24 Feb 2014 4 Comments
Gretchen is one of my must reads. She wrote a regular newspaper column back around the twenties. This one in particular is applicable today in a lesson or two. Her interest ‘was intensely human’ and I can’t help but think a little more ‘human interest’ would be a good thing.
Originally posted on Gretchen:
At one station there entered a little company of passengers, obviously of what are termed working-class. There were two men of middle-age, a youth and a girl in their mid teens, and a small boy of five or six. They were all dressed in black, from which I inferred that they were on their way to a funeral.
The men wore black bowler hats stuck on the back of their heads, leaving visible a well-oiled fringe of hair adorning their foreheads. The youth’s cloth cap was of black tweed, and all the males sported black ties with the exception of the wee boy, whose black tie was spotted with mauve stars. The girl, also in sombre mourning attire, was drawing on a pair of shiny black kid gloves.
I had imagined that this class of glove could not be bought in the ‘twenties of the twentieth century, but a few days later I walked beside a woman in black who was also drawing on gloves of that shiny black. These to me are strongly reminiscent of Sundays of very early childhood, when I whiled the tedium of the prayers in church by examining all the details of my mother’s veil and gloves on the book board before me, and marvelled at the tiny points on the finger tips of the lady’s gloves in the seat before us; for in those days gloves were worn so tight-fitting that frequently the fingers could not be pressed into the tips of the glove.
15 Feb 2014 2 Comments
These very thoughts have been tumbling about for me this week taunting me into a need for expression but leaving me without. Now Miss C? She just said it all,
Originally posted on thekitchensgarden:
I am a terrible one for answering other peoples questions before they ask them, finishing their sentences before they have their thoughts in order, rushing to and fro at a furious pace often without my mind even Turned On. I want everything done right now and just so. Head down to combat the wind thinking only where is it coming from, who is in a draft. Which doors should I shut. Is that ice underfoot? Not: what has come with this wind? What followed the wind last time it was here? What will this ice mean to the soil this year. This would help me create the pattern and prepare.
If we lean on our metaphorical gate and watch carefully we will be able to work out our environment and where we fit into it. We can see the elastic sides in our lives that we can grow into or through and the rigid areas that will hurt our toes and shins if keep fight them. We can see where we can sit and how much we can use without overloading. We can see where some relationships make you doubt yourself – and others, though wreathed in mist, are worth fighting for. We can see that there is no belonging, no quick fix, no eternal happiness, there is only Time and her attendants The Four Seasons. Dawn will come whether we stand on the grass and shout for it or not. The same with love of your person. And a piece of land to sit on.
02 Nov 2013 17 Comments
The honor of the Media has disappeared in Canada. If in truth it ever existed.
There are plenty of ways to burn your bridges and this I know from personal experience, but it would seem that Canada is putting on a pretty good show of its own on the world stage.
You know our reputation; quiet, unassuming, excruciatingly polite, and mild mannered. We walk quietly and carry no sticks at all, mostly seen as peace keepers, until Afghanistan of course. We are never the main character but excel in supporting roles. I think this stereotypical view has been changing for some time and given the scandals of the world I figure we are still pretty mild.
We have a mayor in Toronto that made Jay Leno headlines. He has been attacked by the press for many months for alleged criminal activity and associations which went from reporting the news to ‘rabid’ attacks by the media. In my mind the guy is probably guilty but until it is so proven Canadian media has come off looking like crazed zombies out for blood, for his carcass and soul. Want to know why he appears so maligned and denigrated? Ego – One big enough to encompass the Grand Canyon, or possibly the western hemisphere. The media apparently cannot withhold its bile when faced with ego. The attacks shown on TV and in the press may actually start garnering some sympathy for Rob Ford. The guy, acting like a spoiled brat had the nerve to give digital direction to his accusers more than once, and in more than one way. Whether he just isn’t bright enough – limited by ego or intelligence – to understand the position he is in, or holds the rest of the world in such low regard doesn’t matter. The press has become the bad guy and shame on them.
We apparently have three evil senators in Ottawa who the media are out to hang prior to due course of justice. Now you have to understand that our senators are appointed and this has been viewed by many to be a reward for service to a particular Prime Minister. Nice job for life with admirable income and tax benefits. It seems Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, and Mike Duffy have made illegal claims for expenses. This has gone from newsworthy to blood sport in a few weeks. And why? You guessed it. Ego. Wallin in particular has been disliked because she treats everyone around her as less than human. She apparently has attained self-imposed Royal status and made some mighty big enemies in doing so. The facts seem to be in and in my opinion are guilty but the conduct of the media make them look like salivating dogs of hell taking bite after bite.
Senators as a whole probably in my view see themselves above all others and certainly these are not the only three, but they are going down in a most undignified way.
