1. HERE COME THE OLYMPICS As I’m typing this, the opening ceremonies are about to start in Sochi. As you’re reading this they’re probably over. The important thing, though, is that Russia arrested some activists in St. Petersburg for protesting Russia’s homophobic, bigoted and ignorant gay propaganda laws. The Gay Star News calls it “Russia’s first gay arrests”. I’m having a really hard time taking these Olympics seriously. On a related note, Google did a really good thing. UPDATE I’m listening to the opening ceremonies… CBC’s announcers are really bad.
2. FOUR MORE REASONS STEPHEN HARPER AND THE CONSERVATIVES SUCK They’re using Revenue Canada to harass political enemies. The Conservatives, who get in trouble with election rules a lot, are attacking the Chief Electoral Officer. They’re also planning to raise the limit on how much people can donate to political parties, which gives wealthy people more ability to help their friends. Oh, and Stephen Harper plays in a band with someone who was charged with sexual assault.
3. A CONSERVATIVE POLITICIAN APPARENTLY CLINGS TO BIGOTED IDEAS? NO!!!! Rob Ford said this to reporters about World Pride day:
“I’m not going to go to the Pride parade. I’ve never gone to a Pride parade. So I’m not going to change the way I am.”
So, does this mean he’s a homophobe who refuses to change? Or does he just hate a good party? What’s his problem? And why do I feel bad for him instead of writing him off as a lying, self-centred bigot prone to tossing blame around for political advantage? Well, Doug Ford says he and his brothers aren’t homophobes: they just don’t like “middle-aged men with pot bellies running down the street buck naked.” Well, I dunno about the naked part but I can think of some big-bellied middle-aged men I’m not a fan of, either.
4. U.S. EMBARRASSED BY LEAKED TAPE OF DIPLOMAT SAYING “FUCK THE EU” An American diplomat speaking about the crisis in the Ukraine was secretly recorded (probably by Russia) saying “fuck the EU”. Tee hee! Anyway, Germany is maaaaad.
5. WINNIPEG’S MILLIONAIRE MAYOR IS SUING A WINNIPEG STUDENT NEWSPAPER Wacky. Don’t see how Katz can win this fight — the rule is punch up, not down.
6. A JAPANESE POLITICIAN RUNNING FOR OFFICE ONCE SAID MENSTRUATION MAKES WOMEN UNFIT FOR GOVERNMENT The quote, from 1989: “Women are not normal when they are having a period … You can’t possibly let them make critical decisions about the country [during their period] such as whether or not to go to war.” Yikes. I don’t understand why politicians like this aren’t pelted with rotten fruit everywhere they go. I suppose a sex boycott will have to do.
GWYNNE DYER! TONIGHT! GO! Tonight’s topic is “The Triumph Of Non-Violence”, presumably about the Arab Spring and what’s going on in Thailand. The lecture’s at 7:30 in the U of R’s Education Auditorium. Don’t have a clip of that but here’s Gwynne talking about climate change. See you tonight!