Pounding the pulpit…

    Mar 27, 2015

 Toronto Star – Editorial (March 27, 2015)
Flaying the Anti-Terrorism Act:  Public support for the Anti-Terrorism Act has plunged dramatically as Canadians learn of the details.

Pardon the expressions but the Toronto Star is thinking that the C-51 legislation is engaged “in rhetorical overkill” and “a riptide of fear.”  Furthermore, says the Star, as the details have been revealed the support for the bill has been dropping precipitously from wide support at the start to now cautious support in principle that finds serious reservations about elements of the Bill.  Tory reaction to criticism is “to pound the pulpit,” says the Star, “But rather than gin up fears to peddle damaged goods, the prime minister would do better to just fix C-51 or take it off the market.”    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/03/26/flaying-the-anti-terrorism-act-editorial.html      Related article: iPolitics.com – Tasha Kheiriddin – Harper is losing the argument on C-51 … with Conservatives http://www.ipolitics.ca/2015/03/26/harper-is-losing-the-argument-on-c-51-with-conservatives/

 Globe and Mail – Katheryn Blaze Carlson
Verdict in death of indigenous sex worker sparks rallies, calls for appeal  

The verdict was barely announced: Not Guilty, when the clamour of cries for an appeal began in an Edmonton courtroom.  “Bradley Barton, an Ontario trucker, was found not guilty of first-degree murder last week in the 2011 death of Cindy Gladue, a 36-year-old sex worker who bled to death at the Yellowhead Inn in Edmonton from an 11-centimetre wound on her vaginal wall.”  The trial also marks the first time a specific body part was introduced into court.  Aboriginal women advocates say that the case should be part of an effort to address the widely discriminate and unresponsive justice for Aboriginal women and should be part of the national inquiry.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/verdict-in-death-of-indigenous-sex-worker-sparks-rallies-calls-for-appeal/article23651385/

Bird and Fortune: George Parr, Home Office Minister 

Communiqué does not offer much humour, especially in the face of continuing deterioration of fairness, rehabilitation, respect for rights, etc.  In the link, there is a 10 minute video of British humour applied to tough-on-crime agenda.  Enjoy!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bm6l40_EqU

 Active History.ca – Aitana Guia
A Useless Import? European Niqab Politics in Canada

The link for this article is a historical perspective on the ups and downs of the political perception and uses for the niqab and hijab debate in Canada and its connections from Europe.  The author quotes a study by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women in which a mere 7% admit to wearing the garments under pressure from husbands.  http://activehistory.ca/2015/03/a-useless-import-european-niqab-politics-in-canada/

 Globe and Mail – Michael Babad
Don’t visit Indiana if you’re gay. Or a Jewish atheist with a Catholic wife

“Religious Freedom Laws” are popping up everywhere in the world but particularly in the US as the movement to legitimize same sex marriage infuriates social conservatives who are beginning to push back,  In California (as reported yesterday) one voter group is looking to execute people who engage in homosexual behaviour.  The laws frequently are about the right to avoid discrimination laws by refusing to do business in the public market place on the grounds of sexual orientation.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/dont-visit-indiana-if-youre-gay-or-a-jewish-atheist-with-a-catholic-wife/article23634064/    Related article: Toronto Star – Daniel Dale   Wave of ‘religious freedom’ bills raises fears of anti-gay discrimination   http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/03/26/wave-of-religious-freedom-bills-raises-fears-of-anti-gay-discrimination.html#

 Globe and Mail – Canadian Press
Nova Scotia gives sex-assault victims new rights to sue retroactively   

Consisting of amendments to the Limitations of Action Act, the new rules were prompted by a well-known sex offender – Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh – who was extradited from India in 2007, tried in 2010 and ultimately released in 2013 when the Supreme Court of Canada decided he had waited too long for trial.  The new rules apply to civil actions. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/nova-scotia-gives-sex-assault-victims-new-rights-to-sue-retroactively/article23658329/

 Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel – Clare Van Fossen
A just and free world means a world without police 

The newspaper has a collection of bloggers from across the political spectrum called the Purple Wisconsin.  Van Fossen is blogging about the inadequacy of police response to most of the situations in which they are currently frequently involved.  The police, she says, threaten us with violence and incarceration and target the most oppressed and vulnerable people in our society. By blaming “crime” and “criminals” instead of systemic oppression for society’s ills, the police exacerbate societal problems, harm citizens, and bar the people from liberation by maintaining the capitalist social order.”  What would it mean to absent the police from our social interactions?  “Whatever our chosen alternatives to calling the police, we all deserve a conflict-resolution and crisis management process that is democratic, accountable, transparent, and over which our communities have the ultimate control. Our humanity, our justice, and our freedom depend on it.”  Any takers?  http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/purple-wisconsin/297587211.html