Lynn Beyak

I’m once again tardy to the party, but I believe this instance is a case of better late than never.

For those of you not in the know–and/or haven’t, for some reason, been keeping abreast with news in Canada–Lynn Beyak is a Canadian senator, who really shouldn’t be at this moment, for reasons I’ll go into now.

Beyak’s claim to fame, as far as I can tell, is whining about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report focusing on the atrocities which occurred in the residential schools and not students’ good experiences or the ‘good intentions’ of the people who worked in, and ran, the schools, then doubling down and even whinging about ‘fake news’ when she was initially called out for her remarks, instead of offering a mea culpa, if not an apology.

Here are my thoughts on the whole ‘good intentions’ spiel: a) colonization and cultural genocide are never good; b) ‘good intentions gone wrong,’ or any variation thereof, is simultaneously a cop-out and a form of gaslighting; c) intent doesn’t matter–what matters is what happens when the rubber hits the road. Oh, and that there are former residential-school students who had good experiences in the schools shouldn’t discount the stories of those who’ve been hurt by the residential-school system, and colonization in general.

Beyak then further classed up the joint by stating First Nations should trade their status cards for Canadian citizenships (pssst…First Nations are already Canadian citizens), and all ethnic groups should practice their cultures “on their own time and their own dime.” I see a hint of white supremacy in this statement, but draw your own conclusions.

Beyak has faced consequences for her repugnant remarks, but should no longer be in government, as her remarks, given her position, give her views a smidgen of legitimacy–and in an age where making such remarks is now considered a social faux pas, considering the damage they do. As she’s a senator, she’s made her remarks while being paid to sit in the Canadian government. She’s a blemish on the face of the Government of Canada, a public-relations disaster, and a national embarrassment for those of us with the decency to be embarrassed and appalled by her remarks and behaviour. (Note to Member of Parliament Tony Clement: Calling for Beyak’s ouster from Senate is not a form of censorship; she can still make her remarks, just not from a position of power, and she won’t be paid–and with Canadian tax dollars, at that–for making them. Just to clear that up.)

The sad thing is, Beyak had choices. She could have acknowledged that colonization is a bad idea, and promoted adopting the recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report. She could have reached out to First Nations–and not just those people who would tell her what she wants to hear–and actually listened to them. Instead, she chose to throw a temper tantrum and go the route of political grandstanding and white fragility–no doubt with the wholesale support of those who agree with her.


Kevin O’Leary

So, Kevin O’Leary has decided to compete for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, and thus come at least one step closer to being voted Prime Minister of Canada. And the prospect of this scares the bejesus of me.

In a previous post, I mentioned O’Leary was quoted as saying it’s “fantastic” that a handful of the super-rich have the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the planet, as “it gives them (the poor) motivation to look up to the one percent.” The reality is, we aren’t looking up to the one percent; we’re grousing about their lack of any feeling of social responsibility, and unwillingness to share. Apparently, O’Leary has never heard of the concept of giving back to the community. Also, has it occurred to O’Leary that a lot of people who didn’t inherit their wealth came by it by–oh, how should I put this?–less-than-legitimate means? Oh, and just because it isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it isn’t immoral. But I’m guessing–in the minds of O’Leary and his ilk–the ends justify the means.

I’ll take this moment to predict that if O’Leary ever becomes Prime Minister of Canada, he’ll make it easier for the rich to get richer, and much more difficult for the poor to get ahead financially and in terms of opportunities open to them, and he won’t care if the rich give to the community. He’ll also make it easier for the rich to stay out of prison if they commit any crimes, while making it harder for the poor, and other marginalized folk, to get justice of any kind. In short, if Kevin O’Leary ever becomes Prime Minister of Canada, the rich will be further rewarded for being rich, while the poor will be further punished for being poor.

I understand Kevin O’Leary is only part of the problem, and is yet another result of a system that perpetuates kyriarchy. He is also part of a larger trend towards keeping kyriarchy in place, for the benefit of a few. Also, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s just being obtuse about the whole situation; unfortunately, that obtuseness has the potential to cost millions of people–and cost them dearly.

Hamza Tzortzis and Imran Hussein (Global Dawah Movement/Mission Dawah)

It recently came to my attention that these fellows had a very public temper tantrum, which passed for a response to a vlogger named Peter–who hosts a YouTube channel called EssenceofThought–which started with Tzortzis accusing Peter of slander because Peter dared to call him out on his lies and (continuing) hypocrisy…while himself slandering Peter, in an attempt to demonstrate to the Global Dawah Movement/Mission Dawah‘s audience–and these are his words here–“that you shouldn’t take online atheists seriously,” and proceeds to accuse them of misrepresentation and slander, and not having “the right type of ethic, especially when it involves dialogue and discussion.” Pot calling the kettle black, Hamza.

