Friday, September 30, 2011

Photo's show the darker side of Dubai

Tonight I stumbled upon this Photo Essay of photo's of the poorest workers in Dubai. Those who often are stuck in the UAE and can never go home and who live in appalling conditions.

DJ Kitty scratching post

If this item was available in Montreal I'd get it for my kitties! This has to be one of the cooler cat items I've seen in a long while :)

Congrats to La Roche Saskatchewan

They've just proven that people in some parts of Canada can riot without any hockey game in sight! I can't help but wonder why 50-70 people caused a riot - though alcohol can always be a factor.

Curious about Canada's top 10 riots, click here. Of course it comes to no surprise that a percentage of them are hockey related! In the top 10, 4 are hockey related, and 6 happened in Montreal - and 7 in the province of Quebec, 2 at the University I attended, Concordia at the St George Williams Campus downtown!  Here's another place that talks about Montreal riots. 

Blogger to Buzz bug

I just noticed that when I embed a Youtube video in my blog posts, they don't get linked on google Buzz.  Have not yet bothered to research if it's a bug or a feature :) 

But it does look stupid when I say something like "What a great video BBC did" and there's no link or nothing to it! 

The other thing I find is missing going between Google blogger and buzz is that the comments on Blogger don't get passed on to buzz and vice versa, comments on buzz don't get ported to blogger. So the same post will have two separate sets of comments. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Night vigil tomorrow night For Zainab and other news

It's become a weekly event to have night vigils on Friday nights and this week  is no exception.  I hope I feel better tomorrow and I will be able to attend. This one will be to honour Zainab Al Hosni. 

Zainab aka The Flower of Syria

There's an awesome documentary on what sparked the Syrian revolution that aired on the BBC earlier this week. It's well worth the watch.

There was an article in the globe & Mail today about the rape of Syrian women.

Two-faced cat?

Oldest living 2 faced cat in Massachusetts.  I think it's pretty cool. Then again I tend to like offbeat cats. All the cats living with me currently are poly-dactyls.

Love my dentist

I blogged a few days ago about taking my gf to see my dentist. It was an interesting experience. I'm not sure if my gf would say the same thing - seeing that she's afraid of dentists. I know she's doing OK because she's willing to see him for appointment #2, but she would probably not call it an interesting experience, probably more a frightening experience.

My dentist is 71 years old and I first saw him at 15. I was referred to him by an MD, who felt that my jaw issues were teeth related. This was a young MD who had my dentist as a professor at McGill. I can never thank that MD enough for starting one of the longest  and happiest relationship I've had with any professional. 

Every dentist I'd seen before him was a certified quack. Before I started seeing him I would end up with teeth issues that would give me fevers and my mouth would swell and I'd look like a chipmunk. Since my first visit at 15, I have NEVER had a tooth related fever again.  As well, with other dentists after they would work on me, I'd feel the freezing injection site for days and often would feel pain around the tooth they worked on.  With my dentist, once I thaw out, it's over. No pain, no discomfort, just fixed teeth. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a beautiful mouth. Its full of fillings however every single tooth in my mouth and my gums are healthy. I still have all the teeth I had at 20, after all the baby teeth were pulled out and I had orthodontic work. 

All this to say I LOVE my dentist.  But I saw a side of him I'd never seen when I brought my gf. I had never realized how much of a clown he could be. I was in stitches most of the appointment, laughing over his silly remarks. He told her, he took some tranquilizer cause he was nervous over her appointment! Noticed she was tattooed and said it was a tattoo parlour, asked her what her next tattoo would be! Told her that a good dentist is like a therapist.  Also told her that he believes in patients first and teeth second.  

He also told us about his biggest challenge as a dentist - fixing the mouth of an adult autistic lady who was afraid of dentists. Said it took him 3 times the time it would have taken a normal patient, that he'd book afternoons just for her. But he managed to give this woman a beautiful mouth by working with her to make her feel comfortable. He said some appointments he did little dental work but made her feel at ease.

I know he accepted my gf as a new patient because of the challenge. He certainly doesn't need new patients in fact he probably refuses some on a regular basis. The most positive is that he told her that her teeth could have been much worse after 30 years not seeing a dentist but that he could fix many of her teeth and give her a nice mouth again. I'm sure after a couple more appointments she'll like him too. I don't ever expect her to like going to the dentist or like dentists but she'll like him for his amazing dentistry skills and wonderful "bedside manner." Not sure how else to call it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prayers for a friend in Surgery

A friend of mine, that I've known since childhood, is undergoing surgery to remove a large stone from his gall bladder.  He was really worried about the surgery, when I talked to him earlier in the week. I know this surgery has been in the works for the past 5 months, it took them that long to schedule.  He's also worried that he has pain on the other side and wonders if it's related to the current problem, that is trying to avoid pain in his gall bladder, he is now causing himself pain on the other side.

He'll be in my thoughts this morning so that the surgery goes as best as possible and he recovers well from it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Accompanying friend to Dentist

I've been seeing my dentist since I was 15 years old. This means I've been seeing him for more then 30 years. He's the best dentist I've ever had. I've referred to him as the Cadillac of dentists. He's in his early 70's and still kicking. 

One of my gf's is terrified of dentists. In the twenty years I've known her I've never known her to see a dentist. It makes sense, you see quacks that hurt you, and you really don't want to submit yourself back to this type of abuse. If you were young when it happened, it leaves you traumatized. I was lucky I ended up with my AWESOME dentist at 15 so I've learned to no longer be afraid. 

