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Allan's Perspective

Verily, I say!

Posted October 10, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Folks, your sometimes naive reporter just had a revelation of sorts. OF COURSE the bible thumpers believe the world was created 6000 years ago ………….., and evolution is a myth. After all, they also believe that Jesus spoke in 16th century English! (Verily) ———————————————- Workers at a New Jersey treatment plant say they saw a […]

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General

Boiling Over

Posted November 26, 2014 by The Pedgehog

This week so far has been like a strange dream that I have floated through. The decision out of Ferguson did not surprise me but it stunned me, and ever since I have been detached and numb. It can’t help that I had my IUD removed (more on that in anoth…

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General

What You Need To Know About Facials Vs. Peels

Posted November 20, 2014 by Sonya

I’ve been to spas before and have spent anywhere from $80 to $250 on a facial. Some were straight forward maintenance type of facials—you know, with extractions and that steaming machine that opens up your pores? To the extreme, I’ve […]

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Calgary

March Break Guide To Calgary & Edmonton

Posted March 5, 2015 by Anonymous

Both Calgary and Edmonton offer a wide-array of family activities throughout the March Break to keep children of all ages busy and happy. Here are some things to do during the break. Calgary Disney On Ice: Princesses & Heroes Disney […]

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Allan's Perspective

Censorship: Oh, for shame!

Posted December 29, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Let’s get things back into Perspective here! As you may, or may not know, BlogsCanada.ca   has been engaged in an ongoing battle with Google over the issue of censorship. My views on political correctness, the government, cops, Indians, feminists, the far left, the far right, Muslims, Christian fundamentalists, the judicial system, and […]

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General

Family Day Weekend Arts & Culture Events In Toronto

Posted February 11, 2015 by Sonya

We’re excited for the upcoming Family Day Weekend in the city and there’s no shortage of things to do. While we know that that there are plenty of skating rinks and ski hills to enjoy but if you’ve got kids […]

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Entertainment

When 900 Guitarists Come Together All At Once

Posted April 24, 2015 by Sonya

When I had heard that Mirvish Productions made a call out for hundreds of guitarists to gather in the city to connect and play the song ‘Falling Slowly’ from the musical Once, I knew it was going to be epic. […]

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Canada

5 Things You Need to Know About Card Fraud

Posted March 16, 2015 by Sonya

We’re becoming more and more of a cashless society. The convenience of credit and debit cards even has me often walking around with no more than $20 in my wallet. There are pros and cons and we are all well-aware […]

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Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion #27,680

Posted March 21, 2015 by Allan W Janssen

Well folks, are ya confused enough yet? Then read on with these files from the Naked News Department: ————————————— Authorities in Minnesota say three would-be robbers picked the wrong time to pocket-dial 911. Blue Earth Sheriff’s Capt. Rich Murry says a dispatcher took the call early Thursday morning and heard two voices on the other […]

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General

What To See At The Interior Design Show #IDS15

Posted January 16, 2015 by Sonya

Spring is just around the corner, I promise! But while we wait, you’ll can check out the Interior Design Show, January 22-25, 2015 at the Metro Convention Centre. Under one massive roof you’ll discover the latest in home design trends, […]

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Canada

Shoe Addicts Say Hello To Tanya Heath

Posted October 17, 2014 by Sonya

I am a collector of shoes… yes, that’s what I’m calling myself. A collector. Addict is probably more like it but I prefer collector. I know many of you are as well. I mean, come on, shoes are a necessity. […]

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Allan's Perspective

Ontario Place!

Posted April 24, 2015 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Hey kids, I ran across this article today and since Ontario Place opened when I was still quite young, (teens) and these photo’s and video’s brought back a whole bunch of memories! Any kid who spent time in Toronto during the 1970s, 80s and 90s surely fostered blissful, orange-soaked memories at Children’s Village […]

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Entertainment

The ROM’s Wildlife Photography Exhibit Is A Must-See

Posted November 26, 2014 by Sonya

The world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition (WPY) opens at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto this weekend, featuring 100 breathtaking images on tour from the Natural History Museum in London. Making its Canadian debut, the exhibition includes […]

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Allan's Perspective

Asshole of the Week!

Posted October 30, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Despite being NDP, I had a certain amount of respect and admiration for Thomas Mulcair……., until yesterday! Even though i don’t agree with his far left leanings, (i.e. NDP) he impressed me as a politician and a leader of a political party. And then he had to go and destroy it!!!!! Mulcair came […]

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Allan's Perspective

Maybe women are smarter!