In the second part of his two-part response to Tzortzis, Peter draws his viewers’ attention to a comment from Mission Dawah which–long story short–stated their demand that Peter contact them prior to posting his video responses to them–essentially, to allow them to control his content. There is a word for this: censorship. Peter pointed out, in his response to Tzortzis, that the Internet is not a criticism-free, nor is it a shariah, zone, and that he won’t stop critiquing the Global Dawah Movement/Mission Dawah–by the way, formerly known as the London Dawah Movement. (Quick tip, guys: No matter how many times you polish a turd, it’s still a turd.)

In Peter’s response to Tzortzis’ partner in crime, Imran Hussein (in which he includes Hussein’s footage), Hussein merely whines that Peter called Tzortzis a liar, and about comments and posts on Peter’s personal–yes, personal–Facebook page, and repeats Tzortzis’ whine(s) about discussion and dialogue–something Hussein, like Tzortzis, apparently knows nothing, and cares even less, about.

The truth is, the Global Dawah Movement/Mission Dawah, much like Eric Hovind and Sye Ten Bruggencate at the dedication of the American Atheists’ atheist monument, want to talk, but not listen. Even Peter stated, in his response to Hussein, that these Dawah guys don’t want discussion, but a monologue. Because no one beyond them and their fellow believers behaves as if the Internet is a shariah zone, the gents who call themselves the Global Dawah Movement/Mission Dawah act like spoiled brats, especially when they’re critiqued. I’d have to say Peter handled the situation admirably, and responded beautifully, by refusing to cave in to these guys, and continuing to call them out on their lies, hypocrisy, and individual whinefests, whose only apparent purposes were to poison the well against outsiders to keep the faithful so and to curry sympathy with, and loyalty from, said faithful. In short, as far as I’m concerned, in trying to save face–especially in the face of Peter’s criticisms–the Global Dawah Movement/Mission Dawah have shot themselves in the collective foot.

Oh, and to the Global Dawah Movement/Mission Dawah: Lying through your teeth doesn’t count as flossing.


The videos (and a Facebook link) in question:




Belle Gibson

Until recently, I’ve never heard of this individual. Under the circumstances in which I did, I wish it had stayed that way.

Belle Gibson is reportedly the brains behind TheWholePantry, which is ostensibly a healthy-lifestyle application; there was to be a cookbook based on it. That all ended recently, when Gibson was essentially forced to admit she lied about having had several forms of cancer and donating to charities, apparently with no remorse for the lying per se.

By lying about having had cancer and then foregone chemotherapy and other cancer treatments and ‘cured’ her cancers solely by means of a healthy diet and lifestyle, Gibson may have contributed to the needless suffering and death of a healthy portion of people, who were desperate for some shred of hope, apparently thinking, ‘Hey, it worked for her, maybe it will work for me’–all because one Belle Gibson decided to heed the siren song of easy money. And I wonder how the charities she claimed to donate to felt when they didn’t see any of that money in their coffers. (The Wikipedia page which tells this story claims the Victorian State authorities are investigating Gibson and TheWholePantry’s claims of charitable donations.) But the main issue here, as far as I’m concerned, is the fact that Gibson swindled people, and may have cost a number of them their lives. I, for one, hope Gibson spends some time inside a jail cell, simply for fraud–if it doesn’t teach her a lesson, then it stands some chance of sending a message: If you follow in one Annabelle Natalie Gibson’s footsteps, you’re going to get fucked.

And I just love how Gibson claims she lied because she had a difficult childhood, in an obvious, and pathetic, attempt to absolve herself, and convince the rest of us to absolve her, of any responsibility for her actions and their consequences. It may not even be true, but, if it is, in saying it, Gibson is just rubbing salt in the wounds she inflicted on her victims and their families, and, in the bargain, insults those of us who had difficult, even traumatic, childhoods yet managed to grow up to become more or less decent people and contributing, productive members of society, rather than sociopathic, parasitic wastes of space like Gibson. As is so often said, a difficult childhood is no excuse for any bad behaviour in adulthood.

I realize Gibson had some enablers, chief among them Elle Australia (‘The Most Inspiring Woman You’ve Met This Year,’ ‘What We Know About Belle Gibson’), Bespoke Approach, and the writers who wrote so glowingly about Gibson and her–ahem–story without doing their due diligence; even Pantheon and Penguin Books and Apple worked with Gibson and promoted TheWholePantry until they realized it was built on a foundation of falsehoods, in which case they cut ties with Gibson and TheWholePantry. But I insist on putting the majority of the responsibility for this fiasco on Gibson, simply because she got this particular ball of bullshit rolling, and because of the principle of cui bono–literally translated from Latin, ‘to whose benefit’–and, let’s face it, Gibson’s actions were for her own benefit. Healthy lifestyle? It seems here that the lifestyle that Belle Gibson has had–apparently even before she created TheWholePantry–is being full of shit. And, it seems, it will be her legacy.

Ken Denike and Sophia Woo

Don’t you just love it when people do or say things that negatively impact on other people’s lives, then, when they’re called out on it and even disciplined for it, they act like they’re the victims?

That’s what Vancouver politicians–and former members of Vancouver municipal political party the Non-Partisan Association, or NPA–Ken Denike and Sophia Woo are doing, in terms of at least two lawsuits (that I know of) that they’re involved in as plaintiffs, one against the Vancouver School Board to get their transgender policy overturned or at least amended, and a defamation lawsuit against the NPA and Vancouver city councillor Elizabeth Ball.

