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this can't end well

the members of the european union have opened talks to allow turkey to join its ranks. austria, the lone remaining opposition to the proposed talks, gave way under pretty intense pressure, particularly from the uk, to drop its objections. in reality, austria's objections (chief among them a feared increase in immigration) were pretty specious, but that doesn't mean that someone with a level head shouldn't be trying to dissuade eu members from welcoming turkey into the fold.

the government of turkey is a brutal dictatorship with an appalling human rights record, particularly with regards to its native kurdish population. although the current government has made statements to the effect that it will not tolerate the widespread torture and brutality of previous regimes, all indicators are that these practices are still common.

as recently as last week, the turkish government was threatening to shut down a group that defended gay rights, on the grounds that the existence of the group violates the principles of turkish morality.

one thing that has surely won support from the british (good american lapdogs that they are) is the government's vicious crackdown on the pkk, a kurdish separatist or terrorist group, depending on who you ask. both the americans and the british have praised turkey for its hardline stance in dealing with the pkk.

note that this is the same ethnic group who were touted as an oppressed minority in iraq under saddam hussein. cross the border into turkey and the same people become the enemy.

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

eat the pain away?

nearly twenty years ago, an emergency room doctor took a look at the crushing muscle tension i was experiencing [they were clenched enough that a doctor at my regular clinic couldn't get a reflex reaction on my left side and thought i might be having a stroke] and told me she believed that i had fibromyalgia. a couple of weeks later, i went to see a family doctor that a coworker had recommended to me. when i told him what the other doctor had said, he snapped that i was being ridiculous, because, if i'd had fibromyalgia, "i wouldn't be able to move". after i moved to toronto, i got a new family doctor and told her what the other doctors had said. she said that she couldn't be sure, but it was better just to deal with any symptoms i had one at a time. then i came back to montreal and got a new family doctor, who didn't really buy into the whole idea of fibromyalgia and said there was no way to do any definitive test anyway. that doctor passed away, and my …

long suffering

i've been meaning to write this post for a while, but, every time i get started, something happens that makes me rethink portions of it, to add or subtract or consider a different way of looking at things. the post was originally going to be my take on a #metoo statement, but i ended up making that post on my personal facebook page. [it's not that i don't love you all, but there are a few things i'm not comfortable putting in the entirely public sphere.] but beyond joining the #metoo juggernaut, i wanted to write something about the wave of sexual assault revelations that continues to swell over the north american media landscape that wasn't about me. then i realised that that was a little more complicated than just writing "so, lotta sex rapes happenin' these days, ain't there?" or whatever it was that i was going to say.

so i tried writing something about just a part of it: the media coverage or the entertainment industry or the politicians or …