Between fear, budget concerns and in the past 10 years, concerns over her heart's well-being has prevented her from seeing a dentist.  However she recently read that there are local anaesthetics that exist now that would not be counter-indicated with the medications she takes to monitor her heart rate and we have dental insurance at work. 

I called and reminded the receptionist that when I was 16 I took my grandpa to see the dentist and I had to hold his hand the entire time since he was also terrified. I asked if my dentist could see my friend, that she really needs someone who is exceptional at his job to get through her dental needs.  She had a cancellation today so I'm accompanying my friend to the dentist today at 3pm.  I'm hoping after the first appointment where he checks out the work that needs to be done, that she will feel comfortable with him. I'm sure dentists will never be her favourite, but with his good care I hope she'll at least be OK with him.

Assad's Syrian Electronic Army Hack Harvard?!?!?!

Personally if I was a hacker in Assad's SyRian EleCtroNic ArmY Harvard University would not be my first or main or only target for  hacking!!!! I suspect it was in response to about seven official Syrian sites that were hacked Sunday or Monday. However these were sites of various cities or areas in Syria. The hacked sites told protesters how to surf safely so Assad's goons can't monitor you, they gave info about Zainab and other things that happened since the beginning of the uprising.

Personally I think they hacked the Harvard site because they couldn't  hack anything else in the US or the UK. I bet Assad's SyRian ElecTronic ArMy is no where nearly as competent as those in Anonymous. 

Go ANONYMOUS!!!! Many Syrians were thrilled with your Syrian Site modifications and would love to see a site that won't be taken down that contains all the content that was on the sites over the week-end.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Anonymous hits Official Syrian Sites - and the view from a Christian Syrian

The Homs site I linked yesterday was one of the sites that was targeted by the group Anonymous.  I thank them for their initiative. 

They turned several Syrian Government websites into informative protester websites. The Homs site had the number of dead as a map and articles pertaining to Zainab al Hosni and organ harvesting.  Other sites had links for Syrian protesters to protect themselves while online.

The sites have since been reset however it was still nice while it lasted :)

Still related to Syria:  This was a very touching testament written by a Christian recently:

'Because I am a Christian, I support The Syrian Revolution
As a Christian person, I keep hearing strange things about why we should support Assad ,,, and why he is the “protector” of our existence in Syria. Well after lots of thinking here are my conclusions:
- The Catholic Church in Europe lost a lot of support and respect in the past, because they thought that the glory of the Church was linked to the brutal kings of medieval Europe
- The Church in Iraq was “ok “ with what Saddam used to do to non-Christians and that is what lead to reactions from the extremists in Iraq after Saddam
- In Syria: back in the early days of the Syrian republic, we were 25% of the population and in 40 years of Assad control of the Country we have shrunk to around 5 to 6%. The majority of Christians emigrated to the EU or the US, running away from the brutality of Assads. “both the father and the son”
- In Lebanon, every Lebanese from “Zahleh to Jonyeh” knows exactly what happened when Assad Army entered Lebanon and the massacres that happened for the Lebanese Christians.
After all that...I know why I’m supporting the Syrian Revolution. I understand that our Lord didn’t want us to support the Dictator. I understand that the true Christian will always be with the People, especially if these people have been aggrieved for 40 years

For these reasons and many more ...I am a Christian and I Support the Syrian Revolution'

Victim sues the Police feels betrayed.

I believe I wrote about her before, but there was another article in the news.   I hope she wins her lawsuit. I hope her rapist, the disgraced former base commander of CFB Trenton, rots in jail forever.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Adventures of the G-Nome

G-Nome with Dubai Marina buildings in the background
If you're on Facebook, check out the adventures of our travelling gnome.

Syria - More about Zainab Al Hosni and crimes against humanity.

Zainab Al Hosni - with nephew in Homs.
Homs site - showing the world what has happened. Includes the story of Zainab and also about organ harvesting from protesters!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

This is a Facebook group to honour Zainab Al Hosni. The group is an Arabic group and though I cannot read Arabic I joined to show my support. It is despicable that they can dismember a young woman because her brother was a protester. This is a crime against humanity. You can find several video's that shows her mutilated body. I chose to honour her with a pretty photo of her not what is left of her body.

This is a petition to bring those who mutilated and tortured Zainab Al Hosni to justice.  This is an article in CNN that shows the world's outrage at Zainab's death.

Saudi women get the right to vote!!!!!

Sadly our Saudi sisters will not have the right to vote in current elections that will be held soon but they will get the right to vote next elections in 4 years. It might not seem like much but this is a huge step forward for Saudi women!!! 

Here's hoping that giving them the right not only to vote but also present themselves as candidates in the consultative assembly in the future also eventually gives them the right to drive :)

Here's hoping that this is not just an announcement that will be rescinded later!

The Story of Zainab Al Hosni

A week ago I blogged about how this poor girl was treated at the hands of Bashar Al-Assad's thugs. They made a video of her story which I am sharing for the world to see.

EDIT oct 5th: Zainab is alive according to live Syrian tv footage - but who is the dead girl?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dead Modem

I went to Ottawa Thursday morning and I would have blogged Friday and this morning, but sadly my friend's Bell Modem/Router died!  They said it was the transformer - basically the power supply.  We went to The Source and got one of them multi-voltage ones. but modem still didn't work.