We have a Prime Minister I personally have never cared for. He is also about ego but has the smarts to manipulate and control. He is coming off rather badly because he has been caught in more than one lie. Now how surprising is that? A politician that lies. Coverups. Meanwhile there are bigger more costly political sins from which this whole country will suffer.
That fact never changes. The mighty pen, the media message, brings shame to this country and its people. We have never been able to trust the slant of reporting entirely and there is no such thing as blatant truth telling, but the Canadian media has been busy burning some bridges called Ethical Reporting and they should be ashamed. The problem is, they carry the message and there is little you and I can do to affect the honesty of the message. They not only deal in mob mentality, they feed it.
EGO has become the greatest crime of all which should make humble appearing criminals feel good.
Oh my why can’t we just have a good old sex scandal in government?
- The high-flying life of Pamela Wallin (macleans.ca)
- Debate on senator suspensions to continue Thursday (globalnews.ca)
- Resign, Stephen Harper. Resign (beaconnews.ca)
- Some unease over Senate scandal as Conservatives gather in Calgary (calgaryherald.com)
29 Aug 2013 9 Comments
in Domestic Fringe Fiction Friday, Justice, Uncategorized Tags: Child sexual abuse, death, Harper, Mandatory sentencing, Maple Leaf Gardens, Pain, Peter MacKay, Stephen Harper, suicides, Toronto, United States
It’s a sad sad day when injustice remains so until a life is lost. This Prime Minister has been around how many years but it takes an extreme occurrence to finally get response from the powers that be. NOW the hero rides in on his politicalized horsey to say something must be done. It hasn’t mattered that other have died or continue to live in pain or rather not lived because it wasn’t time for the leaders of this country to benefit by standing up and being counted. And in the end just how long will something take to happen? No really how long?
This article is an interesting read: Prime Minister Harper says tougher laws coming for child sex offences. The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:37PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:26PM EDT
TORONTO — Child sex offenders, particularly those who victimize multiple kids, could spend longer in prison under a range of harsher penalties proposed Thursday by the prime minister.
The Conservative government plans to introduce legislation this fall aimed at cracking down on people who sexually exploit children, Stephen Harper announced.
“Sadly there are truly evil people out there. The fact is we don’t understand them and we don’t particularly care to. We understand only that they must be dealt with,” Harper said at an event in Toronto.
Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and Justice Minister Peter MacKay, looks on as Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks in Toronto on Thursday Aug. 29, 2013. (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
“To protect our children we must create a justice system that is more responsive to victims and especially more responsive to children and to the families of children who have been victimized by sexual predators.”
A main plank of the proposed amendments would see people convicted of more than one such offence serve their sentences consecutively, rather than the current system in which sentences are served concurrently.
Harper cited in his announcement the case of Gordon Stuckless.
The 64-year-old — who was once an usher at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens — was originally convicted in 1997 for sex assaults on 24 boys while he worked at the famed hockey arena between 1969 and 1988.
Harper pointed out that Stuckless was originally sentenced to two years less a day, a sentence which was followed by the suicide of Martin Kruze, the victim who brought the sex abuse scandal to light.
Stuckless’ sentence was later increased to five years and he was out on parole in 2001 after serving two-thirds of it.
“Three years, for 20 very serious offences,” Harper said. “That sort of thing was common at the time. Of course the victims, on the other hand, have to cope for the rest of their lives with what such people have done to them.”
Stuckless now faces nearly 100 fresh charges, all laid in the past year, which relate to alleged offences that took place decades ago.
Lianna McDonald, the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, said particularly when a sex offender has abused several children, the sentences don’t seem like enough.
“In many cases where one individual might have multiple victims the sentence has not to date adequately reflect the number of those victims,” she said after the announcement.
“For some victims in some circumstances it may not even seem that what happened to them really mattered in terms of the totality of the sentence.”
The proposed law would also increase minimum and maximum penalties for child sexual offences.
Currently, people convicted of sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching or sexual exploitation are sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of 10.
Making and distributing child pornography convictions carry the same sentence range. Convictions for accessing or possessing child pornography see people sentenced to a minimum of six months and a maximum of five years.
Harper’s Conservative government has brought in a number of mandatory minimum sentences for various crimes over the years, including previously raising the minimum sentences for the aforementioned offences.
They have brought with them controversies and court challenges.
The Ontario Court of Appeal is considering the constitutionality of minimum sentences for gun crimes after it convened a special five-judge panel in February to hear six such cases at the same time.
In Quebec, the provincial bar association launched a legal challenge seeking to strike down sections of the Conservatives’ 2012 omnibus bill involving mandatory minimums. The bar association said the provisions don’t protect the public and represent an unconstitutional interference from one branch of government, the legislature, in the business of another, the judiciary.
Critics of mandatory minimum sentences say they don’t actually help reduce crime and do more harm than good.
