Archive for the ‘News’ Category

A video surfaced yesterday of a young girl, believed to be 6 years old, being submitted to a thorough “pat-down”, by a TSA agent.

The child remains compliant and seemingly calm, but I can only imagine what the poor thing must have been thinking.  What’s odd to me is, you can hear what I can only presume to be the mother, asking the agent, “can’t you just re-scan her”?  Yes, can’t you just do that, or figure out another method of screening for 6-year-old “terrorists”, that doesn’t include essentially groping them?

Come on, it’s quite ridiculous.

Granted, we don’t know what actually occurred in the moments leading up to the incident, and the agent appeared to do her job in a professional manner (or at least the way she was trained to), but is this really what it has come to?  What probable and reasonable cause made the wonderful people at TSA feel like this was the appropriate way of dealing with the situation?

I understand that terrorists using children as a way of concealing weapons/explosives, is not unheard of, but at what point is it too much?

I don’t live in America and I don’t claim to have a solution for the pending threat of terrorism or how to implement effective airport security, but I have to wonder if this is a complete violation of human rights and freedoms.  Are solutions for terror ultimately a “catch 22”?  We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t?

I have to believe that this child was taught one of the earliest lessons a parent can teach: don’t talk to strangers and don’t let strangers touch you…this incident might have conditioned her to believe otherwise – sadly.


Japan-One Month Later

Posted: April 12, 2011 in News
Tags: , ,

A month after Japan was devastated by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and terrifying tsunami, the nation remains crippled by the aftermath.

Nearly 28,000 have lost their lives, or missing (presumed dead), with a staggering 150,000 left homeless and broken-hearted, with a future full of uncertainties.  The pending and very real threat of radiation from the damage done to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is a constant one.  The options are scarce.

Natural disasters and catastrophic events, whether they occur in our country, our neighbour’s or across the world, impact us all in one form or another.  It is times like this that the good people across the globe show their support, empathy and compassion – thru donations and/or prayers.  We have and continue to do that.  These tragedies, while horrible, tend to bring nations together.

Japan’s people have not given up, they continue to fight; their resilience and spirit are admirable and not to be underestimated.  I wanted to write this simply to show that they are still in my thoughts and in my prayers.  I’m hoping that the citizens of the land of the rising sun, can rise from these dark days and once again, see some beauty in the world.

In recent news, a case about polygamy has been making some headlines here in Canada.  The following post talks about one of the articles I read earlier in the year and my arguments/beliefs pertaining to the situation:

In a society where the norms are held to strict standards, polygamy is often criticized and condemned by most.  Polygamy is defined as “the condition of having more than one wife or husband at the same time” (Webster Comprehensive Dictionary, 1987, p.979).  While illegal in North America, the practice is not uncommon, largely due to the fact that it goes unpunished; section 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada bans the practice, but no one has been prosecuted in over 60 years (Lak, 2010).

In the article titled, “Laws should target abuse, not practice of polygamy, lawyer argues”, George Macintosh, a court-appointed lawyer, challenges the polygamy laws of Canada and how they violate human rights.  Macintosh is currently in the news for defending the members of a Mormon sect in Bountiful, British Columbia.  The overwhelming amount of evidence collected –over a thousand pages of legal material pertaining to rights and the limitations of freedom– encompasses spiritual beliefs, children’s rights and the freedom of choice versus the standards of society.  Macintosh, would at the very least like to see the decriminalization of polygamy, arguing that it “would erase any stigma against people in those relationships and make it more likely that if there is sexual exploitation, abuse or even incest, they would be more likely to report those crimes” (Bramham, 2010).  To further support this belief, he references the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969 and the eventual legalization of same-sex marriage in 2005 as evidence of society’s acceptance and tolerance towards topics considered taboo.  He is not alone in his crusade: British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association and the Canadian Association for Freedom of Expression are amongst supporters.  However, he faces a daunting task in trying to persuade and convince the chief justice that there is not enough evidence to support that polygamy is a harmful practice to those involved.

Canada is a country that prides itself in the freedom and rights of its inhabitants.  Keeping that in mind, it would not be naive to believe that Macintosh might be successful –to an extent– in modifying the polygamy laws of Canada.  While his argument is valid and well thought out, it also acknowledges the bigger picture of polygamy — which may very well be its biggest flaw.  The core basis of his argument is that freedom of choice should be at the forefront of polygamy, but how can one actually make a choice when they are raised to believe and follow that particular lifestyle?  Children born in a true polygamous environment, lack the knowledge to make an informed decision, as they tend to lead by example; knowledge is hard to attain when independent thinking is commonly frowned upon in polygamist homes where abuse is seen.  The irony is that the freedoms Macintosh is actively fighting for are the freedoms that the victims of polygamous abuse have lost.  One must not need to look further than the very sect he is fighting for in Bountiful, British Columbia; The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in that British Columbia town “has strong ties to the polygamous sect in Eldorado, Texas, where hundreds of children are alleged to have been abused and women as young as 14, alleged to be married to older men” (Lak, 2010).  With allegations such as these, it’s hard to defend Macintosh’s argument that decriminalization will erase the stigmas associated with polygamy and deter potential abuse.  The negative connotations that accompany polygamy are not so much about an intolerant society, but rather that they are largely based on the harsh realities of the practice — that in fact, polygamy and abuse usually coincide.  Society is plagued by perversions, violence and mistreatment of one another, therefore, why decriminalize and/or legalize a practice that has shown to exploit these issues?

To say that all polygamous relationships are abusive would be as foolish as saying all monogamous ones are free of it.  Of course this is surely not the case, but to essentially downgrade the history of polygamy for the sake of societal acceptance may prove to be an unwise decision.  There may be cases that demonstrate equality and love in a polygamous household, this I acknowledge; however, the fact is that while Macintosh talks about freedom and equality, neither tend to exist in polygamy because a man has most of the control and power.  One of the few arguments for pro-polygamy is that whatever consenting adults do in their own home should not be anyone’s business, but this is more than a moral dilemma case study and hardly an issue on personal privacy.  Green-lighting polygamy can result in an ill-effect on children, women, family dynamics and gives men a skewed view of reality.  It may increase (not decrease) the chance of child abuse, sexual and physical abuse and incest, to name a few.  The consequences of such a risk are simply not worth it and I see no real reasons to legalize or even decriminalize the act.  The real question is, when is this country going to start taking this law seriously, and move to prosecute those that have taken advantage due to the lack of punishment by the very government that made the law to begin with?

What do you think?