Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dziekanski Served Time in Prison

At the outset, I wish to say after watching Taser videos on YouTube such as the UCLA student last year, I condemn any excess force of police. However, we shouldn't forget that the police have an extremely difficult job, mostly working with the not-so-best citizens of our country. They do a job that most of us have chosen not to do. That being said, this should not blind their judgement in using unnecessary force to subdue a suspect with a taser, when other means are available.

Canada, and the rest of the world for that matter, has jumped on the bandwagon of condemning the RCMP. This organization has many many issues to deal with. I am angered by their lying about the incident. I also believe more clear regulations and training should be completed for taser use. But people are often too quick to blame police.

I was surprised to learn that Dziekanski served time in prison and this was not his first encounter with police:

Malczyk surmised that part of the answer might lie in Dziekanski's problematic background. He was sentenced to five years in prison for a robbery in his youth and that conviction was on his record. Also on his record were some other encounters with police, many arising from a troubled relationship he was in with a woman in Poland.

Also listen to CFRA this morning interview with a retired economist and member of Polish community, Kostek Malczyk.

But funny, it has taken weeks before this information has become known to the public (and even though the article came out yesterday, it has received relatively little press). Did the RCMP officers who arrived on the scene know this information? I don't know. And, yes he was pre-approved by the Canadian embassy to come to Canada, but because of the time change, Vancouver airport were unable to do a double check at 4pm.

Let's say that Vancouver officials let him through with no troubles. Let's say he move to Canada does not get off to a good start (finding a job without knowing English or French??) What if Dziekanski had encounters with Canadian police one year from now. What if he committed a crime?

The front page stories would be that Canadians would be wondering not about police use of tasers, but why the hell someone with a criminal past, unable to speak the language, was allowed to emmigrate to our country.

For some people, the government can never do anything right.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Updated. Being "Green" Is Just Too Trendy...It's Making me Sick

Just when you thought eco-morality had gone too far with designer non-plastic hand/grocery bags here is one more thing you should feel guilty about: Your sex life:

For safer, baby-free sex, nothing beats a latex condom. Vegans looking for a latex option (though derived from trees, most latex contains a milk enzyme) can check out Glyde condoms. The jury is still out as to whether latex condoms are biodegradable and what effects additives and lubricants might have on biodegradability. Polyurethane condoms are essentially plastic and not biodegradable. Once they've done their job, condoms are best sent to the landfill. Flushing condoms down the toilet is definitely no good as they clog pipes, treatment plants, and rivers. So let's face it, reduce, reuse, recycle just doesn't apply when it comes to the rubbers. If you have a steady partner and you've both been tested for STDs, the pill is an option that can cut out the condom waste. Be aware that there are rising concerns about the hormones from birth control pills ending up in waterways and having serious effects on wildlife, both from pills flushed down the toilet, and from women's urine.... For monogamous couples not interested in any (more) kids, sterilization can be an option to consider.... Of course the biggest ecological impact resulting from sex is a baby. Human population is arguably the most threatening force on Earth, and with human population expected to reach 8.3 billion by 2030, reproducing is perhaps the largest impact any of us have.

So condoms are bad, the Pill is bad, increasing the human population is bad, so according to the TreeHuggers going sterile is the most enviromentally friendly option.

The environmental movement is so trendy nowadays that is has understandably increased the demand for products. But could someone please explain to me how chopping down all those trees to now fill an entire bookshelf section dedicated to "how to be Green" in Chapters, is actually helping the movement.

Green licence plates, Green Prime Ministers (perhaps a different shade in light of recent events), Green weddings, Raising a Green Baby, etc..

GAH! I am sick of it. I used to like the colour green. Now my favourite colour is blue.

It's a shame really. While I am starting to make an effort to not use plastic bags, this green movement is actually completely turning me off with the lack of sense of events like Live Earth. While there is nothing wrong with promoting more reading, I just think it's ironic that the same groups that want to conserve and reduce consumption are the ones that have created all of this new consumption.

What's even more sad is that what other issues are being left behind.

Five or ten years ago environmentalists were just as passionate about conservation but no one was listening to them. And they were getting a lot less funding for R&D.

Poverty activists five or ten years ago were just as passionate and still no one is listening to them.

Sure there are programs (and entire Crown Corporations) to help with affordable housing, drug use, job training, education all of which would help with poverty and homelessness.

But Canadians aren't on board. I guess helping the poor just isn't as interesting that megablock buster Oscar winning DVDs or 400$ bags or 3 books on how you can be a better person.

So I guess, being Green is just more sexy, then helping the poor.


Just a few after thoughts. I think some of the hippies are getting it, that capitalism will actually help get their issues to the top of people's priorities:<

Mazar Mortazavi, principal of TAS DesignBuild, an award-winning Toronto developer of condominiums and town homes, is so committed to the green movement he has traded in his beloved Range Rover for a hybrid vehicle.

"As a builder, you have to live it, you have to breath it and you have to walk the talk," he says. "Consumer demand is forcing the housing market to change. Traditionally, developers have not been innovators in the housing market. Now, for the first time, there is this shift where they are trying to understand what is going on and introduce change before the consumer asks for it."

"This is going to be the century's major socio-cultural shift," he predicts. "It is a mindset change and the implications go far and wide.

The green home groundswell is soaring as builders, suppliers, bankers and buyers sign on with a growing environmental sustainability movement that is gathering momentum across the country.

Monday, November 12, 2007

PSA: Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Mammograms or looking for a lump will not detect this aggressive form of breast cancer. I had never heard of this before. Please pass information onto your female friends.

Video does contain images that may be considered inappropriate for work or school settings.

RCMP convinced that communists had infiltrated CBC

"RCMP convinced that communists had infiltrated CBC"

Now that headline just begs the story to be read.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Day Poem: We Are the Fallen

Found here from this facebook group. Republished with permission (Thanks Frank!)


In the name of freedom and to save a land,
We, the sons & daughters take the stand.
We give our lives & souls on a distant shore,
To that hell on earth, a place called war.
We are the fallen.

We die in flight, at sea, and on land,
Our blood seeps deeply into foreign sand.
On our left and on our right,
The faces of comrades we’ll lose this night.
We are the fallen.

A sea of youth, faces frozen in fear,
What vile work of man has brought us here?
In a far greater power, we each put our trust,
To not die here by the bayonet’s thrust.
We are the fallen.

The stench of death, sickly and profound,
More souls leave the earth, with each fired round.
In this theatre of horror, we console one another,
Mournful wails of the dying, crying out for their mother.
We are the fallen.

Visions of home flash though the mind,
A place of love and peace, when the world was kind.
Of friends and family and a children’s’ park,
Where death was not concealed by dark.
We are the fallen.

Medics shred clothing to expose a wound,
Heads bow at the image of impending doom.
The appetite of war claims another young life,
Leaving in its wake a child and a wife.
We are the fallen.

As this battle ends and the air does clear,
A desperate hope the final end is near.
The ghosts of lives past, each someone’s love,
The anguished souls of the brave have drifted above.
We are the fallen.

The fighting has ended, we, the dead, not there,
But from our place of eternal rest, we are fully aware.
We wish peace on earth to all mankind,
To spare the sons & daughters we leave behind.
We are the fallen

Frank N. Boosamra CD1

November 11, 2006

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

All Dogs DO Go to Heaven

An email forward worth sharing.

Dog Lovers: Angel in the Postal Service

This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy
that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and
to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith.

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our
bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I am wherever there is love.
Love, God