To bring everyone up to speed, the NPA ousted Denike and Woo for actions they took outside of the proper party protocols, and for comments they made about the LGBTQ community on various occasions, most notably at a press conference, where they stated that ‘a policy regarding sexual orientation and gender identity could decrease the enrollment of international students and therefore hurt the Vancouver School Board’s budget’ and ‘the policy, which allows transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice, could hurt real estate prices’ (because, as we all know, real estate prices and property values trump human rights). Now Denike and Woo are claiming the NPA are falsely accusing them of being homophobic and transphobic. I, for one, must not know what homophobia and transphobia are, because these comments sound homophobic and transphobic to me–and they’re merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of comments they made about the LGBTQ community, including comments they’ve made at a picnic for the Christian Social Concern Fellowship.

But worse is the lawsuit against the Vancouver School Board, as the lives of children could be impacted if the plaintiffs of this lawsuit win. So many youth have committed suicide over the years on account of having been bullied for openly identifying as gay, bisexual, or transgender, or otherwise not conforming to outdated ideas of gender and gender roles. Denike and Woo have demonstrated that they’re willing to sacrifice the well-being, and even the lives, of children in order to gain votes from a certain segment of the population–in this case, by all appearances, conservative Christians who just can’t seem to get with the times.

As a citizen of Vancouver, I think the Non-Partisan Association did the right thing in ousting Ken Denike and Sophia Woo, even if it was only a public-relations move (though I’m giving the NPA the benefit of the doubt here and assuming they actually care about the rights of everyone who lives in Vancouver), and wish them the best of luck in resolving their legal snafu with Denike and Woo. And I hope the courts see the lawsuit against the Vancouver School Board vis-a-vis its transgender policy for the joke that it is, and throw it out. As for Denike and Woo, I have only this to say to them: Learn what real defamation is, and knock it off with the crocodile tears and temper tantrums.


Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

These two have been major bees in my bonnet practically since they crossed my radar, mostly because of the back-ass-wards fundamentalist Christian views they spew, chiefly via their ‘reality’-television series, 19 Kids and Counting, even more because of the way they exploit their offspring, and deny them any freedom and agency (though the adult offspring are now willing victims) in the name of pushing their religious views and agenda, inspired chiefly by fallen preachers Doug Phillips and Bill ‘Grab-Ass’ Gothard, who were caught with their pants down. So no surprise these two subhumans would be among the first entries into my personal rogues’ gallery. It was either them or Faytene Kryskow.

The recent kerfuffle over Chapter 119 of Ordinance No. 5703 in Fayetteville, Arkansas is just the tip of a very sordid iceberg. I myself first learned about the Duggars and the fundamentalist-Christian movement they’re members of, Quiverfull, in an article in Bitch magazine, titled ‘Multiply and Conquer,’ which discusses Quiverfull’s, and the Duggars’, anti-woman views, which state women’s sole purpose for existing is to marry heterosexual men–chosen by their fathers, of course–and pop out kids like Pez dispensers, like Michelle Duggar has done (though I speculate she decided on her own to marry Jim Bob). Further research showed–surprise, surprise–that they’re also anti-gay. And, on one episode of 19 Kids, the family visits the Creation Museum run by Ken Ham, and talks crap about evolution–or, rather, the typical creationist strawman of evolution. And let’s not forget Michelle Duggar’s denial that the world is overpopulated, and that, in the same breath, she quoted the late Mother Teresa: “Saying there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers,” then added, “We need more children because we need more joy.” This last statement is the most selfish one I’ve ever heard, especially considering the world’s population is now at seven billion people (that’s billion–with a ‘B’), and I submit to anyone reading this that if you feel the need to bring kids into this world who never asked to be here because you need more joy in your life–especially if you can’t find other ways to get it–there is something seriously wrong with you, and you need to seek professional help–pronto.

What angers me only slightly more than the way that Jim Bob and Michelle exploit their kids for their own personal gain and to push their nefarious fundamentalist-religious agenda is the amount of influence they have, especially among the poorly educated. Much like the Dalai Lama, the platitudes they utter are those of a simpleton, and not even original (though I seriously doubt, at this juncture, that they’re capable of anything even remotely resembling original thought), yet, much like the Dalai Lama, they, and their family, manage to generate enough charisma to inspire sycophantic fawning in as many people as they have, including some otherwise intelligent people–though I must credit those who have seen through the Duggars’ schtick, and called them out on it. But I still hope they don’t have more influence on politics than they should have, and that society can progress relatively unhindered.

Now, I realize Jim Bob, Michelle, and Company are merely part of a huger problem, and far be it from me to waste time chasing symptoms. But this couple has a wide platform, thanks to current celebrity culture, from which to spew their filth, and, as previously mentioned, exploit their kids in the process. As a result, I hope they, sooner rather than later, fade back into much-deserved obscurity and anonymity.