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stop me if you've heard this one before...

i'm beginning to think that the liberal party of canada is taking competitiveness to a new extreme. just when they finally had their chief opponents caught in a bit of a scandal, they manage to do one better. the conservatives dumped a candidate who's up on smuggling charges earlier this week, but now the liberals have dumped a candidate of their own, because he tried to interfere in the election by offering his new democratic opponent a job if he would quit the race and support the liberals. it's like they were afraid that the tories had taken the spotlight off them with their scandal and felt compelled to regain their title as the campaign's leading arse-heads.

sometimes, when a party is down, it seems like they really can't do anything to get back up. everything they try just makes it worse. the conservative party in 1993 was like that, culminating in their boneheaded attempt to convince canadians that, regardless of policies, they shouldn't vote for the liberals because their leader's face was partially paralysed (how i wish i was making that up). now you have the liberals, whose chief reason for wanting to ban handguns is probably because it might stop them from shooting themselves in the foot. every day, something seems to surface that makes you wonder exactly how they've managed to run the government at a surplus. next thing you know, you'll be hearing about them running pointless, negative ads with highly dubious information... oh, wait... they did.

how in the world did they think that wouldn't come back to haunt them?

this all strikes me as more funny than sad, only because i still believe that neither one of them is going to be handed absolute power by the electorate (i.e., a majority government). so at least when one of them is given the driver's seat, someone else is going to be holding the map.

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dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


i've had a lot of work to do, which is nice because i'm a freelancer and things tend to slow down in the summer, so the more work i get now, the less i have to worry about later [in theory].i started watching the handmaid's tale. i was a little hesitant because i didn't actually like the novel very much; i found it heavy-handed and predictable. the series relies on the novel for about 80% of its first season plot but i nevertheless find it spellbinding. where i felt that the novel beat readers with its politics, the series does a better job of connecting with the humanity in the midst of politics. i'm dithering on starting season two because i am a serial binger and once i know damn well that starting the second season will soon consign me to the horrors of having to wait a week between episodes. i don't know if i can han…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

mental health mondays :: separate and not equal

given the ubiquitousness of racial disparities in the united states, there's no reason why we should be surprised that they exist in mental health care. unlike a lot of other areas, the people in power have acknowledged the problem for decades. but the situation isn't getting any better. 
the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…