So I had no internet on the laptop. I've been watching NIP/TUCK. Watching it from the beginning, the Show is hilarious. I had seen episodes here and there, but never gotten into it. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Inspirational photo's and poems

My husband's uncle, Robert Der Alexanian,  is an amazing photographer who lives in France. In collaboration with a friend, his photo's have been paired with poetry and is available here for sale.

Feel free to check it out :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Killing and Torturing in Babs Amer Homs Syria

According to the LCCSyria website, it's become really bad in Babs Amer Homs - situation critical.

Same press release but on their Facebook page. 

Finally - Don't ask don't tell is over.

As of yesterday the US army "don't ask don't tell" policy is over.

Finally. About time for them not to care about someone's sexuality!

Dead men don't wear plaid.

Yesterday I get this message on Facebook. That my friend Rick, may he Rest In Peace as he passed away on July 1st, 2011, just answered a question about me. 

For starters, I don't have this Facebook application, TRUTH GAME, installed. Secondly, even if I did, Rick cannot be possibly answering questions about me, or anyone else for that matter - because he's DEAD. 

He's not pining for the Fjords or Chibougamau, he's passed on, he's no more, he's ceased to be. He's expired and gone to meet his maker. He's stiff and bereft of life. He's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off, he's pushing the daisies, his metabolic processes are now history. 

He's a DEAD MAN and dead men do not answer questions two months after they expired!!!! To have the application say he answered questions about me and dozens of his other friends is CREEPY!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crossing the line in Smart Set at the Colosseum

I went shopping this morning, in particular to  get lace bra covers, so that any dress that's got too plunging cleavage has the cleavage hidden by the lace.

I figured since all the stores at the Colosseum on Chemin Ste Marie are warehouse stores, I'd check them all out. When I walked into the Smart Set there was a clerk folding clothes near the entrance. As I wandered around the store she was always two feet away from me pretending to put stuff away. 

I told her the first time she asked what I was shopping for that I was just looking. However she took it upon herself to stalk me around the store. I had spotted two tops I was considering trying out, when I turned around there she was again, pretending to fold clothes a few feet away so I just walked out.

I was the only client in the store. There was three clerks. Did one clerk have to follow me around like I was a thief? I don't feel it's helpful to have someone two feet behind me when I'm shopping. It makes me feel like they were checking to make sure I don't steal. This clerk crossed the helpful line into very unattractive behaviour one that is likely to send more then me running away screaming.

Any store that makes me feel like a common thief instead of a valued client is a store I'm not going back to. So Smart Set at the Colosseum might consider advising their sales clerk that stalking clients will kill their business.

Syria - when will the UN get involved, after millions die?

Students are going back to school in Syria and finding their schools being shelled and shot at.  Yes the regime in Syria is shooting students in schools. Unarmed children are being SHOT AT for no reason or possibly to punish their parents, relatives and neighbours for protesting. 

Worse, ambulances aren't being used to carry the injured but to carry around armed goons, the Syrians call Shabiha.  So students get shot at, the injured get picked up by ambulances and instead of bringing them to hospitals to give them medical treatment, they are taken to detention centres and beaten on their injuries. Sometimes the children reappear as corpses the next day near their home.

But Russia feels that everything is fine in Syria. Let the protesters enter dialog with the regime? Can one enter into a dialog with a regime that kills CHILDREN???????? 

It's pretty sad when Assad's thugs have so much power that currently they are making "Homs pay for the unrest".  The Shabiha are saying that they will destroy as much of Homs and the people as they possibly can to 'Show the armed gangs who's in charge'.  It's become plain massacre.  

But Russia doesn't think the UN should get involved and neither does China. Of course not. Why would they support anything else. As far as it goes both Russia and China still imprison dissenters, and people still disappear for talking about the government. They don't want the UN involved in Syria because then these two countries will also have to treat their own people better.

On another front, there was this officer "Harmoush" that defected and helped other soldiers who were unhappy in the Syrian army to defect and be able to join the Syrian Free Army [Which stand for the people and the protesters not for the regime]. He had escaped to Turkey but his family was continuing to help army defectors.  From what I understand he was kidnapped in Turkey, brought back into Syria, tortured and put on TV under duress to claim all he'd previously said was false.   And if they think this convinced people, other then a few Assad loyalists, everyone could tell Harmoush was talking under duress on Syrian TV.  At this point they have kidnapped and executed several of his relatives and it's not over.

For more news about what is going on in Syria, you can check Syria's local coordination committee's website.

Oh and if you missed it - here is my blog entry about video from Al Dounia TV, that more or less claims all the news Al Jazeera is saying is coming out of Syria is all fabricated. That Al Jazeera has in it's studios, replica's of all the major cities in Syria. So all those video's we're seeing on Youtube of peaceful protesters is all Al Jazeera fabrications, supported by the US and Israel!!!!!!!!  

What amuses me the most about all this is that you can't watch Al Jazeera in the USA on TV. No one carries it.  If you're in the US you can access the Al Jazeera website, but you cannot get the channel on your TV. To suggest that the Syrian uprising is being instigated by Israel and the US is hilarious. If anything both USA and Israel are perfectly content working with Assad and his despicable regime. It's the evil they know.   Israel is shitting it's pants about what is going on in Syria and terrified that the protests will continue to spread in Israel and I won't even discuss anything about Palestinians.

Monday, September 19, 2011

An example of Assad's treatment of his people.

