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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,021

Journal Archives

Happy 150th Birthday Canada!!!

We're not a perfect nation, and we've got some ways to go, but I do feel pretty happy about my home country most of the time! Fire up some Canadian music, have some good Canadian beer, wine, or spirits (or Pop Shoppe or something if you're not a drinker!) and grill something delicious. Poutine optional, but encouraged!

Side note: On Google Play Music I started a radio station based on The Tragically Hip's "Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)" and it gave me a great playlist that includes some of my favourites like Blue Rodeo, Matthew Good, Sloan, Headstones, 54-40, the Odds, Big Sugar, Our Lady Peace, I Mother Earth, and The Watchmen. Good stuff!!


Homemade naturally fermented radish pickle recipe

So, it's the season for fresh veggies to really start flooding the market here in Ontario. One of the earliest veggies we get is radishes! Now, my hubby absolutely loves pickling. He did a lot of pickling of things at the restaurant, and we have homemade pickles of every stripe at home. These naturally fermented radish pickles are amazingly delicious. We put them on sandwiches, on burgers, chopped up in salads, and on a cheese tray next to cheeses and charcuterie.

Also, as they ferment, the bright red pigment in the skin diffuses through the whole jar and the radishes pickles come out neon pink after a couple weeks!

Just make sure you're getting local radishes, or at least radishes that haven't been irradiated. Irradiation kills the microbes and lactobacilli that make the pickling process possible.

I only protested the ACA because the President was black (SATIRE)

I only protested the Affordable Care Act because the President was black. Please don't take away my health care

From McSweeney's humour column: Full article

Back in 2009, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was being debated in Congress, I was fuming with anger. How could I, a fiscal conservative, support a program that would drive down my insurance costs and cover my child’s preexisting condition? It clearly was a flawed bill that would ruin small businesses.

I nearly boiled over for eight years, and rightly so. But now that President Obama has finally left office, and the Republicans want to take away my health insurance options and increase my premiums, I just want to be up front about something.

It was never about the taxes. It was always about the president’s Blackness. It was super related to his race. Arguably, completely and wholly tied to race, alright? And now that the president is normal again, I’d be very grateful to be able to enjoy this health insurance and all these patient protections that have saved my small business and my child’s life. So please, don’t repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Can we just pretend that White people wrote the ACA and enjoy it? Like Elvis Presley, but with healthcare. Or can we just pretend to discover that it was always a part of our healthcare system? Like when you “discover” that you’ve always been able to check out National Treasure for free at the library. Yea. That. But with flawed but reasonably crafted insurance marketplaces.

In conclusion, I am sorry to everybody who I hurt complaining about death panels in 2009, the website rollout in 2013, and the corporate deep state in 2016. My bad. But can’t we just keep all of these solutions now that the Black person who came up with them is gone? I “hope” so.

And yes, I still firmly believe Hillarycare would have been a disaster for the economy.

Lockdown Over Amid Shooting Investigation at Alabama Military Installation - UPDATE

Source: NBC4 Washington

A lockdown was in place at a military arsenal in Alabama Tuesday, with its Twitter account calling it a "possible active shooter" and urging people on the base to "run hide fight" in a tweet.

A spokesman for Redstone Arsenal told Huntsville, Alabama, NBC affiliate WAFF-TV that there was possibly an active shooting.

An alert from the Marshall Space Flight Center said "situation exists near the Sparkman Center, RSA bldg. 5301," according to WAFF.

An active shooter training exercise was scheduled for the week, according to a Facebook post from the site, but WAFF said it was told the incident was unrelated.

*** UPDATE ***

Lockdown Over Amid Shooting Investigation at Alabama Military Installation

A lockdown was put in place at a military installation in Alabama for several hours Tuesday after an alert was sent out about a possible active shooter and urging people on the base to "run hide fight."