Posted December 14, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Much as it pains me to admit this ……………..,  I might owe the ladies an apology! As you well know, your favourite reporter has ranted and raved for years about how women’s libbers, and feminists, have portrayed men as idiots. It even got to the point where a lot of  TV ads show […]

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General

Fun Stuff For Families At The Canadian International AutoShow

Posted February 13, 2015 by Sonya

This weekend, the Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) is in Toronto. And while it might not seem like your first pick for a family outing, it’s actually a great place to spend some time with the kids. The spectacular show runs from February […]

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Allan's Perspective

Tit for Tat!

Posted September 23, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Well folks, maybe I should have saved this article for the Saturday Morning Confusion posts, since I really am quite confused about whether I should make this girl our “Winner of the Day,” or maybe our “Loser of the Day,” or maybe even our “Asshole of the Day!” You see, Jasmine Tridevil found a doctor […]

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Canada

Shreddies’ “Search For Goodness” Highlights Canada’s Best

Posted May 1, 2015 by Anonymous

One of the things we cherish about being Canadian is our reputation for being polite. It’s great to raise our families in a country known the world over for having good manners (and it’s super handy to be able to […]

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Entertainment

BOOM! A Generation of Influence

Posted January 27, 2015 by Sonya

Why should we take a look at the past? Well, it helps us understand where we are today. Most of us weren’t even born in the “baby boomer” generation but we certainly are aware of it, hopefully? For me, it’s […]

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Allan's Perspective

Sunday Morning Funnies #2213

Posted November 23, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

The Male Cycle: When I was 13, I hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend with big tits. When I was 16, I got a girlfriend with big tits, but there was no passion, so I decided I needed a passionate girl with zest for life. In college I dated a passionate girl, […]

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General

Faith In Humanity—Restored

Posted February 5, 2015 by Kath

How often do you browse through social media accounts, only to toss your phone aside in disgust, your faith in humanity hitting rock bottom? I know it happens to me several times daily: news of atrocities committed in the name […]

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General

Tested: RealFoodToronto.com Delivers Real Food, Fast

Posted January 8, 2015 by Sonya

There’s a real food movement that’s taken hold and I’m okay with it.  What does that mean? Well, we all lead busy lives and we’re constantly searching for ways to feed our families the best we can. We’re hearing much […]

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Canada

5 Beautiful Ways To Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted October 9, 2014 by Sonya

Many of us have been affected by Breast Cancer in some way. Whether it’s a family member, friend or even ourselves, we are aware and have been touched by this illness. October is a month where we raise awareness and […]

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Allan's Perspective

A pregnant pause!

Posted December 23, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Boy, oh boy………….! Folks the only real cool class trip I went on was a day trip to Niagara Falls. It sure wasn’t like THIS one! Parents are blaming the teachers;  or at least one health official is blaming the parents. But no matter how many fingers are pointed, it doesn’t change the fact that […]

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Entertainment

Heart Of Robin Hood Is Action-Packed Fun!

Posted January 19, 2015 by Sonya

Everything about the classic tale of  Robin Hood is turned upside-down in the new exhilirating theatre production, Heart of Robin Hood, now on stage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre (Toronto) until March 1st. Yes, Robin Hood (Gabriel Ebert) and his […]

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Allan's Perspective

Black-ish is the new black

Posted September 24, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Well, well, boys and girls, time to get serious for a change. North American blacks are leading a truly schizophrenic existence, and I don’t think it’s doing them any good! The reason I mention this is because there is a new TV show premiering tonight called “Black-ish” and it throws a light on some very […]

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Edmonton

No Museums “I Was A Worker & Now I’m Old”

Posted September 23, 2014 by Anonymous

September 23. Edmonton’s No Museums have just released “I Was A Worker And Now I’m Old”. This seven song album was recorded over the summer and is now freely available on Bandcamp The album features songs about museums, ships, snow, distance, engines, drivers, mountains, trains, water, parks, and workers. Some say that No Museums sound
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Entertainment

Ariana Grande’s Energy On Stage IS Explosive!

