Saturday, April 30, 2005

Paul Martin's Women's Clubs

Angry in the Great White North has an interesting post on the creation of Liberal women's clubs within the last few months since the post.

Could that be because bloggers instead of the mainstream media (MSM) are posting not only Canada's international legal obligations, but reminding them of their duties to comply with their own Charter of Rights?

Even the Chair thinks it's smoke and mirrors.

Observation No. 1

I often sit on my balcony that overlooks Hamilton Bay to watch the bird population. I have never seen two birds getting it on and often wondered how it was accomplished sans Barry White music. While I puff away on my cigarette I sit and wait to see a chance encounter as the vantage point of the roof below is a hubbub of social interaction of the local pigeons and shit hawks (a.k.a. seagulls).

I always thought gulls were selfish bastards, interfering with the daily sustenance of other birds, frightening them off with their squawks and wingspan in successful attempts to take the food right out of their beaks. But today I saw something I've never seen before, a moment of generous gull love.

I noticed a gull offer another gull a morsel, probably stolen in a single swoop from one of the resident ducks just as its neck was bent ready to chow down. The gull - most likely a male - put the morsel down in front of the intended recipient - most likely a female - stepped out of the way and waited for the gift to be accepted.

Other gulls were around, they watched sheepishly (I can't imagine a gull not eyeing another bird's piece of food) but they didn't dare enter the perimeter surrounding the morsel. The recipient of the morsel walked over, accepted the offer and ate it.

It occurred to me that human behaviour could be similar to a gull's that interferes in the sustenance of others in order to give to the object of their desire. This spawns the question: which is better, to steal to increase one's wealth on top of what they already have or to steal simply to survive?

Friday, April 29, 2005

A Lowdown On The Name: Habamus Rodentum

I got the idea for my sign on and blog name in part from the Pope. Divine intervention? No. When a new Pope is chosen it's announced as Habamus Papum or 'we have a pope'.

In high school, I took an anthropology course, in which we would have to memorize the names of early humans such as Australopithecus Africanus or Homo Erectus. In one such class, with eyes half open, I lazily turned the pages of a text book. In a eureka moment I had the answer to alleviate my boredom. Seeing a comparison between the stature of A.A, which was about 2 feet shorter than the modern man, A.A reminded me of a guy my best friend had a crush on, so I began to draw both.

I came up with a Latin name by adding 'us' to both his first and last names and gave it to my friend. In a brief moment of laughter at our private joke, his friend had seen us laughing and snatched the drawing away. To my embarrassment right at the moment I was passing my A.A human equivalent, the snatcher gave him the drawing. His friends roared in laughter as they read out his newly Latinized name. I was centered out with fingers pointing. Ok, so we all did this right? Ok, well, maybe not.

Somewhere a long while ago, I read the Latin saying "not worth a rat's ass". I'm sure rodentum was in there. Having not learned Latin in parochial school, I searched for it in a few Latin dictionaries but could not find it. I used rodentum anyway because a person who knows English can get the idea of what I meant just by reading it as opposed to "mus muris", which apparently is the real Latin word for rat. (I used University of Notre Dame's Lexicool link )

Equating our current politicians with sewer rats (cloacae mus muris) I used my high school anti-boredom skills to merge the words 'we have' and 'rats' together. To make it sound more scientific and educated, I translated it into the Latin: habamus rodentum.

So there we have it folks, the low down on my name. Now for the reason I'm blogging. Besides boredom, I am taking Marshall McLuhan's "the medium is the message" to heart.

The revelation that something was amiss with my legal rights after the trauma of going to court without a lawyer for a divorce proceeding due to being refused a legal aid certificate in 1997. This prompted me to go to the University of Western Ontario's law library, since I lived in London at the time and started reading case law and the Charter. Thus began my ongoing research of our Canadian Charter of Rights and other legislation. Since then I try to take as many opportunities as I can to purchase law books or spend time in the law libraries of various universities. I've only spent time in 3. Osgoode at York, the Paul Martin law library at the University of Windsor and the law library at the University of Western Ontario. The latter is by far the best. Other times I pad softly into the law library at the local courthouse where ever I happen to live.

My journey into political activism bloomed in September of 2002 when I learned of the death of Kimberly Ann Rogers, a woman 8 months pregnant who also suffered manic depression. Kimberly killed herself and her baby by stockpiling the medication, Amitriptyline, she needed for her mental illness. Her mental health condition was exacerbated because she was subjected to cruel and unusual treatment by the rules of the Ontario Works Act, 1998. Those rules were contradictory to s. 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms she had been guaranteed under s. 15. (The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms)

Prior to the election of Mike Harris's Conservative regime's lifetime ban of welfare upon conviction of fraud, a woman or man was allowed to attend school and collect O.S.A.P and welfare at the same time. Kimberly wanted to upgrade herself and be part of the earning community but O.S.A.P or welfare alone could not provide the financial support needed to complete the degree in Social Work she sought.

Kimberly was convicted and forced to live out her sentence in house arrest. She lived in isolation, was banned from collecting welfare nor allowed to go out and work. She had no income to survive. How was she to live? If she had gone to jail, at least she would have gotten her rent provided, her meals provided, her health care provided, exercise etc.

Learning of her death profoundly touched me and I told myself that "enough was enough". That year I began to write my submission to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (C.E.D.A.W) for Canada's review on January 23 2003. I have since become a human rights activist and legal activist for those within the mental health community in Ontario and in my newly adopted city, Hamilton Ontario. (C.E.D.A.W Committee's Review of Canada)

Kimberly was a symbol of the direction our politicians, our bureaucracy and justice system were headed. The judge that decided Kimberly's case, was ignorant of his duties to uphold the Charter. Kimberly was charged with just over $14,000 in fraud. Last year the Ontario Liberals had a fundraising dinner to cover election costs. Each plate was $10,000. Those developers who attended this fundraising event were just going to shit out the food that $10,000 the next day.

But Kimberly and her baby's life only cost $14,000. Their lives are gone because she was trying to better herself by doing something she felt she had no choice to do. Cruel and mean spirited politicians were clueless to their Charter obligations. They were the helping hand to snuff their lives out. This is only one reason why many Ontarians hate the Mike Harris regime.

Kimberly took a risk to excel, to eventually give back to her community. The Liberals are alleged to have stolen millions, if not billions of dollars from people like Kimberly and her baby who wanted a chance of success. What kind of a sentence will those politicians and bureaucrats have to face?

In the S.C.C 1970 case Drybones v. Regina, the judge ordered that the provisions in the Indian Act against alcohol inebriation was a violation of the civil rights of natives because the government punished them more severely than non-natives. So why is it that we Canadians expect politicians not to be charged at all yet others, in particular those disabled with mental illness are punished more severely for the same crime, even though our government officials took so much money that it has affected our country's programs and the lives of Canadians?