It’s a Sad day When

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.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/prime-minister-harper-says-tougher-laws-coming-for-child-sex-offences-1.1432058#ixzz2dPqLL0ez

This email was sent from the CTV News

Letters from the War: Part 2 of A Personal Post

Canadian Army

Canadian Army (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I posted a letter written by my uncle, who was fourteen at the time, to his brother, my father who was in the army.

My uncle was a pack rat and when he passed away his basement was crammed with all kinds of treasures, that my cousins had to sort through.  Amongst his belongings were three letters.

The other two letters I have are from my father to his mother, my grandma.

I have no idea where overseas he was when these were written.  The letters are on official Canadian Army stationary and are fully intact with the original envelopes.  The first letter was written April 16, 1943 and the second May 2, 1943.  Reading the lingo of the day they make me think of a scene from a black and white movie.  They also give me a perspective I wouldn’t otherwise have of this boy who would become my father.  They touch my heart as a mother, as a grandmother and as a woman.  I don’t see this boy as my father.  He is a young man who enlisted too young and went to a war that left permanent marks.

He loyally signed up with my someday to be my Uncle Harry who when he returned from the war would marry my Aunt Elaine.  My aunt is the last aged member of that generation and she tells me to this day how awful the war was for these teenagers.  She says they were different people when they came back and I can see she mourns the loss of who they once were.  When I lived in the USA I dated a man who had been in the Vietnam war and while he was a wonderful accomplished man he still carried memories that invaded his dreams.

I have felt for a long time now that the only casualties were not those who died.  Living victims.  I think it is wonderful that Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is recognized but I do not know if that recognition makes it any easier to deal on a day to day basis.

Whoa!  That was a surprise melancholy trip.  Now back to the letters that are not at all downers.  The second letter does show just how homesick this boy was.

Anyway:  April 16/43

Dear Mother

Hi Mom how are you doing?  Fine I hope.  Now here I am to make a request.  I need some more toilet soap and would be very greatful if you could get me some and send it to me.  The limey soap gives me a rash of something.

I found out where Bobby is so as soon as I can get a leave I am going to see him. O’ yes I haven’t had my leave as yet but am sure hoping.  I expect I will need it if I don’t go crazy waiting.  O’ yes haven’t received any cigs yet but am hoping for that too.  Well must go to bed now.

Tons of Love

Your son

Raymond

PS a X (hug) from me to you.

Love Raymond

********

May 2/43

Dear Mom

Hi Sweet Heart and how are you doing?  Fine I hope.  Say do you know something.  In 49 days Mrs. Gingerich’s dark haired warrior will be 19 and I have heard from some ot the fellows he is going to get drunk, really pie eyed for about 2 days.  Well mom I guess I didn’t need to remind you of that awful day.  But I guess you can remember it.

Well enough of that.  Well today is Sunday and like the good boy I am, I never wen t to church, and you know I was worried but I don’t know what happened I just didn’t get to church.  Well here I am beside a nice fire and having a swell time.  I was thinking what a swell time a fellow could have if he were home for awhile.  it would be swell.  I’d like to meet all the new friends we have now.  It would be swell.

Well Mom, I guess I will close for now.

Tons of Love Sweetheart

Love

Raymond

American Thanksgiving From the Outside

I am not an American however I do have strong links which include having resided in Texas for a time, good personal friends, and of course about 60% of my blogging  commentors.  I have said more than once that I left a part of my heart in that wonderful state and it is true.  Geographically you are our nearest neighbors, but the heart of America is more than friends or readers or one state.  The whole world is going through some rough times and certainly the USA as much or even more than some.

American Thanksgiving is a pretty big holiday with the very source of it being about Thanks for all we have and all we have is not something that can be counted or displayed.  Sometimes it is enough to give thanks for just being.

I met some pretty fantastic people from the other side of the border who went out of their way to make my life richer, and some who still do today.

The heart of America resides all around the world in every country.  For all the grumblings and stereotyping and political and religious hoohaw and seeming discontent there is strength, dignity and compassion.  There are many without food, homes, or love in all our countries.  Lets remember them – and for all who whine about what they don’t have, please give thanks for what you do have no matter how small or meagre.