Posted March 13, 2015 by Sonya

I’m a fan of any live stage performance so when I had heard that pop and television sensation Ariana Grande was planning a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre, my ears perked up. To fill the ACC is […]

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Allan's Perspective

Let’s get things into perspective here! # 6634

Posted November 26, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

I think it’s  time for me to put my two cents worth in again, and damn the opposition! OR! As our motto says: “Let’s get things back into perspective here!” First we take you to Ferguson, where things are hopping, and guns are popping’! As any regular reader of this blog knows, your humble reporter […]

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General

Quebec Moves Forward With Plan To Ban IVF For Women Over 42

Posted December 9, 2014 by Anonymous

A new Quebec bill is causing quite the stir with it’s plan to ban in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for women over 42. According to CTV, if Bill 20 passes, it would make it illegal for women over 42 to undergo IVF even […]

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General

How To Make The Most Of A Luxurious Staycation

Posted January 1, 2015 by Sonya

For years we’ve struggled with the idea of travelling over the holiday season. We’ve had great experiences travelling to tropical paradises, ski getaways and everything in between during this time of year. It was always great to escape with the […]

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Allan's Perspective

Ontario

Posted March 9, 2015 by Allan W Janssen

Here’s another one from Wayne! An Israeli doctor says: “In Israel, medicine is so advanced that we cut off a man’s testicles, put them on another man, and in 6 weeks, he is looking for work.” The German doctor says: “That’s nothing, in Germany we take part of a brain, put it in another man, […]

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Allan's Perspective

Guilty?

Posted December 15, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Yes, your faithful reporter knows all about Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby, and I know that sexual assault is not to be treated lightly, and I realize that women need to be treated equally in modern day society! I know all this, and I am also aware that I have to make a […]

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Entertainment

Coping In “The Waiting Room” With Diane Flacks

Posted January 19, 2015 by Sonya

There’s a new theatre production that has caught my attention as a parent and theatre lover. WAITING ROOM by Diane Flacks (in collaboration with director Richard Greenblatt) is making its World Premiere at the Tarragon Theatre  in Toronto (January 14 […]

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Allan's Perspective

B.C. teacher suspended for prank!

Posted September 25, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

We have a brand new “Asshole of the Day” for ya, folks. A Langley, B.C., teacher has been suspended over a homophobic prank he played on a Grade 11 student in class last year. Daniel Mark Ogloff is a metal fabrication and machining teacher at Aldergrove Community Secondary School. On Sept. 24, 2013, Ogloff wrote […]

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Books

Book Review: The Girl On The Train By Paula Hawkins

Posted March 13, 2015 by Anonymous

I watch people with the same kind of fascinated horror that I view a car wreck. I don’t intend to stare, but I just can’t seem to tear my eyes away from the catastrophe that is in front of me. […]

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General

Fuck. This.

Posted January 25, 2014 by The Pedgehog

So I just read the This Magazine cover story “No Choice: Why the pro-choice movement won’t let women grieve after abortion” and…well. I have thoughts.

First of all, in the interests of full disclosure, I was interviewed by the author, Rebecca Melnyk, at the start of her research for this article or what I imagine would become this article. Never have I been happier to avoid being quoted; I can’t imagine being associated with this mess. When Melnyk reached out to me she identified herself first and foremost as strongly pro-choice. She probably still does. I’m sure she didn’t choose the title of the article. But holy hell, what is going on here?

It seems to me that the premise is that both “sides” of the abortion “debate” only offer post-abortive people counselling in a politicized environment with some kind of agenda, and that the pro-choice side is routinely dismissive of the range of feelings someone might have after having an abortion. At no point does Melnyk quote a pro-choicer who backs up this assertion; on the contrary, every pro-choice person she mentions points out that folks feel any of a variety of different emotions after abortion and that they should have access to counselling:

That same month, on a warm afternoon in Toronto Miriam McDonald, an editor at the Marxist newspaper Spartacist Canada, struts up and down a hallway at the Ontario Institute of Secondary Education at an International Women’s day rally. “Abortion is just a medical procedure like getting a wart off, except it’s all politicized,” she says. “A woman’s capacity to control her fertility opens the doors to full equality. That’s why it’s … stigmatized.” Another woman standing next to her in a baseball cap, handing out newspapers, says post-abortive women need counselling, not to overcome negative feelings related to abortion, but rather, to cope with society’s stigma and culture of shame.

And:

Some women may need counselling services before or after they have an abortion, says Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). She does not believe, however, that PAS is real. “It’s like the anti-choice movement works in its own bubble,” she says, “making up it’s own science and ignoring mainstream evidence and consensus.” The result, she adds, is confusion—public misinformation that scares women considering abortion. In Arthur’s mind, the act of abortion continues to be blamed for the source of trauma when, in reality, the unwanted pregnancy is often what’s truly traumatic. It’s not to say women don’t experience negative effects, she adds, just that it’s more complex than the anti-abortion activists portray.

