Case in point: The Ford government has cut or frozen funding to rape crisis centres, the Child Advocate's Office, the College of Midwives, and the free childcare spaces for toddlers that the Liberals promised. It cancelled minimum wage increases, the basic income pilot project, and has proposed cancelling rent control. All of these cuts—and the many more that are no doubt to come—attack the threadbare structures that support low-income women. It is, in fact, a war against women* and in particular makes the lives of poor women attempting to escape domestic abuse even more of a living hell than it already is.
Caroline Mulroney, as Attorney General, has the power to stand up to Ford. She could even vote against him! Imagine that. She could compel the so-called adults in the room to act in response to a premier who is out of control, who governs by tweet, who appoints his cronies to plush positions at the expense of citizens of this province. She could come to the aid of the very women his policies are laser-guided to attack.
Instead, she sends little cosmetics boxes to women in shelters and pats herself on the back for being a do-gooder.
It is less insulting to do nothing at all then to pretend that these tiny, pathetic acts of charity do anything but make Caroline Mulroney feel better about herself, even as she no doubt looks in the mirror every morning and hears, in the back of her tiny, tiny brain, her smothered conscience croaking out the truth of her mendacity. She and her government are condemning women to misery and death, she is not only complicit but an active participant in doing so, and no amount of lipstick will disguise the blood on her hands.
Related: A proposal to ban the children of politicians from entering politics themselves. Sure, we lose Mike Layton, but we save ourselves the formation of a new inbred, spineless monarchy.
* It's a war against everyone but the rich, but women are hit particularly hard.
Hardest to Believe (2912 words) by Isagel
Fandom: Star Trek: Discovery
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Hugh Culber/Paul Stamets
Characters: Hugh Culber, Paul Stamets
Additional Tags: Post-Episode: s02e05 Saints of Imperfection, Space Husbands, space boos, Love, Established Relationship, Reunion Sex, Recovery, Touching, Touch-Starved
After his return, Hugh has a hard time trusting his senses. Paul helps him rediscover what is real.
"There is no proven clinical benefit of infusion of plasma from young donors to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent these conditions, and there are risks associated with the use of any plasma product," the FDA said in a statement from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Peter Marks, head of the agency's biologics center.
The idea of infusing young blood to fight aging has attracted technology entrepreneurs like billionaire Peter Thiel. [...]
"We're concerned that some patients are being preyed upon by unscrupulous actors touting treatments of plasma from young donors as cures and remedies," Gottlieb and Marks said. "Such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them, and are potentially harmful."
If I did Belize again I'd probably stick in one centre; either San Ignacio or Belmopan, and do day trips. I'd probably use the local buses more to keep down costs. The buses are a bittricky as, unsurprisingly, they are set up to serve the locals rather than tourists but Belmopan seems like a reasonable "hub" for most of the country. It is, after all, the capital.
The only other more or less adventurous destinations I've been to are Peru and Thailand. I think I'd go back to either before I went to Belize again. Both have more to offer in the way of attractions and are much cheaper, despite it being a more expensive flight.
Anyway, they apparently are now stranded in Ottawa because the organizer took off with the gas money.
You can't make this shit up.
Dear Home Secretary,
Apparently you have decided that the British citizenship of a young woman born in Bethnal Green -- and that of her week-old child -- can be revoked because the fact that her parents are of Bangladeshi heritage means she could theoretically apply for citizenship in Bangladesh, a country she has never been to.
Whether one regards Shamima Begum as a groomed child, a criminal, or both, it is profoundly abhorrent to adopt a policy wherein people with immigrant parents have a literal second-class citizenship, which can be revoked where that of others can't.
I have enough Jewish ancestry that I could apply to emigrate to Israel, if I had any desire to do so. Does that mean my British citizenship can be revoked?
So next day we went out with a boat and crew to do just that. We snorkelled on the reef at Bread and Butter Caye; about 25 minutes by boat from Hopkins. It's pretty spectacular. now that the Ozzies have trashed their reef this may be just about the best one around. Then we went fishing. We tried bottom fishing (leger rig) in a couple of spots and caught a fair few snapper, porgy grunt etc. Then we did some trolling and I caught a barracuda; definitely the best catch of the day. We had lunch at the caye; snapper and barracuda fried up with tomatoes and spices and served with coconut rice. Very nice!
When we got back Mel invited to join a cultural/educational event the next day. After learning some Garifuna history we got to cook the Garifuna signature dish, hudut, from scratch. First step was husking, cracking and grating coconut to make coconut milk. The milk was cooked with herbs from the property and salted fish head/bones to make a broth. Then we made a plantain paste. Unripe and ripe plantains are boiled then the unrip ones are pounded in a pestle and mortar. This has to be done until they take on the consistency of a sticky dough. Then the ripe plantains are incorporated in the mix. The fillets of the fish were highly seasoned and deep fried. One gets a bowl of broth and a second bowl of plantain paste. One takes some fish and plantain between ones fingers, dips it in the broth and eats. It's good but one of those dishes that isn't really worth the prep time/effort. It would be a bit like making one's own haggis from scratch. As far as I can see most Garifuna food is like that. The process for making cassava bread (a bit like dessicated cardboard) is similarly involved. No wonder it keeps for ten years. Nobody will eat it!