A spokesman for Redstone Arsenal told Huntsville, Alabama, NBC affiliate WAFF-TV that there was possibly an active shooting and was not a drill. The massive installation hosts several military and civilian organizations, including the Army Aviation and Missile Command and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

The lockdown was lifted about 1:30 p.m. ET, public affairs officer Christopher Colster said.

He said the investigation was continuing at one building, called the Sparkman Center, which the Marshall center tweeted that employees should continue to avoid after the lockdown ended.

Read more: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/Possible-Active-Shooter-Alabama-Redstone-Arsenal-431099023.html

Currently breaking, and details will change quickly, no doubt.

Happy Pride! And now here's some history!

At the urging of La Lioness Priyanka, making an OP of this, in response to people complaining that BLM is "taking over" Pride events:

The gay civil rights movement was really birthed in the Stonewall riots in New York city in 1969. The police were constantly and repeatedly raiding gay clubs and bars and putting the photographs of the people in them in the newspapers, effectively ruining their lives. In many ways, being gay was still illegal back then. You could lose your job you could lose your housing. Many of these gay men didn't live openly, and had tried to start "normal" lives with marriages and kids. So on top of the stress of having to have two lives, they then had one of those lives ruined just to go and spend time in a place friendly to one of those lives.

And who were the main movers of the Stonewall riot? It wasn't a pretty white boy named Danny as the movie (Stonewall 2015) would have you believe. It was largely black drag queens and trans women who were throwing shoes and bricks, and those were certainly some of the first bricks thrown. It was also homeless queer youth (kicked out of their conservative homes and forced to live on the streets). So, in some very real ways, black voices were the first in the North American queer civil rights movement.

Fast forward to today. Can you name any prominent gay people? Are they all or mostly white? Ellen, Anderson Cooper, Lance Bass, Rosie O'Donnell? POC feel a great deal of alienation from mainstream gay culture and the mainstream queen civil rights movement today, which is overwhelmingly white.

This is the very definition of intersecionality. Toronto Pride invited BLMTO to lead off the parade last year, and they also staged a sit-in for about half an hour to protest a few things, mostly dealing with at-risk communities, trans youth of colour, as well as the presence of the Toronto Police marching in uniform and armed in the parade (citing three very recent highly publicized killings of POC by Toronto Police in which only one officer was charged and none were convicted), which is entirely valid. Of the several founders of BLMTO, one is gay and one is trans, so they are part of both communities. Black people in Toronto do not feel safe around armed police (given that they are still being carded regularly at a vastly disproportionate rate to white citizens) and demanded that police not be allowed to march armed and in uniform in the Pride Parade next year.

So, in the context of history, it's perfectly logical. The Stonewall Riots weren't about gay marriage, they were about police violence. The police have an incredibly checkered past (and present) with the gay community. I'm a gay white man, but I have to be an ally to my queer POC friends. All of my black friends in Toronto have had negative encounters with police. They are arresting and mistreating trans youth of colour. Pride isn't just a parade for queers to show how "normal" we are to straight allies to make them feel comfortable, it is a political action in the face of a political structure that still wants to keep queer people and POC down.

We're pretty lucky in Canada, by and large. But please remember that in many states it is still legal to be fired or evicted for being gay or trans. BLMTO takes a long tradition of black activism in the queer community and directs it to things that are still going on. Why should the police get a nice big free PR boost by marching with big smiles in the Pride parade if they're not going to address systemic problems within the police services regarding how they treat queer people and POC the other 364 days a year?

A Twitter thread from a Canadian watching the health care crisis in the USA:

So, one of the Twitterers I follow did a thread today that very nicely sums up the feeling that many of us Canadians feel about the what's happening with health care in the USA right now. Please note that this is not my content, it is from the owner of the Twitter feed, a freelance columnist for several Toronto publications.

Here is the lead tweet from the thread:

And here's the content:

So I thought US followers might be interested in an example of the Cdn "person falls through cracks, has to PAY for HEALTHCARE" news story

Here's one from today, by @metrotoronto's @dugilbo: http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2017/06/26/newcomer-children-most-affected-by-lack-of-health-insurance.html

The story: many refugee claimants have to wait months for OHIP (the provincial health insurance plan) and cannot afford healthcare.