And:

Over in Vancouver, Everywoman’s Health Centre is an abortion clinic that provides free, non-judgmental counselling services and resources like the book, Peace After Abortion. Erin Mullan, who’s been a counsellor for over 20 years, works there. “When it comes to abortion, nothing is in the range of normal,” she says. “A woman’s culture, her religion or history, could all inform how she’ll feel.” For the small number of women she refers out to other counsellors who offer long-term support, abortion is not the main cause of negative feelings, but rather, “it opens a door of pain.” That door can reveal bad relationships, abuse, or mental depression. Mullan points out that coercion—if a woman’s been forced to have an abortion—accounts for one third of the problems she treats. “It can sit unfinished, inside of her for years,” she says, “if she wasn’t given the space to make choices.” At this clinic, the acknowledgment that abortion can be intimately connected to negative feelings serves no greater purpose than a woman’s well-being.

And then Melnyk goes on to describe how many other abortion clinics across the country offer both pre- and post-abortion counselling, usually for free, along with referrals for follow-up counselling with specialists. At no point in the article is there any indication that pro-choicers “won’t let women grieve after abortion”.

My feeling is that the thrust of the article, the point that Melnyk is trying to make is that the options for counselling after an abortion are either shaming, Christian, anti-abortion drivel or militant pro-choice propaganda, that there is no option for folks just looking for non-judgemental counselling. Which is a load of bullshit not even borne out by her research. Yes there is a lack of accessible post-abortion therapy because there is a lack of accessible any therapy – ask any low income person with a mental health issue how easy it is to get in to see a counsellor. But the idea of a lack of non-judgemental post-abortion counselling is especially heinous when the article itself talks about the many clinics that offer it. “Pro-choice” IS “non-judgemental” – no abortion clinic counsellor worth their salt is going to judge you for feeling guilt or regret after your abortion. That’s what counselling is about. That’s why it makes a difference that the counsellors in abortion clinics are trained specifically in non-judgemental pre- and post-abortive counselling and the people in “crisis pregnancy centres” are just random volunteers trained only in making people feel like shit – like they have something to “repent” for – because they had an abortion.

There is a disturbing amount of false equivalence being thrown around in this article.

It just really pisses me off because pro-choice organizations in this country – including abortion clinics, sexual health centres, and organizations like ARCC, NAF, Canadians for Choice, and CFSH, among others – deliberately provide listings of non-judgemental counselling options on request, and often go to great lengths to ensure that people find the care they need regardless of pregnancy outcome. All of these organizations are explicit about not favouring any pregnancy outcome over others, and the number one concern is getting folks the care they want and need in the safest and most accessible way possible.

There is no neutral on abortion, really there isn’t. Not the way it’s framed right now. Either you believe it shouldn’t be allowed, or you believe it should. There is no magical third party who are the only people who can provide non-judgemental counselling. If you believe people have the right to choose how to handle an unwanted pregnancy – if you are pro-choice – then that belief extends to how people feel after their abortion. Anyone providing actual non-judgemental counselling is pro-choice by definition.

I think Melnyk knows this, but I don’t know how to explain this mess of an article. I think she is (rightfully) concerned for folks – like her – who have had abortions and haven’t received the support that they need. And that is legitimate. But the solution there has to be more support and funding for pro-choice, sex-positive, woman-positive counselling services; fighting against abortion stigma; advocating for reproductive and sexual health services in underserved areas – not bizarre magazine articles attacking the pro-choice movement for imagined slights, for not “letting” women grieve. Women can do what they damn well please – isn’t that the whole point?

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ETA: A great take-down of the article at DAMMIT JANET! by fern hill.

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Allan's Perspective

Saturday Morning Confusion About Trees!

Posted November 22, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

“I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree!” That’s a poem by Joyce Kilmer, but this is actually a story about Christine Montgomery and Andy Beaton! The ballad of Chris and Andy! You see, Chris is an amateur Poet who put a small box on the tree in front […]

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Art

Mavor’s Bones: A Gothic Novel-In-Poems by Rolli

Posted October 12, 2014 by Jenn Ashton

“Company’s come. In a ramshackle mansion, meet a family in the same condition—ancient, decayed. There’s the brooding Duke, and his riotous brother. There’s Grandam, lost in wilds of herself. There’s a vicar, a philosopher, an angel, a ghost or two. And somewhere above them all, in a ruined garret…” (from rollistuff.com). IN the five years that I
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Entertainment

Fun Things To Do Over The Holidays As A Family

Posted December 31, 2014 by Sonya

The kids are off of school for a couple of weeks. I came to the realization yesterday that, oh yeah, they’re home with me! My daily routine of sitting at the computer with a bottomless cappuccino is not their idea […]

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