A Statement by Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union regarding the murder of Zainab Al-Hosni

Homs in 26/7/2011, a group of security forces and Shabiha kidnapped the young girl Zainab Al Hosni, born in 1992, from the front door of her house in Bab Siba when they were monitoring the house looking for her brother in a treacherous and dirty operation to keep track of young people, harm them and hurt their families. Despite the exhausting search, the parents did not get any information about the fate of their daughter or her whereabouts. 

And by accident, when the family of the martyr Mohammad Al-Hosni were doing a procedure to get his body out of the military hospital, one of the labours working in the hospital told them that there is a young woman from Al-Hosni family in a refrigerator in the hospital. When the news spread in the family, they rushed to the military hospital on 15/9/2011 to make sure and identify the body of their daughter. They found the catastrophe, their daughter Zainab lying on the refrigerator, her face was distorted and her hands were cut off . Her body was brought to the military hospital in this condition by the elements belonging to a branch of Homs Security.

The hospital administration did not accept to hand over the body to her family till Saturday 09/17/2011. Her funeral has been held from Abdul-Rahman Bin Aouf mosque in Bab Siba to the Martyrs grave where she has been buried. The parents of Zainab are in a case of shock to the severity of the crime and the street is tense significantly and people pledged to move forward until victory and to sue these criminals.

Edit Sept 21/2011 from Shaam News Network

SNN | #Syria | Homs | Bab Alsibaa: The story of Zainab Al-Husni, whose head, arms & legs were cut by security forces
In Homs city, Bab Alsibaa neighborhood, Zainab brother: Muhammad Al-Husni was one of the the well known activists. Security & Shabiha (regime-sponsored gangs) raided his family home so many times looking for him that his family had to leave their home, they rented a home in Al-Naziheen neighborhood. As Muhammad had to stay in hiding, his 19 years old daughter had to bring groceries for the family; which is not safe due to the siege and to the poverty that took hold of Homs city under the regime collective punishment for the residents for holding peaceful anti-regime demonstrations.

On the morning of the 2nd of the month of Ramadan (coincided with the 2nd of August) the young woman was abducted, the regime had ear dropped on the family’s calls (wireless & landlines) for awhile before that. After 5 days of the abduction, the family received a phone call saying that Zainab can be returned if the “wanted” Muhammad is surrendered to security forces. They specified a place in an unsafe neighborhood, so the family was trying to find a safer place in the city for the exchange but the other side closed the phone.
On the 13th of September the family was shocked when they got the news that their son Muhammad was killed at the hands of security & the intelligence agency, they went to receive his body from the Military Hospital in Homs. During that visit the family & by accident the family was informed that there was a 19 years old young woman in the morgue, the family went to investigate, at 1st they could not recognize her; as her head was cut off, her arms cut off from the shoulders, there were evidence of torture on her back, her face burned, & signs of burning showing on most of her body. The family was not allowed to receive their daughter till they signed promising not to video her body nor to hold a funeral procession

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Catholic church in Quebec.