To understand the impact of mandatory minimums one need look no further than the United States, where harsh mandatory minimums were enacted decades ago, said criminal defence lawyer Nader Hasan.
“What even some of the most Conservative law-and-order-oriented judges and politicians south of the border have begun to realize is that mandatory minimums do no make us safer,” said Hasan.
“What they do is overcrowd prisons and bankrupt legislatures.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently said the Justice Department would target long mandatory sentences that he said have flooded the nation’s prisons with low-level drug offenders and diverted crime-fighting dollars that could be better spent.
Hasan, who teaches a course at the University of Toronto titled “Crime & Punishment: Mandatory Minimums, The Death Penalty & other Current Debates,” said data from the U.S. shows little deterrent effect.
“The Harper government‘s fascination with mandatory minimums is all the more perplexing given that these policies have been tried but have failed miserably in the United States,” Hasan said.
McDonald, from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, said her hope is that the harsher penalties will keep offenders behind bars longer so that it prevents them, for a time, from committing future offences.
The proposed amendments would also ensure the spouse of a person charged with child pornography offences could be obliged to testify in court and increase penalties for those convicted of child sex offences who break conditions of supervision orders.
This email was sent from the CTV News
25 Jul 2013 7 Comments
A wonderful thought, an opportunity for action, not just to survive or sail through. Gotta love this reblog!
Originally posted on Smile breathe and go slowly's Blog:
For about as long as I can remember in my adult life, my brother has said “create yourself a great day” It was on his voicemail, in his letters….sometimes I thought it was corny and silly. Other times I thought there was wisdom to it. Lately it has been playing around in my mind. I’ve realized ( are you ready for this?) I’m actually a really selfish person! ( I know…I was shocked too) Truly, I am. I create my days, based on that self centered perspective. My D ( I still have a hard time with the boyfriend word…he’s so much more than that to me) – he always loves me where I am. He doesn’t judge me for my temper tantrums ( of which there aren’t many anymore, but still more than I’d like) He listens to my “but I’m ALWAYS soooo tired!!”"everyone wants something from me and I NEVER get time aloooone” ( can you hear the whiny tone?) He does what he can to soothe, and to give space, to pick up where I need help and to listen. That man really has taught me so much about true Love. Oh, but when HE is having a bad day….WELL….I don’t have the time or patience to deal with THAT! I have SO many things to do and people to take care of … he’s an adult..DEAL with it! ( can you see where the selfish is coming in?) Lately…the non judgement D shows me and the “create a great day” mantra of my big brother’s have coupled in my lil cranium and I have been CREATING my days…moment by moment ( and not always well to be honest) BUT I have realized how important thoughts are. We CREATE our days, our moments, with our thoughts, with our actions. SO I am choosing to act out of love, compassion, kindness, not selfishness, or neediness or anger. I’m curious to see where this leads and how it affects my relationships with others ( not just D). One other thought…as things happen that trigger or cause reactions within, I am learning to ask myself “Who am I?”"Who do I WANT to be” in relation to whatever person, circumstance, etc. ( took that one from the book Conversations with God) interesting read, that one.
I will keep you posted on how I do, moving from selfishness to ummm…otherness…or selflessness, I suppose.
In the wise words of my big bro….Create yourself a great day!!
21 Jul 2013 2 Comments
I’m trying it! I am always looking at The Bill of Goods companies and government are trying to sell us – but I never even thought of this!
Originally posted on Linda Cassidy Lewis:
Remember I warned you that Out of My Mind blogging might take a weird turn sometimes? Well, this is one of those times. This post has zero to do with writing—except that I wrote it, of course. Skin and hair health is what’s on my mind today.
Nearly three years ago, when an unexpected financial crisis threw me into a tailspin, the stress caused my occasional skin problems to rage. Rare and mild eczema and psoriasis outbreaks became constant and serious. So, as I do everything, I researched solutions online.
Soon, I suspected sodium lauryl sulfate as a contributing factor. If you don’t know, SLS is a foaming agent, and since we’ve been conditioned to think cleansers need foam or suds to work, it’s an ingredient in nearly every commercial soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc. Commercial SLS-free cleansers can be expensive, but I discovered I already had or could make some much cheaper in my kitchen.
06 Jul 2013 2 Comments
23 Jun 2013 2 Comments
Washing basket moments come at the worst times of course. Our friend Celi is not the only one in suffering at weather’s tantrums from Alberta to the north, and south and other side of the world but she is one that we know and love.
Originally posted on thekitchensgarden:
A little girl pig is a gilt until she has babies then she is a sow, a little boy pig starts out as a boar and becomes a barrow after his wee operation.
The Kitchens Garden Farmy officially has six barrows and 2 gilts. The barrows will sell for less than the gilts but are also used as show pigs. Though I will be keeping a few back for the freezer. Their ears are clipped with their registration numbers so when they sell they can be identified.