Monday, December 06, 2010

Human Rights

As I walked around town today, I couldn’t help but notice the silhouettes of women attached to many doors. I stopped and read of few of the tags attached to each that informed passersby of the issue of abused women. Let me state simply that I think women’s rights is a very important movement, but I think we need to move passed that.
We ought to be thinking in terms of human rights. In any given situation where one human being usurps the rights of another, a crime has been committed. That’s a simple fact. We live in a world where a crime is more severe depending on the person committing it. For example, if a woman were to hit a man with a baseball bat, the general question would be, what did he do to deserve that? It may be what you’re thinking right now. If a man were to hit a woman with a baseball bat, the perception of the crime is astronomically worse.
I propose that we have one set of rights. We already have a title...human rights. Every situation should be able to fall into those rights. They should include every visible or invisible minority. They should include all men and women and all gays or lesbians. If a crime is committed, it should be a crime committed by anyone. Reverse racism should be just as bad as racism.
On the playground at school people aren’t supposed to play favourites. If Sally comes in complaining that Johnny called her a name. And Johnny’s complaint is that Sally hit him. The solution is not to figure out who did what first. The solutions are that Sally is reprimanded for hitting and Johnny is reprimanded for name calling. We often feel justified in retaliation, but if we bought into the idea that every action deserves a reaction, then road rage would be a justifiable solution to being cut off by a bad driver. If the roles were reversed, the consequences should be equal as well. It is the same bad to hit someone or call someone a name no matter who that someone is. We don’t need labels. We just need one set of rights that applies to everyone. We are all equal and we need to be treating each other as such.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

#9 Grundpark Road

Well, my new book, #9 Grundpark Road has been accepted for publishing by All Things That Matter Press. It’s about Daniel, a foster child, who is sold by his foster parents. His new owner forces him to work in a secret mine on the property. Daniel discovers much more than gold and is determined to find a way to escape.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Gun Registry Vote

In Canada, 75% of the population live within 100km of the southern border, a statistic provided during a university geography class I once took and a significant fact when considering where in the country a vast proportion of the population live; certainly not where one is likely to spend a whole lot of time hunting. This bill will never be defeated if the urban population does not develop a realistic perspective on the issue.

Guns are divided into three categories (prohibited weapons, restricted weapons and non-restricted weapons). Here is a simple breakdown.

Prohibited weapons are simply illegal to own. When they appear on the streets a crime has already been committed. These are all fully automatic weapons and many modified weapons such as sawed off shotguns. The gun registry has no impact on the use or distribution of these weapons. Only criminals do.

Restricted weapons include handguns. In Canada, providing a handgun is legally obtained, the only way to transport it is with a permit. Any civilian using a handgun in public is also automatically committing a crime.

This leaves non-restricted weapons, or weapons specifically designed for hunting, the only kinds of weapons anyone hunting in Canada may use. These guns are not typically the ones we hear about in the news.

The question that every mother and father living within 100km of Canada’s southern border should be, what benefit does the gun registry provide me and my family? Other questions that should be asked are, how many lives have been saved by the registry that would not have been saved without it, how many police investigations have been aided by it, how many times did the registry accurately determine the number of guns in a household, and what is a reasonable amount to pay for such a program?

Anyone who says it is not a cumbersome process has not completed the course, applied for a Possession and Acquisition Licence or tried to change the ownership of a rifle. When a PAL expires, it means that the holder is no longer licensed to own guns. Does that make this person a criminal?

Am I for or against the registry? Against it, of course. But, how about I say that I’m all for common sense and the wise use of government funding? How about we enforce the laws that already exist to keep handguns and automatic weapons off the streets?

Monday, March 01, 2010

One Stupid Interview of Ryan Miller

In times gone by, the Olympics have been tainted by stressed or broken political alliances somewhere in the world. It has always been ‘sometimes the case’ that one country or another cannot bring itself to compete in the Olympic Games. But during most years, most countries agree to put aside their differences and compete under a common set of rules laid down by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Once upon a time, each country was responsible for its own Olympic programs. Countries strong in a particular discipline would invariably dominate in their specialty at the games. These days, borders are blurred when it comes to the Olympic Games. One Japanese competitor gave up her citizenship in order to train in Russia and then compete for Russia. A Canadian hockey player with dual citizenship competed for Germany.

Competitors do what they must in order to win a berth at the Olympics. They train where they must and wear the colors available to them on game day – the colors of the country that will embrace them.

Men’s hockey is strangely reversed. Men who have built professional alliances must now put those alliances aside in order to compete. Americans playing with Canadian teams and Canadians playing with American teams in the NHL put all of that away to play their best for their mother countries. They play their best, of that I have no doubt, but the rest? I know that they do not forget who their friends are when they are battling it out on the ice, all the while Canadian fans scream their support for Canadians or boo for the Americans. These men do not have differences to put away, so I can only imagine how difficult it must be for them to pretend to forget their bonds. As they shook hands and gave each other their manly hugs once the game was over, it was clear that nothing had been forgotten or put aside.

It is with this complexity in mind that I voice my disappointment in the CTV newscast at the end of the gold medal game. It is sickening to hear a question like, “so how does it feel to lose your family in a plane crash?” This kind of question is not as uncommon to hear as it ought to be and it is detestable. Yesterday a CTV reporter took Ryan Miller aside to ask him how he felt about the final goal. This question was inexcusable. How do we think he felt? It took nothing more than a glance at the American team to see their disappointment. Anyone who has ever played a team sport knows that every loss is a team loss. No matter whom they would like to blame or what circumstances might have been, the fact remains… the whole team lost.

What determined that win was not the dominance of one team over another or one country over another. The end score was simply a result of the day. The game could have just as easily turned the other way on any other day. The men from both teams are highly skilled professionals who provided us with an incomparable emotional ending to the Olympics. The emotions would not have run so high had the teams not been so nearly equally skilled. There as no ass kicking; there was no pounding. Canada won. Hurray. But, let’s not forget the sportsmanship that we are supposedly known for. And sportsmanship does not include kicking an opponent when he’s down. I for one am glad that Ryan Miller won most valuable player. CTV should not have singled him out to ask him such an insensitive and stupid question.