My daughter wanted to share this term paper related to History of Post-Confederate Quebec as a comment because she felt it related to my recent many Catholic Church blogs. She wanted to share in particular the part where the church was manipulative over people's lives. 
     The obvious decline in Quebec’s birth rate during the 1960s and following decades was due largely to the release of oral contraceptives. This was a pivotal time for women, as it allowed them to achieve freedom over their sexuality and their bodies. Effects of this newfound freedom were felt throughout Quebecois society with dire consequences for the Catholic Church. While the Catholic Church had played a great role in the lives and especially the sexuality of Catholic spouses during the beginning of the twentieth century, its position quickly became compromised in the latter half of the century. The widespread availability of oral contraceptives had other consequences, notably on birthrates, pre-marital intercourse, marriage and the discussion of sexuality in general.
            Prior to the 1960s, methods of contraception ranged from abstinence to limiting intercourse during the woman’s cycle when she was least likely to be fertile. This combined with that fact that the Catholic Church had a staunch reputation against contraception, meant that women had limited control over their pregnancies and family size. They had even less control of their sexuality, since their enjoyment of intercourse was seen as an evil by the Catholic Church. This meant that at times when couples broke from their abstinence, the woman was not permitted to enjoy the act itself. However, women “were generally forgiven, provided that they did not take pleasure in and consented to relations only after unsuccessfully trying to convince their husbands about the merits of abstinence”.[1] It is interesting to note that while the Catholic Church had obvious disdain for contraception, they also viewed the act of intercourse as something un-pure and sinful, for which the couple needed forgiveness in the form of confession. Women then looked for absolution during confession, and most priests, with the exception of a few, gave it, since they felt a “desire to relieve women’s suffering” and many felt sympathetic to the distress they saw from numerous women about their sexual moral dilemma.
           Some Catholic clergy argued that if the man withdrew before completing the act of lovemaking, it would not count as a sin, because they had not gone through the full act, there was intention but no completion.[2] While this method allowed couples to receive communion, the Catholic Church preferred couples showed their love and devotion to each other through others ways like “marriage characterized by permanence, fidelity and openness to life”[3] as well as “through virginity or celibacy”[4]. And when couples did decide to engage in “sexual love”[5], the Catholic Church firmly believed that “using the natural rhythms of the body to regulate fertility is a more humanistic way to live procreative responsibility than using chemical or mechanical contraceptives”[6]. The doctrine of the Catholic Church presents us with an interesting dichotomy between the fact that couples should be abstaining from intercourse in general, since making love was a sin, the fact that if couples were participating in the act of lovemaking that they should not be practicing methods of contraception and finally that if they were making love that women should not be enjoying themselves during the act.
            This pressure placed undue stress on wives, as “one secularized priest expressed resentment […] ‘women were extremely distraught … I heard a priest say [to one woman] …. [that] when her husband takes her, she only has to say her prayers and she won’t feel pleasure’”[7]. The marital turmoil caused by abstinence also had its effects on Catholic French Canadian couples, who “found themselves in a moral dilemma, torn between the physical desire that they felt for one another, their desire to limit the size of their families, and their desire to live in a proper Christian way”[8]. This moral dilemma often led to sour marriages, since the constant sexual conflict did not help the mental state of couples, especially with priests breathing down their necks. The amount of sexual repression that Catholic couples were subjected to before the 1960s quickly led the Catholic Church become associated with negativity in relation to their interference in marriages and sexuality. Couples essentially ended up having to make the choice of “God over love or love over God”[9], where the first choice resulted in eternal conflict within the marriage and the second choice resulted in confession of sins to receive absolution from the Priest, and his endless hounding in face of their constant sinning.
           The release of the oral contraceptive in the 1960s had a number of effects on Quebecois society. First, women now had the option of using this contraceptive to limit their family size without resorting to abstinence. Secondly, the Catholic Church rejected this new form of contraception, which placed them in the way of their followers’ ability to control their own sex lives. A great number of priests had hoped the Vatican Council of 1962 would accept the oral contraceptive, on the grounds that it would relieve them of their task of comforting countless women who wanted to limit their family size[10]. As aforementioned, previous to oral contraceptives, some methods did exist to control family size, including abstinence and the rhythm method. While practicing the rhythm method was did not always guarantee to prevent pregnancies, they did limit the number of pregnancies, and this had a modest effect on the birthrate. It was even recognized that among North American Catholics the “number of children per family among Catholics of the middle and comfortable classes is little more than half the average that obtained the families of their parents”[11]. This illustrates that while limiting family size and preventing pregnancies were not most effective previous to the oral contraceptive, the methods available were already a start in the right direction, when considering birth statistics.                                     
           According to Gervais and Gauvreau’s data, in Canada, from 1876 to 1886, the average number of children per married woman was 6.4, while 50 years later, from 1926-1931, it was 3.6[12]. In the span of 50 years, the average family size had already decreased by about half. Thus while older methods of contraception may not have been at their most effective, they still helped diminish the birthrate. Of course, since they were ineffective at preventing all unwanted pregnancies, many women still became pregnant, and in fact “the overall percentage of brides who were pregnant at marriage increased through the 1950s, reached a peak in the late 1960s, and only began to decrease among women married in the 1970s”[13]. Though birth control was available in Canada starting in the 1960s, the number of pregnant brides was still high, because not all women were educated enough to receive instructions about it, and the overall amount of sexual relations occurring in this decade rose dramatically, thanks to the pill itself.[14] Since women now believed sex to be safe, the incidences of women having intercourse increased, especially those who began having premarital sex. However, according to Cook, while women began having sex before and outside of marriage, some claimed not to have started using the pill until they were in a serious sexual relationship. [15] This meant that if they had intercourse with a man and were not in a relationship with them, they were more likely to get pregnant, because they were not in fact using the pill at that moment.
           The pill also brought the concept of contraception into the medical sphere, since women had to visit a physician to get them. Thus contraception became less of a problem for the priesthood and a practice instead regulated by the medical profession. It “allowed physicians relatively painlessly to supplant priests as the new, less intrusive social gatekeepers of sexuality and reproduction in Quebec”[16]. Before the pill, no medical methods had been available and physicians had basically been respondents, there to treat the woman in the occurrence of “a miscarriage, an abortion or a birth”[17]. Abortions were illegal, but many women resorted to them in the face of their ever expanding family size. These abortions were done illegally, with “disastrous consequences when performed with makeshift devices”[18], and doctors were called onto the scene to clean things up afterwards, though they could not “finish illegal abortions themselves”[19] they were “expected to do what they could to save a patient”[20]. Thus they did have some part of pregnant women’s lives, but it was mostly when the pregnancy was already over, or for actual medical emergencies during the pregnancy. This clearly changed when women procured the pill by prescription from physicians, though physicians weren’t there to discuss marital problems, family size or contraception. Instead, they were there to provide a treatment for “a means of controlling irregular menstrual cycles”[21], which was very different from the so called responsibility of priests towards marital issues of family limitation.
           When the Catholic Church decided that they would oppose contraception, it appeared to be on grounds of women belong to the domestic sphere. Since the oral contraceptive allowed for greater control over the number of children a couple would have, some Catholic clergy argued that it would “weaken women’s commitment to an ideal of domesticity founded upon maternity and this, in a larger sense, would erode one of the central pillars of Quebec’s laboriously constructed post-war synthesis of democracy and authority, that is, the close identification of married women with family roles.”[22] The idea that the women’s sphere was the home and the private, domestic life, had already been struggling in the advent of World War II, when many women went to work because of a shortage of men. Easier, readily available contraception could be coupled with this newfound independence and project women from the house into the workplace, since they were not subject to constant pregnancies, taking care of children and managing the household. The pill meant that women could finally have some measure of control over their lives and “take the more equal status that the assertion of the right to sexual pleasure and greater freedom from constant maternity conferred to argue for greater equality and independence in the wider public sphere”[23]. Not everyone was content with this jump women were about to make, including some physicians that were treating them during the release of the birth control. As one said “birth control had evolved from a moral issue involving husbands to a women’s decision exclusively and thus a source of concern for husbands”[24], making it clear that physicians, as men, may have been threatened by the idea of the pill.
            In Quebec, conservatives were trying to keep women in the home, in the domestic sphere and “frequently evoked the image of women attending to motherhood and household in the hope of creating a psychological placebo that would deflect married women away from seeking fulfillment through economic equality in work roles”[25]. They were attempting to convey the image that women belonged in the home, and should return there to take care of their family and children. There were others who were of a different opinion, who regarded women’s roles with the potential “of wife, mother, widow, and single person, which offered the possibility of a variety of activities and careers”[26]. The pill came at a time when the ideas of a purely women sphere were becoming eroded, and the chance for women to migrate into the men’s sphere, albeit difficult and subject to many obstacles, was starting to be possible and not at all uncommon. It was a positive development for women who wanted to be single or even married without the pressures of motherhood.
     It is clear that with the widespread availability of new methods of contraception, the character of Quebecois society was permanently changed and many of these changes can still be felt today. The influence of the Catholic Church waned, due in part to its loss of authority over sexual relations and its opposition to the new oral contraception. It was also an important stage for women on the road to independence and equality in a patriarchal culture.