This is an extremely troubling and serious issue, especially because so many children and youth are affected.

Note the costs considered "prohibitive" in Canada: $400 for an ER visit, $120 for a walk-in clinic, $26K for a 10-day hospital stay.

This is not what people pay after insurance. This is what people pay with NO insurance. Normally, most of this would be free.

As a lifelong Canadian I find this situation horrifying and I know many doctors have long been advocating for better refugee healthcare.

So when I read about US healthcare costs, even for insured people, it's like some Deep Time level shit. My mind can't handle the magnitude

People having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for healthcare and getting sick because they can't pay is a public health crisis.

But for many Americans, it's not even a news story. It's often even CHEAPER than what they NORMALLY pay. Like what the fucking fuck

Dear USaians, you have no idea how bad you have it. You should be literally rioting in the streets, hijacking hospitals, bombing shit. /end

An introduction (also a bacon-wrapped asparagus recipe)

Hi there! Late last year, I lost my job at just about the same time that my husband's restaurant (he is a trained chef) was closing its doors. It was a tough time for us for a few months, but we're both back in the workforce now (the market's a little different in Toronto than in much of the USA now, I think).

However, in our time unemployed, while we were sending off resumes, meeting with recruiters, and waiting for call-backs and interviews, we decided to start our own cooking channel on YouTube. We're doing a video each week, trying to keep it to fairly simple basic stuff and some of our very favourite home-cooked recipes. My husband does all of the cooking and writes all of the recipes, and I do the filming, editing, and voice-over.

He's from Texas, so you'll see a slightly southern and/or creole influence on a few of the recipes!

Anyway, if folks are interested, I'll start posting our weekly video here. Here is this week's: Grilled asparagus!

Looking for a little bit of advice!

A little context, first:

My husband is a trained chef, and I am a corporate travel agent. Late last year, my husband's restaurant closed after a pretty amazing two-and-a-half year run, which was bad timing, because I had lost my job about a month before. So, while we were both unemployed we decided to start up a cooking channel on YouTube. I taught myself video editing (pretty basic) and we decided we would start doing a video per week just showing basic cooking skills and some of our favourite home-cooked recipes. He writes the recipes and does all the cooking, I do the filming, editing, and voice over.

So, my question is would people here be interested in seeing a link here when one of our videos goes up? We upload once a week every Thursday. I know it's shamelessly self-promotional, which is why I want to ask before I just start stuffing weekly videos up!

Here's this week's for example:

Also, we're both employed once again, so no worries there!

I'll say it again: today's shooting is Stochastic terrorism writ large.

Here's a tweet from Rand Paul last year:


Text: .@Judgenap: Why do we have a Second Amendment? It's not to shoot deer. It's to shoot at the government when it becomes tyrannical!

That is from Rand Paul's verified twitter feed, so it comes either directly from him or from him through a social media intern or professional. Regardless, it is his words, and is still on his feed from last year. Today's shooting is a terrifying event, and I feel bad for all involved, but there is a degree to which the GOP actually caused this. A particularly scalding call-out:


Text: That being said, don't spend decades telling ppl they need guns to shoot at the govt then act shocked when ppl w/ guns shoot at the govt.

Be careful with that stochastic terrorism, GOP. Once you've set it in motion you're not actually able to direct it at all.

For anyone not sure about the definition of stochastic terrorism: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/8/10/1558787/-Stochastic-Terrorism

It is (sadly) probably a term we should all get to know very well.

xpost from LGBT: Queer activist and scholar Anthony Oliveira suspended from Twitter (@meakoopa)

Apparently for defending himself against some bigots who were whining about there not being a straight pride month.

The backlash against Twitter has been pretty fierce, given they've suspended a queer activist at the beginning of Pride month.


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