This is a day that Americans traditionally celebrate and give thanks.  Just to let you know there are others like myself that give special thanks today just for knowing you.

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930). The First Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth in 1621. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

News Alert Regarding Pennies For…..

Our federal budget is out and of course there are a lot of yeah sayers and nay sayers accompanying it, but for the first time in a long time our government is a majority so its not going to matter much.  But what really did matter in yesterday’s news?  What touched the heart of this tax payer bringing a sad sigh and warm thoughts of days gone by?

The Canadian Government is getting rid of the penny.  Our copper penny.  Not surprising is the news that each one cent penny costs 1.4 cents to make.  So much in life is going to have to change.  No more putting in your two cents worth or giving a penny for  your thoughts.  And what about poor penny lane?  A penny saved was a penny earned but not for many many years now as it just wasn’t worth it.  No more pennies in the fountain.

What about bad pennies?  What will come back in their place?  What will you have if you no longer have a penny to your name?  If there are no more pennies what will heaven send us?  And will our good luck disappear altogether as in, ‘Find a penny, pick it up, All day long you’ll have good luck.’

Will the free newspaper called the Penny Saver go out of business?  Will we lose wieght as ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’?

When it comes to our daily taxes the government already rounds up the number.  Will they now just skip nickels and round up to the nearest dollar?

Will there be a penny spending spree where everyone who has gallon jugs of pennies will suddenly want them gone?  What are used pennies good for any way?

Perhaps, a penny for your thoughts?

Measuring Success

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. – General George Patton.

I’ve been thinking about challenges lately, overcoming challenges, and what success is. What is a successful person? What is success? That got me wondering about how to measure success. There are a multitude of companies out there who make their success by talking about the measurement of success, and really that is all you can do – talk about it. They purport to motivate, help you define your own meaning of success, and as the presentations are paid for by the company you work for, usually to meet the company’s definition of success.

There are all kinds of tools out there to help you measure, to help you know that yes you are or are not successful. I’m thinking that the only way true way is not by measurement of any sort but by feeling. I’m thinking that success is immeasurable.

We, I, look at someone else and say, “That person is successful.” But when you speak to that person, he or she may not perceive being successful. Is success being satisfied with what you have rather than striving for something you do not have? Are we being deceived for the purpose of gain to believe that we must want, that we should strive?

I have always thought of Demi Moore as successful, someone whose work I admire (although I do acknowledge it is easy to confuse the actor with the character). She would say, I think, she is unsuccessful because her want is unsatisfied. How do we know that? She said, “What scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not loveable.”

Even if you concede that success is something defined by each person the measurement of success is still feeling and not really measurable at all. Suppose your definition is money. Suppose you have eighty percent of the world’s money but are still not satisfied. It is not the acquisition of money, it is the feeling that it is enough.

Yup I’m thinking success is a feeling and no number of charts, written goals or affirmations can define success.
Feel it. Be it. Don’t measure it by someone else’s yard stick.

And The Winner is…New Zealand!

I heard on the radio yesterday that a survey was done to determine the friendliest country in the world and New Zealand was the winner. This does not surprise me in the least – right Judith and Cecilia? – and I was pretty happy for my friends.
I do have an issue with surveys and wonder about the second third and fourth runner ups. (Canada was third, the USA fourth and I think South Africa was second).
I know how friendly Scotland and The Netherlands is, so I would like to know exactly how the survey was compiled. Was every country rated? I’ll bet lots of you know countries that could or should have been top rated.
CONGRATS NZ!!!

Comes That Time of Year

Comes That Time of the Year

I have been enjoying reading all the blogs on WordPress, or at least as many as I can manage, particularly those of my BB’s (blogging buddies), as most are tallying up, evaluating, assessing and reviewing all they have achieved either in life during the last twelve months or in their pledge of commitment to WordPress Postadaychallenge or Postaweekchallenge.  It is the reviewing and the assessing that helps us set our goals for the next year and gives us a sense of accomplishment for our efforts.  It’s an opportunity to perhaps brag a bit or pat ourselves on the back and I am amazed at what I have learned from my comrades-in-type and impressed that I sort of hang around with the best of the best.  Some of you have taken up the Postaday2011 Challenge Questions and I confess that I am joining the pack for no other reason than to celebrate the ‘us’ of it all.

