-bill-c-51/

Global Research Canada

Critique of Bill C-51 targeting activists (like us) as terrorists.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/canada-bill-c-51-could-make-activities-of-activists-and-citizen-media-groups-acts-of-supporting-terrorism/5429060