Written by Samantha Orianne-Walker


Andrews, Gilly, ed. Women’s Sexual Health. Edinburgh: Elsevier Ltd, 2005
Beaujot, Roderic and Don Kerr. The Changing Face of Canada: Essential Readings in Population. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc, 2007.

Cook, Hera. The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex & Contraception 1800-1975. New York: Oxford University Press Inc, 2004.

Dickenson, John and Brian Young. A short history of Quebec. Quebec: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003.

Gauvreau, Michael.  The Catholic Origins of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution. Quebec: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.
Gervais, Diane and Danielle Gauvreau. “Women, Priests and Physicians: Family Limitation in Quebec, 1940-1970.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34-2 (2003): 293-314.

Szreter, Simon, Nye, Robert A. and Frans van Poppel. “Fertility and Contraception during the Demographic Transition: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34-2 (2003): 141-154.

Tentler, Leslie Woodcock. Catholics and Contraception. New York: Cornell University Press, 2004.

[1] Roderic Beaujot and Don Kerr, The Changing Face of Canada: Essential Readings in Population (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Inc, 2007), 63.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Gilly Andrews, ed, Women’s Sexual Health (Edinburgh: Elsevier Ltd, 2005), 133.
[4] Ibid.
[5] George Weigel, The Truth of Catholicism: Ten Controversies Explained (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 106.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Diane Gervais and Danielle Gauvreau, “Women, Priests and Physicians: Family Limitation in Quebec, 1940-1970.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34-2 (2003): 304.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid, 307.
[10]Ibid, 306.
[11] Leslie Woodcock Tentler, Catholics and Contraception (New York: Cornell University Press, 2004), 17.
[12] Diane Gervais and Danielle Gauvreau, “Women, Priests and Physicians: Family Limitation in Quebec, 1940-1970” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34-2 (2003): 295.
[13] Hera Cook, The Long Sexual Revolution: English Women, Sex, and Contraception (New York:Oxford University Press Inc, 2004), 329.
[14] Ibid, 333.
[15] Ibid, 334.
[16] Simon Szreter, Robert A. Nye and Frans van Poppel, “Fertility and Contraception during the Demographi Transition: Qualitative and Quantitative Approach”, Journal Interdisciplinary History 34-2 (2003): 152.
[17] Diane Gervais and Danielle Gauvreau, “Women, Priests and Physicians: Family Limitation in Quebec, 1940-1970” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34-2 (2003): 309.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid, 311.
[22] Micheal Gauvreau, The Catholic origins of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution (Quebec: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005), 204.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Diane Gervais and Danielle Gauvreau, “Women, Priests and Physicians: Family Limitation in Quebec, 1940-1970” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34-2 (2003): 312.
[25] Micheal Gauvreau, The Catholic origins of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution (Quebec: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005), 206.
[26] Ibid, 208.

Maria hit Newfoundland with a whimper

For all the hype, this particular Hurricane didn't have as much hot air as we were led to believe. This isn't a bad thing, the folks in Newfoundland got some rain and wind but no major wind storm or loss of power.  No one is complaining that Maria was a less intense!

Also I want to add a note to my previous entry, where I finish off by saying "religion". One friend asked if I didn't mean the Catholic religion. No I didn't mean just them. But saying religion is wrong too. My dad would have called me on it as well.   It's not religion, it's not even Christian religions.    I think those I want to blame are those particular denominations who felt that in order to save those "savage souls" they also had to destroy who these people were, their societies and their way of life.  Those denominations are in part the ones who are being banished but they probably aren't the only ones. 

I really have no use for organized religion and it probably comes out a great deal in my criticism. I'm part of a larger group of Quebecois who were born at the end of the quiet revolution and for whom religion and in particular the Catholic Church is like an enemy. The Catholic Church controlled so many aspects of the Quebecois life in the past that my generation grew up with a profound distrust of religious institutions.