Unlike many of you I did not reach my goal of 365, not because of writer’s block or lack of material but because the presence of mind simply wasn’t there.  It may have been because of personal upheaval (Lord knows there was lots of that this year) or just too dang tired.  Declaring there was not enough time simply didn’t cut it as proved by 5 Minute Fridays.  Five minutes is never too much to ask, and as long as it is clear it is a twelfth of the hour attempt all is forgiven.

So to recognize WordPress.com for all their support and encouragement:

1)      WHY DID YOU START THE POSTADAY/WEEK CHALLENGE?  I was new to blogging and started with WordPress at the encouragement of MB my daughter-in-law who thought my tales would be of interest to others. I chose Postaday for structure and to gain experience.

2)      DESCRIBE THE STATE OF YOUR BLOG AT THE TIME OF THE CHALLENGE.  Raw is the only word that comes to mind.  I think I started in December and posted once.  It wasn’t much and many of my first blogs did not include tags or categories.  It takes me awhile to find my way around techie things!

3)      HOW DID YOUR BLOG EVOLVE OVER THE COURSE OF THE CHALLENGE?  Well the easiest answer to that is that it grew from being tentative observations to embracing ideas, memories, and recognition of events including acknowledging others in the WP family.  Themes began to emerge which I would like to strengthen this coming year.

4)      DID YOU POST AS OFTEN AS YOU HAD HOPED?  WHY OR WHY NOT? No I sure did not.  Weekends away were skipped and in this last two weeks of the year my dedication slipped as I became preoccupied with other things.

5)      WHAT TYPE OF BLOGGING STRATEGY WORKS BEST FOR YOU?  Definitely looking at what is going on in the moment and framing it for presentation.  I have found first thing in the morning is best as my mind is fresher then.  Since my mornings have become more structured since August it would mean starting before my day begins and I have had some difficulty achieving this.

6)      IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?  I guess there is nothing as what I have learned was a part of the growth for the year.  Even the techie stuff.

7)      WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ACCOMPLISHING THIS YEAR?  Hmm.  Definitely the enriched relationships I have developed. People in word who become part of my heart, my family.  Joss Burnel my Crowing Crone, Judith Baxter, who is growingyoungereachday my down under friend, Val Erde and Pat Cegan for inspiration and encouragement, Tricia at the domesticfringe, Elizabeth at Mirth and Motivation, Paul Johnson The Good Greatsby.

8)      NAME 3 GREAT BLOGS YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THROUGH THE CHALLENGE.  Wow keeping to 3 is very difficult but certainly Susan Castle at susanthecoach.wordpress.com whose experience and ability to succeed amazed and motivates me.  My friend Mark at redriverpak.wordpress.com whose humor and journey gives me strength and who is my idol (hmm guess that is my American Idol hehehe), and Colleen at bikecolleen.wordpress.com who seems very brave in all things.

9)      WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE CHALLENGE?  Definitely how quickly so many people/bloggers became important to me.  Many who don’t even know I exist.  I was also surprised at the wealth of knowledge out there.  If I could read fast enough I would read everyone.

10)   WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO WANT TO BLOG REGULARLY?  Do it.  Don’t think about an audience, just do it for you own self-expression.  Be sure to tag your work and reply to every comment and acknowledgement.  Also read and comment on other blogs.  You know how much work you do to post so you know that to show appreciation or recognition of others is equally important.

11)   WHAT ARE YOUR BLOGGING GOALS FOR 2012?  Do it.  Fine tune.  Organize. Read Read Read.

A little wisdom from Erma Bombeck to whose list I would only add…blog blog blog and be sincere.