Later we headed into Hopkins to check in for our flight out and to eat some very good pizza and fish and chips at the Driftwood Bar. This turned out to be pointless as Belize airport won't accept electronic boarding passes and we had to check in manually anyway.
sciatrix: Biology friending meme?
It occurs to me that I have an awful lot of subscribers and friends who have varying interests and expertises in biology, psychology, and all sorts of related topics and ideas. 'Related' being read broadly here--if it touches on natural or social sciences and you want to share, please do.
Hopkins is a Garifuna village though it's now increasingly taken over by resorts and businesses catering to tourists. It has a lovely beach but facilities are basic. There are plenty of restaurants and bars including Tina's which is pretty good for local specialties. The Chinese run supermarkets are pretty basic. There's one ATM which has lovely air conditioning and fine mahogany panelling but doesn't actually seem to dispense cash. It's here that you realise there are no cheap options on the coast (which is where most tourists go). Accommodation and food is much more expensive than in San Ignacio and doing anything costs wads of cash. Still, ocean.
Breakfast at Tina's; fry jack with stew beans, salsa and fried fish. Totally delicious but, oddly, fish is the most expensive choice. It always is for some reason in Belize (ok specialties like lobster, conch and game meats are more expensive but fish costs more than chicken, pork or beef... even on the coast)
It's quite an excursion as the approach hike involves crossing the river three times including at one place where swimming is required. Inside the cave both climbing and swimming are required. It's not too hard but definitely not wheelchair accessible! We were the first party in that day and there was just myself, the lemur and our excellent guide, Braynard (most parties are much bigger). We had about an hour at the business end of the cave before the large groups started arriving. I think that made all the difference because it's a weird and eerie place. There are interesting rock formations but the main interest is a whole series of calcified remains of various ritual offerings including human sacrifices; some of which must have been pretty brutal judging by the state of the remains.
The generally accepted view is that the cave came into use as a ritual site as the rains began to fail at the end of the "Classic" period. The cave was seen as a gateway to the parallel underworld where the gods lived and so an attempt to summon the rain god back to the upper world.
No photographs as photography is forbidden. If you ever go to Belize I'd say this is the one "must" provided you are up for the physical aspects.
Tikal is amazing. It's not even been completely excavated but there are five major step pyramids plus seven pairs of minor ones, an astronomical observatory, a living complex for the elite, a necropolis, several ball courts and more. The lesser structures occupied by the middle classes have not even been excavated, The scale can only really be understood from the top of one of the pyramids or the observatory. It's huge and most of it is still buried in the jungle. The population may have been as high as 200,000 at its peak.
Seeing it involves a lot of walking and even more step climbing. Expect very sore muscles unless you are super fit. "Experts" suggest one needs three days to fully explore the site but one can see a lot in a packed half day. Of course it's only one of many major Mayan sites (albeit a very important one) that's been discovered. Corocal and Chichen Itza are on a similar scale and nobody really knows what may be hidden in the jungles of southern Belize or the more remote parts of the Guatemalan highlands.
And there were coatis; Central America's trash pandas.
Our tour deal included a meal on the way back. Definitely gringo food! The tamales we had for breakfast were much better.
Click link for photos.
Our hotel was pleasant. It was about 15 minutes walk from the town centre (San Ignacio is the district capital and the second largest town in Belize). It was clean, had AC, the plumbing worked and there was wi-fi. And dogs. And a cat. We checked out the town centre and bought tacos from a street stall. Street food is cheap in Belize. It's about the only cheap way to eat. The town itself is neat and tidy for the most part with a bunch of Chinese owned stores and plenty of restaurants and bars. There's a sort of mini "Khao San Road" with hostels and tour oprators and bars and stuff but it's pretty low key. Bought some of the local (Belikin) beers. The stout is much better than the the "beer" and the lager is best not mentioned.
The next day was Saturday, market day, so we headed in to town for breakfast. The market has a bit of everything; clothing, electrical goods, produce, prepared food etc. We had a pleasant breakfast of tamales and pupusas. I learned a few things at this point. Everything tortilla based is made straight from dough spread on the comale. No tortilla presses here and anyway the dough is much too sticky. One is expected to pimp up the food with pickled cabbage and hot sauce. Things like tacos and burritos are kind of skinny by TexMex standards so this really is necessary. The food stands are all run by women from the countryside (probably Mayan) who don't speak any English. Their kids do though and each stand has a bright eyed kid who deals with the gringos and tots up the bill.
We spent most of the morning at the local Mayan site of Cahal Pech. This isn't one of the great city sites. Likely it was the centre of power for a minor local ruler/landowner so sort of the equivalent of a castle in medieval England. It's not a fortified site though. There are a couple of step pyramid temples, living quarters and a ball court. It's a good way to get a sense of the componentry of Mayan architecture. Obligatory Cancon; part of the excavation was done by Trent University.
Lunch was back at the market. The lemur had a quesadilla while I tried the caldo; a veggie filled broth with some beef in it. I chickened out of the calf's foot version. Pimped up with hot sauce and orange juice it was pretty good. We pretty much slothed the rest of the day!