For me this is despite the fact my mom taught in the Catholic School board, she had several friends who were priests and the fact my step-dad was a Catholic priest before marrying my mom.   My aunt also taught in Catholic school board for her entire career and had several friends that were nuns. I spent more time with clergy as a child then with children. [In generally I spent more time with adults then with children as a child]. 

As far as I can remember I've not had a bad experience with nuns or priests, I've never had fear of them and as it goes I've never met a nun that didn't like me! Including the Organic Chemistry teacher that would find me in the cafeteria after I'd skip her class, to tell me what we covered in class and that her door was always open if I needed help!!! 

To get back to my point - no one should be forced or pushed into a faith.  If a particular religion works for you and matches your morals and beliefs then great, a match made in heaven! However no one should be forced to change who they are to fit within the confines of a particular religion.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

As of September 18th

PUBLIC BANISHMENT ORDER: Issued against the Corporations known as the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, and United Church of Canada

This is a step towards healing in Native Communities. They have undoubtedly been hit the hardest by sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by the clergy of the said churches over at least a century. The reason I say this is because native children were put into residential schools run by the clergy. These poor children had nowhere to go during the entirety of their formative years.  I could go on about things clergy did which amount in some cases to genocide. 

This is a positive step and I hope that it will encourage healing of the various communities the hardest hit by "religion".

Syria - starting it's 7th month of demands for the fall of the Regime.

I have read that the number of 'martyrs' has risen to 3410 people. Those are people who died in the hands of Bashar Al-Assad's regime. They may have died shot in the streets, they may have died when the house they were in was shelled, they may have died in custody and been released later to family. 

In most if not all cases they died because they wanted FREEDOM. Here's a link to the local coordinating committee from a couple of days ago with a breakdown of where those deaths occurred and if they were men, women or children. It doesn't include the latest deaths - yesterday the count was 47.

Also one must bear in mind that the number of death's only includes CONFIRMED deaths. If your brother Ahmed has disappeared - he's just disappeared. Until they have a body he's not included in the deaths. The number of disappeared is over 3000 but this number has not been updated since early August. I am sure it's closer to 4000 at this point. There are still 10 000 confirmed in jails across Syria. And when there is no room in jails they use school, stadiums, anything large enough to herd people.

When will this insanity stop? When will Bashar and his thugs finally realize that they can never oppress the Syrian people again because they are no longer afraid. This Friday was dubbed "Friday of We will continue until the fall of the regime".

Friday, September 16, 2011

He's having a moment of clarity - mark the calendar.

For some reason I stumbled into a news bit about Charlie Sheen today and I was surprised. I guess either he's gotten some treatment for this drug addiction or he's in a downswing from bi-polar disorder but when last interviewed by Jay Leno, he agreed he would have fired his ass as well! 

It could also be that he's just seen  what's left of his bank account after months of excesses and publicity stunts and wishes he had his job back!!!

Now will there come a day where Gadafi has a moment of clarity and admit he really screwed up?  That I seriously doubt.

Same with Bashar Al-Assad. I doubt he'll  ever admit he really screwed up by unleashing his thugs on the people of Syria. Today the death toll has risen fast, 46 and counting. Why? Because Russia is still selling arms to Syria and the UN's sanctions aren't enough. 

Going downtown? Take the Train!

I've been learning this summer to use the commuter train.  From where I live in "zone 2" on the Two Mountain's line it costs $4.75 for a single use ticket.  I should buy 6 tickets from now on for $19 but I digress.  So to go downtown it costs me $9.50.  I can park my truck at the Roxboro-Pierrefonds train station which is always empty on nights and week-ends. It's during rush hour that it's packed. 

Driving my gas guzzler downtown probably burns $5 of gas each way, plus parking. It's rare to find free parking. If there are parking meters it's like $4 for 2 hours or something like that.  I know some parking lots charge $5 per 15 minutes up to $15 for a day.  So ultimately the cost of the train is cheaper even with the single use ticket then it takes to use my truck. 

Of course if we were 5 people travelling it would appear cheaper to use your own vehicle, but alone it pays itself to use the train instead of driving. I suppose for a shopping trip where you're buying big items it wouldn't work so well either.

Despite the fact I've been a hermit this summer, I've actually used the train more often this year then I ever have. I would check the train schedule before leaving for train times and have never missed my train back.  The other advantage is usually after spending a day downtown I'm too tired, hence also too distracted to drive.  The train takes about 25 minutes - about the time if would take to drive it were there no other cars, construction and closed roads, which only happens at 4am on the 2nd Friday of a month with two full moons! Once I get off the train, I'm a 5 minute car ride from home, which I can drive in my sleep!

Maria about to Hit NewFoundLand

In a couple of hours hurricane Maria will land in Newfoundland. Let's hope for everyone in that province that it doesn't hit as hard as Igor hit last year. The Canadian Military had to be called in to help rebuild bridges and roads that didn't survive.

 Since Hurricanes do come this way from time to time, the people know how to prepare so there should not be many if any deaths, but there will be some destruction.

I can't help but wonder if Maria's the reason it was 7C this morning outside. This isn't September weather!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sixth Month Anniversary of the Syrian Uprising against the Regime.

Syrian protesters are urging for mass demonstrations today to emphasize that it is the 6th month anniversary of the uprisings. The first demonstrations were March 15, 2011.  The news media in Syria are still trying to convince the world of it's lies. The best of all it's fabrications is this video - which the protesters have named "Addounia TV hitting the crack pipe"

On another note I would like to thank Canadian Ambassador to Syria, his excellency Mr. Glenn V. Davidson, for attending the funeral of activist martyr Gayath Matar earlier this week.  He was among a larger diplomatic group of ambassadors there for the funeral, along with the American, French, British, Japanese and a few others.  Sadly as long as their delegation was at the funeral things were orderly. The minute they left, the tear gas and bullets came flying out.

I keep praying each day in hopes that the Syrian Regime collapses. I've also been burning candles every other day in memory of those who have fallen, who's numbers keep rising.  The saddest thing I've heard is that in some Syrian intelligence report, it is suggested that no more then 20 civilians get killed a day so to not anger the rest of the world too much.  So 20 Syrians a day is no big deal. But it does amount to 7500 after a year. But I guess to Bashar, they are just "germs" to use his words from one of  his speeches.

===> Close up & personal with Spock the cat <===

Did you say there was going to be fish?

Can you see the eyes? The tail?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Amusing anecdote

Last week my gf had shared on Facebook this image of Bob Marley and a printer. I thought it was hilarious and shared it too.

She then decided that it would be nice to put it up on our old clunky printer. It's not that it jams that often but the quality of it's print isn't all there anymore, and most of the locals aren't very fond of it.   If nothing else the sign spread smiles around. 

Well apparently today the IT guy who is in charge of the printers noticed the sign and serviced the printer changing 2 of the rollers. That had several of the people in the department giggling. We put up this sign and the IT guy services the printer?!?

Catholic church sex abuse victims want ICC prosecutions

Article on Al Jazeera says that victims want the pope and 3 others prosecuted for crimes against humanity. I hope they do take it to court. The sexual crimes of the Catholic church have been going on for too long and it's about time that they be held accountable.

They changed the Hydro/Bell pole

My neighbour's been talking about it for more then a year. He noticed while cleaning his yard that the Hydro pole looked like it was rotting, and before it fell on anyone he called to advise them. After assessing the situation they called him back to tell him that the pole itself belongs to Bell so had to take care of it. Either way both companies dragged their feet in their coordination. 

I had noticed a message on my answering machine telling me that Hydro Quebec was going to do scheduled work either Tuesday or Wednesday morning. I had figured it would be Tuesday so I had breakfast made before getting up. Of course things never work out exactly that way. Turned out it was this morning they were ready to work. They turned off the electricity around 7:30. Since it was on when I first got up probably 15 minutes earlier, I assumed it was going to be like yesterday and  moved on.

Nah there was no electricity between 7:30am and about 1:30pm. There was half a dozen large trucks and probably more then a dozen guys circulating. The work isn't completely finished either. I think Bell still has to move their stuff, but the new pole has been put in and all the electricity is on it. 

Omelette with Kashkaval cheese and black sesame seeds.
The advantage of having a BBQ with a side burner is that you can make tea when you have no electricity. I made myself tea around 8ish and had a cold breakfast. By 12:30 I was starved so ended up making a really awesome cheese omelette on that BBQ burner. It was not in the least bit burned either.

I often amaze myself. Despite being terrified of propane and/or gas I still manage to cook on both without burning anything. The funny part - and maybe because I'm afraid I'm more attentive is - that I cook better most of the time on gas!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Winners - sometimes worth the trip

I wandered into Winners today to look at the purses as mine is about to fall apart. One of the straps is holding by a thread, I figured I'd upgrade before it fell apart on me. 

While waiting in line to pay, in their redesigned lure all clients into a long line and put junk all along that long line to get them to spend more, I realized they were selling boxes of Larabars for $15. Yes. Sixteen Larabars for $15. This is better then Costco that sells you 12 for $13. 

The best part is they had numerous boxes of banana, which tastes just like banana bread. I've been whining that I haven't been able to find Banana ones in a month at health food stores and somehow Winners is liquidating them?  I bought 4 boxes, two banana, 1 peanut butter and jelly and 1 tropical fruit. At that price it's a steal. Individual larabars sell as much as $2.15 at Tau and $1.79 at Healthtree, but neither have a very good selection.

Other then that  I was puzzled today. I ended up shopping a bit at Cote-Vertu Mall - which was decrepit and pitiful last time I was there, but got a face lift and is much better now. I was exploring and usually when I go shopping alone, other then clerks trying to sell, no one ever talks to me. Today I'm not sure why, but I had several patrons asking me if the colours matched, if the outfit looked nice etc. 

Something else amusing me, I went to Future shop yesterday to pick up a hard disk they had on sale, but  they were all out at the Pointe-Claire branch. The girl seeing my utter disappointment, looked up if the two nearest store had any in stock. The Cote-Vertu one did, so hence my trip towards Cote-Vertu. I buy the 2TB drive for $99.

It's supposed to be WDBAAY0020HNC-NRSN, which is what the box says. If you open it, the hard disk itself says WD20EARX - which is the one I wanted to buy originally but could not be shipped/sold in Quebec because there is no French.   The amusing part is I wanted to look up WDBAAY0020HNC-NRSN on the Western Digital site but could not find the model what so ever.  Now I understand. This the product code for the WD20EARX to be sold in Quebec with a bilingual box. :) 

Either way I now have a  Western Digital 2TB SATA drive for my main machine and I also splurged and got a 2.5 TB external USB drive also for $99.   This way I will be able to lug lots of content and also keep backups