If I Had My Life To Live Over

by Erma Bombeck

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

 

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck  

When Going Gets Tough, The …uh Well I

When the Going Gets Tough ….I think I’ll

Wait.  That’s right my friends.  I find just waiting it out works most of the time.  None of this ‘the tough get going’.  I suppose when I was younger and had more energy the  ‘get going’ part was easier.  Inspiring and energizing even.  But oh my, now just waiting it out seems smarter.

 

The saying is attributed by some to Joseph Kennedy, legendary father to President John F. Kennedy (1888-1969) and to Knute Rockne who was a football player and a pretty smart man (one of his most famous sayings was, ‘Win this one for the Gipper which was famously used throughout early era movies.)

 

Now the idea is that when difficult situations arise, people of strong character don’t just lie around and complain but get going to solve the problem, which is fine for all you energy sodden folk.

 

I used to take the need to get going rather seriously but with the wisdom that comes with years I have discovered most things either resolve themselves or at least present a clearer easier solution when considered.  Sometimes old-fashioned ‘pondering’, which, is pretty low energy requirement, works much better.  Leaves the mind open to possibilities.

 

Getting going is such an aggressive approach, even more than the mighty oak which is less aggressive but more resistant, and I prefer to act more like the willow tree gently bending in the winds of life.

 

See there I go again making it sound like I know what I’m doing; that in the spice rack of life I am sage (get it? Get it?  Sage/wisdom/smart)

 

Sometimes it is a wait and ponder situation, and sometimes when events are moving quickly and you fear you have lost control, just picture yourself in a tiny round silver saucer sleigh, hanging on firmly to the handles flying down the slippery slope of life, eyes closed, waiting to stop and having faith that you will survive the journey.  No point in worrying after all there is more than one way to win a battle, be the victor, skin a cat,…well you get the idea.

 

 

Canadian Black Friday

 

Canadian Black Friday


There is no Canadian Black Friday, and really who would want one.  I keep seeing blogs about the horror of it all but obviously there are some dyed-in- the-wool shoppers who actually get a high from the thrill, the challenge, the adventure.

However Canadians do take part – by the bus load, willingly.  Go figure.

If I am going to take part in a large public gathering I want it to be for a blues, jazz, rock, or country band, or.. or…nope cannot think of another thing that would get me out there.

I must say I admire those driven to Black Friday activities but it is admiration from afar. And the further the better.  

So while I sit here all snuggy enjoying yet another fall like winter day I hope everyone gets what they want.  For me, I don’t have a lot, but I cannot think of one thing I need, no matter how cheap or great a deal that would move me from this spot.

Hmmm now I find myself wondering if those brave warriors actually are buying things they need, or is it a contest for bragging rights on who got the best deal?

Mama Kat’s Thanksgiving Post

That Mama Kat

Mama Kat’s Thanksgiving Post

Naturally today being the most important holiday to our American friends all five of this week’s prompts are about Thanksgiving; favourite recipes, traditions, fav memory, poems and who is cooking the turkey.  There are a considerable number of us outside the festivities but this does not exclude us from participating or giving thanks.

Thankfulness is international.  That is, the celebration and appreciation of thanks.  We can all be thankful but of course we do not have to be either. And what we are thankful for depends on age.  When I was a child I was thankful for a new toy perhaps.  I tend to think children were actually more thankful back then, but I could be wrong.

Even though it is popular, not just today to express our thankfulness, I wonder if some of us are really capable of giving sincere thanks or if we just say it.  I have met people so embittered by life they could not see anything to be glad of.  I wonder if in spite of what we have if we are losing our ability to be thankful, if we are just becoming expectant.

I won’t give a list of the things I am grateful for today, I will just give thanks that I am grateful.  It takes heart to be capable of thankfulness and to have heart we must have the ability to feel for others not ourselves.  Thankfulness is not about ourselves, it is about all we are connected to outside of, which then becomes inside of us.

So no thanksgiving here, just a blessing:

MAY ALL TODAY, WHETHER ALONE OR WITH OTHERS, FIND THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS TOUCHED.

Photobucket

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 312 other followers

Archives

blogsurfer.us

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 312 other followers

%d bloggers like this: